Lose Weight With These Ten Diet Tips

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Are you hoping to drop a dress size or two before swimwear season, but sick and tired of all those miracle weight loss cures? Losing weight and keeping yourself healthy does not have to be rocket science. You also do not need to follow a complicated diet, take pictures and track everything you eat, add all your calories in your smart phone app or starve to lose weight.

All it takes are some great and healthy eating habits, and you are good to go. Here are some of the best diet tips that diet and nutrition experts recommend, and how you can incorporate them into your everyday life.

Tip #1: Focus on adding good stuff to your diet

The main reason why people feel deprived and burned out when they diet is because they constantly zoning in on what they should take away. To avoid this, shed positive light on your diet thinking of what you can add to your diet.

  • You can, for example, aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. They virtually have no fat, are low in calories, high in nutritional value and leave less room on your plate for high calorie foods. Fruits and veggies also have plenty of fiber to keep your digestion going.
  • You may also want to add more whole foods to your diet. Processed foods are empty, take very little amount to digest and leave you craving like nuts once your stomach becomes empty. Whole foods, on the other hand, are loaded with fiber. They take longer to digest and keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. Choose raw produce and whole grains.
  • Spices and herbs are also great additions to your food. Chili, for example, boosts flavor, keeps you satisfied and boosts metabolism.
  • Another thing you want to have for all your meals is protein. High protein foods are more satisfying than foods high in fat or carbohydrates, and they can serve as a great weapon against weight loss. Getting plenty of protein in your diet helps encourage fat burning while preserving muscle mass.

Tip #2: Eat several but smaller meals every day

Experts believe that you should never go more than three or four hours without food, because it keeps you from being hungry (and potentially wolfing down more than you should during dinner time), while keeping your energy levels up. You can succeed by spreading out your meals into five mini-meals each day. Or, you can have three main meals and two little snacks in between daily

That said, it is fine to graze between meals because it helps you avoid bingeing or eating more than you should during the next meal. It is so easy to reach out for something yummy for a snack, but make sure that you make the right choices. The best picks are snacks that contain protein, not just carbs. So throw away those chips and grab cup of yogurt with fruit, a stick of string cheese or a turkey wrap to eat.

Tip #3: Eat a big breakfast

Remember the rule: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper? Well, it does make sense, especially the breakfast part. A good breakfast is a vital meal because it keeps you full and keeps your blood sugar levels at bay throughout the day. Keep your breakfast fun and satisfying by choosing foods that your stomach and taste buds will love like eggs, bacon, toast and fruit.

Tip #4: Pay attention to what you eat

Most of us love to multi-task, which means that we usually eat our meals in front of the TV or computer, or even when driving to our destinations. This habit, however, can lead you to consume around 40% more calories than usual.

Sit yourself down when it is time for a meal and focus on your food. Savor each bite and eat slowly. Indulge all your senses and be mindful of your meal. Not only will you enjoy it, you will end up eating less!

Tip #5: Get distracted

The fourth tip talked about focusing on what to eat. This tip is now the complete opposite. Distract yourself, but under the right circumstances – such as when you are about to give in to a massive craving. When you feel a very strong urge to call for takeout or reach for that tub of ice cream in the fridge, take out your phone and make good use of it. Call a friend and talk about your day.

Research tells us that our cravings only last for about five minutes. If you divert your attention even for a small amount of time, your urge to eat junk will eventually subside.

Tip #6: Be careful of booze

Happy hour is a great time to unwind and have fun with friends, but you really have to be careful with what you drink. An innocent looking cocktail contains as many calories as a blended coffee drink from your local cafe, and it does nothing to quell your appetite. Plan your drinks accordingly over the weekend by sticking to one or two drinks like wine, light beer or soda, which have around 100 calories per serving. If you have a feeling that happy hour will extend until late at night, alternate your drinks with bottles of water so you do not end up drinking too much.

Tip #7: Control your portions

There is no need to stop eating what you like, as long as you follow proper portion control. Are you craving for cake? A very small slice every now and then won’t hurt. The problem begins when you eat the whole cake. It also helps to use measuring equipment to measure your meals, because it keeps you conscious about how much you are eating. While you are at it, make use of smaller plates at home, too.

Tip #8: Drink plenty of water

This sounds unreal but thirst is oftentimes confused with hunger. This means that you often end up eating food, when a glass of water could have done it. Make it a point to drink plenty of water, not just because you want to lose weight, but because you need to do it to stay healthy, too.

If you are not a fan of plan water, add some fruit slices like lemon or berries to give your drink a little bit of flavor. You can also brew infused teas, which pack plenty of flavors but have zero calories.

Tip #9: Beware of the night time snack

Night time snacks are often the time and place for mindless eating. Avoid this by setting a “snacking curfew” at night, or by preparing low calorie snacks like pre-sliced fruit or a pack of low calorie crackers when you feel really hungry late at night.

Tip #10: Keep your expectations real

To lose a pound of fat, you have to burn 3,500 calories, so it is vital that you have a realistic outlook on how long it would take you to lose weight. While diet plays a very crucial role for weight loss, the best approach is to combine it with exercise.  A good diet and exercise routine combo can help you lose at least 1 to 2 pounds a week, which is the safest range possible.

This entry was posted in Blog.

Detoxing 101: Everything You Need To Know About Juice Detoxes

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Raw juicing has garnered its own share of controversy, but experts and proponents say that they are generally safe, especially when done the right way. So, how do you know that you are doing the right thing? How can you make the most out of your detox drinks when you decide to go on a juice cleanse?

What Is A Juice Cleanse?

A juice cleanse or fast involves limiting your diet and drinking only liquid extracted from fresh fruit and vegetable few days up to a few weeks. This is a kind of fast that focuses on fresh and raw drinks, so your bottled OJ or cranberry juice from the nearby grocery store does not count.

Most people generally make their juices at home, but there are also many providers or manufacturers of fresh detox drinks that supply and deliver to local clients.

Why Do People Do It?

So, why do people actually go on juice cleanses? What compels them to ditch real food for several days and subsist on liquid meals instead? Here are some reasons:

It is an easy way to get your fill of fruits and vegetables. Dietary guidelines recommend that you get five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables each day. That’s somewhere around 2.5 to 6.5 cups of produce daily. Like most people, you may not consume enough of your daily greens. Juicing allows you to easily ingest cups of produce within a couple of gulps.

It can help you lose weight. One or two glasses of fresh juice can replace a full meal, without the added calories. Indeed, a juice meal can have just half or a third of the calories that you would otherwise consume if ate a real meal. A low calorie diet for three days can do wonders and help you lose a couple of pounds.

It allows your digestive system to rest. Taking detox drinks for several days allows your digestive system to get that much needed rest from digestion. The great thing about juices is that even though they are liquid meals, they do not deny your body of the essential nutrients that you would need to function well.

You get a wide range of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Detox diets allow you to get a wider range of produce in your diet. This is great especially if your meals are often limited to lettuce, carrots, peas and beans. Not all of us get enough of veggies like spinach, kale, turnips and beets. Juicing allows you to take in different vegetables and fruits, so you don’t just eat (or drink) the same things over and over again.

Getting fresh produce is healthier than cooked or processed foods. Raw produce is definitely better and more nutritious their cooked counterpart because cooking destroys many nutrients and enzymes that are beneficial for the body. Juicing raw produce preserves all these important and healthy goodies for the body to absorb and metabolize.

It improves your overall health. A quick detox cleanse can improve your overall health by doing the following:

  • Balancing your blood sugar and pH levels
  • Cleansing and regulating your colon
  • Reducing toxin load
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Improving mental clarity
  • Improving liver function
  • Reducing sugar cravings
  • Improve cellular function
  • Purifies blood, tissue and organs
  • Increase energy levels
  • Reduce allergies

How To Detox: What You Can Do

When you decide to go on a juice cleanse, you will need to do more than just pick bottles up from the nearest juice bar. To begin, you will have to consider (and do) a few things:

How long you need to detox – First things first. When deciding how to detox: you have to determine how long you want to do the fast. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start slow. A full-day juice cleanse, or a modified version that includes eating solid produce would be ideal. If you have tried juicing before, you may want to do it for three days or go for a five-day challenge. Knowing how long you need to detox will help you prepare your menu for the whole duration of the diet

Creating your menu – Once you decide how many days you want your detox plan to be, you can start creating your menu. There are many guides that teach you how to detox as well as juice recipes which you can easily follow. At best, you should plan to have at least two glasses per meal, with vegetables making up at least 60% and fruits making up 40% of your ingredients. Feel free to experiment with your ingredients, but be sure to include some power-food choices like kale, lettuce, spinach, celery, beets, ginger and lemons.

Preparing your drinks – Juicing can be a very time-consuming process. Thus, you may want to prepare all your drinks in the morning and store them in the refrigerator. While it is recommended that you drink juice that’s fresh from the juicer, you can safely prepare your detox drinks and store them for 24 hours. It may lose a little bit of its nutritional content, but that’s better than getting no nutrition at all. To reduce oxidation, store the drinks immediately it in tightly closed glass containers and place them inside the refrigerator.

Getting your body ready – Juicing can be a shocking and new experience to the body, so it would also help if you prepared yourself for it. You can do so by easing in fresh produce and raw juices in your diet at least a week before your start date.

A Word Of Caution

While juicing is a great way to cleanse your body, get your fill of nutrients and kick-start your weight loss efforts, there are some things that you need to remember.

First, fresh fruit and vegetable detox drinks have very little fiber and protein, and virtually have no fat. Thus, relying on them alone for long periods of time would lead to an incomplete diet. Helpful tip: You can add some of the pulp back to your juice so you can get some fiber. Because of this, it is best to keep your fasting, diet or detoxification program to a maximum of seven days. Anything longer than that may compromise your nutritional intake and do more harm instead of good.

Next, it is important that you follow proper food safety procedures when you prepare your drinks. Make sure that all the produce have been properly washed, use clean utensils and store your drinks well. Safe food handling should always be followed, considering that you are preparing raw detox drinks.

Enjoy Juicing

One last thing that you should remember when you learn how to detox is the fact that it should be a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. Thus, you should start by juicing fruits and vegetables that you actually enjoy eating in their solid or real form. Listen to your body. You should feel good throughout the process, not nauseous or sick. If you feel anything off, stop juicing and return to a regular diet. Hopefully though, it does not have to come to that.

Happy juicing, and let me know all about your experience!

How To Deal With Adult Acne

Acne usually starts affecting people during their teenage years, but adults are not spared from it as well. While majority of teenagers outgrow their pimply phase when they reach their twenties, one out of five people will not lose them, or will develop them as they grow older.

Just like acne during your teenage years, adult acne is not one to be taken lightly, because it can cause self esteem problems over time. Some people have it so bad that they actually fall into depression.

While that is a damper, the great news is that this problem can indeed be treated.

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Teenage vs. Adult Acne

What makes adult acne different from its teenage version? Well, this type of acne usually springs out and manifests itself at the age of twenty-five and onwards. Some people actually go through puberty with smooth skin, but end up with really bad skin when they grow older.

Also, adult acne is usually manifested by pus-filled boils and bumps, often along the jaw line. Teenage acne, on the other hand, are always a mixture of large pimples, black heads and white heads

The causes between both cases also differ. Teenage acne, for example, is often caused by hormonal changes brought about by puberty, so its main cause is fairly easy to pinpoint. The adult version, on the other hand, is caused by a wide range of factors – environmental conditions, illnesses, medication and stress being some of the most common ones. Because there are many factors behind this, it is much more difficult to pinpoint the reason behind it.

What Causes Adult Acne?

So, what exactly causes adult acne? Here’s a quick look at some of the factors, so you can figure out if you are doing some things that actually worsen it as well.

  • Hormones – Unfortunately, growing older does not always save you from acne, because you might just have hormonal imbalance as well. One of the main indications of hormonal problems is irregular periods. Pregnancy, menstruation and menopause all cause a fluctuation of hormones, so you should expect acne to flare up during this time.
  • Genetics – Studies show that genetics play a crucial role in acne. Fifty percent of adults with acne problems will most likely have a sibling or a parent with a similar problem.
  • Make-up and cosmetics – Adulthood brings forth the opportunity to work, and many women who enter the workforce make use of something that can be very bad for the skin on a daily basis: makeup. Whether it is foundation, concealer or blush, beauty products can clog pores and aggravate your condition. If you suffer from adult acne but need to wear make-up, you should avoid cream and liquid versions and stick to dry versions like mineral and talcum powder.
  • Beauty treatments – While beauty treatments are targeted to help your skin look great and flawless, they can also trigger breakouts if you are not careful. Diamond peel facials, for example, can very well irritate the skin and cause acne formation. Facial clean-ups and massages may also do the same thing. If you already have an existing problem, consult your dermatologist before trying out any kind of treatment, just to be on the sure side.
  • Medication – Certain drugs such as those containing steroids and lithium, for example can cause breakouts. Some birth control pills are prescribed to clear out pimples, but those containing androgen can do the exact opposite. If you are taking contracteptive pills, consult with your doctor so that you can choose one with low or no androgen content.
  • Stress – Lack of sleep, work demands and other stressors can cause acne. While the stressful event does not automatically trigger the growth of pimples, it can cause your hormones to go haywire.
  • Work – Your job may also be causing problems with your skin. Work that involves exposure to the sun, elements, industrial and chemical products and even makeup can be triggers as well.

How To Treat Adult Acne

Treating adult acne often starts out just like teenage acne treatments. You may want to start with a routine treatment using OTC anti-acne products. There are many sets out in the market and there are even those that have natural ingredients. Helpful tip: If you are trying out a set, use it regularly for at least a month. This should give you enough time to see if your problem is improving.

If you do not see any improvement after a month or two, then you may need to switch to something stronger or eventually see a dermatologist. He or she may recommend you to undergo hormonal evaluation to see if there is indeed an imbalance in your hormones.

When you see a dermatologist (and when the reason behind your acne is determined), he or she will them recommend other kinds of treatments for you. These may include in-office treatments, medications and products that you have to use at home. Oftentimes, there will also be restrictions on what you can and can not eat, do and use on your skin.

At the end of the day, the key to curing adult acne is always in the consistency of your treatment. If you need to drink medicine everyday, then be sure to take it regularly. If you need to visit an aesthetician or therapist every week, then be sure not to miss out on these visits. If you need to avoid triggers like certain kinds of make-up or long hours of sun-tanning, then make sure you do it. Diligence and persistence is indeed key to making sure that your skin is flawless and acne free.

Preventive Tips To Remember

Curing adult acne is not always the end, as some people experience “relapses” after getting acne free skin. Thus, it is important to take preventive measures to make sure that your efforts are not wasted.

• Avoid using products that you did before when you were breaking-out, and try to get your hands on oil-free products instead. Always choose beauty and cosmetic products that are non-comedogenic so that they do not clog your pores.

• Keep your skin clean at all times by washing your face and keeping it free from sweat and dirt. Remember not to overdo it and stick to cleansing at least twice a day. On other occasions, pat your skin with tissue or oil blotters to keep oil at bay.

• Try to adopt a hands off policy for your face. Don’t pick your pimples, don’t try to squeeze those whiteheads and keep your hair off your face as much as possible.

• Keep yourself stress free. Remember that stress is one of the major causes of adult acne, so make sure that you take time to relax and unwind to keep your stress levels low.

• Eat healthy. A good diet manifests itself in many ways, including your skin. Get your fill of fruits and vegetables, avoid junk and fatty food and go on a cleansing detox diet every now and then to purge the body of toxins.

Acne is a fact of life for many people. Still, at the end of the day, it is good to know that you can do something to prevent and stop it so you can get that beautiful and flawless skin you deserve.

Get That Bikini Body By Summer

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April is the month where dead New Year’s resolutions come back to life, as many people prepare for the upcoming summer months. Most people do not wait till June or July to start exercising and getting that bikini worthy body, so this is indeed the best time to start losing weight, toning up and gaining confidence.

The Weight Loss Formula

The idea behind weight loss is pretty easy. To shed those pounds, you simply have to burn more calories than you consume. This means making smarter food choices or reducing what you normally eat, and regularly exercising to burn what you take in.

While the general context is very easy, getting results is unfortunately not as simple. There are temptations along the way such as delicious food, alcohol, fun events and other activities that keep you away from the gym. Sometimes, life just happens and gets in the way of all your attempts.

Losing weight then requires plenty of effort and willpower, and can be done with the right plan. So, whether you are planning to strip down and shimmy in a bikini by June or simply want to feel healthier and stronger, here are some tips and tricks that you can follow to make it all happen.

First things first, what’s your plan?

Before starting, you have to come up with a plan. And no – saying something like “I want to wear a bikini soon” does not count. Your plan has to be a feasible one, and when we say feasible, we mean something that you can achieve.

  • What’s your target weight? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? How many inches do you take off from your waist line? Remember though that healthy weight loss entails losing up to 2 pounds a week or approximately 8 pounds a month. Anything more than that is considered unhealthy.
  • How soon do you want to lose weight? Do you expect to drop three sizes by June?
  • What kind of exercises do you want to do and how often do you want to do it?
  • How many calories do you want to burn when you exercise?

Write down your plan on a sheet of paper and keep it in a place where you can see it. With your goals in mind, you can now pick the best steps to take and incorporate them in your plan.

Some Exericse Tips

You can lose weight with diet alone, but it will take time. Exercise can help speed up your efforts, and can definitely help you look better by helping you build and tone muscles. Here are some helpful exercise tips to keep in mind when you start:

1)     Do cardio

To get the best results, you will need to combine some form of cardio and muscle toning (or building, if that’s what you like.) Cardio or cardiovascular exercise refers to aerobic exercise, which involves constant movement to keep your heart rate up for a certain period of time. This is a very important aspect of exercise because it contributes to weight loss, as it burns more calories a minute as opposed to lifting weights or doing other forms of anaerobic exercises. Cardio also has a host of other benefits. It can strengthen your heart and lungs, reduce stress, reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your mood, give you more energy and help you sleep better at night.

 You can choose from many forms of cardio including running, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, boxing, dance, cycling and high intensity interval training (HIIT). Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of cardio to keep yourself healthy, but you may need to do a little bit more (around 60 minutes) if your aim is to lose weight.

2)     Do strength training

The other side of the fence to getting a bikini body is strength training. After all, you do not just want to lose those fats. You also want to keep yourself strong by building and toning your muscles and defining specific parts of the body. This will lead you to have a leaner and sexier look. Strength training also helps you lose weight over time because muscles actually burn more calories than fat. Once you develop better muscle mass, you can achieve more with your regular exercise routine. If you are after a sexy body, strength training will also help you define and improve areas that you want to enhance like your abs, arms, legs and bum.

Strength training exercises include weight lifting, resistance training, calisthenics, yoga and Pilates. As opposed to cardio, these usually take a little less time at around fifteen to thirty minutes per session, and can be done without heavy equipment. For faster results, you can also try programs that combine both cardio and strength training like Plyometrics or Insanity.

3)   Set a schedule

After deciding on you cardio and strength training exercises, you can start setting a schedule. If you want to boost things, you can try exercising four to five days a week, with at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. You can alternate between strength and cardio, or do cardio every day and alternate your strength exercises by focusing on different muscle groups each day. You can also get in touch with a fitness expert, so they can put together a great schedule for you.

4)   Join a gym or a class

This may entail spending a little bit of cash, but there is logic behind this move. While you can do cardio and strength exercises at home, not everyone has the willpower to sustain their weight loss efforts inside their living room. Statistics even backs this claim up, stating that 50% of all home exercise equipment end up unused. Joining a gym helps you stay engaged and on track, and keeps you motivated so you can achieve your goals.

5)   Don’t stop

Always look for exercise alternatives, especially when circumstances pull you away from the gym or from your regular jogging route. Travelling is one of the top-most culprits that stop people from following through with their routine, but you can work around your trips and find ways to exercise even at the airport or in your hotel room.

6)   Have fun

Do not forget to have fun. You are more likely to succeed if you do something you like, so if you hate the treadmill, skip it! Go swimming or ride your bike everyday instead. Join a fitness class with your friends, take up something exciting like pole dancing or acrobatic yoga. Feel free to mix up your workout to avoid burning out. When you have fun, you actually forget you are doing hard work.

Exercise, coupled with the right eating habits is bound to produce great results. If you follow your routine religiously, you should be seeing changes in your body even during the first month. Keep doing it and you will definitely be ready by summer!

The last thing to keep in mind is that you should not stop just because summer is over. Exercise should be a constant part of your life, as it keeps you healthy and strong. While you have been working hard to prepare for summer, you may want to take it easy and lessen your exercise time or work out less than five days a week and that’s fine as long as you continue to keep your body moving.

This entry was posted in Blog.