Train Your Brain
Have you ever craved for cabbage and cauliflower? Or felt guilty about eating too many apples? Ever heard little voices in the back of your head saying "eat, eat, eat broccoli? Definitely never! Yet when you eat fried foods, you crave more; eat sugar and you crave it real bad.
That’s because while natural foods balance the body, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, salt, saturated fat, refined starch and refined sugars - all cause chemical imbalance in the body, thus cravings.
So beware! Compulsive overeating has more to do with your mind rather than the actual need to eat. So naturally it’s about maintaining a balance. When you ate the rasgulla, you made a decision. It comforted you.
But when the alarm clock rang, you went back to sleep, skipping your walk once again. Again you made a decision. It doesn’t work this way. Your decisions are in your control and your brain should be trained to make the right ones. So work on rebooting the "hard drive" now.
Hot tip: Try making a complete break just from the foods you crave. It works much better than trying to eat them in moderation. Staying completely away from a food item for three weeks often resolves the problem. At the end of three weeks, your taste buds would have changed, or at least adapted.
Lose Weight Like a Guy
Face it - guys lose weight much better than us for sure. They just give up beer for a month and a couple of kgs go off.
Just like that! And to knock off even half that much weight we (as in women) need to sweat it out. Literally!
Well, for starters the rate at which the guys burn calories is much higher, plus their hormones don't play havoc leaving them waterlogged. But in addition to all this, they have some tricks up their sleeve too. So take a sneak peak there.
Women are twice as likely as men to binge because they're depressed, multiple reports show. And that’s not all, women are also twice as likely as men to be depressed, and this makes for a lot of binge eating sessions.
Also have you ever seen a guy get totally dejected when he screws up on a diet and simply give up and hit a doughnut? No they don’t do it the ‘all or none’ way.
They keep food and emotions separate. Period! Plus their comfort foods tend to be different – they’d probably hit a steak (read protein) instead of a brownie (sugar).
And the last bit of advice - when you get mad, get moving. You’d catch a guy getting physical when he’s angry and not swallowing his anger along with a tall thick glass of chocolate latte. So there’s a lesson there too.
There’s Hope With Therapy
Can you lose weight with therapy? Absolutely!
Right counselling can help tap into the subconscious thinking, which controls our habits.
A good therapist can suggest positive ideas so one can change bad eating habits by naturally changing ones mindset. Positive reinforcements can also get a person to begin an effective physical activity schedule - which is a big plus.
When paired with a sensible eating pattern and regular exercise, therapy can be an effective weight loss too.
Act Like A Child
Children are always on the go, ready to climb any wall, run, swing, play, jump over hedges, cycle, fight… in fact, the dictionary should define the word 'activity' as 'kids'.
Exercise comes totally effortless to them — without thinking and over-the-top planning. So, if you are trying to get fit, go dust off your skates - or buy some new ones and get moving today. Or take out your basketball and start ringing again!
You’ll get closer to your weight loss goal by a mile right away! Children are active because moving their bodies brings them joy. Aim to translate the same joy to your workout.
Plus think up some of the activities that you enjoyed when you were a child. If you liked to dance, join up a class, if table tennis is your calling, start playing it again.
Get a Diet Buddy
Weight loss isn’t usually easy, but if there is a partner-in-crime it can make losing weight much easier than going it alone.
This is where a diet buddy comes in - a partner who shares your weight loss and workout goals, as you both take a trip towards svelte-sville. In fact buddying up can make the difference between failure and success with any weight loss plan.
So it’s true then – it does take two to tango. Successfully!
Morning exercise always helps. This way you get it out of the way and dump the chance of skipping it later in the day as work takes over.
Plus you begin the day with an endorphin surge that keeps your metabolism on fire through the day. And for a double bonus get outdoors as then you’ll score some vitamin D too, which again helps keep you thin.
Hot tip: stretch in the shower. The hot water will loosen up your muscles, so it’s easier to get a good stretch. The act of stretching will help release stored tension and enable you to start the day feeling more relaxed, at peace, and ready to handle what comes your way.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Don't Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.)