Thursday, 7 March 2013

Just Eat Right-Do Not Diet


 Just Eat Right.....Dont Diet

We often hear people talking about dieting.

They are discussing how to make a diet plan for themselves. Make a new year resolution to loose weight.  Share medical reports for high blood sugar or cholesterol and try to follow a diet, figuring out what to eat?

But what is diet anyway? My answer mostly is, it is nothing, a self-deception. Even if we develop that courage and will power to go on a diet, it is like a time based medical treatment or therapy. Once we reach our goals, we go back to same unhealthy eating pattern and put on all those pounds, fats and sugar back.

There is only ‘healthy eating’ or ‘un-healthy eating’, nothing in between. “Dieting’ does not exist.

We will loose weight only if we follow a healthy lifestyle and eating habits. All this can only happen if we stop this obsession with dieting and just focus on eating healthy forever.

Unfortunately when we take one of our colleagues to the hospital emergency as they suffer a sudden cardiac seizure, help mom check her blood sugar or return back all gloomy after the burial of a dear uncle who passed away during a cancer treatment, we don’t believe that it can be us in the same situation one day.

We continue with our endless desire to feed our taste buds without thinking what all those unhealthy food is doing to our bodies.

We constantly make excuses for eating high-carb, cholesterol laden, oil drenched meals, ordering from every new fast food chain. We forget to drink water and are too busy for workouts.

In the name of gourmet eating we keep frying our food and order the same at restaurants. Add sugar, salt to our food and go for refined grains.

We find raw vegetable bland and cumbersome to eat but love to eat expensive cuts of steaks as often as we want because we can afford, adding sides of potatoes justifying it as vegetable.

We want to keep the tradition alive and eat curries bathed in ghee, organ meat and mouth watering fried parathas and pooris. We love to juice all our fruits destroying their fibre, and then complain for various gastro-intestinal discomforts.

We forget that our bones are leeched of the important calcium as we drink cans after cans of sodas.

Eating this way clearly leads to malnutrition, yes we are not getting the right nutrient in the right amount that makes us malnutrition individuals at high risk of developing many disease.

Malnutrition does not only mean the starving population of sub-Saharan areas shown in Carter’s award-winning photo.

Any one of us can be suffering from malnutrition with that belly fat and unhealthy eating habits which lead to different disease, ranging from obesity, cancer, cardio vascular complications, diabetes, GI tract complications. 

So what needs to be done?

-       Get your medical check up, blood profile, X-rays and all if you are above 40
-       Getting a Vitamin D and Calcium levels tests are crucial for all ages in Pakistani population, since these play an important role in body functions
-       Find out if you are overweight or within normal range
-       Smoking plays a key role in your mortality and health, don’t even think, just quit if you smoke
-       Establish the daily calorie requirement for your age, height, weight. The many online fitness apps can help you with this.
-       Then plan your daily meals choosing food according to your health condition.

Lifestyle Modifications:

-       Exercise, walk, jog play, any kind of physical activity is the foundation for a healthy body
-       Quit drugs and smoking choice between live longer and healthy or smoke and die young
-       Reduce the screen time on TV and computers
-       Limit caffeine intake in the form of Tea and Coffee
-       Cocaine and Sugar are same, both create craving and are addictive, bad for health. Cut down completely on sweets to just once in a while.
-       Quit eating all any processed food/snacks from packets, boxes and tins.
-       Replace all sodas with water (64 ounces a day)
-       Eat your fruits, don’t drink them, by juicing your fruits, you are depriving yourself from the valuable fibre that helps your digestion.
-       Don’t eat late night and don't go to bed right after dinner.

According to the guidelines for healthy eating by Harvard Medical School:

Your meal plate should be half filled with fruits and vegetable, preferably uncooked, steamed or sauted. Then quarter plate should be some whole grains, like wheat bread, chapattis and brown rice. Another quarter of you meal plate will have a healthy protein that can include, beans, lentils, poultry and fish. Avoid red meat and if at all you want to eat them it need not be more then twice a month. Choose fats wisely, using very limited quantity of oils, like olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut. Very little or no butter and completely exclude transfat and semi-hydrogenated fats. Limit the dairy products to one serving a day that are with low or zero fats.

Remember the change in the diet and lifestyle go hand in hand for  health and wellness. Life is a gift from god and you are send to the world with a purpose, your friends and family love you and need you. So make an effort to stay healthy, live a long disease free life. 


  1. Thanks for sharing such a knowledgeable article :)

  2. Thanks for such an informative blog. It cost me nothing to get well informed about my body's requirement. The worst part of our life style is that we start following others without knowing our body. I found last two sections most useful.

  3. Farah, excellent advice! Just plain common sense, really, but common sense is getting less common all the time! :D "There is only healthy eating or unhealthy eating." I must admit, I eat sugar now and then. I'm not going to give up my favorite desserts, but I'm not going to eat them every day either. And I save my self-prescribed sugar allowance for my homemade favorites rather than the chemical-filled store-bought junk and sodas. Going to tweet this right now.