by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
The human race is facing a pandemic, Covid-19 currently, but it has been facing an even deadlier health problem for quite some time now. Obesity. Human beings of the modern world are more in danger of health problems caused by eating too much of the wrong kind of food than by eating too little. Obesity gives rise to a host of chronic illnesses like diabetes. The question is how to reduce weight? The following are some tips guaranteed to reduce weight.
1. If you have the habit of eating out often, it is time to stop. You have no control over the ingredients in restaurant food, and certainly none at all over the quality. Opt for home cooked food.
2. Though it is tempting to prepare in bulk on weekends and reheat on weekdays, it is not the best thing to do. Ideally, you should eat freshly prepared meals.
3. Ensure that all the different food groups, i.e. Carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber and vitamins, are supplied through your food. This means that your diet should be varied and rich. Even though there are specialized diets that advise people to forego one of the groups (e.g. keto diet that avoids carbohydrates), it is not advisable to do so.
4. Alcohol, soda and sugary drinks give you empty calories. Other than giving you excess weight, these drinks can pose serious health problems too. Regular drinking of soda creates visceral fat – fat that is hiding deep around the organs – in people. This type of fat can cause heart disease and diabetes too.
5. Intermittent fasting, according to those who practice it, is a sure way to lose weight. Many people like it because it allows you to ‘feast’ on some days, although you have to ‘fast’ on other days. Many people practice fasting from 6 pm to 6 am on the following day, going without food for 12 hours. This is also effective if you do not binge- eat the rest of the time.
6. A combination of cardio work out and strength training is what works for a lot of people when they want to lose weight. However, this does not need to be excessive or extreme. Just 30 minutes of good workout should be able to help you reach your goals.
7. Fill your plate more with fruits and vegetables than any other type of food. A good thumb rule is to fill half the plate with fruits/vegetables, one quarter with carbohydrate such as pasta or rice and the last quarter with protein such as lean meat.
8. Sipping water throughout the day can help you maintain a healthy weight. People who are not adequately hydrated have more chances of having a higher Body Mass Index than those who are adequately hydrated. Besides, people who drink water before meals tend to eat fewer calories.
9. Practicing mindful eating can have amazing results with regard to your body weight. Very often, people tend to rush through meals or eat on the go without really being mindful of what they are eating. Some people do not even chew their food properly. All these habits can lead to over consumption of food. One should be mindful of what she/he is eating, chewing and relishing each bite. This is a great way to reduce overeating.
10. If you have trouble following a workout routine or healthy eating plan, buddy up with another person who has the same goals. This is because motivation to stay on a plan may decrease after the initial enthusiasm, and having a friend to do it with makes it more fun and inspiring.
11. It is important not to deprive yourself of your favourite food completely. It is unrealistic to do so, and it creates a negative relationship with food. Doing so will make you crave for it more. So make room for indulgences now and then for a homemade dessert or a favourite dish once in a while.
12. Being bored can make you overweight! You might wonder how. Many people, when bored, tend to eat to alleviate their boredom. If you are a person who eats when bored, find activities to fill your free time, instead of finding things to eat.
13. If you have underlying anxiety issues, it is time to deal with them. Do not try to alleviate your anxiety by binge-eating. This is a sure way to put on unwanted weight.
14. Snacking is one of the ways in which people put on weight. Often, people snack on potato chips and such comfort food. An easy way out from this is to have healthy snacks such as cut up fruits or vegetables, and mixed nuts available in your car, at home or at your place of work.
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