Friday, February 5, 2016
7 Small Diet Changes You Can Make Today
Small changes can add up to large overall changes right? Add some of these small changes to your diet and experience an improvement in your overall weight loss.
Here are 7 Small diet changes you can make today:
Add Lemon Juice to Your Water
Drinking water to stay hydrated is important, but you can add an extra benefit by including lemon juice. Lemon juice helps to detoxify the liver and increase your metabolism, helping to burn through more fat.
Take Your Time and Savour Your Food
You can avoid binge eating by taking the time to enjoy and savour each bite of food. If you rush to finish a meal without tasting each spoonful you will often eat more. By avoiding this you can reduce the overall amount of calories you consume over time.
Stop Buying DIet Food
Rather than buying food that is marketed as ‘good for weight loss”, buy foods based on their health benefits and nutritional value. If you eat foods that are healthy and rich in nutrients you will be able to achieve weight loss a lot more easily.
Eat A Salad Daily
A good weight loss tip would be to replace your meal at lunchtime with a large salad filled with healthy vegetables. Include some lean protein and avocado and nuts and you will have a healthy lunchtime meal that will help you with your weight loss.
You can help yourself from craving sugar and salt by drinking fresh vegetable juice daily. Whether you add kale, cucumber, carrot or ginger you will find tremendous benefits to your health.
Keep a Pack of Almonds Handy
If you’ve ever been on the on the go and not had the time to get something to eat, but there are no healthy options to be found anywhere? If you keep a pack of raw almonds handy you will always have a healthy snack that you eat to beat your hunger. By eating a small portion of almonds (or any raw nut) you will be able to stabilize your blood sugar and help prevent any cravings.
Almonds are also very nutritious containing healthy omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
Include Protein in Every Meal
Protein keeps you satisfied and full for longer, keeping you away from binge eating and snacking on unhealthy foods. You can obtain protein from meat or plant sources such as beans or tofu.
The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil
Although previously misunderstood because of its high saturated fat content, public opinion has started to turn around as we are starting to learn more about the many health benefits of coconut oil. The positive impact on your health can be related to the fact that coconut oil is rich in fatty acids.
When it comes to the many benefits of coconut oil they include suppressing your appetite, improving your brain function, skin care, weight loss and digestive health.
Here are the benefits of coconut oil:
Coconut Oil and Keeping Your Appetite Suppressed
From the way coconut oil is metabolised in your body, it helps keep your appetite suppressed. The ketones produced play a role with this. If you intake fatty acids, your appetite will be controlled meaning you will eat less calories daily and your weight will be reduced over the long term.
Coconut Oil and Improving Your Brain Function
The saturated fat contained within coconut oil is a special type called “medium chain triglycerides”. These type of fatty acids are converted directly into ketones in the liver for energy. The ketones produced have been shown to have benefits to brain disorders such as alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
Coconut Oil used as Skin Care
Coconut oil can alleviate skin conditions such as skin infections, dermatitis and eczema as well as degenerative disease such as premature aging. This is due to the antioxidants contained within coconut oil. When used as a moisturiser or massage oil, it doesn’t have any side effects that are commonly found with using mineral oils.
Coconut Oil and Benefits to Weight Loss
The medium chain fatty acids contained within coconut oil has the benefit of removing excess fat. Abdominal obesity in women can be reduced by consuming coconut oil, according to a research study.
Furthermore, due to the reduced stress on your pancreas your body will be able to increase its metabolism and burn more stored fat.
Coconut Oil and Benefits to Digestive Health
Coconut oil can help with digestive health and problems such as irritable bowel syndrome because of the antimicrobial properties contained within it. These same antimicrobials can combat the fungi, parasites and bacteria that cause indigestion.
Coconut Oil and Improving Your Immune System
The antimicrobial lipids in coconut oil help kill of viruses, fungal infections and bacteria. The main antimicrobial property is called lauric acid. This antimicrobial (lauric acid) can fight off bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus.
As you can see there are many benefits of coconut oil including keeping your appetite suppressed, improving your brain function, using it as skin care, weight loss benefits, digestive health benefits and benefits to improving your immune system. It can be considered a healthy part of your dietary intake.
The Myth of Spot Reduction
You have no doubt seen the infomercials containing exercise equipment purporting to ‘tone your legs’ “flatten your abs” and make your body look just like your favorite celebrity.
These contraptions claim to be able to burn fat from specific areas such as the stomach, the thighs, and so forth. However, the manufacturers of these products are just preying on uninformed and gullible consumers.
They are trying to spread the false belief that by training one area such as your belly, with remove belly fat from that area. This is false and is one reason why many people don’t get anywhere with their weight loss goals. Save your money and don’t buy these exercise machines you see on infomercials
Spot Reduction is a Myth
The truth is that no matter how you exercise, you will not be able to target losing fat in any specific area. By doing abdominal crunches all day with the idea you will lose belly fat will leave you disappointed. After all that hard work, you will find that you haven’t lost many inches off your waist.
In fact you will probably have over trained your muscles and possibly cause yourself an injury.
The only thing that these exercises do is target the muscles not the fat covering the muscles.
How to Remove Body Fat?
If these exercises only work the muscle then how do we burn away body fat? The only way to do it is through a caloric deficit which is achieved with exercise, a proper diet or a combination of both these things. If you consume less calories than you burn then you will be able to achieve this and your body will start burning stored body fat for energy.
A diet that consists of lean protein, leafy green vegetables, unprocessed carbohydrates and healthy fats will help you remove body fat.
In terms of exercise, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is highly effective at burning body fat. This type of workout involves a high intensity period followed by a lower intensity recovery period. It also often doesn’t require any expensive equipment to do.
Another type of exercise that will help you burn body fat is strength training/weight training. This type of exercise will help build muscle which will increase your resting metabolic rate. If you’re trying to burn body fat, a higher metabolic rate will help you achieve this.
So to summarize, spot reduction is a myth. Exercises and exercise machines will target the muscles of your body and not body fat in that specific area. You can only burn fat by a eating a proper diet and doing exercise to achieve a caloric deficit.
5 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight
If you have been on a healthy diet and have been exercising, but still have had problems shedding the extra fat then this article will show you some things that may be holding you back. By fixing these things you will be able to get back on track and achieve your weight loss goals.
When it comes to the reasons you may not be losing weight, it could one of these 6 reasons - magnesium deficiency, ineffective workouts, lack of sleep, too much soda consumption or too much alcohol consumption.
The purpose of magnesium in our body is to help with functions such as regulating heartbeat and blood sugar levels but has shown to aid weight loss. A lower level of insulin and fasting glucose was attributed to higher magnesium intake according to a 2013 research study in the Journal of Nutrition. This is beneficial to controlling your blood sugar and fat storage.
To ensure you are getting enough magnesium make sure you include magnesium rich foods in your diet such as beans, nuts and leafy green vegetables.
The most common way people start off with exercise is steady state cardio for long periods (such as on a treadmill or bike). While you may burn fat initially, you will also start to strip away your muscle which will lower your resting metabolic rate. Instead a better alternative to increasing your metabolism is to do weight training. Weight training builds up your metabolic rate as muscle burns more energy when compared to any other body tissue such as fat.
Another great workout that is effective at burning fat is high intensity interval training. This involves an intense work set followed by a less intense recovery interval. It is more efficient at burning calories within a shorter period of time.
Try incorporating a schedule of strength training one day and HIIT workouts on other days.
Lack of Sleep
The lack of sleep causes the levels of a hormone called ghrelin to increase. This hormone is responsible for stimulating your appetite, meaning you will probably consume more calories over time than if you were not sleep deprived.
Too much Soda Consumption
The high amount of sugar in sodas means excess calories will be stored as body fat. Instead try drinking unsweetened tea or water.
Too Much Alcohol Consumption
Apart from the high calories and zero nutritional benefit, alcohol affects your willpower and decision making power meaning you will likely eat a hamburger and pizza after a late night out drinking.
Apart from the high calories and zero nutritional benefit, alcohol affects your willpower and decision making power meaning you will likely eat a hamburger and pizza after a late night out drinking.
If you have been struggling to shed the extra pounds then try rectifying these 5 things and you should be on your way to achieving your weight loss goals
How To Track Your Fitness Progress
If you are going through your fitness journey, it is important to measure your progress. If you don’t track any of your stats then you won’t be able to tell if what you are doing is actually working for you.
A couple of reasons why you should track your fitness include:
● Your body weight alone doesn’t tell the whole story - you might be burning fat and making strength gains but this won’t reflect on the scales as muscle will weigh heavier than body fat. If you used your scale as the only measuring device you will be frustrated despite your body looking leaner and tighter.
● You can’t tell if you are heading in the direction of your goals - this can include your body shape, but also other things such as how you look and feel.
● You can’t tell how much you are eating - if you don’t track your calories then you won’t know if you are losing weight on a daily basis, or if you are underweight you will be frustrated at not gaining any weight.
● You can’t tell if you are getting stronger - for example if you don’t track the number of pullups you can do, how do you know if you are actually getting stronger?
Now that you understand the importance of tracking your fitness progress, here are some ways you can measure it:
● BMI Body Mass Index - This is a measure of your body fat as a proportion of your height and weight.
● Scale - Your overall body weight. Use this in conjunction with other measuring tools
● Tape Measurements of Circumference - This type of measurement includes tracking your hips, waist and abdominal circumferences. It can help give you an idea of your progress with body fat. Other good places to measure include your thigh and chest areas.
● Fitness Apps - These are great for tracking your workouts, the frequency and quantity of your workouts, food and even your body stats. They are also great for accountability with personal training.
● Whether Your Clothes Fit - This is a good visual test. If you find that you no longer fit into your favourite pair of skinny jeans it can be a good indicator of body fat percentage.
● Electronic Body Fat Measurer (Handheld) - Although there is room for error, this can give you a good indication of your total body fat percentage.
● Body Weight and Body Fat Scales - Similar to the electronic handheld measurer, these also can measure your body fat percentage and hydration levels. They are also open to error as the timing of your meals and water can affect the result.
● Journaling - This can provide a visual representation of your workouts and body measurement progress. You can also include our own thoughts to provide you a reference on how you felt during certain nutrition and workout plans.
Measure your fitness progress with some of these tips and you will be able to see the improvement in your fitness.
Flat Belly Fix
Monday, February 1, 2016
Healthy Food Substitutes That Don’t Make You Feel Deprived
If you are trying to eat healthy but are finding it difficult to beat your cravings for junk food, you should try using some healthier substitutes instead.
Don’t put up with feelings of deprivation - these healthier substitutes will keep you satisfied and not feeling like you are on a strict diet.
Whole wheat flour instead of White flour
If you are bake anything with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, you will be able to increase the amount of nutrients and fiber in your food. Whole wheat is rich in fibre because it contains the whole outer shell of the grain. This will help with digestion and also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Brown Rice instead of White Rice
A lot of the essential nutrients of rice is stripped away during the processing of white rice because the bran layer is stripped away. Brown rice is more nutritious and higher in fibre because of this.
Whole wheat pasta instead of regular Pasta
Whole wheat pasta has a higher amount of fiber and contains around 50 calories less per serving when compared with regular pasta.
Dry Beans instead of Canned Beans
Although the convenience of canned beans are part of their appeal, they tend to contain preservatives and excess sodium. Dried beans are also cheaper as an added bonus.
Vanilla instead of sugar
You can get a lot more flavour from using a teaspoon of vanilla and a lot less calories as well. In some cases you could get even half the amount of calories from using vanilla extract instead of sugar.
Natural Peanut Butter instead of Low Fat/Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Although they might seem like a healthier alternative, reduced fat peanut butter often contains more sugar - as well as many additives - when compared to natural peanut butter. If you can get unsalted natural peanut butter you will be able to enjoy this healthier version without the unhealthy additives.
Tea instead of Carbonated Sodas
Drinking tea will dramatically reduce your calorie intake as it contains no sugar and also has antioxidant benefits. Soda on the other hand has zero nutritional benefit and contains 8 teaspoons of sugar, which equates to a large amount of calories.
Organic Dark Chocolate instead of Regular Chocolate Bars
Let’s be realistic - some of us just can’t give up our sweet tooth. If you really enjoy chocolate then a healthier alternative would be organic dark chocolate. Organic Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content, beneficial flavonoids and is free of additives and milk. Compared to regular chocolate which uses vegetable oil as a substitute instead of real cocoa.
How to Lower your Blood Glucose - Tips to Control Your Blood Sugar
If you want to maintain your long term and short term health as a diabetic, controlling your blood sugar is extremely important. To achieve this, you must make healthier eating choices, become physically active, manage your stress and take medication which lower your blood glucose (according to your medical professional)
Here are some tips for you to control your blood sugar levels:
Make Healthy Eating A Lifestyle Choice
Although there isn’t a “one-size-fits” all approach to lowering your blood sugar with your diet, you will need to make a conscious decision to eat healthier and make it a part of your lifestyle. This could involve choosing healthier alternatives for certain foods, controlling portion size, reducing your sugar intake, minimizing your sodium intake and watching the amount of dietary fat you consume.
Watch Your Carb Intake
As a diabetic you will need to watch the type of carbohydrates that you eat. Carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index can raise your blood sugar dramatically which is not a good thing for you as a diabetic.These foods you should avoid include white bread, white pasta and white rice.
Instead look for carbs that are low GI (low on the glycemic index) as these will release glucose into your system at a steady rate. Examples of these foods include vegetables, fruit, legumes, low-fat dairy and whole grains.
Choose Foods That Are High in Fibre
Dietary fibre has a number of health benefits including helping your digestive system with regularity, reducing the blood fats that enter into your bloodstream, and also lowering your blood sugar levels and improving your insulin sensitivity. The recommended daily intake of dietary fibre is 25 grams. Some foods that are good sources of fibre include fruits, whole grains, vegetables and legumes.
Avoid High Calorie Sugary Drinks
This means sport drinks, coffee drinks, sweetened ice tea and carbonated soft drinks. The amount of sugar in these drinks is extremely high and they contain next to no nutritional benefit. It is best to avoid these drinks and drink water instead.
Use Portion Control
When trying to clean up your diet and control your caloric intake portion control is one of the bigger challenges you will face. It is easy to eat too much food - and this even applies to healthy foods such as pasta, fish and chicken.
The excess calories will be stored as body fat which is negative for a diabetic.
Try using everyday objects as a measure for portion control. For example, your protein portion not being larger than the size of your fist, or not eating more than one cup of rice.
By following these tips you will be able to lower your blood glucose and control your blood sugar levels.
Foods to Avoid If You are A Diabetic
If you are a Type 2 diabetic you will know that eating a healthy nutritious diet is important to keep your diabetes and blood sugar under control. In addition to this physical exercise and regular monitoring of your eyes, heart and organs is important. If you do lose weight (even if it is just ten pounds) you can dramatically improve your glycemic control, insulin sensitivity as well as your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
Healthy food choices for a diabetic will help you control your weight, regulate your blood sugar levels and help you avoid foods that can cause severe spikes in your blood sugar.
Here are some food groups you should avoid if you are a Type 2 Diabetic:
Avoid Highly Refined Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are converted into glucose once digested and enters the bloodstream making them the food item which will have the greatest impact on your blood sugar levels. Highly refined carbohydrates are especially bad for type 2 diabetics as they enter the bloodstream rapidly, causing your blood sugar levels to spike in a dangerous way.
Here is a list of highly refined carbohydrate foods you should avoid:
● Regular Pasta
● White potatoes - including dishes like mashed potatoes and french fries
● White rice
● White bread
● Breakfast cereals that have a high amount of sugar
● Instant oatmeal
Here is a list slow release carbs you can eat instead:
Avoid Vegetables that have been processed or contain added ingredients
Since vegetables are rich in fiber and normally low in fat and sodium they are generally a healthy food item. However, depending on the way vegetables are cooked, processed and packaged they may be unhealthy for diabetics.
Here is a list of vegetables you should avoid as a diabetic:
● Canned Vegetables which contain a high amount of sodium
● Sauerkraut and Pickles - if you need to avoid sodium, these should be avoided
● Cooked vegetables that have added cheese, butter or sauce during the cooking process.
Avoid Processed Fruit Products
Fruits are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. However there are certain types of fruit you should avoid:
● Dried Fruit - the drying process concentrates the natural sugars
● Canned Fruit that has sugar syrup
● Fruit Juice, Fruit Drinks and Fruit Punch - they often contain large amounts of sugar.
Avoid Fried Meats and Fatty Cuts of Meat
The types of protein to avoid include:
● Pork Bacon
● Cuts of meat that are fatty - for example ribs
● Fried Meats
● Regular cheese (high fat cheeses)
● Poultry that doesn’t have skin removed
● Fried Tofu
● Fried Fish
Healthy Weight Loss and Women: Why Women May Have Difficulty with Weight Loss... and How They Can Conquer It
Healthy Weight Loss and Women: Why Women May Have Difficulty with Weight Loss… and How They Can Conquer It
It's no secret—women have difficulty with weight loss. Try Googling information about women and weight loss and see what you get. Of course, that's before you look at all the weight loss remedies suggested for women only.
So, everyone has their own idea about how women can lose weight. Very few, however, write about why women have trouble losing weight. Well, that's what we're going examine here.
Why Women Have Difficulty With Weight Loss
A woman's genetics and her environment. What do those factors have to do with weight loss? Well, according to research, both factors play a role in why women tend to become overweight or obese.
One's environment tends to influence how one acts. Research about women and the difficulty with losing weight seems to suggest that.
A wide range of women today share a common experience. They're usually busy to the point where they can't plan to eat healthier foods. Some don't even have enough time to devote to getting enough exercise.
What does this have to do with weight loss troubles?
A low energy lifestyle and high calorie diet may lead to becoming overweight or obese. Fortunately, many women are making strides toward conquering their lagging weight loss problems.
Certain genetic factors may also cause some women to have difficulty losing weight. Disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome may aggravate weight loss efforts for some women.
So, some women may find genetics do play a factor. But many scientific resources suggest environmental factors primarily cause women's weight loss problems today.
Women, Overcome Weight Loss With These Tips
Can women overcome their weight loss problems? Of course, they can! But self improvement does take time, so keep that in mind.
Women have a lot of ways to overcome weight loss issues, such as:
1. Make realistic goals for weight loss. It's difficult to get started doing anything. If you know your limits, you'll eventually reach the finish line. Short term weight loss plans work well, especially if you're just starting out.
2. Make dietary changes, one step at a time. Healthier foods provide better sustenance for the body. Move away from 'unhealthy' foods and replace them with healthier versions over time.
3. Get more exercise on a semi-regular basis. Even some physical activity, like low intensity walking, helps weight loss. It's best to combine regular exercise with healthy dieting to get the best results, especially if you're having difficulty with weight loss.
4. Learning better eating habits. Food cravings are the bane of many women's existence. They're often the reason why weight loss gets difficult. Smaller meals, usually eaten throughout the day, usually help curb random day to day hunger.
Women and Healthy Weight Loss: In Conclusion
Even if you're against the odds, it's possible to lose weight. Women with environmental setbacks can conquer weight loss problems. So can women who have genetic problems that may hold back their weight loss. Sure, it takes time and effort, but if you work at it, it's completely possible.
Learn How To Get Healthy With Weight Loss Here:
12 Healthy Breakfast Foods
You have no doubt heard the phrase “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. There are many health benefits to eating breakfast and they include helping you control your weight and your performance throughout the day.
By having a nutritious breakfast you will have a more complete diet rich in minerals, vitamins and nutrients, improved focus and concentration at school or work, increase endurance and strength with physical activities and reduced cholesterol levels.
Here are 12 Healthy Breakfast foods:
Greek yogurt contains calcium and protein which will keep you satiated and feeling full during the morning. Tip: Add some fruit if you want to add to the flavor
Wheat germ has the benefit of containing vitamin E and is easily added into almost every meal. You could add it to your yogurt or cereal, or even blend it into a smoothie.
Oatmeal is rich in many nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, potassium and folate. It also contains beta-glucan which is a special type of fibre that can reduce cholesterol levels.
Steel Oats contain the most fiber, and it is recommended to avoid flavoured oats which contain sugar.
Grapefruit can help you lose weight since it has fat burning properties and positive effects on your blood sugar and insulin. Not to mention it also contains antioxidants that can help with your immune response.
Eggs are a good source of protein and vitamin D.
Bananas contain potassium which can help lower your blood pressure. It is also a source of resistant starch which can help you feel satiated for a longer period of time.
Almond butter is a good alternative source of protein if you are unable to eat dairy or eggs. It is rich in monounsaturated fat which is considered a ‘healthy fat’. Tip: use it as a spread on wholegrain bread.
Flaxseed contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids, is rich in fiber and contains beneficial antioxidants. It is easily incorporated into your meals such as blending it in a smoothie or added to your cereal.
Watermelon contains lycopene which is a nutrient that helps with heart health, vision and prevention of cancer.
Berries have been considered superfoods because they are rich in antioxidants but contain so few calories. Strawberries are a source of vitamin C, fiber and folic acid.
Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants and contain a high concentration of anthocyanins.. Research has also shown that by consuming them regularly can lead to improved memory, motor skills, metabolism and blood pressure.
Whole Wheat bread contains more nutrients and fiber when compared to white refined bread.
Common Diet Myths You Should Know About
If you’ve been following generic fitness and diet advice but frustrated at not making at any progress you might have been misguided by some common diet myths.
Although information is more readily available than ever due to technology and the internet, it has also created a lot of ‘noise’ and confusion on what advice to actually follow. Add to the fact that new developments in science are constantly being made which makes previous information obsolete. Unfortunately this new information doesn’t always make its way to the masses as quickly and so older information is still repeated.
Here are some common diet myths that you should know about:
Myth 1: You Don’t Have to Track Calories if You Are Eating Healthy Foods
This is not entirely true. Brown rice has the same amount of calories as white rice, and the same goes with whole-wheat pasta vs regular pasta. They might be healthier alternatives but if you overeat them the excess calories that aren’t used up are still stored as body fat.
Myth 2: You Shouldn’t Eat any Food After 8 PM
This myth came about because people thought that calories eaten at night aren’t burned and turned into body fat whereas food eaten during the day will be used up. The truth is the body digest and burns calories the same way regardless the time of day. The only reason you might want to avoid late night eating is because if you are tired you are more likely to make bad food choices and eat junk food.
Myth 3: You Can Eat As Much As You Want As Long As You Exercise
The amount of calories in a sweet dessert could take upto one hour of exercise to burn off. So if you are eating as much of this as you want, you will not be able to keep fat storage away unless you are training like an olympic level athlete. Portion control is still important.
Myth 4: You Can Boost Your Metabolism By Eating Small Frequent Meals Instead of Less Frequent Larger Meals
The increase in metabolism from food intake is too small to make any difference to weight loss. As a result small frequent meals, might lead you to eating more food overall. The actual factor that increases your metabolism is your body composition, namely your muscle mass.
Myth 5: To Lose Weight You Must Cut Your Calorie Intake Drastically
This is only true if you want an unhealthy weight loss. Drastically cutting your calorie intake will lead to both muscle loss and fat loss. Studies have shown that people who ate a severely low amount of calories (less than 1200 calories per day) gained all of their weight back afterwards.
Instead of this, a moderate calorie surplus in conjunction with exercise would be a healthier approach.
So now you know 5 common diet myths you should avoid.