BEING TOO BUSY, CAN MAKE YOU FAT

“I was too busy at work, I just dint get time to eat.” Is this not the story of the most hardworking and busy people? So just let me clear a few things – this is not a sign of some righteous, honorable act, it’s a classical sign that you’re neglecting yourself, choosing work over health and going into a fat storage mode. Had you taken out 5 minutes to grab a quick bite, you have moved to fat burning mode. We all know the value of time – time lost can never be got back. Same applies to eating at the right time too.

So the obvious question is – what is the right time to eat? Eat through the day.  Yes, the quantity varies with each meal, changes every season, changes with your mood – but the act of eating consistently through the day remains.

Today we are aware and know that we need to eat before and after exercise – because our body needs the fuel. Like exercise is to physical body, mental activity or work is for the brain. The brain needs its fuel too. Your duration of exercise is restricted to an hour or max 2. Does this apply to work too? We work through the day say 9-5 or 11-7 – our brain; our eyes staring at the laptop are working. They need fuel. By not eating when busy or simply having tea/coffee to mask hunger signals, not only are you compromising on productivity, impairing your analytical skills but you are now charging towards weight gain, higher fat percentage and landing up closer to diabetes, heart disease.

To make this worse, when you are done with work, and you now realize you are hungry you end up having that fried yumminess outside work or buy a big bar of chocolate or have a pastry. And if not this, you end up overeating at home over dinner – because you are hungry! This leads to bloating, heaviness post dinner which leads to difficulty in falling sleep, so next day you wake up tired.

So break the cycle – EAT! Eat small frequent meals through the day, this practice not only keeps you satisfied, it also stabilizes your blood sugar, keeps you more alert, more productive – so in short your performance at work improves, your sleep cycle will get better – you will feel fresh and young.

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The ‘Exam’ Diet

By now you do know that what you eat and drink affects ‘YOU’ – yes, definitely apart from your weight, it affects your mind, your mood and your ability to perform well in your Exam. Then I am sure you will be wondering – What is the best diet to follow on exam day? Can food and drink really influence my child’s result? Do you think ‘Food for Thought’ is just a random phrase? 😉

It’s the time of year when all that matters are Marks, Marks and more Marks. Answering your questions – YES – eating well definitely provides an added edge – during this rat-race where even half a mark can be a difference between Rank 1 and 2!

In the whole ‘Exam’ tension – we forget good nutrition. We OD on coffee (arre – don’t we have to stay up all night!), eat whatever we can lay our hands on (I need to munch – otherwise how do I study) – such and many more are the tales told. We think we can trick the brain and the body by eating these things to “keep energy levels up”. But we forget – who is more ‘shaana’ 😉 :p (smart!) However, this is not only harmful to your long-term health, but can also negatively affect your exam performance

Just like studying right from Day 1 (instead of burning candles at both ends a month before exam), eating sensibly right from the beginning helps you ace your tests. The better the fuel your brain gets, the better you will study and quicker you will remember and will be able to recall it quickly when writing your exam – instead of blanking out.

So how do I keep my brain running a fab marathon? Few tips –

Eat at regular intervals. Eating regular meals helps keep nutrient and energy levels more stable, and so you will not suddenly land up snacking on the crunchy munchy chips 😉

Avoid Packaged Processed Foods. Eat food and snacks made at home. Resist the temptation to eat packaged foods – be it chips or biscuits or anything. These foods will send you off on energy highs and lows — creating the exact opposite of a consistent stable high energy that you need during your long exam to perform well. So, a fresh homemade snack – beats all these meals hands down not just in taste but also the nutritional value of the food, and also in the way your brain and body respond to it.

Eat small, balanced meals. Eating large meals will slow you down, mentally and physically. Typically when you eat a large meal, you feel sleepy, because a lot of your blood flow is directed to your digestive system instead of the brain to digest the heavy meal. To keep your brain active – eat smart – eat small – you should feel light and active, more alert and refreshed after eating. This way you study well, are able to concentrate better and remember faster.

Start your day with a fruit. Fruit ranks high among the best foods you can eat for your brain. Eat any fruit – a fruit of your choice – because the natural sugar in fruit offers clean sustained and more stable energy, so you don’t experience the sudden drop in energy that typically follows once you have had tea or coffee (which is why you end up having cups after cups of tea/coffee – because your energy yo-yos from high to low).

Drink lots of water. Water is very important. Dehydration can make you lose your concentration, feel faint, and drain your energy. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink a glass of water. If you wait till you’re thirsty, it means your body is already a little dehydrated.

Don’t try any new foods, drinks, or supplements. Often we end up trying new super foods just before the exam because it is highly recommended by friends or family or some research. For your own sake avoid it. You don’t know how your body responds to them and you don’t want any surprises on exam day. Stick with food and drink your body is used to.

Get enough sleep. Many students get into the habit of studying late into the night, hoping to cram in a little more information into their already fatigued brains. For your brain to function well it needs rest too. Apart from eating right, brain needs a good restful sleep. If the brain is exhausted very often you end up forgetting everything or mixing up answers or just going blank the minute you start to write your paper.

So – eat well, sleep well and All the Best! 🙂

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