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The ‘N’ in the weight loss plan!!

Posted by : Sheetal Kulkarni-Naik

On : 05 October 2015

Comments : 4

Views : 3418

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Many of you must have just begun to follow a diet for losing weight or have been following a diet since years or months to lose weight - consciously or by being influenced by peers or family members. Some of you may even be achieving weight loss goals in terms of losing kilos or eating at the right time or sticking to an exercise regime. But you need to keep a check on the all important ‘N’ while following a weight loss plan.

You may wonder what the ‘N’ being referred to is. It is the ‘Nourishment’ one needs to give their body while on a calorie restricted diet.

These simple points will help you discover the N-factor in your weight loss plan:

1. ‘N’ine Essential Amino Acids: Weight loss diet is typically high in protein, low on carbs and fats. It is therefore important to understand the ‘Quality of Proteins’ that is needed by the body while following such a diet. Quality of proteins is choosing high quality protein foods that will supply your body with the 9 essential amino acids. The name ‘essential’ amino acids itself signifies the importance of their consumption through the diet on a daily basis, more so because they are not synthesized in the body.

  1. Non vegetarians can get these essential amino acids by consuming animal foods like lean meat, eggs, fish, whereas;
  2. Vegetarians can get their supply of essential amino acids through soy (the only vegetable source that is a good quality protein) along with cereal+pulse combination foods e.g. poha made with sprouts, milk and milk products, nuts and oilseeds (elaborated later), fermented foods like dosas, idlis or gujarati relishes like dhokla, iddah, etc.

Inclusion of these foods ensures qualitative weight loss; less fatigue and more energetic throughout the day.

2. ‘N’uts and Oilseeds: This is one such food group that provides us with many important nutrients but is neglected in a typical weight loss diet. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and roasted (unsalted) peanuts are good source of proteins and can be consumed as a mid day snack. Oil seeds like chia seeds (sabja), flax seeds (alsi), sesame seeds (til), poppy seeds (khas khas), pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber (giving longer satiety and fullness), antioxidants, good fats like omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, B6 and B12. These are also rich in minerals like Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Magnesium and Manganese helping you to not only achieve a respectable weight loss but also build a strong immune system and a healthy heart.

These nuts and oilseeds can be added in curds or sprinkled over salads and cut fruits in whole or powdered form as desired.

3. Nourish your body with ‘N’eer or Water: Every day we lose water from our body through urine and sweat, and this loss increases manifold while on a diet to lose weight. While on a weight loss diet, you should consume more than 8-10 glasses of water as the diet is high in protein and fiber. With lesser consumption of water, you may get constipated, affecting your appetite. Also, you don’t want to add on calories by loading yourself with sweetened or carbonated beverages and fail in your weight loss plan.

4. Keep it ‘N’atural: Go for natural, organic foods or drinks like Nariyal pani or Nimbu pani instead of canned juices or such claimed non-sweetened/zero-calorie drinks. Such beverages have artificial sugars which trick your body into thinking it will receive sugar or energy instantly instead your body ends up getting zero nutrition. You may curb your cravings for chocolates and sweets by keeping black dates or dry figs handy, as these will provide enough energy and an important nutrient as Iron.

5. Understanding ‘N’utrition Facts label on packaged foods: If you are one of those people who often consume packaged foods, you will have to understand the Nutrition label found on them. Let’s say one serving size of a product (depending on the product you plan to purchase) has more than 30 gms of sugar or fat. This is equivalent to 5 teaspoons of sugar or fat in just one serving which even exceeds your daily recommended consumption, thus adversely affecting your weight loss plan. Therefore, beware of terms like ‘low calories’, ‘cholesterol free’ or ‘no sugar’ and be a wise consumer to dig deep before selecting your packaged foods.

6. N’eed to be energetic even while you are shedding those extra kilos: Your diet and exercise plan should be such that at the end of the day or while playing with your children or doing some errands you should not feel dull and fatigued. If this is what you experience then maybe the diet planned is not according to the energy you spend throughout the day. You might want to discuss with your nutrition expert or asses your diet to make necessary changes and stay energetic throughout the day.

You can take a moment to reflect on a this wise saying - Instead of starving yourself, starve the negative thoughts that say…you can’t lose weight in healthy ways…and feed the positive thoughts that say…YOU CAN!!

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