The lazy girl’s guide to staying slim
Seven ways to lose weight without really trying!.
You want to get slim? Join the club! Rare is the woman who’s happy with the way she looks. But losing weight is hard work; all those sweaty gym sessions and food deprivation. If the thought of getting up at the crack of dawn and doing laps in your neighborhood park is enough to make you snuggle deeper under the duvet or reach for another cheese toast, then it’s time you get smart and savvy about losing weight with minimum effort. Once you realize how easy it is to shed those rolls, you’ll be motivated to join the gym or hire a trainer to speed up your quest for a svelte bod.
Cheat # 1
Track your intake and output.
Forget about those fitness apps and wrist bands that track the number of steps you take or calories you burn. People were losing weight long before scientific gizmos crept into the equation. It’s a simple input versus output game. Weight loss will happen when there’s a calorie deficit, that is, when you consume less than you burn. Aim for 45 minutes exercise—not necessarily where you pull on your gym shoes and track pants—whether it’s taking the stairs to work, walking to your bus stop instead of taking the auto or dusting your home. It’s also a good idea to maintain a food diary to keep track of what you put in your mouth. Be meticulous! Every leftover morsel from your son’s plate, every cookie that gets passed around at work, every bowl of popcorn you munch while watching the telly. You’ll be surprised at how much you consume without realizing. Then create a sensible diet plan where each plateful of food looks like this: half full of veggies, with a quarter sized portion of whole grains (brown rice, bajra, jowar and barley are good options), and quarter sized portion of low fat dairy like home-made paneer or lean chicken or fish. Sensible snack options could include a fruit, a bowl of low fat yoghurt or a small handful of roasted channa with a few almonds.
Cheat # 2
Use a smaller plate
It sounds like a mug’s game but this actually works. Visually we’re used to piling up our plates high. Don’t believe it? Look around at a buffet line next time you’re out. Everyone is carrying a mountain of food on their plates. Just start using a smaller dinner plate, and pile it up by all means. The thing is satiety has a lot to do with visual sensory perceptions. If you ‘think’ you’ve eaten a plateful of food you’re bound to feel full. Of course the analytical part of you will know that you’ve probably consumed one third less food than you’d normally end up eating without feeling deprived!
Cheat # 3
Get your zzzs
Proven fact: the less you sleep, the slower your metabolism. I’ll go one step further and say the less you sleep the more you nibble. You should aim for eight hours every night. Studies show that for every one hour less of sleep you burn 10 percent fewer calories. When you are sleep deprived, your body doesn’t properly metabolize carbohydrates, leading to higher blood sugar, elevated insulin levels and an increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin that encourages you to eat more. The only way to keep hunger in control is to get your eight hours nightly. Have trouble sleeping? Listen to soothing music, sip a cup of Chamomile tea or have a warm shower.
Cheat # 4
Beat the bloat.
Eating too quickly, talking while you eat and having processed, sodium filled foods can all cause your stomach to bulge. So can carbonated drinks and eating fruit after a meal. The quickest way to beat the bloat is eating whole foods, chewing your food and sipping mint tea after each meal. Another option is taking a probiotic capsule every day to increase friendly bacteria in your gut. Try Inlife Pre & Probiotics (60 Caps) that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines, promoting a healthy digestive system. If your bloating is a result of water retention, try drinking more water or reduce the salt in your food. If all else fails, try a water pill like Natrol Water Pill.
Cheat # 5
Change your posture.
You can actually look slimmer if you simply improve your posture. Standing up straight allows you to build and strengthen your abdominals and back muscles. The other positive is that it allows you to breathe better, stimulating the metabolism, so that you burn calories faster. Another way of strengthening your abdominal muscles and getting a flat belly are isometric internal oblique exercises that you can do while lying in bed. Just suck in your abdomen as strongly as you can. Hold for as long as you can and then release. Repeat ten times daily. Once you get the hang of it you can do it even while sitting up. Slowly but steadily your stomach will get tighter and flatter.
Cheat # 6
Drink up (but only aqua)
You need to get at least two liters of water (roughly eight to ten glasses) daily. If you don’t then your liver ends up doing the work of the kidneys. When this occurs the liver can’t do its primary work of metabolizing fat. Besides the brain often mistakes thirst for hunger and you end up eating when you’re actually thirsty. And no, carbonated drinks, soft drinks, juices and alcohol don’t count.
Cheat # 7
Bin boxed foods
One of the easiest ways of getting slim quick is nixing anything that comes of a packet, tin or box. This means no breakfast cereals, cookies, chips, namkeen or instant noodles. Fresh food satisfies your hunger like nothing else does, and ensures all your nutrient needs are met. When this happens you tend to graze that much less. Besides, processed foods only make you feel full temporarily and you need another fix the minute your blood sugar levels slump, leading to rebound eating.