Tag Archives: Obesity

Be Healthy: Add fiber to your diet

fibre foodsThe word fiber comes from the Latin word fibra, meaning fiber, thread, string or filament and dietary fiber refers to nutrients in the diet that are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes. Fiber is also known as roughage. It is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.

Eating fiber has many benefits for your health. They help prevent constipation. They fill you up without giving too many calories and thus help in weight management. People with type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugars by increasing the fiber intake.  The consumption of soluble fiber has been shown to protect you from developing heart disease by reducing your cholesterol levels.

People with diabetes who consume a lot of fiber tend to need less insulin than those whose fiber intake is low.

Add more fiber and veggies to your diet

  • Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Fruit has fiber in every part of its structure and can be eaten at any time of the day
  • Eat a variety of vegetables everyday
  • Make chapattis using whole wheat flour
  • Brown rice has more fiber than white rice
  • Start the day with high fiber whole grain cereal
  • Try using more peas, beans and lentils. Add beans and legumes to soups
  • Add flax seeds to salads
  • Store vegetables in a visible place in your refrigerator. Keep on hand washed, cut raw vegetables such as Carrots, Cucumber, Broccoli, Radish, red and yellow capsicum in a zip lock pouch as ready snack
  • Add raw or lightly cooked vegetables into Pasta, Rice and Omelets
  • Pile sandwiches with Lettuce, Spinach, chopped Cabbage, Onion, Cucumber, Tomatoes and Capsicum
  • Prepare Chapatis with raw vegetable stuffing
  • Add raw vegetables to curd and prepare different raitas
  • Add chopped vegetables like cucumber, tomato, onion, carrot, to roasted grams ,puffed rice, sprouts,  etc and make delicious chaats.

Weight Gain OH! Not Again

weightHave you ever stood in front of a mirror and said Why ME? I don’t even eat sweets…. Well…sweets are not the only culprit which change your hour glass shape to a spherical one. Knowing the causes of weight gain might help you in coping with it…

No one likes the needle of the weighing scale to inch up on a regular basis. But it does for most of us. Biggest culprit is the way we live our lives – Our lifestyle. Changes in life style due to rapid urbanization have contributed to the rise in weight gain. Significant lifestyle changes such as desk jobs, an increase in the number of hours devoted to television viewing, inclusion of convenience foods, frequent eating out are some of the factors which can be accounted for the bulging waistline.

Is urbanization the sole offender? Before you start blaming India Shining let’s take a look at our genes. Obesity tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic cause. It is believed that obesity is a hereditary condition.  Most researchers put forward an argument that family members tend to share similar lifestyles and diets that may contribute to obesity. But numerous studies have refuted environment / lifestyle as the only cause. In one such study done by Department of Psychiatry, Philadelphia twins who were brought up apart were studied and it was concluded that their BMI were closer to each other. In this case, the person’s genetic makeup had more influence on development of obesity than environment in the adoptive family home.

Weight gain can also be as a result of energy imbalance where energy intake has been more than the energy use over a period of many years. This involves consuming excess calories than required or not using the ingested calories by doing physical activity. Physical activity plays a key role in energy balance because it uses up calories consumed.

Apart from these, psychological factors may also influence eating habits. Some people tend to overindulge in food, as a response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness or anger. They may also overeat as a way of dealing with stress or depression.

Some rare illnesses can cause gain in weight. These include hypothyroidism (diminished activity of thyroid gland), Cushing’s syndrome and certain neurological problems that can lead to overeating. Certain drugs such as steroids and antidepressants may also lead to weight gain.

Though comparatively lesser in proportion Eating Disorders like binge eating, night eating syndrome have also been mentioned as a cause of weight gain. It takes a combination of things to develop eating disorder — including a person’s genes, emotions and experience. Biological abnormalities can contribute to binge eating. For example, the hypothalamus (the hunger centre of brain) may not be sending correct messages about hunger and fullness. Depression and eating disorders are strongly linked. Low self-esteem, loneliness, and body dissatisfaction may also contribute to eating disorders.

Binge eating is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control to stop. Binge eaters often eat even when they are not hungry.  Those suffering with night eating syndrome consume more than half of their daily calories in the latter half of the day and even arise from sleep to eat.  These disorders are completely treatable with psychological help and motivation.

Now, maybe, you would have found out why that devilish needle is going up all the time. No… Not a problem. For those who have still not been able to decipher the reason of weight gain can blame it on their slow BMR. (Read more on BMR in subsequent write ups)

Image Courtesy: Akarakingdoms