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How to Enjoy Food While Staying Fit and Healthy

Rashmi Uday Singh

 (Continued...)
 
Tips to avoid overeating
  • Start with a salad/soup
  • Eat small meals at regular intervals (never starve)
  • Never eat in a hurry

  • Concentrate on what goes in as it’s bound to show outside
  • Love what you eat and ‘be aware’
  • Try not to eat alone (company makes you conscious)

Food and mood

It might help to know that it’s not just alcohol which is a mood-altering substance. Our everyday food does affect our moods too. Within the brain, chemicals help transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. There are two such substances known as endorphins, which affect our moods – serotonin and norepinephrine. The body makes these particular endorphins from the food we eat and therefore, we can, to a certain extent raise the level of these substances in the brain by eating specific foods. The main source of these endorphins is sugary, carbohydrate-rich food. This explains why many of us feel happy when we eat chocolates and sweets.

The problem, however, with eating too much of these is that sugary foods are absorbed rapidly into the blood. And though this causes a serotonin rush, it is broken down rapidly and eventually leads to a drop in blood sugar and endorphin levels.

So, such foods can leave you feeling even lower than before. On the other hand, natural sugars give you a steady high. Feeling low and depressed is also linked to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals and therefore, to improper eating. A huge database of research points in the direction of eating right and light. So, for the sake of your mood, it is best to stick to natural sugars and natural starches. Natural sugars are found in fruits and veggies (as opposed to refined sugars in honey, cakes etc.) and natural starches occur in whole grains, brown rice, beans, fruits and veggies (as opposed to refined starches in white bread, pastas etc.). These natural foods keep you clear-eyed and energetic. The reason? They release energy at a slower and steadier pace, do not slow down your metabolism and so don’t end up channelizing the blood supply away from your brain. In other words, they keep you feeling fresh and in a good mood. Naturally!

 

Rashmi Uday Singh is a World Gourmand award winner, author of 18 first-of-their-kind best sellers, host of a popular food and travel TV show, and synonymous with good food in India.
 
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