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Lifestyle plays a huge role in your fitness and health. Often a sedentary lifestyle along with unhealthy eating habits contribute to weight gain or other lifestyle diseases. With discipline and patience, you can work on your lifestyle to reach a fitness level you have always desired. Always remember that whatever changes you implement should not be focused on temporary results, but rather on a long and sustainable lifestyle.
A good fitness level is more important than just fat loss. However, you can lose fat by practicing these things:
1. Make your diet a lifestyle:
Most people tend to focus on diet as a destination, rather than a journey. Your nutrition should not be a trend or a plan for short-term results, but rather a lifestyle that you can follow effortlessly. Although easier said than done, implementing a positive lifestyle can have tremendous long-termresults. Tweaking your food habits and incorporating essential macro and micronutrients can aid your fat-loss journey. A good way to include the right food components in your diet is through a good diet plan which you must follow with discipline. Eat goodfood every day. It's as simple as that. Don't divert even if you have to eat the same food every day, you can always innovate your dishes with the help of spices and other preparation methods,
Tweaking your food habits and incorporating essential macro and micronutrients can aid your fat-loss journey. Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
2. Workout regime to increase activity:
Even if you can't do a heavy workout everyday, it is essential to include some kind of activity in your lifestyle. Find a physical activity that suits you. Some people despise gyms, but love jogging or playing a sport. Some like strength training and lifting weights. Whatever you choose, follow through without any excuses. Your daily physical activity plays a huge role in your metabolism and fitness level. It's not just about burning calories; it's about setting a pattern for your body to undergo positive stress. When you exercise, your body is already doing half the work required for losing weight and becoming fit.
Your daily physical activity plays a huge role in your metabolism and fitness level. Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash
3. Don't compromise on your sleep and hydration:
People underrate the importance of a good night's sleep. Your body requires sleep to recover, to balance the cortisol hormone level which is responsible for your binge eating. Sleeping is our body's natural way of balancing the stress level and rectifying any errors in its system. Fix a sleeping time and don't change it no matter what. This is one of the most important changes you must incorporate. The other being hydration -- water is extremely important for your system. Not only does it help in passing the nutrients throughout your system, but it also helps the body detox and shed the pesky water retention habit. You'll be surprised by the number of times your body confuses thirst for hunger, so always drink adequate water. Set a reminder through a phone app, it can be helpful.
Your body requires sleep to recover, to balance the cortisol hormone level which is responsible for your binge eating. Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash
(Article originally written by Pranit Shilimka for IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: health, fat, sleep, hydrate, exercise, food, diet
People whose diets were based on healthy plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables had lower risks of getting Covid-19 and of having severe disease after infection, finds a study. Although metabolic conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes have been linked to an increased risk of Covid-19, as well as an increased risk of experiencing serious symptoms once infected, the impact of diet on these risks is unknown.
The study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and published in the journal Gut, suggests that public health strategies that improve access to healthy foods and address social determinants of health may help to reduce the burden of the Covid-19 pandemic. The beneficial effects of diet on Covid-19 risk seemed especially relevant in individuals living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation.
"Our models estimate that nearly a third of Covid-19 cases would have been prevented if one of two exposures -- diet or deprivation -- were not present," says Merino. Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Un
For the study, the team examined data on 5,92,571 participants living in the US and the UK from March 24, 2020, and followed them until December 2, 2020. During follow-up, 31,831 participants developed Covid-19. Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of the diet score, those in the highest quartile had a 9 percent lower risk of developing Covid-19 and a 41 percent lower risk of developing severe Covid-19.
"These findings were consistent across a range of sensitivity analysis accounting for other healthy behaviors, social determinants of health, and community virus transmission rates," said lead author Jordi Merino, a research associate at the Diabetes Unit and Center for Genomic Medicine at MGH. "Although we cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in crowded indoor settings, our study suggests that individuals can also potentially reduce their risk of getting Covid-19 or having poor outcomes by paying attention to their diet," added Andrew Chan, a gastroenterologist and chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit at MGH.
Plant-Based Foods May Cut Risk Of Covid Infection, Severity. Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash
The researchers also found a synergistic relationship between poor diet and increased socioeconomic deprivation with Covid-19 risk that was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone. "Our models estimate that nearly a third of Covid-19 cases would have been prevented if one of two exposures -- diet or deprivation -- were not present," says Merino.
(Article is based on a study, Originally published on IANS) (IANS/MBI).
Keywords: Covid, Infection, Virus, Green- Leafy Plants, Diet
Have we ever wondered why humans are the only race who take to fad diets outside of our habitual eating patterns?
Every organism in the animal kingdom is attuned to eating as per its habitat and that order is seldom disturbed, except in human beings who are perpetually pursuant of some magical formula so they can get into a certain shape and form. So this urgency of "shapliness" as defined by the norms of beauty on social media needs to be exchanged for long term and sustainable eating habits. For this one needs to delve into the realm of clean, real and healthy eating.
Now let's elucidate this:
1. Being fit and healthy is not equivalent to being skinny or size zero. The measure of how healthy or fit one is, is actually governed by many many parameters-- your energy levels, sleeping patterns, monthly cyclical patterns in women, hormonal health, propensity to auto immune diseases, dependence or addiction etc. Being healthy and fit is a holistic phenomena which cannot be achieved by a diet alone, let alone a fad diet. This takes a deeper understanding of yourself, awareness of bodily functions and reactivity to stimulus in the form of food or emotions or exertion.This awareness is developed over a period of time and is not overnight, it can become the driver for good health. Fad diets usually are either rich in one thing or short in another, they are heavily skewed to certain macro types or are specific goal driven. For example keto diet is high on good fats and protein and low on carbohydrates so sends the body into ketosis mode for fat burn for energy instead of carbohydrates combustion. This diet was originally devised and designed to fight epilepsy and related epileptic disorders.
So does it seem normal for a regular person to resort to this diet, with the purpose of quick fat loss or even adapting it as a way of life? Our body at a cellular level is endowed with mitochondria organelle which oxidises carbohydrate to produce ATP (adenosine Triphosphate-- our energy currency) for the cell. In keto diet we tend to maintain a low carb infusion. And thus the decreased availability of carbohydrate and increased mitochondrial uncoupling during nutritional ketosis suggest a decline in ATP production, at least until compensatory adaptations occur. It's a complex process and sounds like something which isn't the most natural way of working for the human body. In computing parlance it's like overriding the code. So one should understand the merits and pitfalls of a fad diet over natural habitat driven eating.
Being fit and healthy is not equivalent to being skinny or size zero.Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash
2. Movement and good nutritional practices are the best tools to achieve optimum performance and good health but this needs to be followed with consistency and become a way of life. Good and sustainable eating practices create good micro biome in the gut, which makes for a happy and healthy gut, which in turn is closely and minutely related to majority of brain and body functions and hormonal health. When the gut and endocrine system are in order, the chances are rare for one to not feel like a super human. Good health results in performance enhancement, alertness, agility, focus, stillness all at once and even enhances your mental faculties to enable one to think clear and better. This in essence is true good health -- the kinds monks speak of. It is said you are what you eat. The cleaner you start eating, the better your internal functions get and the higher your performance and clarity in life. Imagine the amount of time, energy and resources you can save by not visiting the doctors every now and then, by being productive and healthy purely on simple food and living norms, by not spending on diet plans and expert consulting. One should inculcate the understanding and awareness about good eating habits so a lot of gripes in life are wiped off because self-awareness and self-confidence is enough to make you believe in yourself.
The cleaner you start eating, the better your internal functions get and the higher your performance and clarity in life. Photo by amoon ra on Unsplash
3. Achieving good health, good form, good shape and structure takes time. It's equivalent to chiseling a monolith into shape one blow at a time. The sculptor does it diligently over days and months and years for the finest of statues to emerge. Similarly if someone tells you that a certain kind of form, six packs, eight packs, etc can be achieved in a few days or months, please question the assertion. Find out at what cost? Seek answers akin to buying a policy-- ask yourself what's your monthly EMI or outgoing and what you make in the long term. With fad diets long term prospective health plans are not possible its best to plan and invest diligently. Develop discipline and cultivate healthy habits.
Achieving good health, good form, good shape and structure takes time. Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash
4. Simple habits for good and clean eating which will show results:
* Hydrate a lot-- aim for 4-5 litres a day
* Drop sugar intake or make it minimal
* Eat less, eat when hungry. Don't hoard
* Eating less is different from starving. Eat in proportion to your physical activity and not as per the clock and meal times
* No one ever suffers from eating less. Suffering happens due to eating more or in excess
* Include good fats in your diet-- almonds, walnuts, ghee, cheese, butter etc
* Stop using hydrogenated vegetable oil for cooking or even olive oil for high temperature cooking
* Consume food closest to its natural form e.g. whole chicken over sausages, rice over flour/wheat, fruit over juice and so on
* Don't deprive yourself of anything. Eat in moderation
* Desserts are supposed to be celebratory. Keep them so-- occasions and festivals
* Wake up and drink water to start your day
* Avoid processed and packaged food
* Food is by nature perishable so anything packaged with a higher shelf life has to have chemicals and can't be natural. Avoid
* But local over tetra packs
* Eat fresh and seasonal
* Don't combine fat and carbohydrates-- it causes ill health. For example French fries is a combination of frying and carbohydrates in the form of potatoes; cakes-- combination of flour (processed carbohydrates) and fat and sugar. All these can be avoided to large extent in daily living
There is no substitute for hard work so drop the quest for short cuts and start working hard.Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash
There is no substitute for hard work so drop the quest for short cuts and start working hard.
(Article originally written by: Puja Gupta) (IANS/ MBI)
Ketwords: Health, lifestyle, diet, exercise, work hard, healthy food
For decades, diet conversations globally have ranged from the simple and straightforward to elaborate and convoluted, the latter sometimes even bordering on crazy. In today's digital age, before you can say cheese, a new diet would have garnered a global following, with everyone from a lay person to experts swearing by its efficacy. However, just a few weeks or months later, the same experts have moved on to another 'miraculous' weight-loss or diet program. That is what you get when you don't follow science, just fads. Health though, is not a fad. It is a lifestyle habit. Amid all these fads, one cannot help but wonder if each of these programs are a sure-shot way to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, why don't they survive the test of time?
Excessively restrictive diets also take pleasure out of eating and may lead to eating disorders, slow down your metabolism, causing more harm than good in the long run. Photo by THE 5TH on Unsplash
According to a study published in the BMJ, most diets help with weight loss and lower blood pressure in the first few months, but the desired effects don't last. So, people keep returning to new fads. But fad diets can be damaging. They often lack essential nutrients and teach you nothing about healthy eating. Excessively restrictive diets also take pleasure out of eating and may lead to eating disorders, slow down your metabolism, causing more harm than good in the long run. One of the reasons for crash diets to fail is because the body views dieting as a form of starvation. When you eat much below your desired energy intake for a long time, your metabolism slows down and tries to fight back. The hormones that regulate our hunger and satisfaction waver making it harder to sustain the diet and hence weight loss. Further, the idea of taking extreme steps such as quitting certain foods can often lead to one feeling low and disappointed. Sooner or later you bounce back to prior 'unhealthy' eating habits. And a few months later, you are trying another new weight loss diet.
No wonder that the diet and weight loss industry around the world is growing leaps and bounds from $192.2 billion in 2019, expected to be over $295 billion by 2027. However, more and more studies show that if you are truly interested in losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle you need a more sustainable plan than a fad diet. We must also understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Not all weight loss might be healthy, you might just be losing muscle or water weight due to crash dieting and doing copious amounts of cardio. To lose fat, a few components are proven to work: these are eating slightly less than your energy requirements, having adequate protein intake to preserve muscle mass, and strength or resistance training. Doing this regularly, will slowly help manage your weight in a healthy manner, and also boost your metabolism and tone your body.
To lose fat, a few components are proven to work: these are eating slightly less than your energy requirements, having adequate protein intake to preserve muscle mass, and strength or resistance training. Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash
Consider making these small, incremental changes to your lifestyle to embrace a healthy relationship with food and, indeed, life. Suggested by Habbit CEO and Co-founder Dhruv Bhushan.
Make healthy eating a daily habit:
It is important to be in tune with your specific needs, and not feel deprived. The same plan might now work for everyone. Nutrition need not be complicated, and crash diets are not sustainable. Don't think about giving up the "bad" foods, instead focus on choosing foods that are holistic, nourishing, and pleasing for the palate. Don't be taken in by jargon-filled technicalities on nutrients. Opt for easy to use, nutritious products. Play with your food choices, mix and match ingredients. Health and taste can go hand in hand. Even foods that you crave or are 'addicted to', have a healthier alternative out there. Ensure a balanced diet of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Balance these with whole grains and healthy fats. Meet your daily protein intake, whether from foods, or supplements using natural proteins. This can't be stressed enough since protein deficiency is one of the leading causes of lifestyle diseases, including obesity. Drink plenty of water.
Add physical activity into your regular routine:
Make exercise, activity and movement a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. In case you have very busy schedules, try and exercise first thing in the morning before the day consumes you. Just like your food, pick activities that you can stick to, and not things that will peter out after a few weeks of initial enthusiasm. You don't need to be spending hours in the gym or hiring a personal trainer. Even a relaxing walk or jog while listening to your favourite music, a dance class or a yoga session can be a good starting point. Also, stay active throughout the day. Take stairs instead of the lift, walk around while on the phone, contribute to household chores, play with your kids or pets, enjoy a sport, have sex, walk or cycle to neighbourhood areas instead of driving there, just simple choices without the need to take out extra time also go a long way. And for more dedicated individuals looking to burn fat, lose kilos and tone up, research shows that strength or resistance training, and high intensity workouts offer more sustainable outcomes. More than how much or what you do everyday, what matters is that you do exercise everyday. Start small and stay consistent.
Make sleep a priority:
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of our well-being today. We should aim to get adequate restful sleep every night, which may range from 6 to 9 hours for different individuals. It is during this time that the body repairs and recovers. Essential hormones that also aid weight loss are at play only during sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. If for some reason, you have trouble falling asleep, address it as a priority. Make time to sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Unplug your digital devices before bedtime. Instead, unwind with a bath or some light reading. Create an environment that is conducive and free from distractions, with a bed and bedding that is comfortable.
Essential hormones that also aid weight loss are at play only during sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash
Manage your stress levels:
Stress might feel like a default response to the challenges of a modern lifestyle, but constant stress can pose serious health problems. Stress causes an increase in cortisol and adrenaline levels which influences blood pressure, heart rate, eating habits, sleep patterns, blood sugar, fat metabolism, and immunity. Long-term stress can also increase your risk of heart attack or stroke and contribute to depression. You can manage stress by adopting some of the above healthy habits, and by making conscious efforts to relax. Breathe deeply, enjoy your favorite activities, spend time with your loved ones. And ask for help, by speaking to those who care for you, or a trained professional.
Eating and living healthy, or trying to manage weight should not be a punishment or a sacrifice. There is no one size fits all definition or path to good health. It is a combination of different small steps that add up to big results over time. Health is a lifestyle. Trusting your instincts with food and actions that feel good, go a long way towards overall well-being. Eat food you enjoy without the guilt, just maintain a balance. With the right mix of natural organic ingredients, an indulgent low calorie Blueberry Crumble wise cream will be better and more delightful than so-called magic fat burner pills. The next time, someone tempts you with the next-best diet fad, show them your intuitive eating and healthy lifestyle plan. You will develop a better relationship with food when you tune in to your body's needs and cues, and incorporate this into your everyday life.
Remember not to think of lifestyle changes as daunting behavioural changes. They are small steps on a journey towards good health -- ones that combine science, taste, and sustainability.
(Article Originally written By: By Dhruv Bhushan) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: diet, food, lifestyle, health, sleep, stress