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
Antioxidant is another very freely used terms by promoters of wellness, nutritionists and healthy living. What do you really mean by antioxidants and why does our body need them. Lets start from the beginning. Oxygen is the prime ingredient for our body’s metabolism. It is this the process that changes food into the fuel for our body to continue living. While our food is digested with the help of oxygen it releases certain oxidized particles in the body which are also commonly known as free radicals. These free radicals are potentially dangerous and cause cellular damage that can lead to serious diseases like cancer, heart problems, aging etc.
Free radicals are not only created by regular metabolism of food in the system. Factors like pollution, smoking, over exposure to the sun, high cholesterol food further aggregation the production of the free radicals in our body.Therefore it becomes imperative to use enzymes that neutralize the effect caused by free radicals in our body. Antioxidants are the most powerful and effective molecules that help control and destroy these free radicals in the body. Our body naturally has tendency of producing antioxidants but with age, lower immunity system begins to diminish. Fortunately there are many natural resources of antioxidants available in the form of vitamins and minerals. Fruits, nuts, spices and vegetables are the best and most easily available resources. You can reduce free radicals in your body by adding these food groups to your diet.
Here is a list of some food Sources rich in antioxidants
Zinc – Nuts, chicken, beans like kidney beans, chickpea, cashew nut, oats, seafood (mildly)
Selenium – Nuts, chicken, fish, wheat flour,
Phytoestrogens – Soya, flax seeds, nuts,
Probiotic – Yogurt
Spices: Turmeric, cinnamon
Make your breakfast options healthier and satisfying. Start eating breakfast which offer low calories and helps you lose weight. Eating breakfast will keep you active and full helping you avoid munching in between. If you skip breakfast you could be slowing your metabolism which would affect your weight loss process.
You could make breakfast options simpler and easily available to not skip it and eat healthy and stay fit. Here are some breakfast options that would keep you active and keep you full to avoid mid-meal munching.
Curd and a fruit: If you are the one who doesn’t like eating breakfast and are always in a hurry to run to the office then this the easiest breakfast option. You don’t have to prepare anything or cook it either. Just carry it or even buy it on your way. A good combinationof carbohydrate and protein providing approximately 250 calories. Curd (Yogurt)provides satiety which helps to keep hunger away till its time for next meal.
Brown Bread and Egg: Eggs are possibly the most versatile as well as being the most nutritious breakfast protein. They can be poached, scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, hard-boiled or made into an omelette. Egg is low in calories and saturated fat yet is full of vitamins A, B,D, E and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Brown bread is rich in nutrients providing a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing the risk of overeating. Egg with 2 slices of bread provides approx 220 calories.
Sprouts with buttermilk : Sprouted seeds, legumes and grains are a cheap and easy way of increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals. Germinating seeds and grains increase their nutritional value. The vitamin C content of wheat increases sixty percent during sprouting. Sprouts are filled with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus. Approx calories 270 calories.
Oats in low fat milk: Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. It contain soluble fibre beta glucan which help to control your sugar and cholesterol levels. Oats have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than other cereals. It also helps in keeping bowel movements regular. Approx calories 240 calories.
Nuts and Fruit: Nuts are a Super source of Non-animal, digestible protein Breakfast options does not have to be the one which has to pass through the oven. Eat some nuts and a fruit at breakfast with a glass of milk. When eaten first in the morning, nuts help start proper digestion for the rest of your day. A fist of nut along with a fruit provide approx 200 calories.
Whatever you prepare for yourself, choose a healthy option to keep you full and meet the nutrition requirement.
You can also use Fitho’s calorie counter to search for your food, calculate its calories and see its full nutrition facts.
Kids need a filling and nutritious diet for growth and unhealthy foods will slow down their growth if the daily nutrition is not met accordingly. From carbohydrates for energy to go non-stop through out the day, the amino acids from protein to build muscle and recover them, vitamins and minerals for healthy functioning of organs and chemical reactions in the body
and fat for good cholesterol and cushioning of organs.
Though kids like foods that are surprising and delightful to their taste buds. Get creative with your recipes and start making your food nutritious and attractive. Here are foods for kids to kep them healthy. Give your child plenty of options ranging from chocolates to everything that they like.
Cornflakes with milk and fruits: We all feed our kids with cornflakes but make it more healthy with adding fruits to it. Include the fruit that your kids like eating. Strawberry, grapes, nuts, seeds, apples, bananas etc. This meal will provide your kid with carbs, protein and essential vitamins and minerals along with iron to improve metabolism.
Eggs: Eggs provide a lot of satiety and protein, vitamins and minerals. Make it healthier by adding a slice of cheese or add a few slices of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber etc. The meal will keep the kids feel fuller and have lots of nutrition for a good growth.
Sandwiches: What about adding a slice of lean meat for non-vegetarians and cottage cheese for veggies ? Play around with your stuffing options with boiled mashed potatoes, cheese slice, tuna or vegetables. Choose whole grain bread or multiflour bread to make it more healthy.
Drinks: Say no to aerated drinks including the cola’s and sweetened sodas as they would add empty calories which is not healthy for a childs growth. Provide other varities from fresh fruit juice, lemonade, buttermilk, banana milk shake, mango shake and other shakes with fruits, nuts and seeds.
Walnuts: For healthy functioning of mind omega fatty acids are equally important. Walnuts, flaxseed and fish products like salmon, tuna etc are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids which are important for developement of childs brain.
You can pick lots more healthy options for your child. Keep foods providing empty calories and junk that add no nutrition away from their diets. Use less oil in the food and avoid fried foods. Follow these basics and keep your kids healthy.
If building muscle is what you want then here is some basic information on muscles and how to exercise them effectively to get the size or definition you are looking for.
What is the most basic function of muscle. Muscle apart from physical appearance is important for movement, to maintain posture and is known as the source of power in the body.
They take care of everything from walking to keeping the blood flowing. The best part about muscles are that they are long-lasting, they are self-healing and are able to grow stronger with exercise.
There are three types of muscles in the body. Cardiac muscles in the heart take care of the pumping and functioning of heart, second type are the smooth muscles that are found in the walls of the arteries and intestines and lastly the skeletal muscles which cover our outer body, and are often exercised strength and physical shape.
The skeletal muscle is what we want to develop and not the other two smooth and cardiac muscles. Here are tips to build stronger muscle. Read more
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
Ever wondered that why is it that we eat some foods raw and some that we cook before eating. The health myth around it is that cooking the food kills bacteria and it is not safe to eat it raw. Firstly not all foods can be eaten raw for eg. meats. Meats can’t be eaten raw as it might contain the bacteria borne by the animal itself and need to be boiled and cooked to free it of the bacteria. Secondly its completely healthy to eat raw or slightly cooked vegetables as not only that they are healthiest in their natural form but each of these vegetables have distinct flavors that can only be tasted when eaten raw. Overcooking the vegetables kills the enzymes present in it making it not so nutritious and good for the health and digestion.
Here are a few tips on why to eat this and not that
We all know what muscles are and what are the basic functions that a muscle perform. Secondly, we also know it that by lifting weights and doing high intensity workouts we can build muscle. But do you know that to build muscles, along with the timing of nutrition, there are some foods that are more effective than others at helping you build muscle.
Below are a list of foods essential to building muscle:
Eggs: Rich source of protein and provides important vitamins and minerals.
Nuts: They are rich in fibre, Omega 3 fatty acid (lowers LDL levels) antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium
Beans: Apart from being a rich source of protein, it is also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Yoghurt: Rich in protein and carbohydrates, and good for muscle recovery & growth.
Milk: A rich source of protein , calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin and other essential amino acids.
Fish: Contains omega -3 fatty acids and good source of protein.
Water: Water is essential to deliver nutrients to your muscles for growth & repair. So, water is key to building muscle.
Including these ingredients in your diet will recover your muscles and tissues and provide your muscle with nutrients to keep your muscles pumping for longer time.
Do you feel bloated sometimes from water retention, and wonder how to reduce your water weight and get rid of bloating? Many people experience the problem of bloating which is an increase of water storage in the body due to some foods and health conditions. Bloating leads to increased weight, bloated feeling and overall feeling heavy. Read on to what causes water retention and know how you can reduce water weight.
Reasons for water weight
- High level of Sodium in your body.
- Excess of sugar intake increases the hormone insulin. High level of insulin makes it difficult to get rid of sodium.
- Some medications can make the body store sodium resulting in bloating.
- PCOS, hypothyroid, menopause and other hormonal imbalances.
Tips for reducing water weight Read more
Skipping breakfast doubles your odds of obesity says a research. It is a must for everyone, especially if you’ve got a busy lifestyle. A good nutritious breakfast gives you energy, promotes brain activity and helps you lose weight as you will be craving less for the unhealthy snacks. If you skip breakfast you might not make up for the nutrients missed for the day.
Here are some healthy breakfast ideas and about how it should not be a large meal. ‘Breakfast like a king’ does not mean eat a huge breakfast, as even one very large meal increases your chances of gaining weight.
Basics for a Healthy Breakfast
The breakfast should have a balance of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and some amount of fat in moderation. This will give you maximum health benefits and keep you satisfied and not giving the churns in your stomach.
Here are a few options that you can include in your daily breakfast:
Whole grains: This includes breads and cereals made with 100% whole grain.
Low Fat Protein: Eggs, beans, lean meats, nuts and seeds.
Low Fat Dairy: Low fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, low fat cream.
Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetable juices without any sugar or eat the fruits raw.
Portion Control: Don’t over eat because the extra calories will just get stored as fat.
Benefits of Eating Breakfast
Get the body requirement of nutrients.
You will eat less later through out the day.
Eating healthy breakfast helps lower cholesterol level.
Gives you energy and concentration during work, making you less sluggish.
It helps you in controlling weight.
Keeping cholesterol level down will keep your heart healthy and keep you pumping for longer time.
So, make sure you don’t skip breakfast, and eat it correctly!
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.
Ever wondered why is it that whenever we feel upset or depressed about something we binge on our comfort food and repent later? Most of these foods that provide us temporary comfort are high on calories and only adds to our woes by adding onto our weight.
Let’s see which healthy options can elevate our mood by keeping a balance of our calories as well.
1. Dark Chocolates: Chocolates, in general are loaded with chemicals that enhance mood, seratonin in particular.
2. Yogurt: Besides being a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin B12, yogurt also contains a whole lot of useful bacteria which keeps our immune system intact and helps our stress combating ability. And in studies has shown that yoghurt can improve fat loss.
3. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes help in reducing stress levels as they satisfy body’s craving for carbohydrates and sweets.
4. Nuts: The next time you’re feeling down, help yourself to some crunchy nuts.
5. Water: Lack of sufficient consumption of water leads to dehydration and even a small case of dehydration can cause stress. So, drink up!
6. Fish: Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and importantly, Vitamin B 12 which is an important component for producing serotonin also known as the happy hormone.
7. Asparagus :Asparagus is rich in folic acid and contains magnesium that are famed for their mood-lightening properties
8. Oranges: Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C containing up to 1000 mg of it. They also contain anti-oxidants which prevent the formation of free radicals that cause cell damage.
9. Green vegetables: It provides stress relief, helps enhance mood with regard to depression, panic, anxiety and other emotional disorders. Many green veggies contain potassium which greatly helps calm one’s nerves when stressed.
10. Dried Apricots: Apricots are a rich source of natural sugars and, hence, another perfect option to beat those sweet cravings. A handful of dried apricots are bound to make you happy and healthy.
So the next time you are under the weather include above mentioned list into your daily diet you are bound to notice some changes in your mood for sure.
Did you know that veggies can help build muscle too? Here’s a list of vegetables that can help you build muscle:
Beans/Legumes- All beans and legumes have protein, carbohydrates and fiber. The carbohydrates are slow releasing carbohydrates that supply long lasting energy for your daily routine and workouts. The fiber helps to clean your arteries and we all know protein is used to repair muscle damage and build new muscle. Examples of these are black beans, kidney beans (rajma), chick peas (chole), all types of dals.
Nuts- Nuts like, peanuts, almonds and walnuts are loaded with protein, unsaturated fat, fiber and antioxidants and Vitamin E. Recent studies have shown that almonds can help lower bad cholesterol and reduce waist size. Nuts are also packed with protein for building muscle. Eat them raw, roasted, or chop some into your breakfast oatmeal/cereal
Potatoes- Yes, the much maligned scapegoat vegetable, blamed by many for their weight gain problems, can actually help you gain muscle. Its packed with carbohydrates, fiber, protein, minerals like Iron and Vitamins. Raw, or steamed, it has negligible fat content. Have some mashed potatoes (without the cream/butter) with your post workout meal, to add healthy carbohydrates. These will help to repair the damaged muscle and grow new muscle. In fact, potatoes help you lose weight.
Ice Cream, the classic dessert, get a bad rap for being unhealthy since its loaded with fat and calories. But fat and calories should not be the only factors to test healthiness of food. There are plenty of other factors like nutrients like carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, protein and last but not the least Glycemic Index that affect the health value of food.
Ice cream for example uses milk as one of its ingredients. Studies have shown that three daily servings of dairy can reduce belly fat. Since ice cream contains a high amount of fat, it slows absorption into the digestive system. As a result of this, it is more satiating than other desserts and keeps you satisfied for longer. Also, as a result of high fat content, it has a relatively low Glycemic Index for desserts- Due to this lower GI, it does not spike your blood sugar. High GI foods can promote fat storage in the body.
As we stated in the first line, ice cream is high on fat and calories, so watch your portions. Our suggestion is to go for low fat ice cream, not fat free, since fat free ice cream will have a high GI. As for the toppings, skip the sugar, saucy stuff. If you must, add a few nuts or fruits, since they’re loaded with goodness.
Since ice cream is not as unhealthy and is loaded with calories, it is used on many weight gain diets!
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.