Seasonal Fruits

 

One huge mistake we all make is to eat fruits we like even when they aren’t in season, whether its canned or imported, we would just eat it! This article talks about the importance of fruits, and the least travelled fruit in particular.

I remember as a kid when I used to go to America and eat huge delicious strawberries, and it was so disappointing to come back to the tiny strawberries in India which we have. We wait for summers for mangoes, but then places like Canada and America and many others have no mangoes! No place can be perfect, right? I visited Nepal this summer where I ate peaches for the first time and the freshest possible plums, and it tasted so much tastier than it does in India! Just like how some varieties taste better in the South of India than they do in North, and how avocado is easily available in the Western world than in India where one rotten avocado comes for Rs.500.

20160521_163614Mulberry (Nepal)

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Litchi (Delhi, India)

Fruits serve as our primary source for essential vitamins and minerals which is why they are important for consumption. What is even more important is to have the fruit which is in season. Look back into time, you have probably once picked up your favorite fruit when it was out of season, maybe an orange in summers, did it taste as juice like it did 4-6 months back? Just because it is ‘available’ doesn’t mean its in ‘season’. Even mangoes are available a month before their season starts, but doesn’t your mother say ‘Abhi season nahi hai aam ka, meethe nahi hai, baad mein khareedengay’ (Its not the season of mango, they aren’t sweet, we’ll buy them later)?

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Mango ( Bangalore, India)

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Plums (Kathmandu, Nepal)

A lot of us try to be all fancy to have imported fruits like New Zealand Apples, Washington Apples, etc, eat apples from Himachal and Kashmir instead? Sure that they have travelled to you, but fruits which are not local and have travelled half way across the world for you- how fresh and tasty are they? If you have experimented like me, apples from Shimla will taste far better than those which come from Japan and Washington.

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Peach (Thankot, Nepal)

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Cherries (Delhi, India)

Respect nature, out of a million regions, it chooses to grow various varieties in various places only during a particular season- why are we transporting it from here and there and trying to feed on it then?


Would not be posting until July 10 as I will be traveling 🙂

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QOTW

You said on your post (Quora) that you followed your diet even after you became fit and was no longer fat. Do you think that you would have gained weight if you have stopped following your diet?

-Ninad

 

Hey there!

So what I started doing was eating healthy and didn’t follow a standardised diet (8am eat this, 10am eat that, and so on). Healthy alternatives always help more than following a standardised diet, because till how long will you keep following it? I will be writing a post on healthy alternatives so that people think that eating healthy doesn’t mean to go on a path of starvation or eating what you do not like at all. An example is eating a chicken steak instead of a pizza, and trust me on this, chicken breast in good pepper sauce with rice, grilled vegetables, and herbed mashed potato taste far better than a pizza! So this is exactly what I did 😀

As to the second part of your question, I have no diet to follow, just a healthy lifestyle which I tried hard and attempted at and now it is a habit. If you are talking about junk, as I write this I’ve had early 10 Hershey’s kisses and half a bar of Snickers (we all have such days!)

So when I am not following any diet and eating exactly what I like, and in turn if its doing great for my body – what will I stop following and what weight will I gain?

 

What your alcohol is doing to you

‘Going out for a drink’ is the most common kind of social interaction we indulge in, not knowing what your pretty margarita  or a pint of beer has in store of you.

Just an hour of conversation with two drinks down, you just added some really unwanted calories. Ever wondered why the males in most Indian families are unfit, and do most of them drink? There you go. Most of the older men I know will have a peg or two in the evening as a habit, leading to a belly they shall carry forever along with blood pressure, heart, or kidney problems. I am not saying its bad, but the key to everything is moderation. I am not telling you to discontinue drinking, I am telling you to not gulp down a drink every time you go out. How much is ‘drinking in moderation’, you must be thinking, the answer is- once a month. Lets face it, you will not have just one drink, right? The day you are drinking you might as well drink whole heartedly, but that’s just my theory on it. If you really have just one drink, then twice a month should be okay.

Let’s quickly look at some facts-

  • 60ml of Vodka (Absolut) : 69cal
  • 1 pint Kingfisher beer : 140 cal
  • 30ml Gin (Gordon’s) : 80 cal
  • 30ml Tequila : 70cal
  • 30ml Old Monk Rum : 70cal
  • 30ml Bacardi : 69cal
  • 30ml Whiskey (JD) : 65cal
  • 30ml Balieys : 98 cal
  • Orange Bacardi Breezer (275ml) : 170cal

(Data taken from MyFitnessPal)

All of the above also have 5-15g of sugar. Yes, so this is the amount of sugar and whatever carbonated drink you add to it will make it more fattening and unhealthy. And its not about the calories only, its about ’empty calories’ as alcohol has absolutely zero nutrition to give you.

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If you are a woman reading this and thinking how vodka is the lowest in calories and you just have a cosmopolitan and that should do no harm, well, cocktails are the most fattening. Why? As you must have already read in the previous article, juices are nothing but sugary water, and cocktail is a perfect amalgamation of several sugary waters plus sugary syrup plus 30ml or 60ml of calorie-packed alcohol.

All you people can blame that bulge on your tummy to alcohol. Honestly, it’s really not the hardest thing to reduce. You will feel the amazing changes which such a small thing could bring! So leave alcohol and eat more of yummy food instead!

The dark side of your colourful drinks

You wake up and have green tea/tea/coffee, and then you grab a Starbucks on your way to work. A couple of hours into work and you drink ice-tea, because it’s refreshing in the middle of your monotonous task. You pick up a can of coke with lunch, and in the evening you have your usual chai, cold coffee, juice or some yummy thick shake to battle the heat and fill you up. Later in the evening, you have a drink or just any other beverage to compliment with your food or on your way back from work when you’re stuck in traffic and extremely tired.

day-beverages

Source – Google

If this is how your day goes, or actually even half of how your day goes, your drinks are deteriorating your health more than the food you are eating (even if you aren’t completely eating healthy!).

I was outside a joint in Bangalore (India) and ordered a cold coffee, I was shocked to see that a simple cold coffee worth Rs.30 ($0.45) had 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream, 3 spoons of sugar and ample of chocolate sauce put inside it! This must be anywhere between 300-500 calories (mind you, that’s the amount of calories you should consume in one of your three large meals). This means, the Oreo shake you had when you went out with your friends consists of sugar equivalent to your daily sugar intake and calories equivalent to your meal.

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Source – Google

Shocking much? Well, maybe you should check the nutritional information about your favourite drink on the Starbucks official website– it broke my heart to know that my favourite tall Hot Chocolate drink has 210 calories and 37g of sugar (a person’s daily intake should be around 50g), and this is with non-fat milk and without whip-cream.  Enough of defaming Starbucks, because all other joints are the same, or even worse (Café Coffee day is more ice-cream than milk).

Hack : Try not to have those exotic seasonal and other shakes because they have a lot more sugar than required, and customize your drink by not adding whip-cream (saves around 70 calories) and choose non-fat milk instead of whole milk. For other joints and stalls, tell them to make your coffee without ice-cream and chocolate and put less sugar.

Another popular thing I hear from people is, “okay since you are not drinking anything because you are health conscious, have juice since its healthy.” Never have juice, unless its fresh and that too not more than twice a week because its literally zero good nutrition to you, eat whole fruits and vegetables instead because they have a lot of fibre. Next time you go grocery shopping, check the amount of sugar a 200ml tetra pack has- easily around 20gms (same is for ‘healthy’ chocolate flavoured soy milk by the way).  You are not doing any good to yourself, you are just having coloured sugary water and disguising it to be healthy.

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Source – Google

 

Hack : Have fresh juice without sugar, and not too often. In place of juice you can have fruit shakes (without ice-cream and added sugar since natural fruit has enough sugar).

Some of you like to try fusions of drinks, the colourful and fascinating mocktails, which is nothing more than sugary juices plus sugary syrups. Need I say more?

Hack : Stick to lemon-based drinks as lemon & water is actually good and some places add wonderful ingredients to make it extraordinary (e.g. lime juice, lemon grass drink, ginger lemon drink, honey lemon drink, etc).

I am not talking about aerated drinks here because I am sure that’s something we all know (100ml = 10g sugar =bye bye health).

 

Stay tuned to know about what alcohol does to you, in the next article!



 

 

You can leave your queries in the comments 🙂

QOTW

Hey niharika!! I am 25 years old, height 5'3-, weighing 54 kg. I wish to shed few kgs along with my belly fat. I already do 40 min of workout which includes 20 min HIIT and 20 min stretching. I avoid fried and junk foo (3).png

Hi Priyanka!

First of all, I feel that your weight is totally fine. Of course, I don’t know if its muscle weight or more of fat, but it’s a perfectly normal weight.

About your belly fat, are you eating clean? Which also subsequently answers your second question. Tummy is shed in the kitchen, not in the gym. I don’t have any diet plan since I too depend on PG or college food, all I do is make it a point to eat clean and eat something which is rich in fibre so I get full for a long time. I completely understand how difficult it must be for you because I experience the same thing.

Firstly, I would suggest you a change in workout. You don’t need 20 minutes stretching at all! Make it 20min HIIT, 15min exercises, 5 min stretching in your 40min window. Secondly, does your tiffin service give healthy food ? Also, can you request them to make food in minimal oil? Thirdly, are you eating after every 2 hours? Even having something like almonds 2 hours after lunch is a good snack which will give you energy instead of feeling sluggish. Eat even if you are not hungry, because eating a lot later on when you feel hungry will obviously lead to over-eating.

This is what I do, sticking to the basics 🙂 HIIT itself is great for belly fat, and once you have your diet in place, it shouldn’t be that big a problem. Hope it helped 🙂

 


 

I answer questions every week. To post a query, go to the ‘Contact’ tab above!

How much should you really eat

Trying to make this as simple as possible, so just follow this closely-

To lose weight you need to create a calorie deficit (you must burn more than you eat)

1kg= 7,700 calories. Which means, creating a deficit of 7,700 calories over one or two weeks will mean you lost 1kg, and vice-versa.

calories+in+vs+calories+out

Source : Google

Now you are probably thinking how the hell are you supposed to burn 7,700 calories! The only possible answer is ‘starvation’, yeah? Well,

BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) = calories you burn at rest doing absolutely nothing.

For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161

Your result is the amount of calories you burn doing absolutely nothing. Now, suppose your BMR=1400 calories, subtract it by 200 and follow a 1200cal diet. Same goes if your BMR=1600, follow a 1400cal diet. By doing this, and exercising, you clearly create a calorie deficit for yourself and lose weight. Very very easy, isn’t it? At least scientifically it sounds like!

Now, when you exercise your metabolic rate will also go up. Oh and btw, metabolic rate is basically how good your body is at burning food i.e. people with high metabolic metabolism burn food faster and people with low metabolism burn food slower, and hence end up storing more fat. I’m trying to make it less scientific and easy to comprehend so you actually understand these basics. So yes, find your BMR, eat 200 calories lesser than that, and exercise- and you shall lose weight easily. Well, not so easily to be honest. Now if you are wondering how do you know about every food’s calorie content, what I personally suggest is to download this app called ‘My Fitness Pal’, I used it for 3 months to track every single unit of energy which went in my body, and as I result I know the calorie count of literally everything I’ve ever eaten! I am sure there are more calorie tracking apps too.

But again, don’t stick to calories- we have to aim at being healthy and losing weight, remember? And not just losing weight and being all saggy or gaining it back. Hitherto, focus on nutrition. Look at fiber. When you are about to eat and its high in calories, think, ‘will I feel full after I eat this?’ Calories in half a cupcake is almost equal to calories in a banana, and we all skip bananas because they are so ‘fattening’. So now compare, what will make you full- half a cupcake or a banana? Which is why, banana is rich in fiber. Similarly, one slice of pizza is roughly equal to two chicken breasts, what will get you full here? So yes, look at calories, but wisely.

Stomach-Graphic-copy-1024x337

Source : Google

This is ‘how’ much you are supposed to eat, I will further post about how you should eat which would includes if you must, then how should you eat brownies and chocolates too. After all, we are all humans who love sinful desserts full of calories!

 

Send your questions in the ‘Contact’ tab, and I shall respond shortly!