The ideal body is anything that we feel comfortable in.

However, living healthily is important. And while we may have crazy ideas about crash diets and extreme exercises in the quest for healthy living, there actually is no need for that. 

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In fact that’s exactly what leading nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar has always advocated. With an extremely impressive clientele under her belt, Rujuta, who has released 5 books already, has also launched ‘The Fitness Project 2018’. 

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However, the cornerstone of not just her current project, but all her diet advice has been the same old mantra — adopt what your grandmother told you! Simply put, desi Indian hacks.

So give extreme dieting a miss, and adopt these tips, as certified by Rujuta Diwekar, for a healthier you. 

1. Wedding lasts a day, ghee can be for life! 

It really is. Whether you’re adding a spoon of it in your daal, or lathering a bit on your parantha — you can consume as much of it as you like. According to Rujuta, ever person (even people with diabetes, heart condition, obesity or blood pressure problem) can consume 3-6 tsp of ghee per day/per person, even when you cook your food in it.

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2. Don’t start your day with coffee. 

Yes, nothing wakes you better than chai or maybe you’ve been addicted to the caffeine fix for too long. But wait just 15 minutes and consume a banana or a seasonal fruit, soaked almonds or raisins first and then pick your cup of tea or coffee. Seems doable, right?

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3. Ma ke haath ke khaana for life

Indulge in all desi snacks, be it makhanas cooked in ghee or goond ke laddoo, but the processed food has to go. Processed food contains oils that are bad for the body and unhealthy carbs. So stick to the healthy carbs of homemade food, but give processed fats a miss.

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4. Exercise with the rule of Pi

We all have hectic schedules that make regular exercises really difficult. Which is why Rujuta suggests the rule of Pi — that is to exercise at least once in every 3.14 days. So a healthy diet for 22 days with 7 days of exercise in between is a good way to go.

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5. From the frying pan and into your plates is the way to go.

This not only translates to avoiding packaged food, but also means that food that has been overheated or over boiled will lose its natural nutrients. So try to have freshly prepared food for at least breakfast and dinner, even if you have to pack a lunch to work.

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6. Why quinoa and kale when you can milk and kulfi?

We stress on exotic vegetables and products like quinoa etc. when we choose to diet, when the same objective can be achieved through local food as well. Don’t cut natural dairy intake in the form of milk, only to get your protein fill from quinoa. Local works just as well! 

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7. Masalachai over green tea.

There have been several studies that have now proved that excessive consumption of green tea is not healthy. However, Rujuta has been saying that since the start, she’d «much rather consume masala chai«, just like all of us! 

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8. No good thing in life should be artificial.

Again, stressing on the importance of natural food, she says unless it is because of doctor’s instructions, artificial sweetener is never the perfect choice. You can cut down on sugar intake by taking less sugar, but replacing natural sugar is not the right choice.

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9. Cardio for the body, Yoga for the brain.

Rujuta believes that cardio is the best form of exercise to adopt for weight loss, coupled with resistance training. But you can also add Yoga, which not only helps in a healthier lifestyle but actually promotes greater mental health being. 

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10. Drink according to your body not your buddy.

So don’t go crazy drinking copious amounts that burst your bladder. According to Rujuta, the color of your urine is a good indicator of whether your water consumption is appropriate. If it is not the color of transparent water, you need more water intake. Regular water intake throughout the day helps curb hunger pangs and allows you to flush out impurities.

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11. Deep breaths — the first step of proper exercise.

There is no such thing as spot training because your body will never respond positively if you focus on just one area. So go for holistic workouts, and most importantly, never miss the warm up or cooling down. It is important to allow your body to adjust.

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12. Ditch the ‘technology posture’

Posture makes just as much a difference to healthy living as anything else. So avoid the TV when eating as that leads to overeating. Similarly, avoid using gadgets right before going to bed. Read a book (not on kindle or iPad) instead, and anytime during the day you want to use your phone, raise it to your eye level. 

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13. It is always better to mix it up.

Many diets tell people to ditch one of the two — proteins or carbohydrates, and to definitely not consume them together. But per Rujuta, the body craves wholesome meals and cutting off any one ingredient for long can leave you craving it all the more. So everything in proper quantities is acceptable.

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14. Just because it is brown does not make it better

If you consume excess of bread, irrespective of whether it is brown or white, your weight will not be controlled. So watch your intake, have meal clocks and consume shorter meals but in more frequent duration, and stop your reliance on any one food type as a magical cure.

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15. You may drink, but with your meals, not after or before them.

Whisky or wine — there is none that is better than the other. But if you have to drink, then rather than hoarding up on drinks before your meal or indulging in excessive social drinking, try to consume your drinks with your meals. And try to have those meals at a reasonable hour. 

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Now these don’t seem all that scary to pick up, do they? Time we adopt simple changes for a healthier lifestyle.