Have you ever thought about going on a diet? Most of you – if not all – must be nodding in agreement. We’ve all given it a thought at some point in life. While some pro enthusiasts may have acquainted themselves with all kinds of (trending) diets out there – keto, for example; the others simply tweak their dietary habits based on their own judgement. Haven’t you too cut down on sugar and white rice, expecting a miracle in exchange at some point in your life? That’s exactly what we’re talking about.
Honestly, the problem isn’t with going on a diet, the problem is with doing so mindlessly, in an uninformed fashion. Needless to say, taking this route can do more harm than good. Two renowned experts in the nutrition space – Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-founder, Food Darzee and LukeâÂ¯Coutinho, Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach share a few tips that you must not forget while you set yourself up with a (read: any) diet.
Bespoke Plans Are The Way To Go
“When it comes to nutrition, a cookie-cutter approach is a failed approach,” avers Luke. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diets. Every person is unique and so do their requirements. Therefore, the best way to go about a diet plan is to have it planned exclusively for you. Get in touch with a nutritionist who can understand your body type and fitness goals, and plan a diet for you accordingly. A nutritionist will also be able to tailor the diet on the go as per his/her observation and analysis,” shares Dr Siddhant.
Miracles Don’t Happen Overnight
Forget miracles, even tried and tested things will take the time that they must – you can’t expedite things just like that. And so, both the experts emphasise on consistency, “You have to be consistent and focused on the diet and do it as long as it is required without fail,” advises Dr Siddhant. “From our experience, we believe that most people do not need guidance on what to eat, they need to be coached on building consistency,” mentions Luke. Dr Siddhant also adds, “Think twice before you start a diet. If you feel you won’t be able to keep this up long-term, then eventually it will not give you the desired result.” And, Luke suggests pretty much on the same lines, “It’s not about what you do for 1 or 2 days. It’s about what you repeatedly do. Consistency has a compounding effect and is the key to success.”
Keep It Holistic – Focus On Nutrition
“Nutrition is important,” emphasises Luke. He adds, “It is essential for prevention and recovery because everything we eat either nourishes or hurts us. But, it’s not everything. You need movement to circulate all the nutrients to trillions of cells in the body. You need sleep for repair, recovery, and detoxification. And you need balanced emotional health because a lack of it can change the entire chemistry and physiology of your body. You do not even digest your food well! This is exactly why we encourage a lifestyle change, instead of just a diet plan.” Dr Siddhant thinks no different, “Diets come in all shapes and sizes, but good and healthy diets are always centred on nutrient-dense, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. They have been linked to better health outcomes. Rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, such diets can help you reduce the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, etc.”
Don’t Let Go Off
“Patience is key,” Luke points out. “It took years to put on that much weight. It’s wrong to expect a swift fat loss and reach your dream figure in just 4 weeks. It’s an unrealistic expectation. You cannot punish your body through extreme dieting and exercise programs. You might lose weight, but at the cost of your health, immunity, and mental peace,” he believes.
Make Sure You Track
“Measure your progress to know whether your efforts are taking you close to your goal or not,” suggests Dr Siddhant. While you mustn’t obsess over the results on a daily basis and allow that to cause a stir of emotions in you, it’s key to be mindful and track the progress, only to be rest assured that you’re moving in the right direction.
12 tips to help you lose weight
Here are some tips to lose weight.
1. Do not skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
2. Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
4. Get more active
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone.
Find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine.
5. Drink plenty of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
6. Eat high fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
7. Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
8. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
9. Do not ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
10. Do not stock junk food
To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
11. Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
12. Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.