On our journey to achieve our beauty goals the very first or may I say the only resort we all often tend to instantly seek is buy a topical product e.g. a fairness cream, anti-ageing elixirs or the trending "Vitamin-C Serum" but is that good enough? From my over a decade-old experience in the medical industry, I assure you that those divine godly looking divas we all look up to, do much more than just banking upon the best available skincare products in the market.
So next time you probably decide to snoop into beauty brands of those you idealise, don't just confine the detective inside you to their handbags, toiletries or dressing table, you might also want to sneak into their diet, their workout routine and most importantly their optimism towards life.
I am not denying the importance of skincare products here but I am just trying to draw your attention towards other important factors that contribute to healthy skin & body which are Diet (Part-1), Exercise & Positivity in life (Part-2). So let's walk you through each one of these in with some quick tips, observations, do's and don'ts that shall help you achieve your beauty & health goals.
So what exactly is a healthy diet? and what does it comprises of?
Well! a healthy diet is one that fulfils and maintains your body's nutritional needs and can be majorly categorised into the following:
1.) Right Amount of calories:
On average ideally, a male adult requires 2500 - 3000 calories per day whereas a female adult requires no more than 1800 - 2500 calories, those having an active lifestyle (athletes) can further add 300-400 calories and those having a sedentary routine should reduce around 400 calories from the range.
Observation: Owing to poor lifestyle, easy access to packed foods, mushrooming junk food joints we easily exceed the benchmark intake by almost 30%, I believe that answers one of the most common concerns these days i.e. "I exercise daily but my belly fat doesn't goes away, why?"
Do's: Maintain a controlled calorie intake count, it isn't that difficult, a smartphone app can do that easily for you without much manual effort.
Don'ts: Avoid crashing your calorie intake overnight, take a staggered approach, remember slow & steady wins the race.
Tip: Though calculating the right calorie intake depends upon various factors like age, weight, height etc. an easier approach would be to approximate 1 gram of following to corresponding calories:
- A gram of Carbs is approx. 4 Kcal
- A gram of proteins gives approx. 4 kcal
- A gram of fat is approx. 9 kcal
2) Right, Source of calories:
Now that you know how many calories you need, it is of utmost importance to ensure those calories are coming from the right source e.g. if an adult requires 2500 calories a day as recommended he/she could easily get the same just from a pizza served with soda and fries but is that what a healthy body ideally requires? just the right number of calories? Nopes, we need to strike a balance, calories coming from such sources are empty or useless calories they might fulfil the energy requirements of your body but not the nutritional need.
Confused about what to eat? your diet should comprise of foods with high nutritional value rather than higher energy value, high fibre foods are an ideal choice in this case as they are known to release energy slowly into the body allowing you to have more per serving, keeping you contained for long hours hence consequently, you don't experience frequent sugar rush making you crave to eat more than required.
At least 60-70% of food in your plate should be high fibre, the remaining 30-40% can be anything that is grains, bread (whole wheat), pulses, meat etc.
Some common examples of high fibre foods are banana, apple, pear, peach, figs, almonds, pistachio walnuts, lettuce, carrot, broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans etc.
Do's: Drink 2-3 litres of water daily, this will keep your skin, clear, hydrated & moist.
Don'ts: Never avoid fats entirely, fats are also vital too especially for good skin though make sure you intake mono or unsaturated over saturated fats e.g. flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, fish oil, soymilk, olive oil etc.
Tip: Further prioritize your choices among these foods as per below
- Prefer seasonal vegetables & fruits
- Avoid carbs & fats at night
- Prefer white meat after the 40s
- Avoid salted or fried nuts especially cashew.
- Eradicating sugar alone from your diet can largely contribute to clear skin & toned body that too with a bare minimum workout.
Dr Yuvnish Bhardwaj (MD-Canada)