How to Control Sugar Cravings
Need to eat sugar is triggered by our body. This is body’s naturally tendency to tell you that blood sugar levels are dropping and need to be replenished. Over a period of time this physiological reaction becomes psychological and we start to mistake this desire as need. This is when most of the trouble begins that traditionally transforms into weight gain and then eventually lifestyle diseases like high blood sugar & diabetes type 2. Sugar cravings can be controlled and managed with some effort.
Sugar is a carbohydrate and quickly breaks down in our body providing energy and releases happy hormone serotonin which makes us feel good and reduces stress and anxiety. The sweet taste of sugar is liked by most people from birth and indulge in eating them for sugar cravings. Sugar is also known to release endorphins also known as “happy hormones” that is the reason why we also crave them when we are sad or generally stressed.
How do we control this urge? First we should start with understanding what is your daily sugar intake and what are the main sources of it. Let us explain this through an example of the common sugar foods consumed by us on a daily basis like a cup of tea/coffee, sweetened cereals like cornflakes, musselli aerated drinks or sweetened drinks like packaged juices & lemonade along with one or two desserts/chocolates through the day.
Here is a quick list of a calories per serving:
Sugar coated cereals- 127 kcal (3/4 cup)
Tea spn of sugar- 20 kcal
100 ml aerated drink/soda- 37 kcal
1 chocolate- (plain Bar , 49 g of chocolate) 250 Kcal
Packaged juice-110 kcal (250 ml)
Energy drinks-152 Kcal (350 ml/one can)
All this roughly mounts upto 700 calories if you have one of each of these things listed. Incase you are looking to lose weight than you just require 2 tea spoons of sugar in a day. Besides processed sugar doesnt have any health benefits . Read here to know how it affects our health. (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Should You Eat Junk Food?
Junk food is not healthy and we know it. Eating junk food can almost be compared to the warning sign on cigarette packets. All smokers know its bad for health but yet they smoke. Junk food only provides empty calories to the body without any nutrition. But prolonged consumption of junk foods can even cause irreversible damage like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart diseases etc.
Some of the universal favorite junk foods are potato fries, salted chips and snacks, candy, sugar, high sweet content food, sweet desserts, fried food products, fast food fried foods and products like sweetened sodas. A lot of food companies are marketing foods like sweetened cereals, packaged soups, biscuits as health products. But if you read the ingredient content you would notice the high sodium, sugar and corn syrup content of these products. This does not mean they are lying . These so called healthy foods might contain some nutrition than others but are still not completely healthy. The similarity between partially healthy and completely unhealthy foods is that they are high in calories that only leads to storage of fat.
Junk food products that are salted are loaded with sodium that increases cholesterol in the body affecting heart health, results in water retention and slowers metabolism.It also causes high blood pressure and hypertension. On the other hand sweets lead to excessive calorie intake which leads to increased blood sugar levels causing type 2 diabetes in the long run. It causes storage of fat and increases visceral fat than reduces the insulin effect. Yet if you reverse your nutrition from empty calories to healthy foods then you would experienceweight loss and better health.
Below are some unhealthy food options that can be easily replaced with somewhat healthy options:
Cheese Burger with Coke: This is all season snack for us and is so satisfying and filling is what we feel. This is a monster diet when we look at the calories it provides. The combo provides approx 380 from the cheese burger and 210 from an 500ml bottle. The cheese and, high sodium in the burger and sweet in the drink is not so healthy choice. Instead choose from vegetarian wraps that are made of healthier grain as a good substitute for white bread.
Cholle Bhature: Famous indian food which is combination of chick peas and fortified flour which in high in oil and sodium. Its taste makes you eat more of it which spikes the calorie intake to 170 calories from chick peas and 275 calories from two pieces of Bhature which is deep fried. Why not instead eat sprouts or boiled chick peas with salt, pepper and lemon with a slice of garlic bread.
Potato Wedges with Salsa Dip: The touch of the salsa dip on widgets is mouth watering but is high caloric. Its small size and shallow dips with each bite increase the caloric intake. 380 calories from the wedges and 80 calories from the salsa dip. Drinking some sweetened beverage could further increase the caloric intake as it is high sodium which makes you feel thirsty making you eat and drink more. Instead look for finger foods that have green vegetables in them for better nutrition. Eating grilled vegetables can be tasty too if you are open to giving them a chance.
Hot Chocolate Fudge: Sweet desserts that promise happy moments are certainly not healthy with their calorie intake. One hot chocolate fudge adds 350 calories to your diet. What about eating some dates insted for the sweet tooth? You could drink a cup of cappucino instead. Dark chocolate is healthy and could make a healthier choice. ‘
Cheese Pizza Slice: Dont be confused that sharing a pizza and eating two slices would not be unhealthy. Cheese and the pizza provide nearly 450 calories eating two slices. Some sweets or sodas increase the intake again. Choose veggie or chicken pizza with out cheese. Opt for thin crust, whole wheat pizza without any fillings in between.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Are you Eating Empty Calories ?
All foods give us energy (or calories) but are all foods nutritious?
Calories can come from fats, carbohydrates, proteins. But for optimum functioning of the body, our body requires micro nutrients such as vitamins & minerals and anti-oxidants required for good body metabolism, tissue repair and optimum regulation of bodily functions.
‘Empty calories’ are calories from foods that are high in calories but low in nutritional values. It lacks the health promoting nutrients essential for healthy living.
You can use Fitho’s calorie counter to search for any specific food and calculate its calories and see its full nutrition facts.
Empty calories are bad because they only give you calories and usually, a high amount of sugar. Foods that contain empty calories are (more…)— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Healthy Movie Snacks
You can’t help but eat something at the movie theater. It’s like a ritual. You just have to!
There are plenty of options, but if you’re trying to eat healthy, its like a calorie mine field. We recommend grabbing a bite before a movie so you aren’t stuck with the limited healthy option at the movies. If you just need to get something even though you are not hungry, get a bottle of water, or a diet soda. You know water can help you lose weight? read here how.
But, if you really just need to eat something, go for a serving of nuts- they’ve got protein, heart healthy fats and plenty of antioxdants. If not that, then go for the un-buttered popcorn. It is not the healthiest option but its definitely healthier than that a sugar filled bag of candy, the super-calorie nachos with cheese sauce or the mammoth sized soda servings. Some movie theaters have whole wheat sandwiches, so that’s a healthy option.
And remember your mom taught you to share- that’ll help you get slim. Sharing what you eat is a smart way of cutting those calories. No, stop digging into your buddy’s food!
It’s not easy to skip all that calorie laden deliciousness at the movies, but just think about how tough it is to burn off those extra calories! You know, its not worth it.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo