8 Tips To Help You Stick To Keto Diet This Party Season

The year 2019 certainly qualifies as a year that flew past quickly for a lot of us. Now that it is nearing the end, people all around are bombarded with parties and chances of bingeing on food, the major ones being Christmas, New Year, and not to forget the lavish Indian weddings. This definitely has an impact on your waistline, if not your overall health. 

Yes, we understand that a diet is not something that naturally comes to mind in the holiday season, but you can actually stick to your food routine, especially the amazing keto diet, and still enjoy the holiday season in style. 

What Is Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet aims at reducing the intake of carbs and shifts the focus of the digestive system towards fats and ketones (the chemical made by your body for converting fat to energy). For individuals who struggle with diabetes, insulin resistance, and face difficulties in controlling body weight, this is an excellent option. The body burns fat in place of carbs to produce ketones and stops relying entirely on glucose for energy. Keto diets keep insulin-release to the minimal and make the body utilize stored fat, creating weight loss situations.

How Can You Stick to Keto This Season?

1. Choose right: Usually, a keto-based diet allows only 10 percent of your daily calorie quota from carbs, this means you can only have about 20 to 30 grams of it (this may differ as per nutritionist’s guidance). This is why you need to choose low-carb and protein-rich foods at a party with a whole lot of greens. However, don’t forget to check for hidden carbs, for instance, breadcrumbs coating on appetizers, rich-cream paneer, etc.

2. Plan food: If you know about plans in advance, then you can plan your meals too. Eat a protein-rich dish at home before stepping out. You can even carry a small snack for the times when the party continues through the night or for when you might be stuck in traffic. 

3. Don’t give into pressure: While attending someone’s party, it is okay to give them a heads-up about your dietary restrictions. Gluten-free and vegan diets are very common these days. However, another side to this would be your friends and family calling you a downer for sticking to a diet during the holidays. Stay firm and don’t give into the pressure to having ‘one small item’. In fact, you could cook and carry a delicious diet-friendly meal for everyone at the party.

4. Motivate in advance: Keep a list of reasons why you started this diet, handy. When you feel rather vulnerable with all the food around you, pull out this list out and read it. Another key tip is to plan in advance for your cravings and weak moments. If you have been on a diet for a while, you can understand and predict your moments of craving and what really tempts you, here’s how you can deal with them.

  • For these times you can carry small snacks that will be filling. 
  • A study [1] suggests that you need to form habits to deal with temptations every single time, and not just think about curbing it at that moment. You can train your mind in advance to eat right.
  • During the moment, if you are drawn to the food counter, take a few deep breaths and let the thought pass. This study [2] suggests small meditations help in curbing that sudden temptation. 
  • If that doesn’t work, replace your activity or distract yourself for the moment. Remember temptations are temporary, their effects are not!
  • Plan to motivate yourself well in advance. 

5. Every single time matters: It’s true that the one small cookie or a bite of French fries will not immediately pile on the weight, but it will break your will power to fight cravings. Tell yourself that every time matters! Do not strengthen your brain muscle to give in, instead train it to be firm, as it creates a series of ‘one small bite or one small dish’ leading to you being weak when the cravings come. 

6. Sleep well: Sleeping well is tough when you have late night parties and then after parties (and after-after parties!) However, sleep you must! Try to get enough rest during the day as sleep is directly connected to your mental health. If you have a hangover, are in an irritable mood or slightly anxious you are more likely to give in to cravings and binge on some comfort food [3]. 

7. Slow down: Since your food options are limited, why not trick your mind to think you are eating a full, hearty meal. Sit down and have a slow meal, by this we mean relish each bite and chew slowly. Mindless eating makes you feel hungry soon, and leaves your mind unsatisfied, craving more.

References:

  1. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/psychological_science
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4731333/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3086895/

8 Foods To Eat Your Way Out Of A Hangover

Sometimes (often during weekends) you wake up with a terrible headache, dizziness, dry skin, and little memory of the previous night’s binge drinking with friends. Maybe you didn’t need to have that fifth drink, even though it tasted delicious. Now, we can’t do much about the last evening’s embarrassing videos and photos, but we could help you with the hangover, by suggesting these nutrient-rich foods.

What Happens in a Hangover?

That soul-crushing hangover is nothing but the alcohol interfering with the neurotransmitters of your brain. Alcohol is known to release reward chemicals like dopamine, hence you feel happy when you have a drink or two. Now, when the drinking stops your brain takes time to regain its regular balance of these happy chemicals, making you feel confused and sometimes sad. 

Additionally, when your body processes alcohol it creates a substance called acetaldehyde, which makes you feel nauseated and gives you those neverending headaches. If you drink moderately, your liver can get rid of acetaldehyde, however, when you binge it puts pressure on your liver, causing the sick-in-the-stomach feeling, literally. Of course, the dehydration and acidity due to lack of water and food, doesn’t help.

How Can You Fight Hangovers?

Since you can’t turn back time and drink in moderation, eat these foods the next morning to get rid of the hangover.

1. Bananas: When you are dehydrated, your body loses electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. [1] One banana has almost 12% of the potassium that a person needs daily [2]. Bite into this yellow fruit and see the magic.

2. Eggs: Your morning omelet is packed with amino acids that help produce antioxidants in your body. Now when you drink, it depletes your body of these powerful fighters that aid your liver to process alcohol. Eggs help fuel-up these antioxidants in your body, making you feel healthier and full [3].

3. Nuts: Alcohol stays in your bloodstream for 24 hours. Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts contain magnesium, which helps break it down for your liver [4]. This eases hangover symptoms.

4. Leafy Vegetables: Alcohol is known to attack the iron storage in your body, hence you feel fatigued the next day along with having a pale, dull skin [5]. Spinach, kale, and other leafy vegetables are rich in folate or iron and help replenish this nutrient in your body.

5. Ginger: This amazing root has a host of health benefits. It is ideal to cure a sore throat, nausea, and upset stomach that come with hangovers. It has anti-inflammatory properties and calms the acidity [6] in the body, soothing the throat and the stomach.

6. Coffee: If you’re severely dehydrated, coffee may not be the best option, but it might be a boon if you have it an hour after drinking enough water. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the stomach [7]. If you need to get to work, you will definitely need a caffeine pick-me-up after a fatigued and confusing morning. Stick to a light one with milk.

7. Other Fruits: Have water-rich and citrus fruits like orange, pineapple, watermelon, and berries that are packed with vitamin C and fiber to help your body recover. This vitamin helps slow down the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde easing symptoms of a hangover [8].

8. Oatmeal: Complex carbs in oatmeal provide a slow and steady release of sugar into your body, helping you avoid the spikes of high or low blood sugar [9], common after an alcohol binge. 

References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14044808
  2. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1930162/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23740536
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11505030
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/ginger
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S175646461200093X
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499341
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1322250/

 

Top 5 foods for beautiful skin

We usually think that expensive serums or lotions are the reason behind someone’s glowing skin. Or maybe the person is plain lucky to have been born with a radiant blemish-free skin.

Yes, moisturizers, genes and expensive beauty products have a role to play. But it’s only a supporting role. The real hero behind gorgeous and lustrous skin is FOOD. So whether you want to get rid of acne, fight premature aging or reduce fine lines, eating right is the right way ahead.

After all, you are what you eat.

So, here’s the list of top 5 foods for beautiful skin-

Continue reading

How To Recover From The Weekend Party

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“Saturday Saturday…” Remember the Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhawan-star number that soared in popularity charts. Because the mere thought of the weekend is enough to make you jump with joy. Weekends are usually all about meeting your favourite pals, shopping, watching the latest movie and hanging out at the newest café in town.

While the weekend is about having a blast, the one thing that takes the maximum beating is your weight. Whether it’s skipping breakfast, late dinners, erratic sleep hours, bingeing on fried foods and desserts, zero exercise, or downing a few drinks; Saturday and Sunday become speed bumps in your weight loss journey. Continue reading

Your Holi delicacies have numerous health benefits

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For most people, Holi is the festival of colours, water guns, and mischief which marks the beginning of spring. For foodies, Holi is the time to gorge on mouth-watering delicacies.

Like every Indian festival, Holi is noshing down dahi wada, gujiya, malpua, and gulping down glass after glass of the famous cooling thandai!

But, what if we told you that apart from taste, there are numerous health benefits of these greasy and sugary titbits that you eat on Holi– only if you master the right portion size?

And the good news: you can savour these treats not just on Holi, but the year around.

Keep reading to know more. Continue reading

It’s a spicy affair – Indian spices and their uses

With friends belonging to different parts of India, my taste buds have been treated with all sorts of delicacies – dal pakwaan, handwa, thalipeeth, makkai roti with sarson ka saag, thepla, bisi bele bhaath, idiappam, gate ki sabji, dal bati, to name a few. And on the occasions, I have visited their homes; I have seen their kitchen shelves stacked with the same spices that my mother uses.

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Spices are a regular feature in every Indian kitchen. These spices not only add dollops of taste and a pop of colour but also bring in a host of health benefits.

Besides food enhancers, spices have been long recognized for their medicinal properties. No wonder my grandma always insists on a cup of ginger tea when I am down with a cold. Or a teaspoon of methi daana when I am constipated.

Without further ado, let’s explore the staple ingredients which lend Indian food their magic: Continue reading

Decoding detox

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“You go ahead with your red velvet milkshake. I’ll sip this detox juice that I ordered online. It’s made of these amazing berries with magical weight-loss properties. Cost me a bomb, but I have lost three kilos.”

I recall this conversation between two teenage girls on the adjacent table when I was dining out last Sunday. Detox diets have become a trend these days, thanks to aggressive marketing on the internet. And at every gathering, you’ll always come across a friend or relative who promotes detox and can’t stop gushing about its health benefits.

But what exactly is a detox?

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Detox, shortened for detoxification, is a process where you aim to flush out toxins from your body. Toxins are the chemicals, pollutants, artificial ingredients, food additives, hormones, and pesticides that creep into your food. Over time, these toxins invite health problems – hormonal imbalance, impaired immunity and nutritional deficiencies to name a few.

Your liver, intestines, kidneys, blood and skin work round-the-clock to remove these harmful substances. However, given the pollution and adulterated food we eat, it’s impossible for the organs to keep a tab on all toxins.

Thus, a detox diet helps you to give up on toxin-rich foods in order to ensure your health. From once-a-week to a three day or a week-long program, you can choose from a detox plan that suits you.

How does a detox work and what are its benefits?

Cleansing the body in the current atmosphere of contamination is the key benefit of detox diets.

Generally, detox plans revolve around juices, water, veggies, and fruits. A good intake of fiber and liquids speeds up the detoxification process through urination and bowel movement. Eating natural foods boosts your well-being.

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Another key benefit of such diets is weight loss. Most detox diets restrict the intake of grains, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and meat which drastically cuts your calorie intake. Also, you have to give up on your bottle of booze and soda. Giving up on your favorite foods may be tricky, but the benefits are enormous.

The liver flushes out toxins, promotes digestion and regulates blood sugar, insulin, estrogen, and testosterone and cholesterol production in the body. However, eating processed foods, eating out too often and excess alcohol results in toxic build-up and inflammation in the liver. As a result, fat gets deposited around your belly. It’s next to impossible to lose this fat, even after restricting your calorie intake, unless you cleanse your liver.

Also, detox diets boost digestion and make your body efficient at soaking up nutrients and eliminating waste. So, the next time you hit a weight loss plateau, opt for a detox diet.

But don’t go overboard with the detox plan. You’ll definitely lose weight, but a detox is not the best method for permanent weight loss. Any diet that involves fasting or restricting entire food groups cannot be followed in the long run. A two-day detox plan is enough to blast the plateau effect.

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That said detox can be followed at home with easily available ingredients and a simple diet plan. No need to shop at the supermarket or online for those fancy ‘detox’ juices and teas that burn a hole in your pocket – like the girl at the restaurant.

All you need to do is stock up vegetables and fruits. You can juice them up or whip up a vibrant-looking salad. Be creative and colourful – that’s the trick to a successful detox!

And if you can’t come up with something fun and interesting, don’t worry. The bon happetee app is happy to help you. The app has a section where you can choose from a variety of options and plan your own cleansing program.

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So, are you ready to bask in the goodness of veggies and fruits?

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Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.

Aachar & chutney – Magic foods for good health

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My grandmother’s thali is incomplete without home-made chutney and aachar. And that is the secret of her well-being. Even at 75, she walks for 5 kilometers a day, has no wrinkles. And also, she has never spent a day lying in the bed.

She firmly believes that our ancient Indian food and practices are the ideal way to solve the health problems we – the processed and packaged food generation – face. And looking at her health, I couldn’t agree more!

Indian food is rich in variety owing to its cultural diversity. Whether its spices or side dishes, every constituent of traditional Indian cooking brings along a bevy of health benefits. And today we are going to explore the magic and goodness that lies within them. Continue reading

All Things Cholesterol: The good, the bad & the truth

“I will have a packet of cashews!“ I placed my order. My friend who had ordered a can of diet coke for herself was shocked.

“That thing is full of fat and cholesterol! Aren’t you supposed to know that?”

However, I don’t blame her. Over the years, we have been made to believe that nuts are highly loaded with fats and cholesterol.

Yes, all the nuts are naturally fat rich. But are nuts high in cholesterol? And is cholesterol really bad for us? Despite, the negative press cholesterol that this fatty substance often gets, it isn’t entirely bad for us.

Basics of cholesterol.

What is it?

Cholesterol is a substance made in the liver and it is vital to human life. Only animal bodies can produce cholesterol. Thus, you can find it ONLY in humans and animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy.

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Yes, that’s right! There is NO cholesterol in cashews, peanuts, cooking oils etc. So, the next time a cooking oil flashes the below punchline.

XYZ oil – Live healthier, live longer with our 0% cholesterol free oil

Know better to not let your eyeballs drop in the shopping mart aisle anymore.

The liver, other organs, and other cells in your body produce about 75% of the cholesterol in your blood. And, the other 25 % of cholesterol in your body is affected by the foods you eat.

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Since we eat more foods including cholesterol, our liver compensates by reducing its own production of cholesterol and removing excess cholesterol.

We have got natural processes to take care of cholesterol balance in the blood. And we totally disturb this balance and interrupt cholesterol functioning when we chose any “low fat” or “fat-free” products.

What does cholesterol do in our bodies?

Our body uses cholesterol to make a few essential hormones, including:

  • Sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone in women, and testosterone in men, which help the sex organs develop and are involved in reproduction.
  • Cortisol, which helps your body respond to stress.
  • Aldosterone, which balances the number of minerals in your body.
  • Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium to strengthen your bones.

So why exactly is cholesterol bad for us? One might think.

The levels of cholesterol in the blood are not the problem but the type of cholesterol is. Cholesterol travels in the blood in packages called lipoproteins, which consist of lipids (fats) and protein. Cholesterol packaged in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad” cholesterol because too much LDL in the blood can lead to cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries. LDL carries most of the cholesterol in the blood.

The high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called “good” cholesterol, is another type of cholesterol package. HDL helps transport cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver, which helps remove it from the body, preventing it from piling up in the arteries.

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The third type of lipoprotein is very low density (VLDL). This package transports triglycerides in the blood; high levels of VLDL and triglycerides can consequently lead to the risk of heart disease.

Some people with normal cholesterol levels get heart attacks while others with high levels do not—  the difference is in the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, their ratio and chronic inflammation in their bodies.

Inflammation and oxidation are interrelated processes. Inflammation is the body’s healthy response to injury, irritation or infection. It neutralizes harmful micro-organisms, helps repair wounds and cleans up debris. However chronic inflammation is an unhealthy condition which generates a constant supply of harmful free radicals (also called as oxidation) that panics our anti-oxidant defences.

  • We fearfully remove the full-fat milk and egg yolks; replace them with egg whites and low-fat yoghurt or fat-free butter.
  • We don’t get enough antioxidants (to fight oxidation) because we conveniently ditch the bowl of salad and a portion of fruit out of the meal plan.
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  • A biscuit packet (full of white flour and sugar) has become our go-to snack.
  • We make all possible excuses to miss the gym session or the jog outside.
  • Pulling an “all nightery” has now become the trend.

Such diet habits and lifestyle adaptations are the major components which are consequently making the cholesterol bad for your body!

Making Cholesterol good by yourself for yourself!

Don’t drink the fruit – eat it!

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Drop “juices” (canned) from your grocery list today. Because the processing takes out all the antioxidant from any fruit. And there’s a risk of toxicity due to the high dose of sugar and loads of preservatives, left in the can.

Rather have fresh and whole fruit. Minimize its contact with air and metal to maintain the antioxidant profile.

Manage your type of cholesterol!

Make sure you take dietary measures to control the bad type of cholesterol build up and increase the good type to help your body. Exercise often, eat a heart-healthy diet by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and oilseeds, etc., maintain a healthy body weight in order to keep your good cholesterol working in your body. Limit the intake of red meat, avoid smoking, choose leaner cuts while picking your meats, avoid organ meat and eliminate trans-fat to keep your LDL in check.

Beauty sleep!

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Sleep is the most powerful tool of our body to keep cholesterol from oxidizing. Sleep is the time when the body uses the antioxidant defence at its maximum to detoxify our body. Good sleep is a great stress manager too. So, don’t underestimate this in-built detoxification process and get your sleep cycle back on track. A good diet and enough exercise are going to be of great help to achieve your sleep goals.

Nuts: small packet of big energy!

Fun fact about cholesterol: plants cannot produce it. So naturally, any plant sources including nuts will not have any cholesterol contents. High time we shift fearlessly to our traditional snacking option- Nuts.

Peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios are in fact good sources of essential fats like MUFA and PUFA. They keep our body from exposing to chronic inflammation.

Get your heart racing!

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We all know that lack of exercise is one of the major factors contributing to illnesses. Now it’s the time to put this piece of knowledge to use. Walk, jog, run, swim, cycle, yoga, pilates anything you like – Just do it! Any exercise which gets your heart racing is going to keep your heart healthy!

So, don’t be a prey to “cholesterol free/ fat-free” media campaigns.

Welcome cholesterol in your meal plans and host it smartly!

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Akansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity. She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.

How I eat 2 rasgullas daily & stay fit? A guide to eating Indian Mithai guilt-free

Surely, you’ve read our recent post on how to eat fried foods without guilt. In this post, we’ll teach you how to befriend another of your favourite dishes that have been labelled as a villain by most nutritionists – sweets, our good ol’ desi mithai.

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Rasgullas, who doesn’t love them? These fluffy, white instantly-melt-in-your-mouth balls of sweetness! No wonder I can never stop at one rasgulla! And even if I dig into two rasgullas for the next 15 days, I will still not gain a kilo! My genetics or metabolism is not responsible for it. But, my eating habits are. My trick is – I relish sweets with a smile and smartness.

After reading this blog, I am confident that you’ll master this trick too! So, let’s get started!

Craving for halwa in the sweater weather? Go ahead and dig into it!

Seasonal mithais are a good idea. Similar to how aamras soothes your body in the sweltering summers, ghee and nut-based mithais in the winters keep your skin soft and supple. According to our ancient scriptures, there are cooling foods and warming foods. During winters, you need to eat foods that warm your body internally and keep the metabolic rate high. Fats keep you warm and also give you more energy. That’s why, this winter, reap the benefits of healthy fats through peanuts, nuts, sesame seeds and ghee. Dig into peanut chikki, gajak, carrot halwa and an assortment of laddoos – including besan ka laddo, gound ka laddoo, til laddoo and pinni – without any guilt!

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And you know what? Seasonal ingredients change the way mithais are prepared. Last week, I prepared gajar ka halwa at home. I took a small portion of it to my father for tasting. After he finished the bowl, he told me that it tasted great but was a little less sweet. That’s when I told him that I haven’t even added any sugar yet. The sweetness came from the all-natural seasonal carrots. Later, I ended up making the gajar halwa with almost 1/3rd the sugar of a traditional recipe. You see, that’s the power of using seasonal fruits and veggies in Indian mithais.

Here’s an interesting fact: Your maa ke “aate ka ladoo” with milk and a handful of nuts is one of the most traditional and nutritious Indian breakfast. This meal can give any breakfast cereal a run for their money.

Let’s say, you’re not into seasonal sweets and prefer grabbing a gulab jamun, rasmalai or a kalakand.

Our advice: savour it as a post-workout meal. Since our bodies require instant energy after a gruelling exercise session, the sugar in the mithai will be used for energy instead of getting converted into fat.

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Whoa! That’s an amazing reward for working out, isn’t it?

Alternatively, you can relish a small gulab jamun as a mid-morning snack along with five-six nuts to keep the sugar levels in check.

Some tips to keep in mind while preparing or eating mithais:

  • As with fried food, our best advice is to prepare sweets at home, instead of buying it at a nearby mithai shop.
  • Your preferred ingredient for sweetness should be jaggery over white sugar since it’s more nutritious. You can opt for dried dates or figs to up the healthy quotient of your mithai. But one thing you must avoid at all costs is artificial sweeteners. They are loaded with chemicals which create havoc with our health, ranging from bone loss to hair loss.
  • Adding condiments and spices like cardamom and nutmeg to your mithais boost the metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate lowers fat conversion.
  • The thumb rule to avoid weight gain with sweets is to eat sweets as a snack i.e. an hour or two after breakfast or lunch and not with it. That way, you’ll satisfy your taste buds and not dread the weighing scale.

Now, we are sure, a smart eater like you would look beyond the calories and get back the nuts, whole grains and ghee in the mithai. After all, these super-healthy ingredients brim with the goodness of protein, fat, and fibre. All these nutrients keep your stomach full for longer as well as slow down the digestion of sugar. As a result, you keep overeating at bay as well as lower the risk of sugar getting converted into fat. Now, that’s similar to eating two mithais for the calories of one!

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Sweets can be a delicious affair if you learn how to eat them the right way. And with our tips, you can give in to your sweet tooth and still lose weight.’

It’s time you became best friends with the much ‘maligned’ mithai!

bon happetee - diet download, diet plan app, best diet app, lose weight without workoutVishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.