Inputs from chief nutritionist Suhasini Mudraganam and fitness expert Sobha Rani
Ringing in the New Year with a handful of resolutions has been the norm for years. From promising to quit unhealthy habits to wanting to meet certain fitness goals, the start of the year has seen it all.
Resolutions are great per se. They give a purpose and a chance to change something about you – for good. Alas, many do not succeed. Why? Lack of determination and failing to keep up with the commitment made during the beginning of the year!
On the bright side, millions of people have succeeded in achieving their goals and have stuck to their resolutions for years. This success totally boils down to the approach and if the resolutions are health-based, a little knowledge about nutrition goes a long way.
After speaking to Truweight’s very own chief nutritionist and fitness expert, Suhasini Mudraganam and Sobha Rani respectively, we have jotted down 20 important health tips.
These health tips play a major role in determining your overall wellness and when followed religiously, they can make a significant difference.
The best part is these health tips are so versatile and for all! These are not only helpful for weight loss; but can also help you manage lifestyle-related diseases or simply, help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
The 20 golden health tips
We know we have told this umpteen times, nevertheless, we stress again – a healthy life can be achieved only eating nutritiously. To this day, many fail to see this and take nutrition lightly. Once healthy eating habits are in place, your body automatically heals and responds to the change positively.
Below are some tips on how to incorporate healthy eating this 2020.
This 2020, establish a healthy relationship with water. Start by beginning your day with water instead of a caffeinated drink like coffee/tea.
If possible, add lemon to it. Night is the time our body recovers and during that process, metabolic by-products are released. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps in the elimination of these toxins.
Also, water helps prevent acidity that is caused by caffeine. You don’t have to drink one litre of water. Begin by drinking a glass or two. Then gradually increase it.
Drink enough water. Many assume that they are drinking an adequate amount of water but the truth be told, they are not. Consume water according to your BMI. An average person should drink a minimum of 2 to 2.5 litres of water a day.
Start your day with nuts after drinking water. Nuts are loaded with essential micronutrients and good fats. It is even better if you eat nuts soaked overnight. Post this you can have coffee/tea. This reduces the chances of developing acidity.
Make it a point to include protein consciously in all major meals. Protein is very important for healthy muscles. Some of the best sources of protein are eggs, lentils, legumes, kidney beans, lean meat like chicken, fish etc.
Try eating more of whole grains. To begin with, eat millets once a week and slowly increase the intake. And importantly, don’t just eat one type of millet. There are plenty of wholegrain varieties out there and try to incorporate them all in your diet.
It is noteworthy that each grain has different compositions of nutrients. Each one is rich in calcium, iron, phytochemicals, antioxidants etc. Eat them all to enjoy their full benefits.
Similarly, add Ragi or other millet flour to you regular wheat flour to give it a wholegrain touch. Likewise, replace regular or whole wheat Rava with Jowar Rava or other millet Rava.
Add more colour and variety to your plate.
People tend to eat the same meal day in, day out. By doing this, you are missing out on several essential nutrients offered by other foods.
For example, many South Indian households predominantly cook Toor Dal only. While it is good to eat Toor Dal, one should eat other lentil varieties regularly.
Fruits are an important part of a well-balanced diet. For starters, eat at least one fruit a day. And always remember to choose seasonal fruits and local produce over imported fruits. Imported fruits are full of preservatives and chemicals to keep it fresh for longer days owing to the transit involved.
For example, you might have seen imported waxed apples. Wax is used to retain the moisture of the apples. Eating this is not at all healthy and can damage your health.
On the other hand, locally produced fruits do not require heavy transportation and therefore, it is more natural.
Fruits grow according to the season and those fruits suit our body the best during that particular season. This makes seasonal fruits best any day. Also, opt for whole fruits instead of fruit juices.
Eat berries. They are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. If possible, stick to native berries and fruits like Ber (Indian jujube) and custard apple. They benefit the body more than imported berries.
Devise an eating pattern and stick to it. Have meals on time. Having dinner late at night is extremely dangerous. Make a habit of eating dinner before 9 pm. Create an eating habit and follow it with discipline.
Similarly, don’t indulge in heavy meals during the night. If your dinner gets delayed, then keep it simple and light. If you eat a heavy meal at night, your body won’t be able to digest the food efficiently. This results in the accumulation of fat.
Maintain a sleep pattern. Our body follows the circadian rhythm. When the sun rises, our body wakes up and when the sun sets, our body prepares to rest too. Disturbing this pattern can damage the body.
Staying up late once in a while is okay but don’t confuse your body by making this a habit. Likewise, sleep for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours. A sound sleep is very important for mental health.
This new year, make it a point to increase your fibre intake. An average person should eat 20 to 30 grams of fibre in a day. To achieve this, eat vegetables, fruits, lentils, kidney beans, wholegrain etc. Eat four to five servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. These are a good source of micronutrients too.
Our nutritionist strongly recommends the intake of fruits and vegetables in its raw and uncooked form. Uncooked vegetables have a higher amount of nutrients than cooked vegetables.
Eat raw fruits, nuts and at least one serving of salad prepared using uncooked vegetables. Include small servings of sprouts at least once or twice a week. If your stomach agrees, increase the sprouts intake.
Include probiotic foods such as buttermilk, curd and other fermented foods in your diet. Our body has three times more bacteria than cells and probiotics are good bacteria. Probiotic bacteria keep the gut healthy and aids in easy digestion
Have three square meals a day and two healthy mid-meal snacks. Nuts, fruits and berries are a great option for mid-meal snacking. Also don’t have heavy meals. Implement portion control. This can be done diligently by choosing smaller plates and serving bowls.
Another important health tips for this 2020 is, try to avoid processed foods and sugars. Reduce the intake of maida, desserts and sugary soft drinks. These unhealthy foods will negate your wellness efforts.
That’s all the crucial tips about nutrition and nutritious eating! When eating habits are sorted, three-fourths of the challenge is met.
When nutritious eating is needed for a healthy body, a proper exercise routine can help you attain a fit body. Below are some exercise tips that can help you meet your 2020 fitness goals.
Do not exercise for long hours. It is not the amount of time spent but the quality of the exercise that matters. Even if you exercise for 30 minutes, ensure that you do it properly and employ the proper technique. Give importance to quality over quantity.
Choose your exercises wisely. Don’t just focus on cardio exercises. Incorporate strength training as well in your exercises. While cardio helps with burning fat, strength training will give you a chiselled body.
Women tend to believe that they’ll gain muscle if they do strength training. But this is not true. Women lack testosterone and therefore, they will not gain bulky muscles.
Don’t push yourself too much. Take it slow. Maximum heart rate while exercising is 220 minus your age. Exercise up to 80% of your heart rate. You’ll see good results. And take proper care of your muscle mass. Good and healthy muscles complement fat burning.
Do not exercise on an empty stomach. Initially, you might burn fat but on later stages, your body will start taking energy from muscles leaving the fat intact. This will not yield the desired results.
Don’t begin your fitness journey with an “I-know-it-all” attitude. Keep an open mind. Know your body and its metabolic rate. And importantly, do not hesitate to seek expert help.
If you are a gym rat, eat a fruit along with some nuts before hitting the gym.
Post-workout, eat protein and carbohydrate-rich meal. It is important to supply your body with nutrition and energy after a good workout session. And protein helps in the building up of muscles.
Similarly, indulge in whey protein only if you are into bodybuilding. Vegetarians can get their share of protein from kidney beans, sprouts, legumes, lentils etc.
Another important point to note is – be active throughout the day. And no, we are not talking about exercise.
Do not sit for more than 30 to 40 minutes. Take short walks as often as possible. Walk while you are on call. Move your body constantly.
Well, these are the crucial health tips that will help you a lot with your wellness journey this new year.
If you are consistent and committed throughout the year, you will definitely see good improvement by the end of the year. Even if you are unable to maintain consistency, do not give up. Fall right back into the pattern and incorporate these health tips as much as possible in your day to day life.
Remember, you can either make your resolution or break your resolution! With the correct approach, you can definitely make it.
We wish you a happy and healthy New Year 2020.