Before jumping on this article I would highly recommend that you go through the previous 3 articles in this series.
If you have gone through the earlier article on Calorie Balance, you must have already understood that the only way one can lose is to go in negative balance. That simply means your calorie intake should be less that your calorie output. The two obvious options are to increase the calorie expenditure for exercising or to reduce the calorie intake by restricting diet. For the ones who can’t for for exercise only option left is to cut the calorie intake. Now if you want to achieve it without starving you need to ensure that you keeping yourself full without overloading yourselves with calories. This can be achieved by 2 ways.
- Full the stomach with low calorie bulky food items like salads and vegetables. Salads and vegetables content a lot of fibres which would feel up your stomach but won’t have much of calories.
- Address the satiety – Even if your stomach is full you would feel like eating if the brain doesn’t get the signal. This is called satiety. Proteins have a very high satiety index. So having a lot of proteins after salads would not only feel your stomach but also tell your brain that you don’t need to eat any more.
In addition to reducing calorie intake we would also try to ensure that the body remains in negative balance. The main source of energy for our body is glucose as discussed in earlier articles. Only in absence of sufficient amount of glucose, the body would break down its reserve fat for energy. For achieving this we would try to minimize the carbohydrate intake in our diet (which is the major source of glucose). So after having a full stomach and having addressed satiety whatever minimal you consume as main course should also have minimum of carbohydrates.
So in summary the basic concepts that you must remember while going for the weight loss program are –
- Stop consuming simple carbohydrates – these are the food item that are broken down to glucose very fast and are rich in calories. These basically include glucose, sugar, any food item containing sugar, rice, potato and other food item containing starch.
- Have plenty of fibre content in diet – fibre are basically fillers. They would give you the feeling of fullness but won’t have much of calories. The best thing that you can do is to have a lot of salads. You can have it as much as you want before all your major meals.
- Increase your protein intake – Indian diets are typically protein deficient. Proteins have a very high satiety index. That makes you feel full very fast. For vegetarians I would advise at least 2 katoris of Dal before every major meal. You can have it after having salads. Non vegetarians may go for egg white and other fat free food items. For breakfast you may have different sprouts.
- Reduce the carbohydrate intake – If you have had enough of salads and proteins before going for your main course, you would actually not be very hungry. Now here you should cut down heavily on your carb content. For most of Indians it would be Rotis or Rice. You may simply reduce it to half to begin and gradually once you are accustomed to that quantity further reduce it by half. In your main course you may have plenty of vegetables.
- Limit the fat content – though there are a number of weight loss diets that recommend a high fat low carb diet, I personally don’t suggest it. You may lose weight with such diets but it’s very much likely to rebound. Moreover high fat predisposes you to risk of dyslipidemia and other complications.
For those who insist on a diet chart, a typical diet that I would suggest would be
Morning tea/coffee – Without sugar and better if it’s black (without milk)
Breakfast – Salads/Vegetables/Fruits + Sprouts/Eggs + Milk/Tea/Coffee/Butter Milk
Mid morning – Tea/Coffee/Buttermilk
Lunch – Plenty of salads followed by 2 katoris of Dal. Main course with plenty of vegetables and minimal amount of Rotis/Rice
Afternoon – Fruits/Salads. Those feeling hungry may try popcorns or Roasted Namkin
Dinner – Plenty of Salads followed by 2 katoris of Dal followed by main course as described in lunch
Now a few questions that you might already have?
Will this work for me?
Off course it will work but be patient. There can be rare cases having some other medical condition leading to weight gain and they may not respond well without medications. But if you are going for weight loss program, be confident.
How soon can I lose weight?
Don’t be in a hurry, the sooner you lose, more likely is it going to rebound. It would take some time to show results if you are following this diet. Don’t start checking your weight on daily basis. Just take a baseline weight and recheck your weight from the same machine (preferably electronic) on weekly basis. One kg of fat has 9000 calories (9 calories per gram as discussed earlier). So in order to lose 1 kg your body has to be short of 9000 calories which is around 4 times of daily calories requirements. You can expect 1 kg weight in 3-4 days only if you are starving. On the kind of diet we discussed earlier it would be an achievement even if you lose 2 kgs in a month.
Will I be able to do this?
Off course you will be, if you are really motivated for weight loss. That’s what I said in the first article. On this diet you simply are asked to stop using sugar. Before starting the diet you might feel that it would be difficult to cut the number of chapatis or amount of rice from my diet. But believe me once you follow the advice above you wont feel like eating much. Even if you find it difficult, within 3-4 days you will get used to this diet.
Are there any side effects?
We are trying to lower your glucose levels by restricting carbohydrate intake. You may feel little discomfort but that is not going to harm. But in case you are a diabetic patient and you are on glucose lowering drugs you should not go for this diet without being under supervision of a doctor. In a diabetic patient it can lead to Hypoglycemia that may be fatal. For others there might be some symptoms due to ketosis. Some of you may feel a little weak, may have heavy headedness or may feel nauseated. You may continue if the symptoms are mild.
Best wishes to all those who are going to start the weight loss program. I would appreciate if you share your experiences through comments.