As foodies, eating your favourite foods without any guilt is one of the biggest challenges you face! Thanks to the belief that in order to stay healthy, you need to refrain yourselves from consuming your favourite foods. So not fair, right? But, your eating woes do not get over here. The food items tagged as ‘healthy’ are not necessarily tasty, and that makes it worse if you intend to lose some weight.
Friends, time to put all your complaints behind! We at bon happetee are on a mission to end this impossible battle. We have discovered some smart hacks for eating what you love. With us, you can satisfy your taste buds without any worries.
So, lets get straight to the point
1. Enjoy your favourite foods in the first half of the day: I have been a nutrition counselor for more than 10 years now and I’ve realized that eating your favourite foods in the early part of the day not only helps to maintain a healthy weight, but is also good for health. This is because the biological clock controls our metabolism, so the way in which we metabolize the same foods during the day and night is different. If you metabolize food during the day, when you are active, you don’t tend to convert so much of it to fat. Whereas food eaten during the night or late evening is more likely to be converted into fat. So, there is no need to stop eating what you love, but shift all the fancy foods to breakfast or lunch. This also works on a psychological level for instance, when you eat a piece of chocolate at noon, it is easier for you to convince yourself to avoid the dessert after dinner.
2. Enjoy your favourite meals right after the workout: After workout, approximately 60% of the calories should come from carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, your body needs more carbohydrates than protein after a workout, to replace the muscle fuel (glycogen) you used up and to prepare for your next exercise session. Moderate exercisers need about 30-40 grams of carbohydrates after an hour of exercise, but high-intensity exercisers need more—around 50-60 grams for each hour they exercise. If you have some favourite high-carb foods that are lacking in whole grains and fiber, this is a good time to have them! But don’t overdo it ;). Your body can digest refined carbohydrates faster during your “refueling window”, but if you’re a whole foods foodie, don’t force yourself to eat processed foods. Keep in mind that proteins is the next most important food component that is needed by the body of people who exercise. This is because when you exercise, you are effectively tearing and breaking muscle fibres apart, which need to be repaired by the body, requiring protein to do so. The ideal time to eat your proteins after a workout is within 30 minutes to two hours, when your body is ready and waiting to top off its fuel tanks to prepare for your next workout.
3. Let all your meals have low GI foods: Foods with a high GI value tend to cause a higher spike in blood sugar, and because high GI foods are so quickly metabolized, they tend to make you hungry again sooner. By contrast, lower-GI foods are metabolized more slowly and are believed to keep your appetite on a more even keel. Most of the so-called “healthy” foods you probably try to eat are low on the glycemic scale—like vegetables, whole grains, beans and other high-fiber foods. And the foods with higher glycemic values, like refined grains and sweets, are probably the ones you aim to avoid anyway. Here are five ways to eat lower on the glycemic index every day:
- Avoid refined: Watch your intake of foods and products made with refined grains, such as white bread or white rice, crackers, potatoes and pasta, and choose unrefined (whole-grain) versions of these foods whenever possible. It’s getting a lot easier—just look at how many whole-grain pastas you can find these days. Try mixing them half and half with their refined counterparts at first, then gradually phase in more whole grains as you become used to their taste.
- Fiber up: Experts recommend that you should get 25-30 grams of fiber daily, but most barely meet the halfway mark. Aim for that goal, and you’ll also be lowering the glycemic values of your meals by making them move more slowly through your digestive system.
- Try reading labels and selecting packaged foods with highest fiber content; leave the peels on vegetables and fruits when they’re edible.
- Make your breakfast a high-fiber cereal; shop around to find a brand you like that provides at least 8 grams of fiber per serving.
- Try to eat beans, lentils, split peas or other legumes at least three times a week; snack on fiber-rich foods like popcorn, high-fiber crisp breads, and nuts and dried fruits in moderation.
- Pair with proteins: Whenever you’re eating a carbohydrate-based meal or snack, make sure there’s at least a little protein in the mix—some chicken strips in your pasta bowl or a light smear of peanut butter on your English muffin, for example. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so you’ll have a more gradual rise and fall of blood sugar—and you’ll feel fuller for a longer period of time too.
- Drizzle with a little oil: Fats, like proteins, are broken down into large particles that take a longer time for the body to digest—so adding a little fat to a carbohydrate-rich meal can lessen its glycemic impact considerably. Drizzle bread with a little olive oil; toss carrots with a bit of tasty oily dressing. Keep in mind, though, that fat calories add up more than twice as fast as those of protein or carbohydrate—so drizzle judiciously.
4. Enjoy desserts as snacks: Having desserts as snacks i.e. sometime after having balanced meals allows you to get the benefit of the nutrients and fiber in the meal to stabilize your blood sugar from the sweets. Also, when having it as snacks you will get an opportunity to burn off the calories throughout the rest of the day. Avoid eating desserts or sweets on an empty stomach, as your body will absorb it faster and lead to a sudden spike in your blood sugars and a much bigger crash after a few hours.
Other ways in which you can have your desserts without any fear:
- Adopt the ‘social sweets’ rule. Have it at your desk or with your friends so that you can share it while eating.
- Move after you eat. Always indulge in some walk after you enjoy your desserts.
- Try to limit the portion size to one serving.
5. Dine out smartly: We all love outside food, whether it is over official meetings, with friends or family gatherings. But many a times outside food affects our health. Here are some tips, which will help you to eat what you love without any guilt:
- Select your menu carefully: Read the entire menu card thoroughly before placing the order. Order for dishes which are baked, boiled, roasted, grilled, steamed, etc. Avoid buttery and fried foods.
- Customize your meal: Ask for a separate sauce or dip, so that you can use as required. Order soups and salads without cream and heavy dressings.
- Split your entry: Always take someone along with you. So that you don’t end up eating the entire portion all alone.
- At buffets: We end up eating more in an attempt to taste all the courses in the buffet. Always start with fresh salads, soups, steamed foods and then move to main course, so that you don’t overeat the latter.
6. Take the one month home-cooked meal challenge: For a month, eat all your favourite meals cooked at home. Also, cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients used and keep a check on the quantity. So you can use natural ingredients and replicate your favourite fast food. Use the following tricks:
- Make your favourite recipes healthier by using cooking techniques like baking, roasting, sautéing, steaming and grilling. These methods require less amount of oil and make food more nutritious.
- To boost the flavor add spices, herbs, lime juice, tamarind pulp to your dishes.
- Use non-stick sprays or broth instead of butter or oil.
Also, eating at home will allow you to reduce the urge to indulge in over sized portions as you do in the restaurants, regardless of the nutritious value of the dish.
7. Low salt on the day before heading for a party in the night: Sodium is an essential nutrient for a healthy body. It maintains the electrolyte balance and keeps muscles and nerves working at top capacity. However, only a very small amount is needed for these functions. Too much of salt leads to conditions like high blood pressure, increases the risk of cardio vascular diseases, stroke, as well as a number of other health issues. So on days when you have parties to attend or a family dinner or a friend’s wedding reception-minimize your salt intake throughout the day. Because outside foods are usually loaded with sodium. Here’s some good news – easily maintain your recommended sodium intake through these tips:
- Reduce the intake of salt and foods like chips, preserved and packaged foods, bakery items, papads, pickles, namkeens, etc., before and after parties. These foods have heavy amount of salt added to them as a preservative.
- Practice low sodium days 3-4 times a month to restore sodium balance.
Remember food is one of the greatest pleasures of life and it is meant to be enjoyed. So enjoy every bit of what you eat, but do so in a way that honors your body and the food you are eating. Pay attention to every bite you eat and indulge in the taste of it. As you do this you will learn that the first bite is far tastier than the subsequent ones. And who knows slowly you might be satisfied after a single taste.
So, go on and enjoy food because ‘food is good and life is short’ And with our FREE app, there is absolutely no need for you to give up your favorite foods to lose weight. Yes, you heard it right.
We practice and preach that eating healthy is eating normally and whole-heartedly advocate the idea of relishing every meal.
We don’t give a diet plan. We give a meal plan and it is created by you with a just a few tweaks by us to keep the health factor in check.
Following a good diet is a lot easier than it seems – bon happetee is where love of food meets love of math. Yes, you heard that right. We have used math and analytics to help you eat what you love.
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Rashmi extensively educated herself in the field of nutrition to create awareness among people. Being in this field for 9 years, she believes that having the body that you always wanted is to nourish it with love, understanding and care.