15 May 2012

Beat the fat

Parvathy Menon
DIETARY CHANGES: Vegetables help to keep one fit and healthy. It also helps in reducing weight. Photo: V. Ganesan
DIETARY CHANGES: Vegetables help to keep one fit and healthy. It also helps in reducing weight. Photo: V. Ganesan
Battling the bulge? It has its ups and downs, here is a plan that might help you lose some of those troublesome kilos
Losing weight may seem like an uphill task without some useful pointers. Weight loss is tied to not just physical, but also psychological and emotional health .
Here are some suggestions that might help you lose weight gradually and surely. You need to make lifestyle changes rather than extreme cuts in your diet.
Limit the sugar intake in your cuppa to one spoonful only. Decrease the sugar gradually, so your body does not miss it suddenly.
Cutting salt , like avoiding sweets, is a good idea. But you need a moderate amount of salt in your system.
Cutting carbohydrates completely may not be the best idea for vegetarians however, you can reduce the amount of cooked rice and concentrate more on the curry, like say a dal as the lentil is high on protein, and a healthy stir-fry.
While rice has simple carbohydrates that releases sugar within an hour, a whole wheat chapathi/ roti contains more complex carbs that score better in terms of G. I. load.
You can have a single papad at the most, because it is deep-fried.
Have five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, an apple, a mini banana, a cucumber, a carrot or a cup of grapes constituting a single serving.
You can also have small amounts of nuts, like almonds, but avoid cashews as they easily tend to fatten.
Drink about one-and-a-half litres of water a day as it detoxifies your body and helps in fat reduction. It is said that you must calculate your body weight and drink half the amount in ounces. For example, if you weigh 50 kg, ideally you would intake 25 ounces of water. Drinking lots of water is a must.
Choosing sprouts is another healthy option. You must not eat chickpeas in the raw form, it is said to be toxic, and might upset the stomach. The legumes must be soaked and cooked.
Have meals every two to three hours. This is a signal to your body that hey, food is coming, so the body will not store or accumulate it as fat.
Choose light snacks like a fruit, a vegetable, puffed rice, crudité (short eats) or plain popcorn. Consume a different, light snack daily.
It is advisable to avoid butter, instead, you can make some dish with a tablespoonful of ghee once in a while. Fats should not be cut totally as you need a little for the body to function smoothly.
Do not starve yourself, if you have cravings, its important to indulge in a small quantity. Portion control, in other words, is the key. For instance, for a birthday, you would stop at a single slice of chocolate cake.
It is important to walk for not less than 20 minutes daily. Ideally, use the treadmill for 30 minutes, starting with a speed of three for the first ten minutes, then moving to a brisk four. Importantly, you must not tax your body too much. The distance can be gradually increased from half a kilometre to a stage where you would clock five or six kms.
The thing to bear in mind is self-regulatory control when it comes to eating.
Avoid all chocolates, processed and bakery items.
Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts and leafy greens.
Cottage cheese (paneer) can be incorporated for the sake of protein. Cook your own meals, like say a healthy soup.
Keep active for an hour before tucking in at bedtime.
It is important to have regular and full meals and drink lots and lots of water in between. Performing household chores is not just that , but necessary activities, both psychologically as well as physically.
Here is a healthy recipe to get you started –
Green gram – 1 cup
Lemon juice – Of half a
Coriander leaves – 1-2
tbsp, chopped
Green chillies – 3-4,
Refined oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Dried red chillies – 2
Omam – A pinch
Asafoetida – A small
Salt – To taste
Sprout the green gram. Soak overnight. Change the water in intervals so all the toxic effects are gone. In a bowl, combine the green gram sprouts , the corianderleaves, lemon juice, salt and the green chillies. Warm the oil, let pop mustard, add red chillies, curry leaves, finally lower the flame and add a pinch of asafoetida and Omam (aimodakam.) Stir in the tempering. Finally, you can add some freshly grated coconut too.

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