Weight loss is no longer a stand-alone concept, the idea of wellness if taking over our lives in more ways than one. Be it mental, physical or emotionally wellness, and weight loss is merely one aspect of physical wellness. However, that being said, physical fitness and staying in shape is always a good idea.
If you're looking to shed a few kgs, it's time to focus on your gut health. Weight loss is all about the right balance between your diet and your workout habits. Choosing the right paths means being patient and consitent, because the results of exercising and eating right will take a while to show. Yes, crash diets give you faster results, but then maintaining the weight you lost is a struggle. Healthy weight loss happens over time. Your journey to staying in shape starts by ensuring gut health and clean eating.
What is clean eating?
A clean diet is a pattern that focuses on foods that are fresh, wholesome and as close to their natural form as possible. The idea is to limit processed foods such as packaged and pre-cooked meals, sodas and food with added preservatives. Think fresh juice, fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in naturally occurring nutrients. A bonus is, you reduce your calorie intake when you avoid highly processed foods, like chips, cookies, and ready-to-eat meals.
Does clean eating mean no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no carbs, no dairy and no fried at
all? Well, you’d be glad to hear that clean eating is all about balance. Nothing needs to be
eliminated, but merely substituted with healthier options.
Instead of refined sugar opt for organic honey, gur and fruits. Replace fried food with baked goods.
Refined carbs like white bread, pasta, and rice can be substituted with whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, or even barley, ragi and oats.
Rethink the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol isn’t a great option to live a healthy lifestyle, while one glass of red wine is considered healthy, consuming more than that is not a healthy way of living. One doesn’t have to give up alcohol to live healthily but limit consumption.
Coffee & tea should also be consumed in moderation, opting for green tea instead of tea with sugar is a good idea. Soy or Almond Milk works as a great route to clean eating as well.
People snack; that’s a fact. And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you do it in the right way – eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortable. Hunger pangs often lead to us wanting to munch on unhealthy food options for a quick boost of energy. However, eating smaller but frequent meals helps to avoid binge eating and food containing refined sugar. And to do away with those sugar cravings, water is your best friend. We know it’s easier said than done, but remember it takes 15 days to form a habit so consistency is key. We’ve curated a list of some of the healthiest snacking options to help aid weight loss.
Apple with Peanut Butter
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But, an apple as a snack with peanut butter, a rich source of protein, successfully helps you balance your insulin level, working wonders as a mid-day snack.
Fox Nuts or roasted Makhanas
Healthy fats are a must add to any diet, and contrary to popular belief, Desi Ghee can help with weight loss. Lightly sauteed makhanas in ghee and salt make for the perfect tea-time snack.
Sometimes you may have sweet cravings, and that's absolutely normal. Sure you can reach for a piece of dark chocolate but a healthier option is homemade granola with natural sugar - a mix of carbs, protein and fats. Opt for oats, peanut butter, organic honey, a mix of seeds and nuts, and dried berries as the ingredients. The best part is, this is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without you feeling guilty.
Sweet potatoes, popularly known as Shakarkandi in India, are a rich source of nutrients. Containing resistant starch that triggers feelings of satiety. Boil it, bake it, or drizzle on some lime juice and salt for a delicious snack.
Fruits and veggies are a must add to your diet. While eating fruits after your meals isn't the best idea, using them as a filler meal is always great. If you're bored of eating the same old fruits everyday, drizzle on some lemon juice and chaat masala for a delicious snack.
Salad and Hung Curd or hummus
Think cucumber, celery and carrot with hung curd dip, or hummus - a yummy snack when you're hungry post your early dinner. Did you know that cucumber can cool the temperature of the blood? Not only are they cooling but also low on calories being 90 % water. Ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss, consider snacking on cucumbers when you’re hungry.
Tea time is also synonymous with snack time. Our hunger pangs during these hours are often high, considering it's been a while since your last meal and your have a few hours before our next meal. So instead of starving yourself and binging for dinner, add a snack at this time. Popcorn with less butter and salt, works like a charm for your hunger pangs.