“Fat is out” except the figure in your pay cheque! Being Slim and thin is in and will always be the owner’s pride and others envy. Let me cheer you on to read and understand your countdown to weight loss, improve body composition, eliminate digestive disorders and above all CHANGE to an attractive figure.
People of yesteryear did not worry too much because what they had was a good genetic foundation, which most of us would like to enjoy today. However, we are to be mindful of the current life style, culture, sensible eating and exercising habits (which conveniently fall on a deaf ear) and the baton changing in the next generation.
Some of us have been cautious with our health but some have exceeded the outer limit – it could have been eating for comfort or something more serious such as hormonal imbalance left un-detected for a long time.
What food does to our body, if not utilised, is what a cupboard lover does – stays with you forever in the form of stress, obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, heart ailments, osteoporosis, joint pains and other complications.
To ease the burden of being over weight, some people have been recommended the expensive bariatric operation where two thirds of the stomach is stitched up leaving only one third to function. This way the consumption of food is less but helps to reduce and keep off the weight. The patient will have to force themselves to eat at regular intervals in order not to feel weak.
Each one is accountable to self and must watch early in life their medical history, diet experiences and fitness goals! Instinctive eating and body genetics are fitness twins. Being overweight or obese is of great concern for all of us today on behalf of our selves or our loved ones.
There are 5 determining factors that need to be synthesised for a healthy body – clean air + clean water + energy producing heat + ample sleep + sensible food, which one cannot stress enough on.
The blood in our body is basically alkaline in nature. To maintain its alkalinity, we need at least 80% alkaline foods and 20% acid forming foods. The residues of such foods are called alkali-genic and acid-genic respectively. Acidity is an unhealthy condition. The individual experiences fatigue, headache, anorexia, insomnia, nervous tension, and other related problems. Gout is also found in the patient when the uric acid is high. Acidity causes faster degeneration and ageing in the body.
When testing the blood a pH scale is referred to. A pH scale is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution: the scale extends from 0 to 14.0 with a pH of 7.0 being neutral, a pH of less than 7 acidic (called acidosis), and a pH of greater than 7 basic (is more alkaline and called alkalosis) – 7.35 to 7.45 is considered the ideal reading.
It is important to note the side effects of increased alkaline/acidity in the blood. The foods that are alkaline produce calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, copper, manganese and potassium. The sodium in the body helps to normalize the pH for maintenance of homeostatsis (stablising the body) whereby the excess sodium becomes depleted. When sodium is insufficient the body uses calcium which is leached from bones and teeth and the vicious cycle begins of weak or porous/brittle bones, resulting in Osteoporosis and dental problems.
The foods that have an acidic effect produce sulphur, phosphorus, chlorine, iodine, carbon-dioxide and carbonic, lactic and uric acids.
What are the foods that help you?
- Complex carbohydrates (found in brown rice which is gluten free and provides energy, potatoes. Remember wheat makes the muscle tissues acidic)
- Fresh fruit, vegetables and salads (do not add salt to salads because it leaches out the nutrients)
In summer – you would benefit from fruits such as watermelon, vegetables like bitter gourd, bottle gourd, cucumber, pumpkins, edible green leaves, lemons, limes (1 Table spoon of honey + 2 tablespoon of lime juice in warm water taken on an empty stomach early morning helps to lose weight, hydrates the body, detoxifies the system, aids liver and kidney function and relieves joint pain). When shopping look for fruits and vegetables grown organically.
- Meat (white meat and poultry or leaner cuts of red meat), fish and eggs. (1 to 2 eggs per week should do)
- Legumes and pulses (include at least 80 g every day in your meal).
What are the foods to be consumed alone?
Milk and milk products (Make sure it is fat free).
Milk does not combine well with any other foods. It is a complete protein food in it self which is different from other proteins. Milk digests in the duodenum and not in the stomach. Raw milk is alkaline. Milk should not be consumed immediately after eating radish especially.
Curd is probiotic – it builds up the immune system and the digestive system – the good bacteria in the digestive system over takes anything that is not wanted in the system. Curd is good for the teeth and bones and can prevent osteoporosis together with high blood pressure. It tastes good on a summer day.
Therefore, milk, curd, buttermilk, ice cream, lassi, kulfi, rabri should be consumed alone.
Please note to use skimmed or low fat milk. (The fat content is very high in butter, ghee and cheese)
Proteins should not be taken along with acid or sour foods. As the gastric juices are not secreted in the presence of acidic or sour foods in the stomach, this state hampers digestion of proteins. When taking proteins make sure two proteins of different characters and different compositions are not taken as it requires different modifications of the digestive secretions to digest properly.
Fruits and juices:
Fruits such as melons, banana, papaya, dates, figs, sugarcane, chikoos, raisin, sweet berry, are sweet fruits and may ferment with other fruits. They must not be eaten with acidic and sour fruits. Do not take sweets or white sugar with these sweet fruits.
Acidic and sour fruits such as blackberry, pineapples, pomegranates, tomato, tamarind, grapes, oranges, plums, prunes, lemons, sweet limes (mosambi), strawberry, should not be taken after consumption of carbohydrates because these fruits deactivate the action of saliva which is necessary for digestion of the carbohydrates.
Acidic fruits slow down the quick digestion of the sugars in the sweet fruits leading to fermentation. They can be taken with vegetable in a salad, sprinkling lime juice over the salad.
Fruit juices are concentrated and leave the body quicker than the solids which stagnate in the intestine causing fermentation.
Liquids must be taken at least 20 minutes before meals but should not be taken along with the meal or immediately after the meal. As the liquid tends to pass down immediately into the intestines, carrying away all the digestive enzymes, it inhibits the digestion.
Water is recommended to keep hydrated and it also helps release toxins and prevents bladder infections. However, it should not be taken immediately after eating cucumber, water melon and papaya.
The water content in a cucumber is 96 per cent and keeps your body hydrated especially during summer. Cucumber is also a good source of fibre and of nutrients like magnesium and potassium.
Watermelon also has a high content of water and is extremely rich in lycopene which improves your heart health. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise. It is antioxidant and helps maintain a healthy skin.
Papaya has high concentrate of nutrients and vitamins (A, B complex, C, folate folic acid, dietary fiber, and potassium) which are so very beneficial to the body:
14 Reasons why you should eat Papaya:
- Prevents bacterial and viral infection
- Stimulates bowel movement
- Increases immune function
- Reduces cancer risk
- Protection against heart diseases
- Slows down ageing
- Repair and protection of DNA
- Alleviation of cardio vascular disease
- Alleviation of Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Protection of Alzheimer’s disease
- Protection against Osteoporosis
- Protection against stroke
- Aids digestion
- Unripe papaya contains papain which is used as a pain killer. It also aids in stomach ache.
Tolerable combination of foods:
Our digestive system has been found to tolerate most combinations of food. However, various combinations help maintain a balance without any untoward effect on our health provided our digestive system is not weak or diseased.
- Bread and egg omelette
- Rice and Dal or rice + milk
- Roti and Dal
- Rice and curd or buttermilk
- Rice and meat (do not mix different type of meat)
- Rice and fish
- Rice and egg curry
- Ghee with Dhal
- Lemon and sprouts
- Tomato and sprouts
- Egg and milk
- Nuts and milk
- Banana and milk or curd
- Mango and milk
Please study your system when you take the above combinations for future use:
What are the foods that are silent killers?
- Full fat dairy products and sugary snacks such as bakery products, chips and cashew nuts
- Non-vegetarian foods containing high fat so be selective.
- Other Foods such as white sugar, table salt, salty foods such as pickles, nuts, crisps, coffee, tea, smoking and tobacco, alcohol, refined cereals, fatty foods (cholesterol), fried foods, acidic foods, adulterated, chemical additives, pesticides, wrong food combinations, fibre-less foods. Fibreless diets cause constipation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many disorders of the intestines.
What are the foods rich in dietary fibre?
Roughage or dietary fibres (soluble and insoluble) are parts of plant food such as fruits and vegetables that are not digested by the human body. The following have a good amount of fibre but you need to watch the alkaline and acidic nature when consuming:
Fruits: Grapes, peaches, pears, figs, banana, apple, guava, dry dates, mango, prunes, strawberry, lemons, plums, pomegranate, jackfruit.
Vegetables: Pumpkin, potato (with skin), spinach, lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, turnip, radish, carrot, beans, peas, cucumber, tomatoes, bitter gourd, bottle gourd and ladies fingers.
Legumes and pulses: Sprouted legumes and whole pulses – moong, urad, masoor. Soyabean. Nuts such as coconuts, peanuts.
Cereals: Brown rice, whole wheat, oats, maize, bajra, barley, jowar, dalia, millet, bran
Soluble fibres are soluble in water and become sticky in consistency. These fibres aid in bowel movement. They contain:
- pectins (oat, apples, banana, carrot, potato, pulses, barley, oat brand, isabagol)
- gums (algae, seaweeds and cluster beans)
- mucilages (found in plant seeds and secretions)
Insoluble fibres if not digested will pass out from the body.
Important points to improve your digestion:
- Eat only when you are hungry – the body can tolerate wrong combination of foods in severe hunger.
- Strengthen your digestive system- do not be fussy (a strong digestive system can tolerate wrong combination of foods)
- It is easier for the body to handle digestion of one food at a time.
- Consume natural raw foods to the maximum such as fruits, vegetable, sprouts, nuts, seeds, etc.
The body’s metabolic rate determines how quickly the calories consumed are converted to energy. Two thirds of the total intake keeps the body warm and provides power for the body’s basic function – heartbeat, breathing, digestion, tissue repair and replacement. The remaining third is required for fuelling physical activity such as walking, cycling, yoga or even hard work.
People’s metabolism varies – some burn up energy quickly while others have a sluggish system which uses fewer calories. Other factors such as age, sex, build, body composition and the body cycle affects metabolism. When bed time approaches the metabolic rate drops but when it is time to wake up the rate is higher. Women will find that the rate is higher just before a period and then lowers immediately thereafter. The older you get the more the metabolism slows down so lose weight now and remember GARBAGE IN stays in very often.
12 General Tips to Help You Lose Weight:
- Remove foods that are to be avoided from your kitchen and donate it to others.
- Plan your meals and shop accordingly.
- Try something new once a week which is good for health but which you avoided (e.g. bitter gourd)
- Cook your own meals – you know what you need and what you are eating.
- Use healthy cooking methods, avoiding inclusion of oil/fats.
- Challenge your metabolism and change your food frequently.
- Drink adequate amount of water to stay hydrated and away from snacking
- Exercise your full body as much as you can under supervision and without hurting yourself. However, check with your doctor before going in for the right type of exercise suited to your body, especially if you have a medical condition. There is jogging, brisk walking, cycling, yoga, dance classes, aeorobics, racket sports, riding and swimming from which you could benefit.
- Chew every mouthful of food well to aid digestion.
- Choose a fruit salad for dessert (instead of a sweetened dessert).
- Change your style of eating – sit at a laid out table and use the crockery, stretching your meal. (Do not gobble your food because you are in a hurry). Eat smaller meals from hunger not from habit to keep your metabolism revved up after you have exercised.
- Do something for yourself and others – invite them to dinner and teach them to eat and drink healthy. People will remember you for your consideration.
Ladies (mothers and wives) play a very important part in planning wisely (do not over indulge) for self, the only daughter, the only son and (hopefully the only) husband!
My recommendation No. 1:
Here is a simple diet that has been recommended to me. Without starving the body and accounting for about 600 – 1000 calories (sedentary job):
Breakfast: 1 fruit + 1 vegetable (orange, carrot)
Water: 2 liters per day in between meals
Mid-morning : 1 cup green tea (no sweetening)
Lunch : 1 cup rice (optional) + 1 cup vegetables/green leafy vegetables + 1 fruit
Drink water in between from the 2 liters.
Mid-afternoon – 1 cup green tea (no sweetening)
Dinner (two hours before bed time): 2 dry chappaties (no oil) + 1 cup vegetables
My recommendation No. 2:
(If the tub is not built in to your bathroom invest in a plastic rub with a back rest against the wall). Overweight people will need help.
Hip Baths: Fill the tub with clear cold water in summer and luke-warm water in winter up to three-fourth of the tub height. Wearing only underwear sit in the tub with your legs out, up to the thighs. Ensure that you are within closed doors and that your feet rest on a wooden plank. Your abdomen, waist and hips must be submerged in the water. However, your navel should be out of the water.
Taking a soft cloth or towel firmly rub (do not bruise the skin) your body below the navel from right to left without removing the cloth. On the first day massage yourself for ten minutes then gradually increase its duration to 20 – 25 minutes. You will find remarkable change in the size of your waist and hips within 10 days as the Hip Bath usually has instant effect. This bath is done on an empty stomach and helps reduce a sagging abdomen after child-birth.
New Year resolutions may not have been kept but it is worth shedding excess weight before it overtakes our lives. I urge you to work your way to this healthy weight loss programme and keep it off. I am also working on this for friends and myself.
Life is precious and was given as a gift to you – free of charge. What you do with this extraordinary gift has direct consequences on every aspect of your life. You will wake up to a body in good shape and fitness as a result of years of regular exercise, eating for your blood type, taking nutritional supplements, getting proper rest, a positive mental attitude and a zeal for life and faith in yourself.
We all look for free or a little extra in every thing we buy or eat. However, I want to assure you that we don’t need the extra calories – someone else can share that with you before it embraces you forever.
Weight Loss: If you want a complete 8 week roadmap to weight loss along with our ultimate recommended solution, head to our detailed post on Ayurvedic Medicine for Weight loss & Your 8 Week Roadmap