Monday, July 12, 2010

The Fantastic Food Law

People usually comment about me being so disciplined about my lifestyle and that is why I am so successful in my weight loss. This is the biggest irony of life, I have never been disciplined in my life. My sleeping and getting up hours have always been erratic and so are the other things in my life.

But having said that I did manage to lose weight and that too a considerable amount, so I guess I must have done something correct to get this result.

So here are the disciplines that I observe for weight loss.

Weight loss is based on 3 disciplines, if you make them your habit weight issues will be the last thing on your mind. Covering all disciplines in one post is not possible.

The three disciplines of weight loss.

1. Food discipline - The Fantastic Food Law

2. Exercise discipline.

3. Psychological discipline.

Today I will talk about food discipline rest will follow shortly.

1. Be a smart eater : When you are at the dinner table and you see a piping hot aloo paratha loaded with butter, saying an absolute NO to the paratha is not food discipline. With all your might you will say no to it for couple of times but can you say No to it for life. No you cannot.

So here is what I did when faced with such situation. My rule was simple, have a bowl of soup and salad along with the paratha.

When I was visiting my in laws I was 76 kgs at that time. Weight loss was constantly on my head. As we were home after a long break my MIL prepared all delicious dishes. But 3 thing were a constant feature on the dinning table, my lentil soup, salad and papaya. I would take a little amount of any such temptations but will make sure to have my 3 things first. Now to me this is discipline.

Till date when I make any thing high cal for DH and of course I would like to have it too, I make sure to have it with my soup, salad and fruit. What it does is it automatically reduces the amount of high cal intake. Initially I had to force myself to eat the soup first, but the deal was finish the soup and salad and papya and then I can have the tempting stuff (in moderate quantity).

Whenever its possible do it. When I am in some function, I do it with salad. Where else did I get the trick of loading the rice with lots of salad and then top it with little gravies.

During weight loss try saying No but if it is too tempting then have your low cal food first and then go for the temptation.

2. Microbiotic Eater
- Fancy term and with this I mean small amount eater. If you can master the trick believe me nothing like it.

I was never a small eater. For me the plate should be loaded and then the second serving was a must, even the spoons should be large. But then I did train myself to eat small. It helps in long run.

In past I would finish off 3 big aloo paratha made with lots of ghee and of course lots of potatoes. The classic way to eat them was with lots of butter, yum. I can hardly eat past 1 paratha now. SO you see, I am happy eating the stuff I like to eat but because I am a microbiotic eater I am happy and satisfied with the small amount. Weight loss should be for life and so should be your habits.

If you eat super size you will be super size.

The choice is always in your hand. To eat the food you like through out your life but in small quantity OR being told off by doctors to completely ban food as it is not good for your health.

3. Be a slow eater - Never in my life could I eat slow. I would finish my meal in max 5 minutes and would go for the second run. I ate really fast.

Even during weight loss I ate fast and to stop myself from taking more food I used to drink water. But then I read about this and I told myself let me give it a try. I got the desert spoon out and I started eating with it. Now I eat slow and I am much more satisfied with the first serving.

One more trick to eat slow is to count the times you chew. Chew 20 times and then swallow, your eating speed will get slow.

4. Comfortable diet food - Always remember that the diet that worked for others might not work for you. So if lentil soup worked for Shiva and Shiva likes drinking it, its a wrong assumption that you will like it too.

You can force yourself to drink it for few days but not for life. Best way is to search and mark your own low cal diet food that you can accompany in your meal plan. The food that will help you to feel full and will reduce your food intake as a whole.

5. Change the age old eating habit - If you do not suffer from any medical condition then in all probability you are eating more food than you require that is why you are over weight.

My eating habits were simple. I would have a breakfast of sandwich, lunch of roti and rice, evening snack, dinner of again rice and roti, 2 -3 times in a week I ate out. Simple.

But I was overweight. I was working and I used to feel so tired at night, I needed that much of food. I can never be so wrong in my thinking.

Give your body a chance. Eat a little less and see how it helps in your lifestyle. You really do not need all that roti and rice and dosa, small amount will go a long way too. So always evaluate your meals.

As a child I was given a proper break fast, lunch would be 2 roties followed with rice. Evening we would get snacks and night again the same portion as lunch. I was never an active child, was never into sports.

With age my activity level only decreased but my diet habit remained the same. You do not require the same amount of food that you required while growing up.

The real change happened when I broke from the age old rule of eating what I was supposed to eat since childhood.

The problem starts when we stop thinking what goes in our stomach and eat only based on our habits and tastes.

6. Being hungry never helps - If you are depriving yourself you are bound to break sooner or later. Best way is to fill your stomach. We all have a certain signs to feel full. Some people will associate a burp to feeling full, I associate a stuff feeling in my stomach. Try achieving that with low cal food.

7. Calorie Adjustment - For me weekend used to start from friday nights. It meant a heavy outside dinner. Weekend would start with heavy breakfast of either parathas or poha loaded with sev, fried bread rolls etc. Dinner again will only be outside.

The best part was I got up hungry in the morning and would go on to eat large quantity of food. SO you see on weekends I was eating real high calories and on weekdays I was having normal food (which again was high calories). So where did the calories went, any guess to my body where else.

When I started weight loss if I ate heavy meals I used to go light the next day out of guilt. I felt as if my weight will come back if I do not adjust the amount I ate the previous day.

Now if I have a heavy meal specially dinner next day I am not able to eat heavy. It has now become my habit to go light. Had I been like this since the beginning I would have never put on a kg more.

It always works for me. So if you do eat out and have stuffed yourself with heavy food then just relax the other day. You need to eat the normal home made food but a little less quantity and with more salads and soup. That is all it takes to balance.

8. Dieting - There is no such thing. I have met amazing people who lost 14 kgs in 5 months and got all the weight back. Recently I met the woman who started me with weight loss. I have told this story before, this lady was really overweight and I saw her lose weight.

She has alternated her diet with fruits and soups. So one day she ate proper food and next day only fruits and soup. Sadly this time when I met her she was no longer thin. She told me how difficult it is to diet.

If you are eating boiled veggies and are on a diet of fruits and soup through out, always ask yourself if you are happy about it. If you cannot do it for life then there is no point in doing it for few days, the weight is bound to come back once you leave the diet.

In my desperation to lose weight I was tempted to follow the alternate diet plan but I knew it is not me who will like eating that way. I devised something that suited my lifestyle and which became my habit. I do not diet, this is how I eat. This is not temporary this is permanent.

The summery of this big post is that until you make changes for life the changes won't be permanent. Temporary changes are guess what temporary.

The Fantastic Food Law states that - If you are a microbiotic slow eater who follows the food discipline then you can eat anything and still lose weight.


  1. Hi Shiva,

    As usual a lovely post. I am trying to incorporate healthy food habits and ahs also started a weight diary. I have put a goal. I guess i will start with short-term goals and would keep you posted.


  2. Dear Sscribbles,

    I am so happy to see that you are bringing in small changes. Starting with short term goal is a great idea. Take small steps forward, just like an ant who piles her grain of sand slowly and soon a castle is erected large enough to house any of her dreams.

    Have a great day ahead.




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