Understanding and Accepting Autism. Bringing comfort to those in need.

Explore the importance of understanding and accepting autism, offering practical tips to support autistic colleagues and create an inclusive environment. Dive into the world of autism awareness and acceptance and discover how you can bring comfort and support to those with autism, fostering a culture where everyone thrives.

Imagine walking into a world where sounds, sights, and even the light touch of fabric feel intensely different. Where words get lost not for want of thoughts but because they simply can’t find their way out.

This world is a daily reality for approximately 18 million people in India diagnosed with autism, a spectrum of conditions that affects 1 to 1.5% of children aged two to nine years.

With the theme for World Autism Awareness Day 2024 being “Light It Up Blue,” it’s a global call to not just understand but truly accept and celebrate the unique perspectives and contributions of autistic individuals in every sphere of life.

This article aims to peel back the layers of autism, offering a glimpse into the minds of those on the spectrum and providing actionable steps for you to foster an environment of comfort, acceptance, and support. Are you ready to make a difference? Let’s dive in!

Fostering Autism Awareness and Acceptance

In a world rich with diversity, understanding and accepting autism stands as a beacon of empathy and inclusion. We need to understand that autistic individuals often bring remarkable skills to the table—be it an unparalleled focus, an exceptional memory, or a unique way of solving problems. By understanding their world, we can better support their integration into ours.

And for that to happen, improving acceptance for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is crucial for creating a more inclusive and understanding society. Here’s how we can all contribute to a more accepting and aware world.

  • Practice Patience in Communication: If you’re conversing with someone on the spectrum who may need more time to respond, give them the space and time they need without pressuring them. This patience can make communication more comfortable for them.
  • Create Sensory-Friendly Spaces: At home or in shared spaces, consider adjusting lighting, noise levels, and textures to create a more comfortable environment for individuals with sensory sensitivities. Simple changes, like using dimmable lights or having a quiet room, can make a big difference.
  • Use Clear and Concise Language: When giving instructions or sharing information, be as clear and straightforward as possible. Avoid idioms or phrases that can be taken literally, which might confuse someone who interprets language more directly.
  • Educate Your Circle: Share what you learn about autism with friends, family, and colleagues. Dispelling myths and spreading understanding can change attitudes and behaviors in your community.
  • Offer Support in Social Situations: If you notice someone on the spectrum feeling overwhelmed or left out in social settings, gently offer your support or help them find a quiet place to regroup. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there to help can alleviate stress.

Every action, no matter how small, can make a big difference in fostering acceptance and understanding. Here’s a table offering communication tips that align with autism acceptance:

Tip Description Example
Be Clear and Direct Use straightforward language, avoiding idioms and metaphors. Instead of saying "It’s raining cats and dogs," say "It’s raining very hard."
Allow Processing Time Give time to process and respond to information without pressure. After asking a question, wait patiently for a response without hurrying them.
Use Visual Supports Support communication with visuals like pictures or written words. Use a picture schedule to outline the day’s activities or tasks.
Avoid Sensory Overload Minimize potential sensory triggers in the communication environment. Lower the volume of background music during conversations.
Encourage Non-Verbal Communication Support and understand gestures, sign language, or writing as valid forms of communication. If speaking is difficult, suggest drawing or using gesture-based apps for communication.
Be Patient and Receptive isplay patience and openness, valuing the effort to communicate. If the person is taking time to form a response, nod encouragingly without interrupting.
Clarify Understanding Confirm comprehension gently and clarify if there’s confusion. After explaining something, ask "Does that make sense?" or "Can I explain this differently?"
Respect Personal Space Recognize and adhere to the individual’s comfort with physical proximity. Notice if stepping closer makes them uncomfortable and adjust by stepping back.
Adapt Your Communication Style Alter your method of communication based on the individual’s preference and effectiveness. If verbal instructions are misunderstood, try demonstrating the task or writing it down.
Foster a Judgment-Free Zone Ensure they feel safe expressing themselves without fear of negative feedback. Respond positively or neutrally to all attempts at communication, avoiding criticism.

These tips aim to foster a more inclusive and understanding approach to communication, aligning with broader goals of autism acceptance.

How does Autism Awareness and Acceptance Help ASD Individuals?

Acceptance plays a pivotal role in transforming the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), initiating a positive shift that reverberates through their experiences and interactions. Here’s a concise overview of how acceptance fosters change:

  • Adequate Validation of Their Condition and Emotions: Recognizing and validating the unique sensory and communicative experiences of individuals with ASD affirms their reality, encouraging a supportive atmosphere where their feelings are acknowledged without judgment.
  • Improved Self-Acceptance, Confidence, and Mental Health: Acceptance nurtures self-esteem in people with ASD, enabling them to embrace their individuality. This bolstered self-image propels them to face new challenges and reduces feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression.
  • Better Relationships with Peers: Acceptance from peers enhances social inclusion, offering autistic individuals vital support, opportunities for emotional development, and a sense of community, facilitating a more understanding and inclusive society.
  • Increased Quality of Everyday Life: When accepted, individuals with ASD experience fewer barriers to inclusion, receive necessary support, and feel valued within their communities. This leads to a more manageable daily life, allowing them to pursue their interests and contribute meaningfully to society.

In sum, acceptance is not just beneficial-it’s essential for enabling individuals with ASD to lead fulfilling lives, underscoring the importance of cultivating understanding and inclusivity at all societal levels.


In wrapping up our exploration of understanding and accepting autism, it’s clear that embracing individuals on the spectrum is not just about acknowledging their presence in our lives and communities.

It’s about actively participating in creating a world where comfort, acceptance, and support are the norms, not the exceptions. From the poignant insights into the inner experiences of those with autism to practical advice on promoting acceptance, every aspect underscores the importance of seeing beyond the diagnosis to the individual.

5 fun ways to strengthen your muscles

If you are someone on a fitness journey, you might have heard frequent mentions of muscle strengthening from your gym trainer or fitness influencers. Muscle strengthening exercises make your muscles work harder while boosting muscle health and bone density.

Regular muscle training has been linked with health benefits like better posture, reduced joint aches, lower risk of sustaining injuries, and slowing the pace of bone and muscle loss.

When you add muscle training to your fitness regime, over time you are likely to enjoy perks like better blood sugar levels, weight management, emotional state, and more confidence. According to a 2022 meta-analysis, people opting for muscle strengthening just 30-60 minutes a week are at a lower risk of dying prematurely than those who don’t.

The experts who conducted the study explained that muscle-strengthening exercises are recommended as they can lead to better physical functioning. The benefit can, in turn, lower the risk of lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes.

How to work on muscle strengthening

Despite its advantages, the lack of awareness about muscle strengthening is impacting people’s health levels across the country. There are also myths like muscle training being strenuous that discourage people from trying their hand at it. In a study by InBody, seven out of 10 Indians were found to be suffering from poor muscle health and needed to gain muscle mass. Conducted across eight cities, the survey observed the fitness levels of citizens between the ages of 30 to 55 years.

Unlike what many people think, muscle strengthening doesn’t always involve hitting the gym or working out for hours. It can be as easy as climbing stairs, doing a couple of jumping jacks or push-ups, or heavy gardening. Let’s get to know how we can incorporate muscle strengthening into our daily lives.

1. Dancing: Put on your favorite playlist and start dancing. There’s no right or wrong way to dance. Along with burning calories, dancing aids the development of lean muscle mass.

2. Taking the stairs: By ditching the elevator and climbing the stairs, you engage your leg muscles to carry your weight, step after step. The activity when repeated every days can lead to robust leg muscles.

3. Heavy gardening: As messy as weeding, digging, planting, and mowing your lawn sounds, your muscles are going to thank you. During heavy gardening, you strengthen your muscles by engaging the ones in your limbs, abdomen, shoulder, and back. Gardening also helps in improving mobility and muscle endurance

4. Cycling: The next time you are going to a nearby spot, choose cycling over driving. The activity targets your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes, making your legs stronger.

5. Push-ups or squats: These exercises are among the most effective forms of physical training which is why you will see them included in almost every kind of workout. By engaging all muscles of the body, they can make your core stronger and improve your upper body strength.

Why nutrition is important for muscle strength

If you are committed to muscle training but are not focussing on nutrition, you are missing out on a key parameter for good health. If exercise keeps you in good shape, nutrition is the fuel that keeps you going. There’s more to muscle building than lifting weights and working out and nutrition is an important component in your fitness journey.

According to nutritionists and dietary experts, nothing can replace a balanced and nutrient-dense diet. They also warn people against consuming supplements without medical advice as they can do more harm than good.

For gaining muscles, the two crucial nutrients to take care of are calories and protein. Being the building block of your body, protein rebuilds muscle tissue. By having adequate calories each day, you get the energy to get going. Here are a few examples of foods that can help you achieve your muscle strengthening targets easily:

  • Egg: Apart from healthy fats and vitamins, each egg has six grams of protein. Serve them sunny side up, scramble them or rustle up a classic omelet, you are never running out of options with egg.
  • Chicken: The reason why your dietician’s top recommendations include chicken breast is because it is an excellent source of lean protein.
  • Cottage cheese: If you are a vegetarian, cottage cheese can be your go-to source of protein. You can create a number of mouth-watering dishes with it that satisfy both your taste buds as well as nutritional needs.
  • Tofu: This is a protein source that’s ideal for both vegetarians and vegans. Made from soybean, tofu is also rich in calcium.
  • Beans: Kidney beans, flat beans, black beans, or pinto beans are good sources of lean protein. Plus, they add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet.
  • Tempeh: It’s another popular vegan protein source. It’s sometimes preferred to options like tofu as it’s less processed, so it can retain more macronutrients.
  • Greek yogurt: If you are looking for a protein-rich snacking option, this one’s recommended by fitness experts too. You can top it up with fruit and nuts, add it to a smoothie, or even have it plain.


A quick search on the internet will show you how muscle strengthening is linked to long-term health benefits and lower mortality risk. On the other hand, the lack of muscle strength and endurance can lead to fatigue, poor metabolism, and impaired muscles. You can start small and at the pace you want and gradually build up your strength levels.

If at any point you feel confused about the technique or frequency of an exercise, consult your trainer to up your muscle training game. As your form becomes better, you get more confident and can challenge yourself to new fitness regimes.

What are the Dental Post-Procedure Care and Instructions?

Regarding your dental health, post-procedure care is just as critical as the treatment itself. After any dental procedure, from a simple filling to a more complicated root canal or extraction, it is essential to follow your dentist’s instructions and take good care of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Here are some standard dental proceduresand the post-op careinstructions you should follow aftertreatment.

Teeth Whitening
Teeth Whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that helps restore your teeth’ original colour. The procedure works by removing an indispensable layer of enamel, which then takes around 48 hours to redevelop. To maximize the results of the whitening procedure, reducing your consumption of certain drinks and foods that may cause staining is essential.

These include coffee, tea, red wine, dark-colored juices, and foods that contain a lot of dye. If you want to keep your teeth white, avoiding these drinks and foods is best, or at least limit your consumption. Additionally, brush your teeth regularly with whitening toothpaste and floss to remove any plaque that could cause staining. With proper care and maintenance, you can maintain the results of your teeth whitening procedure for a long time.

Tooth Extraction
Aftertooth extraction procedure, it is important to avoid disturbing the treatment area. Gauze can be used to control any bleeding, while ice bags can be used to reduce pain and swelling. Eating only soft foods for the first few days is recommended, and avoiding drinking through straws, smoking or swishing liquids. Additionally, avoid chewing with the side of your jaw that had the extraction for at least 24 hours. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be taken to reduce discomfort and speed up the healing process. Finally, make sure to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal Treatment is vital to preserving your dental health and should be done with the utmost care. After the procedure is complete, taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen within one hour of completion is essential. This will help to reduce any discomfort once the anaesthesia wears off.
In addition to taking the pain medication, it is essential to chew only with the opposite jaw of where the root canal was performed until a permanent crown or filling is applied. Chewing gum and other sticky candies can dislodge the temporary crown or filling and should be avoided.
It’s also recommended to brush and floss your teeth as usual, but avoid the area where the root canal was performed. Finally, attend follow-up appointments and practice good dental hygiene to ensure a successful root canal treatment.

Dental Implant
A dental implant’s post-procedure care steps are essential to ensure its successful integration into the jawbone. After having a dental implant, applying cotton gauze with light pressure is essential to control the bleeding for about 30 minutes. Avoid brushing your teeth for eight hours after the procedure, and brush gently for the next few days. Also, avoid rinsing your mouth with mouthwash for 24 hours after the dental implant.
It is also essential to take special care when eating for the first 24 hours, as the area could be tender. Stick to soft foods like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, or applesauce. Additionally, you should avoid hard, crunchy foods at this time.

To ensure a successful dental implant, you should also refrain from smoking for at least 48 hours after the procedure. In addition, it is important to keep the area clean after the implant, so brushing and flossing regularly is essential. It is also important to attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist to ensure the implant is healing properly.

Fixing of Dental Crown and Bridge
Taking care of your dental crown and bridge after the procedure is essential. When the anaesthesia wears off, wait a few hours before eating or drinking anything. Then, floss your crown regularly, just as naturally floss your teeth, and use a floss beneath bridges to remove food particles. Avoid hard foods, such as candies, nuts, and ice, that could damage the dental crown. If there is discomfort or an uneven bite after the procedure, schedule an appointment with your dentist to adjust it. Additionally, if you have bruxism or teeth grinding, wear a night guard to protect your crown and bridge. Taking care of your crown and bridge will ensure it lasts many years.

For patients seeking dental care, their treatment, and things to consider after a dental procedure, contact our HCL Dental Care in Noida.

How long is the removal procedure and healing process take for wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth extraction is a procedure that is often performed on people in their late teenage years or early twenties. This procedure is done when the wisdom teeth are proving to be a problem, such as when they are impacted, misaligned, or awkward. The wisdom teeth may also need to be extracted if they are causing overcrowding in the mouth or if they are causing gum inflammation, pain, or infection. During the procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon will make a small incision in the gums to access the wisdom tooth and cut it into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Once the tooth is extracted, the gums will be stitched up, and antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection.

Healing times may vary depending on the severity of the surgery, but most people recover after 3-4 days. Here is what to expect when healing after wisdom teeth removal:

Swelling: Swelling of your face is normal after wisdom teeth removal surgery. This may be present for up to 3-4 days.

Bruising: After surgery, mild bruising may appear around your cheeks and jaw. This should resolve in the same 3-4 days.

Pain: You may experience minor discomfort for the first few days after the surgery. Your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe pain relief medication to help with this.

Care: It is essential to follow the instructions given by your dentist or oral surgeon when taking care of yourself after the surgery. This may include regular cleaning of the area, avoiding smoking, and avoiding foods that are difficult to chew.

By following the instructions of your dentist or oral surgeon and taking proper care of yourself, you should have no problem healing after wisdom teeth removal.


How to Speed Up Recovery Following Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal can be tedious, and recovery after the surgery can take several weeks to heal completely. Knowing how to speed up the recovery process is key to reducing discomfort and returning to your daily routine as quickly as possible. 

Blood Clot Formation
Blood clot formation at the wisdom tooth extraction site is a crucial aspect of the healing process because it helps to check excessive bleeding, prevent wound infection, boost new tissue growth, and protect the exposed bone. To ensure proper clot formation and speed up recovery, you should refrain from touching or disturbing the area.

Keeping the Area Clean
Keeping the area clean is also essential for a successful healing process. To ensure your mouth is as clean as possible, practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily and rinsing your mouth with a saline solution regularly. Additionally, your dentist may prescribe an antiseptic mouthwash to help prevent infection. 

Eating the Right Foods
Eating the right foods can also help speed up the recovery process. Choose soft, nutritious foods that are easy to chew and swallow, such as soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and other soft fruits and vegetables. Avoid spicy, acidic, or crunchy foods, as they irritate the extraction site. 

Taking Medication
Your dentist may also give you antibiotics and pain medication after your surgery to help reduce infection and pain. Take medicine as prescribed and follow your dentist's instructions. You may also find applying an ice pack to the affected area helpful, as this can help reduce swelling and discomfort. 

Avoiding Habits
Finally, be mindful of habits that might irritate the extraction site or delay healing. For example, avoid using straws, smoking, drinking alcohol, and engaging in strenuous physical activities, as these can all hinder the healing process. 

Following the above tips can help speed up your recovery process following wisdom teeth removal. Proper steps to ensure a speedy and successful recovery are essential for oral health.


Recovery Tips for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Taking special care of yourself after wisdom tooth removal surgery is important. Here are some tips to ensure a speedy recovery:

Apply an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling and help with bruising. Keep the pack on for up to 20 minutes, and do this every few hours.

– Use damp heat to treat a sore jaw. This can be done by taking a warm, damp washcloth and placing it on the side of your face.
– To help prevent your jaw from becoming stiff, gently exercise it by slowly opening and closing it.
– For the first few days after surgery, eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup. Avoid hard and crunchy foods, which can irritate your gums and teeth.
– Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated and promote healing.
– After 24 hours, you can start brushing your teeth again, although you should avoid brushing against blood clots.
– Take any medications your dentist prescribes to help with pain and swelling.
– If you have a fever or if your pain or swelling is not improving, contact your dentist immediately.

Wisdom teeth can present various issues, and it is often best to visit a dentist as soon as you feel any discomfort, pain, or swelling in the area. HCL Dental Care in Noida will review your specific case and suggest an appropriate treatment, which may include wisdom tooth extraction.

The Power of Conscious Breathing

Did you Know? We breathe approximately 10-12 times in a minute and over 28,800 times in a single day. Yet, most of us don’t think too much about it, as it is something that happens without any conscious effort.

Now, science has shown that breathing with awareness has many physical and physiological benefits and inculcating a habit of conscious breathing can transform our life.

“Conscious breathing has seeped into all parts of my life,” said Aarthi Menon, 42, an independent journalist and an Ashtanga Yoga practitioner and instructor based in Mysore. In Ashtanga Yoga, every movement is accompanied by breath and practicing it for six years has made her breathing mindful even when she is off the yoga mat.

“While most people react to situations impulsively, conscious breathing has helped me pause and delay my response, helping me avoid arguments and unnecessary fights,” Menon said. Breathing consciously has also improved her lung capacity, and she could feel a tangible difference between herself and others when she went on a high-altitude trek in the Himalayas this year. Conscious breathing has also improved her writing skills – “It has improved my clarity of thought,” Menon said.

What is conscious breathing? Continue reading “The Power of Conscious Breathing”

MONKEYPOX: An Emerging Global Health Concern

Health Advisory
(Authors: Dr. Amit Kumar Gupta MD, MBA and Dr. Roopesh Gupta MD)

Monkeypox is a viral infection, first discovered in monkeys, that can also transmit to humans and cause symptoms and complications. Of late, its incidence has risen globally, with cases reported from more than 75 countries, including India. On 23rd July 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monkeypox as a global health emergency.

How does Monkeypox infection happen and spread?
A person can catch this infection from an infected person, an infected animal, or through contaminated objects and surfaces. Human-to-human transmission mostly happens through close contact – either direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a Monkeypox rash, or, less commonly, by touching items (such as clothing or bedding) that have encountered an infectious person’s sores or bodily fluids. Unprotected sex can also spread this infection. Infected pregnant women can pass this virus to their babies in the womb.

Common Symptoms of Monkeypox Disease

An infected person may remain symptom-free or develop symptoms after an incubation period of 5 to 21 days. Common symptoms include:
Flu-like illness (fever, headaches, body aches, etc.)
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Blister-like rashes Continue reading “MONKEYPOX: An Emerging Global Health Concern”

Why you must encourage your parents to stay physically active?

Heard of the term ‘Use it or lose it?

This phrase is not just applicable to the cognitive function of the brain but even to the muscular tissues. Muscles are the anchor of the body that keeps the body mobile and erect. Of course, bone and joints have a very important role in locomotion (basically movement) but today we are going to discuss a less talked about Medial Condition called ‘Sarcopenia”. According to the Lancet ‘Sarcopenia is a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle disorder involving the accelerated loss of muscle mass and function that is associated with increased adverse outcomes including falls, functional decline, frailty, and mortality.’

This basically means that the body starts losing muscle mass and function which may result in falls & frailty. It is basically an age-related muscle loss and is a natural part of aging. As we grow old the natural wear and tear increases in the body including the muscles. After age 30, one begins to lose 3 to 5% of their muscle mass per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes.

Less muscle means greater weakness which in turn means less mobility. And there starts the vicious cycle of less muscle, less mobility, and increased weight leading to lesser mobility and further lesser muscle mass!! This also increases the risk of falls and fractures. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.

The symptoms of Sarcopenia include weakness and stamina loss. This can affect the ability to carry out physical activities. A reduction in activity then leads to further muscle mass loss.

Now let’s talk about the various Causes of Muscle loss (sarcopenia) – The most common cause of this medical condition is decreased physical activity throughout the day.

Other Causes of Sarcopenia may include:
Reduction in the nerve cells that send signals from brain to muscles to move
A lowering of hormone levels
A decline in body’s ability to convert protein to energy
Not consuming enough daily calories and protein to maintain the muscle mass
Inflammatory diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes mellitus

But just because the muscle mass is lost it does not mean it is gone forever. it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it. And the solution is quite simple.

How to Avoid muscle loss
1. Exercise Regularly– This is main mantra to stay away from this condition. Encourage your parents to get into the regular habit of following any exercise routine. It may mean a 30 min regular walk or yoga or gardening or going to a gym. Anything and everything that ensures that the regime is there as a rule and not as an exception! Don’t limit moving around because they are old, have maids to do the work, Everything is home delivered (from grocery to medicines) it’s too hot or too cold to work out etc etc….. Ensure staying mobile and active is a part of their daily routine. If someone must take rest because of a medical condition, then try to get back to the routine of exercise as early as possible. Lying down for a week loses at least 5% of muscle mass! And in old age it is very difficult to get these muscles back.

2. Consume a protein rich balanced Diet – Ensure that the diet is rich in protein, as a lot of wear and tear happens in old age. Protein helps in building the muscles. So, ensure that the diet is not calorie deficit and 30 to 50% of these calories are coming from proteins. It is helpful to know the health status by getting a Health Check minimum once a year. It helps in knowing the status of basic parameters of the body. And based on that status a more individualist approach can be planned.

3. Keep a check on the Body weight – Data suggests that it becomes more difficult to lose weight once you cross the age of 50. Specially if one has never exercised before. The usual tendency is to start eating less to lose weight. It becomes a double whammy because the muscle mass is lost because of less activity and then eating less means consuming calories / nutrition deficit diet, further reducing the muscles mass. So, getting in touch with an expert like a Clinical Nutritionist will help in reducing weight without compromising the Nutrition.

So encourage your parents to stay Active and Stay fit!!

What is Intermittent Fasting? Why do celebrities swear by it?

Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Ben Affleck, Beyonce, Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Malaika Arora-Khan may seem to have little in common other than being celebrities but if media reports are to be believed, all of them follow the principles of intermittent fasting and have achieved great results because of it.

Those who swear by it because it is simple yet effective and easy to implement.

In Hollywood, British actor Tom Hardy has said that he could quickly gain lean muscle and lose weight for various movie roles thanks to intermittent fasting. According to media reports, Beyonce lost her pregnancy weight by it and Ben Affleck got in shape for the role of Batman by following intermittent fasting.

Similarly, Malaika Arora Khan has revealed that she eats her dinner by 7-8 pm and does not have breakfast in the morning. Her first meal is at noon. Alia Bhatt’s nutritionist has mentioned that she follows a vegetarian intermittent fasting plan and Jaqueline Fernandez too swears by intermittent fasting. She has her last meal by 7 pm and intakes lots of lemon water during the early morning hours.

What exactly is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting or IF as it is commonly known is an eating pattern with fixed cycles of eating and fasting. It is different from diets because intermittent fasting doesn’t specify what you can eat but when you can eat. It is also known as time-restricted eating.

When you are fasting, you are allowed to have water and zero calorie beverages like black coffee and green or herbal tea without sugar. The meal you have in the eight hour window can be regular meals.

The most common patterns are 16:8 where you fast for 16 hours and eat in the eight hour window and 5:2 where you eat normally for five days and restrict to 500-600 calories for two days. Other patterns are eat-fast-eat where you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week and alternate day fasting where you fast every other day.

What is the science behind intermittent fasting?

Human bodies have evolved to be able to go on many hours without food. Before humans started farming, they had to spend many hours without food as they hunted their prey or gathered fruits and berries to eat. Our bodies can not just survive but thrive when we fast.

In modern times, we eat as soon as we wake and eat till the time we go to sleep. Not just meals, we have snacks and junk food throughout the day. As most of our food is carbohydrate heavy, it causes a hike of glucose in the blood. Our body needs the hormone insulin to metabolize that glucose. If you have more glucose than you can use, insulin signals the body to store the glucose as fat.

When we fast, our body burns off the glucose from the last meal and uses fat stores for energy, this is called metabolic switching. This is a simplified reason why intermittent fasting leads to weight loss.

What are the benefits?

There have been many studies on intermittent fasting (IF) and there is growing evidence about its health and clinical benefits.

Weight loss: IF has shown to work as any other standard diets and leads to weight loss and abdominal fat loss and reduction in obesity.

Cognition: IF has shown to improve working memory, executive function and cognition i.e. conscious mental processes.

Diabetes: Two recent studies show IF reverses insulin resistance (where the organs develop resistance to insulin and require more insulin to use glucose in the body) in those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular health: IF improves blood pressure, resting heart rate, high cholesterol, triglycerides. It also helps in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation that are linked to thickening of arteries.

Inflammation: Since IF reduces inflammation, it has shown improvement in conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis and asthma.

Neurodegenerative diseases: Animal and human studies show that IF can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease though more studies are needed to prove its impact on these diseases.

What are the drawbacks of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting has multiple benefits but is not suitable for everyone. It should be avoided by pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding, children and teens under 18, those with eating disorders or those with diabetes or blood sugar problems.

Intermittent fasting can cause hormonal issues in women and missed menstrual cycles. Women are recommended to do relaxed fasting periods with shortened fasting windows, fewer fasting days and to halt fasting if side-effects are experienced.

It is recommended to seek advice from your medical practitioner before starting intermittent fasting.

Also it takes a while for the body to get used to the new eating pattern so you may experience-hunger, headache, nausea, insomnia and fatigue for the first few weeks when you start intermittent fasting.


The Guide
Intermittent Guidelines for Women

Power to the Patient

How can employees make better health decisions?

After two years of the COVID pandemic, we do not need to reiterate how important it is to take care of one’s health. All of us have witnessed enough health scares around us to know that just age or weight are not the factors that can indicate the status of our health. Like we pay attention to our workplace deliverables and our finances, we need to monitor our health parameters and take preventive steps so that we stay fit and healthy.

In this article, we discuss how to take control of your health so that you remain on top of your health game and use the facilities provided, to the optimum. A little proactiveness and three words – Know, Access, and Act – can help you take charge of your health and thus your life. Read more to find out how:


  • Annual Health Check-up: One of the first steps to taking control of your health is to know your health parameters and the easiest way to do that is to undergo regular health check-ups. “Only if a person goes for a health check-up, will the doctor be able to guide the patient to prevent health issues in the future like to quit smoking, go for vaccination or make dietary modifications,” said Dr Amit Kumar Gupta, Senior Consultant and Head, Medical Services and Quality, HCL Healthcare. Most employers provide annual executive health check-ups that cover most of the basic tests that tell you the status of your heart, liver, kidneys, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, other blood profile parameters, etc. Remember, it is common to feel anxious and want to avoid health check-ups but keep in mind, that it is better to know about your health issues now than suffer later.
  • Health Insurance: A sudden hospitalization can strain your finances and cause unnecessary worry. Thankfully, most employers provide health insurance cover for their employees and to some extent their families. This means you can make the best decision for your health without worrying about how much it will affect your bank balance. But just knowing you are covered is not enough, go through your employer’s health insurance documents to know what is covered, if there is any waiting period, what are the limits? If you think that the cover is not sufficient, you should invest in a personal health insurance cover that provides the additional protection you need for the health of you and your loved ones. Remember to inform your family also about these arrangements in case of emergencies.



  • In-house services: Once you know how your health parameters are, you should access the health services and expertise that are available to you. For example, HCL Healthcare provides virtual doctor consultations by specialists including internal medicine specialists, gynaecologists, paediatricians, dermatologists, dentists, physiotherapists, and dieticians. For seeking consultation and guidance, you can book appointments with these experts by using the registered number given on their website.
  • Health management plans: It is important to know that chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and thyroid issues require constant monitoring and customized planning. Therefore, you should opt for disease management plans which will give you doctor consultation, regular follow-up, detailed health examinations, and diet advice. Being proactive about managing conditions will help you prevent complications that follow these chronic conditions.
  • Emotional wellbeing: Do not forget your emotional well-being when you think about your health. Like any other condition, it is important to seek help from trained counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists if you have mental and emotional issues. These experts have a neutral perspective, have great listening skills, and can offer skills that will help you feel better.


After getting to know your health status and getting a consultation from the doctor, it is now important to act and implement those lifestyle changes and medicines if advised. We give you a list of things you need to pay attention to irrespective of your age and health status.

  • Sleep: The importance of getting a full night’s (7-8 hours) sleep cannot be stressed enough. Those with sleep deficiency have a greater risk of many health complications including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and obesity according to the US’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. A good night’s sleep is also important for memory, cognitive functioning, and mood regulation. Experts recommend getting sun exposure during the daytime, reducing screen time exposure during evenings, having a fixed sleeping schedule, and taking melatonin supplements to sleeping better at night.
  • Diet: In order to improve your fitness level, you have to improve your diet. Few tips include avoiding packaged foods, including green leafy vegetables and fruits, and increasing protein intake. There is growing evidence that a low-carbohydrate diet can help manage diabetes, reduce weight, control blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol.
    HCL healthcare has in-house dieticians who can guide employees wanting to make modifications to their diet.
  • Exercise: It is important to spend at least 30 minutes each day in some form of exercise. Physical activity has been proven to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, and premature death. To be consistent, choose a form of exercise that you will enjoy, be it sports, swimming, dance, or gymming. To start small, start by walking 10 minutes each day and increase it to reach 30 or 60 minutes in about a month. It would be a good idea to seek consultation from a physical trainer or physiotherapist before you begin any new workout.
  • De-stress: It is important to counter stress from day-to-day life by spending time doing activities you enjoy, be it art, spending time in nature, cooking, playing, or indulging in another hobby. Meditation is also an excellent way to counter stress. If you are short of time, try finding at least 10 minutes each day in mindfulness practice. Mindfulness has been shown to increase cognitive ability, improve working memory, counter stress, and improve focus.


With these steps, you can proactively take measures towards making a healthier ‘You’ and live your life to the fullest.