Planning to lose some weight ahead of the festival season to look and feel better? Weight loss is an arduous journey and you are likely to encounter many ‘invisible’ bumps in the process. One of the common problems of people aspiring to shed kilos is their need for quick results which often makes the efforts futile as the weight lost is gained back quickly. Aiming for a slow and steady weight loss is often the best way to burn calories and for that one needs to design a healthy lifestyle which has space for healthy diet, exercise routine, a good night’s sleep and reduced stress levels. (Also read: Eating nothing but pineapple for weight loss? Know side effects from dietician)
It is important to lose weight to keep obesity at bay which is a root of all chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease among others. Weight loss is also helpful in keeping your mental health in top shape.
Men and women lose weight differently. Men have more lean body mass so their weight loss is faster but they have to exercise more often and take more proteins in order to lose weight in a healthy manner. However, there are some common rules that men and women can follow for weight loss, as suggested by Preeti Gupta, Dietician and Founder of Perfect Health.
1. Eat a healthy balanced diet which includes all food groups like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. One should not avoid any food group if on a weight loss diet as every component has its special contribution towards our health. Carbohydrates gives us energy and different minerals and vitamins like vitamin B. Proteins are essential building blocks which is necessary for our muscles and helps to burn fat faster, it also keeps us full for a longer period of time. Healthy fats are again very important when losing weight as they give us essential fatty acids, vitamin E, keep us full and also burn fat.
2. Add more fiber in diet: Foods rich in fiber are very important when trying to lose weight as they help in reducing blood sugar level and also keeping our heart healthy. Fiber absorbs water as it moves through the digestive tract. As a result, our stomach fills faster and we don’t feel hungry very often. So, one must consume more vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains like oats, quinoa.
3. Stay hydrated: When we are trying to lose weight, water plays the most important role as it helps to remove toxins, transport nutrients, in better digestion, muscle function, in speeding up calorie burning, fat burning, etc. So, drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day.
4. Consume nutritional beverages: Taking healthy beverages like milk, almond milk, buttermilk, vegetable juice, detox waters and green tea helps in weight loss. Avoid sodas, colas, canned and fresh juices as they are rich in sugar and will increase your insulin level which will speed up fat accumulation and make it difficult for you to reduce weight.
5. Reduce or cut alcohol intake: Alcohol hampers our liver function and disrupts the hormones due to which the fat gets stubborn and we are not able to lose sight. Alcohol also dehydrates us. So, avoid it or minimize its intake.
6. Eat iron rich foods: 60- 70 per cent of obese people have hypothyroid so weakness, shortness of breath, tiredness is common in them. Iron plays an important role as it controls the thyroid gland and its secretion. So, indirectly it helps to lose weight. Include dates, anjeer, beetroot, pomegranate, seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish and chicken in your diet.
7. Include Vitamin D in your daily routine: It is again very important vitamin while we are trying to lose weight and most people are deficient in it. So, sit in sunlight for 5 minutes daily in the morning. If not possiblem, take Vitamin D supplements once a week for 3 months and consult your doctor. Include mushrooms, dairy products, fish, green leafy vegetables in diet.
8. Eat a light and early dinner: Dinner is a major meal of the day, but we all make this common mistake to eat dinner late and make it luxurious. This makes us gain weight. Our body clock works as per the sun. In day time, the metabolism tends to be high and whatever we eat gets digested quickly but after sunset, the digestion slows down. Having an early dinner can help lose weight.
9. Exercise: When talking about weight loss exercise is something we can’t ignore. We need to be active, burn our calories, and improve our metabolism. So, one can include yoga, walking, aerobics, strength training, dance, weight training and swimming in their routine. For men, weight training and strength training works the best as it is good for muscle growth and burns excess fat. But do these exercises under guidance of certified trainers.
10. Sleep: 8 hours of sleep is necessary for weight loss. Sleep deprivation increases appetite, slows down metabolic rate and disturbs our hormones so we are susceptible to water retention when we don’t sleep.
11. Stress: Last, but not the least, one must reduce stress to lose weight. Stress always hinders in weight loss as it produces cortisol which in turn disturbs insulin hormone so we are not able to lose fat. For reducing stress, practice pranayama, deep breathing, meditation, or talk to your loved ones.
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