Losing weight is all about making simple changes that optimise your healthy habits, and reduce the unhealthy ones. You can also take help from existing medical research and studies for tips on foods and activities that boost weight loss. Here are 10 ways to lose weight that health experts swear by:
Eat poha for breakfast
A popular Indian breakfast dish, Poha also has various health benefits and is easily digestible. “Poha is very low in calories. It has about 76.9% of carbohydrates and 23% fat, which makes it one of the most ideal choices for weight loss. Apart from this, it is rich in fibre and therefore leaves you feeling full for a longer time, curbs mid-meal cravings and helps avoid overeating,” says Siva Teja Gadepalli, nutritionist on Lybrate, an online medical consultation platform.
Drink fruit juices to burn fat
Unlike going on a juice diet, which can leave you nutritionally deficient, you can include juices in your diet to boost your nutrition and lose weight in a more sustained manner. “In the morning, the body is still recovering from overnight detoxification and it’s ideal to have juice as the first meal of the day,” says Dr Deepti Bagree, nutritionist and Head of Department-Healthcare at Holistic Living Concepts. She recommends that one consume juices of different fruits 2-3 times a day to get benefits of various fruits.
Eat more often
Starvation is not the way to lose weight, or at least over the long term. Instead, consciously opt to eat more often and don’t skip meals. “Eat every two hours. It keeps the metabolism high and ensures steady energy levels. Large gaps leave the body in starvation mode, lowering the BMR and hinders fat loss,” says nutrition consultant Karishma Chawla.
Drink more water
Water and other 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 nutritionist Anjali Peswani. Consume at least 3 litres of water through the day, and you can also include coconut water, lime water (without sugar), herbal teas, and vegetable juices to the mix as well.
Walk as a form of exercise
This one’s perfect for those who are too lazy or have no time to go to gym and hate running. Doctors say that walking is great for weight loss. “Walking is considered as a nearest activity to perfect exercise,” says Dr Amar Singhal, interventional cardiologist, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Delhi. “It’s the easiest way to increase physical activity and improve fitness. It is popular and accessible to all, with a minimal risk of injury.” You can even chew gum while walking which, according to a study, is a great way to lose extra calories.
Say no to sugar
If you want to cut down on those hunger pangs, which lead you to eating more junk food, eliminate sugar-based food from your diet. Such foods can cause imbalance in the body’s blood glucose levels, and increase dependency on it. “Eliminating sugar can keep your hormones in check and not let the cravings get to you,” says Peswani. Instead opt for healthier alternatives like the natural herb stevia.
Boost up on Vitamin C
It is a well-known fact that Vitamin C is great for your skin and helps detoxify the body. But not many know that Vitamin C can also impact your weight loss efforts. “Vitamin C catalyses fat molecules to generate energy. Too little of Vitamin C can increase fat reserves and waist circumference. This is understandable as Vitamin C helps synthesise carnitine, which carries fat molecules for fat oxidation and energy generation,” says nutritionist Luke Coutinho.
Sleep well at night
Staying up at night may be harming your weight loss efforts. A good 6 to 8 hours of sleep is recommended at night for optimum weight loss. “Our body burns more calories while sleeping , and even more when we are sound asleep,” says Peswani. Curbing your midnight hunger pangs is also important as a study shows that it can play havoc with your sleep pattern, which can further cause overeating in a vicious cycle.
Ditch the alcohol
Alcohol can be full of calories and is best avoided if you are trying to lose weight. If you can’t give it up, eat a healthy balanced meal and have one drink. “Do not combine aerated drinks or energy drinks with alcohol as it increases calorific intake. Eating dinner before drinking helps prevent binge eating and binge drinking,” says nutritionist Hitha Bhankharia.
Reduce your stress levels
A study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, shows how chronic exposure to stress is linked with obesity due to the relationship between fat cells and the timing of stress hormones. Nutrition and fitness consultant Munmun Ganeriwal says in times of stress, our body releases hormones such as cortisol. “Cortisol is linked with insulin resistance, sugar cravings, and weight gain. The equation is — higher stress equals higher cortisol which means a greater craving for junk food which leads to more belly fat,” she says.