I am sure some of you would have embraced the steps and foods which we discussed is beneficial for managing weight. I am sure you would appreciate the fact that first and foremost in this journey of proper weight management is commitment and discipline. Rest comes later.
In my concluding post on weight loss I am sharing the daily regime and diet guidelines which can help you in your goal. These are simple goals, but the success and failure entirely depend upon your adherence to the same. This is not the only regime, there are several others, but you have to start with something to achieve your goal. The best way is to start today and take one step at a time. Many people start a regime, a diet, gym, yoga, exercise only to give up in a couple of weeks or months. The reward comes through consistency and perseverance, and the results are long lasting. The body feels naturally fit and healthy and there is greater clarity of thoughts and action generally. One happy and healthy person can inspire many others. So why not be that person.
Please consult your doctor or physician if you have some medical condition. I am not a certified physician or Doctor. I only write what worked for me while following the regime I am about to describe below.
Dinacharya (daily regime) for weight loss
Dinacharya for the weight management program starts with the last meal of the previous night. Eat light dinner as the body does not require many calories for the night time. The extra calorie will convert into fat eventually making the battle for avoiding flabs difficult. I know that many Indian take their dinner after 10pm, this is a bad habit and it catches up when we reach 40. Some of the manifestations are high BP, extra flab, diabetes, loss of energy and vitality and many others. One would require to finish the light dinner at least 2 hrs before going to bed.
Now let’s talk about how to start the day
Remember, continuity of the regime is key to success.
Wake up early. By early I mean between 5-6 am. People who have the habit and discipline to leave the bed early also maintain the same discipline in exercising daily.
Drink a glass of water kept in copper pot overnight. Empty your bowel, brush your teeth and clean your eyes before heading for body stretch and exercise. Find a suitable place to do some yoga or High Intensity Training. If you are doing gym, the best time is morning as the body has used up all the carbohydrate while sleeping and then it targets the fat for fuel requirement. If you are running, the body quickly goes to the fat reserve within 15-20 minutes of running.
The early morning exercise not only jump starts the metabolism but also keeps us fresh and awake throughout the day. That’s the benefit of extra oxygen which the body has got while exercising in the morning. So, you can avoid all such lethargy, tiredness and yawning later in the day of you have exercise in the morning.
The morning sweat removes the toxins from the body and helps prepare for the day ahead. This is also an indication that the body has reached out to the fat reserve for utilizing it as energy.
Cool down- It is important to recognize the need for slowing down after the morning exercise. This can take any form such as resting on the yoga mat in corpse pose (Svasana), practicing to balance breathing (Pranayama) or meditation.
Do not gulp ice chilled water or juice at this stage. If you are feeling depleted, use room temperature lemon water with some sugar and salt or freshly squeezed orange/ sweet lime juice without sugar. And the best of all is warm water which I am sure very few will prefer to take, but it has its own benefit.
Now you are experiencing moderate to intense digestive fire- It’s around 8 in the morning and body requires refueling. The first meal requires attention and discretion. Several things can go wrong if the breakfast choices are not healthy or in line with the weight loss objective.
Avoid deep fried, sugary or overtly carbohydrate based breakfast. Make it interesting by including sprouts, lentils, tofu, egg, vegetable, dosa without stuffing, porridge with almond milk and dates, 1 mutigrain chapati with plenty of subji (Indian vegetable preparation), healthy egg preparations like poached egg, akuri, boiled or steamed.
Do not mix fruit or fruit juices with breakfast, read more about the FODMAPs here and the reason for separating the fruits/ juices from food.
Wrap up your breakfast with either a cup of green tea (without sugar) or warm water.
Heading to office or staying back at home for daily chores-
Germany and Netherland take the health of their citizens seriously. The built the separate lane for bikers. Well this is not a good news for many Asian countries and their top cities, there is no separate bike lane. But biking to work (if within 5 kms) or walking (if within a km) helps the limbs become strong, dispel the join pain and guess what, utilize the stored energy and keep the oxygen level high. I guess this point does not aptly apply to some Indian cities, viz Delhi, Mumbai. I guess hard luck guys.
If you are a housewife (one of the most challenging role to play), it is important to plan the day in a manner where activities are varied but not tiring. Do stretch from time to time of you are standing for a long period of time, this will help circulate the blood evenly and remove stiffness.
Feeling hungry again at 11am?
Yes, that’s quite possible especially if you have a good metabolism. This is indication that your digestive fire is healthy. What are the options to exercise at this hour. Most people try to quell the hunger with a cup of coffee or a tea. Beware, it’s counterproductive and does more harm than good. If you like to take coffee or tea at this hour, ensure to grab a piece of toast or multigrain cookies alongside.
Else you can take fruits at this hour. E.g apple, banana, slices of papaya or fruit salad with some digestive spices. Again, a word of caution, do not mix fruits with other foods. The other choices are multigrain vegetable/ chicken sandwich (no mayonnaise or ketchup) with mustard or coriander chutney.
Here comes the lunchtime
Whether we are working of office or stay at home, lunch meal in both cases are very important. People tend to eat a carbohydrate rich diet at the lunchtime which slows down the metabolism. People don’t have to starve but a little more careful with the food choices.
Protein rich diet helps to rev up the metabolism. Salad and wholegrain sandwiches are light and easy to digest. Broiled chicken or pan-fried fish with salad leaves and roasted potatoes are enjoyable at lunch time. In the Indian context 1 chapati with light dal and lightly spiced vegetable preparations can be a healthy choice. Some of the other choices can be chickpea curry with 2 tbsp brown rice and salad, multigrain roti with tofu curry, large bowl of sambhar with 2 tbsp brown rice, rajma and quinoa. Use chutney, roasted papads and water-based pickles to introduce more variety and interesting taste spectrum to the daily staples.
Take a stroll slowly for about 10 minutes after lunch. This will help digest the food and not make you feel heavy and sleepy which is generally the case. Keep drinking warm water whenever thirsty.
3:30pm Enjoy the Break time
The time has come to stretch again. Get up and give some exercise for the sore limb. This may be time you feel hungry again and looking to refuel again. Well this is quite normal for the people with high rate of metabolism, also true for someone else (especially Kapha prakriti) to not feel hungry at all.
Anyway, there are snacks suggestion that one should stick to follow the weight loss objective.
Guacamole with cucumber, jkale chips, brown bread with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with berries, 15 gms of baked nuts like almond, sacha inchi or walnuts, apple, carrot sticks with hummus, smoothies made with water (no added sugar), fruits with unsweetened yogurt, vegetable chat (no deep fried), sprout salad, baked corn vada, khaman dholka, ragi biscuit, roasted lotus seed.
Dinner starts early 6-7 pm
Now, that the daily regime nicely turned out for you, consider the following for the dinner. I know that’s it too early for the Indian family to have family dinner by 7pm, and that’s one of the reason of many cases of obesity in loss of energy and vitality the next morning.
1. Dinner should be lighter then the lunch. Stay focused, do not pile up many calories as the body requires to power down. There will only be the involuntary vital body functions which would require energy, rest of the calories will store down as fat.
2. Focus more on warm and cooked food, keep away from junk food and empty calories drink. Do not mix fruit with foods. Soups, lights stews, grilled lean chicken, turkey or fish are good choices for people preferring meat protein. For the vegetarians, keep away from deep fried pooris and paratha. Chapati with subji and dal, some chutney and pickle should make up part of the dinner diet. People who eat out often, always find the digestion sluggish due to onslaught of unwanted trans-fat, refined and highly processed food.
3. Keep some place for warm water if you want some water with the food. You can also enjoy green tea or chamomile tea or ajwain tea to boost digestion.
I hope you find answer to your weight issues and problems with the daily regime which is leaving many with health and lifestyle issues. Issues for which solutions are in our hand, no one else it do it for you and no one else will suffer the physical consequences.
And before you forget, store water in the copper jug near your bedhead for starting your next day regime.
Please do share your comments, feedback or post your questions. Remember it’s today that we start the daily regime, there is no tomorrow.
Namaste and happy reading.