• You always really wanted to take care of your health & weight.
  • But I know it is not that easy to start with a healthy eating and diet program stuff.
  • You might want to follow a diet to lose weight, gain weight or build up muscle, get better on your medical reports like Iron, calcium, sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
  • Maybe you just want to improve the way you eat and prevent the onset of lifestyle disorders also defy ageing.
  • You always want to do it but are not able to mostly due to time constraint, lifestyle, being busy, mentally occupied and many other reasons.
  • But hey! Who said you cannot take steps to modify your lifestyle for good, even by not following a diet.
  • With years of experience, I find that the below mentioned two changes are easy to adapt and will really improve your health quotient.
  • The first will take just 2 minutes of your time every day and the second will take just 2 hours a week.
  • Both can easily fit into any lifestyle and will take you two steps closer to your health goal (whatever your goal is!)
  • If you have always wanted to start but find it not so easy or you do start but find it difficult to stay on track and come back to not so healthy routine of eating, but want to improve – these two simple changes can truly help you a ton.

    # 1 Food Diary 

  • This is the easiest way to start your health journey – it will take you not more than 2 minutes in the day.
  • If there is only one thing you can start today to change your lifestyle – this is it.
  • If you are searching for one transformation tool it would surely be a food diary.
  • Keep tracking – start this simple step of recording whatever you eat every day. It might sound simple but if you practice it each day it will change your complete approach towards what you are eating.
  • It is a simple practice and requires no much expense or effort.
  • Just make it a part of your everyday ritual! Religiously.
  • The whole purpose of writing/typing down is to be self-aware of what you are consuming. After a few entries, this will help you reflect upon which direction your health is taking and how you can improve it.
  • We are human, we eat but then tend to forget.
  • Like they say you are what you eat. Only if you write down will you be able to understand what you are eating and how is it affecting your life.

    How to start 

  • There are different ways in which you can start recording your food intake. It depends on your ease and lifestyle on which way you want to use.
  • Depending upon how much time you want to invest you can write it down after each meal or just recollect and write it down at the end of the day.
  • You can simply on paper – jot down the foodstuff you ate or keep a record on your phone/computer.
  • You may make an excel sheet to keep a track or just keep track in the notes section. You can use an app or a website that can help you store, track and analyze information.
  • Write down everything that you have eaten in the day even if it’s a small tasting, munching or sharing. If you bite it write it.
  • Mention the quantity of the foodstuff that you have eaten. You can use household measures like cups, katoris, number of pieces, teaspoons, tablespoons, glass, bowl etc.

    Things to remember 

  • Want to get the fullest benefits of writing a food log – then try these things too.
  • Mention the time that you ate the foodstuff at, every meal and snack.
  • Mention few ingredient details along with the foodstuff.
  • Like 1 Cup Coffee with 2 tsp sugar and low-fat milk.
  • Like 1 plate poha with few peanuts, lots of veggies and minimum oil.
  • You might also mention the type and maybe the brand of things you are eating.
  • Like a chocolate cream biscuit / bourbon or oreo.
  • You may mention the cooking style-
  • Like 1 fried papad about 6” diameter
  • Like bowl of sautéed veggies oil free

    Want to take it a step ahead

  • You might want to take out time weekly or fortnightly to go through what-ever you have had all along.
  • Meticulously or roughly keep a note of how your food choices are.
  • A website or app can give you detailed information on food composition of things you are eating and show you a graphical representation of food intake too.
  • Getting into details might get a bit complicated & confusing with all the online information – but who said you cannot give it a try.
  • Along with a food diary, you can even keep a track of your weekly weight.
  • If you are exercising or want to start – along with food intake you can even keep a note of your workout.
  • In case you want to keep a record of your medicine intake you may use this tool.
  • This tool is so so flexible and can really fit into any lifestyle with such ease.

    #2 Handy Healthy Snack

  • You want to eat healthily, then let’s go shopping!!
  • Yup shopping! You heard that right let’s make this step fun.
  • Buy healthy stuff and stock it in visible places.
  • Sounds simple and yet it is the most effective change you want to bring.
  • In fact eating healthy is what you always wanted to do and this second step does exactly that. It directly hits the bull’s eye.

    So how do you go about it

  • Think about what are the foods you want to include.
  • Make a list of healthy items. When starting to eat healthy think of the foods you need to include and eat.
  • Most of us when we think about going on a diet – start to mentally make a note on what are the things to avoid.
  • But I never want you to avoid any food item. Whether you are on a diet or not.
  • Avoiding a few foodstuffs cannot improve your health quotient drastically. It is only when you add the right foodstuffs the healthy change will start showing.
  • List of inclusions gives a positive approach to your health.
  • It is more effective in the long run and makes you healthier from inside – physically and emotionally.
  • Before leaving home make a list of foods that you want to buy.
  • Try to make the list more health-friendly which will help you stick to your goals.

    Improvise your shopping

  • Read labels – Start reading the nutrition facts/ information given behind each packet food you purchase.
  • Make an effort to understand what you are actually eating and how it is affecting your body.
  • Avoid impulsive shopping and stick to the healthy food list.
  • Research shows that shopping on empty stomach – you tend to purchase foods that are higher in calories and leads to more impulsive shopping.
  • So never leave home empty stomach.
  • All shopping markets and malls have food courts or food stalls. Once we are tired and hungry after shopping, there is a tendency to eat more.
  • We end up craving for all the junk food displayed. Most times even if we are not hungry we tend to eat these food items due to display, taste and availability.
  • We are going out for a movie/ shopping/ or just to buy a pen; but along with that we buy a foodstuff – pop-corn/ pani puri/ chips/ coke.
  • Mostly this turns in to a habit.
  • You are done with healthy shopping. Now what?

    Will you remember to eat it?

  • Make it a point to make this items handy and display it in visible spots.
  • For example keep fruits and nuts on the dining table. You see it you eat it.
  • Once you open the fridge keep stuff like milk yogurt vegetables in view.
  • You might even want to keep some semi prepared items in the storage so that they come in handy when you are extremely hungry. Like idli batter, some salad, semi prepared dry upma, sprouts Store all of these in transparent container.
  • Easy visibility will lessen the effort you need to make to eat healthy food.
  • You might want to keep few nuts and packed snack in your bag, car also in your office drawer.
  • Try to carry a small healthy snack with yourself when ever leaving home.

    Be consistent on this step

  • Keep a set time and day to purchase the perishable and the non-perishable food items. This will let not leave the gap of unavailability of healthy stuff at home.
  • Pre-plan your day, so that you can eat the healthy stuff you bought.
  • Buying, storing, carrying and eating healthy. Do this for 21 days and this will become your new healthy habit.

 

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