Lets eat right to live right…
In my previous post, you all might have read the term “Eat Clean”. What does that mean? At least it does not mean wash your food before you eat. For some it is less oily food, for some it is less carbohydrates and for some it is one or the other.
So before I continue my gyan over “Eat Clean”, I want to throw a disclaimer that I am not an expert dietitian, nor I have any degree or certificate in health and fitness. Therefore, whatever, I am going to write here will be based on my experience, or what I am following over last 6-7 years. I have read numerous number of articles and books in order to arrive on these thoughts. So far it has worked for me and I am writing in anticipation that whosoever would read this, find it inspiring enough to go ahead and follow similar diet after consulting a fitness expert or dietitian. Reading books will also help you finding a diet for your body type and the goal you have set up for yourself.
So lets talk about food – For few, food is just a consumable item for the body that enters through mouth and fills the tummy and then over night it leaves your body. For some it is a fuel that ignites their tongue. For some it is passion for displaying culinary skills.
Earlier, I used to see food as a catalyst that stimulates my tongue and fills my tummy, providing me energy to carry on my day to day work. When ever I felt energy deficient, I ate and felt good. I never thought, what impact I would have on such eating habit. Sometimes, we do not realize what kind of self destruction mode we are in. When I say self destruction, I mean, the things that we do for ourselves which leads to ruin our health and body. Causing us one or another life threatening diseases.
When we are young, for most individuals – we are agile and our body metabolism is very high, we eat what ever pleases our taste buds, gradually it decreases and goes down very fast while you cross 30. Since, we have been eating anything and everything in any quantity, anytime. We never realize, what we eat is what we become. Which means if you will eat clean and balanced diet you will be lean, fit and agile. If you will eat junk you will look like one.
There are too many theories for eating clean, for me here are the set of rules which I follow:
- Eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Preferably 6 times a day
- Drink 5-6 liters of water
- Stop eating after 8 pm (I know this is almost impossible for those who work until late in the night)
- Stop tea or coffee with milk and sugar. Instead switch to Green tea with honey/Black coffee without sugar
- Stop consumption of White rice, Sugar, potatoes and starch
- Stop processed and refined food like fried chips, Soda(Cold drinks/Juices with added sugar)
- Eat at home/carry food from home instead of buying from outside
- Read the label before you buy any processed food, I am sure you will think 10 times before you re-bag it into your cart. (This has personally helped me a lot)
- Stay away from anything high in trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.
- Avoid preservatives, color additives and toxic binders, stabilizers, emulsifiers and fat re-placers.
- Practice slow eating, do not gulp food just because you have to rush for some work. Take your time to enjoy your meal. After all we all primarily work of food and shelter.
- Do not forget to consume good fats like Fish oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil etc
- Eat lean meat – Chicken, Fish, eggs (easily absorbed Protein)
- Avoid red meat – Mutton, Beef, Ham etc
- Prefer whole fruit over juice (It gives you fiber along with vitamins)
- Eat more leafy vegetables (Vitamins, Fiber)
- Eat good carbs like Pasta, Ragi, whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, Oats
- Last but not least – plan your meal in such a way that you eat carbohydrates early in the day and as the day progresses, consume more protein. At night, avoid heavy calorific value food.(Prefer salads, or something light which is other that high on carbs and trans fats)
I personally prefer high protein, low carb diet with minimal fat (as low as possible). This is a very confusing statement I made. Isn’t it ? How much is high and how much is low? It is a subjective terms. So let me define my high and low. For me 2:1:1/20 is the ratio of Protein : Carb : Fat.
Many people will now start saying that there are not many options for vegetarians when it comes to high protein diet. To them I would say – It is a myth, we have many things that can substitute a mean diet. Things like Broccoli, Tofu, Cottage cheese, Pulses like Arahar(Tuar), Sprouts, Soy chunks, Soy Beans etc. You need to balance it with right kind of carb and make sure that you stay away from over eating as these food come with a baggage of carbs along with them. But yes, if taken in right portions they are more effective when it comes to high protein diet.
I have added a video of Guru Mann, who is a known fitness trainer. In his video he has talked about the way we can manage our diet, even if we are in a budget mode. He gave us a comparative plan for vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian diet. If you are really thinking of making change in your diet, then I think this is the best video for you to watch and understand how easy it is to eat right even if you do not want to be a body builder.
His video talks about the muscle building diet. Now, again there will be doubts and confusion among those who don’t want to look muscular or they have a fear of gaining weight. So, let me tell you one thing, gaining muscle mass has nothing to do with looking muscular or for that matter it is far better than look obese. Isn’t it ? But don’t worry, the thumb rule for your protein intake is – [ 2.2 x body weight in Kgs ] gms of protein
Example: my weight is 70.9 Kgs, hence I need 155.98 gms of protein every day in my diet if I do not want to gain weight. This can come from chicken, fish, egg whites, vegetables, pulses, synthesized protein shakes, dairy products etc. All you have to do is to take the right amount of nutrition every day and you will see the change in few weeks.
Our Body need more muscle mass than fat mass. For the same reason, it is important for us to eat right and make sure we have enough muscle mass in our body. If not then our bones collapse, you look either obese or weak(depending upon your diet). Muscles strengthen our body structure and keep bones intact.
For those who want to keep track of their body stats, there are equipment available in the market or at your gym. You can always refer them and stay focused on your goal. However, if you don’t have gym membership and you are do it yourself types, then here are two links which you can follow and measure your body stats.
This is just two of the links that I have found over internet, there are thousands available which will give you at least a rough estimate of your health parameters.
For those, who want to know what I eat on regular basis. I will list my one day plan:
Morning 8 AM – Cereal bar + black coffee/green tea
After gym 11 AM – Protein shake (I use Dymatize ISO 100 1 scoop)
12 noon – 4-5 egg whites (Boiled or scrambled) + 2 slice of whole wheat bread
4 PM – Protein shake (I use Dymatize ISO 100 1 scoop)
6:30 PM – Half Chicken Tandoori (without oil/butter)
9 PM – Chicken soup or Salad (preferably chicken in it)
I try to stick to this diet all year long but, as I said I am an Indian and I tend to fall off from this diet. So yes, during weekends I tend to cheat this diet and eat some mouth watering Indian curries and junk. But that does not mean that I do not come back on this diet. I cook on my own and try to consume as less carb and fat as possible.
So in case you have any further questions, do write to me, below this post. Thanks for reading and happy clean eating !!!!