Fitness expert Aditya Mohan declares that breakfast is his favourite meal, and tells us why we need to make permanent life style changes, for long term weight management.
Weight management is a term which when used captures the attention and imagination of anyone who hears it. Why is it so? Simply because those with excess weight want to lose those unwanted kilos, while underweight folks want to gain a few. And those who fall under the ideal weight category – well, they just want to maintain that percentage.
The question which follows the initial flight of imagination is “How do I reach my ideal weight, and how, in God’s name, do I maintain it?” You might think a simple question like that would most definitely have a complicated answer, but fortunately, it doesn’t.
Cultivate the right eating habits
The answer, or rather, the solution to this question is quite simple – right eating habits. The word you might have been dreading to hear is probably – ‘dieting’ – but that’s not the case. Two golden rules I have adhered to for 8 years are: don’t skip meals, and eat in moderation.
Diets, or fad diets, as they are commonly known, are not the solution – definitely not a permanent one. They might give you results initially but will not act as long term answers to your weight management worries.
What you need is a permanent lifestyle change, something that gels with your personality. By regulating and breaking down your daily food intake, you will find it easy to manage your weight on a long term basis.
Don’t skip breakfast
Talking to people about their diet and food habits have made me realise that skipping meals is a common phenomenon. But here’s the thing: an incomplete breakfast or none at all, is the root cause of weight problems.
A big healthy breakfast first thing in the morning is just the wake up call your metabolism needs. This will ensure you consume fewer calories through the day. A full breakfast is to the metabolism what a good night’s sleep is to the mind; your body doesn’t function at its optimum level without either.
Get the lens on your body fat
If you are looking to change your body structure, then managing your weight with the help of the right diet and lowering your body fat is the most obvious way to increase muscularity, and look more ripped.
Try lowering your body fat, and you’ll be surprised at just how muscular you can look. Along with that, perform cardiovascular exercise 3 to 4 times per week, 30 to 45 minutes of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise per workout to maximize fat burn without losing any muscle mass.
Go for a combination workout
Besides focusing on your diet, you also need to focus on your workout. Use a combination of super-sets, drop sets and a high number of repetitions to achieve bigger muscular pumps in weight training. For super-sets, perform 2 to 3 exercises in sequence with little to no rest in between.
Drop sets are characterized by decreasing the number of repetitions per set while increasing the amount of weight. For high repetition sets, perform 10 to 20 repetitions per set. The pumps result in an increased blood flow to the muscles for improved definition and structure.
Regulate your meals
If you have an office or other sedentary job, eat lighter meals. If your job is more active, eat foods that provide sustained energy. If you are very athletic and train hard, then you need more nourishment towards the end of the day, to sustain your training needs.
Begin with a wholesome breakfast. Then have small meals throughout the day and break up your calorie intake. By eating a hearty, nutritious breakfast, you will actually consume fewer calories through the day.
When you get hungry, you tend to lean towards high-fat, high-sugar foods that provide an instant energy boost. Unfortunately, these foods cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels and only satisfy you for short periods of time – leading you to eat more and thus putting on weight.
Here are a few more pointers:
#1 Shoot for five meals a day. Begin your day with a healthy breakfast. A couple of hours later, grab a sizeable snack, then a protein-rich lunch, a miniature meal around 3 or 4 p.m., and finish off with a small dinner a few hours before bedtime.
Breakfast can comprise of egg whites, whole grain bread, a glass of milk and almonds.
For those who are not big egg fans there are plenty of other options such as oatmeal, a big bowl of fruits, cornflakes with fresh cut banana almonds and figs, grilled cottage cheese with toast, so on and so forth.
#2 Have a pre-lunch snack, an hour and a half before lunch. Eat fruit that are rich in fibre and vitamins such as apples, oranges, pears etc. You can also opt for handful of nuts-almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, pecans and peanuts.
This packs a powerful punch of vitamins and minerals, which work together to impact your heart, brain and your waistline. Just 50-70 g a day can provide satiating fibre and protein as well as immune-boosting minerals.
This will keep your metabolism going and hence you won’t end up over eating at lunch. Lunch should be high in proteins along with some carbs.
#3 Have a cup of coffee or green tea with few oatmeal biscuits as your afternoon snack. Stick to a high protein dinner. Go for options like grilled chicken breasts, soups, egg salads, soya chunks, protein shakes etc. A bowl of freshly cut salad (150 g approx.) along with your dinner ensures your daily intake of roughage.
As the old saying goes, breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine as a pauper would. This really is the secret of weight management.