One of the most difficult things about committing to a weight loss or health improvement program is the way adjusting your caloric intake or diet can create cravings for the sorts of foods (or quantity of foods) on which your body is used to running. Ignoring your appetite can only work for so long before a craving is likely to take over and, before you know it, you are stuffing your face with the same sorts of sweets, fast foods, or fatty foods that created your health issue in the first place. Improving a lifestyle demands a substantial degree of self-discipline. However, there are fortunately some really excellent tools at your disposal to curb your appetite and reduce cravings. This includes one secret weapon that you need to be sure to include in your dietary arsenal – spinach!
Including spinach in your diet will be an enormous benefit to you as your work towards losing s much body fat as possible. This insight is actually backed by some hard science, evidenced by a study completed at Lund University in Sweden. In their study, researchers monitored 38 overweight women and instructed the to consume either a beverage that contained five grams of spinach extract – comprised almost entirely of the cell membranes in the spinach stems – or a placebo. After three months of study, the team found that the group who had consumed the spinach extract lost 50% more weight.
They credited this dramatic difference in weight loss success to the spinach groups overall trend of maintaining a diminished caloric intake. The research team investigated and found that there is a compound in spinach stems called thylakoids, which reduces hunger. That holds especially true about cravings for fast food and sweet treats. Thylakoids slow the digestive process significantly, which allows your intestinal hormones more time to indicate to your mind that your hunger has been satisfied and you do not need to eat anymore. That, in turn, reduces how hungry you feel. The more satisfied you feel, the less you can eat. They are so effective they have been measured to reduce cravings for such dietary disasters by as much as 95%.
Easy ways to start regularly including spinach in your diet (especially the stems!) include throwing a few handfuls of the green stuff into the blender when you make your protein shakes. Although the color might change, the taste is likely to stay exactly the same. Similarly, be sure to add plenty of spinach into your rotation of fruits and veggies when juicing. Finally, spinach can be delicious all on its own! Try to eat spinach salads or sautéed spinach with your meals.
Changing diets is one of the hardest things to do. After years of training our systems to respond to a tolerable amount of sugars, chemicals, and processed foods, breaking away from those addictive substances can feel very similar to quitting any other addiction-prone substance. Headaches and mood-swings often accompany a dip in sugar intake and a sudden change in your diet can bring about hunger spikes and binge eating. However, eliminating these three foods from your diet can help to drastically reduce these urges.
Available in a multitude of flavors, sizes, and colors, Processed foods should be at the top of your foods to cut from your regular diet. Oftentimes complete with a laundry list or chemicals and flavoring agents, these foods are as naturally healthy as candy. Designed for a prolonged shelf-life and perfect appearance, it’s important to remind yourself of the chemicals that went into building your meal before you take another bite.
Alcohol may be a big hit at parties, but it’s an even bigger hit to your waistline. Rich in calories, easy to find, and even easier to consume, alcohol slows down or even stops the hormone that combats belly flab. It’s exactly for this reason that the term “Beer Belly” was born. Too much time at the keg and the body will start to resemble one,
Artificially sweetened beverages are among some of the most dangerous foods to consume when embarking on your diet journey. Packed with high fructose corn syrup, a chemical known to increase your hunger by pumping your system with empty calories, these drinks are a match made in the worst places imaginable. It’s no wonder mega-chain fast food restaurants pair their processed foods with soda. The more you eat, the stronger your addiction becomes, and the harder it is to lose the weight.
Perhaps one of the most destructive and misleading components of the food industry today is the intense way that snack foods have come to the forefront as an American passion, and yet so little is understood widely about both their benefits and drawbacks. There is about any snack food you can imagine at every grocery and corner store in the nation. Cookies, chips, popcorn, pretzels, and more are ubiquitous as part of the fabric that makes American cuisine. As our nation’s consumers have slowly but surely started to trend towards healthier lifestyles, many snack food brands have responded by putting out what they dub “100-calorie” snack packs. Created and sold to blatantly cater to people who count or are just particularly conscious about what they eat, this well-intentioned attempt to aid portion control works by just limiting the serving size for you.
Unfortunately, this often spells disaster for people actually purchasing the snack. There are a two main reasons this is most often the case. First and foremost, 100 calories is nowhere near enough to fill a person. It really is not enough to give your body any meaningful sense of satisfaction, which is necessary to curb appetite. Instead, although you may mentally know that you just put in a small amount of fuel in the form of a small amount of food, your body is still going to be demanding food after you have finished the snack pack. This dangerous scenario, in which you tease but do not fulfill your hunger with such a small serving, is escalated by the second reason snack packs are diet catastrophes waiting to happen.
100-calorie snack packs just portion of the food into uselessly small portions, but they do not improve the nutritional value of the food itself. As a result, the vast majority of these snack packs consist of food that has no nutritional value and does nothing for your body composition – other than spur increased cravings for overly processed foods. These packs leave you hungry, and they leave you hungry for the wrong kind of food.
Now, do not make the mistake of thinking this indicates there is anything wrong with snacking itself. As a component of healthy dieting, snacking is phenomenal. It just demands that you snack on the right foods. Most packaged “healthy” foods do not fit the bill. Choose snacking on protein-rich, healthy, whole foods to achieve the best results, for life.
Tracking weight loss is a crucial part of ensuring that your hard work to improve your lifestyle is more than just an empty exercise in discipline, but actually yielding results. However, you may be surprised to learn that the information the scale volunteers is far from stagnant! A recent study by the Public Library of Science concluded that some days are statistically proven to be more reliable indicators of your progress than others. Sound crazy? Just read on to learn the very reasonable truth behind this shocking discovery.
However, there are certainly details to consider about weight data collection overall, first. One truth to always remember is that weight will always naturally fluctuate day-to-day. As a result, most experts will agree that weekly check-ins are more than just enough, they are actually preferable to checking your weight daily. Weighing yourself just once a week is much more illustrative of trends in the right (or wrong) direction. Doing so daily may just serve to discourage you, as you obsess over the natural ebb and flow of progress.
Checking your weight once a week, ideally first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything, will provide a much truer sense of your results and better consistency. The surprising additional finding in this study was that, when weighing yourself once every seven days, the day you pick actually matters.
The best day to weigh yourself is Wednesday.
The Public Library of Science discovered a few things. First ,when maintaining weight, Wednesday revealed the least weekly fluctuation, creating the most reliable readings. Wednesday also proved to be the day when study participants happened to weight the least week over week, which does make sense. People tend to indulge slightly more over the weekend, so weighing in right in the middle of the stretch between Sunday and Saturday give your the most time to get back into your body’s best form.
Weigh yourself and log your progress just once a week, on Wednesday morning, before doing anything else. This will paint the most accurate picture of your progress towards your best body ever.
What is possibly the worst garnish for your food that lurks in every restaurant and bar from coast to coast? Packed with sugars and unhealthy chemicals, we douse our burgers in it, drown our fries, and even baste our steaks in it’s crimson calories. Ketchup is terrible for you, with enough high fructose corn syrup to be its own food category. How can we break our addiction from such a prominent portion of our meals? What are some of the best ways we can shove this condiment off our tables for good?
Most people turn to Ketchup to stave off dryness. Whether Grandma’s meatloaf or an overdone burger, Ketchup has been a staple of American cuisine, served right next to the hot dog and apple pie. Often viewed as the most unhealthy element of our meals, the sugars in every ketchup-drenched meal would be less if you drenched your meal in soda. What can we do to break the cycle and keep some flavor in our meals?
For a spicy solution, many have turned to salsa instead of Ketchup. Similar in all the important ways but thankfully different where it matters, Salsa usually contains ⅓ the caloric value of a standard bottle of Ketchup, and nearly 8 times less sugar. Available in a range of different textures, tastes, and spice levels, Salsa makes an excellent Ketchup substitute. Rich in flavor and natural ingredients, salsa remains apart from the dangerously addictive and oftentimes harmful condiments lining our refrigerators.
So, what would you rather have on your beautifully cooked burger? You can choose to smother it in addictive and fattening sugars that do little more than decrease the nutritional value of an already dubious meal (Turkey burger excluded), or choose a spicy kick that can save you pounds down the road? Give salsa a try as your next ketchup substitute, you won’t regret it. For more information, click here.
Planning a diet takes time and research. When making the decision to change what you put in your body, it’s best to understand what it is and how it can affect your newly minted diet. Everyone knows that protein is the cornerstone of any strong diet. Excellent for filling us up and giving our muscles the nutrient necessary to recover from a hard day’s work, protein can never be replaced. However, before embarking on your dietary journey, you want to ensure that your money travels far. What are some of the best and most cost-effective proteins to plate?
Eggs: Simple, humble, and abundant, Eggs are plentiful in both protein and production. Pacing huge doses of protein, a hard-boiled egg can make for an excellent mid-day snack to fight off those old hungry urges.
Tuna: An amazing source of protein and among the cheapest in this selection, canned Tuna yields nearly 42 grams of protein for just under $1. Whether used in a sandwich or mixed into a light tuna salad, the offerings from such a small source dwarf expectations.
Beans and Lentils: An excellent side-dish for any healthy meal, beans pack an especially substantial helping of protein. With nearly 45 grams of protein per serving, and a healthy dose of fiber to boot makes beans an excellent addition to a healthy meal.
Greek Yogurt: What’s both a delicious snack and good for you in moderation? Greek Yogurt, of course. Roughly breaking down to 21 grams/ dollar’s worth of protein, Greek yogurt is another excellent source of the invaluable Protein.
Above are a few options you have when choosing to start a healthy diet. The above options are not only delicious but happen to be among the cheapest of healthy foods available in the market. For my money, you can’t go wrong with a strong protein and a little extra cash in your pocket. Do you want to read more?
If you have done your due diligence, you are likely well aware that carbohydrates can be bad news for a fitness regimen. However, avoiding carbs completely does not automatically equate to fat loss. Of course, there can be many benefits to adopting a low-carb lifestyle, but never forget that unprocessed and fibrous carbohydrates can be an excellent source of energy for your body. As such, feel free to incorporate the right variety into your healthy lifestyle.
As always, however, knowledge is power. Beyond just what you are eating, you need to know the value (or detriment) inherent to how you are eating it. Think about what your current diet entails. What sorts of foods do you typically consume that are carbohydrates? How do you eat them? With what foods are they usually pair? You may be shocked to discover that something as simple as the dish you choose to eat alongside the carb of your choice can completely make or break your voyage to a fitter future.
There is just one simple rule that you can never forget when doing so. Never combine fats and carbohydrates. Limiting your fat consumption when eating carbs is absolutely critical. The way these two foods interact wreaks havoc on your body’s ability to burn fat and actually encourage it to do just the opposite.
When you eat fat, your body digests the food and releases fatty acids into the bloodstream. On the other hand, when you eat carbohydrates, your body digests that food and releases the storage hormone insulin into the bloodstream. This combination is exactly what you need to avoid. Fatty acids combined with insulin means your body will choose to start storing the fats. Insulin even activates fatty acid “transporters” in your body’s fat cells, which facilitates even more efficient fat storage.
Always avoid consuming large amounts of fatty acids and foods the will release a high level of insulin (such as all higher glycemic carbohydrates) into the body simultaneously. When you eat carbs, do not eat it with fats and vice versa. Best practices generally include limiting carb intake to less than 10 grams in a meal where you will be eating fat. Similarly, cap your fat consumption at 10 grams in a meal where you will be eating a large amount of fat. But just cutting out the dangers of eating carbs and fats by consuming them separately, you will optimized your body’s fat-blasting hormonal environment and being seeing much faster results.
The hard truth about weight loss can be a sobering reality at times. Only 5 out of every 100 people who start a diet ever follow through and achieve the desired results. When it comes to actually keeping that weight off…the probability of success becomes even less likely. Although this may be disheartening to face head-on, there is nothing to fear. Frankly, the reasons most individuals do not succeed when it comes to dieting are not unknown. Here are three serious problems to watch when dropping pounds. If they catch you unaware, you will be at danger of failing in your weight loss journey
Going Too Far
When it comes to losing weight, the name of the game is endurance. With that in mind, it is important to accept that however eager you might be to reach your weight loss goal, that motivation will wax and wane over time. Therefore, restricting your food consumption too extremely is a recipe for disaster. Crash dieting simply does not work, and you run the risk of sending your body into “starvation mode.” This is when your body slows the metabolism and your body begins to cling desperately to your fat stores rather than burn it. If your body feels like there is the danger of literal starvation, then your biology will respond accordingly. Moderate calorie restriction is better when it comes to your ability to stick to your healthy habits, and also supports your body in consistently dropping weight. Speaking of which…
Diet For Too Long
Cutting back calories severely for more than one week at a time is going to lead to problems. Your body is a living organism. After about seven days, the odds are it will realize you are eating at a caloric deficit and adjust your metabolism. This results in slower fat loss, and potentially a full-on plateau. Fat loss plateaus can be so frustrating that they dissuade people from sticking to great weight loss plans and give up prematurely. To avoid that situation, it is best to plan your dieting week by week. Research indicates that fat blasting hormones drop at about that point, so you need to give yourself the opportunity to re-set your metabolism from time to time.
Deny Yourself What You Love
Your diet needs to be built around more than just your dream body – it should be built into your reality. Ditch the crash diet mindset and settle in for the long haul. You should not be “dieting”…you have permanently changed your diet. That is all. And, as a result, you should make time to be strategic in how you fold into all the foods you do love. It’s unlikely (and likely really unnecessary) to write off your favorite treats for the rest of your life. So, instead of embracing shame, opt to be realistic and moderate in how you evolve your eating habits.
We all know that eating vegetables is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, free of processed chemicals and sugars, veggies are the cornerstone of any healthy meal. But did you know that there is a family in the vegetable world that offers more than your average benefits? Filled with fat-fighting power, the cruciferous family of vegetables offer a wide variety of choices brimming with healthy potential. From kale to cauliflower, your choices are varied enough that you can include a member of this veggie family in each meal, and never eat the same dish for weeks. But what are some of the powerful benefits of joining the cruciferous family?
Body Health: This healthy delicacy promotes the production of healthy cells and immune boosting enzymes. A protein inside the cruciferous vegetables not only help to fight off harmful bacterial infections, but they combat bowel cancer, chronic inflammation, and a host of other gut-related ailments
Anti-Aging: The benefits of this miracle veggie continue on from mere healthy living. A study conducted on this veggie family illustrated that after just three weeks of eating 1 to 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables, their oxidative stress dropped nearly 22%. The antioxidant power of these miracle greens is proof positive of its power.
Battle Your Belly: Environmental estrogen is everywhere. Produced from soy, plastics, and pesticides, this chemical is capable of grabbing hold of our belly fat and keeping it there. This miracle veggie helps to fight its build-up and keep that fat off your midsection.
Bodily Function: The cruciferous family is clearly an excellent source of many things, but perhaps their strongest contribution is their heaping helping of fiber. This fiber-rich miracle food will keep you full after a large meal, maintain regularity, and promote a healthy digestive tract. Without regular fiber, you can suffer some staggering ill-effects later in life, potential even bowel cancer.