Weight Loss: Do’s & Don’ts
Working on weight loss? The key thing to remember is to quit looking for quick-fix solutions. Sustained weight loss requires a change in lifestyle. Without it, you will find yourself falling back on old habits and putting back the weight you just lost. So, here’s a handy guide for weight loss do’s and don’ts
Stay hydrated: Water offers a host of benefits and can help burn those calories. The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 3.7 litres of fluids per day for men and 2.7 litres of fluids per day for women.
Look for healthy meal swaps: Substitute fatty foods with lower-calorie alternatives, such as avocado mash in place of butter on toast or lean meats/fish/poultry in place of full-fat red meat.
Learn to cook: Home-cooked food is always healthier because it is unlikely to contain harmful additives. Learn to cook basic nutritious meals that include all food groups. It is a good idea to meal prep for a week so that you are less likely to order takeaways.
Eat regular meals: It’s important to eat small meals at regular intervals each day. Our body needs that consistent and ordered approach. Eating at regular intervals also helps your metabolism to work properly.
Eat balanced, healthy meals: Follow the plate method. Half your plate should be vegetable or fruit, one-fourth should be carbs and the other one-fourth should be protein (plant- or animal-based).
Exercise: Pick any exercise routine you love, whether it’s walking, swimming, aerobics, pilates, yoga, badminton, or dancing. Make sure you get some form of exercise every day. Exercising is not just for weight loss. Regular workout keeps your body in good shape, keeping your body agile and active. Multiple studies have shown that regular exercising protects the body from multiple diseases, including chronic conditions.
Skip meals: It jeopardises your body’s natural metabolism and increases food cravings. Plus, you are likely to gorge yourself with unhealthy food later. When you starve yourself, your body goes into survival mode, hoarding the fat and energy-giving sugars.
Go on crash diets: Studies have shown that they rarely help. Far too often they have an unhealthy focus with active avoiding of certain foods. Apart from harmful food perceptions, crash diets are short-term at the best. The idea is to change your lifestyle and not go for quick-and-easy methods.
Avoid fats: Fats are essential for the functioning of your body and some fats like Omega-3 can even help with weight loss!
Eat processed foods: They contain harmful additives that are often cancerous in nature. They are also highly likely to have empty calories and unhealthy fats.
Be obsessed with your weight: Be aware of food- and eating-related anxieties and disorders. Weight loss should never be your goal. It should be the result of a healthy lifestyle and a nutritious diet.
Give up: Ate a decadent cake? Or are the figures on your weighing machine just not going down? The important thing is to not give up. Remember it’s a journey and there will be the occasional bump.