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10 Tips On How To Maintain Weight Loss

It can be difficult to lose weight, but it’s been shown that the harder part is actually keeping the weight off. Studies say that 65 percent of people that have lost weight end up gaining it all back (and sometimes more) within just three years of reaching their goal weight. Only about five percent of people are able to maintain their weight loss without regaining any of the weight. Those are some pretty alarming numbers, but how do you join the five percent instead of the majority?

Also, if you’ve never been overweight and are just looking to maintain your weight for the long run, how do you make it easier on yourself? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but we have some solutions on how to maintain a healthy weight. It’s going to take some discipline, sure, but once you seal a habit, it should be easy to keep a healthy weight. Here are 10 things you need to be doing to maintain weight.

Don’t Ditch The Scale

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There are some experts that say you should ditch the scale and only focus on how your clothes are fitting, but research has actually shown that people who weigh themselves more often are less likely to gain weight. People who weigh themselves on a daily basis are more likely to adjust their eating habits if they see a one or two pound weight gain. Not only were people at a healthy weight less likely to gain weight, but those who were overweight or obese had better weight loss results. It even helped college freshman avoid putting on the freshman 15 while their classmates who didn’t weigh in on a daily basis had packed on the pounds.

Don’t Stop Exercising

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One of the biggest reasons why so any people regain weight after losing a significant amount is because they get comfortable and ditch their workout plans. Keeping up your workout routine is shown to help people maintain weight loss, with an average 200 minutes of exercise per week to be the magic number. For those that have lost weight instead of having always been a healthy weight, exercising an average of one hour per day is the key. There could be some adjustments that you have to make to your schedule after having lost weight, but it’s important to keep an exercise routine.

Keep Cheat Days The Same

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For those that have been successful in losing weight, almost all of them had a cheat day thrown in here and there. After reaching a goal weight, it seems that more of those cheat days start to sneak back into the schedule and all of a sudden, every day becomes a cheat day. While you can add more calories to your regular diet to help maintain weight instead of continuing to lose it, keep your cheat days on the same schedule. One day per week where you have a meal of your choosing is a good suggestion to staying on track.

Pack In The Protein

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After dropping a significant amount of weight, your metabolism is going to be burning far fewer calories than when you were at your pre-diet weight. To offset that, eating more protein can help to actually boost your metabolism. Protein helps to fuel your muscles, and having more muscle mass means that you’re burning more calories throughout the day. It’s also going to keep you more full so that you don’t get cravings for junk food or any other unnecessary calories.

Ditch The Alcohol

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There’s nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in moderation, and scientists say that having around one drink per day is actually healthy for you. It’s when you start drinking to excess though that you’ll find the pounds coming back on. Binge drinking adds in a ton of calories, and also leads to lower inhibitions that cause you to eat the foods that you’d normally avoid. Not only that, but excess alcohol intake is also linked with depression, and that could cause you to skip your exercises and overeat, leading to weight gain.

Clean The Counters

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You probably wouldn’t think that countertops would have anything to do with weight maintenance, but you’d be surprised! You know how grocery stores have those candy bars near the register? It’s all in hopes of getting you to make one last impulse purchase before leaving the store, and your kitchen can have the same problem. If you’re leaving junk food or sodas out on the counter, you’re only adding to your temptations. Studies show that women who have left soda on their counter weigh an average of nearly 30 pounds more than those who don’t.

Don’t Sweat Setbacks

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There are likely to be times where you’ve found yourself gaining a few pounds due to changing up your routine by not eating right or getting enough exercise. When this happens, it can be a slippery slope that leads to more weight gain, but you have to take control of it right away. If the scale shows that you’re five or 10 pounds over your goal weight, it’s a good motivator to adjust your eating habits back to healthy ones that same day instead of allowing the problem to snowball.

Water Water Everywhere

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Water is obviously an important compound of our lives, and it’s one of the easiest ways that you can not only maintain weight, but also lose weight. Those who drank water before eating meals ate more than 10 percent fewer calories than those that didn’t, and it can also make you feel more full throughout the day. As a nice bonus, drinking eight glasses of cold water per day even boosts your metabolism so that you’re burning even more calories.

Keep Logging

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One of the more effective tools for weight loss is tracking all of the calories that you’re eating and exerting. It seems like it can be an exhausting process, but once you get the hang of it, it’s rather easy. A problem that people have after reaching their goal weight is that they no longer keep track of their calories. When you’re not measuring or only guessing as to how many calories you’re eating, you can easily lose track and eat too many. So don’t delete that calorie counting app just yet if you want to maintain weight.

Eat More Fiber

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Don’t allow yourself to overeat to maintain weight, and a great way of doing that is by making sure that your stomach isn’t constantly rumbling. Eating more fiber helps you stay in control of your diet, as it’s the most filling nutrient out there. Fiber will also boost your digestive system so that you’re burning more calories and helping your metabolism. There’s an endless amount of benefits that you get from fiber, so make it a high priority!

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10 Tips On How To Boost Metabolism





One of the harsh realities that we have to face is that when we get older, it gets harder to lose weight. It doesn’t just happen when you pass 50 years old or so, but starts happening when you turn just 25 years old. Each year after turning 25, your metabolism slows down by two to four percent, and it keeps on going. For example, a 25 year old woman that’s 5’5” and 130 pounds would burn 1,375 calories per day just from being alive. That means by the time she turns 30, her metabolism could slow down to the point where she’s burning just 1,116 calories per day.

That’s a difference of 259 fewer calories per day. Without changing anything in her diet, that would translate to a 27 pound weight gain in just one year at 30 years old. Those numbers can be pretty shocking, but just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that your metabolism has to drop like that on a yearly basis. If you’re concerned about boosting your metabolism so that you don’t have to cut too many calories to maintain your weight, here are some tips on how to do it. These are simple changes you can make that will last a lifetime and make it easier to avoid weight gain!

Build Muscle

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One way you can avoid weight gain is by…gaining weight? It sounds a little odd to hear at first, but one of the best things you can do for your metabolism is to increase your muscle mass. One of the reasons why our metabolisms slow down is because we lose muscle when we age. Doing more anaerobic workouts can prevent this muscle loss and keep your metabolism revved up. After all, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body is burning even when resting. In the end, you could have a better metabolism than ever before by weight training.

Keep It Cold

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One of the staples of any good weight loss plan is drinking plenty of water every day. There are plenty of reasons to be drinking water, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. Multiple studies have shown that the best reason to drink water is because of what it can do for your metabolism. Drinking 64 to 100 ounces of cold water per day can raise your metabolism by up to 50 calories per day. The cooled water causes your body to increase its temperature, burning more calories to keep you warm. This is why it’s actually easier to lose weight in the winter rather than the summer!

Don’t Stop Eating

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Obviously if you want to lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you’re exerting throughout the day. This could mean that you need to cut back on portion sizes, but that doesn’t mean you should really be eating less than you are now. When you go long lengths of time without eating, your body will preserve as many calories as it can, leading to a slower metabolism. This is one of the reasons why so many people that go on fast weight loss journeys (such as “The Biggest Loser”) are so prone to regaining weight.

Increase Intensity

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Strength-based workouts aren’t the only kind that can boost your metabolism, as high-intensity interval workouts can also help. The mixture of aerobic and anaerobic exercises not only builds muscle but increases your cardio function. These workouts allow you to keep burning calories when you’re finished exercising. They’re also the most efficient in burning body fat, which is an added bonus for long term and short term weight loss.

Get On Your Feet

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Exercising more will of course keep you burning calories, but doing something simple like standing up more often can offset the metabolism slowdown from aging. Standing for three hours per day is the key according to researchers, which can burn around 150 more calories per day than if you were sitting or lying down all day. That can offset any slowdown and add up to help you lose around 15 pounds in just one year!

Avoid Sodas

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Many of us that have tried to lose weight have cut out soda, but didn’t want to give up the fizzy drinks, so we turned to diet soda. It can be effective for losing weight in the short term since it has no calories or sugar, but it can have some lasting effects. The artificial sweeteners confuse your metabolism into thinking you’re going to be ingesting sugar. This slows down your metabolism and causes your body to produce more insulin, which results in more belly fat. Those are things we all want to avoid.

Get Some Rest

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While you should be standing more throughout the day to boost your metabolism, you’ll want to make sure that you get plenty of time lying down and sleeping. Research shows that people who get eight hours of sleep on a nightly basis have higher metabolic rates than those who are sleep-deprived. When you get enough a sleep on a nightly basis, you’re also going to feel less hunger throughout the day and better blood sugar levels. That’s a win-win-win situation!

Eat Your Meat

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We already discussed how adding more muscle mass will increase your metabolism, and one of the best ways to do that in terms of diet is by eating more protein. Eating more protein can offset muscle loss associated, but this requires adding more strength-based training to your daily routine. As a rule of thumb, you should be eating one gram of protein per day per each pound of body weight. For muscle building, that should increase to 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound per day.

Go Organic

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Besides aging, another contributing factor to slowing down your metabolism is toxins within the body. Eating more organic foods that haven’t been introduced to pesticides can increase your metabolism by promoting better thyroid function. When your thyroid’s working at a better rate, you’re burning more calories overall. It can cost a little more to eat organically, but it’s worth it in the long run!

Omega is Alpha

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Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful acids that we can find in a variety of foods and supplements; most notably from seafood. Certain studies have shown that getting more Omega-3 into your diet doesn’t just boost your metabolism by a couple of calories, but rather a few hundred! They will also help all of your organs function, including your digestive system and your thyroid, keeping you healthy and burning calories throughout the day!

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O Positive Blood Type Diet: What To Eat And What To Avoid

There are always certain diets out there that promise results based on a lot of different factors, but one that’s really gathered steam is the Blood Type Diet. This diet focuses on your specific blood type, telling you what types of foods you should be incorporating into your diet to achieve maximum health and weight loss. All in all, there are eight different blood types, making this diet very customizable.

The most common of the blood types is O positive, with an estimated 38 percent of people in the United States with this specific type. In fact, those with an O blood type are able to donate blood to those with any other type of blood, making it very versatile. As wide as the benefits are for having an O positive blood type, it’s said you should stick to a certain diet to lose weight. Here are the foods that you should be eating and avoiding to reach your goals if you have an O positive blood type:

DO Eat: Lean Meats

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According to Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, the founder of the Blood Type Diet, those that have an O positive blood type come from a line of ancestors that were aggressive hunters. For this reason, sticking to a high protein diet is important, and meat makes up for a big part of the diet.

While this does include some red meat, you should be sticking to more lean meats such as turkey, chicken, venison and types of cold-water fish like cod and mackerel. While it might sound like you should stick to a purely carnivorous diet that includes all meats, not every type of meat is going to be for you.

DON’T Eat: ALL Meats

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Certain meats are off of the list that include pork (or any other type of meat from a pig), as well as goose. Seafood that you shouldn’t eat include barracuda, herring, catfish, octopus and caviar. This has been a point of confusion for people on the diet since the high amount of protein seems to fit into the diet. However, these types of meat contain lectins, due to the fact that these meats feed off of other animals. Just remember that if a type of meat is grass-fed, you’ll be OK to eat it.

DO Eat: High Fiber Fruits

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Fruits, in just about every diet, are a very good thing. Most of the time, fruits are low in calories and high in nutrients, but O positive blood types aren’t recommended to eat every type of fruit. Instead, you’ll want to focus on fruits such as prunes, figs and cherries that contain high amounts of antioxidants, but a low amount of acidity. Sweet fruits are OK to eat for O positive, but don’t drink high-sugar juices.

DON’T Eat: Acidic Fruits

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O positive blood types are more prone to digestive problems, which is why it’s suggested that the fruits that are high in fiber. Fruits such as oranges and strawberries don’t really fit this bill, and they also contain high acidity. This could cause further digestive problems for these types. All types of melons should also be avoided as they can contain higher levels of mold than other fruits, irritating allergies.

DO Eat: Green Vegetables

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For those that really want to stick to the O positive blood type diet, not all vegetables are going to be on the menu, surprisingly. Instead, you should focus on the leafy green vegetables that contain high amounts of vitamin K that have been shown to specifically help improve blood flow. This group of vegetables contains lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli and more. Other vegetables that are acceptable, but not exactly leafy greens, include artichokes, pumpkin, horseradish and onions, to name a few.

DON’T Eat: Other Vegetables

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Certain vegetables can affect your thyroid, which should be avoided when you’re an O positive blood type. Cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts fall into this category, even if they seem to fall into the same category as the vegetables you are allowed to eat. Other vegetables you should avoid are mushrooms and alfalfa sprouts due to mold content, as well as corn and potatoes due to insulin production that could cause weight gain and blood problems.

DO Drink: Water and Tea

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It might seem obvious that you’ll want to drink plenty of water (since it’s good for any diet out there), not all of them will also include tea. The recommendation here is that O positive types drink water in any form that includes carbonated water, and most types of tea such as green tea, but not black tea. For those that like to drink, even having the occasional beer or glass of wine is still on the table, but not all alcohol. Distilled liquor is not allowed in this diet, and you should also avoid that morning cup of coffee, switching to caffeinated tea, instead.

DON’T Eat: Dairy

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While you can eat small amounts of dairy as an O positive blood type, it’s probably easier to stay away from this blood group for the most part. Dairy protein isn’t considered to be as beneficial as meat protein, and many O positive types are lactose intolerant in nature. Eggs are also included into this category, though not specifically a dairy product. If you’re going to eat things such as cheese, keep it to types such as mozzarella and keep it in very small amounts. Digestion is a big part of the O positive type diet, and dairy is hard for most to digest.

DO Eat: Nuts

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Nuts typically have a higher protein content than dairy, and are much easier to digest for most people. The healthy fats found in nuts will work wonders for your blood type, and almost all of them are allowed, including almonds and walnuts. There are four types of nuts that aren’t on the list, though, which are cashews, peanuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts. Thankfully, almonds and walnuts are the two most popular types of nuts in the United States, making it a bit easier for O positives.

DON’T Eat: Beans

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According to the O positive blood type diet, beans and many other legumes should be avoided because of the high amount of lectins they provide. These deposit into the muscles and make it difficult to burn more calories. Kidney and navy beans as well as lentils fall into this list. Some types of legumes have been deemed beneficial for O types, however, including Adzuki beans, black eyed peas and pinto beans.

Other Considerations

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According to Dr. D’Adamo, there are other things that O positive blood types should be focusing on for maximum benefit outside of what they’re eating. This includes making small lifestyle changes one at a time instead of overhauling your life and trying to do too much. You should also relax and sit down at meals, eating them slowly to get the best weight loss (and life) results.

As for exercise, the suggestion is pretty standard at four times per week in 30 to 45 minute sessions. That’s the minimum, however, and those that are feeling stressed should look to get out their aggressions through exercise. This also applies to cravings for unhealthy foods or other vices that you might have.

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Food For Colds: What To Eat And Avoid When Feeling Under The Weather

Every year, the average person suffers from two or three bouts with the common cold each year. It can be a nagging illness that can cause you to miss work if it’s bad enough, and usually on its best days can make you not want to do anything. Between the sniffling, the sore throats and the coughing, the cold is never fun to have, but it’s something that pretty much all of us have to endure in the winter and spring months.

Everyone seems to have their own remedies on how to get rid of a cold. For the most part, people tend to rest, drink a lot of fluids and get vitamin C in the form of citrus fruits and orange juice. While oranges are the obvious answer, there are other foods that you should be adding to your diet when you’re under the weather. There are also some that you should be avoiding at all costs. Here’s a closer look at some of those foods than can boost or hamper your clash with the common cold.

DO Eat: Fish

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You might not have the appetite for fish when you’re feeling sick, but it’s going to help you get through a cold. Fish such as tuna and salmon are incredibly low in fat, while also being high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can reduce the inflammation in your body better than just about any other nutrient out there, and even help you prevent getting sick in the future.

With an immediate boost to your immune system and reduction in inflammation levels, fish (and even oysters) help both in the short and long term. Another aspect as to why oysters are helpful is because of the high contents of zinc that can reduce symptoms that include a headache. If you don’t feel up to the task of cooking, taking omega-3 supplements can provide some relief.

DON’T Eat: Anything Fried

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Eating fried foods is something that you typically think about avoiding when you have a stomach virus, but you should also skip eating them during the common cold. If your head is stuffed and your digestive system is fine, it’s not a good idea to make yourself feel even more pain that you did before.

It can be tempting as a lot of fried food is already prepared and easily available at the drive-thru, but go ahead and skip it. Foods that are easily digestible should be your goal here as your body has enough other things to worry about when you’re sick.

DO Eat: Eggs

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Fried foods aren’t going to be easily digestible, but you can still get the protein that your body needs for strength in the form of eggs. Eggs also contain a lot more nutrients while still providing a protein punch and are much easier to digest. Zinc is one of these nutrients that helps you get through a cold quicker.

Just make sure not to overdo it on the eggs, as eating too much can introduce too much fat to the immune system. Then again, you might not have much of an appetite, so eating a small portion should do the trick. Just make sure to avoid most animal foods that don’t come from the seas.

DON’T Eat: Salty Snacks

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This one might sound pretty obvious as foods such as potato chips are the first thing that come to mind when discussing salty snacks. Yes, you’ll want to avoid the chips, but also anything that’s heavily coated in salt. This includes things such as pretzels, sunflower seeds, and even something like watermelon that people tend to put salt on.

The salt can irritate your throat even further, causing more pain and a longer recovery time. There are also many people that get a craving for salty snacks when they’re sick because it’s a bit of a comfort food. While there are times it might make you feel better emotionally, you have to fight off those cravings and opt for something healthy if you expect to get through your cold faster.

DO Eat: Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes might come as a bit of a surprise when talking about the foods that you should be eating while you’re sick. Sweet potatoes (and carrots, too) contain a high amount of vitamin A that provide an immediate boost to your immune system. Vitamin C tends to get all of the love for its immune health benefits, but Vitamin A is just as important.

Mucus production needs to be in control when you’re sick, and Vitamin A does just that. Eating these foods that tend to go hand in hand with the colder months can also help you prevent the flu. If you’re not a fan, other orange foods like cantaloupe and squash will also help, but sweet potatoes are easier to find during this time of year.

DON’T Drink: Alcohol

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When you’re told to drink plenty of fluids when you’re sick, alcohol shouldn’t be one of them. Your body is likely already dehydrated, hence why you’re feeling so dragged down in the first place. Alcohol will only further that issue, leaving you feeling worse. Most people aren’t going to be craving a beer when they have the cold, but other ‘warmer’ forms are also going to hinder your health.

Alcohol itself does kill germs, but not in the way that you might think. Your liver needs to be able to operate to get rid of inflammation, and it’s going to be hard when it has to process alcohol. Certain forms of alcohol can also make your cold worse by causing a histamine reaction that makes your nose more stuffy. You’ll want to fall asleep, but you won’t be able to breathe through your nose!

DO Eat: Garlic

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Gnawing on raw garlic might not sound too fun, but if you’re at the point where you can’t taste or smell anything, you’re probably desperate and more than willing to give it a try. Garlic is packed with antioxidants that can also decongest your nasal passages and introduce vitamins and minerals such as selenium and sulphur that go a long way.

Sure, it doesn’t taste or smell as appealing as a fresh orange out of the refrigerator, but it could be even more helpful. Many researchers have suggested that once you fall ill from a cold, eating one or two cloves of garlic until you’re feeling better can do the trick and speed up the process. Just make sure to have a toothbrush handy and you’ll be good to go!

DON’T Eat: Hot Peppers

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Garlic is a very pungent food, but it’s not the first one we think about when it comes to decongesting. That honor belongs to peppers, and the spicier the better…or so you may think. You probably won’t even want spicy foods if you’re feeling sick all the way to your stomach, but it’s likely best to avoid them even if it’s just a head cold.

If the only symptom you have is a stuffed nose, then hot peppers are a fine treatment. However, those that have a runny nose will want to steer clear. When the nose is already running, spicy foods are just going to make the symptoms worse, causing your sinuses to become more inflamed and create headaches. For now, stick with the garlic.

DO Eat: Yogurt

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A sore throat is one of the more irritating symptoms (literally) of having a cold, and you really just want something nice and cold, but not too harsh, to ease the pain. Yogurt is one of the foods that can do the trick, and it’s not just because it feels good. Yogurt also adds a lot of protein and probiotics without adding too many calories.

Probiotics aren’t something that you think about when you have a cold, usually, but studies have shown that they can prevent you from getting sick in the first place and heal faster. On average, people that take probiotics are sick with the cold for two fewer days. Calcium and other vitamins and nutrients found in yogurt also help your body operate more efficiently as a whole and feel better even when you’re sick.

DON’T Eat: Other Dairy

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Your version may vary depending on how your body handles dairy, but you might want to avoid other types outside of yogurt. Like yogurt, milk can sound refreshing for your throat when you’re sick, but the high concentration of dairy could cause you to produce more phlegm. This doesn’t happen to everybody, but many have reported this symptom from drinking milk or eating other forms of dairy.

Some experts have said that if something like ice cream sounds good (and it probably does if your throat hurts), try for something with less sugar. A sugar-free ice pop can help you numb your throat, and ones that contain beneficial vitamins such as Vitamin C only add to the benefits.

Other Considerations

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Obviously, there are more things than just food that can help you get over a cold faster. You want to rest as much as possible while your body heals, If all of your symptoms are “above the neck” and don’t include fever or achiness, then you should be fine to get some light exercise. Otherwise, stay on the couch or in bed and make sure to drink plenty of water (both cold and warm) and some tea with honey.

Increasing the moisture in your home’s air is also good, and experts say to avoid steam. Taking your standard over-the-counter medications and using nasal drops or sprays can also help symptoms while your body recovers. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’re feeling pretty sick right now, so just make sure to follow all of these steps and pass along the knowledge once you’re feeling back in fighting shape!

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Fast Weight Loss: 10 Tips For Shedding Pounds Quickly





Most of us know that the most effective way to lose weight is by taking it slow and steady, changing around your lifestyle and losing one to two pounds per week. This will help you establish a more permanent weight loss, though you might not have a lot of weight to lose, and simply want to shed a few pounds quickly. It could be because of an event that you have coming up, or a specific item of clothing that you want to wear that might not fit correctly at the moment.

There are some quick solutions that will help you lose weight quicker, though you should still consider going the old fashioned way if you want sustainable weight loss. To get rid of a few extra pounds in about a week or so, though, we do have some tips that can burn those pounds, helping you achieve a short-term goal. As always, though, it’s suggested that you speak with your doctor before starting any weight loss program so you can avoid any complications.

Tip 1: Cut The Carbs

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One of the most effective quick weight loss plans around is the low-carb diet, which some also refer to as the “Keto Diet.” This diet requires you to cut almost all of the carbohydrates out of your diet, and the fewer you eat, the more you can end up losing in a short amount of time. This can be a hard diet to stick to for an extended period of time, but if you need to lose several pounds in a week or two, the low carb plan is perfect.

Once your body has burned through the carbs in your system, your body will start using its fat deposits as its primary source of energy. This might leave you feeling a little tired, so you might want to tone down the lengthy exercise routine if you go this route. Usually under 50 grams per day of carbohydrates can help you reach your goal, even without exercise.

Tip 2: Sober Up

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Even if you’re able to fit alcohol into your daily calorie budget, drinking alcohol can make it so that your waistline bloats despite not gaining any actual weight. Beer is the biggest culprit of this, as consuming large quantities can sit in your stomach and make it appear larger. Not only that, but a long night of drinking can also bring out the cravings for high calorie junk food that obviously won’t help.

You can still have the occasional glass of wine with your sensible meal, but certainly try to avoid drinking to excess. Drinking more water will help with your weight loss plan, even if you add water weight and have temporary bloating, it will go away and the high amount of water will also make your skin look clearer and younger than alcohol will.

Tip 3: Don’t Forget To Brush

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If you’re one of those people that seems to have a problem with snacking in between meals or after dinner, there’s one great way to avoid it. By brushing your teeth after meals, the desire to not eat anything will be stronger than just about any craving. If you’ve ever eaten something like chocolate after having brushed your teeth, you’ll know just how unappetizing it can be.

You’re certainly also helping your dental health by practicing this technique, as dentists already suggest that you brush after eating. Killing two birds with one stone can be hard to find, but this little tip goes a long way. Not many people think of it as a great weight loss tool, however.

Tip 4: Keep It Tight

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As we pointed out, one of the biggest reasons that people want to lose weight quickly in the first place is to fit into certain clothing. If you’re wearing clothes with elastic waistbands, however, you might not be able to tell that you’re losing (or gaining) any weight at all. For this reason, it’s suggested that you wear something tight (that still preferably fits) when trying to go on a diet.

Feeling the tightness of your clothing will help you make better food choices throughout the day. Studies have even shown that you’re much more likely to eat something healthy like a salad or a grilled chicken breast when wearing tight pants that have no give. When the waistband on your pants has the ability to expand, you’re more likely to indulge as there isn’t much discomfort in the way!

Tip 5: Stay Asleep

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Unless you have one of those incredibly rare conditions, you’re not actually eating in your sleep. However, that’s not the only reason why it’s important to get enough sleep while trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that those who are able to get to sleep earlier than they usually do, while also spreading out their eating over the course of 11 hours per day instead of 14, are able to lose 3.5 percent of their weight.

What’s fascinating is that the participants of the study didn’t even change any other aspects of their diet. Having a nice glass of green tea can help you get to sleep earlier, and also has fat burning properties. Just like brushing your teeth after meals, it’s a double-whammy that keeps on giving.

Tip 6: Sugar Free

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Cutting out most of the sugar from your diet on a daily basis can save hundreds of calories alone. That will lead to almost instant fat loss in a short amount of time, and can also lower the amount of insulin in your body. For those that have problems with bloating and holding on to excess water, lowering your insulin could get rid of the excess sodium, allowing you to shed those water pounds.

Many of the foods that don’t have sugar also are low in carbohydrates, playing into the ability to lose weight quickly on a low carb diet. You might get a lot of cravings without sugar or carbs in your diet, but if it’s a temporary change, it’s doable. You’ll also want to avoid picking up that candy bar at the gas station, obviously. Try adding more fruit, instead!

Tip 7: Fiber-Filled Mornings

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You might not be one of those people that feels hungry in the morning, but eating breakfast is important to quick weight loss. You’re setting the tone for the rest of the day, and the best way to avoid overeating later on is by eating more fiber for breakfast. Foods such as fruit and oatmeal will help you feel more full during the times when you would typically get cravings for junk food.

Not only does fiber keep you full, but it keeps your digestive system working. This will reduce bloating and increase your metabolism. Eating fiber helps you sleep, too, and we’ve already pointed out how getting more sleep at night can help you lose weight!

Tip 8: Get To Stepping

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While most of the weight loss you can accomplish is in the kitchen, it certainly doesn’t hurt if you get active. Doctors suggest that you get around 10,000 steps per day, as it can burn 3,500 extra calories over the course of one week. That translates into one pound of fat, and if you’re not already getting that many steps on a daily basis, it’s an easy way to get a quick weight loss boost.

For those that are already getting exercise, you can slightly increase the amount that you’re doing if you want to lose weight, but don’t push yourself too hard. Keeping up your regular routine and changing your eating habits is the easiest way to shed pounds. Fitting in small exercises throughout the day can be beneficial, though, even if it’s just five minutes of walking, some sit-ups or taking the stairs.

Tip 9: Get Spicy

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Shedding a few pounds in a short amount of time can sometimes be as simple as just adding spicy foods to your diet. It’s been shown over several studies that spicy foods are great for your metabolism, as your body temperature rises due to the amount of capsaicin. The burning sensation that you feel in your mouth can also help you avoid sugary cravings.

Adding cayenne peppers have been shown to possibly burn an extra 110 calories over the course of one day for some people. Surprisingly, this works better for people that only have a few pounds to lose, making it perfect for quick weight loss. Since your body might develop a tolerance, that makes it even more ideal for a short-term diet plan.

Tip 10: Pump Iron

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Cardio exercises are a great way to burn more calories, but lifting weights can help you even after your workout is over. By building muscle, you increase your metabolism, and will even help more if you want to keep the weight off for good. It’s suggested to lift weights three to four times per week, and even if the scale doesn’t move because of the added muscle, you’ll still notice a slimmed down effect from lower body fat.

If you want to go this route, adding foods that are high in protein help fuel your workouts and build muscle faster. Even better, you can get rid of some of the excess skin by doing weight-based exercises. Combining some cardio in your routine makes for the perfect weight loss tool!

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Gallbladder Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

The gallbladder is one of those more overlooked organs, since you can technically live without them. Similar to the appendix, spleen and others, the gallbladder won’t hurt your quality of life if you have to go without. So what exactly does the gallbladder do besides create occasional pain and gallstones? This organ stores bile that is then released into your small intestine, which does make it helpful in the digestion process.

If you find yourself in a situation where your gallbladder might be causing you problems, changing your diet can be much more beneficial than having surgery to remove the gallbladder. What exactly should you eat and avoid on a gallbladder diet? Here is a general guideline that will help you reduce pain and potential gallstones.

DO Eat: Citrus Fruits

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Citrus fruits are some of the most beneficial for your overall health, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that they’re a good part of a gallbladder diet. Between oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and more, citrus fruits are good at preventing gallbladder problems due to the high concentration of vitamin C. Many fruits are great for your gallbladder, but citrus fruits really stand out. They’ll help to break down cholesterol so that your gallbladder isn’t working as hard, relieving a lot of pain.

DON’T Eat: Red Meat

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Red meats (such as high-fat ground beef) are perhaps the worst foods that you can eat for your gallbladder. While other foods like nuts are also high in fat, they aren’t going to be as nearly as bad for your because of the types of fat. Red meat contains saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and high amounts of cholesterol. These will block the gallbladder’s efforts, creating pain and the possible gallstone.

DO Eat: Leafy Greens

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Just like all fruits are good for your gallbladder but citrus stands out, all vegetables are good for your gallbladder while leafy greens stand out as the best. These greens are higher in iron and B-vitamins, as well as antioxidants. These will all combine to not only prevent gallbladder disease, but fight off the free radicals that could affect other organs in the body.

DON’T Eat: Pasteurized Dairy

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Many dairy products are similar to red meat in the fact that they’re high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which aren’t good for a healthy gallbladder diet. Some people might mistake being lactose intolerant for having a gallbladder issue, so make sure to speak with a doctor if you’re experiencing constant abdominal pain after eating dairy to find out. You can take supplements to get enough vitamin D and calcium if dairy is your main source for these nutrients, as well.

DO Eat: Whole Grains

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Getting whole grains is great for your digestive system overall because of the high amount of fiber found in each serving. Some of the whole grains that you should aim on eating include brown rice, oatmeal, barley and bran. Like lactose intolerance, you might actually be gluten-intolerant if you find that eating whole grains causes you abdominal pain. For everyone else, though, eating more whole grains boosts gallbladder productivity and will provide an energy boost, too.

DON’T Eat: Fried Foods

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Even if it’s something healthy like vegetables, eating anything that was fried is going to be a hindrance on your gallbladder. Frying foods adds a lot of saturated fat that can clog up the system, so you’ll have to cut out fried meats, potatoes and much more. The grease that results from frying these foods also hurt the gallbladder. If you feel sluggish after eating a meal that’s high in fried foods, just imagine how much worse it would be if you have gallbladder problems already.

DO Eat: Lean Meat

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Not all meat is off the menu when you’re on a gallbladder diet, thankfully. Doctors suggest that to get your servings of meat while taking care of your gallbladder to try and focus on fish. Salmon is one of those lean meats that has no saturated fat, and is low overall in fight while also being high in protein. Lean beef is also acceptable in smaller amounts, but try to make sure that it’s the extremely low-fat percentage meat. As for poultry, turkey is typically a safe option if you can’t find boneless and skinless chicken.

DON’T Eat: Desserts

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Most of the desserts that people enjoy are usually processed more than you could possibly imagine. Not only is ice cream out of the picture (which we touched on in the dairy department), but other processed desserts such as donuts, cookies and other baked goods should be avoided. Anything that’s processed in general isn’t safe for the gallbladder, which includes popular snack foods such as potato chips. Giving up all of your favorite foods can be rather difficult, but you’ll thank yourself when you don’t have gallbladder pain.

DO Eat: Low-Fat Dairy

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We told you that avoiding most dairy products is a good idea on your gallbladder diet, but there are certain dairy products that are still relatively safe to eat. If you feel the need to include dairy, opt for the products that are fat-free such as certain types of yogurt, sour cream and cream cheese. Even certain low-fat types of cheese and milk can be had in small amounts for people that want to take care of their gallbladders. For those that don’t want to completely ditch dessert, there are certain types of ice creams, sherberts, sorbets and more that you can still enjoy!

DON’T Eat: Eggs

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One type of animal product that you have to avoid altogether, though, is the egg. Research has shown that eggs can cause biliary congestion and gallstones, prompting inflammation and pain. Eggs are high in fat and cholesterol, even if studies have found that these might help other organs such as the heart, they aren’t good for the gallbladder. Doctors will tell you that it’s one of the first foods to cross off the list if you’ve had your gallbladder removed.

Things to Consider

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On top of sticking to the foods on this gallbladder diet and avoiding ones that could be potentially harmful, there are a few other things that you can do to help. Being overweight can also cause harm to your gallbladder, so regular exercise and getting down to a healthy weight will help relieve symptoms of gallbladder pain. Just make sure not to lose weight too fast, as crash dieting can also create gallbladder problems. Certain herbs such as turmeric and rosemary oil are also helpful for your gallbladder. Just be mindful and think of the long-term effects of foods before you eat, and just use the reminder of the pain of your gallbladder to help you stick to the right path!

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Gout Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

One of the more common forms of arthritis, gout is caused when your body has too much uric acid. Most of the pain is felt in your foot, specifically in the joint of your big toe. Not only does uric acid cause gout, but there are other factors that include being overweight or consuming too much alcohol. Gout is on the rise in the United States, and it’s estimated that more than 8 million people currently have this ailment that causes great pain.

Eating a healthy diet that concentrates on lowering your uric acid and purines is the best way to avoid gout, as well as the symptoms that come with it. Foods that would normally be considered healthy might not be good for gout, while others that you might think would cause gout can actually help. Let’s take a look at some of the foods you should be eating and avoiding if you want to stay away from gout.

DO Eat: Cherries

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Many of the fruits out there are going to be able to help you control gout, but cherries stand far above the rest. Studies have shown that people who eat an average of 20 cherries per day reduce their chances of a gout flare-up by 50 percent. Even those who simply used a cherry extract were able to reduce their gout symptoms by around 40 percent. 20 cherries might sound like a lot, but that’s just over a one cup serving. Cherry juice was also found to be very helpful, and doctors suggest drinking a glass (without added sugar) if you’re experiencing gout pain.

DON’T Eat: Red Meat

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Pretty much all types of meat are going to be off the menu if you want to avoid gout, though there are certain types that aren’t as harmful. Red meat can cause gout flare-ups due to the high amount of saturated fats and purines that can cause more uric acid in the blood. Doctors suggest that avoiding all animal organs such as liver is the most important, as these can not only cause gout pain, but also give you gout if you haven’t been diagnosed with the disease before. Limiting yourself to just a few ounces of lean animal protein per day is the suggestion to avoid gout pain.

DO Eat: Low-Fat Dairy

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Giving up meat is hard enough, but imagine if you had to give up dairy because of gout, as well. Thankfully you don’t have to, as long as you’re sticking to low-fat or nonfat dairy products. Dairy was at one point to be thought of as something that makes gout worse, but a more recent major study said that milk drinkers that stuck with skim milk decreased their gout symptoms. This also meant that low-fat yogurts and other forms of dairy would be helpful in preventing gout flare-ups, and uric acid levels decreased in just a couple of hours after eating this form of dairy.

DON’T Eat: Gravy

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Most of us have eaten gravy, even if we don’t know the exact ingredients. Most brown gravy in the United States is made up of roasted meat or poultry, combined with vegetables and water. It makes for a tasty dressing for certain foods, but it’s something to avoid if you have gout. Because it’s made of the juices from meats, you’re almost extracting purines directly from animals to make gravy. Doctors have found that just about any other type of dressing or sauce is better for gout than gravy, as the high concentration is almost certain to lead to a painful flare-up.

DO Eat: Sweet Potatoes

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Many of the vegetables that we eat on a regular basis are actually high in purines, but vegetables haven’t been linked to an increase in chances for gout or an increase in symptoms. Sweet potatoes are among the vegetables that are lowest in purines, and carry plenty of anti-inflammatory properties. By not adding to your uric acid levels while also decreasing the amount of inflammation in your body, sweet potatoes are among the most suggested vegetables. The general rule of thumb for gout sufferers is that orange vegetables (such as carrots) are the best for your diet.

DON’T Eat: Certain Seafoods

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Overall, seafoods present a lot of great health benefits. Unfortunately for gout sufferers, many of the seafoods that we love aren’t going to see much of a benefit. Doctors suggest that you avoid seafoods such as trout, scallops, sardines, anchovies, mackerel and tuna if you want to prevent gout and the pain associated. That doesn’t mean that all of the seafoods you love aren’t available, though, as you can still eat a moderate amount of fish such as salmon, catfish, tilapia and tuna. As long as you aren’t frying these types of fish, you’ll see an overall benefit that includes reduced chances of gout.

DO Eat: Whole Grains

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Whole grains make up a huge part of the daily suggested diet, with doctors saying that you should be getting around half of your calories from this category. By doing so, you increase your overall health and reduce chances of gout, as they’re low in purines and high in nutrients that reduce inflammation. Whole grains such as barley, millet, rye and buckwheat were found to be the best for preventing gout in the long run.

DON’T Eat: Asparagus

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We mentioned earlier that many vegetables are high in purines, but ones such as sweet potatoes are still fine if you have gout. One vegetable that you should avoid, especially cooked, is asparagus. While not as high in purines when raw, you shouldn’t eat more than one serving of cooked asparagus at a time, as well as spinach. These vegetables have the highest concentration of purines, even if they are healthy for you overall.

DO Drink: Coffee

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There have been some studies that showed that coffee can actually increase the chances of gout, but you actually lower your chances with the more coffee that you drink throughout the day. When not adding cream or sugar to your coffee, the study found that over more than 45,000 people that didn’t have gout reduced their chances of developing gout by around eight percent with one to three cups per day. For those that drank more than five cups per day, they were able to reduce their chances of gout by nearly 60 percent! Doctors suggest that you stick to drinking plenty of water to avoid gout, but just know that coffee isn’t off the table like some might think.

DON’T Drink: Beer

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Avoiding alcohol should be at the top of your list if you suffer from gout, though you can have the occasional glass of wine or drink of liquor without having to worry. It’s when you have several beers at a time, though, that you’ll really experience problems. Beer has a massive amount of purines in each serving, and within a few hours can drastically increase the amount of purines in your body. One study showed that you increase your chances of gout by 50 percent if you have a daily beer, and it only gets worse the more you drink, with those that already have gout suffering from worse flare-ups when drinking.

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Healthy Grocery List: What You Need in Your Cart





Eating healthy sounds like a daunting task, especially when you’re at the grocery store. With aisle upon aisle of food (including a lot of temptations), you might be confused as to what to stock up on, and what to skip. Assembling a healthy grocery list doesn’t have to be hard, though. While you might not be able to get everything in one trip, stocking up your cart with good, healthy foods and avoiding picking up too many high calorie snacks is a great way to eat healthy.

When your kitchen is stocked with healthy food, you’re much less likely to eat out, saving yourself a lot of money and calories. So what exactly does a healthy grocery list look like? It will make your trip to the store much easier if you plan ahead of time, and focus on fulfilling each food group at once. We’ve broken down what experts say is the perfect shopping list so that you know what to get before you even pull into the store, making your life much easier and much healthier!

Vegetables

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The first stop you’ll want to make on your grocery visit is straight to the produce section. In most cases, vegetables are right at the entrance of a grocery store, meaning that you literally have to pass vegetables on your way in and out to avoid them. These are the most essential items to get into your shopping cart. If you’re shopping for one person in your home, you can make it easier by getting smaller amounts of the following veggies:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Artichokes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower

Fruits

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Right next to the vegetables (and sometimes they just blend them in together depending on the supermarket) is the fruit. Fruit is also an essential part of any diet, and more people tend to stock up on fruit more than vegetables. Like veggies, however, fruits tend to have a pretty short shelf life. Thankfully, most fruits are ones where you pay by the pound, meaning that you can take just a little bit instead of having to worry about large packaging sitting around like some unhealthier snacks out there. Here are the most important fruits to pick up:

  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Melon (Cantaloupe or Watermelon)
  • Apples
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Mangoes

Meats

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Take the first corner around the produce section, and you’re likely to run into the deli and meat department. While meat not might be for everybody, it’s still a common staple in most households around the world. Instead of going for the fatty beefs that are usually much cheaper, try and splurge a little to get some of the healthier types of meat. Some meats, including chicken, are actually much cheaper than most types because of how common it is. Here are the meats to key in on when shopping:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Tuna
  • Turkey (Breast and Ground)
  • Bison
  • Salmon
  • Sirloin Beef
  • Pork Tenderloin

Grains

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Most people know what the word grains means, but it can be a little confusing to know how to fill your grains quota when shopping. Basically, a grain is anything where the main component is wheat, oats, barley or rice. There are other types of grains, but the ones you should specifically be looking for are whole-grains. These are going to be much more beneficial for your health overall. To make it a little less confusing in the grocery aisles, here are the whole-grains to look out for:

  • Whole-Grain Pasta
  • Whole-Grain Bread
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal (or Rolled Oats)
  • Whole-Grain Cereal (or Granola)

Dairy

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The dairy section is pretty easy to manage as it’s all in one department, but some people tend to load up on too much dairy. Getting the right types for your home will make for better health. It’s suggested that you receive two to three servings of dairy per day. Compared to the four to five servings of fruits and vegetables or the six to eight servings of grains, and dairy won’t take up much room in your cart. Here are the essential dairy products that you probably pick up when you go shopping as it is:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Almond Milk (or Skim Milk)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • String Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Butter

Oils, Condiments and Sauces

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You never really want to load up on too many oils in one day, as doctors suggest you stick to no more than three servings. That’s because the same category also contains fats, so you might be able to get away with an extra serving by sticking to healthier oils instead. Some condiments are surprisingly healthy because of their ingredients, even if they don’t seem that way at first glance. You’ll have to skip the sugary barbecue sauce, but here are some great condiments and oils to take its place:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Honey
  • Hot Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Low-Fat Mayonnaise (Such as Olive Oil Mayo)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Sugar Free Jam
  • Olives

Legumes

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If you’re trying to stick to 1,600 calories per day, you should be eating three to four servings from the nuts, seeds and legumes department. We’ll get to nuts in just a moment, but you want to make sure you have enough legumes, first. For those sticking to a 2,000 calorie per day plan, you’ll need four to five servings from this group. Legumes are easy to fit into your healthy eating plan, and they also happen to be among the cheapest foods that you’ll find in the supermarket. Here are the legumes to add to your healthy grocery list:

  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • Lentils
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Kidney Beans

Snacks

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We all love our snacks, but the ones that we usually pick up from the grocery store can be terrible for us. Between potato chips, cookies and a bunch of other processed junk, try to snack on more natural foods. Even though you might be groaning at the thought of leaving the Oreos on the shelf already, there are still plenty of nutritious snacks that taste great. Don’t believe us? Have a glance at some of the snacks that experts suggest, and you’ll realize that snacking healthy isn’t the bad after all:

  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pickles
  • Raisins
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hummus
  • Trail Mix
  • Whole-Grain Crackers or Chips

Frozen Foods

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If you can’t get to all of the meat you stocked up on from earlier in the list, then using your freezer is a great way to prevent wasting money at the grocery store. Thankfully, there aren’t many other frozen foods that we suggest you pick up, leaving plenty of room for all of the perishables that you want to save. Many of the frozen foods we suggest are actually just frozen versions of healthy foods that we’ve already listed! Take a look:

  • Frozen Berries
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Low-Fat Yogurt
  • Whole-Grain Waffles
  • Frozen Seafood (Such as Shrimp)

Beverages

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If you’re trying to stay healthy, you want to walk completely past the soda section. We didn’t even include diet sodas on this list, even though they don’t contain calories. For a better low calorie option, water is always the way to go, and any health expert will tell you the same. The beverage list is pretty short (especially considering you likely have good drinking water at home), so here’s the small amount of beverages you need to pick up on your list:

  • Pure Fruit Juice
  • Bottled Water (Sparkling or Non)
  • Tea Bags
  • Coffee
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High Calorie Foods: Surprising Snacks That Can Derail Your Diet

When you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, the primary number that you need to focus on is the amount of calories you’re taking in against how many you’re using in a day. At the same time, you want to make sure that you’re also getting enough nutrition to help your body function more efficiently. It can be tough to find the right balance, though sticking mainly with fruits and vegetables is a great way of being able to lose weight and build health.

Some of those foods that are good for your overall health, however, might be hiding a lot more calories than you think. These are foods we traditionally think of as being good for us, and many people have made them part of their weight loss plans without knowing how many calories were within. If you’re having trouble losing weight, you might be eating the right foods, but not the right portion sizes. To show you which ones you should cut back on, here are some high calorie foods that might surprise you.

Quinoa

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One of the trendier food options, quinoa has become a dietary staple for vegetarians and vegans alike, while also gathering steam in the gluten-free community. Those that are actively avoiding meat love quinoa because of the high amount of protein at 8.1 grams per cup (cooked), but that same portion size has 222 calories. It can be easy to lose track of how much you’re eating since it’s so dense, and tucking away 400 calories as a side dish can be an unpleasant surprise.

Avocado

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We love avocados because of all of the healthy fats that can boost your heart health, as well as the whopping 9.2 grams of fiber. Avocados are also incredibly high in nutrition with more than 20 percent of a half dozen essential vitamins and minerals, but it’s one of the highest calorie fruits you can find. One avocado without the skin and seeds (136 grams) contains 227 calories. For those that eat a cup of pureed avocado (which has become quite common), you’re looking at 384 calories from this fruit…but at least you’re getting great nutritional value that junk foods can’t provide for the same calorie count.

Granola

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Granola is often touted as one of those healthier breakfast options, and typically consists of oats, honey and nuts. Even the unsweetened varieties, however, can be packed with calories, which is surprising due to how it’s marketed. In fact, granola actually became popular for being high calorie as hikers would often bring it (or trail mix) as fuel for long trips. Your standard granola that you get from the store contains nearly 400 calories in one cup. For reference, the same serving size of Wheaties in the morning is just 106 calories.

Corn

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When it comes to dieting, not all vegetables are created equal. Corn does have a lot of nutritional value and helpful antioxidants that help you in many ways, but it’s not great for your diet. Even without the butter, sweet yellow corn contains more than 130 calories in a one cup serving. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, think back to the last time you ate corn. There’s a good chance that you ate well over one cup, making this a sneaky food. While you can certainly work it into your diet, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.

Macadamia Nuts

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Most of us already know that nuts, for the most part, are incredibly high in calories but have plenty of other benefits to provide. If you’re trying to lose weight, try to stick to a lower calorie nut in small portions such as the almond or cashew. These can typically come in 100 calorie packs, which is a huge life saver. If you want to avoid the big calories, stay away from macadamia nuts. Just one ounce contains a touch over 200 calories, while eating an entire cup (132 grams) is nearly 950 calories! For the lowest calorie nut or seed, you’ll want to look for the chia seed.

Dried Fruits

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Fruits are a great part of any diet, really, but you’ll want to steer clear of any dried fruits if you’re cutting calories. Dried fruits typically contain much higher amounts of sugar, which means a lot more calories per serving. For example, dried cherries and blueberries contain more than 250 calories per each half cup serving. Raisins and prunes aren’t too far behind at 217 and 224 calories, respectively. Fruit juice can also be sneaky, especially if you’re drinking more than a few ounces at a time.

Whole-Wheat Bread

Shot Code C
Shot Code C

White bread has gotten a rotten reputation in the health community, as many people like to point out the problems with eating too much of it. Whole-wheat bread, on the other hand, gets a good reputation for having more natural ingredients. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate to fewer calories. In fact, whole-wheat bread contains more calories than white bread on average, clocking in at 70 calories per slice. Since many of us eat two at a time, that’s 140 calories right there. There are some lower calorie alternatives, thankfully, as some brands have whittled it down to 30 to 35 calories per slice.

Mackerel

If you’re trying to lose weight, seafood is usually a good way to go. Certain types of fish, though, are much lower in calories than others. Out of all the common types of fish we eat, it’s the mackerel that has the most calories at 231 per three ounce fillet (cooked on dry heat). In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a bad way to eat a meal, but three ounces is a fairly small portion compared to how much fish people can eat in one meal. Taking one fillet and combining it with healthy vegetables is a great 400 calorie meal, just make sure not to go overboard.

Hummus

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Just like quinoa, hummus has become trendier in some parts of the world despite being a very old recipe. Normally made with chickpeas and other ingredients that would be considered healthy on their own, hummus combines them all for a high calorie snack. Just one cup of hummus is more than 400 calories, though you are getting quite a bit of fiber and protein. Since you usually snack on hummus with pita chips, you can expect to add a lot more calories and end up taking in more than 700 for just one snack that you might have thought was much lower in calories.

Smoothies

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Smoothies can be a great way to cool off in the summer or even get a quick start to your day, but you want to make sure that you’re preparing them at home. If you want a low calorie smoothie, be prepared to sacrifice some of the taste, using just one type of fruit and a small amount of milk or yogurt. The types of smoothies that you find at chain restaurants (such as McDonald’s or Jamba Juice) are packed with calories because of added sugars. For reference, a Peach Pleasure smoothie from Jamba Juice is 280 calories in just a small cup, and goes to nearly 500 calories for a large!

What to Consider

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Finding low calorie foods that also provide you with the nutrition your body needs can be tough when you’re trying to lose weight. Even though the foods we listed are higher in calories than you might have thought, you can still work them into your diet. Being able to cut the portion sizes will still provide you with many of the great nutrients, while also helping you meet your calorie goals. Remember, you have to burn off 3,500 calories more than you eat just to burn one pound of body fat. That can be a tough goal to achieve, so remember to take your time and make sure you’re counting the calories you take in so that you meet your goals!

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Calories Burned Calculator: Which Activities Burn The Most Calories?

When it comes to losing weight, the most important number you need to look at is the amount of calories you’re expending versus the number of calories you’re consuming. Some people might think that they only burn calories when they’re exercising, but your body is actively burning calories throughout the day, and even when you sleep. The average person burns between 1,600 to 1,800 calories if you live a sedentary lifestyle. This means if you’re eating 200 calories per day, you’ll end up gaining anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds in just one year.

It seems pretty rough to stick below that number, which is why people add exercise to their routines to lose weight. No matter what type of activity you’re doing, your body burns through extra calories to use as energy, as long as you’re not sitting at the desk or on the couch. So which activities are going to help you burn the most calories? Let’s take a look at some of the best calorie burners, showing you what the average 140 pound female would go through in a given time period.

Bicycling

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Just going around on a bicycle while putting in some moderate effort can burn an average of 445 calories per hour. Of course, the faster you crank up the speed, the more calories you’re going to be using. Even going slowly (under 10 miles per hour) is a good time consumer that burns around 200 calories in an hour. The 445 calories per hour comes between 12 to 14 miles per hour, making it comfortable, yet still a calorie burning challenge. Competitive racers that are going over 20 miles per hour can burn nearly 1,000 calories in a single hour, though you’ll have to work your way up to that level.

Running

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Running, the oldest exercise in the book, has been one of the most effective calorie burners for longer than time can even tell. The good news is that you don’t have to be a marathon runner to burn a lot of calories while hitting the pavement (or treadmill). Running at a modest pace of 10 minutes per mile will let you travel six miles in one hour, burning an estimated 572 calories. If you can cut your mile time down to an average of eight minutes per mile, you’ll be burning through an incredible 730 calories. So it doesn’t matter what speed you’re going, as long as you’re going!

Swimming

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Not only is swimming a great calorie burner, but it’s also great for building muscle in all parts of your body. It takes a lot of energy to get a good swimming pace going, so it can be difficult to get into at first. Once you get into better swimming shape, you’ll notice that it gets easier and the effects on your body are tremendous. Swimming laps, no matter the style that you use, can burn more than 375 calories in an hour. Even something simple as treading water can burn around 200 calories, while the most effective style is the butterfly, burning 635 calories in a single hour.

Jumping Rope

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The workout that’s used by boxers to improve cardio and agility is a calorie burning machine, and one of the workouts that’s withstood the test of time. Jumping rope for an hour at even a very slow pace is very effective, burning around 450 calories in an hour. If you work up to a moderate pace, you can burn about 575 calories, while keeping the tempo to your peak performance will torch an insane 700 calories per hour. This is another one of those workouts that you’ll have to build up stamina to get the most efficient calorie burn, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Tennis

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One of the older sports that’s popular around the world, tennis is incredibly easy to pick up and play, especially if you have a partner to go one-on-one with. Tennis requires a lot of quick movement, with stopping and starting becoming very common, breaking you out into short sprints. In a singles game of tennis, it’s estimated that you can burn around 445 calories after an hour of competition. Adding a partner to your team for a doubles match knocks it down to 254 calories per hour, which still makes for a good, fun and easy exercise.

Basketball

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Just like tennis, basketball is a sport where it’s easy to find other people to play with, especially at your local recreational center. Getting into a competitive basketball game requires a lot of running from end to end, making it a great cardio exercise. Playing a one hour game can burn 445 calories, just like tennis. Even if you decide that you just want to work on your skills by dribbling around and shooting, you can still burn around 320 calories, as long as you grab your own rebounds instead of just taking jumpers while someone else corrals the ball for you. If you want to be a basketball referee, you can even burn 380 calories per hour.

Backpacking

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Some of the biggest fitness enthusiasts around swear by hiking and backpacking as ways to burn calories. The heavier the load is on your back and the steeper the uphill climb, the more calories you’ll burn. The average backpacker will go through about 380 calories in just one hour, while you can burn more than 500 in an hour if your backpack weighs around 40 pounds. Obviously, you’ll want to lighten the load unless you’re big enough to carry that much weight, as it can definitely hurt your back. Even just hiking through the countryside will burn more than 300 calories per hour without a backpack on!

Aerobics

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Dance classes that teach aerobics have been in style for a long time now, with fun new ways to get people into the gym. They’ve also been very effective in calorie burning, especially in aerobic dances such as Zumba. The average high impact aerobic exercise burns nearly 400 calories per hour, while the lower impact versions can still burn more than 250 calories in the same time. Most forms of dancing are great for cardio and calorie burning, especially when you add steps to the mix.

Golf

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While most people think of golf as a relaxing recreation, playing 18 holes can use up a lot of energy. As long as you’re carrying your own clubs, you’ll plow through calories in no time during your next round. Walking with your clubs burns an estimated 225 calories per hour, and the average 18 hole round lasts for about four hours, making it a 900 calorie exercise. Pulling your cart takes away some of the calories burned, but still comes out to about 840 calories burned during a round. Even if it’s one of those days where you feel like taking the cart, you’ll burn around 160 calories per hour.

Things to Consider

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If the numbers do seem a bit low for the amount of calories burned, just keep in mind that we used a 140 pound female for the examples. A 200 pound male will go through calories much faster, with many of these exercises burning off more than 1,000 calories per hour. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to do endless hours of exercise to lose weight, as your body will be burning calories. Simply standing will burn a few extra calories throughout the day, so the main thing to look for is what you’re eating.

For example, let’s say that a 5’4” and 30 year old woman weighs 150 pounds, but doesn’t get much exercise at all. To lose two pounds each week, she’d only be able to eat 662 calories in a day, which is well below what doctors recommend. Adding in an hour of exercise can increase that number to a much more manageable 1,000 to 1,200 calories, while that same person would need 1,662 calories in a day to maintain weight without exercise. Just make sure you’re tracking the numbers of what you’re eating and how much you’re burning while exercising, and losing weight becomes much simpler!