If only there was a magic pill that to melt those kilos. Sadly, a fat melting quick fix simply doesn’t exist. It’s a simple calories in-versus-calories out equation and no matter what the TV commercial tells you, the recipe for weight loss hasn’t changed in all these years. However, luckily for you, there are better, more effective ways to get fitter faster. Here’s our list of the top ten most important health and weight loss tips for 2016!
Most gym-goers—even trainers—mistakenly believe that strength training is only for people who want to gain weight in the form of rippling biceps. They also believe that long-duration cardio like running and cycling is the fastest way to lose fat. Not true! The latest research suggests that that while low to moderate intensity aerobic exercise is useful, it’s not as beneficial as strength training. Want to get strong AND lose weight? Real weights, real sweat and real effort hold the key.
Forget that old wife’s take that you shouldn’t eat leftovers. If you’re going to eat carbohydrates, then eat cold and reheated rice, pasta or potatoes. Why? Because cold and reheated pastas and potatoes have more resistant starch than when they’re first prepared. Resistant starch is a dietary fiber that doesn’t get fully broken down or absorbed by the body, so you can get full without getting fat.
Walnuts are healthy. So are raisins, bananas, peanut butter, dark chocolate, coconut and so on. It’s easy to fall into the ‘health food’ trap. Healthy food can be calorific and totally derail your efforts to get fit and healthy. Wise up about ‘healthy food swaps’ like olive oil instead of butter, yogurt instead of cheese to save yourself unnecessary calories.
Maintain a food diary. You’ll be surprised at how many times a day you slip up. Besides, penning down your fitness and health goals makes you more likely to achieve them. Be meticulous about writing everything down, from meals and snacks to workouts, to stick to your fitness goals.
The average Indian woman eats far too little protein. And no, that katori of sprouts or daal is simply not enough. Aim to get 20-35 grams of protein at every meal and snack time so that your muscles have all the fuel they need. A small handful of almonds, low fat cottage cheese, low fat dahi, peanut butter, grilled fish or chicken, take your pick to keep your metabolism up and running.
Sure long cardio sessions burn calories, but they’re not your most effective option for fat loss. The magic of high intensity interval training (or HIIT, for short) will keep your body burning fat even after you leave the gym. During such a workout, your body can’t shuttle enough oxygen to your muscles during periods of hard work so your muscles accumulate an oxygen deficit that must get repaid post-workout, keeping you burning calories long after you leave the gym. A typical HIIT workout: Jump rope three minutes, rest 30 seconds, sprint five minutes, walk briskly two minutes, and so on.
This is a tried a tested recommendation. Carbs are burned more efficiently earlier in the day while you’re still active. Instead go high-protein-low-carb at dinner for optimum weight loss. Think stir fried veggies and an egg white omelette or grilled chicken or low fat paneer.
Sugar is a sneaky devil. It lurks in all the places you wouldn’t look for it. Barbecue sauce, tomato ketchup, ‘healthy’ fruit yogurt, Chinese takeout, readymade pasta sauce, fizzy drinks and cocktails all contain enough hidden sugars to throw your blood sugar out of whack and cause weight gain, hunger pangs and mood swings. When in doubt, go natural, avoid anything that comes out of a jar, bottle or package.
There are enough studies to suggest that wearing a pedometer makes you more conscious of the need to stay active. Stand any chance you get. Walk around while chatting on the phone, take the stairs, walk the dog, dance, even short bursts of exercise all add up.
Want to know the quickest way to stop overeating and feel more satisfied after meals? Stop gulping down your meals. Chew every morsel, eat mindfully, savor the texture and aroma of your food. Spend at least 20 minutes over each meal, and never gulp down your dinner perched in front of the television.
Do you have any health and fitness goals to share? Comment below!