Every girl wants a perfect body like Deepika Padukone and every boy wants to look like Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham. But no one sees the intense workouts and dietary restrictions they include in their lifestyle to attain a picture perfect physique like theirs. One is either too lazy to shed those kilos in the gym or is utterly reluctant to follow a healthy diet. So the best (read: the absolute worst) option for them is to crash diet, that is, lose weight by reducing liberal amounts of food and skipping meals, and to follow rigorous workout sessions. However, this plan of action causes more harm than good. For example, someone who hasn’t exercised in years shouldn’t go about running miles on the first day or pounding the treadmill for hours. Similarly, one shouldn’t start their diet by eating only fruits and eliminating all forms of carbohydrates all at once. This will only leave us disheartened and demotivated, and then we lose the will to follow through our plan.
So here’s some simple tips that will help you gain that amazing body you always dreamed about.
- Make gradual changes
Small changes can make a huge difference with time. Five extra biscuits a week will lead you to gain about 11 kilograms in just one year. Cut out those biscuits, and you lose the same amount. Do not completely cut down on any particular item of food even if it is calorie-rich. Reduce the amount and number of times of intake and gradually stop consuming it altogether. Lessen the use of full-fat milk and switch to skim milk instead. Reduce bingeing in between meals and slowly stop it completely. This one habit is our worst enemy, and can make us eat whatever is in our vicinity, leading to weight gain. Even if you have a sudden craving, eat veggies such as carrots, beetroots, cucumbers, etc., that take time to be fully chewed and eaten and thus lead to a feeling of fullness in your stomach. Empty your kitchen cabinets of all types of junk food such as chips, cookies, etc., as their quick availability tempts us to consume them even if we’re not hungry, but just to fulfill a little craving.
- Reduce your calorie intake
We consume untold amounts of calories everyday unknowingly, which is not conducive to our goal of losing weight. If you’re overweight, you simply cannot continue with your regular diet plan. You need to make some crucial changes in your daily diet. Your ideal body cannot be achieved by indulging in cakes, sweets and biscuits and then rectifying it by eating greens for a week. This doesn’t mean you can never have any treats at all, but you have to limit their consumption by limiting them to small quantities-say, for special occasions only. Eating 300 to 500 calories less per day can actually lead to a loss of 0.5 to 1 kilos per week. This is a realistic target. Crash dieting (consuming less than 1500 calories per day) only has a yo-yo effect of drastic weight loss followed by weight gain, thus making it a vicious cycle. You can easily reduce your calorie intake by following these tips:
- Use honey or jiggery as a sweetener instead of sugar.
- Eat whole-wheat bread instead if white bread.
- Drink water instead of fizzy drinks at parties, and reduce alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- Have smaller portions of the food you enjoy, and avoid second helpings.
- If you have a craving for dessert after a meal, eat a sugar-free cookie, or sum jaggery or a banana that will satisfy your craving and at the same time, not add too many calories either.
- Increase your activity levels
Someone who increases the amount they exercise, but maintains the same diet and calorie intake, will almost certainly lose weight. No matter if you hate gyms – even light exercise, such as a short 20 minute walk, will be beneficial if done most days of the week. There are lots of ways to increase you activity. Every single time you exercise more than usual, you burn calories and fat. Running, jogging, cycling, swimming, individual or team sports, etc., will all increase your level of activity. Find an activity that suits you in terms of location, cost as well as preference, as this will help you to build it into your routine easily and continue it throughout, albeit inevitably missing it at family gatherings, holidays, etc.
- Incorporate longer walks in your routine. Include walks in the parks, along beaches, etc. Do not use a vehicle for travelling short distances, walk instead. On weekends, picnic in a nice, peaceful spot with a home-made meal so you’re in control of what you eat, instead of eating out at a restaurant.
- Always use the stairs instead of the lift or the elevator. Even little steps like this count in the long run. You can also get down from the bus at a stop previous to your destination, and walk the remaining distance.
- Use commercial breaks between sitcoms and movies to stand up do a little exercise such as stretching, spot jogging or fast walks. You can also keep an exercise bicycle or a treadmill in your TV room, so you can do both at the same time.
- Maintain a journal
Maintain a journal of you activity plan. First, create a simple, realistic plan of action for a week and then follow through it strictly. Write down all that you did during the day that helped you lose weight and all that helped you gain some. At the end of the week, compare your activities to the prepared plan and then incorporate the necessary changes in the next week’s plan. This will help you rectify your mistakes and not repeat them. It also helps you to feel good about yourself if you have followed the plan to the T. However, on this occasion, do not reward yourself with a treat, as this will put your whole week’s effort down the drain and you will gain all the weight you lost.
Losing weight is more a matter of the mind than anything else. If you’re prepared to do anything it takes to gain that perfect body, nothing can stop you from doing so. All you need is sheer determination and patience. And with time, that ideal body you always pictured on yourself will be yours!