- Get regular with exercise
- Eat home-cooked food as much as possible
- Take less stress and sleep well for efficient weight loss
To focus on weight loss is much different than the focus on getting fitter and healthier. Kareena Kapoor Khan's nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, in one of her recent posts on Instagram, talks about how the focus on weight loss or the lack of it can mask many of the physiological benefits that exercise and eating right bestows. When a person begins exercising regularly and eating right, it not just helps with weight loss, but also helps in improving insulin sensitivity, endurance, overall body strength and stamina.
Weight loss: Why it is important to look beyond the weighing scale
Getting fitter and healthier is when you get more aware of hunger cues, satiety signals, breathing rate, resting heart rate and better functioning of kidneys and liver amongst others.
Diwekar says that the people who don't lose weight on the scale but are otherwise living a healthy and disciplined life can be called "metabolically fit". Their lifestyle ensures that they are not at risk of cardiac or blood sugar or hormone-related diseases, and have a strong immunity.
Another thing to note is that weight loss doesn't automatically reduce risk of heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, etc. You may be losing weight because of falling sick, an underlying health condition or because of following a fad diet (which may be causing nutritional deficiency). Methods like starvation, over-exercise, surgeries or pills can help you lose weight but may do more harm than good.
FOTI/ TOFI and why you must look beyond weight loss- Focus on weight loss (or the lack of it) masks many, if not all, of the physiological (not to mention psychological) benefits that exercise and eating right bestows. The improved insulin sensitivity, endurance, strength, stamina, hunger cues, satiety signals, VO2 max, breathing rate, resting heart rate, better kidney and liver functioning to just name a few. The term for people who don't lose weight on scale but are otherwise leading a healthy, disciplined life is ‘metabolically fit'. Their lifestyle ensures that they are not at a risk of cardiac or blood sugar or hormone related disease (and have better immunity). One funky term for the metabolically fit is (I love this one) FOTI: Fat Outside, Thin Inside. And the term I love even more is TOFI: Thin Outside, Fat Inside, which acknowledges the fact that losing weight on the scale doesn't automatically reduce risk of heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, etc., in fact it can put you at a higher risk if the methods that led to the reduction were fundamentally incorrect—like starvation, over-exercise, surgeries or pills. #beyondweightloss #healthbasics #fitnotthin
Also read: Does Eating White Rice Make You Fat?
Thus, instead of weight loss, your goal should probably be to get fitter and healthier. Make sure you fulfil the following parameters:
- Get regular with exercise. Fix a time for workout and do not delay it. Alongside, avoid long hours of sitting. Stay active throughout the day.
- Consume home-cooked food as far as possible. Cook your favourite comfort food like pizzas and burgers at home.
- Practice portion control. Eat everything in moderation, till you are 80% full.
- Sleep well regularly. It is an important prerequisite for weight loss.
- Take less stress. It is important for your physical and mental health.
- Stay well-hydrated at all times.
- Quit smoking and drinking alcohol.
If you fulfil these, you will automatically begin to shed kilos and get fitter, healthier, stronger, more active and probably disease-free.
(Rujuta Diwekar is a nutritionist based in Mumbai)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.