Sedentary workers are classified as people who sit for more than six hours a day. Due to less physical activity they have a very low BMR (Basal metabolic rate). A low BMR coupled with wrong diet can lead to problems like obesity, flatulence, constipation, hypothyroid, type-II diabetes and other related ailments. To avoid this, the sedentary worker should have a low fat, complex carbohydrate and high fiber diet.
Here are some of the simple but effective measures that s sedentary worker can take as far as diet is concerned.
- The portion sizes of the meals should be less but the frequency can be more. That is, you should have 4-5 small (light) meals a day.
- Breakfast should be ideally fatless & sugarless. Best options are low fat milk ( cow’s milk / skimmed milk) with some flakes like “poha” , wheat barley flakes, oats, mueseli, cornflakes etc. Along with this a good fibrous fruit like apple, pear, banana or papaya can be had. Having egg whites with fruits is also a good option.
- For lunch you should have only one carbohydrate, either chappati or rice dish. Have less of these and more of dals or sprouts or lean meat. In short have less carbs and more proteins. It is also important to have lots of raw salads or sprouts or seasonal fruits along with your lunch to get the fibre advantage.
- For mid-afternoon or early evening snacks one can go for nuts (about 10gm) or roasted pulses( chana, futana) about a fistful. Citrus fruits are also a good choice to pep-up the mid – afternoon slumps . Guava , orange , sweet lime, pomegranate seeds, strawberries , blue /black berries, Indian berries ( karrand) are not only low in calories but they also pack a whole lot of healthy nutrients.
- Try to have an early dinner and a glass of milk before retiring to bed. Milk before bed-time helps in the prevention of strokes.
- If your dinner time is around 7pm you may indulge in a bit of rice along with chapatti. Try to replace chapattis with the more fibrous and healthier option like bhakris made with jowar, bajra and ragi. Among all carbs bhakari is the best option for sedentary workers. Try to have it in at least one meal of the day.
- If an early dinner is not possible, fill up the gap with seasonal fruits /fruits juice or low caloric snacks (popcorn/ rajgeera ladu / idli-chutney)
- If you dine late (after 9pm) it is best to have just one carb — either a rice dish or chappati. Green leafy vegetables should be the ‘sabzi of choice for late dinners.