Losing fat-weight is not seen as a quick, easy process. That is because many people are misted into believing that if they diet, they will lose weight. They will, but it will not be fat-weight-loss but water-weight loss and lean-muscle-weight loss. Only aerobic exercise can build up your lean muscle mass and ensure fat-weight loss.
And the best balance can be achieved and maintained by regular aerobic exercise and a fatless or low-fat diet with high-fibre content. Recently, it has been discovered that more oxygen is required to burn fat than burn carbohydrates. Which could explain why losing fat-weight is not easy. However, regular aerobic exercise combined with low-fat or fatless food does the trick.
Food without fat? The image thrown up by this phrase is one of boring boiled vegetables. But our chapter on food will show you how you can turn out delicious meals without ghee, butter or oil. Meanwhile, here are a few pointers to convert your eating lifestyle from a fat-producing one to a healthier one that minimises calories and maximises energy and efficiency. These practical tips will help you climb the fitness ladder faster:
No more oil, please!
Don’t season dais with mustard seeds in oil. Just add the good old rai to the dal while boiling it. It tastes better without that oily film. Never fry meats, vegetables or grains like rice. Instead, boil, steam, roast or grill them.
Replace chapatis and parathas with dry phulkas.
Trim off fats
Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking.
Refrigerate cooked non-vegetarian curries overnight before heating and serving. This will make it easier to slice off that thick crust of white, hardened fat. In chutneys, use onions as the base instead of scraped coconut. Onions don’t add to your cholesterol level. Replace butter with such onion-based chutneys as the spread on your bread for breakfast. Always use skimmed milk and skim the cream off the top after boiling and cooling.
Don’t fry masalas. Grind roasted masalas and add water instead of oil as the cooking medium.
Instead of using coconut or cornflour to thicken the gravy, use pureed of ground vegetables such as onions, carrots, pumpkin.
Watch your salad dressing!
Don’t use salad oil Replace it with lemon juice, vinegar, Worcester sauce. Or herbs such as coriander and mint leaves, chaat masala powder, mustard powder. Use low-fat curds, paneer made from skimmed milk for raitas, or in recipes where you need that creamy consistency. Whip up the dressing in your bfender with herbs, greens or spices of your choice.
Sweeten without sugar
Wean yourself away from sugar by cultivating a taste for fruit and sugar-free tea, coffee. You can use a low-calorie sweeteners but not too much, please! Substitute wherever possible sugar with ‘sweet’ spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cloves. For desserts, use fruit juices as sweeteners.
A few more handy tips
Keep sliced vegetables and sprouts in the refrigerator as snacks. Avoid tomato sauce/ketchup. Use tomato puree that you have blended with garlic, ginger, raisins and chilli powder. Eat more smaller, low-fat meals during the day than a big one at one sitting.
These suggestions are only the beginning. For far too long we have equated gourmet-eating with ghee-fried food. It’s time to destroy those myths with dynamic fitness thoughts. Don’t approach oil-less food with ‘yech’ how is it going to taste? The ‘yech!” is only in your mind that has grown accustomed to a certain no – healthy style of cooking.
Your main aim is to give yourself a leg-up on the fitness ladder. Go for it with all the enthusiasm and creativity that you are naturally blessed with. Want to bet that you will win this time around?