When did eating become such an all-or-nothing proposition?
It seems that many of us are either gorging on massive portions of unhealthy, highly processed foods and getting fatter all the time or starving ourselves on the latest hyper-restrictive diet that no one could stay on for more than a few weeks without feeling miserable and deprived. What happened to just enjoying good food, in moderation, without guilt?
If we buy into the common-sense wisdom found in bestsellers like French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano or Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight by Rujuta Diwekar, it becomes clear that the way to be fit and still enjoy our meals is to adopt a more traditional and worldly way of dining.
Moderate portions, fresh whole foods, relaxing and lingering with family and friends at the table – it’s what they do, not just in France, but throughout the Mediterranean, Latin America and in many parts of Asia itself.
These are places where obesity rates have historically been low (at least until the global spread of fast food and sedentary lifestyles boosted obesity everywhere).
It’s where the “gym workout” was a bicycle ride to work or school, or where eating a low-fat diet meant Mum stretching the meat by stuffing cabbage or grape leaves. This makes us realize that it is possible to eat what you love without being worried of it’s consequences or adopting any restrictive regimen.
Here Are Few Easy To Follow Weight Loss Tips Which Will Enable You To Take A Rigid Step Towards A Healthy Lifestyle: –
● Start With Soup
This Japanese tradition is one of the best weight loss strategies. That’s because having soup, particularly broth-based vegetable kind before your main meal fills you up, and so you eat less during the meal. A two-year French study of 2188 men and 2849 women found that those who have soup five to six times a week were more likely to have body mass indices (BMIs) below 23 (considered lean), as compared with infrequent – or non-eaters whose BMIs tended to be around 27.
● Make Lunch Your Main Meal
Although they do this throughout Europe, a good explanation for eating at midday comes from Ayurveda, our own 5000-year-old-approach to wellness. According to Ayurveda, we are actually designed to eat the larger meal at lunch because our digestive ‘Fire’, or ‘Agni’, is strongest between 10am and 2pm, so we digest more efficiently.
● Think Quality Not Quantity
The French snub processed “diet foods” not found in nature, opting instead for high-quality meats, fish, vegetables, dairy products, even desserts. When food is fresh and flavorful, you can be satisfied with a smaller portion. This is the opposite of the wrong approach that a lot of us seem to have adopted, which is to fill up on bland diet foods, then gorge on sweets later.
● Mix Up The Flavours
In Ayurveda, including the six basic tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent – is the key to a satisfying meal that won’t leave you craving for junk food later. Not sure where to start? This will cover all the flavour bases: With your main fish, lean meat or vegetable dish, try mango chutney, a sweet potato sprinkled with salt and a little ghee and finish with a cup of tea and a small piece of dark chocolate.
● Go For Colour
The Japanese have a saying: “Not dressing up the meal with colour is like going out without clothing”. Not only does colour make food more attractive, but consciously seeking out colourful foods is a great way to bulk up your meals without a lot of calories. The Japanese aim for five colours at each meal: red, blue-green, yellow, white and black, including things like red peppers, squash, broccoli, onions, black beans or black olives.
● Drizzle On The Healthy Oils
Healthy fats like olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet and safflower oil make vegetables tastier, so you’re likely to eat more of them. According to data from a Spanish nutrition survey, people who ate the most olive oil also consumed more vegetables than those who consumed the least olive oil. And, as we know, eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is the key to maintaining a perfect weight.
● When You Are Eating, Just Eat
We are increasingly having multi-task meals. We watch TV during meals or talk on the phone, eat fast-food on the street, even gulp cold drinks while driving. In Japan, it’s considered rude to eat while walking.
And you’ll never catch a French drinking anything in the car. In fact, in France, there are no car cup holders because you don’t need them while driving. Eating and drinking are not errands; it’s not something you do on the way to something else.
If you really pay attention to what you’re eating, you enjoy it fully, yet consuming less.
● Enjoy Regular Meals
One reason French women do not get fat is because they eat three meals a day. You may think skipping meals cuts down on calories, but all it does evoke a primal “fear of hunger response” that causes overeating later.
This is why eating breakfast is very important. Studies show that breakfast eaters are slimmer than those who skip it.
● Dine With Others
Eating with family or friends as compared to eating alone in your car, at your desk or on the couch is part and parcel of traditional cultures. Not only does camaraderie make the meals more enjoyable, but also, eating with others restrains your own behaviour.
You eat more slowly, which increases the likelihood that you’ll register when you are full before you’ve eaten more than you should.
● Get Moving
People in Asian countries, France and the Mediterranean tend to be slim because they are more active. Not that they spend hours in the gym; indeed, they simply walk a lot. If you wish to lose weight fat, just incorporate walking into your daily habits and see the positive result it has on your health.
Learning from this healthy lifestyle and dietary habits from around the world can make our journey towards a fitter, slimmer and healthier body relatively easier.