So you’ve decided you want to start training or perhaps you already train and you want to get in amazing condition?
But there is one problem – you love your home cooked meals?
You haven’t got to give up your favourite foods to reach your goals; you can simply tweak them to make them healthier.
Here I share with you my top 10 ways either you, your mother or cook can modify your meals and still get in the best condition of your life!
1. Opt for a chapatti instead of a roti. Not only are chapattis far lower in calories, but they also contain more fibre, which means you will stay fuller for longer.
2. Curds don’t have to be just for the end of your meal. Low in calories, high in protein and great for your gut – try having for breakfast with fresh fruit either as a smoothie or in a pot ready to eat at your desk.
3. Swap vegetable oil for coconut oil. Coconut oil contains long-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are smaller and more easily digested, so they do not get stored as fat. Not only is coconut oil more heat stable (which means it doesn’t smoke at high temperatures) but it is also made up of nearly 50% lauric acid, which is a compound that is converted to monolaurin in the body. This has antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties.
4. Post workout drinks are great for helping you recover from your gym session. Aim to consume a protein shake within 30 minutes of your session, women included (don’t worry, you will not build manly muscles) However if you are having expensive fruit juice or maybe a smoothie from your gym to refresh, change to fresh coconut water. Found at nearly every street corner and loaded with natural electrolytes which are needed to restore balance after heavy sweating. Coconuts are perfect to rehydrate, and they are also fresh and inexpensive.
5. Chicken is the leanest meat available in India, with just 3.6 grams of fat per 100 grams if you opt for breast meat, whereas lamb on average has around 20g of fat per 100g. Reduce the amount of times you eat lamb to once or twice a week, to reduce your fat intake and even better choose tandoori for a healthier meal.
6. If halwa is your regular daily breakfast, it contains lots of sugar and butter. As mentioned already curds are a far healthier option and so are eggs. Choose a protein rich omelette stuffed with your favourite spiced vegetables and if you want to cook those in a little coconut oil then just remove a couple of the egg yolks to make this a less fattening dish.
7. Dropping your afternoon samosa snack will save you lots of calories, as these are always fried in oil. Stick with fresh fruits and add in a few nuts, like brazil nuts or cashews.
8. Just by simply adding a new habit of reducing your serving of rice by one heaped tablespoon, each meal and adding in an extra serving of vegetables, will not affect your enjoyment of your meal and it will help you load up with low calorie, high fibre vegetables.
9. Not all tips are about removing certain aspects of your diet. If you are vegetarian, start adding tofu into more of your meals. Often people worry about its bland flavour, but once marinated in spices it can be a delicious high protein addition to your meal. If you want to build lean muscle you will need plenty of protein to do so and being vegetarian means paying extra attention to your intake of protein.
10. Swap your evening drink and bar snacks for a refreshing glass of milk. I would normally recommend low fat milk, but for before bed opt for whole milk (better still add a scoop of protein powder to make a delicious shake) so that the fat helps slow down digestion and feed your muscles while you sleep.