*** CALORIES *** In majority of cases the culprit is excess calories. You might say that you are hardly eating anything but we always always underestimate the calories we consume. It might be the miscalculated portions, the forgotten portions – the teaspoon of sugar in your tea, the biscuits you had in the evening, etc.
Everybody is unique in their energy requirement. You may have friends who hog all day but still fit into petite clothes and even though you eat less than them, it all seems to stick to you like a lard of fat. It just means you have a lower energy requirement, adjust your meals accordingly. Instead of relying on exact calorie counts, keep a note of your scales and measurements. If you do not notice results in a week, the ‘diet’ is not working.
Mind your portion You can play around with your portions as well. Eat in a smaller bowl, smaller plate. For second helping, refill to only half of what you would previously. Follow this for a week and if the scales have not moved, adjust the portions again. Your body really doesn’t need those extra calories!
The Healthy5 Try to include five portions of fruits or vegetables in your daily diet. If they are raw, they are the best. Go in for fresh juices – fruits and vegetables! Eat salad for a snack. Stock your fridge at the start of the week, so that you don’t reach out for the cookies or breads when you are hungry! Plan Plan Plan! You would have to do grocery shopping twice in a week for all the fresh health you would be buying.
Stop eating junk! Do it for a week. Tell yourself you will do it only for a week. At the end of the week, whenever you pick up any junk food, ask yourself – do I NEED to eat this. If yes, take a small bite so that you get a taste. Continue taking small bites until the craving has passed.
So what ALL is included in ‘junk’? Here goes: butter, cheese, chocolate, cream, ice cream, fat meats, fried foods, gravies – not even the low fat or low sugar versions – they have too many chemical additives which your body is forever struggling to rid of. Avoid all processed carbs – bread, candy, cake, cookies, cereal products (only unprocessed oats is ok), honey, sugar, syrup, all preserved drinks – all juices and carbonated drinks (yes, even coke zero!) and all alcoholic beverages. It is difficult to go cold turkey on all of these at once. But unfortunately this is the only way. Read more about sugar here: Is Sugar Really That Bad?
Low Fat or High Protein or Low Carbs?! Know what works for you Some people feel great with a high protein diet while others get depressed and moody without their carbs. You have to find out for yourself where you fit on the scale. More than that work out what food types and combinations work for you. After you have had your healthy meal, if you feel uneasy in your gut – heaviness or bloated or pass gas, the food you had does not agree with you – it might be only one ingredient. The next day eliminate an ingredient to determine if the uneasiness goes away. Eg. if you had oats with milk and flax seeds on the first day, change the brand of oats or boil it in water instead.
You should feel energised after a meal not lethargic. You would have to listen to your body to know what works for you. Throw out all the diet books and ‘suggestions’ from friends. Just ask your body.