“I want to lose weight”. Says who? Says more than half the world! With so many diets crowding the nutritional space, why are so many people still obese and unable to lose weight? A point to ponder upon, as we get trapped into a vicious cycle of losing weight and putting it back all over again!
Just Google how to lose weight and you will have hundreds of results, and most of us will get bedazzled by fad diets and start following them, but will you be able to lose weight fast?
Perhaps you will, but fad diets hardly provide sustainable results, so you lose a little bit of that weight and put it back again. Weight loss isn’t rocket science, but you need to find the right balance. There is actually no short-cut to weight loss, it revolves around balanced nutrition, adequate exercise, managing your stress levels and the quality and quantity of sleep. How difficult can that be?
Not very, that is why we have chalked out a plan which will help you lose the extra pounds and lose them for good!
Tips and Tricks for the Best Way to Lose Weight
Going on a diet is the most depressing thing ever, mainly because you feel deprived, dejected and downright miserable because you think you have to give up on your favorite foods! Sad, right?!
Wrong! Why should it always veer dangerously towards the extreme? I mean why do I have to choose between overeating and under-eating?
Why should it not be about moderation? Remember during our childhood we played a game about a maze and how you have to rack your brains to get out the maze? Try as we might, we always ended up blocked by a hurdle.
Our weight loss experience is pretty similar, we can get out through the maze, and we just need to be smart enough to overcome the hurdles. Makes sense to you? If it does, then stay with us, then we will explore various avenues till we reach our weight loss destination!
1) The fats are your best friends
Now don’t roll your eyes, we know fats have been the villain like in a typical Bollywood potboiler with the protagonists being proteins and carbs, respectively. Things have changed now, and thank God for that! Because just by adding a little bit of fat, it can stop you from over eating. Eating more fats can also compensate for skimping on carbs.
For example, when you eat something as simple and basic as lentil and rice, just adding a little bit of ghee or clarified butter, for the uninitiated, can help you feel fuller, otherwise you may tend to overeat carbs.
Stock on coconut oil, grass fed butter, unrefined oils and clarified butter, and watch your inches disappear. But that does not mean you go overboard with the healthy fats, as they say, moderation is the key and this will be your buzzword during your entire weight loss journey.
2) Cut back on sugars and starch
Now this one is a no-brainer; if you want to look a certain way, you have to cut down on your sugar consumption. As sugars and the bad carbs make your blood sugar levels shoot up, it is difficult to lose weight when your insulin levels are in a perennially elevated state. As you know, insulin is the main fat storage hormone of the body. When you lower your insulin levels, you begin to burn fat instead of carbs.
So, all we are asking you is to reduce the carbs, not eliminate it totally, as eliminating it totally has its cons. You will lose out on some important nutrients. So, what are the carbs which you should load on? Brown rice, sweet potato, oats and millets are some good options, to begin with.
3) Eliminate the packaged foods
Well, we know that it is TERRIBLY DIFFICULT to give up on packaged foods, but believe it or not, one of my colleagues lost a good amount of weight just by ditching the packaged stuff which are full of artificial preservatives. Preservatives and artificial sweeteners put your HORMONES in total disarray and you gain weight instead of losing it.
Eating healthy isn’t all that difficult, all you have to do is make intelligent choices, skip the microwaved popcorn and have some makhana or lotus seeds, ditch the chips and make some sweet potato fries, ditch the sugary chocolates and nibble on some dark chocolate instead. There, does it sound very difficult? Healthy food needn’t be boring every time.
4) Never Skip Breakfast
I never believed this, I thought I will save some calories if I gave up on breakfast, but how wrong I was! I just had my morning coffee and used to start working and then I forgot all about breakfast. Instead, I had lunch at around 1 pm, and ended up binging. I had too much food because I was hungry!
So, have something the first thing in the morning, but do not start the day with tea or coffee. In fact, I believe, you can have something within ten minutes of waking up. I eat a fruit like a banana with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
Believe me, it jumpstarts, wrong, skyrockets your metabolism and you lose fat and ultimately, weight. The fast metabolism diet propagates just that. And it works for most people. Give it a try!
5) Stay active throughout the day
I know you kill it in the gym for that one hour you are there but what do you do for the better part of the day? Sit at the desk and slog? Now, does that help? No, sitting, I am afraid, is the new killer. It cripples your METABOLISM and makes you more susceptible to chronic diseases. Spread out your activities throughout the day, like if you are sitting at the desk, make it a point to get up and take a walk every hour or so. If you are watching television, do some kind of activity during the commercial breaks.
I heard an actress tried jumping jacks, squats and a push up every time she went to the loo and she soon lost 5 kgs in a very short time! So, do you get the drift? More activity, less of lazing around. It is certainly one of the more effective weight loss tips you may have heard in a long time.
6) Clean your refrigerator
What does your refrigerator look like? I mean what are the foods do you store in your fridge?
If it is full of cakes, chocolates, pudding, pies, fizzy drinks and so on, it is time you did a purge because it is harder to wage a battle when you are on the back foot. Say you have a craving in the middle of the night and you have a delicious chocolate cake in all its creamy glory, sitting pretty in your fridge.
9 times out of 10 you are going to get up and have that cake and eat it too! So, it is better you keep some healthy options in your fridge to cater to your sudden inexplicable cravings. I do too, I keep dates, almond butter, peanut butter, dark chocolate and some homemade laddoos in my fridge and they serve me just fine!
7) Chew your food sixteen times
Most of the time you just gobble down your food and before long, you are just too full to move! Your stomach takes time to send a signal to your brain that you are full.
So, what you need to do is chew your food a good 16 times, not only will you mash your food well, but when your food is well chewed over, you are able to digest it well too! Believe me, when you chew your food, you will feel more satisfied with a lot less.
8) Should you count calories?
I hate that part where you have to constantly count calories, it kind of takes away the pleasure of eating. The good news is that, if you stick to low carbs and an adequate amount of protein and fats, you do not have to count calories!
That sounds great, right?! The recommended amount of carbs is usually 20-50 grams if you want to lose weight, that is. Each of your meals should contain a protein source, a fat source and some low carb veggies thrown in for equal measure. Protein and fats can give you satiety and not make you perennially hungry. So, protein and fats are your BFFs when it comes to weight loss.
But remember, just because some foods are deemed healthy you cannot gorge on them. Moderation, my dear friend, is still the key.
9) Welcome to snooze land
DON’T EVER SKIMP ON SLEEP! Most people do and they think that they can make up on the weekends, but it never happens that way. You need to sleep on time and sleep for 7-8 hours at least. I know you have to sacrifice your gadget time and miss out on your favorite TV shows, but to reduce weight you gotta make some sacrifices at least; and what’s more, your health will certainly thank you for those small sacrifices.
10) Drink lots of water
You know, most of the time we think we are hungry, we really aren’t hungry, we just need something to graze on because we are bored and just need something to keep our mind off the present situation.
So, to know whether you are really hungry, drink a glass of water and drink some more. Do that several times of the day, drink water that it is. It is one of the better ways to boost your metabolism. You can start this simple trick and you will get great results within a few days. Trust me, the water therapy works!
Okay, since you have gone over the tips and tricks, now it is time to take it a notch higher and get down to the foods you should eat. In other words, we’ll answer the question, What to Eat to Lose Weight?
The Diet Dilemmas- Including Weight Loss Foods
Every day, you are flooded with new diet tricks and brand-new diet plans and you are left wondering what will work for you. Since you are here for the marathon and not for a sprint, you cannot go for a quick fix. You have to eat according to your LIFESTYLE and your PERSONAL BODY COMPOSITION.
Also, there are so many things which you need to understand before you jump into “I want to lose weight” bandwagon, your hormonal balance, your insulin sensitivity, your gut health.
A few tests are on the order to make your own plan of diet for weight loss. And here your doctor can guide you about the kind of tests which you need to take.
Remember, you are your own person and the diet which suits your next-door neighbor or your best friend, may not suit you.
When you are on a diet, do you feel you are in prison? You won’t, if you include these fat burning foods, then food can be fun, and when cooked the right way, it can really be interesting as well!
- Meat – Chicken, lamb, pork, bacon and so on.
- Fish and Seafood – Salmon, shrimps, trout, lobsters and so on.
- Eggs – Omega-3 free range or pastured eggs are best.
This has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Pointed gourd
- Drum sticks
- Mustard greens
- Bottle gourd
Good Fat Sources:
- Coconut oil
- Clarified butter (ghee)
- Avocado oil
Good Carb Sources
- Brown rice
Eat 4 meals per day, including your snacks. Do not keep too long gaps between your meal times. Put together a meal which includes a protein source, a fat source, and a low-carb vegetable.
Some Healthy Recipes to Your Rescue- The Quickest Way to Lose Weight
When it comes to meal planning, most of us are pretty much clueless. Putting a few simple things together can do the trick; but more often than not, we lose the plot as we hardly know what to eat which will show us the quickest way to lose weight.
To make this easier we will churn up a breakfast recipe, a lunch recipe, a dinner recipe and of course, a snack recipe. So here goes!
1) Paneer Pancakes
BREAKFAST LIKE A KING, this adage has been going on for ages, so does it hold true at all? Of course it does, especially when you add something nutritious like cottage cheese or paneer, spices to please your taste buds and just something very filling so that you are not looking to have unhealthy snacks.
- 1 tablespoon oil-cold-pressed coconut oil or ghee
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 Tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp. dry coriander
- 1 cup gram flour and salt to taste.
- For the filling take ½ a cup of grated paneer
- 1 finely chopped green chili and coriander.
- Heat the ghee or oil in a pan.
- Take a pan and blend the ingredients until they are blended evenly with no lumps formed.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and lightly cook one side of the pancake, then flip it to the other side till both sides turn golden brown.
- Add the paneer mixture inside the pancake and serve hot.
2) Millet Khichdi
We Indians have been feasting on khichdi for years together, and when you add that helping of ghee to the khichdi, you will also stop your blood sugar levels from escalating further, so you get your perfect combination of protein, carbs, and fats.
The addition of the millet just makes the recipe healthier. In fact, as healthy as it gets. It can be the perfect lunch recipe to add to the best diet for weight loss.
- Foxtail millet/thin – 1/2 cup
- Moong dal split yellow variety – 1 tbsp. (optional)
- Green chili -1-2 slit
- Ginger – 1-inch piece finely chopped
- Onion – 1
- Oil- 1/4 Tsp
- Turmeric powder – a pinch
- Salt as needed
- Carrot -1 medium size
- Beans -3-4
- Drumstick leaves – fistful
- Tomato -1/2 a tomato
For the seasoning
- Oil – 1 tbsp.
- Urad Dal – 1/2 Tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 Tsp
- Cumin seeds -1/2 Tsp (optional)
- Whole black pepper – 2-3
- Red chili – 1 (optional)
- Curry leaves – few
- Hing – a pinch(optional)
- Chop all the veggies first into medium sized pieces.
- Wash and soak the millets along with your moong dal in 1 1/2 cup of hot water for a good 2 -2 1/2 hours.
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the urad dal as well along with the cumin seeds, red chilies, hing, black pepper and not to forget the curry leaves.
- Add the chopped onions, ginger, green chilies and sauté it all until the onions turn pink.
- Next, add all the vegetables, which includes the drumstick leaves, turmeric powder, salt needed and sauté again for 2-3 minutes.
- Finally,add the soaked millet along with the water.
- Put the lid on the cooker and cook for 2 whistles on medium flame, then let it simmer for another 5 minutes and finally switch it off.
- Open the cooker, add a tsp. of ghee and mix the khichdi well.
3) Low Fat Tofu Wrap (You can add chicken, mushroom, cottage cheese)
Whole-wheat wraps can be a part of a healthy diet and may keep away your hunger pangs. Many people like to do away with out carbs at night, which is perfectly alright if you up your protein content and a bit of fat too. The other thing that you have to keep in mind that dinners should be eaten a good three hours before you hit the snooze button.
Many think that they may remain hungry when they go to bed, I believed it for the longest time that I have to eat late at night otherwise those pesky hunger pangs won’t let me sleep. But, if you keep it light and early, believe me, you will SLEEP LIKE A BABY!
If you are intolerant to gluten, then make this roti with either ragi, bajra or jowar or all three! Tofu caters to the protein quotient of the meal. You can also substitute it with chicken, mushrooms or cottage cheese.
- Whole wheat flour (Bajra, jowar, ragi flour)-30 gms.
- For chutney: Pudina, coriander, jeera, ginger, salt.
- Filling: Onion, capsicum, spring onion, tofu: 1/4 cup, ghee
- Prepare a roti from the flour you have chosen.
- Mix and grind the pudina, coriander, jeera, ginger, and salt all together to make chutney.
- Take the ghee in a pan. Heat it. Add the veggies in the form of onion, capsicum.
- Next, add the paneer and spring onion. Add salt and little black pepper to taste and cook till done.
- Take the roti, spread the pudina chutney all over it. Put this veggie mixture and wrap it in a roll.
4) Pint-sized Energy Balls
The 4 pm slot is where I go wrong most of the times. It is a strange mix of feelings, I cannot eat my favorite things, to one teeny-weeny piece of cake or chocolate won’t harm me, to I am ravenously hungry and I can eat a horse.
You finally capitulate to that unhealthy pack of trans-fats ridden biscuits or anything unhealthy that meets your eye. That’s why you should surround yourself with good-looking healthy snacks, like these energy balls, full of goodness and literally food for the soul. Start making a batch!
- 1/3 cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 10 dates, deseeded and cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp smooth all-natural peanut butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa (optional)
- Soak the nuts overnight or if you are short on time, for a few hours.
- Grind the nuts in the food processor until you get a fine powder or at least close to a fine powder, bigger granules are perfectly fine too.
- Add the dates and blend a bit more.
- Add the peanut butter to the dates and nut powder mixture in a mixing bowl. Use your fingers to blend well.
Roll into small snack balls, make a batch of 12 and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes or even longer if you can resist them!
The Best Way to Lose Weight-Work up a Sweat
If the diet is the king, exercise is certainly the queen of the weight loss kingdom and you cannot ignore both. Although it is said weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise, you won’t lose weight or maintain the lost weight without exercise. The best way to lose weight is clearly the winning combination of diet and exercise.
How much should you exercise?
This is a question that most people ask, Should I spend 2-3 hours at the gym? I think like you should eat according to your body composition and lifestyle, you should do likewise as far as exercise is concerned. It is not possible for everyone to devote an insane number of hours at the gym.
So, is it an all or none approach? Not really, even if you put in ten minutes of workout a day and spread it throughout the day, it will help you lose weight.
Ideally, you should exercise at least thirty minutes to stay healthy, but if your goal is to look a certain way then, invest in more hours.
At first, you may have the tendency to skip your workout but as you go on, you will be so addicted (And it is a good addiction) that you will feel like crap, if you skip it for one day for some reason.
What kind of exercise should you do?
Another good question, choose something which you can continue for long, the best combination as per me is cardio, strength-training, yoga and/Pilates. Also, if you keep changing your workouts and keep the body guessing, you may get results faster than you have ever imagined. Five-six days a week that you should aim for.
Can I exercise on my own?
You can of course, but it is better if you initially learn the ropes from an experienced trainer. Once you get the drift, you can exercise on your own, there are tons of workout videos and printable workouts on the net for your convenience. Browse through and select one which you want to do that day.
Let’s get down to a series of workouts which are great calorie-torchers and can help you call it a truce with your weighing scale!
Before we go on, always warm up before you begin your exercise and do cool down stretches after you finish a workout, this is the only way you can prevent injuries. Tie up your sneakers, grab a water bottle and start with the exercises.
Brace yourself, burpees are coming!
This exercise is loved and hated at the same time! You love it because it helps burn tonnes of calories and hate it because it makes you drown in your own sweat pool with your tongue hanging out. Not a pretty picture, right? But that is why it is as effective, as it targets your core, chest, and legs all at the same time. You can feel the burn and also end up building lots of lean muscle.
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees and get into a squat.
- Put your hands on the floor directly in front of you and lean on them shifting your weight to them.
- Jump back so that you land in the plank position.
- Leap back to your feet so that you land just outside of your hands. Jump high explosively into the air.
- Lower yourself back into a squat again for the next rep. Repeat 8 to 12 times. That completes one set. Do it for 3 sets.
2) Jump Lunges
Help me! I am sore after leg day!
That’s what you say when make jump lunges a part of your sweat fests. Leg days are made of lunges and squats, and they are the perfect high-intensity workouts to make you burn some crazy calories, the perfect way to lose weight fast.
- Start by keeping your feet together, hands on your hips.
- Take a step forward with your right leg.
- Keep your right leg bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Jump up explosively, switching your legs in mid-air, and drop down with the left leg lunged forward.
- Repeat the lunges continuously switching sides for 1 minute. Complete 3 sets.
3) Mountain Climbers
Do I have abs yet?
And one way of getting those abs can be when you add cardio workouts like mountain climbers.
Whenever you hear the word workouts, you conjure up an image of a gym with fancy equipment. But believe me, mountain climbers are a great way of burning calories. That’s because it hits your butt, obliques and hamstrings.
- Go on all fours on the floor in a plank position.
- Alternately, bring your right and left knee towards your chest, and do not allow the toes of your bent leg to touch the floor.
- Repeat it for 1 minute and rest again for 20 seconds. Complete 3 sets.
4) Jump Rope
Find an exercise you love and you will never have to work out a day in your life.
And this workout just may turn out to be jump rope. You may associate jump rope as a middle school gym class activity, but it’s a fun way to work out and what’s more, it helps you to tone up big time for weight loss. Put on some music and just jump away.
- Start with your feet together and your hands holding the ends of the jump rope, with your elbows in toward your ribs.
- Start swinging the jump rope and hop over with feet together. Just jump with each swing of the rope. Continue to jump for 1 minute. Complete 3 sets.
5) Push up
Always do what you are afraid to do
And this case, do 50 push-ups! Scary, right? When you do a basic push-up, with the wrists directly under the shoulders, it is a challenge all on its own. So, when you do more and more, imagine the challenge it will pose to your body! Body-weight exercises should be an integral part of your workouts as it strengthens and tones your body. In this case, push ups strengthen and tone the muscles in your arms, core and upper back.
- Start in a plank position with your arms and legs aligned straight, shoulders above your wrists.
- Inhaler and as you exhale, bend your elbows on the sides and bring your chest toward the ground.
- Your shoulders are in line with your elbows, inhale to straighten the arms. This completes one rep.
If this seems too difficult you can also drop your knees down to the floor.
Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.
And no leg day is complete without squats. Love them or despise them, squats are one of the most effective exercises you can do. However, you need to do them correctly to make it more effective and also prevent injury.
- Stand in a way that your head faces forward and your chest is held up and out.
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart or even wider.
- Extend your hands straight out in front of you for support.
- Sit back and down like you are about to sit into an imaginary chair.
- Lower down your thighs so that they are parallel to the floor.
- Press your weight back into your heels and not on your knees.
- Keep your body braced and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
Losing weight is more about making lifestyle changes than following a certain diet. Though there are certain diet which may help to knock off some kilos in really quick time like the ketogenic diet, the GM diet, the cabbage soup diet, the low carb diet and so on; ultimately you have to stick to something that is sustainable, otherwise you are going to gain the weight right back.
At the end of the day, if you want like having roti and chicken, have it, but also know where to draw the line and not to overindulge.
Before I round off, here are somethings which you can follow to lose weight, I know it helped me, it may help you too!
- Start with a big tablespoon of cold-pressed virgin coconut oil to begin your day. Your hormones love good fats, and you have got to nourish your hormones first.
- Consider supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids, because way too much of omega 6 isn’t the best, we need to keep the balance.
- You can have your caffeine, but have it before 4 pm. Too much of caffeine can rob you of your precious sleep, and you don’t want that right?
- A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before lunch and dinner can really help boost your metabolism.
- Eat at home mostly, since when you eat outside you cannot keep a tight rein on either the salt or the kind of oil, you just end up loading up on unnecessary calories.
- Aim for at least 10000 steps a day and track your steps with a pedometer. Even if you have exercised in the morning, you need to stay active the entire day to keep burning calories.
- Remember to do some yoga as it helps to relax and bust stress. It is a beautiful way to keep your body and mind in right shape.
How do you lose weight? Well, there is no one answer to this question, but what you need to know is that you don’t eat healthy or workout because you hate your body, you do it because you love it.
Have confidence and always endorse a positive bent of mind about your body, that is a great way to stay motivated about your entire weight loss journey. Eat clean, train dirty and stay motivated. Best of luck with your weight loss journey!