Are putting on weight due to snacking? We all know that eating at odd hours leads to weight gain. But how do you deal with hunger pangs without starving yourself. To answer one of the most common dilemmas of how to control snacking we have put together a list of healthy snacks alongside some not so healthy snacks. This is done to explain why you should be eating this and not that.
Before we move on to the healthy vs unhealthy snack list you need to understand snacks are just fillers or small bites. Most people eat snacks like a meal and thats where the problem starts. When one samosa becomes two or one sandwich becomes two sandwiches.
To elaborate a little bit more here are some points to note
While snacking eat slowly and enjoy every bite that you eat. Eating slowly makes you chew the food properly and eat less also. This helps you in managing portion and not over eating.
Don’t snack on empty calories even though you can manage the portion because it will add no nutrition and only calories.
Lets further explain it with an example on how to control your calories better if you are on a weight loss routine. A man weighing 80 kgs and 175 cms would approximately require 2000 calories in a single day. To break it further he would have a daily quota of 250 calories for 2 snacks in a day. While a women weighing 50 kg and 5 feet 2 inches would require approximately 1400 calories in a day and 175 calories each for snacking twice in a day. This means you can divide your snack for once during mid morning and once in the routine evening. But remember snacking includes your tea/coffee/coke/lemonade etc! Read more
Figs can be eaten either fresh or dry and has a sweet taste and variety of health benefits that it provides. Though in India fresh Figs are not easily available but can be found in the form of dry fruits popularly known as Anjeer. The high amount of calcium, iron and potassium present in it along with the high amount of fiber and low fat makes it a healthy food to include in your diet which can be eaten alone or mixed in yogurt, salad and toppings on cereals and oatmeal.
Figs are nutritious but do they help in weight loss ? Should one eat figs regularly if you are trying to lose weight. Lately figs are fast becoming popular with nutritionists that are recommending it as a part of weight loss diets. Let us help you understand why it might not be the healthiest weight loss food option.
Lets start with understanding the calorie and nutrition content of figs. Figs are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. The high levels of potassium and low sodium helps people with hypertension. High calcium levels present in figs promote bone health. High mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. Figs also contain beta-carotene as well as benzaldehyde (anti-cancer compound), flavonoids and a digestive enzyme called ficin.
Dried figs provide higher amount of calories than fresh figs and around 100gms provide 220 calories approx. Though it is recommended to be eaten in moderations but its sweet taste and pulp makes it addictive making you eat more than actually required. Other than the calories figs are sweet and have a medium glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16 which is high.
The high glycemic load (GL) of figs makes the blood sugar levels rise as dried figs quickly release high level of sugar in the body which may not be helpful for people on weight loss and people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber and high glycemic load makes the body feel satisfied. The GL provides energy and makes you feel fuller longer making you crave less food. This might make you miss out on a balanced diet which is essential to regulate the metabolism in the body.
Besides it high glycemic load figs have other benefits also. The high fiber content improves digestion and benefits people with constipation. The fiber helps in throwing away the toxins out of the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants present in them fights diseases and cancer in the body. They help regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body.
Foods that are sweet and provide quick energy should be eaten early in the day so that the energy released by them can be burnt in the day itself. Also figs are recommended to people who have iron deficiency. Every diet especially available online is very generic and might not be applicable to you. You need a diet plan that is customized to your lifestyle, eating habits and medical conditions. Its important to get professional consultancy from a qualified fitness expert before you start any diet plan.
There are lots of speculations if dates are healthy or not? Calling it healthy or not so healthy depends on whether you should include it in your diet for its health benefits or you can use it as a substitute for sugar incase you are trying to lose weight. Dates are the fruits of the date palm which can be eaten fresh or dried though both the forms are nutritious. It helps in lowering cholesterol and and has anti-oxidation properties that protect the body against free radicals.
Dates are high in fiber which relieves constipation and the high amount of carbohydrates in it provides high calories. The one drawback with dates is that it is high in glycemic index and contains a lot of sugar which can increase blood sugar levels. It is often substituted for sweets, candies or to control sweet craving as it is healthier than processed sugar and carries a lots of minerals and vitamins for the body to nourish with health benefits. But due to its high glycemic properties dates are associated with foods that can result in weight gain.
Dates have an average gylcemic index (GI) of 103, which is very high and not recommended for people on a weight loss program or suffering from high sugar levels. More and more health experts promote food that have low GI as the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and also beneficial for sustainable weight loss.Foods with GI index less than 55 are considered Low Glycemic Index food (GI < 55). Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are considered intermediate (55< GI <70). High Glycemic Index foods are with GI index more than 70 (GI >70).
Besides its single but important drawback dates have many other health benefits. They are high in potassium which maintains blood pressure and maintains nerves and muscles.The magnesium in dates help relive muscles, fatigue, nerves and reduces tension. Dates are rich in calcium, iron, copper and manganese with B vitamins to better enzyme activity. All the nutrition of the dried fruit promote better health.
You can eat the fruit raw or use yor culinary skills in making delicious combinations with in in your diet. You could include it with milk, fruits, salads or bread. Its sweet and can be eaten when we are overburdened with work and mind seems wandering as it relives stress and anxiety with instant energy. Read more
We are all familiar with the concept of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie value. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for you and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by the body on a daily basis. What makes a balanced diet. To make it a little simpler for you we decided to give you an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.
The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in correct portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60kgs: 2700 or a female weighing 55 kgs:2100 here is a list of essential foods to maintain your weight :
Yogurt is a super food for vegetarians containing carbohydrates for daily energy and proteins for muscle development with lots of vitamin C for strong muscles and to lose belly fat. A study at University of Tennessee found that participants who consumed 3 daily servings of fat free yogurt on a 12 week basis gained less fat around their mid-section than those who didn’t consumed dairy products containing less calcium. Portion control will push you further in losing weight and gaining extra inch around your belly.
Michael Zemel, PhD, director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has been the first to show that calcium stored in fat cells is important in regulating how fat is processed and stored by the body. The more calcium there is in fat cells, the more fat the cell will burn and the greater will be the weight loss
Eating nutritious food is important, but how much and when to eat is vital too. Staying fit is easier than its perceived to be. Eating the right food at the right time will not only meet your daily nutrition requirement but keep you fuller through out the day keeping you away from all the junk and empty calories we binge on otherwise.
Research shows than men who ate meals with higher amounts of protein than the average meal, when they were trying to lose weight felt fuller throughout the day; they also experienced a reduction in late-night desire to eat and had fewer thoughts of food. This is especially important with regard to the Indian vegetarian diet that can be extremely carbohydrate heavy, with little high quality protein, to ensure long term satiety that protein provides.
Proteins can make you feel fuller for a longer time but this doesn’t mean that you only consume protein. The body requires a balance of protein, carbohydrate and fats.
Few sources of protein for your diet:
Eggs: Eggs are highly satiable and makes you fuller for a longer time and proving vital minerals and vitamins with fat and provides the energy for basic functioning. It takes care of the calorie intake and is healthy for the body.
Fish: It is not only rich in omega fatty acids but provide ample amount of protein to make you feel longer. Some salmon in lunch or dinner or your desired meals will help you stay away from hunger and nourish the body as well.
Sprouts or Beans: For veggie lovers sprouts and beans can be a part of your diet. Eating sprouts in your diet will fill you up and keep irregular food cravings away.
Soy Products: Soy milk offers outstanding nutrition, along with their health benefits. They provide balanced nutrition of high-quality protein and carbohydrates, low in fat with no cholesterol and very low in saturated fat.
Meat & Poultry: Meat and poultry products rank one of the highest for proteins. They contain ample amount of protein and help keeping you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Add some protein to your diet to keep you feeling a little fuller for a longer time. But ensure that you eat a balanced meal.
Any average person suffering from weight issue has at least once in their life have given a shot and tried these fad diets. Its natural for anyone to first indulge in self help before they fail, or their situation in some case worsens, that they seek out professional guidance. Take a minute and reflect on what might you have exposed your body to unintentionally.
Most of the fad diets are popularly termed as “yo-yo” diets that give you a short term solution to quick weight loss but do not guarantee any long term sustenance of the weight loss. Besides it deprives body of nutrition resulting in low blood pressure, reduced energy and fatigue. If you continue to under nourish your body with an unbalanced diet your metabolism also starts to slow Read more
Some nutrients are important for healthy living and play a important role in daily body metabolism. We eat nutritious food most of the time, but are you meeting your daily requirement? Most of the health problems are due to the imbalance of the nutrients.
400 mg of calcium is the daily requirement for your body. Beyond being important for the development of bones and teeth, calcium is also needed for proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles, and research is also showing that because of its calcium content, yogurt promotes belly fat loss.
So it is important to keep blood calcium at a healthy level to sustain life. Calcium supplements have shown to not be as effective as natural sources of calcium. Read on for the most important factor, to help your body absorb calcium.
Also as we age, the body begins to breakdown and reabsorb the bone mass of the skeleton. Women are more susceptible to bone loss, especially before, during and after menopause because during the menopausal years women experience lowered estrogen levels which considerably speeds up the bone loss process and leads to osteoporosis, a condition where the bones have become weak and brittle and break very easily. Research says that one in every four women suffer from the debilitation of osteoporosis, and men are one in eight. Besides this, younger people in their 30′s are developing osteoporosis due to bad lifestyle, eating outside, unhealthy nutrition and not exercising, are a few reasons that are pushing you to the deficiency of calcium.
Consuming the daily requirement of calcium is the best way to build adequate bone mass early in life to reduce the risk of it later in your life. Start consuming foods that are high in calcium and people above 50+ should consume 600 mg. Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, buttermilk, curd and cheese are the best source and most recommended for getting calcium which gets easily absorbed by the body. Other sources are breads, fruit juices and soy products, beans, broccoli, oranges and bananas.
Get out and get 10 minutes of sunshine to accelerate the absorption of calcium in your body.
If losing weight was a child’s play, obesity would never have been an epidemic. Losing weight requires a scientific approach and a planned routine along with proper micro-nutrient supplementation (vitamins and minerals).
In our attempt of losing weight we become obsessed with our carbohydrates, protein, fat and vitamin consumption however nobody really bothers about their mineral intake…..Although it is important but has a very small percentage in our body so without the consultation of your doctor you should not increase the consumption of these important minerals. Moderation and balance is required for healthy living.
You would be surprised to note that body’s weight-related functions – like appetite, hunger, metabolic rate, metabolism of fats and sugars, blood-glucose levels, calorie-burning, and so on – operate more efficiently when we have an optimum intake of minerals.
Therefore it is worth keeping a watch on your minerals. Let’s have a look which minerals are the best for losing weight
Recent clinical studies demonstrate a positive relationship between calcium intake and weight-loss. Controlled weight loss studies indicate that increasing calcium intake by the equivalent of two dairy servings per day can reduce the risk of overweight, perhaps by as much as 70 percent. Also, it’s worth remembering that lower-calorie fat-free milk contains the same amount of calcium as full-fat milk. The
same goes for low fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese.
Chromium is required for the metabolism of sugar. Without sufficient chromium, insulin is less effective in regulating blood-glucose levels. In this way, chromium helps to control cravings and reduce hunger. Good food sources of chromium include: egg yolks, molasses, beef, hard cheese, liver, fruit juices, and whole grain bread.
Manganese helps regulate fat metabolism and blood-glucose. It is needed for a healthy thyroid function which itself is essential to maintain a healthy weight. Good food sources of manganese include: tea, wheat germ, spinach, split peas, nuts, oat germ, oatmeal, pineapple, green leafy vegetables.
Zinc helps to regulate appetite. Zinc is also needed for the correct functioning of hormones, like insulin. Zinc deficiency is common among smokers, heavy drinkers, some vegetarians, people with chronic illness and those on non-nutritious or very low calorie diets. Good sources of Zinc include: shellfish, herring, wheat germ, lean beef or lamb, eggs, lentils, Brazil nuts,
Caution: Please discuss with your doctor, before consuming any supplements. Self prescription and over dosage can have serious side effects.
Firstly we need to understand what metabolism is and then can we have a picture of how metabolism effects weight loss . Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning etc… your body is constantly burning calories to keep you going.
Metabolism is affected by your body composition i.e. the amount of muscle you have versus the amount of fat. Muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. People who are more muscular… (and have a lower percentage of body fat) are said to have a higher metabolism than others that are less muscular. For example, lets take two people who are the exact same height and weight. One exercises on a regular basis with weights, in addition to aerobic exercise, and has a low percentage of body fat. The other never exercises and has a higher percentage of body fat. The first person who exercises will have a higher metabolism than the second person. The reason is that even when person 1is not exercising his body continues to burn calories because of the muscle to fat ratio difference. Where as person 2 will not have any increase in the metabolic rate. What this basically means is that person 1′s body will use more calories to sustain itself than person 2.
As you begin to age, your metabolism has a natural tendency to start slowing. There are some easy to follow, simple tricks that can help you to eliminate body fat, improve your flab-burning metabolic process, and start losing weight fast even before you start exercising.
Here are some easy tips that can change you into a fat burning machine
Stop Dieting and Start Exercising
It isn’t about eating less, it’s about eating more nutrition-dense food, to keep you full all day. Restricting food will kill your metabolism or slow it down. It makes our body think, am i starving here. The body responds to it by slowing down the metabolism in order to slowly spend the existing energy packets.
This means that your body starts to consume less calories and store more.
Build some Muscles
Rev up your metabolism by doing some resistance exercises like weightlifting, hand lifting etc. Also you can decrease body fat by doing some aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, jogging, dancing, walking . Muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat thus increasing your metabolism or calorie consumption increases.
Go to Bed Early
A research suggests that people who slept less and were under more stress had more body fat than people who slept properly.
Eat Protein Rich Food
The faster your metabolism works the more fat you will burn and the slower your metabolism the more fat you will store. Eating protein is a good way to increase metabolism, especially since the body burns more calories to digest protein than it does digesting carbs or sugars.
Go Organic Whenever Possible
The accumulation of toxins in the body slows down the metabolism because the body has to work extra hard to eliminate these toxins on a daily basis. So going on a organic diet leads to less toxins in the body in the form of pesticides. Going the organic way is always a healthier option.
Get Up and Move a Little
Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your health and your waistline as your fitness routine. Researchers suggest that inactivity for 4 hours or more causes a slowdown in an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. Stand up from your desk and walk around the office, go up and down the stairs a few times. If you use these little bursts of energy throughout the day then your metabolism will stay revved up and you’ll keep burning more calories.
Drink Cold Water
Researchers found that drinking 1 liter of cold water a day can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature. Start drinking cold water to accelerate your metabolism to up to 30%.
Eat Some Hot Food
Eating hot food can also fire up your metabolism. Eating red or green chilies boosts your body’s production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our fight-or-flight response), according to a research. If they’re hot enough they’ll rev your metabolism into high level and you’ll break a sweat!
Dont Skip Breakfast
Eating breakfast jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. Eat often because that will keep your metabolism pumping all day long, and when you eat many small meals through the day you tend to eat
less at one time, which puts less burden on your digestive system and lets it work more efficiently.
Drink Coffee or Tea
Women metabolize caffeine about 25 percent faster than men. Metabolic rate remains highest during the first three hours following consumption of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases heart rate and mental acuity. While the blood pumps faster, the metabolic rate increases. While tea can increase your metabolism by 12% according to a research. Researchers believe the antioxidant catechins in tea provide the boost.
Fight Fat with Fiber
Fiber can raise your fat burn by about 30 percent. Research has found that those who eat the more fiber gain the least weight over time. Aim for about three servings each of fruits and vegetables a day. Fiber leads to a less calorie intake which lessens the calorie count.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods
Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Unless you have a consistent diet of this mineral you will have a slow metabolism. Lean meats, beans and spinach are excellent sources. Get this essential mineral in natural doses from real foods.
There’s some evidence that calcium deficiency may slow metabolism. Research shows that consuming calcium in dairy foods such as fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other
Dont Get Stressed
Research says that being stressed out causes high levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body, which leads to belly fat . Relax and let go the extra kilos!
All of our body’s basic reactions, including our metabolism, depend on water. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning lesser calories, according to researchers. In the study, those who drank more glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had fewer.
At last eat metabolism boosting foods like Apple, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, papaya, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, garlic, onions, mangoes, cucumber, cauliflower, carrots and avocados. These fruits and vegetables belong to the negative calorie list of foods that will help you boost your metabolism.
Fruits are a major and natural source of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances to protect you from chronic diseases. Fruits are available through out the year and some are seasonal too.
Here is a list of commonly available fruits that you can include in your daily diet to boost immunity to stay away from infections with its anti-oxidation properties to destroy free radicals. Read more
Studies are also showing that due to our lifestyles, most people are deficient in Vitamin D. On the other end, Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be a factor in the accumulation of excess body fat: Read more
Are you trying not to gain weight, and do you drink fruit smoothies, because you think they are healthy? Well, watch out!
Many fruit smoothies contain added sugars and high-fructose corn syrup and are so high in calories, that they sabotage your diet, than help you lose weight. The key here really is in the ingredients. Check if the fruit smoothie contains added sugar, or syrup. Many fruit flavourings added to smoothie are loaded with sugar, so they seem healthy, but they’re really not. They syrups, flavouring and added sugar really pack on the calories and promote fat storage.
A healthy smoothie should be made from fruit, instead of fruit concentrate (since that contains added sugar) and made with plain yogurt instead of ice cream or frozen yoghurt will contain nearly half the calories and significantly less sugar. And, it will provide all of the calcium, vitamin and antioxidant capacity that a smoothie is supposed to have.
Along with apples, another delicious and nutritious winter fruit is the guava. Its high in fiber, but its Vitamin C content is what is out of the ordinary. Orange is the fruit synonymous with Vitamin C- but a guava contains 5 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
Its also high in potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure. Guava is among the few fruits that provide calcium, iron and carbohydrates (good carbs, since they are not quick dissolving).
So dig in to those guavas!