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3 simple steps to permanent weight loss and a flat tummy- Tips to trim belly fat without hitting the gym

The 3 key components of long-term weight loss and a flat belly

New Delhi: Anyone trying to lose the extra flab should know that the key to achieving a successful weight loss lies in the right combination of three elements – a balanced diet, exercise, behavior modification. The reality is, understanding the path to lasting health can help you lose weight and keep it off, although achieving and maintaining that hourglass shape is a struggle for many people from all walks of life.

Research has shown time and again that losing and maintaining weight requires both healthy eating and regular physical activity. Contrary to what most crash diets and high-intensity workout promoters claim about weight loss, making small daily changes that lead to a fitter life and sticking to them can actually improve your overall health. And here’s the key components that can help you get rid of ugly belly fat and achieve lasting weight loss. Read - The Flat Belly Diet for quick weight loss: Can you get a flat tummy in just 4 weeks? Foods to eat and avoid

The 3 key essential components of lasting weight loss


The saying ‘you are what you eat’ is literally true when it comes to weight loss. A healthy, balanced diet consisting of all essential nutrients – protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats – can help you lose weight effectively. A healthy meal plan also involves avoiding or restricting intake of foods high in added sugars, salt, unhealthy fats, and calories.

  • Protein: High-quality protein foods for weight loss include beans, legumes, eggs, chicken breast, seafood, nuts and seeds, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • Fibre: Many fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre – apples, bananas, berries, carrots, brussels sprouts, beans, chickpeas, oats, etc.
  • Complex carbs: Starchy or complex carbs can be found in foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, black beans, green peas, whole wheat bread, etc.
  • Dietary fat: Choose healthy fats from food sources such as avocados, olive oil, fatty fish, whole eggs, nuts and seeds, cheese, etc.  

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, which is very important especially when trying to slim down.  Read - On a weight loss spree? Here are 5 healthiest things you can eat at night!


Being physically active doesn’t mean to run a full marathon or hit the gym every other day. It’s about ensuring you engage in some physical activity that you enjoy everyday. Activities such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming, etc, can make your heart and lungs work harder and aid weight loss.

Behavior modification

While it’s important to pay attention to good nutrition and exercise, putting the last component on the backburner or failing to modify problematic behaviours can seriously affect your efforts to reduce overall body fat. Making lifestyle changes such as nourishing your body with healthy food, prioritising physical health, staying active,  and prioritizing physical health, focusing on positive thinking, will help you not just achieve your weight loss goals but also make you a healthier, happier, fitter person.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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Using moisturisers, lipstick during pregnancy can permanently stunt child’s growth

Plastic chemicals

New York: Using personal care products like moisturisers and lipstick – rich in toxic plastic chemical – during pregnancy can affect your baby’s motor skills in adolescence, warns research. The study showed that maternal exposure to phthalates – plasticiser chemicals – in late pregnancy could have long-lasting adverse effects on motor function in children. Phthalate exposures likely occurred when expecting mothers and their children unknowingly ingested small amounts of products like lipstick or plastic food containers or packaging or have absorbed these chemicals through their skin.

“The study adds to the substantial body of evidence on the health risks of phthalates for children, which also includes elevated risk for asthma and cognitive issues,” said Julie Herbstman, Associate Professor at the Columbia University in the US. 

As lower scores on measures of motor development have been associated with more problems in cognitive, socio-emotional functioning and behaviour, the results, published in the journal Environmental Research, have implications related to overall child development.

For the study, researchers included 209 children and measured levels of phthalates and their metabolites in urine collected from women during late pregnancy and from their children at ages three, five, and seven. 

Children with even subtle motor problems often have difficulty participating in daily activities of childhood, particularly sports. They may also experience low self-worth and self-esteem, high rates of anxiety and depression, as well as behavioural disorders, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), according to Pam Factor-Litvak, Professor at the varsity.

“To the extent possible, expecting mothers should minimise their exposures to products like lipstick and moisturisers that contain these chemicals by paying attention to product labels,” Herbstman suggested. 

In addition, policymakers and manufacturers should consider steps to limit or eliminate the use of these chemicals, the study noted.

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Health tips for students preparing for exams: 5 ways to boost your memory and keep you awake while studying

5 healthy tips to help you stay awake while studying for exams

New Delhi: Studying for long hours can be a challenging task for many students, especially after a long day of classes. The fact is that you need to study hard if you want to score high grades in school or exams. For most students, the final days and nights are usually where a lot of studying actually gets done. And if you’ve ever been there, you probably know what the hardest bit is – staying awake!

Perhaps, many people experience stress or anxiety before an exam, making it hard to focus and concentrate on their studies. It may be tempting to reach for that Red Bull or espresso when you feel sleepy while studying, but they can lead to a vicious cycle. Why opt for sugary, unhealthy options when there are so many healthier alternatives out there to help combat sleepiness and boost your brain power? Try these tips to take the edge off sleepiness and help you stay awake naturally.

Eat a Healthy diet

Eat a balanced diet, focusing on protein-rich foods like nuts, lean meat, or cheese, that will fuel your body longer and give your brain a boost. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. Avoid eating sugary, fattening foods that will make you feel sluggish – cookies, potato chips, soda, etc. Read - Weight gain during exams: Top 3 diet tips to help your child stay fit, get good marks in CBSE board exam

Drink water

Make sure that you drink plenty of water, as dehydration can make you feel sleepy and drowsy or sluggish. Avoid alcohol, especially during exams or on days when you’re studying or the day before. Alcohol can cause dehydration and negative effects on the brain.


Try to exercise for 15 to 20 minutes on a break. This will get your blood flowing and wake up all your muscles and release proteins in your brain, improving your memory power. Going for a short walk or jog, or doing some yoga, are an excellent idea to maintain your daily physical activity, boost your mental health, and reduce fatigue. Read - Yoga asanas for concentration: 5 yoga poses to help students boost memory, score high marks in board exams

Chew gum

It seems to be a good idea to pop a piece of gum, preferably mint gum, in your mouth while studying as it can make it hard to fall asleep. Chewing gum may also increase the blood flow to the brain and increase alertness. As per Psychology Today, chewing gum may be an ideal late-night studying tactic as it makes you much more alert.

Use caffeine wisely

Many people drink coffee to increase alertness and stay awake while studying. But consuming caffeine in excessive amounts may contribute to a number of unwanted side effects such as insomnia, dehydration, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, and rapid or abnormal heart rhythm. Ideally, it’s recommended to consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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This California plant may hold promise for treating Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's disease

New York: A potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory chemical in a native California shrub may lead to treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, say, researchers. The plant called Yerba santa, dubbed as “holy herb” in Spanish by native California tribes, has long been used to treat respiratory ailments, fever and headaches as well as for wounds, sore muscles and rheumatism.

A team of scientists from the Salk Institute identified from Yerba santa a molecule called sterubin, with a potent anti-inflammatory impact on brain cells known as microglia. It was also an effective iron remover — potentially beneficial because iron can contribute to nerve cell damage in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.

Overall, the compound was effective against multiple inducers of cell death in the nerve cells, said Pamela Maher, a member of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory. 

“This is a compound that was known but ignored,” said Maher, in the paper appearing in the journal Redox Biology. “Not only did sterubin turn out to be much more active than the other flavonoids in Yerba santa in our assays, it appears as good as, if not better than, other flavonoids we have studied,” she added.

To identify natural compounds that might reverse neurological disease symptoms, Maher applied a screening technique used in drug discovery to a commercial library of 400 plant extracts with known pharmacological properties.

Sterubin was found as Yerba Santa’s most active component. Next, the team plans to test sterubin in an animal model of Alzheimer’s, then determine its drug-like characteristics and toxicity levels in animals and later in humans. 

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Scientists develop pacemakers that can be powered by heartbeats


Beijing: Scientists have developed pacemakers that can be powered by the energy of heartbeats, and successfully tested the device in pigs. The study, published in the journal ACS Nano, is a step towards making a self-powered cardiac pacemaker, researchers said. Implantable pacemakers have altered modern medicine, saving countless lives by regulating heart rhythm.

However, one serious shortcoming is that their batteries last only five to 12 years, at which point they have to be replaced surgically, a researcher said.

Researchers from Second Military Medical University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China worked on overcoming this problem. A conventional pacemaker is implanted just under the skin near the collarbone. Its battery and circuitry generate electrical signals that are delivered to the heart via implanted electrodes. 

Since surgery to replace the battery can lead to complications, including infection and bleeding, various researchers have tried to build pacemakers that use the natural energy of heartbeats as an alternative energy source. However, these experimental devices are not powerful enough because of their rigid structure, difficulties with miniaturisation and other drawbacks.

The team designed a small, flexible plastic frame which was bonded to piezoelectric layers. These generate energy when bent.
They implanted the device in pigs and showed that a beating heart could, in fact, alter the frame’s shape, generating enough power to match the performance of a battery-powered pacemaker. 

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Want to keep dementia at bay? Singing, gardening may help

Gardening, Dementia

London: Keeping physically and mentally active in middle age may lower the risk of developing dementia decades later, a study claims. Mental activities included reading, playing instruments, singing in a choir, visiting concerts, gardening, doing needlework or attending religious services, according to the study published in the journal Neurology.

“These results indicate that these activities in middle age may play a role in preventing dementia in old age and preserving cognitive health,” said Jenna Najar from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

“It’s exciting as these are activities that people can incorporate into their lives pretty easily and without a lot of expense,” Najar said in a statement.

The study involved 800 Swedish women with an average age of 47 who were followed for 44 years. At the beginning of the study, participants were asked about their mental and physical activities. Participants were given scores in each of the five areas based on how often they participated in mental activities, with a score of zero for no or low activity, one for moderate activity and two for high activity.

For example, moderate artistic activity was defined as attending a concert, play or art exhibit during the last six months, while high artistic activity was defined as more frequent visits, playing an instrument, singing in a choir or painting. The total score possible was 10.

Participants were divided into two groups. The low group, with 44 per cent of participants, had scores of zero to two and the high group, with 56 per cent of participants, had scores of three to 10. For physical activity, participants were divided into two groups, active and inactive.

The active group ranged from light physical activity such as walking, gardening, bowling or biking for a minimum of four hours per week to regular intense exercise such as running or swimming several times a week or engaging in competitive sports.
A total of 17 per cent of the participants were in the inactive group and 82 per cent were in the active group.

During the study, 194 women developed dementia. Of those, 102 had Alzheimer’s disease, 27 had vascular dementia and 41 had mixed dementia, where more than one type of dementia is present, such as the plaques and tangles of Alzheimer’s disease along with the blood vessel changes seen in vascular dementia.

The study found that women with high level of mental activities were 46 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and 34 per cent less likely to develop dementia overall than the women with the low level of mental activities. The women who were physically active were 52 per cent less likely to develop dementia with cerebrovascular disease and 56 per cent less likely to develop mixed dementia than the women who were inactive.

The researchers took into account other factors that could affect the risk of dementia, such as high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. They also ran the results again after excluding women who developed dementia about halfway through the study to rule out the possibility that those women may have been in the prodromal stage of dementia, with less participation in the activities as an early symptom.

The results were similar, except that physical activity was then associated with a 34 per cent reduced risk of dementia overall.
Of the 438 women with a high level of mental activity, 104 developed dementia, compared to 90 of the 347 women with a low level of activity. Of the 648 women with a high level of physical activity, 159 developed dementia, compared to 35 of the 137 women who were inactive

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At the gym? Here are some cross-training tips for Sun Run participants

If you’re not outside running, what kind of exercises can you do to help you prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run? We asked Alexander Klocek, fitness manager at Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness in Coquitlam, to provide some suggestions on what you can do if you’re working out in a gym.

What kind of cross training can I do as a runner?

Any cross training that targets resistance training focused on the lower body is going to benefit a runner. Building muscle to support the ankle, knee, and hip joints is crucial for endurance in long distance running. It also decreases the potential damage to ligaments tendons, and cartilage.

For best results, we recommend a circuit style workout which includes some training to increase cardiovascular capacity for the long-distance run. Working with free weights, kettlebells, and machines is a great start for resistance training.

How does cross-training help me run faster?

It helps by increasing the muscular strength and endurance of the lower body which increases the cardiovascular capacity and delivery of oxygen to the muscles. The more oxygen that goes into muscles, the slower the fatigue. This allows a runner to increase the speed of the pace and sustain it longer.

Can exercise in the gym make my knees/hips/ankles stronger?

Yes. Working on functional movement patterns which include squatting, hinging, pulling pushing, rotation, gait, and lunging, improves the biomechanics of the movements which decreases the forces on the joints by running. The increase in muscle size provides extra support for the joints which further decreases the chance of injury.

Alexander Klocek, fitness manager, Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness Coquitlam.


For a runner, what’s better: swimming or lifting weights? Why?

Generally speaking for running, weight training is a much more beneficial form of cross training. With swimming the VO2 max/cardiovascular capacity is largely different from that of running and will likely not cross over to increasing performance in running. It is largely an upper body dominant exercise and does not involve gait-like movements. Therefore, the transfer of ability of swimming to running is minimal. Lifting weights helps improve the specific muscles involved in running by increasing the strength, efficiency, and the cardiovascular capacity.

What kind of routine should I follow if I’m working out by myself in the gym?

If you do not know what kind of weight training you should be doing, we highly recommend getting a personal trainer to guide you through a proper workout for your body.

Everyone has a different body and different imbalances that may need to be addressed before you start weight training. This begins with working on functional movement patterns and focusing on the lower body. Types of exercises you can expect include squatting, hinging, lunging, step ups, leg presses, and hamstring curls.

The training format largely depends on the level of the client. Generally, one or two exercises in a row targeting opposite muscle groups would be a great start. If the client is a little more advanced, mixing this in with a short burst of cardiovascular activity such as a run, aerobic steppers, and side shuffles would be a great way to challenge the runner. You would want to minimally train lower body at least 1x a week and upper body to strengthen the core 1x a week as well.

Five heart health tips for the working woman

Heart disease is the number one killer in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stress is one of the major risk factors responsible for cardiovascular disease. According to the American Institute of Stress, work is the major stress source for American adults. 

Purvi Parwani, MD, a Loma Linda University International Heart Institute cardiovascular disease specialist who focuses on women’s cardiovascular disease, says high mortality due to cardiovascular disease in women can only be changed if women put their heart health first.

“We as women we have to take ownership of heart health,” Parwani says. “Women still remain underserved in healthcare when it comes to cardiovascular disease prevention and survival due to their unique symptoms.”

Parwani says part of taking ownership over women’s heart health is about making it work and taking small steps in one of the most stressful places: the workplace. Here are her five tips to for reducing stress at work:

  1. Try facial stress-relief techniques. If you are in a stressful situation at work, Parwani advises to use relaxation techniques such as rubbing your cheeks or forehead. She also says to take a break from the stressful environment by practicing deep breathing with a straight posture and closed eyes. This additional technique may help you calm down if you are having a stressful conversation with a co-worker or upset about the job. 
  2. Snack on exercising. Parwani says some exercise is better than no exercise, and having a busy schedule or not enough time to exercise due to job should not be the reason for you to be inactive. She keeps a miniature stationary bike under her desk and peddles on it while working at her desk. She says other things that will help increase your heart rate up at work include doing push-ups, parking far from your office, standing up every hour, taking stairs instead of the elevator or going for a 10-minute walk after lunch. 
  3. Stay hydrated. Always have a water bottle handy. Our bodies are mostly water, and staying hydrated is important to keep our systems functioning. 
  4. If you are a leader, be an activity leader. If you are a leader within the organization you work, use exercise for team building.  Organize a Zumba hour in office gym or a stress relief activity like yoga or a meditation class, you are the boss after all. 
  5. Plan your meals. When you plan your meals for the week, you can avoid using up mental energy with food choices during your workday. Be sure to think of healthy foods and healthy portions. Remember to avoid meat and include lots of vegetables and fruits.

In addition to these work-related tips, Parwani urges women to never forget the top three risk factors that also require personal discipline — quit smoking if you smoke, avoid use of alcohol and make sure you check your family history. If you are interested in knowing your cardiovascular risk assessment feel free to visit the test online or if you would like to talk with a cardiologist about any concerns feel free to call 1-800-468-5432. 

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Get Your Waist in Shape: 5 Health Tips for Fit Men!

Want a good looking waist?

You should. A slim mid-section is an attractive one. And it
makes you healthy too!

You see, slim waists are hard to get. They’re a hallmark of
someone who takes care of their well-being

But they’re rewarding. Because you get to wake up every day,
look in the mirror, and see an amazing physique!


Slim waists require some commitment.

You can’t achieve one and be done. You need to get it, keep
it, and trim it.

Today, we’ll help you with that. Below are 5 health tips
you can follow…

Apply them, and watch the results compound!

#1 – Do Chin Ups.

Chin-ups and its different variants slim your waist…

How? They do so by developing your “lattissimus dorsi”
muscles (simply called “lats”).

Those muscles, if over-developed, are responsible for the “bat
you see in some bodybuilder

However, a normal development slims your waist. It adds a
muscle definition to your back that smoothens the waist line.

And this is vital for men. After all, you don’t want an
hourglass body shape!

#2 – Fix Your Posture.

Stretches – you need many.

Sometimes, a thick waist comes from a big belly, which in
turn comes from a bad posture.

By stretching, your straighten your lower back. You also
increase your core strength. And this sinks your stomach back in.

So it evens you out. It gives your waist a more elegant

Any Specific Targets?

Yes. First, do planks to strengthen your core. This’ll
straighten out your body.

Also, stretch your hip flexors. Those tilt your hips (thus
your waists
) forward when tight. Stretching
them loosens the muscle
, tilting the hip to normal!

#3 – Use a Waist Slimmer.

Technology makes small waists easier. So why not take
advantage of it?

Use a waist
. It’s a belt. And you wear it to
tone down the size of your midsection!

It works well in public. It suits you in professional
environments, important meet-ups, and casual hangouts too!

Additional Info.

Some slimming belts have properties that increase heat and
metabolic rate around the mid-section.

So you lose fat while tightening up your belly.

It’s an effective option. And you can use it long and
short-term to keep the fat trimmed!

#4 – Start Weightlifting.

We say weightlifting for a reason.

It’s a workout that builds muscle. And more muscle mass
means that your caloric needs are higher. So you burn more waist fat!

Also, weightlifting has more rewards than cardio. And that’s
not to say that cardio
is bad

But the weight room makes you look sexy.

The Reality.

You can lose weight around your waist. But you’ll still look

Why not take that up a notch? Why not go from a slim figure
to a ripped one?

You’ll be much more attractive. Plus, you’ll develop a
strong physique, and you’ll have a hard time putting waist fat on again!

#5 – Get a Hormone Check.

The last tip on our list.

It’s the last one for a reason. That is, it’s only for
chronic cases…

Sometimes, your hormone ratios may be off-balance. Maybe
your body has more estrogen, and produces less testosterone…

If so, expect a thick

Hormone therapy might be what you need to fix yourself. And
this is mostly solvable with the tips above.

But in serious cases – you might need exogenous consumption
(obviously, with a doctor’s guidance).

Anything Else I Can Do?

Yes. You can eat better.

Some foods increase your testosterone levels (those with
healthy cholesterol and high protein

The larger a portion of your diet, the better. So adjust
that too, as you apply the previous tips!

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Bedtime weight loss tips: 3 unbelievable ways sleep can help you burn belly fat effectively

3 reasons a good night's sleep is key to losing belly fat

New Delhi: Turns out, eliminating unattractive belly fat, also known as love handles or spare tires, takes more than adjusting your diet and fitness regime. A number of studies show that extremes of sleep duration are linked to gains in abdominal fat. There is mounting evidence that suggests quality sleep is particularly important when it comes to losing and maintaining a healthy weight.

Perhaps, poor sleep can do more than just cause weight gain or sabotage your weight loss. Sleep deprivation puts you at an increased risk of various serious health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc. Say, you’re doing everything you could – cutting calories, running on a treadmill – to get rid of your belly fat but if you’re not getting enough snooze time, chances are you’re less likely to see results. Read - Parivrtta Parsvakonasana: Do THIS asana daily to get a flat belly, slim figure like Shilpa Shetty- Watch Video

How sleep affects your weight loss

Here are a few reasons why getting enough sleep may be the key to losing weight.

Increases your appetite: Researchers have found that a lack of sleep increases your appetite by raising your hunger hormone ghrelin, increasing your chances of consuming extra calories. When you do not adequate sleep, your body also makes less leptin that suppresses hunger and helps regulate body weight.

Increases your calorie intake: Studies have found that people who do not get an adequate amount of sleep tend to consume more calories and make poor food choices, which increases their risk of gaining weight. One study reported that men who had only four hours of sleep ate an average of 559 more calories the following day, compared to when they were allowed eight hours of sleep. Read - Weight loss: 7 step night-time routine for quick and easy weight loss – Lose weight while you sleep!

Slows down your metabolism: Studies suggest that poor sleep may also decrease your resting metabolic rate (RMR) – which is the number of calories your body burns when you’re completely at rest. While findings regarding the link between sleep and RMR are inconclusive, it is also claimed that not getting a good night’s sleep can cause muscle loss.

How many hours of sleep do you need to lose belly fat?

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night – however, the amount of sleep a person needs will depend on various factors particularly age. Sleep is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle, including weight maintenance. Establishing healthy sleep habits can do wonders for your health and your waistline.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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