Exercise is key to boosting metabolism: Dr.Shveta Sanghani

Dr. Shveta Sanghani is the Founder of Wellness and Homeostasis, a Community & Corporate Health and Research Centre.

She has executed personal and corporate lifestyle medicine interventions for management of chronic diseases, weight loss and stress reduction.

She has training in sports nutrition and exercise science.

Dr.Sanghani answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below:

hi, How to get slim.
combine exercising 5times a week 60-90min per day, cross training with different modalities, such as breathing, muscle stimulation, cardio… caloric intake 200kcal lower than BMR.. relax, watch, effortlessly the body-mind is in an automatic mode.

aged 55, weigh 95, am active but not losing weight, despite food regulations n physical activity, do drink alcohol 2ice a wk ,ur advice solicited
please limit alcohol, check if you have stress or sleep deprivation, as these imbalance hormones and are obstacles in weight loss. do not be over-cautious or deprive, as the brain rewards later without your conscious knowledge/awareness. for further advise log on to www.wellnessandhomeostasis.com

Also how can I keep a check on my body weight being a mother of one and a half yr old kid?
buy a weighing scale and weigh yourself, once a week. consult a lifestyle medicine professional.

I also want to be healthy always. Can you give some health tips for women who are in their early years of motherhood?
No.1 is exercise regularly, incorporating breathing exercises, eat healthy, limiting restaurant food and foods such as ready to eat cereals, noodles and soups. breast feeding is highly recommended.

Do all women experience stresses of motherhood? Or is it because I don’t have a domestic help?
it is personal, not all mothers may experience stress, but all experience change in lifestyle. but certainly , if you don”t have domestic help, that could be very stressful

Good Morng Dr. I have a one and a half yr old baby. I am very stressed out now days. Please help and guide.
breathing exercises, vegetarian diet, less of restaurant food, especially oriental food, muscle stimulation exercises, yoga, chi gong, tai chi, and soft dance are excellent for stress reduction. be creative if you like, music, art and poetry can help reduce stress. meditation at night, just watch everything is automatic, will reduce the sensation or thought of effort/stress

What types of exercises or lifestyle changes are most effective for stress reduction?
breathing exercises, vegetarian diet, less of restaurant food, especially oriental food, muscle stimulation exercises, yoga, chi gong, tai chi, and soft dance are excellent for stress reduction. be creative if you like, music, art and poetry can help reduce stress

I also want to get pregnant in one or two years. Does stress relate to infertility?
yes, it does many a times relate to infertility

I have mostly led a stressful life Dr. as I have been working from a young age. I don’t get time for exercise as my work schedule itself is an exercise I feel. What can I do to relieve stress.
breathe… in different methods, it can be done even while working, walking or sitting. breathe through the throat, (ujjai), through alternating nostrils and rapid exhalation (kapalbhati). it will help reduce stress. meditation, awareness and spontaneous right action, can also de-stress

How to help a school going child in stress management?
first, stop telling the child what to do.. the behaviour is spontaneous and self-regulates towards homeostasis. second, know the triggers of stress, and avoid those, or eliminate those. sports, or games is the best way. art or creative music is very effective too.

Does positive thinking really impacts stress in someway? How?
positive thinking cannot be done… it is a happening when the cerebral cortex of the brain is stimulated. if you try to think positive that is an added stress, when the limbic system of the brain is triggered. to accept non- acceptance, (or what ever is ) is the best stress buster.

I have tried meditating even to avoid stress but cant do meditation. Any one important daily exercise that can rlieve me of stress. Pls help.
don”t meditate. do anulom vilom, for 10min, 3-3-3min 3 times a day. do bhramari 6reps/day, ujjayi 20reps/day and sheetali 6-12reps/day. relax, just be, as the entire mind function is automatic, emotions, thoughts, sensations are just universal tendencies not personal doings. they come and go, recognize this in awareness. remember deep sleep, where nothing exists.

How can I deal with emotional stress.My mother is sick and bed ridden.
breathing exercises for 20-30min per day, accumulated throughout the day are a good way to reduce stress. second, cognitive recognition, through mindfulness based acceptance therapy, where you know, that the mind-body is in an automatic mode, so the stress to change anything from what is, is reduced. thus every action becomes the spontaneous right action. short term diet cleanse with congenial foods can also reduce stress in a combination therapy.

With most of the illnesses arising from stressful life today, how can we help ourselves to manage and cut down on stress?
breathing exercises for 20-30min per day, accumulated throughout the day are a good way to reduce stress. second, cognitive recognition, through mindfulness based acceptance therapy, where you know, that the mind-body is in an automatic mode, so the stress to change anything from what is, is reduced. thus every action becomes the spontaneous right action. short term diet cleanse with congenial foods can also reduce stress in a combination therapy.

Is jogging on the treadmill is as useful as jogging in the park or any peaceful outdoor?
yes, exercise wise will give you the same benefit, but personally I would prefer the outdoors, for more fresh air, and oxygen intake.

But is it that one gradually gains the lost weight once the weight training work out is discontinued?
this is not true. you may lose muscle though, and you may put on weight, if the energy balance is in the positive side, meaning more intake and less output. so in a nutshell, not muscle exercise, but if you stop any exercise, you can put on weight, because of positive energy balance.

I am really not fond of weight training exercises. But they say its very helpful in weight loss. What is your advise?
weight training may not be mandatory initially, but if you need to lose more than 4kg, to preserve muscle mass and induce fat mass is it absolutely necessary. otherwise you will lose muscle more than fat.

Doctor I am a flabby female. Age 34yrs. I have flab on my abs and underarms. What type of exercise do you suggest for me?
I would suggest muscle strengthening exercises, start slow, 30min 3 times a week. shape up, do upper body, torso, abs, split exercise then 5 days a week, 60min. also try stimulating breathing exercises, such as kapalbhati, rapid anulom vilom, and arm-raising bhastrika.

How do we detect real organic vegetables with so many varieties available in market today?
they need to be certified by govt. authorising bodies for organic food. the one I could suggest to be close to real is at the farmer’s market.

I mostly indulge in multiple tasks as a working housewife. How can I tackle stress?
Breathing exercises for 20min, accumulated throughout the day are a great way to reduce the memory of effort, which is termed stress. meditation for a few minutes, in the awareness that the entire mind-body is in an automatic mode, including thoughts, efforts, emotions and sensations, will reduce stress completely, because you don”t need to change anything from what is…

Hi Dr. Sanghani. I want to know about organic foods. How are they different from other foods?
organic foods are supposed to be grown without any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, without the addition of growth hormones or antibiotics for cattle as far as dairy is concerned. but how far organic is really organic in india, is questionable.

Madam what is gluten free diet and when is it advised? Thank you.
gluten free diet is advised in celiac disease, where the gut is intolerant to the protein of wheat, called gluten. in this case, avoid all wheat products, including maida, biscuits, bakery products, pasta, pizza, bread and all products that have wheat products. If severe even oats need to be avoided as it has gluten too.

What is right time to consume carbohydrate rich diet , day time or night time?
According to my experience you can have carbohydrates anytime during the day/night. nevertheless it is the type of carbohydrates, have whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. avoid carbs such as poha, upma, white rice, wheat, maida, cornflakes, Maggie and commercial soups. sleep at least 2-3 hours after your meal.. and eat what you like..

Can you suggest on the right carbohydrate intake for a female of 31yrs who needs to lose 5-8kgs?
there may not be something like a right intake for weight loss, but I would recommend complex carbohydrates, such as dal, brown rice, millets, fruits and vegetables, at about 55-60% of total intake.

Why is vitamin B12 so necessary for an adult?
it helps in the formation of blood, nerve function and is a cofactor in several enzymatic reactions. B12 deficiency can cause adverse effects on brain function, anemia and general fitness.

There is a lot of misunderstandings on the intake of Soy foods or Soybean.What is your advise on it?
soy, in moderation (1/2 cup cooked beans, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup nutrella) are a very good option for complete protein, heart disease, immune function and metabolism. but if you have hypothyroidism or bile gastritis, soy is not recommended

What according to are the most nutritious and hygienic fishes to consume?
bhangra, surmai, pomfert, salmon are good options

Doctor I have heard that fish is the best form for Omega3? Is this true?
fatty fish such as mackerel, bhangra, pomfret are good sources of omega 3 fat. nevertheless they lack vitamin E, which is essential with omega 3. plant sources of omega 3 such as walnuts, leafy greens have both omega 3 and vitamin E

I am a vegan female and allergic to milk and dairy products. I somehow cannot digest them properly. How do I get enough calcium intake? Pls advise.
the best absorbable source of calcium is plant source, include veggies such as bok choy, cabbage, bhindi, Chinese cabbage, sesame seeds, nuts and soy.

I also want to know about your diet suggestions to women who are approaching menopause?
I would suggest high omega 3 fat, include walnuts, flax seeds and leafy veggies to reduce the omega 6:3 fat ratio and hence hormonal fluctuations. Also, a diet rich in MUFA, plant protein, such as dals, beans, sprouts, soy, fruits and veggies. Millets such as jowar, nachni are good. Avoid restaurant food, fried food, maida based products and refined food such as upma, powha, white rice.

I am addictive to certain foods like potato chips and gulab jamuns. I need to have them every alternate day. How can I control?
breathing exercise for 20-30mins a day and mindfulness based observation that the mind-body is in an automatic mode of function will reduce the stress to deprive or control. let it be, deprivation leads to reward later and you tend to find yourself more addicted. let exercise reduce cravings and you observe effortlessly. must exercise for brain chemical secretions to be balanced.

My dad is 58yrs. He suffers from high blood pressure. Apart from salt reduction what should be followed in his diet plan?
BP can be controlled completely with foods such as fruits, apricots, figs, dates, nuts, millet (jowar , nachni) oats and non-fat dairy products, as well as breathing exercises. the latter is a must.

I am 30 yr male, height 5.7′.What should be my ideal weight?
it should be around 70kg +_ 3kg according to your structure..

How much fibre intake is ideal for an adult?
approximately 10g per meal , so around 30-35g per day. be sure to drink plenty of water with fibre intake, or you will get constipation and bloating.

Can you please mention some good sources of Fibre?
legumes such as dal, sprouts, beans are the best source of fibre. other sources are vegetables, fruits, nuts.

What is your take on the consumption of additional supplements like a multivitamin daily?
if you have a balanced diet, which includes, roti, brown /red rice dal, veggies, fruits, nuts, non-fat dairy in adequate amounts, you do not need any supplements. but if your absorption or intake is inadequate and you are eating more of refined food such as Maggie, knorr soups, cornflakes etc, and restaurant food, then you need to supplement for 2-4 weeks or so.

I have heard that one gains weight if one quits smoking.True?
No, I don”t think any direct correlation with smoking cessation, but if the addiction switches to food and portion size increases, that may cause weight gain

Does consuming lemon added to warm water in the mornings empty stomach really help to lose weight?
no pal, it doesn’t .. in fact, if you are acidic, it may worsen your intestines.. lemon is great after food for digestion..

I am 28yrs female. I am allergic to honey. Any substitute for honey?
palm jiggery is good or gur sugar which is natural, you can get it from conscious food or sattvic.

How is it to have stuffed parathas in breakfast? How many should be healthy.. one, two or three?
stuffed with veggies fine, 1tsp oil, spices, go for it, 1 6″ paratha is perfect for weight loss..

I am a vegan. What is that one thing that I should include in my breakfast for the energetic start?
if grains, any millet preparation, like thepla, thalipeeth (roasted), or brown rice dosa, idli, oat upma. if grains not preferred, dry fruits, nuts, and soymilk

I love fried chips & bhajiyas & even pasteries. Pls guide as to how many times in a month can I have thses?
you can certainly have it once a week…. say 2 of the 3 choices is fine. be sure you do breathing exercise, to balance your metabolism

Hello dr. I have a very bad tendancy. I gain weight very easily and lose with difficulty. I am a vegan. What to avoid the most in foods for a balanced weight?
I would emphasize more on exercise since that is the key player to boost metabolism. Breathing exercises for 20-25min, muscle stimulation or strengthening for 60min per day, 4-5 days /week are excellent options. As far as diet, stick to a caloric restriction plan, not depriving yourself. 200kcal below your BMR. you can get your BMR tested on a simple machine. avoid eating out, refined food, and large portion sizes.

How much milk or other dairy products should he consume on daily basis?
he can have 3 glasses of milk everyday, make sure it is low fat milk, as the fat in milk is the bad fat. he can also have paneer, curd and buttermilk, instead of all milk.

Would a high protein diet be apt for him at the age of 9yrs?
no, I would not rec. a high protein diet, but everything in moderation. I would emphasize on plant proteins rather than meat protein.

Madam my son is 9yrs old. He is very good in running. Shows signs of becoming an athelete. Can you guide on his basic diet and fitness plan at this age?
sure, give him a balance of good carbohydrates such as dals, beans, low fat milk, paneer, curd, fruits and soymilk, and proteins which can be again dals, milk, nuts and soy. after the exercise, protein is important. so give him fruit and milk or sprout bhel.