Carb your Progress

There is a popular notion that the less we eat, the better it is

women with fruits on one side and burger on the other

You get the point. One of the most to-be-skipped items on our "thin-is-in" agenda is the dreaded carbohydrate. But, little do we realise that by doing so we are sabotaging our health for a fad: the stay-thin-programme.

For long, it has been said that recommended diet and nutrition, although a healthy option, do not actually aid people who want to lose weight. So, the easiest mathematical solution we often resort to is to cut down certain monsters on the diet table. These days, with so much focus on models and actors and their fancy diets, there has been a reduction in the intake of carbohydrates - to maintain a waif-thin figure.

Scale tilted

By tilting the balance heavily against the consumption of carbohydrates, people are setting themselves for a health disaster.

Much of the energy required for the body comes from the consumption of carbohydrates. While the recommended minimum amount of carbohydrates is about 130 gm a day, under the get-thin-fast programme, most individuals are resorting to less than 20 gm, leading to a host of new problems to contend with.

A reduced intake of carbohydrates has an immediate effect on metabolism and energy levels. These include problems ranging from constipation, increased and constant fatigue and resultant irritability, with the inability to cope with the demands of the day. The long-term effects are just as distressing - a variety of heart problems and even colon cancer in some cases.

Besides, haphazard tinkering with carbohydrates will only increase the fluctuation in glucose levels, causing frequent black-out and listlessness.

One more thing. By keeping the body undernourished, people are actually sabotaging their weight loss programme. Prolonged periods of sustained "hold" on food can cause a giant wave because people often consume more at mealtimes and wantonly increase their own frustration over a long period of time. It actually takes some time to work out a desirable programme of meals and progress.

Modify your intake

What you can sure do is modify the kind of carbohydrates you consume. Refined carbohydrates in sodas and white foods are not only harmful, but they also increase the intake of calories and encourage unhealthy weight gain. So, while aerated drinks are a strict no, so are delicacies made of white flour. Cakes and pastries are naturally a rare treat as would be mouth-watering conundrums, such as ice-cream.

You guessed it right. Substitutions will be well worth the while.

Increasing fibre levels through brown bread and whole wheat grain will keep the body going and cause less shifts in hunger pangs.

This will further reduce the urge to eat constantly. Fruits and vegetables have a way of providing multifarious benefits in their consumption.

Though strict diets may sometimes be recommended, following such diets could severely restrict and deteriorate the development of a healthy body.

Burn those calories resulting from carbohydrates with a walk around the park, yes. This is still the best way to stay in shape!

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Sreelata Yellamrazu
Sreelata S Yellamrazu, a management graduate, is a sports columnist. She hopes her writing proves liberating for her, and also provides a voice for important life issues - especially young minds.

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