The notion of fitness and its connection to a more balanced life is gaining popularity. With current lifestyles, it is fairly easy to neglect health and most people just cannot pinpoint the cause of their weight gain. It usually starts with a little belly fat until one realises that their weight gain is causing several other health problems. Needless to say, obesity is a pressing issue, especially in India where lifestyles have shifted from being active to passive.
Since obesity has gained the status of a health problem, advertising companies come up with multiple products like pills and powders (even heating belts) to make you believe that weight loss can happen overnight from the comfort of your home. Well, that is a pipe dream. There are several myths surrounding weight loss and we understand how overwhelming the process can be. What you need is an effective plan you can stick to and we are bringing you just that.
An effective diet plan along with the right amount of physical workout can give you great results. We will also bust some of the myths related to weight loss and provide you with the dos and don’ts to help you achieve your goal in the healthiest way possible.
THE DIET PLAN
DAY 1: Day one is when you will kick start your diet plan. However, you will feel yourself getting drawn to comfort food because of the sudden diet change but you must not give in.
Morning: Begin your day with an energy drink to help your metabolism get started. You can prepare an energy drink at home as well. To some warm water, add some fresh lemon juice along with a teaspoon of honey (natural sweetness). Make sure you have this drink, first thing in the morning. Lemon is known to help with weight loss and will also add electrolytes to your body to keep you hydrated. This drink has no calories and immense benefits. For your breakfast, have 2 chapattis along with 2 boiled eggs. The eggs will give to proteins while the chapattis will give you some carbs to help you get through the day.
Lunch: Your lunch should be 1 cup of brown rice along with 1 cup of pulses cooked in minimum oil. Add some green vegetables for some fibre.
Afternoon snack: You will feel yourself craving more food and to avoid giving in to such carvings, have some healthy afternoon snack such as 4 almonds (plain) a bowl of watermelon with 2 biscuits ( plain and sugar-free).
Dinner: Make sure you have your dinner around 8:00 AM. Your first-day dinner must include 1 bowl of boiled vegetables (include beans, broccoli, carrots and peas). Along with your vegetables, have a bowl of chicken soup (preferably homemade) or tomato soup.
DAY 2 and DAY 3: Your body will start getting used to the diet changes. Expect little constipation but it’s nothing a glass of warm water with roasted seeds cannot solve.
Breakfast: Just one hour before your breakfast, have a glass of ginger water with a tablespoon of psyllium husk mixed together. Psyllium husk forms a gel inside the stomach and enables proper bowel movements along with creating a feeling of fullness to avoid overeating. For the actual breakfast have a cup of semolina with boiled vegetables. Have one glass of soy milk without any sugar or flavours.
Lunch: For lunch have a bowl of brown rice loaded with green vegetables and add cucumbers, carrots and lettuce for salads.
Dinner: Have ½ cup of rice with 1 cup of cooked dal (pulses of your choice). You can also have 1 cup of warm milk mixed with turmeric before you go to sleep.
DAY 4 AND DAY 5:
Breakfast: Begin your day with a cup of lemon green tea. This will be full of antioxidants and will kick start your metabolism. For your actual breakfast, have a glass of oats milk, along with a bowl of fruits (avoid bananas).
Lunch: For lunch, have a bowl of salad and 1 cup of boiled pulses. You can also have 1 chapatti or 2 slices of brown bread.
Dinner: For dinner, have 1 hardboiled egg and a bowl of boiled broccoli. This will add lots of fibre as well as vitamins to your body. Before going to bed, have a cup of ginger tea (boil a few slices of ginger with some water for 10 minutes).
DAY 6 AND DAY 7
Breakfast: Your breakfast on days 6 and 7 should be low-fat oatmeal. Make use of low-fat milk and gluten-free, rolled oats.
Lunch: For lunch, have a small bowl of boiled vegetables with ½ cup of brown rice. You can add some almonds to your bowl as well.
Dinner: For dinner, you must have 2 whole wheat chapattis, a bowl of boiled chicken breast and some boiled veggies.
DAY 8 AND DAY 9
Breakfast: ½ cup of brown rice and 1 hardboiled egg. Have your breakfast with some fresh coconut water.
Lunch: For lunch, have 1 sliced cucumber along with steamed brown rice and 1 cup of boiled pulses.
Dinner: Your dinner should include 1 small bowl of vegetable soup along with 2 slices of toasted brown bread.
Before going to bed, have a cup of ginger tea with some honey.
This being the last of your dieting plan, must be taken seriously. Avoid having any form of salt today as it could cause water retention and make you look fat.
Breakfast: For your breakfast, obtain the egg whites of 2 eggs and scramble them with some boiled vegetables. Eat this with 2 toasted slices of brown bread. Add a glass of fresh carrot juice.
Lunch: Have a cup of oatmeal along with a plate of vegetable salad.
Dinner: Have a glass of warm water mixed with psyllium husk, 1 hour before you have dinner. For the actual dinner, have 1 cup of steamed brown rice along with ½ cup of Greek yoghurt.
This 10-day diet has a negligible amount of calories and minimum sugar. Hence, if you follow this diet step by step, you are sure to lose some weight and get a few steps closer to becoming fit.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ALONG WITH THE DIET:
- Allow yourself to have pre-meal snacks:
Since this is a very strict diet plan, you will find yourself reaching out for comfort food thinking that it won’t disrupt your diet at all. This is not true. While you may have cravings, you cannot consume processed foods. In between meals, you can include some soaked nuts (except raisins, which are high in calories). You can also have fruits like kiwis, or watermelons in between meals.
Drinking enough fluids is extremely essential for your body to support itself during such a restricted diet. However, just having plain water is not enough. Your body needs electrolytes as well. Switch to more enriched options like coconut water, green tea and oral rehydration salts which can be mixed with water.
- Exercise and keep yourself on the toes:
By this, we do not mean to tell you to overexert yourself. But make sure you exercise at least 1 hour each day. Since you are on a diet, consult your gym instructor about the workout plan that you follow. If you do not go to the gym, indulge in taking jogs and doing light exercises at home. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can. Also, walk for 15 minutes after every few hours.
- Include more alkalising food in your diet:
Alkalising foods like carrots, cucumbers, apple cider vinegar, broccoli and cabbage will help to balance the pH level in your body and prevent acidity (a common side effect during the weight loss journey).
If you do not consume enough fibre while on a diet, you will have some digestive problems such as bloating, acidity and constipation. The mentioned diet plan already enlists vegetables but you can also add some extra fibre by having fruits such as guavas and pears. Psyllium husk is a great yet unknown alternative. It is easily available in drugstores and is gluten-free. It also helps to reduce appetite and any kind of digestive discomfort.
Food habits often go ignored. Chew your food properly so that it can be easily digested. Also, eat slowly as this will reduce the urge to overeat.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO:
- Don’t step on the weighing scale every day: Weight loss has a physical as well as mental dimension. You need to prepare your mind in order to face challenges and keep yourself motivated throughout the process. For this, avoid checking your weight every day. This can hamper motivation and push you back into your old lifestyle. If it is a ten-day diet, then just measure your weight on the first day and then finally on the 10th day.
- Don’t use salad dressings: The diet includes eating lots of raw vegetables. We understand, that vegetables are plain in taste but you must not add any artificial flavours to them. Store-bought salad dressings contain sugar and empty calories which disrupt your diet. Sprinkle some spices like turmeric and pepper to add some taste if you must.
- Don’t skip meals: Skipping meals is never an option no matter how overweight you are! If you skip meals, you are not only setting yourself up for an eating disorder but also making it harder for your body to sustain itself. With a loss of energy, you will not be able to perform your daily activities and you are much more likely to give up.
- Avoid sugar: Processed foods contain plenty of sugar which will increase food carvings. Most sugary treats also contain empty carbs which will nullify the extra weight you have lost due to the diet.
- Don’t have pre-packaged juices or energy drinks: These contain sugar in varying amounts. Store-bought fruit juices also contain artificial flavours and almost no nutrition. Don’t trust the labels and indulge in foods that are just pretending to be healthy. The homemade drinks or teas can be consumed with honey instead of sugar.
- Avoid white starchy foods at all costs: This includes refined white flour (which is most of the times bleached), white bread and processed white rice. These foods get converted to sugar almost immediately after being digested and can make it harder to resist comfort food.
- Don’t fall for false advertisements: Companies will try to sell you all kinds of pills and equipment but they are all empty claims. Food is medicine and a controlled healthy diet is all you need to get back into shape. Also, diet chips or diet coke are futile.
PRECAUTIONS YOU MUST TAKE:
People with certain health conditions must consult their physician before taking up a weight loss diet. These health conditions include:
- Heart conditions: For heart patients, the amount of daily exercise is different. Their calories and protein intake also need to be closely monitored.
- Diabetes: It is important for patients of diabetes to keep eating something healthy after every few hours. Therefore, before following this diet, they must make sure that they are including their daily snacks to prevent their sugar level from dropping.
- Certain medicines can also interfere with your weight loss diet. These include insulin shots, antihistamines, anti-depressants and birth control medications. If you are on any of these medicines, consult your doctor.
- This diet is not recommended for those below the age of 18 yrs and women who have just given birth.
- You may experience weakness in the initial stages of the diet. This is completely normal. Do not panic but make sure you boost your energy levels by consuming plenty of fluids and hydrating salts.
Losing unnecessary weight is definitely a progressive step to shield yourself from the side effects and health risks of obesity. The health risks include increased chances of developing type II diabetes, joint pains and heart problems with increased chances of strokes.
So dive into this lifestyle with proper guidance and a positive mindset.