Health goals should be for life, not event-centric, says Aayushi Lakhapati.
The model of growth for India has always been inclusive and people-centric. But irregular lifestyles have led to a gap in nutrition that may not be fulfilled by daily food intake and requires additional supplements.
There is a need to educate consumers about the benefits and significance of adequate nutrition, regular sleep and, exercise.
Furthermore, millennials want an easy life -- one that's accessible, convenient, comfortable, full of experiences and food that looks good on Instagram.
The food industry has also shifted and evolved to cater to millennials and startups have sprung up to fill in gaps in the market.
In spite of all of this millennials are still on track to be the most obese generation ever.
Here are the top 10 healthy changes millennials need to make in their daily life:
1. Do not skip breakfast
Millennials are busy.
But this has made them compromise when it comes to their food.
In a rush to reach work, they often tend to skip breakfast that drains their body eventually leading to overeating at lunch.
2. Replace unhealthy beverages
Beverages like diet coke, zero soda, and pre-bottled smoothies often contain artificial sweeteners or unnatural ingredients that could do more harm than good.
These drinks can be replaced by healthier alternatives like a homemade smoothie, buttermilk, coconut water or detox water.
3. Start the day with protein and fat
Having a carbohydrate loaded meal like a sandwich and a glass of juice in the morning raises blood sugar levels leading to higher secretion of insulin hormone that in turn keeps you hungrier throughout the day.
Instead, have a protein and fat rich meal like eggs or a pulse salad that maintains the blood sugar levels keeping you full and satiated through the day
4. Burn the extra calories
Getting your heart rate up twice a week can not only help combat weight but also make your mind stronger and focused. Nobody needs those extra calories!
Calorie in vs. Calorie out is the basic fundamental that every millennial understands.
With the cultural shift in eating patterns, it is only wise to say that millennials need to burn the extra calories if they can’t cut them out.
With busier lifestyles, committing to long physical activities has become difficult. Hence, it is advisable that they at least workout as and when they can. For e.g., if you are a working woman and spare no time to go to the gym, take small breaks from work to take short walks or walk down to the station instead of taking a cab
5. Keep your gut healthy
In between wanting to sleep a little more and wanting to reach work in time, people are usually short of time and seen rushing in the morning and coming home exhausted late in the evenings.
In the process, one activity that is put up on the least priority is bowel emptying that eventually gives rise to chronic constipation and gut issues.
An unhealthy gut can have immeasurable consequences and it is paramount that these are not underestimated.
First things first, keep your gut healthy!
6. Read food labels
With an ample amount of awareness being created in the health industry, millennials must not fall for marketing gimmicks by food brands.
It's always best to read the nutrition label of a product before making a decision of buying and consuming it
7. Aim for a lifestyle change
Millennials often have a mindset of losing weight each time there’s an event that requires weight loss like a wedding or a vacation.
These goals are usually short term and hence good health is seldom maintained.
Health goals should be for life, not event-centric.
8. Establish a sleep schedule
Most millennials work for long hours compromising on their sleep.
Sleep deprivation can cause a hormonal imbalance in the body leading to obesity and other health concerns.
Even though most of today's millennials will have an eight-hour job during the day or night, it is crucial to get enough sleep to recharge the body's batteries.
I strongly believe the power of a good 7 to 8 hour sleep should not be underestimated.
9. Seek professional advises, not digital
Almost all the millennials use Internet for information, which is not wrong. But referring to the Internet, following an unguided diet just because it’s taken over the Internet can jeopardize one’s health.
There is no one size fits all. When it comes to health, it is always advised to seek professional guidance and do it right.
10. Don't be 'all work, no play'
With the cut-throat competition and constant hunger to grow, the majority of the millenials have become 'all work, no play.'
The stress quotient is on the rise and happiness quotient is on the dip. Make time for entertainment and leisure. Make life a blend of work and fun.
11. Take a holistic approach
Millenials want to lose weight to look good. To them, healthy means skinny/thin.
Educate yourself and others that health is not just aesthetic beauty.
It is physical, mental, emotional fitness too.
Focus on becoming healthy on a holistic level rather than worrying about the numbers on the weighing scale.
Aayushi Lakhapati is co-founder and chief health officer, 23BMI, a healthcare company.