The No. 1 trick to losing weight faster (No, it’s not exercise)

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Yes, You read that right. The number one trick to losing weight faster is not exercise. Is it being on a diet then? No. Not even that.

What is the very basic rule of staying fit, in shape and healthy? Being conscious of what you eat, regular exercise, managing stress and being grateful for the life that you have been gifted. Yet again, it all begins with what you eat. The human mind is such a great friend of the human being that it never wants us to be sad, unhappy. So what it does is, it keeps steering us towards comfort foods, procrastination and selective memory when it comes to unhealthy eating habits. That one cookie that you ate (make it three), or the beer (or two) you shared with a pal or the two granola bars you ate when you skipped lunch but were very hungry and yet dieting – the mind makes you forget it all, very very easily. That is where most ‘healthy intentions’ fail. Miserably.

I am no exception to this rule. The summer holidays of merriment are especially bad for those who need to maintain weight or lose it. In my case, I have the excuse of a two year old foot injury which still does not let me forget it. So, because the amount of outdoors exercise that I can do, however enjoyable, is limited;  I need to very carefully watch what I am eating. One month of school holidays and trying to keep my son busy with baking, cooking, movies and the family vacays, eat outs – I realised that I was at least three kilos heavier than earlier. Yet, I was exercising everyday (or so I thought!). What went wrong? My mind simply omitted all the excesses. While my pants got a little tighter, I blamed it on bloating due to PMS. That is when I had to take a call and get started on a food diary.

What is a food diary? Simply put, it is a record of all that you eat/drink during a day/night. Every single thing that you intake needs to be recorded. Even the tiniest morsel of cake that you had at a party. Sounds tedious? It is, at the beginning. But as you get the habituated to it, you realise that you are eating way less and healthier food than before. The very fact that you have to note down all that you eat or drink, in all honesty, is what makes you more and more conscious of what and how much you are eating or drinking each day.

Many studies over the years have shown that people who keep an honest food diary lose up to 3 kilos more weight than those who do not, keeping all other parameters like physiology, diet, exercise constant. Why does that happen? Simply because, by writing things down, you do not allow your mind to omit important information like the hot chocolate you had or the extra cheese you added to your burger. Whatever you eat is all out there, right in front of you. How does it help you? Say you binged at lunch and ate so much that writing it all down made you ashamed of yourself, but still you wrote it down. What happens next? Come dinner time you remember/see what lunch was and then you opt for a light meal. We learn to balance our diets simply by the act of writing it down.

When I started maintaining my food diary, even a simple thing like a sabudana khichadi (tapioca pearls and groundnut stir fried) that I had instead of lunch on my cook’s day off, bothered me so much that I went for an extra 30 minutes run in the evening. I am still a work in progress, but I can see that I have automatically started choosing a salad instead of a butter chicken gravy. I have also been able to identify the key issues in my dietary habits – late breakfast, long gaps between meals, not enough gap between dinner and sleep, inadequate sleep, eating out of boredom, so on and so forth.

You can make your diary as detailed as possible, only thing to remember is be honest and be diligent. If you cannot be honest to yourself then who can you be yourself with? And trust me, it really does not take much time. I am the last person to ask anyone to do anything tedious. Use a simple pen paper or a fancy app on your iphone or android, but make a note. And see the difference!

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Apurva gained 5 kg in 3 months and cured chronic acidity and poor vitamin D levels | My Client’s success story

I gained 5 kg weight within 3-4 months. I now have a glowing skin and my iron deficiency anemia and vitamin D deficiency has also been cured. I no longer have acidity problem and even now I follow the diet guidelines given by her so that I remain in good health. ‘ – Apurva

 

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I am a working professional from hotel industry, due to which my schedule is really hectic and I work in shifts so my daily routine is not fixed. Due to my irregular office timings and shift timings my health started deteriorating and I lost weight and I became anemic. I used to get tired very easily. I also had a lot of health issues like chronic acidity, deficiency in Vitamin D etc. I was going to get married soon and wanted to be in better health. So I approached Amita and I shared my schedule and my health problems.

After doing all blood tests she got an idea what health issues I have and accordingly she designed proper diet and weight gain program for me as per my height and age. The diet was all natural wholesome food and it was adjusted so that I could eat it in the very short time available to me during my work hours. Initially it was difficult for me to follow proper diet because of my shifts but she helped me and was guided me by adjusting my diet to suit my work pattern including my night shifts. I found it challenging because of my food habits as I like to eat chaat and sandwich but she helped me by telling me specific times when I could eat chaat/sandwich.

I gained 5 kg weight within 3-4 months. I now have a glowing skin and my iron deficiency anemia and vitamin D deficiency has also been cured. I no longer have acidity problem and even now I follow the diet guidelines given by her so that I remain in good health.  I would really like to thank Amita for helping me adjust the diet as per my schedule and my likes and dislikes.

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Tejas Mulay | Lost 20 kg in six months | My client’s success story

Tejas Mulay – lost 20 kgs in six months

In first week itself i lost about 2kg and in a month i lost 5kg. Yes this was  magic. – Tejas Mulay

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I had been overweight from early twenties and planning for weight loss for many years. Atlast i started weight loss program with my wife Vrishali. I thought let’s give it a try. We went to Amita and said need your guidance. She had a long discussion with us on our lifestyle, likes/dislikes, profession, working hours, medical condition and almost everything. And she designed a diet plan for me. Diet plan included meals spread throughout the day and jogging. I was ok with diet plan because it was not not very much different from my normal food (obviously except sweet & oily), but jogging was a problem. I had never jogged in my life and i was expected to jog for 50 minutes. But Amita told me to start with brisk walk and then slowly start jogging. This is the way and with these thoughts in my mind i started my diet and exercise regime.

In first week itself i lost about 2 kg and in a month i lost 5 kg. Yes, this was magic. This was just a beginning. Amita used to review performance on each Friday. If performance was good I used to get incentive in the form of a diet holiday and if it was not so good       ( very rarely I had bad performance) she came to know that diet is not followed or its not effective so a new revised diet plan was on the way. Communication was the key. We used to communicate regularly on my performance, on how diet was going on, exercise is helping or not. I used to ask for guidance even if a single meal is missed. She used to give me an alternative for missed meal.

After 6 months I reached my target. I lost 20kg. I lost 6 inch waist and now I can jog for more than 8 km. Now i feel more energetic. I can handle stress in much better way. Now this journey is more than a weight loss program. I have adopted a healthy lifestyle. I feel better because after seeing my lifestyle, five of my office colleague have also been inspired to make their life healthy. I have been given a “Pure Life Award” from my company for this efforts. In my journey I have got all support from my wife, Vrishali. Vrishali is my Chief supporter/motivator/ inspiration.

I would like to thank Amita for her guidance throughout this journey. Thank You Amita….

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Sneha lost 7 kg in 4 months and improved thyroid hormone levels | My Client’s Success Story

In past three-n-half months I have lost 7 kg, improved thyroid hormone levels and am feeling extremely happy and energetic these days. I recently completed 10K marathon run in 1.23 hrs which I thought was a highly impossible thing to imagine 4 months back.’ – Sneha Walawalkar

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I had been over weight for quiet some time and always used to procrastinate the plan to do something about it. I started my weight loss journey when one of my colleague mentioned about a weight loss program that he was undergoing under Amita’s guidance and how happy and confident he feels with the results.
In our first meeting,I had a detailed discussion with Amita about my routine, likes-dislikes in food and other food habits. She guided me with how much quantity of food I should have in number of meals, what to include in the daily food intake, the water intake quantity, and the most important factor – ‘Exercise’.
I started with 30 mins brisk walk from day one. I made sure that I had fruits in my daily routine which was not the case earlier. Initially it was very difficult for me to reduce my rice intake in dinner but slowly with Amita’s guidance I managed to skip rice and replaced it with healthy soups/bhakri/daal.
In past three-n-half months I have lost 7 kg, improved thyroid hormone levels and am feeling extremely happy and energetic these days. I recently completed 10K marathon run in 1.23 hrs which I thought was a highly impossible thing to imagine 4 months back.
Thank you Amita for your guidance and encouragement in this entire journey, and I promise to stick with this healthy lifestyle always. (I do follow your blog so will keep experimenting those cake recipes and will blame you for those extra calories 😛 )
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Press Mention – Do the Detox | Free Press Journal

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Image Courtesy : Free Press Journal, do the detox.

Pune-based nutritionist Amita Kelkar gives you a simple meaning of detoxification. “The word is typically meant for the process of deriving assumed or expected health benefits from avoiding one or more foods and or even drink. It also is used for leading a certain lifestyle, one without smoking, alcohol and a vegan diet.”

It is to be noted that not every needs to go for detoxification. Kelkar states, “Medically, no one needs to go for detoxification. Our body is well equipped to get rid of whatever toxins are generated. In a scenario where the body is not able to eliminate toxins efficiently due to an infection or an organ malfunction, a person falls medically ill. Having said that, avoiding alcohol, smoking, drug abuse and an excessive diet is needed for every single one of us for better health.”

Few tips for better detoxification process, would be eating plenty of fibre, taking more amounts of Vitamin C & antioxidants and breathing deeply to allow oxygen to circulate completely. “Exercise is of utmost importance in this process.”

As mentioned before, following any health suggestion blindly could have horrifying effect on your health. While you are hell-bent on going for detox, certain dos and don’ts would be vital. Kelkar suggests, “Detox should not have extremely low calorie diets or micro nutrients like Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C & D and Iron. Extremely restrictive & low calorie diets can lead to headaches, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia and the yo-yo syndrome for weight loss, wherein the weight lost due to very low calorie or crash dieting comes back with extra weight once the diet is stopped.”

See the complete article here.

 

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Success Story| Vrishali Mulay | Lost 11 kgs in one year despite hormonal imbalances due to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

 

Today I have lost 11 kg excessive body weight, gone from size XL to M and my PCOS is also under control, thanks to diet and exercise.” – Vrishali Mulay

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I left my job and turned entrepreneur. When I was on a job, I was not overweight. But when I turned entrepreneur and started operating from home, I started gaining weight. I was struggling with abnormal menstrual cycles. Later I was diagnosed with PCOS. In this medical issue, weight is of prime concern, and that’s how I decided I have to reduce my weight.  I went to Amita and asked her guidance in this. We had detailed discussion on likes/dislikes in eating habits and other relevant things. PCOS and the resultant hormonal imbalance was a biggest barrier in weight loss. With all these challenges we started our diet program as designed by Amita.

Initially it was not easy for me, as after school days now I was going to run for some distance so I was not sure whether I could do it, but then I started with baby steps. Due to a previous ankle injury, I could not run. So I had to first start with walk, after say 4 months I started jogging but that too for 500 meters, and then slowly I increased this to upto 2 kms. In case of diet it was relatively easy for me as I like fruits and salad but I also had some cravings and temptations for sweet, and other foods like oily and spicy. Sandwich is my weak point, I told Amita about this and she incorporated it in my diet for some period. I used to communicate with her on daily basis for initial 4-5 months. She never compelled me to do anything, it was always a discussion which gave me insight about what to eat and when to eat.

During this entire journey my husband (Tejas) was the sole support for me. When i decided to go for weight loss program he immediately said let’s do it together. That was the time when I felt, yes I can do it. I simply followed what Amita asked me to do. She helped me to understand my body type.

Today almost after a year I have lost 11 kg excess body weight and gone from size XL (extra large) to M (medium). Most importantly, my PCOS issue is also in control with all other biochemical parameters in line with normal conditions. I could achieve this only because of diet and exercise.  I thank Amita for this as without her guidance this would not have possible.

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Homemade Cream Cheese | Recipe

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Making cream cheese at home had been a long pending mission. A whole lot of bloggers and cooking enthusiasts have attempted making this at home successfully so what I made was no big wonder; but still to me it was no less than a feat. I have a weird nervousness around adding stuff to milk/cream so as to make it curdle. Having had my fair share of curdled whipping cream, mousse, ganache etc. I still believe that my strange fear is justified. Anyway, I was just back from a couple of days of travel to find more than a litre of unused milk at home, and one can only drink as much milk! The cream cheese making idea peeped in again and I set off looking for a smooth homemade cream cheese which would use milk and not cream. My search led me to Gayathri’s cookspot – this my friend is a gold mine for eggless baking enthusiasts. Her recipe for cream cheese looked very much like britannia cream cheese that we get here in India and also it did not ask for cream!

While it may seem like it takes a long time to make the cream cheese, the actual work or doing bit takes only about an hour at the maximum. Rest of the time, the cheese just hangs in there. 😉

Homemade Cream Cheese (Recipe adapted from cream cheese of gayathriscookspot)

You will need:

1 litre full cream milk

1/4 tsp citric acid

1 tsp water

1/2 cup or more thick yogurt (I used homemade dahi)

Method:

  • Bring the milk to a boil. Turn the gas/heat off and then add to it the citric acid dissolved in 1 tsp water. Mix a bit and you will see the milk curdling immediately.
  • Line a sieve with a muslin cloth and drain out the whey (watery remains) from the curdled milk.
  • Tie all the corners of the muslin cloth in a knot and hang the curds from a tap/knob/hook.
  • After an hour, you will see that most of the water from the curds has drained out. When you open the muslin it should still have some whey left in it.
  • Place these hung curds and an equal amount of thick curd (I got 1.2 cup of curds so used half a cup thick yogurt) to a blender and blend it till smooth.
  • Place the smooth curd cheese back in the muslin cloth and keep it in a tall container suspended on a wooden spoon in such a way that the cloth keeps hanging but does not touch the bottom of the container where the liquids collect.
  • Keep this assembly of muslin, curds, wooden spoon and tall container in the fridge overnight.
  • Remove from the fridge the next day, voila you have your homemade cream cheese!
  • Transfer contents to a glass container and use within two days.

 

 

 

 

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