What should you eat?

What you eat and how you eat are very important. Let’s begin.

By Tejaswi Rathore        Print Edition: Nov 4, 2007

Catching your breakfast over an early morning conference call… rushing through your lunch for the important board meeting… too tired to eat dinner… All this sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? But that’s not a hit script. What you eat and how you eat are very important. Let’s begin.

The fast life and busy schedules make us eat exactly what we must not. Fast foods, fried snacks (like namkeens) and processed foods are rich in trans fatty acids that produce toxins. The sooner you switch to wholegrain cereals, fruits and fresh juices the better. The antioxidants in them relax and detoxify the body.


In Your 20s and 30s: High protein + iron

Your daily intake should be 1,800 calories


EARLY MORNING: A glass of plain water or lemon juice or one cup tea with half tablespoon sugar.

BREAKFAST: Cornflakes (60 gm) and milk + 1 boiled egg + 1 fruit or cottage cheese sandwich/ veg sandwich (brown bread)

SNACK: Fruit + coconut water or fresh juice

LUNCH: 1 plate salad + 2 to 3 chapattis + 30 gm rice + 1 bowl dal + 2 small pieces of fish or chicken + curd.

EVENING: 1 bowl fresh soup (no butter and corn flour) or fresh lemonade (preferably in water) or skimmed butter milk + 1 fruit.

 All in a day
One should start the day with herbal tea and fruits. You should eat a healthy breakfast, light lunch and lightest dinner. Drink plenty of water. Stay away from too much of caffeinated beverages. If you can’t resist going for your cappuccino, then drink an equal amount of hot water to detoxify yourself.

Snack that
Snacking is good provided it’s done right. Small, frequent meals help increase the BMR (basal metabolic rate). And your body burns maximum energy doing these basic internal activities. So higher the BMR, the better it is. Go for low calorie wheat bread sandwiches, tofu salads, khandavi, sprout chat, etc.

Age gracefully
The ageing process becomes evident from the time you are 35-40. This is the phase when hormonal changes occur. At this stage, it becomes vital to balance your work and diet. Aruna Gaur, Senior Dietician, Holy Family Hospital, recommends that you avoid “fried, spicy and rich foods. One should increase the intake of salads, fruits and baked/grilled/ boiled foods”. The idea is to go high on protein and low on calories.

An average healthy executive should consume 1,500-1,600 calories to maintain his/her weight. But if you are obese, your calorie intake will depend on your age, height and sex. Consult a dietician for advice.

DINNER: 1 plate salad + 1 bowl dal + green vegetables + 2 chapattis + 1 or 2 small pieces of fish or chicken. Bedtime: 1 cup milk.

In Your 40s and 50s: High calcium + high protein + low carbohydrate

Your daily intake should be 1,600 calories

EARLY MORNING: 1 tsp soaked methi seeds + a glass of plain water + 1 cup of herbal tea.


BREAKFAST: Oats porridge (50 gm) + 1 bowl cut fruits + milk or 1 besan or dal cheela (cooked on a non-stick pan) + skimmed buter milk and a fruit or 50 gm moong sprouts with tofu, cucumber, tomato and onion and 150 gm of papaya

SNACK: Tomato drink or lemonade + 1 fruit Lunch: 1 plate salad, 2-3 chapattis + 30 gm rice + 1 bowl dal + curd and baked or grilled fish or chicken (preferably alternate days).

EVENING TEA: 1 cup tea and wheat biscuits or roasted chana or puffed rice (30 gm).

EVENING SNACK: 1 bowl clear soup or tomato juice. Dinner: 1 plate salad + 1 bowl dal + green vegetable + 2 chapattis.

BEDTIME: 1 cup milk.

In Your 60s: High fibre + high protein + low carbohydrate

Your daily intake should be 1,400 calories

EARLY MORNING: A glass of plain water + 1 tsp soaked methi seeds

ChickenBREAKFAST: 1 brown bread toast + one boiled egg + one fruit or 1 stuffed palak or methi ki roti and 1 cup milk or wheat porridge and 1 fruit

SNACK: Lemonade (in water) and fruit or tomato drink or clear fresh soup.

LUNCH: 1 plate salad + green vegetables+ dal (1 bowl) + 1 bowl curd + 1 chapatti

EVENING TEA: Tea and biscuits or soya nuggets (30 gm) or moong sprouts (30 gm)

EVENING SNACK: Clear soup/ lemon water + 1 fruit or vegetable + fruit chat.

DINNER: 1 plate salad (20 gm) + 1 bowl dal + green vegetable + 1 chapatti + 2 small pieces of grilled or baked chicken or fish.


 A Healthy Sin: Fruit Sundae

This snack is not only quick to make, it’s also good for you. And it contains about 120 calories—the perfect amount for a light nibble between meals or after dinner. Dig in.

What you'll need: 1/2 container of low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup of mixed berries (such as sliced strawberries, raspberries and blackberries), 1 tablespoon crushed pistachios

What to do: Top berries with yogurt and pistachios. Serve.


The food you eat affects how you feel and act. So, we came up with what’s best to help you get the most of your everyday activities.

At the Gym

Fuel your workout with a banana
When it comes to exercise energy, it's all about carbohydrates. Bananas provide the carbohydrates and energy for muscles to work hard.

They are well known for their Vitamin B and potassium richness, but they’re also jam-packed with carbs. In fact, a medium banana has just as many carbohydrates as two slices of whole-wheat bread. Besides providing muscle fuel, bananas help maintain blood glucose levels.

Pack one in your gym bag and eat it about 30 minutes before your workout.

Heal your muscles with chocolate milk

During your workout you burned through your carbohydrate stores, so make sure that you get a combination of protein and carbohydrates after exercise—both are very important for healing microscopic tears in the muscles.

At the Bar

Prepare for a long night out: Eat French fries Before downing that drink… some of the best foods to consume are those heavy in fat and carbohydrates, such as a large basket of French fries. Putting anything in your stomach before drinking is a good idea, but fatty foods keep your stomach lining coated longer and, therefore, slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

Head off a hangover After too many glasses of your favourite poison, drink plenty of water… and douse the hangover hunger with eggs as they contain large amounts of cysteine, the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver.

Head on

Eat salmon
Salmon is a fatty, cold-water fish that contains healthy fats, which are vital for the development of new brain cells and nerve cells. Other fatty fish options include fresh tuna, sardines, hilsa, carp (rohu) and sol.

The American Heart Association recommends eating two fatty-fish meals per week.

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