"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are"
This quote from G.K. Chesterton is not only accurate but is repeated in every household. Our parents and grandparents never forget to remind us how our generation has the worst food habits and health, and rightly so.
With the onset of the pandemic, work from home culture has led to working professionals leading highly unhealthy lifestyles. Sitting in one position for long hours, consuming unhealthy snacks, and lacking movement have contributed to this imbalance. Therefore, it is pertinent that, along with our work, we look into this aspect of our health, too.
Nova organised "Nutrition 101" with expert nutritionist Neha Kumar this year. Neha has over five years of experience in clinical and lifestyle nutrition and is highly passionate about helping people build better relationships with food.
The session was for working professionals and how one can maintain a good diet and nutrition while working five days a week.
Neha began with statistical data to show everyday eating habits that prevail among working Indians. 37.3% suffer from lifestyle conditions, 80% of the population are deficient in iron, zinc, calcium, and essential vitamins, and 12% of those with diabetes.
The only feasible way to prevent these problems is a mindful approach to nutrition and a balanced diet. Let's look at some of the session's key takeaways.
A diet does not necessarily mean that you need to cut down on what you desire to eat. And instead, you can create a balance between the main components of a meal: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Prior meal planning is ideal
Usually, 40-55% of your caloric intake should be carbohydrates. This helps balance mood and supports brain function. Protein provides serotonin, dopamine, and other hormones essential for building muscle mass. Fat is a requisition for the functioning of each cell, and it's the best form of storing energy. One should not consume more than 30% in quantity. Working professionals should follow a healthy morning routine, eat healthy snacks, hydrate, get enough sleep, etc. Popular dieting trends exclude one food group, which may help foster weight loss but is not sustainable in the long run. So, prior meal planning will help your body get all the nutrients and not leave you hungry or craving your favourite food. Say no cheat days and yes to meal planning.
DOs and DONT's
- Understand the Food Pyramid, where food is classified into five groups. Accordingly, their quantity of consumption throughout the day should be decided.
- Post-Covid, one should consume more nutrient-based food and keep themselves thoroughly hydrated.
- Substitute biscuits with healthy Ragi or soya chips, which are comparable beneficial to biscuits.
- Go for a walk after lunch and dinner to aid in faster and better digestion.
- Consume supplements, if needed, and only under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
- Reduction of any food is acceptable, but elimination is not. One should consume all types of food components.
- High amounts of caffeine that working professionals often consume should be reduced to 2-3 cups only after meals, and a big no to consumption of tea or coffee after 6 PM.
- Alcohol intake should be under limits, and keep in mind your standard drinks.
- One should not consume empty calories such as beer or cold drinks because they do not provide any nutritional value to your body.
Being on top of your health game in today's high-functioning world is challenging. Increased accessibility to food items through delivery mediums has made us more susceptible to wrong food habits. Working professionals must spend their time and energy giving their bodies all the nutrition, as good food equals a healthy body and increased productivity, creativity, motivation and energy.
Little steps such as meal planning, organising your kitchens, preparing meals with friends instead of take-outs or even ordering healthy food is a big step toward overall wellness for the mind-body and soul.
Have you started taking care of your well-being yet? Read some of our wellness blogs here and explore the benefits of conscious wellness induced into your life.