How to Handle Cravings

We all know the feeling. It can happen in the middle of a busy day, or at the end of the night when we are trying to unwind. It is the dreaded craving. The sudden overwhelming urge to go and buy that bag of chips or to grab the pint of ice cream from the freezer. So, what can we do to help fight these cravings and keep up from derailing our diets?

Breathe

It has been proven that stopping and taking a few deep breaths can help to curb a craving. This is especially true if you are feeling stressed or anxious and your first instinct is to find something to eat. Instead of running to the vending machine, stop, and take 3-5 deep breaths. Breathe in slowly and let the breath fill your chest and move all the way down to your stomach. Also, see if you can make your out breath last even longer than your in breath.

Distract yourself

Instead of reaching for an unhealthy snack, do something else. Get up and take a walk, call a friend, or dance around your living room. Quite often, if you can stop focusing on the craving, you will find that it passes.

Stay hydrated

Often when we feel hungry, it is actually because we are dehydrated. Keep water on hand at all times and make a habit of drinking it. The key here is to make sure that your drink of choice is a healthy one. Water, tea, or make yourself a club soda with fresh lemon and lime.

Give yourself alternatives

If you are craving chips, and you happen to have a bag of chips in your cupboard, it is a lot more difficult to resist temptation. Instead, try having healthy alternatives on hand. Craving something sweet? Grab some fresh fruit or a square of dark chocolate. Craving something salty? Have a small handful of pistachios or some veggie chips. This allows you to give in to your craving without feeling guilty afterward.All of these tips should help to keep you on track and help you to make healthy choices. However, if you do give into a craving every now and then, don’t beat yourself up about it.

4 Healthy Tips for the Work Week

Staying on track with your diet and making healthy choices during a busy workweek can sometimes feel like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be.The following are some simple strategies to help get you through the week:

Plan ahead:

A little bit of time invested in planning your meals for the week and having the ingredients on hand can pay off with less stress, and a lot less likelihood of hitting the drive-through at the end of the day. Make a list and plan a grocery trip before the beginning of the week. It is a great feeling to go home at the end of the day and have everything you need to make a healthy dinner for yourself.

Don’t forget to snack:

This is an easy tip, and can help to keep you from sabotaging your diet. The key is to have easy to carry snacks readily available to you. Ideally find something that is high in protein and fiber. Having a snack before lunch, and another mid-afternoon will actually help to keep your metabolism fired up, and will also help keep you from overdoing it at lunch or dinnertime because you are starving.

Find time for fitness:

Sometimes the workweek can seem like the hardest time to get some exercise, but it doesn’t have to be. Try to work in some physical activity whenever and wherever you can. This doesn’t have to mean a trip to the gym either: take a long walk on your lunch break or after work, try a yoga class, or get on your bike and go for a ride.’a0 Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and you will feel great afterward.

Take time for yourself

Stress can really take a toll on your health and your weight. Try to find at least a few minutes every day to do something just for you. While at work: take breaks, get away from your desk, or get outside if you can. After work, take time to meet up with friends, take a walk, read a book, or do something that makes you feel happy and relaxed.

Fat Burning Workout: The Stair Stepper

Have you been working out at the gym, but haven’t lost much of those extra pounds? Chances are you are not exercising right. Fancy exercising equipment alone will not get you far when it comes to burning that extra fat.

To effectively burn more fat while you workout you must focus on getting out of your comfort zone and sweating it out. Here in this article we will look at some effective ways of using the stair stepper to maximize your weight loss.

Stair Stepper: Fat Burning Workout Tips

Here are some great tips suggested by fitness experts on how to use the stair stepper for burning more fat effectively.

Stand up straight: While working out on the stair stepper, make sure you are stand up straight. Pretend that you are squeezing a balloon in between the shoulder blades. Use the rails only for balancing yourself, not for support. This posture forces your back and core muscles to contract which is great for toning up these muscles. And as you engage more muscles this way, you burn more fat.

Vary the depth of stepping: Try varying the depth of your steps. This way you surprise the muscles, which results in burning more fat. If you usually take short steps, add a minute of longer, slower steps after every five minutes. If you are a long, slow stepper, try picking up your pace and shortening your steps to around six inches, thus making the muscles react and adapt. Fitness experts say, challenging the leg muscles in a way they are not used to helps burn more calories.

Tuck your glutes under the hips: Ensure that you keep your feet flat on the stepper’s pedals. If all your movement originates not in your legs but in your core, it will engage new muscles and thus lead to a more intense calorie burn.eeeeee

Why Fad Diets are Dangerous

Fad diets are just that, fads. Also known as crash diets, these are designed to facilitate quick weight loss. These diets severely restrict your food intake forcing your body to shed pounds faster. Generally, they rely on certain miracle foods or on eliminating a food group to help lose weight. These diets will also require you to drastically alter the way you eat. And they all claim immediate weight loss. Such extreme measures however don’92t generally work and you might end up with a higher weight or even some serious medical condition. Here in this article we will take a closer look at the various detrimental effects of such fad diets.

Fad Diets: The Dangers

Here are some of the major dangers of following fad diets:

  • Metabolic Problems: Fad diets tend to mess up the body’s metabolism. When you drastically restrict your food intake, your body’s metabolism slows down. As a result of this, the body holds on to the few calories you eat. When you jump off the diet, your body will not use food efficiently and you might actually gain weight. This is the major reason why people following fad diet plans end up yo-yo dieting. First they lose weight on the fad diet plan and when they drop out of the diet they almost instantly put on weight because of the slow metabolism.
  • Nutritional Deficiency: Crash diets mainly depend on excluding food groups entirely, which deprives your body of proper nutrition. The natural minerals, vitamins and nutrients that the body receives through a balanced diet are important for the proper functioning of the body. As the nutrient stores in your body become depleted, the body starts to suffer. You will start shedding hair frequently, your nails will become brittle and you may even get dark circles under the eyes. These effects are a direct result of your body not getting sufficient nutrients because of you being on a fad diet.
  • Muscle Loss: Fad diets generally claim that you can lose weight without exercising. The combined effect of nutritional deficiency and no exercising because of the fad diet may result in weight loss, but not all that weight may be fat. Muscle weighs more compared to fat, but it is lost just as easily as fat. Muscles also help to burn calories when you are resting. So losing muscle may lower your total body weight, but it may actually prove to be detrimental for your weight loss efforts in the long run.

You need to get one thing clear in your head. There is no short cut to weight loss. Following such fad diets will only put your health at risk. Healthy eating and exercising is the key to permanent and healthy weight loss.

Drink Water for Healthy Weight Loss

The adult human body is composed of about 60 percent water which is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. If you are trying to lose weight it is important that you remember it is due to water that your body maintains its metabolism rate.

A healthy metabolism rate helps to shed pounds faster. As the body keeps losing water content throughout the day, it is important that you keep replenishing it to maintain proper metabolism. Here in this article we will take a close look at the importance of water for healthy weight loss.

Why Water is Important for Weight Loss

When you are on a weight loss diet plan, your daily food intake reduces. Therefore the amount of water your body received from food is also reduced. Reduced water intake will adversely affect your metabolism and thus slow down the rate at which you burn calories, so make sure that you keep your body properly hydrated.

Water also helps to naturally curb appetite which finally aids your weight loss efforts. You could actually try this tip. The next time you feel hunger pangs creeping up your back just try sipping on some water. We often mistake thirst for hunger and this happens more often when you are on a weight loss diet because of the reduced water intake.

Replenishing your body’92s water content will help you feel full and thus prevent you from giving into your hunger pangs.

What You Should Be Drinking

Water is the best option for losing weight as it does not have any calories. Apart from water, teas are also beneficial for weight loss. Teas are loaded with antioxidants which help to eliminate toxins.

Apart from that, teas are also full of catechins which help to reduce appetite as well as increase the rate at which the body burns fat. Pure fruit and vegetable juices are also great options as they are highly filling while still being low on calories. Fruit and vegetable juices are also high in nutritional content such as minerals and vitamins.

They are also high in fiber content which keeps you full longer. However, remember to pick juices which are fresh and have no sugar or artificial sweeteners.Also try to steer clear of drinks such as flavored water, soft drinks, isotonic drinks or alcoholic beverages when on a weight loss diet plan as they usually tend to be full of calories which may adversely affect your situation.

Tips For Managing Stress

Stress can take a toll on our health in a number of ways. It affects our hormones, blood pressure, heart rate, and also our cortisol levels.

Too much cortisol in our system triggers higher insulin levels and also an increase in appetite. This affects weight loss in two ways.

First, feeling hungry all of the time makes it difficult to make healthy eating choices. Second, the long-term increase in blood glucose causes the body to store more fat, particularly around the mid-section.So what can we do?
The following are some tips to help you manage your stress:

Breathe

When you are feeling overwhelmed, try to stop for a moment and take at least three deep breaths. Breathe in as deeply as you can (try counting to 10), and see if you make your out breath last even longer. Deep breathing will lower your heart rate, calm you down, and help you to re-focus. This tip also works well when you are having an intense food craving. Before you grab a snack, try breathing for a few moments and see if the craving passes.

Find time for yourself

This is one of the healthiest things you can do, and yet a lot of us still don’t take the time. Take a walk, take a nap, spend some time listening to your favorite music, read a book, get outside. Whatever it is that makes you feel happy, make a little time each day to do something for yourself. The happier you feel, the more likely you are to make healthy choices and not have to turn to that pint of ice cream to make you feel better.

Exercise

I know that it can seem hard to find the motivation, but exercise is one of the very best ways to deal with stress. This does not have to mean that you have work out at the gym for an hour. Walking, hiking, swimming basketball, tennis, or any physical activity that you enjoy will do. The great thing about physical activity is that it not only relieves stress, but will also help you to lose weight.  Additionally, exercise is proven to help improve self-esteem and to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

These are all simple ways to begin to manage stress, and the more you practice them, the more you will feel like you are in control. Ultimately, this will help you to reach your weight loss goals, and to greatly improve both your physical and mental health.

Simple Low Fat Substitutions

Getting healthy and losing weight does not always have to mean drastic changes or depriving yourself of the foods that you love. Sometimes small changes can add up to a tremendous difference. By simply substituting a few ingredients in a recipe with healthier or low fat options, you can begin to improve your health without sacrificing all of your favorite meals.

The following is a short list of simple low fat substitutions:

Applesauce:

Unsweetened applesauce can be used to replace half of the butter or margarine called for in most baking recipes. This easy trick greatly reduces the amount of fat, while keeping baked goods moist and delicious. You can also have some fun and experiment with using other pureed fruits.

Evaporated skim milk:

Evaporated skim milk can be used to replace heavy cream in a number of recipes. It has zero fat, but still offers the richness and texture of cream. It can help you make low fat soups, desserts, and even Alfredo sauce.

Lean Ground Turkey:

Lean ground turkey has less saturated fat and fewer calories than regular ground beef. It takes on great flavor and is a perfect substitution when making tacos, chili, meatloaf, and burgers. However, if you can’t live without your red meat, you can at least switch to extra or super lean ground beef.

Yogurt:

Nonfat or low fat plain yogurt works great as a substitute for sour cream. You can use it in sauces, dips, desserts, and as a topping just as you would use sour cream. The yogurt has significantly fewer calories, less fat, and also has the added benefit of containing natural probiotics. Greek-style yogurt in particular is as thick and rich as sour cream, but far healthier and packed with protein.

These substitutions are a great and easy way to begin to eat healthier and to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Shed Those Extra Pounds with Soups

One of the most effective ways to drop all those extra pounds is to use soups to aid your weight loss efforts. Soups are satisfying and make for the ideal weight loss diet in combination with salads. Soups can help you shed pounds by increasing your fiber consumption and cutting down your appetite.

However, not all types of soups help your weight loss efforts. The key to losing weight with soups is to make healthy diet friendly food choices. Here in this article we will look at some effective tips on how to use soups to help drop all those extra pounds.

Tips on How to Lose Weight with Soups

Here are a few great pointers to help you lose all that extra flab with soups.

  1. Vegetable soups are probably the best appetizer for effective weight loss. Usually vegetables contain up to 100 or even lesser in each serving. Apart from that, the vegetables in the soup also have higher fiber content in each serving, which helps to make you feel full faster and for longer thus preventing chances of overeating.
  2. Stay away from fattening soup add-ons. You don’t need to accessorize a healthy diet friendly soup with anything other than a spoon. Cheese on chili, croutons, full fat sour cream, melted cheese, guacamole and other such additional ingredients can easily spike up the calorie count of your soup.
  3. Broth and tomato based soups are also great weight loss options. Though we really don’t recommend creamy soups as part of your weight loss plan, if you really must have it, opt for fat free or low fat evaporated milk rather than using whole milk for the preparation.
  4. Make a whole meal out of your soup. Try teaming hearty soups with healthy salads for a satiating lunch or dinner. Lentils, split peas, three bean, Cuban black beans and turkey chili are great options as they are high on fiber. They are also high on vegetable protein which provides the body with long lasting energy.

Now that you are aware of how you can use soups to augment your weight loss efforts, it is time for you to incorporate these healthy diet friendly tips into your weight loss diet plan.

Spice Up Your Diet for Weight Loss

While we search the internet and scour through health columns in search of the most effective weight loss diet and miracle foods to help you curb your calorie consumption, some of the most effective weight loss foods are right here in our kitchen’92s spice rack.

Spices not only add flavor to your food but are also great for weight loss as they can suppress appetite, increase metabolic rate as well as reduce fat absorption. Here in this article we will look at some of top spices you could use to aid your weight loss efforts.

Top 3 Spices for Weight Loss

Here are some of the top spices to help you battle the bulge effectively.

  1. Cayenne: The main active ingredient in cayenne, capsaicin is known for its fat burning properties. It is thermogenic in nature which means that it stimulates the body’s central nervous system to generate heat which leads to an increase in the amount of calories burnt. Certain studies have also found that cayenne also causes an increase in fat oxidation thus helping weight loss. Several studies have concluded that this spice also acts as an effective appetite suppressant.
  2. Mustard Seeds: Spicy mustard is known to boost the body’s metabolic rate thus helping burn fat faster. Scientists at the Oxford Polytechnic Institute in England have found that just a single teaspoon of spicy mustard can help boost the body’s metabolic rate by about 20 to 25 percent for several hours after consumption, thus resulting in extra calorie burn of around 45 calories for a 700 calorie meal.
  3. Black Pepper: The active ingredient in black pepper, piperine which is responsible for the pungent taste, helps to boost the body’s fat metabolic rate by around 8 percent even hours after ingestion. For the best weight loss results, sprinkle freshly ground pepper, as they have the highest concentration of piperine.

Now that you know how these spices can help you achieve your weight loss goals faster, it is time you got these spices out of the rack and start using them.

Top 5 Weight Loss Fiber Food Ideas for Dinner

Dietary fiber not just helps in lowering cholesterol levels and controlling blood sugar but also aids your weight loss efforts. The human body takes longer to digest fiber which helps to make you feel full quicker and for longer durations. This makes fiber the ideal food option to help weight loss by curbing appetite and overeating. Increasing your fiber intake can help you significantly augment your weight loss efforts. Here in this article we will look at some great ways of introducing fiber into your dinner to help you lose weight.

Top 5 Fiber Food Dinner Ideas for Weight Loss

Here are some great fiber food ideas for your dinner to help you shed those extra pounds quicker.

  1. Switch to sweet potato instead of your regular spud: Sweet potatoes pack in about 2 grams of more fiber in each tuber as compared to the regular Idaho variety. If you do not like sweet potatoes too much, you could consider eating the regular ones with their skin on. The skin alone adds about 1 gram of fiber.
  2. Toss some chickpeas in your soup: The next time you make your favorite soup, toss in some chickpeas (about half a cup) into the pot. The chickpeas will readily absorb the soup’92s flavor as well as add about 6 grams of extra fiber to your meal.
  3. Go green with your red sauce: Add about half a cup of chopped spinach to your favorite pasta sauce. The spinach takes up the sauce’92s flavor while increasing your fiber intake by an additional 2 grams.
  4. Cook cauliflower, broccoli and carrots: Cook these vegetables instead of having them raw for an extra dose of fiber. They pack in about 3 to 5 grams of fiber in each serving when cooked. This is about twice as much of what you get when you eat these vegetables raw. Heat makes the fiber in these vegetables more readily available.
  5. Uncooked oatmeal for the meatloaf: Instead of using bread crumbs the next time you make meatloaf, use uncooked oatmeal.’a0 Add about ‘be cup of uncooked oats for every pound of ground meat. This will boost the overall fiber count to over 8 grams.

Incorporating these diet friendly fiber food ideas in your dinner menu can go a long way in helping you lose weight.

In addition to adding these tips, be sure to incorporate our weight loss tea into your diet as well.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary.