Friday, July 10, 2015

Choosing a sweeter, healthier life

 It's that time of the year when realization dawns. The winter festivities have made sure that the calories we hogged on to are showing in all the wrong places. The summer indulgences of sundaes and family packs of Amul are piling up with all their love. Welcome to the alien world of your own wardrobe. The dress that fit like a dream only last season, now refuses to pull down the love handles. The tops, that you spent so much on, hold your arms in a clingy way to give you abnormal curves. You stare at the image with disdain and remember the famous dialogue, "Ye admi adrak ho chuka hai, kahise bhi badh raha hai". But instead of clapping, tears well up at the sad plight! 

 Amidst this sudden body crisis, comes the call of relatives near and far, informing of yet another season of celebrations! A cousin getting married, another getting engaged, anniversary party, its a downpour of invitations. To anyone who has had weight issues, this is the call of action unless you like complete strangers commenting, "You have put on weight, you were slim the last time". You alone know that the last time was ages ago! 

Post marriage (Did I mention I got married last December? No?) I have had little time to think of what I eat. It is quite an irony, given that most my thoughts are about food. Months of diligently working to come at a reasonably fair weight for the wedding just went down the drain post the big day. For nearly 6 months, every Sunday was a gluttonous one. The husband's relatives refused to let go without making sure that every meal cost me a kilogram at least. The dinner and lunch invitations had the better of me. As it is I was never good at holding myself when it came to food. Added to it, the lonely months of being away from Mumbai, woke up the comfort eater in me. 

Now that the alarm bells are ringing, I have to get my act together. It is tough to get on a balanced diet when you are the one cooking it. On days you have too much work on hand, cooking simple dal and rice becomes a herculean task. I just wonder how Mom managed to cook a well-balanced nutritious meal every single day. Gone are the days when I used to complain that my tiffin is always the same and boring. It would take me forever to cook all the things that they recommend in diet books. What option do I have? A crash diet?

I have never been the one to go on crash diets. I just do not have it in me to survive on the calorie intake of an ant. But I won't say I haven't been tempted to! One of my classmates had managed to survive on just water and pulses for months on end. The results are worth envy. She has lost oodles of weight and carries of any kind of clothes well. Every time I look at her pictures, I feel the urge to go on a diet like that. Only, I cannot sit hours with a hunger pang. I cannot pass through restaurants and drool like a penniless person. I cannot deal with my hair going all dry and brittle. I cannot feel nauseous and weak all the time. I cannot see my eyes buried inside my sockets. I cannot see my teeth almost protruding because my cheeks have sunk in. Yes, that is the cost that she pays every day for that figure. 

The harms of a crash diet are more than the benefits. A crash diet is impossible to sustain in the first place. Anyone who sustains is bound to die of malnutrition. Giving up on the crash diet only invites more weight. It is a vicious circle. One that is dangerous to life.

Crash diet is nothing but a shock to your body. It deprives your body of essential nutrients. Most crash diets just concentrate on reducing the calorie intake so much that it does not even spare enough energy to carry on day to day activity. If you are working or studying, be prepared to faint somewhere. Off late there is a growing business of diet food and diet drinks. Some even claim only the drink is enough to manage the nutrient requirement of the whole day. XYZ doctors and crooks claim to give the perfect weight loss diets with recommendation to walk 45 minutes per day. The energy deprived person often falls prey to knees problems and hair loss. Funnily enough, these same clinics offer hair regeneration and knee therapy. Good business?

Crash diets are an unhealthy option to lose weight. Often it results it sagging skin, wrinkles and speeds up the ageing. Beats the whole purpose right? Most diets only aim to reduce body water and not fat, thereby creating an imbalance in the body. Fatigue, weakness, constipation are the end products.

Protein fads are another thing that many take up to lose weight. Cut down all carbohydrates, discard the fats. The brain cannot use energy from proteins, it needs carbohydrates to function normally. But who needs brains these days? Say no to fats and let the bile secretion in body go to hell. We absolutely love to call PCODS and hypothyroidism on ourselves.

Crash diets end up in nothing but future illness. A good measure with the tape and a drawer full of tablets is what we are looking at. 


Perhaps it is time to revisit school. Remember this pyramid that we so studiously learnt and repeated at every exam? Yes, this very pyramid was one of the few things that was not supposed to be mugged and vomited. It was to be carried all life. The right amount of the nutrients that lead to a healthy life represented the solution to all health issues. Sadly, we don’t tend to include this mantra in our life. We swear by diet fixes, baked stuff, and low cholesterol snacks but forget to acknowledge the goodness of fruits and vegetables. We like it all ready to make.

I wouldn’t say I have followed a healthy and well balanced diet. I have messed up my eating many times. Diwali is just 4 months away and the dreaded wedding season just 5 months to go. I have panicked. I have looked at quick fixes. Tried to purchase unnecessary health drinks. But I am proud to say I haven’t done any of it. Out of sheer laziness. Then I came upon something that I could follow.

Just when I was looking at a diet book that many people recommended on flipkart, a mail came to me. I went to see what it was all about. A honey advertisement. Then I looked at what it had to offer.  Voila! I think I found the answer at daburhoney

I swear by the goodness of honey when it comes to my sore throat. For years I have pumped myself with antibiotics for throat infection. Then one day, late in the night, my throat hurt. Not knowing what to do to avoid having a throat infection, I drank hot milk with honey. I added one spoon of turmeric to it to enhance the effect. Since that day, at the slightest hint of a throat infection, I try this remedy and it never fails me. 

This page made me aware of so many other properties of honey which I had always known but never tried. One that offers to help weight management, to get beautiful skin and aids digestion, honey diet is just what I looked for.

I took the 3 click diet planner and voila! I had the diet plan ready. It takes into consideration the gender, lifestyle and BMI. Also it is no big deal to stick to this plan. Also it is easy to cook. Working in a shift makes it very difficult for a lazy person like me to exercise. This page also offered some basic and realistic exercises to lose weight. The page also offers various health tips.  I have already started using the stair. I plan to start skipping now. Today is day one of my honey diet.  I feel energetic and that is a positive sign of a healthy diet.

I don’t plan to get a makeover with this diet. I know any good diet should work gradually and not just aim at losing weight. It should achieve an overall sense of wellness. It should make the skin glow.  It should not make the hair lose its luster. It should make the eyes bright. It should keep the energy levels high. Only then it can claim to be a well-balanced diet. There are no quick fixes. I am giving myself 5 months. I know it is difficult for me to lose weight because of thyroid issues and my love for eating. I have a realistic expectation and body image. Because my weight does not define me. Do it because you need to be healthy not skinny. Don’t do anything that doesn’t agree with your body. Your body is not to be abused with food that doesn’t suit you. Remember, the body only accepts what the mind wants to. So set your mind to it and make way for a sweeter, healthier life.