Women’s health reflects the health of the nation. However, the health status of women in India reflects a totally opposite and alarming picture. A survey by UNICEF India states that one-third of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished in the rural counterparts. It is well known that an undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of undernutrition.
On overweight and obesity status, national health family survey states that more than 23% of women in the urban area are either overweight or obese compared to only 7% of women in rural areas. Another study reveals that 3 in 5 Women in India are at a high risk of cardiovascular disease at as early as 35 years of age. With such an eye-opening condition of women in our nation, it has become very important for us as women to look after our health and for men to extend a hand of support for the same.
When it comes to the men or children in the family, their health, fitness and wellness, the women will change everything: meal timings, cooking styles, bedtimes, workouts etc, but when it comes to using the exact same resources for themselves, they can’t, the same drivers of change become barriers leaving them helpless.
WHAT ARE THESE SELF MADE-BARRIERS TO EAT FOR NOURISHMENT??
- The Want to achieve quick results
Years of following wrong habits and less than a month to reverse everything. Sounds cruel right? It definitely is! Your diet should be a representation of what you will be eating your entire life. Following fad diets for achieving quick results leaves you helpless.
- Criticizing your body always:
Your meal plan is a guideline, not a law that cannot be broken (we always break the rules though!). It is very important to understand the logic behind a particular guideline and not just follow everything blindly. Once you get the logic right, you stick to the guideline forever. We never acknowledge how far we have come, our focus stays on how far we still have to go. Remember, every step in the right direction counts!
- Eating less
Diet is not starvation. Eating in moderation and balance is what diet is. Eating less deprives you of the right nutrients that body needs for nourishment, growing, glowing and becoming a better version.
- Ignoring signals that body gives (shouts)
Your body is beautifully designed to work with you not against. But we tend to ignore the shouts she gives help and instead leave her with unwanted medications and best by ignoring those shouts. Your body tells you when it is hungry, full, dull, energetic, ready for crap, low on work mode, wants some rest, etc. All we need to do is listen and act.
- Never prioritizing self
Oh God! I am so busy today; I have no time to eat! The fastest selling excuses easy to say and believe right?? But when it comes to packing tiffins for kids or husband, we are on our toes ultimately making that also as a reason to be busy enough! It doesn’t take much extra effort apart from planning when it comes to eating right?
- Diet as punishment
We all overeat one day and next day we eat nothing or eat less and workout extra so that we burn off everything we ate the previous night. That’s called compensation which actually is a crime and punishment (here you have broken the law!). The crime of overeating and punishing by deprivation of food. Our relationship with food should be of love; only then it nourishes. We all overeat sometimes; it’s OK..just fill it, shut it and get back to the routine from very next moment instead of crying over it for next 4 days and ruining the entire week. Your body does not store previous night’s calories separately to burn them off exclusively when you workout the next day.
- Compromising on sleep
Sound sleep is the most essential, integral, non-negotiable aspect of health. Lack of it screws up your mind, leaving you tired and ultimately disturbing your routine and plans for nourishment, exposing you to hormonal imbalances, digestion issues, mood swings, panic attacks, lost focus, etc..
TIPS FOR YOUR WHOLESOME NOURISHMENT PLAN!
Failing to plan is planning to fail. So, always plan today what you will be eating tomorrow.
- You should never wake up with a cup of tea/coffee which curbs your hunger and leaves you bloated, acidic and dull. Instead, start your day with a fruit that kicks up the metabolism.
- Eat every 2-3 hours.
- Your breakfast lunch and dinner should be wholesome with food rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Choosing home cooked food is best for health. Wholesome meals such as poha along with sprouts, bhakri or roti with dal and green vegetables, khichadi topped with a spoon of ghee are the best wholesome meals.
- The mid meals or snack meals could be on the go options, so that your excuses for being busy, no time for cooking or eating food comes to an end. Chanas, peanuts, buttermilk, salads, milk, boiled eggs or omelette, sandwiches, fruits, sprouts chaat, a handful of nuts, homemade ladoos are great to munch on!
- It is most important to understand, that one should include foods from all food groups namely, cereals, pulses or dals, nuts and oilseeds, dairy, poultry, vegetables, fruits for wholesome meals throughout the day.
- Do not munch on low-fat foods or diet foods as they are empty calories.
- Have at least 2 serving of milk and milk products for that calcium and vitamin D and B12 dose. Eat Dinner 2 hours prior to sleeping and as early as possible.
- Hydration is as important as eating so make sure you sip in liquids throughout the day till the colour of your pee is clear.
- Let your stomach decide the best quantity for you, so stop when you are 80% full. This ensures that you are eating right for proper nourishment.
It’s all about the habit. Looking after your health and eating habits should be a non-negotiable aspect of life and that’s what keeps you going!
For true health, fitness and well being to come to every woman, she has to go beyond the social protocol of what is acceptable, thus flourishing and staying beautiful at every stage of her life.
by Akansha Jhalani Sinha
(RD, PG CND, FSQC)
Akansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity. She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.