“Gosh, I need to lose weight, but I’ll start seriously from tomorrow”, “Urgh, just another bite of the brownie won’t do me any harm; I vow to be on a stricter diet from tomorrow”, “A rainy day is the perfect time for hot bajji’s, I shall start exercising tomorrow”, “zzzZZZ, conquer that alarm before it spoils my sleep”. Familiar phrases? Fighting with your inner self to stay motivated and on track to lose those extra kilos? Follow these cheat-proof strategies to help you meet your obstacle filled goals of losing weight.
Obstacle 1: I don’t like fruits and vegetables
Strategies: Try experimenting with fruits and vegetables. Find ways to break the monotonous routine of the way/form you eat your vegetables. Eat yoghurt with fruit toppings, make chappathi and dosas with vegetable purees, drink a fruit smoothie, make vegetable chutneys like carrot, radish and beetroot chutney, to name a few. Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables is a practical strategy to optimize health and reduce risk of chronic diseases. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003)
Obstacle 2: When eating out, I like to eat my favourite foods, not something healthy
Strategies: Snack on a fruit before going out. While eating out, eat in moderation. Try to request for healthier preparations using lesser oil, lesser salt and lesser sugar, some restaurants are more than willing to help. Also, eat your food slowly which helps you eat lesser portions.
Obstacle 3: I have a hard time not eating something when I’m watching TV
Strategies: Keep your hands occupied while watching TV. Folding laundry, writing your grocery list, paying your utility bills, sipping on a glass of hot water, engaging yourself with a Sudoku puzzle, trimming fingernails, are some of the strategies that might help you stay distracted.
Obstacle 4: I eat when I’m stressed, depressed or bored
Strategies: Develop or engage in hobbies, keep yourself socially active to refrain from being bored. Snack on healthier options like dry fruits, a bowl of cereal if you really have a hard time not eating. But always remember, moderation is the key word.
Obstacle 5: I don’t feel motivated to exercise
Strategies: Find a gym buddy, schedule a regular workout time, choose exercises you like doing, select a conveniently located gym, add variety to your exercise, set realistic goals and keep a tab, reward yourself once you achieve your goals.
Obstacle 6: I don’t have time to cook healthy meals
Strategies: Surveys show that people consume 50% more calories, fat and sodium when they eat out than when they cook at home. With careful planning, you can make sumptuous healthy meals in a jiffy. Plan ahead for the week and stock up on the necessary ingredients. Try cooking in bulk and freeze portions, buy frozen vegetables to save some time, take the salad and sandwich approach, don’t think about elaborate meals; think simple!
All said and done, the road to a healthy lifestyle is a solitary and a personal process, although we could borrow help in the form of companionship and motivation. The only “open secret” to a healthy weight is nutritionally balanced meals partnered with exercise. With a little extra effort, your goals of a healthy weight can be met!