It has been emphasized enough number of times that weight management is of prime importance for maintaining health; but instead of focusing on quick weight loss , adopting habits that you can follow on a daily basis is hands-down a smarter strategy. Food nourishes our body by providing nutrients that help keep us healthy so skipping meals or eating less may work initially but is not sustainable and may have serious health implications.
Here are 10 easy changes you can incorporate in your daily living for better weight management.
1. EAT BREAKFAST
The most important meal of the day that comes after a long fasting period. A healthy breakfast will refuel your body and keep you energized through the day. Experimental evidence has shown that that people who eat a good breakfast eat adequate nutrients like vitamins, minerals and a healthy breakfast also helps in better sugar control, keeps hunger pangs at bay and prevents late night binges.
WHAT TO EAT: A combination of complex carbs, Proteins, little healthy fat and fiber.
2. EAT MORE WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains are the non-refined grains that contain the bran, germ, and endosperm. This ensures early satiety because of the fiber content and as they are chewier, means you eat a little slowly. These whole grains also take a longer time to digest, so there is a sustained energy release for a longer period of time preventing dips in energy levels and hunger attacks. The digestion of whole grains needs more energy for assimilation hence the total calories absorbed are lower, which is why the metabolism is also revved up.
WHAT TO EAT: Whole wheat, Oats, Barley, Corn, Millets, Bajra, Rye
3. DON'T MISS OUT ON PROTEIN
Protein helps by adding satiety to a meal, and by increasing the digestion time. They keep you full for longer and also prevent insulin spikes and troughs, preventing the urge to snack .
WHAT TO EAT: Legumes, Nuts & seeds, eggs, chicken breast are some healthy proteins to add to your meals. Milk & milk products are also good sources of healthy proteins.
4. BE MINDFUL OF LIQUID CALORIES
Liquid calories usually go under the radar. So a glass of sweetened juice adds 80-100kcal in one serve and energy drinks up to 200kcals. These add mostly sugar calories and add a lot of calories in one serve. Choose the drinks wisely.
WHAT TO EAT: Fresh lemon water without sugar, fresh coconut water, fresh vegetable juices or soups. These are almost calorie free and keep you hydrated.
5. EAT FRESH
Fresh food cooked with fresh ingredients is nutrient-dense, tastier and healthier. Precooked, ready to eat and ready to cook meals are laden with salt, hidden fat and refined carbs and don't really provide nutrition. A little effort will provide huge benefits for your weight and health.
WHAT TO EAT: Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables from local vendors who will get you these from the closest farm. Start with a salad, fill up half your plate with veggies, they also add antioxidants, Phytonutrients and fiber to your meals.
(Also Read:Should You Eat Fruits Before Or After A Meal?)
6.CONTROL THE PORTION SIZES
Every meal can have -vegetables that fit into both the hands, Carbohydrates that are two fistful, proteins that are one palm full and fats equal to the tip of your thumb.
WHAT TO EAT: Easiest way is to cut back 10-15% of your meal portion to start with. Another way is to eat in a smaller plate, smaller bowls. While eating in a restaurant, see the serving size and order accordingly or share with a friend. Start with a clear soup or choose a salad as an appetizer.
7. CLOSE THE KITCHEN
Many studies have supported time limited eating. Eating after 9pm is usually not utilized by the body and end up as fat. As the sun sets our metabolism slows down, consuming extra calorie dense foods will add up as weight.
WHAT TO EAT: If you get a snack attack late at night have a handful of nuts, a fruit, a glass of milk
8. CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Lifestyle means enabling your surroundings to help you achieve your goals easily. Learn your environmental triggers and deal with them in a positive manner.
WHAT TO DO: Do not buy what you shouldn't be eating. Wait 10 minutes before your second helping. Have a glass of water, wait before raiding the fridge. Have a snack before partying.
9. SWITCH TO LIGHTER OPTIONS
The same tasty food can be made less calorie intense by choosing good cooking practices and using herbs and spices to add taste.
WHAT TO DO: Add skim milk to your dal makhana and butter chicken gravy instead of cream. Choose low fat dips like salsa and hung yogurt over mayo . Choose grilling, baking and roasting over frying.
10. DRINK A LOT OF WATER
Hydration prevents hunger pangs and keeps digestion in top form aiding weight loss. Scientific evidence has shown that people that drink a lot of water mange their weight butter.
WHAT TO DO: Drink between meals. Plain water is calorie free and keeps our body healthy.
While these tips are a good way to start your journey of health, a consistent good life style is the only way to achieve and maintain health.
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About Rupali DattaRupali Datta is a Clinical Nutritionist and has worked in leading corporate hospitals. She has created and lead teams of professionals to deliver clinical solutions for patients across all medical specialties including critical care. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association and Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.