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What you eat is what you become. Common saying.
Besides, if you are on a mission to lose weight apart from being healthy, you need to watch what enters your mouth.
It is an 80-20 rule. 80% role of diet and 20 % of the workout.
Now, if you just want to include some basic physical activity and not work upon the diet, we advise you to skip this part and save your time. For others, let us just inform you what this section will explore:
Food Labels can be misleading, especially when the terminology mentioned there is all jargon for you. What if you are bestowed with a full-fledged guide that leads you to understand the food labels?
Well, we think nothing beats that. Grab a packet of lays or a food carton claiming the item to be sugar free, while you read this. Compare, learn and understand those labels on your favorite edibles.
The term “modified starch” describes starch that has been physically or chemically treated for food product preparation, often for use as a thickener. It does not mean it has been genetically modified. Check with the supplier to be sure.
You will see “use by” dates on food items that perish comparatively faster, for example, smoked fish. After this date, one must not consume that particular food item. “Best before” dates explain more about quality. When this date expires, the food might just begin to lose its taste, texture and look.
“Cholesterol-Free” or “LOW Cholesterol” means that the product does not contain any or only small amounts of animal fat or saturated fat. But it does not necessarily mean the product is low fat. Vegetable oils are cholesterol-free, but made entirely of fat.
Foods that are labeled “calorie free“, means that the food contains fewer than 5 calories per serving. Foods labeled “low calorie” means there are less than 40 calories per serving.
Some foods are labeled as, for example, “produce of the EU or South America” or “produce of Eu, Brazil or Thailand”. This means the product is made from the resources of the country mentioned. However, this may be misleading. A French lamb imported to Brazil, slaughtered in Brazil and sold there, would be labeled, “produce of Brazil”.
Something labeled 90% fat free could contains 10% fat, which is a lot higher than 3% so it needs to be labelled as “Low fat”.
Foods that are labelled more fiber ”or“ added fiber means that the product must contain at the least 5 grams of fiber in one serving of the food. This is, however, a classification given in the USA. Different countries have different measurements of fiber count per serving.
The label, “No added sugar” means the food item contains 2 g per 100 g of product. It does not mean the product is necessarily low in sugar. Many foods (such as fruit) contain natural sugars, so ‘no added sugar’ really means that no extra refined sugar has been added.
Food, that is labeled “lean”, means that per serving it contains 10 g or less of fat, of which 4.5 g or less are saturated, and less than 95 mg cholesterol. Remember that this is for an 85 g (3 oz) portion, though. Larger portions will contain more fat.
Foods that are labeled as “low sodium” or “low salt” means that the item contains 140 mg of salt per serving. If the sodium content of the food item is given instead of the amount of salt in the product, then multiply the given sodium content with 2.5 to get the salt content of the food item.
For more information: Can we really trust our food labels?
It’s important to get a good balance of food every day, but it can be confusing and time consuming to plan a food chart separately for each day. To check, think about what you eat and drink over the course of a week – jot it down if it helps. If it balances out overall, even if you have the odd bad day, you’re on the right track. If not, find out the weak parts and ways to fix them. Use the next section to judge what ideally you should include in your meals and why.
Tip: Have 3 of 5 meals every day.
Most people know they should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. But did you know that three of these ideally should be vegetables, because they are lower in sugar and higher in fibrous content? Well, now you do.
They say, Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dine like a pauper. You’re entitled to follow the trend. But now you will know all the whys and whats of breakfast, lunch and dinner. What meal suits which time band. And, what will happen if you skip one.
Most people skip breakfast or to rephrase it, the breakfast gets missed due to various reasons. The next time you do that, remind yourself of this study which reveals that you tend to earn yourself a couple of more pounds by not having your breakfast.
What happens if I skip my Breakfast?
When you miss your breakfast, you tend to eat more the very next time you eat anything. Having not to eat anything in the morning implies that you have not eaten anything since the last night. This grounds the reason for breakfast being termed as breakfast. You break the fast post your dinner last night.
Some studies even claim that men who skip breakfast have elevated chances of heart disease risk. Women are no less affected. Females lying in the age group of 15-25 years of age who skip breakfast, tend to distort their figure by gaining weight by the time they reach 35-40 years’ of age.
What should I include in my Breakfast?
Lunch, an abbreviation of ‘Luncheon‘, is familiar for being the midday meal. Well, as mentioned above, the importance of breakfast cannot be paralleled. But skipping lunch and stripping yourself from these nutrients for a prolonged period of the day would be one of the most horrible thing you could do to yourself.
What happens when I skip my Lunch?
When you skip lunch, your body lowers your metabolic rate. So, lesser calories are burnt, and conserved for later use. Glucose, our primary energy source, fails to reach the brain. And your concentration falls. Energy levels drop, and you become more susceptible to getting stressed and feeling tired, earlier than usual.
What should I include in my Lunch?
Try to maintain at least a gap of an hour between dinner and going to bed. Because, if you eat dinner just before you go to sleep, there are chances of heartburn. And also, weight gain.
What will happen if I skip my dinner?
Well, by now you should be able to answer that. You last ate during lunch or maybe evening snacks. A significantly huge delay occurs until you eat your breakfast the next day. This delay is caused by the Sleeping time. You got to eat not much, but at least something to get your system going the entire night.Waking up with a starved body is not a good idea.
What should I include in my dinner?
Dine like a pauper – reasons endorsing this fact say, that it is easier to sleep while you have been filling your gut with essential nutrients all day long. So you can keep your dinner light and healthy.
Evening is the time post 3-4 hours of lunch, which stretches may be until dusk approaches. You may also term this as the ‘snacking time’. Evening snacks are just a way to feed your gut between lunch and dinner time. So that you do not die off famishing till the time your dinner’s ready. So why not eat something nutritionally beneficial!
What will happen if I skip evening snacks?
Well, not many people are habitual of evening snacks. But those who are, are to quite an extent addicted to it. The addiction may follow from the tea intake which forms an integral part of your evening time snacking. Cookies and other stuff are usually taken along with the evening tea. If you skip evening meals, the acids that your stomach normally produces, does not get anything to react with. Therefore, the acidity and stomach growling increases to quite an extent.
This is decently bearable if you skip your evening snacks. But if this practice is extended to a prolonged period and more disastrously every day, then these acids start eating the inner lining your body. That is, in other words, the body starts feeding on itself. This, if not looked after for a certain time, tends to give way to Ulcers.
What can I eat as my evening snacks?
In this section, we’ll brief you about:
When it comes to gearing up for workout, carbs are your gym BFF. The key is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple ones, so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout.
Your body is in recovery mode, so you need a nutrient dense dish.
They are very good for our body, mainly because fermented foods, like Probiotics, are ‘pre-digested’ by good bacteria and yeast. They eat it before us, breaking sugars and starches into nutrients which are more easily absorbed by our system. Such foods are thus, very effective in that they are healthy supplements that are natural in every sense. The sour taste due to lactic acid acidifies our intestinal environment which further stimulates growth of good bacteria.
Here are some examples:
Nuts and dry fruits
They are great as snack, even during travelling and enhance blood circulation. When ingested in moderation, they help in balancing hormonal cycle and serve as a rich, concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegetarians. Omega-3 are also called “friendly fats” which help in flushing out the bad cholesterol from heart.
It is known to lower risk of heart disease & breast cancer. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants. Though not a good source of omega-3s, it speeds up the process of healing and blood clotting when wounded.
As biologists tell us, bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose, plus loads of healthy fiber. As a result, it gives not only an instant, but a sustained and substantial boost of energy. This sounds like a perfect packet of energy for a workout session. Doesn’t it?? Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
No wonder banana is the #1 preferred fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit.
It wards off exam stress, relieves constipation, aids in treating morning sickness and fights ulcers. It is easy on the pocket and is widely available. Needs no washing or processing.
Citrus fruits that include lemon, oranges, grapefruit, etc. are a rich source of antioxidants & Tylenol which help in prevention of scurvy and kidney stones, respectively. Protein found in citrus is a component of hair, skin and nails and contains collagen. It helps in regulating hormones and efficient transfer of oxygen throughout the body. Phytochemicals help in protecting the heart and fight breast, skin and colon cancers.
Vitamin C also has multifold benefits including better absorption of iron, which helps treat anemia and stress, as well as healing wounds and repairing tissues.
With water constituting 70% of our body, it is undoubtedly, the most important molecule for our survival. From transportation of nutrients to elimination of waste, and from regulating body temperature to prevention of DNA damage, it is water that facilitates all the major bodily functions. And that’s why, one can survive without food for weeks, but without water, one might lose conscious within a few hours (if physically exerted), or won’t last longer than five days (if lucky).
How much water do I need?
We assume, you are aware of the 8 by 8 rule, which advises to “drink eight 8- ounce glasses of water a day.” This is approximately 1.9 liters, not very different what medical institutes recommend. However, in our research, we found a flaw with this rule. The flaw was, that it talks of 8 by 8 consumption of water, when it should instead be “8 by 8 consumption of fluid”.
Yeah, that’s right, fluid.
This rule is popular, and easy to remember, so just make a minor modification here, and you are good to go.
Another question now: We take in fluid in so many different forms, so how do I know, if I’ve consumed the daily requisite? Plus what about caffeinated or fizzy drinks? Worse, alcohol! Is that counted too?
One word: Yes.
But a fact to keep in mind is, that caffeinated drinks and alcohol have quite a concentration of diuretics, so they dehydrate your body. And you would need to drink more later to suffice for the loss they induced.
So how do I know how much to drink?
We’d love to say, get a gadget or buy this software, fill in your details and it’ll show you just how much do you need. But no. There is no better machine than a human body. And your mind knows what’s best for it. So our advice would be to “Trust Your Thirst.”
Thirst is the best indicator of amount of one’s fluid levels. Science tells us, that thirst is controlled by the negative feedback mechanism, which means whenever the body fluid levels will fall below normal, you’ll begin to feel thirsty. This clearly implies we do not need to kill ourselves through constant reminders for hydration. Because, no matter what geographical region you may live in, or what you are eating, your body will let you know when it needs you to bring fluid levels back up. So, keep a bottle always by your side. Whenever you feel thirsty, take a few sips.
Do not delay.
Fitness isn’t something you get from good luck or birth or even family heritage. It is really about cultivating a fit lifestyle. The Super Fit people are what they are because they chose to adopt the right habits in their life. You, too, can boost your willpower, slim down and shape up for good.
All you need to do is just follow and practice the 10 Smart Eating Habits of the Super Fit people:
1. Stop before stuffed
Try to eat until you are sufficiently satiated, rather than completely stuffed! In other words, try stopping when you feel 75-80% full and only eat more if you feel you really need. To do this, you will have to learn to get “in touch” with your feelings of hunger and fullness.
2. Eat together
Try to get your whole family to sit down together for a meal at the table. It’s thought that children from families who regularly eat together have healthier attitudes to food and are less likely to be obese than those who don’t. Studies have shown that people who eat while watching TV eat more and enjoy their food less than those who sit at a table to eat.
3. Be prepared to work
One of the most common reasons people reach for biscuits and other unhealthy snacks is that they’re simply less work. Get ahead of yourself and spend 15 minutes or so peeling and chopping vegetables like carrots, fennel, cucumber, peppers and celery, or fruits such as apples and pears. Bag it all up and keep it in the fridge so you can reach for it whenever you want.
4. The Chinese way
Trick yourself into eating smaller portions of rice and noodle dishes by using chopsticks instead of a fork. The longer you take to eat, the more chance you give yourself to fill up before you’ve finished your plateful. Make yourself mindful of what you eat, what the flavors really taste like and how the food feels in your mouth.
5. Get regular
Eat regular meals – skipping meals can lead to hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you’re very hungry, your blood sugar levels plummet and it’s tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but make sure the snack is healthy rather than high in fat or sugar and don’t eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.
6. Keep the treats
Diets that cut out all the treat foods have been shown to be ineffective at keeping weight off in the long term. Instead, choose a healthy-eating style where you minimize (but don’t cut out completely) unhealthy foods, replacing them with better choices. If nothing’s forbidden, you won’t be tempted by it because – “forbidden fruit is always the sweetest”.
7. Day by day
Make changes gradually and don’t expect to totally revamp your eating habits overnight. Start to remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes, which will add up to create positive lifelong habits. For instance, if you don’t like the taste of skimmed milk, try semi-skimmed; replace white rice with brown basmati, and so on.
8. Look at your frame
Don’t be fooled by the media into thinking you should be thinner than is healthy. Set yourself a sensible target weight which isn’t hard to maintain with a healthy diet and normal levels of activity. If you often feel genuinely hungry or exercise too much, your target weight is probably too low.
9. Exercise yourself happy
Studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent overeating is to take regular exercise. This is because exercise releases feel-good endorphin in the body, and people who feel happier and more fulfilled are less likely to overeat.
10. Get some therapy
If you feel your eating is out of control, or you struggle to implement changes for more than a few weeks at a time, perhaps it’s time to consider some kind of behavior therapy. A therapy that aims for gradual but permanent changes in behavior alongside a sensible eating plan. Ask your doctor for advice on what kind of therapy or counselling to try.
We have been constantly telling you, that this eBook can actually help you achieve your fitness goals and could be fit easily into schedule. To ensure this, we have to make sure that it can fit into your distraction phase too.
Now we cannot ask anyone to avoid festive season, because get togethers are what make our lives worthwhile. So we’ll provide you with some ways through which you can have all your moments and yet stay on track.
We all love fast foods. Let us embrace this truth. So here are some food swaps and tricks to help you stay in love with food, and still have a healthy body.
Now we could not provide a comprehensive list of healthy cakes here in this tiny long eBook, but, we have made an effort to include few unconventional tips to make the usual cakes a bit healthier.
A little difference in recipe with no apparent difference in texture or taste, you can very well enjoy, not just survive any holiday season and still keep up with your fitness goals. As a precaution, stay mindful of the portion size. That’s all.
1. Applesauce is the answer
Applesauce is a smarter substitution to the oil and can keep you from gaining those extra kilos. Applesauce is also an inexpensive ingredient which can be easily made at any corner of your kitchen. While replacing applesauce for sugar, do it in a 1:1 ratio. While you do so cut down the amount of milk, water or any other liquid added to the cake by 1/4th for every cup of applesauce added. If you’re biased for anything sweet, you have the option of cutting down on the fat content. Replace half the oil or butter to be used with applesauce.
2. Natural sweetness
Fruits are naturally sweet, so you can mix and match fruits with some whipped toppings. To support, there are examples like:
3. Replacing butter
If A – for Applesauce is your first preference, B – for Banana in a mashed form shouldn’t miss to be the second alternative.
4. Carrot Cakes are better
Carrot cake recipe cuts out the sugar, white flour, and excess butter in favor of healthier substitutions like dates, whole-wheat flour, and bananas. With a healthy dose of carrots, coconut, walnuts and raisins, what you get is a perfectly textured cake with zero added sugar. And you don’t need to pass on the cream cheese frosting, either — this one calls for cream cheese sweetened with honey and lime juice.
5. Flourless Tangerine Cake
Make use of tangerines to bake a cake in festive shade of yellow-orange. Sugar, almond meal, and eggs make up the rest of the cake for a lightly sweet, super citrus flavored cake perfect for a spring or summer celebration. And when you have survived the festive season, don’t forget to reward your efforts!
Alcohol, scientists say, if consumed in moderation, it is a great stress buster. Awesome way to unwind after a hectic week. But moderation is the key. A key we usually forget at home before heading to the bar. Next day, we have a banging head and a heavy body. Hangover. You had a rocking last night, and now you’re paying for it. As obvious, the best way to avoid hangover is not to drink at all. But we cannot deny its role in our lives. So this weekend, try this advice and see if it makes any difference to your next morning.
2. Have a finishing shot of Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is a wonderful detoxifier that flushes toxins out while hydrating cells, healing the gut and deodorizing breath. It’s like a miracle elixir shot. And did we mention instant too??
So have it as your last shot and may be the morning after for hangover cure & to further cleanse your system.
3. Puke it out
However nasty it may seem, it works almost each time. No alcohol in system means no torture next morning, though you might still feel a little hung-over, you at least will not be roaming around your office like a creepy zombie.
If in case, you did not follow any of the above words, face it, “there’s no true cure for hangovers.”
Scientists have been able to cure poxes and taken the insides of an atom out but have not yet succeeded in finding a fool-proof cure for hangovers. Anyway, the battle isn’t all lost yet. One can still do a few things to speed up recovery.
1. Sleep it off
Your body needs proper recovery time for hangover cure so, call in sick at office, if possible. But as we know, not everyone has the luxury of sleep, so…
2. Drink it out
Chemistry tells us, how much Alcohol molecules love water. So on a day when your whole body including brain, is sucked dry by your bladder, drinking water is just the right thing to do. We suggest coconut water, it’s tastier. Drink, and alcohol will hug every drop of water you take in. Want it sprinter fast? Get an IV of D5- Ringer’s lactate
3. Visit Dr. Ginger
Chew a tiny bud or sip it up as tea, works like a charm for an upset stomach. Picture it as a soothing balm for your irritated insides. Just make sure to have a loaf of bread or toast first. Finally, it is time for some myth busting. Some suggest treating the hangover by “Hair of the dog” (drinking more alcohol) the morning after. It’s a risky habit, it only stalls or delays the appearance of symptoms. So avoid at all costs.
References:  Timlin, M., Pereira, M., Story, M., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2008). Breakfast Eating and Weight Change in a 5-Year Prospective Analysis of Adolescents: Project EAT (Eating Among Teens) PEDIATRICS, 121 (3) DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-1035. ^Back to Top^  Heinz Valtin. "Drink at least eight glasses of water a day" - Really? Is there scientific evidence for "8 x 8"? American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative PhysiologyAug 2002,DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00365.2002. PubMed PMID: 12376390. ^Back to Top^