Sunday, 1 December 2013

Knock those extra inches off your tummy !!

Generally, teenagers and youngsters do not think much about what they should eat and what they should avoid, what is good for their health and what is not, what can create health problems and what is perfectly harmless. Even I used to not think about it till...till I started working.

Sitting at one place for almost nine hours and staring at your desktop, occasionally getting up for extremely short breaks, endless cups of tea and coffee and weird eating habits and schedule was all going well..until one day, I realized that I have become fat; that I have gained quite a few unwanted extra kilos; that my stomach would, in a few days, start looking as if I have a pot belly. I decided then that I needed to shed these kilos, otherwise I would end up having a lot of health problems. (Actually, the real reason was that I was scared no girl might be ready to marry me !!)

Whatever the reason be, I did not know how to start doing it. I had always been someone who ate to his heart's content, someone who did not feel full till he had eaten almost a minimum of 10 chapatis. Then what was the solution? I started exercising, started building my muscles. But my stomach would not go in. I realized that somehow I had to control my diet. Somewhere I was going wrong. And then, I started looking up online to find out good dietary habits, good lifestyle tips etc. and started following a few of them.

Here, I will try to list down a few good eating habits so that it might be helpful for all those who, like me, are going through this crisis of putting on weight all of a sudden.
  • Less oily foods (Say bye to your favourite Vada Pavs, Samosas and Bread Pakodas)
  • Heavy breakfast, a lighter lunch and an early dinner (You might have probably heard it millions of times: :Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper". Start implementing it.)
  • Good quantity of milk during the day
  • Oats, Yogurt and some healthy supplement with milk like Boost, Bournvita or Corn Flakes is a very good start to your day.
  • No fruits immediately after meals
  • Less intake of sweets and chocolates, especially late in the day
  • Try avoiding cold drinks. Instead opt for natural juices.
  • Eat more fruits instead of drinking its juices.
  • Countless cups of tea and coffee with multiple spoons of sugar is definitely not good for health.
  • Green Tea (Though not very tasty, it helps a lot.)
  • One should walk a little after a meal. Walking is a very necessary exercise in day-to-day life.
  • No reasons needed to quit smoking.
  • Avoid rice for dinner.
  • Vegetable soup is good for your health.
  • Alcohol is not meant to be taken frequently; over consumption can create quite a lot of problems.
  • Spicy food should be reduced during hot weathers. It helps you balance the internal heat.
  • There is nothing like bananas for breakfast. Eat it before you start exercising.
  • A few almonds and walnut
  • Brown bread is better than the white bread.
  • Rather than counting calories in your food, try to bring in variety, color and freshness in your meals with a little control over your food intake.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Do not ban any food item; after all all foods are meant to be eaten. But it is very essential to know the time when that food should be eaten and the limit in which it should be consumed. If you have eaten more than what you intended to, balance it out by exercising.
  • Occasional eating out is absolutely fine until it does not become frequent.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of large meals only twice or thrice a day.
  • Avoid eating at night when you are physically more inactive. Your digestive system needs a good break.
  • Limit sugar intake as much as possible; rather have naturally sweet food to satiate your sweet tooth.
  • Eating too much salt is not good as well. Can lead to high blood pressure.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a small start to correcting our eating habits. We would have heard most of the above-mentioned food tips from our parents and elders, but we often ignore it. And the repercussions of it are noticed later. Today, we see a lot of people, in their 30's and 40's, getting life-threatening diseases, something that was not heard of about two decades back. But with our fast-paced lives becoming faster by the day, we need to start taking care of our bodies early.

I am not a dietitian; I do not guarantee that these tips would help you reduce those extra inches off your tummy. But following the above things would surely do your body no harm. In the long run, some of them might just help you. Enhance the quality of food intake, do not try to reduce the quantity of intake of all food items. Remember, a diet does not mean eating less food, it means healthy food.

P.S. I am a vegetarian, have absolutely no idea what non-vegetarian items are good for health.

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