NEW DELHI: If you want to get into shape and shed those extra pounds, now is the best time to start. Summer is setting in and being slim and healthy in this season does not mean you have to go on a strict diet, say experts.
Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician, Max Healthcare, Delhi, explains that the weather is such that it automatically changes people's eating habits.
"Drastic weight loss is easily possible in summers as compared to winters because one can exercise more in the season, does not overeat because of the slow body system and at the same time can consume more fluids that fill up the body. All these lead to a major weight loss," Samaddar told IANS.
The first basic step to lose weight is to break meals into various categories - early morning breakfast, breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, evening snack and dinner.
Nidhi S. Yadav, head, clinical nutrition, Fortis Healthcare, explains how to go about it.
"One should start the day with a glass of lukewarm water and honey. For a tea drinker, it should be a cup of tea with Marie biscuits and two or three walnuts or almonds. This should be followed by a breakfast - one can have muesli, oats, cornflakes with egg white," she said.
"After an interval of two hours, one can go for salads or fruits. Lunch should consist of two chapatis made of multi-grain flour, a bowl of dal and green vegetables. Evening snacks can comprise a cup of tea with idli or dhokla or roasted channa.
"Dinner should consist of vegetable soup, brown bread or chapatis and veggies. If one feels hungry before going to sleep, one can have a glass of milk," she said.
Having fruits is essential to keep calories at bay, but one should avoid banana, mango and grapes as they are high on calories. It is better to go for watermelons, melons and sweet lime. One should either have fruits 40 minutes before a meal or two hours after a meal.
Fruit juices are a big no for a weight loss regime.
Other avoidable foods are usual things like full fat milk, fried greasy foods, sugar and sugar products, refined cereals like maida and maida products such as samosa, kachori and bhatura, suggests Swati Bhardwaj, head, nutrition and fatty acid research at the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC).
Even red meats one should avoid, she added.
"Skimmed milk, whole grain cereals (porridge), whole pulses, green leafy vegetables, salads and lean meats - chicken or fish (grilled or steamed or roasted) should be included in the diet for a speedy weight loss," she said.
Hot water is advised when a person is following a weight loss regime. The intake of hot water helps in smooth functioning of the digestive system, but it does not have a direct connection with weight loss, points out dieticians.
Slow metabolism is also the cause of excess weight gain. To speed up the weight loss process one should take care of it.
"Hot water with honey and lemon maintains the metabolic cycle and removes toxins from the body which indirectly helps in weight loss. Three teaspoons of Isabgol with a glass of water before dinner not only helps in reducing weight but also reduces the blood sugar levels," said Yadav.