8 Most Common Diet Bloopers 0
Slimming down is a lot tougher than it sounds, especially the healthy way. Here are eight flubs you might be making while trying to shed those stubborn pounds.
1 SKIPPING BREAKFAST
When we can't swing a healthy breakfast before an early morning meeting, we gulp down a can of orange juice and storm out of the house. "And that's the biggest mistake we make," point out nutrition experts. Those on a breakfast similar to that of birds, tend to get hungry later and overeat before lunch. A healthy breakfast comprising whole-grain cereal or an egg and whole wheat toast, on the other hand, keeps you full until lunch. Studies have shown that a high protein meal earlier in the day increases dopamine levels, thus reducing cravings through the day.
2 HALF-BAKED IS DANGEROUS
"These days people do their own research, pick what they like and make dietary changes that may not necessarily suit their regimen," says nutritionist Shivani Amrute. "They eliminate carbohydrates completely from their diet, not realizing that their body needs instant energy which cannot be derived from proteins and fats. They skip dinner and stay up till midnight.
This leads to two things: they either binge on ice creams and snacks in the middle of the night or wake up with hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Many others disregard the importance of moderate portions." Just because a food item has a higher nutritional value doesn't mean that you can consume mountains of it.
3 EATING TOO MUCH FRUIT
Before loading your plate with crunchy apples, ripe peaches and berries bursting with flavor, note that fruits are rich in a sugar known as fructose and need to be consumed in moderation. While fruit is a healthier alternative to cheesecake or gulab jamun, ensure you don't indulge in more than two portions a day as it may lead to high blood sugar, weight gain and other complications like fructose malabsorption.
The key is to incorporate low glycemic fruits like apple, pear, orange, sweet lime, guava, papaya and use other sugar rich fruits sparingly. The best time to eat fruits is the first half of the day keeping fat loss in mind," says nutritionist Karishma Chawla.
4 THE HUNGRY HEART
So you wake up on a Monday morning and punish yourself for the junk you ate the night before by surviving the day on a measly glass of organic juice. Missing meals may reduce the calorie intake for that particular hour and help you shed a few pounds instantly, but you could be headed for trouble in the long run. Not eating on time will make you hungrier and you're also more likely to overeat at the next meal. It will disrupt your metabolism and cause blood sugar to dive. Needless to say, this disrupted supply of nutrients is bound to make you feel tired and miserable.
"Fasting leads to starvation and muscle breakdown, slows down body's metabolism and converts calories into fat. The faster you lose pounds, the faster you gain them. Lose them slowly by eating a balanced diet that comprises lean protein, unprocessed carbs and good fats and by working out regularly," advises nutritionist Prachi Sanghvi.
5 JUMPING ON THE SCALE
Once we hit the gym or start following a diet, we obsessively check the scale - only to be disappointed by the consistent number. But tracking the weighing scale on a daily basis doesn't give an accurate picture as a person's weight is affected by many factors including food, body composition and hydration levels. Rather, consult a dietitian and take body measurements to keep a tab on the inches. "You don't need a weighing scale to reflect your body state. Instead of depending on a machine to tell you how you are doing, start depending on yourself and go by how you are feeling. If you feel good, you're on the right track. If not, you need to re-look at what you are doing!" declares celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar.
6 SAYING NO TO GHEE
Ever wondered why the number of young adults with heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension, back and joint problems have increased? One of the reasons is shunning ghee. "A staple in traditional Indian cooking and ayurvedic medicine, ghee has myriad impressive benefits. It burns fat efficiently, reduces inflammation in the joints, balances cholesterol levels, protects the gastrointestinal system, keeps the brain alert, improves eye health and maintains the texture of hair, skin and nails," shares diet specialist Dhvani Shah. So the next time you want to burn stubborn fat, a ghee or clarified butter dip, as the West calls it, is just what the doctor ordered.
7 MAKING CARBS THE ENEMY
Choosing a low-carb diet over a traditional well-balanced one has become a popular trend. Everyone from teens to corporate biggies are ditching white rice or chapatti to dig into a bowl of salad or opt for a simple dal and steamed fish lunch."But that's not the right thing to do," asserts nutritionist Pooja Makhija. "Carbs comprise 60 to 65 percent of our total calorie intake. Eliminating them completely leaves a void in our stomach and makes us feel angry and irritable. When we don't get the right food at the right time, we end up eating the wrong food at the wrong time." Yearning for a flat tummy? Allow that ghee laden roti and bowl of rice to return to your plate right away!
8 THE WESTERN INFLUENCE
Of course, the protein bar that you devoured on your way to work is convenient, but it's processed and won't satisfy your hunger. "We need to value everything (like rice), that is easily available in the local market, instead of chasing after food items that are difficult to avail and expensive to afford, "stresses Diwekar. According to her, the best way to eat healthy is to include more rice, ghee and seasonal fruits in our diet, along with 150 minutes of exercise per week. "Eat like your grandmother. No prescribed diet can replace her age-old recipes," she adds. Go back to your roots and recollect what food you ate at your grandmother's house -it could be the basic curd-rice, dal-chawal or roasted brown chana with some jaggery. Stop looking for Western alternatives like replacing coconut oil with olive oil and Italian herbs for Indian spices. Inherit the Indian culture in all its glory. You'll be surprised with the wealth in your backyard.
Lets us know what you think down below :)
- Joanna Cruel
How to Build More Muscle 0
Building muscle mass does not mean becoming bulky; by changing a few routines, you can help your body gain muscle, lose fat, and get stronger.
Start using free weights. If you have a gym membership, put aside your fear of the free weights section where burly guys grunt and watch their biceps in the mirror. This is not a man’s domain; just start out on the smaller side of the weight spectrum and go for basic moves you can do well.
Schedule a session with one of the personal trainers to get a walk through on basic exercises to do with free weights, and start incorporating those into your exercise routine regularly.
Invest in a set of dumb bells at a weight you can manage. Start using those instead of doing your regular toning exercises: switch out your Pilates routine for a set of bicep curles, tricep dips, butterflies, and squats.
Create a routine that includes cardio and weight training. Focus more time on the weight training and less time on the cardio. Many women work out in the opposite way; they spend most of their time on cardiovascular routines, such as walking, swimming, or aerobics. In order to build muscle, however, it’s necessary to switch the focus. Spend less time on cardio and more time on weights during each workout, or switch back and forth; do weight training three to four times a week and cardio twice a week.
Keep challenging yourself. When you get to a level of ease with your current weight training routine, it’s time to switch it up again. Try new exercises or heavier weights. Include combination exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time: (calisthenic exercises: push ups, pull ups, etc)
Give your muscles both adequate fuel and rest. Muscles are made from protein; if you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, your body cannot form new muscles. Include plenty of low-fat protein sources in your diet, such as legumes and beans, lean cuts of meat, and low-fat dairy. You can also include, in moderation, higher-fat protein sources such as nuts, seeds, and oils. Just don’t overdo it on the fat and protein combination.
Eat carbohydrates before you work out for energy and proteins after to provide that muscle-building material to your body. Make sure you get a balanced meal .
Get enough sleep every night; your body needs time to rest and rebuild after weight training and cardio work. As you ease into weight training, you may need to only work out every other day to give your body time to recuperate.
The stronger you become, the more your body can handle, but don’t push yourself further than is comfortable. A fatigued body won’t be a good muscle-builder, but a body that is challenged, trained, well-fed and rested can quickly become lean and strong.
Muscle strength peaks at age 25 and hits a plateau before falling sometime in your mid-to-late 30s. The more shapely, strong muscle you can bank now, the stronger you'll stay for life. Research shows that strength training can replace about five years' worth of lost muscle in as few as eight weeks. Use these strategies to exercise to your full potential.
LAST LONGER, RECOVER STRONGER
Age affects how quickly you bounce back from a hard workout: The younger you are, the easier it is. But at any age, you can get more from your workout and trim recovery time by knowing what to eat and drink before, during, and after exercise.
ONE TO TWO HOURS BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT
Have a high-carb snack. "Carbs can help you feel more physically and mentally energized during exercise," says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis. In one study, cyclists who ate carbs before riding were able to pedal 18 percent longer before fatiguing.
Make the energy last by adding a small amount of protein: Try a bowl of Cheerios and boost the carb count with some fruit, or half of a turkey sandwich (stay fairly light on the turkey to keep it moving through your system) and a banana. For a turbo charge, add coffee.
A British review of 21 caffeine studies found that caffeinated people said that exercise felt easier, and they were able to run, swim, bike, and row 11 percent faster and/or longer before tiring out. Just 250 milligrams — one 16-ounce coffee — does the trick.
DURING YOUR WORKOUT
Have a sports drink if a strenuous workout lasts longer than 60 minutes. That's when the fuel (glycogen) in your muscles tends to start running out. The carbs in sports drinks will replace it. In one study, cyclists who drank a sports drink before and during a two-hour test were happier and felt the exercise was easier than those who guzzled water. Play with amounts — you may not need the whole drink to gain the energy you want.
WITHIN 30 MINUTES OF FINISHING YOUR WORKOUT
Eat a blend of carbs and protein to beat fatigue and help your body bounce back. After a strenuous workout lasting longer than an hour, your muscles are depleted of glycogen, which they need for post-exercise recovery.
The right foods can triple the rate at which your muscles restock glycogen. In fact, low-fat chocolate milk may work wonders: A recent study found that cyclists who drank it after an exhausting ride were able to bike about 50 percent longer during a second ride (four hours later) than those who downed a pricey, protein-filled "recovery" drink.
So there you go let us know what you think down below :)
- Joanna Cruel
Can Cheat Meals Be Part Of A Healthy Eating Lifestyle? 0
Mental break can help keep you motivated the rest of the week. If weight loss is your goal, some experts even claim that varying your caloric intake can help prevent the dreaded “weight loss plateau" by stimulating a metabolism-boosting hormone, leptin.
But critics argue the very concept of a “cheat” meal perpetuates a disordered view of eating that separates food into "good" and “bad” categories. They also point out that cheat meals can lead to bingeing, which makes it more difficult to get back on track. Finally, it transforms the day-to-day practice of healthy eating into a slog you need to be “rewarded” for at the end of a tough week, instead of a pleasure unto itself.
Occasional high-calorie meal may increase production of leptin, the metabolism booster that also suppresses appetite. But not all cheat meals are equal: Foods that are high in protein and carbs seem to have the biggest impact on leptin, while high fat foods don't affect the hormone as much. And drinking alcohol actually has the opposite effect it decreases leptin secretion.
It’s unrealistic to think that people will stick to a restricted diet 100 percent of the time. This allows for some favorites while sticking to the overall goal.”
For most of us we should adopt a 90/10 approach. If we eat three meals a day, we eat 21 meals a week. Ninety percent, or about 19 of those meals should follow healthy guidelines that keep you on track to fulfill your goals. But 10 percent, or two per week, can be less restricted. This plan people achieve their health goals in asustainable way and once they reach their target, that approach can relax to an 80/20 ratio.
If you can successfully eat an occasional cheat meal without problems, then it isn’t really cheating, It’s enjoying pleasurable foods in balance with a healthy diet.
Cheat meals aren’t for stepping outside of your program but rather a part of your program, and will help you stick to your newfound healthy eating habits.
That said, if you tend to emotionally eat, have control issues with food or can’t rein it in after a splurge, talk to your nutritionist or doctor before adopting a cheat meal practice.
For the rest of us, here are five tips for effectively deploying and enjoying your special meals:
1. Like all things, these meals should be enjoyed in moderation.
In other words, don’t let your cheat meal become an epic food weekend. The truth about the metabolism boosting meal is that it only takes a slight increase in calories say, an extra 300 or so to be effective.
It’s not a license to binge. You have to be able to have some focus and self-control to allow for one cheat meal and not have that trickle into a whole weekend.
2. You have to be honest with yourself.
Some foods are more nutritious for you than others. And some foods are moretriggering that is, they’re more likely to make you lose control than others. That’s why, if you know you can’t stop once you dig into the cereal and milk, you shouldn't make it a part of your cheat meal.
3. Plan your cheat meal.
Emotional overeating is what makes our relationship with food weird. Don’t let yourcheat meal be the time you scarf potato chips in the office kitchen after a stressful meeting, or rummage through your pantry in the middle of the night. Make a plan, include other people, and let it be fun.
4. Let go of that perfectionistic streak.
If you’re going to indulge in cheat meals, you have to really give yourself permission to enjoy it. For some people, eating a cheat meal may trigger feelings of guilt or shame, even if you’ve planned for it and ate it the way you wanted to.
The people who fail at traditional diet programs tend to be all-or-nothing. It’s impossible to be perfect all the time, so getting rid of that perfectionistic mentality is healthier at the end of the day.
5. Get back on the horse!
So you’ve had your cheat meal. It was wonderful. It was just what you wanted. Now take that satisfaction and jump right back into your normal routine, says Young. Whether that means keeping a temporary food diary to get back on track, or exercising in the morning to keep you motivated, do what works to remind yourself of your plan and your goals.
Lets us know what you think down below :)
- Joanna Cruel