Weight loss : Calories & Beyond !

Weight loss : Calories & Beyond !

Most of us know of the fact that the basic way to lose weight is to burn more calories than what you consume. Weight/ Fat loss can happen only when one creates a reasonable, sustainable CALORIE DEFICIT for a prolonged period.

You lose 1 kg of weight when you BURN 7700 calories MORE than what you are consuming. Going by this math, if you aim to lose 1 kg in 1 week, you will have to cut down 500 calories from your  diet (NEVER go below 1200) & BURN extra 500 calories by exercising & increasing your activity.

However, it is not as simple as it sounds. Simply cutting down on your existing diet (which may be far from being nutritionally balanced) is not the key. Though you may lose weight initially, it may not necessarily be a loss of body fat.

Also, other than calories, some of the factors that influence weight loss/ fat burn :

  • Meal timings
  • Sleep patterns
  • Food combinations
  • Water intake
  • Hormonal balance/imbalance
  • Stress
  • Genetics &
  • Metabolism

I am sure that when you want to lose weight, you definitely do not want to lose the glow of your face or get stretch marks, or you don’t want to lose your hair. In fact, you may want to (& you surely can ) improve your skin, hair & over all looks.

Therefore, it is very crucial that you lose weight only through a nutritionally balanced diet. Yes, it is possible to eat a well balanced diet that also puts you in a calorie deficit & enough to make you lose 1 kg per week.

What would be a drastic weight loss (& unsustainable) ???

Losing over 5-6 kgs a month (a sure shot way to stretch marks) by following a crash diet that severely restricts major food groups & deprives you of  nutritious foods like fruits, nuts , egg yolks, whole grains & your regular home cooked food. The weight you lose on this kind of a diet is sure to bounce back & sadly it brings with it a few extra kilos above what you lost (plus the ugly stretch marks & dull skin)

What would be a sensible, sustainable weight loss???

Losing 1 kg per week, while eating a balanced diet that includes all the main food groups like whole grains, pulses, vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts, seeds , eggs  & non veg (if applicable) etc. Low fat, low carb, moderate protein diet works fabulously well for most people.

Remember, you need to eat REAL food  (Find out what is real food, here : http://wp.me/p4P5FE-6 ) & home made food,  versus packaged junk & processed ‘food-like products’ (read margarine, ‘fruit’ drinks that contain no fruit, fortified breakfast cereals).

Some simple ways to cut your calorie intake are :

  • Eat real food & not food like ‘products’.
  • Consume more of protein based foods like curds, eggs, tofu, sprouts as their digestion burn more calories than many other foods.
  • Eat out no more than 1 – 2 times a week. Order sensibly.
  • Control your portion sizes
  • Bake/ Shallow fry /Roast with less oil instead of frying
  • Measure (using a teaspoon) the oil you add to cooking & add only the necessary amount of oil. Don’t pour oil  directly without measuring.
  • Restrict sweets & deserts to special occasions & eat in controlled portions.
  • Consume whole grain based foods instead of refined grain based foods.
  • Restrict the intake of added sugar
  • Eat no more than 3-4 food items at one meal e.g  roti + vegetable + dal + salad.
  • Avoid foods with hidden sugars (like ketchup, ready made pasta sauces, pizza sauces etc.)

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