Eat your Water
Water rich foods like orange, pineapple, papaya, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, pumpkin and members of the gourd and melon families are very low in calories and make you feel fuller while taking away the inches from your waistline. But remember these are not a substitute for your main meals and must be integrated into your diet in a balanced manner.
Dinner by sundown
Try and ensure that you finish your last main meal of the day 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. Your metabolism slows down when you sleep. The body still remains active burning the calories at a very slow pace as its main focus is towards tissue repair. So always avoid any excess calories at night, because the surplus will be stored in your body as glycogen. When the glycogen stores get filled, they will be converted into harmful blood fats known as triglycerides and will be packed away as fat stores. For your final meal of the day, indulge on lean protein and low calorie fibrous carbohydrates. If you treat yourself to a high calorie diet at night, the chances are you might tend to skip your breakfast the next day and lose your metabolism boosting benefits.
Fist Size meals
During meal times, stick to fist size portions. This is because the natural size of our stomach is only that of our fist and is more like a rubber band. Improper eating habits can lead to irregular stretching and compression of your stomach based on the intake. That explains why you get amazed at your trim tummy in the morning when you wake up, but disappointed with the progressively rotund stomach during the course of the day. One fistful of food every two hours, instead of 3 huge meals, also helps regularize your metabolism.
Vitamin C Content
You will be more successful in weight loss with adequate Vitamin C content. This does not mean that this is a new weight loss wonder nutrient but consuming inadequate amounts can hinder weight loss. You can easily avail the benefits from natural food sources like tomato, strawberries, gooseberries, drumstick, guava, kiwifruit, orange, papaya, pineapple and sprouts. So keep an eye out for them when you head to the greengrocer’s the next time.
Watch your Sodium Levels
Sodium is a very important nutrient for nerve transmission, muscle functioning and for the absorption of certain vital nutrients. But even a small amount in excess could cause bloating. This is because, where sodium goes, water follows. When you eat a high sodium meal, the body responds by retaining water. Hence choose fresh natural foods over processed foods rich in salt and preservatives.
Refrain from Refined Foods
Strictly limit the intake of refined foods and processed carbohydrates, like white rice, white flour products like noodles, pastas and cookies, for the reason that when refined, their starchy nature gets emphasized resulting in excess fat stores. Eating a diet rich in refined foods can also result in malnutrition and weight gain, as these highly processed items are virtually devoid of vitamins and minerals. Besides being high in calories, refined food items also possess high glycaemic index, which increases the blood glucose levels and triglycerides.
Those who consume a diet rich in trans-fat will gain more belly fat than those who consume the same number of calories, but with unsaturated fats. It is not just about the type of oil but also do consider the frying process and have a check on repetition of oil used for frying purposes. Watch out for the trans-fat content on the labels of your favourite foods. If you must indulge in fried goodies once in a while, opt for homemade fritters and French fries rather than going for packaged or hotel made ones which are loaded with trans-fats.
Concentrate on Whole Grains
Whole grains contain two magical nutrients – bran and fibre. The soluble fibres in these grains slow down the entry of sugars and fats into the bloodstream, resulting in low insulin response and reduction in blood cholesterol levels. They would help you feel more satiated and boost your energy levels as well. To get more of them in your diet, try eating oatmeal, brown rice, wholegrain cereals, and whole wheat crackers.
Quality over Quantity
This mantra will not only help you have a check over the complete calorie count but also will make you feel less stressed out while cutting back on your favourite fast food items, thereby aiding you in implementing the changes contrary to your years of unhealthy eating practices.
Commitment and Patience
While there are plenty of facts and strategies evolving day by day, the chance of successful achievement of one’s goal increases when you understand the need for appropriate food choices suitable for the body type and that each individual has a different body structure and way of response. What works for others might not work for you. Persevere and let your body gradually adapt to the different eating practices. Years of unhealthy eating habits cannot be wished away in a jiffy. Changes cannot happen in a day and will occur over a period of time.