Let us define foodie here! By foodie we mean people who find it difficult to ‘eat to live’, rather they ‘live to eat’! But that does not mean that a foodie is averse to making adjustments in how much and what all they eat, at all!

Studies in urban lifestyle and weight gain have found that in sedentary individuals a calorie intake in excess of only 10-100 calorie per day, over a period of time can cause weight gain. So, foodies have to try to keep their calorie balance by eating only what they really love and not what is available within reach. This is the core principle to avoid overeating

The diet tips below are meant to help you reduce your everyday excesses so that you have room for indulgent behavior when serious good food is on the table!

1. Do not load up on sugar or other added sugars

Added sugars are getting notorious for bad health, arguably even more so than bad fats ! Therefore, you should avoid adding loads of sugar to your diet. A whole bunch of simple carbohydrates, in addition to table sugar (sucrose) have been classified as added sugars a. These are found in  such as colas, corn syrup, in squash, fruit concentrates, jams, snacks, ready to eat/cook food items and even honey

The recommended upper limit for simple sugars is  less than 10% of your total calories, (check the list of added sugars)

2. Keep healthy drinks at home to avoid empty calories

Here are some of the ways to manage your drinks well

  • Do not stock colas, 7 Up and other such SSBs at home; 300 ml can of coke provides, 132 calories equal to  1/3rd brownie or 1/2 slice of banana cake, but  all empty calories and little else; substituting it with diet coke saves up these calories
  • Go for whole fruit instead of fruit juice; fruits give fibres, especially soluble fibre which helps in keeping down weight and cholesterol
  • If you love juice too much make sure that you drink 100% fruit juice and not juice with added sugars, juice based drinks or cocktails etc, and keep the consumption not more than 100-150 ml/day
  • Try all artificial sweeteners a few times in your tea/coffee and then choose one. Carry it along, so that you get your ‘sweet’ drinks in a healthy way.  All of artificial sweeteners are safe, contrary to floating misinformation, check out (sweeteners)
  • Make low calorie juice based drink by adding a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water/soda
  • Chhanchh, nimbu paani, coconut water are all excellent thirst quenchers, keep them in stock at home

3.Mind your alcoholic drinks:

Alcoholic drinks also give calories, therefore count them when planning your meal intake !

Also, alcohol intake has to stay within limits to avoid addiction/dependence and long-term ill effects of alcohol including liver damage, check out these limits

People who love cocktails should be aware that cocktails either have added sugar (martini, LIIT etc.) or salt (Bloody Mary) and can be calorie packed

4.Mind your snacks

Snacks are calorie dense and contain bad nutrients such as salt, bad fats (Trans and saturated fatty acids), sugar or simple carbs in big quantities. People often do not know the correct portion size and eat too much of snacks

Here are a few tips to help eat snacks in a healthy way

  • Get the serving and portion size right: Read the food label and calculate correct serving size.  Check out: How to get portion size right
  • Do not eat out of the pack, instead take out the snack in bowl and keep the pack away, this way you will not stuff yourself up!
  • Store healthy snacking options at home: such as variety of nuts, raisins, fruits, simple salads mixes and low fat dressings
  • When buying snacks, read the nutritional information as well as ingredient list, and try to choose snack items that have
    • No Trans fats and no hydrogenated oil or vanaspati in ingredient list
    • Whole wheat or whole grains as first listed ingredient
    • Low salt, low fat and low calorie options

5. Avoid hitting the vending machine at office

Get in the habit of carrying your lunch, fruit, snack and milk to office, this habit will give you the freedom to enjoy your planned indulgences such as checking out a new restaurant!

Or else, try and cajole your canteen vendor to keep low fat milk, fruits and nuts as snacking options, you will be doing many others a favor!

6. Mind your fats

You must be wondering by now ‘what about fats?’. Well fats have been vilified for the longest time, but recent research has taken away some of their notoriety!

Research suggests that focusing on the type of fat you consume is arguably more important than the amount of fat. Avoid trans fats, saturated fats and cholesterol containing fats, instead consume MUFA containing oils liberally and good amount of PUFA containing oil. Sounds like Greek language? Check out our post on How to chose oils/fats for cooking

Here’s the good news! Having a teaspoon of butter or ghee on your roti or bread is alright, so is occasional cheese in pasta or pizza

7. Most important for a foodie is to try and keep the ‘calorie balance’

Eat equal or lesser calories than you need on everyday basis. Calculate your calorie intake /day and get your healthy diet plan now!

Once you work this out for yourself, just the awareness will help you make healthy choices and enjoy the diversity it will add to your diet in typical foodie fashion

Also check out ‘check out: How to keep eating what you love by giving up on some other stuff’

CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on diet

CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on weight management