“I’ll do two hours at the gym…on Monday.
I’ll do 25 more reps… on Tuesday.
I’ll do strength training… On Wednesday.”
How often do we say things like these when we’re on a mission to lose fat?
We tend to equate fat loss with workouts. And while exercise is important, fat loss requires far more than physical activity. Sustainable fat loss is a result of healthy habits, the right diet, and a good workout.
The key to a healthy lifestyle lies in individuality. As everybody is different, and it is vital to learn what works for you and your body. Here are some simple habits to reach your fat loss goal. Get to it.
Weight Loss-Friendly Habits
You have seen people lose weight quickly. It is important to know that a significant amount of this weight may include water and muscle losses. Losing muscle can be detrimental to one’s health, as muscle is a crucial component of your overall health. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
Consequently, losing weight in the form of muscle can decrease the number of calories you burn at rest, making it easier to regain any weight that is lost in the form of fat. So, it is very important to focus on losing fat instead of losing weight.
With diet and exercise, there are other factors as well which influence weight and fat loss. Burning off excess fat can be quite challenging but with constant efforts, the right combinations of food, and exercise, it can be done.
Sweat more & add weights to cardio.
Exercise and strength training are effective fat loss workout strategies to maintain muscle mass, but combining them with a higher protein intake may help optimize results. Don’t worry, start with 10 minutes. Always remember- a few minutes is better than no minutes at all.
How to do it/ways: Do a bit of Tabata and up physical activity by climbing the stairs at work, or standing up in the office for 10 minutes every hour. Walking can be one of the easiest ways to lose fat.
Have the right amount of protein
Protein is an important macronutrient for a variety of bodily functions and an integral part of a diet plan for fat loss. It’s necessary to make enzymes that help with digestion and energy production, regulate fluid balance, and support immune health, among other functions. Protein is also important for maintaining the muscle you have and supporting new muscle growth, especially when losing weight.
A study showed men and women aged 50 years and older better retain lean mass while losing fat mass when they consume energy-restricted higher-protein rather than normal-protein diets.
To hit the right amount of protein, multiply your weight in kilos by (1- 1.5) – eat at least that many grams per day, spread evenly over meals and snacks. In a study, it is found that overweight and obese adults consume protein ≥1.0 g/kg/d to help preserve lean mass as part of a successful weight-loss intervention.
The best part of having a good amount of protein intake is, one may also increase feelings of fullness, decrease appetite and reduce calorie intake to aid in weight loss
How to do it/ways: Have a bowl of sprouts, never miss on dals, add flours such as amaranth flour or ragi flour or quinoa flour in chapatis, a bowl of vegetable quinoa, soaked nuts and seeds, paneer, A2 milk.
Grab some zzz’s
Are you making sure to get eight hours of solid rest each night? No? Then it’s high time to check in on sleep hygiene habits. Various studies have compared those who get more and less shut-eye, and those who get eight hours plus generally avoid snacking and feel less hungry, promoting a more successful fat loss rate.
Don’t keep it for the weekends. Sleep is highly undervalued but as important as eating healthy and exercising. One study of 68,183 women showed that those who slept five or fewer hours per night over 16 years were more likely to gain weight than those who slept for longer than seven hours per night
How to do it/ways: Stick to a regular sleep schedule, limit your intake of caffeine and switch off electronic devices prior 30 minutes before going to bed. Have a cup of turmeric milk, 30 ml of kesar coconut mylk or almonds, or chamomile tea to help you sleep better.
Don’t be afraid of healthy fats
Yes, it’s right. Fats are the superheroes who add taste to food, along with satiety, satisfaction in the diet. Fat takes a while to digest and can help slow the emptying of the stomach, which can reduce appetite and hunger. Healthy fats are associated with a lower risk of weight gain and decreased belly fat.
Fats can assimilate fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients into the diet. As well as keep the peace among hormones, prevent the suffering of weak joints and nerves. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels and also keep in check the sweet cravings after a meal. The best part of fat is, it saves from premature aging of the skin.
Instead of having fear of fats, try swapping the unhealthy fats in your diet for these healthy fat varieties.
How to do it/Ways: Use mustard oil or ghee in cooking sabzis, coconut for garnishing or in chutneys, have soaked nuts first in the morning or almonds with milk before sleeping, add seeds such as chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds as mid-meal. These keep you full and make the fat loss process more sustainable.
Stay hydrated with sherbets and other seasonal drinks
Here’s one of our fat loss tips: hydrate! Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates. The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat. It’s simple to do with sherbets and other seasonal drinks.
Our grandmas spent centuries fine-tuning sherbets and seasonal drinks for us and now it’s our turn to honor them and make it simple, instead of buying packaged juice that is marketed as a “fat loss drink.” There are easy ways to ensure we stay in optimum health during different seasons.
How to do it/ways: Coconut water, cucumber juice, chaas, nimbu paani, channa sattu, amla sherbet, watermelon drink, and many others.
Foods You Must Add While On Your Weight Loss Journey
No one food is a superfood for fat loss. But yes, incorporating these foods into the diet will help you in fat loss, and there’s no need for starvation. These foods will help to increase your metabolism rate and promote fat loss and weight reduction over time.
Amaranth: Amaranth is high in protein and fiber, both of which can aid in fat loss and weight management efforts. In one small study, a high-protein breakfast was found to decrease levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger. Meanwhile, the fiber in amaranth may move slowly through the gastrointestinal tract undigested, helping promote feelings of fullness.
Best ways to incorporate: Amaranth nutty muesli, amaranth stuffed paratha, amaranth pulao, amaranth vegetable cheela
Moong Dal: Moong dal is one of the best fat loss foods. It is rich in folic acid and helps to maintain new cells in the body. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help to fight away various harmful bacterias and viruses as well as it is a good source of magnesium which is needed for boosting immunity. It aids in fat loss as high in protein and fiber and low in fat and gives satiety for a longer time and easy on the stomach. It has insoluble fiber which multiplies the rate of digestion and softens the body’s waste
Best ways to incorporate: Moonglet, moong dal palakh parantha, moong dal idli, moong sprouted pakodi kadhi
- Quinoa: It’s a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids, which the body cannot make on its own. It is a source of essential amino acids like lysine, methionine, and tryptophan. It’s high in protein, which can both increase metabolism and reduce appetite significantly. The high amount of fiber may increase feelings of fullness, making you eat fewer calories overall. The fact that quinoa has a low glycemic index is another important feature, as choosing such foods has been linked to reduced calorie intake.
Best ways to incorporate: A bowl of vegetable quinoa, quinoa upma, quinoa biryani
- Nuts and seeds: They’re an excellent snack, containing balanced amounts of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even promote weight loss. What’s more, population studies have shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner than those who don’t. Just make sure not to go overboard, as they’re still fairly high in calories.
Best ways to incorporate: Have soaked nuts and seeds on waking up, with fruit or mix in smoothies or curd or almonds with a cup of milk before bedtime or as a mid-meal snack.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a good source of calcium, protein, and probiotics. While more studies on calcium and probiotics are necessary, their protein content may support weight loss. In a 2-year study in 8,516 adults, those who ate more than 7 servings of yogurt per week were less likely to be overweight and obese than individuals who ate 2 or fewer servings per week
Best ways to incorporate: Yogurt with sabzi or in the form of buttermilk or make a smoothie with yogurt
Weight Loss Snacks
Snacking is one of the biggest enemies of weight watchers and also a weakness to say the least. We get careless during our snacking time which can lead to going off-track from our fat loss goals. It is important to do healthy snacking, especially between 4-6 pm when we are usually hungry.
When we don’t eat anything in the evening or kill our appetite with chai, coffee, or water, our body works at producing more cortisol instead of reducing it. During the evening time, cortisol levels go down. More cortisol can lead to overeating at dinner, poor sleep, slow digestion, or insulin sensitivity.
Sample Diet Plan
|Early Morning||● 2 glasses water + 1 tsp wheatgrass powder + 2 glasses jeera water + 8 almonds (soaked) + 2 walnuts (soaked)
|Breakfast||● 1 cup yogurt + 1 stuffed chapati or
● 1 cup yogurt + ½ cup poha + 1 katori vegetables or
● 1 cup yogurt + 2 vegetable idli + chutney
|Mid Morning||● 1 glass lemon water + 2 tsp pumpkin seeds|
|Lunch||● 1 katori dal + 1 amaranth chapati + sabji or
● 1 katori kadhi + 2 pakode + 1 amaranth chapati + sabji or
● 1 katori matra + 1 amaranth chapati + sabji
|4 pm||● 1 moong dal cheela + veggies|
|6 pm||● 1 bowl watermelon/ ½ bowl muskmelon/ 1 small mango + 2 tsp flax seeds|
|Dinner||● 100 g paneer + 1 bowl vegetable khichdi + sabji
● 100 g paneer + 1 bowl curd rice + sabji
● 100 g paneer + 1 bowl vegetable pulao + sabji
|Before Bedtime||● 1 cup methi dana water|
Weight Loss-Friendly Kitchen Tips
- Rearrange your fridge. Move the foods that you know fuel you and make you feel good to the most visible shelves, and shift the unhealthy stuff towards the back.
- While on this, clean up your kitchen. Out of sight, out of mind. Try to stick to traditional meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner – supplemented with a small morning and evening snack.
Incorporating some healthy habits into your routine and switching up your diet can make a big difference. Even minor changes to your lifestyle can have powerful effects on fat loss. Be sure to pair these simple tips with a nutritious, well-rounded diet and active lifestyle to simultaneously boost fat breakdown and improve overall health.
Which carbs should you avoid to lose weight?
Sugary foods, refined flour-based bread, grains and pasta, alcoholic beverages, cakes, candies, and other processed foods are the carbs which one should avoid when on a track of fat loss. As they give empty calories and no nutrients, and glycemic load and index are on a higher side which can give an insulin shock to a body.
Which fats should you cut back on to lose weight?
Salad dressings, red and processed meat, chips, refined oil, cookies, and candies should be avoided. As saturated fat and trans fats are present. Their consumption can increase the health risk issues such as obesity, slow down metabolism, heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, PCOD, and such, making fat loss more difficult.
What do I avoid eating to lose weight?
Consuming certain kinds of food can lead to unnecessary weight gain and disturb the fat loss process. It is ideal to avoid foods that have too many calories and can be harmful to one’s health such as sweetened beverages, processed food, refined flours, junk food, chocolate, and candies. Alcohol also has empty calories and needs to be avoided.
Is it true that drinking water before meals helps you lose weight faster?
It’s true, drinking water reduces our appetite which decreases calorie intake and leads to weight loss. But this is not a sustainable way and water has healing effects on the body. No need to consume it with these intentions. Have it an hour before if you are thirsty.
How long does it take for the weight loss regime to show its results?
One can however notice that within the first month of following a good diet plan for weight loss consistently you are feeling stronger, have better gut health, feel lighter and not sluggish after meals, experience less gas and acidity, your skin feels better and you feel more upbeat emotionally.
With exercise, the results of your healthy diet plan for fat loss are more easily available because your body is tackling weight loss and strengthening at multiple levels. Nutritious foods can help repair the muscles faster.