The fitness and health bandwagon – a trend that everyone hops on to but only a few persist. Health, both mental and physical, should be high on the list of everyone’s priorities. Health truly is wealth. Not feeling comfortable in one’s own skin can affect their behaviour, confidence and self-esteem unfavourably. Being in shape can do wonders for a person as a whole.
The whole aura changes when you know you’re healthy and fit. The self-belief and sense of determination that one attains from overcoming the obstacles in their personal life and managing to get their physical soundness back on track can manifest into their social and work life.
Thus, it’s easy to see why the topic of health and fitness has garnered so much attention in recent times. If you’ve taken the initiative to improve your lifestyle, kudos to you! However, the journey isn’t too easy. It does become tempting to give in to all the indulgences, subsequently leading to guilt, demotivation and finally chucking the diet into the bin.
Fear not! Here are 5 simple and effective dietary approaches that will aid you in staying on track. As always, these suggestions are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Not everything works for everybody. It’s always wise to consult a doctor before making any radical alterations to your lifestyle. That said, let’s get on with it!
Intermittent Fasting – The secret to fat loss?
Skipping breakfast might be alright, i.e intermittent fasting (IF). If the goal is to shed the chubs, IF could very well be the way to go. In this regime, one must skip eating breakfast and have their first meal later on in the day or vice versa, but due to the practicality, the former method is preferred. Depending on the eating and fasting windows, the first meal may be anytime late or mid-afternoon. By reducing the time allotted to eating, we tend to eat less.
Hence, it’s been effective in inducing weight-loss. Apart from that, IF also has been empirically proved to have profound health benefits like improving metabolism, hormone stabilization, heart health etc (further reading on the benefits here).
Berries are the new candies! Blueberries are a personal favourite of mine. Loaded with antioxidants and important vitamins, berries can be a tasty alternative for candies. They do just as good a job at satisfying that sweet tooth as any candy ever will.
Freeze them, blend them or add them into your cereal bowls. Stock up on a few boxes of strawberries, cranberries, goji berries or even organic grapes. You can be sure that your next snack raid will healthier than all your previous ones.
Hack your head
Using smaller plates – yes, you heard that right! Eating from smaller plates leads to eating smaller servings, i.e lesser calories. Studies have found out that using smaller plates lead to the subjects consuming smaller portions of food and they eventually end up eating less overall and losing weight.
Chocolate- A guilty indulgence no more
Keeping a bar of dark chocolate handy – this goes out to all the chocolate lovers. Making the transition to dark chocolate may not be a bad idea. Milk chocolate contains a ton of sugar, along with many other additives to give it the signature taste whereas dark chocolate is a little raw and true to the nature of chocolate.
Ideally, one should start off with a 30% cacao and go up the ladder. Due to the higher concentration of cacao solids, it’s richer in antioxidants and minerals like Zinc and Magnesium. A few studies have shown that dark chocolate reduces the risk of developing heart diseases. Savouring a block of it every now and then can satiate the palate’s craving for chocolate and do some good for your heart.
Bake or break your diet
Bake instead of fry – Baking or grilling food doesn’t require as much oil as frying does. Does this mean you’ll have to compromise on taste? Not even a little bit. When done right, grilled or baked dishes can be just as delicious as their fried counterparts with a fraction of the fat.
Next time, when thinking of frying some chicken, give some thought to grilling it or baking it in the oven. Along with a side of wholesome, slightly charred smoky veggies. One can get the same amount of protein in with space to play with different flavours and not feel guilty about wallowing in a succulent, appetizing dish.