7 Reasons Women Should Say YES To Protein 

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Often we see men (who work-out) taking high protein meals, we look at those big jars of protein supplements and imagine heavy masculine muscular bodies. I have personally been living in this myth for a long time until I started learning more about nutrition and supplementation. I realised the importance of protein whether taken naturally or as a supplement.

Here are 7 important reasons why women should say YES to Protein:

1. Protein is the most essential component in building muscle mass. Out of the 20 amino acids that make protein, 9 are essential which means our body cannot produce them on it’s own. That’s why we need to make sure that we incorporate them into your diet regularly.

2. Women who exercise regularly make their muscles go through a lot of wear and tear. When your protein intake is good, your body’s tissue repairing process gets much faster. As a result the new muscles grow back to be even stronger.

3. Women are much more prone to eating junk especially giving in to their sugary cravings. A good protein diet will completely wipe off this craving because your body digests protein very slowly. Hence, you are going to remain fuller and stay away from your cravings for longer periods of time.

4. Protein has the highest thermic effect. Thermic effect is the amount of calories your body utilises to process and utilise a nutrient. Hence, taking a good protein diet, helps you burn calories much more effectively. Especially a post-workout protein shake will not only repair your muscles but help you continue with the post-workout burn.

5. Scarcity of protein in your diet leads your body to eat up your own muscle mass. As a result your physical strength decreases and your body loses it’s vitality.

6. Protein boosts your immune system. Whey protein supplements are a great source of glutathione, an important amino acid that boosts up the immune system. Since this amino acid is rarely available from the usual sources of dietary protein, taking a whey supplement is immensely beneficial in protecting your body from illness.

7.Proteins accelerate the process of building lean muscle mass. The more lean muscles you build, the greater you start burning away your flabs.

So, whether it is chicken, fish, eggs, beans, soy, nuts, mushrooms or your favourite whey protein shake, don’t shy away from Proteins. A good strength training routine incorporated with a good intake of dietary protein will help you remain gorgeous forever 🙂

             

8 WAYS TO FIGHT PMS

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fofi3

Dear Ladies, we all have been there and we keep visiting that state almost every month before our cycle begins! PMS or Pre-menstrual syndrome is one of the many loads that we carry in our bag pack of womanhood. It is the collection of many physical and psychological discomforts that arise just before our monthly cycles. From bloating to breast tenderness, mood swings to fatigue, acne to constipation, it’s a big list of ailments 😦 My personal worst enemies being bloating and mood swings.

I recently read a lot about the ways in which we can fight away our PMS ailments or at least keep them under check. I actually tried and tested them on myself and found them to be extremely beneficial. So, ladies here are the 8 best ways to kick off PMS 🙂

  1. Exercise, Exercise and Exercise: Aaah, I know I am a big propagator of “working-out” but trust me it actually helps more during this time of the month. Exercise helps you get a boost of endorphins or the happy hormones that ease out pain. Also it increases your levels of Serotonin, a mood-lifting neurotransmitter that will make you feel so much more alive and active and kick away all those cramps and mood swings.
  2. Drink a lot of water and cut out on salt because these are the best ways to avoid bloating.  Make sure you are drinking enough water and avoiding all kinds of super-salty chips, snacks and other condiments. Try drinking home-made flavoured waters by squeezing some citrus fruits to it.
  3. Cut down on Alcohol: To all the ladies who drink occasionally, say a big “NO” to all those happy hour enticements. Stay away booze and you will be just fine 🙂
  4. Get adequate rest: It is extremely important for you to get a lot of rest in this time of the month. Not only will it help you in taking care of your sleep cycles but will, most importantly, help your body to fight off the physiological changes that take place during this time. De-stressing will help you to keep your hormones calm as well.
  5. Cut out Caffeine: 😦 This did make me sad initially as I am a big time coffee-holic. However, cutting out your caffeine intake during this time really helps you in fighting breast tenderness, one of the most uncomfortable effects of PMS. Instead drink a glass of cold milk or try adding some berries and other fruits and spice it up into a cool milk-shake 🙂
  6. Take vitamin and mineral supplements: You may also try taking vitamin B6, B12, D, folic acid, calcium, magnesium supplements, just to make sure you have enough micro-nutrients in your body.
  7. Stay away from Sugar: Sugary foods are unhealthy always but in this time they are even more unfriendly. They play a big role in aggravating PMS by elevating those uncomfortable cramps. So stay away from them.
  8. Eat a lot of fruits and veggies: As always, fibres and phytonutrients from fruits and veggies will make you stronger and help you feel better.

So, the next time the ‘evil next-door neighbour’ PMS knocks at your door, adopt these 8 measures and kick it away happily 🙂

fofi4

 

Understanding our Hormones (Part 1)

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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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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.

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The Beauty of Lifting Weights

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There’s a very widely spread myth among women around the world. At some level I feel that this myth is one of the main reasons for women staying away from exercise. Most women and even men, who try to set a foot into the habit of daily exercising, often stick to a self-made cardio-vascular activity (like brisk walking or running). Well, that’s good, cardio is definitely good, but do you know the magic benefits that resistance training / strength training does to your bodies?All you ladies out there, if I ask you- “Why are you so scared of lifting weights?” I am sure your answer will be- “ Because I am a woman and I just need to shed my body fat (just a few pounds). Why do I need to lift weights for that? I don’t want muscular biceps and triceps. That’s so masculine and gross, it’s going to hurt my feminine body structure 😦

*Beep Beep*…High time for the reality check! LADIES, what if I tell you that weights are your actual best friends, your best weapon to shed all that ugly, unwanted, unhealthy body fat and build a lean healthy body!

Let me try explaining you the science behind. Working out with weights (in the form of free weights like dumbbells/ kettle bells, resistance band or weight machines) is known as strength training or resistance training. Basically, when you lift a weight, you are providing resistance to your muscles to induce muscular contractions. The concept is simple- “Muscles of the body work to overcome a resistance force when they are required to do so.” Thus, when you do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, your muscles start working actively and become stronger. Not only does it strengthens your muscles, but also it provides your body with all-round “super-benefits”.

So, what are these “super-benefits”? (Let’s learn these as sincerely as we learnt our first alphabets 🙂 )-

  1. Improved muscle strength i.e. your overall physical strength increases.
  2. Reduced body fat – As your muscles get stronger, they start burning away all the intra-muscular and unwanted fat (especially helpful in getting rid of visceral fat i.e. the hideous AB FLABs).
  3. Tones your muscles (you get those hot buns and legs, fabulous arms and ripped up abs)
  4. Increases bone density and joint function (extremely important for us women as we have a natural deficit of calcium and tendency for weak skeletal structure, especially post-pregnancy and post-menopause;  No more back ache, knee pain or twisted ankle complains).
  5. Increases stamina as your it increases the anaerobic endurance of our bodies (I promise you are not going to get dull tired and fatigued easily).
  6. Improved posture and balance (You will attain the grace and poise of those red-carpet ladies).
  7. Get rid of insomnia as your sleep cycles start improving.
  8. Increases strength of your tendons and ligaments.
  9. And last but not the least, it helps your body to stay balanced, independent and strong with ageing as it improves your overall body definition.

WOW 🙂 So many benefits and you thought that lifting weights would make you Arnold Schwarzenegger (umm… not saying that to all men reading this post, in fact it will help you become like the Terminator man). Ladies, start strength training and you will end up becoming as strong as Madonna and as hot as Beyoncé or J.Lo 😉

Of course, just like any other form of exercise, resistance training needs to be done in its correct form (the right weight, the right exercise and the right number of repetitions required) and hence, needs to be done under trained supervision. You can also do it yourself provided you learn and maintain the correct form.

So, include resistance training in your workout schedule say Good-bye to a weak flabby body and Hello to a strong, lean body 🙂

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