The safest and the most effective way of slimming is to lose weight slowly. Crash diets should be avoided as they often fail. This is simply because they just cannot be sustained. Moreover, crash dieting can adversely affect your beauty, making you look haggard. An advantage of a gradual diet control is that your taste in foods can be adjusted over a reasonable period of time so that the craving for certain food items is reduced.

Safe Way To Lose Weight

Counting Calories

Weight Reduction Woman PictureAll the food you eat is a source of energy and can fatten you, but some foodstuffs are more fattening than others. For instance, fats are more fattening than both carbohydrates and proteins. Calories are a simple way to measure, how much energy and how much fattening potential your foods contain. Foodstuffs differ in their caloric content because of two reasons: Firstly they contain varying amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and secondly, they contain different amounts of water, an ingredient which truly has zero calories. Similarly, the energy you spend when working or exercising can be measured in calories. So the simple basis of a "calorie control" diet would be to limit your calorie intake, while making you use up the usual or more number of calories. Your body will then have to draw upon the fat stores to fill the energy gap and you would begin to lose weight.

While on a weight reducing diet there are certain foods you must avoid. They are:

  • All Alcoholic drinks
  • Non Vegetarian Foods (Including Meat, Eggs, Fish and the things made from these)
  • Fried and greasy foods
  • Sweets - Honey, ice-creams, cakes, pastries, jams, chocolates and candies
  • Dry fruits and Nuts - peanuts, almonds, cashew nuts
  • Fruits - Bananas, grapes, mangoes, strawberries
  • Vegetables - Potatoes and other tubers

Foods which you can eat as much as desired without causing any problems

  • Salads - Carrots, radish, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lettuce
  • Drinks - Clear Soups, Lemon Juice, Jaljeera, Buttermilk.

To Lose Weight Sensibly

An average woman spends about 2,300 calories a day. If you want to reduce your weight, you should aim to eat about 1,200-1,300 calories daily. If you persistently eat about 1000 calories less every day, your body will have to make up the short fall, by using up about 100grams of your body fat daily. So in about ten days you would be able to lose a kilo of your weight. On this diet you should not expect a rapid loss of weight. It may take you sometime to lose the desired weight. Even though it would be slow, if you are steady in your diet control you are sure to be a winner.

How Fattening Are High Protein Foods?

There is a popular notion that protein-rich foods are not fattening. This is absolutely a myth. Proteins actually provide the same number of calories per gram as carbohydrates and so are equally fattening. But protein-rich and even fatty foods do not leave the stomach as quickly as carbohydrates, so they tend to satisfy your appetite for longer periods of time and you do not feel hungry quickly. It is for this reason that a serving of mutton appears more filling than a bowl of cereal and sugar, even though the portions have been adjusted to give you precisely the same number of calories.

However a slimming diet which recommends protein foods, such as salads, yoghurt or cereals rather than starchy and sugary foods is very likely to be rich in minerals and vitamins as well. On the other hand refined carbohydrate foods can be easily eliminated from the diet without causing any deficiency of vitamins and minerals.

How to Cut Down On Fats

Since fats contain more than twice as many calories to a gram as carbohydrates and proteins, a low fat diet would seem a very sensible way to cut down on the calories in your daily meals. The danger here lies in the fact that when you cut out on the fatty bit of your meals, you tend to feel hungry much sooner and if you succumb to your hunger-pangs, you might well end up eating more(snacks, sweets and other foods) before your next meal is due, and ruin your dietary schedule.

We consume a large amount of fat in our diet; actually 40% of our daily calorie intake is derived from fats. Half of this is visible as the oil we cook our food in, and the butter we spread on the breakfast bread. The other half, however, is not so obvious; the margarine present in the cakes and biscuits, the fat in a boiled egg and the cream in our morning cup of tea or coffee.

Calorific Values of Common Dietary Items
  1. Milk (1 glass Skimmed) = 70 calories
  2. Tea (1 cup +1/2 tsp sugar) = 20 calories
  3. Cottage Cheese (25g) = 70 calories
  4. Bread (1 large slice) = 75 calories
  5. Rice (1 helping of 25g) = 87 calories
  6. Seasonal Vegetables (1 helping of 125g except tubers) = 35 calories
  7. Pulses, lentils (1 helping) = 80 calories
  8. Fruit (1 helping 100g except mangoes, grapes, bananas) = 40 calories
  9. Curd (1 helping of 125g) = 75 calories
  10. Cold Drinks, Aerated Drinks (1 bottle) = 80 calories
  11. Oil (1 teaspoon) = 45 calories
  12. Sugar (1 tsp) = 20 calories