Tag Archives: depression

Weight loss can prevent and cure sleep apnea

Apnea literally means “cessation of breath.” If you have sleep apnea, your breath can become very shallow or you may even stop breathing while you are asleep. This state of not breathing can occur for 10 seconds in an hour, or in severe cases, the frequency of cessation of breath may further increase. The repeated episodes of apnea (lack of breathing) cause frequent night time awakening.
Individuals with this disorder often complain of morning headaches, constant fatigue, and moodiness, and can fall asleep almost anywhere. More seriously, they can fall asleep even while driving. Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common in obese individuals. It is believed that the airway of obese individuals get obstructed by large tonsils, an enlarged tongue and increased fat in the neck. This presses airways when the pharyngeal (throat) muscles are relaxed during sleep. A person’s neck circumference is a good predictor of sleep apnea. Obese men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or greater, and women with a neck circumference of 16 inches or greater are more likely to have sleep apnea.

The worst part is that it is not only obesity that has an association with sleep apnea, but sleep apnea even results in poor sleep which increases food cravings. Lack of good quality sleep increases the chances of hormonal imbalance by increasing the level of ghrelin hormone. Ghrelin is a hormone known for its effects on appetite and disturbed levels of ghrelin hormone leads to an increased appetite which further leads to weight gain.

Individuals with sleep apnea often have elevated blood pressure, high fasting glucose, and high cholesterol. Lack of sleep triggers stress hormones which stimulate the cell’s glycogen to get converted into glucose. This suppresses the function of insulin due to which blood sugar levels shoot up leading to diabetes and heart problems, all of which can worsen with further sleep deprivation. So, it’s a vicious cycle. Obesity can lead to sleep apnea, which, itself, then causes derangements of hormones that control eating habits, leading to more weight gain, worsened blood pressure, glucose intolerance, worsened apnea and the cycle goes on and on.

So, healthy eating with exercise leads to weight loss and not only helps in preventing such a vicious cycle of health problems but also helps in the cure of sleep apnea.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

Sleep is a fundamental requirement just like food and diet is for the functioning of a healthy body. Sleep even lays the ground work for a productive day ahead. Although most people need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function well the next day, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 1998 Women and Sleep Poll found that the average woman aged 30-60 sleeps only six hours and forty-one minutes during the workweek.

Studies show that women need more sleep than men. “Poor sleep certainly had a more profound effect on women than on men,” says Edward Suarez, Ph.D., an associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine
“One of the major functions of sleep is to allow the brain to recover and repair itself. During deep sleep, the cortex — the part of the brain responsible for thought, memory, language and so on — disengages from the senses and goes into recovery mode,” Jim Horne, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University in England, told The Australian. “The more of your brain you use during the day, the more it needs to recover and, consequently, the more sleep you need. Women tend to multi-task — they do lot at once and are flexible — and so they use more of their actual brain than men do.”

It follows that, if men used their brains more during the day, they would need a couple of extra hours too. “A man who has a complex job that involves a lot of decision-making and lateral thinking may also need more sleep than the average male — though probably still not as much as a woman,” Horne said.
Getting the right amount of sleep is vital, but just as important is the quality of your sleep. Biological conditions of women are unique, like the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. All of these conditions can affect how well a woman sleeps. This is because the changing levels of hormones that a woman experiences throughout the month and over her lifetime, like the levels of estrogen and progesterone, have an impact on sleep.

Lack of sleep is associated with increased risk of heart disease and obesity because lack of sleep causes increases secretion of the leptin hormone, which leads to excessive food cravings and may cause obesity. This even causes heart disease if left untreated. Lack of sleep leads to diabetes due to increased levels of the stress hormone, which stimulates the production of insulin and causes high blood sugar level, as well as more stress, depression, anxiety, and anger. However, these associations were weaker for men.
So go to bed at the same time every day of the week, avoid heavy meals before bed, establish a relaxing bedtime routine, nap occasionally to make up for lost sleep, eat healthy and exercise daily.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Your neighbourhood might be making you fat

“Is your address making you fat?” This article will help you in understanding an unusual link between your neighbourhood and your child’s weight problems. Many researchers have been studying this unusual link and have come to a tentative conclusion that surroundings of a child’s house might be responsible for obesity.

Recent research from the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Norwich Medical School, and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) has found that Children living in areas close to fast food outlets are more likely to be overweight or obese. The residential localities of nearly a million children were taken into consideration and compared. Outlets serving unhealthy food such as chips, burger, pizzas, and sweets had more overweight children living around them.
Obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions, including:
• Cardiovascular problems.
• High blood pressure.
• Diabetes.
• Cancer.
• Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
• Osteoarthritis.
• Gout.
• Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for a short episodes during sleep) and asthma. ,
• Low self-esteem
• Depression
The relevance of studies like this emphasizes the severity of obesity epidemic spreading among children in industrialized countries and the need to take action.
“Public health policies to reduce obesity in children should incorporate strategies to prevent high concentrations of fast food and other unhealthy food outlets”
Public health policies should now acknowledge that steps must be taken to reduce childhood obesity by factoring in environment as well. It is one thing to promote healthy dietary choices and physical activity and exercise, but giving children convenient and unhealthy options that are conveniently accessible seems to be a counterintuitive measure in the struggle to tackle the problem as a whole.
Here are some ways suggested that parents can adopt to tackle the problem of childhood obesity and prevent children from above mentioned health risks:
• Ensure children get a good night’s sleep
• Reduce sedentary behaviour and screen time
• Encourage physical activity.
• Encourage positive family mealtimes
• Ensure portion sizes are controlled
• Increase acceptance of healthy foods – including fruits and vegetables.
• Reduce availability and accessibility of calorie dense foods in the home
• Reduce consumption of sweet drinks and increase the consumption of water

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Your friends might be making you fat?

Have you ever given a thought to the fact that while eating out with friends you generally order what the majority of them are ordering, even though the food ordered might be unhealthy?

According to a new study from the University of Illinois, “Peer pressure may be to blame for your lack of control when ordering out.” Human behavior is being guided by a perceived group norm, so the implicit cultural beliefs make you decide ahead.

Researches from Harvard Medical School and the University of California found that when one individual becomes obese, the chance that his or her friend will become obese increases by 57%. Other members of people’s “social network” were also affected: their siblings’ risk increased by 40% and their spouses’ by 37%.

Eating is a social experience. For some of us it’s the only activity we do with our friends. For whatever occasion, a birthday celebration or either you lost a job or no matter what the crisis, your most supportive relationship turns you into a situation to eat and eat more. Over-drinking and over-eating are the most common ways to cope when you’re under stress.

Obesity is socially contagious. It is spread through the transmission of behavior and social norms. People within a social network often get engaged in unavoidable health impacting behavior, such as weekend parties with too much wine and cheese or buffet lunches of a variety of unhealthy foods or binge drinking parties. These parties or social norms may result in weight gain, especially if they become habits. Even more importantly, within a social network the comparison factors play an important role.

If unhealthy behavior is contagious, so is healthy behavior. Instead of going along with your friends’ unhealthy habits, make them get on the path to a healthy lifestyle. If this happens, your friends’ and you can manage to influence many others. Here are some ideas to follow so that your healthy habits are contagious to your friends and family:
1] Join a gym, yoga, aerobics, or swimming classes with a buddy. Join kickboxing or zumba if you want something more interesting.
2] Choose social activities that are physically active like evening walks with a friend, indoor rock climbing, bicycling, etc.
3] For stress or depression, exercise. Exercise is a potent weapon against depression.
4] Eat slowly and savor your food. Watch your portions at every meal.
5] Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
6] Select healthy food options when eating out. You don’t always have to eat unhealthy when eating out.

Staying healthy and fit is a personal choice. And if you make an effort to take the path of health, you might benefit people around you, by encouraging them to do so too.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Childhood Obesity Can Have a Lifelong Impact

Childhood obesity is a medical condition that is regularly overlooked and ignored by parents of sufferers. Since obesity does not have any immediate impact on the health of the child, it is not paid much heed. Childhood obesity can not only have an impact on the child’s health, even worse is it’s lifelong impact. It is estimated that one in five children is overweight between the age of 6 to 17. Many of these children face a high risk of developing obesity related problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Here we will give you more information about the causes of childhood obesity along with it’s lifelong impacts.
The many reasons of childhood obesity:-

1. Eating Habits

Eating high calorie food such as sugary snacks, foods high on saturated fat and unhealthy beverages on a regular basis may lead to uncontrolled weight gain for your child.

2. Lack of exercise and physical activity

Children who rarely exercise or play some sport are more prone to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories as they consume.

3. Psychological factors and lack of productive activities

Some children tend to eat more just to avoid stress and boredom.

4. Family routines

If you tend to buy foods that are convenient to eat and tasty, such as cookies and chips, your child will have a higher risk of being obese. You have to inculcate good eating habits in your child and try to minimize their exposure to unhealthy foods.

Long term effects of childhood obesity

The long term effects of childhood obesity include pre-disposition to many life threatening lifestyle diseases as an adult. Some of the problems – Arteries becoming clogged may lead to strokes and heart attacks, the colon could get a tendency towards polyps that leads to colon cancer, the bones and joints can become over worked from carrying all the extra weight over the years, leading to joint dysfunctions.

Psychologically, an obese child tends to have low self esteem and depression. They also tend to be emotional about their weight, leading to further emotional overeating.

So one of the ways to reduce this problem is to improve diet and exercise habits of the child and to make it a permanent part of their lifestyle. Treating and preventing childhood obesity will protect your child’s health now, and in the future.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

5 Dangers of Not Sleeping Enough

Lack of sleep affects every physiologic function of the body. You already know that lack of sleep can make you irritable throughout the day. What you may not know is what it can do to your memory, health, physical appearance and even your ability to lose weight. Here are 5 dangers of not sleeping enough:

1. Sleep Loss makes you Dumb

Lack of sleep may affect the brain development by decreasing cognitive processes like thinking and learning. This makes it more difficult to learn or think efficiently, technically making you dumber.

2. Sleep Loss causes Depression

Insomnia has been linked to depression. Sleep loss contributes to cause depression. It may make you lethargic, irritable and stressful throughout your day.

3. Sleep Loss ages your skin

Losing sleep causes lackluster skin, fine lines and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, the body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol which may breakdown the skin collagen that keeps the skin smooth and elastic. Sleep loss also causes the body to release less human growth hormone.

4. Sleep Deprivation can lead to serious Health problem

The clinical consequences of untreated sleep disorders may lead you to numerous serious medical illnesses for e.g. heart attack, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.

5. Sleep Lose can make you gain weight

Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. Losing sleep decreases Leptin levels and elevates Ghrelin levels, which stimulates hunger. It not only stimulates your appetite but also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.

You should hit the snap for at least 7-8 hours every night.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

7 health risks of diet cola

Diet cola is the companion of dieters everywhere because it seems to be a healthy choice. Diet cola satisfies your urge for sweet beverages. It includes artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. It may be free of calories but it is not free of side effects. Here are few reasons to avoid diet cola:-

1.Kidney damage:-
A study found a 30% drop in the level of

kidney function in those women who drank 2 or more servings of diet cola a day. This is because the artificial sweeteners in diet cola scar kidney tissues which affect the kidney blood filtration process.

2. Weight gain:-
Surprising, but true; diet cola consumption increases the risk of obesity. Researchers found that some people may feel that drinking diet cola gives them a “free pass” to eat high calorie unhealthy foods, leading to weight gain. Also, the sweet taste of diet cola makes us crave high calorie unhealthy foods. And depriving the body of these unhealthy foods confuses the brain, and the appetite increases in anticipation of the food it is expecting.

3. Total enamel damage:-
Most of the diet colas contain phosphoric acid and some citric acid for carbonation (process of dissolving carbon dioxide in liquid) which erodes tooth enamel.

4. Bone loss:-
Drinking diet cola can lead to bone loss because phosphoric acid in diet cola causes faster than normal excretion of the calcium in blood through urine. Your bones give up some of their calcium to the blood stream in order to maintain a constant level.

5. No nutritional value:-
Diet Cola might have close to no calories, but it has absolutely no nutrients and does not benefit the body in any way and only causes harm.

6. Causes depression/insomnia/fatigue:-
Artificial sweeteners in diet cola inhibit the function of serotonin(a neurotransmitter) and causes depression ,insomnia, irritability, fatigue and anxiety.

7. Heart attack:-
According to researches, consuming more than one diet cola a day may increase the risk of stroke and heart attack by 43%.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Think Before You Drink!

You stay away from the most obvious signs of sugar in your food,. Avoid desserts, don’t take sugar in your tea/coffee. But sometimes you ignore the not so obvious forms of sugar that might be harming you. To start the damage control right away here are a few ways how sugar is finding way to your system.

Carbonated Drink (Cr/freedigital)

Cola drinks(Regular and diet): The cola drinks are soda and added sweeteners and artificial colors present in it. The soda present in it increases the level of co2 in the body which results in the reduction of anti-oxidants in the body. It contains a high amount of sugar in it which is not good for the health (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Manage Menopause Weight Gain

Weight gain during menopause is a big concern for women. The menopausal phase triggers changes in body shape resulting on an average weight gain of about  5-10 kg. This weight is primarily  hormone related and has a direct impact on appetite, metabolism, and fat storage.  Therefore controlling weight during this time becomes extremely difficult due to fluctuating estrogen, testosterone, and androgen levels. These added kilos further aggravate depression and anxiety which in turns can bring on the hot flashes and disturbed sleep.

Estrogen plays a big role in menopausal weight gain especially as the estrogen levels decline with age as the body stops ovulating. Due to the decrease in estrogen levels produced by the ovaries, body searches for other sources to substitute the shortage of estrogen in the body. Meanwhile fat cells in our body have the natural capability to produce estrogen, hence the body starts restoring to these cells  to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately fat cells don’t burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes this unwanted (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Diabetes and Exercise

Most people focus on diet to manage diabetes. But to really manage diabetes well, you need a proper diabetes management plan that focuses both on diet and exercise. We’ve already told you how to manage your diet with diabetes. Here, you can see the benefits of exercise to help you manage diabetes.

Glucose is metabolized better in the body, when you exercise. More glucose is forced out of the blood stream and into the cells where it is u

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo