There’s a good possibility that torching fat and building a lean frame is one of your life goals. And most of us already know the basics of how to achieve that: working out on a regular basis, getting the heart racing and eating clean to boost metabolism. But that’s not all!
Compiled from bodyandsoul.com.au, authoritynutrition.com and Men’s Fitness, here are some avant-garde habits that will help you drop weight more efficiently.
Reach out for the ‘achaar’
Did you know that pickle or achaar made by your dadi is a superfood? Surprise! A healthy gut indicates an efficient metabolism. Therefore, eating pickled foods that are high in probiotics will keep your digestive system functioning properly, enhance your immune system and reduce inflammation. For a daily dose of probiotics, eat achaar, preferably one that’s not brimming with unhealthy oils. Try adding pickles to your diet for a few days, every week. If achaar isn’t your thing, you can try fermented foods like kimchi, or foods that contain active cultures, like yoghurt.
Eat. More. ‘Gosht’.
Eating more food, such as red meat, to lose fat might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s a lesser known fact that red meat comprises conjucated linoleic acid (CLA) which decreases body fat and increases lean mass. In the quest of a slim figure, you might run into this dilemma of restricting your food intake. The result: your metabolism will go sluggish, making the weight loss expedition a bit more problematic. So, how do you crack this issue? Eat more meat — be it beef or mutton, chicken or fish — it’ll all help fire up your fat burn. If you aren’t a carnivore, daal, chickpeas and beans are great alternatives.
Exploit the cherry season
The cherry crop in Pakistan is always short-lived so make use of this superfruit. Cherries and cherry juice are not just utterly delicious, but also offer great benefits for cardiac and digestive health. Furthermore, studies suggest that tart cherry juice can help improve muscle recovery and sleep quality — a chief factor in maintaining muscle growth and losing body fat since it helps the body repair itself. Try drinking a cold glass of tart cherry juice before going to bed to speed up muscle recovery, lose fat and reduce inflammation.
Put ‘daar cheeni’ in your ‘chai’
Chai and coffee are great pre-workout energy boosters with a bunch of health benefits but people often wreck the healthful effects by loading up their morning (or afternoon, or evening) cuppas with unwholesome junk like creamer, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. Here’s a better idea. Grab some cinnamon or daar cheeni. Studies suggest that cinnamon has antihyperglycemic properties, which basically means it can help regulate blood sugar levels that are, in fact, crucial for staying fit and burning all that excess fat.
Retune the radio
Doing something different every day — even as little as simply switching radio stations and listening to new songs or discussing something new shakes you out of your routine and can help kick bad habits, says Professor Ben Fletcher, a psychologist at Hertfordshire University. “Deeply engrained habits of thinking and behaviour keep us doing things that are bad for us, like smoking and eating too much needlessly or becoming stuck in negative thought patterns — all of which impacts our health,” he adds. “We can make our lives better and fitter with very small changes.” So, if you wish to win the battle of the bulge, maybe tweak a habit or two and put those sneakers to use.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2016.