Some of Holachef’s most informative and popular columns are penned by Kavita Devgan. A journalist and health columnist with premier media groups, she has many avatars including being a writer, a practicing nutritionist & weight management consultant and a prolific speaker. Kavita also offers practical, customized programmes that deliver weight loss the right way via habit modifications to ensure long term results.
Her debut book Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) helps identify 50 ‘stay thin’ set of habits spread across ‘Mind’, ‘Body’ and ‘Lifestyle’ – and gives out workable cues to adopt them easily. In the form of a diary with 50 practices, a 3 month health calendar, tools to help lose weight and pages where the reader can write stuff…the book encourages people to design their own program and pick and change the habits they want. It also has a huge section on how guilt can actually backfire and why strict diets don’t work.
Here are some brief points from a few chapters that highlight the treasure trove of effective solutions that the book is.
Cut sugar but learn to keep your taste buds on your side – it’s important! Get smart about it. For example ditch high-calorie desserts, instead try this: blend bananas and strawberries, freeze into cubes, and eat like ice cream. Taste and health both! (chapter 29)
Make an exercise date with a buddy. How about a salsa class together? A nice two in one gossip and exercise session = food for both body and soul. (chapter 41)
Travelling? Simply throw some nuts into a zip lock and some jamuns into a Tupperware container and keep a buttermilk tetra pack handy to prevent wrong snacking. (chapter 17)
Going for a salad lunch? Brilliant! Just order dressing on the side, dip your fork into the dressing, then skewer a forkful of salad. You’ll save loads of calories without missing out on the taste. (chapter 23)
Create alternatives to stress eating; make a list of stuff that helps you cut stress. Going for a walk, chatting with a friend, washing the car, taking a long soak, deep breathing exercises or listening to some good music… and paste it on the refrigerator. Works, I tell you! (chapter 8)
Make friends with fibre. Sprinkle flax on your cereal. High-fibre flaxseed can help curb your appetite. Add it to yogurt or cereal and even cake mixes. (chapter 22)
Focus on the positives instead of dwelling on the negative. Avoid saying ‘I missed walking today’, tell yourself ‘I have already walked thrice this week and that’s done me a lot of good’. And make sure you walk the next day. (chapter 2)
When you are seriously overreacting to any situation or are on the verge of doing so (and also on the way to the refrigerator or the cookies jar), stop for a minute and take three or four good, deep breaths. Your reaction will be much more controlled after that. Then walk away to a different (food free) zone right away. (chapter 3)
Visualise. Figure out a mental picture of you at your ideal weight and keep visualising yourself until you reach your goal. Putting an earlier picture of a thinner you somewhere where it stares down at you, is a big help always. (chapter 5)
Use lunch hour for your benefit. Go for an after lunch stroll, or better still help a friend buy her dream pair of stilettos – find creative ways to move and work your body at least thrice a week during lunch hour. (chapter 41)
Instead of making a low calorie foods list, make a list of power foods (which are loaded with nutrients) and begin eating them. Think lean proteins, colourful fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and skim dairy. (chapter 50)
Pre-order your copy of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) on Amazon.
Kavita Devgan is a Nutritionist, Weight Management Consultant and Health Writer based in Delhi. She contributes to the column Kavita’s Korner every Wednesday for this blog. Follow her on Twitter here: @kavitadevgan