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    Healthy Choices 101: Workout, Yoga Asanas & Food Swaps That Can Make A Big Difference To Your Weight

    You are what you eat. And yes, how much you move around throughout your day affects your health. With weight loss, it’s a must to balance your diet as well as exercises to see optimal results. And this can be easily achieved by making some simple yet effective healthy choices. Here’s TC46’s ultimate guide of healthy choices to help get rid of excess weight.

    10 Food Alternatives That Can Help You Lose Weight

    Food is the fuel for our bodies and it’s important that we provide good nutritious food rather than just empty calories. Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions. Weight loss is a gradual journey that requires a customised balanced diet and a proper workout routine that must be adhered to consistently. Making sudden, radical changes to eating habits such as eating nothing but cabbage soup or living on juices all day can lead to short term weight loss but negatively impact your health. Achieve sustainable weight loss by trading your unhealthy food favourites with nutritious yet tasty substitutes! 

    1. From Mayonnaise To Curd

    Obviously, you need something to dress salads and act as a binding agent on recipes that require it. Plain yoghurt is your best bet, and your mother will also surely approve of this swap. Yoghurt packs more nutrients and fewer calories as compared to mayonnaise. Nonfat or low-fat plain yoghurt can be substituted for buttermilk, sour cream or mayonnaise to lower fat content in recipes. You can also use non-fat plain Greek yoghurt. 

    Benefits:

    • Good source of calcium
    • Probiotic
    • Low in calories

    2. From Refined Sugar To Dates

    Date sugar is an excellent alternative to refined sugar. Unlike other granulated sugars that go through heavy processing, date sugar is simply ground dried dates. This works best in recipes that call for granulated sugar and can replace it in exact same quantity. Because dates are high in fibre and naturally sticky, they can be blended into a binder for cookies and bars, or turned into caramel. They work well as a sweetener for smoothies and salad dressings that will be blended as well.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of iron and fibre
    • Low in calories

    3. From Soft Drinks To Home Made Drinks

    Sweetened beverages, canned juices and other energy drinks are again loaded with harmful chemicals and contain a high amount of calories. The healthy alternative to these drinks would be buttermilk, fruit or vegetable juice, coconut water and traditional Indian drinks like mango panna or kanji.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of vitamin C
    • Low in calories

    4. From Refined Oil To Ghee 

    Time and again you’ve heard experts say that desi ghee is considered a healthy fat and good for your health. It helps in getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. Desi ghee is a rich source of saturated fats and is a powerhouse of nutrition. In addition, ghee has essential amino acids which help in mobilising fat cells in the body. You can replace refined oil or vegetable oil with ghee and start your weight loss journey.

    There are a ton of medicinal properties of this ghee. Here’s how you can use this desi amrit to boost your health!

    Benefits:

    • Good source of Omega 3 
    • Low in saturated fatty acids

    5. From Candy To Frozen Fruits

    Candy might taste amazing but it’s unhealthy for you, so why not shift to frozen fruits? If your favourite is hard candy, buy a bag of frozen berries or chopped fruit. Alternately, make your own: prepare the fruit, spread it on a baking sheet and freeze it for an hour before putting it in a bag to keep the fruit from sticking together. Whenever you crave, pop a fruit in your mouth and forget candies.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of vitamins
    • Good source of fibre
    • Low in calories

    6. From Sugary Cereals To Oats Or Eggs

    You are very well aware of the harmful preservatives and sugar that these cereals contain, so change your breakfast style and make it healthier than ever. Start eating oats or eggs, there are various recipes that allow you to jazz up your breakfast so you will not get bored.

    Struggling to make breakfast on workdays? Make it an easy task with these quick and yummy egg breakfast recipes.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of protein
    • Boost weight loss as they increase satiety level

    7. From Processed Meat To Lean Meat

    Processed meat should be avoided at all costs as they undergo the process of grilling, fermentation, salting and curing. This type of meat is modified in order to increase the shelf life. Instead, you should go for lean cuts of meat for better health and to increase your intake of proteins.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of protein 
    • Help to build, maintain and repair tissues

    8. From Desserts To Fruit Smoothies

    Yes, we understand that your sweet tooth does not want to compromise but when you get the same level of sweet satisfaction from healthy food, then it’s a win-win for you! Try various recipes for fruit smoothies including yummy fruits like bananas, strawberries, mangoes, lime and whatnot!

    Is breakfast your favourite meal of the day? Make it even more exciting by adding fruits to it! Read here to know 5 delicious recipes!

    Benefits:

    • Good source of vitamin A, C and E as well as magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid
    • Low in calories as well as fat

    9. From Chips To Healthy Snacks

    We are all guilty of the snacking habit that sways our weight loss journey a bit, so indulge in healthy snacking options and stop eating junk food. For most people, late dinner and post-dinner snacking add to the caloric load. Hence to keep a check on excess consumption restricting foods post-sunset might work as a good control mechanism. Indian snacks like nuts, chana chaat, homemade poha, murmura (puffed rice), and chivda (flattened rice) are super healthy. Along with these, boiled or roasted peanuts and corn on the cob are nutritious desi snacks.

    Here is your 101 guide on weight loss with nutritional recipes, effective habits and expert advice from Venu Adhiya Hirani, founder of Bodyworks.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of Omega 3 and Phytoestrogens (plant estrogen)
    • Help maintain your blood sugar levels and weight 

    10. From Sweets To Protein Bars

    Again, whenever you crave something sweet right after you have eaten your meal, you can go for a homemade protein bar. Protein bars are extremely nutritious and can easily satisfy your sweet tooth. You can make them with healthy nuts and seeds, grated coconut, jaggery or coconut sugar

    Find here 10 homemade granola recipes to give a healthy twist to your diet.

    Benefits:

    • Good source of protein and fibre 
    • Improves overall body health

    You don’t have to end up changing your whole diet for weight loss, just make these switches in your diet today and see the results for yourself. If you have any other hacks that can aid the weight loss journey, share them with us in the comments section.

    10 Yoga Asanas For Fat Reduction

    Read Here: How To Reduce Belly Fat With Yoga!

    1. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)

    This pose (asana) strengthens the abdominal muscles and is great for your arms and legs as well.

    How To Do It:

    1. Lie face down.
    2. Lift your body up onto straightened arms.
    3. Balance on your toes.
    4. Facedown or forward.
    5. Hold this pose for as long as you can.
    6. Take a break and then repeat a few more times while extending the time in this pose.

    2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

    This therapeutic pose is great for your lungs, arms, and torso. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Start by lying face down.
    2. Spread your arms on the floor.
    3. Stretch your legs back and slowly lift up your upper body.
    4. Align your pelvic bone and toes to form a straight line while touching the floor.
    5. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

    3. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

    Boost up your energy by bending back into Camel Pose. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Kneel on the floor.
    2. Arch your back slowly.
    3. Touch your heels with your hands.
    4. Hold this for 30 to 60 seconds.

    4. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)

    This is an intense stretching pose.

    How To Do It:

    1. Sit with your feet straight in front of you.
    2. Exhale as you stretch your body towards your feet.
    3. Hug your feet with your hands and hold for one minute.
    4. It is recommended that you perform this after Sukahasana or Padmasana.

    5. Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)

    Let’s strengthen your abdominal muscles and reduce belly fat with this exercise. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Lay down on your back.
    2. Straighten and lift your legs.
    3. Slowly lift your body.
    4. Stretch your arms forward to form the sides of a boat and hold.

    6. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

    A well-known yoga pose that promotes balance and uses your strength.

    How To Do It:

    1. Begin by standing straight.
    2. Lift and place your right foot on the inside of your left thigh.
    3. Join hands and hold this pose for one minute.

    7. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

    The Bow Pose proves that it is possible with ​yoga to reduce belly fat​. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Lie face down.
    2. Lift up your hands and feet.
    3. Join hands and feet above your body and hold them.

    8. Reverse Tabletop Pose (Ardha Purvottanasana)

    Make your abs work harder and get that flat tummy with this one. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Sit on the floor.
    2. Put your feet flat on the floor and keep your knees bent.
    3. Plant your palms on the ground and lift your body.
    4. Form a straight line with your head and knees.
    5. Hold this for at least 30 seconds.

    9. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

    A part of the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), this pose helps in improving balance as well as strengthening the abs. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Place your palms and feet flat on the ground.
    2. Lift your body to form a 90-degree angle while facing down.
    3. Hold this pose for one minute.

    10. Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

    Engage your core abdominal muscles with this yoga exercise which is an essential part of yoga for belly fat​ reduction.

    How To Do It:

    1. Kneel into a praying position.
    2. Stand on one knee and bend it at a 90-degree angle.
    3. Stretch the other leg and balance on the toes.
    4. Tilt your body to the side and tilt forward to maintain balance.
    5. Hold the Revolved Side Angle Pose for up to 30 seconds.

    Remember, the best time to practice yoga is first thing early in the morning. Wake up, empty your bowels and do yoga before breakfast. If early morning is a no-go for you, you can practice ​yoga for a flat tummy​ at sunset.

    Top 10 HIIT Exercises To Try At Home

    Ready to get your HIIT on at home? This 30-minute HIIT workout will make you feel fitter and more energised. This is suitable for people of all fitness levels and will leave you sweaty by the end of the workout.

    Read Here: A Beginner’s Guide To HIIT Workouts At Home For Weight Loss.

    Workout Directions:

    1. Do each move in this full body HIIT workout below for 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest. 
    2. At the end of each circuit, rest for 60 seconds. 
    3. Each circuit will be eleven minutes total, including the rest period. 
    4. Do the entire circuit 3 times.

    1. Butt Kicks

    HIIT workouts for beginners start with a simple warm-up exercise like the butt kicks. This gets your body moving and ready for the main workout.

    How To Do It:

    1. Start standing with feet under hips and hands at sides.
    2. Bend left leg and raise the heel to glute, then quickly return it to start and repeat on the right side.

    2. Walkout

    This exercise is an easy HIIT workout at home. It helps in strengthening the upper body and is a great workout for your arms and shoulders.

    How To Do It:

    1. Start by standing at the end of the mat with arms at sides.
    2. Bend over and place palms on the floor then walk hands out to a high plank position. 
    3. Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.

    3. Forward Lunges

    Lunges are a must in the HIIT exercises list. They work your entire lower body and help strengthen your hamstrings and quads.

    How To Do It:

    1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your hands on your hips. 
    2. Step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to 90 degrees to sink into a lunge.
    3. Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side.

    4. Push-ups

    HIIT workouts for beginners include pushups. This is one of the most basic movements and is an essential step towards strength and increasing endurance and stamina.

    How To Do It:

    1. Lie on the mat with your palms and toes on the mat. 
    2. Slowly lower your body until you touch the floor before rising again.

    5. Russian Twists

    For a HIIT workout that strengthens your core, Russian twists are a necessity.

    How To Do It:

    1. Sit on the floor, with your heels touching the floor and your hands at your chest. 
    2. Twist from side to side.

    6. Burpees

    Burpees are a form of cardio exercise that works the entire body. It is extremely helpful for increasing metabolism and quickly breaking out a sweat.

    How To Do It:

    1. Stand with feet apart. Jump up and land, then jump forward into a plank position. 
    2. Push back up and reverse the movement to return to start.

    7. Mountain Climbers

    This exercise will get you results quickly and is an effective abs workout. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Start in a high plank position. 
    2. Bring your right knee toward the chest, return to a plank, and quickly repeat with the left knee.

    8. Plank Jacks

    In this HIIT workout at home, you combine two exercises – planks and jumping jacks to increase the complexity of the exercise and result in a total body burn for maximum results.

    How To Do It:

    1. Start in a forearm plank position.
    2. Jump feet out past shoulders to a wide-angle, then jump them back in again.

    9. Star Jumps

    A complete cardio exercise that targets all the major muscles of the body to improve the mobility and flexibility of the body. 

    How To Do It:

    1. Stand with feet together and arms at sides.
    2. Bend knees to crouch down, then jump up into the air bringing legs wide open and arms out overhead.
    3. Softly land back into the bent position.

    10. Jump Squats

    Squats are the number one exercise recommended for your glutes. By adding in a layer of difficulty, this provides the intensity of the cardio while targeting your lower body muscles.

    How To Do It:

    1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes forward.
    2. Bend knees and lower down into a squat.
    3. Then jump up as high as possible off the floor, with arms swinging backwards.

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