Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Drinking Water is the First Step to Good Health

While we cannot survive a full day without water, so few of us actively drink water each day. Well shying away from what you may classify as a 'bland' beverage could be costing you in a number of other areas. Here are some common ailments that usually result from dehydration and a reminder on just how important drinking water is to our health.

1. Fatigue

If you wake up tired after a full night's sleep or find yourself wanting a nap at mid-day, you may not be drinking enough water to keep you going. Water is a vital source of energy in the body, which keeps our enzymatic activity and bodily processes up to speed. If you are not drinking enough water, your body is taking the remaining water in your system to conduct its various actions, such as digestion. Before bed and after waking, try drinking at least 2 cups of water so that you are squared away with hydration at the end and the beginning of the day.

2. Asthma and Allergies

If you or someone you know has suddenly begun to suffer from allergies, it is possible that it's not the pollen's fault, but rather their own for not drinking enough water. When you are dehydrated, your body restricts airways in order to conserve water and keep it from exiting the body. In addition, as the body loses water, its histamine production increases, and allergy symptoms worsen.

3. High Blood Pressure

Although blood pressure fluctuates in response to a number of factors, and it is possible that one of them is dehydration. The blood is made up of 92 percent water when the body is fully hydrated. But when we are dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker, causing a certain resistance to the blood flow and thus resulting in elevated blood pressure and even a higher risk of clotting.

4. High Cholesterol

Like blood pressure, high cholesterol could be the result of a number of factors, but it is certain that being dehydrated doesn't help. When the body is dehydrated, it produces more cholesterol to prevent water loss in the cells. As your body is in defense mode as a result of not drinking enough water, your cholesterol spikes to make up for the change.

5. Skin Disorders

If you suffer from dry skin, eczema or are prone to rashes and dandruff, it is possible that your skin is not receiving the moisture it needs. When you are dehydrated, the body's ability to eliminate toxins through the skin is impaired, making it more vulnerable to all kinds of skin disorders and dryness. Not drinking enough water could even cause pre-mature wrinkling and discoloration in the skin, that we end up spending big bucks on to find a miracle cream that works. Instead, make sure to drink your 8-10 cups of water daily and you may be able to save your skin and your wallet a lot of the effort.

6. Bladder and Kidney Problems

Dehydration triggers the accumulation of toxins and acid waste that creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. These bacteria-ridden areas can result in bladder and kidney problems, and increase the chances for infection, inflammation and pain in these areas.

7. Digestive Disorders

It's no secret that the key to a good digestive system is drinking enough water, especially lukewarm (room temperature) water. The shortage of water in your body also means a shortage of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals are essential for your digestive system to work effectively, and when you have a short, you become more prone to painful and uncomfortable conditions like ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux.

8. Constipation

Possibly the most stressful of all digestive disorders, constipation is one of the earliest and clearest signs that your body is not getting the water it needs. Your colon (where the final stages of digestion take place) is one of the primary sources for water in the body. When you are dehydrated, the water continues to draw water from the colon, but this means that waste moves through the large intestine much slower or not at all. This results in painful cramps in your lower abdomen as well as frustrating constipation and discomfort.

9. Joint Pain and Stiffness

One of the most important parts of the joint, its cartilage padding, is composed mostly of water, so when you are dehydrated, this cartilage is weakened. This makes it difficult to move and use your joins freely, and repair to the joints is much slower and more painful.
10. Weight Gain

Probably one of the least obvious results of dehydration, weight gain can occur easily when an individual is not properly dehydrated. Cells are depleted of energy and seem to cry out for more nutrients. The problem is that most individuals confuse the cells' cry for help as a reason to eat a sandwich, when what they really need is a glass or two of water.

11. Premature Aging

Don't put off drinking water until you're too old for it to count! When you are chronically dehydrated, the body's organs, including the skin, begin to wrinkle and 'wither', just like your hands do after being in the bath for too long. Once this process begins, it is difficult to stop, and it may leave you looking a lot older than you actually are!

In order to control some of these conditions and to remain properly hydrated, it is recommended to drink between 8-10 8 ounce glasses of water every day. You should especially drink more water when you are exercising, experience a change in environment, or when you are sick. Keep in mind that each day we lose about 10 cups of water by just breathing and sweating, so try and keep the balance in your favor.

If you aren't drinking water each day, and instead prefer soda, just remember that water has 0 calories and loads of health benefits while a can of soda has 35 grams of sugar and 140 calories. It's quite silly to be getting your sugar from drinks when all you need to stay hydrated is a sugar-free glass of water!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

20 Tips for fast weight loss

Fast weight loss is the ultimate dream. Everybody wishes to wake up to a slimmer self without much effort. It's one wish that remains in our minds all the time.

But if you have tried and failed at fast weight loss, then now is a good time to give it a try again. In order to lose weight quickly, most folks try crash diets or extensive workouts. But for some surprisingly odd reason, your fast weight loss planning did not work out for you. So we give you 20 tips for fast weight loss that'll clear the air for you, while helping you decide what your personal weight loss journey should be about. For starters, it should be about getting fitter, and not 'slimmer'. Let's begin... 

#1 Weight loss wish

Decide how much weight you need to lose - Most people start their weight loss journey by claiming to be xyz kilos overweight. This isn't a healthy way to project or aim for weight loss. Calculate your desired weight against your height by using reliable methods like the BMI, and set a healthy weight loss target. This is often half the battle won.

#2 Reduce the calories

One gram of fat contains twice the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrate. Avoid fatty foods, subtract the fats from your meat too. Include a lot of vegetables (full of fiber) and fruits in your diet. For fast weight loss, replace the oily paratha breakfast with a bowl of whole grain cereal or some lean protein and vegetables.

#3 Drink more water

Doctors recommend that one must drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water in a day. Drinking more water helps the stomach feel fuller and reduces cravings considerably.

Take one glass of water before every meal, it is a good way to keep you from overeating.Substitute all your sodas, fruit juice, teas, coffee, and beer for a glass of water and you could lose weight fast.

#4 Time management 

This is quite often overlooked in weight loss programs. Decide which part of your day will be dedicated to exercise, when in the week you will stock up on groceries, and when you will do the cooking - all within your current work and home life routine. If you don't do this now, your days will be rushed and unplanned, and you won't be able to sustain your weight loss efforts.

Arnav Sarkar, our fitness coach unveils the biggest mistake we make to achieve fast weight loss: We believe spending hours in the gym will aid in fast weight loss, but the truth is, quality matters over time. Arnav says, "When it comes to training, you don't need to do 20 exercises in each workout, and neither do you need to spend 45 minutes on the treadmill." This sounds similar to what you want to believe.

#5 Stock your kitchen

Keep your house well-stocked with fruits, vegetables, healthy meats, grains, cereals, spices, and flavourers. Follow our tricks to healthy cooking, cooking vegetables for the week, and low-fat cooking posts to understand how best you can stock your kitchen with healthy and delicious ingredients.These will help you avoid binging and aid in fast weight loss.

People whose diets are dominant in fruits & veggies tend to lose weight faster and maintain their weights much longer.

#6 Watch portions 

Instead of binging on the biggest piece of cake, choose the smallest slice or simply share it with someone. After all being guilt-free is half the weight loss battle won.

Chew everything you eat at least 8-12 times. Eat slowly. Your body doesn't realize that you've had enough to eat until several minutes after you've had it.

#7 Stick to home-cooked meals 

Whether it's you who's cooking, a family member, or house help, ensure that every one practises healthy cooking methods, and ingredients. Ask any person who's lost weight the healthy way, and you will always hear about how healthy homecooked meals were a big reason behind it. Use less oil, low salt, fresh produce, and you'll start seeing results in no time.

This habit not only helps in fast weight loss but it makes you healthy and fit from within.

#8 Break the fast

After sleeping for 6 to 8 hours at night, your glucose level or blood sugar level is low. After you miss your breakfast, you let the body go into a hibernation-like state, which leads to no or minimum calorie burn.

Advice backed by scientific evidence: Through several studies it is suggested that more than 95% of overweight individuals, tend to skip breakfast - making it a common habit amongst those who are unable to manage their weight well.

Breakfast and weight loss: Each morning, your body needs to rev up its metabolic rate and breakfast does exactly that. It keeps your hormone levels stable and helps regulate your blood sugar level, burning more calories.

Stop unhealthy cravings: Are you a big snacker? Eating breakfast will help you curb your snack attacks a lot better. One of the biggest advantages of eating breakfast is that it helps stabilise your hormones and keeps potential overeating and bingeing at bay.

#9 Cut the salt 

Eating more than the recommended 2500mg (1 tablespoon) of sodium each day will cause you to retain water and weight gain. Sodium holds up to 50 times its weight in water. When you limit the amount of sodium you eat your body will begin to expel some that unwanted water weight.

The urge to drink water is a good indicator that your sodium intake is too high. As your sodium levels get high your body ask for more water to dilute the sodium by making you thirsty.

A lot of bars offer salty snacks such as peanuts and chips for free, after customers get thirsty they will order drinks to quench their thirst. So watch out for salty snacks!!

#10 Start a cardio + weights workout

A healthy weight loss programme is incomplete without a good exercise routine, and weight training mixed with cardio is the best way to lose weight. Of course, variations and forms exist, but any workout that stresses on muscle tone and increased heart rate will always help you lose weight and keep it off. You can either start a home workout today, or rely on gyms for fitness training.

You'll get a much greater after burn effect from lifting heavier weights because of the high intensity and your body's metabolism will burn more fat to help your body recover from your heavy weight training workout.

Japanese researchers recently found that lifting weights first helps you release more growth hormone which in turn helps your body release more fat to be burned for energy while doing cardio or intervals.

#11 Opt for a hobby

It isn't sufficient to rely on just 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Moving from bed to office chair, and back to bed, isn't a healthy way to live. Buy a motion sensor gaming console that lets you enjoy social games with friends and family, plan weekend trips, clean your house once a week, dance, play sports, the list is endless. Get out of the coffee shop and dining table rut, and you'll have fun along with the healthy weight loss.

#12 Combat stress

Stress is always detrimental to healthy weight loss in the long run. Find ways to combat stress and you'll soon realise that your diet and exercise aren't sabotaged anymore, and that you truly do see results. Look at yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simple hobbies like reading to fight stress.

#13 Opt for healthy vacations

Why go all the way with healthy weight loss, when one tiny vacation will just come along and topple it all? Healthy vacations aren't impossible. Take a look at how you can eat smart on a holiday, and then at bodyweight workouts that you can carry with you wherever you go, to understand how to holiday right. Above all, remember that these are lifelong habits that'll help you stay fit forever and not short term weight loss quickfixes.

#14 Walk after every 4 hours

According to researchers at Missouri University, as quoted by nowloss.com, "sitting down or being virtually inactive for longer than 4 hours slows down your metabolism making it easier for you to store fat so to prevent this from happening try standing up for at least 10 minutes within every 4 hours."


Chew food properly

Various studies have revealed that slow eaters munch through nearly 70% less calories per meal. This is because eating and chewing food properly gives ample time to the body for appetite-related hormones to activate. Secret tip- Slow down your eating by putting the knife and fork down before taking the next bite. Evidence shows that this way you'll end up eating less.

Keep snacks out of sight

Out of sight is out of mind - and it is a highly recommended practice when it comes to food. Stock up on healthy snacks instead, and ensure that any energy packet of chips or other unhealthy snacks are stored in places that you don't see every few minutes.

More can be merrier

It is seriously okay to have several snacks or small meals during the day, if you are eating healthy. Keeping hunger at bay prevents mindless cravings to binge on food at the very sight of it. Opt for yogurt, fruit or fresh homemade snacks. This may sound old school, but it works brilliantly!

#16 Avoid eating straight from food containers

Never. Yes, never eat straight from a multi-serve packet or container. The basic or natural tendency to keep reaching for the food is given a huge blow if you serve yourself from a small bowl or cup. We suggest you pour out the amount you intend to eat, and give it a stop when it's over. Try and fight against the subliminal message of 'no one can eat just one'.

#17 Be on the move

Be active. Get going, whenever you can. Don't let your job chain you to your desk all day. Get up, go for short walks, get some fresh air every two hours or so. It will improve your circulation and avoid the flab from piling up. Also try to walk small distances like to the grocery store, to the station, to the bus stop etc.

#18 Avoid sodas

Even Diet sodas! Since regular soda is basically a weight gainer drink and since water is a 0 calorie weight loss drink - You would lose 1 pound every week if you replaced 2 bottles of soda with 2 bottles of water so go here to see how to stop drinking soda.

#19 Strike a balance

Remember: When planning for weight loss, It pays to be patient. You are not going to lose weight overnight. So don't be discouraged and don't punish your body if you don't see instant results. Starving yourself or putting in overtime at the gym is never the answer. It will only lead to exhaustion, fatigue and will eventually lower your immunity. In fact, you will benefit a lot if you take breaks in between your routine workouts. And occasionally, treating yourself to a piece of chocolate or a slice of pizza will not do any harm to your weight loss plans.

#20 Sleep well

Sleep well and sleep right. Your body needs to recover and regenerate itself after a long working day. You need to give it enough time for that. Seven-eight hours of sleep every night is essential. Sleeping lesser or more could lead to accumulation of fat. So make sure you get enough rest.

Courtesy:Sobiya N. Moghul

Read more Personal Health, Diet & Fitness stories on www.healthmeup.com

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Special tricks of Google search


Google is probably the most popular search site on the web, used for finding just about everything we need on the internet. It's quick, easy and simple to use, and most of the time we find what we need in the first one or two result pages. But what if I told you that you have been using Google wrong? It turns out that Google has a few special tricks that will make your life a whole lot easier.

1. Remove words from your search results:

Let's say you are looking for bread recipes but you don't want any with "yeast" as an ingredient. All you need to do is type your desired search terms normally and then add a minus sign (-) followed by the words you want excluded without a space. It should look like this in the search bar: bread recipes -yeast.

2. Look up Related Words and synonyms:

This is a simple way for finding out other ways for saying something if you want to use the same word twice in one sentence, and you don’t want it to sound weird. In the google search bar put a tilde mark (~, normally located next the 1 key on the top left of the keyboard) in front of the search term you want to find synonyms for.

3. Google can help you define a word:

Type "define:" (with both " marks) followed by the word you want and Google will take you straight to the definition. Use this to catch anyone trying to cheat on Scrabble and get fast definitions for words you don’t know.

4. Search for the exact order of words:

If you are looking for the origin of a quote or a song you can only remember one line from, then this is the right tip to find what you are looking for. Simply put your search phrase inside quotation marks and search.

5. Search for items in a specific price range:

If you are looking for something to buy but you don't want google to show you all the price options simply use this handy little trick. First type in your term, let's say phone, and after that type the lowest and highest prices you're willing to pay with two periods (..). The end result should look like this: Phone 100$..200$. The more accurate the item you are looking for will be the better results you will get.

6. Limit your search to a website:

If you once read a good article on a site and you can't remember its name and how you got to it then it's very easy to find it again. Type "site:" followed by the URL of the website you'd like to search. A URL of a site looks like this: www.baba-mail.comAfter the site name type the rest of your terms, for example: "site:"www.baba-mail.comdog.

7. Search for a GIF:

A GIF is a type on animated picture file looping over and over like a very short (mostly poor quality) video. Finding GIFs is as easy as using the Google images search. Go to Google Images, type what you are looking for, click "Search tools" and then "Type". A small drop down list will appear, select "Animated" and search. The results you'll get might look like normal pictures at first but press on any of them and you will see their animation.

8. Setting a timer:

Not really a search option, but still a very useful feature if you want to remind yourself to take a break or to take something out of the oven. Type "set timer for" into the search bar and you will see the Google timer as your first result. Enter the time you want in hours, minutes or seconds, and start the timer, Google will start beeping when the time runs out. 

9. Do math:

This one is really straight forward, type in an equation in the search bar and google will give you the answer on its calculator. If possible, you can copy-paste the equation to the search bar to make your life easier.

10. Search for a file type and not just a website:

If you are looking for a Word file, a PowerPoint presentation or something similar then this will make your search faster and more accurate. Enter your search terms followed by "filetype:PPT". PTT is the file type for PowerPoint, DOC is for most Word files and if you are looking for other kinds of files, just google their file type initials.

11. Convert currency:

Much like doing math for you, google can also tell the value of different currencies and help you prepare for that trip abroad. Type the name of the currency you own, add "to" and then type the name of the currency you want to get in return. Keep in mind that many places trading with foreign coin take a commission and google can't calculate that.  
12. Search for something for forgot:

If a part of your search is unknown or forgotten then you can use google to fill in the blanks. Enter your search terms using asterisks (*) as stand-ins for the unknowns. It can also be used to answer simple question such as searching for: When you are in Rome be sure to visit *