EAT SMART Fitness and nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar busts diet myths and tells you just what you should do to stay fit and healthy. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN

Unpronouncable names, tall claims, exotic looks, tastes like cardboard, advertised for weight loss and super expensive… any guesses what we're are talking about? Well, these are diet foods. Normally fitness and weight loss diets come with fewer do's and many don'ts.

There are a few ground rules that must be kept in mind to stay healthy. A fit person is one who will manage to lose weight and stay toned. The main ingredients that form a wholesome meal are rice providing the carbs, dal providing the protients and vegetables, coconut and groundnut, filtered oil providing the other essesential nutrients. This is what makes the complete meal. Rujuta Diwekar's workshop in Chennai was an extensive session to help people eat right. These are her tips that can change your lifestyle and the way you look.

Eat local food (Eat what is grown in your State and surroundings). The further the food comes from the further your navel will be from your spine

Avoid storing, eating, reheating and plastic. Plastic has a compound similar to estrogen. So the more food is in contact with plastic the more the chances of a hormonal imbalance resulting in PCOD and PCOS.

The amount you should eat is a question that should be only answered by you. Establish a rapport with your stomach and try as far as possible to eat in silence so that you can hear your stomach tell you to stop.

Always make sure you sleep at the same time every day.

Follow an exercise that you can not only enjoy but will want to pursue for the next 15 years. Make sure to improvise and stay consistent.

Change your attitude and respect your body.

Never count calories. Always count the nourishment it provides.

Fruits have fructose that are necessary for the body. Any fruit can give you that. Make sure to consume seasonal fruits. For example it's the season to have custard apple. With its other properties it can help you combat monsoons, boosts the immunity system has fibre iron and B6 needed for a flat stomach.

Give yourself a sweet visa to avoid cravings and then bingeing.

Use filtered oil in as it the one which retains the necessary nutrients.

For more info, check out Rujuta's books: Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha and Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight