Welcome to 2021. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, but, now have successfully survived janta curfews and cyclones, among many other just-2020 things, and realised that we’re stronger than ever and ready to ace our New Year weight loss and fitness goals. Here, to help you a step further on this Herculean quest, we’ve jotted down 21 easy weight loss tips, diet hacks and workout routines to make life (just a tad bit) easier.
21 easy weight loss tips, diet hacks and workout routines to help you lose weight and get fit in 2021
1. Start logging your meals
The easiest way to commence your fitness journey is by logging your meals — all of them — the pre-snack, the pre-, pre-snack and your second breakfast to understand if you’re really eating because you’re hungry or because you are bored. Logging your meals, daily, will help you build a better relationship with food and your body as it serves as a reminder to treat your frame with the respect it deserves. It’ll also help you greatly with the second tip (below).
2. Count every bite
Counting every bite simply means keeping a track of your calorie intake. How? Refer to point one. The food that we consume daily is essentially just calories for the body. They are burned by our system to produce energy and the extra calories get stored in the form of fat, the more you eat – unnecessarily – and the more inactive you stay, the fat deposit increases. Counting your calories can help you create a deficit, which will burn fat faster. There’s also a calorie deficit diet pattern that you can follow to do this efficiently. Read all about it here.
3. Say NO to sugar
This one is definitely easier said than done, trust me, I know. But giving up sugar has been linked to numerous health benefits, including limiting one’s consumption of empty calories and reduced inflammation. Of course, you don’t have to give up all sugar. Natural sugars that your body can absorb from fruits are beneficial for the body. If you’re having trouble eliminating sugar from your diet, try replacing sugar with jaggery.
4. Give Intermittent Fasting a chance
Intermittent Fasting cycles between voluntary periods of fasting and eating. Simply put: It is a fasting pattern that allows you to cycle through two distinct cycles of eating and not eating in 24 hours to restrict your calorie intake. Read more about it here.
5. Choose a workout routine that works for you
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to like the gym! You don’t need to go to one either to lose weight! Thanks to the pandemic, the fitness industry has opened various avenues — think boxing, pilates, yoga, callisthenics and even the very popular HRX routines — to train online under experts. We’d urge you to try multiple weekly fitness classes to figure out the one you’re most comfortable with and switch up or down your routine accordingly.
6. Don’t eat less. Eat smart
While Intermittent Fasting and many other fasting cycles restrict your eating windows, they, or we, in no way encourage you to eat less. You have to eat smart. Substitute heavy, sugary meals with protein-rich and filling meals. Listen to your body and eliminate foods that no longer serve your fitness goals. Try and incorporate the foods from the below two points in your diet.
7. Ditch processed foods for fresh fruits and nuts
4 pm cravings? Ditch the chips and sandwich for a plate of freshly cut fruits or a fruit smoothie. Keep a box of nuts handy and munch on them instead of the usual deep-fried crumbs that aren’t just bad for your body but also your skin and induce lethargy.
8. Make room for high-fibre foods on your plate
High-fibre foods — wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholegrain bread, broccoli, carrots, green peas, beans, oats, pears, oranges, and pulses — are extremely filling sources of foods. They leave you feeling satiated for a longer amount of time, thereby eliminating the need to snack in between meals. They are also energy dense and help eliminate toxins from your body.
9. Keep sipping water throughout the day
Along with transporting nutrients throughout the body, regulating the body’s temperature and maintaining its pH levels, water acts as an appetite suppressant. It’s also calorie-free. Read more about its benefits here.
10. Plan your meals a day in advance
Planning your meals in advance gives you complete control over what you eat, when you eat it and how much of it you eat. This helps you make smarter meal choices. In fact, many fitness enthusiasts suggest packing your next meal right after you’ve finished eating as it helps your mind make better portion control decisions.
11. Give running a shot
If you’re not keen on working out indoors, give running a shot. According to Healthline, running daily burns more calories than most other types of exercise because it requires many different muscles to work hard together. How can I start running towards a fitter future? Let this guide help you.
12. Don’t double up on just cardio
Don’t get me wrong, cardio’s great for the soul and your heart. But mixing up your workout routine with a little bit of weight training will help tone your muscles and amp up your physique.
13. Never skip meals
Skipping meals = weight loss is a giant myth. Skipping meals triggers your body’s stress points and increases the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, leaving you feeling jittery or worse hangry. Skipping meals can also cause your metabolism to slow down, which in turn affects your body’s daily functioning.
14. Avoid the temptation
We all have food triggers that eventually end up derailing us from our fitness track, at least in the very beginning. The easiest way to not succumb to it is by avoiding temptation. Don’t stock up on foods that you know are detrimental to your cause. Remember that fitness is a way of life, a mindset, not a quick obstacle for you to overcome. Avoid temptation now so you can enjoy your favourite foods, guilt free once you find your path.
15. Practise a holistic approach towards fitness
A lot of people set unrealistic goals for themselves at the very beginning of the year. They commit to the goals that others took three, maybe four years to ascertain. Don’t compare yourself to others. Practice a holistic approach towards fitness and do the things your body and mind are capable of doing at any given moment. Don’t push yourself over the edge for a number on the weighing scale. It’s not going to be worth it in the long run.
16. Give your body and mind time to rest and recuperate
Rest and recovery are as important as challenging your mind and body. Ensure you treat yourself to a cheat meal and no-workout days after every couple of days.
17. A good night’s rest will do wonders for your body
Poor sleeping habits aid weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. It triggers the production of cortisol that may cause a spike in your appetite. How can I ensure I sleep better? We breakdown here.
18. Clock in 10k steps a day
If you’re not able to invest in a workout regime, try to clock in 10k steps a day. Walking is the best form of ‘free’ physical exercise that also helps preserve lean body muscle. We list the very many benefits of walking here.
19. Stay away from fad diets and quick-fix weight loss solutions
Don’t fall for fad diets, detox teas and fat burner routines. These quick fix solutions will do your body more harm than good and can even lead to more weight gain in the future.
20. Surround yourself with like minded people
Surround yourself with people who stan your fitness goals and motivate you to complete that last rep of your workout and not put you down. This helps in cultivating a positive mindset.
21. Believe in yourself
Lastly, don’t give up because your friend gave up on their fitness resolution. Believe in yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to!
> More on Fitness