fitness
GOOD HEALTH

Fad is not fit
Fad diets are idiosyncratic and promote only short-term weight loss. These 
diets can only cause side-effects and health problems in the long run 

Mickey Mehta 

Weight loss today has become a mandate for most of us. But reasons for losing weight and working towards it vary to huge extents. Nearly 75 per cent of population wishes to lose weight for social acceptance. A very small and negligible percentage of people, seriously attempt weight loss as a compulsion for a disease-free future.

Losing weight, because you need to look your best at the wedding next month, may be a reason to achieve temporary weight loss. Otherwise when there is no such compulsion, you binge on your most favorite food items. This continuous abusing of the body with heavy fat and sugar laden meals alternating with complete deprivation of food can be extremely disastrous to the body.

The Atkins is a high-protein diet that should not be sustained for long as it may be harmful to the kidneys
The Atkins is a high-protein diet that should not be sustained for long as it may be harmful to the kidneys

Food faddism is referred to as idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns that promote short-term weight loss, usually with no concern for long-term weight maintenance, and enjoy temporary popularity. People fall prey to a number of fad diets. These diets can only cause side-effects and health problems in the long run. Most popular fad diets have numerous disadvantages.

The popular fad diets often focus on a single ingredient such as cabbage soup diet or cottage cheese diet! Following is a list of diets that have been adopted by many people, including celebrities.

n Cabbage soup diet: This comes in the category of crash diets and includes substituting major meals of the day with cabbage soup. Consumption of this soup with no limit on the quantity till your stomach is full is an overview of this dietary pattern.

n Lemonade diet: Again a crash diet where no solid food is allowed during the diet period. The lemonade's recipe includes lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper unlike the authentic lemonade. Laxatives, lemon juice and herbal teas are permitted as well. Liquid diets like these must never be followed as health consequences include diarrhea, dizziness and nausea.
The detox diet is very low-calorie diet in which nutrition is obtained solely from various juices
The detox diet is very low-calorie diet in which nutrition is obtained solely from various juices

n Chicken soup diet: A healthy breakfast is permitted along with continuous stuffing of chicken soup as and when you feel hungry. So a bulk amount of chicken soup needs to be prepared and only that is to be consumed after breakfast in place of lunch, dinner, etc.

n Atkins diet: Though widely practiced, this low or no-carbohydrate and high-protein diet should not be sustained for long as it leads to the formation of ketone bodies that may be harmful to the body and hence pressurise the kidneys. Hormone imbalances and metabolic disturbances may also be seen with prolong continuation.

n Juice / detox diet: A very low calorie diet in which nutrition is obtained solely from the juices of various fruits and vegetables. This cannot be followed for a long period of time as it can result in severe complications due to energy deficiency.

The side-effects of following these fads diets are many! It goes without saying that weight loss will be pronounced. But the question remains as to what are we wanting to lose.
In chicken soup diet, this soup can be consumed after breakfast in place of lunch, dinner, etc
In chicken soup diet, this soup can be consumed after breakfast in place of lunch, dinner, etc

Our body is made up of two things: Muscle mass or fat-free mass and adipose tissue mass or fat mass. These diets are devoid of proper and healthy nutrition and when followed too often can cause breakdown of the muscle mass resulting in stunted growth due to protein and energy deficit. Constipation and alternatively diarrhoea, gastric pain, acidity, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, increased hunger, no satiety, loss of gastric and intestinal motility, headaches, body ache, skin problems such as darkening and acne, hair loss and thinning of hair, dryness of skin, lack of concentration, low mental energy levels, loss of focus, etc. are all common symptoms, which happen due to loss of vital nutrients. Continuing these diets for longer periods can result in serious complications causing massive disturbances in metabolic activities and organ functions.

Sound health is a feeling of complete wellbeing and a state of optimal physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well being. Good nutrition, exercises, rest and meditation are the answers.
Cabbage soup diet includes substituting major meals of the day with this soup
Cabbage soup diet includes substituting major meals of the day with this soup 

One of the biggest problems of modern world is obesity. The need of the hour is a holistic approach in tackling this malaise. Resorting to unhealthy and quick methods like fad diets, starvation diets and over exercising in search of unrealistic goals of weight loss can cause great harm to one's physical and mental health. Regular exercises, good nutritious and balanced diet, yoga, meditation, rest and prayers are the key tools to stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually due to their tremendous therapeutic benefits like controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes etc. Fitness and good health must be a long-term commitment and never a fad.

Hence follow a dietary pattern that will first suffice the nutrient requirements of your body and then look out for your daily calorie needs. Therefore, don't run after hyped-up tag lines that highlight eight-kg weight loss in one or two months but indulge in a nutrient-dense diet concentrating on the quantity, proportion and quality of foods and daily exercise like jogging, swimming, yoga, Pilates, aerobics etc that will keep you fit not just from the outside but also from the inside. Incorporate natural, wholesome foods like whole grains, vegetables, sprouts, fruits, beans, nuts, herbs etc. Avoid processed foods, deep-fried foods, desserts, alcohol, soft drinks etc and avoid long gaps between meals. Have small helpings of fruits, nuts, salads etc in between meals to prevent binge eating.

The writer is one of the leading holistic health gurus and has a health portal www.mickeymehtahbf.com

 















Warm up for a healthy heart
Cold temperatures can lead to an almost 53 per cent rise in the risk of heart attacks. So keep yourself insulated against winter chills
Dr Pradeep Nambiar

THE heart is the most vital organ of our body and must be taken care of all year round. However, winter is a season that calls for special attention. Cold temperatures can lead to an almost 53 per cent rise in the risk of heart attacks.

A dip in mercury levels not only increases blood pressure but also causes the level of certain proteins to shoot up which can lead to blood clots. As the weather gets colder, your heart needs to start working harder to maintain optimal levels of body heat.

Further, the cold weather tightens the arteries which restricts blood flow and reduces the oxygen supply to heart, putting more strain on it and upping the danger of heart attacks. Another factor which leads to heart attacks in the winter is insufficient exposure to sunlight. This leads to a lack of vitamin D in the body which poses a huge risk to the heart. Cold weather also causes changes in the hormonal balance of the body and the hormones involved, such as cortisol, can lower the threshold for cardiovascular strain.

The good news, however, is that heart disease is easy to prevent if one is careful and proactive. Checking your susceptibility is the first step in this direction. There are several ways to detect an impending heart disorder, including blood tests and do-it-yourself home checks. One must also keep a tab on one's lifestyle to ensure good heart health. Maintaining good cholesterol level is most essential. Taking a high-quality omega-3 supplement, exercising regularly by incorporating strength and core training, optimising insulin levels by keeping consumption of grains and sugars to a minimal level are some of the steps that can be taken in this direction.

However, it is important not to stress your heart out too much with an intensive exercise regimen.

Keeping vitamin D levels high is important for preventing heart disease. The right amount of vitamin D in the body can normalise blood pressure and lower the risk of heart problems. The best way to absorb this important vitamin in the body is by exposing the skin to the sun for 30 to 40 minutes daily. But if this isn't possible, taking a high-quality oral supplement is the alternative.

Also, one must not eat large meals in the winter as this puts a load on the heart. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Many of us also tend to consume more alcohol in winter as we feel it keeps us warmer. But too much alcohol can lead to irregular heartbeats. Drink in moderation. Another good way to be safe in the winter is by keeping warm to avoid hypothermia. Consult a doctor and buy certain emergency pills that cure breathlessness and chest pain. Keep these pills handy all the time in the winter.

The writer is Senior Consultant (Cardiothoracic Surgery), Max Hospital, New Delhi

Signs of heart attack

Traditionally, the first sign of a heart attack is pain in the chest that may radiate down the left arm, but sometimes it may feel more like a muscle-pull pain.

One must never ignore any discomfort in the chest, severe sweating, shortness of breath and pain in the neck, arms, jaws and shoulders. These may seem like muscle-pull pains but could be the result of radiating pain from a blocked artery. All these symptoms are indicators of a heart attack, and you must visit a doctor immediately.

If you have any chronic health condition, especially heart disease, regular check-ups are advisable, especially in the winter.






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