You don’t need to go on a crash diet, or exercise for hours and hours to lose weight. Simple tweaks to your day-to-day lifestyle can also help you lose weight in a sustained manner.
Research has shown that sudden weight loss is really bad for you, and can cause heart problems as well as gallstones. And as it turns out, you can even end up losing friends in the process. So, don’t take a shortcut in terms of your diet, and instead opt for these lifestyle changes instead.
Eat more often
“Eat every two hours. It keeps the metabolism high and ensures steady energy levels,” says nutrition consultant Karishma Chawla. You should also not skip meals. “Large gaps leave the body in starvation mode, lowering the BMR and hinders fat loss,” says Chawla.
Eat more fibre
Eating less of fibre-rich food and more processed food can make your blood sugar levels rise, which leads to greater insulin release than required. Having higher insulin levels for a longer period of time (along with consuming more sugar-based items) can lead to obesity. “When a person includes at least 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, it helps enhance digestion and increase metabolism, which leads to weight loss,” says nutritionist and food consultant Anjali Peswani. Chawla suggests you have 2 high-fibre fruits, two bowls of green veggies and 3 bowls of salad in a day.
Add good proteins to your diet
Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They help you build muscle and lose fat. “Your diet should include 30 to 40% of good protein, which will help you lose weight faster,” says Peswani. Chawla suggests you eat complete lean protein in at least three meals a day. Some of the good sources of protein are chicken, fish, skimmed paneer and eggs.
Drink more water
Liquids can make you feel fuller for longer, boost metabolism and enhance weight loss. “Many a times, people mistake thirst for hunger, thereby increasing unnecessary calories,” says Peswani. Have 3 litres of water through the day. You can also include other fluids like coconut water, unsweetened lime water, herbal teas, and vegetable juices to increase hydration, says Chawla.
Include complex carbohydrates in your diet
“Foods such as millet, oats, barley, bran and brown rice have a lower glycaemic index value, which means they turn into sugar far more slowly as compared to simple carbs. Therefore, they keep one fuller for longer,” says Peswani.
Say no to sugar
Sugar and sugar-based foods can cause imbalance in the body’s blood glucose levels, thereby increasing dependency on it. “Eliminating sugar can keep your hormones in check and not let the cravings get to you,” says Peswani. You can also eliminate sugar with the natural herb stevia, says Chawla.
Reduce intake of sodium
Foods with excess salt or packaged food can cause bloating and increased water retention, says Peswani. “Limit salt intake to ¾ tsp a day in cooking meals and avoid table salt,” says Chawla.
Get enough sleep
You need a good 6 to 8 hours of sleep for weight loss. “Our body burns more calories while sleeping , and even more when we are sound asleep,” says Peswani.
Once in two weeks, give a rest to your system by providing your body with foods that are easy to digest like fruits, vegetables and liquids that are not sugary.
Chew your food well
When you chew your food longer, the saliva mixes well with food. It makes digestion easier and leads to less wastage, says Peswani.
Burn it out
Exercise not only helps us stay fit, but also protects us from several diseases and lifestyle disorders. “Exercise every day for an hour. It increases the metabolism. A combination of weight training and cardio along with good stretching is ideal,” says Chawla.
Ditch the buffet
Once in a while, it’s okay to eat out, but do not binge. Instead, go for an a la carte selection to make healthier choices, says Peswani.
Keep a healthy kitchen
The best way to not eat junk food is to not have easy access to it. Chawla suggests some things that you can stock in your kitchen: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, fruits, olive or rice bran oil, skim milk, skim curd, oats, sprouts and veggies.