Health myths that need to be buried immediately.
Speaking about a healthy diet or putting your Health first has always been a sensitive topic for most of us, on top of that having spent the past few weeks locked inside our houses has led to boredom and irregular eating habits. Keeping in mind the weight gained during the lockdown, we all would be forced to hit the gym soon. Fighting this constant dilemma, we decided to reach out to a Nutritionist, aka a Heath Coach to understand the fundamental Dos and Don’ts to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
So without further ado, let’s dive into our conversation with Dr Nikita Suresh, PhD.
Help me understand the vox pop of eating small meals every 2-3 hours? How is it possible?
Eating small frequent meals is not suitable for everyone. Hence the diet plan has to be customised accordingly. It is not a must to eat 5-6 meals a day, it is absolutely fine for some to eat just 3 meals a day as well. However, if the person is suffering from acidity or diabetes, it is better to eat every 2-3 hours with 3 main meals and 2 snacks in between.
What is the first step toward eating clean? What must go out of the pantry?
Unhealthy packaged foods that are high in fats, especially trans fat or saturated fats followed by foods high in sugar such as chips, namkeen, sausages, nuggets, maggi, biscuits, etc.
How to plan grocery shopping for a healthy diet?
The first step is to plan your menu for an entire week and then make a list of the ingredients, so it’s easy when you go shopping. Do not shop when you are hungry as you will tend to go towards the snack section in the grocery and end up bulk buying unnecessary food items.
They say eat breakfast like a queen. 3 recommended breakfast options?
Breakfast has to be well balanced with complex carbohydrates, protein, good fats and fibre. Top 3 healthy Indian breakfast options would be Idly and vegetable sambhar, Poha with peas and peanuts, besan ka chilla with vegetable or dal chutney.
Is diet food really diet? Help me understand the difference between diet soda and regular soda.
Diet is often misunderstood. The word “diet” basically means what you eat the entire day. It could be a healthy diet or an unhealthy diet. There is nothing called diet food, it is just healthy food. When someone says “I’m on a diet” it means they are trying to eat healthy planned meals most often to reduce weight.
Regular soda is higher in calories and sugar compared to diet soda and is a preferred choice for people who are trying to lose weight. Diet soda contains very few, or zero calories often contain artificial sweeteners, colours, sodium and other additives which are not healthy in the long run.
I am travelling a lot for wedding preparation. Travel eating tips, please?
Stay well hydrated, carry your own snacks, do not skip meals and enjoy local cuisines. Limit your alcohol intake and do not engage in binge eating. An occasional treat can be enjoyed guilt-free!
How can I get rid of sugar cravings?
Most sugar cravings stem from an imbalance in blood sugar levels. Here are some ways you can control it:
- Drink a minimum of 2.5-3 litres water a day
- Good quality of sleep for at least 7 hours
- Avoid bland food, low fat, low calorie or crash diets
- Eat well, if necessary small frequent meals and avoid staying hungry.
- Manage stress and try to exercise daily.
- Beat boredom and keep yourself occupied.
- Include foods rich in magnesium and zinc such as almonds, avocado, banana, tender coconut water, channa, rajma, eggs, pumpkin seeds.
- Include healthier alternatives of sugar such as dark chocolate, fruits or dates.
If you do not want to use oil for cooking, then include 1- 2 tsp ghee in your meal. Don’t forget it only takes 2-3 week’s discipline to form a habit.
How many months/weeks before the wedding should I start following a proper nutrition/health plan?
Minimum of 3 months OR 12 weeks.
One tip to follow by all for a healthy life.
Make the change to a healthier lifestyle today but do it gradually, one step at a time. There isn’t one tip for a healthy life but start with including plenty of fruit and vegetables, get good sleep and reduce stress levels. Take a break when needed, slow down. Happiness = Health.
What’s your approach/process of consultation?
Dr.Nikita Suresh, a PhD holder in Nutrition and specialises in healthy weight management. Dr Nikita also consults on general Health, hypothyroidism and PCOs. To top it all, she is also a Zumba Fitness Instructor. The consultations with her are undeniably fun and will not make you famished. Her nutrition plans are customised for every client, depending on his/her current health condition.