Do you wonder why you don’t lose weight when you work out every day – run for an hour on the treadmill, do Power Yoga, lift weights and join Zumba or spinning classes? What is important to understand is that losing weight is part exercise, but a lot depends on your diet. Yes, it all depends on your diet. But, now, now don’t confuse DIET with starving or crash dieting or fad dieting.
Diet is to feed your body after understanding what it needs.
For the last 5 years, I weigh 59-60 kgs. It goes up and down by a kg or so during the holidays. It is not an easy task, given that I have hypothyroidism and a low metabolism, but eating right helps. Here are my tips on how to lose weight without crash dieting.
Divide the meals: You must have heard about eating 6 meals in a day. Instead of having 2 big meals like lunch and dinner, divide your food over the entire day into 6 meals – wake up meal, breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, 4 pm snack, dinner. With mini meals, you don’t overeat during lunch or dinner that often leads to indigestion and bloating.
I shall write a detailed post on what you can eat in these meals.
Control portion: Portion control is the golden key to weight loss. Cut slowly your portions. If you eat a large bowl of rice for lunch, remove a couple of spoons every day, till you are left with a small bowl of rice. I eat 1 roti or a small bowl of rice. I don’t combine these two. When you eat 6 meals, even 1 roti and little rice are enough to satisfy you. Just take time and chew well, you will enjoy even that 1 roti.
When to snack: Most people eat desserts after their lunch or dinner. Well, this is where you need to be alert. Instead of including desserts in your meals, make your desserts a separate meal. So have that gajar ka halwa, gaund ka laddoo and a slice of Death by Chocolate or a scoop of your favourite ice cream at 11 am or 4 pm. They make for some interesting mid-morning or 4 pm snacks.
Avoid post dinner snacking: Even Ayurveda believes that after sunset, our activity reduces and our digestive system slows down. The food that we eat has a higher chance of not getting utilized as energy and gets stored as fat. Eat light and less for dinner. If you eat mini meals the whole day, you will tend to eat less for dinner.
Also, absolutely avoid snacking post dinner. If you are very hungry, opt for milk, buttermilk or dry fruits.
Opt for Intermittent fasting: Intermittent Fasting or IF is short term fasting and may actually increase fat burning by accessing the stored energy. In IF, you usually avoid eating for 12-14 hour window, that is you eat dinner early around 6-7 and then break the fast the next morning around 10-11. Practice this every day or at least 5 days a week. Another way of doing IF is to observe IF for 24-hour period that is by not eating from dinner on one day until dinner the next day. This is your one day or two days a week fasting. However, in the 8 hour window that you eat, you need to eat sensibly.
I don’t diet, in fact, I have never done crash dieting. I eat 1 gaund ka laddoo every day in the winters and 2 mangoes in the summers. The wisdom is in eating everything, but eating the right way.