Major Weight Gain Triggers

a.    Sleep Deprivation: Getting less than 6 – 8 hours of sleep a night impairs body’s ability to process glucose and could make one insulin resistant; Also, not getting enough sleep, decreases levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, and increases level of cortisol, the fat storage hormone. This leads to intense cravings for starchy carbs and sweets that end up getting stored as fat

b.  Stress: People under high levels of stress were more likely to have extra fat around their midsections, which has been linked to cardiac health.. This is because stress triggers the flight or fight response that increases levels of cortisol. Higher and prolonged levels of cortisol in the blood stream stimulate abdominal fat cells. Cortisol also increases appetite especially for carbs and sweets. So not only does stress make one eat more but what one eats, gets stored as fat deep in the belly. Also self gratification, self punishment, depression, anxiety and stress may lead to excess calorie intake

c.    Although Carbohydrates, proteins, fats,  vitamins and minerals all are important for the proper functioning of body but  only in required amounts. One should eat everything yet maintain the portion size – excessive fats and carbohydrates result in obesity. Following a balanced diet will provide body with essential macro and micro nutrients thus helping in overall health

d.    Frequency and size of meals – Our stomach on a general basis digests the food in 2 -3 hours. Once the food is digested it prepares itself for the next meal. But when it is not provided with a snack/meal then it slows down the Metabolism of the body, hence storing energy to utilize it at the time of famine. Also you would end up feeling more hungry after a long gap between meals, thus eating double the quantity & wrong type of food  than what is required by your body

e.    Lack of fiber: High Fiber foods produce a higher degree of satiety than refined foods thus  help prevent obesity by reducing energy intake. Fiber rich foods also have laxative effect, increasing stool bulk and decreasing the transit time, though with considerable individual variation. In absence of high fiber foods, one ends up eating more resulting in weight gain

f.    Low Water intake- Drinking two to three bottles of water a day ensures that the toxins are properly flushed out. Water not only keeps us hydrated, helps in transporting oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body. It is essential for ensuring proper digestion, boosts metabolism and makes you feel full thereby cutting down your intake of excess/wrong food

g.    Eating too much food that is sugar free and fat free –  Sugar free/fat free foods tend to have lots of sodium and possibly hidden oils to increase the shelf life of the product. They usually contain preservatives & chemicals that interfere with weight loss and add unnecessary toxins to the body

h.    Lack of physical exercise – Physical activity is a paramount in health promotion. As we age, our metabolism reduces. Though obesity can occur at any age, this is more common during middle ages when physical activity decreases without corresponding decrease in food consumption This results in burning lower and lower calories and slowly muscle tissues start getting replaced by fat deposits

Prices of Life Saving drugs in India

We all know that people do business to make money but it is very unfortunate that some people try to make money out of other person’s misery as well. Some of the life saving drugs that are sold in India are sold at exorbitantly high prices with a complete disregard to their cost of import or cost of manufacture.

MRP (Maximum retail price) is anyways something which has been mocked at by companies retailing water as the same bottle of water is retailed at Rs 12 with MRP of 12 printed on it. But if you go to a restaurant or a coffee chain you will find MRP of 45 printed on it. People exploit all the loop holes in the government policies but should the same be true in case of Medicines. Particularly when people know that without medicines someone mightnt be able to live.

Inspite of Government of India taking steps to curb down malpractices in drug pricing they have been highly unsuccessful. I recently experienced it when someone in the family had to be administered Human Albumin, which is considered to be a life saving drug in certain medical conditions.

Fortunately before purchasing the drug we enquired a close relative who happens to be a doctor and obviously has contacts with chemists in Delhi. We finally purchased the drug which has MRP of INR 6030 written on it for  INR 2000. I am pretty sure that cost of the drug to the dealer would have been less than 2000 and he wouldnt have sold it on his cost price. Even if the person was kind enough to sell the 4 bottles to us at his cost price, I was zapped to see the margin in MRP. I infact went to couple of other medical shops post my purchase to check the actual price from them as well. Almost all the chemists were selling the drug for MRP printed on the bottle. One kind gentleman offered 10% discount but that too after showing that he was doing great favor to us.

Anyway, I am not trying to ridicule anyone here but there are certain government agencies whose work is to monitor the pricing of drugs and monitor as to what is the price in comparison to the cost of import – I feel such agencies have failed miserably in the job they are doing and government should do something about drugs that are being sold in the market at these atrocious margins.

Detox after Holiday / Festive Season & get rid of accumulated toxins

Festive season is generally the time when most people end up indulging in a little bit sweets, oily foods, cakes, dry fruits etc. This also leaves one with a sense of guilt at times. After all the bingeing, Detox can be of help.

 Among all the festivities and binge eating, our digestive system gets completely screwed. All the healthy diet plans and weight loss regimes of months are pit on back burner for some time. Infact I also advised my clients to skip 1 week of diet plans as I know most of them wouldnt be able to follow the same during the festive season.  But after all this neglect all parts of body needs some rest from oily and greasy foods, desserts and litres of cold drinks . Detox can be one the ways to get rid of all the toxins one has accumulated in these festive weeks.

A detox diet can make one feel cleaner and lighter. It also helps skin regain its complexion and often leaves people feeling more energetic . Most of my clients report improved energy levels, clearer skin and regular bowel movements and increased concentration.

Detox diet should defintely include following:

  • Lots of water, for it is the perfect drink to cleanse your system and restore the moisture.
  • Oily and fatty food items should be avoided during detox regime
  • Smoking should be avoided during Detox as it robs off all the moisture in the body giving lots of injurious toxins
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of the detox regime
  • Yoga / 30 mins of brisk walk every day should be included in the detox regime
  • If possible one can also avoid onion, garlic on the detox days and food should definitely not contain much spice
  • Alcohol is a complete no no during the detox regime




What, why and how of PCOD / PCOS ?

PCOD – Polycystic ovarian disease or syndrome PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries show many small cysts arranged in the shape of a necklace within it. this results in an abnormality of hormones with the male hormone dominating. As a result the girls with this syndrome show features such as acne, excessive facial hair growth, weight gain and irregular or scanty menses

The incident of PCOS / PCOD appears to be rising. It is seen in as many as 30% of the young women . Atleast 70 – 80% of my weight loss female clients suffer from PCOS / PCOD. Age range of these clients start from as young as 15 years – in these young girls the symptoms are mainly cosmetic as they get disturbed with problems related to acne, weight gain and facial hair.

In case of married women, PCOS / PCOD often manifests as infertility or inability to conceive. In this condition, the ovulation many not occur regularly, and as the egg doesnt come out each month, the chance of pregnancy is low.

Women in their mid 30’s are also prone to diabetes and later to cancer of the uterus. It is important to bring on the periods regularly with medicines if they don not come monthly on their own.

A lot of patients with PCOS / PCOD are obese and one of the main treatments is lifestyle change with exercise, good diet and weight loss. This is the only thing which is effective in the long term.Problem of PCOS/ PCOD can affect women of all the age groups, causes different problems at different stages of life and hence should be diagnosed and treated with care

About Oats

Changing times have left all of us in bad shapes be it physical, mental or psycological health. Given all the pressures we face in our daily lives it is very important for us to have wholesome nutritious diet which can ensure that everyday toxins are flushed out and at the same time we live a healthy and disease free life. One of the major problems that we face becauses of our lifestyle changes is obesity which also leads to Diabetes in majority of cases.

India today is at the cusp of diabetes epidemic. It is not only doctors and we dietitians who have been advocating good eating habits to keep these lifestyle diseases at bay but also a lot of food companies. At times we get confused about veracity of statements that we hear / read in media. Particularly as there dont exist  stringent laws for advertisement of these health products.Majority of food companies try to exploit loopholes to market their products. One of the products that is highly advertised is Oats.

There is no Doubt that Oats are highly beneficial. Scientific studies have shown that they help in lowering of LDL(bad) cholesterol and thus aid in reducing the risk of Coronary heart diseases but it also depends in which format oats are consumed. Oats are rich in soluble dietary fibre, B vitamins and thus aid in digestion. At the same time Oats dont contain other essential nutrients to make a wholesome nutritious meal. Thus if having Oats in breakfast they should be combined with milk & Fruits like apples, mangoes, strawberries, banana etc to make a healthy breakfast.