Every meal you have should include protein, carbohydrates and vegetables or fruits.
There are lots of arguments, studies and reviews all over the Internet, in magazines and newspapers related to healthy eating, weight loss and fitness.
As we are bombarded with images of celebrities every day looking stunning and how their weight loss and diet story is amazing, but the everyday person perhaps cannot afford the personal trainers, nutritionists and support the celebs have.
But all is not lost. We look at how diet is a major aspect for fitness and what you can do to eat your way to a better you.
Most people want to know what diets they can follow to lose weight quickly and effectively – What to eat, when to eat, what to avoid, what’s better and so on.
The most important rule for fitness is actually to start with your diet. Your diet is the number one thing that will help you get into shape whilst also using exercise as the physical aid to get fitter.
Changing your diet does not mean ‘dieting’ but means swapping the good foods for the bad foods in your daily intake.
Standard culprits are fatty and fried foods, very sugar laden foods and drinks, and processed foods including meats. These need to be changed with vegetables, fruits, water, yoghurt, spices, soya, wholemeal bread, brown rice, soya, eggs and meats, if you are not a vegan or vegetarian.
The South Asian diet is not exactly the most fitness friendly but it can be if you make a few changes, like cooking with smaller quantities in rapeseed oil or coconut oil, consuming less sugar and eating less carbohydrates in terms of roti or white rice. Especially, parathas which are usually cooked in full butter.
Stay away from snacks such as chevda, bombay mix and mithai (Asian sweets), and eating fried temptations like samosas, pakoras and aloo tikkis.
There is no point hitting the gym if you are going to eat the wrong foods like oily curries, buttered naans, pizzas, burgers, fries, chips, kebabs, chocolate cakes, doughnuts and sugary fizzy drinks on a regular basis.
You will just be going round and round in circles.
The only person who can make the change is you. Start by cutting down on these kind of foods and limit them to once a week as a treat or go without to start your new lifestyle.
Your changes do not mean you eliminate fat completely from your diet. It means you consume good fats which are Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats compared to bad fats which are Trans fats, or hydrogenated oils and some Saturated fats. So, read labels carefully when shopping.
Keep your total fat intake to 20-35% of your overall daily calorie intake. Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet) and trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet).
Having Omega-3 is very important for your body and this can be obtained from fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.
New research suggests than the ‘five’ portions of vegetables and fruit may not be enough and ‘seven’ portions are now recommended. So, the more you have, the better. There are so many amazing varieties of vegetables and fruits available today, so go and try something new!
Breakfast is key for losing weight, it’s the first main meal of the day and should not be missed. Portion control matters so use smaller bowl or plates as a way of having less.
Eating smaller meals can help compared to just three large meals. Try to eat less as you get into the evening or night.
Every meal you have should include protein, carbohydrates and vegetables or fruits, accompanied with water. Any fats either used for cooking or flavouring must be Monounsaturated e.g. Rapeseed oil, Olive oil etc.
Your water intake is essential to improve your general health and waistline. Bottled water, tap water are all good. Even herbal teas with no sugar added are a great addition to your diet.
If you are serious about losing weight or getting in better shape, then commitment is mandatory. Remember, it is a lifestyle change not something you are going to do for short while; if you really want to reap the rewards of your efforts.