Category: Health

How to lose weight on Weekends…

How to lose weight on Weekends…

weekend bingeThe most common question my clients ask is, “Can I go easy on the weekend and eat a bit more?” or “Do I need to follow the diet on a weekend?”. Now that got me thinking why some of my clients are unable to keep up with the diet plans consistently and see very slow weight loss and do not break plateaus.

Typical weekend picture for most of the clients, after the five day controlled eating and exercising is as follows

  • Friday Night is mostly movie time with buttered popcorn(but of course, a large tub sometimes caramelized and cheese), fizzy drink (diet is bad too) or nachos with a fatty dip.
  • Wake up late on Saturday morning. Breakfast is at 12:00pm and hence all the meals are delayed. Drinking and eating binges happen on a Saturday night.
  • Now most of you wake up with a hangover on a Sunday morning. Even eating binges too can make you feel sick the next day. You are tired, dehydrated and feel bloated.
  • Gym and exercise is totally forgotten over the weekends.
  • You say every Sunday night ‘from tomorrow I am on schedule’ as you shudder on looking at the diet chart plastered on the fridge.

weekend-friendsNow I do not say that it has to be the same strict routine, but if you need to meet your goals and get healthy, here are a few tips to follow.

  • Stop opting for combo meals, large tubs of popcorn or large Pepsi’s. Share the combos and ask for regular salted popcorn. It is okay to have some salt, but salt makes you thirsty, so buy mineral water rather than Pepsi before you enter the theatre.  Skip the diet coke, but an occasional once a month treat is okay.
  • You can eat out and still lose weight. Try to eat at places where they serve you healthy salads, low cal soups, grilled veggies or meat. Avoid the biryani, pasta with white sauces, deep fried wontons, russian salads etc. Opt for steamed dimsums, pasta in red sauce and try to avoid the dessert or if you have to, then share it.
  • Avoid buffet meals as much as possible. Do not pile your plate at a buffet as that is the tendency. Take small portions and stop when full. Make healthier choices such as clear soups over creamy soups, only one main course, salads without dressing, fish over meats, fruits rather than ice cream and pasteries.
  • Weekend drinking is the real problem as alcoholic drinks are high in calories. But now lets not put a dent on your social life. Choose a small portion of a drink and have it with soda and water. Opt for a glass of wine, rather than a bottle. Beer is no good as well as other alcoholic drinks too. Eat before you drink, or you will feel like topping up the drink.
  • Continue to workout on the weekends. Yes, you can take a break on Sunday but maybe a walk in the park or at the beach, some house hold chores such as vacuuming, walking to market etc can help too.
  • Try to wake up at a better timing. Lets say half to one hour later than your usual wake up timings is totally fine. You can nap in the noon for half hour or so.
  • Try to have cookouts at home with friends, so that you can have control over the menu too.

Let your weekends not be sluggish and lazy. Focus on your goals and health and wake up to a brighter, healthier and happier Monday.

So,  Do you Watch your diet on weekends?

 

How to know if you are going to have a Heart Attack

How to know if you are going to have a Heart Attack

Heart attackOwing to the drastic change in lifestyle heart attack has become more
common in the technological era. Yet most of us fail to identify the
symptoms when heart attack strikes. Family history of heart problems
makes one more susceptible to heart attacks. ‘Adding fuel to
fire’, erratic eating and sleeping patterns, consumption of junk
foods, overflowing stress, alcoholism, smoking and lack of exercise
are the other predisposing factors. Here are a few points that need to
be kept in mind to identify an attack and get immediate help.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

• Pain in the chest: A squeezing pain in the chest radiating to the
left arm is a sure sign of an attack or angina. Angina is the pain
caused because of the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to
the heart. The pain intensifies with slightest movement or sometimes
even at rest called ‘rest angina’. This pain may also be due to
improper digestion and production of gas. If the pain does not subside
with antacids and continues even after a few minutes, consider it
seriously and seek immediate help.

• Heaviness of the chest: The most common sign is a feeling of
heaviness on the chest, sometimes accompanied with a burning
sensation. Approach the nearest medical facility without delay.

• Breathing and Sweating: If slightest physical activity results in
shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing along with sweating
profusely, it could be a warning sign of an attack.

• Feeling dizzy: A feeling of nausea and dizziness can also imply
the onset of an attack. Excessive stress, fatigue and feeling tired
inspite of adequate eating and resting patterns may also be warning
signs.

• Feeling numb and dumb: In some cases numbness in the arms and
shoulders can be experienced. Heart problem may result in paralysis of
one or both sides of the body and inability to speak properly.
Reading correctly the warning signs of a heart attack and seeking
timely medical help can avert a fatal attack. A regular checkup helps.

Foods that affect your sleep

Foods that affect your sleep

woman_stress_worry_sleep_problems_insomnia“Oh! I am so tired, I didn’t sleep well last night. I don’t
even remember when was it last time that I slept like a log.”

Are you unable to get a good-night’s sleep? You are not the only one, there are many others who find it difficult to get a sound and fitful sleep. Sometimes it is the food and drink that we take affects that our sleep. Check out below if any of this might help you overcome your problem.

The type of foods we consume has an affect on our sleep.

1. The brain needs to be calm and not activated to get a restful sleep. Foods containing high amount of fat and spice spikes the metabolism, activates the brain and keeps you awake with gifts of heart-burn and acidity.

2.Carbohydrate containing foods make tryptophan available to the brain. Foods rich in tryptophan (an aminoacid) have a stellar reputation with sleep, as it promotes the production of sleep hormone, melatonin. Therefore an ideal dinner or night time snack should be carbohydrate based with moderate protein for an undisturbed sleep. Many foods like cereals in milk, dairy products, soy products, almonds, banana, oatmeal, whole grain cereals come under this category.

3.A popular grandma’s oldest and best home remedy is warm milk with a teaspoon of honey that may work wonders, as milk acts like a sedative.

4.Caffeine containing foods like coffee, chocolate and cocoa are stimulants known to activate the brain cells. To sleep better, such drinks need to be reduced or eliminated completely.

5.Eating sweets, pastries, cookies and other sugary foods in the night peps up the blood glucose levels, thus activating the brain. An ideal bedtime snack would be to eat fruits which take longer to digest.

6.Avoid alcohol. While sleeping, the body goes through different stages of sleep, the most important being the deeper stages which are the most healing. Alcohol may help a person sleep but prevents such restorative sleeping.

7.H. K. Bakhru, an expert naturopath in his book ‘Home remedies for common ailments’ suggest the intake of lettuce juice for the cure of insomnia, as lettuce contains a sleep inducing substance called ‘lectucarium’.

References (if Any): mayoclinic.com, fooddemocracywordpress.com

Home made remedies for common cold

Home made remedies for common cold

Common cold picCome winters common cold is common in almost every household. The presence of viruses which become active with the onset of winter triggers running of the nose and a host of other respiratory diseases. Cold often always begins with the nose, but slowly starts affecting the whole body. The symptoms include running nose, sneezing, sore throat, chills, fever, headache and body pains. A person affected with cold becomes weak and lethargic. However, cold cannot be avoided as it rules in this season. Medications may not always provide complete relief. Hence a few home concoctions that might give the much needed respite when contacted with the virus –

Gargling with Warm Water

The moment you feel the sensation of congestion in your throat or suspect cold, gargling warm water with a pinch of salt ensures a clear throat and might even prevent the further entry of the viruses into the system.

Inhalation of steam

Inhalation of steam from a steam vaporizer provides relief from a stuffy and blocked nose. The hot steam kills any germs present in the nasal tract. Be careful that the steam is not too hot as it might injure the delicate nasal tissues. In the absence of a steam inhaler, make use of a kettle of hot water. When there is a doubt of contacting cold one can indulge in inhalation of steam to prevent it. When already contacted, one can apply balms or vaporizers for a better relief.

Ginger Tea

Drinking a hot, steaming cup of ginger tea is an effective home remedy in combating colds.

Tea with Mint

Tea with added mint (pudina) and Holy Basil (Tulasi) leaves clears the throat and nasal passages and can even prompt you to say ‘Wah Taj’ like the tabla maestro Zakir Hussain.

Hot steaming rasam

Hot steaming rasam (a South Indian soup) prepared with tamarind and black pepper helps flush out the unwanted toxins. As the nose and eyes water, the congested nasal passages are cleared.

Garlic soup

Garlic soup, another oldie prepared by boiling a few garlic pods, helps decrease the intensity of a cold. Garlic can otherwise be also added to the above rasam for a better and integrated effect.

Turmeric Powder

Add turmeric powder to warm milk and have it. It is an effective remedy as turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, being the anti-infective vitamin is a well known prescription for cold. The best option is to have lemon juice mixed in a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of honey as it contains abundant amounts of vitamin c and builds the body resistance.

Tulsi Leaves

Children can always be given a teaspoon of Tulasi leaves juice mixed with honey to relieve nasal congestion. Adults however can chew the holy basil for relief.

Wash your hands

Before handling eatables or anything related to food or drink, wash hands thoroughly with an antiseptic hand-wash or if outside clean your hands with a hand sanitizer. This act minimizes entry of cold causing microbes into your system.

Keep Distance

During wet and humid months the common advice rendered is to steer away from the affected persons. Frankly, is it possible to keep a
close and loved one in exile for such a trivial cause and is it practically possible. The virus is spread all over. How long can children be kept away from school or play for fear of contact with the ‘cold virus’ (a dragon) from other affected children? A wise and intelligent option is to teach and follow hygienic health habits –

  • Changing clothes and cleaning up thoroughly once from school or play or work.
  • Washing hands before eating.
  • Using a handkerchief or hand towel while sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of microbes.
  • Reducing intake of cold causing foods like chilled juices and water, ice-creams and others.
  • Drink copious amounts of water to detoxify and flush out the toxins from your body.
  • Even after all these measures, if cold strikes follow one or more of the above methods to get relief.

Remember an attack of cold is just seasonal. It is always not necessary to resort to antibiotics or other medications, sometimes small ailments can be better handled with effective home remedies before they become chronic. If the cold persists don’t forget to approach a doctor for treatment and cure. The above methods can always substantiate the effect of medicines. A balanced diet devoid of high-fat and indigestible foods and with plenty of vitamin c rich citrus fruits provides immunity against cold. Brisk walking, deep breathing techniques like pranayama, kapalbhati, inhaling fresh air strengthens the immune system and neutralizes the ill-effects of bad weather.

Health benefits of Pears

Health benefits of Pears

pears
pears

Pears have always been around and come in different shapes and sizes. Pears have a lovely, crunchy feel and are considered as a healthy snack. It has numerous health benefits and is frequently used in various cuisines. It is used in salads and desserts widely. Lets have a look at its health benefits.

Benefits of Pears

  • It is really good for digestion because of its high fiber content.
  • It has cancer preventing properties not only because of its fiber content but also because of  the various antioxidants such as flavanols, carotenoids etc present in it.
  • Its fiber content helps in reducing the cholesterol levels.
  • It has a low glycemic index and is beneficial to diabetics.
  • It can be stewed and used as baby food as well as for convalescing patients.
  • It is said to be an immune booster because of its vitamin C content.

Although the pear shape which denotes lower body obesity is not desirable, but this fruit prevents one from becoming pear shaped and helps one to be overall healthy. Do not forget to add this fruit in your shopping cart and get ready to bear its goodness.