Tag Archives: fat

You Could Blame Your Genes For Being Fat

You could blame your genes for being fatThe common excuse of being born with a slow metabolism is actually true for some people, say researchers. Fat has become a war for each and everyone in the developed world. A large percentage of the population is faced with obesity and overweight related health issues. The interesting part is that there are lots of people who despite eating what they want and never exercising, do not put on any unhealthy weight. Now the question arises that – Why, do some people seem to eat what they like and not put on weight, while others who watch their diet and exercise struggle to shed any fat?

Researchers have found that some people are born with genetic mutations that slows their metabolism rate, according to a new study from Cambridge Universtity. Slower metabolic rate could lead to severe obesity. The genetic mutation discovered by University of Cambridge researchers is quite rare. However, this is the first time scientists have been able to find genes that slow down metabolism and affect calorie processing.

The gene KSR2 is from the class of scaffolding proteins, which make sure that the cells are processing signals from hormones such as insulin. The latest study found that mutations in these genes led to disruption of a critical pathway, which disables the cell and hinders the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids. This gene will ultimately slow down metabolism and increase appetite. This increase leads to the body storing more fat. You would be hungry and wanting to eat a lot, and you would not want to move because of a slower metabolism and would probably also develop type 2 diabetes at a young age,” lead researcher Prof Sadaf Farooqi told the BBC

KSR2 is most active in the brain and it affects the way individual cells interpret signals, such as the hormone insulin, from the blood. This, in turn affects the body’s ability to burn calories. The amount and type of food eaten, as well as levels of exercise, directly affects weight, but some people at a higher risk of becoming obese, compared to others.

But researchers have said that this kind of mutation is very rare in humans in comparison to animals. So, one should not depend always on the fact that genes are the problem with high fat levels. Undoubtedly genes are one of the reasons for obesity, but on the other hand there are other factors also which contribute, such as an unhealthy dietary regime and low levels of physical activity.

Don’t feel jealous of people with slim waists. If you have a tendency to gain unhealthy weight, combat it with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It will even increase your longevity and prevent many diseases.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Is sitting increasing your heart risk?

A sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart problems. It is really important to do some moderate to intense physical activity everyday. Physical workout in the form of exercise is very beneficial for all ages. It releases good hormones and helps to reduce stress, which is also responsible for lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart problems and obesity.

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart failure affects over 5 million people in the US, where it contributes to around 1 in 9 deaths and costs the nation an estimated $32 billion a year.

According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure says –“Sitting for long periods increases heart failure risk in men, even for those who exercise regularly”

The question that arises is that how does sitting increase the risk for heart failure. The reason given by Prof. Sara Rosenkranz is that when we sit for a long time, the muscle contraction activity lowers, due to which a molecule called lipoprotein lipase or LPL, shuts down. LPL converts fat into energy, for use by the body. She also explains that “We’re basically telling our bodies to shut down the processes that help to stimulate metabolism throughout the day and that is not good. Just by breaking up your sedentary time, we can actually regulate that process in the body.”

One way to avoid prolonged sitting during the workday is to switch to a standing desk. An easier, no-cost solution is to set your smartphone timer to go off every 30 to 60 minutes during the day. When the alarm rings, “Stretch and move around the office to avoid any prolonged sitting,” Dr. Manson recommends.

So, along with exercise, it is really important to also spend some time standing. Also, when we are sitting, we tend to eat more unnecessarily and even binge. Make it a point, whether you are at the workplace or at home, to spare some time in between to get up and walk around or at least do some light stretches.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Reasons Due to Which You Can’t Lose Weight

Despite sticking to your diet and exercising regularly, your weight just does not seem to reduce. If this is happening to you, then it might be time to examine some of your habits, which could be holding back your weight loss.

1. You are drinking calories

Many people include packed fruit juices in their breakfast or mid-meal snack, while others prefer diet soda thinking they are healthy options. But did you know that consuming these could add two to three times more calories to your meal because of high sugar content or unnecessary cravings (caused by diet soda). Replace these juices or sodas with water, which has zero calories and provides many healthy benefits. Drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day will keep your body hydrated and when fully hydrated, your body eliminates waste more effectively, which can quicken your digestive system and help you lose weight.

2. You are eating packaged flavored yoghurt

Yoghurt has many nutrients such as protein, which keeps you fuller for longer and help in avoiding overeating. But flavored yoghurt or packaged fruit yoghurt is much higher in calories because of its sugar content. Some of this packaged yoghurt may also contain artificial sweeteners, which can have other adverse effects on your overall health.

3. You are eating while watching your favorite game

Many people like to eat a packet of chips with a cold drink while watching their favorite sport on TV. But this habit of yours can make you overeat, adding up the calories. If you eat while watching TV your mind has to focus on two things simultaneously, which is why it takes additional time for your brain to register the calories you consume. This leads to overeating. Therefore, always focus on your food while eating.

4. You love going to happy hours/ buffets

Your regular outings include going for happy hours or Sunday buffet brunches. Cheating on your diet and exercise for a meal is fine but this happy hour / buffet makes you eat much more than your body needs. This adds three to four times more calories than a usual meal.

5. You treat yourself too often

Eating your favorite comfort food occasionally is fine but if you treat yourself to a small piece of chocolate or few spoons of ice cream daily than it will lead to cravings every day. Therefore, if you want to manage your weight and keep a check on your portion size, indulge occasionally.

6. You are avoiding a particular food group completely

Many people start completely avoiding a particular food group such as carbohydrates or fat, to control their weight. This leads to binging whenever you eat that food the next time and also deprives your body of a variety of nutrients. Therefore, instead of completely avoiding any food group, practice portion control and moderation.

7. You are not sleeping enough

Many studies have shown that your diet and sleep patterns are related. Lack of sleep can lead to disturbed physiology of your body. So, when you do not get enough sleep it may lead to cravings and an over-consumption of calories because you crave for food more often than normal. It is very easy to get tempted to reach for a cup of coffee and doughnut for a quick shot of energy. So sleep at least eight hours each night.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

There Might Be a Connection Between Your Genes and Your Fat

If you are overweight, your genes could be at fault. Research studies have found that your genes could be linked to a variety of factors, from your cravings to your lagging metabolism, to the fat on your belly.
Researchers say that a certain mutation in genes called KSR2 may be responsible for the hunger pangs and slowing down of the metabolism in obese people. Not just KSR2, there is another gene known as the MRAP2 which alters the body’s basic process of utilizing energy.
Then there is FTO, commonly known as the “obesity gene”, which regulates the level of hunger inducing hormone, known as ghrelin.

But along with genes, your environment and behaviour also play a big role in cravings, metabolism and fat. While genetic factors like FTO do play a role in development of obesity, genetic factors do not stop you from shedding off fat weight. The process might be slower than that of the average person, because of certain factors, but if you exercise regularly and eat healthy, there is no reason for you to not lose that stubborn belly fat. Also, regular exercise and diet over an extended period of time can increase your metabolic rate and help you reduce fat more efficiently.

The genes and DNA of an entire race of people in a certain region of the world could be responsible for higher fat levels. For example, people in South Asia are more prone to put on weight around their bellies. And fat accumulation in the abdominal region is the worst kind of fat possible, since it is the most dangerous as it is responsible for a variety of diseases. In fact, not just fat accumulation around the belly, even gaining muscle mass is harder for South Asians, compared to the average European population. The genes of an individual could even be such because of the previous generations’ poor food habits and low physical activity. South Asians in general are less active during their growth years and have an overall poorer diet quality than Europeans. There has even been a study that has found a connection between the health of parents and a new born baby. Parents who were unhealthy when they conceived the child passed on poorer quality genes to the child.

Irrespective of your genes, the right diet and exercise can help you lose weight and mildly alter your body type, even if you are genetically more prone to becoming obese. It might take a little more effort than it does for the average individual, but you will be doing yourself a favour, since you will be fitter and healthier.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Couscous and its health benefits

Couscous is made of semolina flour. Couscous is the staple food of Northern Africa. It is also made of whole wheat flour, which further increases its nutritional value. It is very versatile and its preparation requires little more than hot water and fluffing with a fork. It can be served as a side dish or can also be served with sautéed vegetables, soups and morning breakfast cereal.

Nutritional properties of Couscous:-

1 cup (30g) of couscous contains-
130g -Carbohydrates
6g -Protein
1g -Fat
2.2g -Fibre
43mcg -Selenium
91.1mg -Potassium
176kcal-Energy

Health benefits:-

1.Protein
Protein found in Couscous is 12% of the daily dietary requirement. Protein contains amino acids which are essential for body tissue repair and protein even controls appetite and calorie intake. Researchers found that protein causes the brain to receive low levels of appetite stimulating hormones.

2.Fibre
The amount of fibre present in Couscous is 9% of the daily dietary requirement. Fibre increases the satiety value of Couscous which keeps you from feeling hungry for longer durations and keeps you away from overeating.

3.Fat
Couscous hardly contains any fat, making it an ideal choice for weight loss diets.

4.Calories
30 grams of Couscous contains 176Kcal which is 9% of the daily dietary requirement. The calorie content is quite low compared to other similar foods.

5.Selenium
The amount of selenium found in Couscous is 43mcg which is equal to the daily dietary requirement of our body. Selenium is good for the brain, helps with low thyroid functioning and prevents premature aging.

6.Potassium
The amount of potassium found in 30gms of Couscous is 91.1mg, which 39% of 3500mg (daily dietary requirement). Potassium plays an important role in blood pressure regulation and also maintains the body’s fluid balance.
So, couscous is a great addition to your diet with a variety of health benefits.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

6 High Fat Foods that Help You Lose Weight

Fat is mostly popularly linked to health problems & weight issues. But did you know there are two kinds of fat found in food? The good fat protects your heart and support overall health and the bad fat that increases cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases. For years health experts have preached to eat low fat diets to lose weight, manage cholesterol, and prevent health problems. But the truth is that its not the fat but the kind of fat you eat that really matters. In fact, good fat is essential to physical and emotional health.

Here is a list of foods with good fat that are not only good for health but can also help you lose weight -

Eggs:  Eggs are healthy but people often leave out the yolk because of its high cholesterol content. The yolk of the egg contains the good cholesterol that helps fight the bad cholesterol.  In fact, latest research has confirmed that moderate egg consumption is linked to improved heart health.  Besides, the yolk also contains choline, an important B vitamin that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. One egg has 75 calories, 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. Eggs are healthy, easily available and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Get an easy healthy omelette recipes.

Nuts: Nuts are little powerhouse of nutrition and provide a good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet. Nuts contain high amount of mono-unsaturated fatty acids that are considered to be good fat for the body and helps in managing the level of cholesterol and even help in fighting the bad fat in your body. Add nuts to your daily diet for better health & weight loss.

Avocados:  Avocados contain monounsaturated fats which is associated with helping enhance memory and prevent heart disease. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of fat is 20 to 40 grams and one cup of avocado contains almost one third of your fat intake for a day, about 15 grams. So it’s probably best to stick with eating just a half an avocado each day.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is heart-healthy, nutrition-boosting and flavor-enhancing plant oil. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenolic compounds. A number of studies showed that when people substituted healthy fat-rich olive oil, they ate less food and either maintained their weight or lost weight. You can even use olive oil to make healthy salad dressing. Substitute the packaged dressing or mayonnaise with a teaspoon of olive oil, fresh lime, salt and pepper to taste.

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate with high cocoa content is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and minerals like copper and potassium. However, 1 bar of 162 gram contains 51 gram of total fat. So, to get the maximum benefit of weight management gets a bar of chocolate and split it with your friends. A couple of pieces will benefit you, but a whole bar will pack on the pounds!

Coconut: Coconut is a rich source of lauric acid which is a medium chain saturated fatty acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Besides this, coconut is also high in fiber, manganese, copper, iron and selenium.  To get the benefit from coconut it is best to go for 2 to 3 slices of coconut as a snack.

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing saturated fats and trans fats with good fats.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Good Fat Vs Bad Fat

Fats are an important part of a healthy diet: They provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health problems. But more than just the amount of fat, it’s the types of fat you eat that really matter. Apart from this it’s easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats. So first of all its really important to know what are good and bad fats? 

Types of dietary fat: Good fats vs. bad fats

To understand good and bad fats, you need to know the names of the dietary fats and some information about them.

There are four major types of fats:

- Monounsaturated Fats

- Polyunsaturated Fats

- Saturated Fats

- Trans Fats

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health

Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol levels of the body.

table of good bad fats

Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of olive or corn oil).

The best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.

Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil for stove top cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.

Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.

Reach for the nuts. You can add them to salads to give a crunchy flavour or just add them to your mid time snacking meal. Unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack.

Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. Use them in salads, as a pickle or in sandwiches.

Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged Trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, flax-seed oil, or sesame oil.

General guidelines for choosing healthy fats

With so many different sources of dietary fat-some good and some bad-the choices can get confusing. But the bottom line is simple: don’t go no-fat, go good fat.

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing saturated fats and trans fats with good fats. This might mean replacing some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.

Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoiding commercially-baked goods goes a long way. Also limit fast food.

Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.

Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, freshly ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.

FAT RECOMMENDATION

The fat requirement for an individual depends on one’s lifestyle, weight, age and most importantly the state of one’s health. The USDA recommends that the average individual should follow these guidelines-:

Keep total fat intake to 20-30% of calories

Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet)

Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet)

The best way to keep on top of the fats in your diet is to become a label reader. On the nutrition facts panel, you’ll find all the information you need to make healthful choices. Look for foods that are low in total fat as well as in saturated and Trans fats.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

What is Making You Fat

We know enough about the repercussions of being fat, unfit or eating unhealthy foods which can cause metabolic disorder and cause weight gain. Though we read about healthy food options to include in our diet and presume to have fixed all the factors for weight loss but yet weight loss seems to not happen.

Burger (Cr/freedigital)

Did you fix quitting junk food that adds only calories, fats and not nutrition ? Have you started eating foods that are healthier than what you were eating earlier? You are reading the best of advices and following them too but the outcome is not satisfying. Where is it that you are going wrong and what is it that you do to make weight loss happen and not get fat. Fix the loopholes where you are going wrong and correct it to lose weight.

Its not just about eating the right amount of calories , it is about ensuring they meet the daily nutritional requirement intake for a healthy metabolic rate. Read below for factors that probably are holding you back from losing weight.

Fluids: It is lots of water that you have to drink through out the day and not energy drink, iced teas, lemon drinks, sodas and sweetened beverages. Do you know how many packets of sugar are these pre-packaged drinks are adding to your diet  even if they are being marketed as healthy. These drinks might even sabotaging your fitness routine by increasing your daily intake of required calories. Instead stick to water to rev up metabolim and keep the body hydrated.Water is zero calories and preloading with it before a meal can help you lose weight fast.

Portion Control: You feel unsatisfied when you eat small meals. Large meals make more calorie intake which is over your daily nutritional requirement and gets saved as fat. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full.

No Fiber: Fiber helps in better digestion of food and absorbs lots of water from the body. If you have water retention then add fiber to your diet. Fiber also keeps you feel fuller for a longer time without adding any extra calories.

No Exercise: Exercise boosts weight loss. You are eating to your requirement which will help you lose weight but exerise will accelerate the calorie burn in the body and give quicker results. As more muscles are improtant higher metabolism and weight loss, regular exercise will develop muscles in the body.

Missing Meals: Some people miss meals to fasten their weight loss presuming to save calories for the day. Missing meals makes the body go in the mode of starvation where the body burns the reserves slowly. Eat you meals at time as you would miss on the nutrition for that meal. Eating the next meal after the missed meal makes you consume more calories as you are hungry, which would get saved as extra calories as skipping meals slows the body’s natural metabolic rate.

Cheat Meals: It is alright to have a cheat meal once or twice a week but if you are cheating more unhealthy meals for healthy meals then you are slimming your chances of losing fat. It disrupts the weight loss process as the body takes time to adjust to a pattern before showing results.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Core Exercises

Core(Cr/freedigital)

Core is the centre of the body where the wondered six pack abs lies hidden beneath the fat. The abs, hips and lower back together are known as core.  Strong core is essential to do strength training, lift heavy weights, do any moving work faster and easily. Core brings a balance in the body and stabalizing it while aligning it as well for greater work efficiency. Therefore it becomes important to give priority to strengthening your core before you move on to any other fitness training. Most of the times we neglect exercising our core maybe thats also another reason behind increasing number of back pains amongst young people.

Strengthening the core improves the strength and athletic ability and reduces injury on lower back and midsection. Core comprises of pelvic, rectus abdomins(Abs), tranverse abdominis, internal and extarnal obliques and multifidus which is the deep muscles of the back. You must have seen people do crunches to build their abs but that is a half-hearted effort towards getting it right. You want a stronger and more defined core you need to work the whole section.

Here are some exercise to strengthen your core including your six pack abs (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Control In-between Meal Snacking

We ensure that most of our meals are healthy. The problem comes when we crave food in between meals. If you feel hungry so often then you certainly need to watch out as eating more  food whether healthy or junk leads to weight gain.

Untimely Meal (Cr/freedigital)

The biggest trouble with in between snacking is that one craves something that is satisfying and ready to eat. Unfortunately we dont find having salads or fruits as snacks satisfying enough. While junk food or fattening foods manage to hit the spot, instantly satisfying the hunger pang. Gradually these small food breaks stop having the same satiating effect. After sometime the portion size increases  giving way to more food cravings and constant need to eat something Most of the times this snacking is psychological, as in we condition ourselves to feeling hungry even after having proper meals. Here are some reasons and tips to keep the hunger pangs in control, making you eat less.

Untimely Meals: Not having meals on time is a big factor in making you feel hungry at odd times . The body follows no patterns and gets used to giving a call at random times which pushes us to eat more than a usual meal. Time your meals and eat food with high fiber and protein to keep you feeling fuller.

Breakfast: People who don’t have a balanced and satisfying breakfast often find themselves bingeing on odd time. The unsatisfaction of the previous meal  makes the mind want for more and eating unhealthy. Have a good nutritious breakfast with satisfying food. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo