Saturday, 25 May 2019

Principles of Healthy Eating

“The Baby Elephant Diet. A Modern Indian Guide to Eating Right”

 Ravi Mantha

The Joy of Living and the Joy of Eating. 

Principles of Healthy Eating

The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, taught that the purpose of philosophy was to attain a tranquil life characterized by ataraxia, which is peace and freedom from fear, and aponia, which is the absence of pain. He recommended that one should live a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends and loved ones. How many of us would disagree with this simple philosophy? Epicurus was also a believer in healthy eating. Taking pleasure from food can add quite a lot to the joy of living, and the Baby Elephant Diet specifically recommends it.

Here are the principles of healthy eating:

1.Principles of Healthy Eating. Eat more food than you normally do if you start following my approach. This is very important because if you don’t increase the quantity of the food you eat, you will have a big calorie deficit, you will feel tired and cranky, and you will go back to eating junk comfort carbs.

2.Principles of Healthy Eating. If you get hungry while you are following my approach, eat. Do not starve yourself. Following my lifestyle is fun and easy and delicious. Do not deprive yourself of food.

3.Principles of Healthy Eating. You must change the composition of what you eat, while at the same time increasing the quantity of food.

4.Principles of Healthy Eating. The following foods are to be completely avoided on normal days, but you can have them for a cheat meal: rice and rice products, wheat and wheat products, cereal grains of any kind, bread and flour products, potatoes, sugar and sugar products, sugary fruits, fruit juices.

Principles of Healthy Eating - photo 1

Principles of Healthy Eating

5.Principles of Healthy Eating. The only fruits you are allowed are fruits that have much more fibre than sugar, such as guava and papaya. Vegetables that are actually fruits, e.g. tomato, avocado and eggplant, are allowed in unlimited quantities.

6.Principles of Healthy Eating. Eat fish, meat, whole eggs, slow carb vegetables like broccoli, beetroot, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, all in unlimited quantities. Eat lentils and lots of beans if you are a vegetarian.

7.Principles of Healthy Eating. Nuts are allowed but no more than half a dozen almonds or the equivalent for a snack.

8.Principles of Healthy Eating. Beer is not allowed, and white wine is not allowed. Red wine, whisky and other spirits are allowed, in moderation.

9.Principles of Healthy Eating. Milk products, including cheese are allowed. Switch to full-fat milk, not 2 per cent milk. Remember, there is nothing wrong with eating fat under my diet.

10.Principles of Healthy Eating. Now for the fun part. You can take a day off from this diet, each week. This is very important. Choose one fixed day in the week, say Saturday, to eat whatever you like. The whole point of my diet is to have fun with it. If you want ice cream or pasta or rice or noodles, have it all on this day. Doing this means that you are not depriving yourself of anything, and that is psychologically important. Eat whatever you like, without guilt, one day a week. This reinforces another important rule—the importance of delayed gratification, not only in nutrition, but also in fitness, relationships and career success.

Principles of Healthy Eating - photo 2

Principles of Healthy Eating

There are two important things (principles of healthy eating) to remember in our relationship with food. 

First of all, get your body to where it needs to be using the Baby Elephant Diet—less than 18 per cent body fat if you are a man, and less than 25 per cent if you are a woman. This is phase 1. Second, go into maintenance mode where you are generally eating lots of vegetables, eggs, fish and less than 25 per cent of your calories is coming from whole grains, and cut out the sugary carbs for the most part. This is phase 2. When you are in maintenance mode, when that lovely pasta or that special dessert or that fresh croissant or that freshly squeezed juice winks at you occasionally from the dining table, just go for it and don’t think twice. Life is about living, not constantly counting calories and worrying about food. The point is that you should let your body fat percentage dictate whether you are in phase 1 or phase 2.

Principles of Healthy Eating - photo 3

Principles of Healthy Eating

While I was sitting in a cafe in Burgundy recently, looking at the petit déjeuner (breakfast), what stared back at me was a plate piled with croissants, scones, jam, orange juice and seductively coated sugar sticks to be dipped into the coffee. Even the yogurt was the fruit kind, with added sugar. But guess what, I am well below 18 per cent body fat at this point, after three years of my new nutrition-aware lifestyle. So, I just tucked into this bread-fest, and polished off the freshly squeezed orange juice as well. Is this going to have an adverse impact on me? Not if it is an occasional indulgence. I did feel a bit of a sugar high afterwards, but hey, I was in Burgundy, and after breakfast I went for a long walk into the vineyards and burnt off the fast carbs. The views were amazing. Yes, you just have one life! Enjoy every minute of it, and if you look after your body, the odds are that it will pay you back with a long and healthy life.

 

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