Thursday, 6 July 2017

Common Weight Loss Myths Debunked by the Diet Expert

You come across your best friend skipping lunch to lose weight and you wonder is it this the real deal, is this what it takes to lose weight? 
If you're thinking about adopting some of their "healthy" habits, think again. Read on to separate fact from fiction. Here are some common misbelieved myths that are debunked by Celebrity Nutritionist Harpreet Pasricha

  1. To lose weight, should I skip dinner or should I just have a fruit and milk for dinner?Answer: Salt free dinner or skipping dinner might give weight loss but the bitter truth is it's temporary. It will only slow down metabolism and will result in an increase of fat% in the body with which the weight will bounce back. This will also lead to deficiencies of vitamin B, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and many more which will cause cravings, hormonal imbalances, hair fall and so on.
  2. I want to lose weight, should I give up foods like Mango, Rice, Sweets etc.?
    Answer: Of course not! You should not deprive yourself from all your favourite foods. Deprivation will lead to overeating. Giving up on foods will not help, eating the right foods at the right time with the right combinations will help in weight loss.  Rather you should keep away yourself from dead foods like biscuits, cereals, nankeens and eat real foods. Mango, rice, homemade butter are real foods rich with nutrients which will rather help in weight and fat loss.
  3. Are flavoured yoghurts less fattening than ice-cream?
    Answer: Yoghurts have gained a lot of popularity because of its probiotics. But not all yoghurts are made the same way and not all yoghurts are as healthy as you might think. Most of the readymade yoghurt are laden with sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservative and additives which will prevent weight loss. I would recommend the use of homemade yoghurt (Dahi) to the ones available in the market. You can flavour by using seasonal fruits like mango, strawberry etc.
  4. Does warm water make you lose weight?
    Answer: Body would eventually convert the temperature of the water to the ideal body temperature. Though warm water doesn’t help in weight loss, it can help a bit in digestion. However warm water or cold water is an individual’s choice and may not affect weight loss.
  5.  Does drinking lemon juice water in the mornings help in weight loss?
    Answer: No waters whether it is lemon or cucumber or ginger water will act as miracle drink and melt away all the fat magically from your body. These waters do acts as a diuretic and throws excess water out of your system hence making one feel lighter, but remember it's not melting away your fat. The right way to lose fat and weight is by eating right proportion of carbohydrate, protein and fat.
  6. Is it true to lose weight one should eat less and workout more?
    Answer: This formula only works for a few kilos, before the body stops losing weight. Desperately slashing calories or exercising TOO much, disrupts the hormone cycle in your body. It reacts by overcompensating, creating cravings that force you to overeat. It slows your metabolism to compensate for the decrease in calories.
    Both these processes will happen together because cutting calories plummets your leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone that helps regulate your weight (by controlling hunger and your metabolism).
    In other words, if you’re PUNISHING your body to lose weight, you’re picking a fight you can’t win with Leptin, as it’s the most powerful hormone related to weight loss.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Eat less, Workout more: Breaking down the old school weight loss method.

To lose weight - one should eat less and workout more?            

Theoretically, it should work out that way, but the human body is far more complex than that.  Frenzied workouts while starving yourself will only work for few kilos. It’s a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

What happens next is the body stops losing weight. When you desperately slash calories, or exercise TOO much, it disrupts the hormone cycle in your body. Making your body feel its survival is under threat.

 Your body inherently reacts by overcompensating. It creates irresistible cravings that force you to overeat (many times even when you’re not even hungry!). This is the body’s survival response which in prehistoric times would have ensured continued existence. As a result, it beats up your metabolism to compensate for the drastic decrease in calories, because it’s worried about starvation.

 Both the cravings and the sluggish metabolism will happen together because cutting calories too much plummets your leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone that helps regulates your weight (by controlling hunger and your metabolism).

 In other words, if you’re PUNISHING your body to lose weight by starving yourself and overtraining, you’re picking a fight you can’t win.  Leptin both fortunately and unfortunately is one of the most powerful hormones in your body related to weight loss, there are no two ways about that.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Give your Spouse the Gift of Health

There are so many emotions surrounding Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a good time to celebrate the most important relationship of all – the one we have with our spouse and his/her health. Valentine’s Day is not just about gifts, chocolates and dating but loving care for your spouse’s health and nutrition. It is important to support your spouse in his quest for a healthier lifestyle, body image and overall health.

This Valentine’s Day, couples should make a commitment to improve their relationship with each other and their health in general.

Some dietary tips for couples:

  • Encourage each other to lose weight the right way: Be supportive of one another in making healthy choices when it comes to diet, regular exercise and nutrition.

  • Motivate each other to stay on an effective weight loss program: Middle age tends to contribute to problems like pot bellies, double chins and other unsightly issues.
    Motivate each other to eat right, stay on the right diet plan and look healthy.

  • Make Healthy Food choices while Eating Out: When eating out choose salads, fruits and nuts and avoid extra dressing, garnishing and stuff that will add to your weight woes. Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.

Sunday, 1 January 2017


Is your new year’s resolution weight loss too?

Are you following an old method to lose weight by eating less calories and exercising more?
In the past, in order to lose weight fast, people would follow a low calorie diet.  There are many medical practitioners and dieticians that are still following the low calorie method. Due to this concept, many people started downloading the calorie app to keep track of their calorie intake in order to lose weight.

The truth

Studies have documented that 95% of the people who ate fewer calories did not lose weight. To lose weight you have to eat right. Eating less or low calorie which is not nutritive or wholesome will make you gain weight for e.g. A diet coke has zero calories as compared to an apple which has 80 calories, now if you go by calories, diet coke would be a great option in comparison to apple. But in reality, the apple will not only provide you good nutrients but will also lead to weight loss due to negative calories (as the apple requires more food energy to be digested than it provides)

How do I lose weight right way? Is this what you are thinking?

The solution

Do not follow low calorie, crash diets, fad diet and rigorous exercises. In order to lose weight, firstly focus on the nutrients required by your body.

The mantra is to focus on the right proportion of Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats, Minerals and Vitamins.
a)      Complex digestible carbohydrates such as grain products (preferably whole grains) such as bread, rice, cereal as well as fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods.
b)      Fats: Mainly essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) E.g. Nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds (chia, hemp, flaxseeds), sardine, salmon, soyabean etc. Good fats such as coconut oil, desi ghee, avocado and egg yolks.
c)      Protein: Complete and High biological value such as Fish, poultry, whole egg.

·         Secondly, hormones play an important role with regards to our weight. Some foods release fat burning hormones and some foods release fat storing hormones. One of the most important foods that play a role in regulating hormones is fat. Many of us think that by eliminating fat or eating boiled food we are one step closer to our weight loss target. But the truth is one has to eat fat to burn fat. You need to incorporate the right type of fat in order to move the stubborn fat. Fat is good for you and for your metabolism.  Good fat in nuts and seeds [restricted amounts] will not make you fat and cause weight gain.

·         And lastly, one can only lose weight if their body is in happy state. You all must be wondering what does that mean. It’s very simple "happy state of body" is when there are no deficiencies or diseases. One can lose weight and fat percentage only if these two factors are absent. Before working on your weight loss resolution, make sure to check your parameters regularly like Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Haemoglobin, Blood Pressure, Diabetes etc. These parameters decide if your body is in a healthy and happy state. In order to respond to the attempt of right weight and fat loss, your body therefore needs to be disease and deficiencies free.

So before working on your new year’s resolution, make sure to focus on these 3 important things for a drop in waist size. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Kick-start Mondays!! Fight Monday Blues with right foods

Most of us have had that ‘Monday morning’ feeling, when getting out of the bed feels like the end of the world! After the weekend bids a fond goodbye, most of our Mondays tend be sad, gloomy and tiring.

But don’t worry, help is at hand. With just a few mood-boosting additions to your diet, both your mood and energy levels can stay up all day.

·         Dark Chocolate: For all those with a sweet tooth, snack on 2 squares of dark chocolate mid work. Chocolates that contain 70% of cocoa and over are not only fantastic mood boosters, they are also rich in anti-aging anti-oxidants.

·         Protein Rich Sources: If you want to increase your mood-lifting dopamine levels a little more naturally, protein rich choices like cheese, eggs and chicken all contain the tryptophan amino acid that triggers the brain to produce the hormone. Dopamine and serotonin are linked with producing natural effects of euphoria and pleasure.

·         Fruits: Fruits like pineapple, watermelon, blueberries and apples all act as an ideal pick-me-up, thanks to their ability to increase the dopamine and serotonin in the body. 

·         Go potassium: Low potassium levels have been linked with stress, irritability and tiredness, so any source of potassium will get you feeling calm and ready for anything in no time. Great sources of potassium can be found in avocados, dried fruit and dark chocolate.

·         Water: Managing at least five glasses of water per day not only keeps the skin looking fresh and healthy, it also helps to fight feelings of fatigue. Increased tiredness is a common cause of dehydration. But if you’re not a big water fan, you can always add in slice of lemon and crushed ice for an extra kick.

·         Beans and more: Most of us are often lost when it comes to Tiffin ideas. So adding foods like kidney beans, lentils, alfalfa broad beans to a mixed bean salad will not only go easy on the waistline, but will also keep you active.

Make sure to include these foods and Have an Energetic Monday and a happy week ahead.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


In our state Goa, there isn’t a drastic drop in temperature and we don’t get a luxury to curl up under a comforter and sip on some hot chocolate or soup.  However, if you are travelling to North India or vacationing in cold countries such as Ireland, Switzerland, UK etc, you would require winter foods to cope with a dismal, dreary late-winter chill. Even though you may cover your body with a coat, shawl or sweater to keep yourselves warm, there are certain foods that are best consumed in the winter which have thermogenic effect on the body. As winters can affect your mood and energy levels, these foods have an ability to raise your body temperature and keep you warm and active.
It will also help to rev up your metabolic engine and narrow your waistline. Some of the most effective winter foods are:

·         Ginger: Gingers promotes thermogenesis (a process by which heat is generated when food is digested.) Ginger has a lot of health benefits like improving the respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, blood circulation, digestion and boosting immune system. The warm calming effects of ginger can actually help you deal with stress as well. You can also add it to your stews, soups, teas and curries.

·         Garlic:  Garlic is known for its anti bacterial and anti viral properties. In winters, conditions like asthma and bronchitis becomes exaggerated. Consuming garlic will help reduce these conditions. Garlic also lowers cholesterol and can be easily added to soups, gravies and chutneys. Remember to chop the garlic and letting it sit for 15 minutes before cooking as this activates beneficial enzymes which help in reducing oxidation in the body.

·         Whole egg: These foods have a high thermogenic effect. Since a lot of energy is required to digest lean protein, the energy that is expended will burn more calories. Also these foods help you to build muscle.

·         Cinnamon: They are an excellent option for heat production in your body. Winter is the season to load your meals with all kinds of spices. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, aids in digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.

·         Pepper:  Pepper tops the chart when it comes to warming foods. It can be easily incorporated in the daily diet. Pepper is used in almost all cuisines. It can be added to soups, curries etc. Ground pepper can be added to tea making it a refreshing and healthy beverage. Try green tea with some pepper corns next time. 

·         Fats (clarified ghee, virgin coconut oil): Coconut oil and clarified ghee are beneficial as it provides with medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are not found in other fats. These oils have a thermogenic effect that lasts for 24 hours, so using a couple of tablespoons of it each day may help your metabolism over time. These oils do not just have a high nutritional value but can also helps to boost your immune system.



November to December is the months filled with ecstatic celebrations all around the globe. It all starts with Diwali the festival of lights and the beautiful wedding ceremonies and ends with Christmas and the New Years Eve. All festivals bring with it the joy of the festival and ceremonious food that is awaited all year long. While savouring the food, be careful! You don’t want your weight tipping to the wrong side of the scale. Also, New Years does not have to be about a big bulge. Here are some useful health tips that will prevent weight gain and make you the centre of attraction this Season:

·        Eat Wise, Drop a Size
Even while attending parties and weddings, one can still maintain a healthy lifestyle by
§  A healthy wholesome breakfast (Upma, wheat bread sandwich, besan chilas), which will prevent you from overindulging throughout the day.
§  Indulge in free foods in between the meals like lemon water, buttermilk, green tea, fruits and yoghurt. These foods will keep you energetic and active.
§  Avoid fasting and feasting. Do not stay hungry for long, instead try to have small frequent meals or you will end up eating extra high calorie foods.
§  Control portion size. Take small servings on your plate.
§  Choose grilled chicken/fish or baked/grilled/steamed vegetables over batter fried foods. Instead of fried snacks, pick up handful of dry-fruits, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

·        Happiness in Every Bite
Everyone tries to indulge in a bit of sweets during the season.
§  Select dark chocolate as it contains beneficial antioxidants, less sugar and is free of additives.
§  While indulging in sweets, make sure it is done to moderation.
§  Avoid fried and sugar laden sweets like gulab jamun and kajukatli, instead opt for rasgulla, pedas or rice kheer.
§  Curb those desert pangs with options like a bowl of fruits or low calorie yogurts.

·        Party “Patrol”
Most of the celebrations are often considered incomplete without a glass of liquor as accompaniment. While you cannot steer clear from alcohol. Keep in mind the following while consuming alcohol
§  Opt for white or red wine over cocktails or mock tails.
§  Always start with a small measure of alcohol for e.g. start with 30 ml and slowly increase to 45 ml.
§  Keep yourself well hydrated. Make sure to have enough water at regular intervals. Do not confuse thirst with hunger.
§  It is very important to snack before you drink. You can include snacks like nuts (Almonds, Walnuts), seeds (Hemp, Chia and Flaxseeds), Salted veggies or Roasted/Boiled chana.
§  Pre dinner bites are a great way to keep your glucose levels stable. You can include options like bowl of sprouts, milk shake, egg white salad, sweet potato, whole wheat bread sandwich.

·        Post party or wedding
§  Eat a wholesome breakfast (a bowl of cereal with a handful of raisins or fruit platter)
§  Maintain water intake (12-15 glasses of water)
§  Munch on foods high in potassium (bananas, apricots and pumpkin) and water (cucumbers, celery and melon) to flush the excess water out of your cells and reduce bloating.
§  Try to have a fruit slush or smoothie to maintain electrolytes lost due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.
§  Try not to skip your exercise even if it is just a walking session.