Shilpa Sarkar and her husband Bhaskar Sarkar residents of Bengaluru are a young IT couple working from home for the last three weeks. Shilpa narrates how skipping and delaying her meals interfered with her weight loss plans...

Before I start writing further, I must make a confession. When my company allowed us to work from home, I absolutely loved it. After all, I have been married only for a year-and-half now and we as a couple hardly got any time to spend time together, except for weekends. Also Read: My Dinner Was Dal and Rice For A Month. And This Is How Transformed Me

eating at the right time

*Pictures are for representation purposes only!

With both of us being in software jobs, the time has always been a constraint and we hardly took a holiday, after our honeymoon. Yay! Working from home is a great opportunity to plan the day better, eat homecooked food, workout at home and be true home birdies. The first day was fantastic. I woke up at the usual time, made breakfast, logged in early. I, in fact, managed to cook lunch between office calls and meetings with the client.

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My husband on the other hand too managed to make a corner for himself in the living room to work. We even had lunch together, logged out by 6.30 pm, watched Netflix and ate crispy dosas followed by lassi. Perfect!

But as they say, not all days are the same. The struggle started from Day 2. Thanks to late-night sleep and lethargy in the right amounts, we woke up late, drank a cup of coffee, decided to skip breakfast as we had to start working. I couldn’t step into the kitchen till 1 pm and the lunch got delayed till 4 pm, thanks to continuous calls from my husband’s office.

I could have eaten but the idea was to enjoy lunch together. Since the lunch got delayed, dinner too was very late. We both found solace in Maggi. It happened the next day, the next day and the story continued.

It in fact became worse. Trying to find a balance between work from home and work at home, to gain some amount of discipline in our lives, meeting constant deadlines and attending client meetings online and hoping to save jobs from that impending recession has been taking a toll both on our mental and physical health.

Weekends too were equally bad. Nobody wants to eat healthy on a weekend, anyway, right? So, I made banana French toast and Malpuas too! A lot of junk, but hey! We have not been eating outside at all.

And workouts? Where is the time? There is no way to step out for a walk and there is a huge time constraint to exercise at home. However, I was sure that this lockdown stress would have had a good impact on my weight and contributed to my weight loss at least by 2 kilos.

No! I gained 3 more kilograms and I kept wondering. I dialed my nutritionist for advice and the first she asked, “Are you eating on time?” I readily came up with a plethora of excuses and she didn’t buy anything. The nutritionist, in fact, insisted on getting back to the normal eating schedule and stick to our office breakfast, lunch and snack time. She made quite a reasonable argument and explained why one should eat on time to maintain or lose more kilograms, boost metabolism and be in overall health.

And lastly, I was warned that I may not be able to fit into any of my office clothing if I gain even 2 more kgs. God! I cannot afford to spend more money at this point of time. Recession fears are looming large and I need some savings.

I have been working from home for the last 3 weeks and I made up my mind to go back to my strict diet, schedule and workout regimen.

And here’s why you should too, as advised by a nutritional expert.

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day should be consumed within an hour of waking, ideally between 7 to 8 a.m. You can have a mid-morning snack at around 10 am. Followed by lunch around 12 to 1 pm. Around 4 pm, you can have an evening snack, thereby concluding the day by having dinner by 6 or 7 pm. Spreading the meals helps your body to digest the food better and also prevents gaining weight.

Here are More Advantages:

Enhances Gut Health

Eating on time is extremely beneficial for people having gut issues and acidity problems since a pile-up of food at odd hours prevents the gastrointestinal system from digesting the food properly. For maintaining proper gut health, chew the food properly. Try having your dinner early and give your stomach at least 2-3 hours to digest the food thoroughly before going to sleep. Also Read: Digestive Disorders: 7 Ways To Improve Gut Health

Weight Loss

It is well-known that having well-timed meals help in maintaining body weight. Many people even after following a strict dietary regimen, forget to stick to their meal timings and hence fall prey to weight gain. Try splitting the 3 big meals into 5-6 small ones including 2 snack times, with each meal being close to 2-3 hours apart. This enhances the body’s metabolic activity and provides energy to shed off those extra kilos.

Sound Sleep

Eating too much food for dinner or just before going to sleep, can cause heartburn and cause insomnia. Several researches claim that late-night snacks or delayed dinner leaves the body in the state of ‘high-alert’ and interferes with the circadian rhythm. Hence it is advised to eat early and allow the body to digest the food, to get a good night’s sleep and wake up energized.

Promotes Cardiac Functioning

Eating on odd timings can be extremely bad for health since it increases the risk of heart problems by upsurging the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Having healthy food at proper timings prevents the body from water retention and bloating thus reducing the risk of high blood pressure and various heart anomalies including heart attacks, heart blocks, and atherosclerosis.

Manages Diabetes

Eating your meals at the correct time plays a significant role in alleviating the blood sugar levels of the body. Keeping a proper gap between two meals gives the body ample time to digest the food and reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose. This, in turn, activates the production of insulin from the β-pancreatic cells and prevents a healthy person from getting diabetic symptoms.