Suman Agarwal is a Nutritionist, Fitness Consultant and Food Guru. Read on for some fitness tips and having a balanced meal for a healthy lifestyle!
In the present world scenario, things are different for the younger generation. The obesity rates have increased due to the change in people’s lifestyle. As compared to 15-20 years ago, a person’s mobility level has reduced. Today, the form of entertainment is watching TV or sitting on your laptop. With every new invention, things are now becoming easier to access, and thus, we have reached a place where everything can be controlled at a touch of a button sitting right where you are! Even stepping out of the house to run errands has now reached a minimum; we have doorstep services for every possible thing you could imagine.
So now we have reached a point, where, to even achieve that standard amount of physical activity that a body requires to keep fit, we need to include an hour of exercise in our daily routine. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be a task. You can make it fun. It can be anything from swimming, tennis, badminton, gym training, yoga, Zumba, walk and jog, to even just a simple walk. If the activity is very intense, then take a glass of a high carb drink like Gatorade or limbu pani. Use the step counter apps on your phones, and maintain a good daily step count, which is about 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day! For weight-loss, your step count daily should be anywhere between 10,000– 15000 steps (An hour of walk at 6 km/hr equals to 7000 steps). Increase your step count by taking the stairs instead of an elevator, stroll in your corridor at work while making calls or even meet your friends or family for a walk at times!
As for your nourishment, all your 3 major meals of the day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) should have a balance of carbs, proteins and fats. You can reduce your carb intake, as we are not expending as much energy as we used to many years ago. Cut down your carbs by 20% for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but make sure your proteins stay because that increases your metabolism whilst keeping your muscles strong and gives you a better immunity.
Idli + Sambhar
Curd + Upma/Poha
Milk + flakes
Curd + Paratha
Baked beans + toast
2 – 3 Egg white omelettes + toast (avoid having the yolk at least 5 times a week because it is high in fat, but you should have it 1 – 2 times a week because of its nutritious properties)
2 – 3 Egg white Bhurjee + Paratha
The most important thing to remember is not to skip your lunch, due to being busy at work. You might not have time for lunch and thus, snack on something or skip it or eat an unhealthy quick grab meal. Even if you don’t have your food from home, you can pick and choose a balanced meal on the go. Here are some lunch options, which you could carry from home or even pick out a menu! Club any of these with a glass of Buttermilk or Low-fat yoghurt.
Rice/Roti + Dal + Vegetables
Chhole/Moong wrap (A great balanced on-the-go meal)
Chhole + Tandoori Roti
Idli + Sambhar
Chicken/Fish with rice
EVENING SNACK OPTIONS
Don’t make your evening snack elaborate. Stick to any of the following –
A fistful of nuts
2 – 3 biscuits
Half a sandwich
All the four meals should be taken 3 – 4 hours apart. The first meal of the day (Breakfast) and the last meal (Dinner) should be 12 hours apart. So, if you are having your breakfast at 9 am, you should plan to eat your dinner by 9 pm.
If you are hungry in between any of the above meals, avoid munching on kurmura/ biscuits/ bhujia etc. Instead have nuts/ fruits/ salad or a smoothie/ buttermilk/ tea/ coffee. Now, you should also take care of the diet in terms of vitamins. Because of high pollution levels, stress at work, you must take a Multivitamin and a Vitamin C tablet daily. Check your Vitamin B12 and D3 levels, and take the necessary vitamins incase of any deficiency.
Lastly, to address the elephant in the room, Alcohol! Yes, you could enjoy your weekend with alcohol, up to 2 times a week, in limited quantities (1 – 2 pegs each time). The days you decide to drink, you should avoid taking carbs for dinner, since you would be substituting the calories with your alcohol intake.
Remember this isn’t just about dieting, it’s about designing your health for a longer life!