I just want to share a real story which occurred around me this week. Being a responsible warrior I was immediately stimulated to share it with you all since we, the warriors, can ascertain some learnings from the story. One of my family friend, a 32 years old lady here in Lucknow was undergoing through the self managed weight loss programme (which many of us have already started with). In order to reduce weight, first thing she chose to do was “dieting” (which many a people tend to find most economic and manageable to put into effect). She reduced quantity of her diets drastically and began avoiding food items which were heavy in view of their calorific value. Soon she had results too which motivated her more and her diets had to put up with cost of her motivation. To score more results soon, she cut down her diet further and deleted some more heavy food items from her daily menu. Weight loss was taking place at the pace she desired it to be but suddenly on 16th day of her weight loss programme she suddenly fell sick at her work place. Her gentle colleagues took her to the nearby clinician where she was thoroughly examined, off course biochemically and verbally. Later Doctor disclosed that she is caught with a serious viral infection and she is anemic too. Doctor advised her bed rest of one week along with taking a few pills and rich diets. I wish her a speedy recovery and may she get back to her work soon.
Though I did not get a chance to speak to her clinician but being a nutritionist what I can surely speculate is that because she had limited VARIETY from her menu, her diet must have turned deficient in some essential micro-nutrients specially vitamins and iron. As a result she not only became anemic, her immune system was also compromised badly. We must remember that while we choose dieting as an option for weight loss we should reduce the quantity of the food items which we were taking earlier but we must not limit the VARIETY of our diet. In fact our body has power for nutritional adaptation for quantity related changes but there are certain nutrients which our body can not synthesize/produce. And since most of them are essential to keep body functions on, our body gets affected badly in absence of them. Unknowingly by reducing variety from our diet we usually limit some of important nutrients to be ingested and as a result we encounter with severe consequences. Actually a dieting person or a person fraught with exercise or aerobics needs more micro-nutrients which act as antioxidants because our body is likely to produces more free radicals these days and antioxidants acts as a scavenger for these harmful free radicals.
Some pieces of advices which I have extracted from the sad storey of my family friend and which I would like to quote here for all my colleagues who are following a restricted diet programme are as follows.
§ First but imperative is “don’t reduce quantity of your diet abruptly. Change in diet should always be gradual.
§ Fruits must be included in our daily diet even if it is sweet like Banana or pears. However, we can compensate the additional intake of calorie by reducing quantity of cereals based products (e.g. roti and Chawal etc.) and tubers (potato, etc.) but cereals based products must not be completely removed from diet. We can also compensate additional energy intake by cutting down numbers of tea/coffee. But I would not advise to completely avoid even tea and coffee if you were in habit of taking them earlier.
§ As 20-35 % of our daily energy requirement should come from fat, we should not completely restrict visible fat (fat in the form of ghee, butter, cooking oil) from our diet because fat which are naturally contained by food items like cereals , vegetables may not be enough to reach up to this level. But undeniably, we may cut down the amount of visible fat in our diet.
§ Since Vitamin-C helps body keep immune system improved. Therefore, daily consumption of lime juice (nimbu) can enable you stay away from general infections.
§ Especially women should consciously incorporate iron rich food products in their diet even if you are dieting. Some of the easily available iron rich food products are dates (khajur), flaked rice (chiwda), green leafy vegetables, lotus stem, bajra, roasted bengal gram (bhuna chana), soyabean, and meat products.
§ Last but most important is, in order to ensure variety in your diet, eat whatever eatable you come across in your daily life and which you were eating earlier but off course quantity can be reduced. Remember every food item has a unique combination of nutrients and some of which may be indispensable to keep you fit.
Hope this will help you loose your weight without pain.
Please pray for speedy recovery of my family friend whose sad story motivated me to write this blog.