Welcome to 2020. It is not just a new year but also a new decade! And, it may just be the year you (finally) lose weight, get fit and build those washboard abs. Here, to help you get started on your fitness resolution, weve jotted down 20 easy weight loss tips, diet hacks and workout routines (no thanks necessary!).
Intermittent Fasting (popularly also known as IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesnt specify which foods you can or cannot eat. It only focuses on when you should eat them. There are many IF plans and patterns that you can follow, but the most effective one, according to studies is the 16:8 IF diet. The 16:8 IF diet entails one to observe a 16-hour fasting period, followed by an 8-hour eating window.
You can commence a 16-hour fast at 10:00 pm in the night, after you eat your last meal of the day and go to sleepthats 7-8 hours gone right there. You can break the 16-hour fast at 2:00 pm with your lunch and eat small meals till 10:00 pmthis makes up the 8-hour eating window. Alternatively, you can also begin your fast at 8 pm and break it at 12 pm, the next day.
But, is IF really worth it? Find out here.
A keto diet (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a special diet plan that ensures you are eating foods that are high in fat (about 70 per cent), moderate in protein (about 25 per cent) and extremely low in carbohydrates (about 5 per cent). The main purpose of this diet is to help your body achieve the state of ketosis. When in ketosis, your body is constantly burning fat, and at a rate higher than any other diet plan will be able to help you achieve. You can read more about the keto diet here.
QUICK READ: How to lose weight like this guy who lost 38 kgs by following a ketogenic diet & this simple exercise regime
Emphasising portion control will yield the biggest (and also fastest) results. But portion control doesnt translate to starvation. In fact, nothing should ever lead to starvation as it will not help you in the long run. Portion control can start from eating only when you are hungry instead of binging on food when you are bored and also with small tweaks in your daily diet.
You can replace an oily veggie preparation with a bowl of dal and deep fried papad with a fresh salad. You can also cut down your intake of empty calories (biscuits, cakes and the likes) through the day and stick to a 4 or 5-meal plan with 2 rotis for lunch instead of 3 for starters and a bowl of brown rice instead of a huge plate of white rice.
QUICK READ: 7 portion control tips on how to lose weight fast
This is actually easier than the mathematically implied name suggests. All the food that we eat in a day are essentially just calories for the body. They are burned by our systems to produce energy and the extra calories get stored in the form of fat, leading to eventual weight gain. Counting your calories can help you create a deficit, which will burn fat faster. Theres also a calorie deficit diet pattern than you can follow to do this efficiently.
A calorie deficit pattern of dieting is based on the concept is based on the idea that as long as you eat fewer calories than you burn, youre bound to lose weight, according to Healthline. This diet pattern requires you to calculate the number of calories your body needs to consume to function smoothly without feeling hungry, and how much deficit you need create without harming your health. The deficit can then be created by cutting down empty calories and unhealthy fats. Keep in mind that the number of calories required to create a deficit is different for different body types. You can calculate yours online via a calorie calculator.
QUICK READ: How many calories should you eat every day to lose weight?
A whole foods diet is a lifestyle change that emphasises on the consumption of whole or minimally processed foods as your meals. Plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts make up this diet. The main concept of this diet is to cut down on junk food and heavily processed or preserved foods. Interestingly, the diet also does not limit your meat intake. It suggests to consume meat such as chicken cooked using healthy ingredients over chicken nuggets processed with a very high quantity of fats and preservatives.
QUICK READ: How to lose weight like this guy who lost 46 kgs and beat 30 ailments by following a unique plant-based diet
Adding high-fibre foods such as wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholegrain bread, broccoli, carrots, green peas, beans, oats, pears, oranges, and pulses will not just help you lose weight but also promote gut health. They are more filling and leave you satiated for a longer amount of time, thereby eliminating the need to snack in between meals.
They are also energy dense, which essentially means that the 100 gms for high-fibre foods will have fewer calories than a 100 gms serving of low-fibre foods. Soluble fibre found in oats, carrots and oranges helps regulate cholesterol and insoluble fibre found in nuts, cauliflower, green beans and potatoes help eliminate waste and toxins from your body.
QUICK READ: Can fibre help you lose belly fat?
Embracing a sugar-free life is definitely easier said than done and also trickier in theory. When dieticians and nutritionists suggest giving up the shiny crystals, what they want you to give up is processed white and brown sugar, sweetened drinks, sugary jams, syrups and artificial sweeteners and not natural sugars that your body can absorb from fruits (unless specified otherwise). Artificial sweeteners and processed sugar is not just high on empty calories but can also lead to obesity and an imbalance in your blood sugar and hormone levels.
But we understand that sugar is a huge part of Indian diets, so you can start small by replacing sugar, sugar cubes and sweeteners for your tea and coffee with jaggery.
Though waters primary functions include: transportation of nutrients throughout the body, regulation of bodys temperature and maintenance of pH levels to ensure your health is not at risk of any diseases, especially kidney stones. It is also an appetite suppressant.
Drinking water before meals can make you feel full for a longer amount of time, and reduce your calorie intake. Many a times, our body is not able to differentiate between hunger and thirst and as a result we end up binging on food, when were actually just craving a glass of water.
QUICK READ: How many glasses of water should one drink a day for effective weight loss?
Walking is the best form of free physical exercise that burns calories and belly fat. It also helps preserve lean body muscle. Walking for a mile which is about 1.6 km has the potential to burn almost 100 calories, depending on your body structure and weight. Club it with a healthy diet plan and routine, youll start noticing an improvement in your body soon. Read more about its benefits here.
Once you start walking daily, running cant be left far behind (also, that thing they say about a runners high? Yeah, thats totally real!). According to Healthline, running daily burns more calories than most other types of exercise because it requires many different muscles to work hard together.
Running also makes your more active and reduces the risk of many cardiovascular diseases and even lowers the risk of developing cancer.
QUICK READ: How running a little bit every day for two months changed my life
Contrary to popular opinion, sweating in an overcrowded gym is not the only way to torch fat. You can burn the same amount of calories, while listening to good music of your choice at home by following a simple home workout regime that can include running, Yoga, squats, brupees, crunches, skipping and basic weight training. Youll need to invest in a pair of dumbbells for the latter.
Fitness is a way of life and not just a hurdle or an obstacle that you overcome by losing weight. You have to commit to eating healthy, and the easiest way to do this is by getting rid of all junk food from your kitchen shelves and actually stocking cookie boxes with dry fruits and nuts and your refrigerator with a whole lot of fruits and green veggies instead of ice creams and candies.
Cheat meals are as important as rest and recovery during a body transformation or weight loss journey. They help break the monotony of a diet plan and motivate you to work harder the next day in the gym or at home. However, keep in mind that the luxury of a cheat meal can only be afforded once youve got accustomed to your diet and exercise regime. Also, ensure that a cheat meal only remains a cheat meal and does not extend to a cheat day.
Not many of us are aware of the fact that poor sleeping habits aid to weight gain. When you dont sleep enough and well, a stress hormone - cortisol - increases in your body. This hormone may cause a spike in your appetite and thats probably why we eat when we cant sleep at night. On the other hand, a healthy sleeping pattern - 7 to 9 hours - can not only boost your metabolism but also leave you feeling fresher in the morning.
QUICK READ: The trick to fall asleep faster, according to a psychologist
First things first: what is cardio? Well, cardio is any form of exercise that raises your heart rate, gets the blood really pumping and gets you to break into a sweat. If youre really unfit then even climbing a flight of stairs can be classified as cardio. Notably, activities such as jogging, running and even skipping comprise as cardio. It is working out with the absence of weights.
Bonus, you dont really need a gym membership to commence a cardio-led workout regime, but in case you already have one these are the best cardio machines for every type of workout.
If you are looking to torch fat and not lose muscle mass while you are at it then weight training is an option for you. It burns fewer calories than cardio but improves your metabolism over time and does not leave you with loose or hanging skin after a drastic body transformation. Ideally, your weight loss workout routine should be a mix of both cardio and weight training.
Practising Yoga daily can not only help you lose weight but also improve your flexibility, athletic ability and give you mental clarity. It helps you disconnect with the world for a bit daily to improve your breathing, posture and also makes you more aware of your food choices bad lifestyle habits. Thereby, treading a clear path to your weight loss and fitness goals.
QUICK READ: 10 reasons why men should do yoga
A popular form of cardio exercise, swimming can help burn more calories than jogging or cycling without the sweat. "Swimming is a low impact sport, which helps build endurance and muscle strength without any injuries," said Nisha Millet, Brand Advocate, Speedo India to GQ in a previous interaction. "On an average, a person weighing 75 to 80 kgs can burn between 500 to 800 calories in an hour with moderate paced swimming," she added. Plus, everything you need to know before diving in.
When you start exercising daily, it is only natural to feel even hungrier post a rigorous workout session. But instead of eating all the calories, youve so painfully lost in the past hour, time your gym sessions or home workout schedules in accordance to your meals. This way, youll curb overeating and feel energised after a robust workout.
The most important thing to remember is that weight loss is not magic. It requires time, patience and consistency. And, cultivating a positive attitude will help you break a weight loss plateau and even get over bad days at the gym.
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