Stay slim and trim
Want some simple cooking guidelines for a balanced meal so that you do not put on those extra layers of fat? Read on...
Diet for losing weight
I HAVE received a number of requests for a diet for losing weight. I am giving below some general guidelines. Since a perfect diet is only worked out after taking a full diet history of the client, what I am giving below are mere guidelines and I have worked around the average food that we cook and eat daily.
Do not go on a crash diet or any specific diet. For example, high protein or just fruits diet etc, unless recommended by your doctor or dietician. Crash diets or diets that restrict to one category of foods have detrimental effect on health. I am not recommending special preparations as this may become difficult to prepare everyday and this results in breaking your diet regime. The daily menu is based on what you cook everyday in the house. You just have to restrict quantities and follow the sequence suggested.
*Make up your mind and start the diet from Monday.
*Learn to say `No' when food is offered to you at home, at work or at a party.
*If you are going out in the evening, eat your meal and go.
*Switch to Equal or Sugar Free instead of sugar. You will reduce at least 50-100 calories.
*Do not use coconut in cooking, example in poriyal or kurmas, gravies.
*Eat slowly and in a relaxed atmosphere, chew slowly, relishing every morsel of food.
*Do not snack in between meals. If you feel hungry eat raw carrots, cucumber or tomatoes as much as you want with lime and chatmasala.
*Use very little oil in cooking. Try to use non-stick cookware as you need less oil to cook in them. Sunflower oil is recommended.
*Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily, it helps to detoxify your body.
*It is always good to consult your doctor in case you are a diabetic, have high or low BP or on a special medication.
A sample daily menu:
You must eat all meals and follow the sequence.
- one glass of water with ½ lemon and 1 tsp of honey (this prevents hunger pangs).
-Tea or coffee if required - 1 cup without sugar and very little milk. Use skimmed milk or skimmed milk powder. (Sagar skim milk powder is available in all shops).
-one idly /1 steamed dosa/ 1 slice brown bread /1 table spoon cereal, cornflakes or porridge. No jam or butter. No coconut chutney. You can have mint or onion chutney. (You can eat idly one day, dosa one day, bread one day. This will make you feel good and give you variety).
-one cup skimmed milk/coffee.
-one slice papaya.
*one fruit, 100 gms - apple/guava/sweet lime/orange. *one glass buttermilk - this will keep your stomach full and prevent you from snacking.
Follow this sequence:
-First drink one glass of buttermilk or rasam or clear soup.
-Eat one plate full of raw salad of cucumber, carrot, and tomato. This fills your stomach and thus reduces food intake.
*Chapati - 1/Rice - 1 bowl cooked. Made from 50 gms of atta or rice. For the first time weigh it once to give you an idea of how much it is and how many chapatis you can make out of it.
*Dal/Sambar - one medium bowl of thin consistency. Put plenty of vegetables in it. You can change the dal daily to have variety.
*Green leafy vegetable like spinach or keerai - one bowl.
Place all the items in a plate and eat. This will satisfy you. Do not take any second helpings.
*Tea/coffee without sugar and with very little skim milk.
*Marie biscuit - 1 / roasted channa 30 gm.
-Rasam or clear soup - 1 glass.
-Raw salad of cucumber, tomato & carrots
-Fish or chicken or paneer - 100 gms - grilled or gravy. Not deep fried or gravy with coconut.
-Mixed vegetables, one bowl - made with very little oil.
-Rice/chapati - 1 (50 gms of atta or rice).
The above diet will fill you up. Slowly your stomach will shrink and you will not feel hungry. In one month you will lose at least 2 kgs.
The second month you can cut down your rice and chapatti to 25 gms and you will have a progressive loss of weight without any side effects and the weight will not come back.
Foods to avoid:
*All nuts and dried fruits like peanuts, almonds, cashewnuts.
*All deep fried food like puri, paratha, vada, samosa, pakora.
*Fruits like banana, chiku (sapota), grapes, mango.
*Vegetables like potato, yam, beet root.
*All soft drinks and colas. One soft drink is equal to 80 calories.
*All sweets and desserts like pastries, payasam, sweets etc.
*Jam, jaggery, sugar.
*All alcoholic drinks.
Food exchange list:
If you eat these Take this out of your diet.
*one soft drink ½ chapati or 25 gm rice
*10 nuts cashewnuts etc one chapati
*one sweet one cup of milk
*one ice cream one cup of milk + ½ chapati
*one alcoholic drink one chapati
Besides the above, you must take a vitamin supplement if you are not already taking. I recommend one capsule of spirulina and one capsule of B-Carotene (these are natural vitamins and should be taken after breakfast).
No diet is complete without exercise. The best exercise is walking. Walk at least for ½ hour a day, 3 times a week at least. Start by walking 15 minutes and increase it to ½ hour - 45 minutes daily. You can walk anytime anywhere; but the best time to walk is either early morning or late evening. Remember - your intake of food i.e. input has to be less and output i.e. exercise/walking should be more. You could also increase your exercise by following some simple methods.
*Do not take the lift up or down for your work or home. Walk up and down the stairs.
*Do not sit in one place either at work or at home. Walk around. Do not use your maids and office boys to do small chores for you. Do them yourself.
*While watching TV, exercise your hands and feet wherever you are sitting.
*If you do not have time to walk, stop your car/vehicle about 1-2 km from home and walk home.
*Try to play an outdoor game. Eg. Badminton, table tennis, tennis etc. at least twice a week.
*In summer, swimming is a good exercise.
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