Those of my friends who are connected to me through social media know it well that I have lost a considerable (17 kg ) amount of weight that I had gained during my twin pregnancy in the last few months.
Being post partum and bringing up twins did not leave me much time for myself , however the weight itself was becoming a hindrance for me to care for my infants. Breastfeeding was extremely difficult with so much of pounds and uncomfortable to say the least.
If you have been told about the famous myth ‘Breastfeeding leads to weight loss!’ , let me correct you here. Breastfeeding leads to burning calories and even for a substantial amount of milk production your calorie intake while breastfeeding has to be more than what you burn . It is a well known fact that you can’t starve and produce breastmilk at the same time. So you do burn calories when you feed your child but they are not going to make you lose weight , since you have already compensated for it by eating enough to produce the milk in the first place. Also an exclusively breastfeeding woman burns 300-500 calories extra a day and that is not much in comparison to the lactaction promoting meals that you are having. Some women do lose while breastfeeding but that is entirely their physiology and hormones . It doesn’t work for majority.
So before I tell you how I lost those kilos , I would like to add that I gained 4 kg post delivery while breastfeeding . I only started attempting to lose weight when I was done breastfeeding my twins.
The first year with twins is a lot of work and workout was never possible. I am also a working professional, hence I wasn’t going to spend the only time I had for my twins in going to the gym.
So, I consulted a dietician and started with my journey of clean eating.
Since it is against my morals to share a paid meal plan given by my dietician , I will be sharing only my inferences and advice about how the diet helped me and what changes you can bring on your end to start eating healthy and lose weight.
- Homemade Food : There is no second thought , that meals cooked in professional kitchens are loaded with fats to add to the impeccable taste. Hence clean eating begins with home cooked meals. Always prefer to make a version of your favourite meal than ordering from outside . You will be surprised how easy it is to prepare some really yummy food without the excess oil. I have shared many of my diet recipes on the blog . Click here for more !
- Stop stocking Junk/Namkeen/Soft Drinks : To avoid binge eating junk food and namkeen when hungry , choose not to stock them in your pantry . This is the best way to avoid the guilt trip later . Same goes for sugary drinks and colas (even diet colas).
- Portion Control and no second servings : Put one large serving of the dish in your plate and avoid second servings . Fix a bowl , and always use a similar serving size . Do not eat less. Eat in moderation to avoid hunger pangs later . Controlled portion sizes will help you have even your favourite foods often without gaining weight.
- High Protein Days : Allot 2/3 days in a week to high protein meals. For example, Wednesday and Sunday . Consider them your feast days. Make high protein dishes through the day including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Options for high protein dishes are rajma/ chhole/ Dal/ paneer / Soya bean Chaap or nutrela/ chicken/ besan in the form of Kadhi or Gatta/lobia/sambhar/egg curry.
- Pair protein with protein : When pairing a protein rich dish , choose a protein rich bread like besan Cheela/ moong Dal Cheela / missi roti instead of wheat breads like chapati/ naan . So when having rajma , pair it with missi roti . While making paneer , wrap it in moong Dal Cheela. With Kadhi , have besan Cheela. And so on .
- Choose Vegetables wisely: On Mon-Tue-Thurs-Fri-Saturday (Non -high Protein days), have any vegetable dish (dry) with Chapatis for lunch and dinner. Preferred vegetables are ghiya, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot , capsicum, French beans, tinda, Turai, pumpkin (sitaphal) , Brocolli and mushroom. Less preferred vegetables are Peas , brinjal, bhindi, karela . Vegetables to be totally avoided are potato, arbi , kathal.
- Breakfast >> Lunch> Dinner : As it is well known , breakfast should be the heaviest , followed by a moderately portioned lunch and a humble dinner . Avoid eating protein rich food in dinner on Non- high protein days. Example: avoid Dal in dinner except on Wednesday and Sunday. (High Protein days) . Never skip a meal
- Rice once a week only in lunch without a side dish : Restrict rice to once a week , and prefer it in lunch only . Do not pair it with a side dish like rajma / chole . Prepare it as fried rice / pulao and have it plain / with curd . No rice for dinner / High protein days.
- Add dairy in lunch on Non – High Protein Days : Pair lunch with curd on days you won’t be having high protein diet .
- Breakfast Options : Dalia/ Upma / Vermicelli/ Idli are good breakfast options in moderate portions .
- Grilled is best : The yummiest way to cook a protein without it being unhealthy is to grill it . Use Air Fryer / Oven/ Tava Tandoor and using usual vegetables and paneer / chicken : enjoy scrumptious food without cheating . For recipes click here !
- Gravy is your hidden enemy : If enjoying something rich like rajma and chhole, restrict gravy . Usually it is loaded with excess oil and will only hamper your health plan without filling your stomach.
- Pickles/ salt : Excess of both can lead to water retention . So while you should entirely avoid pickles and chutneys , salt is alright in moderation.
- Desserts once a month : Desserts are the main culprits which can setback your diet by days to weeks . Always have a small amount not more than once a month .
- Cheat meals : grilled starters only . Avoid breads / rice : If you want to enjoy restaurant food without hampering your diet much , stick to starters which are grilled / Tandoori . Avoid main course curries , breads and rice. Alternatively have a piece of shahi paneer / Curry chicken with tandoori roti if not having starters .
- Add flavour with Chili , lemon and vinegar : Health food doesn’t have to be bland . Add Chili , lemon and vinegar to spice up your food.
- Hydrate : Drink 2-3 litres of water (plain ) daily to help your body burn the fat which will ultimately lead to weightloss.
- Beware of Biscuits / Dips : Avoid the temptations of biscuits and dips while snacking with tea . To the max , eat 1-2 digestive biscuit once a day . Use Sugar in tea if you like but only 1 tbsp a day .
- Walk if you can : If you have a sedentary lifestyle , add 30 minutes of brief walking to your routine . I am in any case always on my toes due to my twins so I skipped this too.
Also , I never had green tea /apple cider vinegar/ green coffee in this duration . I have cheated a few times but usually stuck to these rules . Besides this, I took lemon-black pepper-water and a spoon of soaked Methi Dana as soon as I woke up.
I hope this helps you in starting on your health trip to a fitter body .
Happy National Nutrition Week!
Disclaimer: I m an allopathic doctor , hence I know a few nutrition basics , however I am not a professional dietician. This article is about how I lost weight and shifted to healthy eating . A dietician ‘s opinion is adviced for a personalised fitness meal plan, specially if you suffer from any medical condition like diabetes , renal disease , etc.
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