‘Fat’ won’t make you fat

As I walked into the adolescence, the continuous hormonal shifts produced an overpowering desire of looking attractive. Therefore, I determined to trim down my already pencil-thin waist. I opted for the easiest, also the most lethargic and pervasive approach to it- the ‘dieting’. I wandered this path on and off for many successive years.

Today, I very often see people taking the same approach and surprisingly their ‘portfolio of mistakes’ looks quite familiar.

Here it goes:-

1. Always appreciating the weight loss. 
2. Skipping meals.
3. Under eating that leads to overeating.
4. None or unhealthy snacking between the meals.
5. Avoiding carbohydrates.
6. Avoiding fats.

I aimed for losing weight. But I didn’t reflect that if the ‘weight loss’ was my mere purpose, It could even befall had I fallen sick.

The human body has three main components: fat, lean body mass (muscle, bone, and organs) and water. When we want to reduce the body weight, we want to lose the excess fat and not our healthy muscles. So, we always need to keep a check that the weight loss is not a reflection of the muscle loss.

I thought that skipping meals was a good ritual for the weight loss. At times, I slept starving. I could never enjoy my food.

Underfeeding imbalances the sugar, leads to nutrient deficiency, dulls the mood, and ultimately weakens the body. When we skip a meal, it may lead to over eating in the next meal or worse we can end up eating junk food.

I used to label carbohydrate as my opponent. I brutally rationed my ‘whole -wheat bread’ portions.

Carbohydrate is the main source of energy for the body. Although we should avoid high carbohydrates foods like sugary cereals, crackers, cakes, flours, jams, preserves and sugary drinks for :-
a) They are low in nutrients and as the body is craving for nutrients it would tend to over consume in the pursuit of nutrients.
b) They are low in fibre and thus there would be an immediate rush of the sugar into the blood.

We should include healthy high carbohydrate foods in our meals like vegetables, legumes (beans), whole grains, fruits and nuts. These carbohydrates are high in nutrients and fibre leading to a gradual release of the sugar into the blood. This prevents over consumption and promotes a strong control over the sudden urges.

I also identified fat as a leading adversary in the weight loss battle. I excluded my intake of clarified butter (ghee) from the regime. Amongst all my misconceptions, I place this at the top of the list.

Fat in small amount is an indispensable part of a wholesome diet. Vitamins A, D and E are fat-soluble nutrients as they can only be absorbed with the help of the fat. Fat reserves energy, insulates us and provides the cushion to our vital organs.It supports protein in doing its job. Some healthy sources of fat are nuts, seeds, clarified butter (maximum intake a spoon a day) cheese and cold pressed and filtered oils like rice bran, olive oil and coconut oil.

I am healthier than before. My newfound knowledge has inspired me to reconsider my choices. I am more deliberate about getting the facts right, and bringing this to everyone beyond me. A healthy life is a life-long pursuit, but small changes matter in the long run.