How to reduce weight with your own diet

If you are the kind who does not like to visit a dietician to get weight loss diet advice, then this reading is for you! People do not go for professional help for several reasons – choosing the right professional, taking the appointment and making the visit, the waiting; the apprehension of going on a diet that is sure to be restrictive where you may have to eat things you do not like and avoid things you want to eat – could all be cumbersome.

So here is how you can help yourself reduce weight and take control of your own diet.

Step one

• Check your weight and height and measure the waist in centimetre or inch.

• Write down all that you eat in a day starting from the time you wake up, including the snacks, beverages, sweets, in an approximate quantity and note the time you eat. This is the first step of self-assessment. This is for you to understand your own eating habits, to realise what foods you overeat, whether you eat under stress, out of boredom etc.

• Write down the snacks and sweets or items in your daily meals that you really do not miss if you do not eat.

• Write down the ones that you wish not to exclude

Step two

This is the day that you start making changes in your eating.

• You will reduce one chapati or 6 tbsp of rice/upuma/dalia or one slice of bread or one idli/dosa from each of the three main meals. Or you could serve the usual amount of rice/roti onto your plate and remove 1/3 of it.

• Instead you will add half a cup of green salad seasoned with just lime juice, salt and pepper.

• Start using low fat milk and buttermilk/ yogurt.

• You will continue to do this for a week eating consistently the same amount of food.

Step three

After a week of step two, you are going to make more healthy changes, by just restricting but not omitting any of the favourite foods.

• If you are eating more than one sweet restrict to just two tablespoon of it in a day.

• You will avoid all kinds of deep fried foods (veg and nonveg) and choose to eat just one of your favourite snack be it nuts, sundal, samosa or vada. The quantity allowed should fit in a tablespoon!

• If you are drinking more than 3 cups of tea/coffee with sugar, then restrict to 3 cups per day without sugar.

• You will avoid all kinds of sugared drinks and instead just drink plain water whenever you are thirsty or eat moosambi/ papaya / guava/apple /orange between meals if you are hungry.

You will continue steps 2 and 3 without fail for another week

Step four

You will reorganize a part of the day – be it morning or evening – to find 15 minutes to exercise.

• Exercise may be joining a gym or going for a walk, run or jog.

• If you prefer being indoors, get an exercise machine to work out. Watching TV while you do this is enjoyable.

• If machines are not your flavour, then just do aerobic exercises, yoga, dancing to music, climbing steps

• You will continue exercising for a week daily and slowly increase to 30 minutes/day for a week and finally to 45 minutes per day for 5 times a week until you have reached your desirable weight.

• You will still continue with steps 2 and 3.

Step five

By the fourth week you will assess yourself by checking out the list below:

Eating lesser carbohydrates at each meals

Eating fruits at least 2 times a day

Eating greens daily at lunch and dinner

Keeping sweets and snacks to one a day

Exercising 30 – 45 min daily

Check your weight and measure your waist. Write it down.

You should be able to cause a weight loss of ½ kg per week if you have reduced some carbs from each main meal, reduced sweets, avoided fried foods and included exercising for 45 minutes daily. This gradual lowering of foods is possible to sustain and does not carry the psychological burden of having to eat a diet plan not chosen by you.

This way you are eating whatever you want but you are absolutely in control!

Parvathy R Krishnan

The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at

More by this author:

How to reduce cholesterol in the Indian diet

What do you eat to manage diabetes?

Image: Flickr Creativecommons Pink Sherbet Photography