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Is it even possible to have a treat while being on weight loss? Okay, it may sound contradictory at the moment but yes it’s possible. Trust me I have lost 6 kg in a month being on diet and exercise. Your target is to lose weight, that’s good, but should not be losing muscle mass at the same time. This for many people is something that’s easier said than done. In my last post 5 Things I Daily Struggle with being a Bodybuilder, I had raised some points that many have agreed upon. Let me correct this and say “5 Things I Daily Struggle with being on a strict fitness regime”. Nothing comes without sacrifice, but for us Indians taste is something that is hard to forgo. But believe me, when you start cooking your own meals, you start to learn and eventually live by it.
Before I tell you stuff you can use to add flavor to your diet food and share a delicious yet healthy recipe with you, here are some tips to boost your weight loss program.
Effectively Using Water for Weight Loss
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Okay, so you have been drinking 8-10 glasses of water for weight loss. Now I for sure know that most of you make sure that you have reached 8 glasses before you sleep. You see this is not how it works, try using water as an effective mechanism to cleanse you body. Here is how you should be using water:
- When you get up in the morning, the first thing you should do is force water down your system. Take a water bottle and a glass, finish this bottle glass by glass while in a sitting position. WHY? According to ancient Ayurveda, there are some very important bacteria in our saliva which needs to reach our stomach first thing in the morning. This is known to not only treat many diseases (e.g. Gastritis) but also help maintain a healthy gut.
- Do not consume water until 30 to 45 minutes after you have had a meal. WHY? Because when you have a meal, various acids, enzymes and what not are released in our stomach for digestion. Pouring water after meal slows down the digestion process (and thus metabolism, eventually will be a setback to your weight loss program). Try consuming hot water or at least warm water. AVOID CHILLED WATER AFTER MEALS FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.
- Drink cold or mildly chilled water when not in the above two scenarios. WHY? It helps push your metabolism (eventual weight loss) as our stomach needs to heats the water before it moves further down our gut.
- Drink when you are thirsty. WHY? Because our body requires it at that moment and is prepared to digest it. If you’re not feeling thirsty while on a weight loss program, there something not right with your program then.
Train your body to metabolize 24 Hours a day
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Well this is pretty hard to do, but not impossible. All you need to become is shameless in counting calories, in refusing to eat when you don’t have too and in eating when you have too. It’s like a process you follow like your life depends on it and no… no… no… cheats. Also try adding 5-6 grams of proteins in everything you eat, it helps keeping your metabolism running, fat burning and eventual weight loss. Below is an example routine:
- Get up, drink water (as described above) and freshen up.
- Around 8:00AM, consume a medium banana (around 120 Cal). It’s very good for heart, helps in cardio, great pre-workout meal.
- Around 9:00AM, hit the Gym or whatever workout you do. You can take BCAAs during your workout. These will help as you are on a low calorie diet, but need to synthesis proteins.
- Around 10:00AM or whenever you finish your workout, take at least 25gm of WHEY PROTEINS (around 120-150 Cal). Remember you have around 45 minutes after your workout to consume WHEY to be effectively digested and assimilated in your body.
- Around 12:00PM, take two pieces of digestive biscuits (like Marie Gold or choose your alternative here, around 50 Cal). Use multi-grain or oat.
- Lunch time 2:00PM, take up to 300-400 Cal diet. You can use my favorite Boiled Lemon Chicken with Soup and two pieces of multi-grain bread or a bowl of rice. You meal is a bit heavy so will take up to 3 hours to digest.
- Again around 5:00PM, take 12 pieces of overnight water soaked almonds (around 80 Cal). Use multi-grain or oat.
- Around 7:00PM, take ample amount of dietary fiber like salads etc. not amounting to more than 200 Cal.
- Just before bed around 10:00PM, take at least 25gm of CASEIN (around 120 Cal). This will help you maintain your metabolism for 6-8 hours.
So summing up your daily calorie intake comes in between 990 to 1150 calorie, which is good enough for your weight loss program.
Don’t forget your proteins, vitamins and other supplements
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Yes most of us do not use these. But people while being on a weight loss diet, we deprive ourselves of some essential nutrients. Now without these nutrients you’ll weak, tired and lazy, thus hampering your weight loss program. There are many reasons for not using supplements. Some of them are:
- Are they safe to consume?
- How do I know if they are original?
- Where should I buy them from?
- What should I take?
To start with, it’s perfectly safe to take these supplements for weight loss or weight gain. You just need to use them as a part of your weight loss diet rather than being dependent on these for everything. Well most of these supplements are internationally manufactured and imported into India. One of the ways to identify the originality of a supplement is the Importer’s Sticker, this has complete details of the supplement and can be crossed verified with the importer. Well there are many places to buy from, online (Disclaimer: Thumbbell is also deals in nutrition supplements. We deal in original products from authorized importers only.) as well as offline stores. Now you should only be taking what is required during your weight loss program. Below is the weight loss stack I personally used for first month:
Now Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Once, two soft gels with afternoon meal)
MusclePharm Shred Matrix (Once, two capsules 45 minutes before afternoon meal)
Universal Nutrition Uni-Vite Multivitamins (Once, two capsules with afternoon meal)
BSN Amino-x (BCAAs) (One scoop during workout)
Scitec Nutrition Zero ISO Great (One scoop post workout)
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein (One scoop just before bed)
Now as per the desired and achieved results, we add or subtract external supplements. Dosage remains almost the same, you don’t want to stuff your body with nutrients that will not be digested and wasted.
Now coming back to the topic, things that can add flavor to your weight loss diet without disturbing its calorie count. Remember these things contain highly potent substances, so maintain a recommended dosage of using these too. Let’s start with:
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Top of our list of flavor adding items is Ginger root. I presume you already knew what all its good for, but still here is a summary.
- It helps regulate Cholesterol by significantly reducing serum and hepatic cholesterol levels.
- It helps improve the immune system. Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help prevent chills, fever, and excessive sweat.
- It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce joint inflammations.
- It creates thermogenesis, an action that boosts metabolism.
- Studies suggest limiting your daily intake of ginger to 4 grams per day to avoid side effects such as diarrhea and heartburn.
You can use it in different ways. Grate it and add as a topping, dry it and make powder, boil it with water and create a ginger extract.
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Of course you knew that was coming. With more than 100 biologically helpful compounds, garlic
- is a powerful agent for detoxification
- boosts your metabolism
- is an effective diuretic
- eliminates fat from the cells
- regulates your blood sugar levels – fluctuations that cause sweet cravings and turn on the fat-storing hormones.
- work as a powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic
- build your immune system
- lower a high blood pressure
- lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising good cholesterol (HDL)
- helps dissolve blood clots that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Since it need to interact with oxygen to form allicin, the best way to use (for flavor) is crush it and leave it open for 10 minutes before use or you can mince, chop, slice or as whole cloves. You shouldn’t be consuming 2-3 medium cloves a day.
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Add that tangy flavor to you meal by using some lemon juice. Low on calories but high on Vitamin C, can contribute up to 40% of required value (based on 2000 calorie diet). You can kick start your day with lemon juice with honey and cinnamon. Add it to salads, meals, etc.
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Well next time you are seasoning your meal with some black pepper, you just may want to give that shaker a few more generous shakes. According to researchers, the main substance in black pepper, known as piperine, can stop the formation of new fat cells. Piperine is the substance in black pepper responsible for its pungency. The amount of piperine varies from 1-2% in long pepper, to 5-9% in the white and black peppers.
Well now it’s time for the recipe I was talking about. My vegetarian friends, I’ll soon try to cook up something for you guys as well. Until then please bear with me.
Boiled Lemon Chicken with Soup
Image Courtesy: Vipul Meehnia
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Ginger (Grated or as a paste)
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic (Grated or as a paste)
1 or 2 Green Chilies (Small)
1 Lemon (Medium Size)
250 gm Boneless Chicken (Diced)
Salt (Add to taste)
Black Pepper (Add to taste)
How to cook?
Use a pressure cooker for simplicity. Pre-heat the cooker and then add Olive Oil. Now add Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies. Stir them a bit and then add water. Heat it for 2 minutes. Add Lemon juice, salt and black pepper to hot water. Now add diced chicken pieces. Stir and close the pressure cooker. Wait for 3-4 whistles. Try this with brown bread (2 pieces) or a bowl of boiled rice.
Well if I have provoked some thoughts, I’ll be waiting to know your opinion by adding your comments below.