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Health Foods That You Should Always Avoid

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Deceptive advertisements in the health industry are becoming increasingly pervasive. For many years, companies have produced what they call “health” food items that are often ineffective or borderline dangerous. The incessant flow of trends and industry buzzwords like “diet,” “organic,” and “sugar-free” can make it confusing when trying to improve your lifestyle. This means that a good number of people who want to eat better are actually incorporating foods in their everyday meals that they should not be consuming. Below we will go over a comprehensive overview of health foods that you should eliminate from your diet.

Farmed Fish

Farmed fish, including Atlantic salmon or farmed Tilapia, are often touted as great healthy foods. However, you should avoid these fish at all costs. A study at the University of New York indicated that farmed salmon contained 11 times more dioxin than wild caught salmon. It can take several years for your body to flush out dioxin, allowing it to wreak havoc on your health. Dioxin is an environmental pollutant that can cause cancer, immune system dysfunction, and even organ damage. It was also recently discovered that the omega-3 fatty acid levels in farmed-raised salmon are declining fast. There are also concerns regarding the contamination of man farmed fish. The amount of organic pollutants tends to be very high in farmed fish. These fish are treated with dangerous pesticides, and their production is detrimental to the natural ecosystems surrounding the farms. Fish does contain significant health benefits, just always opt for the wild-caught options.

Fruit Juice

It is a general misconception that any food item with the word fruit in it is automatically good for you. The truth is that fruit juice is just as unhealthy as soda if consumed in large amounts since it often contains just as much sugar and calories. An 8-ounce glass of fruit juice is the equivalent of eating four oranges. Additionally, fruit juice is devoid of very important fiber contained in whole fruits. The actual ‘fruit’ contained in fruit juice is about 5 to 10 percent. There is simply no substitute for consuming fruits in their entirety. Fruit juices also have high levels of fructose; about 46 grams per liter according to a 2014 study.

Fruit Bowl

To put this all into perspective, soda contains 50 grams of fructose per liter. The human body cannot handle these fructose levels for energy production. The fructose will be processed in your liver where it will be converted into fat.

Seitan

Seitan is a popular health food, especially among vegetarians. On the surface, it seems like an ideal replacement for meat. However, two specific properties of seitan make it particularly bad for you. First, seitan consists almost entirely of wheat gluten, meaning it can increase the risk of gluten intolerance and gluten allergies. Secondly, it has a very high sodium content. A half cup of seitan can contain up to 580 milligrams of sodium. This is definitely a food to avoid. The recommended alternative for seitan is tempeh.

Unfermented Soy Products

Soy products have been touted as health foods for many years, but there is nothing healthy about unfermented soy products. This includes soy milk, edamame, and soy protein. Fermented soy is a highly recommended dietary option. In the US, most soy is genetically modified in order to withstand compounds found in specific weed killers. One of these chemical compounds is glyphosate. US soy contains dangerously high levels of glyphosate, which is detrimental to human health and can cause cell death. Long-term consumption of soy protein is linked to a number of health problems. These include asthma, hay fever, breast cancer, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, and urinary bladder cancer.

Margarine

The misconception that margarine is a healthier dietary option than butter has persisted for decades. The idea arose from the notion that the lower saturated fat content of margarine makes it healthier. Research has consistently shown that it is actually the opposite. Margarine initially contained Tran’s fats. Tran’s fats are a major contributory factor in cardiovascular disease including thousands of heart attacks each year. These types of fat also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Most margarine produced today do not contain Tran’s fats. Instead, they have been replaced with high processed industrial fats that are nearly as dangerous for your overall health. Butter and grass-fed ghee are better options for a spread.

Vegetable Oils

Most vegetable oils find their way into the category of ‘healthy fats’. Unfortunately, there are some vegetable oils that you should not be consuming, such as canola oil. Many vegetable oils are sourced from genetically modified crops and are partially hydrogenated. Aside from being highly inflammatory, vegetable oils have been linked to several diseases and conditions. These include cancer, diabetes, liver ailments, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, birth defects, impeded growth, high cholesterol levels, tendon ailments, immune system disorders, skin ailments, obesity, bone problems, low birth weight, and sexual dysfunction. Given this long list of risks, you should make the switch to pure unpasteurized coconut oil. It is the much healthier cooking alternative.

Artificial Sweeteners

When sugar replaced fats as the worst dietary enemy, most people looked towards artificial sweeteners including sucralose, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, stevia, and acesulfame as new viable options. Due to their low glycemic index, they are recommended for diabetics. However, recent research has revealed that artificial sweeteners interfere with flora in the digestive system and may actually contribute to causing diabetes. In addition, these sugar alternatives have been linked to allergies, brain tumors, breast cancer, bladder cancer, weight gain, seizures, high blood pressure, leukemia, and headaches.

Garcinia Cambogia

With obesity rates on the rise all over the world, overweight individuals are always on the lookout for foods that supposedly aid in weight management. Unfortunately, some of these so-called “superfoods” come with unforeseen side effects even if they are effective. One of these foods is Garcinia Cambogia, a pumpkin shaped fruit whose extract is often used in weight loss supplements. It does help you lose weight quickly, but it has also been linked to liver failure. If you are trying to lose weight, avoid this weight loss food and opt for better risk-free weight management methods.

Fad Coffee Drinks

Coffee actually has considerable health benefits to offer. It can increase your energy levels, help you burn fat, and lower your risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It also has protective effects on your liver, helping guard against liver cirrhosis. However, you will not be able to reap these health benefits if your coffee contains certain added ingredients. Excess sugar is a staple in today’s popular lattes, usually coming in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. A typical latte contains up to 50 grams of sugar. These sugar levels wreak havoc on your liver and can cause fatty liver disease. Carrageenan is also found in most coffee drinks. This ingredient causes problems in the digestive system. Always go for traditional unsweetened black coffee.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is among the top health foods in the US market. However, a brief look at this food items reveals that it has no health benefits to offer, and is, in fact, detrimental to human health. Of all commercial sweeteners out there, agave nectar contains the highest amounts of fructose. High fructose levels in the body are very taxing on the liver. They cause your body to go into a fat storage mode, which is counterproductive to those of you trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar replacements, like sugar-free baked goods and sugar-free chewing gum, contain sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, lactitol, maltitol, and isomalt. These products are marketed as healthy alternatives to their sugar-laden counterparts, but you should avoid them altogether. The ingredients are called natural but really, they are just processed foods. Some ingredients are derivatives of genetically modified corn and other crops. Sugar alcohols have been linked to several health conditions including rashes, allergic reactions, IBS, headaches, and digestive disorders.

Overall, it is essential to stay informed on the actual ingredients contained in the food items you purchase. Be a label watcher and always opt for food products that are unprocessed, organic, and grass-fed.

14 Great Probiotic Foods for Increased Health and Weight Loss

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The secret is out. The answer to good health, good looks, and longevity are probiotics. These are the gut-friendly bacteria that live in our digestive tracts to help in digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Probiotics will save you from taking another pill when it comes to digestive problems and more. Putting these microbes under the microscope reveal that their benefits go way beyond the digestive system. Have you been struggling with stomach aches, allergies, insomnia, diarrhea, heart conditions, weak immunity, or belly fat and obesity? If yes, you may very well be suffering from a lack of healthy gut bacteria. Below we will explore an extensive list of probiotic rich foods and their multiple health benefits.  

Before we dive in, however, let’s find out more about the good bacteria that can help you live a healthier, happier life. 

What are Probiotics? 

Our bodies are full of bacteria, some good, and some bad. Probiotics are the good bacteria that feed on the harmful bacteria in a ‘cleansing’ fashion to keep your gut healthy. 

Our ancestors scarcely suffered from the health complications that plague us today. So, where the onslaught of health issues begin? Processed foods. That was the Pandora’s Box, or the can of worms if you will. But of course, we can’t rule out antacids, hormone replacers, birth control, antibacterial soaps, steroids, and the overuse of antibiotics. 

We used to eat fresh foods straight from mother earth. We would also naturally ferment various foods as a preservation method before the refrigerator. Today there are dangerous food processing methods where natural foods are loaded with additives for longer shelf lives. 

The problem is even worse than you think. Beyond the fact the chemical additives kill the taste and the nutrients in the food, they descend our digestive tracts and destroy much of the good bacteria trying to survive in our guts.  

The result of the probiotics apocalypse in our system includes: 

  • Stinking breath 
  • Leaky gut and stomach ulcers 
  • Susceptibility to cold and flu  
  • Lethargy  
  • Pimples, rashes, and dry skin 
  • Bloating and obesity 

Sounds scary? You bet. The only option for improvement is to start consuming probiotics today. No matter how bad your situation has been, if you are already suffering from these issues, you are guaranteed to see quick improvement. What’s more, you will save the money you would otherwise spend on doctor’s appointments and drugs. 

 

 

10 Types of ‘Friendly’ Bacteria: 

There are many types of probiotic bacteria, all with different benefits. The most common types of gut-friendly bacteria include: 

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus 
  • Lactobacillus bulgarius 
  • Lactobacillus reuteri 
  • Streptococcus thermophilus 
  • Saccharomyces boulardii 
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum 
  • Bacillus subtilis 
  • Bacillus Coagulans 
  • Escherichia Coli 
  • Viridans Streptococci 

14 Great Probiotic Foods 

  1. Kefir

This is by far the most probiotic-rich food around. The drink is a combination of milk and fermented kefir seeds. The Kefir grains help in the fermentation of the liquid.  Kefir grains are made up of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that speed up the fermentation overnight. 

Once the milk is fermented, the grains are removed and stored away to be used again. This method of milk fermentation can be attributed to ancient Turks and Russians. In essence, Kefir is a nutritious drink packed with different strains of good bacteria as well as other nutrients including proteins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, Riboflavin and vitamins B12 and D.  

  1. Coconut Kefir

This version of Kefir uses young coconut juice, giving a lactose-free option to those with allergies. It is fermented with Kefir seeds and tends to have the same probiotics as the original milk Kefir, though in a lesser concentration.  What you can expect however, is a drink with great taste. 

Research also shows that the probiotics in Kefir can inhibit the growth of tumor cells and the formation of carcinogenic cells. That means it is a possible remedy for cancer.  

  1. Green Peas

According to new studies, green peas are a great source of probiotics! Just prepare a cup of green peas to accompany either your breakfast or dinner and you will be on your way to better health. Green peas contain the Leuconostoc mesenteroides strain of microbes that serve to protect the walls of the digestive tract from corrosion. 

  1. Fermented Vegetables

Sauerkraut (popular in German cuisine) and Kimchi (popular in Korean cuisine) consist of fermented cabbage and other vegetables. In both, the fermentation formula is the same. You can ferment a single type of vegetables or different types including herbs and spices to achieve the taste you desire. The greens are fermented using either a solution of salt, whey or any other starter culture. While these foods do not contain numerous types of probiotics, they are high in acids which promote good bacteria growth in your system and enzymes which help digestion. 

  1. Yogurt

Yogurt is probably the most popular and commonly consumed probiotic food. It’s easily accessible and requires little effort to prepare. The best option is Greek yogurt which is made by fermenting cow, goat, or sheep’s milk. The milk should be organic, not pasteurized, and from pasture raised/grass-fed animals. Yogurt contains numerous strains of probiotics including, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Lactobacillus case, and Bifidus. 

  1. Raw Cheese

Cheese made from natural, unpasteurized animal milk contains a high amount of gut-friendly bacteria, namely Lactobacillus thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus, and acidophilus. Fresh cheese is indeed a no-brainer for anyone who cares about healthy living. 

  1. Kombucha

Green tea has immense health benefits, but fermented green tea is next level healthy and medicinal for one reason- it contains a super-saturation of probiotics. The tea is sweetened then fermented using a culture of bacteria and yeast known as SCOBY. Originating from China almost 2000 years ago, it is believed that Kombucha can heal conditions of the digestive tract and reduce liver intoxication.  

  1. Natto

This fermented soy food originates from the ancient Far East. This prebiotic meal is made by soaking soybeans, boiling them, and then fermenting them with a culture of Bacillus subtilis. This strain of probiotic is super-potent, known to remedy heart conditions, heal digestive tract disorders, and improve the body’s immunity.  

  1. Brine-Cured Olives 

To aid in a stress-free gut, place a cup of green olives in a culture made of salt water and leave it for some days to ferment. The result is olives rich in Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus pentosus bacteria that will help your gut health. 

  1. Kvass

This is a brew originating from ancient Russia, made of fermented barley. Today, there are various versions of it, some using carrots, beets, or fruits. Kvass has plenty of gut-friendly bacteria that not only improves digestion but also reduces lethargy, boosting physical activities. 

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar 

You can drink it in small amounts or use it as a salad dressing. Apple cider vinegar is one of the healthy drinks you should try for the highly concentrated gut-friendly bacteria it contains. It also aids in blood sugar regulation, hunger suppression, stomach indigestion/ acid reflux, and improved immunity. 

  1. Salted Gherkin Pickles 

These are soaked Swedish cucumbers, chopped, and seasoned with salt.  They are then sealed in a jar containing a mixture of vinegar, sugar, dill and mustard seeds. Pickled cucumbers carry plenty of healthy bacteria and are also low in calories. 

  1. Miso

This is a Japanese spice soup made by fermenting either soybean, barley, or rice with a fungus called Koji. It takes a few days for the mixture to ferment and the result can then be turned into soup or dressing. 

  1. Tempeh

Rounding up our list of probiotic-rich foods is Tempeh, originating from Indonesian culture. All you need to do is add a tempeh mixture to soybeans and leave for a few days to ferment. You can then boil the resultant cake form or eat with Miso. Tempeh is full of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and host of the gut-friendly Lactobacillus bacteria. 

From the look of it, there is an expansive list of probiotic foods. Science doesn’t lie; your life could transform if you choose to start and stick to a probiotic rich diet today. 

phenofen

Top 11 Nutrition Myths from the Media

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Top 11 Nutrition Myths from the Media

Today, you will find almost any health and nutritional advice in the internet. In fact, there are endless health solutions on the internet every day. Bloggers, pharmaceutical companies, food associations, and food companies keep feeding people with lies regarding what they think is right or wrong. You will come across information on food that you should avoid when you want to lose weight such as adhering to a certain number of meals or even a diet to follow when you want to drop pounds quickly. A lot of this information is wrong and you might, in fact, end up following the wrong nutritional diet or worse, end up gaining weight as a result of bad advice.  

If you asked people what they think is right or wrong regarding a particular food, even without surfing the internet, you would definitely get different answers. The people are not to blame because most of them will give you information depending on what they have been told or what they have read. Confusion on nutrition and diet is getting worse and worse each day, and medical researchers and dietitians are working to debunk such myths by researching in relation to what people think about certain foods and diets. 

This article will review 11 of the most common misconceptions that you will find on the internet, outline the myths, discuss the truth and about it, and provide you with the ultimate and valid solution. The analysis is dependent on various research that has been carried out by professional medical health researchers and dietitians. 

Myth 1: Saturated fat is not good for you. 

There has been a lot of information relating to the consumption of saturated fat with increased risks of heart disease. For this reason, people have been doing almost everything possible to eliminate saturated fat from their diet. Recent research, however, found out that eliminating saturated fats from your diet does not actually reduce the chances of a person getting heart-related diseases. 

Truth: You need saturated fats for normal body function. 

The myth on saturated fats was propelled by the sugar industry when they funded Harvard to document information that saturated fats are related to heart diseases. However, this discovery was made when quite a number of people had already opted out of using saturated fats and had, in fact, started using partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils. At this point, a lot of damage had already been done. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (like margarine) have much higher ratios of omega 6s to omega 3s leading to an imbalance of the 2 in the body. This imbalance leads to chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation leads to disease such as cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. 

Additionally, in a study by The Women Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial of postmenopausal women that was conducted over a period of 8 years, it was discovered that contrary popular misinformation, a low-fat diet does not reduce colorectal cancer. Another study that was conducted on out on about 50,000 postmenopausal women indicated that consuming low fat had no relation to the reduction of breast cancer. 

Lastly, the Mediterranean diet has been controversial and resulted in a lot of debate and research. The truth, however, is that Mediterranean diet high in good fats and has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 

Diet hack: Incorporating healthy saturated fat in your diet is good for your health. 

You may have come across information on coconut oil from the American Heart Association criticizing coconut oil. The truth is that coconut oil is among the healthiest food, is easily digested, comes with anti-microbial properties such as lucid acid, and is heat resistant. 

Another common healthy fat is ghee which comes with fats soluble vitamins A, D and E. If you need oil for raw applications, avocado oil, almond oil, and olive oils can come in handy. 

Myth 2: Keto diet is not good for you. 

The myth with regard to keto has always been a blurred one. The first is the primary reason for one going into the ketosis. Initially, the keto diet was been associated with losing a lot of weight. The keto diet however, primarily improves how the brain functions. Ketosis has been associated with the reduction of epilepsy. Ketosis is not the same as diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous symptom experienced by some diabetic patients. 

The primary source of energy in the body is glucose. During ketosis, however, the body utilizes ketones as the primary source of energy instead of glucose.  

The keto diet can reverse some disease symptoms and can also help you lose weight. The ketogenic diet is good for exercise, improving energy, building muscle mass, and also beating brain fog and, on top of all of these great benefits, you will definitely lose weight. By eating keto-friendly foods, you can limit the carbohydrate intake which in turn transitions the body to a fat burning state. 

Truth: You can lose weight by going keto and reverse disease symptoms. 

By following this diet, you will be veering from common myths regarding weight loss such as counting your calories. It is also helpful for avoiding and treating diseases such as diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, manic depression, autism, PCOS, and cancer (especially brain cancer). 

Diet hack: Try a 30-day keto diet. 

You can try following the keto diet in your daily life periodically since it can significantly restrict the health benefits you can get from foods such as sweet potato and quite a number of fruits. Try cycling it with other healthy diets for 30-90 days at a time. If you have diabetes, on the other hand, you should consult your health provider for a perfect guide. 

Myth 3: Buying organic foods is not worth the extra cost. 

Despite the fact that organic foods are more expensive, you can always start by replacing the top most toxic inorganic foods with organic. If you study the information released by the Environmental Working Group, you will notice that you might have been consuming a lot of dangerous and contaminated inorganic foods. Each year, they publish the Dirty Dozen list which includes the top 12 most toxic foods. Start by switching to organic for this list to lower your toxic load.  

Truth: You will save thousands of dollars by buying organic food. 

Animals raised for meat are always fed with a lot of antibodies as well as injected with dangerous hormones while the vegetables and fruits are sprayed with a lot of pesticides chlorpyrifos, and neurotoxic. All these can be detrimental to your health as much as they can be cheap. In turn, you will end up spending a lot of money to pay hospital bills after contracting diseases from the foods. 

Diet hack: Buy organic when you can. 

When buying organic, you can use a list from the Environmental Working Group to avoid the items in the dirty dozen lists. When buying meat, on the other hand, you should avoid buying processed meat which are loaded with a lot of chemicals. 

Myth 4: Too much protein is hard on the liver and kidney. 

It is common to hear people assert that eating a lot of protein may result in one developing kidney and liver complications. In fact, some people relate the issue to osteoporosis. This is however not true, although it has led to many people avoiding proteins to curb kidney and liver problems. 

Truth: You need proteins for hormone building and bone health. 

The cell building process requires proteins. You also need proteins for building your bones because they have essential amino acids which promote bone health.  For your body repair, you need enough proteins, and lack of adequate protein can lead to osteoporosis  

Diet hack: It is essential to add protein to your diet. 

Adding protein to your diet is essential. You should, however, ensure that you rely on organic proteins and avoid conventional meat and other inorganic proteins. 

Myth 5: All fish is healthy. 

When choosing your fish, it is essential to consider the process through which the fish has been sourced. You may be eating fish that is toxic, this list includes the majority of the farmed fish which often contains high levels of mercury. Additionally, farm raised fish such as tilapia is associated with a bad balance of omega 3: omega 6 ratio (too much omega 6s to omega 3s. 

Truth: The type of fish/seafood you get is important. 

You need to consider quite a number of things when purchasing seafood as many other problems, in addition to mercury poisoning and improper omega ratios, have arisen from bad fish farming practices. You can consider things such as the manner in which the food was sourced.  

Diet hack: Opt for uncontaminated and sustainable fish products. 

Instead of going for fish that is not good for your health, you can go for fish such as Pacific sardine’s sablefish, Atlantic mackerel, and woven wild-caught Alaskan salmon which are all high in Omega 3s and sustainably sourced. 

Myth 6: Eggs are unhealthy and cholesterol is bad. 

It was only recently, in 2016, when it was discovered that there is no relationship between coronary heart disease and consumption of eggs. Initially, it was believed that the saturated fat and cholesterol in eggs were related to heart disease. 

Truth: Eggs are not the enemy, and cholesterol is important. 

According to a study published by the journal of clinical nutrition, it was discovered that there is no relation between egg yolks (which contain all of the fat and cholesterol, as well as many vitamins) and heart disease. In fact, eggs can significantly help in increasing lutein and zeaxanthin levels which are good for the eyes. 

Diet hack: Enjoy eggs from farm-raised or free range chickens, and monitor cholesterol levels. 

Eggs are extremely good for you since they are always packed with vitamins A, B5, and B12, fats, phosphorus, and folate. They also have the added benefit of being quick and easy to cook! When choosing your eggs, however, you should opt for farm fresh or free-range eggs. The healthier the chicken, the better for you and better tasting the eggs will be! 

Myth 7: Eating five to six meals a day is essential and stimulates metabolism. 

A lot of people believe that consuming small meals throughout the day can actually boost your metabolism, increase the process of food digestion, and lead to weight loss. This is a false belief, and the truth is that it is the total amount of food that you eat in a day that will impact your metabolism. Some people may even find that intermittent fasting works best for them. 

Truth: Eating frequently may interfere with burning fat, and it does not increase metabolism. 

Recent studies have shown that eating frequently throughout the day really doesn’t help your body lose weight. To the contrary, intermittent fasting has shown to really help in the metabolism process since it increases the rate at which fats are burnt. More about the different types of fasting and its health benefits can be found here 

Diet hack: Be careful with your daily diet and try intermittent fasting. 

You can easily incorporate intermittent fasting into your routine. For instance, you can simply forgo breakfast then start eating at around noon until about 8 pm. This schedule leaves your body 16 hours to fully digest everything you have eaten and go into a fasting state. For women, fasting can be a little more difficult since they can experience hormonal changes if they practice IMF on a daily basis so it may be better for them to do it every other day instead. It is advisable that they seek the advice of their health provider in advance. 

Myth 8: All sodium is bad for your health. 

For a long time now, people have used salt or sodium as a scapegoat for heart complications. The Dietary Guidelines for America suggests that one should take eat/drink no more than 2300mg of salt per day, with the preference below 1500mg per day. This is just over 1 tsp of salt per day! However, you actually need sodium for your health and your heart. 

Truth: You should probably reduce your salt intake but not as low as the guidelines suggest. 

The dietary guidelines tend to quote a lower amount of salt than one needs, although most Western diets contain far more salt than we need already. Research shows that the ideal amount of salt per day is about 3200-6000mg or 1.5-3 tsp. When you lower your salt intake, you can reduce your blood pressure but if you reduce it too much, you can put yourself at risk for several other health complications such as insulin resistance, increased risk of death with diabetes, and added risks for heart disease. On the other hand, you should avoid excessive salts since it may lead to diseases such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases.  

Diet hack: Be careful with salt intake. 

Apart from being careful with the salt intake, you should also consider not using iodized table salt and instead opt for other options such as Celtic sea salt or even pink Himalayan salt as these will provide you with the healthy sodium you may need.  

Myth 9: All sugar is bad. 

People tend to avoid sugar because they believe that it is terrible and can cause diabetes. However, not all sugar is bad for you. Instead, only refined sugar is bad since it is high in calories and affects the production of insulin which can lead to type 2 diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease. 

Truth: Natural sugars actually have some health benefits. 

All sugars are not bad as much as you have been led to believe your whole life. Your body actually needs various nutrients to thrive and natural sugars are one of them. 

Diet hack: Use natural sweeteners, but not too much. 

There are a lot of varieties of natural sugars in the market. Instead of using artificial sweeteners such as sweet ‘n’ low or splenda (which are horrible for you), you can choose to use natural sugars, but with a lot of moderation. Examples of natural sugars include raw honey, manuka honey, or even blackstrap molasses which have a lot of vitamins, minerals, and even several other health benefits such as boosting the immune system.  

Myth 10: You can compensate bad diet with supplements. 

This is one of the most common myths you will find on the internet today. Masses of people try to compensate for their bad diets, consisting of processed foods, refined sugar, or even whole grains which do not have the nutrition and fiber your body requires. 

Truth: Choose nutrient-dense whole foods. 

While there are certain vitamins and minerals that can be properly supplemented (as needed, due to a deficiency) outside of food (such as probiotics, magnesium, B vitamins, and calcium), you cannot use supplements to compensate for a bad diet. You need to get as much nutrition as you can from real food. The body needs fiber, fats, oils, carbohydrates, and proteins and supplements cannot supplement all these. If you do choose to take supplements, be sure that they are food based which will make them more easily absorbable by the body.  

Diet hack: Eat whole healthy foods. 

One of the most important reasons why you should focus on whole foods is because they are easy to digest and they produce the greatest amount of nutrients the body requires. If you must use supplements, only use them when you have, but you also need to reverse the deficiency with the whole foods. 

Myth 11: Counting calories are the only way to control your weight. 

Quite a number of people are into the calories in/calories out a diet which they believe (as this has been widely taught for years) is the only way to control their weight. As much as controlling weight is important, there are a lot of other options apart from counting calories 

Truth: There are better ways to lose weight than counting calories in and calories out. 

While exercise and diet are important, if you want to reduce obesity level, then you need to take note of the types of food that you consume and not necessarily the amount of food you eat. For instance, 300 calories of chips are not processed the same way as 300 calories of raw nuts! 

Diet hack: Focus on the quality of food, not the quantity. 

Rather than focusing on the amount and portions of the food you intake, you should ensure that you consume the right quality of food. The best way for one to lose weight is by choosing to reduce the carbohydrate intake and increase the intake of healthy fats in the body. By eating nutritionally dense food, you will get full and stay full longer.  

Bottom-line 

Instead of getting hammered with false information on a daily basis, you should consider doing some proper research from credible sources. Most importantly, avoid picking up random information along the way and believing it: You may be inviting more diseases into your body. Consider trying out Phenofen, along with a healthy diet and exercise routine, to increase you weight loss results. 

Healthy Kids Playing Ball Outdoors

Childhood Obesity Prevention Tips for Parents

By | Eating Healthy, Exercise Tips, Health Tips | One Comment

It’s vital for children to maintain a healthy weight. One of the most effective ways to guarantee this is a balanced diet. Balance is particularly important when it comes to the number of calories your child consumes and what kinds of foods they eat. As a parent or guardian, it’s your role to ensure you balance the calories your children drink and eat with those they use during normal growth and physical activity.  

Teaching your kids healthy eating practices, including how to reduce empty calories like soda and candy, can make all the difference between your kid living healthily or struggling with their weight. Obese and overweight kids and teens alike need to learn how to eat a healthy, balanced diet that will prevent unhealthy weight gain while nourishing their bodies and promoting normal development and growth.  

For most kids, being overweight is a result of unhealthy eating patterns, including excessive intake of calories, coupled with little to no physical activity. These habits can form early in childhood, making it necessary for parents to teach their children healthy practices from an early age.  

This article suggests some lifestyle changes that can promote your kid’s health well into adulthood. Make sure to focus on improving your kid’s health, not simply reducing their weight. Unhealthy, restrictive relationships with food can result from too much focus on changing your child’s appearance rather than simply helping them live a healthier lifestyle. Your goal is to help your kid be healthy, happy, and energetic! Before putting your kid on a weight-reduction diet, be sure to speak with their pediatrician to ensure it’s being done in a healthy way. 

Balance: Helping your kids establishing healthy eating habits 

Introduce healthy eating habits into your kid’s regular diet. You can start this by offering nutritious snacks and meals with an appropriate number of calories. You can also help your kids establish healthy eating habits by making their favorite meals healthier, as well as curbing any unhealthier temptations. Some ways to do this include:  

   1. Promote healthy eating habits.  

Small alterations to the usual diet can ensure your kids adapt and stick to a healthy dietary routine.  You can accomplish this by incorporating the following simple changes:  

  • Include plenty of fruits, whole-grain products, and vegetables 
  • Offer low-fat milk, or milk alternatives such as almond, soy, or oat milk 
  • For protein, serve lean meats or protein-packed vegetables like fish, poultry, beans, and lentils 
  • Serve appropriately sized portions, and set an example with your own portion sizes 
  • Hydrate: encourage your entire family to drink large quantities of water 
  • Go easy on the sugar, sweetened beverages, saturated fat, and sodium 

    2. Make their favorite dishes healthier 

Making changes to eating habits doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out your kids’ favorite foods. You can tinker with some of these recipes to make them healthier. Add in vegetables, or use fortified ingredients like pasta made with extra vitamins and vegetables. Blend cooked cauliflower into mashed potatoes. You can also introduce several new healthy and delicious dishes which can, in turn, become favorites.  

   3. Reduce any calorie-rich temptations 

There’s nothing wrong with treats – they’re a great way to teach your kid how to indulge without overdoing it. While moderation is crucial, we have to be sure not deprive our kids of occasional treats. If we do restrict them too much, it can inspire them to overeat rather than practice healthy regulation. You can start out by reducing high-sugar, high-fat, and high-salt snacks. This can help your kids learn healthier eating habits. 

Here’s some easy, tasty snack options with low fat and sugar to offer your kids  

  • Apple, medium size 
  • Blueberries, 1 cup 
  • Banana, medium size 
  • Carrots, 1 cup 
  • Grapes, 1 cup 
  • Bell peppers, or broccoli, with hummus (2 tbsp.) 

    4. Teach your kids why exercise is essential 

Our bodies aren’t made to sit still all day, but that’s what many of us do at work or school. As a result, it’s important to make sure you and your kids stay physically active. Physical exercise has a multitude of health benefits, and it’s crucial that your kids know this too. Some of the benefits of exercise include 

  • Strengthening bones 
  • Reducing stress and anxiety 
  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Boosting self-esteem 
  • Promoting a healthy weight 

    5. Help your kids stay active:  

Physical activity is so important. Kids and teens alike need to practice regular moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week, or on a daily basis if possible. You can introduce various routines to inspire them to stay active. Include exercise in your own daily routine and encourage your kids to participate. You can also inspire your kids to sign up for organized sports or physical activities, like swimming or soccer. Some common, effective moderate-intensity physical activities include:  

  • Jumping rope 
  • Brisk walking 
  • Playing soccer 
  • Playing tag 
  • Dancing 
  • Swimming 

    6. Minimize sedentary time 

After a long day at school or playing outside, it makes sense for your kids to want to spend some time relaxing. While some quiet time doing homework, reading, or resting after a busy day is fine, what you need to discourage and ultimately limit is unnecessarily long idle time. Minimizing sedentary time helps boost physical activity. You can reduce screen time (video games, TV, internet) to only a few hours per day. According to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), children two and younger should not watch TV or have screen time, as this is a crucial time for physical and mental development. 

Encourage your kids to choose fun physical activities that they can do with family, friends, and alone to help them stay active. 

Why it’important to maintain a healthy body weight  

The importance of attaining and marinating a healthy body weight can’t be understated. While it may seem easy in theory, it can be quite a challenging task. Focusing on small, but long-term changes to diet and exercise habits is a more effective strategy in comparison to drastic but unsustainable changes that only last for a short while, such as strict diets and exercise routines.  

When helping obese or overweight kids, you should focus on ensuring that they maintain an appropriate body weight for their age, height, and individual needs. Weight gain should generally be proportional to height increase. 

Success predicting factors:  

  • A healthy diet that kids and parents both participate in 
  • Strong social support of healthy habits, especially from those close to the child  
  • Strong support for physical activity and participation of the whole family 

Summary:  

While adopting new lifestyle changes can be exciting and challenging at first, it’s worth noting that these changes only serve their purpose if you and your kids stick to them. As such, it’s important to emphasize the need for the entire family to keep up with these lifestyle changes. The best way to help your kid achieve a healthy weight is by doing it gradually.  

Parents and guardians alike can protect their kids from early childhood obesity by offering healthy snacks and meals, encouraging everyday physical activity, and teaching them about nutrition. Healthy snacks and meals afford growing bodies the right type of nutrition while also promoting healthy attitudes and eating habits. By eating healthy, it’s easy to manage weight and improve overall health.  

As for increased physical activity, it’s essential for health. Along with reducing many health risks, it helps regulate weight. It’s essential for parents to teach their kids about nutrition and healthy eating habits. With nutritional education, kids can know what proper nutrition is, its importance, and adopt healthy habits for a lifetime.  

Why Fasting Is Good for You: Types and Benefits of Fasting

By | Eating Healthy, Health Tips, Weight Loss | One Comment

Why Fasting Is Good for You: Types and Benefits of Fasting 

Is counting calories and adhering to a specific diet difficult for you? If so consider fasting as it can save you from this trouble. It boosts your metabolism and reenergizes your system among other benefits.  

What is Fasting?  

There is a common misconception that fasting is about starving yourself. No. It is about not eating within selected intervals of time. You will come across many diet tips with some contradicting each other. It can become overwhelming and you may end up giving up on the tips. It is a different case with fasting. It is about not eating for a given period.  

Instead of eating three meals a day or small meals spread out through the day, you will set aside a given timeframe for eating. It can be certain hours during each day or given weekdays. Within this time, you are allowed to eat healthy meals.  

You cannot feast on processed sugars and junk foods and still expect fasting to work for you. You must still adhere to a healthy diet loaded with nutritious whole foods such as whole grains, raw dairy, vegetables, fruits, proteins, and good fat. You can still enjoy some cheese and dark chocolate if you like! 

Fasting does not tie you down to one way of living or eating. This is where different types of fasting come in. Continue reading. 

Types of Fasting 

Remember, we said fasting is all about eating within set periods. It depends on how long you are to go without eating.  

1. The Daniel Fast 

Fasting has a religious connection. According to the Bible in the book of Daniel, he fasted. The Daniel Fast involves consuming only whole, plant-based foods for 21 days. Foods you can eat include vegetables (should be the basis of the diet), fruits (1-3 servings a day), whole grains (in moderation, ideally sprouted), beans and legumes (in moderation), and nuts and seeds (sprouted are best). During this time, you are not to consume any animal product including meat and dairy, processed foods, sugars/sweets, or oils. You should also only drink water, fresh pressed vegetable juice, almond milk, coconut milk, and coconut water (all unsweetened). This type of fasting does not allow you to drink coffee, juice, or alcohol.  

2. Intermittent Fasting

This type of fasting ranges from 14-18 hours per day of not eating. For example, you may only eat from noon to 6 or 8pm at night. However, if you have the energy, you can go to a maximum of 32-36 hours without solid food.  

3. Time-Restricted Fasting

Many people adhere to this type of fasting without knowing they are fasting. Usually, you refrain from food for 12-16 hours between dinner and breakfast. For example, most people take dinner at 7pm or 8pm then go to sleep until say 7am. Some people may forget to eat breakfast until around 10am. If you count the hours such a person goes without eating, they fall into the time range of time-restricted fasting.  

However, when the time to eat comes, make sure you are eating healthy meals and as much as your body needs but without overeating. Eating more than you should causes unnecessary weight gain. This type of fasting is easy to adhere to and does not require you to make big changes in your eating routine.  

4. Alternate Day Fasting  

Alternate fasting is about having fasting and non-fasting days. They should alternate. Therefore, there are days you eat and others that you do not. It can be difficult following such a routine but it is possible if you are willing.  

However, alternate fasting does not necessarily mean that you refrain from food altogether. You can reduce your calorie intake to quarter of your usual intake. If you consume 1600 calories on your non-fasting days then only eat 400 calories only on your fasting days. It is only reasonable that your body will need some food to carry out its normal functions during your fasting days.  

Alternate day fasting should not last long as it can be hard to follow. Try it and see how far you can go in implementing it. 

5. 5:2 fasting  

This type of fasting is about eating your normal way for five days of the week and then limiting food intake during the remaining two days. During the two days, you only take in about 500-600 calories per day.  

6. Warrior fasting  

This entails you eating fruits and vegetables only during the day and the eating a large, healthy, balanced meal in the evening.  

Helpful Tips for Fasting

Fasting does not have to be hard as some people make it sound. It is simpler when you have a guideline on how to do it. 

First, identify the type of fasting you would like to engage in. Time-restricted fasting would be a good place to start considering it is more achievable than other fasting types. 12-16 hours of not eating will likely be easier than the other types, as you will be asleep the better half of the hours. The rest you can fill up during the day. If you have ever done time-restricted fasting, then you can advance to the other challenging types. 

Second, come up with goals. What do you want to get out of fasting? Is it losing weight, having more energy, being healthier, or feeling better? Jot down your goals and place them somewhere you can easily see them as you fast. Doing so encourages you to achieve your fasting goals 

Third, you need to plan your meals and buy the groceries that you will need. Planning has to do with what you will be eating each day and when you will be eating. A meal plan keeps you disciplined so you only eat what you should and when you should eat. With time, you will acclimate to it. 

Fourth, your body is everything. It is the key to feeling well when fasting. Listen to what it is telling you. If you are a beginner in fasting, it will take a few days for your body to adjust to the new routine.  

Therefore, even when the 12-16 hour fasting takes a toll on you and you feel that you need to have a snack, eat something small. If you are not hungry after your fasting hours are up, you do not have to eat just because it is non-fasting time. This shows that your body is adapting to the change in your lifestyle. 

Monitor your fasting and write down your experiences. Identify any patterns and your general feeling each time you fast.   

Frequent Questions Regarding Fasting 

Fasting attracts common questions amongst newbies as well as those who have tried it before. 

1. How long do I need to fast? 

Fasting does not involve ridiculous rules. It is as simple as it gets. It is not about the hours you put in but about how comfortable you are with a given type of fasting. Intermittent fasting is manageable, even for beginners.  

One of the tips to help you fast accordingly is eating when you feel hungry. Avoid starving your body. If you feel you need a snack then have one. It would be a bad idea to fast when preparing for a marathon. If you are changing your diet, do not put pressure on yourself to get it right overnight. Instead, make small changes gradually until you are used to your meals containing whole foods only. Then, you can consider fasting.  

2. Which liquids should I drink when fasting?   

The kinds of liquids you drink depend on the type of fasting you choose. During fasting hours, it is prudent to stick to drinks low in calories such as tea, coffee (without cream or sugar), and water. This is for time-restricted fasting.  

Alternate day fasting and other types allow you to drink any liquid as long you watch the calories. For example, drink fresh pressed vegetable juice or bone broth during no-eating periods.  

At all means, avoid drinking alcohol and sugary beverages. They will not do your fasting efforts any good.  

3. Should I exercise as I fast?  

Time-restricted fasting is excellent for exercise. When you wake up at 7am, you can exercise before eating anything. If you feel energized in the morning, this would be a great time to work out before heading to work.  

However, for the other fasting types, exercising can be difficult considering they lower your energy levels due to your low-calorie intake. Therefore, running or lifting weights likely would not be doable but going for a walk or some light yoga would be possible.  

What Benefits Do You Gain from Fasting? 

We have so far covered a lot about fasting. The one question that remains uncovered is what are the benefits of fasting?  

1. Fasting and weight loss 

There are studies showing that fasting helps with losing weight. It does so by cutting weight and reducing excess body fat. Fasting also lowers inflammation, enabling your body to fight issues such as acne. It allows you shed belly fat while retaining your muscle mass.  

2. Boosting production of human growth hormone (HGH)   

The human body releases the growth hormone which curbs obesity, fosters muscle-building, and burns extra fat. HGH strengthens your muscles to better your workouts. If fasting boosts the production of the growth hormone, then your system will have more amounts to ensure it carries out its functions in a more effective manner.  

3. Fasting and athletes 

Fasting is good for athletes. For example, it helps them build muscles, lose fat, and strengthens them which improves their performance. However, it is important for athletes to eat quality protein 30 minutes after workouts which enhances muscle build-up and burns fat.  

4. Enhancing insulin sensitivity 

When you consume too many carbohydrates and sugars, you put yourself at risk for type-2 diabetes. Your body might become resistant to insulin, decreasing response to it. Fasting ensures that your body remains sensitive to insulin enabling your body to react as required when it releases insulin, which is to convert sugars (glucose) into glycogen for storage.  

5. Controlling the hunger hormone 

Restrictive diets increase the production of the hunger hormone. The hormone tells your mind that you are hungry. Increasing the amount of the hormone means you are likely to feel hungry more often than you should. Once you get used to fasting, it can assist you normalize the hormone. This way, you only want to eat when your body needs to, as the hunger hormone will be under control.  

6. Lowering cholesterol levels 

Bad cholesterol is never good for your body, it is linked to heart diseases. Fortunately, fasting allows your body to burn cholesterol, therefore reducing its levels in your system. 

Fasting Precautions  

Fasting is not for everyone even with its helpful benefits. For starters, people with diabetes and hypoglycemia should never fast. It will adversely affect their glucose and insulin levels. They should wait until the two components are normalized.  

If you are expectant or breastfeeding, avoid fasting. Pregnant and nursing mothers need calories to sufficiently meet nutritional needs of their unborn babies and infants respectively. Cutting on calories, which is what fasting does for some part of the day, would be detrimental. Your body needs the calories to ensure it provides enough food for you and your unborn child or nursing baby.  

If you are suffering from a certain health condition or you are using other medications, speak with your doctor about fasting. Nevertheless, for many people, fasting is beneficial to their health and general wellbeing.  

Summary  

  • Fasting requires you to not eat during certain periods.  
  • Intermittent fasting entails other types of fasting such as time-restricted and alternate day. 
  • To successfully fast, remember to choose a particular type of fasting, set goals, and purchase the foods you will need. 
  • Fasting comes with various bodily benefits such as reducing body weight, lowering bad cholesterol levels, ensuring sensitivity to insulin, and encouraging secretion of the human growth hormone. 
  • Fasting is not for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Those with diabetes and hypoglycemia should not fast. If you are using any drugs, consult your doctor about whether you should fast.

For additional help with your weight loss and health goals, consider trying Phenofen. It acts as an energy booster, supports weight loss, and promotes stress release.

Choosing Between a Low-Carb or a Low-Fat Diet

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Weight loss, for many, is essential as it not only helps you to feel better but also keeps away some diseases that are caused by being overweight. An important factor to consider when trying to reduce your weight or stay slim is diet. Following an appropriate diet, such as a low carb diet will help you to lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight once you reach it. 

For over a decade now, many nutritionists and dieters have sworn by low carb diets. Some nutritionists have stated that being on a low carb diet helps people to lose weight as it is an effective way of cutting back on calories. Currently, a significant number of people are opting for low-fat diets. Some have even declared that it indeed is a better option.  

The Effectiveness of a Low-Fat Diet Over a Low-Carb Diet 

Some studies on this topic have indicated that a low-fat diet offers more benefits compared to a low-carb diet. One such study took a sample of 19 people who were obese. All of the participants followed a diet of 2700 calories per day. The participants were then split into two groups. While both groups equally cut down their intake of calories by one third, one group followed a low-fat diet while the other followed a low-carb diet.  

At the end of six days, they compared the average weight loss from both groups. They found that the group that had cut back on fat had reduced weight by an average of about 1 pound. This number is higher compared to those that reduced their carbohydrate intake. The second group of people had an average weight loss of about a half a pound  

Is Reducing Carbs Better than Reducing Fat?  

As previously stated, a reduction in carbohydrate intake has helped a lot of people achieve weight loss.  This is partially because it can help the dieter to reduce their caloric intake. Additionally, it lowers the body’s insulin levels causing the body to use stored fat for energy. Some people argue that it might be a better option for those who are not being monitored by a nutritionist or participating in a study like the one discussed above.  

Science has also proved that there are benefits that come from eating healthy fat found in foods such as nuts or avocados. They can actually assist the body preventing the accumulation of unhealthy fat. Combining healthy fats with a low-carb diet has a proven track record of inducing weight loss in many people.  

Which of These Two Diets Makes a Better Option?  

Despite popular belief, there is not a “one size fits all” diet for everyone. Choosing between the two might be difficult since both of them have proved to facilitate weight loss. There hasn’t been enough research to prove that either of these diets will consistently result in a faster weight loss compared to the other. Different body types react differently to various diets. Therefore, you are free to choose either of them because they share a common goal.  

The decision you make should be informed by how well you can stick to the diet plan that you have chosen. For instance, if you have a liking for foods that have more carbohydrates, picking the low fat diet would be an easier option for you. That way, you will not find yourself giving into cravings. The same logic should be applied to people who will find it easier to cut down on their carbohydrate intake as opposed to foods that are high in fat.  

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Results  

People are often in a rush to find a diet that will lead to fast weight loss results. However, it is important to note that results often vary from person to person. Two people may eat the same portions of the same type of food every day, but that doesn’t mean that they will achieve the same results.  

The same thing happens in the case of low-carb versus low-fat diets. You might not necessarily experience the same results as others who are following the same type of diet as you. Therefore, your food preference should be your primary consideration as you choose one diet over the other. If you try one diet for a while and it doesn’t work, consider trying the other type. Just be sure that you are strictly following the plan you have opted for. 

In addition, you should know that other factors, such as exercising, can also help. You can also use supplements such as Phenofen which is designed to facilitate weight loss increasing your energy/metabolic rate and suppressing your appetite. The advantage of this supplement is that you can use it regardless of the dietary choice that you make.  

8 Simple Portion Control Tricks

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It’s a common belief amongst smart dieters and gym fanatics that exercise and diet are two crucial components of losing and keeping away weight. However, diet is considered as integral in losing weight. Contrary to what most people believe, diet is not solely about what you put in your mouth, it is also about the amount you eat too! 

Even if you eat the healthiest food, portion control is not simple if you don’t measure the quantity of food you eat or you are not sure of the typical portions of the food to eat daily. To help you get better portion control, we have outlined eight simple and effective tips below.  

1) Make Sure to Measure Everything 

To save time, most people usually serve food without measuring it first. This is a mistake if you are determined to lose weight. When you do this, it is easy to eat more than two servings. Despite the fact that the serving is of healthy food, eating too much of it means that you have consumed extra calories.  

If you do not currently measure your portions, start by investing in measuring spoons, measuring cups, and a food scale if you do not already own them. Fortunately, with these tools, you don’t need to measure the food ingredients every time. With your food scale, you can pre-weigh snack portions and then store them in small baggies or containers. This way, you can easily grab what you need when you’re ready for a snack.  

2) Purchase Portion Control Plates 

Another great item that will help keep your portions in check are portion control or smaller plates. You may feel that measuring everything you eat is too time consuming. One helpful trick is to use smaller plates. If you only have large plates, cups, and bowls, it is very easy to overeat as you will not realize just how much food you have dished out. Using smaller dishes can fool your eye into thinking you have more food on the plate that you do or at least help you to realize just how much food you have. The goal here is to have an idea of how much each plate, cup or bowl holds. If you know this in advance, you can more easily estimate your servings based on your dishes when you don’t have time to dig out the scale or measuring cups. 

3) Don’t Eat from Containers That Have More Than One Serving 

Most of the time, when you purchase a bag or box of something or order a meal at a restaurant, you will be getting multiple servings. Even if the serving doesn’t seem that large, it doesn’t mean that it’s a single serving. Assuming that all the food in front of you is a single serving is wrong.   

The best way to ensure you eat the correct portion is to look for a solution before eating. For instance, when you purchase something in a bag, the first thing to do is to check the label. This will indicate the number of servings in there before you dig in. Restaurants tend to serve more food than what is healthy to eat in a single serving. To ensure you don’t eat more than what your body needs, ask the server to pack half of the food in a takeaway container before serving it and only bring out half on the plate. 

4) Add Vegetables 

The main goal of portion control is to ensure you eat less. If you are used to more food, this will leave you hungry. When you feel hungry, you will likely end up eating more every within a short period of time. Additionally, being hungry may lead you to make poor food choices, opting for unhealthy snack as a quick fix. This means that even if you are not overeating at meals, you could end up eating more.  

One of the best solutions to avoid this is to add more vegetables to all of your meals. Vegetables are loaded with nutrients and fiber that will help keep you fuller longer while adding very few calories. A great and easy option is spinach, which is nutrient-rich and low in calories. This green has a mild taste, so you can add it to pretty much any meal you eat. Other great ideas include adding fruits to oatmeal or mushrooms in place of additional meat.  

5) Change the Way You Eat 

Unfortunately, when it comes to staying fit and losing weight, we are often forced to keep away from the food we love. Sometimes this makes eating feel like a chore but it doesn’t have to be this way! A great solution to this is to change the way you eat. 

Create a nice dining atmosphere by dimming your lights, turning off the television, and turning on your favorite music. This will help you calm down and feel good when you are eating.    

6) Avoid Skipping Meals 

Contrary to what most people think, skipping meals is not a good portion control solution. When you skip meals, you will become hungrier and likely overeat at your next meal. Most people should eat at least three times a day to supply their bodies with sufficient energy. You should also eat healthy snack in between the meals. 

7) Understand Food Portions 

Even a small bag of your favorite snack could contain more than two servings. Additionally, sticking to one serving doesn’t always mean that you are eating low-calorie. Check the food label to see the number of servings as well as the calorie count before indulging. 

Remember by following the correct serving amount, it is easy to track your calories. This is crucial when it comes to getting to and maintaining the correct weight.

8) Drink More Water 

Drinking more water helps to fight hunger in addition to hydrating your body, helping your body to flush out toxins, and allowing your body to function properly. It is easy to mistake thirst for hunger. To avoid overeating, drink a large glass of water before you dig in.  

Conclusion 

Using the eight tips featured in this article will help you on your journey of getting healthier. If you have tried portion control, you probably know it is not simple. However, by utilizing the tips above, portion control will be easier. This will play a crucial role in assisting you to maintain the ideal weight as well as lose weight for some of us who are overweight. If you would require additional support, purchasing Phenofen can help. Phenofen is an effective appetite suppressant, which allows you to eat less. It also boosts your energy, allowing the body to burn fat faster and support healthy eating habits! 

Five Fat Burning Snacks to Eat at Night to Help You Lose Weight

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Dieting guides time and again advise people not to eat at night. Unfortunately, many of us find that this means we go to bed hungry and therefore have a hard time going to sleep or staying asleep. In order to avoid this, many of us will go ahead and eat at night to avoid in spite of the advice of diet experts. Fortunately, there are ways to eat healthy that do not mean avoiding food entirely at night.  

There are perfect foods to eat before going to bed that burn calories while you are sleeping. No tiresome exercise involved. The foods are yummy and will assist your body in getting rid of excess fat. If you think this is for you, below are five bedtime snacks that will aid your body to burn calories while you are sleeping: 

# 1 Citrus Fruits 

This includes fruit such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits which contain a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for your bones, skin, and overall health while assisting your body to burn calories. This is because of vitamin C which aids in the role of L-Carnitine. This is an amino acid that supports the body in breaking down fats to utilize them for energy purposes.  

Foods that have little or no vitamin C have been associated with increasing the waist size and obesity. Therefore, ensure your meals contain a lot of this amazing nutrient. The next time you wake up hungry at night, consider grabbing an orange.  

# 2 Dairy Snacks  

Because of the high content of fat and calories of most dairy products, they are typically considered to be detrimental for people who are trying to lose weight. However, recent research has revealed that when comparing different low-calorie meals, people eating foods that have lots of dairy content have lost a significant amount of weight.  

This is due to the calcium present in dairy products which play a significant role in the way fat is dealt with and stored in the body. The body will burn more fat if a lot of calcium is ingested. However, remember that dairy snacks will only help in weight loss if you are following a diet with reduced calories. Opt for a light dairy snack like string-cheese or low-fat yogurt instead of a grilled cheese sandwich.  

# 3 Bananas 

Bananas only have 100 calories each thus making it an ideal snack option. Bananas help the body burn calories, particularly the under-ripe ones. They contain large amounts of resistant starch and help enhance the oxidation of fat. This involves the body changing fatty acids to energy which increases the number of calories the body burns.  

If you do not like the idea of eating green bananas, you can eat the yellow ones which are also full of nutrients and will help fill you up before going to bed.  

# 4 Whole Grains 

Whole grain meals like crackers, pasta, whole grain bread as well as cereals are ideal options to eat before bedtime. Whole grains are known to escalate the basal metabolic rate. This is the amount of fat the body burns when you are relaxing. Additionally, because they contain high amounts of fiber, they might help to prevent the body from absorbing some of the calories you ingest.  

Aside from the fat-burning advantages, they also contain large amounts of protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. They help you feel full and are easy to blend with low-calorie diets.  

# 5 Protein Shakes 

Some people prefer to drink protein shakes when they are going to the gym instead of before sleeping. Protein is an ideal fat-burning nutrient as it creates an increased thermic effect and needs more energy to digest than both fat and carbs.  

Therefore, by increasing your intake of protein, you assist your body to get rid of more fat. Even though you can get protein from several sources, shakes are a great choice because they have more proteins than calories.  

Phenofen is also an option that will accelerate the rate at which your body burns calories. It is a natural supplement that assists you to lose weight. It reduces one’s appetite and burns calories in your body. It also boosts one’s levels of energy making you feel more awake.  

Calorie burning sleep is the dream, and for the people who get hungry during the night, you should try out the five recommendations above. Burn calories while sleeping and reduce your weight while you wake up. 

Foods that are Detrimental to Weight Loss

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Many people know how to lose weight. However, it tends to be much more difficult to learn what it takes to keep off the weight. One factor that significantly contributes to getting and staying slim is the type of food that you eat. Most people are not aware that many of the foods they eat on a daily basis are not healthy for them.  

There are certain types of food that you can eat from time to time but should not be consumed on a regular basis. Other types of food can prevent you from losing weight or cause you to gain back the weight you have lost and should therefore be avoided altogether. It is essential for one to be able to make a distinction between the two. Those that you should avoid entirely include:  

  1. White Bread

Many people love white bread. However, you should avoid white bread if you want to become and remain slim. White bread has been stripped of all of its fiber and nutrients so it can easily and quickly be broken down into sugar during the digestion process. When you consume excess sugar that is not immediately needed for energy, your body converts it and stores it as fat. This can ultimately lead to weight gain.  

As mentioned, white bread does not have significant nutritional value. This is why manufacturers actually have to add vitamins and minerals back into the bread. However, our bodies cannot as easily absorb lab made nutrients. Instead of eating white bread, you should consider buying whole grain bread with little to no sugar added that provides the body with essential nutrients and fiber. Many people have also found that it is best to avoid bread altogether as their bodies don’t tend to burn enough of the sugar created from the bread, even if it is a healthier, whole grain bread. 

  1. White Rice

Similar to white bread, white rice has been stripped of the bran that stores all of its nutrients and fiber. It is therefore a carbohydrate it can easily be digested into glucose (sugar). The glucose produced that is not used immediately will again be stored as fat thus leading to excess fat accumulation in the body. Brown rice is a much better option. It will better help you to remain slim while actually providing fiber and nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6. In addition, brown rice will make you feel full for longer because of the high fiber content.  

  1. Fried food

Oily fried food such as French fries and fried chicken contain a lot of fat and calories. Consuming excessive fat and calories will obviously make it very difficult to avoid weight gain. 

Most whole foods start as healthy, however the way they are prepared can quickly make the food unhealthy. This is the exactly what happens when frying food. Consider preparing the food using healthier methods such as broiling or steaming. This way food will maintain its nutritional value. 

  1. Sugar

Avoid a diet that is providing more sugar than what your body needs. Such a diet will have a negative impact on your health as well as your weight. Avoid sugary foods almost completely. Most processed foods are made with loads of hidden sugar. This includes crackers, bread, granola bars, cereal, yogurt, and several other seemingly healthy items. Most commercially produced beverages are loaded with sugar as well. While sodas are obvious culprits, many other “healthy” drinks have loads of hidden sugar and should be avoided as well. This includes fruit juices, lemonade, bottled tea, green juices, etc. 

It is also important to consider what your source of sugar is. When consuming sugar, it is advisable to opt for healthier options such as sugar from organic fruits, raw honey, or coconut sugar. Contrary to popular belief, fruit juices or dried fruits are not good sources of sugar. Keep in mind though that all sugar, even higher quality more natural options, will ultimately be converted to fat in the body when consumed in excess. 

  1. High-Fat Salad Dressing 

A salad that has a mixture of vegetables and lean protein is healthier than most kinds of foods. However, many people make the mistake of adding unhealthy salad dressings such as those that are creamy and contain a lot of fat. Making this mistake negates the benefits of an otherwise healthy salad.  

Did you know that a few tablespoons of high-fat salad dressings have an average of 20 grams of fat? This translates to more 50 grams of calories. It is for this reason that nutritionists have recommended that people should opt for salad dressings that majorly contain vinegar. This gives you an opportunity to try out some DIY vinaigrette recipes. The benefit of such a salad dressing is that they have fewer calories compared to the creamy and oily kinds. You should also be wary of “low-fat” and “fat-free” salad dressings as they will often be loaded with sugar to compensate for the flavor lost from the lack of fat. 

To conclude, if you intend to lose or maintain a healthy weight, it is crucial to choose what you eat carefully. This means that you should avoid greasy, sugary foods as described above. 

Spicing Up Your Diet the Natural Way

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There are countless ways advertised to supposedly help you lose weight and be healthier. Some of these ways have a proven track record while others are only good on paper. However, one fact that stands out across the board is the use of natural substances such as spices and herbs to give you the best guarantee of living healthy and acquiring the optimum size and shape for your body.  

Let’s start off with defining and differentiating herbs and spices, and then segue into the use of spices for your everyday household use. 

Herbs are from the leaves of individual plants, while spices are obtained from the other various parts of a plant. Thus, any food additive extracted from roots, stems, twigs, seeds, barks, and berries, are spices. Cinnamon, for instance, is a spice extracted from the bark while cloves are extracted from dried flower buds. 

There are numerous spices on the market today with more are still being discovered. Listed below are some of the most widely known spices and their health benefits. 

Cinnamon is one of the most used spices in both the household and food processing industrial setting and rightfully so. Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, a component used by the body to combat inflammation and has also been linked with lowering the body’s cholesterol content. This spice is also responsible for lowering blood sugar levels by reducing the body’s rate of breaking down carbohydrates, consequently improving insulin sensitivity. 

Ginger is another commonly used spice that is best known for increasing the metabolic rate, reducing appetite, soothing indigestion, and so much more. Ginger also regulates digestion which is an essential element when you want to watch your weight. 

Black pepper has gained popularity in recent years. This can be accredited to the recent studies of piperine, found in black pepper. The active compound has been linked to interfering with the formation of new fat cells through a process known as adiopogenesis. 

There are myriad health benefits that can be accrued from using spices including: 

  •   Improving the quality of meals

Our pallets love spices. Unfortunately, some technology has been used to create artificial tastes might have adverse effects on the body. Adding natural spices to your foods can help you add flavor without adding as much unhealthy items such as sugar, salt, and fat. Reducing sugar, fat, and salt will help in preventing diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many others. 

  • Spices help you eat the right portions

Adding spices to your food increases your satisfaction with your meal. As a result, you will likely find yourself eating smaller portions. The body will also maximize the use of these spices to aide in different bodily functions and the smaller portions will help you maintain your desired body size. 

  • Spices advocate for the general wellbeing of the body

Spices have insurmountable health benefits to offer. Chief among these benefits are their anti-inflammatory qualities that boost your body’s immunity and protect the body from conditions such as high blood sugar levels in the body. 

Here are a few extra tips to guide you while buying and storing your spices. 

Buy whole spices

It may be more convenient to buy a readymade spice, but it’s advised you buy the seasoning for a whole, and then work it down to the final product. Agreeably, using a grinder may be a tad tedious, but you will retain the total nutrient content of the spice. 

Storing spices

Most spices are dried up parts of a plant. Consequently, they should not be mixed with fluids unless through cooking or direct consumption. To preserve the quality of the spice for longer, it should be stores in a cool, dry, dark place. 

Discarding spices 

Some spices will be used on a regular basis while others are only used once in a while. It is imperative to note that spices only work their magic when they retain their quality. While most have long shelf lives, be sure to discard any spice that has expired. If you bought a processed spice, you could look out for the expiry date.  

A key point to note is that there are many spices out there and you should try and broaden your range of spices as all come with added benefits. Most people will only use spices on main dishes however, you can use them in teas, juices, smoothies, dressings, and an assortment of other foods and drinks. 

When using spices to lose your weight, you should consider augmenting them with Phenofen, a comprehensive weight loss supplement. Combined, the two will help you work towards the desired body shape and size.