Do you ever wonder if we could be couch potatoes and still have those fab abs… Would we ever go to the gym? As someone who hardly works out, I have pretty much managed to have the same body weight for over 15 years now! So how do some people do it so easily? Here are my secrets and some easy weight loss hacks which probably help me maintain my weight and let me pig out as often as I want to. :p
1. Drink the Zero Calorie Beverage
Staying hydrated is the number one weight loss secret there is! When your body is dehydrated it send signals to your brain, which might be confused for hunger. So drink water through the day. Not only will this cut those unnecessary cravings, but flush out toxins from your body and give you a glow!
2. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Yes, yes, we all know this. But did you know that just one can of coke has around 10 tsp sugar!!! To burn off those calories you will have to brisk walk for around 20 mins or jog for 15 mins. So avoid coke, canned juice, cappuccinos – whenever possible. If you drink juices, stick to fresh ones without sugar. One way in which we often tend to sneak in sugary drinks without noticing, is in combination with alcohol. To avoid that, switch to wine, or have that vodka with ice, lime and water.
3. Avoid artificial sweeteners
So, now you are thinking, why don’t I move to Coke Zero. Here is why! Artificial sweeteners in diet coke might taste good and promise zero calories, but they have been known to cause a number of side effects, from cancer to diabetes, AND can cause you to store fat.
4. Yo Yo Dieting
Ladies, don’t deny it! We have all done it sometime. From trying to lose that post holiday weight to getting swimsuit ready before the summers, every season there is a new diet plan that does the rounds. And all of these diets, from the juice cleanse to a raw-food only, promise amazing results, which often last only temporarily. The reason is that every time you go on a diet you are actually starving your body of essential carbohydrates and nutrition, making it believe it is in a famine. Once your body goes into a starvation mode, its evolutionary response is to start storing fat into our thighs and lower stomach (for women) and belly fat (for men). This is a necessary part of our biology, which helped our ancestors survive and procreate through tough times. But today this is the reason why almost all dieters will gain their pre-diet weight and some more in about 2 years.
5. Eat in a Smaller Plate
One way to fool your body into feeling fuller and eating lesser is to consume food and beverages in smaller plates and glasses. Visually your plate appears fuller and helps you control your portions. Stomach is like a stretchable bag, the more you eat, the more it can accommodate food, and more hungry it gets. So, avoid binge eating and control your portions.
6. Stop Eating… Before you are full!
Normally we tend to eat till our stomach signals our brain that we are full. It takes around 20 minutes from the time you start eating for the signal to reach your brain. What this means is that if you are a slow eater, its great! But if you are a fast eater, then you should really consider slowing down to lose weight.
7. Eat Mindfully
Don’t eat all your meals in front of the TV or on zombie mode. It is a fact that people who watch TV while eating, generally eat more than those who practice mindful eating. What’s that you ask? Its when you allow your senses to be engaged with the food and the eating experience.
7. Eat Less Than Your Man
I am being serious girls. If you find it hard to know how much to eat, watch your partner. For example if he eats 3 servings, 2 should be enough for you. Know that on an average men weigh about 15-20% more to account for muscle and height differences in our physiology. The quantity of food you eat is directly proportional to your weight, muscle mass well as your physical activity. This means that you need to be eating less than him. Always.
9. Win the fight with your homeostasis
Your body has excellent homeostasis. This means that it is in a constant state of equilibrium to maintain bodily functions like temperature, blood pressure and even weight. When we go on a diet, we often end up trying to reduce to about 30-50% of our diet. When this happens, your body screams that it is hungry, which is why it is really hard to diet, even for people with great self control. Here is one way to trick your body. Slowly cutting down your portions would result in a slower weight loss, but reduces the chances of you gaining it back. The key is to be eating for the body weight you aim to be at, and not your current weight.
10. Think thin
Girls, we are never satisfied by our weight, and constantly shame our bodies into avoiding food. This constant obsession results in a thinking pattern of “I am going to put on weight if I eat this…” Remember, you attract what you say or think. Thin people tend to enjoy eating what they like, without guilt tripping themselves all the time! Constantly controlling oneself never works. When you feel guilty after breaking a diet you may just cultivate more unhealthy eating patterns as a result. So eat what you crave for but mind the portions. Similarly, if you think of eating veggies or hitting the gym as unbearable hardships, then you’ll never do them. But if you can change your mindset you can increase your chances of success. Put yourself in control and re-frame your thoughts from “I have to” to “I want to”. Enjoy eating healthy or taking a walk with your dog, and you will see those inches drop off.
11. Eat like your Mama did
Chips, fried snacks, doughnuts, waffles, candy all are things that did not exist historically… and are things that are loaded with carbs and sugar. Fast food or junk food is one the biggest reason why people are obese. Think historically… we foraged, we hunted, we cooked… all of which were very time consuming AND strenuous activities. We are eating for activities that we don’t do anymore and in quantities way more than our ancestors did.
12. Secret Exercises
Those who weigh lesser are generally physically more active. So get out of that desk and take a walk around the room. Try to squeeze in secret exercises that you can do anywhere. For example, simple things like having a good posture, not only helps in making you appear thinner, but better posture helps in engaging and toning your stomach muscles. Other things that help include, squeezing in your stomach or butt muscles through the day, doing squats while brushing, having sex, climbing stairs, and doing a chore instead of ‘app’ing it.
13. Stop buying junk food
With our busy lifestyles, laziness plays a pretty big role in food choices than ever before. We tend to eat whatever was nearest and most accessible to us. If you keep junk around at home for guests, believe me you will reach for them every time you are hungry instead of cutting a plate of fruits. I make sure to keep dry fruits and fruits always around, and have almost eliminated junk food shopping. If its not at home, I will not eat it!
14. Eat In
The best way to control what goes into your body is making the food yourself. Eating out is convenient, not to mention sometimes better tasting, but outside food often has more fat and calories. Sit down once a week and make a meal plan for the week, so you have all the ingredients you need for your meals and won’t be tempted by take-out. In case you do eat out, skip the buffet line and opt for healthier options from the menu.
15. Get in those zzzz’s
Lack of 6-8 hours of sleep can disrupt appetite-regulating hormones. This can in turn increase your cravings for unhealthy food, leading to higher calorie intake. So here is a reason to catch up on those zzzz’s.
16. Spicy food is for spicy people
Chillis have a compound known as capsaicin which can help you lose weight by boosting thermogenesis, or the rate at which your body burns fat and even accumulates fat. So binge on that spicy curry that you love, and see your waist look even hotter 😉
P.S.: If you exercise, please measure as inch-loss instead of weight loss. As you build muscles you will gain weight, as muscle cells weigh more than fat cells, which can often lead to frustration in the gym, as you don’t see results. Give your body some TLC and don’t take the scales too seriously!
Disclaimer: These are my personal views, some of which are supported by scientific studies as well. Since I am not a dietitian, nor a fitness trainer, I recommend that you consult with one, when you are looking for a diet or exercise regime for weight loss.
Stay fabulous and leave us a comment below to share your weight loss secrets 😉