When a reunion, first date, wedding or some major event is looming in the distance, the first thing you would want to do is shed those extra kilos. However, your best month long strategy for weight loss should involve sustainable habits that you can maintain even one month after your weight loss deadline. Burning calories through physical activity and decreasing your calorie intake are vital. Also, the intensity of your workout plays a big role in the effectiveness of your exercise program.
How much weight can you lose in a month?
The amount of kilos you can safely lose over a course of a month depends on various factors such as your current body weight, your diet and the intensity of your exercise. You can lose up to 3-4 kg a month making healthy modifications in your diet and calorie intake along with daily physical activity. A weight loss of more than 1 kg a week might mean that you are losing the necessary lean muscles and water weight and not the body fat. Rapid weight loss can deplete your energy levels and make you weak. Therefore, before you embark on your weight loss journey make sure you calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine your ideal weight range.
Many people attempt to lose weight by diet alone, but exercise is the key. Not only does it help you shed the extra kilos, but will also boost your mood and keep your skin glowing.
Workout 7 days a week
Make sure you workout 30 – 45 minutes a day so that you burn more calories and build muscle. If you want to visit a gym, make sure you religiously go every day without any break. A 30-minute walk, aerobics or yoga should be sufficient to help you reach your weight loss goal in a month.
Depending on how much you have to lose, you can start the first week with 10-15 minutes of a cardio workout then increase it to 30-45 minutes in the next two weeks. If you are new to exercising, you could start with walking and slowly graduate to jogging.
Mix strength training with cardio
According to Althea Shah, Fitness Expert and VP Marketing Gold’s Gym India, combining your cardio with strength training will help you lose weight successfully. In strength training, you build lean muscles and your body burns more calories, facilitating better weight loss. It also helps you keep burning fat after you are done with your workout session. To burn more fat, you should go for exercises that target more than one muscle group. Shoulder press, bench press, pull-ups, squats and deadlifts are the five best exercises to burn fat.
Do a kettlebell workout
With kettlebell, you will not only lose fat but also gain muscles. The equipment gives you a full body workout by strengthening and toning your entire body. Your metabolism is also increased during the workout so you end up burning a larger amount of fat. Pick three or four kettlebell exercises and perform them in your daily fitness session. For speeding up fat loss, make as many repetitions as you can of a single exercise.
Include yoga in your regime
Along with cardio exercises and weight training, you should also include yoga in your fitness regime. The various yoga asanas will help tone the various muscles in your body. Also, performing these asanas right after your weight training will help stretch your muscles and prevent muscle soreness. Some of the asanas that you can do in order to lose weight are –ardha chandraasana, veerbhadrasana, utkatasana, vrksasana, uttanasana, and ardha matsyendrasana. Veerbhadrasana, for example, is an excellent way to burn fat around your midsection. Badhakonasana can help burn fat around your thighs. You can also perform 20 rounds of surya namaskar in a day to lose weight from your entire body.
Well-known weight loss expert Archana Shah says, ‘If you want to be in good shape you should change your diet and lifestyle first. To lose weight, remember exercise plays 20% role and diet plays 80% role.
Decrease sugar intake
It is absolutely important to minimise your daily sugar, salt and oil intake when you are on a weight loss plan. Also, avoid adding sugar to your tea and coffee as much as you can. Make sure you are careful about your portion sizes and that you are restricting your consumption of sweets. Avoid biscuits as the low fat biscuits you find in the market are never low in sugar and the low sugar biscuits or baked biscuits are high in fat.
Avoid sodium rich foods
Go slow on salt and sodium-rich foods as too much salt in the diet will contribute to bloating and edema. Cutting down on salt will not only help you reduce weight but it’s a great habit for a healthy lifestyle overall. Instead, go for potassium-rich foods like bananas and sweet potatoes, as it will help you in getting a slimmer waistline.
One of the first steps towards losing weight is boosting your metabolism. It is, therefore, important to include a variety and colourful foods on your plate so that the nutrients present in them helps you bolster your metabolism. Never repeat the same food more than one time in a day as all foods have different nutritional value. According to Archana, your breakfast should include moderate carbohydrates and protein, your lunch should be high in fibre and low in fat, and your dinner should ideally have less carbohydrate and more fibre.
Eat right post workout
According to nutritionist Priya Kathpal, eating right post a workout is as important. She says ‘What you burn during the workout is far less than your estimation. This overestimation leads you to believe that not only can you eat more but eat whatever you want. This is one of the major mistakes one makes. What and how much do you need to eat after a workout depends on the kind of activity you do and how intense it is.’
Drink green tea
Drink 2 cups of green tea every day for successful weight loss. Green tea contains many ingredients in it such as caffeine, theobromine, saponins, theophylline, vitamins and epigallocatechin that boost your metabolic rate and reduce your appetite. Consumption of the tea will also help you eliminate toxins and waste from your body, speeding up weight loss.
Here are some tips by nutritionist Priya Kathpal that will help you lose weight in a month
- Get enough sleep as sleep deprivation can affect your metabolism and lead to weight gain. Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day.
- Do not let yourself get too hungry. Once you are famished you will make poor food choices, and your will power to avoid unhealthy foods will be at its lowest.
- Get into the habit of eating a little lesser than what you would normally have. If you do this at every meal you can avoid eating at least 100 calories per day.
- Keep yourself hydrated all the time. More than half the time it’s thirst that is misunderstood as hunger which can hamper your diet plans. Drinking enough water has countless benefits especially in the process of weight loss where it helps reduce bloating, washes out toxins from your body and hastens up your metabolic rate. Try to drink at least 2 litres of water every day for effective weight loss.
Here is a weight loss diet plan by dietician Neha Chandna to help you lose weight quickly.
Breakfast: Start your day with a glass of warm water mixed with lemon and honey. Milk and cornflakes, or milk and poha/upma is ideal for breakfast. If you are from northern India, and are into eating parathas, you can still have them but make them healthy with less oil. Instead of just aloo paratha have potato mixed with other vegetables like radish and cauliflower. Similarly, if you are from southern India, you can have idlis, dosa, uttappa but avoid medu wada since it is fried. You can even opt for egg omelette or sandwiches.
Lunch: This can consist of a proper meal like rotis/bhakri with vegetables, salads and a source of protein from dal/curd/ sprouts/ non-veg dishes like eggs, fish, chicken plus a small helping of rice. Avoid pickles and papads.
Snacks: This can be mixed dry fruits, seasonal fruits or any fruit. You can also have a bowl of sprouts as your snacks.
Dinner: Preferably opt for an early dinner and keep it light. Include a bowl of sabzi or dal along with 2 rotis. You can also have a bowl of soup in your dinner.
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