An easy guide to healthy living: Change your lifestyle!

Published: September 16, 2012

Eating the right food and at right time will automatically help you shed extra fats deposited in your body. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

After studying ‘Active Lifestyle’ as a subject in the US, reading a couple of books and several articles on health, I thought of depicting the extract of all I read as it has given me a deep insight about practicing healthy habits. It has also made me more positive than ever.

Firstly, waking up early in the morning and welcoming the sun to our planet is the best way to start. The time frame between 6am and 10am is the ideal time to eat and exercise.

When you eat your meal, sit in a posture where you can cross your legs, or sit straight with your back straight and upright. Use a dining chair instead of leaning back on a sofa, because that will relax your muscles and you will end up eating more food than you have to.

When you are about to eat something concentrate mainly on eating food. Busy your senses in this activity. Look at the food you are about to eat, sense the aroma of the food, involve your fingers, taste the food and listen to the slight munching sound. Appreciate the food. Take as much time to chew it as possible and then swallow it.

When you are eating food with full concentration, there will be an automated signal generated by the stomach to stop. Listen to the message and stop eating there. If your concentration is more on watching TV or reading a newspaper then you will stuff your inner pipe from mouth to bottom. This will lead to suffocation and over-eating.

Breakfast is most important meal of all. Have it as early as possible. You will eat after a break of eight to ten hours so feed your stomach well.

The timing of food intake is very significant too. Our two usual extra large meals should be divided into five to seven smaller portions. By this I mean that if you get up at 6am, you can have a glass of milk along with couple of almonds within 15 minutes of waking up. Then take the next meal at 8:30am; have your normal breakfast.

Eat raw vegetables or fruits at 11am.

Raw vegetables and fruits, when consumed without being chopped, are best in their nutrient and water level. Biting into these juicy treats is a healthy exercise for your teeth as well. When you cut them into pieces, they get defaced and oxidised which decreases the nutrient level.

Then have your lunch at 1:30pm. This can be followed by a nice, refreshing cup of green tea at 4pm. After this, you may have dinner in between 7pm to 8pm, close to sunset. This practice will give you a healthy, faster metabolism.

The mistake most of us make is that we skip breakfast and then bulldoze our stomachs with heavy lunches and late, royal dinners.

Just like we feel tired and slow after a lot of work, our digestive system, too, needs rest after so much work. If you make it work excessively while its energy levels are low, it will digest inefficiently, leaving your energy levels slower.

The working of a digestive system is more efficient when one is in a vertical position. Our horizontal position (sleeping or lying down) may end up slowing down the digestive process. If you are invited to a party and are expecting an abundant menu, tell your digestive system in advance that you will be eating more than usual by keeping it empty for a while. Value your digestive system’s abilities and don’t overburden it.

Exercising is extremely important, and no, you will not be spared if you are skinny! One must exercise three to four times a week. Our body is specifically designed for physical work when we don’t use it we simply lose shape.

Keep yourself hydrated. Keep on sipping water after short intervals. Don’t wait for a message from your brain about being thirsty because that’s already too late to pour in. Keeping thirsty also causes headaches and fatigue, and directly affects your energy levels.

There are some misconceptions about dieting.

Firstly, dieting does not mean starving yourself to death. Secondly, you do not have to go crazy adopting intensive strenuous exercise routines. If you push yourself too much, you’ll lose muscle mass instead of fat.

Modifying your lifestyle is what you need instead of going on scary diet programmes. It may be the long route there but it is, without a doubt, the healthiest one.

Many people are unaware of the fact that stress tends to fatten them. When a person is under stress, all his systems are affected and the digestive system is no exception. It slows down, which halts the process of breaking fat and instead banks it all in your tummy, love handles, thighs and hips!

Eating the right food and at right time will automatically help you shed extra fats deposited in your body. You may have heard this saying but it’s time to start applying it in your daily life,

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar!”

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Noman Sajjad

Noman Sajjad

An FCC graduate, Fullbright Scholar and an Intern at Research and Advocacy Fund, a programme managed by the British Council. Enjoys writing, travelling and life.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • kamran lakhani

    Loved it…..I already feel more Energetic.. Thanks :)Recommend

  • Author I agree with your observation but not your logic

    Lack Of exercise Kills as many people as smoking ! Can you believe this ! Recommend

  • Syed Masood

    I agreed what you have published in an article, but everyone doesn’t have the same routine. Since we are quiet busy in our busy schedule day by day, although not consider our healthy life style. Recommend

  • Dante

    Nice article. enjoyed reading it, however some inaccuracies are present.

    IMO, intensive strenuous exercise cannot make you lose muscle mass as long as you’re “well-fed” which you will be, because you’ll eventually feel a lot more hungry than usual. Moderate exercise is extremely helpful however because as you may have noticed, it makes you “forget” or “ignore” hunger signals from stomach. You don’t feel like stuffing your stomach anymore after exercise.

    I don’t think position has any effect on working of digestive system. However eating while upright is the best option. This is a good factor reducing bouts of “acid reflux disease” or “heartburn”.

    I cannot picture how stress alone can make you fat. Stress however can induce a variety of responses. One such response is munching on high calorie food products. Now this would most definitely make you fat.

    Otherwise nice article for a change.Recommend

  • Qasim Rasool

    Thank you so much. This is wonderful and really helpful. I always think about the fact that focus on our food will help digesting it. By using our hands, feeling the aroma, chewing more and with the help of all our senses, we can lead a healthier and active life.Recommend

  • Parvez

    What interested me was your first sentence where you say you studied ‘Active Lifestyles’ as a subject in America ( where this is very relevant ) and then you chose to write about it. Well I suppose you would get a a few readers especially as its the Pakistani ET site but if you look at the bigger picture don’t you think its like forcing a ‘square peg into a round hole’. Recommend

  • Taimoor

    Nice one!Recommend

  • Noman Sajjad

    @kamran lakhani:
    I feel energetic and motivated at the same time .. every time I give it a read Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Shabaash !!!! Recommend

  • Glenn Ryall

    Great article my friend. Would love if you could post something about “healthy eating on a budget” looking forward to more from you. Recommend

  • Matt

    What I never seen a routine,


    8:30 wake up
    8:45 30 minute walk


    8:30 wake up
    8:45 breakfast
    9:15 30 minute walk

    Etc etc

    It would nice to actually have a daily routine to try and work to for feeling better, any tips resources? Like a “diary of a healthy person”Recommend