The right diet and a planned exercise regime is the mantra of healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Nutrition is a basic prerequisite for a healthy life. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for being fit. As the saying goes - We are as young as our diet!
Good health makes us feel happy – both physically and emotionally. The two basic ingredients of a healthy lifestyle are:
- Right eating – Quantity and quality of food.
- Physical activity-Being active throughout the day and doing some kind of structured or conscious activity.
A healthy and sensible food habits should not merely satisfy hunger. It should add vitality, vigor, youthfulness, stamina and mental alertness in our daily lives. Above all we should be able to feel happy.
Health is not a virtue signifying absence of disease. It is something positive. It is about leading a healthy lifestyle. It is the cornerstone for the management of various diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.
Food is the basic need of all living beings as it is the source of energy to carry out all the activities (breathing, heart beating, digestion etc). This energy is measured in terms of calories. Caloric requirement varies with age, sex and the level of activity. We should strive to always remain close to our desirable body weight and fat percent.
There is no single dietary regime for weight reduction. It is highly individualized. Weight loss regimes should be gradual for sustainable weight loss otherwise you put the pounds back on as quickly as you lost them. Modifications in dietary habits have to be incorporated into ones lifestyle along with adequate exercise to keep the body weight within the normal limits.
As fat gives more than twice the calories per gram of either protein or carbohydrate, weight reducing diets have to limit the fat intake. Refined sugars and alcohol provide empty calories and should be avoided.
Plant foods that provide complex carbohydrates and fiber may be preferred as they reduce blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. Weight reducing diets must be rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates and fats.
Consumption of plenty of fruits and vegetables would not only result in satiety but would also help to maintain adequate micronutrient intake. Frequent fasting/semi-fasting (cyclic weight reduction) followed by adequate or excess food consumption only aggravates the problem of fat gain.
- Ming Gopalan C, Rama Sastri B.V, Balasubramanian, S.C, Nutritive Value of Indian Foods, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, 2002.
- Dietary Guidelines for Indians – A Manual, Nutritive Value of Indian Foods, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, 2003.
- Mahtani R. The Ultimate Indian Diet Book, Macmillan India Ltd, 2005.
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