Nutirition and Diet
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Obesity is a major risk factor for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and other deadly ailments. As more and more people encounter problems with their weight, there are also many weight loss dietary solutions that have come out. Diets, exercise, pills, creams, and even surgical treatments all promise to help one lose weight effectively, easily, and fast. If you are still new in this department it helps to know about the protein fat loss diet and other weight loss fads.
It is not easy to lose weight especially if you have over 20 pounds to lose. It requires a great deal of patience, determination, and willpower on your part. Thankfully, there is a ton of information available; especially on the internet. Here are the most popular dietary solutions to compliment your daily exercise:
Protein fat loss diets are very popular because studies have proven that too many carbohydrates prevent the body from burning fat. The original high-protein diet allowed unrestricted amounts of protein like those found in meet, fish, shellfish, poultry, egg, and cheese while high-carbohydrate foods were restricted like bread, potatoes, sugary foods, and pasta. High-protein foods keep blood sugar levels steady, so the appetite is easier to control, and weight loss occurs quickly. Though today, we realize that a good balance is best and therefore even on a high-protein diet, you should still consume carbohydrates.
Low-Calorie, Low-Fat Diets
This is the most common diet plan that consists of cutting out junk food and concentrating more on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. This diet is very effective especially if you know how to control your cravings. However, make sure that you also include those foods with low glycemic index.
The Grapefruit Diet
According to research, grapefruits contain fat-burning enzymes which are vital in losing weight. This diet is composed mostly of grapefruits with the inclusion of specific vegetables and small amounts of protein. This three-week diet provides the body with only 800 calories every day.
Now this is more of a lifestyle diet than a crash one. It includes combining different kinds of food in every meal. For example, if you have fruits in the morning you have to avoid eating foods rich in protein in the same meal. Many people lose weight this way and even those who have digestive problems recommend it. Compared with other diets, food combining provides a balanced diet everyday.
Protein fat loss and other dietary solutions are indeed very popular. However, make sure to consult your doctor first before you try any of the diet plans presented above. You can effectively lose weight once you know which diet is right for you. It is also important to combine daily physical activity with a good, healthy balanced diet. Losing weight quickly and with fad diets may result in a yo-yo dieting effect causing you to gain all of your weight back. Consider lifestyle changes and slow weight loss so that you can look and feel good forever as opposed to a short period of time.
Selecting proper nutrition is vital for proper maintenance of a fit and healthy body and lifestyle. The key to attaining proper nutrition is invariably having a balanced diet – a diet which incorporates all food groups and micronutrients in healthy combinations and proportions, such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Select nutrition combined with exercise is a sure fire formula for leading a healthier lifestyle amidst a society that is increasingly drawn towards a sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy dieting.
Living in the fast lane, which is an apt description for the kind of life that most of us lead today, is the main reason for the proliferation of fast foods, pre-cooked foods and foods having high calorie content. This has resulted in generations of obese, arthritic and hypertensive individuals – conditions which could be avoided if people could just be more selective with what they eat. For a treat, fast food is alright once in a while, but not on a regular basis. Using the food pyramid, a helpful tool used to develop proper eating habits among school age children, remains as important for us adults in planning our meals to ensure that we get proper nutrition. The key is eating the right food groups listed in the food pyramid in proper portions. Eating too much sends signals to our body that it should store the food as fat instead of burning it for energy.
The following is a rundown of select or ideal eating habits for select nutrition:
- Design your meals so that you eat 5 to 6 times daily without overeating. You can do so just by eating the same amount of food say, every 2 to 3 hours. Do not skip meals especially breakfast, because you need a source of energy for the day ahead. Your fist is about the size of your stomach so use that as your guide for portion control.
- Drink water every time you feel like it. Just make sure to drink at least 8 cups daily.
- In lieu of processed food, fast food and other calorie-laden foods, eat fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Remember that foods closer to their natural state are better than their processed counterparts. For carbohydrates, complex, unrefined ones include potato (not French fries or chips), whole grain bread, wheat and whole wheat bread. For protein, reduce your red meat in favor of lean meat, eggs and nuts. Eat low fat dairy such as cheese, milk and yogurt.
- It pays to know how to read labels if you cannot avoid processed foods. Stay away from foods containing high cholesterol, saturated and trans fat contents, including foods that are high in sodium and seasonings.
- Minimize sugar consumption by limiting sodas and alcohol intake.
Couple select nutrition with proper exercise to fire up your metabolism. Simply put, metabolism is the rate by which your body burns food to fuel its energy requirements. Consistent eating habits train the body as to what to expect for energy, while exercise expends whatever excess fuel there is, thereby reducing the possibility of acquiring blood sugar related diseases and obesity. You don’t have to do any fancy workout: try running, walking, jogging, or doing some aerobics at a nearby gym or even in the comfort of your own home, using a training video.
We tend to be very selective in the way we look, in choosing personal effects and in selecting people whom we associate ourselves with. It’s time to be selective in terms of nutrition. Select nutrition with a balanced diet as its centerpiece will provide proper sustenance for the kind of life that we lead.
Are you having problems hiding your bulges around your mid-section? Have you been thinking about taking diet pills just to get slimmer? Did you work out all day in the gym, hoping to fit into your skinny jeans? Well, losing weight can be really stressful, especially if your problem area is your bulging belly. It is usually the stomach that gets bigger and bigger in anybody’s body. Normally, when somebody gains weight, it is the stomach that is very apparent. Hence, a lot of individuals will do just about anything just to tone this part of the body.
There are many ways to make your body fit and healthy. Losing weight should always be done in a healthy and advisable way. You would not want to engage in any activity that will put your life in danger, no matter how good you feel that you will look. There are several people who opt to get slimmer in a faster way, but unknowingly they are jeopardizing their lives. Experts recommend losing between ½ to 2 pounds per week. This is considered a healthy way of losing weight and very effective for long lasting results.
There are different ways of achieving your dream body. However, you really need to keep in mind that this will not happen overnight. It’s sometimes difficult to measure a ½ pound weight loss but if you look at the big picture that’s 2 pounds per month and 24 pounds in one year. Here are few steps that will help you get through this dilemma.
Eat the right kind of foods. Choosing healthy foods will help you control and manage your caloric intake. You should plan your meals everyday. Check the internet for some great clean eating foods and recipes. There are also other cookbooks that will give you ideas on what type of recipe that is low in fat and carbohydrates.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water everyday. Water helps you feel full. Experts say before you eat drink a glass of water in order for you to feel full. In this case, you do not have to eat a lot because you feel satisfied. Water prevents you from being dehydrated. Try to practice this, and you will see the results on your body.
Monitor your weight. Record your initial weight and take a picture of yourself in something tight before starting any weight loss program. Try to record your weight and take a new picture monthly. This will allow you to see the progress you’re making. When you see for yourself that you’re looking slimmer, you will be motivated to exert more effort. However, try not to get too excited and start weighing yourself almost every day, normally numbers fluctuate and believe me you’ll get upset for nothing. There can be a 2-6 pound differential from morning to night or day to day. Make sure to only weigh yourself weekly or even monthly.
Exercise daily. If you want to shed more pounds, you really have to work hard. Gym experts advise that it is best to perform in any physical activity, because it is beneficial if you want to stay slender. Any form of exercise will help strengthen your muscles and body. Aside from that, it also helps in flushing out toxins in your body, through excessive sweating. As a result, you will have lower risk of getting sick. When doing cardiovascular type exercise, consider getting a heart rate monitor. This will help you stay in your fat burning zone. Most often, many people work too hard and end up burning muscle instead of fat. Also, keep in mind that exercise alone will not help you achieve your weight loss goals. Diet is a key factor and some, including myself will say that it is the main factor.
Follow the after six diet. This diet has already been proven and tested. They call it after six, because you only get to eat before 6:00 PM. After that, there is no more food intake, until the next day. This is because of the fact that the body slows its digestion at night. The more you eat within this period, the longer it takes food to digest. Hence, the food remains stored in your body. If you happen to be hungry at night, just drink a glass of water. You will definitely have no problems with calories and fat in water. It is also important that you eat 5 to 6 small meals a day to help your metabolism work faster to burn more calories.
Obviously there are still thousands of ways to get rid of extra weight. Always bear in mind that you also need to have the right attitude to be able to achieve what you want. No matter how hard you perform all of these steps, if you are too negative, everything will be useless. Remember that having a positive attitude will help you gain confidence thus allowing you to look good no matter what your weight.
Everyone knows that apple is the forbidden fruit in the bible. It is also the reason why Snow White fell asleep. However, those scenarios are contrary to the countless benefits it can give to the human body. This small red, green, yellow or pink fruit can help prevent major diseases. According to the old adage, it keeps the doctor away. So what are the real health advantages of eating apples? Well, here are some of the facts that will let you follow the advice of that old saying.
- Apples can help control asthma attacks. According to studies, children who drink apple juice often have less wheezing compared to those who drink it once a month. Studies have shown that children conceived by women who eat plenty of apples while pregnant have lower risk of asthma attacks as well.
- Apples promote bone protection. Researchers found a certain component called phloridzin. This is found only in apples and apparently it can prevent post-menopausal women from having osteoporosis and can increase bone density. Apples also strengthen bones because of another ingredient called boron.
- Apples can help avoid Alzheimer’s disease because of quercetin which is present in them. When you eat apples, they protect your brain cells from free radical damage that can lead you to this disease. High levels of quercetin can also lessen the risk of having lung cancer. Hence, smokers should start eating apples regularly.
- Fruits, such as apples, have a lot of antioxidants in them. These components reduce the damage caused by free radicals. As you grow older, your motor skills start to degenerate thus creating slight memory loss. This can be prevented through the antioxidants present in apples.
- Apples lower blood cholesterol because of pectin. This fibrous substance, found mostly in apples, is responsible for cholesterol reduction. By drinking apple juice or the extracts, the oxidation of a harmful form of cholesterol is subdued. That is the reason why health experts recommend drinking apple juice or cider to help protect the circulatory system.
- Apples aid in decreasing the risk of heart disease. Scientists have proven that people who suffered from coronary disease had low intakes of flavonids. These substances are mostly found in apples. Thus, it is highly advisable for individuals with a history of heart disease to make apples part of their diet.
- Another benefit from flavonids is to minimize the risk of prostate cancer. According to researchers, increasing the levels of flavanids in the body helps decrease prostate enlargement and in some cases can actually prevent prostate cancer all together.
There are several other advantages to eating apples. Compared to other fruit, apples are nice and easy to take on the go. They are juicy and delicious. You can immediately munch on them without mixing with other foods. Apples are also great for baking and cooking. You can use them for juice, shakes or cakes. However you decide to ingest them is up to you. The benefits are endless no matter how you eat them. Continue to think of new ways to eat them, and you will definitely have fun and become healthy at the same time. Oh and…don’t forget “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
Bonking…I’m sure you’ve heard the term and if you haven’t and you’re a dieter, you’ve most likely experienced it. Bonking simply means that you haven’t eaten enough of the right stuff to get you through your workout.
Basically, here’s how it works…think of a car…the car needs fuel and oil in order to get you from point A to point B. Your body works the same way, you need to give it proper nutrition – i.e. a proper balance of carbs, protein and fat as well as fluid in order for it to get you from point A to point B. Sugar fuels your brain! I know, I know…sugar is BAD…or that’s what we’ve been told. Stay with me here…
Carbohydrates are sugar and they fuel your body; they control your blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s important to eat the right kind of carbs. (see article – good carbs)
If you try to go for a long run, bike ride or hard weight training and you haven’t eaten enough of the right carbohydrates, your body will BONK! I.e. you will be so tired that you can’t even think straight, your body and brain will be so exhausted and you will become so hungry that you could eat a tree – not literally!. Take it from me, it’s not a great feeling!
During intense exercise, (i.e. exercise that lasts longer than 2 hours) you need to eat something every 15 minutes. When you’re doing an intense workout, it doesn’t really matter what you eat, as long as you eat frequently. Personally, I eat protein bars during an intense run; I take bites every 15 minutes. I’ve tried to go without and yes…I have BONKED!
Basically, treat your body as well as you treat your car and take care of it. Eat properly to ensure that you don’t BONK during your next INTENSE workout!
Good Carbs. Bad Carbs. No Carbs. WHAT THE HELL??? I know that sometimes it could get confusing. I’ll try to break it down for you as easily as I can.
Good carbs are carbs that release sugar slowly through the body, which can help reduce body fat, thus enabling the body to lose weight. They also help in reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which I wrote about in another article. Good carbs have a low glycemic index (low GI) and they are good for you. Basically, in English, they are carbs that have not been altered, those that are still in their natural state – i.e. CLEAN!
Here is an example of some “good carbs” which contain a low GI:
Oatmeal, pasta and bread made from whole wheat, bran, pumpernickel, millet, etc… whole grain cereal, lentils, beans, brown or wild rice, sweet potato, quinoa, yam, etc…
By eating these types of carbs, in moderation of course, will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risks of many diseases. They will also help you maintain proper blood sugar levels, helping you get through your day and workouts without exhaustion or bonking!
6 egg whites
1 slice of whole wheat bread
½ large apple
8 oz. cottage cheese
Sprinkle with cinnamon
2 cups mixed greens
6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp. wine or balsamic vinegar
Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder
½ large apple
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
3 celery sticks
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup steamed veggies (mixed)
½ cup wild rice
In another article -“Diet vs. Exercise”- I mentioned that 3500 calories=1 pound…now I would like to explain what exactly it takes to lose weight. Aside from eating right and exercising, you have to find a balance between the two.
Basically, the idea is not to starve yourself or to eat nothing all day and then have a big meal for supper…or drink a protein shake for breakfast and lunch and then eat “real” food at suppertime. What you should be doing is eating every 3 hours. I know that seems like a lot but that’s what it takes to increase your metabolism. You need to feed your body in order for it to burn fat and keep your blood sugar levels up. If you don’t feed your body PROPERLY (I’ll get into that later), you’ll burn muscle and that’s not good because muscle burns fat. Are you confused yet?
If you go to my home page, there’s a page that’s called BMI and Calorie Calculator, open that page and go to the website on that page. In that website you’ll be able to figure out your daily caloric intake…i.e. how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight. They also tell you how many you need to lose weight. Basically, to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your daily caloric needs. Just be careful not to eat too little. You also need to work out to build your muscle. It will take you some time to figure out a good balance but don’t worry; you’ll get there.
A very important rule for losing weight is to keep a food journal. You’ll be surprised when you write it all down…TRUST ME! A good way to keep track is to go to www.fitday.com. It’s a free online journal…it breaks all the food down for you…calories, carbs, fat, etc… It keeps a record of your weight loss and even gives you the option of adding your own foods. I love it and I think you will too… Make sure to send your comments and let me know what you think.
By now, just about everyone has heard about Weight Watchers. They have been around for over 4 decades…imagine how much weight has been lost in that time? Thousands and thousands of pounds I bet! What makes Weight Watchers so special? Why do they have such a high success rate?
Here’s the story…The idea behind Weight Watchers is to lose weight in a group…sort of like group therapy. It started back in the 60’s. A lady named Jean Nidetch from Queens, New York started sharing her food addictions with some friends in her apartment. They basically supported each other in trying to eliminate the addictions and they lost weight. Before Jean knew it, there were hundreds of people lined up at her weekly get-togethers with friends. Everybody wanted in on the weight loss secret. The element of success for Weight Watchers has always been and still is… group support. Their secret is… people who all have something in common getting together and sharing…sort of like AA for Alcoholics. These support groups really help motivate people to give up their addictions…and food, like alcohol can be an addiction for some.
Ok so you’re wondering where Florine Mark comes into all this… Like you, I always thought that she founded Weight Watchers but guess what…NOT THE CASE! Florine Mark was an overweight woman in the 60’s and she had heard about Jean Nidetch’s meetings so she travelled to New York once per month and lost weight. It was very far for her to travel and she knew that this concept worked so she decided to open a Weight Watchers franchise in Detroit, her hometown.
On Florine’s website she said something that I will never forget…she said that she sells self-respect! Often enough, we tend to obsess about our personal “outside” characteristics and we forget to look inside. I joined Weight Watchers 10 years ago and did manage to lose weight, however, I was not able to keep it off at the time. Weight Watchers has come a long way since their first points systems. They realize the importance of exercise and this will assist people in maintaining their weight loss success. Weight Watchers is one of, if not the most popular weight loss program because it is a community of people with a common goal. At the meetings, you get advice, you give advice and you share…as you lose weight, you do gain self-esteem and self-respect which is exactly what Florine Mark is selling.
Anyone who is over 30 will remember NutriSystem in the 70’s and 80’s. They had storefronts in many towns. They were like the “skinny” grocery store. It seemed like anyone who wanted to lose weight went to NutriSystem and it really seemed to work.
Ok so back to… “it’s baaaaak!” Most of the people I know that were on NutriSystem, back in the day, did end of gaining the weight back. In 1997, NutriSystem began to make a comeback online and today the hype is crazy…it’s all over the place…television, magazines, even the shopping channel.
For those of you who don’t know, NutriSystem is basically a company that sells packaged, processed food divided per meal for you. So for those of you who have EXTRA money and less time, then I guess it’s a good way to start your weight loss. The good thing about NutriSystem is that it teaches you about portion control. It’s all there for you. If you only eat what you buy then you’re sure to lose weight because your calories are being cut for you and you’re training your metabolism to burn fat because you’re eating 5 times per day. (i.e. 3 meals and 2 snacks) Personally, I do find it expensive however like I said, it might be a good way to start to learn about portion control.
In the long run though, I cannot see how this is healthy…the food is PACKAGED!!! I’m sort of in favour of CLEAN EATING and not so much packaged and processed stuff. If you really want to change your eating and lose weight forever, you’ll have to learn to change your lifestyle and cook. You’ll have to find out how many calories, fat, carbs and protein food contains and make it yourself. It’s safer, healthier and cheaper.
I’d love to hear from you, post your comments and let me know what you think. Have you tried it, did it work, are you still using it?