If you’ve been trying hard but still left wondering how to reduce your weight but haven’t been able to, here are some simple, practical tips. Just practising these sincerely for 20 days at a stretch is sure you start showing results and you will losing weight in no time!
1. Write down your weight loss goal – Most people do not do this, but believe us, it works. Whether you want to lose 10 kilos in 3 months, just reduce your tummy or maybe just increase your energy levels, write it all down in a weight loss diary or journal. The first step to reduce weight is to know and tell yourself how much you need to reduce.
2. Burn more calories than you consume – It may sound very simple but it does need some planning. To get an idea – a single hour of walking at a brisk pace of 5 km/h burns just 145 calories, whereas a single McVeggie Burger contains 465 calories.
3. Replace sugar with stevia or meethi patti – This zero-calorie natural wonder is now available in almost all chain superstores. It is also useful in lowering blood sugar and curbing diabetes.
4. Use brown rice instead of white – Not only does brown rice have fewer calories, it also has more fiber which makes you feel fuller for longer. Brown rice also retains the bran which helps lower cholesterol levels.
5. Never starve to lose weight – If you go on a strict no-food or a reduced food diet, your body thinks you are starving and tries to save calories instead of burning them. Eat ‘negative calorie’ foods which actually have very less calories.
6. Replace fried food with baked food – We Indians love our bhajias, samosas and jalebis. But these are very calorie-rich and can completely wreck your weight loss plans. Go for baked versions instead. Or use an air-fryer.
7. Alcohol is weight loss’s worst enemy – Not only does it add unnecessary calories because it is a drink and you do not realize how much you are consuming, it can also damage your exercise plans the morning after. So, stay away from alcohol or even mocktails with high sugar content. Fresh lime soda with no sugar or just plain lime juice is your best bet. Vegetable juices are also available in most places these days.
8. Eat fruits and veggies 5 times a day – These are low-calorie wonder foods which also supply you with great nutrition. Eat a fruit in the morning before breakfast, eat a mid-morning fruit instead of snacking. Eat a big portion of fresh vegetable salad in the afternoon before you eat lunch. Have a fruit in the evening instead of snacking on fried food and oodles of coffee. And eat either a big bowl of vegetable soup, a quick stir-fry with very little oil or a salad in the evening.
9. Eat your dinner by 7:30 PM – We Indians are used to eating a heavy and late dinner. Since there is very less gap between your dinner and sleep time, the digestion is affected and can wreck your weight loss plans.
10. Reduce your intake of salty food – We know you love pickles, papads and other salty snacks. But the salt is very bad for your weight loss plans as they can cause water retention and bloating. Stay away from them as much as possible.
11. Eat at home more often – We know this is very difficult and boring but you need to make up your mind for this. If you have a credit card, keep it under lock and key. Set yourself a withdrawal limit. Try cooking some of our healthy recipes. Not only do you learn new recipes, you also lose weight and are more conscious about what you eat. It is also a great idea to eat to your fill before you go out for parties, weddings.
12. Add more spices in your food – Spices have metabolism-increasing properties. Adding spices like pepper, chilli, cumin (jeera), turmeric, mustard, etc not only increases the flavour, it also helps you reduce weight.
13. Eat more nuts – Dry fruits and nuts like almonds (badam), pistachios, walnuts have good fats in them and can improve your overall health and also help reduce weight.
14. Reduce intake of red meat like mutton and beef – Stick to chicken instead. It contains lots of proteins and can fill you up for longer. If you are working out in the gym, it can be a great way to fuel up. Fish also is a healthier option as it has the good fats. Try turkey. It has lesser calories than chicken.
15. Whenever you feel hungry in between meals, drink water – Most of the time, when we ‘feel’ hungry, it is really just thirst and our body craving for something. Filling it up with water can help beat the hunger pangs.
16. Workout in the morning – Before you get involved in the day-to-day humdrum, go for your workout or jog. It is a time when you are fresh and charged after a long night of sleep and is the best to workout. If getting up in the morning is a problem, try this – pack your gym bag or workout clothes and keep them near your bed. Record your own voice reminding you about your weight loss goal and set it as your alarm tone.
17. Eat a heavy breakfast – Most people end up skipping breakfast to lose weight. But this is the worst thing they could do. Traditional south Indian dishes like idlis, dosas, upma, etc. are great options. Avoid sweetened cornflakes and muesli. Here are some healthy breakfast recipes.
18. Exercise for at least 45 minutes a day – Studies have shown that this is the optimal time to exercise. Yoga, aerobics, weight training, swimming, zumba or any other form will do. But 45 minutes is key to weight loss.
19. Include weight training in your regime – This will help build lean muscle, which in turn increase your metabolism and make your body a fat-burning machine.
20. Do not let exercise get monotonous – Do not go to the gym every single day. Join a dance or zumba class, go for a morning jog, try martial arts. Plan a Sunday swim with friends. Whatever works for you!