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Weight management can be a tricky affair. While some desire to shed a few kilos, many find it difficult to put on some weight. Watching your weight is a science and it requires a thorough understanding of one's body, the role of proper nutrition and the manner in which this nutrition is supplied to the body. Eating right is the first and the most important factor in weight management, if you've got it right; half the battle is won already.
Low Calorie Diet for Weight Loss
Weight loss is triggered when the body burns calories. According to experts, the best approach to lose weight is to maintain a well-balanced diet and team it with regular physical exercise. Many people resort to crash diets, which focus on restricting food or eliminating an entire food group altogether. Such diets alter the default mechanism of our body in a way to initiate weight-loss. This may have severe repercussions. The thumb rule for weight loss is to cut back on calories every day; this is usually achieved by a combination of consuming lesser calories and burning some through exercise.
Weight loss is a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Set realistic goals, stick to your plan, and if you lose the way some times, it's ok. Eat balanced meals that include all basic food groups; opt for small frequent meals over larger, fewer meals; drink plenty of water and switch to low calorie natural drinks over off the shelf carbonated beverages. A handful of nuts make a great snack, also look for low calorie snacks like makhana and popcorn. One size does not fit all, each body is different and so are the triggers, find yours and work on it.
According to medical standards, a person with a BMI (body mass index) less than 18.5 is underweight. If you wish to gain some kilos, try increasing your calorific intake which is easier said than done. Choosing energy dense foods is a good option, but selecting foods that add calories from healthy nutrients would be the best bet. Nuts, seeds, avocados, nut butters are all good picks. Snacks like exercise bars, good old multigrain ladoos, cookies made from healthier ingredients like ragi, oatmeal, etcetera, are all excellent for gaining weight the healthy way. Make sure you eat smaller frequent meals and drink fluids in-between your meals rather than with meals. While talking of weight gain, the role of protein should not be overlooked. Proteins are very essential for gaining healthy weight. The Journal of American Medical Association found that people who ate more proteins gained more weight. Another important factor for weight gain is exercise. In order to gain muscle mass over fat mass, resistance training becomes imperative.
Tips for Weight Maintenance the Healthy Way
It doesn't matter if you aim at losing weight, gaining some or simply want to maintain your existing weight; the following points serve as building blocks to good health and ideal weight maintenance:
- Say no to refined sugar, refined flour and most things processed. These are devoid of nutrition and are pure empty calories.
- Make a habit of fueling your body in the first half of the day itself. Breakfast should be heavy with every meal going lighter as the day proceeds. Your dinner should be the smallest and the lightest meal of the day.
- Eat in moderation but at small intervals. Snacking should include nuts and seeds. Those who want to gain weight must include a handful of nuts and seeds in their daily diet. However, if you wish to lose weight consume nuts with caution as these qualify to have high calories. People on a weight maintenance plan can rotate the nuts they eat through the week. Seeds, sprouts and salads with micro greens also make good snacking options.
- Three to four days of physical activity a week should be included in the daily routine. This can be a mix of cardio and strength training.
- Do not skip meals or stay hungry. This causes overeating at the next meal and should be avoided.
- Get enough protein and increase your fiber intake (from fruits, veggies, whole grains, oats, etc.)
- Drink plenty of water, stay hydrated.
- Keep a check on essential nutrients iron, calcium and others.
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