Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving oneself of the food one loves. Everybody wants to kickstart a weight loss programme and ultimately realise a goal where they would never have to diet again.
Rather, it should be about feeling great, having more energy, stabilising your mood and keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
All of these can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for one’s body. One can expand the range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a tasty, healthy diet. Kalpana Jain, a practising endocrinologist too says that diet plans which prohibit a person to eat only one variety of food are totally unhealthy. For example, a person who is too fat and is asked to eat only chicken on day one; fruits on day two, and then only soup the following day is bound to be very uneasy.
“The best way to loose weight is to eat healthy food but not food with excess fat. One should never follow anything that will deprive a person from nutrition. These kind of diets will only harm their body and not help them. I always recommend the multiple meals diet plans, which is accepted worldwide and is very successful.” According to this plan one needs to feed their body at an interval of every 2-3 hours.
We all need a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibres, vitamins and minerals to sustain a healthy body. Healthy eating is not just about the food on the plate, it is also about how one thinks about food. Healthy eating habits can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just anything to gulp down in order to lose weight.
Kalpana adds, “People can have fruits, biscuits, dry fruits in between their meals, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner. One can have two chapattis during breakfast and then after 2-3 hours a fruit and then some lunch, soup or biscuits with tea and then have their dinner at eight pm and finally a glass/cup of milk at 10 before sleeping.”
Dr Sandhya Pandey, chief dietician, Columbai Asia, Gurgaon also says no to diets like Atkin’s. “Atkin’s diet which is one of the most popular diets is a high-fat, high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet where the person consumes unlimited amount of eggs, meat while restricting consumption of carbohydrates like sugar, milk and breads etc.
If a person eats only carbohydrates then it would increase the hunger of the person and lead to the increase in weight. This diet is not an easy diet to follow and can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels as well.”
One needs essential nutrients, both macro and micro in order to be fit and healthy.