A year ago, I was gaining a lot of weight because of the unhealthy choices I  had made everyday and even ate sweets just to feel good. Gaining too much weight was a problem for me as it was giving me initial health issues that was a warning sign for me. I believe that all life is problem solving , hence the researcher in me kicked in and I  started reading a lot and watching countless videos on Nutrition and Fitness.

After undergoing a weight loss journey and losing 16 kg over a period of 8 months and maintaining it since few months, I would like to share my knowledge that I acquired during my journey  that helped me to lose weight by reading Health related books  written by Rujuta Diwekar  and  watching YouTube videos of advanced Nutritionist like Dr. Eric Berg and Palak Notes . As someone has rightly said ” Knowledge shared is knowledge squared ” ,   I would like to share 5 key pointers which will help  you understand Nutrition Science better and will let you make healthy choices in future :

1.Lowering Dietary Glycemic Load

2.Taking plant based multivitamin supplements instead of Synthetic Multivitamins Supplement

3.Improving Gut Health

4.Replacing Few Ingredients in the Kitchen

5.Important Pointers For Weight Loss

1.Lowering Dietary Glycemic Load

In order to understand glycemic load, we have to understand glycemic index first. The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels. Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100.The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels .Here are the three GI ratings:

Low: 55 or less
Medium: 56–69
High: 70 or above

Some High GI foods are refined and processed carbohydrates like white and whole wheat bread ,breakfast cereals and cereal bars, cakes, cookies, sweets ,potatoes and fries ,chips , donuts, pizza, burger, sweetened fruit yogurt. We should avoid eating them if we want to lose weight.

You can check on the below image to understand the glycemic index for various food items:

Glycemic indec chart

The concept of glycemic load (GL) was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (GI) and quantity of carbohydrate in a food serving, meal, or diet. The GL of a single food is calculated by multiplying the GI by the amount of carbohydrate in grams (g) provided by a food serving and then dividing the total by 100 :

GL Food = (GI Food x amount (g) of available carbohydrate Food per serving)/100

For a typical serving of a food, GL would be considered high with GL≥20, intermediate with GL of 11-19, and low with GL≤10. Dietary GL is the sum of the GLs for all foods consumed in the diet.

Having a diet which is high on GL can lead to various diseases .One in six people with diabetes in the world is from India. The numbers place our country among the top 10 countries for people with diabetes, coming in at number two with an estimated 77 million diabetics.  Hence ,we should all know what causes Type 2 diabetes and how it can be cured so mentioning about it in the below paragraph :

 What causes Type 2 diabetes mellitus ? The consumption of high-GI and high-GL diets for several years might result in higher  blood glucose concentration and excessive insulin secretion. This might contribute to the loss of the insulin-secreting function of pancreatic β-cells and lead to  type 2 diabetes mellitus. The insulin resistance is caused by consuming too many unhealthy or fast carbs  in addition to stress, obesity and inactivity. The condition can be managed very easily by reducing the Glycemic Load at one time that is eating small portions many times a day and consuming low GI carbs. Some examples of low GI foods are rolled or steel-cut oats ,non-starchy vegetables ,beans and peas.

Some strategies for lowering dietary GL include:

• Increasing the consumption of whole grains ( Example : Ragi , Kuttu, Jowar, Rajgira , Daliya, Bajra), nuts, legumes, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables

• Decreasing the consumption of starchy, moderate- and high-GI foods like potatoes, white rice, and white bread ( If we want to lose weight we have to  avoid them)

• Decreasing the consumption of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy, and soft drinks ( If we want to lose weight we have to avoid them)

2.Taking plant based multivitamin supplements instead of synthetic multivitamin supplements : 

Most of time, we are unable to fulfil our daily requirement of vitamins and minerals hence we buy supplements .Most easily available vitamin and mineral supplements are synthetic. Synthetic vitamins are isolated vitamins. These vitamins are compounds, created in a lab, that mimic natural vitamins. Plant-based vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by our bodies than synthetic ones. A majority of synthetic supplements are notorious for their crystalline structure, which makes them harder to break down in the body. Plant-based supplements exist in a non-crystalline structure which makes it easier for the body to break them down and absorb them and can prevent crystal accumulation in the bloodstream as opposed to synthetic supplements that can result in various such formations. We should buy plant based multivitamins for long term use.

3.Improving Gut Health : 

There are two ways you can improve your Gut health . They are :

1.Probiotics : Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut. They are responsible for maintaining the balance of your intestinal microbiota. The intestinal microbiota is all the microorganisms that inhabit your gastrointestinal tract. When this delicate balance is shifted, a disease can occur. Health benefits of probiotics are numerous. They can help with Obesity , Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes , Liver disease ,Irritable bowel syndrome  Bacterial infections and Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders. To ensure you have enough probiotic bacteria in your gut, there are certain types of food to include in your diet. These foods are  raw milk yogurt, apple cider vinegar,  Idli, raw cheese , paneer and butter milk.

2.Prebiotics : Prebiotics are the food for probiotic bacteria. These are food ingredients we don’t digest, known as fructooligosaccharide or FOS. When you eat foods rich with prebiotics, the probiotic bacteria in your gut will grow and multiply. Prebiotic-rich foods are , garlic, onions, lentils, oats, flax seeds, and resistant starch flours like cassava flour, potato starch, and green banana flour.

4.Replacing Few Ingredients in the Kitchen

Next, I would like to share the list of ingredients that can be replaced  in the kitchen that  can help you to lose weight :

•  Replace Refined oil with  Cold Pressed Oils

• Replace White Salt with Himalayan Pink Salt

• Replace Sugar with Stevia ( Diabetic Friendly )

• Replace Wheat and Refined Wheat ( Maida ) with Millets ( Ragi, Jowar, Bajra)and Kapli/ Emmer Wheat

• Replace Boiling Vegetables  with Steaming Vegetables

• Replace Biscuits, Store Bought Cakes, Burger , Pizzas , Fries( Contains Trans fat that increases LDL(Bad Cholesterol) with Seeds ( Roasted  chia , pumpkin , flax seeds) ,Handful of Peanuts , Roasted Makhanas , Apples , Papaya , Watermelon

5. Important Pointers For Weight Loss

Now, let us look into some key important pointers that can help someone lose weight :

• Low carb diet which has more protein , less carbs and good fats like unsaturated fats in small quantity found in cold pressed oils(can be used while cooking)
•Calorie deficit ( LOW-MED GL , LOW –MED GI) – 3 Meals or Intermittent Fasting ( 16 : 8 )  – 2 Meals [Eating Food in 8 hours window twice and Remaining 16 hours fasting ]•Good Sleep of 7-8 hours
•Avoid any kind of fast/processed food and desserts made with sugar
•Exercise( 45 mins to 1 Hour) Daily
•Take Probiotics ( Example : Apple Cider Vinegar )
•Eating More Fiber rich food (Example : Oats , Spinach , Lentils, Quinoa , Apple)
•Eat Food Rich in Omega -3 Fatty Acids (As too much of Omega 6  in our diet can lead to hardening of arteries and increase in cardiovascular    diseases)   like Seed mix {Flax , Chia , Pumpkin , watermelon}
•Self Discipline
•Lower Stress by Meditation and Breathing Exercise 
•Hydration ( 2.7 L Women , 3.7 L Men)

If my learnings can help someone in need who wants to lose weight, it would be a gratifying experience for me. Do let me know if my learnings helped you in any way. In case of any doubts you can comment on this blog and ask me or mail me your queries at majumdaranushree@gmail.com. Always happy to help!

In the end, I would like to offer this blog on Nutrition and Weight loss to Lord Krishna on the occasion of Yogini Ekadashi because serving his children is serving him. 

Lots of Love,

Anushree 

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