By: Lakshmi Ganesan
Amidst all the gorging on rich food, some of us might have felt a guilt pang or two, but we promised ourselves we’d work off the fat. Somehow, that resolution hasn’t amounted to anything. Losing the extra pounds can be a tricky affair, and as we all know exercise is the key but here’s a few tricks of the trade that might make the process a little easier.
THE GOOD HABITS
SLURP ON SOUP
Researchers from the Penn State University ran an experiment through which they found that when participants consumed a low-calorie soup with vegetables before their meals, they tended to eat about 20% less. That’s one way to cut your portion size.
WORK THOSE CHOMPERS
The more you chew, the more your body releases a hormone that aids in decreasing appetite. So in a way, you’re kind of tricking your brain. In addition to this, it also reduces the levels of a hormone (ghrelin) that induces appetite. Hence, the more you chew, the less likely you’ll overeat. It’s said that the average person chews about 15 times, so amp up those chewing counts and you could be losing inches of your waist.
SIP ON SOME LIME JUICE
There are many variations of lime or lemon juice concoctions that you might want to try from lime and honey mixed with warm water to plain old sour lime juice. These recipes not only help you detox your body, but also aid in the process of cutting down on your calories. This works especially for people who tend to substitute their water intake with tea/coffee and soft drinks.
GORGE ON CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3, which not only aid in increasing the breaking down of fat but it also keeps your body from storing fat. Sounds like a miracle? Well, chia seeds have been known to be a weight watcher’s best friend. So, before you start your next meal you might want to try sprinkling some chia seeds on your meals or even eat them as a snack between classes.
FIDGET, FIDGET AND FIDGET MORE
Remember the times when you’ve been told to keep still? Well, if you’re planning on losing the extra pounds – fidgeting would be your best bet. Be restless, tap your feet on the floor, pace around the house, or just stretch. Either way, these small movements throughout the day will help you to burn some calories. Studies have shown that you’ll be able to burn off up to 350 calories per day with just fidgeting.
DOWN WATER BEFORE MEALS
If you don’t have soup at hand to consume before meals, worry not, you can always down a bottle of 500ml water instead. Water helps you keep your metabolism rate high, thereby giving you an extra push to help work off the excess fat. It also reduces your hunger pangs – enabling you to feel more full, and thereby consume lesser food.
THE BAD HABITS
MAJORING IN MULTI-TASKING
Recent studies have shown that by multi-tasking while eating instead of focusing solely on the act of eating, you’re more likely to overeat because you’ll be less in tune to how much you’re consuming and when your body is telling you that you’re satiated.
Refrain from skipping your breakfast because firstly you’ll feel hungry throughout the day. No matter how much you’ve eaten for lunch and dinner, your body will always be craving to be satiated. Another reason why you should not skip breakfast is because by not eating, you’ve pretty much stalled your body from kickstarting your metabolism. Which means, everything you eat subsequently will be stored in your body as your body thinks it is in starvation mode, and as mentioned before you’ll also eat more than required.
CHECKING OUT THE FRIDGE
Everyone has experienced that moment when you’re walking past the fridge, and though you might not be hungry, you simply go back and open it to see what’s inside. The next thing you know, you’re munching something or gulping something down, unnecessarily aiding your body in putting on that extra weight instead of keeping it off. Next time you walk past the fridge, you might want to put up a “Do Not Open” sign.
LATE NIGHT BINGING
It’s a common habit that we all have – sitting down in front of the TV, watching soccer or a late night movie with friends or family, and unconsciously grabbing a bag of chips. Before the night’s over 3 bags of chips are gone. Alternatively, if we can’t sleep, some of us make a quick trip to the kitchen and end up having a second round of dinner. Try to stay away from binging after 8pm, as your body tends to slow down to prepare for bedtime.
FOOD AS COMFORT
Everybody likes to cuddle up with some comfort food when they’re down, but make sure you don’t always eat excessively whenever you’re even a wee bit upset. While binging on food might give you temporary comfort, remember, in the long-run it’s not going to help you, neither will it fix the cause for your emotional distress.
Do you have any tried-and-true methods of working off the excess fat gained in the holidays? If so, do share with us.