Healthy weight loss diet
We work hard to lead a good life. Sometimes we forget a good life is not the end but a means to the end. Good life is directly linked to be healthy, both physically and mentally. Unfortunately day to day stress, not eating right, sedentary lifestyle is making you physically unhealthy which is most commonly seen as weight gain. This weight gain is shaving years off your life by making you more prone to lifestyle diseases like heart health, diabetes, etc. You can easily manage and even reverse this lifestyle condition by controlling your weight with the help of a healthy weight loss diet.
Eating healthy is as simple or as complicated we make it. For starters let’s debunk the common myth attached to being healthy. Its not the chapattis or rice that is making you fat. Its the lack of routine and readiness to eat out more often than you should be that is adding to your waist line. Therefore a healthy weight loss diet should contain everything but in moderation.
So before you jump of a weight loss diet band wagon here are a few things you need to know about healthy weight loss diet.
1) Stop counting calories:
Focusing on calories is extremely complicated and impractical. Some people can successfully control their diet by counting calories but for most of us its impossible to put a number on everything that goes in your mouth and then keep up with the math! Instead focus on the quality of food and not the quantity. Its a lot simpler.
2) Exotic foods are not important:
Most diets fail in the long term is because the foods suggested are not a part of your actual day to day life. For most of the ingredients you have to go out of your way and source them. You dont need fancy foods to boost your metabolism. Starting your day with something as basic as, drinking plain glass of water, can help boost metabolism.
3) You Don’t need to eat every two hours:
Most people on a weight loss diet are recommended to eat every two hours. But this is kind of impractical for working professionals or people with active social life. A healthy weight loss diet can consist of 3 meals with two optional snacks. Eating every two hours makes you constantly think of food. This makes it especially difficult for foodies who cant seem to get a break from thinking about food. Your day needs to have more elements other than just thinking and planning your next meal.
4) Avoid Fruits for Weight loss:
People avoid fruit when on a diet because of its sugar content. Fruits contain sugar, but this sugar is very different from added sugar. Sugar found in fruits does not spike your blood sugar levels like added sugar does. Besides Fruits area storehouse of nutrition & contain essential nutrients like antioxidants that are critical for good health. NO other food source contains antioxidants and othet variety of nutrients found in fruit.
5) Protein is not the only nutrient that helps in weight loss:
People think protein helps you lose weight. But they dont know how. Protein simply keeps you full for longer helping curb hunger. But remember if you eat more protein than your body can digest it stores all that extra protein as fat in your body. Besides protein sources also have calories. Just eating a diet high on protein will not magically shave the extra weight from your body.
Completely depriving yourself of food you like will only lead to suppression, which you can only last for a short period of time. What happens when you completely stop doing what you love doing? You become obsessive about it and when the flood gates open the damage is very difficult to reverse. More over this behaviour adds a lot of mental stress to an individual. So remember moderation is the secret sauce to a healthy weight loss diet.
— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
6 Ways Exercise Can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack
A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Exercise is beneficial for preventing heart ailments. It is also a major modifiable risk factor in reduction of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise of moderate intensity reduces the incidence of coronary events and mortality from CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) by around 50%. It is essential to remember that the body weight is affected by the balance of “calories consumed” and “calories-burned”.
Benefits of regular exercise or some sort of intense physical activity is:-
1) Decrease workload on heart:-
Exercises that put the heart and lung to stress are called aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercise increases heart size and strength. The heart’s stroke volume is also increased. The heart then needs to pump fewer times per minute to circulate the same amount of blood. This represents a long-term reduction in the heart’s workload.
2) Increase HDL :-
Exercise raises blood levels of HDL (good cholesterol) creating a more favourable ratio of HDL to LDL (bad cholesterol). This effect is more marked in men, although high intensity exercise will have the same effect on women. Studies also show that, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood (and blood-vessel walls) to the liver. From there, cholesterol is converted into bile (for digestion) or excreted. So, the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels and your blood’s LDL gets lowered, which protects you from heart disease.
3) Improvement in blood circulation:-
Exercise enhances the circulatory system by increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of blood and increases the blood volume. Regular physical activity increases Lipo protein lipase concentration which in turn reduces CHD risk. This is because lipase enzyme plays a role in the digestion of the fat.
4) Lowers blood pressure :-
Exercise help in lowering blood pressure levels by improving endothelial vasodilator function and left ventricular diastolic function. In lay man language, it means, exercise lowers blood pressure levels.
5) Lower blood sugar level:-
Exercise increases the sensitivity of the cell so that cells can utilize insulin very effectively.
During exercise, when muscles contract, it allows your body cells to consume the glucose irrespective of whether insulin is available or not.
6) Exercise lowers your stress levels:-
While exercising, the happy hormone or Serotonin gets released into the body. Serotonin keeps your stress level down and also controls emotional eating.
Exercise also keeps your cravings for junk and unhealthy food in control, which is amongst the most common reasons for heart diseases. Junk food contains saturated fat which is not good for the heart and it even contains high amounts of sugar, which lead to an increase in the body’s glucose levels.
In general, to achieve maximum benefits, you should gradually work up to an aerobic session of at least 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week. Exercising every other day will help you maintain a regular aerobic exercise schedule. Every exercise session should include a warm up phase, a strengthening phase, and a cool-down (stretching) phase. “Being fit is more important than weight or body mass index for heart health,” says Martha Gulati, M.D., the lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Ohio State University in Columbus.
Due to Indian genetic risk of heart diseases and diabetes, Indians are recommended to exercise for 5 days a week, at 40-50 minutes. But as we said earlier, work your stamina up from a slow start.
So along with diet, exercise plays a major role in the health of the heart, so never skip your exercise session. Make it a permanent part of your lifestyle and you will reap it’s long term health benefits.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Good news for chocolate lovers
Cocoa comes from the seed of the Theobroma cacao tree. Chocolate/Cocoa has become one of the most popular food flavors in the world. It is probably the most recognized flavor globally. There are a variety of chocolates available in the market with varying levels of cocoa, sugar, and other flavors and foods. But researchers have seen more benefits from chocolate with a higher concentration of cocoa, or what we even call dark chocolates. The basic ingredients in dark chocolate bars are cacao beans, sugar, an emulsifier such as soy lecithin to preserve texture, and flavorings such as vanilla. Dark chocolate is often distinguished by the percentage of cocoa solids in the bar. The cocoa content of commercial dark chocolate bars can range from 30% (sweet dark) to 70%, 75%, or even above 80% for extremely dark bars.
It’s said that dark chocolate can be good for your heart and researchers have discovered why. It may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis – thickening and hardening of the arteries – by restoring flexibility of the arteries and preventing white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls.
Also, Louisiana State University researchers tested cocoa powders in a model of the digestive tract and found that certain bacteria in the stomach eat dark chocolate, ferment it and then release anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart.
According to Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study authors. “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones. The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” Moore said in the news release. “When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.” Study leader John Finley, a professor in LSU’s department of food science, said, “When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.”
— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
As it is clear from what the researchers said, that dark chocolates are healthy but one should always have it in small portions. Add a piece of dark chocolate if you have a sugar craving. Remember one piece will never harm you but eating any food (healthy or not) in excess can trigger health problems.
Eat This to Get a Body Like Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar
Believe it or not, along with your workout, eating more of the right kind of fats will not only enable you to lose extra body fat, but will also help you gain lean muscle mass, resulting in a more defined and ‘ripped’ look.
The best way to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) in your body is by reducing the amount of high-glycemic carbohydrates and saturated fats and getting more of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are those that have one or more double bonds in their fatty acid chains. Made up of two kinds of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, these fats provide slightly fewer calories than saturated fats and somewhat less energy. Polyunsaturated fats also contain Omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary to maintain a healthy body.
A recent research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than poly-unsaturated fat. When you get calories from polyunsaturated fats (like salmon, olives, olive oil, nuts, etc.), you gain muscle mass.
Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and poly-unsaturated fats (PUFA) improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that unsaturated fats may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2-diabetes.
PUFA have the potential to increase insulin sensitivity in muscle tissues. This means that our body uses insulin more effectively to transport nutrients into muscle cells where they increase cell volumization and protein synthesis and at the same time decrease the fat storing properties of insulin in your favor, helping you to stay leaner. They also have a positive effect on thyroid hormones which helps burn fat more efficiently.
Your daily fat intake should be less than 25% to 35% of your total caloric intake. Out of this total, up to 7% can be saturated fats and less than 1% should be trans- fats. The remaining fat in your diet should be from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
The dietary source for unsaturated fats include oily fishes like salmon, herring, sardines, tuna; olive oils, sunflower oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.
A healthy and clean diet along with a dedicated workout routine is what will get you even close to as fit and ripped as Hrithik Roshan or Farhan Akhtar.— 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
Dangers of Yo Yo Dieting
Yo-Yo diets come under the category of fad diets. It is followed by cyclic weight loss and weight gain. This kind of a diet is always easy to follow but has poor sustainability. These diets cause short term water and lean muscle tissue loss giving the illusion of weight loss. There are some reasons why yo-yo dieting is dangerous. Read the following drawbacks-:
1. Increased risk of various diseases
Extreme calorie restriction among yo-yo dieters can increase the stress hormone known as cortisol. When this hormone is present in your body over long periods of time, it can have negative health impacts. It can even increase your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
2. Effect on metabolism
Due to calorie restriction in yo – yo dieting, the metabolism of a person also becomes slow which can lead to low energy levels. On the other hand, the dieter also feels irritation, frustration and weakness.
3. Muscle loss
Yo – yo dieting initially promotes weight loss but once individuals start coming back to their normal routine, they start gaining weight. A person will with a physique that lacks muscle and carries a lot of excess fat can have various health complications.
4. Nutrient deficiencies.
One of the drawbacks of yo-yo dieting is nutrient deficiency in the body. It Increases the risk of osteoporosis, fractures and broken bones due to calorie restriction and a nutrient deficient diet.
So, the solution to effective weight loss is to stick to balanced meals and a regular exercise regime.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Children of Obese Mothers Have Higher Heart Risk
Weight loss is a lot more than just about looking good. Its about good health. People associate obesity with personal health but recent studies have suggested that mothers who are overweight can have an effect on the heart health of their child at birth. Other issues such as fetal distress and increased risk of obesity, hypertension and metabolic disorders later in life were also identified. According to this study children of obese and overweight women have a higher risk of premature death from heart attacks and other cardiovascular related diseases.
A Scottish research showed a 35% higher risk of dying before the age of 55 for adults whose mothers were obese during pregnancy. It also stated that maternal obesity increases the risk of premature death and hospital admission for cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke and angina.
Obese people are at a higher risk of heart disease, because of their lifestyle and eating habits. According to another study, being overweight in pregnancy may cause permanent changes in appetite control and energy metabolism in the unborn child, leading to a greater risk of heart problems in later life. The study highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, sensible eating habits and sufficient activity during pregnancy.
To avoid obesity during pregnancy it is important to follow a balanced and nutritious diet, along with some exercise or activity. During this phase the body needs extra nutrition for the developing foetus. Not just for the pregnant woman, but even for the lactation period that will follow. But, it is important to note that being pregnant doesn’t indicate that the mother has to consume food for two individuals, as she is supporting a life within her. The key to a healthy pregnancy is to consume a balanced diet with light and frequent meals, and to regularly take the supplements or medicines prescribed by the doctor. One should also try to be active, for e.g. go for walks or do pregnancy specific yoga, but under supervision.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
How to Control Overeating
Are you tired of your binge eating habit? Do you find yourself giving into temptation to gorge down delicious food and before you can control its too late and the damage of consuming excessive calories is already done. Why do we find ourselves making the same mistake over and over again and how can you salvage the situation and control overeating in future.
The need to obsessively over eat is mostly triggered by emotional factors. Either you are too sad, too happy, too tired or simply bored when you get this intense urge to eat. Some studies even blame our ancestors for our compulsive binging behaviour. According to them our primal ancestors were hunters and gatherers and went without food for long periods, so once they found it they would eat everything they could get their hands on. The latest research suggests that starving leads to overeating and is also responsible for slowing down of metabolism. This leads to storing of food in our bellies which is linked to heart diseases and acquiring diabetes type 2.
A binging outburst can set you back to a minimum of 1000 calories per meal and above your daily calorie intake. This means that you could be potentially adding upto1 kg each time you have 2 bags of chips while just chilling infront of the TV! (more…)— 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 do Strength Training
Strength training is anaerobic style of physical activity that increases the strength of muscles through resistance training, isometric training or weight lifting. The Strength training routine puts the muscles through short duration, high intensity activities that result is better performance and effective weight loss.
Strength training is safe for both men and women of all ages and can be worked according to one physical ability and benefits mental and emotional health. Strength training also helps people with health problems like diabetes, arthiritis, osteoporosis and heart diseases can benefit from it with a good exercise program made around their needs. Old people have many problems like knee pain, back pain which can be a problem in movements. Strength training with light exercise can slowly work on the problem and help you reduce the pain and become fit.
Working on your muscles has many advantages. (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo