Chapter 31

Dieting


To lengthen your life, shorten your meals.

Proverb




Beware of the large number of Ďdiet gurusí. The best is a well balanced diet of the three broad food groups.


One, the protein group comprising of dairy products, nuts, beans, pulses, eggs, fish and meats.


Two, the cereal group of cereals like wheat, rice, corn, oats, yarns and potatoes etc.



Three, the vegetables and fruits group.


The focus should be minimising the consumption of oily and fatty foods like deep fried foods, full fat milk, snack foods and fatty meats and alcohol. Nuts are also high calorie foods but 8 to 10 almonds or a walnut a day are an excellent source of protein and also helps satiate hunger and stave off craving to eat. They also have a high content of the good cholesterol Ė LDL.


Apples are found to be gummy polysaccharides that act as a blotting paper for fatty foods so it may be a good idea to eat an apple with fatty foods.


Professor Michael Zimel head of the department at the University of Tennessee in the U.S. has after extensive investigations found that milk and other dairy products like cheese and yogurt increase the metabolic rate thus helping dieters. What is not clear however is the extent of this impact as dairy products themselves contain, sometimes a fair amount of fat. So, eating skimmed milk dairy products is best.


A regular exercise program to supplement your diet is the best bet for long term sustainability. Crash dieting, rarely sustains even if there are quick initial results, you almost invariably regain the lost weight. Besides this, crash and lopsided diets are not good for health, as the body gets deprived of certain essential nutrients.


What you need to strive for is to change your taste and enjoy food low on fats and oils and eat less of carbohydrates.


When eating out, you need to guard against hidden fats, in sauces and gravies and food items that are first deep fried and then put in gravies.


Similarly alcohol, soft drinks and juices can add up the calories. Snack items that are deep fried are very fattening and should be avoided, especially when trying to lose weight.


Eating some salad or fruit before venturing out for a party is a way to keep the hunger pangs at bay. Desserts are a killer. Especially deep-fried and dairy based ones. It is best to choose fruit-based desserts which are easier on the calories.


Itís not a good idea to carry your food straight to bed. Eating 4-5 small meals a day is better way to burn calories, than two or three big meals.


Liquid foods like juices get consumed quickly and hence are less hunger satisfying compared to hard solid foods like say fruits and raw vegetables. They also lack the fibre of full fruit.


When you are ravishingly hungry the bodyís craving makes one instinctively go for the quickest fix namely sweet, carbohydrate rich or fatty food to get a quick energy boost and satiation. Hence itís good to eat light meals or fruits or low fat snacks every 3 to 4 hours. Hence good to keep light snack foods handy.


Itís good to have one meal a week when one binges on whatever one wants to. This eliminates the feeling of deprivation which could make it difficult to sustain oneís discipline, when dieting.


Drinking plenty of water up to two to three litres a day helps keep weight down by eliminating sodium, suppressing the appetite and metabolizing stored fat.


You should deting sensibly and slowly, losing no more than one kilo a week, is the healthiest and most sustainable way to do so.


This should be done while maintaining a balanced diet of all the food groups.


You should support your diet by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day.

Lose weight slowly, as it

is more sustaining than

quick weight loss.