All Articles Tagged "nutrition"
If you’re trying to lose weight and absolutely refuse to feel hungry, protein is your best friend. It passes through your system slowly, taking longer to metabolize. That means you stay full longer. It also is (if you choose it wisely) low in fat, sugars and an array of other ingredients that “diet” foods sneak into you. These high protein foods will save you calories, money and time.
When you indulge in a bag of Swedish Fish, there’s no question if you’re spiking your blood sugar. But did you know there are 56 different names for sugar? And they sneak up in almost every category of food. What you often perceive as the naturally sweet flavor of a healthy food is actually hidden sugar.
While the act of eating always makes you happy, the aftermath can have the opposite effects. We’re talking bloating, lethargy, and even feelings of depression (and guilt, depending on what you’re snacking on!) But these foods are guaranteed to make you feel sharper, brighter, energized and positive. So if you want to emotionally eat, be sure you’re eating the right emotions!
Want to see the aisles of a grocery store through the eyes of a nutritionist? Here are 14 ingredients found in many of the foods you’re probably picking up, that health experts wouldn’t lay a hand on.
Whenever anyone talks about wanting to lose weight, what’s the first thing that happens?
Someone mentions a diet.
Oh, you know you’ve heard it before. Where someone eats only mashed potatoes for breakfast, lunch and a snack, or only eats grapefruit for breakfast and lunch, or only sips some weird cayenne pepper kool aid concoction for three weeks straight and before you know it, you’ll be fierce! Fit! Flawless!
You know why diets feel like the best way to accomplish your weight loss goal? They’re easy. Do X, get Y in response. If you’re given a regimen, it’s that easy to follow, and it promises to give you the results you want, why on Earth would you pass it up? And, if you’re limiting yourself to only eating a food that you actually enjoy? There’s no reason in the world for you to turn your back on that.
What we never do, though, is delve into the realities of dieting and why it works. If weight loss is simply about calories in and calories out, then dieting is simply a quicker way of limiting your calories in with less planning. It’s glorified auto-pilot eating. You don’t have to learn about what part of your habits caused you to gain weight. You don’t have to learn how to eat for your body and your activity levels. You don’t even have to learn how to cook the foods you like differently. You cheat the system; you limit yourself to a handful of foods, inadvertently cut calories, and boom. Weight loss.
Except…without fail, the weight almost always comes back.
Because you didn’t learn which foods were causing your weight gain, because you didn’t learn which habits were causing you to pack on the pounds, because you didn’t learn how to eat for your activity levels… you’ll inevitably put the weight back on. Because you restricted yourself to a handful of foods for an extended period of time, you’ll put the pounds back on as soon as you hop off your diet.
And, because you probably restricted your caloric intake far beyond reasonable levels, you also probably lost the invaluable muscle that burns almost three times as many calories per hour as fat, which means you’ve damaged your metabolism, which means you’ve negatively affected your ability to successfully keep the weight off.
This is why diets are ridiculous: they are plans for losing weight, that have no forethought into how a dieter should keep the weight off. Anyone can lose, but how you lose that weight should be directly tied into how you keep it off. Are you going to only eat grapefruit and mashed potatoes for breakfast? Or are you going to learn how to eat a breakfast that is not only tasty, but nutritious and within your allotted calories? Are you going to sip cayenne pepper cocktails forever, or are you going to figure out that you shouldn’t be packing away an entire sleeve of cookies in a day? Are you going to find ways to enjoy what you eat and still eat nutritiously in a way that preserves your figure?
If so, then your best bet is to skip the “diet.” Learn what your body likes. Understand what it needs. And, rest assured, your body will thank you for it!
Erika Nicole Kendall is the writer behind the award winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, where she blogs everything from fitness to food, weight loss to wellness, body image and even her own 160lb weight loss journey. A trainer certified in women’s fitness, fitness nutrition and weight loss coaching, she can be found taking over your Internet on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
One of the biggest struggles people face when they convert to clean eating is not only making the driest food ever – yes, I’m looking at you people who insist on eating not only dry steamed broccoli, but the most cardboard-tasting chicken breast alive – but the portions are infinitely smaller. Some of us just took the “deck of cards” portion size a little too literally, and are now finishing our sparkling-clean meals while wondering, “why, on Earth, am I still hungry?”
You can never forget that food is, quite frankly, fuel. Food is how you power yourself throughout the day. And, though people like to tell you that a starving body will result in your body burning fat for fuel, you should realize that this is a miserable process — one that is not conducive to successful weight loss. You can starve if you want, but remember – your daily function outside of your vigorous activity will be sluggish, you won’t be able to think as clearly as you otherwise might, and your energy will be drained. It is truly a miserable way to go.
Seeing as how food is fuel, it’s important to build meals in a way that, so when you do get to sit down at the table, you will not only have a meal that you can safely enjoy, but it will be fulfilling and be able to sustain you for a while.
There are three things that you want to make sure your meal consists of: healthy fats, quality lean proteins, and healthy forms of carbs. Any meal that misses any one of these three components will not only be unfulfilling, but will potentially leave you unhappy.
A healthy fat can be anything from an olive oil to an avocado to the oils that come from some nuts and seeds — peanuts, cashews, almonds and even sesame seeds. Naturally-occurring fats, in small doses, pack a mean punch as far as energy is concerned, but they also add a texture quality to what you’re eating; they can add a nice creamy texture or be used to add a bit of a crisp. If you added coconut oil to a skillet of collard greens, with the right seasonings? That’s a win.
Healthy carbs are also an easy pick: now, we’re talking fruits, vegetables and (if your diet permits) whole grains. The interesting part about this section is that a healthy carb will be not only part-carb, but part-protein, as well. Whole grains are high in protein, making them not only inexpensive and nutritious, but filling. Good leafy greens will not only have a little bit of protein, but a good amount of fiber in them, as well… and we all know what good fiber does. It not only keeps you regular, but helps to regulate your blood sugar, as well. Fruits and veggies are your best sources of fiber, and a consistent diet of both will keep you hitting the potty every day. (And, yes, you want that.)
Quality, lean proteins are perhaps the trickiest of them all, because so many diets are defined by what kind of protein you exclude. As I mentioned before, whole grains count, but if you exclude gluten from your diet what are your other sources? Beans and legumes – black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, hoppin’ john, navy beans, lentils – are a viable source. But if you’re following the paleo diet, what do you do? Chicken, seafood, lean cuts of beef, and any other meat you might’ve imagined will count. But what if you’re abstaining from flesh? Tofu, tempeh, miso and the like are great options for the vegetarian and vegan, but what if you’re not eating soy?
Like many things, you have to figure out what works best for you. Whether it’s tofu or turkey burgers, make the choices that fit your lifestyle, your tastes, and your budget. And, if you’ve gone from a processed food lifestyle to clean eating only to experience hunger, chances are high that you could bump up your portion sizes a great deal, still experience progress with your weight loss, and not feel like you could inhale enough for a small country. Plan your plates to help sustain you until the next meal; breakfast should help you last until lunch time, lunch should help you last until dinner, and dinner should sustain you through into the morning, without you waking up feeling sluggish and tired. (I know, the common phrase is “breakfast like a king, dinner like a pauper,” but that’s not for the novice clean eater.)
Be adventurous. Embarking on a journey into clean eating is a challenge, but it should be an exciting one. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you. As I always say, your body will thank you for it!
Erika Nicole Kendall is the writer behind the award winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, where she blogs everything from fitness to food, weight loss to wellness, body image and more. A trainer certified in women’s fitness, fitness nutrition and weight loss coaching, she can be found taking over your Internet on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Research has found that on average, eating healthy can cost up to $30 a day while eating junk food can cost only about $5. We want to combat those facts! You should be rewarded for wanting to live healthy, not forced to have to pay a high price. So here are a few ways to beat the system.
As another year on the fitness calendar has ended, researchers and nutritionists have picked apart 2012’s diet trends to tell us which ones should be ditched, which ones should prevail, and which ones are just in need of a little adjustment. Here is what to expect of diets trends for 2013.
Timing is everything in life, and that includes when you eat. Maybe you only consume 1,500 calories a day, but if you have them all in one sitting, you’ll find your weight oddly fluctuating. Maybe you eat perfectly healthy foods, but you eat them at odd hours when your metabolism just isn’t ready for any kind of food. To get the timing right, here are 14 tricks to keep a proper eating schedule.
Being heart-health-conscious doesn’t have to mean dulling down your meals and complicating your workouts. Okay— one day it may mean that. But for those of you just dabbling with the idea of living a heart-healthier life, here are easy, even enjoyable ways to ease into it.