What does the word diet mean to you? Deprivation, lauki soup, Atkins, GM – these are some of the answers that I usually get. Someone “on a diet” is trying to eat less, or cut calorie consumption for health reasons or to fit into a smaller dress size. The word “diet” however, doesn’t always mean eating less to lose weight, even though that is what it is normally associate it with today.
Diet has another meaning. It also describes the food that you always eat—following a vegan diet, an Indian diet, or “My diet consists of rice and dal.” Restricting calories is difficult and the deprivation often backfires. That is why people who do lose weight many times put it back on again. Improving your everyday diet by making gradual, but permanent changes is a healthier way to shed weight than by just limiting calories.
Low calorie and fad diets can have serious health implications—insufficient vitamin and nutritional intake, lethargy, slowed metabolism and hormonal effects. Many times dieters experience intense hunger and end up overeating or binging.
Here are a few tips to help you decrease your caloric intake without “dieting.”
1. Know how many calories are in the foods you are eating. Look up the calorie content of foods you eat and you will get an idea of calories and portions. For example, if you know that each small gulab jamun has about 150 calories, you might think twice before the next serving.
2. Be aware of fats. Oil, ghee and butter will all add on the kilos. Just limit these types of foods.
3. Understand serving sizes — Use measuring devices, cups, spoons, etc. to know what you are eating. At least initially these are necessary to understand serving sizes and calories. Just guessing what a half a cup doesn’t work, be exact. Measure out a cup of rice/dal/ subji and then place it the katori so you know what the serving size is relation to the official measures that tell you the amount of calories.
4. Limit bakery products and pasta. All things made with maida wreaks havoc in your body. Processed white flour are used in every every baked good including every type of the biscuits, cream rolls and pastries. This bleached white flour has alloxan, a chemical linked to being toxic to the beta cells that allow proper functioning of insulin in the pancreas.
5. Be active. You don’t need to work out for hours and hours but you should be active and not be sitting for long duration of time. Use every opportunity to move.