Many people wait until January 1st to begin eating healthier. After all, it’s the holiday season and there is rich festive food all around us, so how can anyone resist? And we are bound to add a few extra pounds!
The new year is a perfect time to adopt new habits. By practicing healthier eating, you can begin the new year with momentum and motivation.
Make these tips your lifestyle for gradual weight loss without any Yo-Yo effect!
Tip # 1 Start your day with the juice of half a lemon/lime in a glass of warm water 20 minutes before having your breakfast. This will cleanse your liver and kick-start your digestion. When your digestion is fast, your metabolism also jump-starts and you will be using more calories instead of storing them as fat.
Tip # 2 Do not skip breakfast! If you delay or skip your breakfast, your body’s metabolism slows down and gets into the habit of conserving and storing whatever little you eat. Your body is smarter than you think! It has already started storing food for your rainy days as you are so much in the habit of skipping meals!
Tip # 3 Don’t wait till you’re starving, as this will only encourage binging. Research shows that overeating, binge eating and intense food craving are a direct result of restrictive eating behaviours! Instead, have 3 regular meals at the right time as per your body’s constitution. Lunch must be your biggest meal of the day as your digestive fire is the strongest around noon.
Tip # 4 Eat slowly and Chew Well. Your brain needs 20 minutes to send the satiety signal to you. If you eat too fast, you have more chances of stuffing yourself too much. Stop when you are 80% full and never go for the second serving. Within 20-30 minutes you will realize that you don’t need to eat more. You are full! Remember to CHEW your food well. Take at least 20 minutes to finish your meal.
Tip # 5 Drink 8-10 glasses of pure filtered water in a day. Sometimes when you feel hungry and try to reach for a sugary treat in your office, you are not actually hungry. You are in fact thirsty!
Tip # 6 Do not drink ice-cold beverages with meals! Too much water with meals is like shutting your digestive fire off. It dilutes the digestive enzymes and leads to incomplete digestion. Have a glass of clean water 15-30 minutes before the meal. While you are eating, you want your body to be efficient at digesting the foods and absorbing the nutrients you are consuming.
Tip # 7 Include brightly coloured vegetables in each meal. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals & fiber which will keep you full for longer and prevent you from overeating. Have 7-10 servings of veggies a day. Lightly steam them for better digestion and to get the maximum nutrition.
Tip # 8 Eat fruits as snacks. Eating low GI – whole fruits like apples, pears and berries will provide you with a slow and sustained source of energy and keep your blood sugar levels stable. This will prevent you from having sugar cravings and you will not reach for sugary treats. The next time you get that sugar craving- reach out for a fruit instead of a chocolate bar!
Tip # 9 Eat more legumes, lentils and beans. Protein-rich diets have been found to contribute to weight loss. Include a variety of beans and legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans, in your meals to lose weight. Beans and legumes are more satiating than meat preparations. These low-fat and protein-rich food items would help you stay fuller for longer and curb your cravings. The fiber component of beans helps you feel full sooner without the extra calories. By incorporating beans and legumes in your regular meals, you will avoid processed snacks for in-between-meal hunger and avoid unnecessary weight gain.
Tip # 10 Eat fermented foods to improve your gut health! The microbiome in our gut governs many of our body’s key functions and is crucial to our overall health.
- Regulates the immune system
- Supports Metabolism
- Sustains the gastrointestinal tract
- Supports mood and brain function
- Produces crucial vitamins and nutrients
- Helps us maintain a healthy weight
So, if you want to lose weight and feel better it’s essential that you balance the microbiome in your gut. One of the most effective ways to do that is by eating fermented foods. Includes foods like kefir, miso, tempeh, natto, kimchi, sauerkraut and probiotic yogurt in your diet on a regular basis.
Tip # 11 Work on improving your digestion! Poor digestion may contribute to weight gain! Good digestion may facilitate effective weight loss! Many of you may have experienced the common consequences of poor digestion – bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea and gas. Digestion is intimately tied to weight loss!
Poor digestion would mean that the body is finding it hard to break down the foods. The process of digestion is perhaps one of the most important processes that is carried out by the body.
Poor digestion means that the nutrients from the food are not being optimally utilized, which can severely affect our body’s metabolism. Moreover, it may not be able to eliminate waste from our body efficiently either leading to toxic build-up in the body which also contributes to the slowing down of the metabolic rate, which makes it more difficult to burn calories properly.
Good digestion ensures that the nutrients are absorbed well, hence, the body is satiated. If your food is nutrient deficient, you will feel hungry all the time, as the body is craving micro and macronutrients. A well-balanced diet would lead to effective digestion, which further aids weight loss.
Tip # 12 Stress Management is crucial for weight management! Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight.
Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviours, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is well-researched! Every time you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and as a result, glucose (your primary source of energy) is released into your bloodstream.
Because sugar supplies your body with quick energy, it’s often the first thing you reach for when you’re stressed. This extra sugar is stored mainly in the form of abdominal fat, which can be particularly hard to shed.
Even if you aren’t eating foods high in fat and sugar, cortisol also slows down your metabolism, making it difficult to lose weight.
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M.Sc., R.H.N., Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant
The content provided in my blogs is for knowledge-sharing purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.