In Defense of Calories – A “Healthy” Tip for Pageant Aspirants & Everyone who Eats

The silly approach towards dieting “Exercise to burn ‘xyz’ number of calories and eat ‘xyz’ number of calories less” doesn’t work for most in long run because it is not an approach you can adopt for life-time. You use it until you want to lose weight, and once you stop, it all comes back with bonus.

In case any of you saw “Lagaan” of Aamir Khan, yes the same Indian movie which made it to the Final Five of the Oscars (Best Foreign Language Film) in 2003, you might remember the dialogs of the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan towards the end of the film.  He said that the protagonist of the movie made a big accomplishment for the country and yet his name was lost from pages of the Indian history.  Of course, the story of the movie was fictitious; but really, there is something that is part of our daily lives which faces so much abuse although it contributes a lot to each and every one of us daily.  A plight similar to that of “Bhuvan” (protagonist of “Lagaan”)

I am talking about calories – the same villain which is present in every bite of food that you put in your mouth and makes you fat and ugly.  Bah!  That’s farthest from truth and perhaps the most unhelpful way of looking at food.  Yes, Calories are cool – why?  Because they provide energy and our body NEEDS energy.  It is this energy which ensures that our bodies grow.  It is this energy which ensures that we can walk and talk throughout the day.  You could not go to office today if your body did not get a good dose of these.  Calories are blessed, important and they deserve respect.

Counter argument – You could say, “Oh but they make people fat.”  Well, you are not wrong. But what is not harmful when in excess?  Even excess love is said to be harmful.  Every damn thing in the word, okay fine MOST things in the world are optimally helpful to us only when they are utilised in balance.

Again, what is the problem with “calories” even if they are taken in excess?  It’s not that they jump into your mouth.  It is you who over-eats.  It is you who is yet to develop proper eating habits.  It’s you who is yet to get some education about food – something which could have been better given or rather more effectively given in schools to all of us.

Croissant, cakes, pastries – these items contains a lot of sugar. But they can be safely eaten after a work-out. Even first thing in the morning is a good time to have one. If you eat during or after lunch, have it as an individual meal, but only once in a while. And yes, when you have it, bless it. Enjoy it. Savor it. 🙂

Let’s make it crystal clear here and now – NO FOOD IS FATTENING.  Absolutely.  None of it.  Not even cakes.  Not even chocolates.  Not even sweets.  Neither the pizzas.  Nor Ghee or pasta or ANYTHING.  It is about the timing when you have it and more importantly about YOU when you eat it.

In this war against calories, many blessed items have been ignorantly bad-mouthed.  Egg Yolk, which has fatty acids that actually can help fat-loss, is dissed by many.  The humble banana, which is perhaps the most fantastic post-workout meal, is considered villainous.  The “Maa ke haath Ki” (from mother’s hands) rice, which has a complete profile of amino acids, is literally considered to be something really evil, while in reality it is a staple food of millions around the world, many of whom are strong and healthy because of this God’s beautiful creation.

Fats and carbohydrates are not bad!  They might be high calorific but calories are not a bad thing.  They are a good thing.  These food components provide us the nutrition that our bodies need, and we NEED these nutrients in optimum amounts DAILY so that we can get stronger and clean the excess fat to get the lean looks that we desire.  Without optimum fat in diet, you face would look like a skull and your brain, which is composed of majorly fat, would not be able performing as good as it does.

A Miss Venezuela Aspirant sewed a mesh on her tongue to aid weight-loss. This picture is from a feature on BBC (credits acknowledged!). Perhaps this girl Maya may succeed in losing weight temporarily, but really, which pageant would like to endorse a winner who does THIS for staying fit. Most pageants like Miss World and Miss Universe are month-long. Perhaps the judges should examine the daily habits of girls during the stay ( eating habits, their exercise routines) in addition to how they look in bikinis, in order to find the so-called “role model” for women throughout the world as their winner. It would make much more sense!

To cut the long story short, don’t hate calories.  Don’t hate food.  Don’t hate bananas! Develop the right habits about eating.  Eat small frequent meals, slowly and savor them while you eat.  Listen to your stomach – the divine guidance that, if you listen sanely, will help you know when to STOP eating.  Eat only as long as you feel light.  Sleep on time!  Move your body and exercise.  Develop a fit lifestyle!  But don’t hate food please. 🙂