Expert backed food and health habits to incorporate in 2020

Welcome 2020s! It is that time of the year to set new year resolutions and hopefully really stick to them with the same gusto that you began. But if you are feeling a bit lost as to how to go about it, we have roped in Dr Namita Jain, a renowned fitness expert and author who shares some valuable insights…

Avoid overeating

Now don’t go rolling your eyes at us. The truth of the matter is while it is not that easy to avoid overeating, it is not as difficult as you think either. What you have to do is get attuned to when your body feels hungry and when it is full. Once you are in sync with what is going on inside, things will automatically follow! Think of it as mindfulness for the gut. Namita’s logic is simple. “Ask naturally slim people what they eat, and you will get a consistent answer. They eat when they are hungry and stop when they have had enough,” she says.

Avoid eating mindlessly

We completely agree, in an age of excess, it takes all willpower to restrain the delectable spread that is often dangled in front of you. But there is a way of having your cake and eating it too. Explains Namita, “Learn the art of savouring food. If you eat slowly, you’ll enjoy your food and relish your meal. Eating slowly not only helps to digest food better but also prevents overeating.”

Make smart food choices

Not having the right options is an excuse that you might have gotten away with some years back. But with the market having opened up (rather gone back to) wholesome and healthy alternatives, you just need to take that extra step that will really pay off in the long run. “Choose wholesome foods instead of fried and refined foods. Be creative in your choices so that what you eat is tasty as well as low in calories,” shares Namita.

Consume a snack before the party or get-togethers

Let’s be realistic, when there is an array of delicious food being served to you, the chances of not reaching out for them are slim. The smart idea is to eat something prior so that you do not land up overindulging. “Good choices are veggies, fruits and whole grain cereals. This will help control your hunger pangs,” shares Namita.

Think before you drink

We are not telling you to give your favourite drink a complete miss, rather just apply a bit of a thought process before going for one. Namita says, “When you drink, know you are consuming empty calories. If you consume a drink or two, it is best to add some more exercise that day.”

Healthy snacks

Many times, there is a confusion about what is considered wholesome and what is not. As per Namita, “Healthy, low-calorie snacks give you a huge energy boost in the long run, unlike the temporary lift from high-fat food options. When in doubt, this thumb rule will help you make the right choices.”

Below is a list of healthy and unhealthy snacks…

X fried nuts        √ low-fat baked savouries (eg, kurmura, chana)
X frankie             √ roti roll with chicken or paneer filling
X fried chicken   √ tandoori chicken or baked chicken nuggets
X fried fish          √ grilled fish tikka
X pakoras            √ mini- idli
X samosa             √ masala corn cup
X chips                 √ air-popped popcorn

Fit fact

As per Namita, dancing is a great exercise that improves the efficiency of heart, circulatory and pulmonary system. This is because when you move the large muscles of the body in a rhythmic and continuous manner, you create an increased demand for oxygen. The popular dance forms are many, from Bollywood to belly dancing, hip-hop to bhangra- rap, jive to ballroom-dancing and from zumba and salsa to Latin-American dance. Take your pick!

Calories burned: Dance for 30 minutes continuously, and you will burn approximately 200 to 250 calories.

While some of these might be hard at first, with a little consistency, it can seamlessly be incorporated into your lifestyle.

Wishing you a fitter 2020!

A renowned fitness expert and author, Dr Namita Jain is the recipient of Honorary Post Doctorate title from the Young Scientists UniversityUSA for excellence in the field of healthcare and wellness. She holds a Post Doctorate from KEISIE International University, South Korea and is Managing Director of Kishco Limited.

She consults as a Wellness Specialist at Bombay Hospital. Namita Jain has authored 11 books on health and wellness. Her latest book, Low Fat Low Guilt is a recipes and lifestyle book featuring low-cal recipes of delicious soups, salads, wraps, toasts, rice dishes, pastas and dips, making healthy eating a pleasurable experience.

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