Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Healthy Eating Tips for Working People

Working people generally do not have time for breakfast, may skip meals or go without eating for long hours leading to gas, acidity, nausea & bloating, and may end up eating out a lot causing obesity. They frequently complain of gaining weight in spite of hardly eating anything! It's happened to me, I'm sure it's happened to you at some point as well.

I came across a few eating tips for working people that I'm listing down here. They're supposed to help us stay healthy, feel energized all day and keep problems of gas, acidity, nausea & obesity at bay. So read on for whatever it's worth...

  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This has only been said, like, 1,567,242,000 times! And not without reason. After 10-12 hours of fasting (during the night), your body needs breakfast to kick-start your metabolism. Missing breakfast will slow down your metabolism for the rest of the day, leading to weight gain. A hearty breakfast (please note by 'hearty' I don't mean the alu paratha with butter kind of breakfast!) will help keep hunger pangs in control and prevent binge eating later on in the day. Breakfast is also essential to keep your brain alert throughout the day. And no, skipping breakfast will NOT make you thin.

  • Simply having breakfast is not enough. It needs to be balanced. A healthy breakfast should ideally consist of high-fibre foods such as unsweetened oats/bran/muesli with milk (use honey, jaggery or fruits as a sweetener instead of sugar), fruits (preferred over fruit juice as juices don't retain the fiber) and some form of protein such as egg whites or yogurt. A balanced breakfast will keep you satiated for a considerable amount of time.

  • Eat small meals at regular intervals through the day, rather than 3 big meals. This will a) ensure a steady release of insulin in the blood, b) prevent gas, acidity & bloating, and c) assure your body of a steady supply of fuel so it does not store fat.
  • If you anticipate a late lunch/dinner, keep some healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables that can be had raw (such as carrots, cucumber etc.), dry roasted nuts, low fat yogurt etc. handy. This will ensure that when you finally get to your meal, you won't binge.
    Avoid snacking on chocolates, chips, biscuits (particularly cream biscuits) or cup-o-noodles.
  • When thirsty, opt for water, fresh fruit juice or nimbu paani instead of dialing your canteen and asking the canteen boy to bring you a bottle of soft drink. Aerated drinks can cause excessive bloating and contain a lot of sugar!
  • Restrict the amount of tea/coffe you drink in a day to 2-3 cups.
  • Sip on hot water or green tea after a meal. Hot water helps in digestion and I've heard from a lot of people that it's helped them shed some weight as well. It'll take some getting used to but I think it's worth the effort! Green tea as we all know is an excellent anti-oxidant, and for those who don't want to add up on the caffeine, there's de-caf green tea available in the market as well!

Photo Courtesy: ;

Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 Golden Words for Weight Loss

Most councellors will tell you that the 3 "golden words" for weight reduction are - exercise, diet and water. The secret is to do all three together, and that's where most of us go wrong.

Some of us sweat it out at the gym for hours everyday and believe that we can eat anything and still lose weight. When no apparent weight loss occurs, we get discouraged and abandon the exercise program.

Some others throw themselves with all their might on to the dieting wagon - only fruits, only boiled vegetables, Cabbage Soup diet, South Beach, Atkins diet, Morning Banana diet, idli diet, lemonade diet etc. But they don't exercise - they're either too lazy to exercise, or can't find the time.

But the most common mistake that most of us make is to not drink enough water.

(Photo courtesy:

Walking is one of the best exercises as it uses most of the muscles of the body at one time, can be done by one & all, and best of all - it's completely free! Aerobics, swimming & jogging are other effective cardiovascular exercises. What's important to remember though is that any cardiovascular exercise is effective only if it is done continuously for 20-30 minutes, 5-6 times a week.

Dieting does not mean keeping yourself hungry. On the contrary, it is essential to keep your body satiated so it does not go into starvation mode, binge on food, and then store it all as fat. There's merit to the '5-6 small, nutritious meals a day' theory that nutritionists & fitness experts keep drumming into our ears. It is also important to eat plenty of fibrous foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrain stuff, a good amount of protein and minimum fatty food.

Water aids weight reduction in various ways - it flushes the toxins out of our body and gets the bowel moving. Eating fibrous foods is of no use if it's not accompanied by sufficient water intake, as fibre needs water to get things moving!

Now I just wish that losing weight was as simple, effortless, and most importantly - as quick - as writing this post was!