Fifteen sneaky tricks to lose more weight in 2015
Here’s to a slimmer, svelte you with very little effort!
Relax! You don’t have to rush off to buy the latest fad diet book. New Year parties are a distant memory and your diet is back on track. But which girl doesn’t want to lose another couple of pounds? Now for some good news; you don’t have to drastically change up your diet to lose another couple of inches from your hips. Just make small changes to get big results over time.
Eat more protein for breakfast
Cut sugar from your a.m. meal. This means give carb loaded sugary cereals, toast, poha and upma a miss and instead start your day with dahi, nuts, eggs and paneer to power your mornings. The result? You won’t get that sinking feeling an hour after breakfast that makes you reach for biscuits or chocolate. Instead you’ll feel energized, productive and raring to go.
Make time for a mid-morning snack
If there’s a five to six hour gap between breakfast and lunch it’s a good idea to eat a small snack in between. This little snack has two benefits; it stops you from overeating at lunch and it keeps your metabolism on the up. What can you eat? Think ten almonds or a fruit or even a glass of veggie juice or nariyal paani.
Drink sparkling soda if you can’t forgo colas
There’s enough evidence to suggest that liquid calories—think juices, colas, milk shakes—are one of the biggest culprits responsible for weight gain. Equally harmful are artificial sweeteners because they can wreak havoc on your diet. When you add artificial sweeteners to your food and drink, they confuse your body that is ‘anticipating ‘real sugar’ ultimately leading to weight gain, according to a recent study in the Journal of Behavioral Neuroscience. So simply ditch soft drinks and switch to soda water, jazzing it up with a dash of lemon, lime or orange slices. Not only will it make water fun it will ensure you’re hydrated. And as any nutritionist will tell you, drinking enough aqua helps you maintain a healthy weight. And no, drinking dizzy water doesn’t leach calcium from bones or erode tooth enamel. That is caused by the other ingredients in colas.
Learn to read sugar counts on labels
Sugar is called by many names! Think fructose, glucose, corn syrup, agave nectar, barley malt…to name just a few. Learn to read food labels and if sugar by any name is in the first five ingredients in any food or drink then you shouldn’t let it pass your lips. Instead of man-made sugary foods—cookies, mithai and candy—sink your teeth into Nature’s sweets, that is fruit!
Give bread a pass
While bread isn’t the devil it doesn’t offer a huge amount of nutrition but it does have enough calories to tip the scales. Plus bread tends to cause bloating because of the yeast used to leaven it. Just for a week try replacing your usual lunch time sandwich bread with lettuce or cabbage leaf wraps. You’ll get the crunch and satisfaction of biting into something without the calories.
Pull your measuring cups for portion control
Instead of dishing up a katori of rice to cook, use a cake flour measuring cup to portion out one third serving of raw rice, whole wheat flour or quinoa. That’s the amount you should be eating at one meal. It’s hard to exercise portion control if you use a serving spoon to serve yourself.
Start meals with a glass of water
Contrary to what you’ve heard, drinking a glass of water BEFORE meals actually helps digest food better and gives you a sense of feeling full. Plus it’s a good way of meeting your day’s water requirement and boosting your metabolism. Oftentimes thirst is mistaken for hunger and drinking your daily quota will make sure you’re eating from hunger not thirst.
Keep your hands busy while your watch TV
That might sound an odd bit of advice but mindless nibbling in front of the television is the number one cause of weight gain. So learn to keep your hands busy while you watch. Instead of reaching for the chips or chocolate, solve a jigsaw puzzle, file your nails, flip through a magazine, anything except taking your hands to your mouth.
Leave a little on your plate
Forget what your dad told you about finishing what’s on your plate. Leave the last few mouthfuls on the plate, even if it’s your favorite food. You will feel SO empowered by your self-control.
Eat warm foods
Want to know why the Chinese and Japanese are among the thinnest people in the world? The reason is simple; they slurp up hot tea and soup at every meal and through the day. How does this help you ask? Have you ever seen anyone gulp down a hot bowl of soup? One naturally eats hot foods slowly, so you end up eating less. Plus watery soup or tea fills you up faster.
Start with a salad
Instead of piling your plate high with rice or noodles, start your meal with a bowl of salad or veggies. In fact, mentally divide your plate into four quarters. Eat half the plate worth of veggies, a quarter plate worth of protein (fish, chicken, tofu, sprouts or paneer), and only one quarter worth of whole grain. Such as easy way to lose weight without even thinking about it!
Buy nuts in their shell
Instead of wolfing down almonds, peanuts or pistachios by the handful, buy them whole, that is, with intact shells, so that you spend time shelling them. Plus looking at a stack of shells gives you a good idea of the number of nuts you’ve chomped down.
Carry your snacks with you
Slim and sensible girls and guys have a trusty Ziploc with their SOS snacks so that they’re never caught unaware when hunger pangs strike. This is when you’re most prone to making diet faux pas. A small bag of seeds, dried fruit, roast channa or fruit make for great between meal snacks.
Studies show that not changing up your diet much helps you to stick it. Knowing you’re going to get the same two veggies and brown rice for lunch day after day may sound boring but it will keep you on track. Research shows that eating the same things helps you consume fewer calories.
Start each meal by blessing your food, lame as it sounds. Be thankful for the food in front of you. Be mindful of how it tastes and the energy it is giving you. Stop to breathe deeply a few times before meals and whenever you start getting stressed.