Mindful eating is the need of the hour in these stressful times. “The mind and food always have a very close connection”, says Vizag-based nutritionist, Anjali Dange. She presses on the rise in stress-eating and binge-eating post-pandemic. Aqhleema Shad, one of the clinical nutritionists in Vizag says mindful eating in a tranquil atmosphere and meditation are important aspects of a healthier lifestyle. Both of them have certain tips to curb the cravings and tips for a better routine, keeping in mind the summer season.
But first, let’s start with what they think are some common mistakes we all make in our shift to a healthier lifestyle.
Common mistakes we make while switching to a healthier lifestyle
#1 Cutting down on carbohydrates and fats: A wholesome balanced diet is very important for a healthy lifestyle. All food groups in the right quantity are essential. Anjal Dange says that most people falsely believe that completely cutting off carbohydrates and fats will reduce their calorie intake. This, she reiterates, is not sustainable and is more often than not, harmful.
#2 Not listening to your body: Many follow the diets others do and incorporate that into their routine. This might not work for everyone as the reactions of each diet might be different for each body. Each one has its own preferences and limitations regarding food and exercise. Everyone is expected to do their own research and tailor their diet and exercise according to their own lifestyle. Do not get carried away by what others have to say.
#3 Starving: Starving oneself is never the solution. Some fad diets suggest fasting as a way to reduce weight. This is inconsistent and dangerous. Starvation leads to extreme medical conditions. Anjali busts these myths and says these only show momentary results.
#4 Meal Replacements: Some opt for alternatives or substitutes such as powders and shakes in place of meals. Such replacements are again not sustainable. These form part of one’s stubborn fat and cause problems later on. These are not natural and can be misleading to the general public. In some cases, it can also cause health problems.
Tips for a healthier routine, especially this summer
#1 Stay hydrated: Needless to say, have lots of water in summer. There is no other secret ingredient than water that will keep you healthy throughout.
#2 Eat seasonal fruits and cucumbers: Watermelons and cucumbers are the best for summers. Such water-based items keep you hydrated and full. They also help you lay off junk.
#3 Eat light and frequent meals: Aqhleema Shad suggests five meals per day instead of a three meals per day plan. Eating light this season is highly recommended. Our body naturally gives us signs to eat light this season.
#4 Eat more dry fruits: If you have to snack on something, munch on dry fruits. Soaked almonds and walnuts are the best picks. For weight gain, almonds dipped in honey are recommended. This will curb your cravings.
#5 Mindful Eating: It is equally important to manage your mental well-being. Meditation and mindful eating are the way to do it. Aqhleema strongly suggests putting away the phone while eating. Anjali asks us to take note of emotional eating and to breathe before we give in to our cravings.
#6 Kids need more protein and minerals: Aqhleema Shad, kids’ nutritionist specialist, mentions that special care needs to be taken for kids and their nutrition intake. Protein-rich food and more minerals and vitamins must be added to their diet.
#7 Shift to a millet-based diet: To cut down on carbs and wheat, a rich millet based diet is suggested by Vizag nutritionists. It also is better for the farmers and the environment if we can incorporate a millet-based diet into our daily lives slowly.
Leaving you with the thought, “You are what you eat”, comment below to add on to what the Vizag nutritionists had to say.