Six Healthy Habits That Can Permanently Change Your Life for the Better
“The Baby Elephant Diet. A Modern Indian Guide to Eating Right”
So what are the steps to healthy eating? Here are the six steps/healthy habits to get you started:
Healthy Habits. Resolve that you will try to avoid eating directly from a plate. Use small bowls instead.
When you use a plate, you are essentially using rice or chapathi as a binding agent, to hold the food, add bulk and ship it to your mouth. These binding agents are not necessary at all, and are the cause of all our weight and health problems. Get rid of them, or cut them down by 90 per cent. You can’t eat dal on a plate, so you end up putting in rice, building something like a Bhakra Nangal dam to hold the dal on your plate, and then you eat both the dal and rice. Dal is healthy, but rice is not. So just eat the dal…in a bowl. Eat vegetables, eggs, yogurt, pickles, all from small bowls. When you switch from a plate to small bowls, you automatically cut down on your consumption of rice and chapathis. The spice levels in your food will also fall, because you are no longer eating bland rice or chapathis with other food items. Most of us would not touch a bowl of rice on its own, so we overspice other food items and then mix them with bland rice and eat them. Just cut the rice out. Enjoy the vegetables on their own. They are delicious and healthy. Healthy Habits.
Healthy Habits. Get smaller spoons and bowls.
There is a simple way of fooling the brain into believing that you have eaten plenty of food even if you haven’t: use smaller spoons and bowls when you eat. This has been confirmed by numerous studies that show that we are totally incapable of judging how much food we eat. One famous study, titled ‘Lessons from the Bottomless Bowl’, tested people with bowls of soup that were automatically refilled through a hole at the bottom of the bowl. Another group of volunteers had soup from regular bowls. The people whose bowls were refilled, ate 73 per cent more soup, but did not believe they had done so. Even more astonishing, both sets of volunteers reported feeling the same level of satiation. The lesson from this is clear. You will automatically eat less if you use smaller bowls and plates. Using a smaller spoon also helps when eating ice cream or other treats.
Healthy Habits. Be careful about who you spend your time, and especially your meals, with.
It is worth repeating what Jim Rohn, an American motivational speaker, once said, ‘You are the average of the five people that you spend your time with.’ It is a very interesting observation, and has a ring of truth to it. When you see smokers bunched outside, lighting away, you can see this in action. Not just smokers, obese people stick together, unhealthy people stick together and fit people stick together. If your core support network is a group of people whose dietary habits are terrible, then you are going to have a real problem breaking out of this. You can be as disciplined as you like, but if you then go to your best friend’s house and eat ‘Unhealthyram namkeen’, then all your discipline and change in lifestyle will come to nought. Healthy Habits.
Healthy Habits. Do not mix eating with another activity.
Do you like watching TV while eating? Or do you eat while watching TV? Or do you read a book while eating? Stop doing other activities while eating. Eating time should be reserved for eating. You will totally lose track of what and how much you are eating if you are distracted. Eat your food slowly, enjoy and savour it. If you like, have a conversation with someone while eating, but don’t read or watch TV.
Healthy Habits. Always eat the fibre first.
The sequence of the foods you eat can have a big impact on your health. Starting a meal with soup is a terrible idea. The soup is a mechanically processed liquid (home blending is still processing), whose sugar content gets rapidly absorbed by your digestive system, especially when you are hungry. What you need to do is to start the meal with the most fibrous vegetable. Along with it, eat the protein which is harder to digest, so that it gets doused in that initial stomach acid bath. Fibre and protein also fill you up and make it less likely that you will overeat. Eat the soup last or not at all. I rarely eat soup, unless it is full of vegetables packed with fibre. Healthy Habits.
Healthy Habits. Avoid drinking your calories.
The best drink is water, plain and simple. Drink it to your heart’s content and no more. Juices are really bad for you, so are fizzy drinks and beer is a sugar bomb. Avoid, or minimize, these. Definitely no buttermilk! Buttermilk is a marketing term for butter-less milk. I have never figured out why the authorities allow manufacturers to call yogurt water with its butter removed, buttermilk. It should be called what it is, butter-less milk. Butter-less milk is basically sugar water with a bit of protein. No need to put that into your body at all. Fruits are fine to eat, but avoid watermelon and grapes which are basically sugar bombs with no fibre.