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How to Lose Weight

How to Lose Weight – The Basics of Weight Loss

Despite the way it feels, losing weight isn’t a mysterious process. It’s a simple matter of burning more calories than you eat. But, if it were really that simple, none of us would have a weight problem, would we? Weight loss can be such a struggle that we start thinking we have to do something drastic to see results — diets, pills or those weird fitness gadgets on infomercials that promise instant success. The true secret to weight loss is this: Make small changes each and every day and you’ll slowly (but surely) lose those extra pounds. The key is to forget about instant results and settle in for the long run.

Rules of Weight Loss

To lose one pound of fat, you must burn approximately 3500 calories over and above what you already burn doing daily activities. That sounds like a lot of calories and you certainly wouldn’t want to try to burn 3500 calories in one day. However, by taking it step-by-step, you can determine just what you need to do each day to burn or cut out those extra calories. Below is a step by step process for getting started.

  1. Calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate). Your BMR is what your body needs to maintain normal functions like breathing and digestion. This is the minimum number of calories you need to eat each day. Keep in mind that no calculator will be 100% accurate, so you may need to adjust these numbers as you go along.
  2. Calculate your activity level. Use a calorie calculator to figure out how many calories you burn while sitting, standing, exercising, lifting weights, etc. throughout the day. It helps to keep a daily activity journal or you could even wear a heart rate monitor that calculates calories burned.
  3. Keep track of how many calories you eat. You can use a site like Calorie Count or use a food journal to write down what you eat and drink each day. Be as accurate as possible, measuring when you need to or looking up nutritional information for restaurants, if you eat out.
  4. Add it up. Take your BMR number, add your activity calories and then subtract your food calories from that total. If you’re eating more than you’re burning, (your BMR + activity is 2000 and you’re eating 2400 calories) you’ll gain weight. If you’re burning more than you eat, you’ll lose weight.
Mary’s BMR is 1400 calories and she burns 900 calories in daily activity with regular exercise, walking around and doing household chores. To maintain her weight, she should be eating 2300 calories but, after keeping a food journal, Mary finds that she’s eating 2550 calories every day. By eating 250 more calories than her body needs, Mary will gain one pound every 2 weeks.
This example shows how easy it is to gain weight without even knowing it. However, it’s also easy to lose weight, even if the process itself can be slow. You can start by making small changes in your diet and activity levels and immediately start burning more calories than you’re eating. If you can find a way to burn an extra 200 to 500 calories each day with both exercise and diet, you’re on the right track.
Try these ideas:

Instead of… Do this…
An afternoon Coke Drink a glass of water. (calories saved: 97)
An Egg McMuffin Eat a small whole wheat bagel +1 Tbsp of peanut butter (calories saved: 185)
Using your break eat sweets Walk up and down a flight of stairs for 10 minutes (calories burned: 100)
Hitting the snooze button Get up 10 minutes early and go for a brisk walk (calories burned: 100)
Watching TV after work Do 10 minutes of yoga (calories burned: 50)

Total Calories Saved: 532 (based on a 140-pound person)

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

Exercise is an important weight loss tool, but how much you need varies from person to person. The ACSM’s weight loss guidelines suggest at least 250 minutes per week, which comes out to about 50 minutes, 5 days a week. If you’re a beginner, start small (3 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes) to give your body time to adapt. Don’t forget, things like walking, taking the stairs and household chores can burn more calories as well. Learn more about getting started with exercise.

Here are certain Ayurvedic home remedies that are useful in losing weight:

Increase intake of fruits and vegetables in your diet.

  • Avoid using excessive salt as it causes significant weight gain
  • Avoid milk products such as cheese and butter, and non-vegetarian foods, which are rich in fat.
  • Mint helps you reduce weight, so include green mint chutney with your meals. You can also opt for Mint tea.
  • Use different types of spices such as cinnamon, dry ginger, and black pepper in your meals to lose weight.
  • Avoid eating rice and potato, as they have a lot of carbohydrates.
  • Honey is an effective home remedy to lose weight as it helps you get rid of excessive fat deposited in your body and uses the energy to perform various functions. Take just a tablespoon of honey with lukewarm water as the first thing in the morning. You can even add a teaspoonful of fresh lemon juice.
  • Eat raw or cooked cabbage as it restrains the conversion of carbohydrates into fats. Therefore, it is an excellent home remedy to lose weight.

Below is a list of tips for weight-loss based on the principles of Ayurvedic healing. Use of technical terms, and rationale have been avoided to keep it simple.

  1. When you wake-up in the morning, start your day by drinking: one cup of warm boiled water with juice of half lime and one Tablespoon of honey.
  2. Food is consumed at breakfast, mid-morning snack, Lunch, After-noon snack and dinner. Eat lunch between 12 pm and 2 pm. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day.
  3. Do not lie down or go to sleep after eating for at least three hours. The dinner should be 3 hours before bed time.
  4. Always sit-up with stomach relaxed. Standing, Walking, or Sitting doing other things (examples: driving, terminal data entry) do not relax stomach and can lead to incomplete digestion.
  5. At the start of a meal, eat a piece of Fresh Ginger (soaked in lime juice and honey) to activate salivary glands to produce digestive enzymes. You can also eat a pinch of ‘Pomegranate Chooran’.
  6. During meals, or after meals, have a cup of yogurt beverage (Thin Lassi, or fat-free butter milk).
  7. Do not drink water immediately before meal, or immediately after the meal. It slows down digestion.
  8. If you feel warmth or acid in the stomach, try a cooling beverage (Examples rose water and honey, blended milk and dates, fresh mango juice) in between meals. These beverages have cooling affect. They should not be cold or froze. Drink them at room temperature.
  9. Do not eat cold food. Eat foods at room temperature or slightly warmer.
  10. Do not eat left-over foods even if they have been refrigerated and re-heated.
  11. Fast 1-day a week, and consume only lime and honey water,
    Drink one cup of warm water with juice of ½ lime and one teaspoon of honey every 90 minutes to two hours. Break the fast with fresh raw fruits, nuts, and whole-grain crackers.
  12. For snacks eat: dried fruits, nut, fresh fruits, fruit juices, Raw vegetable soup, whole-grain crackers.
  13. Foods to be avoided
    • Red meats
    • Eat Fish and fowl only on limited basis
    • High fat dairy products such as cheeses yogurt and butter
    • Rice and potatoes
    • Refined sugars
    • Carbonated beverages
    • Foods prepared with refined flour: cake, pastry, cookie, sweet biscuit
    • Super-refined oils specially corn-oil and soy-oil
  14. Incorporate following foods on regular basis
    • Fresh Raw fruits and vegetables
    • Steamed vegetables
    • Lentils and Beans cooked in water
    • Lentils Beans and whole-grains Sprouted
    • Combination of whole grains and lentils cooked in water (Examples: Brown Rice and Lentils, Lentils and Barley)
    • Whole-grain breads
    • Carrot Juice
    • Cabbage
    • Fresh Peppermint (chutney, tea)
    • Turmeric Dry ginger, Black pepper, Cayenne, Fenugreek seeds and leaves
    • Honey, or raw cane sugar
    • Kala Namak or sea-salt
    • Organic extra virgin olive oil
    • Un-refined organic Ghee
  15. Apply internal cleansing therapy to eliminate toxin build-up once a month
  16. Take a walk in the morning sun 17. Practice meditation and Yoga every day

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