“Just too many options. I’m confused about what to order”, I tell my roommateas I skim through the menu at the pizzeria in the city mall for the 10th time. “Let’s order both”, she says ending my last 15 minutes of confusion between pepperoni pizza and spicy chicken ranch. Yes, that’s right. We order both, and gloat in oodles of cheese and carbs for the next 30 minutes.
The wardrobe store - our next destination; we are actually out shopping for our graduation party next week. I start trying out clothes, but what’s this. My size 10 doesn’t seem to be fitting anymore. Revelation time- I was a size 12 now! All the weight which I had been maintaining for years had finally given up in front of my uncontrolled urge to eat fatty food all the time, and absolutely no exercise.
I tell mom, and like all the moms across the entire universe, I get “Who likes homemade food these days. All you young people need is pizzas, pastas and your cellphone. This is bound to happen.” Introspection time: Mom is right. She is always right.
And thus began my journey towards self-improvement. It’s said that change begins at home, and I agree. I started with the first thing in front of me – which was to change my food habits. It does sound difficult, but once you’ve made up your mind, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you. And the same happened with me. I made the following changes in my kitchen:
- Checking carbohydrate content – If you are really keen on losing weight, it is advised to check the carbohydrate content for each item you have; the lesser the carbs, the better. A fitness trainer friend of mine told me once that this is the best way to keep your macros in control. This habit has taken such a toll on me that even the yogurt that I buy is first checked for the carb content and then purchased. Benefits: lesser carbs make me feel lighter, even if not displaying on the weighing scale, I feel better and lighter from within.
- Replacing milk tea with green tea – As a typical Indian who’s used to the typical milk chai loaded with sugar and cream, this was a difficult step. Especially because this was my wake up tonic every single morning. I tried one step at a time, and replaced only my morning cup with a cup of green tea. With tea brands increasing faster than the population of China (not literally!), this was a tough decision. I had to choose between taste and benefits, and every visit to the supermarket confused me even more.
With the best brand I could find, I got taste and health both. Lucky me! And with the varieties offered, I was also able to replace all 4 cups of my daily milk and sugar tea with green tea in the morning (aids weight loss), black tea in the afternoon (we all need energy post nap like feeling after lunch), another cup of green tea for my evening tea, and a cup of white tea post dinner (it really helps me calm).
- Eating raw fruits – I have always been a juice drinker, but when you become a conscious eater, you inadvertently notice that all the tetra packs contain added sugars and preservatives, which is extremely harmful. So, I replaced preserved juices which gave me these benefits – a) Fresh, and do not have a chemical-defined shelf life b) No artificial sugar added, which externally adds to the taste, but internally harms you
- Homemade recipes – Now this is very important. Once in a while it is okay to have a cheat meal at your favourite restaurant, but home cooked food really helps. I have been experimenting a lot in my kitchen, and this is one of the best ways to lose weight at home. You can learn favourite food recipes from internet, and try them at home. Not only it saves you from the highly unsaturated fatty oils the restaurants use, but you also use fresh ingredients which in itself is a benefit. I attended a few cooking workshops, and my best experiments till date tea smoked chicken (the clear winner), green tea sorbet and wood fire pizza.
Current verdict: A small change in the pantry can actually change your life. I am already 11 pounds lighter, I have much better skin, and I cannot even begin to appreciate how my lethargy has been overtaken by energy and activeness. I still am the foodie I always was, I have just become a conscious eater to anything unhealthy.