Most of us are forever conscious of our body contours and make all the efforts to watch our daily diet and replace unhealthy junk food with healthier ones. Fried, oily and spicy stuff making way for whole fibre and fruits. These days most of us follow a strict regimen of burning fats and toning up muscles by way of exercises and weight training. Watching videos on YouTube that explain ways of preparing salubrious food items and burning body fats is what we do. One spouse is health conscious observing healthy rules while the other sails in a different boat oblivious of all the considerations of a healthy living.
A friend of mine and his wife met me at an awards function in Delhi, organised by my publisher who is renowned and dominant player. The gathering was august with the likes of the ‘rich and famous’ while others falling in the category of political ‘who’s who’. There was an aura of delight and exuberance. Did I tell you that my friend’s wife is a life skills coach? If you do not know what a life skills coach is, let me explain. A life skills coach is one who delivers and counsels people on how to lead a blissful life built upon healthy and happy living. In lighter moments, she confided in me about the problem of overweight plaguing her husband while he seemed to disregard it as such.
‘It seems you have been maintaining your health quite a bit, no fat belly, a perfect toned body. I do appreciate and understand that it takes a whole lot of strict regimen and disciplined diet to have such a physique. I have been trying to put some sense into my husband’s head and inculcate some discipline in him. But he does not pay any heed’ said Nalini. ‘Will you be kind enough to help both of us, he needs to agree with me on losing his weight’.
I was a little embarrassed and pleased at the same time. At least there is someone who has appreciated my hardships and the pain of daily rigour of pumping heavy iron at the neighborhood gym to carve out the physique that I have. Well, when it comes to giving sermons on healthy living I may not be the best as I am no nutrition and fitness expert. But starting today, I can at least try to establish myself as an expert, I thought. I carefully offered my bit of advice in a measured tone, consciously checking her response as I did not want to overdo and spoil the maiden opportunity to prove my mettle.
‘You are up against a big problem, dear. Not only is your husband a fat pig but does not agree that he is either fat or a pig. At first the problem seems insurmountable but on further deliberation I think it is not so’ I said ‘there is a good chance I will be able to convince him to shed some weight’.
Ritesh was listening intently to all the conversation that was happening around him but chose to maintain stoic silence. He broke it only now upon hearing the conspiracy being hatch against him by none other than his dearest wife and a fast friend. He said he was heart-broken and did not expect the two to conspire whom he loved the most in his life. We were not the ones to abandon our plans so easily especially when these were intended to achieve a pleasing end. I fired a few of my lethal salvos.
‘Look, sugar and refined flour are the two main culprits that do not your body weight to move down. We all know that excess sugar is the leading cause of diabetes and obesity. Let us understand why this is so? White flaky sugar (or table sugar as it is called) present in soft drinks, confectionery items, ice creams etc. is actually sucrose which is very rich in calories. If these excess calories are not consumed by physical exercise or activities, these get stored inside the body as fat. And when fat keeps accumulating, it leads to obesity’.
Nalini was quick to point out, ‘What about the sugar in the fruits, is that fattening too?’
‘Yes, that too is fattening but very less so. Fruits contain natural sugar called as fructose which is not as concentrated or dense as crystalline sucrose hence not as deadly or harmful. However, fruits such as fig, mango, grapes, banana and cherry contain more sugar (fructose) than the rest therefore one should consume measured quantities of these fruits. While the sugar content of the others is on the lower side and can be consumed liberally’.
‘Now I see, why all weight loss programs do not put you off fruits’ Nalini pointed out.
‘Yes, that is true’ I said.
[ Also Read : Changing food habits – the culprit is ‘refined wheat flour’ ]
Well that is just one part in the entire picture, the other part is played by what is called as the refined wheat flour. Refined wheat flour has a variety of commercial names such as maida, white flour, all-purpose flour, bleached flour and plain flour. Let us understand how it is obtained. The grain of wheat contains three parts, bran, endosperm and germ. The bran contains fibre and germ contains fibre, potassium, magnesium, zinc, folate, phosphorus and thiamine. However, during the process of milling the grain is stripped off its bran and germ, and what remains is the endosperm which is nothing but refined wheat flour devoid of fibre and other nutritious content. Refined wheat flour is all carbohydrate that releases very high calories during digestion.Nalini announced with a wave of her hand ‘I think, I now understand why Ritesh is overweight. He has great liking for all the forbidden foods that are made of refined wheat flour such as samosa, bhatura choley, pav bhaji, burgers, pizzas etc. His intake of calories is high and if he does not burn enough calories by way of physical exercise or activities, the excess calories get stored inside his body as fat. No wonder he is overweight’.
‘You are a smart lady. You have understood correctly my dear’ I remarked. Pointing at Ritesh I said ‘You would neither be fat nor pig anymore’.
[ Also Read : Go sugarless! ]
It was a day of personal accomplishments. I bagged the best author award, a great citation as well as offered sound advice on turning a fat pig into a lean horse that evening. I sincerely hope to ask Nalini if my advice is working wonders on Ritesh.