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Why do we Sweat?

You’re sitting at the table enjoying a delicious meal and unknowingly you bite into a chili pepper. Without moving any limbs still sitting, with your mouth on fire, you break out in a sweat. You wipe off the sweat thinking that the air conditioner must have broken down. The next day you decide to take your dog for a leisurely walk and at the end of the hour, after stopping to chat with some friends you met along the way, you find yourself soaked in sweat thus feeling satisfied with your intense physical effort. Although most people gauge the intensity of their workouts by how much they sweat, sweating in reality is the body’s mechanism to cool itself down and regulate its internal temperature. We might not notice it, but sweating is an activity which is performed by our bodies all day long, even in cold weather. Being in hot weather, exercising, eating spicy/hot food and being nervous all increase our internal body temperature, which in turn causes us to sweat, thus, allowing the body to cool down. Excess heat is removed from the body when sweat evaporates from the skin. You must have noticed that during hot humid days you are more uncomfortable than on a hot dry day. This is because sweat does not evaporate easily in humid weather, as the air already has enough water vapor in it. As a result sweat remains on the skin and the body does not cool down efficiently unlike during hot dry days when sweat quickly evaporates form the skin. In both situations, drinking enough fluids is a must as dehydration can occur very quickly.

There are over 2 million sweat glands in the skin divided into two types- the eccrine and apocrine glands. The eccrine glands which are the most numerous type, are found all over the body mainly on the soles of feet, palms and the forehead. Apocrine glands which typically end in hair follicles and become active during puberty are confined to the armpits, genitals and scalp. Sweat from eccrine glands produce sodium, chloride, potassium and is salty and clear while sweat from the apocrine glands contain proteins and fatty acids thus giving it a thicker or yellowish color. Sweat itself has no odor, only when it comes in contact with bacteria and hair on skin, will it develop an odor thus requiring the use of deodorants.

While participating actively in an aerobics class will most likely cause you to sweat, the thought of your mother-in-law staying with you for three weeks might also make your palms damp and challenge your deodorant. Anxiety and nervousness trigger an increase in sympathetic nerve activity along with an increase in epinephrine secretion form the adrenal gland which acts on sweat glands mainly on the palms and armpits producing sweat. Other situations like making a speech, giving a presentation, or interviewing for a job also create a similar ‘fight or flight’ response, with an increase in heart rate as the body perceives imminent danger. Sweat glands are then activated as the body prepares to cool itself down.

Some people believe that the amount of sweat and how quickly you sweat is an indicator of your fitness level. For example, if you climb up a flight of stairs really fast and break out in a sweat you might be considered unfit by some. Yet others believe that the more you sweat and the quicker you sweat is an indication of physical fitness. While a fitter person generally does sweat more quickly, there are still several factors that can affect individual sweating, including genes, medical conditions involving the thyroid, medications, menopause, and obesity. Even the climate your body is acclimated to and the temperature in which you are exercising in, can affect how much you sweat. So, sweating by itself is also not a good indicator of how hard you are exercising as one person may work out at a moderate intensity and sweat profusely, while someone else might work out at a higher intensity and barely break a sweat. Remember to gauge your workouts not by how much you sweat but by calories burned and the intensity.

Although considered embarrassing by some, sweating is a normal and vital bodily function, without which our bodies would overheat. Excessive sweating, or not sweating at all however, could indicate an underlying medical problem. If you suspect abnormal sweating, don’t break out in a sweat over it, instead talk to your doctor and understand your treatment options.

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Strength Training Exercises

Strength Training Exercises Power Point–DOWNLOAD LINK

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Ripped Abs or Ripped Off?

 

We’ve all seen fitness product infomercials on TV trying to sell us equipment that would give us a fit, lean body with ripped abdominal muscles with exercising for just for several minutes a day. Some of us might even have been lured into purchasing such equipment with the hopes of achieving results and finally looking like the fitness model in the infomercial; only to find out that the final result achieved was that of disappointment. Billions of dollars are being made by these fitness infomercials that promise quick results with minimum time spent exercising. With all the different exercise equipment that can be purchased on TV, one can easily be confused and misled about what to buy and sometimes even get scammed.

 Before you are tempted to dial that toll free number to purchase one of these so called revolutionary pieces of equipment that will deliver you your dream body let’s analyze some of the claims made by the infomercials:

One size fits all? That might be true for gloves or a scarf or even a woolen hat, but a single piece of exercise equipment for all body types and for toning the entire body? I don’t think so. Overweight and obese people have certain issues such as weak joints, weak lower backs, etc. and are unable to do certain exercises. One piece of equipment will not tone and strengthen all parts of your body while helping you lose weight as the infomercial might claim. Beware of this. Even if it claims to give you a ‘total body workout’, it must be properly adjusted for your height and be able to handle your weight otherwise it can cause injury. Some equipment is constructed poorly requiring the user to be in odd positions thus placing added stress on joints mainly the knees and also the back.

Who’s the expert?  I hate to say this, but certain ‘fitness professionals’ and so called ‘experts’ of the fitness industry are clearly out to make a buck. Women are constantly striving for better butts, abs and thighs and the fitness industry experts know this. Therefore, by inventing gadgets and gizmos that target these problem areas these so called ‘experts’ capitalize on vulnerable consumers luring them in with promising words knowing very well that working out on their device will not produce a lean, toned body – that of the fitness model demonstrating the device. Don’t be enticed by clever marketing instead pay close attention to the fine print which reads: ‘individual results vary’ and ‘results not typical’ which most likely means that you will not get the desired results.

 Backed by research; clinically proven! Really? What research? Don’t believe everything you hear in these infomercials even if it comes from someone in a white coat. Call the company or manufacturer and question them regarding the research. Was the research study published in a journal? Where and under what condition was the research conducted? Who were the research subjects? If their product is truly backed by research they will be more than happy to share that with you and even send you a copy of the report. If they falter, well, you know why!

 Results in only minutes a day! Maybe for brushing your teeth; but definitely not for building a better body. For, if that’s all it took, two-thirds of our country would not be overweight or obese. Building a fit body requires ongoing effort and commitment and will not happen in only 3 to 5 minutes a day with just one piece of equipment. Yet, several infomercials claim that working out on their contraption for just a few minutes a day will give you that dream body. Now that’s clearly a trap!

 Finally, keep in mind that losing weight and getting in shape takes time. Beware of any one piece of equipment that promises to deliver it all. Do some research to avoid being scammed. If the equipment requires you to exercise in an awkward or uncomfortable position, don’t purchase it regardless of how tempting the infomercial sounds. Remember, achieving and maintaining a fit athletic body requires doing a variety of workouts and different exercises that target all your major muscles. It also requires constantly challenging yourself; giving great attention to your diet and nutrition on a daily basis, and above all a long term commitment to fitness,  for only then will you achieve your dream body along with ‘ripped’ abs!

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FATS – The good, the bad and the ugly!

When it comes to fats, it is generally not a good idea to avoid all fats entirely, but to get an understanding of which fats are “good”, which ones are “bad” and which ones are “ugly” and then to consume them accordingly. The South-Asian diet is very high in saturated fat as it consists of deep frying and includes dishes (mainly desserts) which are made with full fat dairy products. Dietary fat is a source of energy and supplies fatty acids which are necessary for most of our body’s activities. An example of such a fatty acid is linoleic acid which must come from the diet and is needed to ensure proper growth in children and to make hormones and cell membranes. Fats not only enhance the flavor and aroma of foods, but are also essential for carrying the fat-soluble vitamins into the body. But, one has to be smart about which fats to consume in order to stay healthy and avoid getting heart disease as certain fats can raise blood cholesterol and clog arteries.

 So what are the “good”, “bad”, and the “ugly” fats? Let’s take a closer look. 

 Good fats are the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats come from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. These are the good fats as they lower the levels of cholesterol in the blood by lowering the level of low density lipoproteins (LDLs) in the blood. One drawback to these fats is that they also lower the level of high density lipoproteins (HDLs) the “good” cholesterol. Examples of these fats are corn, sunflower, safflower oils. Many nuts and seeds and their oils are also polyunsaturated.

 Monounsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature. These include canola, olive oil, peanut oil and avocados. These fats reduce total blood cholesterol by lowering the LDL fraction while keeping the HDL stable. The polyunsaturated and the monounsaturated fats are the ones you want to choose from when incorporating fats in your diet. Choose from any of these unsaturated vegetable oils when cooking: corn, olive, peanut, canola, sunflower, safflower, sesame and soybean.  Olive oil, by far, is the healthiest fat around as it protects against cancer and heart disease by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, the rate of heart disease and cancer is low in Mediterranean countries which consume an abundance of fruits, vegetables, grains and, of-course, olive oil.  

 The “bad” fats are the saturated fats. Saturated fat is the main cause of high cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in foods that come from mainly animal sources (meats and dairy) and some plant sources. These fats are solid at room temperature. Plant sources of saturated fats include oils such as coconut and palm kernel oil.  Ghee and butter which are commonly used in cooking many Indian dishes are also sources of saturated fats. Ghee which is frequently used in religious ceremonies is also believed to have many benefits such as improving digestion, enhancing the aroma and flavor of food, and providing energy and stamina. However, we must use control when consuming ghee or foods cooked with ghee, as this is a saturated fat which interferes with the removal of cholesterol from the blood. Saturated fat is also found in whole milk and whole milk products such as cheese and paneer. Therefore, most popular Indian sweets made with whole milk products are high in saturated fats and if consumed regularly can eventually increase cholesterol levels and contribute to having clogged arteries. If not completely avoided, these should be strictly limited.

 According to researchers, trans-fats have more detrimental effects than saturated fats, and therefore can be labeled the “ugly” fats. Trans-fats are made by a process called partial hydrogenation in which otherwise healthy liquid fats are turned to solid fats to extend their shelf life. Trans-fats can be found in store bought items such as cookies, cakes, pastries, snacks, donuts, potato chips, and also commercially fried foods such as french fries. In the long run, consuming too many products with these trans-fats has been known to increase total cholesterol levels and eventually cause heart disease (not to mention weight gain).  These are the fats that are “tricky” as most of them come hidden in ready made products, and unfortunately are pleasing to the palate. Trans-fats are definitely the enemy and the ones you need to steer clear off.

 When choosing healthy fats, a good rule of thumb to remember is to choose fats that are liquid at room temperature (such as olive, canola, sunflower or corn oil) instead of those that are solid (such as butter, ghee and lard). Avoid store bought and pre-packaged items that have hidden trans-fats in them. Avoid full fat dairy products (milk and cheese) and try fat free ones instead. And finally, do remember to use all fats sparingly, as they are after all, very high in calories!

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Lipodissolve – The Facts

Have you looked in the mirror lately and been disappointed? Maybe at your double chin, or the fat around your inner thighs, or even your love handles? You must have seen advertisements for ‘Smart Lipo”- a procedure that dissolves fat with convincing before and after pictures?  And somewhere in the back of your mind, you might even have considered this procedure. Lipodissolve, also known as injection lipolysis, lipotherapy or mesotherapy (not to be confused with liposuction which is the surgical removal of fat cells) is a procedure that was developed in France in the 1950’s. It involves a series of injections given at the ‘fat’ site intended to eliminate and dissolve fat pockets from different parts of the body such as the abdomen, thighs, arms, chin, etc. Two drugs routinely used in the lipodissolve injection are phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate. Even though phosphtidylcholine is approved by the FDA as a drug to break down blood fats that increase the risk of heart disease, it is not approved as a drug for injection lypolysis. Other ingredients such as vitamins, antibiotics, herbal extracts and minerals may also be used. Lipodissolve is performed in a series of 6 to 8 or more treatments, each costing anywhere from $300 to $1000 and maybe more depending on the area of the body. Some people have claimed to have gotten good results from this treatment; however, others have suffered complications. With limited research available about this costly procedure, and controversy surrounding it, the Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers about false and misleading claims being made about products used in lipodissolve injections, and about other misbranding of these products.

 While the idea of dissolving away fat sounds amazing and promising, and before you dash to the phone and make an appointment, here are some facts that you should first know. According to the FDA, this is “What consumers should know and is alerting consumers that:

  • it has not evaluated or approved products for use in lipodissolve
  • it is not aware of evidence supporting the effectiveness of the substances used in lipodissolve for fat elimination
  • the safety of these substances, when used alone or in combination, is unknown
  • it is not aware of clinical studies to support medical uses of lipodissolve

In addition, FDA has reports of unexpected side effects in people who’ve undergone the lipodissolve procedure. These side effects include

  • permanent scarring
  • skin deformation
  • deep, painful knots under the skin in areas where the lipodissolve treatments were injected

 With this procedure, there are also several unanswered questions- What happens to the fat once it’s treated? Do the treated areas get ‘fat’ again? Does the body absorb the fat or is it excreted? Are there any long term health issues arising from this procedure? The fact is that since there is very limited research available on this procedure, the answers are still unknown.  In fact, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “Patients are advised to avoid these procedures, which are commonly known as lipolysis, mesotherapy or the brand names Lipodissolve and Lipodstabil.  Although marketed as fat loss treatments, these procedures are scientifically unproven, lacking any objective data on safety and efficacy. In addition, none of these procedures has received FDA approval, with the ingredients poorly defined. The procedures may also be offered by persons without sufficient medical training, thereby putting patients at risk of harm.”

The American Society for Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery have also issued similar health warnings and concerns with the use of injection lipolysis. Finally, in April of this year, the FDA issued warning letters to six ‘medical spas’ in the USA for false and misleading claims. So now that you know some facts, make a smart decision about ‘Smart Lipo”!

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ACAI- A miracle berry?

As a fitness professional, I get asked from time to time whether a certain ‘health’ product or supplement will help someone lose weight. One such product which has received much media attention recently and is heavily marketed as a super rich antioxidant is the ‘acai’ (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry.  The acai berry is a small round berry almost similar to the blueberry and is only found in the dense, difficult to access swampy areas of the Brazilian Amazonian rain forest. Acai berry is found on tall slender palm trees that grow up to 30 meters. The Acai berry in this region has been used by the natives as a health food and for medicinal purposes; to cure certain ailments for a long time. This berry is perishable and must be immediately consumed or frozen to retain its nutritional value. It is because of this that the acai berry is difficult to transport from deep in the Amazonian forest to the western world.

 In the modern world, the acai berry has been publicized greatly and has been heavily marketed as a weight loss product. Some of the promises that acai berry products make besides weight loss are that of increased energy, improved metabolism, less fatigue, promoting youth, better sexual function, improved complexion, an exceptional antioxidant and the list goes on and on. Some acai berry products even claim to improve cholesterol, diabetes and prevent cancers! While much confusion exists about this miracle berry, one thing is for sure- there isn’t a shortage of the types of acai berry products available- most of them promising weight loss! For example, there is acai berry juice, smoothies, teas, energy drinks, capsules and even candy, ice-cream and chocolate.  There are websites promoting the endless health benefits of the acai berry enticing consumers to buy in with offers of ‘free trail’ products. With alluring pictures of lean toned bodies and celebrity clientele promising weight loss, many consumers are lured into buying acai products. Some sites even contain ‘warnings’ about other acai products and stating that only their acai products are pure and most nutritious while others are a scam.

 If you are familiar with acai berry, you might have at some point thought about purchasing this miracle product that claims to deliver all. Well, before you do, know this:  The Center for Science in the Public Interestis warning consumers not to enroll online in supposedly free trials of diet products made with the trendy Brazilian berry acai. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that acai pills will help shed pounds, flatten tummies, cleanse colons, enhance sexual desire, or perform any of the other commonly advertised functions. And thousands of consumers have had trouble stopping recurrent charges on their credit cards when they cancel their free trials”.  Along with that, the Better Business Bureau has warned consumers to beware of internet companies that sell these scam weight loss acai berry products. It also warns consumers of bogus blogs with fake ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos.

Certain internet companies also market the acai berry as the most powerful antioxidant. While it is true that the acai berry has some antioxidants, according to the CSPI, the acai berry has only middling levels of antioxidants. You would obtain the same in a piece of dark chocolate or a glass of red wine. Bottom line is that there are no conclusive studies about the acai berry and none that suggest that antioxidants have an affect on weight loss!  

 So what about those natives and indigenous tribes who have benefited from consuming this so called superfood and miracle berry? Is it really the berry or their lifestyle? If we look at the indigenous people who consume this berry, their lifestyle is active, their diet quite clean and healthy. Their toned muscles and fitness is probably a result of their active   lifestyle and not because of consuming a berry. After all, doesn’t exercise and a healthy lifestyle promote weight loss, increased energy, low cholesterol levels, better sleep, increased metabolism, reverse the ageing process, better digestion, and countless other health benefits – all that the acai berry products claim to do?

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Body Weight/Body Fat/Body Mass Index (BMI)

People have continued to obsess over their weight for many years, and still continue to do so. “I need to lose 10 lbs to fit in my jeans”. “If I lost only 5 lbs I’ll be in great shape!” These are comments if we’ve not made ourselves, we’ve definitely heard from our acquaintances. Should you really obsess over just your body weight or is there more to it that you’re overlooking? Let’s take a closer look. Body weight, body fat and body mass index are three ways to assess one’s body composition. But which one should you focus on more closely?

 Body Weight:  Body weight is just that. It is the total weight of one’s body which includes the weight of bones, blood, organs, muscles, water and fat. Even though certain standards have been set for the “ideal” body weight according to one’s body frame; ideal body weight still remains controversial. When one loses weight, one may lose some lean muscle, water weight and fat weight.

 Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is a frequently used tool used by health care professionals in assessing weight status in adults. BMI which is derived by dividing one’s body weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (BMI=kg/m2) has its advantages and disadvantages. Even though BMI is a good predictor of an individual’s risk of developing chronic disease and health problems based on excess weight one is carrying; it does not distinguish between lean muscle mass and fat mass. With BMI, individuals are classified under the following categories:

 Underweight <18.5
Normal weight 18.5-24.9
Overweight 25-29.9
Obesity >30

(Source: American Council on Exercise)

Since BMI doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle weight, a lean, fit individual, or an athlete with a high amount of muscle mass can be classified as being overweight or obese, whereas in reality they may have a relatively low level of body fat and be at low risk for disease.

 Body Fat:  Body fat which is measured in percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. A certain amount of fat is essential for daily body functions; however, too much fat can increase your risk of chronic disease. How much fat is normal? The American Council on Exercise provides the following ranges for body fat:

  Women Men
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 13-20% 5-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% and Higher 26% and Higher

  Body fat and not so much your body weight is the one that you want to focus on as those that fall in the obese category are clearly at higher risk for heart disease and other chronic disease that are a result of having a high body fat percentage. Also those that are in the obese category may carry body fat around their abdomen, and this alone is a risk factor for disease. On the other hand, some people may not necessary look “fat” but can still have a high body fat percentage and, therefore, be at risk for disease. Going below the levels of “essential fat” for women can also be unhealthy as these women are at risk of osteoporosis and irregular menstrual cycles. Modern scales that measure weight and body fat are a good tool to have at home, but you should know that they have an error margin rate of 1% – 2%.

 So now that you’ve measured your body fat, and you’re in the acceptable category or even borderline, don’t wear that smile on your face just yet, because if you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle your body fat is very likely to creep up in the “obese” category in the next few years! For those of you whose body fat percentage is already in the “obese” category, this should be a wakeup call! Talk to your health care professional about improving your diet and start an exercise program that includes weight training as regular exercise and diet modification is the only way to lower your body fat percentage and maintain it. When it comes to the scale, don’t just focus on your body weight alone; instead understand your body fat percentage. Then aim to lead an active healthy lifestyle and keep in mind that one could be a fit, healthy 150 lb person with a low body fat percentage, or an unfit, unhealthy 150 lb person with a high body fat percentage!

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Carbohydrates and the Asian Indian Diet

With all the hype in the media about low carbohydrate diets, and carbohydrates being the culprit when it comes to weight gain, one is left confused about which carbohydrates to eat, when to eat them, or whether or not to eat carbohydrates at all! Some might wonder, “What is a carbohydrate, and how does it play a role in my Indian diet?”

 Carbohydrate foods can be divided into two groups: simple and complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates which include whole grain breads, beans, cereals, brown rice, sweet- potatoes and vegetables, take longer for the body to digest, therefore, providing the body with a steady stream of energy throughout the day. These foods also provide the body with fiber, minerals and vitamins.  Complex carbohydrates are clearly the better choice.

Simple carbohydrates are rapidly digested and provide the body with quick energy.  These simple sugars are found in foods such as milk and fruit and provide the body with vitamins and minerals. However, simple sugars are also found in processed foods such as cakes, cookies, soft drinks, desserts and candy; and unfortunately we consume most simple sugars not in the healthy form of milk and fruits, but more in the form of processed foods. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body in a form called glucose and are the body’s best source for energy. Glucose is the only energy source used by the brain and the nervous system.

 As carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, these sugars are absorbed by the bloodstream. As the sugar level rises, insulin is produced to transport these sugars from the blood to the cells where it is used as energy. When blood sugars are raised too quickly as when simple sugars are consumed, insulin surges are greater and as a result, one feels hungry quicker. On the other hand, when whole grain foods or complex carbohydrates are consumed, insulin levels are kept steady and one stays satiated much longer as these foods are not digested rapidly. Recent research shows that eating foods over a period of years that cause blood sugars to elevate rapidly and then drop may cause health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. If eaten in excess, carbohydrates are converted to fat, a storage form of energy which can be stored in subcutaneous tissues or around organs such as the liver, stomach and heart. This high carbohydrate diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle could become a health hazard for most Asian Indians if not properly managed.

 The typical vegetarian Asian Indian diet is very high in carbohydrates. Items such as roti, daal, rice, raita, vegetables are all considered carbohydrates. Even lentils and daals which are believed to be good protein choices have a higher content of carbohydrates than protein! The result of eating a high carbohydrate diet for years and following an inactive lifestyle may the reason that so many in our community are predisposed to obesity related diseases such as diabetes.

 So how does one manage carbohydrates? The smart choice is to eat more complex carbohydrates and to consume more of your calories during the day and less at night. But, most of us do just the opposite. We eat very little or nothing at all for breakfast, a light lunch and a big dinner. The better option would be to eat more for breakfast and lunch and eat a very light dinner. Unless you are planning to go dancing for a few hours after dinner or run a marathon, a high carbohydrate meal is not necessary at night. If consumed during the day, however, the carbohydrates can be used for energy and would be less likely to be stored as body fat. According to Registered Dietician, Purvi Shah, R.D.L.D., another consideration is to consume more green vegetables as a vegetable choice instead of potatoes being the choice of vegetables. She further suggests that more green vegetables should be eaten at night, to avoid overcooking these vegetables, and to add items such as yogurt, milk, lassi, tofu, and beans to one’s diet to increase protein intake. Late night dinners should also be avoided.  

  Items such as rotis, parathas, etc. can be prepared with whole wheat flour. King Arthur brand flour available at local American grocers is an excellent choice. Brown rice can be substituted for white rice. Ms. Shah also suggests that daal is an excellent choice of protein for vegetarians but to limit eating rice every night. Rice can be eaten every other night. Carbohydrate choices at night should be limited to just roti and vegetables, or rice and daal, instead of consuming all four. Or, if all four must be consumed, use portion control.  Simple carbohydrates which come in the form of processed foods such as traditional “mithais” and sweet dishes should be limited.  

When it comes to managing a vegetarian diet high in carbohydrates, remember to be choosy- eat more complex carbohydrates, limit the simple carbohydrates, use portion control, break away from the traditional way of eating, be more creative and above all, give up that sedentary lifestyle and exercise!

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Why women should lift weights

Along with including adequate calcium in your diet, weight training is the single most important thing you can do to keep your bones and muscles healthy and in good shape as you age.  Women in general tend to shy away from lifting weights. They are more inclined to doing cardiovascular exercises and generally forgo the weights altogether.  

 There is a general perception that weight lifting makes them bulky and big, like the bodybuilders that they see on television. This is far from the truth. Women (unless they are taking steroids or drugs) will not bulk up in such a way for the simple reason that they do not have the hormones required to develop such muscles. However, with proper fitness coaching and a nutritious diet, women can develop a toned, strong, healthy and more attractive physique.

Weight training builds muscle which is a very efficient calorie burning tissue. While fat just sits in your body, muscle tissue is active and burns calories all day long, even when you are inactive.  This is very important for those trying to lose weight as it expedites the overall calorie burning process along with increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Therefore, by adding strength training to a cardiovascular workout, more calories are burned overall.

Weight training will also make you stronger. If muscles are not exercised consistently, muscular strength is lost over a period of years as we age (gracefully). Weight training will give you the overall strength to complete your daily tasks (picking up a grocery bag, carrying or lifting something, squatting to pick up keys, walking up a flight of stairs, etc.) with ease. Strong muscles can handle these tasks with ease and efficiency, well into old age which will definitely impact positively on the overall quality of life.    

Furthermore, women are at high risk of developing heart disease (especially Asian Indian women, due to an improper diet and lack of exercise). Recent studies show that women who carry fat around their midriffs have a higher risk of developing heart disease than women who carry weight in other places. As has been mentioned above, weight training not only accelerates the overall fat burning process; it also lowers cholesterol and improves blood pressure.

Weight training also reduces the risk of diabetes because of increased glucose utilization.  Weight training can decrease the pain of arthritis and osteoarthritis and can strengthen bones and joints while reducing your chances of developing osteoporosis. When weight training is done correctly and on a regular basis, bone mass becomes denser and stronger, thereby, significantly lowering the risk of fractures in old age.

 Weight training has also been found to combat the symptoms of menopause. Studies have also shown weight training to alleviate depression and generally improve moods.  An added bonus is that skin also looks firmer and more youthful as muscular definition starts taking place.

Ladies, I think we have just re-discovered…the fountain of youth!  Why wait? Start your weight training program today!