Teenage is the age of change, growth and transformation. It is the period when what you eat (or not eat) is vital and it sets the foundation of your physical and mental well-being for the rest of your life. Munmun Ganeriwal, Nutritionist and Fitness Consultant, Founder of Yuktahaar shares a few diet guidelines for you to follow in your teenage years.
Count nutrients, not calories– For life to sustain, food needs to be nourishing, and for food to be nourishing, it has to be high in nutrients. In an effort to lose weight, we are constantly avoiding calories and in the process, we lose out on nutrient-dense foods as well. Counting the number of calories that you are eating is really irrelevant. What matters is the nutrient to calorie ratio of your food.
To do – Cut down your consumption of ‘empty’ calories from packaged and processed food like biscuits, cereals, cupcakes, and wafers. Instead, eat more of real foods like nuts, cheese, curd, peanuts, and whole fruits. These foods can disrupt your hormones during puberty.
Avoid meal gaps– If all that you want to do is lose weight, then you really cannot afford to starve yourself. Eating frequently and avoiding meal gaps of more than 2-3 hours is crucial to fat burning. Ensure that you make time for breakfast and avoid skipping it. Similarly, if you do not want to be caught up in food crisis/ accidents (like gorging on a doughnut at 6 pm when you had just decided to eat healthier in the morning), you need to plan ahead for your 4-6pm snack. Also, never take pills to shed weight.
To do– Breakfast and evening meal options are– cheese sandwich, roti with ghee or jaggery, poha, idli chutney, and upma. Carry your lunch from home and eat an early dinner at least 2 hours before you hit the bed.
Stay hydrated– one of the most important things to do if you are looking out to have a glowing, flawless skin is to stay well hydrated. Sitting all day long at cafes and sipping on colas (even if it’s the diet version), coffee and other sugar loaded beverages, not only adds to empty calories but is also dehydrating. These drinks will make you feel bloated and heavy all the time.
To do– Make sure you are carrying a bottle of water (no plastic bottles please) when you step out and sip on it throughout the day. Choose to have local and seasonal sherbets like aam panha, bel sherbet, nimbu sherbet, kokum sherbet and sugar cane juice that will not only hydrate you but will also promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and make your belly look flatter.