Eat right to weigh less.

Looking for a new slim-down mantra? Just take a close look at your plate. Eating the right kind of food helps you drop a few pounds a week by reviving calorie burn and curbing cravings.

More veggies: The simple formula to losing weight is in being more aware of the calories you consume. Most people consume too many calories via fat, sugar and salt, but don’t get enough fruits, vegetables and fibre. Vegetables and alkaline fruits high in phytochemicals and other vitamins and minerals help balance the grains that form in the muscle tissues. The vegetables that have the highest amount minerals are broccoli, mustard greens, cucumber, radicchio, dandelion, lettuce and wheatgrass. Of the fruits, go for apple, kiwi, pineapple, grapefruit, berries and plums.

Don’t miss breakfast: The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It is the key factor in promoting long-term weight management. People who skip breakfast feel heavier and more sluggish than those who eat a healthy breakfast. Eat your first meal within an hour of waking up. This helps maintain hormone and blood sugar levels and also keeps your energy high. It also helps kickstart your metabolic process, leading to more calories being burnt through the day.

Home-made food: As far as possible, bring your own lunch to work rather than eat out. For those who can’t manage this, pick items that are grilled, steamed or poached. These will be easily digested and keep you feeling light.

Avoid junk food: Junk food is loaded with saturated fats and sodium (both of which contribute to life style disease). But of course, you’ll want to have a pizza. Go ahead but go easy on the cheese and top it with lots of veggies instead of pepperoni and sausage. And for a side order, say “no” to breadsticks and “yes” to a salad. An easy way to eat healthy!

A light dinner: Another culprit to weight gain is the dinner. Most people tend to eat a heavy dinner. But remember that you won’t have any physical activity after that, so your calories requirement will be low. However make sure the meal includes protein, complex carbs and veggies. A quick tip: avoid snacking before the TV.

Drink enough water: This is crucial to weight loss because the food eaten will be easily metabolised. Drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. It helps also helps reduce blood cholesterol, urea, toxins and other wastes.

Work out: Make sure you exercise. Physical activity enhances all external and internal body systems. It improves mental health and enhances physical functioning. This keeps you feeling light through the day.

Neeraj Mehta is a body-balancing specialist and Director and Technical Head of GFFI Fitness Academy, New Delhi. Email: neeraj.gffi@hotmail.com