Tag: alcohol

Evening meals- Good or bad?

Evening meals- Good or bad?

Evening mealsInnumerable myths revolve around weight loss. But such myths only fail the purpose, than help. One very common query from my clients is about eating late evening. “What do I eat in the evenings so that I do not gain weight?” or “Should I stop eating after 6 pm?” or “What is the right time to eat dinner?”

Skipping meals have never helped in weight loss. Skipping dinner has become very common assuming, that it is one of the best ways to lose weight. This ends up being a short lived stint for few days, and end up getting back to eating dinner and maybe eating more calories. This only hampers the metabolism.

Dinner just like breakfast and lunch is an important meal and it is required to eat enough so that we cover our daily requirements, inclusive of energy requirements. There is no substantial proof that eating a very low calorie meal such as soup and salad will suffice. It can only trigger late night hunger pangs and refrigerator raids.

How can you not gain weight by eating in the evening?

  • Divide your meals through out the day. See that you do not more than 1/3rd of your daily energy requirements. Eat the same amount of calories spread throughout the day.
  • Plan your dinner timings better. If you want to eat your dinner at 6pm, plan for a healthy bedtime snack, so that you do not binge.
  • Late dinners, later than 10pm too is not recommended.  The ideal time to eat dinner is between 8–9 pm. This aids digestion and helps to sleep better. Sleep controls our hormones such as leptin which suppresses hunger, while ghrelin stimulates hunger and fat production. When there is sleep deprivation, ghrelin levels increase and this pushes you to uncontrolled snacking and binging. Sleeping on time as well as waking up on time can help yo keep weight in check.
  • Plan your meals in advance so that you are not tempted to order home delivery. Being mentally prepared on what to cook can help you make healthy meals at home.
  • Eat your dinner atleast 2 hours before bedtime
  • Keep healthy snacks in stock such as fruits, nuts, diet soda etc
  • Read books, listen to music, keep the television out of the bedroom so as to keep a cool environment.
  • Exercise can be scheduled in the evening. I have client who prefers to eat dinner by 7pm, hits the gym after 9pm and after a post exercise snack, hits the sack at 11pm. Talk about discipline.
  • Exercising daily too help you to sleep earlier and better.
  • It is always best to stay away from a night cap as alcohol can add on to the calories and hamper sleep as well.

Lastly, It is important to eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks within your calories requirements.So it is very safe to eat dinner in the evening. No more pained look at the dinner table!! Eat healthy and exercise daily!!

4 Foods that weaken your bones

4 Foods that weaken your bones


A lot of emphasis is given to foods that promote healthy bones and the importance of intake of calcium supplements, but have we ever given a thought on few of the foods that can hamper all our efforts. Lets have a look at 4 commonly consumed foods that can weaken our bones.

  1. Salt– Salt is said to weaken our bones. Studies show that for every 2.3g of sodium intake, 0.04g of calcium from the bones are lost. Our diets are generally high in salt, thanks to all the processed foods in the market. Smart move– Cut down salt intake from canned soups, salted meats etc.
  2. Soft drinks– the most publicized food product and this includes the diet varieties too. The phosphoric acid leaches out calcium from the bones. Smart move– Drink low fat milk rather than coke.
  3. Caffeine– The calcium loss is not significant but can eventually add up all because of the lattes and the iced teas. Smart move– try decaffeinated drinks.
  4. Alcohol– It hampers absorption of calcium and other minerals that build bone and also prevent the bone remodeling by the osteoblasts aka bone building cells. Smart move– Limit intake to one drink per day be it wine or whisky.

Control these foods to save your bones for a stronger future..

Eat like a woman, not like a man….

Eat like a woman, not like a man….

87326072Many newly weds gain weight, especially women. Men may lose weight if wives are amateur cooks. Women end up eating larger portions or male sized portions. Men may encourage women  to finish the rest of the remaining food. Now that is not necessary. In India, women start polishing off all the tidbits from the plates from the husbands’ and childrens’ plate. This can add on to extra calories, hence can result in weight gain.

I feel it is sometimes unfair, that men can eat more portions than women and still not gain weight and can inhale junk food with out any fear. So trying to blame them, will not help. Rather women should take it in their hands. Lets see how…

  • Request him to bring less junk home. Great for both of you or just ask him to keep it out of your sight.
  • Stop matching his portion sizes. When eating at home, serve yourself smaller portions, hence always cook a little lesser than necessary, but enough to cover his portions and and your small portion. This will prevent in wastage of food plus will help to curb the polishing off the remaining by you.
  • While eating out, order smaller portion sizes such as half portions or smaller plates or bowls or scoops. Leave it to him to have the large portions. If they give you large portions, eat only how much you need. If you eat less or more from the standard portions, the check remains the same.
  • Fill up before moving to the main course. I recommend salads and clear soups.
  • Follow healthy cooking practices. Go for low fat works  and trim fat in meats. Cut down the oil used for cooking. He will for sure appreciate the changes.
  • Do not guzzle alcohol like a man. It will lead to unnecessary weight gain.
  • Share meals when you out and eat very slow. Men tend to eat faster than women, hence they finish sooner and leave very little for you to nibble.
  • Always share desserts and you should take a few bites and then watch him finish the rest.
  • Lastly, exercise together. He will see your efforts and will help you to keep up with your efforts.
Top ten foods that increase your hunger and cravings

Top ten foods that increase your hunger and cravings

hunger_cravingsMany dietitians will be happy if their clients say that they are eating very less. Great, better and faster weight loss and more clients.

Wrong on my opinion!!!! If you don’t eat well, you cant beat food cravings. Cravings are the enemies to weight loss. If you want keep depriving yourself, you will end up eating more of whatever you crave for.

Lets have a peek at the foods that can kill your healthy eating efforts.

  1. Salty foods– These increase your cravings by dehydrating you. Now you know why Ruffles Lays have their jingle saying “No one can eat just one”.
  2. Fatty foods– These make you lose your control over your taste buds. The sad part is you cant even enjoy it as you are feeling guilty.
  3. Cold temperatures– Your body needs fuel to generate heat hence food becomes fuel and you end up getting eating more. Winter season is the time you need to exercise more. Hence indoor gyms will come to your rescue.
  4. Artificial sweeteners– Boon or bane!!! Never use these to lose weight. These sweeteners find their way in all the food that are high in fat and in refined sugars. They trick you into eating more as you feel its safe to gobble more as it has no sugar. Take for eg, a piece of cake which contains refined flour and artificial sweetener. Refined flour is nothing but carbs and has no other nutrients.
  5. Caffeine– This is a feel good stimulant, hence food with caffeine can make you eat more as you feel “happy”. Now you why you crave for that lattes and cappuccinos of Cafe Coffee Day.
  6. Alcohol– Alcohol can really increase your cravings for all that tidbits kept in front of you while you are out drinking with your friends and you get mentally weaker to make healthy choices.
  7. Not drinking enough water– Dehydration can make you very hungry. Plus you mistake thirst for hunger pangs. So start drinking up water.
  8. Refined foods with no fiber– These foods enter into your blood sugars really fast and you start feeling hungry again after the meal. You can do a self check after you have eaten white rice or refined pasta.
  9. Sugar– The most common culprit which you can never add a full stop to it.
  10. Swimming-This is very good form of exercise but can make you really ravenous. This is because of the temperature differences as you are in cool water so your body demands for fuel and you push it further with exercise. Now you know why you feel so hungry after swimming. Now this does not mean you should not swim. You just need to keep your food intake in check.
Alcohol and weight gain…

Alcohol and weight gain…

alcohol_weightgainAlcohol is a part of almost everyone’s diet. I have seen many of my clients are sticking to their diet plans but still not losing weight steadily and have parched skins. Culprit: Alcohol!!!!

Alcohol can make your waist line a vast line if you do not keep a check on the intake as it is high in calories.

What are the various mistakes my clients do?

Mistake 1: Drinking on an empty stomach.

Most of them arrive hungry to a party. Order a drink and start gulping it down fast. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach as the body recognizes it as a foreign body and will start working on it and start hording it up in the body. Sip alcohol and eat along with it. Its effects are reduced along with food as it enters your blood stream slowly and will not get you tipsy.

Mistake 2: Drinking very little or no water.

Water is a taboo in a bar for most of patients. Most of them are called as wimps if they order water. If you do not know, Alcohol serves as a diuretic pulling out water from your body and leaving you dehydrated. Now you know why you keep running to the loo in a party. This can lead to parched skin which will make you look withered in a photo. If you know that you will be drinking at a party, drink enough of non-alcoholic fluids mainly water before you reach at the party. Continue to drink after the party too. Keep sipping water through out.

Mistake 3: Eating high calorie tidbits along with alcohol.

Whenever I read my clients food diary most of them mention nuts(mostly deep fried or roasted) and crispies such as chips are placed on the table. Most of these crispies are complimentary and they add up a lot of complimentary calories too. They are usually are eaten mindlessly while you are chattering away or while watching some one dance on the dance floor. Stop putting them in your mouth. They will kill all the your efforts of trying to eat healthy.

Mistake 4: Eating a lot of salt along with alcohol.

Most of the above crispies are high in salt and hence will cause a lot of water retention. Now you know why you look puffy faced the next day after your drinking spree. Salt pulls a lot of water in the body and lead to water retention and also weight gain. Salt also makes you thirsty and you end up drinking more of liquid calories such as juices, soft drinks and of course, more of alcohol. Avoid the crispies or starters. Eat the main course along with the drink.

Mistake 5: Mixing alcohol and medication.

Some of my clients continue to drink and take their medication especially pain relievers, anticoagulants, antidepressants(remember Marilyn Monroe). This can have detrimental effects one’s system and can be deadly. Do not experiment with alcohol when on medication. Consult with a doctor and decode your medications before you think of drinking.

Drink occasionally. Limit it to not more than 2 drinks per week and exercise regularly to keep weight in check. Keep your self well hydrated. In other words, keep your self healthy.