Weight loss is perhaps one of the most talked about, researched and continuously evolving topics there is…
There are zillions of diets, gizmos , apps, fitness programs, medicines, supplements etc that are flooding the market in the name of weight loss. And like most of us I have tried several of these, managed to lose weight, maintain it and then also been careless enough to let it come back on.
In the past 5 years that I have been trying various diets and exercises, I have – from my experience – learnt what I believe is the secret to losing weight and then to maintaining that weight loss.
And I call it the Power of the 4 C’s (Since I have coined this term myself, don’t bother looking it up on Google)
Any exercise regime or diet will only yield long lasting results if and when we follow it consistently.These changes need to be incorporated in our very lifestyle. And any inconsistency in following these changes would not only lead to the failure of our efforts but also result in a lot of frustration and will make us “give up” faster. The key is to make changes slowly and steadily. And then to stick to it.
Once it becomes a part of your life, then it will seem effortless…for example – a simple change like not drinking water immediately after eating. Initially it would require a little bit of an effort especially if you are used to gulping down a glass after every meal. However once you do it CONSISTENTLY every day it will become second nature.
Who doesn’t like a challenge?
It kills boredom and gives us a rush. And that’s exactly what it does for our body too – it doesn’t let our body become complacent. The exercises that we do shouldn’t be easy or comfortable, they should require an effort otherwise it won’t give you the desired results. We should continuously challenge ourselves and increase the intensity of our workout. Namely if one is able to run 2 km in 20 min this week, then we should aim for a 2.5 km in 20 min the next week and then 3 and so on. Similarly if one is able to do 50 crunches today should aim to do a 100 in the next 2 weeks.
Personally I am a big fan of HIIT ( High intensity Interval Training). You can look it up on internet but in layman terms it simply means alternating between high intensity and low intensity workout. For example if you plan to spend 10 min on the treadmill, you could alternate between running and walking instead of just walking. Not only does this workout build stamina but gives better results in lesser time.
But do remember to start slow and take precautions against injury. Also try maintaining a work out diary and make a note of the workouts you do. Keep adding the numbers and keep losing the inches
3) Calorie Deficit
To lose that fat calories will have to be cut.
I am not talking about crash diets. I am not a big fan of crash dieting as it doesn’t lead to sustainable weight loss. The idea is to reduce the calorie intake without starving yourself – like substituting fried with grilled/ baked, white with brown, soda with green tea, carbs with protein etc.
I would again like to reiterate that cutting calories doesn’t mean starvation. And this is very easy to follow if we stock up on healthy food and plan our meals in advance. Some simple ways to do that is to always have a bowl of salad and fruits ready to munch on when hunger strikes between meals. Sprouts makes for an excellent snack and also satiates hunger. Also have a steady supply of green vegetables, eggs, oats, chicken and fish in your kitchen to make it easy to create healthier meals.
And though we all know about it, do not underestimate the power of Water – try having a glass of water when you get a craving.3/5 times water would suffice (But do note that this statistic is based totally on my personal experience)
4. Caring for yourself
Losing weight doesn’t mean we need to punish ourselves. And following a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out.
I am a big foodie and love to eat good food and I realized I could eat out and still not end up blowing up my weight loss efforts. The idea is to be conscious of what’s on the plate and reduce the portion size. Small changes like asking for steamed vegetables instead of mashed potatoes or fries, substituting brown rice instead of white, reducing the portion of the noodles in the bowl and topping it up with veggies and meat will let us enjoy a good meal outside and also not throw us off our diet. And what about that dessert- if you really must have it, how about splitting it with your partner. After all sharing is caring
And yeah don’t forget that extra 20 minutes in the gym the next day…
So here’s to a great new year & a leaner us…Till next time…
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