There are two ways we can tackle the problem of obesity. One – we keep on moving our muscles and consume more calories (thus requiring 2000 or so calories per day) and the second – we understand the concept of calories and modulate our food intake in such a way that we land up consuming less calories. Both ways we may be able to produce a shortage of calories in our body and utilize our fat storage.
Think of the first way – exercising and walking. About 30 minutes of walk – time taken out from your busy schedule – will consume about 100 more calories and equal amount of hand exercise will consume about 200 calories. Good enough for your body’s vitality as well. But only 300 calories in one hour! It may be very difficult for anyone to spare more than this on daily basis – especially in today’s hectic schedule.
The second concept is reducing the intake of calories in our food. With little knowledge and guidance it is very easy to reduce 400- 500 calories in your food. Let’s understand how.
In the whole of the world there are millions varieties of foods preparations. In every part of the country the food habits differ. Look at the number of cook books and add up the total number of recipes – it will definitely touch a million. But scientifically all food recipes contain only three elements which can provide calories. They are carbohydrates (most of the calories come from here), proteins and fats (which have very high calorie content in small volume). There are other four components of food which do not give calories but give vitality to the body and these are – minerals, vitamins, water and fiber.
Since only carbohydrates, proteins and fat give calories, they can modulate our intake of calories. So let us discuss which of these can be cut in the diet to reduce calories.
The basic job of carbohydrates is to provide calories and they are not stored in the body. They break down to form mainly glucose molecules which are absorbed from the intestine and go to the blood stream. Each of our cells can easily consume this glucose and produce calories – so once the blood level of glucose is maintained, our body can break down this glucose at ease. One gram of glucose or carbohydrate provides about four calories. Apart from maintaining the blood glucose levels carbohydrates do not serve any major purpose except that if calories are more than adequate our body can convert this glucose to fat and store them in the fat cells.
Proteins also provide four calories per gram and they are very useful to our body. Proteins break down into amino acids which, in turn, form most of our muscles, digestive enzymes and hormones. So proteins are very important components of our food and cannot be avoided.
The third component of the food which provides calories is fats. They are very rich source of calories – one gram provide us with nine calories. It is this fat which causes heart disease (by depositing inside the heart arteries), obesity (getting stored inside the fats cells or adipose tissues). Fats also indirectly lead to diseases like high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes. These four diseases are now rampant all over the world and has become the cause of agony of the mankind. Except for formation of cell walls and some hormones – for which only a tiny amount of fats is required – fats serve no major purpose in our body. From Saaol’s point of view fats are the devil, the rogue or the bad food. We should take only the minimum and avoid the killer diseases. But unfortunately fats are being consumed in huge amounts in all the countries – because most methods of cooking and food preparations, so far, use huge amounts of fats. Butter, cream, ghee and oils are used indiscriminately in every food.
Ninety five percent of our foods can be made without a drop of oil and the taste will be intact. We must know how to make all the foods without addition of extra fats while cooking. Nature has provided adequate amounts of fat in every food – which can take care of our minimum fat requirement. Thus we will call this diet “Zero oil diet”.
What about the intake of carbohydrates? Yes, carbohydrates are allowed – for those who are overweight you have to consume low calorie carbohydrates. Those who are normal weight can consume any carbohydrates in any amount. To help people to have a variety of food items thousands of delicious recipes have been developed – all without any oil. The taste will not be compromised.
Another aspect of this diet revolution is development of a simple method of counting whatever calories you consume. Everyone – educated or not – can understand this counting system and can make out the calorie content of their breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. It’s like counting money when you spend. All the foods have been categorized into four groups – Rupees 20 notes, Rs.50 notes, Rs.100 notes and Rs.500 notes. These are approximate measures of the foods that we eat. By understanding the content of the food people can place any food, which they eat, in any of these categories. Thus they can approximately count the calories that they are consuming.
Once the understanding of the calories develops – people can choose what food they should eat so as to maintain their weight in the optimum. Those who want to lose weight must give preference to the Rs.20 and Rs.50 foods and start avoiding Rs.100 and Rs.500 notes. On the other hand people who want to gain weight can consume Rs.100 notes. The Rs.500 note foods are almost banned for everyone. For other countries of the world this Rupees can be replaced by dollars or pounds or the local currency.