Diet Myths You Always Believed

It is the universal truth that is seldom acknowledged that everyone secretly aspires to have an amazingly toned and healthy body. While it has been proved beyond a shred of doubt that achieving that takes time, patience, discipline, combined with exercising and a healthy diet – sometimes we tend to take desperate measures to get to the results quicker. However, not everything you read about dieting is true. Some of them are just tales to make you think you’re helping yourself whereas; you might really be putting yourself in terrible danger.

Here are some diet myths that you always believed to be true but sadly are not –

Crash diets help in weight loss

It has never been a good idea to suddenly stop your regular diet and start eating as little as possible. We have written in the past about how fad diet is the worst solution for weight loss. Crashing dieting only makes you lose the water weight and sometimes you would gain more weight than lose it. It also leads to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. A healthy diet is often misconstrued as eating less but your doctor and your nutritionist will tell you otherwise.

Not eating at night helps

Skipping meals will not help you lose weight. Period. Blood sugar tends to dip due to not consuming food, and when you wake up the next morning, you would be craving food that is loaded with carbs and sugar. It is better to be following a controlled and balanced diet than trying these rather harmful to health ideas.

Bananas make you fat

A lot of people believe that bananas are fattening. But the truth is, bananas are low in fat and are packed with potassium. To be precise, there is only 0.5g fat and 95 calories in a banana! It’s an excellent pre-workout meal and, no, when eaten in moderation, it does not make you fat.

Protein bars and shakes help you lose weight

Unfortunately, the advertisements for protein bars and shakes are completely wrong. Not all of them follow all the health protocols and sometimes it is just better to invest your time and energy in a sit-down meal. Some of the popular protein bars might be using bloat-causing additives like carrageenan and be using artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. It is best to do your research before you purchase any protein bars and make sure you are not allergic to any of their ingredients. As for protein shakes, it is better for you to make those at home with a selection of fruits and vegetables that are good for health. Besides, homemade beats store-bought every time!

Eating big portions of healthy food wouldn’t affect you

Ever heard the saying that too much of anything is bad? It continues to be true in the case of healthy food as well. The idea of a healthy diet is to make sure you eat right and eat the amount that is filling. If you stuff yourself up like a Christmas turkey, you will end up feeling that way!

Coffee can help you lose weight

The myth is that the caffeine in coffee would act as an appetite suppressant and metabolism booster. However, the truth is, too much coffee intake would only lead to sleeping disorders and anxiety. If you plan on getting your coffee from your favorite coffee shop, remember that the add-ons would only lead to more calories. Drinking a cup or two of coffee or tea a day without cream or sugar, however, would be perfectly fine for your health.

Drastically cutting down on calories helps

As discussed before, drastic measures never end well for anyone. If you cut down your calorie intake drastically, you might lose weight, but you will end up gaining it back again. Psychologically, you cannot change your diet overnight. In fact, you would end up feeling deprived and hungry if such were the case. The best thing to do is consult a nutritionist and figure out a weight loss plan that works best for you.

Skipping breakfast helps you lose weight

This is far from true. If you don’t eat breakfast, chances are you will be hungry throughout the day and try to compensate by eating rather unhealthy meals. Whereas; eating breakfast helps you manage your hunger better. Opt for healthy food items such as oatmeal with fresh berries for your morning breakfast.

You don’t need a controlled diet if you work out

There is an idea that if you hit the gym often enough, it doesn’t matter what you eat. However, people forget that exercise is not a punishment for what you just ate. It is more of a celebration about what your body can do. In the long run, if you continue with an unhealthy diet, it won’t matter how long or how fast you ran on the treadmill. Besides, sometimes the calorie counter on the machines are off and might give you misleading records of your health.

There are plenty of other myths floating around the internet too. If you are planning on changing your diet, then consult your doctor and nutritionist and figure the perfect diet for you. Doing crazy things to get faster results often backfire and you might end up doing permanent damage to your health.

What You Must Know About Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a procedure through which obese people lose weight by reducing the stomach size with the help of a gastric band or by removing a portion of the stomach or by re-routing small intestines to a small stomach pouch.

Owing to the fad of being small-sized, people feel bariatric surgery is done only to lose weight. However, that’s not the case. It also helps in recovering from Type II diabetes and minimizing cardiovascular risks thereby reducing the mortality rate. As per the U.S National Institutes of Health, bariatric surgery should be performed for obese people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at last 40. But recent researches suggest that bariatric surgery can be performed on any patient whose BMI is higher than 30.

Bariatric Surgery Procedure

There are three procedures through which bariatric surgery is performed namely:

  1. Predominantly Malabsorptive Procedures: The success rate of this procedure is derived from creating a physiological condition of malabsorption.
  2. Predominantly Restrictive Procedures: As the name suggests, this procedure is based upon restrictive measures like reducing oral intake by limiting gastric volume. The risk of metabolic complications is reduced with this procedure.
  3. Mixed Procedures: In this, malabsorptive and restrictive procedures are combined.

Following are the bariatric surgery procedures commonly performed in India:

  • Gastric Bypass Surgery

In this procedure, the stomach is divided into two pouches. The upper one is made into a small sized pouch and the remaining part becomes the larger pouch. The upper part of the stomach is separated from rest of the stomach by stapling and the small intestines are rearranged to allow connection of both sections of the stomach. This results in lesser food intake. 

  • Lap-Band Surgery

This procedure is also known as Adjustable Gastric Band. In this procedure, the smaller pouch is created placing a silicon rubber on top of the stomach. It is performed laparoscopically. Lap-Band surgery is touted to be the safest procedure of bariatric surgery.

  • Gastric Sleeve Procedure

Also known as Sleeve Gastrectomy, in this process, a significant portion of the stomach is reduced by creating a major curve. This is a permanent/irreversible process unlike Lap-Band or Gastric Bypass. This process is also performed laparoscopically and is generally recommended for highly obese people. 

Postoperative Rehabilitation

After undergoing bariatric surgery patients are put on a clear liquid diet for a couple of days after which they are shifted to a liquid diet for two weeks. The patient follows this diet until the recovery of gastrointestinal tract. After complete recovery, the patient can shift to normal diet but since the intake of food reduces due to the reduction in the size of the stomach, doctors prescribe a diet rich in proteins and lower fats.

While bariatric surgery is not a magic bullet for weight loss, by following the right diet and lifestyle, most of the patients are able to maintain their weight after the surgery without any issues.

Need vs. Fad

The obsession of losing weight and reducing size has made bariatric surgery a fad. The body undergoes major altercations after undergoing the surgery. The post-surgery life isn’t as easy or simple to lead on. There are permanent dietary changes that the patient has to adhere to. If you fail to do so, the consequences can be serious. The surgery isn’t a permanent solution to weight issues. People feel that once they go under the knife, they can live the rest of their lives enjoying eating and no exercising. This is a myth. One needs to have a healthy and regular exercise routine else the weight is bound to return.

Being overweight or obese has serious health issues. People should opt for bariatric surgery for medical conditions rather than aesthetics. The health issues such people face range from hypertension to cardiac arrest and diabetes.

Take into consideration the overall factors before undergoing such a drastic step until and unless your doctor has suggested you to take this route due to your health concerns. Consult a reputed bariatric surgeon to help you know the needs and effects of the surgery on your body.

 

10 Common Health Notions Examined Closely

Have you heard the notion about not swimming or taking a bath after you’ve eaten? There are many ways to become healthy, all roads lead to Rome kind of situation. Here are 10 common health notions dissected and presented so you can understand the truth thoughtfully too.

Drinking milk every day is good for you.

Call it aggressive marketing or an old wives tale, adults and even senior adults seem to have their hopes for health pinned on drinking milk every day. Milk is miraculous only up to a certain point for humans. Most grownups want to drink milk for their calcium and vitamin D fills. However, now compelling research now shows there is no direct link between drinking milk and less number of fractures in your life. On the contrary, there is a link with drinking milk and a higher rate of mortality in humans.

The 5-second rule of eating food dropped on the floor.

Have you heard this before? If you drop something on the floor, it’s ok to grab and eat it within five seconds of it falling. Now if it’s the last second chip from your pocket or your only piece of chocolate to sweeten your day – what would you do? Since you’ve heard of this common health notion before, you pick it up and eat it without a second thought, no? First, bacteria and virus don’t need seconds, they get attached to your food within milliseconds of falling on the floor. So give this notion a pass the next time your favourite food falls on the ground.

Don’t eat ice-cream when you have a cold

Most people find ice-cream comforting but if your kid has a cold ice-cream is a strict no-no in the house. Did you know? If you have a sore throat or are sick with a cold, ice-cream can soothe you. Besides, the notion “food the cold” stays true and ice-cream can give you those much-needed calories you otherwise may not get by starving yourself from sickness.

Sugar is bad for kids, it makes them hyperactive

One of the recent and most common notions is that sugar makes children hyper or refined sugar causes attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in kids. Be comforted that many scientific studies were conducted and these have failed to prove this notion.

Spending 1 hour a day at the gym is good for health 

Going to the gym and exercising an hour a day is great for you. However, did you know? Sitting at the desk or on your couch for five hours straight is equivalent to smoking a whole pack of cigarettes. Yes! Your one hour at the gym is one thing but you have many other hours in the day. Make the most of them too for better health.

Flu vaccination is only for babies

We all need a flu vaccination! Having flu is a serious illness and it can cause serious damage to your body, even cancer! Once you get the vaccination, before the flu season starts, it works without giving you side-effect. Prevention is always better than cure and so, flu vaccinations are critical even for adults and specifically the senior adults.

Taking supplements keep you healthy

Popping pills are fine but if you skip meals and then take supplements to make up the loss is a whole different matter. Vitamins don’t work that way. Taking vitamins or supplements without a go head from a physician is risky. Studies have now found a link between overuse of supplements and increased risk of cancer.

Drink 8 glasses of water daily to lose weight

Drinking water and staying hydrated is important but strictly eight glasses? If you replace caffeinated drinks with water or replace your canned fruit juices with water, you will consume fewer calories in that perspective.

Cure a hangover by drinking one more of whatever you had last night

No, that one shot of tequila again in the morning will not help your hangover. Even coffee is bad to follow up after all the alcohol binging. You are dehydrated so drinking more alcohol or coffee will prolong the effect rather than help it. Drink lots of water and get breakfast instead.

Sugar causes diabetes

Diabetes is complex and there are is no compelling research to suggest a direct link of sugar with diabetes disease. However, if you consume sugary drinks and sports drinks, you can become overweight and weight gain is associated with many diseases, not just diabetes.

With so much information right at your fingertips now, you can’t help but examine these common health notions that people throw at you every day. So the next time you hear something, question it and do the right thing for your health.

 

 

Reduce That Beer Belly Without Cutting Down On Beer

No one needs to tell you that drinking beer reduces stress levels, but it’s true. Studies have shown two beers help students study better! Researchers have also proved that drinking beer moderately can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, if you push it and have a little more than necessary gives you that beer belly though. That’s what happens when you take in too much of a good thing. If you have already, use these tips to reduce that beer belly without cutting down with beer.

Clean up Your Diet

Beer already has calories and if you have too many beers that’s too many calories your body can handle. So cleaning up your diet is the first step. Include more plants, healthy fats such as fish or protein like chicken. Include complex carbs such as whole grains to improve your metabolism. As you age, your metabolism decreases and so, you need these essential nutrients that help increase your metabolism and burn those extra calories. So remember to increase fiber and clean up your body.

Don’t Skip Meals

Ok so beer has too many calories, but that does not mean you skip meals to make up for those extra calories. Eat food but in small quantities, so your body can digest it properly. Sleep early so you can wake up for a good breakfast, each lunch and have buttermilk during lunch to help fasten the digestion process and so on and so forth. If you skip meals, your metabolism will be negatively affected and not eating will only bloat more gas into your beer belly.

Eat Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do to keep your belly fat. Having a good wholesome meal in the beginning of the day kick starts your metabolism and keeps it running for the rest of the day. If you skip this most important meal of the day, your body slows down the metabolism and whatever you consume will be even more difficult to burn later.

Skip the Elevator

If your lifestyle is so busy that you don’t have the time or motivation to go the gym, take the stairs. This simple activity boosts your metabolism because it burns more calories in less time. If you are consistent, you could lose nearly 3 kilos a year – just by taking the stairs! Imagine that.

Lift Weights

If you have the time and the motivation to hit the gym, then pump iron. Even lifting weights burns more calories in less time, therefore, boosting your metabolism to burn that beer belly fat. You can combine the weights with the running and aerobic exercises you already do. Don’t be scared about lifting weights if you are a woman too. You won’t become a body-builder type of person overnight and just by lifting weights. Find the right trainer to help you with your goals.

Yes, Relax.

No no, relaxing is not being lazy. You can relax, get some much-needed downtime to regroup and refocus on yourself. Doing this will help you lose that beer belly more. How, you ask? When you relax and don’t think about your belly or other issues in your life, your body produces more cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, and an increased level in your body is good for you. Cortisol gives your body more energy by burning more calories. There are so many ways to relax, watch a great movie, read a good book or take a nap! Whatever you do, make sure you have downtime scheduled in your day to reduce that beer belly!

 

Beer is not just alcohol, it is packed with essential vitamins and good gut bacteria which are all great for your health and well being. Moderation is key though so remember you can have your beer, but do not overdo it for maximum health benefits.

The Biggest Weight Loss Myths You Need to Stop Believing Today

We now live in such modern times that you can’t help but be obsessed with weight loss. It’s hard to avoid new and interesting notions because you would try anything to lose those extra kilos, no? Every day there is a new super diet or a super food, pills or green drinks that promise to help tackle your weight loss woes. If you want to stay fit and healthy while losing weight, then you need to stop believing these biggest weight loss myths right away.

Myth: Skipping meals is the best way to lose weight.

Many, many people skip their meals and think that this is the best way to lose weight. This is incorrect beyond your wildest measures. Starving not only makes you weak, but it also increases your cravings for high-calorie food.

Myth: Drinking many litres of water helps in weight loss.

Sometimes, it’s great to drink water instead of reaching for that bag of salty chips or sweet sugary processed biscuits. Drinking water to fill your stomach so you would eat less will again make you cranky, nutrient-poor, and crave for foods that are high-fat, high sugar. This is not so good for weight loss.

Myth: Exercise daily for an hour to lose weight.

Everyone has a different body. Some people think doing high-intensity exercises and eating less during the day will help them lose weight. This is not true. Truth is, you need to make up for all the times you are sitting down by moving your body in the day. Different workouts suit different people.

Myth: The more hours you do the workout, the more you’ll lose the weight.

No! Exercising too much will make you fatter. This is because the more calories you burn, the hungrier it makes you. There is exhaustion leading to hormonal exhaustion and that increases your body’s tendency to store fat.

Myth: I go to the gym so I can eat that.

When you go to the gym, the exercise and fitness routines help you justify the food you are already eating. If you think you can eat extra or eat “bad food” and then go to the gym, it will not make a difference. In fact, it will take you longer to lose those extra kilos you put on for letting yourself go last weekend.

Myth: Only white sugar is the bad sugar.

Whether it’s white sugar or brown sugar, all sugars have the same makeup source, that is glucose, fructose, sucrose or a combination. You need a little sugar which you can get from fruits or good food items like sweet yogurt which also has calcium and protein. So make sure you control the servings of pastries and soft drinks to reduce the intake of sugar.

Myth: Artificial sweeteners help weight loss.

You’ll find these in diet soda drinks, energy drinks, sugar-free chewing gum. Artificial sweeteners are loaded with fake sugars. These are addictive and that’s why you keep consuming these products. Artificial sweeteners disturb your metabolism, your appetite and cause weight gain.

Myth: I can pop “pills” or “drink this” to lose weight easily.

This is one of the most cynical myths, they are not safe for you at all. We are talking about the unlicensed, unpatented, unprescribed pills in the market. These products have harmful chemicals that are terrible for you. Consult a certified doctor before you indulge in quick-fixes as these.

Myth: Low-fat food is great for losing weight and keeping it off.

That low-fat food is heaped with sugar! When your body can’t process excess sugar, it stores it back in your body as fat. You need good fat, essential fatty acids, for example from dry fruits like almond, coconut oil, etc. for proper cell growth, glowing skin and even to lose excess weight!

Myth: Snacking between the meals is bad for you.

For your blood sugar to stay normal, you need food in your body every 3-4 hours. When the blood sugar is normal, you won’t get unwanted sugar or salt cravings. If your body thinks it’s deprived of sugar or salt to stabilize the blood sugar, then it will go into survival mode and make you reach for that cupcake or chips.

Myth: Eating certain foods will help me lose weight.

Some people believe eating chilies will help you lose weight. Although some calories are burnt while digesting chillies, the calories lost is very insignificant. If you want to improve your metabolism, it’s better for you to workout instead.

Myth: It is better to lose weight slowly.

Some people assume that if you lose weight quickly, you will gain it back at the same rate too. That’s why most keep away from programs that help you lose quickly. It is not entirely true if you loose that weight through a structured program and a good balance of food and exercise. Research shows that those who lose a lot of weight in a short time, reach their weight loss goals quickly and that motivates them to stay that way.

Myth: Don’t eat carbs after lunch.

Ideally, eating fewer carbs at night will reduce calorie intake and increase your metabolism which helps you lose weight. Avoiding carbs completely reduces your metabolism which will make it harder for you to lose weight. Weight loss is not about carbs, it’s about how active you are and how many calories you burn each day.