people hardly walking these days, mostly sitting at work for long
hours, recreation limited to mainly television and computer, water
consumption being a bare minimum of 3-5 glasses, fizzy drinks, packed
juices and restaurant and fast foods loaded with fat as their staple
diet the wealthy, who were well nourished and healthy 2-3 decades
ago are very unhealthy today. Obesity from age 5 upwards is a common
occurrence. At least one child and one parent in most homes are
obese. Nowadays diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc. are
common among people in their late 20s and early 30s.
There is hope
however. More people are becoming health and fitness conscious.
But no matter
how much you workout, it will not have a good effect unless you
are eating healthy, nutritious food. The first reason for being
strict with diet is because I believe in a 40 %, 40% and 20% food
distribution system through the day. When you wake up in the morning
you do so after having fasted for atleast 10 hours and your energy
levels are zero. You have a whole days work ahead of you so you
need to eat a properly balanced meal so that the body and brain
are well fuelled and work at their full potential. So skipping breakfast
or eating only fruits is not advisable. Breakfast and 11 am fruit
should be 40% of your days calories.
At lunch again,
one has the whole afternoon and evening ahead, and the gap between
lunch and dinner is large. So lunch too must be a good balanced
meal. Lunch and tea should give you another 40% of your calories.
The American system of just a sandwich and juice for lunch is not
a healthy one. Here many just want to eat 2 idlis and sambar or
a roti and sabji for lunch. This is very unhealthy as you start
getting hungry by 5-6 pm and then you opt for chaats, snacks, sweets,
etc. Here is an interesting chemistry going on in your body. If
you eat a samaosa at 6pm, the potato and maida (starch) get digested
in one or two hours. But the oil used to fry the samosa is digested
only after 6-8 hours and therefore, will enter your blood as energy
only after 12 midnight. You are then fast
asleep and the body says that there is no work going on and no need
for this energy so let it be stored in the fat cells. If you are
working out for two hours at 7 pm, even that will not burn it off,
simply because it is not available yet. Whatever fat is consumed
after 6 pm is 100 percent stored away as fat. The major cause for
today’s obesity could be this. People hardly eat during the
day and start snacking at 6pm, again drinking and snacking, then
eating their one good meal, dinner, and topping it up with a dessert.
While they sleep all the fatty food just gets stored and they grow
fat by the minute.
Again, the morning workout without eating much does
not burn this fat. When the body pulls out stored fat it pulls out
only a bare minimum to get you through the day. When it stores it
stores every bit of what you have put in. So if you want to be healthy,
be wise and eat well in the day. You need food to work and play
from morning through the day and less at night as you go to sleep.
So dinner should be a light balanced meal of 20% of your days calories.
Try to treat yourself to your favorite cuisines
at weekend lunch rather than at dinner. And taste your chocolates
and sweets during mid morning or after lunch, but not after 6pm.
When you travel don’t overeat at breakfast, skip lunch and
again overeat at dinner. Eat a good breakfast, a good lunch and
a light dinner. Try to taste the delicacies and specialties of the
place before or at lunch not at dinner.