Please find the third issue of the newsletter where we cover physiology of fat loss, Tool kit to prevent pigmentation and black spot, an informative article on why not let your fitness goals ruin your festivals. Also starting a new section with healthy recipes. We are adding some illustrations and pictures along with the articles to make it more interesting. If you are an artist and would like to contribute please do mail.
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A green shipping initiative launched
Nineteen maritime states – including Australia, Japan, the UK and US – have agreed to create a network of ‘green shipping corridors’ between their ports.
The ports would offer infrastructure for zero-emissions ships, including storage for hydrogen, ammonia and methanol – all of which are far greener than the ‘bunker fuel’ oil typically used for most ships.
Eventually, only zero-emissions vessels could be permitted to use the routes, providing an incentive for shipping companies to clean up their operations.
Have you ever thought how fat loss happens. I mean if you lose 5 kgs weight where does it go. Do you poop, pee, or sweat? Tiny bit of it yes. Most of it you breathe out. Yes, every breath you take out you lose some fat. Let’s understand how we lose fat by breathing.
The very basic prescription for fat loss is diet and exercise. When we exercise, we start to breathe heavy. If you, do it enough, consistently and if you are patient, you are going to lose fat. Let’s understand how breathing makes us lose fat.
Say you eat some mixed macro nutrient meal. Food that has Carbohydrate, Protein, and fat. The food is not the actual food we eat when it leaves your gut and get into your blood. It will be some form of these macronutrient. If you take your blood out, you don’t see the food but there is protein, fat, or glucose in the blood. Our gut breaks down the food into individual macros. We get some energy doing this process. The blood glucose floating around in the blood is chain of carbons.
Carbohydrates is 6 carbon chain. Glycolysis breaks the 6 carbon molecules to two 3 carbon molecules. Which will further break to two 2 carbon molecules. So, from 6 carbons now we have 4 carbons and lost 2 carbons. In a simple process of breaking down the carbohydrate we lost two carbons. As you breath in Oxygen it mixes with the free-floating Carbon and makes Co2, and we breathe it out. The two 2 carbon molecules further break down through a process called Krebs cycle and at the end we are left with no carbon. If we have oxygen available, you will breathe it out all. So, when we metabolize Carbohydrate all we are left with some energy, Water and Co2 which we breathe out.
Fat works a bit differently. Fat is broken down to triglycerides and fatty acids. A triglyceride is exactly what it sounds like – three glycerides. The backbone of triglycerides is three carbon glycerol. And a bunch of fatty acids. Fatty acids are chain of carbons. The length of the chain determines what type of fatty acid is it. The three carbon goes through the same process as carbohydrates mentioned above. Break down further to two 2 carbon molecules and Krebs cycle and end as Co2 and Water and energy. The long chain of fatty acids goes through process and ultimately breaks down to 2 carbon molecules. Eventually it goes through the Krebs cycle, and we get the same output – lots of energy, water and Co2. The process to burn fat is aerobic. The process to burn Carbohydrate is anaerobic to start with and aerobic to end.
Protein breaks into Amino acids. And further into three carbon chains and two carbon chains. Biproduct of this process is NH2 which we excrete through urine. Breaking protein is also aerobic process. You need oxygen.
When we start to utilize this information and fuels to optimize our exercise, understand carbohydrate is coming directly from the active muscle but fat is coming mostly from the entire body. In other words, say if you are running and start to feel the burn in your calf, you are using the energy coming from carbohydrate in your calf. Energy coming from fat does not happen this way but comes from the entire body. This explains why spot reduction is not possible. If you are doing crunches the fat energy maybe coming from your face or fingers and not just waist. So, when you are, say running, and start to run short of fuel source of carbohydrate from your calf, your energy from fat is not coming from calf but all around your body. So, when fat is needed as a fuel it burns from everywhere. As you can make out logically it takes time for fat to reach the place where you need energy. In other words, carbohydrate in your calf is readily available but for energy coming from fat it takes some time to reach the effected muscle. Knowing this you can decide with related to your exercise protocol when to eat little more carbohydrate or when to go low and eat more fat. 75 kg men with 20% body fat can survive 30-40 days of not having fat as his body will have that much but carbohydrate will be a limiting factor, as you can store only so much within your cell.
Illustration by Kanupriya Singh (Twitter :@_KanupriyaS)from Dr Andy Galpins classroom
Ending it in simple terms, if any excess carbons are there in your body it will accumulate and make you fat. If you breathe out more carbons than you have or intake you will lose fat. Knowing this information how fat and carbohydrate works ca help you design your food and exercise. And always remember you can never outrun a bad diet. So, if your goal is to lose fat remember anything that makes you breathe, makes you lose weight.
Pigmentation and uneven skin tone decoded
A lot of patients often ask me to know about the reason for uneven skin tone and pigmentation. Uneven skin tone is a common concern these days and is perhaps one of the most searched online queries when it comes to skin and hair care. Pigmentation around mouth and forehead are one of the leading issues in millennial patients. Both pigmentation and uneven skin tone are multifactorial in nature. To know more about uneven skin tone , we first need to understand how pigment is formed and which factors cause increase in melanin (the scientific term for pigment).
How is melanin or pigment formed in the skin?Human melanocytes are the specialized cells possessing unique secretory granules known as melanosomes which contain melanin pigment. Melanin and melanosomes are the major determinants of skin pigmentation. Melanin-forming enzyme tyrosinase is the major component responsible for melanogenesis, which occurs within the melanosomes. Inside the melanosomes, tyrosinase catalyzes the first two reactions of the biochemical pathway leading to the formation of two types of melanin pigments, eumelanin or pheomelanin. Tyrosinase catalyzes the hydroxylation of tyrosine to form dopa (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) and then the oxidation of dopa to dopaquinone. The latter is rapidly converted to the brown-black pigment, eumelanin and phaeomelanin. The exposure of human melanocytes to UV light or melanocyte stimulating hormone increases the production of melanosomes as well as eumelanin pigments.
How Sunlight or radiation cause tanning or pigmentation?UV light of which Sun is the major source increases the melanin synthesis by increasing tyrosinase activity which is actually a protective mechanism ( to protect DNA inside the nucleus of cells). This is what protects our skin from cancer which is so common in countries with fairer skin type. But Tanning is not acceptable cosmetically and may even be very severe in nature.
How do I get pigmented when I donot step outside at all?It is a well-established fact that even visible light spectrum especially Blue light emanating from screens, laptops may be detrimental to skin health. Infra-red radiation from heat and cooking stoves can also increase melanin synthesis. Hence it is mandatory to use a sunscreen even indoors or in front of your system.
Can weight gain lead to pigmentation?Increase in insulin levels is a common factor to why people typically get darker when they gain abdominal fat. Hence to avoid pigmentation , it is equally necessary to exercise and consume a healthy diet. Pigmentation around neck , underarms and folds of the body is known as acanthosis nigricans and resolves only with weight loss.
What is Melasma?Melasma is a commonly acquired condition of symmetric hyperpigmentation which typically occurs on the face. It has a higher prevalence in females and darker skin types. Multiple causes like light exposure, hormonal influences and family history have been implicated in the pathogenesis of this disorder. The most common reason is pregnancy and childbirth in women. Fatty liver in males can also trigger melasma like changes.
What is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation(PIH)?Pigmentation developing after an inflammatory skin disorder is very common complaint in patients. There are certain skin diseases which show a tendency to leave behind spots .
Especially Acne vulgaris causes black spots commonly. Dark skin type and tendency to squeeze pimples is the biggest risk factor for developing PIH . Insect bites and even atopic eczema can cause pigmentation.
How to prevent pigmentation and black spots?
As a Dermatologist , I would like to suggest few points to prevent pigmentation and black spots
As a Dermatologist , I would like to suggest few points to prevent pigmentation and black spots
1) Strict Sun and Radiation protection – Yes, you heard it right. You need to protect from UV light and also Infra red and visible light form sources like natural light, computer screen . It is imperative to use a broad spectrum Sunscreen which protects from UV A, UV B and Visible light. Please prefer a sunscreen with iron oxide to prevent visible light. It might require few sunscreens to be tried before you choose the ‘right ‘one.
Here are a few tips to get the best sunscreen for your skin type-
a) Sun protection factor or SPF – it indicates the degree of protection afforded by the sunscreen against UVB. Few indices like PPD or Boots star rating measures the efficacy against UVA. The minimum SPF is 15 and lower SPF values are better suited for Indian skin type as SPF of 50 or more leave behind a whitish cast.
b) Use a gel type sunscreen if you have oily or acne prone skin. One may use a creme based sunscreen for dry and aquafluide emulsion type for combination skin type.
c) Use a non-comedogenic and matte based sunscreen if you are prone to breakouts.
d) Moisturizers containing sunscreen or make up with SPF offer little protection. Always use sunscreen as a make-up base.
e) Sunscreens never trigger pimples although the silicone base makes them appear sticky. always check ‘non – comedogenic’ on the label.
f) Always apply two fingertips on the full face including the sides of ear and backside of neck. Always reapply the sunscreen every three hours. Do not forget to wear a scarf or a wide brimmed hat for added sun protection.
2) Oral Antioxidants– They are ‘oral sunscreens’ and hence prevent pigment cells from free radical induced damage. You can include natural sources like citrus fruits, yellow vegetables and lots of fruits in your diet. Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods help improve your skin barrier and help in prevention of premature ageing.
3) Avoid scrubbing or over exfoliation– Mechanical scrubbing can aggravate pigmentation and make it worse. Do not pick or squeeze your pimples. Most of the time I see a lot of people rubbing vigorously their face which increases pigmentation and causes darkening.
4) Please treat your pimples on time to prevent black spots. A delay in treatment can increase the black spots and PIH.
5) Check your nutritional status as deficiency can make your skin dull. Skin is your mirror of inside and reflects your inner health. If your diet is deficient in micronutrients and vitamins , no amount of product or treatment can bring the glow.
6) Avoid ‘DIY’ remedies like homemade scrubs or electronic massagers. Even Derma roller used at home in a wrong way can cause microtears and black spots. Most of these remedies have a short-term benefit , if any but cannot improve the skin health. turmeric , lime and Besan only help in superficial exfoliation and only pharmacologically derived ingredients offer safety with results.
7) Use a Vitamin C preparation daily. It can be used in combination with Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid for best results. Vitamin C helps in preventing free radical mediated damage and has added antioxidant benefit. It also offers SPF of around 15 but best supplemented with a sunscreen. It is better applied in daytime rather than night.
8) Moisturizing the skin daily is also a must. You may choose an oil free, non-comedogenic moisturizer which contains zinc myristate or witch hazel extract which also gives an oil free look. All skin types benefit from a good barrier which prevents age spots or pigmentation.
Pigmentation and black spots require a multimodal approach for best results. Talk to your dermatologist to plan the best treatment for you.
Dr Divya Sharma is a renowned dermatologist and trichologist based out of Bengaluru. She is on the scientific committee of various national regional dermatology congresses and is often invited as faculty to Indian Academy of Dermatologists, Venerologists and leprologists (IADVL), Association of cutaneous surgeons of India (ACSICON) national conferences. A member of IADVL special interest group (SIG) -Aesthetics. She runs her own practice Dr Divya’s Skin and Hair solutions at Bengaluru and may be reached through her website www.drdivyasharma.com or Twitter @divya_sharmaMD
Festivals are integral part of our culture and they will always be. It’s not just for what they represent but also a time to connect with people who are integral part of life especially now after COVID.
You will see so many articles and posts telling people from ‘Avoid Sweets’ to ‘Starve till such days’ which only showcase that being fit and leading fitness lifestyle is a constant sacrifice for you as well as the people around.
Hence people with either give up or just delay to start their journey towards being a better version of themselves.
In reality, you just need to follow few flexible guidelines during these festive days & just get back on track after. This is the exact same thing we do with our WORK.
It’s difficult to get back to work after a gap but we all know how important it is & that there is NO OTHER WAY!
Same goes for eating well & exercise.
Below are few important points you would want to keep in mind during & after festivities –
Don’t Try and Compensate
Most people will see a bump in weight which is quite common.
The increased weights isn’t all fat. It takes a surplus of 7000kcal to gain 1kg of fat.
That’s a lot of food to be had in couple of days (for most :-P)
The increase is weight mostly due to water retention caused by increased Carbohydrate intake.
Just get back to your regular diet and it shall come down in following days.
Picking up where you left off
If there is a long gap in workout routine, it would be better to take it slow for initial few days being back.
No matter what activity you are involved in, few days of break won’t cause muscle mass or strength or endurance.
Though it might not be the best idea to directly pick up from where you left.
Get back to usual to routine in initial couple of days and plan as per your recovery/feel.
Year-end are full of occasion & for my mentee’s, I make sure to structure their plans well in advance.
One easy thing that anyone can do is to drop calories intake leading up to the occasion (200-300kcal than current) and have a little bit more freedom during the occasion because most will always go overboard during such time.
Rather than compensating after, just get back to your original routine which is much easier.
Lastly enjoy the process. Festivals are part and parcel of life and they will always be there but then so is your fitness.
You can’t buy it & you can’t ask anyone to do it for you.
No matter how fit you think you are now, it will all go away unless you can make eating well and exercising part of your lifestyle.
Anshul Dhamande is a Premium Fitness Coach at Fittr and faculty at Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS).
Working as a Data Analyst for a few years, he saw the lifestyle majority of us have and hence the issues & diseases we are prone to if we don’t make changes.
The misinformation in nutrition and training which was hurting more than helping people made him realise that he wanted to help spread correct information and help people change their lives.
Hence, over the last 5 years he has been able to help over 1200+ people one-on-one as a coach at Fittr, an online health & fitness platform as well as educate people by being a part of a fitness institute (INFS).
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/anshuldhamande/
Twitter – @anshuldhamande