May 21, 2019

Why I write about what not to eat

I have received 3-4 DMs in the past few days asking me to prescribe diet plans for weight loss. And there's one more question which I'm often asked is "Why do you always talk about what not to eat? Why can't you write about foods to eat? Why not talk about healthy packaged foods?"

Since all these questions are related, I thought I would address them as a post.

First and foremost, let's NOT ask random strangers on social media for weight loss diet plans. I believe that diet plans SHOULD only be recommended by qualified medical professionals. These days, a person loses 5 kgs and becomes a fitness influencer. As I wrote earlier, someone who does a nutrition course in Coursera calls himself/herself a certified nutritionist. So let's be extremely cautious of such people who are sprouting on Instagram all the time and not fall for the flat-abs/skin show that they unabashedly "curate" on their feed.

Yes, we can take inspiration from people whose posts/thoughts resonate with us. But we cannot BECOME them. Let's appreciate our individuality and choose foods/diet plans based on what works for us. 

Choosing what to eat is completely up to you, based on numerous factors - your genes, your native cuisine, where you live, foods that agree with your palate and tummy etc. 

I try to post at least one meal pic of mine on Insta on a daily basis. My intention is to spread awareness on the importance of eating fresh, local and traditional foods. Millets, indigenous rice, local veggies and traditional recipes feature regularly in my diet. I'm a South Indian and so my weekly meal plan looks approximately like this - 80% South Indian cuisine, 10-15% North Indian cuisine and 5-10% Non-Indian (pasta, pizza, soups etc). 

Choosing what to eat is quite simple, in my opinion. Eating fresh, homecooked, local, traditional and seasonal - this is the mantra I believe in.

Choosing what to NOT eat is becoming a complex task these days, given the numerous junk-masquerading-as-healthy options prevailing in the market. Also, a crucial part of eating right is NOT to add more and more new foods to our diet, but removing the wrong foods from our diet. Something I spoke about in detail in this post.

"Healthy packaged" foods is an OXYMORON. It is like finding a needle in a haystack. Having analyzed numerous packaged foods available in the Indian supermarkets, I couldn't find any so far. There are small/upcoming brands that are coming up with healthier options, but compared to food corporations, these small brands don't yet have the distribution or production capacities to meet consumer demands at scale. 

There are MANY who write about what to eat, but there's hardly anyone who writes about what NOT to eat. I stopped eating all forms of packaged/junk foods for the past 5-6 years. And this ONE change has brought in a lot of positive effects on my health. And my goal is to spread this message - first eliminate all processed/packaged/junk foods from your diet, then choose foods based on what you believe is healthy.


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