Most professionals these days lead hectic lives and are often so hard-pressed for time that they even forget to eat. But this lack of timely food can lead to a drop in metabolic rate and hypoglycaemia
How often have you, in your race to meet deadlines skipped lunch or in a bid to reach office on time ignored breakfast? Now try and recall what this skipping of meals resulted in. You invariably would’ve ended up snacking on junk food and eating more than you normally do. Result — piling on unwanted calories, lack of nutrition and an uncomfortable feeling.
While we understand the fast-paced lives most people lead, meal times are still important. So we checked with Dr Latha Sashi, nutritionist, on what could be the ideal meal time table one could stick to. Do remember though, that calorie intakes and metabolic rates differ for each individual. This time table is for those with no other health issues.
Breakfast (between 7 am and 8 am): No matter how rushed you are, make it a point to grab a quick breakfast before you head out. A bowl of whole grain cereals like wheat flakes, oats or a blend of cereals works best. This can be had with some skimmed milk. It will leave you feeling satiated and full for some time, cutting down on your junk food intake. You could also have some egg whites or for the vegetarians 30 gms of cottage cheese does the trick.
Mid-day snack (three hours after breakfast): You could try carrying a fruit with you to snack on when you begin to feel peckish between breakfast and lunch time. It could be any fruit of your choice, but if you are calorie conscious then avoid bananas, chikoo and mango. You could supplement this with a cup of yoghurt, buttermilk or soya milk. This snack should sufficiently satiate you until meal time.
Lunch (between 1pm and 2pm): If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for lunch then a quick brown bread sandwich or chapathi rolls with a dry curry stuffing could work. At least, it will keep you from starving and you could always have a proper meal later when you’re free. A bowl of fruits or a salad with yoghurt could help too. Sometimes munching on some dry fruits (5-6 almonds, 2-3 dates/figs, or 1/4th cup peanuts) can also keep you going.
Evening snack (three hours after lunch): You’re bound to feel peckish a couple of hours after lunch. But instead of reaching out for those deep fried samosas or bhajjiyas, you might want to snack on some boiled corn or gram, eat a fruit, puffed rice, popcorn etc. You could also eat some bhelpuri. This will keep you from feeling famished by dinner time. Multigrain biscuits and granola bars can be an occasional indulgence, though not entirely ideal.
Dinner (between 8pm and 9pm): Although dinner should ideally be light, after a hectic day you might want to eat something substantial. So a couple or rotis (wheat or jowar), a bowl of rice, some veggies and dal work. If you don’t want to make rotis, rice with plenty of vegetables and dal works too. The key here is all about the quantities you consume. So you can also indulge yourself with some mangoes and bananas as long as they are within limits.