Maggi = Poison. Ok, am being dramatic

I am not going to confuse you with numbers and technical terms because let’s face it, most of us don’t read the ingredients before buying anything. I am going to talk about how I was addicted to Maggi and managed to wean myself off it.


– I eat processed food but try and not to…. just like everyone else. You can read my daily food diary to know what I eat and don’t eat

– I avoid breads, biscuits, noodles etc. But I do eat them once in a while

– I am health conscious but I don’t diet. I try and eat clean.

– This post is as true for most of the processed foods as it is for Maggi. I am singling out Maggi because it has become part of our lives. If you go remote places like Leh Ladakh you may only find Maggi for food. Only that and nothing else. Nestle has put in a lot of effort in its distribution.

I started eating Maggi as a kid. I don’t remember the first time I tasted it but in the boarding we looked forward to our Sunday b’fast because it was Maggi. I have eaten all kinds of Maggi- with a slightly sweet masala (don’t know what the cooks added), very soggy (hate soggy), soupy and the way it is supposed to be cooked.

At home, my mother taught me to cook Maggi- boil the noodles, throw away the water, drain the noodles in a sieve, heat oil, add masala, add noodles, mix. This is my favourite way to eat them because they are dry and the masala tastes spicy. Try it and see what I mean. As a kid, I stayed home 3 months in a year and the rest in a boarding. My parents were not strict with our food because we suffered enough in boarding. So, Maggi as b’fast and as a snack was common. Maggi was always, always stocked in the kitchen when we were home.

I started working in June 2007. I spent 6 months living out of a suitcase across the country. Maggi was not accessible since I stayed in hotels. In 2008, I shifted to the HO and for the first time lived in a flat with a flatmate (a male colleague). I didn’t have a cook then and made my own dinner. Lunch was served in office. There was little time for b’fast and I had Maggi and juice on most days. Sounds so stupid now. But that’s what I did. 2008 is when my weight gain started…not just because of Maggi but also because of bad food habits, lack of exercise and a decrease in metabolism.

Until a few months back I would crave for Maggi. I had to eat it every few days.

Now I don’t remember the last time I ate or even craved for Maggi. Even when the pack is at home (KC likes instant noodles and we always have a pack lying around- either Maggi or Top Ramen or something else) am not tempted to have it. At most I may have a few bites from KC’s plate. But even that was months back.

What changed?

– Maggi has 500 calories in a 100 gm pack. One pack of Maggi was earlier 100 gm and is now 70 gm. Instead of increasing price, Nestle reduced the quantity. It is a common practice in FMCG (shampoos, personal care, candies, noodles etc etc etc). So, now it has 360 calories.

  • I burn 336 calories when I run 5 km in 39 mins. To burn off 360 calories I need to run 5-6 km. The calories are given by runtastic app and depend on distance, my weight and pace. It is not 100% accurate. I would want my 5 km run to burn atleast 2-3 junk foods I would have eaten in the week instead of just 1 pack of Maggi
  • I can easily eat 2 packs at a go and I have a small appetite. And I have eaten 2 packs in a go in the past. 720 calories in a evening snack is simply stupid. I need to run atleast 11 km to burn that off.
  • Maggi has a lot of chemicals. Simple rule of thumb- if the ingredient list on a pack is very long and you cannot understand it… it has the least amount of nutrition
  • Ideally, your meals should be below 500 calories (b’fast and lunch)… snacks should be 100 calories (3 snacks) and dinner should be less than 200 calories. All in all, 1400-1500 calories in a day. Where does Maggi’s 360 calories fit into this? Nowhere.

How did I end my cravings?

– All the above information helped.

– I stopped buying Maggi. Thankfully, KC prefers Top Ramen and I don’t like it. So this part was not difficult

– I will not make the effort to walk to the store, buy Maggi, cook and then eat it. So not stocking it at home is the simple solution

– It has no nutrition. Maggi has – 33% fats, 62% carbs and only 10% protein. You want to eat fats? Please eat nuts instead.

– I have a big problem with Nestle advertising/labeling it as “healthy”. Is our FDA sleeping? How can they allow the company to label it as “healthy”. Technically they can call it “healthier”… which would probably mean that earlier Maggi had 40% fats and now it has 33%. So, now it is “healthier”. They mention “calcium” and “protein” on the pack even though protein content is only 10%. Want calcium? Just have a glass of milk. Want protein? Eat eggs or daal.

– Don’t even kid yourself that eating the atta or oats noodles is healthier. Want to eat oats? Please make dalia khichdi with oats or oats with veggies.

– Don’t even get me started on the salt/sodium content in it.

– It has MSG. Whether MSG is vegetarian or non vegetarian is debatable so I won’t go into it. I will not even tell you horror stories about MSG because it is used in all Chinese restaurants. In fact, it is so common that restaurants like Mamagoto advertise their non-MSG food.

I will end this post by saying…. know what you are eating.

If your day comprises of colas, candies, Maggi, biscuits, breads, cakes, desserts…. then this post is not for you. All I can say is know what kind of garbage you are putting in your stomach.

For the rest of you, have Maggi… once in a while. And when you eat it, do know that you will need a 5-6 km run over and above your regular workout schedule just to burn it off. If you can fit that into your life, go right ahead and eat it. Frankly, I don’t like to make so much effort for food.

Want to read more on this? Here are links.


Day 25

And thankfully, the weekend is over.

This is what happens to me:

– Most days when I have a craving… the thought of writing about eating it makes me stop. This is mostly on weekdays

– On weekends. I know I shouldn’t do it. I even plan to skip writing one day’s food. After all, who will notice but me? I know am not supposed to open that pack and eat the crap but I eat it anyway. I don’t have the willpower to throw away a 3/4th or a 1/2 filled pack and I decide to eat it instead.

Weekends are very, very tough. My problem is not about eating clean when eating out. That is easy peasy. I just have a taste of whatever is ordered. My problem is eating clean while sitting at home… mindlessly staring into the laptop for hours.

I was telling KC today- I have 14 days (including today) in this month and I could potentially lose 2 kgs of fat. That would make it 4 kg of fat which sounds so awesome. Ok, 5 kgs would sound more awesome but I will live with 4 kgs.

So, that’s the new goal… 2 kgs loss in 14 days.



Day 23

Lesson learned:

Never buy junk and keep it at home because you won’t stop eating it till it is over. My weakness is Haldiram’s bhujia sev and I didn’t stop till it was over.

Never ever again.

Anyone else notice how sitting at home and watching TV makes you want to eat junk? That is what happens to me on weekends.


Day 21

– The tiramisu was not finished last night by hubby and friend. I resisted and did not eat the leftover even though hubby’s friend polished it off in front of me in the morning

– I need to stop eating so many candies. I was feeling sick after eating them.

– At work, during the meeting everyone ordered dhoklas, kachoris, samosas and jalebis. Me and another colleague were the only ones who didn’t join in and stuck to cherries instead.

Me – 1, Fat/Old/Unhealthy people- 0

– Skipped yoga today because I slept late last night and woke up early. Need to sleep now. 10 km run tomorrow morning.

– Tomorrow is BMA day. Super nervous.