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Maintaining Body Weight Through Effective Metabolism

It is very rightly said that “an extra inch of the waist line is a year loss of the life line.” It is all the more important in today’s life full of stress and strain to maintain a healthy lifestyle. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy diet which in turn gives a healthy metabolism.

The body processes nutrients to grow, develop and maintain the metabolism. This process requires energy and calories which are burnt for this purpose. Metabolism can be boosted through regular exercise & proper diet.

Therefore it is absolutely necessary to:-

Have proper breakfast: – Various studies have shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Regular breakfast immensely helps one improve focus through the day, helps to maintain weight & give metabolism a boost. People who consume cereals in the breakfast regularly normally have 30% lower heart diseases.

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Eat multiple meals throughout the day: – To maintain a healthy metabolism, unlike the popular belief of eating twice or thrice a day, it is important to have multiple meals, both small & full, all through the day at regular intervals. Apart from regular full meals – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, it is important to have short meals in terms of fruits, nuts or health snacks / beverages every 2 hours all through the day.

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Strictly stick to healthy fats only: – Fats intake is absolutely necessary for a healthy metabolism and therefore for a healthy body. However, one needs to be very careful in using the fats as if used inappropriately; they become the biggest reason behind an unhealthy metabolism causing weight gain. Fats, such as monounsaturated (e.g. various oils such as Olive, Groundnut, Canola, Flaxseed etc) & omega-3 (e.g. Soya oil, fish, nuts etc), trigger gene activities in the liver which boost metabolism. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 not only protect heart but also increases muscle mass.

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Exercise regularly: – Diet intake alone can not correct the metabolism completely, no matter how cautious one is on his/her diet intake. Regular physical activity is an absolute must which increases muscle mass & oxygen intake resulting into burning of excess calories effectively.

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Have protein rich diet: – Many a studies across the globe have revealed that higher protein diets help control the body weight very effectively. Prescribed protein rich diets help one fight the weight gain problem very effectively such protein diets include fish, skinless chicken, soybean, tofu, egg white, milk and milk products.

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Consume green tea: – Studies have revealed that green teas are rich sources of catechins which are anti-oxidants that trigger weight loss by increasing one’s body metabolism. It is also said to be good for teeth and bones, and is also rich in nutrients like magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, vitamin C.

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Drink ample amount of water: – The ones who consume less water than the requirement of the body are prone to less-calorie burning, resulting into weight gain. To maintain one’s weight, it is extremely important to consume atleast 8-10 glasses of 240 ml each every day.

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Dieting drops your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR): – For every kilo you loose, your BMR drops by 4 to 20 calories a day, therefore to maintain muscle mass and loose fat, one should reduce calories by replacing junk with healthy food and increase aerobic and resistance exercises.

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Have a happy healthy life!!!

Lifestyle & Diabetes

The whole world seems to be trying to warn Indians about diabetes. The genetic predisposition, combined with the adoption of unhealthy life-style, which makes Indians obese, inactive and stressed out, is playing havoc not only with the elderly but also hitting the younger generation.

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“Diabetes mellitus” is characterized by elevated blood glucose concentration, because of body’s inability to take up and utilize glucose, leaving a large amount of unutilized glucose and fats in the blood and unused glucose starts appearing in urine. Apart from this various organs are affected like eyes (cataract, glaucoma, and retinopathy), kidneys, blood vessels and heart.

There are some predisposing factors which may lead one to diabetes like hereditary, diet, obesity, stress, sedentary life style and addictions. If one adopts a healthy life style, s/he can avoid getting hit by diabetes anytime in future.

Healthy life style includes healthy diet, regular work outs including brisk walks and coping up with stress.

A. Healthy Diet:- Diet is an entirely new approach to diabetes which includes:

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  1. Low Glycemic Index (GI) Foods: Glycemic index means the rise in blood sugar after intake of food. High GI foods are digested and metabolized rapidly, causing a sharp rise in blood sugar levels which in turn leads to overproduction of insulin thus contributing weight gain(GI is 70 or above) whereas low GI(GI is below 70) foods provides greater satiety. Certain low glycemic index foods include:

i) Cereals: Among cereals wheat has GI of 70 whereas brown rice has GI of 50. Whole grains are filling (you end up eating less) and have very little fat and no cholesterol. Barley is another wonder grain which has low glycemic index with soluble fibre that reduces cholesterol levels. Oats is also low GI grain loaded with soluble fibre. Select old –fashioned meal instead of instant varieties. The more grain, lower the glycemic index.

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ii) Pulses: Among pulses select beans and pulse with skin like black gram, Bengal gram, chickpeas and beans for their low GI. Chickpeas are great in maintaining blood sugar levels due to GI less than 65. Beans also have GI less than 55 thus keep blood sugar steady and can be taken in sprouted form. Also they are low in fat and cholesterol, rich in soluble fibre, calcium and iron. o

iii) Fruits: Low GI fruits like apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, guava, and amla contain soluble fibre and vitamin c which help maintain the blood sugar & cholesterol levels and may prevent diabetic retinopathy. o Vegetables: Veggies such as bittergaurd, bottlegaurd, pumpkin, lettuce(Contains 3% or less carbohydrate), tomato (controls the percentage of sugar in urine), beans such as soybean, antioxidants in veggies such as broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower & green leafy veggies such as methi, contribute a lot in controlling blood sugar levels.

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2. Milk and Milk products: Various studies done showed that dairy products contain high calcium, potassium and magnesium which are immensely helpful in controlling blood sugar levels. Double toned milk is helpful as it does not have high fat content.

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3. Visible fats: Select more of monounsaturated fats such as olives, groundnuts, sesame seeds, rapeseed, canola & flaxseed and omega-3 fats such as walnuts, almonds, fish and soybean.

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4. Non-vegetarian foods: Select fish and chicken over mutton, pork and beef. Also, go for egg whites instead of whole egg.

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5. Juices and ayurvedic products: Gum Guar(Indian cluster beans), fenugreek , bitter almond has proved to lower blood sugar levels. Juices of amla, bittergaurd with extracts of jamun seeds, herbal tea loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols also contribute to maintain blood sugar levels.

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B. Work Out:-Regular and controlled exercise helps to increase glucose utilization. It helps attain ideal weight , tones up the body , improves blood circulation and helps to reduce serum cholesterol levels thus increases good cholesterol(HDL) levels. Brisk walking is the most useful.

C. Coping up with stress:- Various studies show that psychotic stress causes the release of cortisol hormone which temporarily suppresses beta-cell function and increases insulin sensitivity and in turn increases sugar levels. Meditation and relaxation are the techniques or the life style modifications are necessary for coping up with prevalent stress, now a days.

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D. Restriction on addictions:- Lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking and alcohol are associated with increase in blood sugar levels. Smoking contributes to poor blood glucose levels by interfering with the timings and effect of insulin. Alcohol produces complications such as hypoglycemia and neuropathy (effecting eye and neurons of brain), therefore one needs to minimize the intake of these.

Therefore, it is extremely critical to improve the life styles in order to minimize the risk of getting entrapped with a deadly disease like diabetes. After all, “Prevention is better than cure”