5 Healthy Habits That Will Help You Lose Weight — And Keep It Off!
We all love a quick detox or quick workouts that help us sweat off all that festive season weight, but it’s time for a reality check. That isn’t how it works, sister. Well, not always. While a instant detox or a high intensity workout may show a few results or help you de-bloat, consistency is the key to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. So keep that extra weight off with the 5 weight loss tips and healthy habits that aren’t too difficult to incorporate into your daily routine.
1. Avoid Sugar
There is sugar in literally everything you eat — be it natural sugars in fruits, to loads of artificial sugar in your morning cereal. So limit your sugar intake to a spoon or less of added sugar each day. If you want to eat that one chocolate or that one cup of coffee with sugar, go ahead, but no more. Reduce consumption of processed or packaged foods, because you’ll have no control over the sugar intake. Replace cereal with oats or homemade muesli. Try looking for desserts made using stevia or other natural sugars, if you’re craving a sweet treat. And replace snacking with nuts and other healthy alternatives. You can also try jaggery in your tea instead of sugar. That being said, natural sources of sugar, like fruits and vegetables, are great for you.
2. Portion Control
Chew your food 32 times. That’s what experts say. Why? Well, when you truly concentrate on eating and chewing your food, you end up eating less. That’s just one of the benefits of chewing more; great digestion is an added benefit. Try to be present and help yourself to only as much as you need. Try not to skip meals and start taking 1/4th of what you previously ate off of your plate. Load up on veggies!
3. Eat Protein
When you’re portion controlling, it’s important that protein and veggies fill up a large chunk of that plate. Avoid overdoing carbs and unhealthy fats that are processed, mass manufactured, not fresh, and don’t come from vegetable, nut, or seed sources. For meat eaters, try sticking to lean meats and for vegetarians, don’t worry, a lot of your protein comes from certain vegetables, lentils, grains, dairy, and tofu. Do your research and plan your meals accordingly. Carbohydrates, especially starchy ones, should take up the least space on your plate.
4. Pick Your Oils Wisely
Here’s the tricky part: oils are essential to your cell growth, digestion, and hormones. While the west is now discovering that fats like ghee and coconut oil can be healthy in your daily meals (within reasonable limits, of course), it’s something we desi people have been using for a long time. So, firstly, avoid vegetable oil, soyabean oil, cottonseed oil, and palm oil. Often, these are trans fats — something you want to avoid. While they are saturated fats, ghee and coconut oil should be consumed in small doses. This leaves oils with lots of unsaturated fats, like avocado oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, rice bran oil, walnut oil, and canola oil. Among these, do your research on smoke points of oils: those that have a high smoke point are great for Indian-style cooking, deep frying, etc., and those that don’t have a high smoke point are better for drizzling on top of salads, quick stir-frys, and so on.
#HauteHack: Butter is made out to be super scary, but really it’s just an unsaturated fat, also good in limits, though most believe it’s composition doesn’t make it as healthy as other saturated fats like coconut oil and ghee. That being said, you can opt for butter every now and then. But nothing will ever be as healthy as unsaturated oil that come from nuts, seeds, and some vegetables.
5. Sleep On Time
Truly, your mother was right! Sleeping means your body has time to repair itself, especially during the correct hours. On weekdays, try sleeping earlier and waking up earlier, with about 8 hours of sleep. When you sleep correctly, your body isn’t in fat storing mode, your workouts are more effective, and your skin improves too. Really, it’s just winning all the way with the right amount of sleep!