THE PER­FECT DIET

Long to look fab­u­lous on your wed­ding day? Ex­er­cise alone will not cut it. Con­sul­tant di­eti­cian In­dra Balarat­nam shares with us her in­sights on the right way to get in shape be­fore the big day

Malaysia Tatler Wedding - - CONTENTS - For a per­son­alised con­sul­ta­tion, email: in­dra.balarat­nam@gmail.com

Di­eti­cian In­dra Balarat­nam shares her in­sights on the right way to get in shape be­fore the big day

Q: Why did you de­cide to be­come a di­eti­cian?

A: Food is a fun­da­men­tal need to a healthy or even a sick per­son. As a di­eti­cian, I’m pas­sion­ate about help­ing peo­ple un­der­stand how they can each meet their nu­tri­tional goals by mak­ing sen­si­ble food choices to last a life­time.

Q: What would be the best diet plan for a bride who wants to shed a few pounds be­fore her big day?

A: The worst diet plan is one that is so lit­tle in calo­ries that our bride-to-be is of­ten de­prived of whole­some foods. If she wants to lose weight, I would usu­ally help cre­ate a meal plan that is bal­anced with va­ri­eties from the five ma­jor food groups in ap­pro­pri­ate por­tions. The meal plan will also ac­count for lit­tle por­tions of foods that the bride sim­ply can­not do with­out. Q: Are there any good juice di­ets that you can rec­om­mend? A: I re­ally do not rec­om­mend juice di­ets as they are not nu­tri­tion­ally com­plete for any­one—let alone a stressed out bride-to-be. We want her to be healthy and ra­di­ant on her big day and not hag­gard and lethar­gic.

Q: What are a few on-the-go snacks that you can rec­om­mend for a bride who is in the midst of plan­ning her wed­ding?

A: Per­fect snacks would be a small packet (40g serv­ing) of nuts, tau foo fah, low fat yo­gurt with cut fresh fruit, a sand­wich, a cup of milk and two to three small whole­grain crack­ers.

Q: What ad­vice would you give so that the bride-to-be does not give in to any sweet temp­ta­tions and dessert crav­ings?

A: Don’t ever de­prive your­self of that lit­tle touch of sweet­ness. But the idea is to look for new sweet al­ter­na­tives. I would sug­gest hav­ing a freshly squeezed fruit juice or bet­ter still eat some sweet freshly cut fruit, or have lower calo­rie desserts such as lin chee kang, tau foo fah or a low fat sugar free sor­bet.

Q: It is said that we should have small-sized din­ners. Can you give us a few ex­am­ples of healthy yet fill­ing din­ner dishes?

A: Look for dishes that are cooked with less oil such as noo­dle soup, Chi­nese steamed fish served with rice and veg­eta­bles, soups cooked with veg­eta­bles and lean pieces of meat, light stir-fried lean meat with lots of veg­eta­bles, steamed soft bean­curd with tasty sauce or a piece of grilled fish, beef or chicken served with roasted pota­toes and sauteed veg­eta­bles. Do stay away from deep fried dishes as they would be high in fat con­tent. The rule of thumb is to por­tion out your din­ner plate in this man­ner—1/4 plate with your car­bo­hy­drate, 1/4 plate with some lean pro­tein and fi­nally the last 1/2 of the plate with a va­ri­ety of veg­etable dishes.

Q: What are the key tips to a con­sis­tent healthy eating habit?

A: To con­sis­tently eat healthily, it re­ally does take a lit­tle plan­ning and fore­thought. This helps you to look for places to eat that have suit­able choices for your new light eating style or even buy cer­tain sim­ple foods and snacks to be stored in the house and work­place. It would also be great to learn to cook some of your own meals. This will help you to cut down on the use of ex­ces­sive in­gre­di­ents that of­ten make your meals high in calo­ries.

Q: Why is eating early good and what would be the right time to eat?

A: Try not to go too many hours in be­tween your meals. Spac­ing out three to four hours be­tween main meals and small snacks is a good way to stay com­fort­ably nour­ished through­out the day. Eating an early din­ner is ad­vis­able so you can let your food di­gest and wind down for sleep ear­lier. For some peo­ple, sleep­ing on a full stom­ach dis­rupts a rest­ful night. Stud­ies have shown that not get­ting good sleep and enough rest is a cat­a­lyst for overeat­ing and be­ing over­weight.

Q: What are some of the foods that can cause bloat­ing and what can be eaten to pre­vent this?

A: Cer­tain veg­eta­bles can cause gas buildup, such as hard veg­eta­bles like broccoli and cau­li­flower. Beans can also form gas and so are foods that are high in fi­bre. There’s no need to to­tally avoid these healthy foods. Just grad­u­ally in­crease them in your daily diet, and do re­mem­ber to drink plenty of wa­ter to help elim­i­nate the fi­bre.

Q: What should be the av­er­age amount of calo­ries to be con­sumed in a day, if plan­ning to lose weight for a wed­ding and how long be­fore the wed­ding should one get started on this?

A: The amount of calo­ries will de­pend on sev­eral fac­tors such as the per­son’s height, age, cur­rent weight and how ac­tive he or she is. The av­er­age calo­rie in­take for weight loss can be any­where be­tween 1,200 calo­ries to 1,500 calo­ries a day. A: What fruits and veg­eta­bles are es­pe­cially good for the skin? Q: A diet high in all kinds of fruits and veg­eta­bles is great for the skin as fruit is na­ture’s best food for vi­ta­mins A, C and an­tiox­i­dants to fight free rad­i­cal dam­age.

The av­er­age calo­rie in­take for weight loss can be any­where be­tween 1‚200 calo­ries to 1‚500 calo­ries a day

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