Weight loss industry today has done so much marketing today that everyone is running behind them madly. You will find a gym at every nook and corner. This industry will always be at a profit and the profit will increase day by day. Today, none of us are satisfied by our shape, size or the way we look. I agree each one of us desires that flat tummy, sharply chiselled jaw and a well-built body. But, how many of us are able to achieve this? We rush to the gyms, Zumba classes and yoga classes and do hours and hours of workout, and still don’t get back into shape. Even if you get back into shape, you might gain more than what you lose. Why? Because it is 70% of what you eat and 30% of you exercise that determines your weight. So, let us first talk about food.
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We used to study a chapter in our science book during school days: the chapter on nutrition and health. Obviously, as kids, we used to cram whatever was written in the book just for passing the exams. Now is the time to understand why we studied that chapter. The distribution of food portion should be:
• Carbohydrates – 55 – 65% of total calorie intake
• Fats – 20- 35 %
• Proteins – 15- 20%
Look at your diet now. Do you satisfy this total calorie requirement per day? Are you taking these nutrients more/less? If not, please read below.
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Carbohydrates: Low carbs diet, zero carbs diet. Are you kidding me? How can you survive without carbohydrates? They form the major bulk of the food. Also, normal fat metabolism cannot occur in the body without the carbohydrates. So ladies, eat rice, chappati, poha, idli, dosa and eat it in quantities required for proper nutrition. The quantity of rice or chappati in your diet should me more than the pulses or vegetables you eat. Please avoid foods with “diet” attached as the prefix. This word is a myth. Your diet colas, diet biscuits and what not! They contain artificial sweetener (aspartame), which can damage your kidneys in the long run.
Fats: “Do not eat fat if you want to lose weight.” Do you still believe this fact? This sentence is a complete myth. Heard of essential fatty acids? They are called essential fatty acids because they are not made by the body and needed to be supplied from outside. Triglycerides, cholesterol and fatty acids store energy, insulate us and protect vital organs. Imagine a body devoid of fat. It will be dull and lifeless. So ladies, please include fats in your diet.
Fat sources : Handful of nuts, 1 tbsp of ghee or clarified butter (immobilizes even the stubborn fat) in your dals as tadka and on parathas, toss your salads with olive oil, use variety of organic oils (not refined) for cooking such as mustard oil (high MUFA content), sunflower oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil etc. Confused why I mentioned coconut oil? The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil increase the energy expenditure of the body, leading to significant weight loss in long run.
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Proteins: Everyone is running behind a protein-rich diet. Well, it’s the time to reconsider.
As you can see from the calorie intake chart, the amount of protein in your daily diet should be less than your fat or carbohydrate. Here I am not including people who are into sports or heavy exercise. Remember ladies, an excess of everything is bad. If you take too much of protein it will get converted into fat. Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, skin and blood.
Sources: meat, fishes, eggs, dry beans, peas etc, pulses.
So include these in your diet and remember the quantity should be lesser as compared to your rice or chappati.
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Soup, salads, juices and boiled vegetables have these and you will lose weight. Doesn’t it look like a joke? There is a reason why vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. They cannot replace your carbohydrates, proteins and fats. But yes, they are important too. Vitamins serve as buffers in times when your body does not meet your daily requirements fully. Include fruits, vegetables and salads in your meal as a mid meal snack or as snacks. Never ever replace this with your macronutrients.
To be healthy, you must exercise. Exercise will help you gain weight. Yes darlings, I am talking about your lean body weight. It means you will gain your muscles and reduce your fat percentage. So hit the gym, do yoga, go for jogging, swim or do some Zumba dance. Do whatever you enjoy. Exercise should make you feel active, healthy and happy. It should increase your positivity. So if you don’t like gym, opt for Zumba or swimming. You can also do yoga. It gives a healthy body and a healthy mind.
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Some Useful Tips:
• Enjoy your food. Please switch off your TV/mobiles etc. while eating. The more you enjoy your food, the lesser time it takes for digestion. Food which is digested easily does not contribute to weight gain.
• Try to eat home cooked food whenever possible and avoid excessive junk. This will ensure wholesome nutrition.
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• Please see nutrition value in the food rather than calories.
• Eat regular meals. Eat every 2 hours. This is a great way to prevent starvation and overeating. Both leads to weight gain.
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• Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. 70% of the body is made of water, so think over it.
• Include fibres such as oats, whole fruit in your diet.
• Avoid smoking and alcohol if you want a healthy body.
• Do not sit for more than six hours in the whole day. Try to take a break from your work. Walk around, do stretching. This is a good a way to gain your lean body mass.
• Our metabolism slows down after the 30s. So please eat frequent meals and avoid eating too much after the 30s. Also, exercise more.
• Weight loss cannot be a quick affair. You will have to be patient. You lose sudden weight only when you are ill or you have some underlying problems. Don’t go mad behind fad diets, quick weight loss medicines etc.
• Even if you weigh more than others and you feel active and energetic all day. Then you are healthier than others.
• Last, but very important point. Please love yourself the way you are. Life is more than shedding kilos.
That’s it, ladies. Enjoy your food and exercise.
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