In my previous post, I had mentioned that I have started on a weight loss journey. My goal is to mainly reduce about 8 kilos so that I can be in the normal range. In this post, I want to write about what I have learned so far on this journey. This is an attempt to share my journey in the hope that someone will get inspired or find the information useful for their own journey. I have always read weight loss journey posts that people write and am often inspired by that. In this post, I am mainly going to write about diet and nutrition tips.
Tip 1: Burn more calories, than you consume: This is self-evident, if we eat more calories than we burn, we will definitely put on more weight than lose.
Tip 2: Eat a balanced meal: All food groups are important for the body to function in a healthy manner.
First thing I used to do is that I would try to cut carbs. However, I have now realised that when I cut carbs drastically my energy levels go down.
Second, I was not having adequate protein. My dietician recommended that I needed to have protein with every meal because only then we are able to consume adequate protein required for repair and building of muscle. Increasing muscle percentage is very important to lose weight in the long run. Because I was not having adequate protein, I would easily crash and then gain back whatever amount I had lost. But with a more balanced diet and having all 3 meals, I am able to cope better with my exercise routine.
In general, my suggestion would be that you should cut out carb-loaded junk food (like things made from white flour, refined sugars and white bread). Because they just add to empty calories.
Tip 3: Eat more calories than your resting metabolic rate: While it is important to manage calories, it is more important that we eat more calories than we are burning during our resting phase. Else, our body go into a fat storage mode and starts to preserve fat. This basic principle is very important. You can measure your resting metabolic rate (RMR) on a body composition scale.
Tip 4: Have vitamin/ mineral supplements: While I have corrected my eating patterns and general nutrition levels in my diet, I have realised that there are times I still lack energy. Hence, I take multi-vitamin supplements. They generally keep my energy levels high. In addition to a daily multi-vitamin pill, I have taken B12 supplements in consultation with my doctor and I am now taking fish oil gels. While B12 keeps my energy levels high, I have found that fish oil helps with general aches and inflammation. I had injured my knee a few months back while running. While I finished the treatment my doctor gave me, the swelling and mild pain comes and goes. Having fish oil supplement has helped ease the symptoms. Generally it is advisable that you consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Tip 5: Have enough fibre in your diet: Having enough fibre in your diet, I have learned is very important. It helps clear the stomach that remains in the food. When the food remains in the stomach for a long time, it converts into fat. To avoid that it is best to eat a lot of fibre so that the food moves easily.
Tip 6: Drink lots of water: This is extremely important. Having lots of water prevents dehydration, which can result in with sweating due to exercise. Second, it also helps with curbing hunger. These days when I feel hungry, I first try to drink water. Having water makes me realise that I was actually thirsty, not hungry. You can put an alarm to drink a glass of water every 60 min. At the minimum, you should at least consume 8 glasses of water everyday.
Tip 7: Cut sugar from your diet: I usually don’t keep white sugar at home. So I never really consume sugar except if it is already included in food. However, I had a habit of ordering ice-creams especially on those weekends when I stayed in. But for now, no ice-creams for me. While fruits are good, I am only consuming small quantities of fruit before my exercise. I usually eat a small piece of fruit like apple, or half a mango, or a couple of dates, figs, just before exercise or in-between meals. I also use some jaggery in my tea. I have learned that jaggery is good for you. So I am having it but if you can avoid it during weight loss phase.
Tip 8: Figure out if you are lactose-intolerant or have gluten allergy: Eating foods that you can’t digest can have a detrimental effect on your body. I have learned that I am lactose-intolerant but I can have curd. So I have substituted regular milk with soya milk.
I must admit that I am not really losing huge amounts of weight as of now but my fat percentage is reducing and my muscle percentage is increasing. Also I can see an overall tightening and slimming of body. So if you are looking for a quick fix solution then this may not work from you.
These are a few of my tips as far as my diet is concerned. Off course, there are many more tips and many different diet styles. I will try and add more as an when they come to me. I hope it helps you. If you have any tips, do leave in the comment box below. It’s always good to learn more.