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This is my first post on health and fitness and I hope you guys like it. Weight loss is a topic that is very close to my heart. This is probably because it is something that I have always wanted to achieve. Sadly, it still is a distant dream for me! 🙁 But, I will not give up and will keep trying and I know someday, I’ll be able to achieve my goal. Anyway, moving on to today’s post. All of us focus a lot on losing weight at some point in our life or other. But, not all of us are successful in achieving that goal. And, even if we manage to achieve that goal, we are unable to maintain the weight loss. As a result, we end up gaining more weight than we had lost. 🙂 So, today’s post will give you some tips on how to maintain your weight loss and remain fit and healthy.
After doing some research on this topic, I realised that there are quite a lot of foods that can help you maintain that much appreciated weight loss. I like to call these foods “Maintenance Foods”. For ease of understanding, I have classified these foods into two different categories, namely, “Fibrous Foods” and “Miscellaneous Foods.” Fibrous foods can further be broken down into two categories – “Foods containing soluble fibre” and “Foods containing insoluble fibre”. Before I begin to talk about these foods, I would first want to throw some light on these two terms – “Soluble fibre” and “Insoluble fibre”.
Soluble fibres are like sponges that easily absorb water. This, in turn, makes them soft and jelly- like, thereby making it easier for us to digest them.
Insoluble fibres on the other hand, is like a broom that cleanses out all the toxins and wastes from our body. However, in order to be able to clean out the wastes properly, the fibres need some strength. Hence, it takes time to digest them as they cannot be broken down easily. In fact they remain intact and help in regular bowel movements.
In order to remain fit and maintain weight loss, both the types of fibers are required. According to the Institute of Medicine, the recommended amount of dietary fibre on a daily basis is 38 grams for men under 50 years of age and 25 grams for women under 50 years of age.
Now, moving on to the list of foods containing these kinds of fibers. There are many foods that fall into these categories. However, I am listing out the ones that are commonly available in the market so that we can include them as part of our daily diet. These foods fall into the different food categories, namely, fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, etc.
Foods Containing Soluble Fibers
Fruits and Vegetables
Pears top the list of fruits that are high in soluble fiber. One large pear contains about 3 grams of soluble fiber. So, the next time you’re hungry, grab a pear! Your hunger will be satiated and at the same time, you will also be adding essential fibers to your diet. But, remember to have them with their peels because they are full of fiber, too.
Other fruits that are rich in soluble fiber include, apples, plums, strawberries, fresh and dried apricots, bananas, oranges, dates, peaches, watermelons, etc. So, the next time you’re hungry, grab a bowl of fruits.
Cabbages including purple cabbage, carrots, onions, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, etc. contain at least 1 gram of soluble fiber per serving. Salads with minimum dressing is a very good way to include these veggies to your diet.
I would also like to include the peels of raw banana here. Down south, particularly in Kerala, people make curries with these peels by washing them well and cooking them after cutting them into small pieces. These peels are rich in soluble fiber and make for a healthy and tasty meal. I remember how my mom used to get these peels from the banana chips vendor. He would give them with pleasure as they were of no use to him.
Oats, bran and barley are high sources of soluble fiber with oats providing a total of 4 grams per serving. Nowadays, oats is available in various forms, including Masala Oats, Oats Pongal, Oats Noodles, etc. So, take your pick!
Barley can be consumed in various ways. I remember when I was pregnant, the doctor had advised me to drink barley water in order to reduce the swelling in my legs. I would end up eating cooked barley too. Another way in which you could add barley to your diet would be by mixing its flour along with other flours and making multigrain rotis.
Nuts and Seeds
Flax seeds are rich in soluble fiber. One-third cup of flax seeds provides almost 7 grams of soluble fiber. You can use powdered flax seeds to garnish your porridge or milkshakes. Peanuts too provide a good amount of soluble fiber per serving. One quarter cup of dry roasted peanuts provides one gram of soluble fiber. So, the next time you’re out at the beach, make sure to indulge in some yummy roasted peanuts.
Beans and Legumes
Beans, including lima beans, baked beans and kidney beans provide the highest amount of soluble fiber. So, half a cup of these would give you about 3 grams of soluble fiber. Now, isn’t that great? Peas, too are a good source of soluble fiber and provide 1 gram of soluble fiber per serving.
With that, we come to the end of the list of foods containing soluble fiber. Now, let us move on to foods containing insoluble fiber.
Foods Containing Insoluble Fiber
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh raspberries top the list of fruits containing insoluble fiber. One cup of these provides almost 2 grams of insoluble fiber. Other fruits rich in insoluble fiber include apples with their peels, pears, strawberries, figs, etc. Please note that these fruits were mentioned earlier too. Hence, they contain both types of fibers. So, when you consume these fruits, you end up adding both the types of fibers to your food.
Steamed turnips, okra, green peas are some vegetables that are a good source of insoluble fiber. A half cup of these provides more than 3 grams of insoluble fiber. So, make sure you include these veggies in your daily diet. Other sources of insoluble fiber are sweet potatoes, beet roots, green beans, broccoli, etc. Half cup of these provides around 1 to 2 grams of insoluble fiber.
Wheat bran is a rich source of insoluble fiber. Half cup contains more than 11 grams of insoluble fiber. You could add some to your Atta to make your rotis healthier. Similarly, whole-wheat bread contains 1.2 grams of insoluble fiber. So, it would be a good idea to switch over to healthy whole-wheat bread. Bran based or wheat-based cereals are also rich sources of insoluble fiber and provide 11 grams per serving.
Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds are good sources of insoluble fiber. So, the next time you feel like snacking, grab a handful of nuts or sunflower seeds, instead!
Beans and Legumes
Kidney beans are a very good source of insoluble fiber. A half cup of cooked kidney beans will give you almost 6 grams of insoluble fiber. My husband will be very happy, if I tell him this. All the more reason for him to indulge in his favourite dish, Rajma. Pinto beans, black-eyed peas and lentils are also good sources of insoluble fiber. Half a cup of these cooked beans provides about 4.2 to 4.7 grams of insoluble fiber. Chickpeas and lima beans too provide 3 to 3.7 grams of insoluble fiber for a half-cup prepared portion.
With that we come to the end of fiber rich foods. Now, let us look at some other kinds of food that help us maintain our weight loss.
Water is extremely important in removing toxins from our body and in keeping us fit and fine. Though I know this, I too am guilty of not drinking enough water. I am trying to change that now and I make it a point to drink water at regular intervals. Consuming water becomes even more important when you are on a high-fiber diet. Water helps to soften the fiber and ensures proper bowel movement. Hence, water is always associated with fitness and health, whether it is weight loss or maintaining the weight loss.
Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar along with warm water before meals, would help you to burn fat faster and ensure that you don’t accumulate excess fat.
Amla or Gooseberry Juice
Nowadays, Amla juice is readily available in the market. It helps to remove toxins from our body. I too need to buy some!
I hope I have covered everything. I am eagerly waiting for everyone’s feedback and comments. Until next time, stay fit, stay beautiful!
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