Happy Monday folks! Last week, I wrote about losing 8 pounds in 2-3 weeks in a healthy way. I have always struggled with maintaining my optimum weight. I grew up as a not so healthy eater, and preferred cake and cookies to green leafy vegetables during my teenage years. Over the last 4 years, along with growing my Yoga practice, I have also became more aware and mindful of what I eat. I am training myself to eat healthy, relish fruits and vegetables, avoid junk and exercise daily. But from time to time, I have a slip here or there! It is so difficult to completely eliminate junk from your life! However, given the positive progress I have made in my lifestyle over the past couple of years, I am confident I will get there soon.
I wanted to share one tip which I find useful in helping me maintain my healthy weight. This is just one of the changes you can incorporate in your daily routine to have a healthier lifestyle.
My top tip for losing weight is ‘to avoid junk food and work towards removing it completely from my diet’! Here are three simple ways in which I try and avoid junk food everyday:
- Stay away from anything which has processed or refined flour. This means saying good bye to cakes, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, pastries, white rice and white bread (basically anything from the bakery). This also means no pizza, pasta, spaghetti or instant noodles. If you must have your toast, make it multi-grain. Do the same with other food groups – if you must eat pizza, have whole wheat bread. If you cannot do without your pasta, make it from wheat flour.
- Banish fried foods from your diet. Say no to french fries, any form of chips, fried bread, fried meat, fried vegetables or fried flour in any form!
- Try and avoid anything which has processed sugar. So no ice cream, chocolates (dark is fine), Nutella, processed juices (eat fruit instead), or packaged drinks (soda and fizzy drinks in particular). Again, look for natural substitutes for some of the non-avoidable food groups. Add honey to your milk or tea, and use jaggery more often as a sweetening agent.
One common problem I face when following the above three principles is avoiding junk food at social events. First, it is difficult to control your cravings when an array of inviting treats is laid out specially for your consumption. And second, it is embarrassing to refuse your host again and again when they offer you something. A simple way to handle junk food in social settings is ‘to sample it and not eat it’. Before leaving for any such event, have a wholesome meal so you don’t feel hungry when you get there. And each time you are offered something, stop at a bite! So take a spoonful of that chocolate pastry, a quarter of that pizza slice, or a bite of that cupcake, and leave the rest. One of my closest friends would often quote (and I agree), ‘Better to let it go waste, then have it go to the waist!’.
I am not saying I do a great job of being on top of each of these myself, but every time I fail, I make a fresh start and go back to eating healthy.
Note that this is only one of the quick changes you can incorporate in your lifestyle to lose weight and maintain a healthy body. This is not the only thing you should follow blindly to get results! To have a healthy body and mind, one needs to do a lot more – eat mindfully, exercise, cultivate a hobby, beat stress, drink lots of water and sleep well among other things! I personally try and follow the principles of healthy eating and living prescribed by Rujuta Diwekar, a very famous nutritionist from India.
This is just one simple tip which I hope inspires you to start your week on a healthy note! Try and make healthy eating a habit by following the above principles for 21 days, and share your experiences with us via comments below!