And take back control of what you eat for better sleep, less bloating, more energy and good health.
What does Reset mean ?
It is said that “you are what you eat”. That means whatever you gulp down, reflects on your skin and body. If you will have a well-balanced nutrient-rich diet, all skin and health-related problems will stay away, but if you indulge in junk and fatty food then it can be hard to prevent weight gain and chronic diseases. Similarly, when you are trying to lose weight or stay fit, the type of foods you put on your plate matters a lot. It is common knowledge that one needs to eat healthy to improve health and to shape, but it can be really hard to decide what to add and what to avoid. To help you overcome this problem, you can follow some dietary changes and control what you eat.
Do you really consider factors like good sleep, cravings, energy levels, mood etc as a reflection of your health? If yes then you are on the right track because that’s what they are — surrogate measures of metabolic health — your hormonal health, cholesterol levels, kidney and liver function, gut health, and much more. However, the public health narrative is almost always about losing weight. Often, at the cost of health gain.
This is the reason we keep on writing such blogs and giving out crucial information on nutrition and health. It is all to reinforce common sense and put control back in the individual’s hands as far as health goes. Fitness doesn’t have to cost you too much. We all need to go back to eating practices that are good for both people and the planet.
Sometimes, You’re just sitting at your desk, planning on reports, analyzing the company’s trends and suddenly that dreaded feeling hits you where you just can’t think about anything else except hunger. And it’s only 10 AM.. But rather than trying to wait it out until lunchtime in a hard willpower challenge, I suggest that it’s actually way better to reach for a mid-morning snack—especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Emphasising on it once again, The time between breakfast and lunch is usually a wide enough gap (four or five hours) that the average person gets starved. Also, the hungrier you are at lunchtime, the more likely you are to overeat. In an effort to save calories, you might actually be putting yourself on the path to weight gain. These are the things we fail to observe or realise.
Even worse, trying to hold out until noon can kick your body into starvation mode which means that your body will start retaining calories that it would normally expend, in fear of not having enough to cover your basic bodily functions.. That’s where a nutrient-dense mid-morning snack is important as it will give your body the energy it needs before lunch.
So what’s the magic snack to keep starvation and mindless munching at bay? Ideally, this snack should be under 200 calories and provide a minimum of three grams of fiber, three grams of protein, and less than eight grams of carbs or maybe less if your goals say so. A little fat and carbs are okay but the main focus should be fiber and protein since those are the nutrients that will keep your gut from growling until lunchtime.
The following recommended timely meals are all about improving health and losing weight as a consequence, because that is exactly how metabolism works and not the other way around.
Most importantly if you follow this eating plan for the next 10-20 days, you will experience better sleep, less bloating, more energy, and be on the path to losing those inches in a sustainable manner.
You should have something within 10 to 15 minutes of waking up. Eating in the first hours after you wake up in the morning helps to kickstart your metabolism and keeps you active throughout the day. Do not take tea, coffee, or any kind of spices on an empty stomach because taking spices in the morning can lead to an acne outbreak, while tea and coffee can lead to stomach irritation. The best things to have in the morning are fresh fruit or nuts. You can have soaked almonds, raisins, walnuts, or eat bananas.
You can have a traditional home-cooked breakfast like idli, dosa or poha about 45 mins to 1 hour after the pre-breakfast snack. All are good for your health and have distinct health benefits. Avoid packaged cereals and juices for the morning. Also, avoid skipping breakfast as it will make you cranky and disrupt your day.
You can have fresh fruit or a home-made laddoos, oat balls or a seasonal/home-made drink, such as coconut water, buttermilk, panna or nimbu shikanji. The Ayurvedic wisdom behind including these drinks during the day is to stoke the appetite, ease digestion and boost the immune system. Avoid taking a cup of tea or other salty snacks, or processed/packaged foods. Nothing is easier to grab in-between meals than a lettuce wrap, granola bar, roasted chickpeas are a good option. Another awesome way to refuel mid-morning is a small container of low-fat plain Greek yogurt and one cup of strawberries as this creamy snack is packed with 20 grams of satiating protein and the strawberries make a wonderful low-calorie and fiber combination.
To stay healthy, only eating is not crucial, when you eat is equally important. The best time to have your lunch is between 11 am to 1 pm. For lunch, you can have regular meals like chapati, rice, dal. Remember to include millet in your meal at least twice a week and also have chutney with it. In summers, you can have jowar or ragi, but do not mix them together.
Add 2 tbsp ghee, the ultimate Indian superfood, to every meal. It is a fat that breaks down other fats, reduces sweet cravings and is excellent for digestion, keeps joints healthy and skin glowing, remember to eat it in moderation though.
4-6 pm meal
The key to losing weight lies in what you eat between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.. It is a time when most of us are the most hungry and the most careless about our eating. You could eat a chapati with ghee and jaggery or choose between poha upma, dosa, egg-toast, salad or home-made coconut, gram. Also, have full-fat milk tea and coffee with sugar. Do not have tea or coffee after 4 pm. If you have early dinners, then just have some groundnuts with jaggery like peanut chikki. I always tell my clients that the key to losing weight lies in what they eat between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.. By eating something wholesome in the evening, you can eat a light dinner. This is the make-or-break meal, this decides whether you will have long-lasting fitness or whether it will fizzle out in the next couple of weeks.
Have your dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime. The ideal time to have dinner is between 7 pm- 8:30 pm. For dinner, khichdi, rice and dal are the best options. Rice is the lightest grain and having it at night can prevent the problem of indigestion. It also acts as a prebiotic.
For dinner, eat rice with sambar, rasam or dal and any vegetable. Pick hand-pounded or single-polished rice, instead of brown rice for your everyday use. This easy to digest and complete meal also improves sleep quality. It is suitable for people of all kinds of constitutions according to Ayurveda.
Note : Please consult your nutritionist or dietitian before starting any meal or diet plan if you have any medical condition, food allergy, any ailments or health issues.
Written by – Dt. Shalini