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I am obsessed with losing weight, but then who isn’t. Nothing makes me more depressed than to let go of dresses that do not fit me anymore because I have gained weight. It is not that I have put on weight drastically, but then the 10 kgs (old story…..YAWN) that I put on during pregnancy is too much to carry around. It is not that I am against “healthy” people or pro-size-zero, it is just that I would like to be more fit and staying in a trimmed frame makes my life much more easier and less complex.
I have always admired Shilpa Shetty’s figure, hers is like a perfectly sculpted body though I am not a big fan of Bipasha Basu’s or Mallika Sherawat’s frame coz they are err….”top heavy.” I have never been obese at any point in my life and I was thankfully able to maintain a stable weight. I am 5 feet 2 inches tall and my BMI (body mass index) never went over 22. To find out your own BMI, please check the following charts.
WHAT IS BMI?
BMI stands for body mass index, which is used to evaluate your weight in relation to your height. BMI is a gross estimate for the amount of fat in your body.
Before you all snigger at my obsession to lose weight, I want to make it clear that I am not aiming at a size zero figure, but I do wanna get a 36-28-36 frame.:)
I have thought about the various dieting possibilities, aerobics, yoga, and other weight loss techniques, but with a naughty baby to look after, I want to start easy before going on to complicated weight losing techniques. So, after reading and hearing a lot on weight loss, I have charted my own theories and techniques in the quest to lose weight, and I would like to share with you what all I have deduced. I would also like to mention that I learnt a lot from the fitness articles posted on IMBB, reading up, and hearing things on television. I have took tips from here and there and come up with my own modus operandi.
So, here I go:
1. SET A TARGET DATE: The most important step towards losing weight is that you should set a goal for yourself and a target date. Before beginning it all, you should calculate and assess how much weight you want to lose without looking malnourished, whether it is 10 kgs or 15 kgs. After you have made the calculation of the approximate amount, next step is to choose a target date by which time you think the goal of yours would likely be accomplished, like your own birthday, your kid’s birthday, your husband’s/boyfriend’s birthday, Christmas, New Year, etc. Without a target date, it will be like you are floating in a vague direction. With a target date, you would be more motivated and dedicated to work towards it. Personally, I have chosen my son’s birthday on October 9th, 2010, as the D-date, so I have 2 more months to go. 🙂
2. DON’T BUY NEW CLOTHES: Buying new clothes that fit your current frame are a big no-no. I have let go of the strong urge to buy new clothes to hide my love handles and puppy fat. Buying clothes to enshroud the extra pounds makes you develop a complacent attitude. As your bulge grows, you would buy things that would either suit or hide your enlarged frame. In fact, I have bought clothes a size smaller than my current frame in the hopes that it would fit me two months later:),I am not too ambitious, am I?
3. DESTRESS YOURSELF: Destressing oneself is probably like taking a leap forward in losing weight. It should be noted that when we are depressed or stressed out, our body metabolism goes for a toss. Less hours of sleep harms the body metabolism in a big way and makes it sluggish. Also, increased stress and depression increases cravings for high-calorie and sugar-rich foods like chocolate, icecreams, candies, etc. These sugar-rich high-calorie foods act like comfort food to elevate our mood and in times of distress, we turn to these heavy calorie foods for solace. Sometimes, I marvel how a big bar of chocolate does wonders to dispel my rotten mood.
4. FORGIVE BUT DO NOT FORGET: Also, let go of all grudges and apply the policy of “forgive but do not forget.” Holding grudges against someone harms us much more emotionally than the person against who we are holding grudges has done. Carrying a lot of emotional baggage will lead to more stress and depression, which in turn may lead to faulty eating habits, so let go, but don’t forget, and be on guards.
5. FASTING: Fasting relieves and gives rest to your system, giving it time to rejuvenate and detoxify. Fasting once or twice a month is like doing justice to your entire body system, but overdoing the fasting is like harming it. Exception is fasting during Ramzan, Lent, Navaratri, and certain months in a year. Religious fasting has science behind it and such kinds of fasting not only detoxify the mind and soul but also the body.
6. SLEEP WELL: During sleep, all the damages are literally undone. Sleep is the best form of de-stressing your mind and body. Getting a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sleep is imperative. Earlier, when I used to sleep around 12 hours a day, I was real slim, so I am thinking of getting more sleep:). Also, sitting in front of television and computer for a long stretch (at one go I mean without taking breaks) can prove to be almost fatal/fatal. I have practically seen two such experiences happen before me. In the first case, a family friend (male, age 55) died of a heart attack after he spent the whole evening and night watching the election results in 2006. In the second case, another acquaintance (age 67) was found dead in the morning after he had spent the whole night watching the rescue operation of Prince from the 180-feet borewell.
7. WALK FOR HEALTH: Walking is the best form of exercise and in contrary to most exercises which focus on certain body parts at one particular time, brisk walking benefits the entire body. When you lose weight, it would be uniformly. Also, while you walk (alone), you have a lot of time for yourself and you can utilize this time to sort out your thoughts. If you are angry at something or someone, you would be really surprised how a long walk has calmed you down.
8. DITCH THE LIFT: You might be staying on the fourth floor or seventh floor, but instead of taking the lift to your apartment, try climbing the stairs. Don’t rush otherwise your legs would feel tired by the time you reach on top. Climb slowly and steadily and you will not feel out of breath. I remember Mona Singh was really plump during the beginning of the show “Jhalak Dikhla Jha.” But, midway during the show, she lost oodles of weight and when asked how she managed to do it, she replied that her choreographer partner used to make her climb stairs of her multi-storeyed building for around 20 times each day. Climbing stairs will give you quick results, but then, start with 10, otherwise, you may feel very tired.
9. DRINK LOTS OF WATER: Water is an important factor in losing weight. Our system needs lubrication and our entire body is made up of 80% water, so do not let your body dehydrate. Water flushes waste out of your body and transports nutrients to all the parts. You must have 8 to 10 glasses per day. Starting your day with one glass of lukewarm water is a great start.
10. DON’T TAKE BATH RIGHT AFTER YOU HAVE EATEN A MEAL: According to Ayurveda and an old Malayalam saying, “if you see someone taking a bath right after having eaten a meal, you should kick that person.” This is because water douses the gastric fire, digestive enzymes, and gastric juices that have been triggered by food. As a result, digestion takes a lot of time than usual and toxins and calories build up.
11. DON’T EAT AFTER 8 PM: This is a time when your body metabolism slows down to an all-time low during the day and the calories that you consume after this time are stored up in the body. So, try to finish your high-carbohydrate foods before 8 PM.
12. STAY AWAY FROM CANNED AND PROCESSED FOODS: These type of foods contain high level of salt, sugar, and other preservatives that have been added to increase their shelf life. Since these are high in salt and empty calories, try to avoid them on a daily basis, instead opt for home-made food.
13. GO LOW ON SALT, SUGAR, AND CAFFEINE: These are the things which act as roadblocks in the path to weight loss. So, remove the table salt, replace sugar with Sugar Free, and go easy on coffee, and feel the difference.
14. LET PEOPLE CRITICIZE YOU FOR YOUR WEIGHT: Often many overweight people feel offended for being criticized for their weight. I think it’s wise to take the criticism and turn it around to work for your advantage. Let others’ criticism motivate you to reduce that bulge as soon as possible.
15. RESTRICT NON-VEGETARIAN FOOD TO ONCE A WEEK: This is for people who think dinner = KFC. Well, despite being a fish-loving malayalee, I have cut down non-vegetarian food to just once a week and I have reserved KFC and Pizza Huts for occasions I would want to celebrate. For those people who treat potato as a celebratory food and consume it on a daily basis (I am not hinting at anyone), should also take clue and reduce potato intake to once or twice a week.
16. EAT BREAKFAST LIKE A KING, LUNCH LIKE A PRINCE, AND SUPPER LIKE A PAUPER: This is a pretty old saying and it means that you should eat breakfast heartily like a king, lunch should be balanced and moderate like a prince’s, and dinner should be minimalistic akin to that of a pauper.
There is this grave mistake that people who want to lose weight do. I have seen many anxious weight losers skipping their breakfast in anticipation of losing weight quickly. This is such a big blunder to commit. If you deprive yourself of breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight. Many people skip breakfast and feel great about themselves for having done so. In fact, it’s the most unwise and irrational thing to do. Breakfast skippers deprive themselves of the calories in the morning hours when the body in on fast-track and needs energy and can burn calories. However, these same breakfast avoiders replace calories during the day with nibbling and bingeing at lunch and dinner (at a time when the body’s mechanism slows down considerably and is unable to burn calories and stores them. So, if you have to skip a meal, chuck out the dinner.
Take a look at the below-mentioned studies:
According to a study conducted on people who lost weight. “They say that before having breakfast regularly, they would eat most of their calories after 5 p.m.,” Politi tells WebMD. “Now, they try to distribute calories throughout the day. It makes sense that the body wants to be fueled.”
The Benefits of Breakfast
Eating breakfast is a daily habit for the “successful losers” who belong to The National Weight Control Registry. These people have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years.
“Most — 78% — reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week – which suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off,” says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry’s co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Earlier this year, two studies in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association backed up this finding. Though they were funded by cereal companies, dietitians say they underscore the message – breakfast is important to weight loss.
17. DON’T TAKE YOUR MEALS WHILE WATCHING TELEVISION: A lot of us have given up on dining table as the appropriate place to eat our meals and instead we find couches more comfortable such that we can eat our meals and watch our favorite show on television too. The problem with eating meals while watching television is that while the TV program engrosses you and holds your attention, you lose count of the servings you have already taken on your plate and you keep going back to refill your plate. Same goes for sitting down with buttered popcorn and potato chips, you lose count of the packets that you have finished. So, eat your meals on dining table only and spend quality time with your family over dinner.
18. THE THREE-DAY KHICHDI DIET: Toxins build up in our bodies over time because of faulty eating habits, junk food, artificial color rich foods, and foods rich in carbohydrates. It is important to detoxify our body once in a while to get rid of the toxins. I had seen this particular detoxification Khichdi diet on Travel and Living that I tried and it is working for me. Every month, you take Khicdi for breakfast (something else can be substituted instead of Khichdi for breakfast), lunch, and dinner for three consecutive days, and it completely detoxifies your system. I have recently started with it and I feel great. Here’s the recipe:
One cup moong dal, one cup brown (slightly unpolished) rice; five to six cups of water; one tsp jeera; a pinch of hing; a pinch of haldi; salt to taste; a tsp of ghee.
Pour ghee into a pressure cooker or kadai, wait till it smokes lightly, add jeera, haldi and hing. When browned, turn in the dal and rice. Fry for a few minutes, add salt and water and cook till done. The khichdi should have the consistency of thick porridge.
For the next three days, this is all you eat. No tea, no coffee, no fruits and, of course, no other food. Have the khichdi for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. Easy to digest, this regimen will eliminate gas and other digestive problems. You will return to normal food, considerably rejuvenated.
19. HOT WATER BATHS: Hot water baths increases blood flow and capillary action in our skin, promoting good blood circulation.
20. HONEY AND LEMON IN LUKEWARM WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING: Start your day with one teaspoon honey and 10 drops of lime in lukewarm water. Remember, you should NOT boil the honey and lemon (it will kill the enzymes). Apparently, this is a good source of melting the fat in the body and a great substitute for snacking.
21. GO SLOW ON REFINED FOODS: Eating carbohydrates that are too refined like white bread and white flour (maida) is like eating glue. They stick to your intestines and begins to decay there creating toxins and bacteria. Blood capillaries pick them up from here and distribute them throughout our body. Toxins are a result of emotional stress, unbalanced diet, and the consumption of too much rich food. So, we need to substitute white bread with brown bread and replace that white flour with whole-grain flour.
22. CONSUME GREENS, VEGETABLES, AND FRUITS: High levels of fruits, vegetables, greens and beans help you lose weight because they are low in calories, high in volume, and high in critically important nutrients. On a very practical level, they fill you up, without loading you up with fat and calories.
23. REDUCE THE INTAKE OF AERATED BEVERAGES, BEERS, AND ALCOHOLS: Aerated drinks supply the body with empty calories, which does no good for the body and add up to the bulk. Also, beer and alcohol increases one’s appetite considerably. My husband and cousin brother eat like monsters after they gulp down a few packs of beers and oh the “Beer Belly” is so famous. So, it would be a wise thing to let your wife/girlfriend wash her hair with your beer.:)
23. YOGA: This ancient form of exercise continues to benefit so many around the world. I am big fan of yoga and can vouch for its benefits. However, this needs time and once you have set yourself on the path to lose weight, you will find it easy to find time to adopt yoga into your schedule.
24. CORRECT YOUR EATING PATTERN: Ayurvedically, there is a pattern to consuming food. Apparently, you should start off your meal with something spicy (pickle for example) that would trigger off the gastric enzymes that becomes readily available to digest food. You should then follow it up normal dishes and consume curd the second last and any sugar or sweet dish towards the last. Apparently, if you take anything sugary in the beginning, it would saturate you and make you full and the gastric fire would not be activated. So, correcting food pattern is also important in digestion of food.
25. HONEY AND CINNAMOM: Boil one-half teaspoon cinnamon powder and add 1 or 2 teaspoons honey to it. Divide the mixture into two half-cup quantities to be consumed one-half hour before breakfast and one-half hour before going to sleep at night. This mixture of cinnamon powder and honey stops the body from accumulating fat. Other explanations include the fact that honey is an antioxidant and does all kinds of good things for the body. Cinnamon is said to influence blood sugar and the way it’s processed, giving your body a better chance to break it down in such a way that it doesn’t turn to fat. It is said that abdominal weight is more sensitive to cinnamon’s effects than other body weight.
I have gathered and deduced all these points, studies, theories, and techniques over a period of time and I applied them to myself and found them to be useful (I have started to lose weight already), and I hope it benefits all our dear readers and we all fit into that lovely black dress or red dress that we have tucked behind safely and secretly in our wardrobes:).