food · wellness

13 tips to trick you into healthy eating habits

So without rambling on any unrelated stuff, I will get directly to the point. 28th birthday gave me a reality check that I am getting old and its high time that health should be the utmost priority. Career, money, relationships,travel will all take its course of time to turn into the way I want it but if I don’t take control of my health NOW then it’s gonna be too late to take care of any of those things. I have family history of diabetes, obesity , blood pressure and arthritis. Yeah, sounds very common these days and nothing to be surprised  but trust me definitely not to be ignored too! Thanks to our lifestyle we will be victims of these and who knows how many more diseases much before our parents. so, let’s WAKE UP!!

Firstly understand where are we going wrong.

  1. We eat outside very often.
  2. We rely too much on packed food
  3. Sedentary lifestyle
  4. We don’t exercise regularly
  5. We don’t take sleeping hours seriously
  6. We take after effects of  boozing and smoking too lightly

I guess, there will be many more issues than this still a good 6 pointer to start working on. Let’s deal with one thing at a time!

Ah Yes! before we begin let me tell you that I am a huge fan and follower of Rujuta Diwekar (read more about here here) and I am totally influenced by her ideology or should I say common sense. So, you might find me repeating what she believes and written in her books.

We eat outside very often!

It’s known to everyone that how the food cooked in hotels, school/college/office canteens, roadside stalls is not that healthy. One thing is we don’t know whether it’s fresh, then if it’s cooked in unused oil then fresh vegetables are used or even washed so and so forth. Plus, they say baking soda is used to cook fast and daily intake is not at all good for health.

I guess now you believe why homemade food is any day better option to opt for.

Now, let’s go to each phase of life when we eat outside home.

School

Everybody would agree that this was the time when we were most fit in our lifetime. Not only because we were more active compared to today but definitely also because we ate homemade healthy food. Eating out in canteens or going out for dinners was once in a blue moon and well, served us good.

College

This is where it all began. Most of us had no option to stay away from home in hostels and to avoid college cafeteria’s “tasty” food , we started eating roadside or in hotels. Those who stayed at home also rarely ate homemade food. Well! big guys don’t bring lunchbox to college.

Office 

Now comes a phase when we have money and freedom to go where you want and eat what you like. Sedentary lifestyle adds to the healthy routine and here is when we start putting a kilogram a year to our ‘once upon a time’ fit body!

Wish we slept on time, avoided every day night outs, woke up at an hour early and cooked lunch and breakfast instead of waking up at 9 am, having tea on empty stomach  and rushing to office.

Going to restaurants and parties is a part of lifestyle right when we started earning that is early 20s. Be it a birthday party, farewell party,routine  weekend party, ‘I am bored today’ party, ‘I am frustrated’ outing, ‘ I am happy’ party or ‘it’s a date’ dinner or say ‘ I am meeting a friend’  dinner. We always needed excuse to go out  or sometimes didn’t need any reason. By the way, ordering food is also counted in one of those”parties” because anyways we are not making anything at home.

I am not denying that none of us cooked at home during all this time but let’s be practical , the days we ate at home and number of people who did it is really less.Now, YOU cannot deny that!

Things have changed with time and we have to adapt. We got to have fun in every phase of our life and food is integral part of it whether you are having outside and at home. How can we miss that Rs 5/- samosa, 2.5/- vada pao outside of school! We cannot miss the canteen fun, those ‘cutting chay’,’cold bournvita’, bun maska’  while graduating and we should not! Also, eating in restaurants is not only about the food but also about the memories we create, the laughter,the chats. So, we just cannot rule out eating outside completely from life.Agreed! So, we just have to limit what we are doing in a way that we enjoy the experience keeping in mind our health.

There is a long way for me to be called fit so I am not saying that I am expert in this field or anywhere near but yes, I am AWARE! I am aware of what’s going wrong and how to make it right. So, here are some easy , doable tricks a working professional in late twenties can use  to balance out eating habits.

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  1. Eat something in first hour after  waking up. A glass of water on empty stomach and a banana is recommended. A tea after breakfast is preferable. A cup of tea on empty stomach is as harmful as a smoke in the morning.
  2. Skipping breakfast is a strict NO NO. There is no dearth of 15 minutes breakfast recipes on google. Find out easy and quick options for breakfast.  A sample site for beginners.
  3. If we wake up at least an hour before our usual time, we can easily prepare and pack lunch. Of course, you will have excuse for this one also, so appoint a cook.If you can afford 2000/- bucks for a single dinner at restaurant, you can definitely afford a cook. In a way, you are investing in your health by helping a needy.
  4. How about keeping some snack in bag or a fruit for 4 o’clock cravings. C’mon we can do better than an oily , deep-fried samosa , a stale sandwich or so-called chat in office.To start with, you can at least avoid oily stuff in canteen and go for without sugar fruit juice or fruit plate. I urge you to read “Don’t lose your mind, lose weight’ book for healthy and easy eating options.
  5. Office lunch and dinner in Barbeque nation or Sigree is an usual every office routine. Let’s bring pot lunches back to this generation. Let wife of your boss, girlfriend of your colleague and you show culinary skills to everybody. You never know the other teams in office will also get inspired from you. 🙂
  6. Meeting a group of friends in restaurant for weekends is a good idea but that’s what we have been doing for ages. How about calling friends at home and cooking something together. Better way to spend time and a change from the routine. What say? Here is a link for one pot meals. You can find some more on Polka cafe as well.
  7. Am I sounding too harsh? Okay, I will excite you with a trick. Why not explore breakfast places in town? That way , you can eat out, try different dishes and well you have enough time to digest  food.We had a great time trying out European , American, Indian breakfasts in Chennai. Read full story here.
  8. Heavy dinners will only end up in fatty bodies. How about going to lunch to treat gastric juices then you can have guilt free desert as well 😉
  9. High time that you should boycott cold drinks, packed juices and soda. You are just gulping sugar syrup and nothing else.  Look around there are so many better options to satiate thirst.Grab a bottle of water or have coconut water or sugarcane juice or kokum sharbat, buttermilk or  lemonade if you are thirsty. Pure and without unwanted amount of sugar!
  10. When was the last time you had homemade chiwda or khakra for evening snack instead of packed chips, mixture and other deep-fried stuff. Let’s get back to basics. Pick up that phone and ask dear mommy recipe of your favorite evening time snack.
  11.  How many times you stop right at the moment when you feel full? How many times you let go that extra bite? if your answer is zero, start doing it NOW. Listen to your tummy and avoid that extra bite. That small little extra bite is messing up with you.Take exactly how much you want in the plate and even if you go wrong in the guessing this time, next time you will end up taking less. I don’t encourage wasting of food but I definitely discourage eating more than how much you want and not a single tiny piece more.
  12. Eating fruit as whole is proven to be nutritional rather than having it as a juice. So , carry a fruit than buying a juice. Any packed juice is neither healthy nor nutritional is just another flavored  sugar syrup.
  13. I would suggest to have early dinner rather than having tea at 8 pm and then dinner at 10 pm.

Like Rujuta says, it is all about eating right food of right amount at right time. These are only beginner pointers and there are many more aspects to fitness. I hope ,I have shared hacks which make sense and I am sure that these will definitely count in changing our lifestyle into a healthier one.  🙂

 

 

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