JEE rank not good? Relax, here’s how you can still get into a great institute

There is a reason the JEE is considered one of the toughest examinations in India, if not the world. The difficulty level of the papers in the exam is not the only reason though. The sheer competitiveness of the exam, owing to a massive number of applicants, is also a factor. When you look at the numbers, you realise how. Over 1.2 million applicants gave JEE Main; the first phase of this really tough exam. Just 2.2 lakh applicants qualified for the next exam – JEE Advanced. That’s a qualifying rate of 18%, roughly equating to 1 in 6 candidates.

Now consider another fact. IITs in India – that take in students qualifying this exam only have a total of a little over 10,500 seats. The qualifying rate is now further reduced to 5%, roughly equating to 1 in 20 students. To put this in perspective, only the top 1% of all applicants actually make it to the IITs.

It’s no wonder why engineering aspirants were eagerly waiting for June 11, 2017. Many of them did it though with a sense of nervousness and apprehension. And when the moment of reckoning did arrive, it filled many hearts with joy while breaking countless more.

According to Rajshekhar Ratrey, VP educational content, Toppr.com, an educational learning platform, candidates with an insufficient AIR (all-India rank) should not lose hope as IITs are not the only way to achieve one’s dreams. Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY, a scholarship programme funded by the department of science and technology) scores and Olympiad (such as the one conducted by IIT Bombay) count too. Success is a journey and not a milestone. There is more than one way to travel this journey. If candidates haven’t managed to make it to the IITs, here’s Ratrey’s advice on some alternatives they can consider:

IIT

Not just IIT,s here are some other institutes you can opt for

1.NITs: Candidates can pursue a career in computer science, electronics, mechanical or chemical engineering in the National Institutes of Technology. Older colleges like Warangal, Trichy and Suratkal are better than some of the newer colleges. Regardless, all NITs will consider JEE Main scores and AIR for admissions.

2.IIITs: Candidates can pursue a career in electronics or computer science in the Indian Institutes of Information Technology. All IIIT colleges consider JEE Main scores with AIR, KVPY and Olympiad scores for admissions. Of them, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad are some of the good ones to aim for.

3.IIST: If it’s a career in space technology that one seeks, then the Indian Institute of Space Technology is a great choice. Directly managed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), candidates can directly apply for the five-year dual-degree programme with masters, that bolsters their chances of entering ISRO. IIST considers a candidate’s JEE Advanced Score and AIR for admissions.

4.IISc: The Indian Institute of Science, also known as the Tata Institute, is another great option for those contemplating a career in pure sciences and research. These courses are also highly beneficial for those who wish to pursue higher studies. Located in Bengaluru, this institute assesses a candidate’s JEE Main, JEE Advanced, KVPY and Olympiad scores; depending on how many exams the candidate has given.

5.IISER: Another great option for pure sciences and research is the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune. This institution has published 900 research papers and helps candidates aspiring for a PhD. IISER assesses the JEE Advanced score, state-board percentage of each candidate. If the candidate has given the KVPY exam, its score is considered too.

6.State-funded Institutes: If candidates are unable to get into any of the above national institutions, there are various state institutions that they can apply for.

After completing one of the above courses, candidates can choose to opt for higher studies:

IN INDIA

1. IIT and IISER: Candidates get a second shot at IIT which offers an integrated MS + PhD course. They can alternatively choose to pursue this course at IISER.

2. GATE Exam: Candidates can choose to give the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering for admission to postgraduate programmes at IITs, NITs and various other state-funded engineering colleges.

STUDY ABROAD

1. M.S: Candidates can pursue their masters from an overseas university. Admissions are granted on the basis of their academic performance and a language test like IELTS or TOEFL. Universities in USA also require GRE and GMAT.

2. Ph.D: Candidates can also choose to pursue a PhD over a master’s degree.

3. Integrated courses (MS + PhD): Candidates can instead of for integrated courses that combine both of the above, at overseas universities.

 

Campus Calling: Get your campus lingo on point before you join Delhi University

Imagine it is your first day in college. And as you walk into the campus, you feel out of place because of a conversation that flows like…‘DU se khaas expect nahi kiya tha, but it is Lit AF bro! Logon ki bhi OK report hai’ etc, and you have everything going over your head.

Delhi University

Yes, varsity life comes with its own quirks, one of them being the lingo. While words like K-Nags (Kamla Nagar),
C-Bats (Cholle Bhature), G-Jams (Gulab Jamun) have always been part of a DU student’s dictionary; some new words and phrases have been introduced lately. Here are some slangs that you can brush up on before you join college (so you don’t have any FOMO (fear of missing out)).

Word: TRIPPY S**T

What it means on campus: Often used to describe stuff that absolutely boggles the human mind, trippy s**t, is a slang that doesn’t require judicious use.

How it’s used: You could include it as a starter for an epic narration of a party story — “Bro, some really trippy s**t happened at Karan’s house last night.”

Word: DATT JA

What it means on campus: While the literal meaning of the term is ‘to stop’, DU students can be heard using this as a precursor to a brawl. Consider this as a warning “to stay in one’s limit.”

How it’s used: College bullies can often be heard saying , “Datt ja bhai, bohot ho gya tera ab.”

Word: BT

What it means on campus: The complete opposite of ‘trippy s**t’, BT (Bad Trip) is used to describe a bad experience— be it describing a boring lecture or a heartbreak by the college hottie.

How it’s used: While we hope you never have to say this (which isn’t really a possibility), it can be used like this. “Yaar kitne assignments pakda diye is teacher ne. Subah subah BT ho gayi.”

Word: TAGDA/ LIT AF/ DOPE

What it means on campus:These three slangs are used interchangeably as they are used to describe a great experience.

How they’re used: You’d probably see them being thrown around the most during fresher parties and DU fests, some what like, “Bhai shaam ko EDM night hai fest ki, tagda scene banega party ka!” or “The freshers party yesterday was lit af/dope.”

Word: PAP

What it means on campus: You’d often come across this, if you’re the college selfie expert. PAP simply means post a picture.

How it’s used: This might be a regular feature when you’re on your class group chat. The usage is pretty simple, “You are on a vacation right? PAP soon please”

Word: TURNT

What it means on campus: College life definitely increases your chances of partying, and with it, the chances of getting extremely drunk (first timer issues). That’s where ‘Turnt’ comes in. Used to describe when you’re sloshed without letting go of the swag you want attached to your college persona.

How it’s used: You can use it as, “I was so turnt at Yash’s place bro! I ended up calling mom and telling her about my result.”

Word: ON FLEEK

What it means on campus: This one is used to describe perfection of any kind, be it wardrobe, personality etc. It can also be replaced with on point (or if you’re super impressed, hella on fleek).

How it’s used: “Her clothes are always on fleek. I wish I could carry myself that way.”

Word: OK REPORT

What it means on campus: A slang that is probably a spawn of the Delhi Punjabi culture, this one is used to describe a satisfactory (or great) situation.

How it’s used: You’d see this fly among guy groups, and probably like this, “Bhai, kal vo bike test drive kari thi. OK report hai.”

Word: SUCH AMAZE, MUCH WOW

What it means on campus: Made popular by the Doge memes, this is an exclamatory remark for something wonderful, probably that amazes you. This one can also serve as a sarcastic remark for something that doesn’t really amaze you.

How it’s used:

Friend 1: “Her dad bought her a brand new I phone on her birthday. Can you believe it?”

Friend 2: Such amaze, much wow.

Word: BEING EXTRA

What it means on campus: Whatever is over the top, unnecessary or excessive can be described as ‘being extra’. How it’s used: “The professor was just being so extra when he did not take Neha’s apology.”

 

 

The Kojima Game That Made You Play In The Sun

Hideo Kojima is famous for being the driving force behind stuff like Metal Gear and Snatcher. But today, we’re going to talk about another of his games: Boktai, a quirky little Game Boy Advance title that asked the player to go outside and get some sun.

While that sounds…odd, it was for a very good reason: not only was Boktai the story of a vampire hunter who was more powerful during the daylight hours, but to ensure that these powers were properly timed, the game’s cartridge included a daylight sensor at the top.

The sensor is that little round thing, which would be able to detech sunlight since the GBA’s design meant the end of the cartridge was always protruding | Image: National Museum Of Play

When you first fire up the game, you get this helpful message:

You were then asked to input the time and your timezone, and Boktai would adjust to your location and match the daylight in the game accordingly (so if it was midday outside it’d be midday in the game).

“I wanted to create a game that involved sunlight, and with the Game Boy Advance you can carry it outside, and there are no other games that involve sunlight” Kojima, who designed the game, told IGN in an old TGS interview. “And I love the theme of Dracula and vampires, I’ve always wanted to come up with a game that players can fight vampires. It was a lot of different ideas that came together, and I thought, why don’t I create a game that involves fighting vampires with sunlight?”

Having come up with a game design idea, Kojima then had to find some hardware that could get the job done. “But I didn’t know if it was technically possible, and I didn’t know how much it would be if I could do this because it might be too expensive with the GBA ROM and having a specialized cartridge”, he explains of the solar sensor’s creation. “There’s a division within Konami that makes specialized toys that have odor sensors and humidity sensors, and they’re pretty cheap. And when I was creating Metal Gear Solid 2, I asked them if it was possible to come up with a solar sensor. And when I knew that it was possible, that’s when I said, ‘We’re going to do this.’”

Which sounds like a completely unique and fascinating way to design a video game, and it was! But the game’s quirks overestimated players’ willingness to tailor their playtime to the need to go outside and underestimated a fundamental hardware flaw: Boktai asked you to be outdoors, but the Game Boy Advance’s screen (the improved SP was available by now, but loads of people still had the older system) made playing outside a massive pain in the ass eyes.

When you did play outside, you could store sunlight in batteries, which would allow you to play for a certain amount of time in the dark. When they ran out, many situations could still be overcome by collecting in-game resources. Oh, and players soon found that you could sometimes get enough sunlight by sitting next to a window or on a porch if you had the right conditions.

But while you could postpone the fact, you couldn’t escape it: eventually you had to play this game outside, especially since it was a requirement for overcoming Boktai’s boss battles. And for many players this was just too much of a hassle.

Boktai reviewed fairly well, and while its annoyances have become more famous than the game itself, it did well enough that a sequel was released in 2004. The sequel made some changes to the basic formula—swapping out a gun for melee weapons—but not to the core one, as it still included a daylight sensor and still made you go outside at certain points. Kojima, who designed the first game, was not involved in Boktai 2’s development.

Boktai 2 didn’t do nearly as well in the West, and so when a third game was made in 2005 (again featuring a sunlight sensor in the cartridge, and again sans Kojima), it was released only in Japan.

When the craze surrounding Pokemon Go last year was at its peak, I sometimes thought of Boktai and how in 2003 its need for outdoors play was received by many as something between a joke and a chore. And sure, the main reasons for Pokemon Go’s success weren’t just its “go outside”design, but its GPS tracking and the fact it was based on a series that millions of people grew up with, and not a weird little video game made by Konami. But still…it’s worth wondering what could have become of Boktai if Kojima had come up with the idea now instead of 15 years ago…

 

 

 

 

OnePlus 5 Launch: Time, Live Stream, Price in India, Specifications, and More You Should Know

The OnePlus 5 launch event less than two hours away, so fans will finally get a look at the device they have been waiting for since the OnePlus 3T launched late last year. The Internet has been flooded with recurring leaks and official teasers for the smartphone, so the OnePlus 5 specifications and features are pretty much known to anyone following the smartphone industry. A rival to iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8, the smartphone is expected to cost a lot less than the competition but offer a powerful user experience. Here’s everything you need to know, including the OnePlus 5 price in India, specifications, design, and features, ahead of the launch:

OnePlus 5 launch event time, live stream

As mentioned above, the OnePlus 5 launch time is 12pm EDT (9:30pm IST), and the event will be live-streamed from the official US website. OnePlus is organising a pop-up event on June 20 in New York, while similar pop-up events will be hosted in Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Berlin on Wednesday. Registrations for the smartphone opened in China on June 14, and 5.27 lakh people signed up for the sale in five days.

The OnePlus 5 India launch is on June 22, with pop-up events scheduled to be hosted in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru over the next two days. At these pop-up events, fans will be able to experience the device and will have the option to purchase it on the spot, though number of units available will be low. Amazon India is also hosting an app-only ‘Secret Doors’ contest that provides fans a chance to win the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus 5 price in India

OnePlus 5 price in India Weibo OnePlus 5 price in India Weibo

The OnePlus 5 price in India has been tipped more than once in the recent past, with a seeming consensus of Rs. 32,999 for the 6GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant, and Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage variant. As for the OnePlus 5 India launch, it’s scheduled to happen at 2pm IST on Thursday, June 22, at an event in Mumbai. While it’s officially been confirmed to be an Amazon India exclusive, it’s also to go on sale at 4:30pm the same day.

Both EU and US pricing of the smartphone have also been tipped, said to be EUR 550 (roughly Rs. 39,900) and $479 (roughly Rs. 30,800) respectively, thought to correspond to the 128GB and 64GB variants.

OnePlus 5 specifications
As for the OnePlus 5 specifications, the company has confirmed a few things itself. It will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC – while Amazon India’s source code gave a top clock speed of 2.3GHz. The company also says it will sport a camera built in partnership with DxO, and a horizontal dual camera setup has also been confirmed.

 

The smartphone is said to include a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display – though a QHD display has also been rumoured in the past – with a range of DCI-P3 colours to ensure colour accuracy. As we’ve already mentioned, 6GB and 8GB of RAM variants are expected, with their corresponding 64GB and 128GB inbuilt storage options.

OnePlus 5 Dual Camera OnePlus 5 Dual Camera

In terms of optics, OnePlus 5 will sport a dual camera setup at the back that has a 20-megapixel sensor with f/2.6 aperture and a 16-megapixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture. At front, the smartphone has been tipped to come with a 16-megapixel sensor. The company told The Verge that it doesn’t have the resources to develop bezel-less phones, and thus directed its efforts on building a camera that rivals the best in the industry. The company says the OnePlus 5 camera is “the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today.” There’s a portrait mode, and software is the reason behind 80 percent of the success it has achieved in the optics.

OnePlus 5 has been tipped to house a 3300mAh battery and come with NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 support as well. In a series of tweets, the global Twitter handle of OnePlus has teased few more features like “always connected”, which could be a hint at dual-SIM support on the smartphone. In another tweet, the company teased improved Dash Charge capabilities of the OnePlus 5. It wrote, “charging ahead.”

OnePlus 5 design
The company itself has confirmed the OnePlus 5 design, and it appears to to be similar to that of iPhone 7 Plus, with the same horizontal dual rear camera setup to boot. It’s also been confirmed to sport front-facing fingerprint sensor. OnePlus has also called it the “slimmest flagship smartphone” from the company. In yet another tweet, the company again teased the phone’s dual camera capability. Carl Pei, OnePlus Co-founder, also teased bokeh effect in an image said to be clicked with the upcoming flagship. Pretty much the entire design was revealed during a TV ad.

OnePlus 5 customer service
Days ahead of the launch, the company released a YouTube video that focussed on the customer service fans can look forward to when buying the OnePlus 5. The video, that has been viewed 3.8 million times so far, claims customer satisfaction of OnePlus buyers is 86 percent, and Net Promoter score of 74 percent. Other consumer-centric services provided by the company include free pick up and drop facility, one-hour quick repair, and the provision to check cost of parts on the official website, among others.

 

 

Why you should practice Pranayama every day

Pranayama is a practice that dwells into giving energy to every cell of our body. It is a Sanskrit word which means ‘mastery of life force’ or quite literally, to draw out life force or the breath that sustains our body.

The practice of Pranayama may seem simple, but includes regular training. According to yogic science, the aim of Pranayama is to participate all that guides life force. Pranayama typically includes the practice of correct breathing. Since Pranayama requires you to breathe right, it involves all body parts. This means that fresh oxygen reaches every organ of your body.

Regular practice of Pranayam has the following benefits:

1. Pranyama is known to purify as many as 80,000 nerves in the body. Since it balances out the energy flow of the body, Pranayama is known to affect our overall well-being. There are many health as well medical practitioners that recommend the practice of Pranayama daily. It is said that this consistent practice brings with it a steady mind and a disease-free body.

2.Many have dismissed yoga for ‘just another meditation practice’; however, Pranayama is a practice that can help you achieve physical fitness. Since, oxygen is reaching all your organs, Pranayama balances digestive system and gives a natural glow to your skin. Pranayama is known to increase vitality of a person.

3. Pranayama also builds mental health when it comes to concentration, memory and stress reduction. Our mind is a powerful tool that can guide what our entire day will look like. Pranayama helps bring serenity to our mental nerves as it increases oxygen supply in the body. This means that blood circulation increases and helps the mind to relieve stress.

4. Those suffering with high blood pressure problems, Pranayama is an ideal practice for them. Since blood pressure spikes at an increased speed in this condition, Pranayama helps bringing this sudden rush in control. Since Pranayama is a meditative state, it calms body and in turn releases hormones that relaxes the body completely. Along with blood pressure, severe issues like diabetes and depression can also be helped with the regular practice of Pranayama.

5. Many studies have proven that Pranayama can increase life span of a person. This is because Pranayama helps a person to breathe systematically. The main problem with many of us is how we breathe. According to yogic philosophy, “our longevity depends on our breathing rate.”

6. Pranayama is great for those who want to lose weight. This is because Pranayama helps you in taking control of your body. When we start practicing Pranayama regularly, our craving for many foods decreases as it starts eliminating the imbalances in our body. When our body is in a tired, fatigued state, we tend to eat unhealthy foods. However, practicising Pranayama balances and increase our awareness towards the food that we consume.

How to do Pranayama:

1.Sit in a cross-legged position on your yoga matt/ folded sheet.

2.Close your right nostril with your thumb.

3.Inhale from your left nostril. Remember to keep your back straight, body relaxed and the left hand on your left knee.

4.Next, close your left nostril with your ring finger of your right hand, and then release breath from the right nostril.

5.Repeat the same for 15 minutes. Take a break every 5 minutes, if needed.

The 8 pieces of jewellery you should treat yourself to

Meet The Telegraph’s Timeless Style columnist, Anna Harvey: the Ex-Vogue deputy editor, consultant to Princess Diana and author of Timeless Style: dressing well for the rest of your life (£12.89, Double-Barrelled Books).  

Anna Harvey
Anna Harvey

I recently read that when the actress Elisabeth Moss won her first Golden Globe, she bought herself a ring – often mistaken for an engagement ring. “January Jones taught me this: to buy jewellery for yourself,” she explained of her co-star in Mad Men. “That way it’s never like, ‘Oh, a man got me this so I can’t wear it now that we’ve broken up.’” I was intrigued and not a little envious.

Then I saw that the supermodel Adriana Lima had posted a picture on Instagram of herself wearing a diamond ring, with the words, “What’s up with the ring? It’s symbolic, I am committed to myself and my own happiness. I am married with me.”

It isn’t only celebrities. According to new reports, all sorts of women are buying their own fine jewellery. It makes sense; women now have the disposable income to indulge themselves with clothes, accessories, holidays – and jewellery. And they do. How I should adore to be in this position. To be able to buy that diamond solitaire I have so often dreamt of, an armful of bangles for the summer, or even a simple ankle bracelet to wear on holiday by the pool. (I believe the history of this last piece is colourful – in some cultures indicating that you are “available”. Be warned.)

Instead, I have been imagining what I might go out and buy were I a self-made young woman looking to treat myself to the perfect jewellery wardrobe.

jewellery

Clockwise from left: White ceramic and steel J12 watch, £4,200, Chanel; Elsa Perretti bean pendant and necklace, £215, Tiffany; Bella drop earrings, £59, Swarovski

I have settled on eight essential pieces (we have to draw the line somewhere,), that my alternate self couldn’t 
live without.

I’d start with a magnificent ring – a Jessica McCormack solitaire, perhaps, which could be turned into something more bling for special occasions with one of her clever “party jackets” – a jewelled surround that can be slotted around your everyday ring. Then an everyday watch that’s chic but not too pretty – perhaps Chanel’s classic J12. Add to the mix the simple stud, drop or hoop earrings from Swarovski or Kiki McDonough; longer earrings for the evening (SJ Phillips have some wonderful Georgian choices); a classic silver bracelet or Cartier’s Love bracelet; a pendant and chain necklace from Tiffany; a more showy evening necklace – for this I might choose costume jewellery, but Marni, Miu Miu and Vicki Sarge all have lovely pieces, or for a semi-precious option I’d visit John Lloyd Morgan or Pomegranate. And finally? I’d have to have some pearls –perhaps a little something from Coleman Douglas.

 

Online Classes for K-12 Students: 10 Research Reports You Need to Know

From Advanced Placement courses offered by state-run virtual schools to credit recovery classes delivered via third-party software, supplemental online education courses have exploded in K-12 education.

Computer-High-School-Student.jpg

To help policymakers, administrators, educators, parents,and students make sense of it all, Education Week published an overview explaining the many varieties of online classes now available to K-12 students. It’s part of our new special report on the state of classroom technology, which you can read here.

For those who want to dig deeper, here are the reports and research studies that have shaped what we know about the still-murky field of K-12 …

 

Why long commutes are bad for you

Long hours of commuting can not only make you tired and lethargic, but can also have an adverse effect on your work performance and health.
A study conducted by University of Cambridge and Vitality Health, Mercer and Rand Europe, found commuters who commuted for less than half and hour in a day, gained an extra 7 days’ worth of productive time each year as compared to those who commuted for an hour or more every day.

Commuting for longer duration has a significant impact on your mental well being. People who commute for longer duration are 33 per cent prone to suffer from depression, 40 per cent more likely to have financial worries, 21 per cent likelier to be obese and 12 per cent more likely to report work related issues. They are also inclined to have less than 8 hours of recommended sleep. This demonstrates how your daily travelling routine influences your health and work performance.

The research suggests that employees should perhaps be given flexible working arrangements as a prominent part of their workplace wellness strategy. Consequently, employees should be given the flexibility to avoid the rush hour commute. This will lead to a positive impact on their productivity.

Should you be sleeping twice a day instead of once?

A shocker for most, a study suggested that what may suit our bodies better than sleeping once a day is sleeping twice a day. Two shorter slumbers may suit our body clocks better than one long eight-hour sleep. Many doctors and sleepresearchers are suggesting that sleeping twice a day could only be a modern concept, which came along the advent of electricity.
Should you be sleeping twice a day instead of once? (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Are we sleeping the wrong way?

There are many countries and cultures that follow the concept of biphasic sleep, that is, sleeping in two slots during a day. Some follow sleeping six hours at night and 120 minutes during the day; some ancient civilizations have been known to split their sleep in two slots of four hours each. Studies now are suggesting that sleeping in two segments can increase one’s alertness, can better his time management and provide him with greater flexibility to carry out his work.

Today, it is reported that about a third of the world’s population has trouble falling or staying asleep. Waking up in the middle of the sleep could signify what used to be followed by our ancestors. For them, it could be the norm to wake up at that time and have a segmented sleep. In fact, there have been mentions of ‘first’ and ‘second’ sleep in African and American tribes and in many texts of medieval literature.

Is it why we feel the post-lunch dip in energy?

Meanwhile, many sleep scientists are also saying that the monophasic way of sleep that we follow is simply a result of the advent of electricity. Our ancestors, without an artificial source of light, had to depend on sun to light their homes. They are known to go to bed at 8:30 pm and woke up at 2:30 am to read or pray. Segmented sleep was only ubiquitously followed.

Now, that we have routines that require us to work 8 to 12 hours a day and commute for the same, we have all the resources that do not handicap us to natural light for our day to day activity.

Should we sleep twice a day?

Though studies are claiming that biphasic sleep may be better for our body clocks and give us certain advantages, can we really adopt to it in a modern set-up? What will happen if we do? As doctors advise an ‘uninterrupted’ 8-hour sleep, how does the biphasic sleep bode with that?

Changing your sleep pattern can negatively affect your body and can keep your energy drained out throughout the day. If one tries to push a certain sleep cycle on his body, it may even destroy his circadian rhythm and biological clock. In fact, one of the prominent causes of postpartum depression in women is known to be irregular sleep routine that they get after the delivery of a child. So, one can only wonder if the biphasic sleep model would really be something worth the energy and time of research being put into it.

Finding the right diet for you

 

These days we’re bombarded with overwhelming amounts of information telling us what diet we should follow. One day it’s low carb, high fat, the next it’s Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins or even the Blood Type diet.

It seems impossible to know which one to follow, but dietitian and Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) spokesperson, Mpho Tshukudu emphasises the importance of understanding that there is no one size that fits all.

Finding the right diet that works for you is a personal thing and should be tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle.

healthy diet, eating, food, vegetables, fruit

Each patient needs a tailor-made plan

What and how we eat is rooted in our culture, shaped by affordability and mixed with lifestyle factors which include weight, physical activity and emotional connection to food.

“This is where the dietitian comes to the fore,” says ADSA President and Registered Dietitian, Maryke Gallagher.

“If you take a disease such as diabetes, which is a prevalent lifestyle disease in the country, and is a condition that can be managed through diet, each patient needs a tailor-made plan and focused support to make their individualised diet work towards their well-being and health.

“When the situation demands change around something as fundamental to life as food, then broad strokes are not necessarily sustainable solutions.”

“Our genes, environments, activity levels, gender, ages and health statuses are different and they determine our energy levels, macronutrient and micronutrient needs,” adds Tshukudu.

Finding the right plan for you

“Dietitians assess your dietary intake, blood test results, body composition, activity levels, medication and supplements, clinical nutritional status, food allergies and intolerances, among other things,” explains Tshukudu.

Using that information, they will design an eating plan that’s right for you. The plan is assessed at different periods and adjusted if needed.

“No two people’s needs are ever the same because the root cause of their illness is not the same – therefore they will not respond in the same way to one diet,” she adds. “It’s important for patients to pay attention to how their bodies respond to certain foods.”

Mpho Tshukudu, quote, dietitian

Separating fact from fiction

Fad diets usually exclude foods from healthy food groups and label them as unhealthy. In addition they offer unlimited quantities of one food or a certain food group with the promise of quick weight loss over a short period of time.

“If you do manage to lose weight, it’s usually only water and not the fat,” says Tshukudu.

Once you stop the diet, you’ll often regain the weight (and more). These diets are usually low in energy, which will leave you feeling hungry most of the time.

“Fad diets are usually suggested or supported by experts who have little or no training in evidence-based nutrition,” Tshukudu says.

Getting down to basics

When it comes to following a healthy diet, Tshukudu has two simple tips.

1. Hydration

Most people struggle with hydration, especially in winter, because water is too cold to drink. Dehydration can negatively affect your health and mimic the feeling of hunger, meaning that most people will eat when they are not actually hungry.

“Aim to drink fluids every time you empty your bladder – it also gives you a chance to stretch your legs and meet your daily step goal, especially if you are sitting at a desk for most of the day.”

2. Vegetables

Eat vegetables with all of your meals, especially the non-starchy ones such as cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger. Vegetables are high in fibre and antioxidants, so add them to soups, casseroles, stir-fries and smoothies. “Choose fruits and vegetables that are darker in colour and taste bitterer. The bitter compounds are linked to lower BMI, lower body fat percentage and improved lipids.”

You can be healthy, even on a tight budget

Don’t use a tight budget as an excuse to eat poorly.

Healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruit, milk and legumes are easily available and more affordable than processed foods.

Beans, lentils, nuts and seeds are great sources of protein. Raw nuts and seeds are high in protein and contain healthy fats, while beans and lentils are high in protein and fibre, and are low GI.

Tshukudu adds that we should eat vegetables and fruits that are in season. “Or try growing your own vegetables!”