Tag Archives: multiple nutritional deficiencies

Is A High Protein Diet Good for Health?

High protein diets are one of the most popular and most followed diets for weight loss all around the world. Bodybuilders and nutritionists recommend a high protein diet for muscle building and in increased athletic activity. But dieters often get confused and relate this with low carb-high protein diets which is the basis of most of the fad diets like Atkins diet and South Beach diet.

While adequate protein intake is required for muscle building, muscle strength and toning, increased protein intake coupled with restricted intake of other nutrients (carbohydrates & fats) can be harmful for the body. Diets with up to 30% protein are considered reasonable by experts, whereas diets with over 50% protein and restricted nutrients are high protein diets.

Are High Protein Diets Safe?

High protein diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Protein is important for the body but so are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Eliminating whole grains, fruits and vegetables can increase your risk of Vitamin B and Vitamin E deficiency. Also restricting required daily intake of fat can lead to poor skin, hair and absorption disorders.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to the body. If restricted, body is forced to derive energy from fat and protein. This in turn leads to production of harmful bi-product named ketone bodies. When excessive levels of ketones get accumulated in the system, it can lead to multiple organ failure and can be fatal. Even if restricted diet is followed for a short term and the level of ketones does not reach dangerous levels, it can be damaging to body organs particularly kidneys.

High protein diets require your body to process more calcium. Protein diets low on dairy products can be harmful for bones. Research shows that women who eat high protein diets based on meat have a higher rate of bone density loss than those who don’t. Women who eat meat lose an average of 35% of their bone density by age 65, while women who don’t eat meat lose an average of 18%. In the long run, bone density loss leads to osteoporosis.

Not all protein is created equal. Some high protein diets promote foods such as red meat and full fat dairy products, which can lead to increased cholesterol levels and may increase your risk of heart disease.

One should always aim for a healthy and gradual weight loss. As it is a very personal and individual process, a health expert can help you design a diet that works best with your lifestyle, includes food that you enjoy and has the right combination of nutrients required by your body. Choose smart carbs such as whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken breast, eggs, low fat milk and milk products, fish etc. and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, healthy oils to achieve your ideal weight the right way.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Best Exercises for Abdominal Fat or Love Handles

After belly, thighs and arms and butt the other common weight gain area is your waist. Over a period of time, weight starts to collect on the side of your stomach which is also known as “love handles” or “tyres”. All these terms are nothing but common slang for abdominal obesity.

Eating unhealthy food and no exercise is the most common cause of love handles. These tyres were mostly seen on women in the past but now more and more men seem to develop it in their late twenties & early thirties. Indians are genetically inclined to accumulate fat around their waist which is also linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart health.

The simplest way to check for abdominal fat is to measure your waist. Run a tape measure around your waist at about the level of your navel. Breathe minimally, and make sure not to pull the tape measure so tight that it depresses the skin. The average BMI  (Body mass Index) of an Indian woman ranges from 18-24.9 , a waist circumference greater than 34-35 inches is considered high risk to lifestyle diseases.

Another way to measure abdominal fat is by calculating the waist to hip ratio. This is done through simple calculation of taking the ratio of the waist and hip. The healthy range in women is less than .7 and men is less than 1.

The best way to lose weight is through exercise and watch what you eat. Ensure that your body is getting adequate nutrition to improve the metabolism. Do not resort to fad diets as they might show weight loss in the short term but in the long term you put the weight back on besides depriving your body of important nutrition resulting in multiple deficiencies in future. For healthy weight loss, consult a good professional weight loss expert to help you lose weight and get fit.

Here are a list of exercises that are very effective to lose abdominal fat or love handles:

Running: Love handles are fat accumulated on your sides. So it is more about burning the fat in the body. You can lose maximum fat by running or doing any cardio exercise. Running allows you to burn maximum fat in a workout other than boosting metabolism. So do start running in variations and push yourself more for quicker results. Include sprinting, bounding,
German drills, etc in your plan. Burning maximum calories starts burning fat gradually from the body. Manage your diet and eat adequately according to your daily requirement to allow fat to burn faster.

Crunches: Love Handles are part of your core and require core to be worked to exercise the area and build some muscles underneath. Crunches are highly beneficical is strengthening your core for better balance in the body and provides strength for intense workouts. Do crunches on medicine ball and see the muscle gain.

Side Crunch: Working the obliques help in reducing the love handles on the side and side crunch is very effective for oblique muscles. Lie down on right side of your body with right arm over your chest. Crunch your left armpit towards the left hip and raise your legs while crunching. Repeat and do both sides.

Elbow to Knee Crunch: You could do elbow to knee crunch either standing or while lying down. Lie down on the floor with knees bent and arms over your chest. You have to touch your right elbow with the left knee and alternatively. While doing the exercise, move your torso for the exercise. This works the rectus abdominis and obliques while the standing one works the entire mid section and hip flexors.

Side Bends: Stand straight with dumbbells in your hands by your side. Alternatively bend your side and stretch the other side, holding for a few seconds and then do the other side. This execise stretches the love handles and improves blood flow in the area.

Burpees: It is a aerobic exercise which is a combination of a few exercises mixed together for greater fitness. To perform the exercise, stand straight in the first step. Then get down to squat position. Third put your hands on the floor and throw both your legs back stretching your back and looking up in the air. In the fourth step bring back your legs to the squat position and lastly jump up to starting position. Repeat. This exercise not only stretches the core and works the entire body but the faster version of it burns many calories too.

Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and hold your arms straight in front of you and lean your back a little while your torso is at 45-degree. Brace your core and rotate to the side and as far as you want. Repeat for both sides and mind the posture. This exercise also helps build the muscles on the side and works the core. To make this exercise more intense hold a weight between your hands or lift your feet in the air and perform the exercise.

Wood chop: It is again one of the finest twist exercise which can be done with an object, cable, dumbbell, bat, base ball bat etc. As you pull the weight across your body, you rotate your hips and bend forward slightly so the weight ends up slightly below your hip. Keep your torso, chest and head in line with your hips. Do it for both sides.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo