Things You Should Never Do While Trying to Get in Shape

Exercising and gorging food will never help lose weight
Healthy weight loss is achieved by following a healthy diet, increasing your level of physical activity, and adopting good lifestyle habits. Period. But some lack the motivation or patience to follow healthy techniques to lose weight. Those desperately looking to get in shape will resort to any ‘quick’ method available. They may not realize that these methods can put their overall health at risk.

Here are the common myths or wrong weight loss methods that should be avoided. Make sure you do not make these mistakes when trying to lose weight.

Relying on Packaged ‘Diet’ Food

Nowadays, a lot of prepackaged diet meals are available in the market (Pure Package, Diet to Go). Here, you get a pre-designed packed box of breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner every day. As these foods contain less amounts of calories, they are claimed to be effective. However, what people are unaware of is that these foods contain preservatives, sugar, and other additives. Secondly, drastically cutting down on calories can slow down your metabolism. Products like diet soda contains artificial sweeteners and caffeine, which does more harm to the body than good. Substituting a balanced and nutritious meal with anything marked ‘diet’ or ‘fat-free’ food is actually not healthy. Consuming foods with high sugar can lead to diabetes and kidney damage, whereas, consuming foods with high amounts of sodium can lead to hypertension. Packaged or anything coming in a box is not healthy. It may be convenient, but the additives in these foods will prevent you from losing weight, and is not healthy either.

Eating Fat-Free Food

What most of us are unaware about is that fat-free does not necessarily mean low in calories. It’s true that consuming less fats can help you get in shape sooner, but packaged ‘fat-free’ foods are loaded with carbohydrates and sugar, and hence, are high in calories. Secondly, low fat foods like dried fruits, nuts, beans, dairy, packaged yogurt, salad dressings, pretzels, etc., contain high amounts of calories. For example, fruit juices (fresh as well as packaged ones) contain no fat, but have high calories. Therefore, consuming more than 1 glass of fruit juice will not help in warding off excess weight, due to the high caloric intake.

Relying on a Liquid Diet

To rely only on fruit and vegetable juice to lose weight is a wrong method, for two reasons. Firstly, by substituting your meal with only juice, you decrease the calorie intake drastically. It will help lose weight, but it can cause health problems like lack of energy, nutritional deficiency, headaches, stomach disorders, etc. We require carbohydrates and proteins to gain energy. Secondly, if you consume fruit or vegetable juices, but do not cut down on their portion sizes, you may still gain weight because of the high calorie content (read the aforementioned ‘Eating Fat-Free Food’). Watching your portions, following a balanced diet, and exercising to burn off excess calories, is the best way to be healthy and fit.

Not Cutting Down on Food Intake

Exercise plays an important role in maintaining healthy weight. It is true that exercise helps burn extra calories, but it will probably not help you much if you do not take care of your diet by reducing your calorie intake. If you believe you can exercise every day and eat to your heart’s content, you are mistaken. For healthy weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you consume. So, you need to limit the intake of food, else, the amount of calories consumed will exceed those burnt off. Now, those sweating out for hours together at the gym, did you know that extreme exercising is also linked to premature aging?

Using Sauna Suits or Rubber Belts

You may come across many products that claim to promote quick weight loss, like rubber belts, sauna suits, etc. If you wish to get rid of excess weight, you need to burn off fat. Sauna does not help burn fat, it just helps in losing water weight. You will regain weight as soon as you replenish your lost fluids by drinking water. Sauna suits induce excessive sweating, which can have harmful side effects like severe dehydration, loss of electrolytes, heatstroke, etc. Using a sauna suit is not a safe way to lose weight.

Having Time-Based Meal Plans

A diet that suggests you to follow a rigid meal plan is not a practical approach to weight loss. In the present day lifestyle, it is impossible to follow a rigid time-based meal plan, unless, of course, you are waited on hand and foot. If your diet plan says not to have meals after 6pm, it may not be possible every day, as you are working, have chores to fulfill, etc. Having specific set of foods at specific times is impractical and difficult. In fact, eating healthy snacks when hungry can boost your metabolism. Remember, eating when hungry, and only so much as to suppress your hunger, is the correct way to go.

Believing Skinny is Fit

Weight loss is usually recommended to those who are overweight or have a BMI higher than normal. However, once you get rid of the unwanted fat, you should aim to maintain that, and stop the unwanted fat from returning. Remember, being skinny does not mean you are fit or healthy. In most of the cases, being skinny is associated with fasting and starving, which leads to health problems like nutritional deficiency, headaches, stomach disorders, dehydration, etc. A skinny person can be as unhealthy as an overweight person due to wrong food and lifestyle habits. Compromising on your food and following crazy diets can be harmful. Being underweight takes a toll on your overall health, and is commonly associated with malnutrition, weak immune system, disorders of the skin, hair, stomach, etc.

Skipping Exercise

As mentioned above, it is a myth that only extensive exercising or strength training in the gym helps lose weight. Although there is no doubt that these exercises are effective, there is no denying the fact that other exercise types like aerobic exercises, household chores (lawn mowing, washing the car, scrubbing), or other daily physical activities like climbing the stairs, are also equally effective. Walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. (along with good food habits), help in losing and maintaining proper body weight. A regular exercise regime combined with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits is the ideal way to get in shape.

Starving Yourself
Cutting down on fatty and high-calorie foods is recommended in every weight loss plan. But some take it to another level, forget the word ‘wrong’ foods, and go on a near-death starvation diet. Our body needs food to keep going, to gain energy, and also to perform different functions in the body. Starvation deprives the body of its fuel. Along with fat loss, starvation also causes muscle loss. Secondly, as your body starts conserving energy, the metabolism slows down drastically, and fewer calories are burnt. This means, even when you switch to a healthy diet later on, you will have trouble burning calories. Did you know that the effects of starvation can take nearly a year to reverse completely?

Having Diet Pills/Drugs
Diet pills and drugs, like appetite suppressants, magic pills, laxatives, purgatives, etc., are used by some dieters to get in shape quickly. Many manufacturers claim weight loss with these pills, sans diet or exercise. Although this may appear very convenient and easy, it is not safe. Many diet pills contain large amounts of caffeine or appetite suppressants that will never make you feel hungry. There are no immediate effects of these diet pills, except a few side effects like anxiety, headaches, fatigue, lethargy, etc. But these pills are very addictive, and there are chances of developing a tolerance for the same. You will resume the lost weight after stopping the pills, if you do not follow a proper diet and exercise routine.

Sometimes, people adopt extreme weight loss methods like starvation or the tapeworm pills method mentioned above. It is not only dangerous but can have serious long-term health hazards. If you come across any bizzare or unconventional diet or weight loss tips, make sure you have detailed information about all its pros and cons, and after effects. If in doubt, it is always recommended to consult a doctor or a certified nutritionist before commencing any weight loss routine.

It is possible to lose weight with healthy methods. Following are the things you can do to achieve an ideal weight and maintain it.

What To Do

1. Follow healthy food habits.
2. Consult a nutritionist and understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy food.
3. Stop binging and emotional eating.
4. Do not skip meals. But, watch your portions.
5. Exercise regularly for 20-30 minutes every day.
6. Be physically active.
7. Follow a practical weight loss plan.
8. Continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle even after you lose weight.
9. Try to reduce stress.
10. Stay focused and motivated.

Remember a simple principle – as excess weight is not gained overnight, it cannot be lost in a short time either. Give yourself some time. Although healthy methods may take a bit longer to work, they are more effective, and definitely beneficial in the long term.

Things You Should Not Do After Eating

Effects of walking after eating
Habits form our lifestyle, and the lifestyle determines our living — healthy or unhealthy. Habits are plenty in number, and they vary from one individual to another with respect to time and manner. While bad habits are bad at all times, some good ones may also become harmful in particular situations. The intention here is not to scare you about your habits, but to make you aware about certain things that never go well with certain situations. This brings us to our main point, i.e., what should not be done after eating. Our digestive system is strong enough to take in whatever we eat and digest it properly, absorbing all the essential nutrients, but at the same time, it is also pretty sensitive and cannot perform its function if obstructed by anything. Hence, here are a few things that should be avoided when you finish your meal.
Things to Avoid Immediately After Eating
*Please Note: People with a sensitive stomach are more susceptible to the things mentioned in the following sections than others.
Brushing Your Teeth
I agree to the fact that brushing your teeth before bedtime is a must in a healthy routine. However, brushing your teeth right after dinner, or after every meal for that matter, is extremely harmful for your teeth. Brushing after eating will scrub away the layers of enamel on the teeth. Furthermore, when you eat or drink acidic foodstuff, or those with a lot of sugar, it’s even more dangerous. To protect the teeth enamel, wait for at least 30 minutes, and allow the mouth to produce sufficient saliva to neutralize the acidity of the food that soften the tooth enamel.
Drinking Too Much Water
It is true that a person should drink 8 glasses of water every day to stay healthy. However, gulping it down right after eating something, or even during meals may disrupt digestion. Too much water after or during the meal might interfere with the natural levels of acid and bile that are essential for proper digestion. Furthermore, drinking cold water might slow down digestion and cause cramping in sensitive people. Try to resist drinking water for at least an hour after a meal, and avoid drinking it while eating.
Driving
Digestion requires a large amount of blood and more blood is concentrated in the digestive tract. Consequently, the brain is temporarily deprived of sufficient blood, resulting in lack of concentration. Also, because of satiation you tend to feel sleepy, and driving with sleepy eyes is never safe. Hence, don’t force yourself to drive soon after you’ve had a meal. Take a break, let the body perform its natural functions, and after an hour or two, think of driving.
Going for a Walk
Although walking a hundred steps after eating is healthy, doing it immediately after a meal is not. Doing so will make it difficult for the digestive system to absorb the nutrients from the food. Furthermore, the blood will flow towards other organs, like legs, hands, etc., which will leave the digestive tract with an insufficient amount of blood flow that is needed for proper digestion. Also, some people might feel dizzy or nauseated if they walk soon after consuming food.
Sleeping
Going to bed right after taking a meal will lead to improper digestion and several other gastrointestinal problems. The sphincter that is above the stomach will open up and allow the acid to run back into the esophagus and damage it. Furthermore, such a habit will also make you gain more weight. Hence, wait for an hour or two, and then take a nap.
Smoking
Smoking is bad for health at all times and so is it after a meal. The blood circulation in the digestive tract after eating is on the rise and several harmful cigarette ingredients are absorbed during this period, which cause damage to the important organs, like the liver, brain, and blood vessels.
Drinking Tea
Many of us have this habit of taking a sip of tea just after lunch or dinner. However, ensure that you get rid of this habit as early as possible because it’s really unhealthy. The tea leaves contain a very high amount of acid that obstructs the protein content in the food from getting digested. The best time to consume tea is at least one hour after eating.

Taking a Bath
If you take a bath after eating, the blood flow towards hands, legs, and body increases. Thus, the amount of blood will decrease around the stomach area, thereby weakening the digestive system and causing slow digestion. Therefore, either take a shower before your meal, or wait for at least 1-2 hours till the consumed food is digested.

Exercising
After we eat, all the blood flow and the organs involved in the process are concentrated for the process of digestion. If you exercise after eating, it will affect the body’s metabolism by decreasing the blood flow and causing difficulty in digesting the nutrients from the food. Wait for at least 2-3 hours after eating, and then begin with your workout.
Loosening the Waist Belt
Although there is lack of scientific evidence, it is believed that loosening the waist belt immediately after eating might cause the intestines to get tangled and blocked, hampering the process of digestion. To prevent this, remember to loosen the belt prior to every meal.
Eating Fruits
Consuming fruits at any time during the day is good except consuming them immediately after a meal. Eating fruits right after your meal may fill the stomach with air and cause bloating. They will also take time to reach the digestive tract, disturbing the entire process of digestion. To prevent your stomach from indigestion and other digestive problems, plan your consumption of fruits before or after 1-2 hours of a meal.
If you avoid doing all the above-said things after eating, it will definitely make your digestion easy, and you will probably be at a lower risk of any digestive problems. Give ample time to your body to adjust to the changes that you are making in the daily routine, and see the difference.

Why You Should Never Share Your Makeup

Side effects of sharing makeup products
Sharing makeup tips amongst each other can help you know beauty secrets for a flawless skin, but when it comes to sharing makeup products it is a strict no-no. Health experts are unanimous about the need to stop the habit of lending or borrowing makeup. Although the habit of sharing anything from games to food has been inculcated since childhood, it is of utmost importance that you purchase your own makeup products and avoid sharing them with anyone.

From a health standpoint, sharing makeup products can be risky. This bad habit can make you susceptible to a wide range of infections, the most common being pink eye. The frequent handling of cosmetic products makes it a potent source of bacterial growth and contamination. The bacteria residing on these products can easily get transferred onto your skin while doing your makeup. So, borrowing a makeup brush or lipstick from your friend is like asking for skin infections. Also, if your friend is least bothered about cleaning her makeup kit, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t get an infection from sharing her cosmetics.

Infections That You May Get from Sharing Makeup Products
Pink Eye
Sharing eye makeups such as eyeliner increases the risk of getting eye infections like conjunctivitis that causes reddening of the eye, thick white discharge, and swelling. You can also get a sty, a painful bacterial infection of the eyelash, from sharing mascara and eyeliner.
Oral Herpes
If you lend or borrow lipstick from your friend who is affected with oral herpes or cold sores, you may get these infections, that are marked by formation of blisters on the lips. Thus, any infection that occurs on the lips can easily get transmitted via lip pencil, lip gloss, and lipstick. Dermatologists warn that a small cut in the lip can pave way for infections via cosmetic products that are used by people infected with cold sores. Also, with the lips being extremely sensitive, you need desist from sharing your cosmetics.

Ringworm
Foundation and blush that are often used to conceal skin flaws can actually cause skin infections like ringworm, if they are shared amongst each other. Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin that can be easily transferred through these makeup products.

Acne
A makeup brush that is used often, acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. It is run over an oily face many times, which can spread bacteria. So, in case you decide to share makeup brush without cleaning it regularly, expect frequent breakouts of acne. In other words, it is believed that one may get acne from sharing makeup brushes if proper hygiene is not followed.

Scientific Evidence

A 2-year study was done to analyze the contamination of makeup items that are kept for testing at cosmetic counters in various departmental stores. The study, conducted under the guidance of Dr Elizabeth Brooks, a biological sciences professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, showed that all makeup products, including the moisturizer, were heavily colonized by strep, staph, and E. coli strains of bacteria.
The presence of E. Coli bacteria indicated that scant attention is given to washing hands after using the toilet. All in all, the study pointed out that people are predisposed to infections through sharing cosmetic products. So, the next time, if you feel like trying a makeup product at the cosmetics counter that has already been used by a large number of people, think twice.

On the whole, borrowing each others’ makeup can wreak havoc on your skin. To put it simply, our skin is unable to adapt to this habit of sharing makeup. Hence, it is best to keep the makeup to yourself as far as its usage is concerned.