Dieting for Good Health
“How many meals should I have in a day?”, is a common question that is posed to me by many of my clients. To them I say, “Eat as many meals as you like as long as you count your calories”. If you want to slim down and if you are a woman, then you should not be consuming more than 1,200 calories per day. If you realise that you are still putting on weight and not losing weight inspite of maintaining a strict diet, then just increase the intensity and duration of your exercise routines.
Another advice I always give my clients is to finish dinner early preferably by 7.30 pm. But if you cannot avoid eating late, do mind the calories. Regardless of the time you eat, Metabolism will always be working. I also believe that there is really no rule about the duration of time that you must wait in between meals. But if you do not eat for too long, then you will tend to overeat.
Naturally Occurring Fiber
One of the best ways to control your weight is to eat less and eat a high-fibre diet. But one has to be careful of foods that have added fiber. Artificially-enhanced foods that contain added fibers typically do not confer the same benefits as naturally occurring fiber. Eat as much fruits, veggies and high protein foods as possible such as beans and daal. Always go for foods that are high volume and whets your appetite with lesser calories.
The Thin Crowd
So most people who come to me wonder what it is with the ‘Thin Crowd’. They see them everywhere at restaurants, nightclubs, malls and at the markets. Regardless of their age, these slim and svelte men and women party hard, eat at restaurants and handle stress without putting on calories. How the hell do they do it?
Here’s an insider secret to their lives – When thin people eat out, they have trained themselves not to fall prey to the fatty foods on the menu including desserts. Over time, these people have made eating healthy a routine. It is something that they do day in and day out and they accept that it is in the best interests of their health and appearance. By ensuring that their diets and food habits are positive and healthy instead of relying on crash diets, thin people not only lose weight but are also successful in maintaining their figure for life.
Smooth Skin Diet
You are what you eat – this is a much used line in the Weight Loss Industry and is now almost a cliché. There is definitely truth to this because a healthy diet does contribute to a healthy body and also contributes to radiant and youthful skin and texture.
The four components for good skin are:
Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks that cells use to repair themselves.
- Healthy Fats
Healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados and almonds act as anti-inflammatory agents keeping the skin supple and elastic.
- Good Carbs.
Good carbs like oatmeal strengthens the water-retention abilities of cells and helps them in hydration.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that fight free radicals which are aggressive molecules that are produced by your body in response to stress and pollution and which tend to attack and damage your cells.
Sugar is Bad for Your Skin
We have spoken about how eating good foods can help in keeping your skin supple. But on the other hand, eating unhealthy foods can also harm your complexion. One of the worst things you can have for your skin is sugar. Having excess sugar creates a chain reaction known as glycation that binds to the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin and weakens them which results in cracking and breakouts. Having too much sugary food also causes your skin to droop and sag and making your wrinkles more pronounced.
Which again brings me back to the topic of this article – overeating. The amount of food you eat can also conversely affect the condition of your skin. One of the worst mistakes that a lot of young woman can make is to suddenly cut back on calories drastically and starve themselves. This can have the effect of making your skin look saggy and weak. As you get older, the elasticity of your skin decreases and your skin may not bounce back to it’s original shape.
Foods to Prevent Cancer
Eating quality foods insures a person from a host of diseases. If you want to prevent cancer it is a good idea to eat broccoli, kale, Brussel Sprouts, bok choy and other members of the cabbage family. Also having two to three cloves of garlic a week and about two to three cups of green tea can help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Eating whole grain foods can also help to dilute the concentration of carcinogens in the digestive tract. Try to have at least three servings a day of whole wheat products such as brown rice, whole grain pasta or whole wheat bread. One serving is about half a cup and about one slice of bread.
Foods to Prevent Heart Disease
Non vegetarians should consume more sources of naturally occurring Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish especially Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium and this may help lower blood pressure by helping relax your blood vessels. As stated here in my earlier article on the virtues of abstaining from meat, dry roasted and raw nuts are a great substitute for non vegetarian food because of the low levels of saturated fats that they add to your diet.
A plant-based diet can naturally limit the amount of artery-clogging saturated fat that you can consume. Again the rule of the thumb is to ensure that your food portions are kept in moderation.
Foods to prevent Osteoporosis
To prevent the early onset of Osteoporosis, eat dairy products that are low in fat and fortified with Vitamin D. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, go for soy milk fortified with calcium and Vitamin D. Try to have three servings a day of dairy products. Having enough Vitamin D will help your body absorb enough calcium. Have a decent amount of exposure to sunlight as sunlight is a naturally occurring source of Vitamin D. Vitamin K works along with Vitamin D to help build bones. So include dark leafy greens and also fruits like Kiwis, blackberries, blueberries and grapes.
Foods to Prevent Eye Problems
To prevent eye problems, have foods like spinach, kale, collard greens and fish. While there are no standard recommendations as to the amount of greens you should have for optimum eye health, suffice it to say that you can eat a suitably large amount of greens without any side effects. Non vegetarians should also eat atleast two servings of fish a week.