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Food for fitness

Published On: July 29, 2016 12:04 AM NPT By: Aditi Sharma

Things that aid weight loss

A lot of people tell me that they exercise so much, sometimes even putting in two hours per day at the gym in addition to home workouts, but they are still unable to lose weight. I always tell them to look into their diet. It doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you don’t pay attention to your meals. After all, weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise. You could be hitting the gym every day in addition to walking to work, but all that will be wasted effort if you don’t change the way you eat.

Many people I have met seem to think that it’s okay to eat anything and everything as long as they sweat it out. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. They say you are what you eat and there is no way around it. If you want to lose weight you have to be careful about what you put in your body. That’s the only way you’ll be able to lose weight and keep it off. In fact, there are some foods that do much of the work for you and help you lose weight faster.


Aim to consume at least 20 grams of fiber every single day. For this, make sure you have enough whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The thing about fiber is it keeps you feeling full for longer and that’s a good thing especially when you are trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that women who ate more fiber significantly lowered their risk of gaining weight because higher fiber intake leads to a reduction in total calories over time. A study by University of Tokyo showed women who ate high-water-content foods like fruits and veggies had lower body mass indexes and smaller waistlines.

Good fats

These include monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, found in oils, nuts, avocados, certain fish and even chocolate. Besides being good for your heart, these also help you feel full for longer after a meal. Try walnuts which are a good source of monounsaturated fats. An Australian study had participants follow a healthy low-fat diet, either with walnuts or without. Both groups consumed the same number of calories and lost approximately the same amount of weight at the end of six months. But during the next six months of the year-long study, those who ate walnuts continued to lose weight and body fat.

Snack on nuts and have them before heading to the gym for best results. A study published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that almonds can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts.


Have three servings of lean protein such as fish, chicken and pork loin chops every single day. Just like fiber and good fats, protein too helps keep you feeling full for longer. A study showed that participants who ate a higher-protein breakfast were more satiated afterward and took in fewer calories at lunch than those who ate a low-protein breakfast. The moment protein leaves your plate it starts winnowing your waistline. High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. The cumulative effect has obvious benefits for weight watchers.

Green Tea

I find green tea comforting. If you are just getting started, then you might not like the taste much but this is something that will grow on you. Have at least three cups daily.
Catechins, the antioxidants found in high amounts in green tea, have been shown to be helpful in promoting weight loss, specifically belly fat. In a study, participants who drank the equivalent of three cups of green tea a day lost twice as much weight as those who did not. The tea-drinking group also lost significantly more belly fat than the non-tea drinkers. Squeeze some lemon to the brew for added benefits. Really, if you aren’t drinking green tea with your workouts, you are just wasting time at the gym.


Everyone tells you to drink water and here I am going on about it as well. But as someone who consumed two to three bottles of Fanta every day, I’m here to tell you that drinking water does have a lot of benefits. First, when you aren’t thirsty you are
less likely to reach for aerated and other sugary drinks. Since water is naturally calorie-free, that means reduced calorie intake. And second, water also curbs hunger because sometimes you can be just thirsty and your body mistakes that for hunger. So reach for a glass of water the next time you think you are hungry and wait for half an hour. Chances are you won’t feel those hunger pangs anymore. Some people even claim that drinking water before a meal reduces appetite so it might not be a bad idea to have a glass of water before sitting down at the dinner table.

Disclaimer: I’m not a fitness expert. I’m just someone who lost oodles of weight – almost 30 kilos – wanting to share my experiences hoping it will help others who are struggling with weight loss. If I could do it, so can you. However, I couldn’t begin to stress on the importance of eating right. Pay attention to what you eat to change the way you look and feel.sharmaditi374@gmail.com

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