Oct 4, 2016

Listen to your body's signals

 I'm a firm believer of the fact that our human body has amazing abilities. How do we feel when a peck of dust enters our eyes or a sand particle enters our nostrils? Our body will ensure that the foreign particle is thrown out immediately, by the use of tears in the first scenario or a sequence of sneezes in the second case.

Over the years, we have lost touch with our body. While we want to stay connected to our smart phones with strong Wi-fi / 4G signals, very few of us are able to detect the signals sent by our body. The very basic of these signals are hunger and thirst. How many of us eat food when we are hungry? We like to be busy throughout the day and grab something on the go, without an understanding of our hunger pangs. Either we starve ourselves completely and pride on the fact that we had a late lunch due to a "client meeting". Or we keep munching something every 10-15 minutes, distracted with our umpteen number of devices.

As much as I respect Rujuta Diwekar for bringing awareness on Indian food traditions and practices, I don't agree to her principle of eating every 2 hours. I believe in the old adage - "eat when you are hungry". Hunger is a way of signaling us that the stomach has digested the food eaten earlier and is ready with the digestive juices to take in the next meal. At times, either our body needs rest (do we feel hungry when we are sick? Not at all) or the earlier meal is taking more time to digest. So it is better to wait for the signal before you eat the next meal. If we eat even a small portion of any food before the previous meal is fully digested, the undigested food interrupts the digestion of the previous meal. As a result, both the meals end up not getting digested and absorbed properly.

I also believe that we should drink water when we are thirsty. Not sipping throughout the day. It is very easy to understand the trigger our body sends if we care to listen. The one-size-fits-all measurement of drinking 4-5 litres of water a day doesn't apply to all human beings. Each of us are unique - our needs are different and so does our body types, activity levels, gender, food habits, genes, location and many other parameters.

This is what our ancestors believed, who led calm, peaceful lives without any lifestyle diseases. This might sound impractical, given our busy schedules. But I suggest that you try eating atleast one meal a day only when you start to feel hungry.  Start saying No to any food when you are not hungry. I bet you'll feel a positive difference (the lightness, the high energy levels) in a few days. Do share your experience in the comments below.

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