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

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

 

 

 

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.

How many calories, protein and through what sources of food ?

Nowadays, awareness amongst people living in urban areas, particularly in metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Noida, Ghaziabad and Chennai has been increasing in matters of diet and exercise. A number of gyms and catering joints have sprung across the cities to cater to the needs of health and calorie conscious individuals. All these joints and gym are helping people achieve their goal of healthy and smart living in some way or the other.

Apart from air and water, food is required for basic sustenance of life. It plays a major role in our health. The kind of food that we eat, in a way makes what we are. Intake of healthy food in the right proportions is very essential for to get the best results. On an average a fully grown man needs 2000 to 2500 calories per day. Women and teenagers need around 1500-2000 calories per day. This daily intake ensures that we are able to carry out of daily routine in a healthy manner. What really matters is what sort of food items make up the number of calories that our bodies need. Although body’s need of these calories can easily be fulfilled by having fried and sugary stuff in lower quantity but these foods would deprive body of other essential ingredients in the food.

For the whole wholesome nutrition it is best to include a variety of foods in your diet. Foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, vegetables, protein-filled sprouts, leafy vegetables with minerals and vitamins and fruits, milk and other dairy products which have low fat content can help us in attaining and maintaining good health.

Milk is the first food that babies take and even grownups depend on milk in some form or the other for the rest of our lives. Milk is consumed daily in various forms such as yoghurt, butter milk, butter, cheese, ghee or clarified butter, Cottage Cheese (Paneer) etc. Needless to say, milk provides the best sustenance for people of all ages.

Whole wheat and brown rice contain fiber and vitamin B. Lack of vitamin B is responsible for energy loss in the body and causes general weakness. The amount of carbohydrates or calories in whole wheat is less when compared to rice. This is one of the reasons why doctors and/ or dieticians suggest shifting from rice to wheat during weight loss.

Vegetables, leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamins and mineral compounds which help us in strengthening our immune system. Vegetables contain the least amount of calories but contain the vital ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are essential for our body. Meat, eggs, fish and shrimp contain 0% fiber.

Juices made from vegetables are very healthy option for children, pregnant women, middle-aged men and elderly people. Juices contain a generous amount of fiber. Fiber that is present in all plant products such as leaves, vegetables, fruits and grains has a major role to play in bowel function. For a healthy living a good bowel movement is very essential.

Lentils and meat contain protein which is very essential in the muscle building and strengthening of our body. Doctors and dieticians suggest that the protein intake will depend upon the weight of the person. A healthy person weighing 50 kg for example, has to consume at least 50 gms of protein for the required muscle building and restoration to take place. The protein intake must be at a constant rate even while a person is taking up a weight loss program. Fruits are also an important part of a healthy diet. No wonder they say, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Fruits contain a good amount of natural sugars called fructose, which is easily digestible. Bitter fruits such as lemon and orange, etc contain citric acid which helps in improving the immunity against bacteria and viruses. Eating an orange daily or having a glass of lemon juice is very good for health.

Research in cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, etc has shown that people who eat outside food such as fast food, confectionery on a regular basis are more prone to viral and bacterial infections that those who take home made food. Having home made healthy food which is prepared systematically with the best ingredients is always preferable for good health.

Healthy living through healthy lifestyle

Is healthy living a wish only some people deserve? Well, it is not. Everybody has a chance to lead a healthy life. But, there is a catch. Good health cannot be acquired in a matter of days instead it is continuous efforts of an individual that can make it possible to lead a healthy life.

Doctors and dieticians say that eating nutritious food is very important for the overall health of the person. Overall health not only includes physical strength imparted by the muscles, but also by the immunity to diseases from the inside. In order to improve internal health, one does not need to rely on medicines or vitamin supplements but the food that we take can act like medicine by promoting the immunity. Food that we take can be categorized into various elements like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins etc which all form essential ingredients and are required in sufficient quantities to maintain good health.

Carbohydrates form the majority of our diet. Carbohydrates are easily converted into glucose, the basic fuel which runs the body. This glucose is converted into calories and is stored in the body for later consumption. Glucose that is consumed is used as the fuel for internal respiration which takes place in every cell of the body. This is what gives us the energy to do anything. This heat is what keeps us alive.

Protein intake plays a major role in body building of a person. Proteins are responsible for muscle building which includes creation of new muscles as well as in the repair of old muscles. The protein requirement of everyday will depend upon the weight of the person.  

Dieticians say that consumption of vitamins such as A, B, C, D, E, K etc help in the strengthening the immunity system. These vitamins are found abundantly in vegetables and leafy vegetables. Carrot is the best source of Vitamin A. Whole grains such as whole wheat or brown rice contains the essential Vitamin B. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, etc. Vitamin D is found in milk, cheese, cream, meat, etc. Vitamin D can also be obtained from Sun. An exposure of 15-20 minutes a day will stimulate the body to produce this vitamin. Vitamin E is found in vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, spirulina, etc. Vitamin K is found in vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, etc.

Apart from healthy food that we eat other things that are required for a healthy living include exercise. Physical exercise is important in today’s world where, people are easily gaining weight because of the lifestyle that is prevalent.

Unfortunately our body cannot stock all these elements and keep using as and when required (though body does store energy in form of fat) and it is essential that we maintain our diet and lifestyle in a manner to suffice the needs of our body at all times. Even if a single variable from the equation of health is not available in appropriate quantity body will start signaling it through fatigue, sickness etc.

Unfortunately our lifestyle and bad eating habits lead us to consume foods which don’t provide adequate nutrition to our bodies.  As a result lifestyle diseases like obesity, cardiac issues, Diabetes etc are rapidly rising amongst the urban population particularly in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Indore, Chennai etc. As suggested from the article it is not difficult to embark on the journey of healthy living but it requires some efforts to continue on it. Many good Dieticians are nowadays available online and provide all the help required like diet planning or healthy living tips online. One should use the facilities available at some of the leading health portals and start living healthy.