Mind your needs, mend your shape

Fitness is all about getting the body of your dreams and good health to go with it

Jogging

  1. Forget diets, exercise portion control. Dieting is all about options and not just restrictions. Honestly, how long do you think will it be possible for a person to stick to a restrictive low calorie diet that does not include any variety? Apart from the hunger pangs it's usually the monotony and lack of choices that make you a quitter. Studies show that even if we reduce 10 per cent of our calorie intake at every meal, by reducing the serving sizes, you can achieve significant weight loss without too much "sacrifice." For example, if eating ice-cream after your meal is a habit you cannot break, start with serving yourself in a smaller bowl and take smaller helpings each time. Also, top it with fruit and gradually try to take a bigger serving of the fruit and lesser portion of ice-cream. Viola - your calories have been halved!
  2. Lift weights. Weight training if done right can be a boon to those who desire perfect shape. Most of us are quite happy with our body shapes, it's just those extra inches that bother us. Lifting weights make muscles much more taut, toned and compact, giving you that sculpted look. It helps to boost your metabolic rate so you can actually get away with eating a bit more than people who don't weight train. Training 3-4 times a week with moderately heavy weights is sufficient to dramatically alter your appearance and make you stronger and better shaped.
  3. Burn the fat. While weight training does boost your metabolism and burn some amount of fat, it is important to include at least one fat burning cardio-workout. You can dance, swim, play tennis, or just go for a brisk walk. If you like to stick to the gym, then working on stationary bikes, treadmills or cross-trainers is fine too. All these activities will help you burn off extra fat and keep your heart and lungs in great shape.
  4. S-t-r-e-t-c-h. Most people underestimate the importance of stretching. Stretching keeps your muscles supple and pliable. After any kind of workout, stretching your muscles is a must to prevent them from getting stiff and sore the next day. Apart from improving your flexibility, stretching helps to actually shape and define your muscles as much as your workout. It also helps prevent injuries.
  5. Plan according to the next three hours. Most people eat only when hunger pangs strike. They, therefore, end up eating food on the "must- avoid" list. This usually happens due to a lack of planning. If you know you are not going to have access to a healthy snack for the next few hours, carrying a fruit in your bag will definitely help postpone hunger pangs. If you wait to the point when you are hungry enough to eat anything, you will eat anything that comes your way!
  6. Increase your fibre intake. Increasing fibre intake in the form of whole grains, vegetables and fruits will help you increase the satiety value of your meal and prevent you from feeling hungry. Fibre helps to keep your cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check. It also flushes out the toxins from your system. What's more, eating sufficient amounts of fibre won't find you reaching for those munchies, the result of which will be a trimmer waistline. Aim at eating 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables/day to meet your fibre requirements.
  7. Drink up. Water is an essential part of our diet. If you wish to rid yourself of bloating, want glowing skin, regulate your bowel movements and control your appetite - drink up! Several times after meals we end up mistaking thirst for hunger and reach out for those "little treats." If you drink water after your meal, that craving too will pass. This will help speed up kilo loss!
  8. Relax. Fitness does not only mean a better body, it also means a state of mind. You cannot call yourself fit if stress gives you sleepless nights constantly, or if you have to rely on pills. Teach yourself to de-stress at the end of each day. Whether it is by taking your pet for a stroll, or by unwinding with your favourite music. Don't make stress your daily companion in all you do. Always remember: it is the mind that leads and the body only follows.

Things to Avoid after a Meal

  • Don't smoke. Experts say that smoking a cigarette after meal is comparable to smoking 10 cigarettes [chances of cancer are higher]
  • Don't eat fruits immediately. It will cause the stomach to be bloated with air. It is better to take fruit 1-2 hr after meal or 1hr before meal
  • Don't drink tea. Tea leaves contain a high content of acid, which will cause the protein content in the food to be hardened, and thus difficult to digest
  • Don't loosen your belt. This will easily cause the intestine to be twisted and blocked
  • Don't bathe. Bathing will cause an increase in blood flow to the hands, legs, and body. This decreases the amount of blood around the stomach and will weaken the digestive system
  • Don't sleep immediately. This hampers digestion and can lead to gastric problems.

- Team CW

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Samreedhi Goel
Samreedhi Goel is a Nutritionist and Personal trainer & fitness columnist who has been a part of the fitness industry since 1999. She has helped hundreds of people shape up, lose weight, achieve the body of their dreams, become fitter and healthier individuals and overcome chronic health problems through her fitness studio Size Wise.Her fitness columns and interviews appear on a regular basis in prestigious publications like Complete Wellbeing, Sunday Midday, Rediff.com, Seventeen India, Mumbai.

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