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Health & Fitness

Five Reasons why your weight stays put

Saturday - Mar 03, 2012, 03:58pm (GMT+5.5)
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Five Reasons why your weight stays put

It's been almost two months since your New Year resolution to lose weight was set in motion. While you are hitting the gym, running the extra mile and keeping a check on your food intake, those pesky kilos have just refuse to leave your body. If you still wear a swimsuit with a towel around you, or can't slip into the one-size-smaller skinny jeans you bought in hope, our experts give you a few reasons why those pounds aren't dropping yet.

1. Inadequate in the diet
Recognising which fat is good for your body is one of the most important aspects of weight loss. Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says, "While on a diet, most people cut out on fat. What's worse is that they keep gobbling 'diet biscuits' which are rich in trans fatty acid - the bad fats - while cutting down ghee, white butter and paneer, all of which provide the body with the essential fatty acids. These fats are required for mobilising fatty acids from the stubborn fat areas of the body."

2. Low B12 levels
B12 has pretty much become the new status symbol of the dieting world, feels Rujuta. B12 is required to convert fat stores to energy, which is what helps you lose weight. The lack of B12 leads to 'stubborn' fat. "This is a disease of our times says," Rujuta. "This vitamin is needed in very low amounts by the body and we fall short as we are consuming more processed foods than ever before." Cheese, eggs and shellfish are all rich sources of B12.

3. Underestimating calories consumed
Studies have shown that even with all the gizmos at hand, people still don't count calories correctly. Writing down all that we eat, including drinks and bites or tastes of food can help you lose weight. How? When we eat, most of us don't pay attention to the portions.

This happens especially when you eat out too much. You don't realise that the portions being served to you are rich in calories, even if you are eating something healthy.

Trying to substitute food with supplements doesn't work either. A balanced diet is sufficient to fill all the nutritional requirements. Dr Nupur Krishnan says, "When concentrated forms of nutrition supplements are consumed, they interfere with absorption of other vitamins and minerals, and lead to nutritional deficiency. For example high intake of calcium may interfere with the absorption of iron, zinc, manganese."

It is best to get minerals and vitamins through natural food sources and take supplements only if you are prescribed them.

4. Poor meal timings
With stressful lives, just hitting the gym is not enough. You need a steady supply of glucose to keep your metabolic rate steady. Studies have shown that eating breakfast within one hour of waking up, then eating a healthy dish every three to four hours is optimum. Try not to go longer for more than five hours without eating to keep your metabolism steady.

Also, skipping meals is not an option. Nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan says, "If you skip a meal, your body will think that you are in starvation mode and therefore slow down the metabolism to compensate. You then tend to overeat at the next meal. Often skipping a meal and then eating too much at the next one means that you have a higher total calorie intake than if you just ate more frequently throughout the day."

5. Inadequate sleep
Studies have shown that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.

Gherlin, is a hormone produced by the stomach, which acts on the hypothalamus to stimulate feeding and on other tissues to slow metabolism and reduce fat oxidation. Dr Krishnan says, "Gherlin levels are highest in lean individuals and lowest in the obese.

Increased levels are seen in people who are dieting." To set this right, try going to bed just half-an-hour before your usual time. Slowly, increase this to get eight hours of sleep. Clear your sleep backlog by napping during commute or whenever you can.



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