Tag Archives: Healthy Snacks

Guidelines to successful Weight Loss and Management

Losing weight is easier than maintaining. Those of us who have tried will fully agree with this. But, with a realistic ideology it becomes easier to lose as well as maintain your weight, with minimal chances of gaining it back.

A few tips for smooth sailing…

Set Realistic Goals: Before boarding the weight loss train, chalk out your goals clearly. Research has proven that writing down your intentions is far more likely to turn them into actions than thinking or talking about them. Also, ensure that whatever weight loss goal you decide on; is realistic and you have a suitable time frame to achieve it.

Monitor Body Composition Changes: it is a far better motivator than weighing scales. Take circumference measurements of specific sites of the body like abdomen, hip, thigh before starting the weight loss programme and take repeat measurements every month. Those who plan to join gym or health centers might also monitor the changes in their body composition (fat and lean mass). Decrease in fat and increase in lean mass is an indicator of improving body stats.

Weigh Weekly / Fortnightly: It is any day better than stepping on the weighing scale daily. Frequent weighing can lead to an obsession about weight and this obsession might pose hindrance in successful weight loss. You need to come to terms with the fact that an initial weight loss of 2-3 kg cannot be maintained always. Try and lose 0.5-1 kg per week. Slow and gradual weight loss is easier to maintain as there are less chances of bounce back.

Keep a Food Diary: A food diary is a record of your daily food intake. It will act as an eye opener as you will acknowledge that you eat or drink several things without even registering them.  It will also evaluate what and when you are eating; whether the diet is balanced or deficient in any important nutrients. Food diary should be maintained for a week and it is recommended that you follow your usual eating pattern while making the record. Everything, from a spoonful of namkeen to sips of cola should be mentioned in the diary. No cheating!!! From the completed food diary your overall eating habits can be assessed and your dietitian / health care provider can suggest necessary changes to improve the same.

Cut and Replace FAT: By examining the food diary diet culprits can be identified and replaced with healthier options. (For healthier substitutions) But don’t try to remove fat completely from your diet. We need fats for their numerous functions in the body and their deficiency can trickle down to deficiency of essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K).

Cut Calories Gradually: A sudden calorie deficit can act as a shock for the body which might lower your BMR. This is the biggest mistake which all of us commit while trying to lose weight. So ensure that you start with few restrictions and only when weight loss slows down or you hit a plateau, further restrict the diet or increase the duration of your exercise programme.

Take Small Frequent Meals: Follow a meal pattern in which you incorporate 4-6 meals daily, including snacks. Our body requires energy even to digest food which we eat. So every time we eat, the body is using that extra bit. This does not mean that you can increase the amount of food; rather spread the food you plan to eat in the entire day over these meals. Several researches have concluded that frequent eating keeps blood sugar and insulin levels steady and helps control blood cholesterol levels too. A regular food intake also ensures a constant flow of energy for the entire day and no hunger pangs.

Lifestyle Changes: Long term weight management means making a few changes in lifestyle – lifelong healthy eating, regular exercise and abstinence from smoking and alcohol.

Last but not the least stay positive during the schedule; positivity can do wonders for your body image and will keep you motivated.

Hope these pointers are helpful for you…..

Snacks: not that BAD after all!!!

snacks not that bad after all“Snacks” have always been looked down upon by those trying to watch their weight. Still they are important part of our diet; as they provide energy for those in between times and prevent us from over-eating at meals. Choosing a healthy snack though is a challenge…

Snacking is a very important aspect of our daily diet and for those trying to watch their weight, choosing healthy snacks can be quite a task. There are lots of options to choose from the counter but not all available snacks can be considered healthy or wholesome. Which snacks can be labelled as healthy???

If you are choosing a processed or a prepackaged food as a snack it is a good idea to read the label properly before its consumption. Here are a few tips which can help you in selecting a healthy snack.

  • Read the label for its nutritional information. If calories from fat are more than half of the total calories, it is not a healthy choice
  • Avoid snacks that list sugar as one the first few ingredients
  • The portion size should provide less than 100 calories
  • Pick foods that are low in fat and sugar and high in fiber
  • Natural sweetness in foods and drinks is better than added sugar
  • Aim for whole-grain snacks
  • Fruit beverages are better compared to carbonated ones; still they are high on calories

Planning to make your own snack

  • Fruits and vegetables are good choices for healthy snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat which certainly means that an apple is better than a bag of chips. Make your own cocktail of fruit and veggie salad with lemon juice, olive oil or vinegar as dressing
  • Roasted mixed seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, flax with chana are a good source of protein, fiber, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Sprouted pulses with crunchy vegetables

Some more tips to avoid unhealthy snacks:

  • If you work, then bring your own snacks to work rather than eating outside
  • Put snacks in portions rather than carrying the whole packet
  • The best way to keep from eating unhealthy snacks is to not have these foods in your house. If you need to keep them anyway then store them where they are hard to see or reach
  • Keep healthy snacks at your eye level so that when hunger strikes they are the first ones to be grabbed

By following these simple techniques you are surely going to make a great difference in the way you look and feel without despising the word SNACKS.

Image Courtesy: Stuart Miles