We at The 5 AM Mommy have been running a theme of weight loss. There have been many theories about how we gain weight and what are the ways to reduce the same. But the real thing is every body’s weight loss journey is unique. It starts only when someone wants to come out of their comfort zone, do something for themselves. None of the diet or food habits are “ One Size Fits All”. But there are many guidelines which you can look at before embarking on this journey. We are already in the second month of the year and we still have 10 months to make a difference.
What is weight loss?
Weight loss is a simple calculation which happens inside the body. The formula is
Calories in – Calories out = Negative Calories
For example, if you are eating 1600 calories a day and expending 2000 calories then you care creating a deficit of 400 calories which is good for weight loss. The answer to Calories in – Calories out should be in negative calories for weight loss.
What is a healthy weight?
Well, here attaching an ideal weight chart as per the height. It also has Body Mass Index which has the following formula
BMI = (Weight/ Height2)
Your Body Mass Index brings you in the category of Healthy/ Overweight/ Obese. This is one specific measure where you can understand what your body requires, whether it needs to lose the weight, or it needs maintenance. Body weight maintenance has the following formula
Calories in – Calories out = 0
If you eat as much as you expend, you will maintain your body weight.
What maintenance and workouts does to the body?
I was a chubby child after 3-4 months of birth as everybody recalls. Born into an orthodox brahmin family, my comfort was food. All ladies in my home were great cooks. As I grew up, I kept dropping some kilos and then putting on when life was easy. I am a fussy eater and do not like to eat many vegetables per se. I was also reluctant to workouts but around 2008 I started training myself seriously into the gym. Since, then as the body changes happened according to age, I have been putting on and then shedding weight at regular intervals. Around 2017 when I was bitten by the bug of developing some muscles, I worked out and ate equally, which incidentally put on 20 kgs. I was regular in my work outs and was eating at the maintenance threshold.
What calorie deficit does to the body?
As the muscles started developing, I was looking all big without losing the fat which was already there. I still could pull off a grueling 60 min HIIT session with ease, that was the plus point, I knew my endurance is great and so is the stamina. But, unless I lower my BMI, my efforts were not showing up. Slowly, I started eating in the calorie deficit window to shed some weight and now, to this date I have lost around 15 kgs of weight. It just takes that one feeling of not enough. One feeling of “this is not done” and you are off to a great trajectory.
What helped the weight loss?
As I always say, there is no substitute for work out and breaking a sweat. 30 mins a day is the mantra, no matter what. Also, though it sounds cliché but ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN, no matter how many crunches you do, if you eat unhealthy, it would show up.
- Increased intensity and lowering the pace of the workouts helped immensely for weight loss
- Switching from simple carbs to complex carbs was a game changer
- Refraining from refined sugar also helped.
- Going gluten free also reduces inflammation and gives boost to weight loss
- Reducing dairy was a major breakthrough too.
Little more information on Complex Carbs in the next post 😊
There have been a lot of theories on what food to eat if your main goal is weight loss. Here are those super food which will help you reduce your weight.
Jwari, or sorghum as we know, this white millet has all that nutrition and calorific value which will aid weight loss and is a good bet for diabetes. Add it to your daily diet and check out for yourself. It is indeed a pain to roll a bhakri/ unleavened soft bread out of it. But Jowar Khichdiis an easy go to option. You may also make kanji/ ambil of the Jowar flour by adding buttermilk to it, boiling the same and drinking it with some salt and jeera-cumin seeds.
Benefits of Jowar are:-
1. Gluten free grain
2. High fibre and thus gives you more satiety sooner
3. Complex Carbohydrates and higher proteins than wheat flour
4. Gradually pumps the sugar level, than causing sudden spikes.
5. Powerhouse of other essential macronutrients.
So when adding this marvel food to your diet?
An ancient grain by which my grandmother has always sided with and so do I.
This grain is also called as pseudocereal . This means it isn’t a cereal and yet has all the important nutrients than its competitor grains like wheat and others. With lower calories, this is a grain which has been cherished for its high iron value. Make a sweet porridge with jaggery and amaranth, or just roll into a chapatti/Indian Bread,bake a cake or make a stew. This delicious grain is always there for you. Puffed Amaranth has always been exclusively used by ladies in Maharashtra for its umpteen advantages.
Benefits of Amaranth-Rajgeera
1. High in Iron
2. Gluten free, thus, doesn’t interfere in absorption of other nutrients
3. Highly nutritious
4. Rich Source of anti-oxidants
5. Amps up the fibre content of the food.
3. Nachni/Ragi/ Finger Millet:-This is one of the foods which one should wholly adopt to aid weight loss. It is not only good for weight loss but food trusted for its nutrition to all age groups. Small infants and elderly people can benefit from Nachni Sattvam(the finest part of the sprouted ragi). Make a kanji, or roll a thalipeeth-Indian Pancake, mix it with vegetables to make parathas or simply make laddoos, this superfood will awe you with its nutritional profile.
Benefits of Ragi:-
1. Excellent source of calcium
2. Helps in strengthening the bones, especially if you’re a vegetarian
3. Rich source of protein
4. Low in calories
5. High in fibre
4. Daliya/Lapsi/ Broken Wheat:-
By its name we understand that it is nothing but broken wheat or cracked wheat. Better than wheat, this acts like rice in its texture and can be a good swap to rice, for people who can’t live without rice. This is a go-to option and can be very well taken with sambar,lentils, curries like Indians eat rice without compromising on the calories. Weightwatchers can fill their plate with broken wheat upma, pulao, pongal,kesari-sheeraand lose weight while keeping the high in calories rice at bay.
Benefits of Broken wheat:-
1. High fibre content aids weight loss, keeps you full.
2. Rich source of Iron
3. Low fat acts in favor of weight reduction
4. Power packed with other vital macronutrients
5. Good profile when it comes to Vitamin B
Buy broken wheat now!
5. Barnyard Millet:-
Bhagar, Varicha bhat or barnyard millet is an ancient millet used for its high nutritional value. Make it in the form of rice,upma,or dumplings. This is the most useful millet when it comes to weight loss. Like broken wheat, this has the texture of rice. One can swap it with rice and still shred those extra pounds very easily.
Benefits of Barnyard millet:-
1. Low calorific value
2. High in fibre
3. Low Glycemic Index thus good for diabetics
4. Gluten free
5. A power house of iron content.
Today,with so much information we have options to use, and try some other grains. Nothing should come in the way of a strong will of weight loss with such varied options. Why wait? Stock up your grocery now.
There have been queries about intermittent fasting from many of our readers. So, continuing with the Intermittent Fasting queries in this blog post today.
Those who haven’t read the blog post on intermittent fasting, here is the link.
What is intermittent fasting?
- Intermittent fasting is nothing but limiting the eating window to some hours in the day and not consuming anything post that till the next eating window starts.
- Suppose, you like to take breakfast and cannot carry forward your day without it. Your eating window would be
- 8 AM to 3 PM for 8/16 hours of Intermittent fasting if you are eating around 8 AM.
- It can also be 9 AM to 4 PM and can also be 10 AM to 5 PM and so forth.
- While deciding the eating window, it is always better to understand the body clock and it’s correlation with sunrise and sunset. A practice which many people from earlier generation have followed for all their lives. But in case you can’t hold onto the body clock due to your professional and other commitments it is perfectly fine. Your eating window also can be
- 12 Noon to 7 PM
- 1 PM to 8 PM
- 2 PM to 9 PM
- Post the eating window, you would not be able to eat anything, you can only consume water, coffee without milk and sugar, tea without milk and sugar.
What happens in Intermittent Fasting?
Whenever we eat food our body releases insulin to help all the cells convert it into sugar and thus energy is released. If this sugar or glucose isn’t used immediately, the insulin makes sure to store the excess fat in cells. When you are fasting, is not released and the body starts breaking down fat cells for energy which leads to weight loss.
What is the difference between Autophagy and Ketosis?
Autophagy is the process of cellular Self – Digestion (Source: Internet). It is a way of cleaning your system. Intermittent fasting triggers autophagy around 12-16 hours fast and the rate of which depletes after 2 days. It is also said that Autophagy is a reason for anti-ageing properties of Intermittent Fasting, but I would leave it up to your research about it. In India, people fast and there are many Yogis who have fasted most of their lives and are living at the age of 100+. Autophagy would be the major cause of their longevity in my opinion.
In the process of fasting, the body uses stored glycogen, which is followed by fat for energy. In Ketogenic diet, fat is broken down into fatty acids and ketones, this is called Ketosis and is a major concept when one needs to follow Keto Diet which is all rage now a day.
That is all for now, if you have any doubts, kindly comment.
It has been a while that Intermittent fasting has been on the block and many trainers, nutritionists and dietitians across the globe are going gaga over it. Intermittent fasting is a simple method of abstaining from food after sunset. You might ask what is new in that, we do not eat after sunset at all, well if that is the case ” Good for you”. But in these days of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other related distractions, it is difficult to wind up your day before 11.00 pm. Wouldn’t you be hungry if you sleep at 11.00 pm and eat around 6.00 pm? Thus,starts the episode of binge eating and eating more than what your body actually requires.
When there is binge eating, the satiety signal which your body gives your brain gets dissolved in the exciting part of the Netflix original or any TV Serial, and we don’t feel full, hence overeat.
Important aspects which we need to look into while doing intermittent fasting
Human body is a wonder. It has a biochemical oscillator which synchronizes with TIME. This circadian rhythm helps to determine our sleep pattern and controls the production of Melatonin – sleep hormone. As per circadian rhythm, we all should slow down around sun set, dim the lights around 8.00 and sleep by 9.00 approximately. Body starts producing Melatonin around 7.00 pm and we keep working past that time, interrupting the nature of the body, confuses the body, hence most of us do not get proper sleep. Improper sleep leads to hunger pangs and we tend to lead ourselves to the refrigerator in search of food late night hampering the weight loss. Intermittent Fasting is nothing but honoring our circadian or biological clock and eating well before sunset ( yes, it has a twist for our convenience too)
Type of Intermittent Fasts:
There are many type of fasts, namely 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating window where you can either skip breakfast or skip dinner, 14 hours of fasting and 10 hours of eating window. The good part about Intermittent fasting is that it is flexible. Adjusting it around your most hungry time and following it is the key for weight loss. There are many other types of IF too, like OMAD ( One meal a day) or fasting 2 days in a row etc. But I personally feel that those types are for advance fasting practitioners. If we need to get the hang of Intermittent fasting, the first thing needs to be done is to know which are the timings that you are hungry. So getting in touch with body requirements is the foremost important aspect of IF.
How it helps Weight Loss:
- Your food intake gets a window with IF. That means that meals and snacks are to be eaten at a specific time which naturally reduces the amount of food you consume, thus creating a calorie deficit much required for the weight loss.
- The insulin spike when we have food is reduced and hence the blood sugar is managed well. Decreased insulin level may help fat burning thus aiding the weight loss
- It is also said that IF helps retain the muscle mass, which is not the case with only calories restricted diet.
There are umpteen theories, before and after pictures on various platforms in favor of intermittent fasting but before going there we should check out what our ancestors say? Fasting has been there for many generations in all religions which mainly tells you to get in touch with your body and know whether you truly need that much food?
They say ” Fasting of the body is the food for soul”. Well, here is to some soul searching… 🙂
It is the last day of the First Month of the year 2020, it’s the time when the resolutions would have fizzled out and the routine must have started for most of the people. It is interesting to notice that about 55% of resolutions are health related and 85% resolutions fail by February.
Well, we believe in the power of resolutions. It is important to find your own “Why” for the resolutions as for the good habits. Also, while finding your “why” it is also important to understand what is sustainable. Here is some preamble to the new “Back to Health Series” that we are starting on the “The 5 AM Mommy” blog.
Me and Shrilekha have been working out for more than a decade now. Those who know us personally know our quest for working out and thus feeling fit.
Back to Roots:
We have been working on our better self since we have realized that there is nothing better than being fit. Fortunately, we realized it very early in our life and I thank my father for that. He has worked out a lot in his adolescence and youth. He has passed on those genes to us. When we ask him about it, he says I always ate what was available (that time there was scarcity of food), they used to walk in farms and eat raw veggies or smoked veggies. So, we realized that going back to roots was certainly the answer to this diet chaos which exist all along in the new modern world.
Indians have a palette which is exposed to varied tastes, though we love fusion food and tasty food from all over the world, it is said that the most “here to stay” food trend is “SIMPLE FOOD”. With alarming obesity rate, this is the right time to move in that direction.
A lot has been said about Intermittent Fasting and the west is literally going gaga over the same. But I know only one thing, when my grandmother who passed away recently at 89 can do it all her life without attracting any ailment, I can do it. She observed OMAD ( One meal a day) and many days of fasting religiously. She worked hard and was never known to be a lazy person. 😉 So, we all should just take a step back from the modern world and go back to ourselves. I am sure you would find so many examples of Intermittent Fasting folks in your families.
Diet vs Lifetime Swaps:
Dieting is nothing but a change in your food habits to reset the system. There are number of diets and every diet has its own result. A diet which causes deprivation is going to bring back many ailments in future. So, we must carefully choose something which suits us, which helps our gut bacteria and which aids digestion. Weight-loss is not seasonal or can not be done only for some functions. It is a change in lifestyle. Whenever you feel like losing those stubborn 5 kgs which are there on your waist, just embrace some lifetime swaps.
- Staircase instead of lift
- Walk instead of a two-wheeler
- Country sugar or no sugar instead of refined white sugar
- Chekku ( Ghanicha ) oil instead of refined oil
- Sea Salt or Rock Salt instead of Normal Table Salt
- Handpounded rice or Matta Rice or Kavni Arisi instead of Normal Rice
- Warm water instead of normal water throughout the day
We all know these swaps, but we are conditioned in such a way that we would not like to take that first step towards our own health. Setting resolutions on paper is easy, but to make them happen you must take that first step. In my opinion we have a huge number of readers who have already done these swaps. Those who haven’t done, let’s do it.
But I don’t like working out ☹ :
Nobody likes to workout and nobody likes to eat vegetables. But more than that we hate eating medicines, So… the choice is ours.
The best way to go about work out is
Attract your tribe – Find out people who are on the same boat. Their consistency will bring you to doing things you have never imagined.
Get a fitness tracker – This is a best way to keep track of your steps and thus knowing the calorie burnt.
Follow people (Trainers) who inspire you – I like to be inspired by fit people. There are huge number of trainers across the world whom you can follow and feel inspired.
Use social media as your fitness ally – You can create an environment on social media which makes you workout regularly. There are umpteen fitness groups available which would prompt you to work out and to eat healthy. Just find one for yourself and you are ready to go.
Weight-loss or fitness is a journey. After a point of time, it is the journey that matters, and weight-loss or fitness is just a biproduct. But till such time arrives, every single day is struggle. Let us know what you think about it.