Nutrition – some dos and don’ts

Lives have become much faster nowadays, people are always more stressed and this has meant that lifestyle diseases such as diabetes are on the rise. It is not uncommon to see young professionals in urban areas and thus with sedentary lifestyles, especially celebrities, suffer from cardiac arrests and related ailments nowadays – in fact the number has only gone up in the last few years. In such circumstances nutrition has become a key aspect of our everyday lives. Everyone, starting from a doctor to a fitness trainer, is advising people to check what they are eating. It is said that 80% of the credit of a healthy body goes to what one is eating.   It is true especially for people who are mostly working in desk jobs and thus have very little time to devote to fitness related pursuits like jogging or yoga or even gym work-outs. People who are normally on the lighter side of the weighing scale do not face much problem in such scenarios – the main areas of concern are people who are heavier than they should be with respect to their height and age. However, there are certain things which, if kept in mind, would help one to slim down along with regular exercise.

Start with a light breakfast  – One of the major conceptions regarding a healthy diet is that one should always have a big breakfast. This is okay for thin guys looking to put on muscle and in most of the cases this is done after some rigorous exercise during the morning. In case of people who are heavy-set a big breakfast sans exercise means that one is only contributing to the levels of fat in one’s body and since this energy is used throughout the day by the body, it implies that the residual fat is never used and only assumes more dangerous proportions throughout one’s life.

Main meals should be light –  For people who are going easy on their breakfast, there is always a common tendency to pack in as much as possible during the lunch and later on in dinner so as to make up for what was missed during the breakfast. It is perhaps better to settle for light meals comprising one single dish and a main carbohydrate source such as 2-3 rotis and some rice. In case of people who consume both rice and rotis or only rotis, it is better to have rotis during lunchtime and have your rice at night. Rotis are always harder to digest and since sunlight aids in digestion it is better to have rotis during daytime. Similarly, rice is comparatively easier to digest and so it should be had during the dinner.   For people who like to eat more than one dish it is better that such a practice be followed during the daytime. However, the quantity needs to be small in such cases. If someone is having only one dish, the quantity could go up though. However, for dinner one should only have one single dish. It helps in digestion and also keeps people active the next morning. It is also a good idea to have curd after dinner for digestive purposes.

Six small meals a day  – It is always thought that one should have 3 large meals a day and that would keep one going. However, once again for people who are overweight and mostly doing desk jobs it is essential to have small meals a day that will keep them filled for 2-3 hours. This frequent eating makes sure that one is never too filled and never hungry and also works the digestive system, thus contributing to an increased metabolism rate. This is useful for slim people as well. It is only that their protein intake should be more than their heavier counterparts.

Avoid spicy, oily food, alcohol and sweets as much as possible  – One of the major reasons behind the increasing levels of obesity and diabetes in India is the popular preference for street-side and junk food such as various types of pakodas, rolls and pastries etc. Even when people are eating out spicy and fatty food is the order of the day. The most critical drawback of oily food available on streets is that it contributes to your fat and since the oil is mostly of the reused variety it leads to digestive ailments as well. The main problem with spicy food is that it contains toxins that allow the body to retain fat and when one someone is consuming spicy dishes and still working out, it is the muscle mass and not the fat that is getting lost in the process. It means you are only becoming smaller and not leaner and fitter. The problem is similar with alcohol as well. As far as sweets are concerned it contributes calories to the body that are mostly not burnt and then either become fat or get deposited in the blood stream and lead to diabetes. One major problem of diabetes is that it is never fully cured and upon persistent negligence can damage the normal functioning of one’s bodily organs. So the question is what will one eat? Seasonal fruits and digestive biscuits as well as nuts are great options for the in-between meals. It is also a good idea to have tea, especially green tea as it has useful anti-oxidants, stews and soups if one is especially hungry.

Time the meals  – It is always advisable that the breakfast is completed by 10 am in the morning and dinner be completed as early as possible at night, preferably before 10 pm at night. If one eats too late in the day or night it creates gaps in the digestive cycle where there is secretion of digestive acids on an empty stomach. This can lead to formation of kidney stones and even gastroenteritis. A normal and timely pattern of food consumption allows the digestive system to function in a proper way and keeps one fit and healthy. While, it is rather hard for people, especially ones who love their food, to adhere to these rules but it needs to be kept in mind that if someone wants a healthy body these rules are perhaps non-negotiable. It is just the question of will of the individual in question.