Water Weight ???

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Ever since I started writing this blog, a very good friend of mine (who is also a fitness freak) has been requesting me to write an article on “Water Weight”. Well, everyone knows that ‘drinking lots of water’ is good for health. You read it in your favorite health columns, your mom asks you if you are drinking enough water, your doctor advises you to drink at least 4-5 litres of water everyday and so on & so forth. But do you know about the role of water in weight-loss issues especially if you are working really hard in getting those washboard abs?

 It’s a simple but very important concept in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and your overall fitness goals. Water weight is nothing but part of your body weight created due to retention of water by your body. Ok! So your body stores up water, what is wrong with that or why get concerned about it anyways? Do you need to shed off this water weight? If yes, how?

All the answers lie in understanding this concept properly. By water weight, I mean excess body weight due to “bloating”. It does not mean that something is wrong with your kidneys and so your body is retaining water. Your body retains water when:

  1. There is excess intake of sodium: If you all remember school level science, you might remember the concept of osmosis. Here’s what it means if you don’t remember it. In simple words, it is nothing but the tendency of a system to maintain a balance of solute concentration on both the sides of a semi-permeable membrane. And here’s why I just bored you up explaining this concept – “When you consume food that has a lot of sodium but you do not consume enough water, your body holds back as much water as possible to maintain a that sodium-water osmotic balance in your body.” As a result, you get bloated meaning you gain water weight.
  2. You do not exercise: Working out is a great way of sweating which in turn is a great way of releasing excess salts from your body.When you do not workout at all and you happily live a sedentary lifestyle, your body has no other option, but to retain water to maintain the solute-solvent ratio of your body.
  3. You do not drink enough water: This is the most important amongst all the reasons. You know it really well that water is the best fluid for your body. But still you never drink enough of it. Whenever you feel thirsty, you will grab a bottle of your favorite aerated drink or have a cup of tea/coffee but you will never give a second thought to water. If this is the way you behave, then obviously you poor body has to hold back as much water as possible.

**A little fact to be known (especially for all women out there): “Touch your belly. Can you feel that spongy lower abdominal pooch? Besides unhealthy fat, your body is also storing considerable water in that region. See, this where you are going to get all excited about knowing ways to get rid of that retained water and jump into the next para :)”

So, here’s what is needed to be done to shed off the water weight and stay away from gaining it

  1. Drink up: The best and the simplest solution is to drink enough water. Drink at least 3-4 and at most 4-5 litres of water everyday. Your body would not feel dehydrated and so, it will stop retaining water 🙂
  2. Keep a check on your sodium intake: Sodium is naturally present in all the food that you eat. And obviously, you sprinkle enough of it while cooking as per your individual taste buds. Then why consume extra of it? Cut down on those unhealthy snacks, potato chips, fatty dips-ketchups and all forms of deep fried junk.
  3. Exercise: See, here I give you another reason to love exercise. Working out will help you sweat and stay away from those water pounds in a very healthy manner. It’s always a win-win situation 🙂
  4. Consume high fibre food:  High fibrous food contain a good amount of water. They are great for your digestive system and are a natural way of staying away from gaining water weight.
  5. Love Potassium: Potassium is a very essential element in maintaining many important bodily functions. So consume potassium rich foods like Bananas, White Beans, Dark Leafy Vegetables, Papayas, Pumpkins, Avocados etc. It will help you in maintaing your body’s natural solute-solvent balance very easily.

Now here’s another reason to love drinking water – Research has shown that during several occasions, your body mimics dehydration as hunger. So the next time, you get food cravings even after having a wholesome meal, realise it’s time to drink enough water 🙂

Another important point: If you have trouble drinking plain water, you can always create your own flavoured water by adding a twist of lemon, orange, green tea or mint into your bottle of chilled water.

Remember there are no excuses. Drink your way to good health 🙂

Understanding our Hormones (Part 1)

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  8.1

Since the prime goal of my blog is to spread the mantra of Healthy Living, I am starting up with a series of articles completely devoted to the  “Understanding of the Chemical Messengers of our body –  our Hormones”. I believe it is extremely crucial to understand these tiny molecules of our body, not only to maintain a healthy weight but also to live your live to its utmost best. Hormones not only regulate our metabolism and other physiological processes, but also effects our psychological state, the way we feel and respond to various life situations.

This first article is based on understanding INSULIN, one of the most important hormones effecting our metabolism. It plays a severe role in our understanding of weight loss issues especially fat storage and burning. Insulin is a peptide hormone and is produced by the beta cells of our pancreas. It’s main job is to mobilise glucose present in our blood and helps our body cells to use that glucose for various cellular functions. It also causes our fat cells to absorb glucose from the blood. When no insulin is produced in the body of a person, he is said to suffer from Diabetes Type 1 and when the body shows resistance to the insulin produced, it is termed as Diabetes Type 2.

I want to focus on Diabetes Type 2 as it is intricately related to the modern day epidemic of Obesity. It has not only effected the adult population worldwide but even children are diagnosed with this disorder every now and then. One really important note: Diabetes is not a disease, it’s a disorder. A disease may get completely cured but a disorder can only be kept under control. Hence, it becomes extremely crucial to know the ways to keep a check and get control over this disorder.

Let us understand this in the simplest way possible. The food that we eat gets converted to glucose after digestion, which is released into our bloodstream. In response to this, our pancreas releases Insulin to help  our body cells use that glucose; thereby lowering it’s concentration from our blood. Some of this glucose is converted into glycogen by our liver, which is stored in the muscles for future use. The leftover glucose is converted into fatty acids and is stored in the fat cells of our body.

So, when and how does your body start resisting this helpful hormone?

Whenever we make poor food choices such as a lot of refined white and other “easily digestible” unhealthy carbs, processed food and take sugary junk (especially super sugary aerated drinks) often; we release too much glucose into our bloodstream. As a response to this, the pancreas releases a lot of Insulin to clear off all that glucose. Over a course of time, as we keep building up such poor food choices (and this process takes place every now and then to maintain our blood sugar) and continue torturing our pancreas, our body cells starts ignoring this insulin secreted. Thus,the glucose in our blood has now no function to perform but simply hang around in our bloodstream. And the high blood glucose condition then diagnosed is termed as Insulin resistance or  Diabetes Type 2 😦

It is now very clear that it is non-negotiable but to maintain lower levels of insulin in our body. And the only way to make that possible is to make sure that we do not trigger it’s secretion by making unhealthy  food choices. So, the lessons we need to take home are:

  1. Always make healthy food choices; Say a big NO to refined carbs, sugary junks and highly processed food.
  2. Eat a balanced meal in the right amount and the right time; helps our body reset it’s internal mechanism and get healthier day by day.
  3. Be physically active and exercise regularly to tap out the energy from the stored fat cells.

Remember, insulin management plays an extremely crucial role in weight management. So, let’s start respecting our fabulously designed physiology and stop torturing our bodies.

Eat smart, stay active and say Goodbye to Diabetes 🙂

       fofihere

Love Eating Love Food :)

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               6.1

This is my first post on the new section of my blog FOOD. And even though, the name of my blog is ‘Fat-Out-Fit-In’, it does not mean that all I will write about would be just on Health Recipes, Nutrition Content of various food etc etc. The main intention of this section would be “To make you fall in love with food that is fresh, easy to cook and healthy,help you develop healthy eating habits and make you feel awesome through eating good food.” 

The first topic that I have chosen to write about is something very interesting. It is a term that I really grew fond of as I started reading about and researching on everything related to food and fitness. It is called Dietary Induced Thermogenesis or DIT. Sounds complicated and high profile,right? Well, not exactly 🙂 Let me explain you what it means and why do I love this term.

DIT or Dietary Induced Thermogenesis is the thermic effect of food i.e. it is the energy produced in the entire process of food digestion,absorption and assimilation (in other words, complete metabolisation of the food you take). Our body expends energy through three main routes: Basal Metabolic Rate, Physical Activity and DIT. If I put this in very simple words, I would say that You burn as you eat”. WHOA! that’s fantastic to know right? 🙂 Now tell me why would I not fall in love with this concept! Research has shown that DIT accounts for 5-30% of the body’s total body expenditure. And hey,do not consider these figures to be small as they build up to be a really important fraction of the body’s entire energy-expenditure picture. But here are a few facts to be a kept in mind:

  1. Only a balanced meal containing appropriate portions of carbohydrates,proteins and fats results in a good percentage of energy expended via DIT.
  2. Although protein induces highest percentage of DIT and ‘the weight loss industry goes gaga’  over the ‘lean-protein-diet’ concept, there’s a completely different side to this picture. Research has also proven that eliminating carbs out of your diet slashes your metabolism by almost 50% in a couple of months ( and that’s just sad because who can afford to remain fit with a 50% slower metabolism).
  3.  Although fats have the least percentage of energy expended via DIT,you cannot afford to eliminate them completely as their little contribution also plays an important role.

So, you see I love this concept because it is a scientific weapon to slash all those stupid FAD diets ever created. They have nothing more to do rather than give you a non-stop head and heart-ache about dieting for burning more. You can see how this concept clearly states that Eating is also a way of Burning. That means starving is never going to help us shed those extra pounds. 

So here are a few points that I would like you to take home:

  1. Do not go on crash diets (liquid diets, no carb diets, only soup-salad diets or only lean meat diets). Do not starve your body cells and torture your metabolism.
  2. Remember  there’s only one key to obtaining or maintaining a healthy weight : A healthy diet  combined with regular physical activity.
  3. By healthy diet, I mean a balanced meal containing appropriate portions of carbohydrates,proteins and fats.
  4. You will always need carbs to remain healthy, do not hate them or cut them out. Just choose healthier carbs. Avoid refined flour and sugar as much as you can as they are unhealthy carbs.
  5. An all protein diet can be dangerous, so have proteins but in controlled portions and with carbs.
  6. Do not avoid fats completely. Choose healthy fats like fish oils, cold pressed oils derived from various oil-seeds, extra-virgin olive oils, home-made Indian clarified butter or ghee that contribute their sincere % in DIT energy expenditure.

Choose your ingredients wisely, cook happily and eat with love and satisfaction 🙂 Never hate food if you want to stay fit and healthy.

6.2

Understanding AB-FLABS

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                       3.1

“It’s Saturday night. You are all set to enjoy the weekend, bust out all that stress of the week passed by. You open the closet, take out that favorite “little black dress” of yours and try it on as a rehearsal (Umm, Ladies we all do that, Accept it :P)Alas! You do fit into the dress but you realise something’s wrong =/ You don’t look good actually! You touch your abdomen and feel disgusted. Love handles and Muffin-top!!!!!! Arrrgghhhh 😦 “

Ok, now if you occasionally go for a jog or may be read a “health tip” that comes in your favorite magazine, you might know these terms. For the rest of you, let me explain – Love handles are those waistline fat (kind of like a rubber tyre fit into your waist, which sadly your lover holds on to). Muffin-tops on the other hand are those fat hanging over your abdomen when you wear a really tight pair of pants.

Hmmm…. Let’s take a little a bit of our time and try to understand the science behind. Our hormones (the chemical messengers of our body) are playing an active role in the creation of these disturbing FAT ZONES. Our Adrenal gland secretes 3 Stress Hormones namely Cortisol, Epinephrine and Norepinephrine. Whenever our body undergoes any stressful condition these hormones get secreted and start working. Definitely, nature has created these tiny molecules to stabilise our internal biology. But we have exploited our physiology and made them our enemies 😦

Whenever you skip a meal, do not give your body the desired amount of physical activity (i.e.. you don’t exercise), do not sleep for 6-8 hours daily, fall sick or really really stress your body, the level of these hormones rise, rise and rise. In an effort to save your body cells from these tortures, these hormones especially CORTISOL spikes up your blood sugar levels and stops the production of Insulin (because that’s the hormone that cleanses your extra blood glucose). When the stressor gets passed, all this extra sugar gets converted into your body fat. Interestingly, it is during this very same time that Cortisol starts mobilising fat from the healthy fat storing areas of your body like Butt and Hips and brings it all to your waistline and abdomen (as they have more “ cortisol-receptor cells”).

Now stop hating “Cortisol”. The fault is all yours. Each time you have stressed out your normal physiology, you have started generating and storing fat, resulting in the creation of these unpleasant FAT zones. So, how do you get rid of these “Muffin-tops and Love-handles”. Simple, you know it – Never skip a meal, do not stress out your normal metabolism with Stupid FAD Diets, start handling life happily (keep stress at bay), get rid of all unhealthy habits, sleep in peace for 8 hours daily and most importantly, stop giving yourself another excuse of not working out.

So, Ladies! Get into the “Good Habit Mode”, keep a check on your cortisol levels and say goodbye to those flabby regions 🙂

                                              3.2

Let’s start with “WHY”! Why Exercise?

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It’s strange that the most precious gifts of life are the ones least valued. Just like we have converted our planet earth into a huge waste-dumping site of modern day civilisation, similarly, we have made the human body in which we function the collection of all possible ailments.

Look around yourself and you will find people harming their bodies in all sorts of ways possible. Whether it is unhealthy eating habits (binge eating, over eating or sick dieting), lack of sleep or oversleep, smoking, drinking, getting stressed (from something as silly as a bad hair cut to the loss of a lump sum business deal), we are simply harming ourselves. In our search for the perfect life, we are happily torturing our bodies everyday. That old saying “Health is Wealth”, how often do we understand its real life applicability (unless “GOD forbid” our life has been hit by a serious illness). All I am trying to say here is that, if we create a balance to measure the value of the assets we possess or dreams we aspire to fulfil in life, everything else comes on one side and our HEALTH comes on the other side. The world we live in today and the lifestyle choices we pursue are full of  destructive behaviours that deteriorate our health every moment. But there is one activity that if transformed into a habit can help us minimise or control these detrimental changes to a large extent. That activity is the regular habit of EXERCISE or working out (whichever word u think is more “COOL”).

So, what is EXERCISE and what does it do to our body? It is nothing but certain physical movements that help your body (your vitals, muscles, skeleton etc. that constitute your body) perform better and help you get rid of things harmful for your body. It’s just that simple, seriously. Just like your water filter purifies the water you drink, similarly exercise purifies your body, flushes toxins out of your system, help your body get rid of those unwanted fat deposits and restores good hormonal balance. If all this means crap to you and your only concern is to fit into that dream GUCCI dress of yours or make your ex jealous or get more likes on a “sexy” Facebook profile picture of yours (C’mon that’s a big deal to our “attention seeking” generation), even then working out is the only thing that will help you achieve all that. Also, the healthier you are in the inside, the better you are going to look on the outside.

So, let’s wake up those sleepy portions of our head and heart that has always been giving us one reason or another to avoid exercise. Imagine a day of your life when you have given yourself a reason not to brush your teeth. How gross would you feel about those dirty yellow teeth with a bad breath, YUCK! Have you ever done that or would you ever do that to yourself (unless you are stuck in your trekking trip to the Everest and you forgot to carry your toothbrush in your travelling kit)? If we are so regular in taking good care of those 32 pieces of bone in our jaw then why do we hardly bother in taking regular care of the rest of our body? Strange but true, isn’t it???

Phewww…I hope I have made my point clear here. So let’s start taking good care of our bodies just like we take good care of our i-phone or BMW. Unlike these objects, there’s no EMI or IT Return concerns attached to our body cells. It’s easy, in fact it helps us to de-stress and feel really awesome about ourselves. So, are you starting to exercise today? 🙂

REMEMBER

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