Category: Case Files

You are on diet, But you are gaining Weight?

You are on diet, But you are gaining Weight?

gaining_weightWeight loss is a constant struggle. OK, I may sound non motivating, but it is a fact. Weight loss happens when a person is persistent and true to one’s self and also by not being critical about how their bodies look. I have this certain client who inspired me to write this article.

A client of mine who was coming to me on a regular basis, was showing constant weight loss. But in the last 2 months,he had been struggling to keep the weight off. In fact, he was gaining weight. He was upset(obviously) and he felt that I was not helping him out and I was holding back information. FYI, He had been asked to follow a 1500 Kcal diet and to exercise daily.

First I told him to relax and tell me about his diet. I was surprised to see what he was doing.

  • He was eating erratically as and when he wants.
  • Many a times, he ended up eating more in the evening.
  • He was not keeping a check on calories.
  • He was compensating by eating lesser according to him, it would jump start weight loss.
  • He kept focusing too much on the fact that he was on a “diet”.
  • He was eating a lot of low fat products.

Here’s his argument: “I am eating the same quantity of food as per the calories you have prescribed. I am also exercising regularly and I have paid a lot to hire a personal trainer. I have started eating low fat yogurt, low fat biscuits, Low fat ice cream. I cant concentrate at work because I am not eating healthy. I feel guilty. I have even started going on liquid diets to compensate. Are you not telling me how to go about further?”

This man had gone completely away from what I had asked him to follow. He was not keeping a check on the calorie intake, he was eating extra 200 calories per day. He was eating a lot of low fat products. Low fat means reduced calories, not calorie free. So he was not controlling portions and ended up eating more than he needed.

He was also eating erratically, not as we had planned to eat on time. He felt that he can eat at anytime as long as the calorie intake remains the same. His liquid diets made him eat more the next day. Guilt, guilt, guilt!!!!

All this had slowed down his metabolism. So had his weight loss slowed down.

Immediately, I got him on track. I asked him to start eating on time. To avoid all binges in the evening even if it is within the calorie intake. To clear out all the low fat products. He was anyways exercising, so that was one area I did not have to worry. Mainly, I asked him to stop focusing on “diet”, but to focus on healthy eating. A diet is temporary, but healthy eating is life long and to relax.

Now he is back on track losing weight consistently and both of us are happy now.

All about homogenisation and toning of Milk

All about homogenisation and toning of Milk

These are most common terms mentioned on the milk packets available now. Many confuse it with low fat milk.

Basically a layer of cream forms on the surface of milk on which the quality of milk can be judged.Since milk is an oil and water combination, it doesn’t stay mixed. Homogenized milk is run through tiny tubes, sometimes during the pasteurization process to keep fat and liquid molecules together. Fat molecules are reduced in size and tend to disperse more evenly throughout the milk so that creaming on the top of milk doesn’t occur.

Homogenization helps to deal with side effects of pasteurization which involved the formation of a layer with dead cells and bacteria.

Homogenized milk has many advantages:

· Uniform distribution of fat, no cream layer
· Full-bodied flavour
· Whiter, more appetizing colour.

But the fat contents remains the same or the homogenization should be done with milk of 2% fat.

Next is Toned Milk. Toning can be defined as the addition of th constituted skimmed milk to whole buffalo milk so as to reduce the fat to 3%. Hence its nutritive value is similar to that fresh cows milk. Double toned milk is prepared by mixing cows milk or buffalo milk with fresh skimmed milk or skimmed milk reconstituted from skimmed milk powder so that the fat content is not less than 1.5%. Its nutritive value is similar to toned milk but is lesser in fat and Vitamin A. Vitamin A has to be fortified.

These are a few methods that will provide variants in taste and colour and have the advantage of being pasteurized. Its one’s personal choice of what kind of milk they want to consume.

Having fresh milk from which the cream has been skimmed off from the top on boiling is a better option or consuming low fat milk is the best option where the milk has not gone through to many chemical processes and will lower the cholesterol consumption.

Foods for better sleep….

Foods for better sleep….

foods for better sleep
foods for better sleep

Just like how essential exercise and a good diet is, sleep too is very important  for our health. But due to erratic and hectic schedules have started to interfere with sleep. It is very essential to sleep for 6-8 hours to unwind from a long day. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and additional stress to the body keeping one tired all the time. Diabetes, heart disease and obesity are the diseases that can effect you.

Daily exercise can help one sleep well but the food you eat too matters. what you eat affects the quality of sleep. The key to better sleep is a relaxed system rather than a system that is awake.

A few pointers to eat to sleep well.

  • Eat dinner early. Try not eat after nine. Eat at least 2 hours before you go to bed.
  • Eat a light dinner. High fat meals and large servings of fried food can keep you awake because of the rumbling at night so also the gas production. Try to reduce the amount of fat in the cooking.
  • Reduce the amount of spices and other seasonings. Especially if you are suffering from heart burn.
  • Do not have sugar or sweets before dinner. They wake up your system.
  • Avoid “night caps” ie alcohol at night.
  • Do not have high protein or all carbohydrate (sugary/ starchy) foods. A high protein meal provides tyrosine which perks up the brain. All carbohydrate meals can hike your sugar levels and inhibit sleep.
  • Have a glass of warm milk at night as the calcium in it will help to produce melatonin into tryptophan which calms the brain.
  • Avoid all caffeine containing foods like coffee, tea, colas and chocolates.

Great snooze food include :

  • Dairy foods like paneer/ cottage cheese, cheese, milk and curd. Combine with bread and rice.
  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Pulses etc

Following these tips can rejuvenate you, hence eat right and sleep tight.

My Seminar on Junk Food for Children

My Seminar on Junk Food for Children

child eating junk food
child eating junk food

Dear Readers,

I would like to share my experience with all of you about a seminar on junk food presented by me to children. One of my favorite activity involves giving talks to various age groups and help to spread information on healthy diet and inculcate good eating habits in all. Just last week I happened to be invited by a school to give a talk to children of age 8-10 years. This was the first time I was talking to a very young but lively, vivacious group.

The school had previously conducted a debate on the pros and cons on eating  junk food and they wanted someone to reinforce  and make them understand how their health can be effected my eating junk food and I was their ideal choice as a dietitian.

It was a large audience of 400 students and all of them were eagerly waiting to listen to me.

I gave a presentation on junk food where all the depiction was done by using cartoon characters such as Popeye who showed them why spinach is good for health. The kids went all oooh and aaaah when I showed them the wrong foods such as burgers, chips, pizzas, soft drinks as they were latched on to eating it daily. They did have a feeble idea of the ill effects.

I spoke to them on obesity, dehydration, consequences of soft drinks, healthy choices in snacks and effect of excess sugar and salt on their health. I did mention about the benefits of eating breakfast and its effect on better performance at schools.

Half way through the talk, they realized that they were harming their bones, teeth, school performance and ultimately their health.

The children too gave me a lot of inputs and from their faces I could make out that they were very happy about the information I had provided to them.

And believe me I could not control the crowd when they started asking me doubts and I realized they were many of them are well read and they asked me questions about caffeine, Instant noodles etc. and they were shooting questions from all sides. Pheeww!!!

I really enjoyed my self and loved the interactive sessions I had with them.

Nutrition as we know plays a very big role in our growth and development and teaching our children from an early age to make good choices and help them to secure a healthy future.

Help! My child has Cholestrol

Help! My child has Cholestrol

Test your kids cholesterol regularly
Test your kids cholesterol regularly

We always would love to see that our children are healthy. But the definition of healthy has changed over the years. Healthy means over fed/ over nourished children in the present scenario. We need to put a stop to overfeeding our children.

I had a case 2 months back, where a concerned mother visited me with her child. The mother was all upset and was in tears. Her child had been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels with high LDL levels, High triglycerides and low HDL levels.

Hemoglobin levels were very low 10 gm/ Dl. The child was eleven years of age. Her weight was 42 kilos. For her age, her ideal body weight would be 25-26 kilos. She was over 16 kilos overweight. After speaking to the child I realized the child had very poor eating habits.

Her eating pattern was as follows….

Breakfast was skipped most of the times or it would be a few biscuits.

Mid time snack at school would be biscuits with butter or nuts or chips.

Lunch would be with white rice, gravy with coconut, pickle and hardly any vegetables.

Evening back from school she would have samosas, chips, bread with generous amount of jam. All this would be washed down with soft drinks.

Dinner at least 4 times a week would be Instant noodles Like Maggi. Rest of the time it would be same as lunch. Deep fried fish, chicken or mutton was eaten almost daily.Anytime to the child’s whims and fancies pizza, burger, fried rice and other Chinese food would be home delivered during the week.

Water intake was less than a liter. Food groups such as milk products, fruits and vegetables were missing from her diet.

Chocolates, candies, cookies would be eaten daily out of boredom while watching TV. There was no scope for any physical activity during the day. She had stopped playing at school because she was ridiculed at while playing at school.

All this had taken a toll on the child’s health. On hearing this, I realized I had to completely revamp her diet.

Breakfast was introduced back on a regular basis.

Wheat cornflakes with a few raisins/ Steamed idlis (steamed rice and black gram) with green chutney with mint and coriander/ wheat pancakes with grated vegetables plus a glass of milk with a tsp. of date syrup.

Mid morning- fruit cup such as apples, papayas, pears/ vegetables such as tomato, carrot and cucumber sticks with some pepper.

Lunch- brown rice/ wheat chapatis plus Dal with vegetable and curd.
Low fat Paneer and vegetable sandwich or Tofu/Paneer and vegetable stuffed Paratha plus a glass of buttermilk/ curd.

After school- oats porridge/ veg. pancakes plus a glass of milk OR a handful of Mixed nuts.

Dinner- similar to lunch. Cereal preparation plus pulses/ legumes/ fish or chicken with cooked vegetable.

After dinner- fruit plus a glass of milk.

All the junk food was removed from her diet. She was asked to drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily. I asked her mother to engage her in some activity which her daughter would enjoy. They were asked to come back for a review after 2 months.

Just few days back they visited me. The child has lost weight about 5 kilos. The child herself expressed that she was feeling more energetic and healthier. She learnt to swim and would swim about an hour daily. Her reports were looking better but there was scope for more improvement which would happen gradually. The mother had now realized and had made sure that the entire family change their eating habits and all were benefiting very well.

Inculcating good eating habits in childhood can make children carry these habits into adulthood giving them heathier futures. Allround development includes health and nutrition too. So save your child’s arteries from the start, so that you can give them a health future.