Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

As an old saying goes, all the tasty things are unhealthy, everyone knows that burgers, pizzas, fries, etc are not very healthy for us, still, these are things we treat ourselves to on weekends and holidays. Junk food not only has a high calorific value, it also exposes the body to preservatives, artificial flavors, bad cholesterol and refined carbs. But, do you know that eating smart after binging on junk food can help reduce the harmful effect of these foods. Here are a few tips.

Drink plenty of water: Junk food has high sodium content. This can leave the body feeling dehydrated and create an electrolyte imbalance. As a result, your body retains water and you begin to feel bloated. At this point, water is your best friend. It can help flush toxins from your body and hydrate it. To go one step further, try drinking warm water through the day. If you like, you can also infuse water with slices of freshly cut fruits or herbs.

Make your diet fiber heavy: Junk food is always tempting and the one way to keep yourself from giving in to such temptation is to keep yourself feeling satiated. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can keep you satiated for longer and prevent snacking between meals. Fiber also helps improve digestion and helps the body expel junk food faster. To increase the amount of fiber in your food, pile on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Include lean proteins: Proteins can also help relieve hunger pangs. However, not all forms of protein are good for the body after binging on junk food. Avoid fatty proteins like dairy products made from whole milk and red meat and instead focus on lean proteins like fish and chicken. These proteins are also easily digestible. Fish is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation caused by additives in junk food.

Flavor your food with ginger: Ginger can help reduce inflammation caused by junk food and ease the digestive system. Drinking a cup of ginger tea or grating ginger over a salad or fruits can help lower triglyceride levels and aid in the liver’s recovery. Additionally, ginger is also beneficial in blood pressure regulation and improving cardio vascular health.

Sip some green tea: One of the reasons junk food is said to be bad for you is because of its high-calorie count. This can cause weight gain and undo your efforts to stay fit. Green tea has antioxidant properties that can negate some of the ill effects of junk food. It also helps lower bad cholesterol levels.

In India, especially the urban centers, obesity or even being overweight is becoming a new epidemic. The increases in consumption of fast foods, sedentary lifestyles and stress have increased the incidence of this problem. This has in turn, led to an exponential increase in the cases of diabetes, heart diseases and blood pressure among a host of other problems.

The Ayurvedic approach
Ayurveda is a discipline, which has been practiced over many millennia and contains the collective wisdom to effectively treat problems of obesity or being overweight without side effects. According to Ayurveda, the body is made up of 7 elements or Dhatus:

Rasa (Lymph)
Rakta (Blood)
Maans (Muscle)
Meda (Fat)
Asthi (Bones)
Majja (Nervous system)
Shukra (Reproductive System)

However, if you are overweight then it means that due to an imbalance of the ‘Kapha’ dosha, you are accumulating more ‘meda’ or fat. Ayurveda has some very effective actions to prescribe through which you can lose weight very effectively. Some of these tips are mentioned below.

Drink a mixture of lemon, honey and water first thing in the morning: Drinking a mix of lemon, honey and water helps to jump start your metabolism and boost your digestive system. Drinking this regularly over a period of a few months and would help reduce your weight very quickly.

Meditate for at least 10 minutes a day: This is a very important step as meditation helps relax your mind, muscles and nerves and reduces stress. This enables you to take better decisions throughout the day. It also controls your appetite thus stopping you form binge eating. Meditation and relaxation have also been shown to contribute to weight loss by keeping the metabolism regulated.

Do at least 30 minutes of exercise: It is important that you do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily as it would regulate your metabolism and help you to keep burning fat throughout the day. Incorporating light yoga along with a brisk walk is possibly the best way to safely and easily lose weight. Some of the easiest poses to lose weight would be
Dhanurasana or Bow pose
Setubandhasana or Bridge pose
Bhujangasana or Cobra pose
Vakrasana or Half spinal Twist pose among many others.

Consider your diet according to season: According to Ayurveda, you should be careful about what you eat during the various seasons as this will ensure maximum nutrient absorption without the deposition of fat.

Eat three meals a day, not more: According to Ayurveda, you should have three meals a day without any snacks in between. Have a heavy breakfast as that tends to set the tone for the day, followed by a comparatively light lunch and an even lighter dinner. This is because your digestive system functions most effectively in the morning, fairly fast at noon, but it is the most sluggish at night.

Go to bed early and rise early: This is often propagated as disturbances in the Circadian rhythm or the natural sleep and waking cycles are a big contributor to weight gain. Once this is properly regulated, it could result in weight loss because of your body metabolism being properly regulated.

What is healthy BMI?

Adult BMI refers to the range of percentage of fats in the body that varies according to the age and height of individuals. Usually, the people are considered to be healthy if their BMI lies within the range of 18.5-25. The individuals are considered to be underweight when the BMI is less than 18.5.

On the other hand, the individuals who have BMI in the range 25-30 are considered to be in the overweighed category. Those individuals who possess BMI Rate higher than 30 are in the category of obese people and such people are more prone to getting diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. Although this is a general classification of BMI Ranges, but in certain cases, there can be exceptions such as the athletes are considered to be overweighed due to their muscle mass even when they take care of their fitness. So, such people should take proper diet recommendations from their nutritionist in order to maintain the fat balance in their body.

Health tips to maintain your body mass index

1.If you are qualifying in the category of being overweighed, then your primary goal should be to reduce the weight. Increased body weight can lead to variety of problems such as elevated blood pressure, lower good cholesterol, higher bad cholesterol, heart disease risks, diabetes risk, and other issues. It is because the fat tissues carry out a lot of important functions such as metabolism regulation and functioning of immune system and tumor development by secreting variety of hormones and inflammatory substances.

2.If you are an obese person, then you should follow 20% physical activity and 80% good customized diet with smart eating which prevents you from following unwanted and senseless restrictions to lose weight.

3.You should aim at reducing about 10 percent from your starting weight (excess fat loss) when you begin to work out. So, the time taken to reduce weight depends upon the amount of weight with which you begin and the intensity of your workout plan. Do not forget to make a count of your calorie intake because if this is inappropriate, then the results will be slow.

4.Once you have reduced your weight, then you should recommend your health practitioner in order to maintain the weight. Your health provider may recommend dietary therapy, physical involvement and behavioral therapy for continuing the maintenance of weight.

5.You need to have a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain your weight loss at least for initial six months.

6.Those who are extremely over weight people, they need to keep patience in order to reach their goal with good lifestyle as that is the only key to preserve your weight for long term.

Summer is synonymous to tarty berries, especially blackberries. The sour cum sweet and juicy blackberries make for a tasty snack and are generally available from June to November. They are not typically berries, but aggregate fruits that belong to the Rosacea family. Deep purple in colour, these fruits have a smooth and fragile skin. These berries comprise several tiny drupes or drupelets that are filled with juice.

Moreover, its leaves are said to be used in teas to treat an upset stomach and boost oral health. This low-calorie fruit is super versatile and can be added to smoothies, jams, salads, fruit bowls and puddings or can be enjoyed as is. Blackberries are generally available in supermarkets and can be used to provide several health and beauty benefits.

We dig in more to tell you about the benefits they have to offer and how to use them in your daily diet.According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, "blackberries are high in antioxidants, of which anthocyanins are responsible for their deep purple colour. Anthocyanins also help fight free radical damage in the body and address a range of modern conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, vision loss, poor liver function, and declining mental faculties. The berries also have detoxifying properties and promote gut health."

Health Benefits Of Blackberries:
1. Blackberries Are Known To Boost Brain Power

According to the study published in the Nutritional Neuroscience Journal, including blackberries in your diet improves both motor and cognitive function. Thanks to their rich polyphenol content, they have a protective effect on the brain.

2. Help Boost Digestion

Blackberries are a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre that is important for better functioning of the digestive system. Insoluble fibre is responsible for promoting better absorption of water in the large intestine and helps adding bulk to the stools, which further treats constipation and other digestive problems.

3. May Help Lose Weight

The presence of fibre promotes effective bowel movement, which further helps in getting rid of problems like constipation and other digestive issues. Moreover, the fibre present helps in keeping your tummy fuller for longer, thereby, preventing you from binge-eating or indulging in junk. Blackberries are also low in calories, making them a great snack when you are hungry. All these factors are key to lose weight in a healthy way.

4. Help Boost Immunity

The presence of various antioxidants and vitamins make blackberries one of the best fruits that help boost immunity. Regular consumption of these tarty delights may help fight various pathogens and further protect the body from infections and other health problems.

5. Improve Vision

The presence of vitamin C content in blackberries helps protect the vision from weakening. Lutein in blackberries protect them from the harmful ultra-violet rays as it forms a pigment called macula in the area behind the retina, and prevents it from the damage caused by oxidative stress. The antioxidants present in them can also delay age-related macular degeneration and cataract.

6. Are Heart Healthy

It is due to the presence of flavanols that make blackberries heart-friendly. Moreover, other useful components like magnesium and fibre present in them can help prevent the arteries from getting blocked and further help stimulate a smooth blood flow. This reduces the risk of developing heart diseases and maintains a healthy cardiovascular system.

7. May Support Your Oral Health

Berries have been attributed to great oral health and blackberries do not lag behind. Their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties fight against harmful bacteria that cause oral diseases.Beauty Benefits of Blackberries
According to the book Healing Foods, blackberries are a great source of antioxidant ellagic acid, which can help the skin from damaging from over-exposure to sun.

Ellagic acid also prevents the breakdown of collagen, the scaffolding that supports firm skin and prevents inflammation.
Blackberries comprise more than 85 percent water with a lot of fibre content. Regular consumption of these berries helps detoxify your system and further help maintain the elasticity of your skin.
The vitamins A and C present in blackberries help rejuvenate your skin.

The antioxidants help combat the harmful and damaging effects of the environment on the hair. Topical application of blackberries can add volume and shine to your tresses.

Add the goodness of blackberries into your diet and make the most of these dark purple tarty delights and stay healthy!

How To Add Blackberries In Your Diet?

You can add blackberries to cakes, jams, fruit salads, puddings, smoothies and make sweet syrup out them. You can also make vinegar to add on to your salads and marinades. One of the best ways to add them in your diet is to eat them as it is.

Losing weight is a gradual process; it needs perseverance and patience to follow a strict diet and exercise regime. While most take the tough yet effective route to weight loss, which include engaging in exercise and eating a balanced diet, some prefer taking the shortcut- that is by eating less or starving to cut down on calories. But is it really the right way to lose weight? What happens when you starve your body? What is the ideal way to lose weight? Let us know what the experts have to say.According to Delhi Based Nutritionist and Author Kavita Devgan, "Eating less or starvation is not the right way to lose weight. When you eat a very low calorie diet then the body adapts, and the metabolism dips after a while due to muscle loss. This makes weight loss impossible and also increases the chance of the gaining the lost weight back. Starvation also leads to leptin resistance. Lack of leptin hormone in the body leads to increased appetite, reduced motivation to exercise and low burning of calories, further leading to weight gain."

According to Dr. Zamurrud Patel, Consultant Dietician at Global Hospitals Mumbai, "Eating less is definitely not the best way to lose weight. We always recommend eating everything in moderation, which certainly doesn't mean starving yourself. Eating less may restrict you from getting the required vitamins and minerals leading to various problems in the body." Eating less can cause various health problems that may include fatigue, gout, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, anaemia, loss of lean muscle mass, heart problems and other imbalances.

Eating less is just not the perfect way to lose weight!

Eating less may also cause your metabolic rate to drop drastically because your body attempts to conserve energy. This means, you will automatically burn lesser calories and if you do this long enough, your brain will assume there is a famine situation and will instruct your fat cells to start storing whatever calories you are taking in, which is exactly what you are trying to prevent in the first place.

Another reason to avoid eating less is to not feel grumpy and undergo various mood swings. Remember, food is fuel for the brain; it energises each cell in the body. Lack of food causes various deficiencies, causing health problems leading to unnecessary grumpiness. Moreover, your body is fatigued, which is also a cause of mood swings.

Eating less is definitely not the right way to lose weight, but to eat everything healthy in moderation is the key. If you wish to diet or eat less, make sure you eat frequently in small portions instead of starving yourself. It is best to consult your Dietitian or Nutritionist who can help you with a proper diet plan according to your body type. Lose weight the healthy way!

Dr. Rahul Pherwani
Dr. Rahul Pherwani
BHMS, 22 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sachin Hundekari
Dr. Sachin Hundekari
MBBS, Cardiologist, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sandeep Awate
Dr. Sandeep Awate
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 15 yrs, Pune
Dr. Nikhil N  Asawa
Dr. Nikhil N Asawa
MDS, Implantologist Prosthodontist, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. sandeep shivekar
Dr. sandeep shivekar
BHMS, 10 yrs, Pune