Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to Eat Healthy While on Vacation

How to Eat Healthy While on Vacation

When you go on vacation, remember that you shouldn't derail your healthy eating habits. Entering your getaway with some ideas about how to eat healthy while still enjoying yourself (and indulging a little) will keep you on track. After all, nobody wants to return from vacation with an extra couple of pounds as a souvenir. Here's how to eat healthy while you're away without feeling restrained.

Have Healthy Snacks Readily Available

Make your vacation food indulgences count; don't waste calories on a bag of potato chips in the airport or a mid-afternoon cookie at a local coffee shop. Take healthy snacks with you (or purchase them when you arrive) and keep them nearby so that you won't give in to your mid-meal hunger with empty calories. By not vacationing from your healthy snacking habits, you'll give yourself the leeway to enjoy something a little extravagant for dinner or dessert.

Share Your Meals

Going on vacation means dining in restaurants frequently. It's part of the experience and the fun. The danger is that restaurants usually serve enormous portions laden with all kinds of fat and calories you wouldn't consume if you had cooked them at home. Rather than limit yourself to garden salads the entire time, plan to share your meals with someone with whom you're vacationing. You still might not be eating the healthiest by splitting a plate of cheese enchiladas, but it's definitely less detrimental to your diet to share than to eat the entire plate on your own.

Go Easy on the Alcohol

Paradise doesn't feel complete without a cold bottle of beer or a fruity blended cocktail, but consuming too many will significantly increase your daily calorie intake. A classic margarita, for example, contains several hundred calories. Your best option is to limit yourself to a cocktail every other day while you're on vacation. If you absolutely must have a drink every day, limit it to one and switch from cocktails to wine or light beer every other day. As you would when not on vacation, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to curb cravings.

Split Dessert

Just as you should share calorie-laden meals, split desserts between two or more people, too. It's one of the best ways to prevent yourself from over-indulging without feeling deprived.

Avoid Fast Food

Whether you drive or fly to your destination, it's hard to escape the presence of fast food restaurants. When you're in a hurry or have limited options available for meals (as is common during road trips), resorting to a value meal is all too convenient. Plan ahead when you're traveling. If driving across country, pack sandwiches and fruit in a cooler. If you're flying, you can almost always find a kiosk or store selling fruit, yogurt and packaged salads. It all gets back to making smart choices on the ordinary meals so you can take more liberties with dinner or dessert.

Remember, a vacation isn't an excuse to throw all of your healthy eating habits to the wind. Aim to still consume well-balanced meals and nutrient-rich foods while on vacation the majority of the time. By doing so, the indulgences you do consume won't be a big deal.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tools and Calculators These tools will help you assess your weight, track your food calories and activity calories burned, and learn about portion sizes.

Tools and Calculators
These tools will help you assess your weight, track your food calories and activity calories burned, and learn about portion sizes.

BMI Calculator
http://www.webmd.com/diet/body-bmi-calculator
The BMI Plus Calculator is an innovative health and weight calculator that gives personal results on 6 different weight and fitness measurements.


Food Calculator
http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-food-calorie-counter
Find nutrition facts including calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, sugar, fiber in over 37,000 foods and beverages.


Portion Size Plate
http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-portion-size-plate
Portion control is a critical part of successful weight loss and weight management. The WebMD Portion Size Plate gives you easy-to-understand guidelines to help you avoid some common portion-size pitfalls.


Dieter Assessment
http://www.webmd.com/diet/dieter-assessment/default.htm
What Kind of Dieter Are You? Take this assessment to find out your diet personality. Plus, get tips to overcome obstacles, face food cravings, and find motivation.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Why You Can't Lose Weight

Why You Can't Lose Weight

SIX years after dropping an average of 129 pounds on the TV program “The Biggest Loser,” a new study reports, the participants were burning about 500 fewer calories a day than other people their age and size. This helps explain why they had regained 70 percent of their lost weight since the show’s finale. The diet industry reacted defensively, arguing that the participants had lost weight too fast or ate the wrong kinds of food — that diets do work, if you pick the right one.

The root of the problem is not willpower but neuroscience. Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life experience. When dieters’ weight drops below it, they not only burn fewer calories but also produce more hunger-inducing hormones and find eating more rewarding.

This coordinated brain response is a major reason that dieters find weight loss so hard to achieve and maintain. For example, men with severe obesity have only one chance in 1,290 of reaching the normal weight range within a year; severely obese women have one chance in 677. A vast majority of those who beat the odds are likely to end up gaining the weight back over the next five years. In private, even the diet industry agrees that weight loss is rarely sustained. A report for members of the industry stated: “In 2002, 231 million Europeans attempted some form of diet. Of these only 1 percent will achieve permanent weight loss.”

The specific “Biggest Loser” diet plan is probably not to blame. A previous study found similar metabolic suppression in people who had lost weight and kept it off for up to six years. Whether weight is lost slowly or quickly has no effect on later regain. Likewise — despite endless debate about the relative value of different approaches — in head-to-head comparisons, diet plans that provide the same calories through different types of food lead to similar weight loss and regain.

WHY would dieting lead to weight gain? First, dieting is stressful. Calorie restriction produces stress hormones, which act on fat cells to increase the amount of abdominal fat. Such fat is associated with medical problems like diabetes and heart disease, regardless of overall weight.
In people, dieting also reduces the influence of the brain’s weight-regulation system by teaching us to rely on rules rather than hunger to control eating.

Studies show that long-term dieters are more likely to eat for emotional reasons or simply because food is available. When dieters who have long ignored their hunger finally exhaust their willpower, they tend to overeat for all these reasons, leading to weight gain.
If dieting doesn’t work, what should we do instead? mindful eating is recommended — paying attention to signals of hunger and fullness, without judgment, to relearn how to eat only as much as the brain’s weight-regulation system commands.

Relative to chronic dieters, people who eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full are less likely to become overweight, maintain more stable weights over time and spend less time thinking about food. Mindful eating also helps people with eating disorders like binge eating learn to eat normally. Depending on the individual’s set point, mindful eating may reduce weight or it may not. Either way, it’s a powerful tool to maintain weight stability, without deprivation.

Diets often do improve cholesterol, blood sugar and other health markers in the short term, but these gains may result from changes in behavior like exercising and eating more vegetables.
Exercise reduces abdominal fat and improves health, even without weight loss. This suggests that overweight people should focus more on exercising than on calorie restriction.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Making the switch to healthy eating

Making the switch to healthy eating

Switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy, and you don’t have to change everything all at once—that usually only leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan.
To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Make the right changes.

When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled salmon) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.

Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.

Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.

Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many of us go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Moderation: important to any healthy diet
What is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. For many of us, moderation means eating less than we do now. But it doesn't mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza.

Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods, it’s natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don't order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes. Your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. By serving your meals on smaller plates or in bowls, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s a larger portion. If you don't feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.

Take your time. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.

Eat with others whenever possible. Eating alone, especially in front of the TV or computer, often leads to mindless overeating.

It's not just what you eat, but when you eat
Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, while eating small, healthy meals (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up all day.

Avoid eating at night. Try to eat dinner earlier and fast for 14-16 hours until breakfast the next morning. Studies suggest that eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day may help to regulate weight.

How to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet
Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.

To increase your intake:
Add berries to breakfast cereals
Eat fruit for dessert
Swap your usual side dish for a salad
Snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes instead of processed snack foods

Make your meals colorful
The brighter, deeper colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits.

Greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugar.

Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How Drinking More Water Can Help You Lose Weight

For a long time, drinking water has been thought to help with weight loss.

In fact, 30–59% of US adults who try to lose weight increase their water intake.
Many studies show that drinking more water may benefit weight loss and maintenance.

Most of the studies listed below looked at the effect of drinking one, 0.5 liter (17 oz) serving of water.
Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure.

In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This lasts at least 60 minutes.

Supporting this, one study of overweight and obese children found a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water.

A study of overweight women examined the effects of increasing water intake to over 1 liter (34 oz) per day. They found that over a 12-month period, this resulted in an extra 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of weight loss. Since these women didn’t make any lifestyle changes except to drink more water, these results are very impressive.

Additionally, both of these studies indicate that drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz) of water results in an extra 23 calories burned. On a yearly basis, that sums up to roughly 17,000 calories — or over 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of fat.

Several other studies have monitored overweight people who drank 1-1.5 liters (34–50 oz) of water daily for a few weeks. They found a significant reduction in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat.

These results may be even more impressive when the water is cold. When you drink cold water, your body uses extra calories to warm the water up to body temperature.

Some people claim that drinking water before a meal reduces appetite.
There actually seems to be some truth behind this, but almost exclusively in middle-aged and older adults.
Studies of older adults have shown that drinking water before each meal may increase weight loss by 2 kg (4.4 lbs) over a 12-week period. In one study, middle-aged overweight and obese participants who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight, compared to a group that did not drink more water. Another study also showed that drinking water before breakfast reduced the amount of calories consumed during the meal by 13%. Although this may be very beneficial for middle-aged and older people, studies of younger individuals have not shown the same impressive reduction in calorie intake.
Bottom Line: Drinking water before meals may reduce appetite in middle-aged and older individuals. This decreases calorie intake, leading to weight loss.
Many health authorities recommend drinking eight, 8-oz glasses of water (about 2 liters) per day.
However, this number is completely random. As with so many things, water requirements depend entirely on the individual. For example, people who sweat a lot or exercise regularly may need more water than those who are not very active.

Older people and breast-feeding mothers also need to monitor their water intake more closely.

Keep in mind that you also get water from many foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk, and especially fruits and vegetables.

As a good rule of thumb, you should always drink water when you’re thirsty, and drink enough to quench your thirst.
If you find you have a headache, are in a bad mood, are constantly hungry or have trouble concentrating, then you may suffer from mild dehydration. Drinking more water may help fix this.

Based on the studies, drinking 1-2 liters of water per day should be sufficient to help with weight loss.
Here’s how much water you should drink, in different measurements:
  • Liters: 1–2.
  • Ounces: 34–67.
  • Glasses (8-oz): 4–8.
However, this is just a general guideline. Some people may need less, while others may need a lot more.
Also, it is not recommended to drink too much water either, as it may cause water toxicity. This has even caused death in extreme cases, such as during water drinking contests.
Bottom Line: According to the studies, 1–2 liters of water per day is enough to assist with weight loss, especially when consumed before meals.
Water can be really helpful for weight loss.
It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary beverages with water. It is a very easy way to cut back on sugar and calories.
However, keep in mind that you’re going to have to do a lot more than just drink water if you need to lose a significant amount of weight.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Crazy Fad Diet - The Five-Bite Diet

The Five-Bite Diet

Eat whatever you want—but only five bites of it. On this diet, developed by obesity doctor Alwin Lewis, MD, you skip breakfast and eat only five bites of food for lunch and five more for dinner. "I'm OK with the idea of eating whatever you want in smaller portions, but you need to round out the rest of your eating with nutrient-dense foods to give your body the fuel it needs," Caspero says. "On this diet, even if you take giant bites of heavily caloric food, you're still barely consuming 900 to 1,000 calories a day."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

What Is It?

“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.

How It Works?
When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis.

Weight Loss
A ketogenic diet may help you lose more weight in the first 3 to 6 months than some other diets. This may be because it takes more calories to change fat into energy than it does to change carbs into energy. It’s also possible that a high-fat, high-protein diet satisfies you more, so you eat less, but that hasn’t been proved yet.

Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use or store sugar as fuel. Ketogenic diets make you burn through this fuel quickly, so you don’t need to store it. This means your body needs -- and makes -- less insulin.

It seems strange that a diet that calls for more fat can raise “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol, but ketogenic diets are linked to just that. It may be because the lower levels of insulin that result from these diets can stop your body from making more cholesterol. That means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart failure, and other heart conditions.

Low-carb diets seem to help keep your blood sugar lower and more predictable than other diets. But when your body burns fat for energy, it makes compounds called ketones. If you have diabetes, particularly type 1, too many ketones in your blood can make you sick. So it’s very important to work with your doctor on any changes in your diet.

A Kenogenic diet may help endurance athletes -- runners and cyclists, for example -- when they train. Over time, it helps your muscle-to-fat ratio and raises the amount of oxygen your body is able to use when it’s working hard. While it might help in training, it may not work as well as other diets for peak performance.

Side Effects

The more common ones aren’t usually serious: You might have constipation, mild low blood sugar, or indigestion. Much less often, low-carb diets can lead to kidney stones or high levels of acid in your body (acidosis).

When your body burns its stores of fat, it can be hard on your kidneys. And starting a ketogenic diet -- or going back to a normal diet afterward -- can be tricky if you’re obese because of other health issues you’re likely to have, like diabetes, a heart condition, or high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, make diet changes slowly and only with the guidance of your doctor.