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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Want to lose weight? EAT!

Have you resolved to lose weight? Do you think thin = healthy = not eating? Get real! Eating right can help you knock off those extra pounds.

So have you taken care of your annual donation to the gym knowing that you're never going to step into it? Paying that gym membership makes you think “I'll make it some day”. But let's face it; most of us can barely make the time to draw a deep breath, let alone find a couple of hours, that includes fighting traffic and finding parking space, to work out. Also many have a mental block about the gym and your body will never respond to anything you force it into. So what do you do? You learn to compensate. By eating; only this time correctly.

Go 'figure'

First, study your body; structure, metabolism, hunger pangs, thirst, eating patterns. It's very important to know when you feel hungry, how much and when not; note down the time and contents of your meal for a week so that you realise what you're chomping and what you're missing in terms of essential nutrients. Create a basket that includes all food groups; carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and even fat. Keeping track of all that you eat is also a foolproof system to put an end to bingeing; once you actually see how much you're putting into your body it'll automatically put your meals into perspective.

One simple rule:your body burns most calories as soon as you wake and then goes into slow mode thereafter. So eat your chocolates, fried food, mithai, cakes when you wake up and make the later mouthfuls healthier as the sun goes down.


Do you wake up sluggish to a large cup of coffee/adrakwali chai/green tea? Do you have a couple of bites for breakfast and then wake up ravenous late in the afternoon to bite into whatever you see? That's because you probably eat your big meal — batata wada, dal—roti-chawal — at sunset. Now it's impossible to change habits overnight so start slow. An easy trick is to break your three main meals into eight — or may be six initially. Wake up to the heaviest platter and get through the day in descending order.

The golden cycle

A well guarded secret let out by Rujuta Diwekar is— if you ever want to lose weight; eat! The ‘3 Ws' are the deal breakers— What, When and Where you eat. For e.g. eating dal chawal in a restaurant at midnight can do more damage than a big piece of homemade ladoo/bhaji in the morning. Simply because one, your ability to burn fat at midnight is almost zilch and two even dal (proteins) may have unhealthy ingredients (dalda instead of pure ghee) when made outside whereas the bhaji you fry in good oil at home is absorbed into your system pronto because you're burning most fat in the morning.

Eat with your mind

It's essential to finish with supper at sundown because your fat burning ability vanishes with the sunlight. And since you've had your dinner early, you're guaranteed to wake up with an appetite. If you can't stomach the idea of poha/eggs/thepla that early, start with fruit. High carbs like banana or apple (read roughage) are ideal to kickstart that metabolism and also acts as a buffer to that cup you'll sip on. Never, I mean NEVER, begin your day with caffeine as your body will automatically go into slump mode. Water constitutes 70 per cent of the human body so when gulp some down as much as possible through the day to eliminate toxins.

Quick tip

Every time hunger pangs strike, replace every one out of three meals with water and watch that fat melt away.

The Hindu

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Occupy Wall Street urges general strike on May 1

Occupy Wall Street activists on Monday called for supporters to skip work on May 1 to protest against alleged police brutality during 73 arrests in New York during the weekend.

Several dozen activists joined members of New York’s City Council for a news conference in Zuccotti Park to complain about police tactics. On Saturday, police started detaining people after hundreds of Occupy supporters gathered in the park to mark six months since the start of the movement.

Occupy organizers across the country have been mobilizing for months toward a one—day general strike in May.

They’re encouraging people to stay out of work and school, and to refrain from spending money. In New York, a coalition of unions and worker justice groups are planning a solidarity march through the city.

Council members at Monday’s news conference included Ydanis Rodriguez, a Manhattan Democrat who denounced police actions, while proposing that the council create a “Protester’s Bill of Rights” to establish basic rights.

“I am here today because Saturday night I saw the New York Police Department using brutal, excessive force arresting people who were protesting peacefully,” Rodriguez told the news conference. “We are calling on Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly to fight for our constitutional rights as hard as they fight terrorism.”

Bloomberg countered that members of the NYPD were respectful of protesters’ rights.

“This police department knows how to control crowds without excessive force,” the mayor said. “They do allow you to protest but they don’t let it get out of hand.”

But Liesbeth Rapp, a 27-year-old activist who was there Saturday, said police “charged” protesters and forced them in groups onto nearby sidewalks.

In tears, Rapp said she ended up next to a young woman who suffered a head injury in the scuffle.

“We were all on the ground, and they were on top of us,” she said. “She was holding her head and screaming.”

Rapp said officers ignored the woman’s call for medical help, and it took more than a quarter of an hour for medics to respond.

It’s hardly the first time Occupy protesters and police have faced off. More than 700 protesters were arrested in October after they swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge. Later the same month in Oakland, an Iraq War veteran suffered a skull fracture from a police projectile.

On Nov. 15, two months after Occupy protesters set up their Zuccotti Park encampment, New York police in riot gear cracked down and began removing them, arresting hundreds of people.

Several days later at the University of California in Davis, campus police officers were caught on video using pepper spray on seated Occupy protesters

Occupy organizers have been clamouring for the May Day general strike as a springtime renewal of their movement. May Day is both an ancient rite of spring fertility and, in modern times, a celebration of the international labor movement. It also has been used to protest various issues.

It’s impossible to gauge the expected response of the strike.

Last November in Oakland, when the Occupy movement was at its height, a daylong general strike resulted in a five-hour protest at the city’s port, the nation’s fifth-busiest. In solidarity, hundreds of Oakland teachers skipped school, leaving too few substitutes to keep some classes running.

Supporters in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and elsewhere held smaller-scale demonstrations.