Litfest Special: “Know What’s on Your Plate” – Harsh Singh

A popular Scene

4 friends in a local restaurant.


“Kya khaein bhai log?” [Alright, what are we having?]

“Waiter jab tak ye log soch rei tu char Patiala peg rum lei aa” [Waiter, can we have 4 pegs of rum over here, please?]

“Nahi bhai mei toh beer loonga” [Nope, I’ll take a beer]

“Mei whisky” [Whisky for me]

“No Daaru for me! Mera vrat hai.” [No alcohol for me. I’m fasting today]

“Waiter, pandit ji kei liye fresh fruit juice, bachey kei liye beer, rotlu kei liye    whisky aur mard kei liye rum lei aao.” [Waiter, one fruit juice for the priest, one beer for the kid, whisky for this cry baby and one peg of rum for the MAN here]

“Bohut bhook lagi hai. Merey liye aloo chat sendha namak wali, kuttu aata ki poori aur aloo tamatar bhaji – sath mei sabudana kheer, meetha tez aur fresh fruit platter apney special festive menu sei.” [I’m hungry. Just bring it on!]

“Mei diet pei hoon sirf green salad loonga.” [I’ll have a green salad. I’m on a diet, you know]

“Merey ko nachos corn chat, fir paneer, aur 4 butter naan, haan rice bhi mangana aur dahi bada bhi.”     […seriously, dude?]

“Mera nothing special but tum sab sei thoda thoda share karunga. Bas meetha exclusive merey liye. Ye hot cold jumbo combo kya hai?” [I’ll just have a bite from you guys. What’s this hot and cold jumbo combo?]”

Waiter: Sir, it’s our specialty, two steaming gulab jamuns, one piece of hot brownie doused in caramel sauce surrounded by six mega scoops of ice cream of different flavors, topped with nuts. An absolute gourmet delight.

“Yeah, that’s mine. No sharing. Not even a bite! Pehle keh raha apney liye aur order kar lo. I’m not going to listen to anything afterwards.”


Such scenes are common around us. Someone is eating like a pig. Just like there’s no tomorrow. Aish kar lo… kal ho na ho!

Another is eating so scantily that the metabolism gets screwed and many body functions are happening at sub optimal levels. “Diet ka naam bhook hartal nai!”

Both cases are recipes for disaster, an impending catastrophe.

Also note, all the food on the plate is being consumed without any thought or consideration to its calorific or nutritional value.

Common rejoinder – “Hum khatey peetey ghar kei hain.” [We come from a family of foodies/ Food is the foundation of our family relationships]

Seriously? You think this is to your credit to hog like there’s no tomorrow?


Don’t take your health for granted. When a lifestyle disease or ailment strikes, you won’t know where to run to.

Life may not even give you a chance to make amends.

While you still have the time, start taking a note of what’s on your plate.

Dekho bhaiyo behno, waqt abhi baaki hai! It is not too late. Start by asking the right questions.

Ask yourself, what are you putting inside your body? Is it too much of high-calorie low-nutrition processed foods in place of whole foods with a better nutritional profile?

Kuch bhi … ye kehney sei ab nahi chalega! It is time to get serious now.

How many calories are you consuming? Are they in accordance with your requirements according to your goals?

“Ki farq paenda?” Jab fark padega toh waqt na hoga! Take control of your life before it is too late.

What is the macro nutrient split of your dietary intake? Are you consuming very low fat for weight reduction? Going extremely low in fats results in a variety of problems medically and affects the quality of life negatively.

“Fat khaega toh fat hoga na!” [If you eat fat, you get fat] – It’s a myth. Net calorie balance is important.


Is your diet loaded with carbohydrates like the majority of Asian diets? Carbs are not essential in huge amounts if you’re not a competing athlete.

Are you loading your body with simple carbs like sugar and sweet syrups just because you think your body “needs” them? These are not needed at all and the body can survive very efficiently without them.

Are you consuming enough protein? Most Asian diets are inadequate in this aspect. Protein is important. Do take it according to your requirements – 0.8 grams per kg body weight for a sedentary lifestyle, around 1.3 grams per kg body weight for an endurance athlete, and around 1.8 grams per kg body weight for a strength training athlete.

Bina cement ki support sei pillar nahi banta, aur bina muscle ki support sei body structure nahi banta. [You need to build muscle to be able to develop a good physique]

Agar musculoskeletal structure ko strong aur proper shape mei rakhna hai toh usko adequate protein ka bhog lagana hi padega! [Include adequate protein in your diet if your goal is to build muscle and get stronger]

“Mai bulking per hoon ab toh ad libitum thooso aur gaining karo.” [I’m on a bulk. I can eat whatever I want]”

Not true! Dirty bulking is hazardous for your health and physique!

Be sensible and eat a little above your TDEE to gain lean mass while not compromising on your strength training routine.

Eat sensibly to live disease free. This is the key to longevity!     


Article Credits – Harsh Singh (Litfest Submission)