Planning a balanced diet


There is an old maxim – we should eat to live and not live to eat. Better said than done! In this fast paced world when deadlines have to be met, regular schedules are upset by intermittent demands, a hurried lunch hour to erratic dinner timings, lots of junk food to make-do for the hunger pangs, and you are soon led into a ‘waist full of waste’.

No wonder the urban populace has contributed to a whole new breed of health clinics, spas, gymnasiums and what-not to get that 1-inch to three inches or maybe even more of ungainly flesh reduced to reasonable levels of accumulation, for the benefit of one’s health and others’ eyes.

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Adverse effects of irresponsible habits

What leads to the ‘battle of the bulge’? The bulge of pot bellies, the uneven lumps of hanging down flesh, the thick mounds of flesh around the stomach or waist, thighs and the rear portions from a life of consuming a lot and spending too little of the calories that come with what we eat. It is from eating fat producing substances like oil, ghee, cream, or other foodstuffs that pile up the calories with every partaking. If the calories were burnt from activity, the body could still maintain its shape. But the sedentary life styles that have less physical movement, more of comfort and ease through modern-day gadgetry ensure the piling up of calories to unhealthy levels to be stored as fat.

Result – loss of breath in exerting even slightly, tiredness, general feeling of lassitude, heaviness in movement, leading to more severe conditions of blood pressure and other serious conditions.

Changing our diet
Health researchers and others from the Mediterranean-Diet-mealsmedical fraternity have one thing to opine. The health of the body can be maintained even with changes in our diet to quite some extent. For which they say:
  • Every particle of food however negligible the quantity taken in, produces calories.
  • A rough thumb rule for a minimum of calories required by the body for the routine functions is between 1000 to 1500 calories. The daily intake should not fall below 1000 calories but should not exceed (current weight in Kgs x 24).

When we want to lose weight it should not be more than 500 calories from the maximum daily intake to avoid unhealthy side effects. e.g. if you are weighing 90 Kg. and your maximum calorie intake is 90 x 24 = 2160 calories per day, the initial reduction rate prescribed is 2160 – 500 = 1660 calories. This can continue till you achieve a healthy weight based on the BMI (Body Mass Index) prescribed for you. BMI = weight in Kg. / height in cms. or lb./inch. The indexes are available as a chart which specifies normal, overweight and obese, to more than obese in extreme cases.


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Following a balanced diet

What should be consumed to maintain high energy levels for daily functions and slight surplus for exerting at times for some activities? What can be consumed to maintain a fine balance of foodstuff consumption so that the calorie intake is as desired? What are the changes that can be made in the regular diet to remain healthy and fit?

Sample table

A table is shown based on the amount of calories that an item being consumed would roughly contribute, calculated based on scientific tests carried out on them in different conditions. From this table a rough diet plan could be planned. This sample diet plan contains mostly Indian foodstuffs. Other types of diet would have other items different from these and having their own calorific values. The basic idea is to choose foodstuffs in a meal that would bring about the calorie results that we desire to have balanced consumption that would lead to better health. One can have diets based on a current lifestyle – the energetic and quick spending ones could exceed the calculated calories slightly in the daily intake, the sluggish or sedentary lifestyle types should try to take reduced calorie meals to also balance the intake and stay fit.


Breakfast     Lunch/Dinner     Beverages
Egg boiled 1 80 Cooked Rice/Plain 1 cup 120 Tea/Black/without sugar 1 cup 10
Egg Poached 1 80 Cooked Rice/Fried 1 cup 150 Coffee/Black/without sugar 1 cup 10
Egg Fried 1 110 Chapati 1 60 Tea with milk & sugar 1 cup 45
Egg Omelet 1 120 Puri 1 75 Coffee with milk & sugar 1 cup 45
Bread slice 1 45 Paratha 1 150 Milk without sugar 1 cup 60
Bread slice with butter 1 90 Nan 1 150 Milk with sugar 1 cup 75
Chapati 1 60 Dal 1 cup 150 Milk with sugar, Horlicks 1 cup 120
Puri 1 75 Sambhar 1 cup 150 Fruit Juice, concentrated 1 cup 120
Paratha 1 150 Curd 1 cup 100 Soft Drinks 1 bottle 90
Subji 1 cup 150 Curry/Vegetable 1 cup 150 Beer 1 bottle 200
Idli 1 100 Curry/Meat 1 cup 175 Soda 1 bottle 10
Dosa Plain 1 120 Salad 1 cup 100 Alcohol neat 1 peg, small 75
Dosa Masala 1 250 Papad 1 45      
Sambhar 1 cup 150 Cutlet 1 75      
      Pickle 1 tsp 30      
      Soup/Clear 1 cup 75      
      Soup/Heavy 1 cup 75      
      Fruit 1 helping 150      


Miscellaneous & North Indian     International food
Porridge 1 cup 150 Bread Slices with Butter & Jam/Cheese, etc. 1 120
Jam 1 tsp 30 Breakfast cereal with milk sweetened 1 cup 130
Butter 1 tsp 50 Porridge & Milk 1 cup 120
Ghee 1 tsp 50 Porridge & Milk sweetened 1 cup 150
Sugar 1 tsp 30 Sausage, bacon,ham etc. fried 1 helping 120
Biscuit 1 30 Potato mash 1 cup 100
Fried Nuts 1 cup 300 Potato fried 1 cup 200
Puddings 1 cup 200 Sandwich large 1 250
Ice-cream 1 cup 200 Hamburger 1 pc 250
Milk-Shake 1 glass 200 Steak & Salad 1 plate 300
Wafers 1 pkt 120 Spaghetti & meat, sauce etc. 1 plate 450
Samosa 1 100 Baked dish 1 helping 400
Bhel Puri/Pani Puri 1 helping 150 Fried Chicken 1 helping 200
Kebab 1 plate 150 Chinese noodles 1 plate 450
Indian sweets/mithai 1 pc 150 Chinese Fried Rice 1 plate 450
      Pizza 1 plate 400

Diet planning is fun, result-oriented and pays off in ways more than one. All it requires is the correct understanding about our habits and the lifestyle that we are currently leading, to re-orient ourselves to the diet plan that could suit us best.


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