Dietician Neesha Bukht brings you the ABCs of staying slim.
Avoid alcohol: You booze, you lose! Alcohol increases your levels of the hormone leptin, which in turn makes you crave sweets. Don’t want to be branded a teetotaler? Order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc – 119 cals per 5 ounces.
Breakfast: A good breakfast with fiber and protein will keep you full till lunchtime and help you avoid bingeing. Opt for multi-grain cereal, low-fat curd or fruits to kick-start your metabolism.
Cortisol: Prolonged stress leads to high levels of cortisol, which makes you crave junk foods. Solution: deal with long-standing stressors. As for short-lived ones, treat yourself to an oil massage.
Density: Go for grub with an energy density of two or less. To calculate this, simply divide the calories by the weight in grams (per serving). Stay at it and watch the pounds melt faster.
Eat at regular intervals: Go no longer than five hours between meals. Several small meals through the day lead to a better metabolism and greater control over binges.
Fructose: Ditch the artificially sweetened juices and sodas and get your fructose from natural sources such as fruits. Because natural fructose is kinder to your waistline.
Gum: Chewing on gum helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria, satisfies a sweet-tooth and reduces your urge to eat. The next time you feel the urge to reach for a biscuit packet, try a piece of sugarless gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.
Heart-healthy foods: Overweight people face a greater risk of heart disease. So, switch to olive and vegetable oils. Fill up on omega-rich foods like walnuts and fatty fish. Choose non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of mutton and skinless poultry.
Insulin: The amount of insulin you secrete may dictate your diet. High insulin secretors shed more weight on a low-carb diet and less on a low fat/high carb diet. Got a jelly belly? You secrete excess insulin and could benefit from fewer carbs.
Journal: Write down everything you eat and you could cut your intake by 1,000 calories a day. Food journaling may seem boring, but goes a long way in making you aware of what you eat and thereby helps you shed pounds.
Ketosis: Ketosis refers to the point where your body runs low on carbs and burns fat for fuel. Therefore, ketosis jump-starts a diet. Restrict carbs and lose more initially. Later, allow yourself wholegrain cereals and roti, in moderation.
Low blood sugar: This is often the reason for between-meal cravings especially for sweet. When it strikes, reach for naturally sweet foods such as fruits and accompany it with a little low-fat dahi for a healthy dose of protein.
Milk: Get better results from your workout by downing milk. Two cups of skim milk after intense weightlifting can build more muscle and burn twice as much fat as drinking fruit juice. But go with real cow’s milk as it’s more beneficial than soya milk.
Numbers: Nobody enjoys weigh-ins, but people, who hop on the scale once a day, are more likely to lose and maintain their loss. Make a standing appointment for yourself. But try to strike a balance rather than obsess over the number you see.
Omelette: Eggs are an ideal protein source. Protein helps build muscle, which will fry more calories per pound than fat. Bonus: You burn about 25 percent of the eggs’ calories just by digesting them.
Peanut — Protein: Take the edge off your appetite by snacking on a handful of peanuts everyday. Because protein is the “secret” to weight control. Peanuts also boost your resting metabolic rate due to their fatty acid content.
Coenzyme Q10 is one of the nutrients needed to produce energy. Most people energy — mg a day. Other benefits include a stronger immune system. Besides, it’s also a great antioxidant.
Replacements: Replace any silly weight loss pills you have been advised to take, with a good low fat smoothie. You will lose just as much weight without the side-effects of a pill.
Slip-ups: Slip-ups are bound to happen. Anticipate them. Instead of letting them derail your efforts, learn from them and get right back on track by simply keeping your eye on your target.
Tea: The fat-busting benefits of green tea boil down to disease-fighting compounds called catechins. Max your results by steeping your tea for longer. The darker the hue of your brew, the more catechin-rich the cup. Add some lime to tone down the bitterness.
User-friendly: There are a million fad diets around; your friends are probably trying some too. But what helps you lose weight isn’t the type of diet but compliance with it. Find a plan you can live with so you’ll stick to it.
Vinegar: Studies show that consuming 4 tbsp of a vinegar mixture with a high-carb diet drops your calorie intake by 275 per day. If you can’t stomach vinegar, mix into a low-fat dressing to add zing to your salad.
Water: It quenches thirst without the calories. In fact, water also ups your caloric burn rate. Sipping six extra 8-ounce glasses a day can burn 17,400 more calories (about 5 pounds of fat) a year.
Xylitol: Xylitol is a natural substance found in vegetables that tastes and looks just like sugar. But while sugar harms, xylitol protects against disease and has anti-ageing benefits. In its crystalline form, it can replace sugar in cooking.
Yoga: Normal-weight women, who practice yoga for four or more years, will gain three pounds less over 10 years than those who don’t. Grab your mat and get breathing!
Zs: When you skimp on sleep, your brain thinks you’re low on fuel and sends a message to your stomach to start growling. The women, who sleep for five hours or less, are an average of five pounds heavier than women who snoozed for seven hours. Want to stay slim? Hit the pillow.