Most of the city’s young professionals lead fast paced sedentary lives packing in too many things in a day. With little time to cook and eat right, office drawers are stocked with junk food as we steadily replace our daily meals with processed takeaways and easy-to-cook meals. This high fat, salt, and sugar diet lead to high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So, although you raked up quite a few bad food habits last year, it’s not too late the set them right. Here is a list of the most popular bad food habits and how to remedy them for a fresh start to the year:
Whether it’s chips, chakna, khakras or biscuits — snacking at work is common work habit. While it may help you keep your energy levels up, in a sedentary environment it also aids your body in storing unnecessary fat. Salt content in snacks leads to hypertension and water retention.
Don’t turn your locker into a mini-pantry. Don’t carry the whole bag of chips to your desk. Bring limited snacks from home or buy small packets that help you with portion control. Mark a post-it each time you snack to stick to five meals a day.
Too much tea or coffee
Your daily fix of tea or coffee every two hours is a difficult habit to break. But excessive tea or coffee leaves you feeling jittery, irritable, dehydrated, and even interrupts your sleep pattern. If taken with your meals, tea and coffee inhibit the absorption of iron. Your body throws out the nutrient as waste.
If you cannot cut down the number of cups, cut down on their size. Then, try alternating tea and coffee with healthier options such as green tea, warm lemon water, freshly squeezed juices, etc. Stock up your locker with sachets of green tea or light flavored tea that don’t need to be doused in sugar and milk.
Not drinking enough water
Most corporate offices are air-conditioned, making it impossible for people to sweat. This means we don’t feel adequately thirsty. As the body gets used to drinking water below its requirement, it learns to adapt and when you do start drinking a little more water, your body treats it as excess. In fact, initially, it throws it out causing you to run to the toilet every few minutes. In the long run, not drinking enough water can cause constipation, indigestion, gas, increased hunger pangs, dehydration and can make your skin look dull too.
Fix it: Keep a liter bottle of water at your table and finish it before the end of the day. It may take you 2-3 days to adapt to an increased dose.
After a day’s work, it is tempting to head for a late night meal. Late night hunger is also the body’s way of letting you know that it’s exhausted and needs sleep, not food. A large meal, heavy on carbohydrates, is difficult for the body to digest before bedtime and the body invariably stores it as fuel for later. Additionally, if the body has met its calorific requirement for the day, it’ll add unnecessary calories to your diet.
Eat light, a combination of veggies and lean protein before bed. High fiber vegetables and lean meat and proteins will make you feel full and cater to your limited calorie requirements. Lentils and vegetables without rice or bread will suffice.
You’ve been good all week, but give yourself a whole weekend of guilt-free eating as a reward. It may motivate your diet, but it plays havoc with your routine. The best way to bring the body into dietary order is to put it on a routine it can get used to. This doesn’t give the body any time to put the changes into effect.
Find other ways of rewarding your diet. Try relaxing massages, a good book, a trek, anything that feels gratifying and enjoyable. Try and reward yourself more often than only weekends.
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach
After a long work-week, you head out to the cheapest watering hole with colleagues to whine it away. If the first thing you consume is alcohol, on an empty stomach, it is immediately stored in the body as fat. Even a few drinks are packed with harmful calories and snacking along with drinks is the easiest way to overeat. This increases insulin levels and dips blood glucose levels that cause you to feel hungry and crave the food you don’t need. A few drinks on, you’ll be eating everything in sight.
Eat a little before you head out to drink. Even a small salad or sandwich will do. If you don’t have access to food, a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt will do. Proteins help slow down the absorption of alcohol.
Also Read: DO YOU HATE MUNCHING THROUGHOUT THE DAY?