Its Not Always Food, Lifestyle Also Equally Matters!

Not only food but lifestyle also matters!
  • Health always comes well when we surely take care of diet but also give importance to our lifestyle.
  • Simple healthy habits like having a healthy breakfast, chewing the foods well, getting active for the day etc. help in improving our sedentary lifestyle.
  • Let the changes be adopted gradually so that the body is adjusted to the change well.

We have the basic knowledge, what to eat, what are the choices to be taken, how much should be taken and we feel that yes, we can go through the health journey positively but no, we are falling back somewhere. But where? What about your basic lifestyle? We feel bored even to go walking to a place that is just 10 minutes away from our homes, we prefer the processed so-called health foods rather than the natural healthy foods. Hence even if we have everything in our hand we are still on the long road towards having a healthy lifestyle modification.

Hence Let’s get into action and let’s know few of the lifestyle modifications.

Not only food but lifestyle also matters!

Healthy Lifestyle Modifications

1. Never Skip A Breakfast

A breakfast is an important meal of the day. It is very essential to have a healthy breakfast, the first day of the meal. Breakfast jumpstarts the metabolism and keeps you burning the calories during the day. It helps you to focus and concentrate on the work or in the school. Certain breakfast ideas like sprouted beans with vegetables, wheat toast with peanut butter and salad, boiled eggs with unsweetened oats porridge, steamed idlis with chutney, vegetable upma and roasted pancakes with yogurt are preferable. Make a note that the breakfast is wholesome with complex carbohydrates with a good amount of fiber, good quality protein and a good amount of antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Increase The Number Of Meals At Regular Intervals

Never rely on only three big meals a day as it leads to bulk eating and decreased metabolism. The practice of frequent eating where we can eat for 6 to 8 times a day helps the body to burn calories to enable digestion. Digestion itself is a calorie burning process. If we constantly provide fuel to the body, it keeps the body working due to the thermogenic effect of food and keeps the basal metabolic rate. Hence let’s keep working, let’s keep moving.

Eating at an interval of two to three hours helps to maintain metabolism and regulate the digestion thus reducing the gastrointestinal discomfort. Now, what do we have in between the breakfast, lunch or dinner? Hence between the breakfast and lunch at around mid-morning, you can have a fruit that helps in improving the metabolism and between the lunch and dinner, you can surely grab for boiled sprouts or boiled corn with veggies or even unstrained vegetable soups so that the quantity of having the dinner is reduced.

3. Get Into Action

Sometimes due to time constraints, we don’t get time to do exercise. It may be due to the time not matching or we may feel bored to start a workout. Hence for starters, start with the exercises that you love the most. It will always boost up our morale and we will always try to continue doing our workouts judiciously. It’s not that exercise means it has to be gyming, strengthening or weight training exercises. Even skipping, dancing, walking, cycling or swimming are good cardio that will help us to boost our metabolism.

A 30-minute exercise regime for 5 days a week has been ideal to start that will help to work out the muscles and boost the stamina. Now if all 30 minutes together is not possible within a day, 10-minute workouts about 3 times a day can also be carried out which will help us to manage easily and our activity levels also rise up well.

When there is time constraint and you wanted to do workouts but you may not be keen to repeat the exercise, with a positive mind, let’s get onto the toes and buck up the workouts, which require minimum time but can be interesting, reduce boredom and bring creativity and efficient in reducing fat. It’s called interval training.

A workout called interval training, alternating the bouts of high-intensity exercises with the insertion of lighter activity. Challenging our body repeatedly and giving between shorter breaks to recover provides a boost of massive cardio.

We can

a. Interval Walking

Walk in speed for 2 minutes and then slowly walking for a minute, again in speed, then slow walking and go on this way as long as we can.

b. Interval Running

Alternate running fast for 2 minutes and then getting slow and so no.

c. Interval Swimming

Let the first lap be fast pace alternating with the next lap that will be slow paced and so on.

This technique can be done with various activities like dancing, cycling and n number of the list. However, it is necessary that warm-ups are done before the session and at the end, stretches are done.

4. Keeping Away The Electronic Gadgets About 45 Minutes Before You Sleep

Its said that technology has reached the front room, then the kitchen and now it is reaching the bedroom. We generally have this habit of lying on the bed and reading the messages through the mobile or laptops and even watching a movie from the laptop before hitting the bed. In fact, one of the most habit change is where people curl up in the bed with a smartphone or a laptop rather a book or a magazine. This makes tougher to sleep.

The blue light from these devices mimics the daylight and you wake up tired, anxious, stressed and sleepy the next day. Hence it’s better to switch off the electronic gadget about 45 minutes before you sleep. Let’s utilize this time to spend with the family like talking with them, narrating a story to the kids from the books, listening to light music or just closing your eyes and meditating. Keep an alarm at dinner time is the time where we keep our mobiles, laptops or TVs switched off and you can spend time with yourself and with family after dinner.

5. Chew Your Food Thoroughly For 20 Minutes Before Swallowing

When we say, “Let’s eat fast and finish the meal fast”. That’s the wrong habit of eating a meal. I remember, we used to have races during the meal times among our cousins about who will finish our food first and we used to just grab the food from our plates and gulp it down as fast as possible. That’s been a wrong or misconceived practice that we have been following. In today’s world, when people are in a rush, they just pick up the food on the go and eat the food fast or rather push the food through the mouth so that it can be swallowed in a rush to attend the meeting and so on.

We need to totally relax, chew the food well and give a time of 20 to 25 minutes to focus and give our meal to the fullest. When we chew the food well, mastication occurs where the food particles get digested to simpler form with the help of saliva thus helping to reduce the digestive issues. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain for satiety and fullness.

Hence enjoying each and every morsel of food helps us in controlling the portion resulting in weight loss. When sufficient notice is given to the body by chewing, the brain can signal the pancreas to secrete insulin to deal with the release of glucose after the meal. Eating untimely or just gulping the food results in under preparation of the body thus leading to disturbances in the utilization of insulin and also resulting in early diabetes and insulin resistance.

Hence let meal time be the “me time” or “family time”, enjoying the food and having a great time.

6. Have An Active Life

When it is a sitting job, we normally sit on the chair for 8 hours, have our lunch also in that position and also sit for a long time doing computer work. If we continue to sit for a long time like for 40 minutes, make a point to get up and go for a walk either for nature’s call or to just pick up something. Even if you just stand straight without leaning on the wall for 10 minutes will also suffice. If it is possible to go to nearby places by walking, then go for walk rather than taking a car or a bike.

If there is a company to go along with for walking, accompany them too with you. Prefer the stairs rather than taking the lift. Even you have been sitting for a longer time in the chair, you can do few basic stretches of the feet and hands to improve the circulation.

Yes, diet does have importance in health. But it is not the only one, we need to combine diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle practice that can help in improving our health and maintaining a quality lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. There have been many habits that I would like to change like having a breakfast, doing exercise regularly as well as being active. Is it Ok if I start all these changes from tomorrow itself?

Ans. – Its great to know that you would like to start these healthy habits well. But it can be done gradually like you can start with the regular breakfast first, then go in for doing exercises like walking or cycling or jogging and then you can surely be active for the whole day. This helps the body to get adjusted to the newer habits and accept it well.

2. What are the foods that can be eaten between the two big meals?

Ans. –  You can have fruits or fresh salads in the mid-morning. To increase the fluid intake, you can have buttermilk or coconut water too. During the evening, you can have sprouts or boiled corn or even soups that will help to reduce the hunger pangs for the next meal and keep the metabolism moving.

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Mrs. Anita Varier is a Post Graduate in Home Science with specialization in Food Science and Nutrition from S.N.D.T Women's University, Mumbai. She cleared her NET(Lecturership) exam in 2004 and taught students at Post Graduate level. Some of her works have been published in dietetic journals and websites, the most notable being "Blending of edible oils to achieve nutritionally favourable fatty acid ratios" in Journal of Oil Technologists' Association of India. She is an avid reader and shows immense interest in the field of art like dance and music.

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