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Starting a diet is easy, but maintaining it can be very difficult. There are many reasons a diet can fail. Here are the top ten reasons.
- Unrealistic diets: Diets that involve extreme steps such as skipping carbs completely can be difficult to follow for more than a day. This is because your body needs a minimal amount of all types of foods and cutting out one food group can have a detrimental effect on your health.
- Binging: An extreme diet can lead to binging on snacks to keep you satiated. A binge can begin by simply thinking of rewarding yourself with a spoonful of ice cream and before you know it, the entire tub may have been emptied. This can reverse the effects of your diet and demotivate you.
- Diet food doesn’t taste good: The taste of diet food can be putting off. This can make you crave unhealthy food and put you off your diet. If you are serious about going on a diet, find alternatives that taste as good as everyday food.
- Slow metabolism: Losing weight can be a slow process. Hence keeping up the motivation to stay on a diet can be difficult. Understand that fat loss is a slow process and hence have patience with yourself to make your diet a success.
- Not tracking your progress: Not knowing what progress you are making can be quite frustrating. Looking at the weight scale is not enough to keep track of your diet. Maintaining a journal with details of what you eat, your exercise routine etc can help motivate you to stay on your diet.
- Lack of exercise: Dieting without exercise can keep you from losing weight. Since weight loss is one of the most common reasons for a diet, not seeing visible results can make you feel like your diet is not working.
- Commitment issues: Weight loss is a long process. Committing to a diet is more than just committing to eating particular food and skipping others. For a successful diet, you should try to make small changes and build it into part of your lifestyle.
- Inadequate sleep: Not sleeping enough can cause fluctuation of hormones and make you feel hungrier than normal. This can lead to binge eating and reverse your weight loss.
- Ill-timed meals: Even if you cut down on the amount of food you eat, your diet will not be successful if you eat at the wrong times. Not following your circadian rhythm can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle illnesses.
- No support: Eating diet food can be extremely difficult if the people around you are eating all your favourite food that is not allowed in your diet. Hence, it is important to ensure you’re surrounded by people who support you and your diet.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
In today’s life, there is very little you can do about the stressors in your life. The only thing you can do something about is how you let stress affect you. And the best place to start is with is your diet. According to Ayurveda, diet is medicine. Hence, let the food you eat be the bedrock of healthy living. And this will protect you against the harmful effects of the chronic stress we all live with.
How to eat healthy in stressful times?
- Delete simple sugars and starch like chips, cakes and ice cream: The spike in blood sugar and insulin that junk food causes can in conjunction with your higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, make you overeat and put you at risk of insulin insensitivity and diabetes. Stress makes us reach out to ‘bad’ comfort foods like sugary snacks and high-calorie foods that can also exacerbate other conditions in the body. Hence, it’s always better to snack on good foods like fruits.
- Avoid caffeinated food and drinks like chocolate and coffee: Caffeine not only increases levels of certain stress hormones, but it also mimics their effects in the body, like increasing the heart rate.
- High- fibre foods should be your friends: Fruits and veggies which come loaded with natural fibres are your best friends. So are other high fibre foods like oats. They not only cleanse your gut but also provide nutrients for protection against the immune-sapping effects of chronic stress.
- Include complex carbohydrates in your daily diet: These release sugars steadily into your bloodstream and keeps your blood sugar levels balanced. They also help your brain to release more of the mood-enhancing chemical, serotonin.
- Eat little and often: This is ideal for those stressful times. Your stomach will not be overloaded and frequent eating will keep your metabolism ticking over all day. Do not miss breakfast, even though you may not feel hungry, as this is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast will kick start your metabolism for the day and also help to stabilise your blood sugar levels. These two things will reduce stress drastically. For breakfast, choose fruit or fruit juice and a whole-grain cereal for optimum benefits.
- Focus on getting more vitamins and minerals: Make it a thumb rule to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Focus on foods containing Vitamins B and C, and Magnesium as B Vitamins can help you feel more energetic after a stressful episode.
- Vitamin B containing foods- Bananas, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and also meat, fish, milk, curd, cheese.
- Vitamin C – The adrenal glands which produce cortisol in response to stress have the largest store of vitamin C in the body. These get depleted of Vitamin C during chronic stress. So eat citrus fruits such as oranges, tomatoes, lime and leafy green vegetables like broccoli to replenish.
- Magnesium helps relax muscles and reduces anxiety so eat more nuts and peanuts to replenish.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A High protein diet at times restricts some of the healthy and nutritional foods that are very important for your overall health. However, this diet has plenty of advantages along with disadvantages as well. Here are some of the advantages of high protein diet:
- Hair repair and muscle: Protein is a very important component for building & repair of muscle. Hair is made of protein Keratin. So, if one wants healthy hair & strong muscles high protein diet could prove to be very beneficial for you.
- Lessen belly fat: When you consume a high protein diet, a high-quality protein consisting of at least ten grams of Essential Amino Acids (EAA) is taken in. It tends to reduce belly fat.
- Easy to follow: Most of the diets require intake of foods that might be out of your budget. You may also eat foods that you would not like. However, when it comes to a high protein diet, one just has to stick to protein-rich foods. Further there is high likelihood that you will probably enjoy eating them.
- Keeps you full for a longer period: One will not feel hungry or even a bit peckish after consuming a high protein diet. This way you will eat less, consume lesser calories and you end up losing weight faster.
- Energy source: Our body needs macronutrients to function and protein is considered to be one of the best macronutrients. It supplies energy in absence of carbohydrates. 1g of protein supplies 4kcal of energy. It is highly important for your memory, physical activities, thoughts and everyday movement.
- Enhances brain functioning: Protein is considered to be one of the greatest foods for the brain. Amino acids from proteins are used to make neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters help your brain communicate and send out signals to your body, and are essential to brain health. Certain neurotransmitters regulate your moods and also play a part in important brain functions like concentration, memory and learning.
- Improves health: Fish is one of the most common foods that one has to consume when you are on a high protein diet. It is full of omega-3 fatty acids that help to lower cholesterol. This reduces our chances of getting or developing any sort of heart disease. It also promotes weight loss. Certain health conditions require restrictions on protein, so, one should follow high protein diet under guidance only.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A dairy free diet has many implications. While it is considered as a healthy option by many, it also means that you are cutting off on supply of calcium and even some amount of protein. Calcium, as we all know, is the life-giving force for your bones and joints.
So how can you get your dose of calcium without dairy products? Here's a quick list!
- Beans: Get your fill of calcium with the protein and calcium-rich chickpea. Other brown, black and white beans also have plenty of natural calcium sealed in each bean, which can be ingested on a daily basis. Legumes or smaller beans can also be used for your daily calcium fix. You can cook the legumes like an Indian dal and have it with a serving of rice, or make a yummy hummus with plenty of chickpeas and a touch of garlic. Toss beans soaked overnight in a salad bowl to enjoy calcium for lunch too!
- Fish: Salmon and sardines are known to be excellent and healthy sources of lean protein as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, which keeps the heart healthy above all else. But did you also know that fish contains plenty of natural calcium which can help your bones and joints too? So stock up on fish and enjoy as often as you can. Plus, salmon and sardines also give you a good dose of Vitamin D.
- Dry fruits: Dry fruits like figs and almonds are packed with calcium among various other nutrients and minerals which makes it ideal for a snack as well. Munch on these to get a constant dose of calcium even when you are on the go, or busy at work.
- Greens vegetables: If you thought green vegetables were only a good source of iron and magnesium, you may have to think again. Greens like bok choy are filled with essential nutrients including a good amount of calcium, Vitamin A and C. Kale, turnip greens, seaweed and black-eyed peas also make it to the list of calcium-rich greens.
- Citrus fruits: Get plenty of calcium by starting your day with a glass of orange juice, blended to perfection with carrots as well. Use lemons in your salad and eat all the citrus fruits you can get your hands on. These are all excellent sources of calcium.
- Sesame Seeds: These seeds are rich in calcium and can also keep cancer at bay when taken regularly.
- Foxnuts (Makhane): Foxnuts are rich in protein and calcium. Roasted foxnuts are a great snack also.
Pack your diet with all the food groups for a balanced diet that will lead to a healthy lifestyle. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.
Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural health remedies for detoxification, helping your body digest food more easily and for a quick burst of energy. Apple cider vinegar can also be used for personal care like conditioning your hair, whitening your teeth and as a household cleaner. Some other benefits of apple cider vinegar:
- Helps tummy troubles: Apple cider vinegar has some antibiotic properties which help in treating diarrhea, particularly caused by bacterial infection. Sip some apple cider vinegar mixed with water to treat an upset stomach. According to some remedy experts apple cider vinegar contains pectin which helps soothe intestinal spasms.
- Remedy for allergies: Apple cider vinegar thins the mucus, supports the immune system & clears the sinus. Drink 1 teaspoon of vinegar mixed in a glass of water for allergies.
- Soothes a sore throat: It can be used to soothe sore throat. Acidic properties of apple cider vinegar helps kill the germs in the throat. So, you can gargle with a mixture of apple cider vinegar (1/4 cup) & warm water (1/4 cup) every hour to get a relief from sore throat.
- Lowers cholesterol: Several animal studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can lower triglycerides, cholesterol & blood pressure. This has to be confirmed in case of humans.
- Helps weight loss: Many human studies suggest that apple cider vinegar if consumed with proper lifestyle changes help in weight loss. Including it in the diet increase the satiety which helps in less consumption of calories & thus helps in losing weight.
- Kill fungus on skin: Antibacterial & anti fungal properties of apple cider vinegar kills bacterial & fungal infections on skin. Rub two times a day on the infected area to get a benefit.
You can add apple cider vinegar in salad dressing, homemade mayonnaise etc and get benefit of it. Another popular way of consuming it is mixing with water and drinking as a beverage. The dosages vary from 1-2 tsp to 1-2 tbsp. As excess of anything is harmful. So, do not exceed the recommended dosage. Excess consumption may have harmful effects. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
When it comes to losing weight, everyone stresses about eating right and exercising, but there’s one thing we often forget and that is drinking right. So, drinks such as carbonated drinks and alcohol can add to your weight while others can help you get slimmer. Some of the best drinks that can help you burn calories include:
- Water: Water not only keeps you hydrated, but can also help you lose weight. The more water you drink, the more calories you will burn. Additionally, drinking water before meals helps reduce your appetite. Drinking water through the day also reduces the urge to snack between meals and helps control your calories intake. If you want to flavor your water, don’t drink packaged juices but instead infuse your water with freshly cut fruits.
- Green Tea: Green tea is rich in flavonoids that increase a person’s metabolic rate and the rate of fat oxidation. There are many types of green tea available today and one of the best types of green tea is the Matcha green tea as this is the richest source of antioxidants. Do not add milk or sugar to green tea.
- Mint Tea: Tea made from fresh or dried peppermint leaves has a very low calorific value and is a great substitute for soft drinks and processed juices. This type of tea is ideal for the summer and winter months and is also rich in antioxidants. Once again, you can use honey to sweeten your tea.
- Black Coffee: Coffee can keep you awake but it can also help you lose weight. Coffee is rich in chlorogenic acid compounds that act as antioxidants and slow down the body’s production of glucose. Simultaneously, this lowers the production of fat cells. Black coffee can also suppress your appetite and stimulate your metabolism. Plain black coffee has negligible calories as long as there is no sugar added to it.
- Vegetable Juice: Vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber while being low in calories and fat content. Thus, you can never have too much vegetable content in your diet. Drinking vegetable juice before meals reduce your serving size and your total calorie consumption. When juicing vegetables, using a juicer reduces the fiber content in your juice and hence, it is better to blend the raw vegetables.
- Grapefruit Juice: Grapefruits are low in calories and high in fiber content. It also helps manage insulin levels and energy metabolism. Like other juices, the ideal time to drink a glass o grapefruit juice is 20 minutes before meals.
As much as you would like, an ice cream can't help you cool down in the scorching heat of this summer. Although one may argue that one feels just fine after an ice cream, the truth is that it's only temporary. Cooling foods are what you should have as they help to cool heat and cleanse toxins from the body.
Here are some of the foods that help cool down your body naturally:
- Cucumber: Not surprisingly, being 'cool as a cucumber' actually holds true. Cucumbers are fruits that help keep the body hydrated. Keeping your body cool during hot days is vital to your health as it can help prevent a number of complications such as heat strokes and dehydration. Munching on cucumber slices and hummus is a good way to beat the heat and stay cool.
- Watermelon: This quintessential beach fruit is yet another one which would help you beat the heat. This seasonal fruit acts like an internal air-conditioner, and is rich in water, helping in reducing body heat to a large extent while keeping you hydrated.
- Peaches: Peaches are not only delicious but are very rich in vitamins A and C, which help in keeping your body cool. Besides, these vitamins also help in maintaining healthy skin and provide useful calories to the body.
- Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, are among the most cooling of all fruits. Aside from their delicious taste, citrus fruits can keep you healthy and looking younger. Citrus is also considered to be especially important in digestion as it helps aid in the breakdown of rich and fatty foods. Start every day with a tall glass of lemon water. This slightly acidic drink helps to cleanse your system and energize your body.
- Pineapple: Along with banana, cucumber, and some other fruits, pineapple helps to make a healthy smoothie. These ingredients have cooling properties, which hydrate the body and help to clear the heat. Also, pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which reduces inflammation in the body. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
With age, especially during late twenties or early thirties and beyond, it is almost an accepted fact that you will grow fat in the middle. Belly fat affects both men and women with bulging waistlines. This however, is just more than unsightly, as belly fat increases the chance of heart disease, diabetes and other serious ailments. A few simple and proven ways to reduce belly fat are mentioned here.
- Reducing carbohydrates in your diet: Carbohydrates are the source of energy for your body, as they are usually transformed into glucose by the body, which can then be absorbed by the cells. However, your diet may include too many carbs and cause you to gain belly fat. Reducing carbs is known to have the following benefits:
- Reduces appetite in general
- Burns fat reserves as the body tries to use alternative sources of energy
- Diet low in carbohydrates are also know to reduce water weight and show quick results during weight loss
- Low carb diet will have a beneficial effect, if you have type 2 diabetes and helps in keeping the blood glucose levels under control
- Avoid CRAP foods: Avoiding CRAP wherein, C: Carbonated beverages & caffeine, R: Refined sugars, A: Alcohol & Artificial sweeteners, P: processed food from the diet is of great help in burning belly fat.
- Unprocessed and lean meat: Unprocessed and lean meats are a good source of protein and have fewer calories than non-lean meats. Lean meats are popular amongst people following low calorie and low fat diets. Poultry is a good source of selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, and choline.
- Avoid processed sugar and sweetened beverages: Fructose found in most products within the market, such as cookies, sweets, sodas and other similar beverages cannot be absorbed or processed by the liver and is converted into fat. This will not only increase your girth, but also contribute to insulin resistance and lead to serious problems such as heart diseases.
- Include and increase fiber in your diet when you want to lose belly fat: Fiber, especially viscous fiber is known to improve bowel movements and improves the health of gut bacteria. It also reduces abdominal fat and thus reduces belly fat.
- Increase protein intake: Reducing carbs and increasing protein in your diet will help you lose belly fat as well as over all body fat quickly. Protein decreases the chance of developing insulin resistance and also helps the body in using up the blood glucose for energy more efficiently. Include unprocessed animal protein as well as vegetarian protein sources in your diet to lose belly fat, but ensure that they are cooked or prepared in a healthy way.
- Try yoga or free hand exercises: You don’t have to go to the gym with an expensive fee to lose belly fat. Just try free hand exercises and cardio to ensure that the metabolism in your body remains high along with a balanced diet as mentioned above. Yoga in general or certain yoga poses are also very effective in reducing belly fat. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
It’s that time of the year again, where 'a year is ending and the new year is going to start'. All of us want to put our best foot forward in the coming year. We want a new thinner, healthier, more energetic and flexible body next year. We also want to get back to our few years old skinny jeans. So, what are the new year resolutions for 2017 that will up our health quotient substantially?
Read on for the five hottest dietary changes to take care of your health:
- Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids is good for the heart. You can get Omega-3 by eating walnuts, fish and flax seeds. Omega-3 is also good for getting help with PMS and menopause symptoms.
- Pile up on veggies: Daily recommended intake of veggies is three servings or more. How many of us reach this target? And then we complain of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Veggies are our source for many important vitamins. So to tackle fatigue, muscle pains, low sex drive and vision problems, you can consciously eat more veggies the coming year.
- Fibre is key to health: Fibre found in veggies, fruits and whole grains is crucial for the health of the gut. Remember the adage that all diseases begin from the gut, so make fibre a part of your daily diet. Getting enough fibre will also prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. It will also help you slim down. Remember that the recommended daily intake of fibre is 21 to 38 grams.
- Cut down on meat: This will be of great help to your heart because you will be eliminating a huge source of saturated fats which increases LDL that causes obstructions in heart arteries. Go for more tofu, soya and white meat.
- Treat sugar as enemy no.1: We all eat too much sugar. In fact scientists are calling sugar as the most potent drug of the 21st century and with good reason. Health hazards of excess sugar consumption include excess weight gain, abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides etc. Sugar also increases inflammation in the body and this is the cause of a number of deadly diseases. One sure-fire way to cut down on sugars is to stop eating out of packets. Yes, processed foods contain a lot of hidden sugars and fats. Nixing processed foods will up your health quotient naturally.
Start a food journal to keep track of what you eat and also convince your friends and family to join in your healthy New Year plans. This way, you will have a support system in place to keep you motivated and on the go. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.