Friday, May 1, 2020

12 smart hacks to help you lose weight at home during lockdown

When people ask me, "How did you lose weight?" "What are you doing to maintain it?" "Tell me about your diet." I only tell them one thing. 'Find your trigger.'

The reason why I am hell-bent on maintaining my current weight is all because of a trigger. A trigger that changed the way I look at food and look at how it affects me. 
What was it? I'll come to it... read on.

I see so many Indian women, at home and in my neighbourhood, putting in a lot of effort for their families but not for their health and well-being. Even now they keep their health on the backburner and compromise a lot for the sake of their loved ones. 

Looking at the ageing women in my family and their ongoing health issues, I made up my mind that I didn't want to undergo the same in my prime years. I know I can't guarantee a clean bill of health when I'm old and grey, but what I know is that I will try to reduce my risk as much as I can. 

Indian women are susceptible to osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, backaches, joint pains and related such complaints as they age. These issues are usually lifestyle-related and can be reversed or managed effectively with the right diet, exercise, and rest. Sadly, many working women and home-makers think housework and chores are their cardio - a myth I used to believe until November 2018, when my cholesterol levels had turned borderline high. I was flabbergasted and I knew I couldn't carry on like this. THAT was my trigger.

Me in Aug 2018

From that day on I made a commitment to myself, I need to become fit. I made quite a few changes in my life from that day on. And after that day, there was no looking back. No, I didn't go on a crash diet or hit the gym like a maniac. My mantra was to take each day as it comes and go one step closer to my weight loss goal.

I made changes to my diet, and along with that swore to exercise EVERY DAY, at least 30 mins NO MATTER WHAT.

On my journey to losing 17 kgs of weight, I realised some tiny but significant hacks could turn the weight loss game in one's favour. 

Now as we are all locked in because of the COVID-19 scare, the least we can do is put a speed breaker on our binging and eat sensibly.
Take action right now!

Me in Feb 2020

I have listed 12 tried-and-tested diet hacks for you all:

1. Only ONE piece of your weakness 

I L-O-V-E-D to binge on junk food. Chips, farsan, samosas, pizza, french fries, you name it! They were my Achilles heel. For the first few months, I had gone cold turkey on junk food, oily snacks, and sweets. If the craving for a portion of particular junk food was intense, I used to have ONE piece, only one. But that too if it was homemade. Remember, the sacrifice will be WORTH IT.

2. Tracking my intake

I track my calories on the HealthifyMe app. You can also use MyFitnessPal. As you need to eat lesser than 2000 calories in a day (for women) to lose weight, it is really helpful in tracking every portion you eat. You can set a daily reminder on the app for tracking your intake until it turns into a habit.

3. Early Dinner

I am usually dinner by 7.30, max by 8. I know this is going to be tough initially as your body is not used to it, but make a habit of eating dinner early, at least 3 hours before bed. Also, it is important to make it a light meal as our bodies are unable to effectively digest heavy meals post-sunset.

4. Homemade is happiness

Have homemade and unrefined meals as much as you can. Substitute maida for whole wheat, white rice for single polished rice, etc. Make sure you don’t cook out of a ready-to-eat packet.

5. Small, frequent meals

I have 3-4, sometimes 5 small meals a day. I do this so that I don't overeat during any mealtime and avoid long gaps between meals. There will be a particular time that you might tend to overeat and have intense cravings to snack on something unhealthy. For me, it was between 4 pm and 6 pm. So if I'm having lunch at 1-1.30 pm then I make sure I eat some fruit or roasted chana at 4 pm to keep myself from starving till dinner and loading up my plate then. This avoids a long gap between meals.

7. Don’t confuse thirst signals for hunger

I drink lukewarm water once I get up in the morning, and also before and after meals. I count my glasses (at least 8) so that I don't confuse my body's signal of thirst by mindlessly munching.

8. Don’t plan 'cheat days', they will happen naturally

I do indulge in cheat meals, but still, in the back of my mind, I stop once I'm full. The secret to cheat days is to NOT plan it. Circumstances will arise from nowhere and you may have to cheat. In fact, make it a CHEAT MEAL instead of a cheat day.

9. Use a small plate for meals

I have all my meals in a smaller than usual plate. I feel this is a great way to trick your mind into eating smaller portions. I had watched a YouTube video that said that we 'eat with our eyes' and have a tendency to clean our plates or a particular food container. This makes us feel more satiated. (Some psychology behind it).

10. Load up on veggies

Divide your plate into two parts. On one part, add the veggie preparation. It could be a stir fry, a sabzi with tadka or just a curry with vegetables. Divide the other half into two parts, where in one part add a source of protein like egg, piece of lean meat like chicken or fish, while the other part, add your carbs: roti, rice, bread, etc. 
The key is to put more portions of vegetables, protein, or pulses vs carbs like chapati or rice. Nutritionists say the carbs on your plate should not be more than the size of your fist.

11. Chew your food mindfully

When I say chew it mindfully, I mean that you should savour your bites slowly, taking in all the flavours and textures. Practise mindful eating. Sit in a quiet place away from any type of screens (yes, no TV either) 

12. Never eat directly from a packet

Always put your food on your plate and lay it out. So that you know what you're eating and don't mindlessly gobble down food. 

You can start incorporating these tips from the word go. It will take time for it to become a habit. So be patient and persevere.

Do let me know in the comments if any of the above weight loss tips have helped you in your journey to become fit.


  1. Loved your post.. It's real and also I'm definitely gonna incorporate some of the tips and tricks.. Kudos to you for a determined weight loss! ! Also I love the gifs and cartoon clips you've put in between 😇🤗❤

  2. Thank you so much! Appreciate it
    Wish you would have left your name.


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