Weight Loss

First Step towards Fitness – Walking

First Step towards Fitness (Walking)

First Step towards Fitness (Walking)

To honor the growing demand from my regular readers and of course for my own interest in health and weight loss I am introducing a new category called Finding Fitness. This category mainly focuses on tips and tricks to be fit, active, and young and to stay that way for a long time. I am very excited about this category and confident that together we can find natural and easy solutions to our lifestyle related health problems.

Learning to walk is our biggest achievement when we are a baby but as we grow into an adult we find ways sometimes even very expensive ones to avoid this activity that we are naturally built for.

I had an opportunity to have a small talk with a distant relative who lived a long and healthy life. He passed away couples of years back and was 98 years old at that time. Till his very last days he was physically independent he had a very weak eye sight and suffered short term memory loss but other than that he was able to manage everything else on his own.

I asked him the secret to his amazing health and he told me plain and simple. “In our day we walked everywhere. We walked for miles and miles for even a small thing and if we had to go really really far we used bicycles that were available on rent.”

Today we live in so much comfort that if we want to experience that king of hard labor we will have to spend hours in the gym. The good news is that we don’t have to do that much of hard work all we need is a regular workout for 45 mins to 1 hour a day atleast 5 days a week to keep us fit active and healthy for decades to come.

“Walking is man’s best medicine.”-Hippocrates

Walking is the easiest, cheapest, simplest exercise that can be done anywhere. We don’t need fancy equipments or gear for walking nor expensive membership at a fitness center. All we need is a good pair of shoes and we are set to walk off our weight. Yes the shoes in the pic are mine. These are my favorite pair and I ware them everywhere.

How to choose good shoes:

They have to be light; they should have an inner arch support, comfortable cushioning not excessive, and a thick and firm sole not the bouncy kind. While buying try both shoes, stand up feel your weight in it, walk within the shop and if you feel any discomfort try another pair. Make sure about the size. Remember comfort comes before looks when it comes to shoes. Any good quality walking shoe will have all the features you need.

Benefits of Regular Walking (30 to 60 mins a day, 4 to 5 days a week):

1. Improves physical functions and balance especially in older people

2. Reduces weight by losing calories and increasing the metabolic rate

3. Good for heart and brain

4. It increases the whole body bone density

5. It prevents diabetes and cancers like breast and colon,

Regular walk can turn the body clock backwards as it makes all the organs function right

Where to walk:

I would love to walk on a beach but as most of you I don’t live near a beach (Yet) let us consider other options.

1. Around your building or block,

2. A park nearby,

3. In a mall: find out if the mall has a walking club that mostly organizes walks within the mall before the mall starts if not then a weekend window shopping trip can also be used for a good walk excuse.

4. Inside house: Indoors walking is good enough if you have the space even in a smaller area you can keep walking for 30 mins to an hour.

5. Streets: Walking on streets can be dangerous so one should be very careful especially at darker hours like early hours in the morning and late at night. Reflectors can help. Make sure you walk in the opposite direction of the traffic so you can see a vehicle coming in your direction rather than walking on the side of the traffic.

How to walk: well the posture matters;

1. Keep your back straight not arched. Don’t lean forward or backwards,

2. Hold head high, Look forward, chin parallel to ground, keep stomach tight

3. Move shoulders naturally, swing arms freely, bend elbows slightly,

4. Warm smoothly rolling foot from heel to toes, be soft on joints,

5. Start with less time like 15 to 20 mins or less as long as your body is comfortable with but gradually increase time and distance.

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Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Here is a super food I really love and enjoy not only because it keeps me full but it also helps me lose weight. It has many properties that are beneficial for us especially when we are starving ourselves in the name of being on diet.

Yes, I am taking about the good old Green Gram or Green Moong. We can have it in many forms. We can soak it and make a healthy dal to have with roties or brown rice, we can sprout it and make a healthy salad from it. There is also one interesting way that I doubt most are not aware of; we can dry roast the dal and dry grind it into flour to make some healthy and tasty roties/ parathas or wet grind it to make healthy versions of dosa, idli or uttapa.

Now here are some reasons why you should give so much thought to Green Moong:

1. It’s loaded with Goodies: It is rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and also in many minerals including iron, calcium, and potassium. Not to forget it is a powerful source of vegetarian protein.

2. It good to Shed Some Unwanted Weight: It is considered a healthy weight loss food as it is a low fat food rich in proteins and fibre. It curbs cravings and keep us full for a long time. It detoxifies the body and benefits the metabolism as well as immune system.

3. It’s good for the Heart: It helps to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system. Regular intake of Green Moong reduces bad cholesterol and improves the flexibility of arteries and veins. It also regulates the blood pressure.

4. Keeps a check on the Blood Sugar Level: Green Moong is full of complex carbohydrates in form of high fibre, which aids digestion. Complex carbs also stabilizes blood sugar and controls its sudden rise after meal, while keeping body’s energy at a balanced level. Green Moong can be highly beneficial for people having a high blood sugar level.

5. It’s Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial and Anti-Cancer: Green Moong contains Vitamin B-1, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). Regular consumption of diets rich in Vitamin-B6 help you develop resistance against contagious agents that cause diseases. As per Ancient Chinese medicine it also contains anti-cancer properties.

It’s Amazing for Skin:

Moong bean dry grinded powder serves as an effective facial scrub or face mask. It makes skin smooth and youthful while minimising skin problems like acne, spots, tan or wrinkles. It is mild enough to be used as a daily face cleansing agent. For dry skin add milk or cream or honey to it. For oily skin add rose water or tap water to make a paste. Apply a thin layer and wash off when it dries. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder for a natural glow.

How I have Green Moong everyday:

I make a rich creamy thick soup of green moong and switch one of my meals with it. I mostly have it for dinner and I find this hot thick soup quite comforting compared to cold salads or any other meal alteration.

My recipe is simple I soak Green Moong overnight then pressure cooker it with little oil, 1 onion, 2 chopped green chillies, 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, salt as per taste. Water enough to make thick soup. You can add any vegetables to it or any garnish to keep it interesting.

My new post 6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More has some more interesting receipies to keep you stuffed guilt free.

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Using Feelings of Pain and Pleasure to Achieve Weight Loss

Using Feelings of Pain and Pleasure to Achieve Weight Loss
Using Feelings of Pain and Pleasure to Achieve Weight LossArya Ziai / Health Photos / CC BY

You know why we do what we do?

What is our driving force or what makes us take any action?

As per Anthony Robbins– my favorite success coach and motivational speaker; there are two driving forces that control our every action.

1. The need to avoid Pain

2. The desire to gain Pleasure

Think about it. What are you doing right now? Why are you doing it? Or what is the first thing you do when you wake up? Isn’t everything we do is because of one of the two reasons or some sort of combination of both.

I am currently doing Anthony Robbins’ Personal Power program and in that he tells us to take an exercise that will help us understand the power of pain and pleasure over us. I have given an example related to weight loss but this method can be used to take any desired action or achieve any goal.


1. Write an action (you are not taking currently) that can make your life better –

For example – Working out regularly

2. Write pain that you associate with not taking action –

Cannot manage time or have a sore body after workout

3. Write pleasure I got not taking the action –

I sleep a little bit longer instead of getting up early and exercising or I can watch something on the television while being comfortable on my couch instead of sweating in the gym.

4. Consequences if you don’t take action in future (write this in as much detail as possible, I am writing only one consequence as an example) –

If I continue avoiding doing exercises I will create serious health issues and may even die young or worst become a burden on the people I love.

5. Gains after taking the action (you are not taking currently) (add some emotions to make it effective) –

If I exercise regularly I will look and feel good, I will become more active, healthy and live my life to the fullest. I will not be a burden but an encouraging support to the people I love. (go on as much as you can pour your heart out)

I encourage you to take this exercise. Write about your own pain or pleasure and how can you use it to take the action you want to take but for some reason are avoiding it.

Use your emotions to motivate you. There isn’t a better driving force out there than your own emotions.
Jack Canfield says emotions are energy in motion. So get charged put that energy in motion and ignite that desirable action with this very effective exercise.

    Share it with others spread the word. Encourage and help others take actions to make their life wonderful.
    Let me know what your opinion on this is. Was this useful to you? Join the Discussion or make a suggestion.

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5 Questions You Should Answer Before Going On Any Diet.

creating a balanced meal- food group plate- healthy nutrition meal planner plate
5 questions you should answer before going on any dietnutrition education / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Diets are hard. When someone chalks down can eat or can’t eat it gets very frustrating for me and all I want to do at that moment is to switch the list. After abusing my body through lots of failed diets and fast weight loss remedies I learnt a very valuable lesson that losing weight is not a sprint but a marathon. It is not a temporary change but a complete lifestyle alteration hence we have to find the healthiest and safest fit.

A famous quote by Cher says it all; “If you could bottle it, everyone would have one!” Unfortunately fitness or health does not come in a bottle and no matter who you are you have to bust your butt to get in shape.

When I hear about a diet success story I first congratulate the person and then take as many details about it as possible. Then I research about it by reading all the reviews that I can find and there are always many and if possible try to take some professional advice on it from a nutritionist or doctor.

After all this mental workout I try to give an honest answer to following 5 questions without getting emotional about the whole idea of weight loss.

1. How long are you going to stick with the diet?
If your answer is till I drop few pounds or till I fit in that dress or till I go to that event or vacation or anything similar. I am sorry to say but all these answers are wrong. The only right answer for most of the diet will be “forever”. Allow me to explain our body has got used to a particular habit of eating that got us where we are today. Suddenly when we get excited about a diet and try it out our body goes in some kind of shock and it takes time to adjust to this drastic change. If we stick with the diet the body responses positively and we start getting the results we desire but if we stop following the diet and get back to our old eating habits the body get confused and this time it starts storing fat rapidly as a survival instinct. As a result we bounce back to our original weight and most of the time we gain more than that.

2. Does the diet include all food groups?
A truly healthy diet includes all the food groups — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and healthy fats along with lean protein. Your body needs the nutrients these foods provide. If your diet fails to give you required nutrition you may create complications that are far harsh that being overweight.

3. Is this diet right for me?
This may be perfect for your friend but will it work for you. Can you commit to this lifestyle. Be honest only you know the right answer.

4. Can this diet cause any harm or side effect in long term?
If you just gain back the weight you lost and not any other health issues you should consider yourself lucky. One should be very well aware about the consequences of a fad diet. Study the plan in detail before jumping in.

5. Am I mentally prepared for the commitment of this diet plan?
As diet is a serious lifestyle change it is very important to be ready for it. If you are confident that you found the right diet then go ahead with a positive mental attitude and a clear goal or vision about the desired result. This will help you when things get difficult.

Good Luck let me know about your experiences in the weight loss journey. We all can learn from each other.

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Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Weight Loss and Overall Health & Beauty

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw Apple Cider Vinegarartizone / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar which is raw and not processed is beneficial for body, skin and hair. The pure unprocessed ACV is a great source of potassium, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. It maintains body’s pH level as it increases the alkaline state. It is beneficial for curing brittle teeth, hair loss, acne, skin condition, blemishes, irregular bowel movement, and runny noses. It is a great way to detoxify and it works against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Researchers believe regular intake of ACV can slow down the aging process.

Why –

1. For Weight Loss:
Different studies give different reasons how ACV helps to reduce weight and many who tried to use ACV for weight loss have been benefited. Besides taking ACV you will have to take care of your diet, do regular exercise, drink a lot of water and sleep for 6 to 8 hours every night if you are serious about your weight loss.

• Apple Cider Vinegar breaks down fat so it is consumed and not stored
• It slows the digestion of starch which increases glucose levels after meals
• It stabilizes the blood sugar for a longer period which helps to control the appetite
• It cures indigestion
• It cures constipation
• It increases the body’s metabolic rate
• It can help regulate blood pressure
• It helps to reduce bad cholesterol
• It reduces muscle fatigue after exercise

2. To Detoxify:
If you use green smoothies or other healthy liquids to detoxify you can add apple cider vinegar to enhance the effect on toxins in the body. ACV breaks up mucus in the whole body and helps in better circulation. This helps to remove toxins and improves the immune system.

3. For Skin:
• Adjusts the skin’s pH level
• Always dilute ACV before applying on skin concentrated ACV can damage or burn skin so use 1 part ACV with 6 parts water or more.
• You can use this as a wonderful natural toner just after you cleanse your skin apply the mixture of ACV + Water with a cotton ball and let it dry naturally then layer up your moisturizer.
• Improves skin conditions by clearing acne, eczema
• Makes the skin clear and glowing as it reduces skin discoloration, acne or age spots, wrinkles, black or white heads and even sun tan.
• You can add 2 tsp of ACV to your bath for an overall cleanse, it is also effective to eliminate body odor or any other skin conditions
• It is a great remedy to remove warts. Soak a small cotton ball in ACV, place it on a wart, hold it down with help of a Band-Aid, leave overnight, repeat till the wart is gone.

4. For Hair:
• Apple Cider Vinegar can be used as a natural conditioner to make hair soft and shiny.
• Mix 1 part ACV with 10 Parts water and pour all over hair after you shampoo your hair.
• Leave it for half a minute and rinse off with cold or slightly warm water. Use it once a week. Avoid using daily or every time you wash your hair.
• It balances pH level of hair
• It reduces dandruff

5. Other Important Benefits:
• Prevents bladder stones and urinary tract infections
• It strengthen the immune system and increases stamina
• Promotes ph Balance
• Clears throats and sinus infections, Helps soothe dry throats
• Keeps check on high cholesterol
• Helps with in case of heartburn
• It helps to help with joint pain
• It cures foot infections and odor if feet are soaked for 10 to 15 minutes in warm water with 4 tsp of ACV once a week.
• It restores bodies Alkaline Acid Balance; our diet should reflect our blood’s pH level which is slightly alkaline (pH level between 7.35 & 7.45). Although ACV is acidic in nature it has alkaline effect on our body.
• Helps remove body’s toxins

Safety Concerns –
• Always dilute ACV otherwise it may cause damage or burns
• Excessive use can cause Low Bone Mineral Density, Damage to Stomach or Liver
• Excessive sipping can damage tooth enamel
• Use only good quality unadulterated, pure, unprocessed, organic, raw ACV that has strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules also known as “mother of vinegar” that settles at the bottom of the bottle.
• It is highly advisable to consult with your doctor before taking ACV on a regular basis

When –
Drink it first thing in the morning or before every meal or sip it slowly throughout the day.

How I use it –
I add 2 tsp of ACV in 1 liter (34 ounces) of water and drink it first thing in the morning. If you cannot have it all in one go try to drink it in the first hour of the morning.
It works great to flush out all the toxins and makes you feel lighter the whole day.
Some do recommend 1 tsp in 1 glass half an hour before every meal but I would advice to start it slowly and if you like the results you can always increase it gradually.
I highly recommend taking ACV only in the morning.

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10 Easy and Natural Ways to Lose Water Weight

Reduce Water Weight

Reduce Water Weight

Our bodies have a habit to develop strange tendencies as a result of our habits, environment or stress. We fail to treat our body with the respect and love it deserves. We forget that this nonstop hard-working living organism is keeping us functional right from the time of our birth till now and it needs to be appreciated. I am writing this post as a reminder to myself as I am also guilty (big time) of mistreating my body.

My biggest health issue is water retention also know as edema. I have done a study on how to cure edema naturally which is working wonderfully for me. I tried to solve this issue with help of medicines but it did not do much good plus there were some other side effects which the doctors did not care to tell me about. Don’t get me wrong I am not against the medical science I just didn’t get any desired benefits out of it for water retention and prefer natural remedies that are safe from any harmful side effects.

I am listing below the changes I did to significantly improve my water retention condition. These are 100% natural remedies which worked for me. You may find most of these ingredients in your kitchen. If you are taking any kind of medication including for water retention please consult with your doctor before trying any changes or remedies given below.

Water retention is very common during pregnancy in this condition please take your doctor’s advice to control water retention.

10 Easy and Natural Ways to Lose Water Weight

  1. Soak 3 tbsp of Coriander Seeds in 1 glass of water for at least 3 hours, boil only till have is left, strain, cool, and drink twice daily. 
  2. Soak 3 tbsp of Barley in 1 glass of water overnight, strain and drink next morning. Drink two glasses a day.
  3. Go bananas: If you are retaining water your body needs potassium. Banana is a rich natural source of potassium so just peel one and eat.
  4. Sweat a little: Walk for at least 30 mins a day, stay active as much as possible. Break a sweat.
  5. Drink lots of water: Stay hydrated. It is good to drink 8 to 10 big glasses of water a day if you need more drink it. Listen to your body. Always carry a water bottle with you.
  6. Avoid Sodas: All kinds of carbonated drinks or juices loaded with sugar have a very adverse effect on our health. Never reach for a can of soda or juice or any other drink loaded with sugar. Quench your thirst with fresh fruit juices (without sugar) or water. Green tea also works wonders if taken regularly to reduce water retention.
  7. Include Ajwain (Caraway Seeds) in diet: Ajwain has many benefits. It is a very good digestive and it helps to reduce water retention. It can be added in buttermilk, spicy soups or eaten raw after meal. If you can’t have it raw you can dry roast it add a little rock salt. It takes some time to get use to but if you take it regularly you will forget indigestion, bloating, or gas and have a happy tummy.
  8. Melons: A Watermelon is a source of the vitamin B complex, vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid. It is a natural Diuretic that helps reduce edema.
  9. Vitamin C: Amla is a very rich source of vitamin C and you can eat it raw or drink its juice in the morning. Having a warm cup of water with 1 tbsp of Amla juice or lemon juice not only helps in edema but also in weight loss and makes the skin clear and glowing.
  10. Less Salt: Reduce the amount of salt intake. Throw away your salt shaker I mean it. If you have a tendency to retain fluids it is very harmful to sprinkle additional salt on your food. An Ayurvedic doctor advised me to have rock salt instead of refine table salt it is little different in taste but makes a big dent on the collection of fluid in the body cells. Any change should be done gradually and so don’t drastically reduce salt as it can cause low blood pressure.

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