Weight loss occurs when the amount of calories you take in is less than those you burn. We all know that if we eat high-calorie foods, it's going to take a lot to burn them off.
For instance, if you like your morning roti prata with egg (around 289 calories), you'll have to take a brisk walk for around an hour and a half to burn it off. You can still enjoy that delicious dish, but why not make it a treat, and not a routine?
While exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet, making a few good food choices helps us make sure the dial on the bathroom scales goes down instead of up.
Reduce your calorie intake
Weight loss is all about reducing the calories to lose the fat. Make healthier food choices by reading nutrition labels, and watch out for hidden sugars and fats. Start with small changes:
- Replace sugary and artificially sweetened drinks with fresh coconut juice or plain water.
- Double your vegetable intake and halve your meat intake – let your veggies and not your mutton rending curry be the star of your lunch.
- Replace sugary desserts with one serving of fresh fruit.
- Avoid second helpings.
- If you usually eat deep fried food three times a week, reduce this to a once-a-week indulgence.
- Don't skip meals
Snacking is a temptation when you're hungry – and our 24/7 food culture makes it difficult to resist! Irregular eating habits can also disrupt your body's metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. So eat up and focus on the positive:
- Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Protein-rich eggs are good (boiled or poached), and they will keep you satisfied until lunch – just don't be tempted by the empty calories of the accompanying kaya toast.
- Most successful dieters find that having four to five small meals a day is better than loading up on three large ones. It keeps hunger at bay, making it less likely you will succumb to an unhealthy choice.
- If you are a snacker, swap your morning muffin or afternoon cake for healthy options such as celery with peanut butter, plain nuts with a square of dark chocolate, or half an avocado.
- Quality not quantity!
The key to weight management is portion control. Make sure you eat regularly to avoid becoming too hungry and then stacking up your plate with nutritionally empty food. Get clued up:
- Beware of low-calorie options. You might think that low-calorie dressing or half-fat coconut milk is better for you, but the addition of additives such as sugar can still make it high in calories.
- Downsize your plate. If you have a smaller plate, you'll eat less – just don't compensate by piling it high to make up for the fact it's not as wide!
- No one's saying you have to deny yourself – just be sensible. If you crave chicken rice, halve your portion.
Managing your weight is as much a state of mind as a plan of action. Help yourself by shopping for groceries after you've eaten. If you're eating out, have a couple of glasses of water before you go – feeling full is a great deterrent to overeating.
Now that you've sorted out your food plan, click here to find out how you can feel better by stepping up your exercise.