While I was trying to lose weight, I applied various strategies that helped me come down from 160 kilos to 60 kilos in two years. I would like to share these with all who want to lose weight.
Practice mindfulness: ‘Wherever you go, there you are’ is how the founder of the stress reduction clinic at the University of Massachusetts medical centre summed up mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment and not thinking about what happened in the recent past or worrying about the future. It might be difficult and require you to screen your thoughts initially, but with time mindfulness comes naturally.
Invest time in you: Create a daily ritual where you take 20 to 30 minutes for any activity that you enjoy and find relaxing. Pick up a book, listen to music or have a cup of tea.
Put yourself first in order to serve others: It’s only when our own needs are fully met that we can generously and whole-heartedly share ourselves. It is not selfish to look after ourselves, it is essential!
Cultivate new attitudes: Change is integral to life. In fact, one of the best ways to deal with situations is to change the way we think about it. Living a healthy life often means challenging our old patterns of functioning and thinking.
Eat when dieting: If you are dieting, you need to continually fuel your body. This means a minimum of four but preferably six small meals a day. This way you will have the energy to exercise and won’t crave any large unhealthy meals.
Don’t avoid fat: If you think you can lose weight and keep it off by avoiding all fats you’re sadly mistaken. Your body (and your brain) needs to survive! This is why the scientists call them essential fatty acids- Omega 3, 6, and 9. So, make sure you put fat back into your dietary plan.
The fork is not a shovel: Even if we are not hungry, most of us have a tendency to finish our meals in 10 minutes. The problem is that the brain doesn’t know the stomach is full until 20 minutes after it actually is. You could stuff yourself still before realising you didn’t need to consume as much as you did. Try eating half of what’s on your plate, wait a couple of minutes, then continue to eat if you’re still hungry. In short, eat slowly. If you want a real hunger – stopper, try an Omega 3 supplement before a meal.
Satisfy cravings: If you’re hungry for something, eat it. Don’t deny yourself the simple pleasures. If it’s possible, eat only half of what you want. Is your craving satisfied or are you addicted to the flavour? Losing weight shouldn’t be torture for anybody. Give a small treat or two during the week. Any diet that leaves you feeling deprived will ultimately fail. Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate or one scoop of ice cream during a week.
Know your diet pitfalls: To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what’s wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions.
Make changes gradually: Just there are no “super foods” to a healthy diet, don’t expect to revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much too fast can intrude into success. Remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, life-long eating habits. For eg, if you don’t like the taste of skimmed milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skimmed milk too.
Be careful with shopping trips: Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack before you go to the mall. If you go hungry, you are much more likely to give in to the temptation of unhealthy foods at the food court.
Train wrecks will happen: One of these nights, you’re going to go out with friends and overeat. Instead of repeating the overindulgence, just pay yourself back track the next day. You’re allowed to “mess up” every now and again, so long as you don’t make a habit out of consuming an excessive amount of food.
Go back to your roots: Eat food that your ancestors survived on. And since fast food restaurants weren’t around back then, this automatically implies you stay away from processed and fatty foods.
Eat right on time: One of the leading causes of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes is the fact that all too often we skip meals that reduces immunity.
Juices are no substitute for water: While fruit juices are healthy and need to be part of your diet, they are no substitute of water. When you keep track of your daily consumption of water, don’t include any other beverages there.
Don’t pop vitamin pills: Unless prescribed by a doctor, don’t consume vitamin tablets. While some such as vitamin B are water- soluble and will be automatically flushed out of your system, such is not the case with vitamin A and D. Therefore if you self- medicate you run the risk of suffering from toxicity.
Don’t overlook the mind body connection: Only if you are mentally fit will you be able to concentrate on your work-out and thereby get the most out of it.
Don’t skip the warm–up stage: All too often people skip their warm-ups due to lack of time. It is dangerous to exercise cold muscles and increase the risk of muscle injury and joint pain.
Taking the steps is not a substitute for a workout: In fact this could lead to knee injury, particularly if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Get creative with your workout: If a closed gymnasium is not where you’d rather be, then try joining sport or take a salsa or Bollywood dancing classes instead.