Tag Archives: portion control

7 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

You can’t seem to lose weight. You eat little and you are pretty regular with your exercising then why won’t your weighing scale budge?

You need to read the following 7 Weight Loss Obstacles to discover what is standing in the journey of weight loss -

1. You Don’t Eat Enough

Don’t starve yourself to save calories for later. It’ll only mess up your metabolism. Not only is starving yourself not sustainable for continued weight loss, but also, limiting yourself to too-small portions can lead to excess snacking between mealtimes.

2. You Don’t Practice Portion Control

When it comes to a balanced diet, we know that portion control is one of the keys to success. Keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to make sure your serving sizes are appropriate, and learn how to make control on your portions.

3. You Exercise with An Empty Stomach

If you regularly exercise without eating first, you should reconsider. When you work out on an empty stomach, research shows that the calories burned come from muscle, not fat. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the better it is for weight loss. Not only will fueling your body help you avoid losing muscle, but also, you’ll have more energy to push yourself through your workout.

 4. You Don’t Eat Enough Veggies

Eating five to seven servings of fruits and veggies a day is important for everyone, but dieters who go heavy on the produce are more likely to lose and keep the weight off, since a diet full of plant-based foods offers a greater variety of nutrients with fewer calories — and all that fiber keeps the body feeling full for longer.

5.You Don’t Get Proper Sleep

Sleep plays a very important role in our health. Insufficient sleep is also a big obstacle in the journey of weight loss because we need extra energy to keep up with our exercise routine, and skipping on sleep can affect your body’s ability to control its appetite.

 6. You’re Stressed

The hormone cortisol is produced as a response to stress and was originally the trigger to refuel the body after a crisis. The appetite-stimulating effects of cortisol can mean we eat too much when we’re stressed. To fight the fattening effects of stress, do avoid stress and be happy. Also do workout on daily basis.

7. You Eat While Standing Up

Standing at the fridge or the counter to chow down isn’t saving time and can lead to mindless eating. It’s best to designate time for snacking and meals that’s set apart from other activities.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Important Tips to Lose Weight

How to lose weight is the most common question asked by people who want to lose their weight but are not sure how to go about it. Fundamentally, losing weight is about burning more calories than you eat. This seems simple enough, but if it were really that simple, none of us would have a weight problem.

The healthiest way to reduce weight is neither fad diets nor long exercise sessions. Weight loss works on the simple philosophy of striking an optimal balance between eating healthy food and exercising regularly. Human body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise. Though weight loss goals by most of us are usually set in term of weeks, the end game is to maintain these changes over months and years, hopefully maintaining the lifestyle change for life. Permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work to remain healthy in the long run.

The following weight loss tips should help. If you follow then, it will certainly assist you to lose your weight effectively:

Burn More Calories than You Consume to Lose Weight: The tips that follow won’t work if you are consuming thousand more calories into your body on a daily basis than you are burning.

Healthy Diet: Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is most important factor to lose your weight other than exercise. We have a daily nutritional requirement that we have to meet and anything extra than this gets stored as fat.

- Prefer Complex Carbohydrates: Avoid processed and refined carbohydrates, e.g. white bread, white pasta, and sugary baked foods etc. and choose complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, and legumes. Complex carbohydrates provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which decelerate digestion and make you feel full for longer period. Refined carbohydrates are highly processed and often full of added sugars.

- Emphasize on Fruits & Vegetables: The high water and fiber content in most fruits and vegetables makes them hard to overeat. You’ll feel full long before you’ve overdone it on the calories.

- Don’t Drink Calories, Drink More Water: You can easily cut down your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, aerated drinks with water. Do not drink milk or fruit juice. The juicing process that turns actual fruits into juice actually removes the edible skin & fiber, which contains the majority of the nutrients of fruits and thus reduces the nutrients.

But Caution…!

- Fried vegetables or that have been soaked in heavy sauces are no longer low-calorie and don’t help to lose weight. Choose healthier cooking methods, such as steaming, and use low-fat dressings and spices for flavor.

- Salads are very good unless you soak them in high-fat dressing and toppings.

- Be careful when choosing the dried fruit, which is high in calories and, often, in added sugar. If you do choose to eat dried fruit, keep your serving size small.

Exercises: You may control your diet and eat as per your daily nutritional values but to burn the extra fat you will have to exercise.  In today’s busy world it is very hard to find time to go to gym or even go for a run. Start exercising at least 30 minutes per day. Regular exercise coupled with a healthy well balanced diet is enough to lose your weight successfully.

How Exercises Help in Losing Fat -

- Exercises increase the number of calories you burn each day.

- Exercises increase your metabolism as your body builds new muscle tissues. Muscles use more calories than fat even when at rest!

- Exercises help to use glycogen reserves which trigger the fat burning hormone called glucagon.

Don’t forget that you should focus on sports that increase your heart rate (aerobics). Every extra step you take helps to reduce weight. Always use the stairs instead of the lift.

For a week or so, keep an activity journal and use a calorie calculator or heart rate monitor to know how many calories you burn throughout the day.

Motivation: Diet and exercise are the most important but being motivated is equally required. When we are used to the habit of eating without any restrictions then following a fat free diet and no junk food makes us give up the resolution due to high desire. But once we are motivated nothing can stop us. See what motivates you, maybe celebrity fitness or some friends who worked out and got into shape or the best – a lifestyle makeover. High Motivation is among the most important how to lose weight tips.

Reduce Your Stress Level: Stress diminishes the efficiency of human body as well as the mind. Often, when people are stressed they conquer it by eating something sweet or something that suits their taste buds which don’t help in losing weight. While there are everyday stressful issues you cannot keep away from, there are certain things you can still do to reduce your stress.

- Avoid arguments; whenever you differ to someone then simply agree to disagree.

- Try not to think too much and if you feel yourself starting to tense up then just do some activity that can take away or reduce your stress level.

Get At Least 7 Hours Sleep a Day: Human body needs to recuperate and reboot itself to be energetic again. Irregular sleep patterns spoil the body cycle and reduce the efficiency and recovery time for the body. Lack of sleep makes people want more food, eating constantly and not be able to control hunger. The less you sleep each day, the more tired your body gets which leads to a desire for sweet and high carbohydrate foods to replenish the energy that is missing.

Downsize Your Kitchenware: A simple way to keep your food portions under control and to lose weight! Use smaller dishes, serve meals on a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, and use teaspoons instead of serving spoons to dish out. Using smaller bowls, plates, and containers can subconsciously influence how much you serve yourself.

Chew Your Food Thoroughly: Various studies have shown that the longer time you spend chewing your food, the lesser calories you consume. Chewing food for longer prevents over-eating, by giving the brain more time to receive signals from the stomach that it is full. This is good for digesting the food. Try chewing your food 30 to 40 times for every bite.

Avoid Distractions while Eating: When you do multi-tasking during your meal times, your brain can’t focus on the amount of food that you consume and you are more likely to consume more calories than you requires. Try to avoid having food while working, watching TV, using a computer, reading or driving.

Do Not Abandon Your Favorite Foods: Although, it’s not practical to reduce your body fat while eating lots of food, cakes and sweets. Then how to lose weight by including your favorites? Well, it doesn’t mean that you can never have any treats; in fact you need to learn how to limit these foods to small size, e.g. for special occasions.

Many people do neglect that we all have different body types with different metabolism. So, you need to make sure that your weight loss program is individually tailored for you.

Anyone considering a weight loss plan for effective results should seek  advice from a reliable weight loss service – where the weight loss plan is customized to your needs, should have worked for other people (look for weight loss success stories), and should use the latest research to help you lose weight.

In case if you are looking for professional help to get you started on customized nutrition and exercise plans then write to us at fitness@fitho.in.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Is Flavored Yogurt Healthy

We require 2 teaspoons of sugar in a day if you are looking to lose weight and  about 4 teaspoons if you just want to manage your current weight. But don’t just count the sugar consumption in your tea and coffee but all the other sources that you might consuming sugar indirectlylike your sweetened soda’s, colas, candies, sweetened cornflakes and flavoured yogurt. Often diet programs and nutritionist brag about eating yogurt in the diet as it has probiotics, vitamins and minerals, protein etc which promote better health and is low in calories as well. But is flavored yogurt as healthy as non-flavored yogurt?

Plain Yogurt (Cr/freedigital)

Flavored yogurt which come in a variety of mouth watering flavors don’t contain the real fruit in it but conatins the pureed form which is high in sugar content. Compare the ingredients of regular yogurt and flavored yogurt to understand the difference in  calorie intake. Around 200 gms of flavored yogurt contains 25 grams of added sugar. The extra sugar gets stored in the body as fat and over a period of time this continuous weight gain can cause health complications. The sugar in the flavored yogurt increases the calorie intake by 100 calories for a 200 gm serving.

We are not saying that flavored yogurt is the main reason behind your weight gain. What we mean is that foods like flavoured yogurt are often marketed as health foods. They might be relatively more healthy than the other processed foods but they still are hidden source of high calorie food that are often misunderstood as fat free.

When talking about weight loss it is not just important to eat healthy foods but manage calories either by portion control or choosing healthier options. Sugar provides instant energy and no nutrition. People who have blood sugar problems could experience a sudden increase in sugar levels with flavored yogurt. Instead flavor your yogurt seperately with fruits that you want. Flavored yogurt is also high in sodium content causing water retention in the body and resulting in bloating. (more…)

— 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

Healthy Seasonal Vegetables

Vegetables offer low calories, no fat (when eaten raw) and add lots of vitamins and minerals to the diet. Through out the year we see different vegetables in the departmental store or being sold by our local vendors. We encourage consumption of seasonal vegetables for two reasons, first they are cheaper and secondly they are fresher than those not in season. Most of the vegetables available in summer have high water content as they keep the body cool and replenish the lost nutrition caused due to sweating and general heat. Vegetables are also high in fiber content which keeps us fuller with a healthy digestive system.

Vegetables (Cr/freedigital)

Vegetables are not always tasteless and boring. If prepared well they can be better tasting than most of the processed food available. Besides they build immunity and improve the metabolic functions in the body. People especially watching their weight or suffering from any therapeutic condition or even just living healthy should include portions of vegetables in their diet either as salads or stir fried. You could eat vegetables raw, cooked, individually or in a combination with other vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc. Here are some seasonal vegetables that you can eat this season for good health.

Some summer vegetables and their benefits in keeping us healthy

Lady Finger/Okra/Bhindi: This vegetable is low in calories and it adds just 30 calories per 100 grams. It contains vitamins A, C, K and B vitamins along with flavnoids. It is rich in anti-oxidation properties and helps in vision. It contains important minerals as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. Healthy for people on weight loss as it makes you fell full and adds lots of nutrition too.

Tori/Ridge Gourd: It is beneficial for the stomach and helps reduce blood sugar levels. 100 gms of Ridge Gourd adds just 20 calories to the body. It is rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin c, riboflavin, thiamin, iron and magnesium. The high fiber and low fat content make it effective for weight loss.

Pumpkin: A bowl of pumpkin will add just 30 calories to your diet besides supplying  a lot of vitamins and minerals to the body. It is rich in vitamin A, C and E along with iron, magnesium, potassium, niacin and dietary fiber for better digestion. It contains carotenoids which improve the immune system. It has anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties.

Bottle Gourd/Lauki/Bottle gourd adds just 12 calories per 100 grams. It is 96% water and contains vitamin c and B vitamins. Sodium, iron, potassium are presnt in the vegetable and contains high amount of dietary fiber. It is extremely effective in weight loss, reduces constipation, improves complexion and has a cooling effect on the body.

Gavarfali/ Cluster Beans: Gavarfali (cluster beans) are rich in iron, folic acid, calcium and are an excellent source of fibre. They are best eaten with lentil dals. It only contains 25 calories every 100 gms. High in dietary fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also recommended for weight loss as it  improves metabolism.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Low Calorie Lunch Options

Eating meals timely is important to maintain the metabolism. Untimely meals, delayed meals or even skipping meals slows down the metabolism. What happens when the metabolism gets disturbed? Simple, you start putting weight. Everyone tries to start healthy by keeping breakfast options minimal and healthy. But by the time we reach lunch all the work or a busy day takes a toll over our lunch choices. We dont realize eating unhealthy food will only make things worse both in terms of being bad to the body but also adding stress to our lives. Eating processed and junk food leads to high cholesterol, disturbed sugar levels resulting in high blood pressure, hyper-tension and Type 2 Diabetes.

Vegetable Roll (Cr/freedigital)

We suggest why develop bad habits when its as easy to develop good habits. This doesnt mean you have to punish yourself and live only on raw food and water. It means that if you start planning  in advance you can be more conscious while packing lunch at home or eating out.   Here are some healthy lunch options that you could carry it from your home or buy.

Vegetable besan cheela with low fat curd: This chick pea-flour pancake are packed with protein. It can be prepared in no time and at the same time its tasty as well as nutritious. Chick pea is said to be a good source of fiber and many other nutrients and low in fat. One best thing about this Besan Chilla is that it can be pretty much toyed around with to suit different tastes. You can change the veggies you add to it:  mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, or spinach. One vegetable chilla gives aroun 120-140 calories.

Paneer/Chicken wheat flour Kathi Roll: Kathi Rolls are hot crispy rotis served with a choice of fillings. Use any combination of vegetables like  paneer, mushroom, soya, corn or green peas to make these vegetarian rolls. For non veg fillings you could use chicken. These rolls are ideal for packed lunches as these are quite easy to prepare, pick and eat.The calories varies according to type of filling, But on an average 1 vegetable kathi roll provides around 195 calories. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Low Calorie Breakfast Options

Bread and egg (Cr/freedigital)

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.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

What is Making You Fat

We know enough about the repercussions of being fat, unfit or eating unhealthy foods which can cause metabolic disorder and cause weight gain. Though we read about healthy food options to include in our diet and presume to have fixed all the factors for weight loss but yet weight loss seems to not happen.

Burger (Cr/freedigital)

Did you fix quitting junk food that adds only calories, fats and not nutrition ? Have you started eating foods that are healthier than what you were eating earlier? You are reading the best of advices and following them too but the outcome is not satisfying. Where is it that you are going wrong and what is it that you do to make weight loss happen and not get fat. Fix the loopholes where you are going wrong and correct it to lose weight.

Its not just about eating the right amount of calories , it is about ensuring they meet the daily nutritional requirement intake for a healthy metabolic rate. Read below for factors that probably are holding you back from losing weight.

Fluids: It is lots of water that you have to drink through out the day and not energy drink, iced teas, lemon drinks, sodas and sweetened beverages. Do you know how many packets of sugar are these pre-packaged drinks are adding to your diet  even if they are being marketed as healthy. These drinks might even sabotaging your fitness routine by increasing your daily intake of required calories. Instead stick to water to rev up metabolim and keep the body hydrated.Water is zero calories and preloading with it before a meal can help you lose weight fast.

Portion Control: You feel unsatisfied when you eat small meals. Large meals make more calorie intake which is over your daily nutritional requirement and gets saved as fat. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full.

No Fiber: Fiber helps in better digestion of food and absorbs lots of water from the body. If you have water retention then add fiber to your diet. Fiber also keeps you feel fuller for a longer time without adding any extra calories.

No Exercise: Exercise boosts weight loss. You are eating to your requirement which will help you lose weight but exerise will accelerate the calorie burn in the body and give quicker results. As more muscles are improtant higher metabolism and weight loss, regular exercise will develop muscles in the body.

Missing Meals: Some people miss meals to fasten their weight loss presuming to save calories for the day. Missing meals makes the body go in the mode of starvation where the body burns the reserves slowly. Eat you meals at time as you would miss on the nutrition for that meal. Eating the next meal after the missed meal makes you consume more calories as you are hungry, which would get saved as extra calories as skipping meals slows the body’s natural metabolic rate.

Cheat Meals: It is alright to have a cheat meal once or twice a week but if you are cheating more unhealthy meals for healthy meals then you are slimming your chances of losing fat. It disrupts the weight loss process as the body takes time to adjust to a pattern before showing results.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Say Hello to Food Plate and Bye to the Pyramid

Food plate replaced food pyramid. Instead of stacking food groups in a pyramid (in the order of consumption), food groups are now being laid out on a plate. Instead of pyramid suggesting portions of various food groups striped in rainbow color there will be a new circular chart depicting recommended meals.

Food Plate

More interesting than the design change are the category modifications but missing few items. Let’s compare pyramid with plate and how implementing it will help make our diet healthy.

-         Fruits and vegetables have taken a centre stage, comprising largely half of the plate. Suggesting half of your meal should be vegetables-cooked plus raw (salad) and fruit. Both these food groups contribute to provide essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants guarding our body from any infection. Vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups- dark green leafy, red& orange vegetables, beans & peas,starchy and other vegetables, based on their nutrient content.

-          Former “Meats and Beans” group from pyramid is now simply “Proteins,” The plate further states that at least 50% of the proteins should be lean proteins- pulses, chicken, egg white or lean fish as against meat, ham or organ meat. With an increase in cardiovascular problems and obesity, these guidelines extend a helping hand for consumers to diligently select what they are consuming.

-          One more food group from food pyramid “Milk” is also changed now to “Dairy.” The new guidelines indicate a switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk from full cream milk.

-          Grains which were earlier given a major bottom slab at the bottom now form 65% of a main meal. The new icon nutrition plate states that at least half of the grains consumed should be whole grain ensuring that you get enough fibre in your diet.

-          Close attention to the new MyPlate image shows that there is no representation and guidance for Fats/Oils. Fats/Oil are often linked to many health issues, including risk of heart disease.

Besides some specific advice on food groups, new plate recommends:
-          Enjoy your food, but eat less
-          Avoid oversized portions
-          Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers
-          Drink water instead of sugary drinks
The real aim for new plate undoubtedly is too make healthy eating more easier to understand and implement. Since we use plates at our meals, it’s easy to translate what a well-rounded, nutritional healthy meal should look like.

 

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Lean Body Tips

You can get lean body as fast as you lose fat from your body and bring fat down to 10% of the body weight. Lean body mass is the weight of bones, organs and muscles in the body other than fat. Reduce the fat on the body and increase the muscle percentage for a leaner body with muscles.

Tips for lean body

Fat: Burn the fat in the body and get the fat percentage below 10%. Reducing fat from the body is important in getting a lean body. Quit eating fattening food and oily food.

fitcouple(Cr/freedigital)

Build Muscles: Building muscles will increase the lean body mass and also increase the metabolic rate to burn more fat in the body. Muscles will make the body toned and make you look fitter than usual.

Preloading: It is important to eat according to the body requirement because all the extra calories other than the daily body requirement gets stored as fat. Preload with water half an hour before the meal which will make you eat less along with portion control.

Nutrients: If you are looking for a ripped professional body then you need to balance the intake of protein, carbohydrates and sufficient vitamins and minerals. If there is more carbohydrates and protein in the diet than the body requirement then the extra calorie from them will be stored as fat. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo