Tag Archives: balanced diet

11 Ways To Lose Weight Without Spending Much Money

To be fit and healthy is everybody’s goal in today’s life of hectic hurry and fast business.We spend a lot of money on our fitness efforts, either buying gym instruments or buying the expensive weight loss pills that are widely advertised.But, have you ever thought that you can lose weight in simple and healthy manner without spending much? Here are some very simple steps you can take to lose weight, spending the least or nothing at all.

1.      Brisk Walking

Brisk Walking is the best cardiovascular exercise. It costs nothing; on the other hand, it is an extremely refreshing exercise for beginners. Take some time out in morning and continue to practice it on a daily basis. However, you have to be careful that your walking style as well as speed is perfect.

2. Running

All you need a pair of running shoes and a little push from yourself. It is the best exercise to lose weight as well as to build stamina.You have to be committed when it comes to running, especially if losing weight is your sincere priority. Set possible goals and try to cover a particular distance within a particular time. You will become not just a perfectly fit, but also manage to burn calories to a great extent.

3. Skipping

Skipping, a childhood exercise for many, is amazingly effective in helping you lose weight. All you need is a skipping rope and your sincerity to take out a little time from your busy schedule.If practiced properly and regularly, skipping improves cardiovascular fitness, enhances body balance and agility, increases muscular strength and endurance, and burns calories.

4. Climbing Stairs

To practice it needs no investment. You can access stairs in your own building itself. The stair climbing method of weight loss leverages gravity. The heavier we are, the harder we’re forced to work and the more calories we burn. Climbing stairs is one of the extremely intense exercises, which quickly increases our heart rate, and in doing so,we can greatly improve our cardiovascular fitness. So, next time you wait for the elevators, consider that climbing the stairs would have been a healthier choice.

5. Trekking

Trekking is a great way to be active and lost those extra calories. It is true that you cannot go for trekking everyday. However, if you love adventure and take interest in conquering new heights on foot, you can plan trek tours as frequently as possible. Besides, you have the option to become a member of one of the reputed trekking clubs. Along with cutting down the extra fat and keeping perfectly fit, you can also enjoy the thrill of reaching higher and higher.  

6. Outdoor Sports

Instead of staying glued to your computer screen for playing online games, it’s time for you to go outdoors and try some real sports. You may not have too many companions to play football or cricket. But, you can certainly try your hand with tennis, table tennis or badminton.

Badminton is the best choice among these. First, you just need to have the rackets, shuttlecock and a partner to play with. Besides, it is among the fastest games in the world. Just imagine how active and alert you have to be to reach any corner of the court where the shuttlecock may come at any speed. Playing badminton accelerates the activity of the bone forming cells and help in the assimilation of calcium in the bone matrix, thereby, strengthening it. It keeps you feeling well, strong, healthy and motivated. So, try to take out some time in evening or in weekends and indulge in a few rounds of badminton matches. You will lose calories, keep fit and feel refreshed and energetic.  

7.  Cycling

It is a low impact exercise that can be practiced by people of all ages.It is one of the best ways to reduce risk of suffering from health problems like stroke, heart attack, some types of cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. If you missed your gym one day, then no need to worry, pick up your bicycle and go for a ride. However, you have to keep in mind that you must not exhaust yourself. Understand your limit of endurance and maintain the distance and speed accordingly

8. Home Exercises

If you don’t have dumbbells or any other exercise equipment, do not plan to buy them immediately.There are effective weight loss exercises which can be performed without the use of any of such equipment. You can look for some home exercises like skipping, spot jogging and many more to burn calories and reduce belly fat. Do them according to your stamina level in initial phase and then gradually increase its intensity. However, you have to choose the right exercises and practice them methodically.

9. Practice Surya Namskar

One of the most ancient yoga aasanas, Surya Namaskarhas amazing weight loss results. To practise it, you need to carry out various forward and backward bending aasanas that flex and stretch the spinal column activating a wide variety of muscles throughout the upper and middle parts of the body.While it is supposed to be practiced at dawn, you can practice the body movements multiple times in a day, though you must schedule it reasonably.

10. Strength Training

It is one of the latest trends in India. You can even do it at home without buying dumbbells or spending too much time on equipment. It will not be wise to do strength training without an expert trainer. So, when you try to find a trainer, make sure that you go for one who knows his stuff.

11. Online weight loss programs

It is proven that losing weight to the desired extent is not quite possible just though exercises and workouts. Proper dieting is a must. You need to stop gaining it, rather than start losing it. Such weight loss diet plans are not tough to find. Again, you have to be very careful to find the suitable online weight loss programs, considering your body type and the amount of fat you need to lose.  

So, you see that losing weight is not expensive, only if you are strategic in planning and disciplined in practising. Gym is not the only place where you get the scope to burn calories. There are many daily activities that help you lose weight. What is even more important is to control diet. As they say, prevention is better than cure. The same applies in this case as well – stop gaining it, rather than start losing it.


— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Which is Better For Weight Loss – A Low Calorie Diet or Exercise?

Losing weight by only cutting back on calories or by only exercising is not the smartest choice. You need to restrict calories in your diet to lose weight—and you need exercise to keep it off or accelerate the process. Exercise and diet go hand-in-hand. Both will help you keep the weight gain at bay.

The key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off over the long term get regular physical activity with a balanced diet. Also, since you’re cutting back on calories, regular and proper exercise will make sure that you lose more fat and less muscle. Not only will that give your body a better shape, it is even a healthier way to lose weight. Low muscle mass will make it difficult to keep the fat off in the long term and it even affects your health adversely.

If you are looking to lose weight and get fit then seek out a healthy weight management course where the plan is made according to your lifestyle. A successful plan should be able to offer you flexibility as well as a structured routine to compliment your fitness level. This should be the key to keep you motivated. Your goal should be fitness and not simply weight loss because the main incentive to lose weight is to be healthy. Going after only weight loss might deprive you of key elements like exercise and nutrition that might make you look thin on the weighing scale but not fit.

Also, quite often BMI is not the best measure of your fat levels. You might be in the perfect BMI range, but it might be giving you a skewed picture. You may be thin all over with fat only around your belly, which is the most dangerous place to store fat in terms of long term health. Exercising regularly will help keep the belly fat at bay. So exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet to lose weight the correct way.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Follow this to Keep Away Heart Ailments and Cancer

A balanced diet is important to keep away lifestyle diseases. There are no proven ways to prevent cancer, but you can reduce your risk of getting it. To lower your risk of Heart Disorders and heart attack, you should try including the following in your daily routine.

Diet Alterations to Reduce the Risk:

No single food or supplement can prevent cancer or heart disease from developing.
Eating a healthy balanced diet may lower your risk of developing cancer. A balanced diet will help make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs. A healthy balanced diet contains:

• Plenty of fruits and vegetables: try to eat at least five portions a day
• Cereals and pulses. Choose wholegrain foods whenever possible as these contain more fibre
• A mix of some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein.
• Dairy foods

A reduction in cancer risk has no direct link with any specific type of food but Heart Ailments require some diet alterations along with a balanced diet. Some diet alterations that should be adopted even by a healthy person to maintain heart health and reduce heart risks are:

• Foods low in saturated and Trans fats. Saturated fats are found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods. Trans fats are found in many fried and processed foods. Both types of fat raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol levels.
• Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fat found in fish and olive oil. Omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of heart attack, in part by helping prevent blood clots.
• Foods high in fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. A fiber-rich diet not only helps lower your bad cholesterol level, but also provides nutrients that may help protect against CHD.
• Foods low in salt and sugar. A low-salt diet can help you manage your blood pressure. A low-sugar diet can help you prevent weight gain and control diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Include Physical Activity

You don’t have to be an athlete to lower your risk of Heart Disorders. The more active you are, the more you’ll benefit. The General recommendation of physical activity is:
Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.
Children should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day. A great way to encourage physical activity is to do something as a family.
Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of Heart Disorders and cancers, such as:
• bowel cancer
• pancreatic cancer
• esophageal cancer
• breast cancer if you are a woman who has been through the menopause
• cancer of the womb (uterus)
• kidney cancer

Following a healthy diet and being physically active can help you maintain your weight. To lose weight, you need to watch your daily calorie intake and indulge in some physical activity.
Quitting Smoking and alcohol consumption

Smoking can raise your risk of CHD and heart attack and worsen other CHD risk factors. Children who have parents who smoke are more likely to smoke themselves. Reducing smoking greatly cuts the risk of developing lung cancer.

Drinking alcohol is known to increase your risk of some cancers, including:
• mouth cancer
• pharynx and larynx cancer
• oesophageal cancer
• colorectal cancer in men
• breast cancer

Know your body

It’s important to know your body and recognize any changes, such as lumps or unexplained bleeding in case of cancer, and chest pain or congestion in case of Heart Disorders. You should not hesitate to get it checked by a physician.

Managing Stress

Stress is a major factor for heart diseases and cancer. Find outlets to relieve your stress. Talking to close ones about your feelings or concerns can greatly help relieve stress. Learning how to cope with stress can improve your emotional and physical health. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and deep breathing also can help relieve stress.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

A Balanced Diet is Better Than Amino Supplements

Question / Dilemma: A friend of mine has advised me to go for amino supplement. Can I opt for it?

Answer: No, you shouldn’t go for amino supplements. Anything artificial is not the best solution. Focus on your diet which should be right combination of carbs, fats and proteins in its most natural form. There are always people promoting supplements but you don’t know how your body will react to it.

Answered by Prachi Agarwal, first appeared in HT City (Hindustan Times), Get Healthy Delhi! campaign, where she is a Fitness Expert on the panel of health experts.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Top 10 Natural Appetite Suppressants to Keep You Full

Healthy lifestyle is achieved by a combination of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine. A balanced daily diet should contain 3 healthy meals and 2 minor in-between snacks. A healthy controlled appetite plays an important role to help maintain a balanced diet and a healthy weight. But you do not need a pill or some kind of a replacement meal powder to suppress your appetite or help control unwanted cravings. Some foods can be healthy and at the same time can act as appetite suppressants, helping you to stay full for longer.

Following is the list of top 10 natural appetite suppressants -

Almonds: These are packed with appetite controlling fibre with ¼ cup almonds providing about 4gms of fibre. They also provide healthy fats, vitamin E, and a fair dose of antioxidants. They help keeping the stomach full for longer and hence in maintaining a healthy weight.

Oatmeal: It contains a wide range of healthy and vital nutrients in appropriate proportions. Half a cup of this superfood provides 5 grams of bowel healthy fibre. It has also been found to increase levels of appetite regulating hormone, hence helping in controlling hunger. A bowl of oatmeal in skimmed milk is a heart and bowel healthy breakfast to kick start your day in the right way.

Water: Often when the body is thirsty we misinterpret the sign as a hunger pang and end up consuming extra calories. The next time you feel you are hungry, start with a glass of water. You might not feel the need to eat. Water also helps you stay hydrated and drinking a glass of water before meals is also a good practice to help control portions.

Apples: An apple is a perfect mid-afternoon snack. Apple contains stomach filling soluble fibre and sugar regulating pectin to help you stay full and also maintain energy levels. Finally, apples require lots of chewing time, which helps slow you down and gives your body more time to realize that you’re no longer hungry. Plus, they just taste good!

Eggs: Eggs contain good quality protein and healthy fats which helps in keeping stomach full for longer. A breakfast with 2 egg whites,1 yolk is found to help control appetite from 24-36 hours.

Lemons: Have a sweet tooth you just can’t control? Try having something sour. A salad with lemon dressing before meal or a glass of lemon water post meals can help you manage your sweet cravings and help you avoid extra calories.

Soup: Studies have shown that those who start their meals with a cup of broth based vegetable soup consume fewer calories during their main course. Also, it is beneficial to maintain bowel strength and gives a healthy dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals .

Green Leafy Vegetables: These are nutrient packed powerhouses which are low in calories and rich in fibre which allows you to enjoy plentiful of these without being guilty of adding extra calories and hence keeping hunger at bay.

Spices: Adding Cinnamon in smoothies and tea, cloves and ginger in vegetable curries can help to control appetite. These spices help stabilize blood sugar levels and the meal is processed slowly hence keep you feeling of full for longer post a meal.

Flax-seeds: They are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids and stomach filling fibre. Freshly grounded or whole, they can be added to curd, shakes and salads. A tsp of flax-seeds can help you stay satiated and fuelled at the same time.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Foods for Stamina Development

You need tons of energy to cope with your hectic lifestyle. A well balanced diet rich in nutrient dense foods, helps build up body stamina and increase energy levels, especially if you’re interested in sports and athletics. Good stamina is a result of good energy levels, and we get our energy from food. So the degree of stamina we have is largely just a reflection on what we eat.

Following is our list of foods for stamina development, to keep you active throughout the day with enough energy levels -

Bananas: Bananas are best eaten a few hours before you intend to exert yourself. Being a great source of carbs, they are so effective because they trigger the release of dopamine. Bananas are among top foods for stamina improvement. This is known to increase our concentration and drive and is one of the reasons that caffeine makes us so alert.

Green leafy vegetables: Packed with micro-nutrients, it is essential for building stamina and also to improve your RBC count. Green leafy veggies are rich in fiber and digest slowly while maintaining your blood-glucose levels.

Peanut butter: Peanuts are said to contain Omega 3 fatty acids that helps in reducing pain, boost heart health and develop your brain. Peanut butter is also an excellent food among foods for stamina building. It is high in calories and digests slowly. Consume peanut butter in combination with complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread or as a dressing on green salad .

Beans: Beans are a powerful food for stamina building due to their high iron content. Iron is used by your body to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to working muscles. Beans are also high in protein, which slows the digestion of carbohydrates and provides a sustained energy release. A traditional combination like beans and rice provides lots of sustained energy.

Beetroot juice: Consuming a glass of beetroot juice before exercising will make your body work for long hours without feeling exhausted. Beetroot is rich in vitamin A and C —making it the best food for stamina building and reducing fatigue.

Oatmeal: One of the best foods for stamina development. Oatmeal is an unprocessed carbs, which gets digested slowly and hence keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. A power-packed cereal, oatmeal provides sustained energy for hours. Due to high content of complex carbs, it breaks down slowly in your body and keeps the blood sugar at optimum level.”

Coffee: Coffee is known to be an instant energy provider. It is known to help fight against fatigue, as it triggers the central nervous system. Coffee keeps you energized and active throughout the day. Caffeine is almost always completely absorbed and used by the body once ingested. It also affects every organ of the body, increasing mental alertness and energy. Caffeine has a glycogen-sparing effect on the body. Glycogen is glucose that is stored in the muscles for long-term energy.

Foods for stamina building provide calories which serve as energy your body needs to function properly. These Foods also furnishe your body with nutrients and vitamins which help sustain energy. For improved stamina, the right choice of foods can keep you going all day long. So, pick from these power packed foods and experience the change in your energy levels!

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Being Thin Does Not Mean Being Healthy

Increased body fat percentage and being overweight result in lifestyle disorders that cause heart disease, hypothyroid, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Excessive saturated fat consumption increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Certain types of fat are bad for health and some are  equally important which are commonly referred to us essential fat without which the body will fail to absorb and process nutrition in the body. Read here to know more about this.

The distribution of fat varies between gentics and gender. Women tend to store more subcutaneous fat which is under their skin. Distribution of fat in women is generally in their hips and thighs area while men tend to store more fat in the middle area or the abdomen. Once the person enters adolescence the fat cells don’t increase in number instead they only increase or decrease in size. Its the male and female hormone that decide the fat deposit destination in the body. For example women with big bellies are considered  to have higher levels of testosterone ( male hormone) in their system that causes fat accumulation on the stomach. While if men have large hips its due to the high levels of estrogen (female hormone) in that body part.

We presume that fat people are more prone to metabolic disorder ( also known as lifestyle disorders) but a study by Ruth Loos at the Medical Research Council in the U.K. found that lean people with a specific genetic variant were equally at risk of diabetes, heart disease even though the reports confirmed lower fat percentage in the body. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Build Immunity

Are you tired of falling sick every time there is a slight change in the weather or being extremely vulnerable to other people with viruses or bacteria. Body produces antibodies that help identify and neutralize foreign bodies like bacteria and virus in the body thus providing immunity. Immune system is the body’s defence against organisms and foreign substance which have potential to cause diseases and health problems. The immune system is made up of cells, tissues and organs that fight together to protect the body.

Garlic (Cr/freedigital)

There are three types of immunity in the body known as innate, adaptive and passive. Innate is the natural immunity that we all are born with for general protection. Adaptive immunity is the active immunity which develops throughout our lives and in some cases where the infection is too dangerous to fight we can be immunized through vaccination. Lastly, passive immunity is which is borrowed from other sources like mothers milk that provides immunity to child when he is born until he develops his immunity.

Lymphocytes, which are the white cells, are the key laborers of the immune system. The primary lymphocytes are B-cells, T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages and dendritic cells.

You could strengthen your immune system naturally through balanced diet and exercise. Good nutrition with vitamins and minerals and other important nutrients will keep the immune healthy and ready to ward off invaders. A life style that indulges in the consumption junk foods, fear, worry, and anything that promotes stress will weaken and destroy the immune system. Here are some food options for building immunity.

Garlic: It is a powerful immune booster and stimulator which increases the production of infection fighting white blood cells, boosts natural killer cells and destroys antibodies.  Allicin and sulphides present in garlic boost immune system. Garlic is an anti-oxidant which fights free radicals in the body and helps clear out toxins from the body.

Carrots: Carrots, his food of choice, contain loads of beta carotene, which is a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases  and kills free radicals which cause aging and strengthens the immune system.

Yogurt :Ingesting live bacteria might not seem like the best way to stay healthy, but, on the contrary, your body needs certain bacteria to function properly. Lactobacillus acidophilus is an example of good bacteria that your body needs, because it produces lactic acid in your gut, which helps you digest food and break down complex compounds into usable bits.

Mushroom: Mushrooms increase white blood cells in the body to fight diseases and infections. They help build the immune system. Mushrooms contain beta glucans which are one of the best immune enhancing substance. They provide rich nutrition to the body and keep foreign substances away.

Citrus Fruits (Cr/freedigital)

Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which eradicates free radicals from the body and keeps the body in fighting mode from all foreign substances. Vitamin c increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies in the body fighting the immune system. Vitamin C has rich anti-inflammatory properties helping fight cold and bruises, wound healing cuts, swelling etc. It keeps a good body immunity fighting against the bacteria and fungi causing allergies.

Drinks lots of water to flush out toxins from the body and include vegetables, fruits which contain fiber beneficial in removing toxins from the body. Exercise to keep the body healthy and increase blood flow in the body and fight infections better.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Eating Disorder

A harmless remark by an educated parent on the physical attribute of their growing teenage girls resulted in a shocking “anorexia pact” by the duo at the age of 11. Now at the age of 33 and being doctors they don’t lead a normal life. Here are some news clippings of thetwins story.  Eating disorders might start at a very early , if not identified and treated can stay with you for life.

Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common eating disorder that is associated with abnormally low weight achieved by extreme dieting, fasting and followed by compulsive exercising.  Mostly young girls are afflicted from this disorder especially in the absence of early parental care and support to inculcate healthy eating habits. Eating disorders have been around forever but finally society is accepting the seriousness of this ailment  and encouraging parents, friends to come together and support the person suffering from it.  There is a higher success rate of controlling and reversing it through family and social support .

Eating disorders mostly start from home and parents play an extremely critical role in stimulating and curbing them.  Children very closely watch and imitate their parents. If the parents fuss too much about their looks and being thin the kids will imitate them. Similarly if the parents eat a lot of unhealthy food the kids would be inclined towards junk food even when they grow up. Therefore it is mostly parent’s responsibility to inculcate healthy eating habits amongst children.

Eating disorder can have serious repercussions on health like weakness, fatigue,  anaemia, heart & kidney problems, osteoporosis, infertility, disruption of sugar levels  and even death. Nature and nurture is equally responsible for this condition. Therefore it is imperative to apply a three pronged approach to dealing with it.First restore the healthy weight of an individual, second to treat the psychological factors that may have caused this situation and lastly ensure there is total support and care to prevent relapse. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to fuel your workout

If you are doing a moderate workout of 30-50 minutes then fueling your body before workout is not required. The energy required for the workout session is enough from our daily consumption of meals. Fueling before workouts also depends whats your objective is , whether it is  losing weight, building muscles, toning up etc. Only if you are working out for a very long period like marathons then extra energy is required. Regular workouts do not require additional energy.

Drinking Water(Cr/freedigital)

To increase efficieny in the body it is important to keep the fluid levels balanced. Dehydration and less fluid leads to cramping and decreased release of energy for the body slowing down the metabolism. Water is sufficient to keep you hydrated during your regular gym workouts. Energy drinks and bars are required for marathon trainers or bicyclers where they train for hours. Eating high carbohydrate food or drinks before or during the workout only adds to the calories.

Timing the meal is important as if you overload yourself then you would feel sluggish, vomiting, feel heavy to actively move around etc. If you haven’t eaten for much time before a strenous workout then you will feel fatigued and have a heavy head and not feel comfortable and concentrated. Plan your meals atleast two hours before the workout for effective results.

Diet: Choose carbohydrates before a meal as they are more important for providing energy for the workout and maintaing the glycogen levels. Choose complex carbohydrates which quickly breakdown for energy and eat less of fibre before a workout.

Fuel your self rightly and don’t experiment on yourself. Eat protein rich food post workout for muscle recovery and growth of muscles. Push yourself and reach higher fitness levels. Keep the water levels recovering and become all the more resistant.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo