Last updated on June 29th, 2021
Struggling to lose weight? And failing again and again? You are not alone in the race. Have a cursory look at some quick facts about this problem:
According to a 2017 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, India has the second highest number of obese children at 14.4 million in the world after China.
According to World Obesity Federation, the percentage of Indian adults living with obesity will be around 5% by 2025, i.e. the estimated number of obese Indians by 2025 is 48.3 million (1).
Although there are many ways to lose weight, I am simplifying the whole process in 4 steps :
- Make an efficient and realistic diet plan.
- Boost your metabolism.
- Follow Ayurveda.
- Choose a physical activity that you like.
1. A Realistic Diet Plan to Lose Weight
Credit: “Image” by Best Picko – under a creative commons license
Do you know when it comes to losing weight; exercise only helps but your diet plan rather say a realistic diet plan moves the needle? You need to find the best eating pattern which can help you to lose weight and maintain a recent weight loss later on (2).
Plenty of advice, researches and tips are out there to help you burn body fat but how much you succeed in your mission, it still depends on a realistic diet plan without which you will either starve yourself and fail eventually or you will do mindless eating (3).
Let me remind you, how it goes :
You are not happy with your weight especially when it comes to weighing yourself on the weight machine. Or you want to lose weight because you have a function next month to attend or just because you want to look more attractive generally.
Whatever your goal is, you make up your mind to lose weight putting everything aside even your taste & favourite foods: cake, pastries, ice-cream, Samosa, Panipuri, etc and here starts a real problem because you get unrealistic.
Why Do You Fail?
You raise your spirits so high that you make an unrealistic plan. You suddenly give up all your favourite foods and copy the same diet plan that worked for someone else. And after trying hard for 2-3 days or a week or sometimes for a whole month, you end up failing at your attempts and this loop goes on.
Still, wondering? Why the hell did this same diet plan not help me as it worked for another person?
I know all this because I faced the same again and again until I found a diet plan which catered to my needs, a flexible diet plan in which I neither had to sacrifice my taste much nor did I starve myself.
And, do you know why it is not so cool to copy others? Because there’s no diet plan which can suit everyone. But if you consider your preferences, lifestyle and weight-loss goals, you will certainly find a plan that would work for you.
Here are some clever fitness hacks which may help you achieve your fitness goals fast so you never fail again :
What Should You Do?
First of all, know which body type you are born with. And then plan your weight loss strategies accordingly. Weight loss strategies include an effective diet plan and workout strategy. To know more, go through this article:
Make your diet plan by keeping these factors in your mind – think about what you did not like in the diet which you tried last time? How did your body respond to this? Are you having any health conditions such as heart disease, allergy or any liver problem?
Now, what to do next?
Things to Remember
- If you are having any health condition then visit your doctor first and make your program accordingly.
- Make a list of foods you can add to your diet plan.
- Keep it flexible according to your needs, lifestyle, and body. And keep it safe also else it would hamper your health. If you have to break the diet rule one day, don’t panic and don’t give up on the plan just because you have broken the rules, so it will never gonna work.
- You know, it’s okay to cheat on days to play it longer, especially the time when you have to include samosa, pastries, gulab-jamun on particular days.
- What you can do, just don’t lose hope and try to cut calories on other places tailoring to your needs.
Here are some tips based on researches and good foods generally recommended to lose weight, you can include for a healthy and tasty diet plan.
Make An Efficient Meal Plan
Therefore, assemble each meal of yours like this :
Include a protein source, a fat source, and low-carb vegetables. In this fashion, you will put yourself in the 40 – 50-gram carb range and you won’t need to crave eating all day. This type of diet plan will make you feel full and lower your hunger levels.
Instantly going for low carb along with low-fat is not so cool because it will lead to failure. You can adjust it according to your taste, needs, and physical activity.
For example, if you are doing intense physical activity, you can add more carbs accordingly.
Eat 2-3 meals per day. If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, add a 4th meal.
Low Carb High Protein Foods
Check the nutrition value of individual food yourself here.
Grapefruits, apricots, oranges, tangerines, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and peaches, apples, cranberries, olives, papaya, etc.
Spinach, leafy greens, peppers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery, Lauki, zucchini, beet, lady’s fingers, Parwar, Suva-bhaji, broccoli, cucumber, palak, taro roots, and leaves, brinjal, mung bean, karela, greens, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Many of the vegetables and fruits have low calories. If you want to lose weight, eat plenty of low-calorie vegetables and fruits to make your diet low in calories.
Vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, colocasia vegetable, tapioca, yam, and fruits like banana, Mahua (111 Kcal) and avocado pear (215 Kcal) have more than 100 kcal per 100 gram.
Include non-stretchy vegetables that are high in protein and low in carbs. Along with these, try selecting fresh new vegetables and seasonal fruits to your meals.
Fats & Oils :
Olive, coconut, sunflower oil, peanut oil, fish oil, sesame, flax-seed, grape-seed, 1-2 spoon ghee.
Change oil every 3 months.
If you want to lose weight, limit the fat intake. Because fat contains more than twice the calorie ( 9 kcal) per g compared to protein (4 kcal) and carbohydrate (4 kcal).
Nuts and seeds :
Peanuts, walnuts, cashew, almonds, pistachios are the lowest in calories with around 160 calories per ounce. Seeds flax-seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds.
Whole grain & beans:
Rajma, brown rice, oats, whole wheat, whole wheat bread, mung dal, chickpeas, sprouts, soybean, tofu, chapatis, chickpeas flour, Bazaar (pedal millet), Jou (plain barley), Makka (maize), Jowar (plain millet).
Meat & Seafood :
Chicken, lamb, turkey, sardine, tuna, shrimp, salmon, catfish, cod, etc.
Dairy products :
Eggs, butter, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yoghurt, skimmed milk, skimmed milk ice-cream (home-made).
Studies say that calcium in dairy products helps you to lose weight.
Herbs and spices :
Turmeric, rosemary, ginger, basil oregano, real sea salt, pepper, hot sauces, apple cider vinegar, cocoa powder (raw and unsweetened), mustard (avoid high-sugar such as honey mustard)
Healthy drinks :
Teas including green, black, coffee, herbal teas (like ginger, peppermint), fresh vegetable juices like Lauki juice, carrot juice, mixed vegetable juice, etc.
Foods to Avoid :
Sweetened beverages such as Lassie, sweetened juice, sharbat, milk tea are a big no. Avoid sugar added products such as ice cream, candy, and refined grains: wheat, pasta, cereal, trans fats, bread, white grains.
Cut on Sugar
Cut refined sugars and alcohol because they provide empty calories.
Apart from it, limit refined carbohydrates. Because they promote fast absorption of glucose.
Prefer plant foods that provide complex carbohydrates and fibre-rich foods because they reduce blood glucose and cholesterol.
This way, you will start to eat fewer calories automatically.
Calculate Your Calories
A little care on calories can benefit you a lot.
WHO recommends :
- 2000 calories per day for an average woman.
- 2500 calories per day for an average man.
If you want to lose weight :
- 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week for a woman.
- 2000 calories to lose one pound of weight per week for a man.
You can check your daily calorie intake online on apps and websites through calorie counters available there. Some most famous of them are: MyFitnessPal, FatSecret, SparkPeople, Lose It!.
Additionally, you can buy a fitness tracker equipped with calorie counter which not only counts your calories but gives you warnings and suggestions also.
And don’t worry, they are super affordable. If you are interested, check this article:
- Best Fitness Band In India (Reviews, Comparison & Buying Guide)
- Best Smartwatches In India (Reviews, Comparison & Buying Guide)
- Top Budget Smartwatches In India Under Rs. 10,000/5,000
2. Improve Your Metabolic Health and Make Digestion Strong
Metabolism is the set of processes that converts the food you eat, the beverages you drink into the energy needed to run your body.
The higher the metabolism, the better your digestion!
Therefore, the metabolic rate is important to lose weight. There are some habits and foods that may help to increase metabolism so that you may lose fast and in natural ways.
Check on Inflammation
Inflammation can upset the metabolism, disrupt the digestive system, and bloodstream (5).
Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:
Fresh fruits, tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collard. Nuts: almonds and walnuts. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.
Avoid processed foods.
Here is a list of foods to boost metabolism :
High-protein foods such as legume, pulses, nuts and seeds, seafood, and eggs help increase your metabolism. They make your body to use more energy to digest them. This is the thermal effect of food. High-protein foods increase this effect the most (6).
Ayurveda refers to ginger as a universal medicine. Ginger tea perks your metabolism levels. You should use it along with a sensible diet and proper exercise to help you lose weight.
Science has also proven its benefits of ginger that taking 2 g of ginger powder in hot water may help you burn 43 extra 43 calories (10).
Green tea has an active ingredient, catechins, helps to increase metabolism by 4-5% (11).
Cinnamon tea is a magical herbal potion that cures several diseases including flu and fevers. It boosts your metabolism thus helps you to lose weight. Cinnamon tea also prevents weight gain by removing toxins from your body.
Almonds are high in calories but they contain fatty acids that rev up your metabolism. But don’t overdo it.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that garlic may help burn several calories during daily activities. Ayurveda also tells a lot of health benefits of garlic. It helps to digest food easily and boosts your metabolism.
Coffee contains the most important stimulant caffeine which not only increases your metabolic rate, it also makes you more alert.
Studies have found that people who take 270 mg of caffeine daily, burn an extra 100 calories per day (12).
Experts in various studies found that chilli pepper facilitates weight loss. It causes improved control of insulin that supports weight loss. It increases energy expenditure (13).
Capsaicin is an active component of chilli peppers which may increase your metabolism (14).
Including a dose of 10-15 mg of it daily may prove to be beneficial.
Indian food plate can’t be imagined without spices!! Ayurveda also suggests adding spices.
Chilli powder and many other spices have a thermogenic effect. This results in the body healing itself from within, which revs up the metabolism.
You can add turmeric, ginger, chilli peppers, onion, garlic, cinnamon.
3. Follow Ayurveda If You Want to Lose Weight
Ayurveda, a 5000 old holistic healing benefits, has spoken about every health problem in humans. But we forget to follow this effective practice in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. We don’t practice it, fall ill and waste our time and hard-earned money on health later.
You must follow these practices if you want to lose weight naturally and prevent weight gain.
Chew Food 32 Times
According to Ayurveda, you should chew food 32 times before swallowing. Digestion starts in our mouth, it breaks down into several tiny particles and is mixed with saliva. Consequently, your body digests food easily.
Do Not Eat within Three Hours of Your Previous Meal
It simply means that eat when your previous meal is digested.
Drink Water in Morning and at Bed Time
Ayurveda suggests that you should cultivate a healthy habit to drink water first thing in the morning which is called Ushapan. It cleans your intestines and removes constipation and thus causes you to lose weight fast.
Drinking warm water before bed keeps you hydrated through the night and helps the body to rid itself of unwanted toxins.
Consume Plenty of Water
Ayurveda suggests drinking more water as it provides a myriad of health benefits including weighing loss. It also provides tips to drink water :
- Sit down when you drink water.
- Drink it slowly.
- Avoid chilled water.
Take Hot Water to Digest Your Meal Fast
Ayurveda says cold water slows the digestive system. An undigested meal leaves discomfort and hinders weight loss.
While hot water stimulates hunger and supports good digestion.
Eat with Concentration
Avoid, phone, tv, talking, laughter to fully appreciate the benefits of food.
It is for a small boost in metabolism and helps to lose weight (17).
In Ayurveda, intermittent fasting has been described as producing health benefits such as combating liver problems, good digestion system, reducing body fat and pacifying Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
Sit in Vajrasana after Meal
Vajrasana helps to lose weight. It alters the blood flow in the lower pelvic region. The blood flow to the legs is reduced and the blood flow to the digestive organs is increased (18).
This increases the efficiency of the digestive system and helps those with weak digestion to digest a meal easily.
Walk after Dinner and Rest After Lunch
It’s common old saying our parents and grandparents have told us which is good for digestion. Improved digestion helps to lose weight fast.
Practice meditation 10 minutes a day, you will soon be able to get your mind off of food in any stressful situation.
It induces self-awareness. Consequently, you’re less likely to succumb to emotional eating (19).
Meditation enables you to pay attention to what you are doing. You become mindful of your actions or their consequences, including eating.
Go to Bed Early and Rise Before the Sun
Scientists have found that getting up early and enjoying the early morning light helps lower body fat because the ‘blue light’ of the morning kick starts the body’s metabolism.
A while adipose tissue called subcutaneous is the major fat depot in humans and a central player in regulating whole-body metabolism. Its cells tend to shrink under the effect of the sun’s blue light.
So, early to rise helps you lose fat and this is only possible when you go to bed early at night.
4. Choose A Physical Activity That You Like
You can choose any activity such as brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, dancing, lifting weights, doing cardio.
Set your routine to 2-3 times a week and gradually increase the time if you need it. You can also set your home gym to make your fitness journey easier. Also, you can buy fitness equipment such as a treadmill or an exercise cycle to reduce belly fat.
- At-Home Workouts for Beginners- 15 Easy Exercises to Do at Home
- Find Out How You Can Lose Weight & Boost Your Metabolism Doing Yoga
- Welcare Elliptical Cross Trainer Review to Aid Your Weight Loss Efforts
Habits That would Help You Lose Weight
To maintain a long-term weight loss, it is important to change your behaviour, lifestyle, bad habits such as insufficient sleep and eating habits, etc (24).
#1. Detox Your Body
Detoxifying your body implies following a specific detox process which may include detox drinks, detox diet, a fruit detox or a diet detox. Detoxification removes toxins from your body and cleanses your system. Read:
#2. Go Slowly
It supports you mentally and you remain motivated. For example, if you take 2 spoon sugar with milk, reduce the amount slowly like 1/2 first week, 1 2nd week and so on.
#3. Drink Honey
It’s a very common belief that to lose weight, you should drink hot water (or warm water) with natural lime juice first thing in the morning.
#4. Store Healthy Snacks
Eat healthy snacks. Store popcorn (air puffed), dry Poha, Parmar, Chana Namkeen (not roasted).
#5. Cook Yourself
Cooking yourself works in two ways: first, you find more ways to make food healthy and delicious and secondly, you will not crave eating always.
#6. Put Weight Machine at Home
It’s like an alarm if it’s at home. You can’t resist to weigh yourself and you are more likely to make this mission successful.
#7. Follow the Habits of Fit People
They will inspire you. Be with the people fitter than you and not look at those who are less fit.
#8. Find a fit Friend
Join groups of like-minded people or take virtual help. There are many apps and forums you can join online.
#9. Take Proper Sleep
Getting a proper seven to nine hours of sleep a night gives time to the body to detoxify and helps maintain healthy levels of cortisol (a stress-response hormone that causes weight gain).
#10. Don’t Drink Your Calories
Your body system doesn’t get time to deliver nutrients to the cell. It is a sudden calorie attack.
#11. Don’t Skip Meal
Skipping meals weakens your metabolism, and digestion becomes slow which causes storing data in your body. Also, experts ask not to skip your breakfast.
#12. Don’t Take Heavy Food After 7 P.M
Reduce your portion sizes as the day goes on. It prevents from slowing down your metabolism (25).
#13. Do something to relieve your stress.
Healthy Foods Menu to Lose Weight (Low-Carb)
Early Morning :
- Lukewarm water with lemon.
- 1 cup of tea without sugar.
- Two chapatis and paneer curry with vegetables or
- Skimmed milk (with sugar) and Poha or brown bread Upma.
- A plate is full of sprouts with vegetable salad.
- Soup with Mung Dal Dosa (roasted with any low-fat oil).
- 1 plate dry Daliya with the salad of paneer cubes with skimmed milk or whey or whatever low carb drink you like.
Make it tasty: Have you ever tried fried Dal-Namkeen to make your food crunchy? For example – low-calorie oil fried moong dal to add flavour to your breakfast? No, I am not saying to eat this as a morning snack, rather I would like to spread 1 spoon of it on my Daliya plate. Another option is – take 1 almond, 2 pistachios, 1 cashew and cut them into little pieces, add spices and spread it over your plate.
Similarly, you can try different low carb snacks or food such as paneer cubes, vegetables, 1 spoon of lemon juice or orange juice with your breakfast.
Mid-Morning Snack :
- Any low-carb fruit or fruit salad or
- Vegetable soup or
- Vegetable juice.
Make it tasty: Take 1 seasonal fruit, chop it, put in the plate, add lemon juice to it, you can add a honey layer or mint powder, chat powder, cumin powder, salt, mint powder, black pepper according to your taste.
- A bowl of brown rice, veg riata, mixed veg salad or
- 2 chapatis, a bowl of mung dal, flax-seed, salad, half cup yoghurt, kidney bean veggies.
Make it tasty: Do healthy filling with your chapatis like cut vegetables, put a honey layer on it, add spice or mint powder, mix them and put it on chapatis, roll the chapatis and enjoy.
Post-Lunch Snack :
- Green tea, curd, or fruit.
- Puffed rice Poha.
- 2 paranthas / whole wheat chapatis, soya bean veggies, salad, soup or
- A bowl of brown rice, a bowl of dal you like, veg soup, salad like healthy warm pasta salad.
Make it tasty: Use leafy vegetables such as spinach, methi for inner filling of your parantha. Eat this stuffed paratha with salad. Prepare tomato and garlic chutney to eat with it.
- A cup of milk, nuts.
Low-Carb Sample Menu for Non-Vegetarians
If you are non-vegetarian, you can change your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- 1 cup skimmed milk with two scrambled eggs and 1 slice of brown bread or
- White egg Bhurji with plain Parantha.
- A bowl of brown rice, a bowl of salad, 2-3 pieces of chicken, mixed veggies.
- chapatis/ brown rice, a bowl of mung dal, a cup of yoghurt, fish/chicken (1-2 piece).
Instead of going on a diet, aim to become healthier, stronger and happier. Focus on exercise more and try to follow natural methods.
Hope you found this article helpful! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.
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