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19 Apr 2024, Edition - 3202, Friday

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Health & Lifestyle

Eat To Stay Slim! A Dozen Ways To Stay In Shape



Sushmita Sengupta

Been struggling to shed those extra pounds for a long time? Tried all kinds of crash diets, and weight loss hacks for a slimmer figure yet no results? Let us tell you a secret! Starving was a bad idea, and you could have easily lost the extra set of inches while being well fed. Yes, you heard us! Now that we have your attention let us tell you another secret, there is no shortcut to weight loss, but eating healthy may speed up the process. Here are a dozen ways to eat well, and shed a pound or two in the process naturally.

1. Eat A Hearty Breakfast

You may have heard many say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well its not just hearsay. Breakfast indeed plays a huge role in kick-starting our metabolism. Breakfast literally means ‘breaking’ the ‘fast’. It is the first meal you have after your eight hour sleep, hence it plays a huge role in your metabolic rate. Skipping the breakfast, may indulge you to binge more later in the day, which is a further invitation to extra kilos. Make sure your breakfast is rich in protein and fibers.

2. Eat A Rainbow!

Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora espouses the idea of having a rainbow plate. She recommends having all coloured fruits and veggies on your plate from beautiful greens such as spinach, lettuce, methi or the opulent orange in carrots. This would make sure you have all your fibres, vitamins and antioxidants in place.

3. Eat Fresh

Anything that has a shelf life of more than a few days, and especially when it comes from a bottle or a packet should be consumed with caution. Junk food made in hydrogenated and fat-laden oils are a strict no- no. These empty calorie foods even in minute quantities can show its effect around your tummy. What’s cooked at home and has a limited shelf life is healthy too.

4. Eat Good Fats

All fats don’t make you fat! Fats have gained itself an infamous rep and we are here to bust the myth. According to Shilpa, the fats you eat make up the majority of your cell walls, so a low fat or a no fat diet makes your cell wall inflexible and extremely difficult for nutrients to pass through and feed your cells. The body needs all the 3 essential macronutrients: carbs, proteins and fats to survive. While it is important to cut out on ‘bad fats’, ‘good fats’ like ghee, whole eggs, coconut oil and fatty fish should become a part of your healthy- balanced diet now.

5. Eat Whole Grains over the Refined Variety

Whole grains are packed with high quality fibres. Fibre takes the longest to digest, which keeps you satiated for long and prevents you from bingeing into other fattening foods.

6. Eat at regular intervals

Try and reduce the intervals between each major meal and try to have 6-7 short meals everyday. When you eat less than what your body needs, your brain understands that you are low on energy reduces the speed of the fuelling cycle and your metabolism goes for a toss. Observing long gaps between the meals can drop your blood sugar which could also slow down the metabolism.

7. Eat lean protein

Protein plays a crucial role in muscle building and weight loss, by choosing lean variety of meat such as chicken and fish you avoid the extra fat in red meat, bacon and sausages.

8. Eat less Salt

Greater the amount of salt, greater the risk of water retention and weight gain. Put aside that packet of chips and fries now!

9. Eat Less Sugar

Excessive refined sugar is terrible for your health and piles on unnecessary calories. Also, be weary of sugar in unexpected places like cereals, tomato ketchup, packaged foods, etc. Refined sugar contributes to empty calories which results in fat accumulation.

10. Eat in Controlled Portions

Eat everything but eat smaller portions. Have smaller plates, let not the sparse food in your large plate fool you into believing that you are having less food. Avoid second and third helpings at a party. Be smart with what you eat too, increase the portion size of the nutritious food on your plate like vegetables or dal, and cut your dessert by half.

11. Eat On Time

In addition to planning your meals, it is also essential to stick to fixed meal-times. Try to eat food at the same time every day, to set your body clock in a way that the body can tell you when it is hungry and when it has had enough.

12. Drink Plenty of water

Water carries many essential functions like flushing out the toxins and, aiding digestion, preventing constipation and maintaining the electrolyte (sodium) balance. Starting your day with a glass of warm water cleanses the digestive system, and improves your metabolism. Drinking water helps one avoid eating and drinking extra calories in the form of other high calorie beverages too.

Try these few handy tips and eat to stay slim.

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