The Ultimate Diet Chart To Lose Weight, Not Health
These tips are based on the sound principles of nutrition science that have stood the test of time, unlike fad diets.
Lose weight, not health
- Lose weight but not at the cost of your health
- All meals should be balanced and wholesome
- Cut out on excess salt; no salt on the table please
Has losing weight become your seasonal hobby? You go on a diet, lose weight, and fall out of your restrictive /fad diet and gain back again, with full force. This time your weighing scale tips further high...Sigh!
I am enlisting here some tips for you that will help you to lose weight, and keep it away for good, without losing health. You don't want to lose the glow of your skin and the strength of your hair/nails as you lose weight. These tips are based on the sound principles of nutrition science that have stood the test of time, unlike fad diets. Any diet that has a name, and asks you to omit 1-2 food groups completely is a fad diet. Here we go:
- Never skip meals. Stay away from starvation diets and fad diets.
- Eat your first meal within 20-30 minutes of waking up.
- Eat every 2-2.5 hours, plan for 3 main meals and 3-4 mid meals.
- All meals should be balanced and wholesome, include all food groups.
- Cut out on refined cereals; eat complex carbohydrates which are nutrient dense and fiber rich.
- Cut out on refined sugar, look for hidden sugars on food labels (like high fructose corn syrup, invert syrup, maltose, dextrose, cane solids etc)
- Cut out on excess salt; no salt on the table please.
- Avoid processed and packaged foods, they are a concoction of refined grains, vegetable oils, trans-fat, salt, sugar, hidden sugars, and chemicals like preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavor enhancers et al.
- Hydrate yourself well; avoid colas, juices, canned drinks.
- Include plenty of seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. The more colorful your platter, the healthier it is. No need to burn your pocket on expensive imported fruits please!
- Learn to differentiate between thirst and hunger.
- Learn to identify fullness signals and never cross overeating threshold. Portion control is your biggest tool in your weight loss journey.
- Take your vitamin-mineral supplements regularly, unless you grow your own food organically.
- Exercise and rest is non-negotiable. A minimum of 150 minutes a week is recommended. Plan a well-balanced workout schedule with the help of a professional.
- Stress management is a life-saving skill we all need to learn. Stress and sleep deprivation negate all your weight-loss efforts.
Here is a sample Indian diet plan to guide you to plan your meals:
Early morning: A glass of warm water (with or without lemon and honey)
1st meal: A fruit of your choice (preferably banana), 5 almonds, 5-6 raisins, 1-2 walnuts, 1 tsp seeds (flax/ pumpkin/ chia etc)
Breakfast: Egg with chapatti OR Stuffed roti with curd OR Poha/upma/daliya with curd OR Idli-chutney
Mid-morning: Namkeen lassi OR chaas OR coconut water
Lunch: Salad, 2 chapattis/ rice, seasonal vegetable, dal/ curd/ raita
Early evening: Seasonal fruits
Late evening: A glass of milk OR tea with chana/peanuts OR Sprouts chaat OR Cheese slice
Dinner: 2 pieces chicken/egg curry with 1 chapati/ rice OR Dal-chawal OR Dal, green vegetable, chapatti OR Veg pulao with dal/ curd OR Sambar with idli/dosa/uttapam
Post dinner (if you are up late and hungry): A cup of warm haldi milk (toned) or 5-6 pieces nuts
Bedtime: Warm water
Note: The portions will vary from person to person, depending upon gender, body weight, age, activity level. If you are doing weight-training, your protein requirement is high and you would require protein supplements.
You must get regular investigations done to uncover any medical condition, hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies.
Disclaimer: This is a general diet plan; it may not cover specific, individual requirements for complex medical conditions. You must meet up with a qualified nutritionist for an in-depth analysis and seek guidance to customize diet plans that blend seamlessly into your lifestyle and meet your medical requirements too.