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Nine rules to eating right

Main Article page | Health page| Fitness articles| Diseases

Ishi Khosla


We know people who have lost huge amounts of weight and have kept it off permanently. But we also know many more who started diets and gave up or who started a diet, lost weight and regained more than what they had started with. It is estimated that 95 per cent of all those who lost weight on a diet gained it back. This is because most diets are deprivation diets that help lose weight but fail to keep it that way.

Research in psychology and marketing has provided insights into eating behaviour. The identification of individual behaviours, perceptions and beliefs associated with eating is key to improving the efficacy of dietary treatment and lifestyle modifications for obese and overweight individuals. From these have emerged principles which can improve therapies and outcomes in weight loss.
Before deciding to alter your lifestyle, ask yourself what motivates you to bring a change? Body image and health are compelling issues for most people. Plus, are you ready for what is called ‘mindful eating’?

Awareness about your diet and knowledge about foods along with principles of healthy eating is all it takes to get where you want. Set realistic goals though.
Almost all of us would have indulged in mindless eating at some point in our lives. Eating without hunger because of external or environmental cues, simply for pleasure or for comfort is something we all do. Most of us do not stop eating even when we are full. Here are some tips that can keep you from doing so:

1. Stop eating when you are “no longer hungry”, not when you are “full”. You should stop when you still have space for one chapati or when you are just 80 per cent full.
2. ‘Pre-plate’ your food. Most people tend to eat less if they put everything on their plate like in a traditional thali, on which they are able to see how much they are going to eat.
3. Use smaller plates, bowls, spoons, cups and glasses. It helps to create an illusion about the volume of food you eat.
4. Eat slowly. Make overeating difficult. Don’t keep unhealthy food in your room or home.
5. Identify when you feel hungry or get tempted for that samosa or muffin, such as in the evening at work or while watching television. Carry or keep with you healthy snacks or fruits for the same.
6. Follow the half-plate rule. At least half of your plate should have vegetables and fruits while the rest can be divided into protein and starch.
7. Do not see food as punish-ment or reward. Eating healthy food should be fun and a way of life. Vary, innovate and create new recipes.
8. Maintain a food diary to monitor your daily caloric intake.
9. If you can’t resist unhealthy food, restrict yourself to a smaller portion. If you can’t do that either, balance it out i.e. go light in the next meal.

- Indian Express

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