Behind every intention to lose weight or eat right, there is always a hurdle to cross. In order to resist cracking at the first temptation, find a balance in which habits work for you and determine what changes you need to make.
1. Eat smart
Low-fat cooking can be enjoyable if you apply your mind and make the food taste and look good. For instance, bake, steam, grill or stir-fry foods instead of deep-frying them. Trim off the skin and fat from the meats, so that they are more nutritious and heart-healthy. Enjoy experimenting with different flavours, vegetables, spices, herbs, fruits, seeds and nuts.
TIP: When you eat out, make special requests to get what you want. For example, you can request for baked potatoes instead of French fries, honey and lemon dressing instead of mayonnaise, roti instead of buttery naan.
2. Eat at regular intervals
You must eat regularly. Skipping meals just simply doesn’t work. When the body is deprived of regular nourishment, it gets into the habit of functioning to a minimum – slowing down its metabolism.
Tip: Avoid eating when you are emotionally worked-up. You may tend to reach out to food as a comforter.
3. Plan your meals
When food craving grips, you tend to make a dash for the fridge or eat whatever you find accessible. Avoid giving into temptation by planning ahead. Keep some ready-to-eat foods such as fruits, cut vegetables, sprouts, a sandwich or roasted savouries, handy. Just make sure they are accessible when you need them.
Tip: Make a list of your requirements, so that you are better organised when you shop for food.
4. Avoid distractions
If you eat while watching television or while working on the computer, chances are that you won’t be disciplined about the foods you consume; the mind is not focused on eating right.
TIP: It is best to eat on the dining table or at the kitchen table where you are mindful of what you eat.
Discipline your mind
5. Exercise daily. Control cravings and portions when you eat.
TIP: The easiest way to distinguish between craving and appetite is to wait a while before you eat. Give it 20 minutes, if you are still hungry, your body needs the food.
6. Avoid the ‘three Ws’:
The ‘three Ws’ mean white rice, wheat and white sugar. Not that these three hurt your body massively, but our Indian diet is extremely rich in these and can harm our weight loss. Do not starve yourself off the three Ws all of a sudden, rather reduce their quantity.
7. Go Walking
Walking when the weather’s nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. “I enjoy the seasons,” she says, adding that even when she’s short on time she’ll go out for a few minutes. “Even a five minute walk is a five minute walk.”