Is dieting really that expensive?

  • Jan 04 , 2017

Every day on my way to work I succumb to aloo puri sold from a pushcart. Of course, it is unhygienic, dripping with unhealthy oil and full of calories that I do not need. So why do I have it anyway? Because it is way cheaper than anything healthy that I could have bought for a quick breakfast from the market.  In the afternoon I succumb once again to either samosas or pakoras sold at the office cafeteria. Top it up with four-five cups of tea full of sugar and my diet plan already seems doomed beyond all hope of redemption.

An unhealthy morning breakfast, a calorie filled afternoon snack and some cups of tea-coffee are all that are required to throw your diet plan off balance. To tell you the truth that’s not me. That’s how I used to be till six months back. And I had an excuse ready for anyone who tried to lecture me about my unhealthy eating habit- “Healthy food is expensive.”

And for sure there exists nothing less than a Harvard study, albeit carried out for the American market that reached the conclusion that healthier food is more expensive. Also, I am one of those who is turned off by highfalutin tag lines about ‘organic honey extracted non-violently from pristine honeycombs’ or the super-expensive ‘healthy carrots grown without the use of carcinogenic pesticides.’ I know how marketing works- most of the time product description has very little to do with the actual product. However, that is not the entire story.

You would almost never catch me shopping at one of those boutique organic food convenience stores and yet I have lost weight in the past six months. I manage this without shelling out a fortune every time I visit a grocery shop.

Eating healthy is not a lifestyle fad. It is not something to flaunt on the social media and earn likes. Your body is your permanent address, and if you do not care for it, it has the tendency to take revenge in due course of time. Through personal experience, I have learned that to eat healthily you need not fall for deceptive advertisement campaigns and shell out your hard-earned cash to the delight of a marketing crook. A careful planning and discipline are all that is required to improve your diet. True that a plate of puri-aloo comes for Rs 10, but can it not be replaced with a couple of boiled eggs? Is a couple of bananas carried in your bag not more filling than that aloo patty you are eating at your canteen for an afternoon snack?

There are myriad combinations that you can experiment with. And trust me, if you are smart and slightly disciplined, you wouldn’t miss out on satiating your taste buds either. A pinch of chat masala sprinkled over my assorted fruits makes them mouth watering. At least it works for me. It is possible that something else would work for you.

So go ahead and experiment. Discipline yourself, plan ahead for a week and you would see how dramatically your diet improves. And trust me, you would feel better in many ways. For a start you would actually save money- Yes, planning ahead can do wonders. Your tummy spared the horror of digesting acrid, stale and harmful bacteria-ridden food would feel lighter. And most importantly, your improved diet would mitigate the chances of numerous lifestyle diseases that afflict our generation like epidemics.

So, how much money would you save as compared to your less enlightened peers? So next time you go shopping for grocery, by all means, buy those apples. You wouldn't regret them when you see your diabetic-obese friends struggle and gasp breathlessly in trying to keep up with you.