Shop Smart. Clean and healthy eating depends on what you buy.

Shop Smart:

You are what You eat and much before that You eat what You buy, So it only makes sense that you think and shop smart. Shopping healthy grocery is a skill and once you master it, it’ll help you make better eating choices, naturally. Here are some tips on how to get the maximum out of your shopping budget, get the best and get into eating better effortlessly.

Never go grocery shopping on an empty or a full stomach. 

When you are hungry you are likely to make wrong decisions and pick all the wrong things, instead of real food. Even though you are best and you always stick to your diet, but when you are hungry, you’ll be tempted when you’ll see that Cake or that pack of chips.

The complete opposite happens when you go shopping when you are full, you suddenly think you can survive on a few lettuce leaves and some water and end up not buying enough food for the week. Have something light before you go, a banana or a small yoghurt, or, if you have eaten, wait a little before you go so you can think clearly about what you’re buying.

Buy real food. 

Stay away from processed food. It’s been designed to look attractive but it’s probably high in preservatives, sugar and salt and has been through so much processing already with no nutrients left in that. You are not saving anything by buying processed food and ready meals – neither time nor money, but you do lose out on the quality.

Get fresh meat cuts and fish, whole fresh vegetables and fruit, grains, eggs and plain yoghurts. You can do wonders in the kitchen in under 15-20 minutes if your fridge is stocked with these.

Make a good and basic shopping list. 

You don’t want to end up walking aimlessly around the supermarket thinking what to buy and then falling for what is advertised as “healthy”. The food you want is often the one that is not advertised at all. You want to get some vegetables, but not too many because they’ll go off, and one or two types of fruit. The thing about fresh produce is that it goes off very quickly so unless you know exactly how you are going to use up all of the exciting items on your list, avoid buying them. Keep it simple and to the point:

Sample Shopping List

Protein Sources:

– Eggs

– Chicken or turkey breasts

– Lean pork cuts

– Salmon or any other type of fish

– Canned tuna

– Ground pork or beef

– Canned beans

– Cottage Cheese

– Plain Greek Yoghurt

– Low fat Milk

– Cheese

Sources of Good Carbs:

– Oats

– Fruit (apples, bananas, pears, oranges, grapes) and berries (forest berries, strawberries)

– Vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, red and green peppers, onions)

– Sweet Potatoes/Yams

– Quinoa

– Rice

– Pasta

– Whole grain bread

Sources of Good Fat:

– Nuts (almonds, walnuts) and seeds (chia, flax, sunflower)

– Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter)

– Olive and coconut oils

– Coconut milk and cream (actually good for you)

– Avocados

Sweets, chips, sodas and alcohol shouldn’t be completely excluded from the menu but since these are the things that are likely to do you no good and sabotage your healthy lifestyle, they should be bought separately and consumed in moderation.



The popularity of high intensity interval training(HIIT) is on the rise. High intensity interval training sessions are commonly called HIIT workouts. This type of training involves repeated bouts of high intensity workout followed by varied recovery times.

There’s nothing more natural than using your own body weight for HIIT  training.

Do it anywhere body weight exercise are often championed for their effectiveness, its a cardio burner and will leave you dripping sweat and feeling great. The high-intensity, full-body movements push you hard, while the rest periods recharge you for the next round. Squats and lunges will leave your quads and glutes shredded, while the burpees;) and push-ups keep your heart pumping and lungs burning😝😁😁


HIIT workouts provide similar fitness benefits, as continuous endurance workouts, but in shorter periods of time😄. This is because HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts, especially after the workout.

The post-exercise period is called “EPOC”, which stands for Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC, informally called afterburn, is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s “oxygen deficit.”

This is generally about a 2-hour period after an exercise bout where the body is restoring itself to pre-exercise levels, and thus using more energy. Because of the vigorous contractile nature of HIIT workouts, the EPOC generally tends to be greater in HIIT than other workouts, adding more calorie burn to the overall energy expenditure.


  1. Do it anywhere
  2. Increase your metabolism
  3. No equipments: Only body weight
  4. Burn fat (Not muscle) and get ripped
  5. Healthy Heart
  6. Challenging: If exercise does not challenge you, it does not work.


You can do upto 3 HIIT workouts in a week, depending on your fitness level.

Since HIIT workout is  exhaustive than steady state endurance workouts. Therefore, a longer recovery period is often needed. Perhaps start with, 1 HIIT training workout a week, with your other workouts (steady state workouts). As you feel ready for more challenge, increase upto 3 workouts per week.


People who have sedentary lifestyles or periods of physical inactivity may have an increased coronary disease risk to high intensity exercise. Family history, cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes (or pre-diabetes), abnormal cholesterol levels and obesity will increase this risk. Medical clearance from a physician may be an appropriate safety measure for anyone with these conditions before starting HIIT or any exercise training.

Safety in participation should always be primary priority, and people should focus more on finding their own optimal training intensities as opposed to keeping up with others in the group.


Interval training is becoming an increasingly recognized and well-liked method of training. The incorporation of interval training into a general conditioning program will optimize the development of cardiorespiratory fitness as well as numerous other health benefits:))







7 day – Detox Diet

I am often asked about DETOX DIET.  I always recommend a detox diet when I start a weight loss program with my client or when someone has hit a plateau. So here it goes……

What is a Detox diet?

The purpose of a detox diet is to take the load off the organs that detoxify the body – the liver, kidneys and bowel – while at the same time supporting and improving their performance. If you want to fast track your health, give your body a break, or just want to detox follow this for 7 days.

Detox diet helps you to shed some extra kilos which you might have piled on during the weekends, functions or festivals.

How to start?

Mark your diary and select a week when you don’t have to attend any functions, birthdays, weddings, or any special meal outing. Prepare a list of things which you need to buy and stock up. Throw away or donate all the junk in your fridge and kitchen.

Some people might experience a cleansing reaction in the first few days of detox including headaches or loose bowel movement. This is due to the sudden withdrawal of certain foods. These symptoms should subside in 24 to 48 hrs.

Things to avoid:



Dairy (Except 1/2 cup of unsweetened yoghurt in a day)

Sugar, syrup, honey, jams, jellies and artificial sweeteners


Grains: Wheat(Bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta), Oats, Rye, Rice

Dried Fruit

You can enjoy:

Fruits: Any and all fresh fruits.

Vegetables: Any and all fresh vegetables.

Meat: Red meat or Chicken without skin (limit to two servings per week)

Lugumes: Cooked or soaked ( Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans)


Olive oil preferably extra virgin

Nuts: raw unsalted almonds, walnuts

Seeds: sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds(Unsalted)

Green tea OR Black tea

Water : Min 3 litres


  1. Morning lemon juice: This is an old method but a goodie to kick start your day. It helps in digestion and cleanse your system. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water and drink it first thing in the morning in an empty stomach.
  1. Exercise: During detox make sure you exercise in an empty stomach. Don’t do must intense workout, however you need to do at least 45 mins of cardio – running, jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling can be done.
  1. Raw food: Try to consume raw food or cut down the cooking process. raw food contains more enzymes and nutrients. Try having fresh salads, sprouts, par boiled veggies.

4. Karma cleanse: Apart from cleaning your body, It is very important to detox your mind. Try to mediate for 15 mins daily. If you don’t know how to meditate, try belly breathing. Place your palms on your lower belly, breathe through your nose and feel your belly rising and then slowly exhale and allow the belly to drop.

5. Drink at least 3 litres of water daily.

6. Try to do a steam bath or sauna thrice a week. It will detox your skin and will keep your rejuvenated.

Caution: DO NOT detox if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly, have high blood pressure, are underweight.

Thanks a ton


Lopa xoxo..



Weight is such a sensitive topic. Recently I came across a quote on the back of a book that says we live “in an environment that simultaneously glorifies super-skinny bodies and eating unhealthy junk food.” And it is so unbelievably true. We’re faced daily with temptation – whether it’s driving past a fast food restaurant or staring at a shelf of chocolate bars while waiting in line at the supermarket checkout. Advertising plays on our weaknesses for salty, greasy, sugar-laden treats that comfort and satisfy our taste buds. And then slams us with guilt and shame for indulging. I’m not here to talk about fat shaming so I’m not going to get into it, I think no matter what size you are, you deserve to love yourself and your body. Having said these, I would also like to state that weight is not a good indicator of health. I’m a personal trainer and it’s my job to help people become fitter and lose some extra weight if its hampering their health.

We will all accept or people who have walked this journey, or probably trying to, that weight loss is tough. Of course, we know those super helpful people who say things like “weight loss is just less calories in and more calories out” but then there are the rest of us who understand that it’s not that simple. Like, yes, the energy balance exists. If you want to reduce your weight, reduce your calories and do some exercise and chances are good that you’re going to see some results. But the real struggle here isn’t becoming a leaner human being. It’s the change. If it was as simple as eating less and moving more, nobody would be overweight. And there wouldn’t be such a booming diet industry 🙂


Let’s start with the fact that most people who try to lose weight are successful, to some extent however nearly 65 percent of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years, according to Gary Foster, Ph.D., clinical director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania.


I think that at this stage we are all aware that only diets do not work. The simplest way that I can put this is that your weight reflects your lifestyle. To quote the book Always The Fat Kid, by Jacob Warren and K. Bryant Smalley, “obesity is a behaviour. It is really an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of bad decisions.” Our behaviours dictate our weight and changing our behaviours is a lot harder than we’d like it to be.

To an extent, there is an excuse that the reason people haven’t changed their behaviours is because they don’t know any better. I’ve seen this with my clients also, when they say, “I don’t know why I’m not losing weight, my diet has been really good!” and on closer examination I find that they genuinely believed that drinking a tetra pack juice which says “no sugar added” is a healthy option (sadly, These drinks usually contain way more sugar than the actual fruit). A clear majority of people are also aware that these juices are not good and neither is Pizza or chocolate.

But what do you do? Do you give up on chocolate brownies and start slogging away on the cross trainer for half an hour daily until you’ve reached your goal size? What happens when you do reach your goal? Do you go back to your old eating habits? This is where most people get stuck. Remember what I wrote above that 65% of dieters regain the weight? That’s because the biggest, saddest and ugliest struggle you will ever face is changing your lifestyle. Your weight reflects your lifestyle.

If your lifestyle involves partying every weekend and drinking cocktails and beer and following that up with a Chicken biryani or any carb or fat laden food and then following that with a hungover heavy breakfast and a day spent lounging on bed (not exercising) then you can’t act surprised that weight gain has happened. Add to that all the other little things (sitting at a desk and spending most of the day sedentary, watching TV all evening instead of moving around, grabbing a muffin at morning tea) and you’re basically looking at a whole life upheaval. Think about that for a second. It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to start going to the gym regularly, now add to that giving up your evening TV shows? And not going drinking with your friends on the weekends when you know that it’s probably going to mean not hanging out with them at all?

Basically, weight loss is (without sounding cheesy) a life changing experience. You literally will have to change your life to support it. And that is never going to be easy. You will have to make systematic, permanent changes to your food intake and exercise.

Start slowly, start going to the gym and build some muscle, find a form of exercise that you like and that makes you happy. Move your body in a way that feels good. Eat food that nourishes your body. Eat fresh, whole food. Stay away from strict diets that ask you to exclude entire food groups (especially foods that you love!) because you’ll just be more likely to crash off your diet and fall off the wagon entirely. Start getting up every hour and walking around your office, spend your evening doing something that doesn’t involve staring at a screen for six hours. Pack your lunch from home so you don’t have to reach for that cafeteria food. Breaking the habits can seem tough, and even if you are successful in losing weight understand that you can still find yourself slipping into the old habits that got you into trouble in the first place. And when you have a bad day, all you can do is keep going. Bad days will happen but no matter how slow you go, you’re going faster than you would be if you never started at all.

motivation quote

Lots of love

LOPA :))


Bengali Fish curry with Ridge gourd and Potatoes (Aloo – Jhinge Diye Macher Jhol )


All my childhood my memory of home-made regular fish curry was a dish loaded with seasonal vegetables. Begun-aloo diye mach (Eggplant and Potato), Potol-aloo diye mach (Pointed gourd and potatoes), fulkofi –aloo diye mach (cauliflower and potato) and Jhinge – aloo diye mach (Ridge gourd and Potatoes) and many more variants. In India Summer always means green vegetables with more water contents. Nature always produces right fruits and vegetables that are suitable for us. That is why it is always said that if you eat seasonally you won’t fall sick! ‘Jhinge’ or ridge gourd with raised thick skin, pointed gourd or ‘potol’ with its deep green stripes, ‘chichinga’ or snake gourd with dark striped skin and ‘lau’ or bottle gourd with pale thick skin were the standard vegetables during its season.



Drop a size of your Jeans in 7 days. Follow this 7 day detox diet and destress your body and mind.

LOPA - your health and lifestyle coach

7 day – Detox Diet

I am often asked about DETOX DIET.  I always recommend a detox diet when I start a weight loss program with my client or when someone has hit a plateau. So here it goes……

What is a Detox diet?

The purpose of a detox diet is to take the load off the organs that detoxify the body – the liver, kidneys and bowel – while at the same time supporting and improving their performance. If you want to fast track your health, give your body a break, or just want to detox follow this for 7 days.

Detox diet helps you to shed some extra kilos which you might have piled on during the weekends, functions or festivals.

How to start?

Mark your diary and select a week when you don’t have to attend any functions, birthdays, weddings, or any special meal outing. Prepare a…

View original post 393 more words


Get your body back: Post Partum weight loss

new mom fotor

Work off the pounds: Post pregnancy 

Every new mom is eager to look like  her old self again. One of the most important thing to remember is to be patient with yourself. You might have seen celebrities fitting into her size 0 jeans straight from the delivery room, but she may not have done it in a way that was good for her body. “How has she done it”  We all ask. But that is not an important question. It’s Why has she done it?  Because their work demands that. They follow very very strict diet and also start physical activity, before their body is really ready for it.

But is it realistic — or for that matter even healthy — to slim down so fast after pregnancy

Experts says “NO”

Laura Riley, MD, a high-risk-pregnancy expert from Massachusetts General Hospital and spokeswoman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says celebrities don’t generally gain as much weight during their pregnancy as the average woman, and, she says, “they have resources that the rest of us don’t have after baby is born.” This includes personal trainers, chefs, and nannies, all of whom allow the celebrity new mom to devote serious time to getting in shape.

Don’t diet now

Most women think that dieting is the quickest way to lose weight, however the truth is, that serious cut down in calories after delivery is not a good idea, specially if you are breastfeeding. On an average a new mom whether she is breastfeeding or not, needs around 1800 to 2000 calories every day. You should not be thinking of dieting at least for the first 8 weeks. During this time you might lose couple of kilos, which is OK, but you really don’t need to cut down on your food intake during the early weeks after delivery. Your body needs energy to sustain the grind which it has gone through and calories to breastfeed.

Eat super-foods

Instead of dieting start having a well balanced healthy home cooked meal. Eat freshly made hot food for your b’fast, lunch and dinner. For snacking, keep options like carrot sticks, apples slices, wheat crackers, sliced cucumbers and low fat yoghurt. Your body needs maximum nutrition, especially if you are nursing. Eat “super foods”. Fish is one great super food, because it’s packed with DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that helps your newborn develop a healthy brain and nervous system. The best sources of DHA are cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna.

Milk and yogurt are also super foods because they’re high in the calcium which you need to keep your bones strong. And of course, Protein – Lean meat, chicken, and beans are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. They’re good for you, and they’ll keep you feeling full for longer.

When to start exercising?

While dieting is off-limits for a while, exercise is highly recommended. It will help you in increasing your energy and will also reduce the risks of postpartum depression. However, it is advised not to put much stress on your joints by doing activities such as jogging, jumping, or running — for at least six to eight weeks. The reason is, during pregnancy you produce a hormone called “relaxin”, which actually makes joints loose and consequently more prone to injury, and you will still have significant amounts of this hormone in your blood for at least several weeks after childbirth.

Taking a walk with your baby in the stroller is enough to start with. It will pump up your heart rate and will let your muscles work. Start with 15 to 20 mins of walk and gradually increase it to 30 mins.

Strengthen your core and back

Even if you had strong core muscles before pregnancy, you really lose that strength during pregnancy because the muscles are all stretched out – plus you’ve spent nine months carrying extra weight in your tummy. Hence, start with simple core workouts like pelvic tilt, squeeze and tighten your butt then relax, put a pillow between your knees and squeeze and relax. This can start to build your core and strengthen your back.

Lastly, a word of advice, before you start any weight loss journey consult your doctor and a dietitian. The dietitian can help you design an eating plan that will let you lose weight safely and effectively, while the doctor can guide you on how much weight you need to lose and when you can start  proper exercising.


Lopa xx

Health and Lifestyle coach