If you are trying to knock off the lockdown weight here’s the best way to do it without giving up on your favourite food or picking a workout routine that you hate. Dropping kilos and keeping them off isn’ as difficult as you think. All you need to do is make teeny, tiny tweaks to your meals and habits. Lovneet Batra, clinical nutritionist and author, says, “The small changes look very simple, but they pack in a powerful punch when it comes to boosting your metabolism.”
Lovneet suggests a few ways to rev up your metabolism.
1. Fix Your Sleep and Waking Up Schedule and Stick to It
"Fix your sleep timings if you want to lose weight. Wake up and go to bed everyday at one fixed time and notice the difference it makes to your entire day," says Lovneet. The benefits of having fixed sleep timings are: they discourage you from midnight binge eating and they help the body rest, repair, and restore your muscles and your immune system. Also, having a good night’s sleep means waking up feeling rested and anxiety free which in turn keeps your moods stable during the day and effectively curb your habit of emotional eating.
2. Eat Something Within 30 mins of Waking Up
Help your body kickstart the day on a good, healthy note by eating something nutritionally dense within the first 30 mins of waking up. Lovneet says, "start your day with a litre of water to prompt an alkaline environment in the gut. Then have soaked and peeled nuts . These are good fats and are very energizing for the body that is just waking up. They keep the blood sugar levels normal and don't trigger any chance of imbalance in the hormones. You can follow it up with a good quantity of seasonal fruit."
Eating something within 30 mins of waking up helps you manage your hunger pangs effectively. These foods are light but high on fibre and hep you start the morning on a fresh positive note.
3. Take Extra Care of Your Gut By Having a Good Mix of Prebiotics and Probiotics
Gut health is important when you are aiming at long term weight management. Nourish your gut by having prebiotics like high fibre fruit and veggies before meals and during the day. Add probiotics like yogurt to your main meals. Fermented foods like idlis , kanji and kombucha help your cause. They nourish and fortify the good gut bacteria, helping them digest your food faster and assign the nutrients to the right sections of the body in an optimal manner.
4. Swap Sitting with Being Active All Day
Sitting is the new smoking and sitting for longer periods, especially after meals just invites more trouble that will mess with your weight loss plan. Swap sitting with getting up every 30- 40 mins for a quick walk. This swap is easy to incorporate in your regular routine and will really help you keep the weight off in the long run. Even if you are someone who plays a sport every day, make sure you remain active throughout the day. Get up from your seat every 60 mins for water, or take all calls while walking as much as possible. Do desk exercises, stand and stretch every 40 mins. Walk for 15 mins after a meal to avoid acidity. Schedule a call after the meal to walk it off without disrupting your other commitments.
5. Plate it Right
Plating your food really matters if you want to keep your weight loss sustainable. There are three tenets to this:
1. Choose a Smaller Plate
Not to be confused with eating less, but eating more consciously. Sometimes we eat more simply because the food is .. there .. right in front of us, or we are eating from a packet. This allows us to binge as we eat mindlessly. Plating your food in a smaller plate than you are otherwise used to will help you fix the amount of food you are having to satiate your hunger and not giving into your emotional hunger.
2. Select a Colour of the Plate That Contrasts with Your Food
"Since eating is a sensory activity and our sense of vision is the first line of defence, try and choose a colour of your plate that is contrasting or highlights the amount of food you are putting onto the plate. This is a behaviour modification tactic and helps you be more aware of what you are eating and how much you are eating," says Lovneet.
Alternatively, you can use this hack to eat more of a food that is good for the body but you don't really enjoy it too much. Simply choose a plate that matches with the colour of the food you don't like but should have, to be able to ignore how much of it you are eating and have more.
3. Fix Your Food Ratio
This is the most important. "We usually load our plates with a lot of carbs, don't we? Try and balance it out by replacing one third of the carbs with more veggies or a protein like tofu or lentils or an egg chicken /fish in the curry. This will help you feel fuller as good fats and proteins take a longer time to burn and keep you satiated for longer as opposed to carbs- even the complex ones," concludes Loveneet.
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