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The simple weight loss guide: All your queries on losing weight answered

Vrksasana: Also known as the tree pose, this aasana is great for the muscles of your stomach and abdomen. Apart from concentrating on your core it also helps your mind focus and tones the muscles of the thighs and arms.

Steps to do this pose: Stand with your legs together. Now put most of your weight on one leg and a little weight on the other leg. Now raise the leg with the least weight such that your foot is facing inwards, towards your opposite knee. You can hold your ankle to help you pull up the leg. Place the heel of your foot on your inner thigh of the other leg, as close to the pelvis as possible. Now gently raise your hands above your head making sure your fingers are pointing towards the ceiling. Make sure you focus your mind and try to maintain your balance. Breathing steadily and focusing on one spot in front of your eyes helps in maintaining the pose and not falling over. In yoga, it is believed that an unsteady mind leads to an unsteady body. So the more you can control your mind the better you can do this pose.  Do not try to hold a chair or wall for support while doing this pose. It will only reduce the intensity of the aasana. Keep trying till you can get it just right.

Tip: If you have injured your knee or back please do this aasana under the supervision of a trained expert. (Read more: 12 yoga poses (asanas) for weight loss)

9.    Are there any fun ways to lose weight?

You could try these exercises if you want to lose weight and have fun at the same time.

  • Hula Hoops: Would you believe that hula hooping can burn up to 600 calories an hour? Having said that, it’s difficult hula hooping for an hour but you get the idea – it’s fun, physically intensive and you can do it in the privacy of your room. Yes, it also helps you lose weight. If you are beginner, try a weighted hoop because it’s easier to rotate but as you get better switch to a lighter hoop which requires more effort from you to rotate and hence, helps burn more calories. And the elderly can try them too. Just put on some music and you are good to go.
  • Skating: Something we’ve all tried and enjoyed despite falling flat on our backsides or tripping over a bump. But here’s something you didn’t know – it can help you shed calories too. In fact, if you are over 70 kilos, you can possibly burn more than 500 calories an hour! Not only does it help muscles become stronger, it’s good for your heart as well. It’s cost-effective and has less impact than running. All you need is a smooth surface and an open area.
  • Frisbee: Got a dog and a park nearby? Buy yourself a Frisbee and get cracking. You can get some friends along on a weekend and have a game too. Either way, all the throwing, catching and running helps your body. In fact, a 30 minute game can burn nearly 100 calories assuming you are 60 kilos. And it needn’t be a Frisbee – you could give volleyball a shot as well.
  • Badminton: One of the few games that you can play anywhere. And it’s seriously addictive. Although you can explore other options like tennis, cricket and even basketball – most of these need more space, more people or expensive equipment. For badminton, you don’t even need a net! Lots of energy, competition and running around – all of that does a ton of good to your stamina. In a nutshell, any form of sport is great.
  • Dance: Possibly the most fun of all, dancing will not only help you stay fit, it’s also a great way of meeting new people. It gets you out of your shell too, to say nothing of adding a new skill. You could take up a Zumba class or salsa. Aerobics class is also a great way to exercise while having fun.
  • Kickboxing: Most health centres or gyms also offer courses like boxing and kickboxing – both are great ways to blow off some steam after a hard day and a fun sport. An added benefit is that they sharpen your self-defence skills.
  • Trekking: This might sound too much hard work to be fun but it isn’t. Make a group of friends and take off for the hills every weekend for a few hours. You can climb your way up and have a picnic and play a few games. It’s not only a chance to exercise but to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Nowadays, there are many adventure groups who organize bi-weekly camping or trekking trips. Before you know it, you’ll be addicted.

Read more…

  • Fun ways to exercise and lose weight
  • Lose belly fat with exercises by Hrithik’s trainer Kris Gethin
  • Can weight training help you lose weight?
  • Walking for weight loss
  • Get fit at your workplace with these expert recommended exercises and tips
  • Dance away the weight with Zumba
  • Why is high intensity interval training better (HIIT) for weight loss?
  • 4 sexy and unusual ways to lose weight

10. My child is obese. How can I help him lose weight?

Children too aren’t spared these days and many are tuning obese right from a young age. The confines of the city which do not have enough open spaces for them to indulge in recreational activities leaves them no option but to be at home and play on the mobile or laptop. But it can cause serious harm to their health. Here are some tips to tackle childhood obesity by Dr Zinal Unadkat

  • Discipline your child and enforce some restrictions regarding their diet.
  • Give them tasty and fresh home-made foods than outside, readymade food.
  • Keep a balance in time spent on studies and playing.
  • Encourage physical activities as a family like going for swimming, badminton, etc together.
  • Let them take part in sports too and not only be focussed on academics.

11. What’s a healthy diet for children?

In order to ensure that your child is eating right, nutritionist Neha Chandna has devised a healthy meal plan for kids. ‘A growing child needs all the nutrients in adequate amounts to promote growth and development both mentally and physically. Their diet must have foods from all food groups,’ she says. Include the following in their meals:

  • Cereals: Oats, brown rice, whole wheat, jowar, bajri, ragi for energy, fibre, and B-complex vitamins
  • Pulses: Dals, sprouts, soya beans for proteins and muscle formation
  • Milk and milk products: Curds, cheese, paneer for calcium to promote bone and teeth development
  • Eggs, chicken, fish (if non-vegetarian) for protein. Fish also contains DHA for brain development of the child
  • Fruits of all varieties for vitamins, minerals and fibre
  • Green leafy veggies like spinach, methi, broccoli for iron and blood formation
  • Healthy oils like olive oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil for essential fatty acids and overall good health


Dr Reshma, the editor of this site and mother of an eight-year-old also gives some handy tips. ‘A child is highly influenced by the parents. So it is up to us to inculcate healthy habits in ourselves first before we preach to kids. Exercise at home, get the kid to do it with you. Make it a fun activity by calling their friends over. Serve food in fun plates and make healthy yet interesting dishes,’ she advises. On regulating junk food, she says it can be negotiated with your child – keep it to once a week, once in two weeks, then once in a month. (Also read: 5 healthy recipes your kids will love)

Read more…

  • Obesity behind rising bone diseases in children
  • Inspire your child to go from fat to fit: Tips to tackle childhood obesity
  • Tackling obesity in children
  • Why childhood obesity is on the rise   

12.  Besides keeping a watch on one’s diet and exercising are there any alternative methods to lose weight?

Besides exercising and dieting, people turn to surgery, weight loss pills and many strange things in order to shed those pounds. We look at two such alternative methods to lose weight.

Bariatric surgery

A bariatric surgery is a procedure that promotes weight loss by changing the digestive system’s anatomy, limiting the amount of food that can be eaten and digested. Though bariatric surgeries have become synonymous with weight loss, and people who can afford it consider it an easier alternative to healthy eating and exercising. Dr Ramen Goel, a bariatric surgeon tells us more about the procedure.

It isn’t a shortcut to weight loss

People who believe that it is a short cut for weight loss are generally not the ones who need it. This is for people who have honestly tried to lose weight and tried various gyms, diets, have gone and have lost weight which keeps coming back. It’s suggested for patients who are 25-30kg overweight with a BMI higher than 32.5. People suffering from obesity-related ailments should opt for this surgery.

They are not the same as liposuction and tummy tucks

Liposuction and tummy tucks are cosmetic procedures and are done in a person whose weight is near normal and only has stubborn fat areas in particular body parts. Liposuction removes excess fat from thighs, back, etc. while a tummy tuck is done in the lower part of abdomen. The part of the abdomen that is in excess is tucked or removed and the skin is tightened so that you get a flat tummy.

Weight loss pills

Most weight loss pills work on the principle of appetite suppression. They affect a region of the brain called hypothalamus which regulates your appetite. Another type is those that are prescription fat blockers which inhibit an enzyme called lipase. Normally, when we eat food with fat in them, the lipase breaks down the fat when it enters the intestinal tract, but with the inhibitor, a per cent of the fat is removed from the body through bowel movements instead of being absorbed. Other fat loss pills are simply loaded with a lot of caffeine which gives you an impetus to burn fat by working out for longer periods.

Why they don’t work: Most fat loss pills don’t work because their effects wear out the moment you stop taking them. Also, they need to be supplemented with regular diet and exercise (the supplements need to be supplemented, the irony isn’t lost here), in a sense they’re catalysts rather than miracle pills, and unless you watch what you eat and workout, they won’t work. In the long run, people who use them, develop tolerance and the drug stops being of any effect.

Dangerous side-effects:  Side-effects vary from person to person and the drug used. Expert nutritionist Shilpa Mittal has seen many clients scammed into using these products, ‘Most pills are either suppressants or stimulants that hinder the absorption of fat into your body. Subsequently, they can also hinder the absorption of other essential nutrients and vitamins. They’ve also been known to increase the heart rate, blood pressure and cause other gastrointestinal side-effects like constipation,’ she said. They can also cause heavy sweating, insomnia, mood swings, headaches and anxiety.

Read more..

  • Bariatric surgery: Does it help you lose weight? (Expert Speak)
  • Bariatric surgery: Nothing cosmetic about it
  • Opting for a weight loss surgery? Check these guidelines!
  • Do weight loss pills actually work?

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