Conquering obesity

Conquering obesity

Conquering obesity
The Global Nutrition Report of 2016 has revealed that 22% of the Indian adult population is dealing with obesity. This isn’t surprising, as more people move to cities and take up jobs that require little or no physical activity. 

To make matters worse, there are a slew of ready-to-eat foods that contribute to this epidemic, with their easy availability and low nutritional value. Whether it’s making a bowl of instant noodles to deal with hunger pangs or munching on a packet of chips from the vending machine, unhealthy eating habits have taken their toll on our bodies. As lifestyles get busier, the time taken to eat our food has reduced as well, and with the act of having a meal becoming an inconvenience, most people opt for a quick fix that they can carry with them.

Food fixation

A convenient snack can turn into a dangerous habit. Doctors have reported an ever increasing rate of diabetes and high blood pressure among the younger urban population. Our long work hours are predisposing a majority of the population to osteoporosis on some level.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about nutrition though. It’s the whole gamut of mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Small changes in our everyday habits can lower the impact of the negative after-effects of the on-the-go lifestyles.

Here are some changes that can be incorporated into your day-to-day routine to stay healthy:

Sleep: Get more than 40 winks a night. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking hours, including your productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight.

Metabolism: Kick-starting your metabolism in the morning can lead to a raised rate of digestion the whole day. The key is a good breakfast. A hearty breakfast of oats, protein and fibre can provide your body with the necessary energy to start the day alert and alleviate any grogginess.

Snacking right: To maintain a high-level metabolism, snacking on whole foods like fruits adds fibre to the diet as well as replenishes nutrients in the body. Dry fruits of any kind are another good snacking option. Walnuts, almonds and peanuts are high in good fats. Avoid dried berries as they can be easy to load up on and are high in sugar.

Get moving: Exercise of even 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease and joint pains by 25%. There are so many ways and variations of exercise, which can easily be accommodated into your busy schedule.

Stay hydrated: Guzzling water throughout the day not only keeps you hydrated but keeps hunger pangs at bay. Most of the time, thirst is confused with hunger and you can end up overeating. Keeping a water bottle handy will remind you to drink more water.

Protein-Up: Your post workout snack should be high in protein to enhance the results of the workout.

Quitting junk: If you’re addicted to instant snacks and junk staples like chips and biscuits, try to reduce the amount of snacks in a day to one item, instead of going cold turkey. With this method, you’ll most likely stick to healthy eating.

Try to de-stress: Stress is another factor that adds to weight gain. Finding ways to cope with stress through meditation, dancing, jogging, reading or any activity that takes the mind away from the source of anxiety, will help. The hormone cortisol, which builds up during stress, causes weight gain when it is in the body for prolonged periods.

With five out of 10 urban Indians trying to lose weight, it’s no surprise that work-life balance is the key. It isn’t just adults that suffer the after effects of poor choices made day in and out, but children as well. Children learn their poor habits from the parents. A healthy routine can be a silent message to children of how seriously they should take their own health.

According to the Indian Association of paediatrics, 15% of the adolescent population in India is obese. Exercise and practising healthy eating habits can become a family activity. A healthy lifestyle is a matter of habit, but it’s not easy to replace old habits. However, to improve the chances of a good life, small changes in your routine can have an impact on the future. They can lead to healthy choices and an eventual view of doing right to your body.

(The author is the managing partner of Zago foods.)

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