5 things I QUIT forever apart from PROCESSED FOODS for my Fitness 2.0
Anupriya for warmly mentioning & inspiring me to share about quitting some big things (other than processed foods) in life for my fitness. She is an HR professional who writes about fantastic aspects of parenting, wellness & lifestyle. Since my first ever post on the blog closely 10 months ago, I’ve often been gabbling about my takes on gaining & maintaining fitness. Well, frankly, I’m not that person who necessarily equates a weight loss anecdote to ‘being fit’. Like I shared in that very first post, I’ve tried many kinds of indiscriminate diets in the past to only end up with a worsened immunity & scoops of lethargy. Of course, with mindful eating, Yoga & significant physical activity, I had a sustainable weight loss of 13 kilos in 4 months. In less or more time, I really don’t care. But to sustain the much craved fitness, here are 5 things I quit FOREVER from my life, apart from – PROCESSED FOODS! 1. Carbonated Drinks I feel rattled looking back when I realize that I must have had more glasses of carbonated beverages than those of water until I was 16 or 17. It’s said that when your body gets addicted to something, quitting it cold turkey can backfire with withdrawal issues. So, I kept trying hard to get rid of the damn liquid slowly, which is more toxic than processed foods & even alcohol. However, I could never hold my temptations back. I even remember guzzling down 3 bottles of soft drinks while having my wedding meal followed by the customary ice cream. So, quitting carbonated drinks abruptly was the only way out. Hence, at 24, I promised to myself that even if I were to get stranded on a dreaded island & the only ‘drink’ available other than sea water were a can of some fizz, I’d choose to starve & die! Carbonated/ aerated drinks contain ridiculous amounts of sugar & other harmful chemicals that put their consumers at the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, obesity, hormonal problems & many more life-threatening diseases. What’s more? The acidity of these drinks is great enough to clean the toilet! Heard, but don’t believe it? Read here then. 🙂 How did I replace it? My refreshment drinks are now usually:
Ragi (Finger millet) Malt,
Tender Coconut water
Barring the coconut water (that I can, of course, not make :-)), all of the above are homemade.
2. Unnecessary Bakery
Yes, not just white bread.
It’s been almost 2 years that I had any bread (no, not even in sandwiches! I make my own ‘rolls’ instead), cookies, biscuits, or croissants.
Look, I’m not an anti-gluten person. Because gluten is an integral constituent of a large variety of daily food. For instance, in the rotis that we make. And I don’t acknowledge any real side-effect with gluten on our body.
However, the above processed foods in the form of bakery, for at least 90% of the time, are made with refined flour, which only contains empty calories, contributing to spikes in blood sugar & thus an evident weight gain. I’m not surprised why I always felt bloated before dinner whenever I had any of the above items for my tea snack before quitting them.
Not to forget, how addictive the cream-laden biscuits make you for their irresistible sweetness. I must admit that while trying to quit biscuits initially, I tried to limit myself to eating just 1 from the pack.
Nevertheless, some things only go with the cold turkey way. You either eat or you DON’T.
How did I replace it?
Instead of the usual bakery snacks, I now have fresh fruits, a fistful of dry fruits, homemade pasta or a simple Murmura (puffed rice) Chaat, homemade Macaroni (of semolina/rava) or Sweetcorn Chaat.
And for now, the birthday & anniversary cakes at home are usually made by me with whole wheat flour. Believe me! They taste as good as the shop brought ones.
Occasionally, I make my own whole wheat/jowar/ragi cookies at home.
3. Ready-made Accompaniments
It’s been quite a while that I said good-bye to READY-MADE jams, mayonnaise & butter from shops.
These, again, I categorize into a different class of processed foods which come across as quick fixes with our daily meals; be it with a roti / parantha / bread, specially in the breakfast jiffy.
Commercial jams, mayonnaise, peanut butter, butter etc are made using unhealthy fats, preservatives & artificial color to increase shelf-life & look appealing. And these can pose various kinds of threats to our health over regular consumption.
Even the branded jams available in the market do NOT contain any fruit(s). On a note of reasoning, owing to the color-changing property of fruits, proper jams should change color after a few days of their preparation. Nevertheless, the adding of artificial color & sweeteners render these jams the characteristic red, yellow, orange & purple colors that remain so till you scrape the bottle out completely of the jam.
Well, I recently have given these up & I must say, it was pretty challenging to let go years of loving.
How did I replace it?
Now, I make my own homemade mayonnaise, jam & butter. I also prefer using molasses instead of jam with my rotis/dosas when I don’t have the time to cook up a sabzi or chutney.
4. Reheating & Eating Leftovers
I seriously hate & condemn wastage of food no matter what the situation.
And that precisely made me gobble up leftover stuff from my then toddler’s plate everyday & lose track of how much I have been eating. Also the ones that we couldn’t finish that very day, went straight into the fridge to be reheated & relished the next day.
Upon refrigeration & reheating, food loses its nutritive values & the reheating can make it even dangerous with certain dishes. I shall write a post on this very soon sharing my BEFORE-AND-AFTER experiences of giving up reheating.
How did I correct it?
So, now I usually don’t cook that extra bit of food in case somebody asks for another generous serving. After all, years later, I can assess our capacities best & that works pretty well.
5. All-Nighters & Late Night Binging
The habit of pulling on all-nighters happened quite later in my life with watching movies, chit-chatting & completing some pending work, specially on the laptop.
You stay up longer at night or even forego sleep to see the next day’s dawn right from your window. 🙂 Sadly, however exciting it sounds, it spikes your blood sugar, tampering with your hormones, putting you at a risk of developing heart diseases, obesity, hypertension & poor immunity. Not to forget poor memory & lethargy 24/7!
Is that worser than what processed foods do to you?
All the more, when you delay sleep time by staying up, the body tries maximum to maintain the blood sugar level sane (that you don’t do by sleeping on time) by making you crave some tempting food/snacks. And these ‘midnight snacks’ are mostly some freaking chips, sweets, ice-cream, chocolates or even donuts! Or any random stuff under the sun (Oops! Moon ;-)) Needless to say, this damages your metabolism & often results in abnormal weight gain.
Remember, sleep deprivation is way more dangerous for you than processed foods or even lack of exercise.
How did I correct it?
I don’t pull off all-nighters anymore now.
With very, very rare exceptions, I never put off any work or errands to complete late at night. And I ALWAYS ensure that I’ve slept sound for at least 6 hours every night.
Oh yeah, it’s been more than half a decade that I had quit these notorious processed foods, such as instant noodles, corn flakes & packaged juices as well.
You may want to read my take on PACKAGED FRUIT JUICES here.
Is there something that you also quit for the sake of your health & fitness? I’d really want to know about your story! Oh, please go ahead in the comments.
I am participating in the ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’ blog party with Bon Happetee!
First Time Mommy
I’d now want to introduce Charu Gujjal of the Mom Sagas, who is an educationist & has a beautiful Parenting blog.