5 Smart Snacks For Weight loss

Snacking is the most difficult part when you are losing weight. Smart Snacks are the way to go. 🙂

Weight loss series is quite popular with our readers. Thank you for being inquisitive and keeping in touch with us while you are working on your transformation. This post is just to guide you through some difficult times when it comes to weight loss.

What is Snacking?

Snacking is to eat something before couple of hours of your main meal. Sometimes, it can be just a fruit or a protein bar, or some nuts. But would you lose weight with snacking? Well, the answer is yes and no. For getting real weight loss results you must snack smart.

What is smart snacking?

In the world full of sugary and high carbs snacks, it is always important to know the nutritional value of your snack. Remember, snack is just to fill the time gap before the meal and does not have to be loaded with sugar or carbs. If snacks are nutritionally empty, then you are at a risk of putting on weight. Because as we have stated in our earlier post, weight loss is just calories in and calories out.

Check out here:

Losing Weight As Beginner

So, we have decided to give you a quick guide of low-calorie snacks which you can try. These Smart snacks are easy to carry everywhere and have loads of nutritional benefits.

  • Fruits : Fruits are a great source of energy. Loaded with flavours and nutrients, snacking on fruit is the best way for weight loss. Hyperlocal fruits which are readily available in the market and seasonal fruits should be on the top of the snack list.
    • The quantity of fruits below 100 calories
      • 1 Apple
      • 12 orange slices
      • 1 Banana
      • ½ Mango
      • 1 Guava
      • 30 Grapes
      • 2 cups of watermelon diced
    • Nuts: Nuts are a great source of energy and they are quite filling. My favorite Smart snack is ground nuts. But if you are keen on weight loss, you can not indulge in having too many nuts. Here is how you should snack on nuts.
      • The Quantity of Nuts below 100 calories
        • 8 walnut halves
        • 10 cashews
        • 13 almonds
        • 17 peanuts
        • 13 almonds
        • 30 pistachios

5 Smart Snacks for Weight Loss

The best part about snacking on nuts is that you need not eyeball the   quantity. You can actually count them.

  • Trail Mixes: This snack is my favourite. You can get any type of nuts and seeds, dry roast them and mix them for the snacking time. Keeping them in airtight jar helps maintain the crispy texture. See to that you have just a little.
  • Popgrains – Our good old pop corn is still good to snack while on weightloss but we can also pop grains like Bajra and other millets the way we pop corns. What you get? You get amazing benefit of the grain.
  • Yogurt – I am not a very big fan of store brought yogurts but if you are then it can serve as a great snack option. If you have sweet tooth, then this is the go-to snack option.

Let us know if you have any new snack that will help your weight loss journey. We are all ears.. 😊

5 super foods to accelerate your weight loss

5 super foods to accelerate your weight loss

Weight loss has many theories about workouts and food. Here are those super food which will help you reduce your weight.

1. Jowar:-

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?

2. Amaranth:-

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.

Weight Loss

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.

Check out Workout Blog posts:

Intermittent Fasting Facts

Intermittent Fasting Facts

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.

Intermittent fasting

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.

Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting

Lose Weight With Intermittent Fasting

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. They say if you want to lose weight do Intermittent Fasting.

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 to lose weight.

Intermittent Fasting

Circadian Clock:

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 to lose weight 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… 🙂

Here are some facts of intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting Facts

From The Weightloss Diaries

WeightlossIt 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.

Intermittent Fasting:

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.

Why should you go “No sugar”?

Quit Sugar

The5ammommies are always up for the challenge. This month I take #NosugarNovember challenge. No! I don’t have diabetes, neither type I nor type II. Then why strain yourself? Relax and enjoy that ice cream, those leftovers sweets from Diwali, Gear up for Xmas cakes and yes forgot about the Halloween treats!  I differ to opine here. It is always said,” Make hay till the sun shines”! Though in Chennai, Mr. Sun shines all through the year, sometimes even more scorching, I prepare myself to take up a challenge before any doctor imposes it  on me.This  is something which I feel doable.

I am self confessed sweet lover. I “love” sweets. I love my cup of tea with sugar and also those filter cappis. Then why should I part my ways with something I love? The gains? Oh Wait! Weight loss? Well, this could be one of the reasons. But let us list some of the heftier other reasons for taking up this “insurmountable challenge”. Also, make a note that I couldn’t go beyond 4th-5th day in the month of September when I attempted the challenge.

  1. Taking sugar in the cup of tea/coffee the first thing in the morning is pouring “empty” calories, spiking your energy levels for the moment and then drain of the energy later. As a mom to a toddler I want constant energy levels throughout the day.
  2. White/ brown sugar increases the risk of heart diseases by increasing triglycerides and arteriosclerosis.
  3. Sugar causes obesity and exposes you to the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
  4. Sugar causes inflammation in body and also leads to insulin resistance.
  5. Consuming sugar has been associated with increased instances of the dreadful disease called Cancer.

Well, I am not here to list more than what looked really scary to me.

What my father says? Dad comes from a humble agricultural/farming family. He narrates his fond memories of childhood. He doesn’t forget to emphasize that it was only during the festivals or some grand celebrations that the SWEET was consumed. And sugar wasn’t available in such huge quantities, in every household like it is found today. Jaggery was more in fashion then. And manual work was harder.

Sugar was never the norm of Indians before probably the fifties and of course the obese population was less. With no availability to over availability of sugar we Indians have become addicted to the early morning teas and coffees with tablespoons of sugars. Remember that our ancestors worked harder and didn’t need sugar to”kick start” their mornings. Why kick start? The reasons of consuming have more to do with our inner selves than the outer environment.

At a point now in my life, I don’t feel the urge to pour that sugary coffee/tea to start my day. I wake up to the challenge mindfully. Ask myself, “Why do you need this”? Pass 5 minutes and grab a tea without sugar/banana/coffee without sugar and look at the other sweet things life has to offer. For me the necessary cup of sweet sanity became an addiction. I wanted it and wanted it badly. I generally hate to be dependent on anything and anyone to bring me comfort and happiness. I give my body a chance to fight its battles now even more fiercely without that cup. I may fail. But I am happy I am trying my level best. Also add to it my insane workout which makes me think twice before I fall for that silly cup of tea with sugar.

Try a challenge. More reasons in detail will follow in the posts to come. I have adapted a healthier lifestyle. I think addiction to sugar is more harmful than addiction to alcohol. I do and strongly believe. Are you ready for a change? Are you up to give up your temptations? Trust me, ”It builds self confidence like no other”! If I can , you too can. Try with small baby steps and one day you will find your newer self.

You may also read the post from Snehal Sham http://www.the5ammommy.com/failed-no-sugar-challenge/.