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Tue, 07 Apr 2020

Northeast Today

DIET: BREAKING THE STEREOTYPE

DIET: BREAKING THE STEREOTYPE
February 24
15:07 2020

Anuraag Jaiswar

 

Adopting a healthy diet does not necessarily mean maintaining strict limitations, having a zero figure or depriving yourself from the food you love. It is more about feeling good physically and mentally, boosting energy and improving your overall health.

 

WHY DO WE EAT?

Ever given it a thought? Well, the answer is indeed simple- you either need to or else you want to! Let me give you a basic idea. Example 1- You’re hungry, you grabbed whatever you have in your refrigerator, eat till you are full and then kept the rest of it back. You ate because you needed to eat. Example 2- You go to a party and the variety of dishes spread compels you to devour and you eat till your tummy is about to blast. You ate because you wanted it but not necessarily needed it. If you noticed Ex.2 is a more common practice amongst fellow people than Ex.1. And guess what? So are the complains about the bulging bellies! Everybody wants to enjoy life but nobody wants a protruding tummy. Isn’t it only fair to want so? But is it possible? Well, obviously it is! All you have to do is know how to eat to keep things balanced. Here are some basic tips to follow:

HOW SHOULD YOU EAT?

  • Eat when required: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening snack & Dinner are the common timings when we usually need to eat. So, know your schedule, fix your timings, plan your meals around that particular time and don’t unnecessarily binge  eat  in  between  and  if you are involved in some sort of physical activity, eating before the activity is advisable.
  • Check your calories: I don’t mean to count your calories or eat less. Avoid calorie dense food options as much as possible if not too physically active. Tip: Veggies can be your best friend in this They are very low in calories and switching a part of your regular meal with them can lower the overall calorie count of your meal.
  • Avoid liquid food: Liquid food digests quicker to make you hungry again. So, keep your food options solid. For example- whole fruits over fruit juices.
  • Be in motion: Allow your body to use the energy it received from the food you ate to avoid it to store them in the form of fat!

DIET FOOD VS BALANCED DIET!

Diet, dieting or diet food are some common terms that the “healthy people” use. A balanced diet on the other hand is something we read in our 4th Standard Science text book, Right? But really what are they? How does a diet food or a balanced diet look like?

The food that you eat on a regular basis is your diet, no matter what it includes. A diet food is nothing but regular food with necessary and  balanced  amounts of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein & fats) and micronutrients (vitamins & minerals). So when you start having balanced regular meals, not necessarily a stereotypical diet food, your diet becomes a balanced diet. The question is- how does a balanced diet look like! Let’s check it out.

Consider these points and you should be able to prepare a balanced meal for yourself:

  • Protein: Think of it as the good boy of the class- Need calories that would not usually turn into fat, protein is your thing. Keeping your diet high in protein ensures that your meals are not contributing to your potbelly unless again you are not chunking more than you’re spending.
  • Carbohydrate and veggies: Plan the ratio of veggies and your basic  regular   carbohydrates   according  to your activity during the day. Less activity- less carbohydrate more veggies, more activity- a little more carbohydrates, a little less veggies.
  • Fats: Fats have a bad name overall but extremely necessary for certain functions of the body (Remember, weight gain or weight loss completely depends on the ratio of total calorie intake and expenditure during the day). It also acts as a fulfilling component like fiber. But unlike fiber which is zero in calories, fats have the highest calorific value which is why you have to consume it but in very limited quantity. Fats for one meal should be equivalent to 3-4 almonds Tip: Avoid saturated fats. Choose unsaturated fats only.
  • Vitamins & minerals: In short, until you are including food items from every commodities like cereals, lentils, fruits & vegetables, dairy, meat & fish (if you are a non-vegetarian) and nuts& seeds, you need not to worry about them. Period.

HEALTHY EATING

Wait!  Before  you  get  confused-  while  making  a balanced diet was about wisely balancing your nutrients, healthy eating is simply choosing wiser options for your meals- healthier over less healthy ones. Properly cooked food, fresh food, food prepared with hygiene are examples of healthier options. Overcooked foods, processed food, food prepared unhygienically are examples of unhealthier ones.

And at last, if you ask me for a personal opinion- well, enjoying that tangy chaat or that devilishly delicious pastry once in a while is no crime  if  you can stick to a balanced healthy diet most of the times (winks).

The writer is a certified fitness expert. Having worked with brands like Talwalkers and Golds Gym at present he is the Strength and Conditioning Coach & Nutrition Consultant of Guwahati City Football Club. Insta Handle: @the_badtrainer

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