Want to lose weight naturally? You only need small changes in your lifestyle and diet.(Shutterstock)
Want to lose weight naturally? You only need small changes in your lifestyle and diet.(Shutterstock)

Lose weight naturally: Say no to crash diets, eat more fibre, get enough sleep

If you are looking to lose weight and stay fit, you don’t need to go on starvation mode. For sustained weight loss, fitness experts say it is best to go natural and make simple changes in your diet and lifestyle.
By Soma Das | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2018 06:12 PM IST

You don’t need to go on a crash diet, or exercise for hours and hours to lose weight. Simple tweaks to your day-to-day lifestyle can also help you lose weight in a sustained manner.

Research has shown that sudden weight loss is really bad for you, and can cause heart problems as well as gallstones. And as it turns out, you can even end up losing friends in the process. So, don’t take a shortcut in terms of your diet, and instead opt for these lifestyle changes instead.

Eat more often

“Eat every two hours. It keeps the metabolism high and ensures steady energy levels,” says nutrition consultant Karishma Chawla. You should also not skip meals. “Large gaps leave the body in starvation mode, lowering the BMR and hinders fat loss,” says Chawla.

When a person includes at least 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, it helps enhance digestion and increase metabolism, which leads to weight loss. (Shutterstock)
When a person includes at least 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, it helps enhance digestion and increase metabolism, which leads to weight loss. (Shutterstock)

Eat more fibre

Eating less of fibre-rich food and more processed food can make your blood sugar levels rise, which leads to greater insulin release than required. Having higher insulin levels for a longer period of time (along with consuming more sugar-based items) can lead to obesity. “When a person includes at least 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, it helps enhance digestion and increase metabolism, which leads to weight loss,” says nutritionist and food consultant Anjali Peswani. Chawla suggests you have 2 high-fibre fruits, two bowls of green veggies and 3 bowls of salad in a day.

Add good proteins to your diet

Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They help you build muscle and lose fat. “Your diet should include 30 to 40% of good protein, which will help you lose weight faster,” says Peswani. Chawla suggests you eat complete lean protein in at least three meals a day. Some of the good sources of protein are chicken, fish, skimmed paneer and eggs.

Drink more water

Liquids can make you feel fuller for longer, boost metabolism and enhance weight loss. “Many a times, people mistake thirst for hunger, thereby increasing unnecessary calories,” says Peswani. Have 3 litres of water through the day. You can also include other fluids like coconut water, unsweetened lime water, herbal teas, and vegetable juices to increase hydration, says Chawla.

Foods with excess salt or packaged food can cause bloating and increased water retention. (Shutterstock)
Foods with excess salt or packaged food can cause bloating and increased water retention. (Shutterstock)

Include complex carbohydrates in your diet

“Foods such as millet, oats, barley, bran and brown rice have a lower glycaemic index value, which means they turn into sugar far more slowly as compared to simple carbs. Therefore, they keep one fuller for longer,” says Peswani.

Say no to sugar

Sugar and sugar-based foods can cause imbalance in the body’s blood glucose levels, thereby increasing dependency on it. “Eliminating sugar can keep your hormones in check and not let the cravings get to you,” says Peswani. You can also eliminate sugar with the natural herb stevia, says Chawla.

Reduce intake of sodium

Foods with excess salt or packaged food can cause bloating and increased water retention, says Peswani. “Limit salt intake to ¾ tsp a day in cooking meals and avoid table salt,” says Chawla.

You need 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep for weight loss. (Shutterstock)
You need 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep for weight loss. (Shutterstock)

Get enough sleep

You need a good 6 to 8 hours of sleep for weight loss. “Our body burns more calories while sleeping , and even more when we are sound asleep,” says Peswani.

Detox

Once in two weeks, give a rest to your system by providing your body with foods that are easy to digest like fruits, vegetables and liquids that are not sugary.

Chew your food well

When you chew your food longer, the saliva mixes well with food. It makes digestion easier and leads to less wastage, says Peswani.

Exercise not only helps us stay fit, but also protects us from several diseases and lifestyle disorders. (Shutterstock)
Exercise not only helps us stay fit, but also protects us from several diseases and lifestyle disorders. (Shutterstock)

Burn it out

Exercise not only helps us stay fit, but also protects us from several diseases and lifestyle disorders. “Exercise every day for an hour. It increases the metabolism. A combination of weight training and cardio along with good stretching is ideal,” says Chawla.

Ditch the buffet

Once in a while, it’s okay to eat out, but do not binge. Instead, go for an a la carte selection to make healthier choices, says Peswani.

Keep a healthy kitchen

The best way to not eat junk food is to not have easy access to it. Chawla suggests some things that you can stock in your kitchen: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, fruits, olive or rice bran oil, skim milk, skim curd, oats, sprouts and veggies.

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