Sunday, 27 March 2016

Healthy Eating Myths That You Must Break

Regular exercise, checking your serving portions and eating right. Healthy eating requires a lot of will power and commitment. However, there are a number of myths that continue to deceive dieters and healthy eating advocates. The key to eating healthy lies in how you check out the food items you buy, as well as on how dedicated are you in making sure that you watch what you eat every day. Here are some food myths that you need to watch out for.

All Low-Fat Foods Are Healthy

When you go to the grocery store, and you see food items labeled as “low fat” or fat-free”, beware of them. Just because they have the “fat-free” sign posted on them doesn’t mean that they’re truly healthy. The truth is that some of these food items actually have the same number of calories as the regular versions, and sometimes sugar is added to replace the flavor lost when fat is removed. By having more sugar, these food items will have empty calories, which may lead to you gaining weight instead. Fats come in different forms, and some of them actually are good for you. The fats that you need to steer clear from are trans fats and saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats and the fat found in olive oil or nuts are good for the heart.

All Fruits Are Created Equal

Not all fruits are created equal. Some of them actually contain lots of calories, which may help to add more weight to you. The healthiest fruits are those that have low sugar and high fiber content. Apples, bananas and grape fruit are one of the nice fruits, because they contain high fiber and are low in fat and calories.

Chocolate Is Bad For Your Health

While some so-called fitness advocates frown on eating chocolate, because they think these make you fat, the truth is that chocolates are good for you. However, you must also know that not all chocolates are created equal. High-quality dark chocolate is one of healthy variants, because it contains high levels of flavonols and antioxidants. Commercial chocolate bars however, such as milk chocolate and white chocolate contain high amounts of fat, sugar, wax and artificial chemicals. To eat healthy chocolates, try making your own unsweetened cocoa with sugar and skim milk instead.

Salads Help You Lose Weight

A large bowl of leafy greens is actually very good for your health. However, the problem starts once you pour in the dressings and other toppings. Some salad offerings include stuff like fried chicken, bacon bits, and thick creamy dressings, which are jam-packed with calories and fats. But if you fill up on the leafy greens alone, the salad mix can be very healthy. A truly healthy salad mix includes a variety of vegetables, mixed greens, beans, almonds, and a light vinegar dressing.

To ensure that you’re eating healthy, and losing or maintaining weight at the same time, eat high-fiber veggies, fruits and grains, but never skip breakfast. Instead, you need to stop drinking energy bars and drinks, sodas and alcohol, as well as lessen your intake of fatty junk foods and snacks.

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Healthy Eating In Restaurants – Things You Must Consider

During these stressful, fast-paced times, more and more people are turning to fast foods and restaurants for convenient and pleasurable dining. However, dining out can be a pain on your wallet, and your waistline. While eating out need not be too costly or fattening, you certainly need to be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth. Here are a few tips for healthy eating in a restaurant.

Restaurants Often Serve Sodium and Preservative-Laden Foods

We all agree that the typical restaurant food far tastes better than the food we cook at home. Why? Because restaurants and fast food outlets often use a lot of flavor enhancers, preservatives and sodium-filled sauces, to make their food taste great. The sad thing is that these preservatives and sodium-laden sauces bloat our body, and add more bad cholesterol to our system.

How To Have A Healthy Restaurant Eating Experience

According to some nutrition experts, the biggest mistake in restaurant dining usually happens during the first and last 10 minutes of the meal, where you usually get served with calorie-rich dressings, cream-based soups and sugar-coated desserts. Here are other healthy eating restaurant ideas.

• All-you-can-eat restaurants are truly tempting places, but family-run restaurants are much healthier. Since most buffet establishments don’t allow you to bring home nay leftovers, the temptation to overeat here is definitely very high.

• Typical restaurant servings are definitely larger than home-made meals. Before you clean-up your plate, and plan to take at least half the meal home. Eating half the meal later will benefit your waist. And save you money as well.

• If you plan to order soups, choose broth-based soups instead of cream-based ones. Vegetables soups are healthy choices. However, most restaurant soups are quite salty, because they’re sprinkled with MSG, a preservative that enhances flavor.

• Green salads make for healthier restaurant food choices. However, ask for oil and vinegar to be served on the side, instead of fatty dressings. Instead of using oil, squeeze lemon juice over your veggies, and sprinkle pepper to add more spice. If you were offered a choice between soup and salad, go for fresh green salads instead.

• Order plain food, instead of fried food items. A plain broiled or baked chicken, steak or fish provide better sources of protein, to help build muscles and generate energy. - To add extra flavor to your meals, used tomato-based marinara sauces and salsas instead. For side dishes, go for steamed vegetables or plain potato and rice. Vegetable side dishes offer a lot of healthy nutrients and low calories. Always remember to choose the meals that offer the freshest and high-quality ingredients. Choose plain steaks or chicken breasts instead of entrees filled with lots of creamy or oily sauces, or ask for potato or plain rice instead of hash browns or French Fries.

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Healthy Eating Tips For Diabetics

A diabetic’s life can be tough on his diet. If a person has diabetes, it’s important that he or she is aware of the connection between carbohydrate consumption and diabetes management. Once carbohydrates are synthesized by the digestive system, they become sugars, and have a direct effect on blood glucose levels. A diabetic’s diet must maintain a delicate balance of essential nutrients and minerals. It's important for diabetics to know what foods to eat, and which ones to avoid.

Choose High-Fiber Vegetables

Eating fiber-rich vegetables is good for diabetics, since fiber does not raise or affect blood sugar levels. The vegetables should be minimally processed, and ideally should be eaten raw. Among the fiber-rich veggies that are great for diabetics include cauliflower, celery, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, greens and spinach.

Suggested Fruit Variants For Diabetics

Fruits that have high fiber and fructose content are good for diabetics, since these do not affect blood sugar levels. Raw fruits are best for diabetics, since most dried and canned fruits contain high sugar levels. The suggested fruits include apricots, apples, blueberries, grape fruit, guava, Kiwi fruit, mango, pears and pomegranates.

Meat And Protein Substitutes

Getting adequate amounts of protein should be part of any diet, especially for diabetics. Protein helps regulate blood sugar levels and provides energy. While meat products are generally the best sources of protein, diabetics must limit their meat consumption, and instead consume more legumes and fish, which provide essential fatty acids and protein. The best meat substitutes for diabetics include veal, lamb, chicken or turkey, oily fish like mackerel and salmon, seafood, eggs, beans, lentils, soybeans, and moderate amounts of milk and dairy products.

Limit Consumption of Unhealthy Fats

Diabetics must also limit their consumption of unhealthy fats like trans fat and saturated fat, as well as reduce their intake of margarine, butter and shortening. Diabetics should instead go for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in canola, olive oil and nuts.

Whole Grains

Whole grains also serve as a tasty way for adding good carbohydrates to your diet. Choose whole-grain cereals and breads, bran, barley, buckwheat, millet and steel-cut oatmeal.

Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that you can’t have your fill of healthy and delicious food anymore. A healthy eating plan for diabetics should translate into consuming a wide array of foods, in moderate amounts. Diabetics also need to stick to regular meal times, and get a diet which emphasizes on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other healthy meat substitutes. A diabetes diet should not be restrictive, but instead must offer you foods that are rich in nutrients, and low in fat and calories

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

5 Myths Regarding Body Fat Revealed

As more and more people are focusing on weight loss and toning muscle to improve health and reduce insurance costs, you may be operating under myths that will reduce your potential for success. Let’s debunk some of those myths and provide facts about fat that will only help you get rid of more of it.

1. You can lose fat in just one area of the body. This is a myth that has been spread for decades and feeds the spot weight loss and toning industry. Yes, you can spot tone, but your body will lose fat overall and not in just one place. The exception to the rule is belly fat which is really visceral fat. This fat is wrapped around your organs in the abdomen. It is the easiest to put on and to take off.

2. Reducing calories below 1200 calories per day will burn more fat. The truth is that when your calorie intake goes below 1200 per day your body goes into starvation mode and metabolism slows significantly. In this state your body will conserve as much fat as possible.

3. You can lose all the weight and fat you want by exercising for 10 minutes a day. While you can spot tone in 10 minutes, your body will not start to burn enough calories in 10 minutes to burn fat. Your body will burn fat when it needs the fuel to do it. This will only happen when you reduce the amount carbohydrates you eat and burn more calories than you eat in carbs. Only then will your body begin to burn fat for fuel.

4. Fat weighs more than muscle. Although it seems to make sense on the surface, it isn’ true. A pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle or a pound of gold. What is true is that a pound of fat will take up more space in the body than a pound of muscle.

5. While most of us carry around too much fat, you do need fat to live. This is true! You might be carrying more fat than you want or weigh more than you wish you did, but you do need fat in the body for your body to manufacture hormones and function optimally.

6. There is only one type of fat. Actually our bodies have four different types of fat – white, brown, visceral and subcutaneous. Each of these types of fat have different metabolic activity, burn different amounts of calories and are found in different amounts in each of us.

7. Fat is not impacted by sleep. In fact the opposite is true. In a study released from the University of Chicago in 2012, researchers found that a lack of sleep will reduce the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin by 30 percent. This increases your insulin resistance and therefore increases the amount of weight you gain.

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How To Build Lean Muscle The Easy Way

One factor in reducing body fat is to develop lean muscle that burns calories, gives your body a sleek appearance and creates a structurally sound support system for your skeleten and internal organs. And while those factors may sound more medical than sexy, lean muscle is nothing if not sexy.

Strength training or weight training has two different objectives – mass with or without strength and lean muscle strength without bulk. These goals are accomplished using two very distinct and different training styles. Those who are after a bulky Mr. Universe appearance may not be as strong as the weight lifter whose goal is strength. And the individual who is after lean muscle mass may not be as bulky as Mr. Universe or as strong as the weight lifter. But each of these individuals has goals which are both attainable and admirable when they fit your lifestyle and ambitions.

Lean muscle will also be achieved through specific nutritional intake that reduces the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbs trigger the release of insulin to usher the blood sugar from carb metabolism into the cells for energy. Unfortunately, insulin also increases the amount of fat that is produced in the body and reduces the amount of fat the body burns for fuel. A diet high in carbs will also trigger carb cravings which just increases the cycle of carbs, blood sugar, insulin and fat.

Foods that help you build lean muscle include fatty fish, like salmon; green leafy vegetables; greek yogurt high in protein; sweet potatoes which have a low glycemic index and keep your blood sugar stable; eggs are high in protein; and almonds which are high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Including each of these foods into your nutritional plan can help to increase the fat burning potential of your body and reduce your overall fat, beyond the amount lost just by reducing overall calories.

In the gym it’s important to reduce the amount of weight you’re using to lift and increase the repetitions. This gentle shift will increase strength and lean muscle without building bulk. Kettlebell exercises will work the body through several large muscle groups and are often done in higher number of repetitions with lower weights. Resistance bands, dumbbells and even machines can be used to accommodate your needs. You only have to stay focused on your goals and be sure that how you are working out meets what you want to achieve.

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10 Weight Loss Tips - Dont Complicate It

In the past 30 years the number of people who suffer from being overweight and obesity has grown significantly. The weight loss industry is growing to meet the demand, but the number of people who are overweight only continues to grow.

What’s the problem?

Here’s the bottom line. The real way that people can lose weight and keep it off is not related to a fad diet, eating only cabbage or plugging into some electrical stimulation program that promises to work off the fat and make you a lean, mean calorie burning machine.

Instead, the real way that real people lose weight is to do the work of living a healthy lifestyle. Here are 10 of the most important tips you can follow to lose all the weight you want.

1. Sleep
Often overlooked, sleep is important to your overall health and weight loss efforts for a number of reasons. Many people will eat more if they are tired in an effort to stay awake. The behavior is subconscious and most are never aware that they were doing it! Sleep reduces your stress and your cortisol levels, a hormone which can encourage the body to put on more fat. When you are sleep deprived you are also more likely to give in to temptations.
2. Water
A simple 8 glasses of water per day (8 ounces each) will also help your body to flush toxins and burn calories and fat more efficiently. Just a 1 percent dehydration can reduce your performance at tasks that require analytical skills, like math, and you will percieve that you are hungry instead of thirsty. If you feel hungry, the first thing to do is drink 8 -10 ounces of water and wait a few minutes. You just may have been thirsty!
3. Exercise
Excercise is important to any weight loss program because it helps your body to burn calories. However, don’t be gung-ho at first or you’ll be so sore the next day that you’ll drop your exercise routine. If you’ve never done a fitness program work up to walking for 30 minutes everyday and move on from there.
4. Calories
Each calorie might be burned differently in your body, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they don’t count. I don’t care if the calories you eat are all carbs, all fat or all protein (depending upon which camp of nutritional experts you ascribe to) if you eat many more calories than you burn off everyday you’ll gain weight. Try to help track your nutritional intake, set goals and produce reports about your eating habits.
5. Fat vs carbs
There are some who still believe that eating a low fat diet is the way to better health and lower weight. However, all you are doing is increasing the amount of carbs you eat to make up for the calories lost. Carbs will increase your cravings, spike your blood sugar and increase the amount of triglycerides your body produces. Try increasing the amount of GOOD fats you eat, from nuts, seeds and fatty fish or avocados. You’ll feel more full for longer periods and lose your cravings for sugar and sweets.
6. Change Your Environment
Just like smokers must leave an environment that triggers their desire to light up or an alcoholic shouldn’t go into a bar, so you should change your environment and leave behind the places and friends who trigger your desire for high calorie foods or multiple snacking during the day.
7. Reduce Stress
Many people are stress eaters and will eat to reduce their level of stress or when they are celebrating. Learn some techniques to reduce your stress. You’ll also reduce the amount of cortisol your body produces. This hormone secreted by the Adrenal glands on top of the kidneys will produce more body fat.
8. Get up during the day
Even if you spend an hour a day working out, you will continue to be at higher risk for weight gain and heart conditions when you spend your day sitting behind a desk. Put a timer on your computer and get up every 15 minutes to stretch, walk a bit and get the blood moving. It will keep your body burning calories too.
9. Be accountable
Find a friend or relative who is making the same positive lifestyle changes you are and team up. Life is easier when you have someone to call when you dont’ want to walk or that chocolate cake is calling you.
10 Be realistic and consistent
It can be hard to be realistic when everyone you see is model thin and each diet promises you instant results. Just remember that it took more than 2 weeks to put the weight on and it will take more than 2 weeks to take it off. Work consistently at changing your lifestyle choices and recognize that little changes can make big differences in the long run.

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Friday, 25 March 2016

5 Aspects Of Physical Fitness Revealed

There are five components of physical fitness which insurance companies and trainers measure. These components of physical fitness are important to the overall evaluation of health. It is like fine-tuning a racing engine. You wouldn’t add diesel fuel to an engine that requires high octane.

When physical trainers measure the fitness of a person they use 5 components of physical fitness to test the person against a set standard and to develop goals for further improvement. By incorporating these 5 components of physical fitness the person can not only improve health but also lose weight.

The first component of the 5 components of physical fitness is muscular strength. This measurement is the ability of the muscle to exert a maximal force through a range of motion or to a given point. This is measured for a short period of time and usually incorporates the use of weights for evaluation.

Muscular strength can vary throughout the body. So, for instance, you can have high muscular strength in your arms while having weak legs. Of the 5 different components this is the one that is related to the amount and type of exercise the body undergoes. Weight training or strength training is the only method to improve strength.

One principle of increased muscle mass is that a larger amount of muscle consumes a greater number of calories, even at rest. By increasing mass you effectively increase the amount of calories needed for your body at rest and will reduce your body fat ratio. Another benefit to strength training is that it will help to maintain your bone structure and decrease your risk of osteoporosis.

The second component of the 5 components of physical fitness is muscular endurance. This refers to the ability of a muscle to work through a range of motion over a specific amount of time. Or it can be measured by the ability to hold a weight for a specific amount of time – say 20 pounds over-head for 5 minutes. Many times this component is measured through push-ups as these are exercises that exert a specific amount of pressure over time. This measures the upper body muscular endurance.

Muscular endurance is often confused with muscular strength because they are related. However they offer different benefits. Using muscular endurance an athlete is able to shovel snow for an hour lifting and moving a sub-maximal amount of snow over a specified amount of time. Muscular strength would be the ability of the arms and shoulders to lift the maximal amount a couple of times.

While testing muscular endurance the trainer will also be testing cardiovascular endurance. These two components of the 5 components of physical fitness are closely related. Cardiovascular endurance reflects how well your heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen to your body. Some call this aerobic fitness. Trainers may use long runs or swims to test cardiac endurance and test muscular endurance at the same time. This is the cornerstone to complete health and fitness. Without cardiovascular endurance you can’t improve the rest of your fitness.

Component number 4 is flexibility. This is the ability of a joint to move through it’s full range of motion and the elasticity of the muscles. Some refer to this as how limber or supple you are. This is a major component of physical fitness and one that is often over looked. Not everyone needs to be as limber as a gymnast but we all need a degree of flexibility to deal with the demands placed on us during our daily lives.

Stretching is associated with flexibility in order to maintain or increase the ability of a joint to stretch further. Maintaining your flexibility is important for protection of your joints and allowing you to strengthen further to protect your back and reduce the pain of arthritis.

The final component of physical fitness is body composition. This is the ratio of lean body mass to fat body mass. This proportion doesn’t refer to your weight in pounds or to your figure but to a measurement against a standard. Women and men have different body composition ratios. Women carry a higher percentage of fat to maintain a developing baby. This doesn’t mean that women are fatter – but the fat distribution is different.

Your body composition is really more a consequence of your overall fitness. If you have a high body fat mass ratio you are more at risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, joint and back pain, arthritis, stroke and tendon-muscle accidents.

The 5 components of physical fitness are cornerstone to physical fitness and the ability of the human body to withstand external forces and internal stress while maintaining health and wellness.

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Disclaimer : Articles on this site are for educational purpose only and are not intended to replace any professional advice or prescribed medication.