India will celebrate its 73rd Independence Day tomorrow. On this day, we can’t help but wonder, what is it that we must do to get freedom from the extra weight, mood swings, diseases, body pain and stress? Yes, you heard that right… Today we are going to talk about ways that can help you get freedom from unhealthy habits and sedentary lifestyle, that have been interfering with your health and fitness goals since forever. Well, you will be surprised to know that they are nothing like you thought they would be. These are simple ways that don’t require spending long hours in the gym, or doing crash dieting or starving yourself, or giving up on all foods that you have grown up eating.
Having followed some celebrity nutritionists, dietitians, fitness experts and lifestyle coaches, we can say with full confidence that the path to a healthy life is simple, and requires going back to your roots. To be a healthier version of yourself and to get freedom from sedentary lifestyle, you need to make a shift to living the kind of life your parents and grandparents used to live. Some basic tips that you need to follow are eat home-cooked food most of the times, engage in physical activity every day, and have a set routine that can be in sync with your body clock.
- 1 Independence Day 2019: Expert-recommended tips to get freedom from unhealthy lifestyle
- 1.1 1. Eat your meals on the same time every day
- 1.2 2. Stick to natural, home-cooked food
- 1.3 3. Practice portion control
- 1.4 4. Exercise regularly and do strength training
- 1.5 5. Take less stress
- 1.6 6. Sleep well
- 1.7 7. Avoid sugar, especially hidden sugar in biscuits, fruit juices, breakfast cereal, packaged ketchup and dips, bread etc.
Independence Day 2019: Expert-recommended tips to get freedom from unhealthy lifestyle
1. Eat your meals on the same time every day
Rightfully recommended by lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho, this is one tip that can help you synchronise with the body’s circadian rhythm. Your breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid-meal snacks must all be eaten at the same time every day. You can tweak with the timings slightly, of course. This practice can help in improving your digestion, reduce lethargy and make you feel healthier within a week’s time.
2. Stick to natural, home-cooked food
In numerous of our previous articles, we have stressed that the best diet that you can follow is one which includes simple, naturally grown home-cooked food. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar advocates eating only that food which your grandparents approve of. Surely your grandparents won’t know the likes of avocado, asparagus, broccoli and quinoa, but the minute you talk about ghee and home-cooked white rice, they would agree with you with a hearty nod. In fact, eating only home-cooked food (in controlled portions) can help you with weight loss, better digestion, sleep cycle, less stress and much more.
3. Practice portion control
Rujuta, who is also actress Kareena Kapoor Khan’s nutritionist, says that you can eat chai pakoda during monsoon, mangoes during summer, mithai during Diwali and Raksha Bandhan (amongst others). Now we’re sure that this would make you feel surprised, and even shocked. But eating local, seasonal and occasional is something that would never harm you as much as junk food binge or binge drinking or smoking would. Whatever it is that you eat, make sure you practice portion control. If you want to have a mango (even if you’re a diabetic) you can have it as far as you’re not going overboard with its consumption. Same is the case with chai pakoda during monsoon or mithai during festive season.
4. Exercise regularly and do strength training
Be physically active first, and then get to inculcating exercise in your daily routine. Sit less and move more. Stand up straight on your feet (without any support) for 3 minutes for every 30 minutes or 1 hour of sitting. Push yourself and challenge yourself at exercising. Make sure you include strength training in your routine-it will help in strengthening your bones and muscles, and reduce risk injuries and arthritis.
Why we all need to stop making excuses and start exercising: In Good Shape Fit talks fitness and motivation with sports psychologist Prof. Ralf Brand from the University of Potsdam.
5. Take less stress
According to Luke Coutinho, stress is the root cause of most diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, etc. Stress can cause hormonal imbalance and lead to PCOD and thyroid issues. It can interfere with your day-to-day functioning and negatively impact your performance at work. Change your attitude towards stress and do not react to every stressful situation. Practice meditation and do yoga to calm yourself down. Stress can change nothing and only harms you in more ways than you can imagine.
6. Sleep well
The power of a good night’s sleep is simply magical. It can take away all the lethargy, sleepiness and sluggishness that you feel nearly daily. It can prevent weight gain. When you sleep well, you automatically experience less cravings the next day. Avoid using any gadgets (including phone and TV) an hour before bed time. Do not have coffee or tea or any other caffeinated drink in evening. A healthy sleep cycle can speed up the weight loss process as well.
A tsp or two of sugar intake in a day is fine. What you should really avoid is hidden sources of sugar mentioned above. Keep everything that comes in a packet, away from you. Treat yourself at chai time with nuts, seeds, puffed rice or homemade namkeen rather than their packed alternatives. Sugary foods and desserts are fine only occasionally, in controlled portions. The lesser sugar you have, the healthier you are!