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    Weight Loss 101: Kickstart Your Weight Loss Journey With Facts, Good Habits & Expert Tips

    Maintaining weight loss involves a commitment to a healthful lifestyle, from which there is no vacation. Being overweight or obese can lead to a range of health problems. Although many different fad diets are available, a balanced lifestyle and nutritious diet are the key to healthful living and better weight control. Achieving and maintaining weight loss is possible when people adopt lifestyle changes in the long term. Regardless of any specific methods that help a person lose weight, individuals who are conscious of how and what they eat and engage in daily physical activity or regular exercise are more successful in both, losing and keeping off excess weight.

    Busting Common Myths Around Weight Loss 

    There is a lot of weight loss advice on the internet and so much is said about losing weight that it can be hard to sort fact from fiction. Venu Adhiya Hirani (Dietitian, Sports Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor, Fitness Coach & Founder, BODYWORKS) busts 10 common myths surrounding weight loss that you need to stop believing now! Also, watch this video to bust some common weight loss myths.

    1. You should skip breakfast

    Never skip breakfast. Your blood sugar levels are lowest in the morning and breakfast helps you kickstart your energy cycle. From a weight-loss perspective, a wholesome breakfast helps control appetite throughout the day and prevents binge eating. Read more here.

    2. You should cut out all sugar

    Cut out on direct and indirect consumption of table sugar. Indirect consumption is in the forms of confectionaries such as jams, jellies, cakes, cookies and also aerated beverages, sweetened juices, milk and flavoured yoghurt. Basically, all foods that contain added sugars need to be avoided but sugars in naturally occurring foods such as fruits like mango, grapes and certain types of cereals may be restricted under the guidance of a qualified dietitian.

    3. Negative calorie foods exist

    There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. It’s more of a weight-loss gimmick. Find here 5 healthy Indian snacks that will help you in your weight loss journey.

    4. Eating foods rich in fat makes you gain weight

    Consuming calories over and above what your body needs to maintain your current weight makes you gain weight. The body converts the extra calories consumed to fat and stores it, irrespective of the source. 

    5. Don’t eat carbs

    Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body and also provide very essential vitamins, minerals and add the fibrous bulk to the diet. Cutting carbs completely is neither advisable nor practical if weight loss has to be sustained. 

    6. Follow a high-protein diet

    A diet moderately high in protein will definitely aid in healthy weight loss. However, many factors need to be considered to ensure tolerance to excess protein and hence it would be advisable to do so only under the guidance of a qualified dietitian. 

    7. You can eat what you want if you exercise

    Being conscious of what you eat if you are exercising will aid the process of weight loss and result in fat loss, which is the unhealthy part of you. Read here about snacking habits for weight loss by health coach Manasa Rajan.

    8. Drinking more water makes you lose weight

    Yes, it will definitely aid in the process of weight loss. Water has zero calories and can be used to make beverages such as green tea, lemon water and other flavoured water drinks which can work as great zero calories substitutes in between meals. Water is also needed for metabolising fat and other vital functions in the body such as the removal of waste, all of which result in weight loss.

    9. Go low-fat, low-cal & sugar-free

    Low-fat, low cal and sugar-free diet is the right approach to weight loss with emphasis on nutrient-dense foods and satiating foods. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, seafood and lean meats and nuts. Meanwhile, eat less processed meats, sweetened drinks, desserts and refined grains. Vegetables and fruits should take up the most space when filling your plate (roughly half). Fill the remainder with whole grains and lean protein foods.

    10. Don’t eat after sunset

    Both a myth & fact. Weight loss depends on the total number of calories consumed during the entire day so a person consuming excess calories during the day & who doesn’t eat post-sunset will still not lose weight. Having said that for most people late dinner & 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. 

    5 Low-Calories, High Nutrition Recipes

    Think Indian food, and you are almost conditioned to think all things greasy, spicy and indulgent. You tend to forget for a while that all our everyday foods like dal, chapati, raita are not only Indian but are also, in fact, some of the healthiest foods you can have. If you have been on a weight loss diet, you may have been told to keep your calories in check. You must ensure that the little calories you take in your low-calorie are loaded with nutrients. Make sure you take enough protein, fibre and good fats and make it a balanced affair. Try these amazing 5 recipes that are not only healthy but also delicious!

    1. Mixed Vegetable Salad 

    Think of fat-free and low-calorie meals and salad pops up in your mind! This salad is a melange of colours, hues, flavours and aromas. It fills up your stomach without adding extra fat. Homemade dressing poured over veggies, this salad is great as a brunch, a mid-day meal or even as a light dinner. An easily digestible meal that will work great for all the health-conscious ones.

    Prep Time: 10 mins

    Cook Time: 20 mins

    Ingredients:

    • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
    • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
    • 1 sliced capsicum
    • 2 sliced carrots
    • 2 tbsp of vinegar (sirka)
    • 1 tbsp of honey
    • 2 tsp of salt
    • A pinch of pepper
    • 2 tbsp of yoghurt (dahi)

    Method:

    1. Cut the tomatoes into 8 segments each lengthwise.
    2. Mix the yoghurt, salt, pepper, honey and vinegar and blend well together. You can buy black pepper from the Red Dot Shop here.
    3. Keep both the vegetables and the dressing refrigerated separately until ready to serve.
    4. When ready to serve, mix the vegetables and the dressing together.
    5. This has to be done at the last minute, as the vegetables combined with the salt tend to shed their juices and thus become limp and soggy if kept too long.

    2. Crunchy Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipe

    Lots of veggies and lots of crunchiness – describes this healthful dish perfectly. Stir-fried with little oil and paired with herbs and spices, this low-calorie Indian dish will whet your appetite like no other.  Crispbread crusts weave in beautifully with stir-fried spring onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and snow peas.

    Prep Time: 10 mins

    Cook Time: 30 mins

    Ingredients:

    • 250 gms of broccoli florets
    • 250 gms of cauliflower florets (gobhi)
    • 2 sliced spring onions
    • 125 gms of snow peas (matar)
    • 2 peeled carrots
    • 150 gms of asparagus
    • 2 tbsp of oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 slices of bread

    Topping:

    • 1 tsp of grated lemon rind
    • 1 tsp of chopped garlic
    • 3 tbsp of chopped parsley

    Method:

    1. Remove crusts from bread and slice them into strips. Bake at 160 degrees C till crisp.
    2. Top and tail snow peas, pare and slice asparagus stems. Pare carrots into thin ribbons.
    3. Combine all vegetables. Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
    4. Stir-fry spring onions, broccoli and cauliflower for 1 minute. Add carrots.
    5. Add 2 tbsp of water and stir till vegetables are tender. Stir in snow peas and seasoning.
    6. Turn into a serving dish, stir in bread strips and parsley topping. Serve immediately.

    3.  Ragi Dosa

    Dosa is comfort food and loved by everyone! Ragi is a delicious gluten-free alternative to its fattening grainy counterparts. Dosa is usually made with rice or lentil batter, this recipe makes use of ragi that is rich in fibre. Fibre helps promote the feeling of satiety since it takes time to digest. If you feel full, you would naturally binge less. You can enjoy this healthy South-Indian treat with piping hot sambhar or yummy coconut chutney.

    Prep Time: 10 mins

    Cook Time: 20 mins

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of ragi flour
    • 1/2 cup of rice flour
    • 1/2 cup of sour curd (dahi)
    • 3-4 finely chopped green chillies
    • 1 cup of chopped coriander (dhaniya)
    • 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions
    • Salt to taste

    For Tempering:

    • 1 tsp of mustard seeds (sarso ke beej)
    • 1 tsp of cumin seeds (jeera)
    • 5-6 of curry leaves
    • 1 tsp of oil

    Method:

    1. Mix the ragi flour, rice flour, curd, salt, coriander leaves, green chillies and onions. Add sufficient water to form a batter of pouring consistency, set aside for 2 hours.
    2. Heat the oil and when the mustard seeds crackle, add to the batter.
    3. Heat the non-stick pan and grease it lightly with oil. When hot, pour a ladleful of the batter, spread using a circular motion to make a thin dosa and cook on one side.
    4. Pour a little oil along the edges while cooking. When crispy, fold over and serve hot!

    4. Oats Idli

    This nutritious oats idli is an easy and light dish to prepare. A perfect breakfast food, this idli has suji replaced with healthy oats which are best for those who are health conscious. A great blend of taste and health. This particular recipe is a powerhouse of protein and fibre that you can consider to make part of your diet. 

    Prep Time: 15 mins

    Cook Time: 35 mins

    Ingredients:

    For Oats Powder:

    • 2 cups of oats

    For Fried Mixture:

    • 1 tbsp of oil
    • 1 tsp of mustard seeds (sarso ke beej)
    • 1 tsp of chana dal
    • 1 tsp of urad dal
    • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder (haldi)
    • 1 green chilli
    • 1 cup of finely chopped carrot
    • 1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves (dhaniya)
    • A pinch of salt

    For Idli Batter:

    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 2 cups of curd
    • A pinch of fruit salt

    Method:

    For Oats Powder:

    1. Take 2 cups of oats in a pan and dry roast them for about 5 minutes until golden brown.
    2. Let it cool down and then grind to make it a powder.

    For Fried Mixture:

    1. In a broad pan, heat oil over medium flame.
    2. Add mustard seeds to it and let them crackle.
    3. Now add 1 tsp of chana and urad dal, turmeric powder and green chillies. Mix well and saute until light brown.
    4. Add the chopped carrots and coriander leaves. Combine all the ingredients thoroughly along with a pinch of salt and cook for a minute or two.
    5. Let the mixture cool down for a few minutes before adding it to the idli batter.

    For Idli Batter:

    1. Transfer the prepared oats powder to a large bowl.
    2. In this add salt and the fried mixture. Combine well.
    3. Now add the required quantity of curd and stir thoroughly in one direction adding a pinch of fruit salt to it.
    4. Prepare a medium thick batter and leave it covered for a few minutes.
    5. Now grease the idli moulds with ghee using a brush.
    6. Pour the prepared oats idli batter in each mould and put it in the steamer.
    7. Cover with a lid and steam for about 15 minutes over medium flame.
    8. After 15 minutes check whether the idlis are properly cooked.
    9. The tasty and healthy oats idli is ready to serve with coconut chutney.

    5. Tandoori Gobhi

    Tandoori and roasted goods are an excellent way to save calories since there is no deep-frying involved. They also save you the saturated fats that you often find in deep-fried goods. This delicious tandoori gobhi recipe serves as an excellent vegetarian starter in a quintessential North Indian spread. You can enjoy these as a healthy evening snack also. Cauliflower is a good source of weight-loss-friendly fibres too. Make sure you do not put extra butter on top. 

    Prep Time: 35 mins

    Cook Time: 25 mins

    Ingredients:

    For Tandoori Masala:

    • 5 cloves
    • 1/2 sticks of cinnamon (dalchini)
    • 1/2 tsp of cardamom seeds (elaichi)
    • 1 tsp of cumin seeds (jeera)
    • 1/8 tsp of nutmeg powder (jaiphal)
    • 1/2 tsp of dry ginger powder
    • 1 tsp of coriander powder (dhaniya)
    • 1/2 tsp of methi seeds
    • 1/2 tsp of ajwain

    For Marinating Paste:

    • 1 tsp of ginger paste
    • 1 tsp of garlic paste
    • 1/2 cup of curd
    • 2 tbsp of dry roasted besan
    • 1 tsp of oil
    • 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
    • 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder
    • 1 tsp of salt
    • 500 gms of gobhi (cauliflower)

    Method:

    1. First, grind cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, pepper, cumin seeds, nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder, coriander powder, methi seeds and ajwain to prepare a masala. You can buy black pepper from the Red Dot Shop here.
    2. Add the tandoori masala to the paste and whisk well.
    3. Put the gobhi into the bowl and thoroughly coat it with the mixture.
    4. Marinate for 15 minutes.
    5. After marination, grill it for about 20-25 minutes at 220 degrees C.
    6. Serve tandoori gobhi along with some spicy green chutney.

    10 Weight Loss Habits That Really Work

    1. Start Where You Are And Do What You Can

    Don’t feel like you need to overhaul your entire life starting immediately. Assess where you are currently and then figure out where you’d like to be in the future. A great starting point for mostly sedentary people is to get a step counter and see how much you walk on a normal day. Then set a step goal slightly higher than the norm and strive for that, working your way up slowly to a goal of 10,000 steps per day.

    2. Embrace Veggies

    When in doubt, eat a vegetable. They’re low-calorie, high-fibre, and full of nutrition. Snack on kale, lettuce, carrots, or green beans. And finally: skip the butter and oil, but do add herbs or garlic for a great taste.

    3. Keep Unhealthy Food Out Of The House

    It’s pretty simple: if you don’t have it, you can’t eat it. Instead of chips and cookies, keep convenient and easy-to-prepare items at close reach. Such items include nuts and seeds, precut fruit and vegetables, eggs and yoghurt. This doesn’t mean you can’t have treats. Just buy yourself one serving to enjoy at a time. It is advised to cut down on alcohol when trying to lose weight. Learn here about the correlation between alcohol and weight loss by an expert.

    4. Use Portion-Controlled Dishes

    Using smaller plates, bowls, and cups will reduce the amount of food you can serve yourself, while at the same time allow you to fill your dish up and keep you from feeling deprived. With this, also try organising your plate. Fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter of your plate with whole grains, and the last quarter of your plate with lean protein. When you switch the portions of grains and vegetables on your plate, you’ll see a difference. Learn more about planning your meal here.

    5. Stay Hydrated

    Research has found that people who drank two glasses of water before a meal lost more weight than people who didn’t drink water before meals — and they kept it off. This simple tip works in two ways. Thirst can mask itself as hunger, causing you to eat more. And water makes you feel fuller, causing you to eat less during a meal.

    6. Don’t Skip Meals

    Remember, our body’s ultimate goal is to stay alive. As soon as we are being kept from calories — which are literally the life energy for our bodies — it will do things to survive. Our body knows what foods are higher in energy density, and we will crave those more. Honour your hunger and don’t allow your body to think it’s being starved.

    7. Get Enough Sleep

    A lack of sleep increases your hunger hormone and decreases your ‘satisfaction’ hormone, which can contribute to weight gain. When you are sleep deprived, you crave more salty and sweet foods. Why? Because anytime you feel more intense hunger, your cravings for higher energy AKA higher-calorie foods intensify. So, sleep well and your hormones are also going to be better balanced because your body has got the time it needs to sleep, repair, and refresh.

    8. Move Your Body

    Do it in bed, while seated, standing, or walking. Just move. People have a misconception that five minutes doesn’t make a difference, but every minute makes a difference. Without exercising, sustainable weight loss is not possible. Staying physically active helps to burn more calories, tone your body and build more muscles. Whether you choose to do running, gymming, yoga, swimming or cycling, it does not matter. Just make sure you stay physically active. Here is the HIIT routine for women who want to lose weight and gain strength.

    9. Practise Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is a practice that involves fully focusing on the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings. The practice has been shown to enhance weight loss and promote healthy eating habits. Self-monitoring in weight loss does wonders. You can also keep a daily journal. Practising mindfulness is simple. To get started, try spending five minutes each morning sitting comfortably in a calm space and connecting with your senses.

    10. Eat Slowly

    Learn how to choose foods you like, really taste each morsel going into your mouths, and chew deliberately. Chew slowly, swallow only when the food is all chewed up, and repeat. It takes time to know you’re full. Eating slowly allows you to not only enjoy your food more but gives you better cues of satiety.

    See weight loss as a journey rather than just a final destination. You’ll learn new eating and physical activity and habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits may help you maintain your weight loss over time.

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