Majority of the food industry ensures consumers achieve low levels of satiety from their food. This helps increase sales. Satiety is the measure of how long it takes for you to be hungry again. Weight loss experts always recommend foods that produce high levels of satiety however; most packaged foods do the complete opposite. To take control of your eating habits, try the following methods to ensure you’re satisfied and fuller for longer.
1. Have More Fiber
Fiber is an indigestible nutrient that absorbs water from the body and your food and transports it to your intestines. This gives you a great level of satiation following a fiber-rich meal. One study showed that adding 6 grams of soluble fiber, such as from ground flaxseed to yogurt shows the same satiating power as a snack that would have an additional 260 calories. Experts recommend consuming 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day. High-carb foods on the other hand, such as buns, rolls, chips, cookies, donuts and sodas are satiety killers because they increase hunger levels after a meal.
2. Pack On More Protein
Protein, the muscle building fuel, is also a great satiation booster. This is mainly because it leads to an interaction between the peptides created from the protein and the brain, increasing levels of satisfaction. Aim for 20 to 40 grams of protein per day from red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes and whey protein.
3. Suck on Ice Cubes
As bizarre as this may sound, sucking on an ice cube triggers the brain to feel that you’re actually eating something, activating feelings of fullness. Another benefit of ice cubes is that they are calorie-free and they melt into water, which can further help you feel full. To boost ice cube’s health benefits, add flavorings such as berries, oranges or mint. Alternatively, you can make sugar-free popsicles with freshly made fruit juice. People with sensitive teeth or braces may have to be careful with this trick.
4. Don’t Rush
Thoroughly chewing your food increases oro-sensory factors, which send signals to the brain and help increase satiety. Studies show that people who spend more time chewing their food are likely to eat much less by the end of the meal. Furthermore, whenever in doubt, have the food whole instead of processed. For example, a whole fruit is far more satiating than a fruit juice, even if the latter is home made because of the chewing action required with the former.
There isn’t a standard for regular bowel movements as it is different from one person to the next. However, despite the number of times you do your #2, the symptoms of constipation are usually the same for anyone. Therefore, if you aren’t pooping every day, your bowel movements are slow or painful or if your stools are dry, you most probably have constipation. Fortunately, constipation isn’t a huge cause for concern and you can improve it with simple home remedies using ingredients in your pantry.
Note: See a doctor if you experience abdominal pain, unexpected weight loss or bloody stools with constipation.
1. Stock up on lemons
The citric acid in lemon juice stimulates the digestive tract and helps flush out toxins and undigested matter fro the body. Having lemon water is also linked to a plethora of other benefits including clearer skin and more energy. To improve the taste of the concoction, try adding a teaspoon of honey. Some research also shows that honey may work as a mild laxative. One tried and tested trick is to have a tall glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice and honey first thing every morning.
Coffee contains caffeine which stimulates your digestive tract naturally. Most of us have probably had the urge to use the bathroom after a cup of Joe. Do not go over 2 to 3 cups a day as too much caffeine can mess with your energy levels and can make you feel sick. Note that coffee is also a diuretic, which means you’ll urinate a lot more after drinking it. Too much coffee may therefore, dehydrate your body by drawing water away from your colon and the forming stools.
3. Load up on fiber
Going natural with your foods is one of the best ways of relieving constipation as most plant-based foods are packed with fiber that leaves your body undigested in your stool. Our bodies are naturally more accustomed to processing fruits, vegetables, grains, other plant-based foods and animal protein versus artificial, chemical and sugar-laden foods. Fiber acts as a sponge as it draws water from its surrounding, making the stools softer and bulkier. This makes it easier to pass the stools. Additionally, you should drink plenty of water to facilitate this action. Some great sources of fiber include beans, whole grains, oats, apricots, apples, plums, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and sweet potato.
Probiotics are good bacteria that promote digestion and are found in your intestines. Examples of good bacteria in your gut include Lactobacillus, Sacchromyces boulardi and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics are also found in probiotic-enriched yogurt, fermented foods and in supplement form.
A flatter midsection may ease away your swimsuit concerns however, a stronger core has a myriad of health benefits beyond the aesthetics. Not only does a stronger core provide more stability to your body and make your workouts more effective, it also protects against numerous health conditions linked to belly fat. Looking for ways to get rid of that stubborn belly pooch? Keep reading.
1. Scissor Kicks
This exercise may look simple but it burns after just a few reps. Lie down on your back with your hands behind your head and lift your head and shoulders off your matt. Do not pull on your neck – keep your elbows wide. With your abdominal muscles, lift your legs off the ground in a straight line (the lower they are, the better the results!) and scissor kick, crossing one foot over the other and alternating. Keep alternating without pushing your chin forward or straining your neck. Perform 25 reps, stop for 5 seconds and perform 2 more sets.
2. Jack Knives
Lie down on your back with feet together and legs extended. Place your arms overhead and inhale. As you exhale, suck in your abs, squeezing them and raise your right arm and left leg causing a contact between hand and foot or ankle. Lower to starting position while inhaling and repeat for 15 seconds. Switch sides immediately and repeat with opposite side for 15 more seconds.
3. Leg Raises
Lie down on your mat and place your hands under your tailbone to stabilize your back. Tighten your core and lift your legs using your abdominals until they are perpendicular to the ground. Keep your toes pointed and legs straight. If you are unable to keep them straight, it is still okay to perform this exercise with your knees bent. Slowly lower the legs back to the ground using your ab muscles. Do not drop your legs haphazardly as this will make the exercise ineffective. Avoid this exercise if it causes pain in the lower back. However, you can expect soreness in your lower belly, which is a good thing!
4. Roll Ups
Lie down on your back, stretching your arms and legs so that you form a straight line with your body. Inhale deeply and bring your arms overhead. Begin to curl your body off the mat, starting from the shoulders, vertebrae by vertebrae. The slower you do this move, mimicking a curling motion rather than going just straight up, the more effective the exercise will be. Exhale when your upper body forms a right angle with your legs and continue rolling forward so that you can reach your toes. Inhale and return to starting position, again very slowly. Repeat 10 times.
If you want to enjoy your reflection, flexing your arms, we have good news for you. You don’t need a gym membership for super toned arms. The following exercises are super challenging and do not require any equipment.
1. Diamond pushups
The back of your arms will burn with this pushup variation because it works the triceps like no other workout. The exercise looks simple but it’s pretty challenging so you may have to start on your knees if it’s your first time doing a pushup.
Start in plant position with hands under your shoulders. Keep your back straight and butt tucked in. If you aren’t doing this exercise on your knees, separate your feet shoulder-width apart for increased balance. Now, place your hands on the mat under your sternum making sure that the tips of your thumbs and index fingers are touching each other, forming a rough diamond or triangle shape. Lower your chest toward the mat by bending your elbows to the sides. Exhale and lift yourself back up, straightening your arms. This makes one rep. Repeat 10-20 times. If your arms are giving in, get on your knees but don’t stop!
2. Chair dips
Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your hands at the edge of the seat. Keep your legs extended and fingers facing forward. Flex your feet. Lift yourself off the chair using your arms. Bend the elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground and your hips are under your shoulders. Push with your hands to rise back to starting position. Repeat 12 times.
3. Pushup rotations
To challenge your entire body with just a pushup, we recommend adding a twist – literally!
Get into plank position with your feet aligned with your hips. Keep your back straight and tummy tight. Lower your body to the mat, push with your arms and return to plank position. Now twist your body to the left, allowing your left arm to reach the ceiling without moving your hip up or down. Bring your hand back to the mat. This is one rep. Repeat by doing a pushup, but this time, twist to the right and reach the ceiling with your right hand. Perform 10 reps on each side.
4. Grab and go
Get into tabletop position with your face up, knees bent, hips lifted and hands under shoulders, fingers forward. Lower your body by bending your elbows and then straighten your arms. Grab your left foot with your right hand and return to tabletop position. Repeat with opposite hand and opposite foot. Keep alternating sides for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat.
Dietary fiber is a vital nutrient your body needs for the proper functioning of the digestive tract and to help you feel full. Lack of fiber in your diet leads to overeating, high cholesterol and blood sugar levels, constipation and hemorrhoids. Whether you want to treat your constipation or lose a few pounds, including the following high-fiber foods will help:
The simplest way to increase your fiber intake is to load up on some bran. Oat bran is a rich source of soluble fiber (12 grams per ounce), which helps in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. On the other hand corn (22 grams per ounce), wheat( 12 grams per ounce) and rice (6 grams per ounce) bran are dense in insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is great for helping you feel full, for weight loss and for constipation. You can get your daily bran intake by sprinkling them on your favorite hot cereals, pancakes and muffins or get them via high-fiber cereals.
With 15.6 grams of fiber per cup when cooked, lentils are the best examples of healthy being incredibly delicious. Not only do they make a filling dish, they’re also loaded with protein and minerals. Lentils are more versatile compared to other legumes and they have a shorter cooking time.
Black beans can be thrown into salads, rice dishes and mixed together with other high-fiber ingredients such as sweet potato and peppers to create a heart-healthy and filling meal. With 15 grams of fiber per cup, cooked, black beans are also packed with protein and complex carbohydrates.
We love our artichokes roasted with other vegetables to maximize our fiber and mineral intake but you can have this amazing vegetable any way you want and reap its benefits. We can’t understand why they’re so underrated given their high fiber content (10.3 grams for a medium artichoke) but we will definitely recommend this vegetable for any veggie and non veggie lover as it’s incredibly versatile and can be prepared in many ways.
We’ve been going avo-crazy recently – who can blame us? They taste great on whole grain toast and in chicken salads. With 10.5 grams of fiber per cup of sliced avocado, there’s no further explanation needed on why avocados can create a filling breakfast. Other important nutrients in avocados include omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and potassium. Sure, avocados are high on calories due to their fat content but they’re rich in good fats, which makes them excellent for heart health.
Looking for a quick fix for your sugar cravings? Try having a cup of raspberries for 8 grams of fiber, a ton of antioxidants and minerals. You can even use raspberries to prepare a breakfast or dessert with coconut, Greek yogurt or oatmeal.
Figs are different from other fiber sources because they have a balanced amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. One cup of dried figs will give you 14.6 grams of total fiber along with potassium, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Figs are also great for lowering blood pressure and for preventing macular degeneration.
Previously considered a tasty treat, the muffin top is now one of the most dreaded aspects of the body and women want them gone asap. Unfortunately, crunches aren’t working for you but this is mainly because the muffin top is primarily fat but muscles such as the abs, glutes and lower back are attached underneath, making crunches ineffective in getting rid of them. However, working all of these muscles can help cinch your waistline and shrink that muffin top. The following are some hardcore exercises that will kill that muffin top, left and right.
1. Dumbbell squat to shoulder press rotation
Holding a pair of dumbbells with each hand by your side, bend into a squat as if you’re sitting on a chair. Push your hips back and keep your abs tight and back straight. When you’re returning to standing position, push the dumbbells overhead while twisting your torso to the right. You should feel your obliques working. Make this one seamless movement by lowering the dumbbells and going back to squat position. Repeat with left side. Perform 6 reps on each side.
2. Lunge to overhead press
Hold dumbbells in each hand at shoulder height and get into a lunge position. Bend your right knee to a right angle in front of your body, making sure your knee does not go beyond the plane of your toes. Keep the left leg extended behind you with the left knee slightly bent. Keep your neck and beck neutral. As you return to standing position, tighten your core and press the dumbbells overhead. Bend your knees again to return to lunging position and lower the dumbbells to shoulder height. Perform 6 reps on one side and repeat on the other side. To make this exercise more challenging, perform walking lunges while keeping other movements the same.
3. Weighted Russian twist
This is definitely one of our favorites when it comes to killing the obliques. Sit on a mat with knees slightly bend and heels on the floor. Hold a heavy weight (5 to 10 pound) dumbbell, kettlebell or medicine ball in front of your chest and lean back, engaging your abs. The lower you lean back, the harder this exercise will be. Twist right and touch the weight to the floor and then twist left, touching the weight to the floor again. This is one rep. Perform 15 to 20 reps.
4. Scorpion twist
Lie face down with your legs extended, your arms out and your palms touching the mat. Swing your right foot back bending the knee over your body and placing your foot as close as possible to your left hand. This should be one big motion done smoothly. Return to start and repeat on the other side. Perform 10 reps per side.
Liquid calories slide so easily in your daily routine, that it is almost impossible to avoid them. If you are one of those people who wonder why they are not losing weight even though they have been exercising and eating properly, the answer might be in your beverages. To justify this further, researchers evaluated the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2004, to see how many calories Americans drink. They specifically looked at “sugar-sweetened beverages” which includes,
1. “Low-calorie” drinks
2. Sweetened teas
3. Fruit drinks and juices
4. Sweet coffee-bar drinks (such as Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate)
5. Rice and soy milks
6. Sports drinks
The results of their studies highlighted that 63% of Americans had one or more of these beverages on any given day, and total calories per day from sweetened drinks has gone up in the last 20 years by 29% to over 200 calories per day. This does not include alcohol which in the survey accounted for another 99 calories per day.
Most of these drinks have become a part of our daily routines and we don’t even realize how many empty calories we intake which are not actually good for health. It’s time to make a move and decide to eat rather than drinking up the calories. Here are some tips which will prove helpful for you to make smarter moves:-
a) Log your drinks
Don’t forget to log your morning juice and office time coffees in your digital trackers to keep a check on the calories intake. Keep a check on the total empty calories you had throughout the week along with the extra sugar intake to see why your weight loss efforts are not showing any results.
b) Drink water
Another reason, you might be consuming empty calories in drinks is because you are thirsty. It is adviced to have a minimum of 3 liters of water everyday. Also, you must make sure that you start and end up your day with a glass of water. Also be smart and always keep a water bottle on your office desk which will help in replacing mindlessly drinking calories with mindlessly drinking water.
c) Have water after wine
If you are going out for drinks with friends, try drinking a glass of water for every cocktail or glass of wine. You’ll surely end up drinking half the calories you normally would and you’ll wake up feeling a lot better the next morning, too!
d) Brew some tea
Be it green, black, white or red just brew it and have it. Not only is it flavorful but it is healthy as well as easy to make. You can drink it cold, hot, or anything in-between and it’s tasty morning, noon, and night.
SMART SWAPS TO KEEP EMPTY CALORIES AT BAY
Don’t ruin your diet with empty calories from sugary drinks. Here are some ideas for drinks that are diet and health friendly:
1. Drink a 12 oz diet soda instead of regular soda and save more than 100 calories.
2. Have a cup of skim milk instead of a cup of whole milk to save around 65 calories.
3. Want to have a hot chocolate? Add a sugar-free packet to your 2% milk, rather than sugar to save 60 calories.
4. Say no to the whipped cream on any coffee or beverage to save your 50 calories.
5. Swap a small chocolate milkshake for an 8 oz carton of chocolate milk to save 75 calories.
6. To avoid the intake sugar and save 15 calories per tsp go for black or green tea.
7. Love alcohol? Choose light beer over dark beer to have 50 calories lesser.
8. Tried soymilk? Replace 1 cup of whole milk with a 1 cup of vanilla soy milk to save 50 calories.
9. Rather than going for packed/commercial smoothies make yourself one to save about 100 calories.
10. In the mood for some fruit juice? Rather than having it pure dilute it 50% with water to save yourself around 50 calories. You can also opt for V-8 juices, which is even better as you can save more than 60 calories/drink.
So next time when you are in the mood to grab your favorite drink don’t forget to evaluate the harm it can make to your body and also look for a healthier version to curb the cravings!
People have high likelihood to opt for protein powder in order to get the desired amounts of protein in their daily nutrition. Though it is a great option to get the energy boost, but it is not the only way to squeeze in protein in your meals. There are some simple hacks in daily life using which you can get the desired protein without any supplements. Keep reading to know them now –
1. Snack on roasted chickpeas instead of crackers or chips
Say no to crackers and chips and go for chickpeas instead. Pop these in the oven and add whatever spices you’d like, from wasabi to rosemary. You’ll get about 15 grams of protein per half cup. Isn’t it amazing?
2. Don’t forget canned salmon & tuna
For a super quick lunch, pop the can and top a salad with some fish, which can pack up to 17 grams of protein per serving. Along with this, it’s super portable!
3. Use cottage cheese as an ingredient instead of a snack
Cottage cheese is a great option to sneak some high protein your meals. There are many recipes in which you can replace the main ingredient with cottage cheese to get the protein boost. There is around 15g protein in 1 cup non-fat cottage cheese.
4. Eat 1/2 an avocado every day
It is recommended that eating 1/2 an avocado every day, especially if you use it to replace unhealthier foods is a great option to increase protein intake. One avocado packs in 4 grams of protein, which might not sound like much, but the fruit contains all nine essential amino acids. Use it instead of butter on toast, or bake an egg in it for even more protein.
5. There’s more to chicken breast
An unseasoned chicken breast is not the only for meat lovers to get protein. When it comes to lean meats, turkey breast, pork, fish, and even beef (lean cuts like top round, sirloin, and flank steak) are also highly packed with a protein punch.
6. Switch to Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is strained during the manufacturing process to remove more liquid than normal yogurt, making it denser and more protein-packed. One single container of Fage 2% yogurt has 20 grams of protein. Can you believe it – 20 grams!
7. Its time for nuts & seeds
Not only the nuts taste great, but they have tons of protein naturally. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds on salads, or toast them in your favorite granola recipe. Other high-protein choices include almonds, peanuts and pistachios.
8. Experiment with less common grains too
Quinoa is not the only option when you are looking for proteins. There are some less common grains too that are loaded with proteins. 1 cup of quinoa has 8.14g of protein while 1 cup of spelt has 10.6g of protein, 1 cup of kamut has 9.82g of protein, 1 cup of teff has 9.75g of protein, 1 cup of amaranth has 9.35g protein, 1 cup of sorghum has 8.68g.
Elliptical machine is a great way to workout your arms and legs and is also of great help when it comes to weight loss, especially if you’re easing into a regular workout routine for the first time. The simplest way is to hop on and log some minutes of cardio, while a more strategic is to get more out of your training sessions by following these trainer-approved tips. Check them out now –
1. Go for inclines
When working out on an elliptical don’t focus on speed rather lay more stress on incline levels. It is advised to keep you speed steady but take up your resistance levels so that your body is required to work harder and in lieu to this more calories are burnt. The best way will be to begin with 3-5 minutes warm up with no incline and a steady speed and then bring the incline up between 10-15 and try to sustain RPMs somewhere between 110-120. Bring it back to start up level for a minute and a half and then again go for an incline. Do this 4-5 times for an effective elliptical workout session.
2. Don’t be afraid of intervals
The most effective way to burn calories on an elliptical machine is by focusing on interval training. Though it will be more challenging but at the same time it will help you to finish your workout session quickly. Here’s a sample routine for a quick interval training on an elliptical machine –
1st session – Start with a warm up session. Move your arms and legs on the machine at a resistance level at a moderate and steady pace, aiming to keep your heart rate at about 50- 60% of your max limits.
2nd session – Set up your incline levels between 10-15 and try to sprint on the machine for 40-45 seconds.
3rd session – Bring your speed back down to that steady warm-up tempo for one minute.
Repeat that for a total of eight times.
3. Try to workout all your muscles
Elliptical is an excellent low impact workout machine that places low pressure on your joints. This means you’re prone to knee, hip, or back pain while running, you might want to opt for an elliptical routine the next time you hit the gym. Along with this when you are working on this machine you are working on both legs and arm which helps in activating more muscle groups that ultimately improves circulation by recruiting increased blood flow to both upper and lower extremities. So when you try to make elliptical machine a part of your workout it will increase the amount of calories you burn and create an excellent strengthening routine for your abs, back, and core.
4. Stepping out of your comfort zone is the key
If you are new to workout you don’t have to dive right into an intense workout sessions. Just try to raise your resistance gradually to step of your comfort zone. Any new shock to the body will help you get more out of your workout. Whatever workout you choose, don’t forget to push yourself through it. Whether that’s by playing with your resistance or speed, the more muscle groups you engage, the more calories you will burn.
We all have that batch of chocolates hidden in the pantry just to help us at the end of a rough day. People turn towards food while battling stress. Food triggers the reward centers in the brain and the most effective ones are those that are sweet, fatty and salty. Unfortunately, these are the foods that are taking a toll in your digestion, metabolism and ultimately your mood. Have no idea what we are talking about? Keep reading…
1. Refined sugar
Sugar is a positive mood’s worst enemy unless it’s taken in a controlled manner, like a small piece of chocolate once in a while. Sugary foods hold little to no nutritional value and they lead to fluctuating blood sugar and insulin levels. These lead to poor concentration, bad mood and irritability. If you’ve eaten a bit too much during the holidays, chances are you’ve experienced some mood swings along the way as well.
2. High sodium
We need sodium, but in moderate amounts. Sodium is a water magnet. If you take too much sodium, you’ll retain more fluid. This stresses your heart to work harder, increasing your blood pressure. High sodium foods also cause bloating and puffiness that can be quite unpleasant.
3. Energy drinks
If you’re turning towards energy drinks for a quick pick-me-up, you might as well stick to a cup of Joe instead. Energy drinks and other highly caffeinated beverages feed stress and make it a bigger mess. The combination of caffeine and sugar makes you jittery, taxing the body and adding more stress. Energy drinks also affect your sleep and cause irritability afterwards.
4. Processed junk
Processed crap is loaded with sodium, fat, artificial additives and sugar. They’re comfort foods we typically turn towards however, they actually aggravate stress levels. They contain very little nutrients, lots of calories and they directly increase cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.
5. Sugar free candies and gum
Artificially sweetened candies are just as bad as sugar-sweetened ones. They worsen digestive problems and thus, exacerbate stress. This can lead to grumpiness, bloating and general discomfort with your body.
6. Spicy foods
Who doesn’t love spicy food? If you’re experiencing digestive problems that may be contributing to your stress, it’s important that you stay away from spicy foods to alleviate discomfort. Folks who are easily stressed cannot process food as effectively as others. Stress stunts your metabolism and makes it more difficult for the body to digest food. This causes food to remain in the stomach for longer, leading to acid reflux.