Articles on diets

7 Reasons You're Growing Fat Despite the Diet and Exercise

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Never has health been half as important and focused on as in modern times. Every side you turn, there are advertisements for weight loss techniques and medicines. You're advised to eat healthy regularly. Things in the health department have become so serious that even office have started having gyms! And amidst all this craze, if you're even slightly on the upper side of the weighing scale, it's a nightmare! You resolve to diet and exercise and try every possible trick in the book to get back in shape but it just isn't happening. Frustrated, you consult experts but still no avail. Wondering why is it that despite all your efforts at the end of the month when you get on that scale, the pointers hasn't budged a bit? Read on to find out! 1. Lack of sleep. Lack of sleep is still an unknown contributor to weight gain as not many are aware that the body cannot function normally without enough rest. When you do not get enough sleep, your body automatically reaches out for caffeine and other comfort foods to help it stay awake. Lack of sleep also wrecks havoc with your metabolism meaning the food you eat is not getting digested at its normal pace, leading to further addition to the fat content in the body. 2. Stress levels. Stress is a major contributing factor to weight gain as stress plays havoc with the hormones. Once stress levels rise, the body begins to treat it as an attack and chemicals are released to counter the stress. While adrenaline tends to reduce hunger, soon after it follows cortisol that increases the hunger pangs and there is constant feeling of emptiness. Also, increased stress levels often lead to fatigue which adversely affect exercise routines. 3. Physical illness. There are many physical conditions like thyroid, PCOD, cushing syndrome, diabetes, etc that are silent contributors to weight gain. Your inability to lose weight might just be the tip of the iceberg with the real problem reaching deep down. Sometimes, psychological illnesses like depression also lead to weight gain. While in physical conditions it is the body's metabolism rate that is directly affected, in psychological conditions, the weight gain is often attributed to a mental inability to cope with the situation. 4. Wrong diet. Going on crash diets and suddenly losing weight is never a good idea as once the diet ends and you're back to your routine, the weight gain will be at double the speed. A diet needs to be well-planned out and inclusive of each and every nutrient. It is best to consult a nutritionist as each and every human's eating habits and diet needs are different. 5. It might be muscle build-up, not fat. Sometimes, in the bid to lose weight, we get so carried away in exercising and eating healthy that our muscles rapidly expand. While it is easy to understand the difference, sometimes for a layman, it is just the loss of inches that signifies weight-loss and muscle building is the unintentional negative to the process. Go easy on those protein shakes for a bit and get yourself a fitness trainer. 6. You're doing the wrong kind of exercise. Wrong kind of exercises often do your body more harm good than.Also, your diet and exercise need to be balanced out. Sometimes, you might not be exercising enough according to your diet and not enough calories get burned. Also, many times, your exercise makes you so hungry that you tend to lose track of the diet and instead indulge yourself. 7. Your medication might be to blame. Pop a pill for every sneeze and headache? Your pills might be to blame for the weight gain. Often steroids and medicines tend to increase the fat content in the body. Some medicines make you feel more hungry while others retain fluids in the body making you look and feel fat. Sometimes, medicines also decrease the metabolism rate leading to further deposition of fat. 

Is High Protein Diet Good for Health?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
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.

Liquid Diet

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
A clear liquid diet consists of most liquids you can easily see through like water, broth and plain gelatin. These are liquid at body temperature, easily digested and leave no residue in your intestinal tract. A clear liquid diet should not be continued for more than 3-5 days, as it cannot provide you with adequate calories and nutrients, and should not be tried without physician supervision.The most important aspect of your clear liquid diet, immediately after bariatric surgery, is to keep well hydrated.Purpose:A clear liquid diet helps maintain adequate hydration, provides important electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and gives some energy when a full diet isn’t possible. A clear liquid diet is often prescribed:To prepare the bowel for a gastrointestinal procedure such as sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, some x-rays, or for surgery.If you have certain digestive problems, such as nausea, abdominal distention, vomiting or diarrhea because clear liquids are easily absorbed by the body and reduce stimulation of the digestive system.To reintroduce foods following a period with no oral intake.What is considered a Clear Liquid?You can eat or drink only things you can see through. These are acceptable clear liquids:Plain waterFruit juices without pulp, such as apple juice, grape juice or cranberry juiceStrained lemonade, limeade or fruit punchClear, fat-free broth Clear sodas (Ginger Ale, Sprite)Plain gelatin (Jell-O)Italian iceKool-AidHoneyPopsicles without bits of fruit or fruit pulpTea or coffee without milk or cream (may add sugar or lemon juice)Sports drinksClear nutritional supplements.What are the risks of a clear liquid diet? The clear liquid diet does not provide all the nutrients you need. You may need to drink a nutrition supplement if you have to follow this diet for more than 3 days. If you do not follow this diet, you may continue to have diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting if you were asked to follow this diet because of these problems.These are NOT acceptable clear liquids:MilkTomato juiceFruit juice with pulpFruit nectars.Dairy products, such as milk, hot cocoa, buttermilk, and creamWhat is sample menu for a clear liquid diet?Breakfast: 1 cup of juice, ¾ cup of clear broth, ½ cup of lemon gelatin, and 1 cup of coffee with sugar.Morning snack: 1 cup of a clear sports drinkLunch: ½ cup of juice, ¾ cup of clear broth, ¾ cup of lemon-lime soda, and 1 popsicle (equals about 2 ounces of liquid).Afternoon snack: 1 popsicle Evening meal: ½ cup of juice, ¾ cup of clear broth, ¾ cup of ginger ale, ½ cup of flavored gelatin, and 1 cup of herbal tea with honey or sugar.Evening snack: 1 cup of flavored gelatin

Gm Diet - Quick Way to Lose Weight!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Are you obsessed with dieting? Trying really hard to get rid of that extra pounds? Then you should really know about GM (General Motors) DIET. It is a 7 day quick diet. This is among the most popular fad diets, practised by Indians mainly because of its vegetarian concerns and reduced consumption of meat. The premise of this diet is plain calorie control and some unusual food choices.Are you wondering how this diet is different? Because when you have tried everything and haven’t got the results. This diet can be a rescuer for you and help you to lose weight very quickly. Above all helps in detoxification and faster weight loss in just 1 week.How it works!!GM diet works by only allowing certain foods which are assigned for each day for a week. The foods are high in fibre and low in protein, carbohydrates and fat which leads to quick weight loss.Here is the Indian GM diet for those who are vegetarians:Day One:WatermelonsYour first day will consist of eating unlimited amount of fruits all day. All fruits except for bananasWatermelon is the most recommended food to eat on day oneDrink lots of water (no juices or colas) throughout the day. Read more to know about benefits of drinking water.Day Two:All vegetablesStart your day with two large baked potatoes for breakfastFollowed by restricting your diet to any kind of vegetables either raw or boiledDrink lots of water (no juices or colas) throughout the dayDay Three:Consume mixture of fruits and (raw/boiled) vegetables of your choiceYou can't eat banana or potatoesDrink lots of water (no juices or colas) throughout the dayDay Four:Bananas and milkToday you will eat as many as eight bananas and drink three glasses of milkDrink lots of water (no juices or colas) throughout the dayDay Five:Cheat dayYou can have 1 (one) cup of brown rice. Know more about health benefits of brown rice.You also have to eat 6 (six) whole tomatoes and drink 12 (twelve) glasses of water today to cleanse your systemDay Six:Another day of all vegetables dayYou are allowed to eat 1 cup of brown rice and unlimited amount of raw/boiled vegetables all dayDrink lots of water (no juices or colas) throughout the dayDay Seven (Last day): You get to eat 1 cup of brown rice, unsweetened lemon waterUnlimited amount of raw/steamed vegetablesLots of water (no juices or colas) throughout the dayDrawbacks of sticking to GM DIETGM diet is known to help you lose 5-8 kg within a week but the biggest problem with this diet could be many-GM diet doesn’t provide enough protein - This diet is low in protein and the main function of protein is building blocks and if the diet is low in protein, there could be muscle loss, more of skin and hair problems.Decreases your Fitness Performance - This diet does not encourage exercise due to which it causes lot of weakness and starts affecting health by increasing more medical conditions like diabetes, heart problems, bloating, constipation etc.It makes you look old and unattractive - If you stop taking enough nutrients in long run, your body will show immense muscle loss, energy levels will drop down due to which you will start looking dull and unattractive.It hampers your health - People on this diet can develop nutritional deficiencies, it can lead to dehydration, hair loss and downfall in energy levels.Lowers your metabolism - It restricts your body from various nutrients, due to which there will be more of health problems that ultimately give way to poor metabolism.Tend to put more weight - The downside to this diet is that the minute you start eating regular diet all that weight comes back quickly. And in most cases people tend to put on more weight than they had actually lost during the GM diet.Hence GM Diet is not good for you. It is always better to keep your plate balanced and add more workout for a healthy living.

Healthy Diet Plan

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Our body requires food to function. What kind of food you put into your system will reflect in your health. If you are eating healthy your body will look and feel healthy. But if you are just consuming food that have poor nutrition it will make you look unhealthy, sometimes out of shape, will lead to lifestyle related diseases, overall you will not feel great about yourself.By following a healthy diet you are ensuring your body is getting adequate nourishment required for the day to day functioning of the body.Being healthy does not mean starving yourself or living on raw fruits and vegetables. Being healthy simply means being more conscious about what you expose your body to. Physical activity is also an important part of being healthy but unless you are eating a healthy diet you will not reap much benefit.Here are a few dos of a Healthy Diet:1) Carbohydrates are important as they are the basic energy source of our body. What you actually need to avoid are simple carbohydrates like maida & white bread but keep the complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, oats etc.2) Eat a variety of natural foods like seasonal vegetables and fruits. Make sure you have at least 4-5 servings of these in a day. Your body requires vitamins & antioxidants to build immunity and stay healthy.3) Have at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday.4) You should include dairy for protein, Vitamin A & D, calcium, phosphorous for bone health and better metabolism.5) Try to have foods that have high biological protein value like eggs, fish, dairy & nuts.6) Moderation is key. Eat a little bit of everything to get the maximum benefits and stick to less processed food as much as you can. While we have told you what to do lets also highlight what not to do :1) Skipping meal is old school. You might think you are cutting down on calories but you are actually depriving your body of key nutrition2) Avoiding carbohydrates from your diet will make you only feel lethargic and over a period of time it will slow down your metabolism3) Don’t over eat food just because it is labelled as healthy. Too much of anything can be bad.Eating healthy is not restricted to people who are unwell or recovering from an illness. A healthy diet should be eaten to maintain general well being o the body. It is when we stop eating healthy that we start putting on weight, falling sick , have poor energy levels & in general not feel 100 percent .Healthy is also the most used word especially when it comes to marketing a food or beverage. When a food is labelled healthy what does it actually mean .To ensure what you eat is healthy read the nutrition label on the food and understand how that food was created.

Simple Tips for a Balanced Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We are all familiar with the concept of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie value. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for you and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by the body on a daily basis. What makes a balanced diet. To make it a little simpler for you we decided to give you an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in correct portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60kgs: 2700 or a female weighing 55 kgs:2100 here is a list of essential foods to maintain your weight :Chapati/Rice: Carbohydrate is the most important fuel of the body.  Its the refined carbohydrates like sugar, white bread, sodas and other processed foods that make you gain weight, make you prone to diabetes and heat diseases.Read more about the bad and the good carbohydrates. A daily meal should consist of 4-5 portions of carbohydrates in a day.Milk or Dairy products: Dairy is essential for calcium, protein, phosphorous and magnesium. Infact some recent studies even suggest that dairy can help you cut belly fat. A minimum serving of 1-2 glasses of dairy is required every single day.Vegetables:  Vegetables are the most important part of a balanced diet. A minimum of 3-5 servings of vegetables are required daily to get minerals, fiber, iron and most vitamins. The fiber in vegetables also helps regulate the use of sugars in the body while helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.Fruits:  Need to eat atleast 2 fruits a day to fulfil your requirement of vitamins in the body. Fruits besides providing essential vitamins boost immunity to stay away from infections with its anti-oxidation properties to destroy free radical.Pulses/Poultry and other meat: This is the main source of protein If you believe in the myth that eating extra protein will add muscle mass then you are wrong. Instead the body will process according to the requirement of the muscle and the extra protein will get saved as fat in your fat cells. 2-3 servings are more than sufficient for your daily protein intake.Water:  Human body is 70-75 % water and forms the bulk of blood and tissue fluid and is therefore essential for transporting nutrients, hormones and waste products around the body. Water is also essential to help digest the food and generate the energy required of body movements and other physical activities. Minimum of 10-12 glasses are important for normal functioning of the body.Fat: Extremely important for absorption of vitamins in the body. It also helps maintain the elasticity of skin. You require atleast 4-5 teaspoons of oil/butter everyday. So for all those people who consider fat as their enemy should reconsider adding it to the diet. The real enemy is the trans and saturated fat usually found in processed food. Infact fat can help you improve memory and build muscle.Different age and lifestyles demand more intake of certain nutrients to counter the deficiency and restore the balance. This is a general dietary intake for an average person.

8 Ways to Cut Fat From Your Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Dieting doesn’t mean that you cut carbohydrates and fats from your diet and opt for tasteless, boring foods. Our body requires all essential nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc. for its healthy functioning. 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 type of fat you eat that really matters. Bad fats like trans-fats, saturated fats, etc. increase cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, while good fats protect your heart and support overall health. In fact, good fats-such as omega-3 fats-are essential to physical and emotional health. So, when choosing fats, pick unsaturated fat over saturated or trans-fat. Enjoy your favorite foods by employing the following tweaks and tips: 1] Pizzas: Next time when you order a pizza, opt for double tomato sauce, corn, garlic, capsicum, mushroom, onion flavor with less cheese or mozzarella, as they are all rich in vitamins and minerals and also help combat many diseases. For e.g., tomatoes have lycopene which help decrease the risk of prostate cancer in males.2] Streak Fries: If you love French fries, next time try streak fries as they absorb less oil than French fries. It helps to lower some bad fat count.3] Stir- fry: When you opt for fried-chicken or vegetables, choose a garlic or orange juice/sauce over butter or cheese. It will make it healthier.4] Soften your spread: Before applying butter or margarine as a spread on your bread or chapatti, soften it in the microwave at room temperature, so that the quantity gets lowered while spreading.5] Oil your potato: Apply olive oil rather than butter or sour cream on baked potatoes. It will help save calories and fat.6] Dilute your Fruit juice: When buying a fruit juice bottle, add some water to dilute the juice and store it. It helps cut calories and the difference is barely noticeable.7] Cool your cans: It’s better to refrigerate canned foods, as the fat rises to the top and it becomes easier to scrape it off.8] Use cooking sprays: Use cooking sprays to prevent your low-fat cheese from turning to rubber while cooking. This will help add just enough fat to make the cheese stay gooey and creamy as it slowly melts.So, next time when you order or prepare some meals, do watch the type of fat you are eating. Try switching to healthier options.

Are Diet Biscuits Helpful in Weight Loss?

Dr. Pallavi Jassal
One regular biscuit, not a diet biscuit, contains 73 calories, 2.6 grams of simple sugars, considerable 3.2 grams of fat and high sodium content gives you about 150 calories!If you are a Marie biscuit fan, you must know that here are 150 calories in 6 biscuits serving of Marie Biscuits.If you are conscious enough to have only oats biscuits, because you want the healthiest for you, this piece of information is for you. 3 pieces of the regular oats biscuits have about 120 calories, 5g fat, 3g fiber, and nearly 2g protein.And here is the information I have gathered about your favourite biscuits: Points to consider when you are on a weight loss diet:If you are on a weight loss regimen, I strongly advise you to replace these biscuits, even the diet ones with any source of protein like egg whites, unsalted nuts, tofu or paneer.This is not to be ignored that the diet foods are low calorie or low fat but can’t be NO CALORIE. Still, if you want to have the diet biscuits, the best way is ‘REPLACEMENT not SUPPLEMENTATION’.Try to ascertain the daily calorie requirement and then decide if you can really afford to have additional diet biscuits. Read the nutritional label of biscuit very carefully and if it says that the biscuit is low fat, you must know that low fat means at least 3g of fat is still present in 100g and mainly the calories come from carbs which can be disastrous for your weight loss. Now, you have to decide whether your can afford these many calories as your favourite tea partners or will have to replace these with unsalted nuts or other protein foods.

Importance of High Fiber Foods in Your Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fiber is a substance found in plant and the dietary fiber that you eat is found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It’s very important part of a healthy diet. Eat more fiber to get maximum benefits. High fiber foods can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease other than its main function of bowel stability and strength.There are broadly two categories of fiber and we need to eat both in our daily diets for a better health and functioning of our body. Soluble fiber – Includes pectins, gums and mucilage, which are found mainly in plant cells. One of its major roles is to lower blood cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include fruits, vegetables, oat bran, barley, seed husks, flax-seed, psyllium, dried beans, lentils, peas, soy milk and soy products. Soluble fiber can also help with constipation.Insoluble fiber – Includes cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, which make up the structural parts of plant cell walls. A major role of insoluble fiber is to add bulk to faeces and to prevent constipation and associated problems such as haemorrhoids. Good sources include wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, the skins of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried beans and wholegrain foods. Most plant-based foods, such as oatmeal and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. However, the amount of each type varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods. Health Benefits of high fiber foods.Aids in achieving healthy weight: High fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.Lowers cholesterol levels : High fiber foods like soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flax-seed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipo-protein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that fiber may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation. Helps control blood sugar levels: In people with diabetes, fiber particularly soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetesNormalizes bowel movements: Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. Fiber and ageing : Fiber is even more important for older people. The digestive system slows down with age, so a high fiber foods becomes even more important.High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change.Also, drink plenty of water. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky.So bulk up your daily diet with high fiber foods for satiety, wholesome meal experience and a route to a healthy you!