A few days ago I hit my first milestone. A friend of mine called me and asked for tips to lose her post-delivery weight. Though frantic, she was concerned about doing it the right way, and at the same time she had a deadline of the end of June! Talking to her about health, diet and weightloss made me think that I should share the helpful content of my first consultation with others.
1. What is the best way to drop a few pounds in a short span of time? There is no ‘best way’ to lose weight. Weight loss is an arduous and difficult process. It’s a commitment that you need to make to yourself. Also, if done in the right manner, you will be able to shed your weight and keep it off too. My friend had to tweak her diet a bit. We didn’t want her to go on a crash diet, but she could eliminate her dinner time carbs (rotis in most cases) and eat her veggies and soups. Cutting a little bit from her diet would ensure that her body doesn’t go into starvation mode. And doing this over a prolonged period would definitely show results.
2. She had hardly exercised during her pregnancy and after it – how should she start again? Yoga provides the most holistic approach to wellness, and I told her to get back into her yoga routine. Since her body had been through quite a bit in the last few months, it is necessary that she should not overexert and overstretch. That will only lead to injuries and her enthusiasm will fizzle out before she has even begun. So I suggested that she start with a few stretching exercises, perhaps 30 minutes in the morning to begin with. After the stretching she can do a few surya namaskars. The sun salutations will stimulate her chakras releasing positive energy, and this will hold her in good stead and keep her motivated. Also, I suggested doing some light walking on the treadmill in the evening, perhaps 15-30 minutes at a time.
3. Post delivery her skin and hair had started to become dull. Flaxseeds! I’ve mentioned in one of my previous blogs about the wonders of flaxseeds. I told her to buy a packet and religiously spike her food with it.
4. All the previous tips sound quite do-able, but she wants to remain focused throughout the day and ensure that she doesn’t deviate. Is there anything she can do to stay focused? The best thing would be to plan your meals and really stay involved in the eating process. Plan the timings as well. Since my friend cooks at home, she has a lot of flexibility and choice. So I told her to start her day with a banana. Post her workout she should have her first meal. And eat 6 times a day at even intervals, say 1.5 – 2 hours. This way her dinner time will be early, and her body will have ample time to digest the food. This will also aid in a good night’s rest, and that in turn will show on her skin! Wellness is really about all the little steps that you take.
5. She wanted to do something for her husband as well. He’s very busy and simply does NOT have the time to eat 6 times a day! A challenge, but an easy one. I told her to get one of those lunch dabbas that have 6 compartments. Fill each compartment with a mini-meal for husband dear. So food, and that too wholesome home cooked food will be available for him within arm’s reach. He must of course be reminded that it’s time to eat, but once our bodies get used to food at regular intervals, then we begin to feel hungry at regular intervals. This is also a good way to rev up your metabolism, so your body is constantly working to burn calories.
6. Lastly (and most importantly) I told her that fitness is a continuous process. There are no shortcuts to good health. It requires effort on a regular basis. By following the above tips she might not be in the ‘perfect’ shape (whatever that is), but she will feel better and be more energetic.
Listening to my friend made me realize that there are lots of people who have questions about health and yoga and may not have access to a forum where these queries can be addressed. So I invite all those who happen to read my blog to leave me a question and shall respond!