Losing weight is a roller coaster ride. After all, adopting a healthy lifestyle is never easy. Plus, the overload of diet tips and nutrition websites make it super confusing on what kind of eating habits you should follow.
So, we’ve come up with 17 simple hacks that may work. These tips may not only allow you to shed the flab but also not come in the way of your love for food. Do them a little at a time to find your best fit.
First, we’ve listed the habits you should try and incorporate into your lifestyle:
- Avoid starting your day with tea or coffee. Instead, eat a fruit or two to three dried dates/figs with two to three almonds/walnuts. Have tea/coffee twenty minutes later. Consuming these caffeinated beverages first thing in the morning suppresses your appetite. As a result, you may skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast increases cravings for junk food as well as may lower your metabolism.
- Eat every two to three hours. Eating at regular intervals helps ensure stable sugar and energy levels, which may in turn help reduce your craving for sweets. Besides, gaps of four hours between meals increase your chances of overeating at the next meal.
- Enjoy the fruit but don’t drink its juice, even if it’s homemade, unstrained and without any added sugar. Fruit juice is a broken down and simplified version of the fruit which may spike your blood sugar levels and get stored as fat.
- Make sure that you eat an evening snack. This meal ensures that you don’t wolf down a king-sized dinner. Some smart snacking options include a sandwich, fresh fruits, roasted khakhra, boiled chana chaat and boiled corn. Try and have the low sodium and oil-free versions of these snacks as much as possible. Simply put, a cup of tea or coffee with biscuits is a poor choice for an evening snack.
- Drink 12-15 glasses approximately of water daily. Water helps boost your metabolism. Coffee, tea and soda don’t count as fluid intake. More often than not, you may end up interpreting thirst as hunger or vice versa. As a result, you end up eating when you are actually just thirsty.
- Avoid the use of artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame or acesulfame K. Some studies have shown that these chemicals don’t replace the sugar craving completely and can still make you crave sweet foods. So restricting sugar might be more effective for weight loss in the long run. Add sugar to your cup of tea or coffee instead. Restrict your intake to two teaspoons a day.
- Keep your combined intake of ghee, butter and oil to three to four teaspoons per day. You can split your fat intake into 1 teaspoon for breakfast, 1.5 teaspoons for lunch, and 1-1.5 teaspoons for dinner.
- Tempted to buy the product because its label reads low-fat, baked or sugar-free? Manufacturers add extra sugar, trans fats and preservatives to make these foods tasty. Plus, you may binge on it thinking it’s healthy. As a result, you can end up consuming more calories than the regular fried or sweet versions. Make sure you read the label at the back of the packaging while buying packaged food.
- Sit and eat your meals rather than grab them on-the-go. When you sit and eat, it is thought that you eat slower and so tend to eat lesser calories as compared to when you stand.
- Don’t go for meal replacements such as protein bars or shakes, especially for dinner. They are a quick fix to lose weight but are not sustainable in the long run. Once you resume eating roti, rice and dal, you will regain all the weight that you’ve lost.
- Brush your teeth soon after dinner. The minty aftertaste of the toothpaste may help stop you from grabbing a bag of chips or a scoop of ice cream.
Here are some tweaks and recommendations to help relish your favourite foods without worrying about the weighing scale:
- Love mangoes, bananas, chikoos (Sapodilla) and custard apple? Try and have a medium-sized fruit as a mid-morning meal. Since you’re more active during the day, your body may use these calories for energy and not convert them into fat.
- Do you avoid rice and pasta because you feel they will make you fat? Pair them with fibre-rich veggies or protein-rich dal or beans to balance your sugar levels. Also, restrict your portion size to a bowl of rice, pasta, noodles or spaghetti at a time.
- Got a sweet tooth? Prepare dessert at home instead of buying it from a sweet shop. This simple trick will drastically cut your sugar intake. Also, use naturally sweet ingredients like dried figs, dates and apricots to sweeten your desserts instead of sugar. For example, grind some khajur and use it to sweeten dessert. Besides this, using low-fat or skimmed milk to prepare sweets is a good idea.
- In the mood for something fried? Keep your portion to one fried item at a time. Try and restrict this treat to once or twice a month.
- Love eating pizza? You may relish a regular six to seven inch one with loads of veggies for lunch once a month. Just make sure that your next meal is a bowl of sprouts or roasted foxnuts (makhana).
- A way to avoid weight gain with sweets and fried munchies is to savour them as a snack two hours after breakfast or lunch, and not with it. That way, you’ll be able to satisfy the taste buds without eating too many calories at a time.
- Check out these hacks to make your favourite junk food healthy.