These 4 habits can really go a long way to helping reduce those few extra pounds.
1. Sleep enough
Sleep debt doesn’t just make you cranky, it can make you fat too. For – starters, shortened sleep cycles give you more time and opportunity to graze, but science says that it can also increase our appetites. Researchers have observed lower levels of the satiety hormone, leptin, and higher – levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin in people who are sleep deprived. Very often, it has been realised that unless one puts the sleep cycles of people right, the weight does not budge. Yes, it is that important.
2. Meditate everyday
Yes, it will keep your waist thin. Agreed, to stay thin we need to move about, burn calories, sweat… but you’d be surprised that sitting still can also help sculpt your body. Meditating will make you a more relaxed and calm person. And when we are relaxed, our stress hormones recede (stress hormones we all know push us to bingeing on high-calorie junk food). Meditation thus effectively helps cut cravings, and pause comfort eating – two common causes of weight gain. So reserve 10 minutes every day, just for yourself, to sit and reflect, and curb negative and stressful thoughts. Surprise surprise, it will help you get rid of those love handles too!
3. Get out in the sun
If you’ve been wrestling with your weighing scale, step out in the sun a bit more. Research shows that the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin on sunny days than on cloudy days. And serotonin is a natural antidepressant that helps suppress our appetite, prevent mood-eating and related mindless munching and also increase our body’s metabolic rate (so higher calories burnt) by stimulating the thyroid.
4. Boost the good bacteria
The ratio of good bacteria to the bad in our gut has a say in how much we weigh. Research shows that higher number of good bacteria help our body store less fat. Whereas a skewed balance (called gut dysbiosis), where there is an abundance of “bad” bacteria can actually make us fat. Probiotics can help you stay thin. Get them from yogurt, probiotic milk and fermented foods like idlis and dosa, panta bhat (eaten in Eastern parts of India), dhokla, and pickles (especially made using seasonal veggies). Make sure you eat at least one good probiotic source, like dahi or buttermilk, every day.