Tag Archives: calories

Diet Tips

People either exercise or diet to lose weight. While to really lose weight & keep it off you need a combination of both. If you are not watching what you eat and think just by exercising you will get results then you have uphill task ahead of you. Smart people know that to lose weight they need to first watch what they eat and then add physical activity to multiply your efforts and lose weight fast.

Here are six easy diet tips that will not only help you lose weight, be healthy and keep the weight off for longer.

1. Stop obsessing about food

For most of us food is the center of our being. Maybe that’s our downfall. You need to make an effort to stop obsessing about food so much. Start by eating 3 proper meals a day. Eating every two hours will not help you keep your mind off food.

2Don’t overeat in the name of “healthy

This specifically applies to food that we eat out. Just because it is labelled as healthy that does not mean it does not contain calories. It might have marginally lesser calories than its counterpart or may contain one of two ingredients that make it healthy but it still does not give you an excuse to overeat.

3. Grab an apple before you step out of the house

Leaving house on an empty stomach is a bad idea. You are setting yourself up for eating extra calories while you are out. Eating an apple before you step out will prevent you from being tempted and eating food just for the heck of it. It will also help you choose smartly while ordering something to eat. Try this for a month and watch how much weight you will actually lose by following this simple trick!

4. Eating Sugar makes you crave more sugar

Eating food high on sugar makes you crave more food that contains sugar. Did you know sugar is addictive?! Infact it has been compared to have the same effect on our brain as some drugs do. Be smart and skip sugar. This also means staying away from processed foods that contain sugar in the form of ‘concentrate’, ‘fructose syrup’ or ‘corn syrup’. Read the label before you buy anything off the shelf.

5. Try ordering water instead of coffee 

Don’t look surprised, try it. You don’t realize how many empty calories are consumed while hanging out at coffee shops. Next time you go to a coffee shop order a bottle of water instead of your regular drink. You will have something to drink without an added burden of calories! If plain water doesn’t make the cut you can always get yourself a cup of green or black tea without sugar.

6. Exercising is not your ticket to overeat

The most common mistake made, maybe that’s why you see them going to the gym day after day and yet look the same size. Even the most exhausting workout can burn may be 300 calories per hour but a slice of pizza is approximately that much. So don’t let your hard work go waste.

Stay on track with these diet tips and practice moderation to help you not only lose weight but also keep it off.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Reasons Due to Which You Can’t Lose Weight

Despite sticking to your diet and exercising regularly, your weight just does not seem to reduce. If this is happening to you, then it might be time to examine some of your habits, which could be holding back your weight loss.

1. You are drinking calories

Many people include packed fruit juices in their breakfast or mid-meal snack, while others prefer diet soda thinking they are healthy options. But did you know that consuming these could add two to three times more calories to your meal because of high sugar content or unnecessary cravings (caused by diet soda). Replace these juices or sodas with water, which has zero calories and provides many healthy benefits. Drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day will keep your body hydrated and when fully hydrated, your body eliminates waste more effectively, which can quicken your digestive system and help you lose weight.

2. You are eating packaged flavored yoghurt

Yoghurt has many nutrients such as protein, which keeps you fuller for longer and help in avoiding overeating. But flavored yoghurt or packaged fruit yoghurt is much higher in calories because of its sugar content. Some of this packaged yoghurt may also contain artificial sweeteners, which can have other adverse effects on your overall health.

3. You are eating while watching your favorite game

Many people like to eat a packet of chips with a cold drink while watching their favorite sport on TV. But this habit of yours can make you overeat, adding up the calories. If you eat while watching TV your mind has to focus on two things simultaneously, which is why it takes additional time for your brain to register the calories you consume. This leads to overeating. Therefore, always focus on your food while eating.

4. You love going to happy hours/ buffets

Your regular outings include going for happy hours or Sunday buffet brunches. Cheating on your diet and exercise for a meal is fine but this happy hour / buffet makes you eat much more than your body needs. This adds three to four times more calories than a usual meal.

5. You treat yourself too often

Eating your favorite comfort food occasionally is fine but if you treat yourself to a small piece of chocolate or few spoons of ice cream daily than it will lead to cravings every day. Therefore, if you want to manage your weight and keep a check on your portion size, indulge occasionally.

6. You are avoiding a particular food group completely

Many people start completely avoiding a particular food group such as carbohydrates or fat, to control their weight. This leads to binging whenever you eat that food the next time and also deprives your body of a variety of nutrients. Therefore, instead of completely avoiding any food group, practice portion control and moderation.

7. You are not sleeping enough

Many studies have shown that your diet and sleep patterns are related. Lack of sleep can lead to disturbed physiology of your body. So, when you do not get enough sleep it may lead to cravings and an over-consumption of calories because you crave for food more often than normal. It is very easy to get tempted to reach for a cup of coffee and doughnut for a quick shot of energy. So sleep at least eight hours each night.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Never Lost Weight Counting Your Calories? We’ll Tell You Why

It is very important to understand the scientific theory behind weight loss before creating your own weight loss strategies. An effective weight loss for the long run is all about a healthy diet and a good dose of physical activity. Counting calories is part of a weight loss plan but not the only remedy for weight loss. Counting calories (or grams of fat or carbohydrates) is far easier than actually understanding the complex effects food has on our bodies and our waistlines. If counting calories is about losing weight then any one would manage to lose weight on their own. Below are the reasons which will clearly explain why you should not always count calories to lose weight.

1. Food produces some hormonal effects in our body. It decides whether to store that fat or burn it. So, depending only on calories will never help to lose the unwanted fat. To accelerate the body’s fat burning hormones, a combination of balanced macro and micro nutrients is mandatory in every meal, rather than depending only on calorie count.

2. The accurate method of checking calories is through the bomb calorimeter method which is practically not possible on a daily basis for regular people. When you calculate by yourself on the basis of some information you found online or on the food labels, you might be hundreds of calories off track. Different bodies metabolize foods at different rates depending on factors such as muscle mass, exercise habits, hormonal changes and lifestyle. Ultimately, counting calories alone will never help you lose weight. It depends on other factors also.

3. Calculating calories might be help you in getting a low calorie meal but is that food going to accelerate or hinder your weight loss? The quality of food you are eating also plays an equally vital role in successful weight loss, along with the calorie count. Always keep in mind the quality parameters instead of depending only on calorie counting.

Calorie Counting Alternatives

Instead of counting calories now and then,so the best way to put a check on weight and to lead a healthy life can be checking on the portions i.e.one should always take smaller portions in a plate, try to take out time for any of the physical activity and lastly focus on right combinations of food.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Couscous and its health benefits

Couscous is made of semolina flour. Couscous is the staple food of Northern Africa. It is also made of whole wheat flour, which further increases its nutritional value. It is very versatile and its preparation requires little more than hot water and fluffing with a fork. It can be served as a side dish or can also be served with sautéed vegetables, soups and morning breakfast cereal.

Nutritional properties of Couscous:-

1 cup (30g) of couscous contains-
130g -Carbohydrates
6g -Protein
1g -Fat
2.2g -Fibre
43mcg -Selenium
91.1mg -Potassium
176kcal-Energy

Health benefits:-

1.Protein
Protein found in Couscous is 12% of the daily dietary requirement. Protein contains amino acids which are essential for body tissue repair and protein even controls appetite and calorie intake. Researchers found that protein causes the brain to receive low levels of appetite stimulating hormones.

2.Fibre
The amount of fibre present in Couscous is 9% of the daily dietary requirement. Fibre increases the satiety value of Couscous which keeps you from feeling hungry for longer durations and keeps you away from overeating.

3.Fat
Couscous hardly contains any fat, making it an ideal choice for weight loss diets.

4.Calories
30 grams of Couscous contains 176Kcal which is 9% of the daily dietary requirement. The calorie content is quite low compared to other similar foods.

5.Selenium
The amount of selenium found in Couscous is 43mcg which is equal to the daily dietary requirement of our body. Selenium is good for the brain, helps with low thyroid functioning and prevents premature aging.

6.Potassium
The amount of potassium found in 30gms of Couscous is 91.1mg, which 39% of 3500mg (daily dietary requirement). Potassium plays an important role in blood pressure regulation and also maintains the body’s fluid balance.
So, couscous is a great addition to your diet with a variety of health benefits.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Habits that are slowing your metabolism

Metabolism – the process of turning food you eat into energy for the functioning of heart, muscles and other organs. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. But, sometimes due to certain habits, our metabolism slows down, affecting our weight loss goals.
Here are some habits that you should avoid, to prevent a slow metabolic rate.

1. Unsystematic eating schedule
Some studies found that eating low fat diets with erratic meal times lead to more weight gain than balanced, normal meals at scheduled intervals. Researchers concluded that eating at the same time every day (without very long intervals between meals) trains the body to burn more calories between meals.

2. Drinking less water
A lot of calories are burnt when one remains hydrated, so drinking less water will not help you lose weight. It actually slows the metabolism of the body. One should drink at least 10-12 glasses of water in a day.

3. Skipping Breakfast
When you skip breakfast, you not only binge on your other meals but also slow down the metabolism by conserving your energy instead of burning it. So, if you are looking to boost your metabolism, then never skip breakfast.

4. Infrequent sleep pattern
Many researchers concluded that people who sleep less put on more weight than those who get sufficient sleep. The reason is that, in a person who is sleep deprived, hormones that control appetite show a reverse effect i.e. you start eating more, which ultimately slows down your metabolism leading to weight gain. One should get 7-8 hours of sleep in a day to avoid slow metabolism.

5. Constantly stressed
Stress is one factor which is common for all unwanted health issues. There is a hormone called cortisol, which is activated due to excessive stress. This leads to fat storage in the body, which slows down the metabolism. Try to reduce stress as much as possible.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

The Nutrients your Body Needs Every Day

A healthy and balanced diet is the key to a healthy body. But a balanced diet should include a variety of nutrients. Below is a list of nutrients and their sources, and their recommended daily values.

-Calcium: It is a vital nutrient for the body as it helps in providing strength to your bones. Strong bones are less prone to fracture and diseases like osteoporosis. Calcium also plays a role in nerve transmission, maintenance of healthy blood vessels and muscle contraction. The recommended amount of calcium is 1g/day. To meet the daily recommended value add dairy products like milk, curd, paneer and green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, etc to your diet.

-Fiber: Dietary fiber helps in proper bowel movement and provides bulk to your stool which decreases the chances of constipation. It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels in the body as the presence of fiber in food slows down the absorption of the sugar. Soluble dietary fiber helps in controlling the levels of cholesterol by reducing the levels of “bad” fat from the body. The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 40g/day. Include fruits, vegetable, whole grains and legumes in your daily diet.

-Magnesium: Many studies have shown that magnesium with calcium helps in improving the bone mineral density in the body. Magnesium deficiency can affect calcium metabolism and a fluctuation in the levels of hormones that regulate calcium can result in osteoporosis. It is associated with lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and helps in regulating high blood pressure. It also plays a major role in controlling diabetes, migraines, insomnia, and depression. Recommended amount of magnesium is 410mg/day. Include nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, fish, and green leafy vegetables in your diet to increase magnesium intake.

-Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant which protects your body cells from free radical damage. Free radicals lead to break down of healthy cells and may contribute to heart disease and cancer. It also helps strengthening immunity. The recommended amount of vitamin E is 15mg/day. To get your daily dose of this vitamin include nuts, vegetable oil, eggs and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.

-Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also a type of antioxidant that protects your body against free radical damage. Apart from this, vitamin C supports collagen production in joints. Collagen is a shock absorbing gel like substance which fills up the space between two bones in a joint. The recommended dose of vitamin C is 75-90mg/day. Rich sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.

-Vitamin A: Vitamin A plays a major role in maintaining vision, cell growth and promotes healthy tissue and skin. It also participates in physiological activities related to the immune system, inflammatory system, maintenance of epithelial and mucosal tissues, creation of red blood cells, and bone development. The recommended dose of vitamin A is 600-900 µg/day. Rich sources of vitamin A are sweet potato, carrot, spinach, Green leafy vegetables, etc.

-Vitamin D: Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the body and helps in building strong bones. It helps in regulating insulin activity and blood sugar balance in the body and prevents muscle weakness. The recommended amount of vitamin D is 600 IU/day. The food sources of vitamin D include milk, egg, and fatty fishes like salmon, tuna and some variety of mushrooms. To get your daily dose of vitamin D morning sunlight is the best source. There are hormones beneath the skin which produce Vitamin D with help from sunlight.

-Potassium: It is one of the electrolytes and even helps in managing electrolyte levels in the body. A diet high in potassium levels is associated with improved blood pressure control. It also contributes to improved kidney function, reduction in blood clotting, and more efficient opening of blood vessels. The recommended value of potassium is 4.7g/day. Five foods rich in potassium include Swiss chard, lima beans, potatoes, yams, and soybeans.

-Protein: Protein is the building block of tissues. It is required to repair the daily wear and tear of the cells in the body. Protein is an important part of the diet as it helps in building muscles. Recommended value of protein is 46-56g/day. To have recommended amount of protein in your daily diet include milk, curd, paneer, eggs, lean cuts of chicken, soy and beans in your diet.

-Iron: Iron is a part of red blood cells and helps in transportation of oxygen in the body. In case of iron deficiency, or anemia, the body’s efficiency to transport oxygen decreases. As a result you may feel lethargic and fatigued. The recommended amount of iron is 18g/day. Foods rich in iron include, green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and pulses, whole grain, etc.

To have a healthy and balanced diet chooses your foods wisely to maximize the benefits of different nutrients.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Are All Calories The Same?

People often lose weight on very-low-fat and very-low-carbohydrate diets but the vast majority end up gaining the weight back very quickly. This suggests that very-low-fat diets may actually slow a person’s metabolism down to a level where it is not burning calories as effectively as it could. So, instead of ranking your food on its calorie count look for its nutritional quality. Here are some reasons for why all the calories are not same.

Effect on Your Body: Food calories affect the body very differently depending on their source and the overall context in which they are consumed. Many people consider “a calorie is a calorie” thinking that carbohydrate, fat and protein calories are equal in terms of their effect on body weight but the body processes each in a different way, and these differences play a major role in weight management. The main reason behind this is when you cut down the calories by skipping your meals. Your body considers this as unavailability of food and therefore goes in conservation mode. In this situation, your body starts conserving each calorie you eat and effectively increase the value of each calorie by slowing down your metabolism.

Energy Requirement for Metabolism: The major fact behind that ‘all the calories are not same’ is energy requirement to metabolize the calories from different source. Generally, more energy is required to process protein than carbohydrates and more energy is required to process carbohydrates than fat.

Effect on Appetite: Protein generally reduces appetite more per calorie than fat and carbohydrate. Therefore a person who increases his daily protein intake without decreasing the amount of carbohydrates, fat or any other nutrient likely to eat less due to reduced appetite. This also happens because protein provides you a feeling of being full for longer as compared to carbohydrate or fat.

Fiber for Less Calorie Absorption: Fiber is a form of carbohydrate which does not adds up to calories but add bulk to your food. Its keeps you full for longer and therefore contribute to your satiety. Thus, a calorie inside a high-fiber food is not equal to a calorie inside a low-calorie food – yet another reason for ‘a calorie is not a calorie’.

Round the Clock: Thermic effect of food (TEF) is a name for the energy used up as a result of digesting and absorbing a meal. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that TEF is higher in the morning than in the evening which clearly means that we burn more calories in the morning. The effect of calories on body composition is also influenced by the size and frequency of meals. Food calories are more likely to be used immediately for energy used to synthesize muscle protein when they are consumed at times of energy deficit, such as first thing in the morning after the overnight fast. Numerous studies have shown that people build more muscle and gain less body fat when they consume adequate calories within two hours after exercise rather than the consuming same calories throughout the day.

Calories of a food gives you an idea of energy being provided by that food and helps you in managing your weight but before considering all the foods of same calories to be same look for its overall nutritional quality.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Health Benefits of Muesli

Muesli is becoming a popular breakfast option on the breakfast table of most urban households. It is by far one of the healthiest cereal options currently available in the market. Besides the fact this is a great healthy breakfast option , it actually tastes good! Muesli is a combination of rolled oats and wheat flakes that also contains added ingredients like dry fruits, nuts and seeds in it. Some of the pre-packaged muesli available in the market might contain added sugar in form of dried fruits and other preservatives. While buying the box make sure to read the instructions and look for “ low-sugar” or “no-added sugar” option.

We have told you many times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It contributes to 1/3 of an individual’s daily calorie & nutrition requirement. Muesli is one of the healthiest, high in nutrition that contains relatively low calories and easy to prepare breakfast option available. It is far superior to the regular cornflakes in terms of health benefits.

Most common mistake people make when they are trying to lose weight is that they skip breakfast, without realizing it is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast over a period of time slows down your metabolism. Let us explain the logic: by missing breakfast you have automatically reduced the calories from your diet. After sometime your body gets use to the limited calories and in return slows the metabolism. So anytime you add it back to your routine it gets added to your system as extra calories (especially since the body is not use to it), making you believe that eating breakfast makes you fat.

Coming back to why you should add muesli to your diet. The health benefits of a bowl of muesli with added milk, fruits and seeds/nuts is a dish full of fiber, vitamins, protein, omega 3 and minerals and are the best way to start your day.  You can further increase the nutrition value of a bowl of muesli by adding fresh fruits &  seeds/nuts like apple, banana, strawberries, pear, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed etc. If you get bored of adding milk you can choose from other available substitutes like yogurt, fruit juice, or even just plain water. All these ingredients along with muesli have multiple health benefits and will also promote weight loss by nourishing the body and regulating the metabolism.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Eat Vegetables to Lose Weight

Vegetables

According to the recently released food plate the average daily dietary allowance one requires atleast 3 portions of  seasonal vegetables to meet the daily dietary intake. Most of us find it difficult to successfully meet this dietary requirement resulting in poor health, weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. Besides eating vegetables can actually help you lose weight.

There are many excuses for missing the most natural foods in their diet, some of which are eating greens is a task and we purposely skip them, they are tasteless, while some people assure you that they have vegetables in their diet and when asked to review their meals that’s the only thing that’s missing from the diet. Before we get started with the tips let us just give you a quick reminder on why vegetables are good for us:

  • The most natural  and easily available food that contains different vitamins, minerals and thousands of other plant chemicals.
  • Vegetables are low in fat and calories,
  • Good source of dietary fiber and provide us with extra energy. Fiber keeps us fuller for long preventing us from overeating and  frequently eating.
  • Vegetables provide more energy to the body in return helping us be active and burn more calories.

Vegetables are not tasteless and infact can have better flavor & texture than most meats if prepared well. Besides we know the health benefits of seasonal vegetables. If you are not use to eating them we can suggest easy ways of slowly  introducing them to your diet them and finally develop a taste for them. Once you have them as part of your diet trust us you will wonder what kept you away from them for so long!

Here are some quick tips to get more greens in your system without adding too much fuss.

Vegetable  Yogurt (Raita): Easiest and one of the most delicious way of adding raw vegetables to your diet without having to really taste them. Salt, mint and cumin powder is enough to camouflage the taste especially for those who cant stand the sight of them!

Salad: We are not talking about a boring garden salad on the side. Spice thing up by adding a healthy dressing to that boring salad. A dash of olive oil and some fresh lime juice is enough to get the taste buds excited. Besides you to get to add all the health benefits of raw  vegetables in your diet.

Poha: Easiest and the quickest way to add vegetables to your breakfast. Make sure your poha recipe has more vegetables than rice if you are watching your waist too!

Grilled Vegetables on the side: For all those non-vegetarians who enjoy the little grilled vegetable on the side of their meat dish can learn something from the restaurants. Try this simple recipe of grilled vegetable: Cut capsicum, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots into bite size pieces, put it in a foil, drizzle half a table spoon of oil, add salt and pepper and bake for 15-20 mintues on medium heat. These grilled delights can also be enjoyed by vegetarians.

If you are still not confident and sure how to get more vegetables in your diet then don’t hesitate and mail us at fitness@fitho.in. We will help you plan your diet better, improve your metabolism without depriving your body of essential nutrition. We also provide recipes with our diet plans to help you enjoy the good flavours of healthy food over and above just the benefits.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Types of Milk and their Health Benefits

Did you know that all three types of milk (Skimmed, toned, double toned and full cream) contain approximately the same amount of vitamins and minerals:Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc. But do you know that different milk tend to vary with their production style and primarily fat content. If you are trying to lose weight then whole milk is not the right option, while low fat milk is as it gets digested slowly and is low in calories, fat and increases better absorption of nutrients.

Commercial milk is usually of two types. Pasteurized and homogenized. Pasteurized milk is heated at high temperature to kill harmful bacteria while maintaining the flavour and nutrition content of the milk. Homogenized milk is identical in fat content to pasteurized milk and other factors but it undergoes a process called homogenization, a process which breaks up the fat globules in the milk which spreads the fat evenly and prevents the formation of creamy layer forming at the top.

Milk is healthy for kids as well as adults because of its high nutritional content which provide energy for work and protein for muscle repair along with calcium and phosphorous for bone development. Some people complain of weight gain by drinking milk which is possible if you are drinking whole milk  that is high in fat content. Adding other ingredients like energy powders to the milk can increase  calorie content of the glass of milk resulting in weight gain.

Here is the nutrition break-up of four  most popular kinds of milk and their fat content

Whole Milk: Whole milk is non-altered milk which is packed with its natural nutrients without adding or removing anything from the milk. Drinking a glass of toned milk will provide approx 150 calories.

Skimmed Milk: Skimmed milk lacks the fat content or has a fat content of 0.3% to 0.1%. It contains nearly half the calories of full cream milk but contains all its nutrients like vitamins and minerals as par other forms of milk.  Consuming skimmed will provide around 80 calories per glass of milk . (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo