Obesity is one of the emerging concerns that has been linked to a number of diseases including heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle including sedentary work-life, lack of physical activity, and consumption of unhealthy food among other things. Some of the factors that increase the risk of obesity and related diseases are not in our hands like genetic inclination; however there is a lot that can be done in this regard by altering some of our food habits and making some changes in our food choices.
There might be a number of fad diets doing the rounds, and a number of radical changes that might ensure weight loss. These might help you lose weight quite quickly, but the effects are temporary and definitely not good for your general health and well-being. Making small but permanent changes gradually in your dietary habits and the effects would be healthy in all its aspects.
It is important that certain ground rules are followed religiously. Photo Credit: iStock
This does not mean giving up completely on the comfort food, but the point is to have a balanced diet. The sugary or deep fried delights may be occasionally included in your diet, but the point is that these additional calories need to be balanced out with healthier food options and more physical activity. In context of comfort food, it is important that certain ground rules are followed religiously.
1. Eat them occasionally. If you eat them every day, cut the frequency down to once a week or even once a month and it’ll help you cut down on your calories.
2. Limit the amount. If you find comfort in fried fritters, have 2 pieces instead of a whole plateful.
3. Opt or alter it for a low calorie version. Cook at home with lower calorie, healthier ingredients and control your portions while eating
4. Figure out different recipes for the same foods that you enjoy eating and find ways to push it into the healthy eating category.
One of the reasons that the switch is difficult on most of us is that we tend to focus on what we can’t eat or can’t have. It is a good idea to focus on the things that you can have and build a balanced diet plan that would help you with healthy eating and attain a healthy body weight.
1. Eat small, eat often. Eat frequent meals at regular intervals but make sure that you limit your portions each time you eat. It is a good idea to aim for three healthy mealsand two small snacks in a day. This would ensure that you eat something every three hours and not overeat later.
2. Cut out the condiments. An extra slice of cheese, a layer of mayonnaise, or some other sauce can add a lot more calories to your meal than you think. Cutting out the condiments occasionally might help you cut down on hundreds of calories in the long run.
3. Stay hydrated. At every meal-time make sure that you drink enough water before the meal. This will help you stay hydrated, slow down your eating and help you feel satisfied at the end of the meal even as you consume lesser calories.
At every meal-time make sure that you drink enough water before the meal. Photo Credit : Istock
4. Follow the “50:50” rule. At the time of preparation of a meal keep in mind that vegetables and fruits make up at least 50% of the food on your plate. These pack a lot of nutrients and fewer calories while helping you stay full for longer and avoid binge eating.
5. Pace down your eating. This is a habit that is hard to inculcate. As a child we are encouraged to finish first, but as grown-ups we need to break this habit as soon as possible. Eating is not a competition or a race. If you inhale your food, you are not really going to help your digestion and probably overeat.
This World Obesity Day following these simple do’s and don’ts and ensure you develop a healthy relationship with the food you eat. Good eating habits go a long way in ensuring you achieve and maintain your weight goals.