Author - Dr. Nitin Gupte

The Best Weight Loss Exercises At Home | Dr. Nitin Gupte

The Best Weight Loss Exercises At Home!

Why Walking Is The Best Weight Loss Exercise At Home!

Today the pandemic has forced millions of people all over the world to work from home.

And many of them are working more than twelve hours a day.

Naturally  they are leading a very sedentary life.

With the result, many have ended up gaining a lot of weight during the pandemic.

And many of them have not even visited their doctors for their regular check up for conditions like  hypertension, diabetes, or even heart disease, for the fear of getting infected.

And most people believe that they have to take up heavy strength training exercises to lose weight.

But they have to go to gyms to do them.

Also one needs to wear a mask and maintain distance from others to prevent getting infected and exercising with a mask on can be dangerous as it causes hypoxia when the body actually demands more oxygen.

And many gyms are air conditioned and lack ventilation.

That increases the chances of getting infected with Covid.

And they believe that home exercises cannot help them to lose weight!

That isn’t true at all!

Researchers have long known that cardiovascular exercise helps us lose weight and lowers our blood pressure, blood sugar, total cholesterol and the bad cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increases our good cholesterol, the HDL cholesterol.

Raised levels of total cholesterol and LDL or low density lipid cholesterol and triglycerides lead to clot formation in the coronary arteries causing blockages in them causing heart disease.

Healthy levels of HDL or high density lipid cholesterol clears the clots from the coronary arteries and protects us from heart diseases.

Brisk walking, jogging, running, dancing, aerobics, working out on treadmill and elliptical trainers, cycling and swimming are cardiovascular exercises.

Many people believe that only heavy strength training exercises can help them lose weight and for that they have to go to gyms.

And most people can buy some free weights and keep them at home, but few can have gym machines at home.

Many people also believe that floor exercises like squats, lunges, sit ups, crunches or yoga can help them lose weight and they can do these at home.

But let us compare the calories burned in walking, strength training and floor exercises.

Walking can burn between 250 to 350, even 400 calories if truly brisk, strength training 180 to 250 calories and floor exercises 120 to 180 calories per hour.

And we can easily walk for one, one and half or two hours spread over the day, at our convenience.

You can hardly do more than an hour of strength training or floor exercises, and those too not without breaks, so the real time actually comes down below one hour.

Most people under my care walk 8 to 10 km or more, daily, effortlessly once they get fit!

These people tend to burn 400 to 500 calories daily and lose weight happily while getting fit and healthy.

Gaining a little extra muscle weight due to strength training helps improve metabolism and helps us burn a few extra calories day long, but still they are not on par with what you can burn in cardiovascular exercises.

And benefits of brisk walking are the same as those of high intensity cardiovascular exercises like running, dancing, aerobics, working out on treadmill and elliptical trainers, cycling and swimming.

So you can see how effective walking can be even at home!

This means walking can make you slim, fit and healthy without the risk of injuries.

And there is no need of visiting a gym, a trainer or any special equipment.

There is no need to learn any new technique.

All you need is to wear proper shoes and begin to walk.

US Government guidelines recommend 150 minutes of ‘moderate’ exercise or 75 minutes of ‘vigorous’ exercise each week. Walking 100 steps a minute constitutes moderate exercise while 130 steps a minute constitutes vigorous exercise. In terms of distance covered per hour, 4.4 km/hour constitutes moderate exercise while 5.7 km/hour constitutes vigorous exercise.

Researchers have found that most people walk at over a hundred steps per minute when asked to walk at their comfortable pace, that is they already walk at moderate pace. So taking them a step ahead at a time, to 110, 120 and 130 steps per minute is not very difficult.

So the best plan is to begin walking regularly at home at your normal, comfortable pace and time and increase pace and time as you get fitter. In fact, your speed and distance increase automatically as your fitness improves!

And you can walk within small distances of twenty feet or so.

You can also walk between two rooms or through more rooms.

If there isn’t space enough to walk you can march in one place.

Soon your energy levels and mood improve, and you start enjoying walking at home. You look healthier and your skin starts glowing with the new found health.

You can soon walk for thirty to forty-five minutes twice a day consistently very much within your home, it gives you better metabolic rate than walking once day.

Once you get fitter, you can also jog on the spot at home if there is not enough space, or slow run if there is enough space. This will be a higher intensity exercise.

You can also use a motorised treadmill or an elliptical cross trainer or an exercise bike at home.

In short, walking is the magical exercise that can make you slim and healthy without the fear of injuries. And you must walk even if you are slim!

Weight loss of every four kg has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 6.25 mm and diastolic blood pressure by 4 mm. So you can see how valuable the weight loss is.

Cardiovascular exercise including walking has also been shown to improve ventricular mass and wall thickness, reduce arterial stiffness and improve endothelial function.

Endothelium is the innermost lining of the arterial walls.

The endothelium produces small amounts of nitric oxide which keeps the endothelium smooth and slippery, allowing the blood to flow smoothly and preventing inflammation of the endothelium and clot formation by white cells and platelets, by preventing them from attaching to it.

It also relaxes the smooth muscle cells of the middle layer of the arterial wall, below the endothelium, preventing their spasms and keeping arteries open.

It means walking at home can keep your coronary arteries healthy.

In simple words, cardiovascular exercise including walking help us lose weight, lowers our blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and improves our HDL cholesterol levels and keeps our arteries healthy and protects us from heart attacks and strokes!

And we can walk, jog or slow run to get slim, fit and heart healthy, very much at home!

Also read the articles the ‘Science Of Exercise’, ‘Walking To Be Slim And Healthy’ and the ‘The Safest Exercise In The World’ on this website.

Walking Is The Safest Exercise For All Ages | Dr. Nitin gupte

The Safest Slimming Exercise In The World!

Walking Is The Safest Exercise For All Ages!

Today millions of people all over the world are obese and most of them are struggling to lose weight by either starving under various treatments or working out heavily till they are badly injured.

We have known for a long time that cardiovascular exercises lower your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, low-density lipid cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

They also raise your good high-density lipid cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.

Experts say that regular strength training exercises also help lower blood pressure and sugar.

But in high-intensity strength training exercises, especially if people hold their breaths when straining to lift heavy weights, and people naturally do that, there could be a sudden spike in their blood pressures, which could sometimes even be fatal!

And that is the reason why experts recommend higher repetitions with lower weights than fewer repetitions with heavyweights.

And they also recommend that people with uncontrolled hypertension should be cautious while lifting heavyweights.

Doing strength training exercises without a well-trained instructor most often leads to injuries than lowering blood pressure and sugar.

And for that, you have to visit gyms regularly.

But strength training lifelong in gyms is not possible for most Indians.

And injuries are common in gym-goers in India.

Also let us compare the calories burned in walking, strength training and floor exercises.

Walking can burn between 250 to 350, even 400 calories if truly brisk, strength training 180 to 250 calories and floor exercises 120 to 180 calories per hour.

And we can easily walk for one, one and half or two hours spread over the day, at our convenience.

You can hardly do more than an hour of strength training or floor exercises, and those too not without breaks, so the real time actually comes down below one hour.

Most people under my care walk 8 to 10 km or more, daily, effortlessly once they get fit!

These people tend to burn 400 to 500 calories daily and lose weight happily while getting fit and healthy.

Gaining a little extra muscle weight due to strength training helps improve metabolism and helps us burn a few extra calories day long, but still they are not on par with what you can burn in cardiovascular exercises.

And average gym goer who spares an hour or an hour and half in a gym daily, is hardly expected to gain more than a kg or two of muscles over a period of months , ladies even less than men.

The best exercise for almost everyone, of all ages, in most circumstances, is walking!

You don’t need any trainers or specialized equipment, or to visit gyms to walk.

And it is good enough to not only lose weight effectively but also to get optimally healthy!

All you need is proper clothes and appropriate walking shoes. And the desire and motivation to walk!

And you don’t need special training or technique to walk.

All you need is to wear good walking shoes and begin to walk!

US Government guidelines recommend 150 minutes of ‘moderate’ exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Walking 100 steps a minute constitutes moderate exercise while 130 steps a minute constitutes vigorous exercise. In terms of distance covered per hour, 4.4 km/hour constitutes moderate exercise while 5.7 km/hour constitutes vigorous exercise.

Researchers have found that most people walk at over a hundred steps per minute when asked to walk at their comfortable pace, that is they already walk at a moderate pace. So taking them a step ahead at a time, to 110, 120, and 130 steps per minute is not very difficult.

So the best plan is to begin walking regularly at your normal, comfortable pace and time and increase pace and time as you get fitter. In fact, your speed and distance increase automatically as your fitness improves!

Here is a note of caution, when you walk at 120 or 130 steps per minute, you are likely to suffer from knee pain, if the muscles around the knees are not strong enough. That is the reason why you ought to take up knee strengthening exercises along with your walks.

If you are very unfit, even walking on the spot at home (like marching) for as little as five minutes at a time is good enough. Do it twice a day, morning and evening, and add one session of five minutes both times of the day every few days, as you get fitter and stronger. Gradually build it up to thirty minutes in the morning and thirty in the evening, either at home or outside. You gather pace as you get more and more fit. And it all happens naturally, you don’t have to do it intentionally.

Your energy levels and mood improve within days, and you start enjoying walking. You look healthier and your skin starts glowing with the newfound health.

If you are already walking, walk for thirty to forty-five minutes twice a day consistently, it gives you a better metabolic rate than walking once a day.

You can also use a motorized treadmill for walking.

Walking lowers your bad, low-density lipid (LDL) cholesterol, which leads to heart disease, increases your good, high-density lipid (HDL) cholesterol, which helps ward off heart disease, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, protecting you from diabetes and heart disease.

The benefits of brisk walking are the same as that of high-intensity cardiovascular exercises like running or dancing or aerobics or cycling. Plus it ensures against injuries.

In short, walking is a magical exercise that can make you slim and healthy without the fear of injuries. And you must walk even if you are slim!

Beginning to exercise alone can bring down your blood pressure by 3.5 and 2.0 mm respectively.

Shifting from high fat, high sugar, low fiber diet to low fat, low sugar, high fiber diet brings down your systolic blood pressure by 5.5 mm and diastolic blood pressure by 3.0 mm Hg.

Weight loss of every four kg has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 6.25 mm and diastolic blood pressure by 4 mm.

Cardiovascular exercise including walking has also been shown to improve ventricular mass and wall thickness, reduce arterial stiffness and improve endothelial function.

The endothelium is the innermost lining of the arterial walls.

The endothelium produces small amounts of nitric oxide which keeps the endothelium smooth and slippery, allowing the blood to flow smoothly and preventing inflammation of the endothelium and clot formation by white cells and platelets, by preventing them from attaching to it.

It also relaxes the smooth muscle cells of the middle layer of the arterial wall, below the endothelium, preventing their spasms and keeping arteries open.

In simple words, cardiovascular exercise including walking keeps our arteries healthy and protects us from heart attacks and strokes!

Also, read the articles ‘Science Of Exercise’ and ‘Walking To Be Slim And Healthy’ on this website.

Effects of Rava and Maida on Health - Dr. Nitin Gupte

Effects of Rava and Maida on Health!

Rava And Maida Are Bad For Our Health!

Rava and maida are made from wheat.

The wheat grain has three parts, the bran, the germ and the endosperm.

The bran is the protective outer cover of the grain, the germ develops into a new plant when the seed germinates and the endosperm is the store house of the food of the seed, that the grain uses for energy when the new plant is being developed.

The wheat grain has 71 % carbohydrates, 13 % proteins, fibre, some B vitamins, folate, Vitamins E, some minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and some good fatty acids.

Of these, most of the fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fatty acids and 25% of the proteins in the wheat grain are housed in the bran and the germ while the most of the carbohydrates and 75% of the proteins are housed in the endosperm.

The carbohydrates in the whole wheat grain are starch, fibre and some sugars.

Of these, the starch and the fibre are the complex carbohydrates while the sugars are the simple carbohydrates.

In the process of milling, the bran and the germ of the wheat grain are separated from the endosperm.

In the process of making rava and maida, only the endosperm is subjected to further grinding and straining through various sieves till first the coarsely ground rava and at the end the finely ground maida is obtained.

It means that rava is the coarsely ground, granular endosperm of wheat while maida the finely ground endosperm of wheat. Later maida is bleached to give it its final pure white look.

In the process of making them, the bran and the germ are separated from the endosperm. So the endosperm has already lost 25% of proteins and more than seventeen vital nutrients present in the whole wheat grain.

In both rava and maida we primarily get fibre free starch and some sugars apart from some proteins and hardly any vital micronutrients.

Fibre slows down the absorption of starch and sugars in the body, preventing sudden rise in blood sugar.

Fibre helps bowel movement and helps regulate our blood sugar and cholesterol and protects us against diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Fruits actually contain sugars, the simple carbohydrates, but they are also rich in fibre. So the sugars get absorbed in our intestines slowly due to the presence of ample fibre in the fruits. So there is no sudden rise in blood sugar on eating fruits.

Rava and maida on the other hand lack fibre, hence the starch in them is digested and absorbed faster and consequently the blood sugar rises quickly.

But the body needs to control the blood sugar within a short range precisely.

Insulin is the one hormone that brings down blood sugar.

Insulin is produced by the pancreas.

The pancreas release more insulin in the blood in response to the raised blood sugar.

Under its influence, the excess blood sugar is absorbed into the liver, muscle and fat cells in the body for future use and the blood sugar drops down to the normal levels.

But if this sugar is not used up by the body it gets converted into fat and gets stored in the fat cells in various fat depots of the body and we put on weight.

It also gets stored into the liver and it ends up in a condition called fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) which is a grave illness that can lead to liver cirrhosis or cancer.

That is the reason why eating rava or maida is not healthy.

So their use in our food should be minimal.

Also read article ‘The Good And The Bad Carbohydrates’ on this website.

Why Do Most Obese People Regain Weight After Losing It?

Reasons Of Regain Of Weight After Weight Loss!

Most obese people who lose some weight regain it after a while. In fact, most regain more weight than they lose under most treatments.

Why does this happen?

This happens because most people lose weight on unscientific treatments based on nutritionally wrong, starvation-based diets or mindless and injurious over-exercise, mostly strength training or excessive floor exercise, often accompanied by proteins supplements.

All such slimming programs are run with a ‘gun to the temple’ attitude or like a Nazi Concentration Camp-like process.

While most such programs attract the gullible obese people with the promise of effortless weight loss, in reality, the programs turn out to be exactly the opposite.

No one really enjoys such programs.

And these people know that people won’t follow them unless they are put under extreme psychological pressure and they won’t even get temporary results.

And they can’t afford to have most people failing to deliver even temporary results.

Their only concern is to show some results, even if temporary, while the people are under their programs.

Making people slim and healthy for a lifetime is neither their goal nor do they know how to do it.

They either do not realize that their programs are destroying people’s health or they don’t care if it happens.

But few can sustain starvation-based diets or painful exercises too long.

They give up such treatments sooner or later and then they soon regain more weight than they had lost.

Let us see what happens on starvation.

1. Starvation forces the body to lose glycogen (carbohydrate stored in our liver and muscles), water, and proteins (from the connective tissue, muscles, and organs). What you lose on the scale is largely contributed by the above three and only a little by fat. The result is you become wrinkled, shrivelled, and dehydrated, without really looking appreciably slimmer.

2. You suffer from multiple nutritional deficiencies (of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals). You become weak, wrinkled, pale, anemic, and unfit and generally feel unwell. The initial false sense of weight loss encourages you to carry on starvation for some more time causing more deficiencies.

Apart from anemia, there will be a loss of body proteins (this causes wrinkling and sagging of skin, which is a constant feature of starvation-based slimming programs) and deficiency of most micronutrients.

Calcium loss is common. It can lead to dental caries, bone pains, pain in the neck and back, and even osteoporosis.

Constipation, fissures, and haemorrhoids (or piles) are also common.

Hyperacidity, severe digestive tract disorders including ulcers, colitis, and mal-absorption syndromes are common side effects of sustained starvation. There will be colic (pain) in the abdomen, inability to digest and absorb food properly, gases, and loose of motion. Digestive tract disorders are often not totally curable and can become a lifetime disability.

One more common complication of starvation level diets, especially when people are put on liquids-only diets, is the development of cholecystitis, inflammation of the gall bladder, and formation of gall stones. This can lead to grave complications.

3. Your body lowers its metabolic rate. This means it burns fewer calories every day than it did before. This leads to a faster regain of weight when you start eating normal food. Plus your body regains all the lost glycogen, water, and proteins. All three are essential components of your body. Thus there is more weight gain. You are inevitably fatter than before.

Such yo-yo slimming is potentially more dangerous than staying obese, for one more reason. Each time you gain weight, your blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar may go up. They do not necessarily come down to the normal levels each time you lose some weight. Thus these levels can steadily keep going up as you keep gaining and losing weight repeatedly. Your risk of developing coronary heart disease, cerebral strokes (attacks of paralysis), and diabetes increase greatly.

Mindless exercise can cause serious injuries, often crippling people.

What is the right way to lose weight?

If you truly wish to get slim and healthy for a lifetime, you have to make small but significant changes in your food and lifestyle and maintain them for a lifetime, and you can easily do this!

You must unequivocally accept that there are no magic treatments in this world that can make you slim and healthy for a lifetime!

For more information read the articles ‘Dangers Of Unscientific Treatments’ and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.

Children Obesity

Don’t Let Your Children Get Obese During The Lockdown!

Childhood Obesity Is A Serious Health Problem!

According to NDTV, the stats published by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, around 5-8.8% of Indian schoolchildren were obese, in 2019. And if the rates increased at a pace like that, 27 million Indian children were expected to be obese by 2030.

But the pandemic will cause a much greater spurt in these figures, especially amongst the urban children from the middle class and upper-class families.

Being locked down at home, young children today are caught up in an unprecedented situation due to the pandemic.

I see many children looking distinctly chubbier on their parent’s DPs in recent days, children who were much slimmer till about six months ago! And I know many of these children personally because the parents are under my care for their own weight and health problems!

Neither the parents nor the schools have experienced anything quite like this before. The parents probably are not even aware of the likely challenges that most of them are going to face in a few more months’ time.

On one hand, the children can’t leave home and all their outdoor sports activities have come to a sudden halt, and on the other hand, their lifestyles have been turned upside down by having to study online and having to do both schoolwork and homework sitting in front of a phone or a laptop.

Being at home twenty-four hours and bored, the children are probably demanding more food, and the parents, also at home, are probably indulging the children more than they would have with the routine of school and sports activities keeping the children busy all day.

Childhood obesity is a serious health problem, don’t let your children get obese during this lockdown!

Preventing it is easier than reversing it, once it sets in!

The main drivers of childhood obesity are unhealthy dietary habits and reduced physical activity.

And, believe me, it is going to be very difficult to get the children to lose weight again, if they become obese now, if and when the life returns to normal post the pandemic. We don’t even know if that is going to happen in the near future or not!

The time is NOW, PREVENT IT NOW!

Many parents could be buying extra supplies of ready snacks like biscuits, chips, and other salted and fried snacks to keep the children fed in between meals. And the children probably eat more of regular food too, as the appetite goes haywire in absence of physical activity.

The sudden change to a sedentary lifestyle and excess and wrong food consumption is going to make the children obese and vulnerable to develop hypertension, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome.

All are serious health risks and will predispose the children to heart disease and strokes in later life.

The solution is to make the children exercise at home and eat healthier foods. Replace unhealthy snacks with fruits and make sure not to prepare fried and sweet dishes.

Watch and prevent a sudden increase in food portion sizes during the major meals. Reduce screen time as much as possible.

Involve children in household chores where they get more activity.

If possible, watch their weights regularly and make them conscious of the dangers of childhood obesity.

Also visit ‘Basics Of Nutrition’, ‘Contact Us’, and ‘Distance Program’ pages on this website.

lose belly fat in simplest way

Easiest Way To Lose Belly Fat

Losing The Dangerous Belly Fat Assuredly!

Most people want to lose their paunch or belly fat because it is ugly and causes discomfort and inconvenience in common daily activities requiring bending down to pick up anything from the floor or tying the shoelaces.

What they don’t know is that it is more lethal than the excess fat anywhere else in the body!

It can cause hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and strokes, PCOD, breast cancers and cholecystitis and many more chronic diseases!

But it is no different from any other fat in your body in that it too can be knocked off as assuredly as any other fat in the body, only if you knew how!

It can be done any time you wish, doesn’t matter how long you have had it.

To understand this, you have to understand the following facts.

How do we gain fat?

We gain fat when we eat more calories than we burn in twenty-four hours. The unused calories are converted into fat and stored away in the body in different places, for future use.

Where does the body store the extra fat?

The body stores the excess fat in fat cells in different fat depots all over the body, a little more in some places than others, tummy, hips, thighs, chest, back, and arms being the more preferred places.

Different people store their excess fat in different places. Generally, men tend to store more fat in the upper body, above the waist, while ladies tend to store more fat in the lower body, below the waist. The former is called the ‘apple-shaped’ or upper body obesity and the latter the ‘pear-shaped’ or lower body obesity’.

How do we lose fat?

When we eat fewer calories than we burn in twenty-four hours, we draw the additional calories from the excess fat that we had stored up previously exactly for such shortfalls and the fat store reduces. This means we lose some of the stored fat and our weight drops proportionately.

This fat loss is generalized, that is we use up some fat from fat stores from all over the body.

So how do we lose belly fat?

If we burn more calories than we eat and have more fat in your belly, more fat will be lost from the belly area than in other areas, but since there is more fat in the belly, it will take some time to lose all of it. So you have to be patient.

How can we burn more calories?

Walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, dancing, in short, cardiovascular exercises burn more calories than floor exercises or working out with weights, that is strength training.

Do abdominal exercises help burn abdominal fat?

No. Abdominal exercises like ‘sit-ups’ and ‘crunches’ can tone up the abdominal wall, but they can’t selectively burn the excess fat in the abdomen. Plus they burn fewer calories than the cardiovascular exercises.

And excessive ‘sit ups’ and crunches can cause injuries like muscle tears, hernias, and prolapsed disks.

Is belly fat bad?

Presence of excess abdominal fat leads to hypertension, high blood sugar, high levels of total cholesterol and low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and it also lowers the good cholesterol, the high density lipid (HDL) cholesterol, leading to diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Presence of abdominal obesity increases the incidence of PCOD, breast cancer and cholecystitis in women.

It is also associated with other chronic diseases and some other cancers.

It also invites hernias and back problems by causing an abnormal drag on the vertebral column.

Corona kills the pot-bellied obese easier than slim and fit people.

So how can we lose our belly fat assuredly?

The simplest way to lose our belly fat, or in fact, excess fat anywhere in our body and our excess weight is to eat our own healthy, normal, everyday food a little better balanced nutritionally and sensibly and at least walk regularly.

Don’t fall for very-low-calorie diets sold under the garb of so-called magic slimming machines or medicines or meal replacement shakes or ‘revolutionary’ diets sold by commercial slimming treatments or take up mindless exercises and protein supplements.

Don’t waste your time doing hundreds of ‘sit ups’ and crunches and risk getting injured.

Also read the articles ’Basics Of Nutrition’, ‘Designing A Healthy Weight Loss Food Plan’, and ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ on this website.

Losing Four Kg Extra Weight Improves Health Immeasurably!

Losing Ten Percent Of Your Extra Weight Could Be Life Saving!

Millions of people all over the world are obese today and many of them are suffering from chronic diseases like arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases and strokes, PCOD, miscarriages and infertility.

And most of them are confused and frustrated with their failure to lose weight on all kinds of wrong treatments. Most of them are also overwhelmed with the daunting task of losing 30 – 40 kg or more weight. So they continue to suffer from the ill effects of their obesity, not knowing how they can lose all that much overweight.

What they do not know is that losing even 10 per cent of their extra weight can improve most of their health problems dramatically!

Every 4 kg extra weight puts nearly 20 kg of extra load on your lower body joints and wears them down that much faster, causing arthritis.

Losing those 4 kg can ease that much load on those joints and slows down the progression of arthritis. Keeping them off may even prevent it long term.

It will also help lower your blood pressure levels significantly.

The combined effects of exercise and weight loss has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 12.5 mm and diastolic blood pressure by 8 mm in overweight or obese people.

It will also lower the blood sugar and help prevent or control diabetes better and also help lower the doses of the diabetic medications in those who already have it. It also helps prevent other health problems related to diabetes, like heart disease, strokes, kidney and eye damage.

Excess total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are harmful to our health. Excess LDL cholesterol gets deposited in your arteries causing atherosclerosis and choking of the coronary arteries leading to heart attacks or myocardial infarctions.

HDL cholesterol clears and cleanses up the LDL cholesterol deposits from the arteries and prevents atherosclerosis and the choking of the coronary arteries and keeps the heart healthy.

It is this vital HDL cholesterol that is low in people who develop coronary artery disease.

Unfortunately cholesterol lowering medications cannot selectively lower the levels of the total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and increase the levels of the HDL cholesterol. They lower the blood levels of all three. This would be disastrous for the heart health.

The only way to increase the HDL cholesterol levels is to brisk walk regularly and lose weight. Even losing those extra 4 kg by eating healthy and brisk walking regularly will raise the HDL levels.

High levels of triglycerides also are associated with heart disease. Eating well, brisk walking and losing those few kg will also help lower your triglycerides levels.

Losing those 4 kg will also lower the levels of certain hormones like insulin, oestrogen and androgens, high levels of which are associated with some cancers, especially breast cancer. Losing those few kg can reduce the incidence of breast cancer by as much as 12 per cent.

The same benefits are also seen in those who walk at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.

Exercising and losing those few kg will improve sleep, reduce depression and improve mood and self esteem.

Sleep apnoea is a common health problem of the obese and a heart disease precursor. Losing those few kg will help improve the condition significantly.

Fat cells, especially those around the belly, can release chemicals those cause inflammation in tissues all over the body. This is linked to health problems like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, heart attack and strokes. Only a few kg weight loss will help lower the amount of these substances and lower your chances of developing these serious illness.

Including ample vegetables, fruits, low fat milk and whole grains and pulses in your daily food, eating fish a couple of times a week, keeping your meat consumption low and brisk walking regularly are the keys to keeping your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and total cholesterol levels normal, your LDL cholesterol low and HDL cholesterol levels high and keeping you heart healthy and preventing hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, strokes and many cancers!

It will help many ladies overcome obesity related PCOD and infertility and prevent miscarriages.

In short, they are the key to overall health!

So stop worrying about losing all of 30 – 40 or more kg, start eating healthy and begin brisk walking regularly and lose the first 4 kg and see how much better you feel and how much fitter and healthier you become!

Also read the articles ‘Diseases Associated With Obesity‘, ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ and ‘Distance Program’ on this website.

The Good And The Bad Fats

The Good And The Bad Fats!

Learning About The Good And The Bad Fats Is Life Saving!

Fats are an essential component of our nutrition.

Fats can be broadly classified as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats.

Monounsaturated fats: Monounsaturated fats help lower cholesterol and help protect your heart.

The main sources of monounsaturated fats are groundnut oil, rice bran oil, sesame oil, olive oil, all nuts, including groundnuts and sesame.

Polyunsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated fats help improve your cholesterol, insulin, and blood sugar levels, helping you get more heart-healthy.

They include the two omega fatty acids, viz. omega 3 and omega 6.

Omega 3 fatty acids: The principal sources of the invaluable omega 3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseed, fatty fish (ravas, mackerel or bangda, surmai, pomfret, cold-water salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, and herring) and algae.

Of these, walnuts and flaxseeds provide us with plant source omega 3 (ALA), and the fish and algae provide us with the more effective sea source omega 3 (EPA and DHA).

The plant source omega 3 or ALA is less potent cardiac protector than the sea source omega 3 viz. DHA and EPA. Some of the ALA in our food gets converted to DHA and EPA, but at a slow speed.

The omega 3 fatty acids prevent the inflammatory process in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and strokes and some cancers, memory loss, depression, and fatigue, reduce arthritis and joint pain, and inflammatory skin diseases.

Omega 6 fatty acids: Omega 6 fatty acids are abundantly available in safflower, sunflower seed, and soya oils and many other oils and foods. It is the more valuable omega 3 that is difficult to get as its sources are limited.

While omega 6 also helps lower cholesterol, it is less valuable than omega 3 in protecting you from heart disease and strokes and other inflammatory diseases.

Excess consumption of Omega 6 is easy in people subsisting on safflower seed oil (kardai), sunflower oil, or corn oil. Refined sunflower oil is widely used as the staple cooking oil in India. Excess consumption of omega 6 is dangerous and is best avoided. It can lead to raised blood pressure, blood clotting, heart attacks, and strokes and also leads to water retention.

Saturated fats: These fats are animal source fats viz. fats in dairy, flesh, and eggs and fats from certain vegetable oils which are solid at room temperature viz. coconut oil.

Saturated fats for decades were considered bad fats. They were thought to raise cholesterol in our body and cause heart disease and strokes. Researchers advised us to shun these fats.

But the thinking is changing now.

The jury is divided on these fats.

While the American Heart Association and the American Diabetic Association still strongly recommend against the use of saturated fats, many researchers don’t rate them as bad fats anymore.

Many studies have found no direct relationship of saturated fats with increased risk of heart disease.

Many studies have also found that people eating whole-fat dairy products are leaner and have lower levels of body fats.

This is probably due to the better satiety conferred by whole-fat dairy products, preventing people from overeating.

But if you run the risk of catching heart disease, it would be prudent to keep their consumption low, at least till more conclusive research tells us otherwise.

Trans fats: These fats are formed when vegetable oils are heated and combined with hydrogen. They are also called ‘vanaspati ghee’.

Hydrogenation makes the vegetable oils more stable and gives the foods made with them longer shelf life. They are also much cheaper than pure ghee.

Trans fats are also formed when foods are deep-fried. All fast food (Wada, samosa, burgers, pizzas), packaged foods (microwave popcorn, chips, crackers, candy), all commercially baked foods (bread, biscuits, Khari, rusks, cakes, pastries), all premix products like cake mix, all solid fats, all foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oils are trans fats.

The is the jury on these fats is unanimous: Guilty!

They are universally accepted as bad fats, lowering the good ‘HDL’ cholesterol and increasing the bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol leading to heart disease and strokes and many other illnesses.

Even amongst saturated fats, the dairy and animal fats coming from natural pasture bred cattle are rated superior to the fats coming from farming industry animals raised on a doctored feed like corn, hormones, and medication. So there better and worse saturated fats too.

Overall, fats coming from natural foods are much better than packaged, processed foods like meats, fast foods and take away foods which are loaded with bad saturated fats and trans fats.

Fats in chips and french fries and all the fast-food snacks are bad fats.

In general, all deep-fried foods, even if fried in polyunsaturated oils, and foods prepared in hydrogenated vegetable oils are bad fats and researchers are telling us to shun them absolutely.

The omega 3 rich sea fish gives you the best fats as long as it is cooked in curries or baked or grilled or shallow fried.

But the same fats turn bad when the fish is deep-fried, as trans fats are formed in them.

The consensus amongst researchers is that trans fats are bad fats and they should be completely stopped.

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Medium-chain triglycerides: The coconut fats include medium-chain triglycerides which are considered good fats.

They are considered to be anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerosis, and anti-aging fats and are heart-healthy.

They are also a ready source of energy and are extensively used as life-saving supplements for the weak and debilitated people, especially in hospital ICUs and in preterm, low birth weight babies.

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Choosing Healthy Cooking Oil: Industry manufactured oils like soya oil, rice bran oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower seed oil (kardai), Canola oil, cottonseed oil are considered bad fats by many nutritionists. The use of heat and chemicals in extracting and refining these oils turns them unhealthy.

Today many researchers are asking us to shun all industrially produced oils.

So it makes sense to use groundnut oil, sesame oil for us in India and groundnut, and virgin olive oil for Indians in the west. All three are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and all three are cold-pressed.

There is little point buying expensive, imported olive oil in India. Groundnut oil or sesame oil, though the latter is not popularly used, would be the better choice as you don’t waste money and invaluable foreign exchange on imported olive oil. All three oils are principally comprised of monounsaturated fats.

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How much fish is enough to get adequate omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA?

Adults should eat about 170 gm sea fish twice a week and children between the ages of 2 to 8 years between 40 to 85 gm and children over 9 years between 115 to 140 gm twice a week to get enough of the two omega 3 fatty acids.

Read the article ‘Basics Of Nutrition‘ on our website for more information about fats.

Boosting Immunity system

Preventing Depression And Boosting Immunity During Corona!

Exercising To Alleviate Depression And Boost Immunity!

Today the world is going through it’s worse crisis since the World Wars. The COVID 19 crisis has brought the world on the brink of disaster. Millions have lost their jobs and millions more will lose them in days to come! Tens of thousands are going to die of Corona and many more due to starvation as economies are collapsing worldwide!

Naturally, a huge number of people are going to suffer from depression in months and years to come.

Depression causes the body to unleash stress hormones, notably cortisol.

High levels of stress hormones lead to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. So more people will succumb to these illnesses in the coming days.

Depression lowers our immunity to fight infections and those with low immunity stand little chance of surviving a Corona infection.

Research has proved that exercise is the best and the most potent stress buster. Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, boost the levels of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters.

Endorphins:

  • Lower the levels of stress hormones,
  • Boost energy levels,
  • Eliminate fatigue,
  • Act like analgesics and alleviate pain,
  • Act as sedatives and improve sleep,
  • Elevate mood,
  • Alleviate depression.

 

Exercises:

  • Boost the levels of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters
  • Reduce stress
  • Lift gloom and depression,
  • Improve self-esteem,
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness,
  • Improve lung function,
  • Lower blood pressure, blood sugar, total cholesterol, and LDL Cholesterol and triglycerides,
  • Improve HDL Cholesterol,
  • Protect us from hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and strokes,
  • And boost immunity.

Thus the best way to get fit and boost our immunity is to exercise adequately.

Most people can take up walking, spot marching, spot jogging at home during this lockdown, to get slimmer, fitter, stronger, more cheerful, more positive and get rid of depression and boost their immunity to fight off the threat of Corona, Also exercise help in weight loss in good health.

You can also use a cardiovascular exercise machine like a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or exercise bike if you have one at home.

And you don’t have to begin big, even one 10 minute session of comfortable paced walk in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening is fine. Increase the pace and time of the walking sessions as you get fitter.

You can even brisk walk for 10 minutes six or more times, or 20 or more minutes thrice if you need to lose weight too.

It is necessary to exercise at least thrice a week, four to five times a week is even better, for alleviating mild depression.

Try walking six times a week to lose weight too.

Working out at a brisk pace and keeping the pulse rate in the aerobic zone will improve cardiovascular fitness, meaning the heart and lungs will become fitter, both vital in fighting off a Corona infection, should anybody contact the infection.

Jal neti and Vitamin D

The eminent head of the top hospital in Western Pune, suggests regular jal neti and Vitamin D supplements to keep our immunity against the virus high. His hospital hasn’t hasn’t suffered a single infection amongst it’s staff.

Jal neti has been well proved to boost the immunity against upper respiratory infections and allergies and Vitamin D bolsters immunity.

Vitamin C supplements too may help bolster immunity during this pandemic.

So it may be life saving to start jal neti and take Vitamin D supplements once a week for the first month, once a fortnight in the second and once every three weeks from the third month onwards.

So, gear up to fight this pandemic and don’t get depressed due to this mandatory homestay, instead use this opportunity to become physically active and get slimmer, fitter, and healthier!

Also, read the articles the ‘Science Of Exercise’, the ‘Slimming Successfully In Spite Of Corona’, and the ‘Mortal Threat Of Corona For The Obese’ on this website.

Sagging Skin After Weight Loss!

Tightening Sagging Skin After Weight Loss!

When people lose weight on low calorie, nutritionally imbalanced diets, they always look haggard as the skin wrinkles like old people.

When people lose a lot of weight suddenly, over a short period of time, they develop varying degrees of sagging of skin. When they do so after bariatric surgery or a ‘very low-calorie diet’ (VLCD), nutritionally defined as less than 800 calorie diets, they tend to lose fat and girth quickly and the skin sags a lot, some times so much that the skin around the waist may have to be folded and tucked in, like the folds of a saree!

Such people lose water, glycogen and body proteins from the connective tissue under the skin and from the muscles and finally organs all too quickly. This sudden loss actually causes sagging.

After bariatric surgery, people can hardly eat a few morsels of food before they feel full, and can’t eat anymore. This is the surgical route to a forced starvation based diet.

On starvation based diets under various names, cereals (chapatis, bhakri, rice, bread) and pulses (dals, curries, usual, pithla) are almost completely stopped or severely curtailed. The result is, people, lose inches from their girth quickly and our skin can’t keep pace with this quicker loss of girth and begins to sag.

Our skin is not just an envelope around our bodies. It is not a rubber sheath around the body. It is a live tissue made up of living cells and is wonderfully elastic and has the capacity to tighten up and adjust to the new volume of the body. But this process takes some time, even two or three years if you lose a lot of weight suddenly, so the sagging lasts for some time.

Most people on very-low-calorie diets, suffer from all kinds of nutritional deficiencies and can’t sustain the diet. They promptly regain all the weight they had lost, often ending up fatter than before, as soon as they begin to eat more. So the skin sagging vanishes.

People lose a lot of weight after bariatric surgery. They too suffer from nutritional deficiencies but they are put on ample nutritional supplements. They, of course, can’t go back to eating as they did previously, as there isn’t enough space left in the stomach, so the weight loss continues for a longer period. These are the people who suffer from the worst skin sagging.

People who are obese and ill enough to require bariatric surgery and also wealthy enough to afford it, can also consider plastic surgery to correct the loose skin.

After half a dozen years or so, these people too start regaining weight as the stomach starts stretching and allows them to eat more.

People who lose weight on healthy, normal, everyday food and moderate exercise, even as simple as walking, the weight loss is steady and that allows the skin to keep pace with the loss of the girth and they don’t experience much sagging of skin. In fact the skin becomes healthy and begins to glow beautifully as they lose weight on balanced, healthy food and cardiovascular exercises.

Thus to prevent sagging of skin, you must lose weight on healthy nutrition and moderate exercises and drink a lot of water and remain adequately hydrated. Dehydration worsens sagging while proper hydration prevents it.

Also get ample sleep during and after slimming.

You can use moisturising, rehydrating skin care products of reputed brands to keep the skin in good health, but your inner health is of paramount importance.

Also ageing people must accept the natural wrinkling of their skin gracefully and focus on getting healthy nutrition, adequate walks, water, and sleep, to keep their skin at its best, for their age.

Also read the articles ‘Simple Steps To Slimming’ and ‘Health Benefits Of Weight Loss’ on this website.