The nutritional suggestions that follow are not meant to replace any other diet information you may be pursuing. In fact, if you’re interested in cleaning up your eating habits, I encourage you to speak with a well-trained nutritionist or health care professional. Another option is to read some of the more credible nutrition books out there.
When it comes to food, I know all too well how easy it is to read about the correct course to take but how hard it can be to shift your relationship with food and change your daily eating habits. Like so many people, I work hard to maintain my appropriate weight and have a tendency toward compulsive eating. This shocks people, because they often assume that a life committed to weight loss removes one from the common pitfalls and challenges of being human. I assure you it doesn’t, and can prove it: My greatest adversaries are Doritos and Frito Lays!
Being a holistic medical doctor, I recommend that patients ask themselves a critical question before every meal: “Is this what I would eat if my life depended on it?” Let me point out that it always does! With this advisory in mind, I offer the following guidelines for healthy eating:
1. Do not eat to the brim.
The Yoga approach for eating properly is to fill your stomach with half food, one quarter water, and one quarter air. This ensures you will leave the table satisfied but not too full, without that bloated feeling. (You should never have to loosen your belt to feel com fortable while or after eating.)
2. Eat in a relaxed, calm, and stress-free environment.
Avoid eating when you are upset, anxious, or rushed. Eliminate such distractions as TV, reading, and confrontational encounters.
3. Eat less.
As we get older, our metabolism tends to slow down, and we need fewer calories to maintain our health and weight. But learning to eat less cannot be accomplished by following the latest fad diet. It simply means that over time, you will benefit from slowly training yourself to choose smaller portions of healthier foods and to walk away when you’re not quite full.
4. Chew well.
Efficient digestion is crucial to overall good health, and the digestive process starts in the mouth.
5. Fast a little bit each day.
The ancient Yoga philosophy suggested fasting for several days on end, which is not practical for our modern-day lifestyles. However, refraining from eating for three to four hours before you sleep is a healthy way to avoid heartburn, which can be uncomfortable and damage your esophagus and throat. You could also concentrate on fasting between meals—skipping the snacks in between (unless your doctor recommends otherwise). You’ll receive hunger signals when your body genuinely needs more nutrients, along with messages from your body about what nutrients it really needs. This helps you get in tune with your body.
6. Eat regularly and don’t skip meals.
Eating a good healthy breakfast is a great way to start off your day, to enhance clear thinking and energize you for Yoga and other physical activities.
7. Go slowly.
After each bite or two, put your utensils down and ask your self: Am I still hungry?
8. Choose a wide variety of foods.
Have at least five servings of fruits or vegetables every day as recommended by most nutritionists.
9. Emphasize whole foods and avoid prepackaged foods.
Try to avoid processed meats (such as sausage, bacon, and ham) as well as foods with additives and artificial ingredients, which can be detrimental to your health.
Drink a lot of regular water – from the tap or filtered water free of impurities.
Just remember that with every step you take toward healthier eating habits, your life will be enhanced. Whatever relief you’re seeking, whatever physical, mental, and emotional changes you’re after — they are likely to become reality much sooner if your food choices are consistent with good health practices.
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Dr. Sunita Banerji received her MBBS degree from The Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, one of India’s leading Medical Institutes and received her DGO credentials in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1982. She started her successful Aesthetic Medicine practice in Lokhandwala, in 1989 after undergoing extensive training in London. She was far ahead of her time in starting this type of practice in India. Eternesse – the Best Hair Loss Clinic Mumbai - her brainchild helps treat major medical problems related to lifestyle, aging and cosmetic treatments and surgery.
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