Friday, 27 September 2013

Weight Loss Programs Always Have Side Effects. Myth?

It has been heard time and again from fitness trainers and people who have experienced weight loss that weight loss programs always have side effects. It is in fact a myth.

People who have lost weight over a period of a few months or a year often talk about the side effects of losing weight such as feeling down, hunger pangs, low energy and psychological effects such as depression.

In order to address this debate and to understand why it’s a myth, we can categorize these side effects as physiological and psychological. The physiological effects include changes in body functions and metabolism while the psychological effects include the changes in the mental state of the person.

When your body loses fat and overall body weight in a short duration, it is natural to feel loss of energy and increase in stress your body is in shock as a result of the drastic changes in your physical activity and nutrition. These factors also depend on the level of change in the body and its ability to adapt.

However, these side effects can be avoided through appropriate and controlled nutrition. The nutrition requirements of the body change with the changes in your physique. It is essential to constantly tweak your diet in accordance with the amount of physical exertion the body is going through. Hence, a proper weight loss program includes directives for nutrition for every stage of weight loss which helps avoid any harmful effects to the body and enable it to adapt to the new fitness and health routine in a smooth manner. For example, an appropriate diet subject to a workout will not only help retain your energy levels and also help in strengthening muscles and body tissues. Also, there are foods which fill you up for a longer duration and ease hunger pangs.

Most of the psychological effects are addressed by nutrition as well. Feelings of depression could actually be a result of inadequate nutrition and low energy levels which can be avoided by filling your diet with foods that flush out toxins from the body allowing energy rich foods to power activeness and happiness.

Hence, aided with the right nutrition plan, the side effects of a weight loss program can easily be prevented.

Friday, 20 September 2013

How to protect your eyes from daily stress


Computers screens have become an integral part of our lives and in our already stressful and sedentary lifestyle, we often fail to realize just how much these screens contribute to stress, especially to our eyes.
Most of us spend hours at stretch working on computers or laptops and end up with dry, itchy and strained eyes as well as headaches. Let’s understand what exactly is happening in our eyes when we stare constantly at a close object, in this case a computer screen.

When we shift our focus from a distant object to a nearer object, the ciliary muscle in our eyes contracts and the eye lens become thicker in order to make the object appear clear. While this is quite natural and normal for frequent changes in our focus, it can cause long term damage to the eye lens if one focuses at nearer objects for weeks and months at stretch.

Near point stress if not relieved for a long duration, the ciliary muscle is not able to relax sufficiently. Our eyes eventually adapt to this constant strain and stops focusing properly at distant objects, a result of what is known as ‘near point stress’. This turns into a condition called ‘myopia’ or nearsightedness.
While we can’t do much about the duration of our work on a computer screen, what we can do is take precautions and ensure that we do not cross the near point stress.

1.     Keep distance: The most basic precaution is to keep the screen as far as possible within comfortable viewing. Maintaining a straight posture instead of being hunched over a laptop often rectifies the viewing distance. Ideally a screen should be kept at an arm’s length distance away from the eyes.

2.       Use anti-glare technology: Another option is to reduce glare on the eyes by using anti-glare technology such as anti-glare TV and computer monitors. One may also try anti-glare glasses while working or even driving to avoid glare from oncoming headlights.

3.   Adjusting contrast: Change the contrast settings of the screen to ensure that while the screen is easily view able, it should not be in high contrasts with the surroundings.

4.       Adjusting color temperature: Choose a screen color temperature that is soothing to the eyes.

While some of the above precautions may or may not be possible at all times, one can consciously control how long one strains the eyes. So, take your eyes away from the screen for 20 seconds and look at distant objects to allow the eyes to relieve stress.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Does dieting help in weight loss?

Following a crash-dieting program instead of a long term one may help you lose weight faster, claim researchers. Losing at least 500 grams a week would help in achieving and maintaining a slim figure.

The research study conducted by a team from the University of Florida examined cases of 262 overweight women undergoing a six-month program. This program encouraged these overweight women to cut their calorie intake and increase their physical activity. The participants were divided into three groups on the basis of how much weight they lost in the first month of the trial.

Participants under fast weight loss group were found to have lost almost a pound per week, those in moderate weight loss group recorded loss of half a pound in a week’s time while the slow weight loss group participants lost less than half a pound per week.

The researchers studied these women’s weight loss and weight regain after six months and 18 months. They found there were long-term advantages to fast initial loss of weight. It was found that participants from the fast weight-loss group had lost more weight overall, could maintain their weight loss program for longer and were less likely to put on weight in comparison to the more gradual weight losers.

According to the study result, losing weight faster leads to greater short-term weight reduction and does not result in increased susceptibility to weight regains. It also helps in successful long-term weight management.

The nutritionists, however, still argue over whether losing faster or a following a gradual weight loss is best for losing weight. It is better to set realistic goals after proper consultation with a nutritionist or a doctor, eat the right foods and maintain a healthy weight. Staying physically active is also important in weight management.

In this fast moving life we do not get much time to spare for physical exercise so in such a situation a healthy and nutritious diet can solve the purpose.

Early Morning
Start your day with lemon juice and honey in lukewarm water; this helps your body to get rid of harmful acids produced by the body.

Choose any one or two from the following options
Egg white omelet (2) + 2 slices of brown bread,
Milk (Skimmed Milk) +Cornflakes/ Oats /Wheat bran
Fruit Salad / Sprouts.
Vegetable Poha / Upma
Skimmed milk cottage cheese + Brown Bread

Pre Lunch
Take black coffee before the afternoon meal this helps in boosting metabolism.

Boiled / Roasted Chicken/ Soyabean (200 grams) +Brown Rice (1/2 plate) / Chapatti (1)
Boiled Dal +salad + Brown Rice (1/2 plate) / Chapatti (1-2)
Take Probiotic curd (100grams) as it helps in digestion.
Vegetable Daliya

Take some citrus fruits to satisfy the hunger pangs in the evening,
Green tea with two Marie Lite biscuit
Boiled Channa

Choose any one or two from the following options
Boiled Soybean Nutrela/ soup + salad,
Boiled Egg White (3) + Vegetable clear soup
Chicken or Tuna salad.
Boiled Dal
Vegetable Daliya

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Poor oral hygiene can lead to cancer

Amongst the various queries regarding holistic health, oral hygiene is usually side-lined. “Brush your pearly whites twice daily and maintain hygiene” is a standard statement made by parents and dentists alike. There is a strong reason to support this statement as well. As per a new study, poor oral habits can lead to dangerous diseases linked to cancer - both benign and malignant!


Around 50% of oral diseases are related to poor oral hygiene and carelessness. Unhygienic habits have been found to be a direct cause for chronic diseases like Human Papilloma virus infection (HPV), ulcer and cancer. This result was announced after numerous experiments and studies conducted by the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
Also, the virus HPV is the potent cause for oral cancer and is linked to plaque and deterioration of gums. So, next time you skip your brushing exercise, think twice and better clean up your act!
HPV is a virus that affects areas including the throat, mouth, feet, fingers, nails, anus and cervix - areas of the skin and the mucus membranes that line the body.
But worry not, since the damage can be undone and HPV infection can be prevented. You simply need to maintain good oral hygiene and health and quit smoking.

You can follow these tips to maintain good oral hygiene:

·         Brush your teeth at least twice a day
·         Use a tongue scraper and clean your tongue regularly
·         Floss your teeth and use mouth wash when you cannot brush. Also, go for a sugar-free mouthwash!
·         Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric toothbrush to effectively reduce plaque and eliminate gum diseases
·         Practice good technique - remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue
·         Keep your toothbrush clean - always rinse it with water after brushing, store in an upright position and allow it to air dry before using it again
·         Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 to 4 months.