More About Diet And Nutrition
Nutrition vs Dieting
When you hear the term ‘dieting,’ the first words that might pop up in your head are ‘restriction’ and ‘hunger.’ Nutrition, on the other hand, leads to thoughts of ‘healthy’ and ‘energy.’
Due to the obsession with slimness and fad diets, our culture has grown to associate the word ‘diet’ itself with a host of negative words, while ‘nutrition’ finds itself in the good column. However, diet and nutrition are often used interchangeably as they are synonyms.
Dieting and fad diets usually fail as they focus on restriction without considering the effect of said restriction on the body as a whole. Diets are focused on a narrow area, but your body does not and cannot work that way. What you put in it affects the way you live. By denying yourself essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and the psychological effects of comfort food, you deny yourself happiness at the cost of your health.
Good nutrition does not mean restricting yourself, keeping yourself hungry, and depriving yourself of your favorite carb-loaded meal or snack. It also does not mean gorging yourself on junk food all day long. Nutrition means looking at your eating habits critically and cross-referencing it with what your body needs with regard to your daily routine, exercise, career, and pre-existing conditions to allow you to live your best life.
While nutrition programs can be specifically designed to aid you in your quest for a healthier, leaner, and even slimmer body, the focus isn’t on the appearance. Nutrition focuses on how you feel from the inside, the effect of food on your moods, emotions, energy levels, and even your sleep cycle! It focuses on providing your body with all the necessary nutrients without compromising on your comfort foods as these meals can be instrumental in maintaining your mental health, especially during high-stress situations.
Due to this, there is a movement to replace the negatively-associated word ‘diet program’ with the more positively-associated ‘nutrition program.’
Why Consult a Nutritionist?
A nutritionist is a professional who can advise you regarding the effect of food on your health and immunity, and come with a plan for the same. They take into account your daily lifestyle, health goals, current diet, and any pre-existing conditions such as deficiencies. For instance, did you know that a common side-effect of a Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D deficiency is a constant feeling of lethargy, lack of focus, exhaustion, and even symptoms of depression?
A nutritionist understands that a lot of problems in our lives can be solved by making changes to our diet as the gut is well-known for influencing our mood and general emotional and mental state. The food you eat also directly influences your energy levels, which can also have an impact on your mood. Consulting a nutritionist can help you realize what you’re putting into your body, how often, and how it makes you feel.
A common misconception regarding nutritionists is they force you to give up on all your favorite foods. However, a professional understands that food is intimately tied to our culture and our past. Certain occasions call for certain diets and the intake of specific foods, and following these traditions can be extremely comforting. A good nutritionist will usually not ask you to completely give up on a meal unless it poses an imminent threat to your health.
Due to India’s diverse population, our nutritionists understand the importance of forming a program that is true to the client, where they come from, and where they currently reside.
Customized Meal Plans
During a session, you might be asked to make a list of how many meals you have in a day, what you eat during that time, what you snack on in between, and even what time you eat. Along with this, a nutritionist will ask for other information such as your exercise routine, your career (movement-based or athletic vs. a desk job), and even your goals. The nutritionist will adhere to the diet you already follow, i.e., if you are vegetarian, you will not be asked to incorporate non-vegetarian food, but you may be asked to take certain supplements.
Speaking of supplements, you may also be asked to get a routine blood test to ensure that you don’t have any deficiencies. If you have the results of a recent test, it would be helpful to keep it nearby. Additionally, you should always disclose any medication you are taking as they may affect your appetite or even lead to specific cravings.
The customized meal plan may not feature the traditional three-meals-a-day routine you are used to. Additionally, if you are prone to constant takeout and processed foods, you may be asked to slowly start cutting back on the same. These plans can help you get healthier and have more energy in a manner that is sustainable, realistic, and long-term.
We are sure that following the plan made for you will have an instantaneous positive effect on your mood and energy levels!
The ketogenic (keto) diet has gained traction due to its ability to help you lose weight in a short period of time. Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that changes the way your body processes foods. Due to the sudden reduction in carbs, your body is forced to rely on fat and puts fat into a metabolic state known as ketosis.
There is numerous research suggesting that keto diets are far more effective compared to low-fat, high-carb diets. One of the major advantages of loading your body with fat-rich foods is that you feel full very quickly, leading to a reduction in your overall food intake, but feel more energetic and ready to take on the world. This allows you to lose weight without compulsively counting calories!
A keto diet can also lead to a reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels. It causes a reduction in type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and prediabetes – all of which are linked to excess fat. A study found that 1/3 of the people with type-2 diabetes were able to stop all diabetes medication after following a keto diet.
Keto diets have also been found to be helpful with lowering cholesterol levels, heart disease, Alzheimer’s progression, seizures in epileptic children, improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, PCOS, and even treat certain types of cancer as well as slow tumor growth!
Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health and fitness trends. The basic idea is to space out your meals and pay more attention to when you eat, rather than what you eat. Thus, intermittent fasting is not exactly a diet but an eating pattern.
The idea comes from ancient times when humans were gatherers and hunters and did not have access to regular meals. Due to this, our bodies had to adapt to survive without sustenance for long periods of time.
This method of periodic fasting is also common in various religions and is supposed to be healthy for you by boosting your immune system, regulating your appetite, and cleansing your body.
Intermittent fasting involves breaking the day or week to ‘eating’ periods and ‘fasting’ periods. Based on your daily routine, you can choose from numerous formulas available. However, the 16/8 method is the easiest to stick to and implement. This method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your ‘eating’ period to 8 hours. For instance, you may choose 1 pm – 9 pm, or even 4 pm to 1 am. The idea is to fast for 16 hours a day; you get to choose which 16 according to your routine.
By consuming fewer calories and burning up more, you are guaranteed to lose weight quickly as long as you don’t overcompensate and eat excessively during the ‘eating’ period.
Gluten-Free and Vegan Diets
Gluten is a protein found in most common grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity can safely consume grains such as rice, corn, and quinoa. Due to the nature of Indian diets, cutting gluten out from your diet may prove challenging, and a nutritionist can help prepare a meal plan that allows you to follow a gluten-free diet on a budget.
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle choice where one chooses not to consume or use animal products. In terms of diet, this includes abstaining from meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Due to this, vegans may often face nutritional deficiencies which may be fortified through specific food or dietary supplements.