A-Z of weight loss
Avoid alcohol: You booze, you lose! Alcohol increases your levels of the hormone leptin, which in turn makes you crave sweets.Don't want to be branded a teetotaller? Order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc - 119 cals per 5 ounces.

Breakfast: A good breakfast with fibre and protein will keep you full till lunchtime and help you avoid bingeing. Opt for multi-grain cereal, lowfat curd or fruits to kick-start your metabolism.

Cortisol: Prolonged stress leads to high levels of cortisol which makes you crave junk foods. Solution: deal with long-standing stressors. As for short-lived ones, treat yourself to an oil massage.

Density: Go for grub with an energy density of two or less. To calculate this, simply divide the calories by the weight in grams (per serving). Stay at it and watch the pounds melt faster.

Eat at regular intervals: Go no longer than five hours between meals. Several small meals through the day lead to a better metabolism and greater control over binges.

Fructose: Ditch the artificially sweetened juices and sodas and get your fructose from natural sources such as fruits. Because natural fructose is kinder to your waistline.

Gum: Chewing on gum helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria, satisfies a sweet-tooth and reduces your urge to eat. The next time you feel the urge to reach for a biscuit packet, try a piece of sugarless gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.

Heart-healthy foods: Overweight people face a greater risk of heart disease. So, switch to olive and vegetable oils. Fill up on omega rich foods like walnuts and fatty fish. Choose non-fat dairy products and lean cuts of mutton and skinless poultry.

Insulin: The amount of insulin you secrete may dictate your diet. High insulin secretors shed more weight on a low-carb diet and less on a lowfat/high carb diet. Got a jelly belly? You secrete excess insulin and could benefit from fewer carbs.

Journal: Write down everything you eat and you could cut your intake by 1,000 calories a day. Food journaling may seem boring but goes a long way in making you aware of what you eat and thereby helps you shed pounds.

Ketosis: Ketosis refers to the point where your body runs low on carbs and burns fat for fuel. Therefore, ketosis jump-starts a diet. Restrict carbs and lose more initially. Later, allow yourself wholegrain cereals and roti, in moderation.

Low blood sugar: This is often the reason for between-meal cravings especially for sweet. When it strikes, reach for naturally sweet foods such as fruits and accompany it with a little low-fat dahi for a healthy dose of protein.

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