I’m lighter now than I have been for the past two years. And feeling the best I’ve been over the past few years, physically. In between , I gained enough weight for an all time high and for the past few months, I’ve been trying to lose it with increasing exercise levels (walking and some fitness exercise at home) and some control over food. I wanted a lifestyle change rather than a ‘diet’.
So I’ve been making small changes like including salad for lunch and soup for dinner to take care of vegetable quotient. I also tried to make dinner as low-carb as possible. But very often the changes got backtracked when I traveled. For instance, Chennai was just too hot to drink soup. It took me a while to get back to my routines. So this meant my weight dropped a little and then yo-yoed around somewhere I didn’t want to be.
So I thought I needed external help. And I’ve found it at TFL (Total Fitness for Life) run here at Ooty and at Chennai by Dr.Sheela Nambiar. They teach you a fitness routine which you practice at home and you occasionally go to class for group support and motivation. It really does help. One thing that made me sit up straight was emphasis on posture. I tend to be more like a vine than a red-hot poker.
A couple of days ago, a talk by Dr.Sheela about balance in your diet between various food groups really woke me up. This is stuff you read everywhere and you think you know it and are practicing it. But I wasn’t . Most Indians miss out on protein she said and I fell right into that category. Now that Im paying a little more attention , my meals are getting more balanced . I don’t feel deprived and feel great too.. And my interest in cooking different things is reviving.
A balanced diet for a day that amounts to 1400 cal (for my weight group) should include:
Cereals – 5 servings
Vegetables -1 1/2
Fruit – 11/2 cups
Oil 3 tsp
One serving of cereal can be 1 small idli or dosa, chapati, slice of bread, 1 cup dry cereal or ½ cup cooked oats.
One serving of vegetable is ½ cup of cooked veg
One serving of fruit is 1 slice of mango or a medium sized peach/pear and so on.
One serving of protein is 1 chicken breast or 1 small mackerel or 11/2 cup of cooked beans or 3 eggs or 3 tbsp peanut butter or ¼ cup nuts.
I’ve added protein by adding half a cup of sundal every morning to breakfast and reducing the amount of oats I have normally. And by eating eggs more often. Huge omlettes with more veg in them are great in the evening after a long walk. The big mental change was knowing I can have 5 servings of cereal. I try to stick to 3-4 servings for the main 3 meals. So I can indulge in a slice of bread/cheese or a toast with coffee in the evenings.
It’s a nice new way of life. When you can make choices and not feel guilty about so many things you eat. And Im feeling good and not stuffed and satiated like I used to.