You have made peace with the fact that you aren’t a marathoner or rock climber, or a regular at the gym. Sure, you like to jog for a few minutes on the weekend and pump iron before a photo-worthy event. Otherwise, you are too lazy to cook every meal and go through punishing workout routines on a daily basis. Yet, lose weight you must.
Here are some easy hacks to lose the flab.
1. ADD OIL TO RICE
Yes, you read that right. Adding fat can actually slash calories from your meal staple, rice. This is especially good news for those who want to lose weight but can’t give up on rice. Adding just a spoon of coconut oil while boiling a pot of rice is the best low-cal method. Once the hot rice is cooled, its starch doesn’t get broken down easily and the fat (oil) prevents rapid digestion, leading to less weight gain.
Cooking hack: Prepare rice a day in advance and store in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This simple technique slashes calories by another 15% and makes starch in the rice 10 times more resistant.
2. FRUIT COMPOTE INSTEAD OF SYRUP
Bottled syrups (no matter how expensive) at the supermarket pack more sugar in a teaspoonful than you can imagine and are usually made of high-fructose corn syrup along with a tonne of chemical additives for the flavour. Make a healthy and delicious fruit compote at home to use in dessert instead.
Fruit compote recipe: Pour a bag of frozen fruit (berries are best since they are loaded with antioxidants) into a saucepan with half cup water and a quarter cup of brown sugar. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Your fruit compote is ready. Use it for baking dessert, on cheesecakes, pancakes and toast, or eat plain.
3. DRINK WATER BEFORE GRUB
Two glasses of water about 30 minutes before a meal can flatten your belly faster. Here’s how. “60% of the time we respond to thirst by eating since thirst is mistaken for hunger,” says diet guru Rujuta Diwekar. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly thirsty, drinking two glasses of water before your expected meal time is like pre-loading your meal so you cut back on calories, 75-90 on average.
Hydrating hack: On days you’re too bored to sip on a glass of plain water, drop mint leaves or lemon wedges into it; weight-reducing detox water in a jiffy.
4. DASH OF PEPPER
Borrow this weight loss trick from your gourmet friends. Garnish your plate with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of dried or fresh herbs. Not only does this reduce inflammation, this also blocks the formation of fat cells; that means less body fat and a thinner waist (and lowered cholesterol). Another advantage is that adding herbs and spices like grated ginger gives your brain the illusion that you are indulging in rich food.
5. MAKE A SUPERMARKET PLAYLIST
“Listen to upbeat pop or EDM while grocery shopping will keep unhealthy snacks off your trolley. Supermarkets play slow music intentionally to prolong the time you spend shopping,” says dietician Namrata Pandya. A Ronald Milliman found that slow instrumental and romantic music has shoppers spending 38% more time in the store and buying 29% more food than in music-free stores. Add spring to your step with upbeat tunes.
6. WEAR JEANS TO WORK
Forget the suit-and-tie skirt-and-heels on casual Fridays. “Make use of this lenient rule to wear your jeans to work. Wearing casual clothes dramatically increases physical activity,” says pilates expert Namrata Purohit. Executives in a study walked 491 more steps (and burned 25 more calories) on the days they wore denim over traditional business attire. It may sound like a small change. Says Namrata, “However, doing this just once a week will burn over 6,000 thousand calories in a year,” says Namrata.
7. EAT LIKE THE JAPANESE
How many times have you heard the phrase: Eat till 80%”? The Japanese have a term for it: Hara hachi bu. Do this for every meal and you will be consuming 300 fewer calories in a day.
Another Japanese tradition to imbibe (whenever possible) is eating with chopsticks. A restaurant study in America found that customers who weighed in the normal range ate with chopsticks compared to obese customers who used regular cutlery. This is because chopsticks slow your pace down. Even if your stomach is full, it could take 30 minutes for your mind to register the signals of fullness.
Even the laziest of the lazies can win the battle of the bulge.