As the year begins, we wrap up the old and enter the new year with fresh enthusiasm & energy cliched as New Year Resolutions. Diet, weight management & fitness top the charts.
Here are some fresh ideas to work on for those who are wanting to get fitter.
1) Pay attention to digestive health
Common digestive complaints like bloating, acidity, gastritis, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, may lead to more serious health problems if remain untreated. These often could be symptoms of some food related issues.
Maintain good digestive health by cultivating good gut flora through pro & pre-biotics, fibre rich food, healthy fats , plenty of fluids & water, digestive spices, fresh seasonal & locally grown (organic food if possible), good sleep, regular exercise, yoga and meditation.
2) Look out for food sensitivities
Many of us have an allergy or sensitivity to some food or another. Common skin, hair, nails, joint problems or headaches, migraines, fatigue could be related to the food one is eating. Once the foods which cause food sensitivity or any unwanted reaction have been identified, eliminate these from your diet. It is advisable to consult a specialist.
3) Eat more AM rather than PM
In our struggle to get that perfect body and fight unwanted weight, one of the most profound effects seems to be coming from dinner timing. Eating late into the night certainly seems to be associated with extra kilos. Simply put, eating the same composition of food and nutrients at night compared to eating during the day can alter the reading on your weighing scale.
Interestingly, not only does late night eating effect metabolic health, scientific studies have demonstrated that eating late effects cognitive performance and memory. Infact digestive rest is critical and a 12 hour gut rest has been found to be beneficial not only to give a metabolic edge but also in prevention of diseases through immune system modulation. This infact is consistent to the way traditional eating patterns have been across the globe. Also, reference to eating meals before sunset is there in our own ancient medical text the Chakra Samhita.
It may be a good idea to alter your work and eating schedules to suit your physiological needs and eat dinner early or resign to eat a lighter dinner if getting late. But, by no means eat a heavy dinner late into the night.
4) Maintain a well balanced diet
- Eat less and eat well- include low calories and nutrient dense foods
- Use grains as side dishes and not the main contituent. Use alternate traditional grains like millets and unpolished rice.
- Include atleast 6-8 servings of vegetables and fruits. Ensure you have plenty amounts of raw vegetables & fruits in your diet. A seasonal green leafy vegetable must be had on a regular basis.
- Ensure good fats through nuts, seeds, fish and cold pressed oils.
- Moderate in salt, tea, coffee & alcohol
- Limit intake of processed foods loaded with preservatives and chemicals.
- Cut back on free sugars. Just one teaspoon of sugar in your diet can result in a gain of one kg of body fat in a year, not to mention the other metabolic ill-effects. Sugar, infact has been found to be addictive in nature, which really means ‘the more you have, the more you want’. Sugar in excess can change the gut microflora, lead to allergies, poor hair and skin health, gastro- intestinal complaints, lowered immunity, nutritional deficiencies and mal- absorption. Prefer jaggery, honey and dry fruits as sugar fixes.
- Avoid hydrogenated trans-fats. Common sources of trans fats include vanaspathis, margarines and bread spreads and at times refined vegetable oils.
5) What you measure you can manage
- Track your diet with a food diary
- Weigh yourself regularly and keep track of your waist.
- Include regular physical activity, yoga and meditation. Aim to exercise at least 45 mins- 1 hour a day and walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
- Undergo regular health check-ups and keep your vital parameters under check.