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Your Daily Cup of Fitness: Karina Pandya

All you wanted to know about fitness, health and yoga

Water Retention/Fluid Retention/Edema

via Water Retention/Fluid Retention/Edema

Water Retention/Fluid Retention/Edema

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Have you ever felt that that no matter how much you diet or workout, your weight is just not going anywhere? You may notice unexplained weight gain over short periods of time. Our weight change only happens as a result of change in muscle, fat and water weight! The first thing that needs to reduce is our water weight.

This is a common problem many of us have felt and in such situations, the problem is not even in our hands!

Its because there are excess fluids in our bodies which build up and cause swellings in our legs, hands, ankles or even leave a puffiness to your face. Also known as edema or fluid retention, water retention may even be a symptom of a medical condition such as a kidney disease, thyroid problem or heart failure.

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Even because of the hot weather, the body tends to be less efficient at removing fluids from the body (mainly during summer), some may experience this two weeks prior to their menstrual cycle while other women experience this as a result of burn injuries or sunburn – where the skin retains fluid and swells in response to the injuries. Stress is also known to be the major causes of edema!

It is very, very important to know the difference between water weight and fat weight.

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It is basically excessive water accumulation in our body cavities and tissues. For instance consuming large amounts of salt, standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time; or even the side effects of certain medications can all lead to fluid retention.

Losing fat weight may take up to several weeks, even months to show up on the scale. It’s easy to tell that when you eat more calories then you burn; you are obviously going to gain weight. Some of the best methods to lose body fat include to strength training in your workouts and to follow a high protein diet.

Strength training involves a lot of body weight exercises; lifting weights and/or using gym equipment which helps build muscle mass and reduce visceral fat.  Its very important to make sure you get enough sleep as it leads to decreased appetite and hunger as well as a lower risk of weight gain.

Including vinegar in our daily diets is another method to enhance feelings of fullness, reduce body weight; decrease calorie intake, reduce belly fat and average waist circumference.

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Is it just FAT or is it a misunderstood notion?

Your Daily Cup of Fitness: Karina Pandya

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Burning Fat, isn’t that something we all want in some proportion in our lives? Well, guilty as I am – I am one of those people and so are a lot of other people! That’s not even a bad thing, but working on this HUGE aspect of our lives is extremely important as it involves other aspects such as body fat percentage (BFP) and the adipose (fat) tissue in the body.

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Body fat percentage is a measure of fitness level as it directly calculates a person’s body’s composition without regard to height or weight. One of the most important factors that influences body fat is the age and gender of the person.

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It doesn’t matter where they are located but most fat cells are converted into pure triglycerides, which are the most common types of fats in the body. They come from foods such as oils, butter or practically any…

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Is it just FAT or is it a misunderstood notion?

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Burning Fat, isn’t that something we all want in some proportion in our lives? Well, guilty as I am – I am one of those people and so are a lot of other people! That’s not even a bad thing, but working on this HUGE aspect of our lives is extremely important as it involves other aspects such as body fat percentage (BFP) and the adipose (fat) tissue in the body.

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Body fat percentage is a measure of fitness level as it directly calculates a person’s body’s composition without regard to height or weight. One of the most important factors that influences body fat is the age and gender of the person.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 11.36.36 AM

It doesn’t matter where they are located but most fat cells are converted into pure triglycerides, which are the most common types of fats in the body. They come from foods such as oils, butter or practically any type of foods that you eat.

Burning fat simply just doesn’t come to you PACKAGED in a box. It requires A LOT of hard work, dedication, exercise and most importantly diet. There are many factors that can promote fat loss and help to burn to burn fat quickly.

Some of these include strength training which requires you to contract you to contract your muscles against resistance.This helps to build muscle mass and increase strength. It also inso involves lifting weights to gain muscle mass over time.

 

 

Why most health checkups are a scam meant to convert healthy people into patients: Aniruddha Malpani

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The message that prevention is better than cure has been drilled into us ever since we were children. This is one of the reasons that executive health checkups have become so popular. The promise is that they will help your doctor pickup medical problems early, so that these can be treated more effectively.

Unfortunately, even though the logic is very appealing, the sad truth is that health checkups are good only for doctors, testing centers and hospitals, but not for patients !

Let’s look at why health checkups are being promoted so aggressively. The checkup is great way of converting well people into patients and for creating a constant stream of customers for the healthcare system.

The message that prevention is better than cure has been drilled into us ever since we were children. This is one of the reasons that executive health checkups have become so popular. The promise is that they will help your doctor pickup medical problems early, so that these can be treated more effectively.

Unfortunately, even though the logic is very appealing, the sad truth is that health checkups are good only for doctors, testing centers and hospitals, but not for patients !

Let’s look at why health checkups are being promoted so aggressively. The checkup is great way of converting well people into patients and for creating a constant stream of customers for the healthcare system.

Let’s consider a 40-year-old asymptomatic woman who goes for a deluxe super-duper health checkup at a local five-star hospital. Because she has opted for the Platinum scheme, the doctor does a vaginal ultrasound scan to check her ovaries. She may find a small ovarian cyst, which is when the games start. Ovarian cysts are very common in women and most will resolve on their own.

However, the doctor scares the patient into doing surgery, using a number of fear-inducing techniques, such as: it may increase in size; it may burst; or, it may become cancerous. The sonographer is also a part of this scam, and magnifies the findings by highlighting them and by reporting the size in mm, instead of cm (a 4 cm cyst is reported as a 40 mm cyst , to make it seem bigger!) The soft-sell is that this is done by “minimally invasive” surgery, so that there is no cut and can be done on a day-care basis. Also, the insurance will pick up the tab, so there are no financial damages!

The truth is that you cannot make an asymptomatic patient happier — and if she has no complaints to start with, she most probably does not need any intervention at all! The right advice would be masterly inactivity. However, few doctors have the maturity to advise this.

In fact, they tell the patient that thanks to this checkup, they have picked up a problem which could have snowballed in the future. The amazing thing is that patients are happy when an abnormality is picked up (they can justify the money they spent on the health checkup!). Most patients are very pleased that the problem was spotted before it became a major issue.

The truth is that most of these so-called abnormalities are not really problems at all — they are just incidental red herrings discovered with modern medical technology, which the patient would have happily carried to her grave if she had been unaware of them.

All this overtesting is leading to an epidemic of overtreatment. Is this going to change?

No — it will just become worse as time goes by. Thanks to better technology, it’s becoming easier and cheaper to produce high quality images of practically any nook and corner of the human body.

However, better pictures do not equal better clinical outcome. A lot of these images will pickup problems, which are just anatomical variants, but which will be “treated” by over-enthusiastic doctors. There is too much money at stake!

Also, remember that if an “abnormality” is detected, it requires a very courageous doctor to advise against treating it with surgery! In reality, it’s much easier for the doctor to advise surgery and “fix” the problem. After all, if he does the surgery, no one will object (whether the surgery was needed or not is never discussed). Find a problem then fix the problem, is a common knee jerk response. It’s also much more profitable for him.

However, if he advises against surgery and the problem worsens over time (as it will in a very small minority of patients), the patient is quite likely to sue the doctor for not taking care of it when it was first pointed out. Even good doctors will advise surgery to protect themselves, even when they know in their heart of hearts that this surgery is not in the patient’s best interests.

Marketing health checkups is very profitable for the new corporate lab chains, because they can sell this to all comers — they don’t have to wait till someone falls in, which means the number of potential customers is huge! High volume business can be very attractive, because it keeps the machines humming.

The tragedy is that large companies are unwittingly compounding the problem by offering a mindless battery of tests for all their employees as part of their corporate wellness programs, without realising the harm they are doing.

Routine tests, such as electrocardiograms, chest X-rays and full blood screening, have been proven to provide little benefit for the healthy individual. This has been documented by the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Ironically, the “higher” the executive’s post , the more the tests the Health Package offers (Diamond Packages provide 70 tests, versus Gold Packages which provide 40, for example), and this makes it more dangerous, because of the greater chance of finding some problem or the other!

Unfortunately, in this patient population (healthy people who are undergoing tests for screening only), the vast majority of abnormalities are unlikely to be of any medical importance . They are called False Positives. However, the abnormal result is flagged and will create a lot of anxiety, and the doctor will then happily order further tests to try to determine the significance of the abnormal test result, often resulting in a Catch 22 situation, where a healthy person has been “converted” into a patient. “Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the fly” would the best way of describing how the medical system seduces patients with the help of these health checkup schemes.

Now I am not saying that all screening is bad — it’s just that it should be used intelligently and selectively. If we continue trying to use a one size fits all approach, we will end up in the sad situation where we are forced to treat a laboratory report rather than a person. While this may be good for the bottom lines of laboratory chains, it’s bad for the poor patient and a lot of medical resources get wasted as a result of all this unnecessary testing.

This blog is an article written by renowned IVF specialist and angel investor Dr. Aniruddha Malpani. It is reproduced here by his permission and this article has previously been published by FirstPost. 

Weight Humour – A Compilation of Joke Memes

Have you ever wondered why sometimes, losing and keeping weight off can be so difficult? By no means am I justifying ‘MY OWN REASONS’ but this is just adding a bit of weight humour to our struggle to this painful process that we all have to go through!

There are approximately 196 countries in the world today, five oceans by size- Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Artic. However, what does this mean when it comes to the number of seasons? While we know the general classification of seasons of winter, spring, summer and autumn there are different seasons across the world depending on the country.

They happen because of the tilt of the Earth towards the sun. When its winter in Britain, its summer in Australia, However, seasons in India and America are not the same when it comes to the monsoon; other than that, everything else remains the same. Monsoon only occurs only in India and its neighbouring countries. So, with this glaring difference in seasons, this also brings a lot of witty and side splitting humour.

MOST OF US WANT TO SHED THOSE EXTRA POUNDS, but with those short holidays we get – it also comes with a mixed blessing. Don’t we want to have some fun and loosen up and relax? Who wants to “eat more sensibly” right after NEW YEARS or just about anytime? Here are a compilation of some of the best Joke Memes and Weight Humour! Feel free to ADD SOME, LOSE SOME  🙂

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Eat Fast, Your Weight Loss will Last!
Is it CURSED?

             

Can you really sacrifice those steps?
Remember THIS!

    

Continue reading “Weight Humour – A Compilation of Joke Memes”

Tips to Fight Medicine-Induced Weight Gain

via Tips to Fight Medicine-Induced Weight Gain

Tips to Fight Medicine-Induced Weight Gain

One of the main and pressing issues that we all face is weight maintenance.   Whether we want to admit it or not, most – NOT ALL of us are struggling with weight issues. While some people have problems of not being able to “put on weight”, a lot of us battle this problem.

Most of the times, this is intentional weight gain, because of poor diet or lack of exercise; but there are others who face unintentional weight gain without increasing consumption (of food or liquid) and without decreasing activity levels.

This unintentional weight gain may be periodic, continuous or even rapid. However, it is very important to pay close attention to your body’s changes at all times. Even if it’s not the health condition, the medications used to treat the illness may have an undesirable side effect of weight gain- antipsychotic drugs, mood stabalisers, antidepressants, steroids, medications for hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, increased cortisol production and Cushing’s syndrome, autoimmune diseases, fluid retention, meds for corticosteroids or even birth control pills. Weight gain may also occur during the menstrual cycle (for women) where there is a lot of retention and bloating.

Some of the symptoms to pay attention and look out for include shortness of breath, fever, skin sensitivity, difficulty breathing, rapid weight gain, changes in vision, swollen feet and heart palpitations. Now one may assume that everything is all right with them and neglect these symptoms but it is very, very important to always stay vigilant of these signs.

Why does this happen? A very good question, indeed- we all would want to know!

This is because certain medicines such as corticosteroids alter/change the body’s electrolyte and water balances and even metabolic rate. Steroids decrease the body’s ability to flush out sodium from the body. Therefore many people who take steroids have reported of increase fat in the abdomen, neck and face. Even if you CAN CONTROL the steroid driven weight gain, it is likely to look HEAVIER because of the redistributed FAT!

Medicines used to treat depression, anxiety and other antidepressants may ALSO lead to weight gain because of the side effect of appetite changes. As a result of this side effect of such medicines, anything and everything that looks appetising becomes a craving and this is DEFINITELY not healthy and close to fruits or vegetables.

Besides the fact that being overweight leads to many health complications such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, infertility, psychological problems, diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, certain types of cancer and arthritis; it is very important to deal with weight issues SIMPLY for the fact that it will lead to better self confidence, boost your self esteem, look and feel better about yourself!

So when you are armed with all the knowledge about how weight gain is a potential side effect for taking medicines you can make smart choices to deal with it!

Nutrition should form more of a part of improving health. There are strategic methods to deal with such issues and a diet plan needs to be devised on extreme exercise plans and a drastic decrease in calorie intake!

So, how can one fight this battle with their Weight?

  1. Pay Close attention to the amount of sodium intake: Although, it is a healthy choice for everyone to avoid excessive sodium in the diet, people who are taking anti- depressants and/or steroids may want to pay extra close attention to the amount of sodium they have in their diet.

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So, what this means is that, they should avoid canned foods, processed foods and fast food; as they are often packed with sodium. It is very important to choose low-calorie foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, eat foods that are rich in fibre, choose foods that are slow to digest carbohydrates and make sure that have drink a lot of water.

2. Add more potassium to your diet: Potassium, a very important body mineral for both electrical and cellular functions can be found in foods such as fruits, whole grains and fruits. By NOT having enough potassium in your diet, not only will it lead to your muscles feeling weak but also abnormal heart rhythms.

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It also flushes out sodium from the body and leads to other health benefits such as reduced blood pressure, osteoporosis prevention and protection against stroke. Some of the potassium rich foods include bananas, avocados, coconut water, spinach, black beans, beets and edamame.

3. Have small, frequent meals throughout the day: As medicines (specific ones) can increase your appetite, it is important to break up the food intake into smaller yet frequent meals. Instead if having three MASSIVE meals, you can integrate non-starchy veggies –volume rich foods. Having six small meals –that are healthy are recommended.

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4. Stay Active: Staying active is important for everyone and is important not only for weight loss but also weight maintenance. Its important to bear in mind the your health condition and current symptoms.

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5. Get quality sleep: Now, one may wonder how sleeping can help but people who are taking medicines such as steroids as it is face insomnia and issues with their sleep pattern.

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This leads to an increase in appetite, which is NOT AT ALL good when you want to lose weight. Quality sleep is not only good for a healthy mind but also one effective way to prevent weight gain.

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6. Consult your doctor: It’s very important to stay in touch with your doctor/neurologist or whoever is prescribing you medicines. Sometimes, certain medications lead to weight gain and there may be alternatives or treatment protocols that you could use to maintain your health. For instance certain medications such as Dichorate ER 750 Mg may lead to an increase of weight and there may be an alternative you can use such as Lacosam 100Mg or Zonegram 200 Mg that may lead to weight loss.

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Are Your Medicines Making You Gain Weight?

 

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Weight Gain, Weight Gain, Weight Gain … how many of us live behind the prison of these words tangled up in our minds? Constantly nagging us wherever we go- the first thing that hits you as you get dressed up, or while you eat; a haunting clouded thought as we wake up in the morning.

This negative self talk that we constantly enforce upon ourselves, constantly telling us that we are NOT good enough, fit enough, disciplined enough, and thin enough. A constant comparison to other people in society –all of which cause emotional disturbances, stress, anxiety, depression and an overload of the hormone –cortisol.

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This hormone is the one that is in charge of causing our metabolism to SLOW down, increase our cravings AND increases our bodies to store Fat. Our body actually holds onto body fat, in the fear of starvation and losing weight is very hard when cortisol production is very high.

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It’s as it hard enough to maintain a healthy weight by eating healthy food (in adequate or proportionate amounts) and also getting enough exercise! Despite your diet and exercise there are several other factors that play a key role in gaining weight. These include:

  • Sleep Problems: Although this may surprise you, it has been found through various studies how chronic insomnia can have a major effect on weight gain. In fact, it can make a person feel extremely cranky and groggy as it disrupts the  endocannabinoid system (ECS), the system that regulates signals related to appetite and the brain’s reward system. When you get tired, you are more likely to eat more (despite not even realising it). In addition to that, it will lead to daytime fatigue where you become lethargic and burn less calories.

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  • Stress: All of us have at some time or the other experienced some form of stress in our lives where we try to drown our sorrows with some form of sweet – e.g. browning, donuts, cookies, etc. after a rough day. While this is one way of gaining weight there is also another way, even if you do not eat anything! That is because of the hormones that stress releases into the body – which makes can predispose you to hold on to weight. As if this is not enough, chronically elevated levels of cortisol increase blood sugar (putting you in risk of catching type 2 diabetes) and at a risk of developing more belly fat.
  • Medications: Sometimes, the answer to inexplicable weight gain is related to meds. Right behind your medicine cabinet doors, are some meds that cause weight gain either by increasing your appetite, cause you to hold onto extra fluids or slowing down your metabolism.

Some of these include:

  • Certain tricyclic antidepressants- such as amitriptyline,
  • imipramine (Tofranil) and doxepin that lead to weight gain
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI)
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine (Nardil) and Mirtazapine (Remeron), which is an atypical antidepressant.

Some of the main culprits include antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, paroxetine, and sertraline), anti-psychotic drugs (used to treat disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), medicines for mood stabalisers, allergy pills, steroids (such as  prednisone or birth control pills), medicines that treat mental illnesses, hypothyroidism your thyroid (the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck) is not making enough thyroid hormone it can lead to weight gain. You will most likely feel weak, tired and cold.

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Contrary to this, even when you do not get enough thyroid hormone it leads to a slower metabolism which leads to weight gain. No one knows for suer why certain antidepressants are more likely to cause weight gain. While some trigger food cravings –particularly carbohydrates, others affect the body’s metabolism.

At other times, when antidepressants are effective people may indulge in food cravings –regaining their appetite which ultimately leads to weight gain. In this obesity epidemic that is constantly going on, unwanted weight gain because of antidepressants is rarely mentioned. Losing weight as a result of taking antidepressants is not always easy and in some cases it may be as simple as switching the medication.  

A thyroid which functions at the lower end of the normal range may be the reason behind a drastic weight gain. It is important to treat the hypothyroidism with appropriate medicines so as to reverse weight gain.  

diabetic meds (such as  insulin, thiazolidinediones (Glitazones) , and sulfonylureas), medications for heart disease and antihistamines and Blood pressure-reducing drugs like beta-blockers. Certain other medications that lead to weigh gain include medications for epilepsy such as valproate and carbamazepine.

According to WebMD, as much as 15 percent of weight issues are related to medications. Medicine related weight gain is not something uncommon. If your medicine causes shortness of breath then , you may not even want to exercise.Of course this will lead to weight gain.

While its true that MANY medicines can cause weight gain, it is important to keep in mind that NOT EVERY medicine will cause weight gain. There are certain types of medicines that can actually help a person lose weight.

For instance Zonisamide an anti-epileptic medication has the common side effect of significant weight loss, the diabetes drug -metformin might make you lose weight instead of gain it; Topiramate (a drug used for seizures and migraines) can help a person lose weight rather than gain it.

The weight gain due to medications can pose serious health problems to a person, especially if they are already overweight. This weight gain depends on a number of factors such as age, the medicine and any other medical problem a person may have.

While some people may fain a few pounds in a year, there are others who will gain 10-20 pounds over the course of a few months. However, in chronic cases where people may have to take the medication for months or even years; it may lead to a significant weight gain.

       Why do people gain weight via certain medicines?

       It has been proven that certain medications stimulate a person’s appetite, which causes a person to eat more – thereby leading to weight gain.Other medications can affect the body’s metabolism causing the body to even burn calories at a slower rate; leading to an increase in weight. Other medicines affect the body’s ability to absorb sugar, how your body stores sugar and other nutrients.   

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Of course, while meds can cause a lot of weight gain – being overweight due to this reason or any other reason itself has many health problem or can be the reason to lead to some in the future.

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Some of these health problems include:

  • Diabetes or impaired glucose intolerance
  • Psychological problems
  • Stroke
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Liver Disease
  • Certain Cancers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Certain Lung Diseases
  • Infertility

 While there are times when you may not always gain weight despite having a particular medicine having weight gain as a side effect. What you really need to pay attention to is a healthy diet (good eating habits) and exercise.

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  • Underlying Health Problems:  Although many of us tend to overlook this factor and focus only on our diet and exercise, one of the main culprits behind weight gain is held with that tiny butter-fly shaped gland on your neck- the thyroid!

This tiny gland is responsible for controlling many of the body’s metabolic processes, such as body temperature, heart rate and weight. So any imbalance with this gland would naturally affect your weight!

So, if your body has low levels of thyroid hormones – a condition known as hypothyroidism occurs. In contrast, if the body produces too much of this hormone then a condition known as hyperthyroidism will occur.

These problems are extremely severe if overlooked as they are concerned with the bodily functions. Other health problems may include Cushing’s syndrome (a rare adrenal gland disorder) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Its very important to visit a doctor and really investigate what is happening with your body if weight gain persists.

  • Hormone Fluctuations: Hormonal fluctuations are extremely common and spikes in any of the hormones can lead to fluctuations in weight. For instance, a spike in estrogen will lead to the body retaining fluid (for females this will occur right from the beginning of your period till the end).

This will lead to an increase in weight gain which is just temporary, so the weight just may return back to normal within a few days. However, there are other times when hormones go haywire for women on a continuous basis. Low estrogen levels can cause fluctuations in blood sugar which will ultimately lead to weight gain. Its very important to pay attention to your hormone levels at all times.

  • Ageing: Yes, its true – growing up or rather ‘ageing’ can be a possible cause for gaining weight. While this is not an excuse behind weight gain, the body tends to require less energy as we grow (fewer calories) and the metabolic rate slows down.

Ageing also leads to muscle loss. So while you may not even notice any change in your diet or exercise you could also be putting on weight due to this factor. So, in order to fight this struggle against the metabolic slow-down it is very important to incorporate a healthy –nutrient rich diet (rather than empty calories) and a lot more exercise during the day. Continue reading “Are Your Medicines Making You Gain Weight?”

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Your Daily Cup of Fitness: Karina Pandya

All you wanted to know about fitness, health and yoga