We know it’s tough being overweight. But when you’re swamped with loads of work and have no time for yourself, you lose track of your fitness goals.
Before you know it, you’ve got banana rolls. And saddle bags.
I know. I’ve been there too.
Weight loss is not something that people run away from because it’s an insurmountable odd.
Losing weight is easy.
And we all know it.
But it’s something that you just don’t want to do. You keep putting it off for later.
The key to losing weight is to develop or cultivate practices and habits that keep the fat at bay.
All you’ve got to do is follow a set of practices until they become a habit. I bet that you’ll end up losing about 10 kg in the next 3 months if you read on and take action.
And not by starving yourself.
We’re going to show you how to shed that excess fat with an Indian diet plan. And then we’re going to show you a couple exercises that are super effective at helping you lose weight.
Step by step.
The Great Indian Diet
Asian cuisines have the most varied kinds of food to offer, but an Indian diet is a different ball game altogether.
An Indian diet consists of a variety of spices, lentils, pulses, and flavors. If followed correctly, an Indian diet is a brilliant option for those who love the cuisine.
But here’s the issue:
It’s high in carbs as it was first formulated to help provide farmers energy to work in the field all day. And it’s unbalanced and contains high quantities of saturated fat. (Yes, fats are important, but not too much-saturated fat.)
What you need is a scientific diet plan that’ll take all these factors into account.
Some old school science
First, let me bore you with some science. Skip.
Your body has nutritional needs. These needs can be divided into 3 major categories.
Macros: Or macronutrients are those that are found in all foods. There are 3 main macros: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
Why do they matter?
These nutrients help the body grow, develop, repair, and feel good. So we need a lot of them.
Micros: Short for micronutrients. These are not required by the body in large quantities but are important for us.
Think Folates, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamins etc.
The third category is the most obvious one- Water.
With that aside, let’s get started with planning your diet.
How to Design Your Own Indian Diet Plan
So what does a meal plan look like?
To keep things simple, your meal plan should consist of foods that have the right amount of macronutrients – fats, carbs, and proteins for the body. And you should ‘calculate’ what you need.
Can everyone follow a single meal plan?
Your body does not react to food consumption as it does for the person sitting next to you. Meal plans need to be tailored for each person.
So how do you make a meal plan?
You can come up with a meal plan on your own, depending on your body and nutritional requirements.
Basically, picking the right food for your body.
And by “right” I mean the right quantity of calories, nutrients, fats, etc
Let’s look at an example to see how you can make a meal plan of your own.
Take Anika for example.
Anika is a 25-year-old girl who’s 5 feet and 3 ½” tall. She weighs around 76.5 kgs, and she lives a rather sedentary lifestyle.
Now, let’s make a meal plan for her.
I’m going to list down a few borning terminologies that you’ll need while we do the math part.
Maintenance calories: Basically, “maintenance” calories are those calories that Anika would have to have without changing anything.
In other words, these calories need to be consumed in the exact same quantity if Anika does not wish to increase or decrease her weight.
Deficit calories: You’re probably wondering what a calorie deficit is. A calorie deficit is a reduction in the number of calories consumed (compared to the maintenance calories).
In short, how to eat fewer calories.
Step 1: Let’s calculate Anika’s calorie maintenance.
The important information that we have are her weight and physical activity.
So the easy way to estimate maintenance calories is to multiply your body weight in pounds with a number between 13 and 16:
- Those that are very active (manual labor + weight training and play sports 4-5 times a week) should a number in the top range of the interval (16 kcal x bw in lbs).
- Those who are active (walking or cycling every day + weight training 3-4 times a week) should use a number to the middle of the interval (15 kcal x bw in lbs).
- Those who are moderately active (mostly sedentary, one hour of activity every day + weight training 3-4 times a week) should use the middle of the interval as well (14-15 kcal x bw in lbs).
- Those who are sedentary (only weight training at the gym and sedentary the rest of the time) should use the lowest end of the interval (13 kcal x bw in lbs).
Now, let’s get some math done.
Anika’s weight = 76.5 kgs (168 lbs) and lifestyle = sedentary.
168 lbs x 13 = 2184 kcal.
2184 kcal is the number of calories that Anika needs to consume in order to maintain her current weight.
Step 2: Lose the deficit calories.
It’s noticed that best fat loss is seen with a moderate calorie deficit i.e reducing your calories gradually.
Generally, a minimum deficit of 20-25% is taken at the start.
This is a healthy way to reduce your weight rather than cutting it down to a direct 50%.
Let’s do some math again.
Total Energy Expenditure (maintenance calories) x 0.75 = Number of calories for rapid fat loss.
Maintenance calorie = 2184 kcal x 0.75 = 1638 kcal.
1638 kcal is 75% of Anika’s maintenance calories.
Step 3: Plan a diet for Anika based on the calculations we just did.
Now that we know a lot about the South Asian cuisines, specifically Indian cuisines, we can come up with a diet plan based on it.
One of the most important points you need to keep in mind is about calorie planning- while planning a diet to lose weight, always calculate the number of calories that you’re going to consume and choose your dishes wisely.
Do you remember the science part that was mentioned earlier? The part about the macronutrients like protein, carbs, and water?
Let’s divide Anika’s calories into those 3 macros and then into her weekly diet plan.
The main agenda when trying to lose weight is to ensure that you’re eating the right food, that you don’t stay hungry, and that you maintain a schedule for all your physical activity.
With the right balance of all the 3 macros, you’ll begin shedding those pounds, hitting the gym, and get closer to the goal that you’ve set for yourself.
Proteins: Proteins are essential to help build muscle and strength gains. In all honesty, you don’t need as much protein that you think you require while cutting down fat.
It is best to have only 0.8 – 1 g of protein per pound of your body weight.
Carbs: Crabs are not the enemy here. They help in the production of neurotransmitters, hormonal functions, and other bodily functions.
It is best to have carbs fill in the rest of your daily calories. The goal is to keep carb intake low.
Fats: It is important that you eat only healthy fats here, and no trans fats. Fats play a major role when it comes to cutting down on your weight. That’s because they keep you full and satisfied.
It is best to have fats as at least 20-30% of the total daily calorie intake.
Take Anika’s weight in pounds and multiply it with the total number of proteins per pound.
168 lbs x 0.8 g = 134.4 g of protein per day = 537 Kcal
Let’s take 30% fat and multiply it with Anika’s total deficit calories which are 1638 kcal.
(.30) x (1638 kcal) = 491 Kcal
Lastly, we have carbs. Which means the remaining calories left will make up your total carb intake for the day.
Adding up protein and fat calories:
(537 protein calories) + (491 fat calories) = 1028 calories.
(1638 daily calories) – (1028 calories from protein and fat) = 610 remaining calories.
(610 remaining calories) / (4 calories per gram) = 152.5 g from carbs
The total number of carbs that Anika can have in one day to help reduce her weight is 152.5 g.
Now that we have the calorie goal, let’s create a meal plan.
To be able to make your own meal plan, you’ll have to refer to the math that we did above.
Step 4: Let’s create a meal plan.
Given below is a meal plan based on an Indian diet to help reduce weight.
The best way to plan meals is to use a meal planning app like MyFitnessPal. It’s free, and will give you a meal plan that you can follow based on your calorie goal.
Upon entering the details, the app gives us our total goal consisting of the total number of carbs, calories, proteins, and fats that we’d need to consume.
You can make your own weekly diet chart based on the results that you find on the app.
Making and printing out a chart is always a good idea, as you can post it in your kitchen or dining table to act as a constant reminder of your calorie and fitness goals.
Notice how we have a well-structured plan for what to have for each meal?
All Anika needs to do is follow this meal plan to the best of her ability.
Get the calorie chart of over 60,000 food items.
Now let’s take a step back and think about another scenario. If you take a look at the meal plan above (and if you’re a foodie like me), you may think:
That’s too less. If I was Anika, I don’t think I can survive for long on that.
What if we can combine a few exercises to the diet plan, and make up for the excess calories with physical activity or exercise?
In fact, I would recommend this scenario is much more.
Because when you say weight loss, you’re actually trying to lose fat, and not weight.
Your body is made up of water, muscles, fat, organs, tissues and a lot of other stuff.
When you lose weight, you’re actually losing a little bit of everything- including muscles.
That’s actually a bad idea because muscles are major calorie burners themselves- they need calories to sustain themselves.
So the more muscles you have the more calories your body burns.
So if you sharply reduce your calorie intake, your muscle mass also decreases and thereby results in decrease in the calorie burn rate (or metabolic rate)- not good.
And this is exactly why you should try to maintain (or may I say improve) your muscle mass.
So what’s the solution?
You need to focus on fat loss.
So what’s fat loss?
Fat loss is losing your body fat (not muscle, not tissue, just fat that is stored in the body). This can be done with a combination of a well-balanced diet and exercise.
So getting back to our example, if Anika wants to lose weight (or may I say fat), she should follow a diet plan with a calorie deficit, and at the same time exercise with the right combination of resistance and cardiovascular training (weight training and cardio).
Exercise will only boost the burning process- Anika should have a calorie deficit to actually force her body to tap into the fat reserves.
This is how Anika can achieve true body transformation. She will also develop stronger bones and joints, and tighter skin.
Now, this may sound odd, but it’s actually possible to become thinner and lose several inches without actually losing any weight- by losing that stored body fat while gaining more muscle.
This is because muscle tissue is much denser than fat tissue. It takes up little space in comparison and weighs more. Here at YoursTrulyCare, we’ve seen this trend hundreds of times over the years helping folks like you lose fat.
Now that we have that clear, let’s get back to our example again:
Anika needs to exercise. And there needs to be a small change in Anika’s diet as well-
She has to increase her intake of protein (you can balance this as per your calorie goal that we calculated earlier- just replace fat intake with protein) and fiber (required to maintain muscle mass) and increase her fluid intake (water and juices).
7 Exercises that can help you lose weight fast
This ties in a lot with the habits I talked about earlier.
The #1 reason why most of us can’t fathom the willpower to exercise is that we don’t look at it from a habit POV.
You need to make exercising a habit. It’s the only way.
The mindset that you can burn off those calories when you get time after work won’t work.
It needs to be a priority.
Step 5: Planning exercises:
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best exercises that can help you lose weight fast.
- Jump rope
Most people across the world practice yoga not only to lose weight but also to attain mental peace and be one with themselves.
I personally love it. I guess I’m biased.
I love it not just because it’s effective, but because the holistic benefits of practicing Yoga make it much easier to make it a habit.
We’ll just list down a few asanas that can help you kick those calories, and their exact benefits. We recommend doing each of these daily.
Paripurna Navasana or the boat pose
Step 1: Sit straight on a flat surface with your heels pressed to the ground firmly. Place your hands and palms facing downwards flat on the floor with your back upright.
Step 2: Slowly lift your legs upwards at a 45-50 degree angle and inhale. Make sure to keep your palms firmly on the ground.
Step 3: Balance on your buttocks as you slowly lift your hands off the ground.
Step 4: Maintain your balance and ensure that your hands are pointed towards your feet.
Step 5: Maintain your posture for about 2-4 seconds and exhale slowly while bringing your arms and legs down.
Step 6: When you start this exercise do it 2-3 time and gradually increase it to 10 times.
Benefits: This asana helps in strengthening the abdomen, hips, and spine. Kick that belly fat.
Utthita Parsvakonasana or extended side angle pose
Step 1: Step out with the right foot to 90-degrees and keep the distance between your right and left foot 3-4 feet apart. Turn your left foot inwards.
Step 2: Keep your right thigh parallel to the floor.
Step 3: Place your right palm on the floor outside your right foot.
Step 4: Roll your shoulder down the back and extend your arm over your neck.
Step 5: Look at your arm for 4-5 seconds.
Step 6: Do the same with your left side.
Benefits: This asana helps in strengthening your legs, knees, and ankles. It strengthens your abdominal muscles and increases stamina, and helps in shedding flab in these areas.
Chaturanga Dandasana or four-limbed staff pose
Step 1: Place your knees on the floor and sit on your heels.
Step 2: Get into the high plank position and move your feet a little back to balance yourself on your toes and your hands.
Step 3: Suck your stomach and thighs in.
Step 4: Slowly inhale and bend your elbows as far as you can. Do not touch the floor.
Step 5: Come back up slowly while exhaling.
Step 6: Inhale slowly and bend your elbows. Maintain a posture where your body is parallel to the ground, but do not let your body touch the floor.
Step 7: Gradually lower yourself on to the ground. Make sure that you do not put your knees down first. Relax your arms and lie down.
Benefits: This asana helps in toning the abdomen and strengthening the arms and legs.
Paschimottanasana or the seated forward bend
Step 1: Sit up with your back upright and your legs stretched out. Place your heels firmly on the ground.
Step 2: Take a deep breath and raise your hands upwards.
Step 3: Exhale and slowly bend forward. Place your hands in front of your legs and hold your right wrist.
Step 4: Take 3 long breaths while you let your chin rest on your knees.
Step 5: Unlock your right wrist and point your hands forward.
Step 6: Inhale and straighten your back.
Step 7: Begin practicing this posture 5 times and gradually do it 10 times.
Benefits: According to traditional texts, this asana is said to reduce obesity by working on the abdominal muscles. It also helps in strengthening the shoulders and hamstrings.
Cardio has to be the second most effective, if not the most effective way to burn calories.
We’re going to list out the most effective cardio exercises. Choose one that you see fit, and make it a habit.
Jogging (or running) is one of the best exercises you can do to lose weight and is the best type of cardio. Apart from toning your body, it helps increase your stamina, focus and overall health.
Benefits: Jogging helps in strengthening bones, muscles, and improves cardiovascular health. It’s the best type of cardio.
Walking as in not the regular stroll. Walking that comes under cardio has to be brisk to get your heart rate up to be able to burn those calories.
Benefits: Apart from losing weight, cardio also helps in improving your mood, manages health condition like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and strengthens the muscles and bones.
Lunging, jogging, or running up a flight of stairs can help you burn more calories than you know. That’s because while going up a flight of stairs your abdominal muscles are at work which helps you lose those extra pounds.
The best part: it’s apt for working out at home.
Benefits: Other benefits of running stairs include an improved cardiovascular system, a reduction in muscle damage, a reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, and stress.
Do you remember when we used to jump rope while we were still kids?
Did you know that it’s a great calorie-burner? It increases your heart rate and strengthens your abdominal muscles.
Benefits: Improves cardiovascular health, coordination, bone density, and decreases the chances of foot and ankle injuries.
Yet another exercise that’s both fun and effective.
It increases your heart rate and burns body fat, especially belly fat.
Benefits: Improves cardiovascular health, joint mobility, muscle strength and flexibility; improves coordination and strengthens bones.
Going down to your public pool never seemed like a bad idea, but somehow you just couldn’t get yourself to go. But now you have a reason!
You could swim a few friendly laps in the pool to help strengthen your arms, legs, and abdominal muscles.
Benefits: Swimming has many benefits, but let’s just name a few. Swimming is known to increase the heart rate, reduces stress, increases cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and tones muscles and builds strength.
Yay! You’ve almost reached the end of the guide.
But first, there a few things that I want to run by you folks.
I just showed you how you can craft an Indian diet plan for weight loss of your own. And then I showed you the most effective exercises for losing weight fast.
/consultation form link Need help? Just reach out to us here, and we’ll help you shed those extra kilos in no time.
So don’t forget to stay fit, eat healthy and yummy 🙂 And we’re always here if you need us.