Tag Archives: healthy snacking

Tricks for a Lazy Person to Lose Weight

To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. And to burn calories, you need a proper balanced diet with a regular workout or exercise routine. But even if you don’t have the time or you lack motivation to be physically active, you can still lose weight by following a lot of simple but highly effective strategies.

Here are 9 strategies that can help you lose weight:

1. Buy Ready-to-eat snacks
Having snacks in between your 3 big meals help you curb your appetite. Select healthy snacks that help you feel full. Snacks which include complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber and good fats. For eg. you can opt for roasted channa/chickpeas, fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, nuts and seeds, etc. These provide bulk to your appetite and are easily available.

2. Shorten your shopping trip
Eat before going shopping, as this will help you to keep a check on your cravings. And will also help you purchase only the required items on your list. Select healthy options like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, multi-grains, wheat flour, etc.

3. Eat slowly and learn portion control
Controlling your portion size is key to weight loss. Always be a smart selector while filling up your plate. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full. Fill your plate with healthy options. For e.g., fill half of the plate with fresh fruits and veggies. You can consume rice, but instead of 1 cup, serve yourself ½ a cup. Or even better, choose brown rice.

4. Balanced meals
A healthy diet will control your appetite by providing you all the essential nutrients. It should include all the basic essential nutrients required for optimum functioning of the body.

5. Keep yourself hydrated
Drinking water is good for general health. Water is also known to fill you up and keep you from overeating. Dehydration or not drinking enough water can be responsible for slowing down your metabolism. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to help remove toxins from your body and boost your metabolism naturally.

6. Watch the oil and butter
Use nonstick cookware to lessen the amount of butter and oil while cooking. It will help you cut down on calories and preparation time.

7. Sufficient and deep sleep
Lack of sleep lowers levels of leptin in your body, with the result being that you feel hungrier. Canadian researchers observed the connection between sleep patterns and obesity and found that people who slept 5 to 6 hours a night gained 4.5 pounds more than those who slept for 7 to 8 hours. So a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary. With sufficient sleep, it is even easier to control unnecessary food cravings.

8. Savor a night time snack
There is nothing wrong with a post dinner snack. The problem only arises when the snack is unhealthy. Choose healthy and filling snacks. For eg., air-popped popcorn (without butter and oil) is filling and is packed with whole grains, antioxidants and fiber. High fiber helps you keep your blood sugar in control and hence you feel fuller for long durations.

9. Exercise is important
Exercise helps you curb your cravings and lose weight in a healthy way. It increases the energy expenditure and burns calories and even adjusts the signals of satiety to reduce food intake.

The above strategies will not just help you lose weight, but will even boost your immunity and keep away diseases. Ideally, if you can even exercise along with following the above mentioned strategies, the benefits will multiply for your health and overall fitness.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
Enjoyed reading?
Get diet, weight loss tips on email.
Email Gender Join for free
Age Goal
invalidplease enter a valid email address

7 simple tips to avoid sugar

There are 2 kinds of sugar i.e. simple and complex .Simple sugar breaks down very quickly in the body and causes energy fluctuations. This type of sugar includes refined and processed sugar found in table sugar and kind added to most sweets.  Consuming too much of it can lead to numerous health problems. In order to avoid excessive consumption of sugar and to stay away from health problems, use the following tips.

1.     Eat balanced meals

Balanced meals contain all major and minor nutrients .It will also contain enough fiber to control your sugar cravings. Basically, fiber helps reduce cravings.

 2. Introduce healthy fat

The body also requires good fats .Eating good fats reduces sugar cravings .Try to choose healthier oils like olive oil, mustard oil and some refined oil with healthy fortification added to it. Nuts also offer good fats.

 3.     Opt for healthier options

Always opt for healthier food options. Choose salads over sandwiches, whole wheat pasta over normal pasta, brown rice over white rice, etc. Healthier foods will keep you fuller for longer and prevent cravings.

 4.     Avoid emotional eating

 Try to avoid sugar if you’re down or having a bad day. Consuming sugar signals the brain to release serotonin, a happy hormone. Emotional eating is a vicious circle, so try to stay away from sugar loaded and fried foods during such emotional phases. They might improve you mood temporarily, but will affect your health in the long term. Keep yourself busy with some other activities like listening to music, going for a run, etc.

5.     Exercise regularly

Working out at least 5 days a week will help the body to balance blood sugar levels and prevent sugar fluctuations. Exercising even controls our cravings and prevents us from making poor food choices. Make it a point to do some sort of physical activity every day.

6.     Keep healthy snacks at home/office

Do not keep unhealthy, high sugar or fried snacks at home/office. Keep healthier snacks such as nuts, roasted chickpeas, yogurt and fruits handy.

 7.     Good Water intake

Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to prevent overeating and bingeing. When the body is dehydrated, it sometimes signals the brain that its hungry, and we tend to overeat. The next time you crave food at an odd hour have a glass of water, because chances are that you are probably dehydrated and not hungry.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Late Night Snacking

Do you feel hungrier in night as compared to the day? Did you know that overeating at night can disrupt your sleep, leading to imbalances of hunger and satiety hormones? But choosing right and healthy snack foods can protect you from several adverse effects. Here are some healthy snack options you can opt in night whenever you feel hungry -

Handful of Nuts: Whenever you feel hungry in night you can opt for handful of nuts of your choice. Nuts are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which are considered to be good fat, fiber, vitamin and minerals. They will provide you right nutrition and also help you in keeping full for longer. Avoid adding salt or sugar to nuts; you can enjoy nuts with their natural flavor. In fact, 14 raw almonds contain approx 98 kcal whereas 10 raw cashew nuts contain approx 98 kcal. So, it’s not about high content of nuts it about how much you consume.

Salad: A salad made of seasonal fruits and vegetables is one of the best night time snacking foods. You can add lettuce, celery, carrots and seasonal fruits to make the salad with a lemon dressing. You can also add almonds to your salad and make it more nutritious.

Popcorn: Many people find it comfortable to eat potato chips in night but instead of that try to opt for stove-top popcorn. 1 cup of air-popped popcorn without any fat contains approximately 31 kcal calories. Once popped, sprinkle any of your favorite low-calorie toppings like a dash of chili pepper flakes or dried spices adds lots of flavor without extra calories.

Fruits: Fruits are loaded with benefits of antioxidants and fiber. Whenever you feel hungry in night just go and grab a fruit from your refrigerator. Fruits do not add up to too many calories but keep you full for longer. You can go for a cup of mixed seasonal fruits.

Jasmine Tea: Jasmine tea is believed to have a tranquilizing effect on body as it calms your nerves which in turn promote sound sleep. A 2005 study conducted by Kyoto University found that the smell of jasmine reduced study participant’s heart rates and produced “calm and vigorous mood states”. After further experimentation, the researchers attributed this effect to one of the aromatic components of jasmine: (R)-(-)-linalool.

Water: According to experts, the human brain sometimes misinterprets signals of thirst as a sign of hunger, so one ends up eating extra calories instead of drinking zero calorie water. So the next time you feel those late night hunger pangs grab a glass of water instead of something to munch on.

Late night snacking can be a result of erratic sleep pattern. Try to have a sound sleep of at least 8 hours to avoid such cravings.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

List of Healthy Snacks

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.

Healthy Sandwich (Cr/freedigital)

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.

You could choose low fat dairy, eggs, seeds and nuts, fruits and veggies as a snacking option.

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! (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Guavas Build Immunity

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!

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Apples Reduce Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease

As the Indian summer is going away, apples are in season (as is running- you do know about the Delhi Half Marathon right?). Apples are delicious fruits and they provide a whole lot of nutrition. We’ve all heard that apples are good for you. Lets find out how.

Shundiin @ flickr

First, they’re loaded with fiber- both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps to reduce your bad cholesterol, and the insoluble fiber keeps you regular. The fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, so apples are a great snack for people trying to lose weight.

Besides that, they provide a rich dose of vitamin C, which boosts the body’s immune system. Apples are also loaded with flavanoids and antioxidants that reduce free radical damage in your body (free radical damage can cause premature aging of skin, cancer, etc). Multiple studies have linked regular apple consumption to lowering heart risk disease and cancer.

Maybe there is truth to the old adage- an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds or rather nuts in general get a bad name because they have high fat content, but there are plenty health benefits of almonds. We’ll tell you about these benefits.

There are two kinds of fat- saturated (Bad) and unsaturated (Good) fat. And almonds are high in unsaturated fats, the same type of healthy fats found in olive oil. Almonds are packed with mono-unsaturated fats. A recent study at the University of Toronto led to the discovery that eating about an ounce of almonds per day can decrease LDL cholesterol by as much as 20 percent over time. Incredibly, this decrease is comparable to results from medication.

Besides this, almonds pack a punch of protein. Protein takes longer to digest, so it keeps you satisfied for longer. Thus reducing those hunger pangs, while feeding those muscles of yours.

Almonds also contain calcium, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Potassium, Magnesium, and last but not the least, antioxidants.

In a recent study published in the International Journal of ORMD, adults who were put on a low calorie diet enriched with almonds lost more weight, lost more fat, reduced more waistline inches than those who did not have almond enriched diets. (Both diets had equal calorie values)

You can eat almonds raw, roasted, or chop them up toss them into dessert or yogurt. Try to eat them with the skin, since that contains nutrition too. Benefits of almonds are plenty, but they’re loaded with fat and thus calories, so control your portions. Have a handful for that 4 p.m. craving, with a fruit. They’ll keep you going for longer without feeling hungry, reducing your snacking on unhealthy food, thus reducing your risk of gaining weight from it.

Almonds have low GI (Glycemic Index) value, so when you include them in your diet, your overall blood sugar rises up less than without almonds.

We could go on about almonds, but the point is made. Go nuts!

Note, that the healthiest almonds are the regular crispy almonds. The roasted, salted or sugar coated almonds only reduce the health benefits of almonds.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Health Benefits of Yogurt

Milk and Yogurt (curd) are an essential part of the recommended “healthy Indian diet”. We’ve all heard about calcium in milk and yogurt and how it makes our bones stronger, but there are so many other health benefits of Yogurt, apart from being a rich source of calcium. Can yogurt help you lose belly fat?

Yes, latest research shows that yogurt can even help you lose weight. The calcium in yogurt helps you to make your bones stronger. 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 did not consume as much calcium from dairy products. The mineral appears to help curb production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat.

Yogurt provides essential carbohydrates and a punch of protein. The carbohydrates are good since they provide you the energy you need to get through the day. And the protein is good for building those muscles and for their regular functioning. Yogurt with fruits makes for a great post workout meal.

It’s a good source of your daily vitamin needs like vitamins B6 and B12. The Health benefits of Yogurt don’t stop here, it is also a good source of Potassium. Studies have shown that potassium consumption helps with reducing hypertension and increase muscle retention. The bacterial cultures in yogurt help to keep your gut and digestive system healthy.

There are plenty of ways to consume yogurt – If you don’t like plain yogurt, then you can always throw in some fruits and nuts or try low calorie yogurt smoothies.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo