Food is one of life’s most satiating pleasures and not just because we eat it, but also because of the joy derived in the social context – parties, picnics, etc. However, one should never forget that the primary purpose of eating food is to provide fuel and enable both body and mind to function effectively. As an active person you may have every intention to eat well but you struggle because you don’t have the knowledge of what to eat, when to eat it and how much. As a result you tend to make poor nutritional choices that actually decrease your energy levels, increase lethargy, result in acidity or unwanted weight gain. I have provided below some tips to help you eat right even though you are on the move. But before you read the tips, please remember that the most important ingredient is your desire to eat right. I have seen many people using an on-the-move lifestyle as an excuse to eating wrong. It is your desire, backed by knowledge, that will truly serve your cause.
One basic trick to winning with nutrition is to prevent yourself from getting too hungry - a little conscious planning goes a long way in achieving this.
Within an hour of waking up, kick start your metabolism even though it’s taking a small bite. It can be a fruit or a few nuts, they’re a good source of fibre, healthy fats and proteins.
Breakfast – Skipping breakfast makes it harder to maintain stable blood sugar levels and the effective functioning of your body and brain during your busy mornings. You can easily grab a hard-boiled egg and an orange. For vegetarians, a toast with peanut butter will give the needful proteins and carbs.
Managing your daily Tea/Coffee – Caffeine and Tannin inhibit your mental performance throughout the day. Replace it with green tea which is loaded with antioxidants that provide a variety of health benefits such as increasing your metabolism, works as a good digestive aid and prevents radical damage to your cells. I personally enjoy the taste of green tea but if you don’t, you can learn to develop it. If a taste for beer can be cultivated, I don't see how green tea could be a problem!
A good mid-morning snack could be a helping of a fruit or a glass of coconut water. One can also have a glass of buttermilk which acts as a probiotic to aid digestion and creates good fauna in the gut by regulating the PH balance.
Lunch - What you choose to eat for lunch, as well as the time you eat it, can have a big impact on your weight, well being and energy levels. Choose from a serving of idli with sambar, a whole-wheat sandwich with chicken or tuna or grilled veggies. Be aware of the choices you make while selecting your meal. If you opt for a sandwiches from Subway, opt for sauces like vinaigrette with a dash of barbeque. Skip the cheese.
Mid Meals - Eating every 2 hours ensures that your brain gets a regular flow of sugar thereby avoiding fatigue, mood swings and sluggishness. Have protein-rich snacks like almonds, peanuts, granola bars, low-fat cheese, chana, pumpkin and sunflower seeds etc. handy. Alternatively one can also have a cup of skim milk to fill in the protein share and plain khakras.Try and stay close to mother nature and avoid processed foods like packaged biscuits.
Dinner – What most of us fail to realize is that the quality, quantity and timing of all our pre-dinner meals have a direct effect on our night-time dining. Many of us tend to view dinner as a comfort meal where we can afford to indulge since the other meals during the day have been light. Avoid indulging, this is the time to be smart if you want to avoid health problems in the future. Keep your dinner as light as possible. A smart way to eat your dinner would be veggies first, protein second and carbs last. Make sure your dinner is complete at least 2 hours before your bedtime. Notice that I have not even mentioned dessert!
Many of us land up having social commitments or business events, in such cases have a small mid-meal. A nourished body will help control the hunger pangs which may prevent you from eating intelligently.
These are general guidelines but one size doesn't fit all. All these meals need to be portioned according to your gender, age, weight and, height body type and lifestyle
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