In part 1, we talked about a lot of basic food habits that one should follow for getting healthy and eating right. The last point in part 1, I said “Avoid processed food”. That leads us to our next point:
6) Plan Ahead
I know! I know y’all are busy. But try to make some time to plan food options ahead. If we don’t have anything planned, we tend to eat out or eat what we get, which is mostly the kind of food mentioned in point 5! We don’t want that, remember? We are trying to get healthy and lose weight in the process. Some of my favorite planning ahead tips are soaking and cooking a big batch of different types of lentils and pulses like chickpeas, Kidney beans etc and freezing them. They make for some of the most delicious and healthy meals ever. It’s a good way to kick up protein content for vegetarians. Since I am a south Indian, I also make a triple batch of toor dal (split pigeon peas) and store it in the refrigerator. This helps me in making quick sambhars and other veggie dishes.
Also, when we travel outside, we tend to eat unhealthy stuff (chips, doughnuts, fried food) when hunger pangs hit us. The best thing to cope with sudden hunger pangs is to carry a handful of mixed nuts and dry fruits in your hand bag. Nuts are extremely good for the health and fill you up quite fast while dry fruits also satisfy the sugar craving in you. People often mistake nuts for their fat content. They contain the heart healthy fats (monosaturated fats). When consumed in moderation, these are extremely good for you and serve as quick healthy snack. For more info on different kind of fats read THISl
7) Drink lots of water
I am sure every girl and her mom have heard about this. Does this really help me lose weight? Probably yes, probably not. There have been research studies that showed that people who drink up to 3 liters of water per day lose weight more easily than those who do not. But, to me it’s all about hydration. It’s easy to forget that you need water. My trick is to fill up a bottle of water and keep it next me. Try doing that, you’ll notice that you drink water a lot more than you would normally do. Keeping your body hydrated also aids in keeping your metabolism up. And since this beauty blog, I have to mention the wonders water does to my skin. Honestly on the days I drink lots of my skin literally glows. No exaggeration. Try it for a couple of days and you WILL notice the difference. Sometimes we really mistake thirst for hunger. So the next time you are hungry, drink some water and wait for 15 mins. If you still fell hungry eat something. So, drink up your H2O.
8) Switch to green tea
You have probably heard/read the many health benefits of green tea. The primary one is that it is rich with antioxidants. They help eliminate free radicals thus reducing the risk of cancer cells. Green tea is also popular for “weight loss”. In all honesty green tea is known to promote metabolism which is a good thing when you are trying to lose weight. There are studies and research that link green tea and weight loss.
I used to be addicted to coffee. I thought could never survive without the morning dose of caffeine. But one fine day I woke up and switched to green tea and have never looked back. Coffee used to make me feel so acidic. Green tea doesn’t. I knew coffee was not doing anything good for me, but it was like an addiction. Plus the major driving factor me is that I have gotten used to drinking green tea without honey/sugar. So the unnecessary sugar in the coffee is cut out of my diet. This will really add up to your weight loss in the long run.
I still enjoy occasional cups of coffee or chai. But it’s like a special treat, so I enjoy and savor when I have them.
9) Work out/Exercise
It’s the truth. You cannot attain a goddess figure without some form of exercise. But you know what I have found out? Eating healthy really makes difference in working out. I never used to have the stamina to work out at a stretch for 30 mins before. But I noticed that ever since I started incorporating all of the healthy points I have mentioned here, I am able to do 30 mins on the elliptical without any difficulty. I can even go up to 45 mins. Now, that is something, uh?
Don’t like working out in the gym? Try jogging or walking in a park or something. But, remember this is not the time to socialize or talk to your friends. Sweat it out. Make use of the time to really bust your body. Even if it is just 20 mins. You can even take dance classes if you want to do something fun. Group classes are so much fun and you will be motivated to stick to the schedule.
10) Be educated
Reading and browsing so many health related articles have given me so much information. One thing I have learned and that I religiously follow these days is to read labels, ingredients and calorie information. You will be surprised to see just how many calories that you consume in a pack of chips or other snack items. You’ll also start to notice the sodium and sugar content. It will shock you so much that you may never touch that stuff again. Also look for products that have a minimum number of ingredients list. If you see some names that you don’t even recognize, chances are that it may be some artificial preservative. Avoid those products. Try to eat natural and also try to cook at home as much as possible. Even the richest foods that you may cook at home will be lesser in calories than the ones you buy from restaurants. Be an informed consumer. It’ll do you a lot of good.
Finally Reward yourself…
Finally take some time to reward yourself when you have been good and have been eating right. Set yourself a goal for workout sessions. When you complete them , give yourself a spa day or a beauty product that you have been eyeing for a while. This will keep you motivated to keep you going. Don’t beat yourself up if you have had junk. One little mistake is not going to set you back. (But a lot of them will: P) Instead compensate by eating the next 3 meals super healthy.
Also start to exercise some portion control. Indulge in things that you love like ice creams, chocolates, desserts etc. But, instead of having the whole thing, split it up with the hubby or your friend. Not only can you enjoy it, your waistline will thank you. Allot yourself a set of amount of treats like a piece of pastry or chocolate per week. So the trick is to eat everything, but eat less of it! 🙂
These are some tips that I have been following for the last year and I can really see a difference in energy levels and my general health. I have started to notice what I actually eat. I am treating food the way it should be treated rather than just stuffing myself up just coz I am hungry. It’s more than that. Respect your food. Make intelligent choices. I am sure you can all take something away from this article and start to implement them in your life. Take the chance and try it. You won’t be disappointed. And, you can thank me later!! 🙂