Festival calories, holiday calories, stress eating, desk eating…there are a thousand ways to pile on them calories. It’s possible to make some small changes and reap big benefits. Here are nine very simple, do-able and no-pain, all-gain weight loss tricks for you to get back in shape fast!
Challenge: Watch the portion sizeHow to ace it: Use tall, skinny glasses for juice. It tricks the brain into believing you’re drinking more than you are.
Use salad plates to serve the main course on (hide those big dinner plates). You can fill your plate and still not overeat.
Keep a big salad bowl at the table, if you do decide to have seconds—go for the salad and skip the calories dense meats.
Challenge: Keep appetite in checkHow to ace it: Sprinkle flax on your cereal. High-fibre flaxseed curbs your appetite. Add it to yogurt or dals, or soups and salads. Why? Because fibre keeps you feeling full longer, and curbs your appetite. But remember adding fibre to the diet is best done gradually, or you may end up with unfavourable side-effects such as bloating.
Challenge: Choose weight-loss partnersHow to ace it: Surround yourself with people who eat healthy; identify that one (or two) person from your friend circle or family you can count on to boost your morale and keep each other on track. Exchange exercise tips, healthy recipes and sync your fitness goals to stay motivated.
Challenge: Cut down mindless eatingHow to ace it: Never go grocery shopping hungry! There is nothing worse than standing in the aisle with chocolates and munchies with a growling stomach; resisting the urge to grab a high sugar bar will be an uphill task.
Eat two tablespoons less ice cream, order small fries instead of large fries, have fresh lime instead of a soda, skip the salad dressing. These habits go a long way in controlling your calorie intake. Do any two such steps every day and you’ll end up cutting 100 calories every single day!
Challenge: Shun that salad dressingHow to ace it: Salad dressings can have a lot of fat. Order your dressing on the side, fork a little onto your salad. You'll be surprised at how this tastes just right, and how little dressing you'll use.
Challenge: Stop snacking!How to ace it: Eat a handful of nuts (say 6 walnuts, or 8-10 almonds or 15 peanuts) when feeling grubby between meals, and watch your appetite disappear. Nuts are high on good quality protein and heart healthy fats and all that fibre takes care of the hunger pangs.
Challenge: Break up with the colaHow to ace it: Always grab a bottle of water when stepping out of home. There are just too many high calories beverages lurking around in stores so its best to keep an alternative handy. Plus, people often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full.
Challenge: Skip the grease, pleaseHow to ace it: Do the napkin pat before wolfing down anything greasy. Blot your food with a napkin to cut anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of grease and calories from pizzas (You can dab off about a teaspoon of oil—or 40 calories and 4.5 grams of fat—from two slices of pizza), samosas, fries, pakoras and the likes.
Challenge: Curb the cravingHow to ace it: Just one fried pakora…. “A craving is not hunger. Cravings typically last ten minutes,” feel experts. So recognise this fact and divert your mind: chat with a friend, listen to music, get involved in some work, or just step outside for a walk. Just don’t walk straight to the pakora-wala by the curb!