When it comes to weight loss, winter is usually a bad time. For one thing, the weather is so good that the appetite tends to increase, and for another, because it’s so much cooler than the rest of the year, the tendency is to stay at home rather than hit the gym or the park. Add to this the fact that this is the best time to party, and you’ve got a situation where you pile on the pounds, which means that your party clothes don’t fit and you’re just wracked with frustration.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, cooler weather can be the most motivating factor when it comes to exercise, and as for your diet, this is the season to crave nutritious soups. Provided you really want to lose weight, here’s how you can go about it.
Commit to a promise
Frequently weight loss is just a nebulous dream. You plan to start a diet and exercise regime, but you never get around to doing it. So the first step is to commit to a promise made to your own self. Weight loss for your own self is a much better motivator than weight loss for a significant other or event. Tell yourself that a slimmer you will be a new year’s gift for yourself. So the time to start is now.
Making a promise to someone else is also a good motivator, but ensure that such a promise does not entail drastic or impractical goals.
Ask a friend to help
Motivation is the key to weight loss. If you can find an efficient motivator, such as a friend who cares for you, weight loss will become a lot of fun. Even a professional coach or a counsellor would help.
Work out a plan
The best way to effectively plan your weight loss is to create and keep a weight loss diary. This should include your diet plan and – this is important – the deviations from the diet that you will invariably make. Nobody can follow a weight loss diet perfectly all the time. A series of well-planned daily diet menus will help you to buy groceries on time, and also include deviations on birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions without making you feel guilty.
Also, writing down your plan will help you achieve it. It will make your plan seem real and measurable without causing you anxiety. According to one management theory, whatever is measurable is achievable. Here’s how to get going...
Add to your grains: Several grains such as barley, oats, bajra and jowar are good for weight loss. That’s because they have a low glycemic index. If you don’t eat these regularly, they will surprise your system and induce your body to lose weight. To get maximum fibre from these grains, eat them as a vegetable dalia. But you can also eat them as rotis, mixed with 50 per cent wheat flour.
Junk the junk food: Stop eating foods with extra sugar and lots of butter, drop the fizzy drinks and packaged foods.
Sprout it up: Sprouts of different dals are great for weight loss as they not only have a low glycemic index, but are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. Mung, channa, moth, etc., can be sprouted and eaten as a chaat.
Drink hot water: This is an easy way to detoxify the system and lose some weight. Detoxification helps the kidneys and liver, resulting in clear skin. Aim for six cups of hot water a day.
Vegetables rule… In this season, you can practically live on vegetables. Aside from the usual sabzis, eat them as soups, sautéed, stuffed in rotis and also as vegetable juices.
…And so does fruit: Fruit provides vitamins that aid the liver during weight loss.
Plunge into soups: Soups provide satiating low-calorie nutrition. Use vegetables like spinach, onion, mushroom, tomato, lauki, potato, boiled corn, baby corn, peas, carrots, potatoes and green vegetables. Add ginger, galangal, thyme and basil as herbs and for flavour. Spice your soups with white pepper, black pepper, mild red chillis, etc.
Exercise in the crisp air: Winter is the best time to work up a healthy sweat without collapsing with exhaustion. So get outdoors and moving.
Get the massage: Body massages with til or olive oil are invigorating and also good for muscles and tissues.
Get steamed: A steam after a massage gets the skin invigorated and helps weight loss. Weight Loss Plans
Breakfast: Boiled egg and a cup of skimmed milk
Lunch: Sautéed vegetables and oat roti, plus a bowl of salad
Evening: Herbal tea and roasted channa
Dinner: Grilled chicken or steamed fish with sautéed vegetables
Vegetable juice and sprouts
Vegetable dalia with bajra or dalia and salad
Steamed dhokla and tea
Two bowls of soup with sautéed vegetables
From HT Brunch, November 27
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