Happy New You

Lifestyle changes for weight loss

Published On: September 9, 2016 12:00 AM NPT By: Aditi Sharma

KATHMANDU. Sept 9: All of us want to lose weight and we all embark on carefully laid out workout plans every once in a while but then again, we all stumble and fall. The reason is because often times we are too ambitious in the pursuit of our goals and design plans that are doomed to fail right from the start. 

If your goal is to lose weight and tone up, you have to be patient and determined, and be able to put in hard work. Apart from that you should also not expect instant results.

Research shows that taking baby steps—not giant leaps—is the best way to get lasting results. 

A study found that participants who made one small, potentially permanent change in their food choices and/or physical activity each week (such as drinking one fewer can of soda or walking ten more minutes each day) lost more than twice as much belly fat, 2½ more inches off their waistlines, and about four times more weight during a four-month program, compared with those who followed traditional calorie-restriction and physical-activity guidelines.

The thing is when you focus on just a couple of small changes at a time, you begin to ingrain some healthy habits that last for a lifetime, rather than trying an all-or-nothing approach that more often than not fails because it’s too hard to follow. You will definitely lose weight this way rather than by working out or dieting for a month and then going back to your old schedule for a week or two before starting again.

One of the most popular questions people seem to have for me (including email enquiries) is what are some of the things I do to lose weight and ensure I don’t put on weight. I always tell them to make lifestyle changes rather than doing a complete overhaul of their habits overnight. Add just one or two changes a week to your regular routine and you can lose nearly three inches off your waistline and be about four kilos lighter in a few months.

Even better, once these healthy habits become second nature, you won’t have to struggle with weight loss on a daily basis. 

Sleep away weight gain
There is a reason behind that ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ proverb. Make it a point to turn in earlier and you’ll see some weight loss within a week. Research from the University of Pennsylvania found that even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to almost immediate weight gain. Scientists asked participants to sleep about 10 hours a night for two days, followed by five nights of sleep restriction and four nights of recovery. After the 11 days, the sleep-deprived group gained almost three pounds, compared with a well-rested control group. So make sure you get your eight hours of beauty sleep each night. I go to bed at 10 pm and wake up bright and early by six. 

Drink lemon infused water 
You already know drinking water is good for your overall health, but fitness expert and celebrity trainer, Jackie Warner has a tip to take it up a notch in the weight-loss department. She recommends drinking three liters of water with lemon each and every day. Adding the lemon helps to detoxify the liver and metabolizes fat, so this can speed up metabolism by about 33 percent and apparently, that burns about 100 extra calories per day. I start my day with a tall glass of water with half a lemon squeezed in it and then carry a large tumbler with lemon juice in it to sip throughout the day. 

Do small bursts of exercises
We usually don’t make time for exercise every single day or it gets so monotonous that we skip a day here and a day there until we realize we made it to the gym less than three times last week. I try to fit in small bouts of exercise whenever possible, like doing jumping jacks or crunches during television commercials or dancing while washing dishes and laundry. This burns extra calories and keeps me from mindlessly munching in front of the TV. Now my clothes fit way better, and I’m more toned than ever. I also get up and walk for five minutes between assignments at work. This not only refreshes my mind but also gives my body a much-needed quick workout. 

Get all nutty
Studies have proven that people who eat nuts weight less and eat less overall. I carry a small box with 15 almonds, eight cashews, and eight walnut halves in my bag and munch on them whenever hunger strikes. The belly-slimming monounsaturated fats are excellent, and each type of nut has great benefits—walnuts have omega-3s and almonds are high in vitamin E. Plus, a little box can fit in a purse pocket anywhere, so there’s no excuse not to carry one with you. Also, you’ll be less likely to binge eat when you snack on healthy items like nuts, cheese wedges, and fruit slices throughout the day. 

Disclaimer: I’m not a fitness expert. I’m just someone who has worked hard to lose weight. I have consulted a dietician friend to find out what works for me, and suggest you do the same. I’m only sharing my weight loss experience through The Week and trying to motivate you all to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It’s always best to get an experts advice before beginning a diet and workout plan. Stop exercising if you experience pain during the workout. Also never reduce your calorie intake to less than 1000. If you have any queries regarding my weight loss journey, write to me at sharmaditi374@gmail.com.

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