This Underrated Habit Can Help You Lose Weight

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When we think about getting optimal results from being on a diet, we wrap our minds around crunching calories, carbs, fats, etc. and complicate the simple philosophy of eating well. Constantly worrying about things at the micro level, we often lose sight of the bigger picture. In the world of diet madness, counting everything you put in the mouth may seem like a thing to do for the over-obsessed.

But if you are like me, someone who cannot crash diet and starve, knowing how your meals look like through the day does help! Those tiny munchies through the day when come together tell me a lot about my eating habits and myself. 😀

Logging your meals and tracking them is not just for people trying to lose weight. Doing this will help you in ways you cannot imagine. Though it requires some form of discipline and accuracy, meal logging can be this tiny habit that will take you a long way. Here are some benefits of meal logging that go way beyond losing weight

  • Counting calories vs counting macronutrients

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Counting calories is a widely known and practised method of losing weight but this lends itself to making poor dietary choices. We will eventually eat our calories but consuming 150 kcals from almonds or 150 kcals from coke is what makes the difference. Logging meals give you a clear picture of macros through the day. It will account for the sugar from the coke and the protein, fats and carbs from the almonds. Understand how a calorie eaten is not just a calorie eaten here

  • Stay ahead of the game

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Once you start logging your meals, you will soon realize the benefits of planning your meals in advance. Knowing your food combinations and understanding the portions you need to eat to strike a balance of nutrients helps you eat clean and stay ahead of your game. It is rare that you will open a pack of chips if you’ve prepped your meals in advance.

  • Understand portion sizes
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It is not just about what you eat but it is also about how much you eat. Even while eating healthy meals, we so many times end up eating double of what we wanted to and that is where the problem begins. Meal logging does not just account for what you’ve eaten and throw numbers at you, it also helps you understand serving sizes. Know more about it here.

  • Noticing trends

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Once you start logging and tracking your meals, the choices you make say a lot about how you are associated with food. It helps you point out any food intolerances, emotional eating pattern, any cravings you repeatedly go through and pitfalls through the day. It helps you understand your body and emotions better. Does eating out with a particular set of friends sabotage your weight loss or fitness goals? Let the app point that out for you!

  • Manage your goals more efficiently

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Logging and tracking your meals have benefits way beyond losing weight. If you are someone trying to eat mindfully or someone trying to increase muscle mass to build your dream body, meal logging will help you attain your health goals. With the nutrition chaos all around you, let the app calculate your macros. It will also suggest an eating pattern and work with you to get there! How amazing can it get!?

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It is a boon to have a handy app on your smartphone helping you achieve your goals meal after meal. If you are like me who loves the hell out of food and at the same time strives to stay healthy and fit, here is what I recommend. Download my favourite meal tracking app here and get started!

bon happetee indian food calorie counter appAkansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity. She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.

Tips to control cholesterol for heart health

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We are sure you know how important it is to keep your boss, spouse, parents, and kids satisfied and happy. If they’re happy, you are happy too.


There is something else that you need to keep happy if you want to be hale and hearty!

It’s your heart.

Yes, your heart needs as much tender love and care (if not more!) as your work and family. After all, the constantly working pump of your body which supplies blood and nutrients to all your cells has to be in perfect shape.

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The most important way to ensure your heart health is to combat obesity – the top reason for all heart diseases. Excess weight automatically increases your chances of high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and heart attacks. Be it working on your food choices, sleep or exercise – you need to invest time and effort in keeping your weight in check.

First, let’s analyze the power of nutrition.

For a healthy heart, you need to become best friends with Omega-3 fats and fibre. These two nutrients work magic on your cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure thus significantly reducing your risk of heart ailments. While fibre reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines, Omega-3 fats boost your High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) aka good cholesterol levels.

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The top dietary sources of Omega-3 fats are fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds. To boost your fibre intake, chomp on salads, snack on fruits and opt for whole grains and millets.

Now that you’ve found your heart’s best buddies, it’s time to look at the troublemakers.

  1. Fats – especially saturated fats in butter, cream, ghee, red meat and full-fat dairy products – increase your cholesterol levels and thus, must be eaten in moderation. Also, frequently munching on fried foods, especially namkeen, and fat-free foods, or using the same oil for re-frying spells trouble for your heart.

What’s more, most processed foods and bakery products contain trans-fats, the unhealthiest fat that creates havoc with your cholesterol levels.

Regularly drinking colas, tinned fruit juices or sherbets as well as bingeing on desserts increases blood pressure and may stimulate the liver to dump harmful fats into the bloodstream.

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  1. Salt – Besides fats and sugar, put your antennas on high alert for salt. An excess intake of salt retains more water in the body. The excess fluid puts pressure on the blood vessel walls which become thick and narrow. As a result, your heart must pump harder to ensure proper blood flow.

You may not only use less salt in cooking but also avoid sprinkling additional salt to your food. But there are some sneaky ways salt can creep into your diet. For example ready-to-eat/packaged meals, pickles, papad, cheese, ketchup, salad dressings to name a few. So beware!

Now let’s analyze the other different aspects of your lifestyle that complement a healthy heart diet.

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Your heart needs a quota of physical activity to stay fit. Apart from weight loss, regular exercise dilates the arteries and ensures smooth blood circulation which reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Exercising for 30 minutes for 5 days in a week, especially aerobic exercises like cycling, running or jogging thrice a week, keeps your heart in perfect shape. Also, exercise works as a great stress buster and keeps you in cheerful spirits.

Sleep, an often ignored aspect of your everyday life, is essential for a healthy heart. If you sleep less than six hours every night, you have higher levels of stress hormones. These hormones trigger blood pressure and inflammation, the key players in cardiovascular disease. Sleeping for more than nine hours regularly results in calcium build-up in the heart’s artery walls and stiffer leg arteries. Thus, both lack and excess of sleep ramp up the stress levels which over time, damage the arteries and mess with your cholesterol and blood pressure.

So, a well-planned fitness regime, meditation, yoga and a seven-eight-hour sleep go a long way to shield you from heart ailments.

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Quitting smoking is another smart move to protect your heart. Smoking elevates your heart rate and blood pressure as well as reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. Thus, your heart must work harder to get the oxygen that it needs. Cigarette smoke narrows the arteries which may result in a heart attack.

Additionally, watch your alcohol intake. Apart from providing a massive 7 calories per gram, alcohol increases the triglyceride levels and puts you at risk of high blood pressure.

Now that you have unlocked the secret to a healthy heart, start making these small changes from today itself. Make smarter food choices exercise often, maintain a fixed sleep cycle, give up smoking and most importantly – stay happy!

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Check out our heart health diet chart that controls cholesterol with ease

Your heart will definitely reward you for taking such great care of it. 🙂

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Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.



Top weight loss, health and nutrition queries – World Health Day

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Embarking on the path to a healthier lifestyle is a challenge, which lies in sifting through the various fads and misconceptions and finding the right diet and regime to follow. This journey requires knowing more than ‘brown rice is better; green veggies are healthier etc.’ Once we undertake this lifestyle, we come across various doubts, queries, and challenges at each step. And it’s always advisable to take the help of the experts in solving these challenges.

Therefore, we, at bon happetee, have compiled the top ‘health and fitness’ related queries asked by our users along with their answers given by our nutritionists, to simplify your task. You will find most of your queries answered below-

1. My question is how to lose belly fat and fat around neck area? What kind of diet and exercise regime do you advise? How many calories and macros should I take in a day? Diet- veg and north Indian.

A. You could try going on a low carb diet to lose belly fat. Try and enhance the protein, fat and fiber intake along with it. Feed in your details on the app and it will promptly calculate your macros considering your health goals. Physical activity of any kind will help. Start with walking and boost the intensity as you go!

2. I have 3 litres of water every day which was just half a litre a month ago and I have reduced my carbs intake as well. Yet I feel the same, weight wise. Please suggest some other changes as well.

A. No single nutrient can help reach your health goal. With lowering your carbs, focus on high protein and good fat intake.

3. I have a sitting job. And I wanna lose weight from love handles and hip area, adding on to the total weight. Can you suggest few foods and dietary changes for that?

A. Try doing a detox for a day or two and move on to a low carb diet after that. Set your macros on the app and it will guide you. Taking short breaks and walking around at work may also help.

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4. I usually have my dinner at around 8 thinking that I will sleep by 10:30. But usually, the sleeping time turns out to be 12 which results in hunger pangs. I mainly try to have puffed rice handy but when it’s not around, Maggi comes to the rescue. How to tackle this post-dinner hunger pangs?

A. You can try having a glass of milk, curd with a fruit, some makhanas or roasted chana. Have a wholesome dinner to avoid late night hunger pangs.

5. I love to have rice items like biryani, pulav, khichdi for dinner in a good quantity.I cannot resist them and end up breaking my good score cycle. How can I make up for this?

A. Rice is not your enemy, the quantity and pairings are crucial. Consume your rice with a protein source like paneer or chicken, pair it with some dahi and try and include as many veggies as you can in your pulav or khichidi.

6. I would like to know healthy yet tasty snacking options.

A. Some snacking options- strawberries with dahi, apple with flaxseed, smoothies, makhanas, peanut butter shake, peanuts, roasted chana, sprouted dals etc.

7. I have started having vegetable juice in the morning to up my vegetable intake. But I add one fruit to it to make it tastier. Is that OK? Can I substitute my subzi requirement with raw veggie juice? I feel I like juice more than subzi.

A. Absolutely! Try and use two vegetables and 1 fruit for your smoothie. Spice it up with ginger, black salt or mint. You can also add some flaxseed and sabja seed for good fats.

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8. I have strong cravings, every day. All kinds of junk food, especially chocolate. I’m almost 10 kgs. overweight. I need to lose weight. I have PCOD. Please help. 

A. High cravings can also be a symptom of nutritional deficiencies. Try sorting one meal at a time and do give yourself frequent indulgence with what you like.     

 9. I have cheat days mainly on Saturday and Sunday. On these days, I don’t work out and indulge in a meal of a chicken biryani or go out and have a nonveg starter, butter/garlic naan, and a vegetable gravy, although, the latter scores low. Is this the reason that even after working out whole week except the weekends, I am losing body weight at low pace?   

A.  Balancing out your meals is an important aspect. Along with a chicken biryani pair some raita and a kachumber salad and the score will improve. Also, with bon happetee every day can be a cheat day! Even if you do eat outside, keep a check on your carbs and include a protein and a source of good fat.

10. What kind of exercise would you recommend for weight loss & muscle gain? Also, my bone density level is very low for my age i.e 21. What should I be doing to increase it?

A.  You can go for a mix of cardio and weight lifts. You need to focus on nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber. 

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11. When I started gymming, I weighed 72. Now after two months I weigh 69.6 but isn’t it too slow paced weight loss? What other exercises can I be involved in to lose weight properly and at a faster pace?

Do focus on your pre and post workout meal as well. For eg. Try and have some nuts before your workout along with some nimbu pani and have an apple after. You can pair floor exercises with cardio to enhance your workout.

12. Can anyone suggest exercises for inch loss?

A. Cardio. Find something you enjoy! Cycling, dancing, whatever. You are more likely to keep doing it if it’s fun for you.         

13. I usually workout in evening at around 6:30 p.m. before that I eat a fruit and nuts at 5:30 p.m. and after my exercise I only have my dinner, around 9 p.m., is this a wrong approach? 

A. Try and reset the macros. Opt for a low carb and high protein macro and log your meals for a day. This will definitely help you out. Your workout meals sound good. Do try and let us know!         

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14. I have thyroid and PCOD and thin hair lining. Could you please suggest me the diet that is suitable?          

A. Try going on a low carb diet and ensure an optimum protein and good fat intake. Consume nuts and oilseeds for a radiant skin and healthy hair.    

15. Are Thyroid and PCOD interdependent?

A.  They suggest a hormone imbalance and do coexist at times. I would highly recommend the hormonal balance plan with bon happetee 🙂 Try and avoid broccoli and cauliflower. Eat well and exercise more!

 16I have a hereditary tendency to put on lots on my entire lower body. Can any food item or food habit help me reduce that? 

A. Having a balanced diet and an exercise regime will definitely help. You could try a low carb-high protein diet to kick-start your journey.

17. Relevant to my body weight, I use to drink 3.5-liter water in a day, if I consume 1 litre more at night, would it harm my body (water retention)? 

A. You may have water at any time. It will not have any side effects.

18. What foods are rich in calcium & fibre?

A. Options like spinach, milk and milk products, nuts and oilseeds etc.

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19. What should be done to reduce the wheat consumption.? We generally have parantha for breakfast, chapati for lunch and dinner. This results in overconsumption of grains. What should be done?  

A. Do try options like nachni, jowari, bhakri, rajgeera etc.

20. Dinner is always a difficult task to me with low carb and adequate fibre, give me options.

A. You can try jowari roti with an Indian vegetable and Dal or moong Dal chilla- with paneer bhurji or besan dhokla.

21Looking for veg dinner ideas which are low in carb. Any suggestions?

A. Avoid chapati, have jowari bhakri. Avoid rice, rest you can eat any vegetables, sprout, usal or curry.

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22. What is paneer and how do you make it? What I found online looked like fried cheese.

A. Paneer is also called cottage cheese; it’s made by curdling milk with lemon or vinegar.

23. I normally have muesli in breakfast and 2 chappatis in afternoon. As a result, I exceed my grains consumption during dinner and can’t eat moongdal. Please help.

A. Give try to idli sambhar or Dosa, moong dal utappam, sprouts. One way to look at it is to optimize it across the day, so reduce muesli and add some veggies or fruits to compensate in breakfast, add curd or salads to reduce some chapatti. And voila! you earned your moong dal khichdi for the evening.

24. What is the right time to eat salads and when should we eat fruits?

A. Salads can be a part of your lunch and dinner whereas a fruit can be consumed as a mid-meal during 11 am or 5 pm. You can try cutting down your roti and rice intake or try other grains like jowar, bajra, nachni etc. Include items like sprouts salad, flaxseed, kachumber, raita etc.

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And if you didn’t find your queries above, you can always ask our experts on the bon happetee app. 🙂 

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Akansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity.

She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.