Most of us want to lose those few extra kilos we're carrying around. Some days, we dig deep and find the motivation to go for that morning walk, take the stairs, skip the dessert and do all the things that our nutritionists have been haranguing us to do. But most days, we hit the snooze button, are running too damn late to forego the lift and aren't hard-hearted enough to treat desserts badly. (Hey, chocolate has feelings too, you know!)
If you recognise yourself in this description, welcome to the world of the lazy dieter. Does that mean we're doomed to roam the world with the extra weight we totally meant to lose for the rest of our days? No, sir! Here are seven low-effort weight-loss tips.
Rice, rice, baby!
For too long, rice has been an enemy of weight loss. Not anymore. The noble folks at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka have found a way to cook and eat rice that slashes the calorie intake by as much as 60 percent. Here's how you do it: while cooking rice, add a few drops of coconut oil into boiling water before adding the rice to it. Once the rice is cooked, let it cool for about 12 hours in the fridge before you eat it. Rice that has been cooked and cooled contains 10 times the resistant starch that normal rice does. Resistant starch is a kind of carbohydrate that is not broken down by the body easily, which means it can't be transformed into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream like the simple starch in normal rice. Even better, you can reheat the rice while eating it; it won't affect the resistant starch levels.
Laughter is the best diet
Turns out, all those hours you spent watching YouTube videos of stand-up comics serves a higher purpose. Research has found that laughing heartily for a good hour a day is the equivalent of 30 minutes at the gym, lifting weights. A warm, belly-aching laugh makes the heart beat faster and pumps more blood to the body's organs, while giving the stomach's muscles a mini workout with all the contracting and stretching. Go on, cue up the Friends and Seinfeld reruns in the name of weight loss.
Turn up the heat
It's a widely known fact that the capsaicin in chilli is a great antidote for clogged sinuses, but a lesser known great thing about it is that it also aids weight loss by mimicking the effect of exercise on stored fat. The capsaicin in chilli increases the body's basal metabolic rate (BMR) and kickstarts the process of thermogenics in the body — creating heat by burning fat. Research on mice at the University of Wyoming also showed that despite high-fat diets, when chilli was added to mice's food, they tended not to put on weight. So, if you're a fan of chilli peppers and heat, you have a reason to rejoice.
Water, not food
No, no, we're not suggesting you fill up on water instead of food to decrease calorie intake. But we are saying that you ensure you're well-hydrated at all times, to prevent unnecessary weight gain. The wonderland that the human body is, the signal that it sends to the brain when it is thirsty is the exact same as that for hunger. Effectively, this makes many people mistake thirst for hunger and reach for that wholly redundant mid-day snack, which, let's face it, is almost 100 percent more likely to be a bag of chips or samosas and not carrot sticks. Drink up.
No transparency wanted
How many of us are strong enough to resist the call of chaklis and banana chips beckoning us to indulge in their fried and salty deliciousness? Add 5pm hunger pangs to the mix and we never really stood a chance against the junky delights. It is natural to reach for food that is within sight and easy reach. Which is why, if you must keep junk food at your workstation or home, make them slightly difficult to get to. Use opaque jars and stow them in cabinets that require some effort to get to. Use glass containers for healthy snacks and store them where you can see and get to them with little effort. Hopefully, out of sight will at least some times be out of mind.
Don't wait for hunger
Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight has heard this advice: eat only when you're hungry. While this might sound perfectly rational, it only works if you're super disciplined. Which, unfortunately, most of us aren't. When you're really hungry, you're likely to eat faster and consequently, definitely more than you need. This happens because you end up eating faster than your brain can process and tell your body that it is full. It's a whole lot better to eat small portions before you get hungry, so you remain in control of the calories that go into you. Similarly, don't wait till you start feeling full to stop eating because by the time your body starts to feel satiated, you've already overeaten. So, eat before you're hungry, stop before you're full is the new mantra.
Toast your bread
When you're lazy, every little bit counts, right? All food causes a rise in blood sugar level, of course. But toasting the bread makes it rise lesser than regular, untoasted bread. The difference is not monumental, but hey, toasted bread is yum anyway, so why not? Also considering swapping out white bread with whole or multi-grain bread.