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Have we ever wondered why humans are the only race who take to fad diets outside of our habitual eating patterns?

Have we ever wondered why humans are the only race who take to fad diets outside of our habitual eating patterns?

Every organism in the animal kingdom is attuned to eating as per its habitat and that order is seldom disturbed, except in human beings who are perpetually pursuant of some magical formula so they can get into a certain shape and form. So this urgency of "shapliness" as defined by the norms of beauty on social media needs to be exchanged for long term and sustainable eating habits. For this one needs to delve into the realm of clean, real and healthy eating.

Now let's elucidate this:

1. Being fit and healthy is not equivalent to being skinny or size zero. The measure of how healthy or fit one is, is actually governed by many many parameters-- your energy levels, sleeping patterns, monthly cyclical patterns in women, hormonal health, propensity to auto immune diseases, dependence or addiction etc. Being healthy and fit is a holistic phenomena which cannot be achieved by a diet alone, let alone a fad diet. This takes a deeper understanding of yourself, awareness of bodily functions and reactivity to stimulus in the form of food or emotions or exertion.This awareness is developed over a period of time and is not overnight, it can become the driver for good health. Fad diets usually are either rich in one thing or short in another, they are heavily skewed to certain macro types or are specific goal driven. For example keto diet is high on good fats and protein and low on carbohydrates so sends the body into ketosis mode for fat burn for energy instead of carbohydrates combustion. This diet was originally devised and designed to fight epilepsy and related epileptic disorders.

So does it seem normal for a regular person to resort to this diet, with the purpose of quick fat loss or even adapting it as a way of life? Our body at a cellular level is endowed with mitochondria organelle which oxidises carbohydrate to produce ATP (adenosine Triphosphate-- our energy currency) for the cell. In keto diet we tend to maintain a low carb infusion. And thus the decreased availability of carbohydrate and increased mitochondrial uncoupling during nutritional ketosis suggest a decline in ATP production, at least until compensatory adaptations occur. It's a complex process and sounds like something which isn't the most natural way of working for the human body. In computing parlance it's like overriding the code. So one should understand the merits and pitfalls of a fad diet over natural habitat driven eating.

grayscale photo of woman holding her stomach Being fit and healthy is not equivalent to being skinny or size zero.Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

2. Movement and good nutritional practices are the best tools to achieve optimum performance and good health but this needs to be followed with consistency and become a way of life. Good and sustainable eating practices create good micro biome in the gut, which makes for a happy and healthy gut, which in turn is closely and minutely related to majority of brain and body functions and hormonal health. When the gut and endocrine system are in order, the chances are rare for one to not feel like a super human. Good health results in performance enhancement, alertness, agility, focus, stillness all at once and even enhances your mental faculties to enable one to think clear and better. This in essence is true good health -- the kinds monks speak of. It is said you are what you eat. The cleaner you start eating, the better your internal functions get and the higher your performance and clarity in life. Imagine the amount of time, energy and resources you can save by not visiting the doctors every now and then, by being productive and healthy purely on simple food and living norms, by not spending on diet plans and expert consulting. One should inculcate the understanding and awareness about good eating habits so a lot of gripes in life are wiped off because self-awareness and self-confidence is enough to make you believe in yourself.

sliced vegetable and fruits on board The cleaner you start eating, the better your internal functions get and the higher your performance and clarity in life. Photo by amoon ra on Unsplash

3. Achieving good health, good form, good shape and structure takes time. It's equivalent to chiseling a monolith into shape one blow at a time. The sculptor does it diligently over days and months and years for the finest of statues to emerge. Similarly if someone tells you that a certain kind of form, six packs, eight packs, etc can be achieved in a few days or months, please question the assertion. Find out at what cost? Seek answers akin to buying a policy-- ask yourself what's your monthly EMI or outgoing and what you make in the long term. With fad diets long term prospective health plans are not possible its best to plan and invest diligently. Develop discipline and cultivate healthy habits.

toddler looking at believe in yourself graffiti Achieving good health, good form, good shape and structure takes time. Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

4. Simple habits for good and clean eating which will show results:

* Hydrate a lot-- aim for 4-5 litres a day
* Drop sugar intake or make it minimal
* Eat less, eat when hungry. Don't hoard
* Eating less is different from starving. Eat in proportion to your physical activity and not as per the clock and meal times
* No one ever suffers from eating less. Suffering happens due to eating more or in excess
* Include good fats in your diet-- almonds, walnuts, ghee, cheese, butter etc
* Stop using hydrogenated vegetable oil for cooking or even olive oil for high temperature cooking
* Consume food closest to its natural form e.g. whole chicken over sausages, rice over flour/wheat, fruit over juice and so on
* Don't deprive yourself of anything. Eat in moderation
* Desserts are supposed to be celebratory. Keep them so-- occasions and festivals
* Wake up and drink water to start your day
* Avoid processed and packaged food
* Food is by nature perishable so anything packaged with a higher shelf life has to have chemicals and can't be natural. Avoid
* But local over tetra packs
* Eat fresh and seasonal
* Don't combine fat and carbohydrates-- it causes ill health. For example French fries is a combination of frying and carbohydrates in the form of potatoes; cakes-- combination of flour (processed carbohydrates) and fat and sugar. All these can be avoided to large extent in daily living

blue Work Harder neon signage There is no substitute for hard work so drop the quest for short cuts and start working hard.Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

There is no substitute for hard work so drop the quest for short cuts and start working hard.

(Article originally written by: Puja Gupta) (IANS/ MBI)

Ketwords: Health, lifestyle, diet, exercise, work hard, healthy food


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Books that you can read in 2022.

Reading allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the world around you, stimulating your creativity and keeping your mind engaged.

A list of new releases published by Aleph:

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life?: How to Flourish in Our Turbulent Times

Many causes, including technology, climate change, demographics, and inequality, will cause our planet to change more in this century than in all of human history. Extreme change is offering unparalleled opportunities for individuals, companies, and society, as well as a 'adaptive challenge.' Those who can adapt to a fast-paced, complex, dynamic, and unpredictably changing world will prosper. Those who are unable to do so will suffer immensely.

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There are obvious signals that we need new ways of thinking about the world and our place in it all over the place. Our old ways of thinking about education, lifestyle, success, and happiness are no longer valid. What are the changes in the workplace? When future jobs are still being invented, how can you know what talents will be useful? Will 'jobs' even exist in the future, or will we be relegated to a world of projects and freelance work? What do you do with all of this and more?

What the Heck Do I Do With My Life? is a book on figuring out what you want to do with your life. Ravi Venkatesan argues that effective adaptation in the twenty-first century necessitates a "paradigm shift," a new attitude, new talents, and new techniques. Ravi also considers how, rather than drifting along like a piece of driftwood, we will need to live life more consciously, making deliberate decisions about who we are, what we do, and how we live.

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Neeraj Chopra: From Panipat to The Podium

On the night of August 7, 2021, a billion Indians' long-held desire came true as Neeraj Chopra won gold in the javelin in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The wait, on the other hand, had been extremely long. In reality, this is India's first individual gold medal in athletics since the modern Olympic Games began. The entire country showered him with affection when he did it in his signature flair and smile. The media went crazy, and the youth discovered a new source of inspiration. People flocked to get their photos taken with him, and businesses discovered a new wonder-ambassador. Neeraj Chopra: I'm Neeraj Chopra, and I'm From Panipat to the Podium begins in a small village in Panipat and tells the story of his formative years, which were marked by restricted resources and opportunities. It takes readers through his journey to Panchkula and then to the national camp in his quest to conquer the world.

My Cricket Hero: XII Indians on their XII favourite Cricketers

Pieces from Keki Daruwalla on Polly Umrigar, Fredun De Vitre on Chandu Borde, Gulu Ezekiel on Eknath Solkar, Hemant Kenkre on Sunil Gavaskar, Amrit Mathur on Salim Durani, Kersi Meher-Homji on Vijay Hazare and many more make for a great lockdown read.

It's A Wonderful World: A Memoir

His book is a provocative read that makes us wish we had a life like his. Khalid Ansari's life has been an exciting and purposeful journey in service to his fellow human beings, beginning with his birth in Mumbai's impoverished Madanpura to a father who began his life as an orphan and a mother from a poor household. Ansari has attempted to depict some highlights of a splendored life that he has been lucky to experience, catching stars while chasing rainbows in this 'donkey's tale'. It's been la vie en rose for him, from founding newspapers and magazines to representing his country at the United Nations, accompanying dignitaries on state visits, covering cricket Test matches, nine Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games, travelling the world, and being awarded the Padma Shri award. The author has worked hard to keep this narrative from devolving into a 'I-did-this-did-that' pat-on-the-back, shabash!' By 'spicing' it up with dollops of frothy stories and self-critical bon mots, he has attempted a discourse on the meaning of life, the 'right path,' and the like, even as he has attempted a discourse on the purpose of life, the 'right route,' and the like.

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