What to Eat

A lot of people ask me what they should eat. The answer to this is not obvious. The first leap we need to make is to move from looking at food as pasta, pizza and bread to looking at food as nutrients. In order to understand this, I am outlining a few important steps.

  1. Understand your Basal Metabolic Rate or the minimum amount of calories you need to eat everyday. This will give you an understanding of the total amount you need to eat.
  2. The total amount of calories needs to broken down into three major nutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  3. You should eat approximately 150 gms of Carbohydrates a day. 1 gm of carbohydrates is 4 calories so this will constitute about 600 calories of food.
  4. You should eat approximately 60 gms of fats. 1 gm of fat is approximately 9 calories, so this will constitute about 540 Calories. Make sure this does not include trans-fats.
  5. You should eat approximately 60 gms of proteins. 1 gm of protein is 4 calories, so this will constitute 240 calories.
  6. In total your intake would be about 1380 calories which should be close to your Basal Metabolic Rate for most people. The amount you eat can increase depending on your BMR. Also, if you extremely active [a stroll in the park unfortunately does not count as activity] you should eat more to compensate. However, remember that an hour of walking ends up burning only approximately 100 calories depending on how vigorously you walk.

The key to eating right is to understand the nutrients of your food and not look at them as labels – rice, roti pasta. Being able to understand the nutrients may possibly take away the fun from eating but you will thank yourself once you become healthy.