Tag Archives: tips to lose weight

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
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Simple Diet Tips To Keep The Weight Off

Do you want to shed that extra pound but don’t get time to exercise?  Although doing exercises can speed up your weight loss but here are some diet tricks which you can include in your routine, to help keep your weight off. 

1. Include protein in your diet

Protein is an important macro nutrient and plays a major role in various physiological conditions. The requirement of protein depends on the body and other factors such as size, age and gender. When you take sufficient protein in your diet it keeps you full for longer as it require more time to get digest. Your body also needs protein to build and maintain muscles but remember to maintain a balance between your carbohydrate, fat, protein and other nutrients to keep your body healthy as high protein diet can affect you adversely. Major sources of protein are egg, chicken, milk, yoghurt, cheese, soy and beans.

2. Include fiber in your meal

Fiber is that part of the plant food that is not broken down in the intestines by human digestive enzymes. Fiber can be either insoluble or soluble but most fiber-containing foods have both properties. Eating sufficient fiber adds bulk to you meals and therefore delays the time required for emptying the stomach. This keeps you fuller for longer durations and gives you higher satiety. Including enough fiber in your diet also improves your gut health by increasing the amount of good bacteria in your gut. Recommended intake of fiber is 35 to 40 grams per day. The best way to increase fiber in your diet is by making sure you eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Incorporate high-fiber foods into your diet with simple tweaks to your recipes — for example, by adding beans to soup, oats to your favorite smoothie, etc.

3. Focus on your meal while eating

Never eats your meal in a hurry. Sit down calmly and focus on what you are eating. Not only will this provide you with greater satisfaction, it will even help your brain regulate your appetite and prevent overeating. Many people have a habit of reading the newspaper while eating their breakfast or watching television. These habits lead to overeating since it reduces appetite control as we are engrossed in the newspaper or television. It can add hundreds of extra calories to your diet. Therefore, if you want to avoid unwanted calories just focus on your meal while eating.

4. Drink enough water

Quite often, people get confused between their thirst and hunger. The brain interprets thirst but you might take it as hunger, resulting in food cravings. So the next time you feel hungry in between your meals or at an odd hour first drink a glass of water. Add a hint of lemon, ginger, mint or cucumber to regular water to give it an interesting flavor.

5. Take enough sleep

Disturbed or insufficient sleep can affect your health adversely in 3 ways. Firstly 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. Secondly when you do not sleep enough it disturbs your hormonal balance by increasing the level of ghrelin hormone. Ghrelin is a hormone known for its affect on appetite and disturbed level of ghrelin hormone leads to increased appetite. Disturbed hormones level also lead to irritation or frustration feeling without any specific reason. And thirdly when your body is deprived of sleep your metabolism slows down and will not function properly.  It directly affects your weight loss as your body is not working effectively in burning the calories. That slowdown triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which is a stress hormone and increases appetite. Your body thinks it needs more energy and that’s why you feel hungry.

Adopting these healthy habits will help keep your weight off and improve your overall health. Make these habits a permanent part of your lifestyle, to benefit from them for the rest of your life.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Anjeer (Figs) and Weight Loss

Fiction: Anjeer (Figs) are good for weight loss.

Fact: Anjeer or dried figs are nutritious, but they may not be the healthiest food option for weight loss. Dried figs provide higher calorie count than fresh figs for the same weight. 100 gm of dried figs provide approximately 220 calories. Apart from that, figs are also sweet and make the blood sugar level rise, as dried figs quickly release a high level of sugar in the body, which is not helpful for people on a weight loss diet and for those suffering from diabetes.

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

How Fast Should You Lose Weight?

Anyone with a weight loss goal wants just one thing – Fast results. Fast weight loss being the strongest motivating factor has often driven people to try the most extreme means of losing weight. The most common among them is going on crash diets, where you survive on measly meals that do nothing but make you crave more food in the long run.

Crash diets help you lose weight fast but they don’t help you keep it off for long. In fact people tend to put on more weight than what they had lost on these diets. Then why would you put yourself through so much discomfort and frustration to lose weight when it wont even last a few weeks.

When trying to lose weight you need to think long term. This is the only way that you can stay ahead and lose weight to keep it off for much longer. The most effective strategy to lose weight so far has been limiting weekly weight loss to up to 1 kg a week.

Here are some points that will reveal the problems with losing weight too quickly -

Muscle & Water Loss: Losing weight too quickly results in muscle and water loss from the body due to lack of nutrition in the body. This will reduce your body size but only temporarily because once you resume your eating habits you will definitely regain your fat. In fact, your muscles burn calories 24 hours, so, higher the muscle mass in your body, higher is your resting metabolism.

Slows Down The Metabolism: Many people starve themselves by either eating too less or by fasting to reduce their weight but pro-longed starvation can lead to slowing down of the metabolism which makes your weight loss even more complicated. This happens because with the lack of food or energy your body starts conserving each calorie you eat which results in the slow metabolism.

Nutrition Deficiencies: Not having enough food deprives you of many nutrients which are important for the proper functioning of the body. This can also result in different nutrient deficiencies. For example, not having proper intake of calcium or Vitamin D can reduce your bone strength and can cause diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis.

So, to lose your weight keep a check on what you are eating and include at least 30 minutes of workout in your daily routine.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

When You Lose Weight, Where Does It Go?

Everyone wants to lose weight and probably know how to lose weight. But did you ever wonder what happens to the “weight” when you lose it? Does it evaporate into thin air?

Our body requires energy for all its internal & physical processes. It derives this energy from food in the form of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Energy used by the body is measured in calories. Therefore weight loss is directly proportional to more calories burned or consumed by the body for its activity.

Food is the fuel to our body. From our heart beating to blood circulation and even digestion of food requires energy. So when the food enters our system it is broken down in glucose. Whatever the body requires it consumes it while the rest of it gets converted into fat and is stored in cells to be used later.

To burn that stored fat you should keep a check on your food intake and workout routine. When you increase the level of your physical activity or take less calorie foods then fat cells start to act as a fuel for the body. These activities trigger a message for the fat cells via hormones and in response of the message a hormone called Lipase present in the fat cell breaks down the stored fat into its respective fatty acid components and glycerol which are released in the blood streams of the body so that tissues absorb them and use according to their energy requirements. The whole process of breakdown of stored fat results in the shrinkage of the cells which helps you in achieving a toned body.

In a nut shell, when you lose weight your extra kgs get burn as your body uses the stored fat in cell as energy making the cells shrink. Resulting in a slimmer you.

Not only fat cells but your skin also gets alter with your weight gain or loss. As you lose weight your skin also does the same. When this loss is moderate your skin automatically adjusts itself according to your new size. Skin gets its elasticity from a protein known as collagen but as you get older this protein starts to deplete in the body which is why you get the wrinkles on the skin as you age.

Even when you are young collagen has its limitation. Rapid weight gain or weight loss can affect the production of collagen causing you to get stretch marks. People also tend to get lose skin with sudden fluctuation in weight.

The best way to prevent it is to be careful about how you lose weight. Your body must have taken time to put on those kgs. You need to accept this fact and use a

more practical and balanced way to lose weight. The healthy range of weight loss is considered up to a kg a week.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Tips to Beat Post Meal Sugar Cravings

Most people crave something sweet post their meals. You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to develop this habit but this can be one of the key reasons that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Eating something sweet is an acquired habit and that’s what makes it that much more easy to undo.

Here are some intelligent tips that can help you control your mind & limit your post meal sugar cravings -

Reach for Fruit

One of the best ways to get rid of sugar craving is to opt for fruits because they are the healthiest combination of something sweet & nutrition. The natural sugar in fruits can help hit the spot and fulfill the sweet cravings without adding empty calories to your diet. Besides, all the anti-oxidants present in it will help boost your immunity and also boost your metabolism.

Drink More Water

Dehydration can trigger sugar cravings, so make sure you drink adequate amounts of water. When a sugar craving hits, drink two glasses of water first and then re-evaluate whether you need any sugar.

Eat Balanced Meals

You should eat balanced meals containing both major and minor nutrients. Have small, frequent meals to help keep your blood sugar level stable and eliminate your body’s need for a quick sugar fix. Avoid skipping meals (especially breakfast).

Say NO to Colas

Colas give people a temporary ‘high’ and the feeling of fullness. They somehow shut off the hunger signals. However, this is short-lived, misleading sensation. Also, colas increase the craving for high caloric foods like a burger, pizza, creamy sandwiches, and noodles.

Yogurt with Fruit

Sweet your yogurt naturally by adding natural sweetener present in fruits. One of the best tip to beat sweet craving is to eat a combination of fruit and yogurt as a mid day snack. Most importantly, it can be one of the healthier options for snacking.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Probiotics for Weight Loss

Our digestive system has over 500 different types of bacteria living in it which are responsible for the health of our intestines and assist in digesting food. We suffer from digestive disorders when the balance of these bacterias in the intestines is disturbed. This could be due to any number of reasons like an infection or side effect of taking a medicine etc. Probiotics are touted as the next big health trend that can help manage your gut better. Probiotics are used as natural substitute for these digestive bacteria and help improve and maintain the health of the intestines when the current equilibrium is disturbed.

The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, is naturally found in yogurt with live cultures. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. But only certain types of bacteria or yeast (called strains) have been shown to work in the digestive tract.

Lately probiotics foods are being promoted in the market. The reason behind adding probiotics in the food product is just to make it a healthy and intestine friendly product because it aids in digestion and also keep intestines healthy. Another benefit of going for Probiotics that it even boosts the body’s ability to burn fat and could play a role in treating and preventing obesity.

Effect on Weight Loss

As in 2010 in one of the study, the improvement in fat percentage was observed in some of the individuals who were kept on probiotic foods. The findings also included a decrease in body weight, body mass index, waist size and hip size by almost 2 percent each. In a different study published in 2011 by the “Annual Review of Nutrition”, differences were found in the gut bacteria of lean and obese individuals. Study data suggested an inverse correlation between the amount of gut bacteria and the presence of fat and other disorders – greater number of bacteria are associated with less development of body fat, diabetes and low-level inflammation associated with obesity.

Probiotics and Weight Loss

The mind-body connection comes into play, too. If your gut is not working, you might feel temperamental and crave food that make you feel happy which may or may not be healthy. Resorting to comfort food may get you in serious weight trouble in the long term. Studies have shown that a healthy gut often equates to a happier person and the person feels less depressed, therefore making it easier for a happy person to lose weight and avoid temptation.

Probiotics play an important role in food metabolism and are involved in the absorption of most nutrients in the small intestine and in the processing of undigested food in the large intestine. The large intestine completes digestion by absorbing additional nutrients, producing vitamins and creating waste products. Probiotics can help to maintain the levels of healthy bacteria in the gut to optimize the function of the digestive system, especially in overweight and obese individuals.

The state of your digestive tract acts reflects your overall health. Keeping it balanced will keep your body and mind in shape. Whether you want to lose weight or improve your overall health, eating foods rich in beneficial bacteria or taking probiotic foods can give you great results.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Do You Lose Weight Faster by Exercising or Dieting?

In our busy hectic life, it becomes difficult to maintain weight as per our lifestyle. Some people try certain diets and make an assumption that a particular diet does not work with them. But have you ever thought the reason behind the weight loss? For healthy and effective weight loss for long run the combination of diet and exercise always works the best. How do you lose weight? If you reduce more calories than you normally burn, by either reducing your food intake or increasing your exercise, you will lose weight.

How much calories should we burn on daily basis?

Average calories required for weight loss is nearly about 500 kcal in a day which can be achieved by diet or exercise or combination of both. However, drastic long-term calorie restriction is difficult to maintain and may slow your metabolism by decreasing muscle mass while high volumes of exercise may increase your appetite and thus offset any calorie deficit. So, it is very essential to understand that how diet complements to exercise and vice versa.

Diet & Exercise

A reduced calorie may help to lose weight which is applicable for short period of time, exercise in addition to a calorie deficit may promote long-term weight loss better than diet alone. When you exercise you start to lose fat and build muscle. Muscles have a higher metabolic rate than fat, maintaining muscle mass will keep your metabolism elevated and perhaps make it easier to keep excess weight off. Exercising regularly also helps you burn calories even when you are resting.

Just exercising is not enough to lose weight. If you are not watching what you do outside the gym then all the sweat is a total waste. You have to watch what you eat. Most people would suggest a high protein diet but its not enough. You need a balanced diet with the right amount of all micro and macro nutrients to give you the perfect weight loss formula.

Lastly, if you want to lose weight faster and want to follow life long, then minimize packaged foods, added sugars, and fried items from your diet. For effective & healthy weight loss, focus on fruits, veggies, and balanced meals.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

One of the most common problems of weight loss is loose skin. This occurs especially when you lose too much weight too quickly. 

You can prevent this happening to you by following the right strategy while losing weight.

Here is a list of simple dos that you can follow for a toned body -

1) Don’t Lose Weight Very Quickly: Losing so much weight so fast is not healthy. The healthiest weight loss is up to a kg a week. Shedding weight too quickly doesn’t give skin cells time to snap back into their proper shape. Stay away from fad or crash diets and focus instead on steady weight loss of up to about a kg each week.

2) Do Strength and Weight Training: These exercises build and tone muscles so they give shape to the skin. Simply add weights to your workout three times a week, because building toned, lean muscle under your skin will help it look tighter.

3) Drink a Lot of Water: Healthy skin is hydrated skin! Water is a crucial component of maintaining skin elasticity. At least 8 glasses of water a day should be added to your diet. When your body is hydrated, it comes out in your skin, makes it look glowing, and tightens it up!

4) Have Balanced Diet: Two necessary ingredients that keep skin plump and elastic are collagen and elastin. Protein-rich foods such as cottage cheese, milk, legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, and fish all contain collagen and elastin forming components, as well as oils to help maintain healthy skin. Have fresh fruits and veggies as they are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

5) Nourish and Care Your Skin: Tighten and preserve skin by caring for it. Keep your skin away from excessive sun exposure, as it damages the skin cells. Daily exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells and increase skin circulation.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to Burn Calories While You Sleep

We keep reinstating the fact that sleep is key for weight loss and good health. There is a scientific reason behind our persistence. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. Lack of sleep triggers certain hormones in blood that increase your hunger. That’s the reason why you are constantly craving food post a late night to help you stay awake.

But if you are one of those lucky ones that get a minimum of 7 straight hours of sleep at night then you can lose weight faster than those who don’t get enough sleep.

Here are some tips that you can include in your routine to keep your metabolism on fire while you sleep.

Eating Pattern: Proper eating habit can help you in boosting your metabolism whole day and even while you sleep. The key point is to limit sugar and saturated fat, and eat plenty of high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Your body burns calories while digesting food, but your metabolism slows down when you’re hungry and don’t eat. Therefore, going to bed empty stomach can also slows down your metabolism while you sleep. To avoid this include fruits and vegetables in your diet that provide you dietary fiber and keeps you full for longer which in turn keeps your metabolism active.

Don’t Skip Your Meals: Skipping your meals lead your body to starvation and if you don’t eat food when you feel hungry takes your body in conservation mode in which your metabolism get slows down to conserve the calories. Therefore, if you want to burn calories while you sleep never skip your meals and if you feel hungry in between the meals then instead of a fried snack go for healthy options such a whole fruit or a handful of nuts as it will help you in boosting your metabolism.

Workout Routine: Regular exercise will not only help you burn more calories during your workouts, but will keep your metabolism high throughout the day and at night as well. Include resistance exercises like weightlifting, hand lifting etc. in your workout schedule to keep your metabolism high.

Drink Plenty of Water: All of our body’s basic reactions, including our metabolism, depend on water. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning lesser calories, according to researchers. In the study, those who drank more glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had fewer.

Include these tips in your routine to boost your metabolism and burn calories while you sleep.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo