When you're sick it's even more important to eat vegetables, fruits, dairy, healthy fats, and lean protein. Examples of healthy vegetables include garlic, onions, broccoli, and spinach. Fruit should include bananas and berries. Include yogurt and cheese for your dairy products. Be sure to get your healthy fats from olive oil, fish oil and avocados. Lean protein sources should include salmon, lean chicken and tuna. Honey contains antibacterial properties. Green tea boosts your immune system by increasing your antibody count. Get most of your antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and the remaining from supplements such as vitamins C, D, E, as well as from minerals including manganese, selenium, and zinc. Click the file below for more details:
Typically there is a low adherence and high dropout rate with low-calorie diets and most people who have lost bodyweight tend to gain it back and more within five years. This is the so-called "yo-yo diet effect" when your body, having been restricted of energy, rebels by hoarding as much fat as needed to survive when previous eating habits (i.e., higher-calorie diet) resume. Eating a low-calorie diet is not sustainable nor healthy for the long-term. A risk of nutrient deficiencies and a dramatic drop in caloric intake slows down metabolic rate which slows down weight loss. When following a low-calorie diet, most of the bodyweight lost is lean body weight (i.e., muscle mass). The only way to attenuate the loss of muscle mass is to perform resistance training (i.e., lifting weights). The insidious part about losing bodyweight when following a low-calorie diet is that the loss of muscle tissue is usually accompanied by bodyfat increase. This means that although you've lost bodyweight, you've also gained bodyfat in the process. In other words, you've become a skinnier, fat person--underweight but having a higher bodyfat composition. Keep in mind that fat is much less dense than muscle tissue.
So what's a healthier diet plan option? The answer is any eating plan in which there's a gradual reduction in calories (i.e., 250 calories/wk) and that is sustainable for the long-term (i.e., permanent change in eating habits). In this way, less muscle mass will be sacrificed. The diet plan should be complimentary to your lifestyle (i.e., the more active you are, the more carbs you should eat). Eat four to six times per day consisting of meals interspersed with snacks and be sure to perform anaerobic (i.e., weight training) as well as aerobic (i.e., cardiovascular) exercise two to three times and three to five times per week, respectively. Remember, weight training can reduce the loss of muscle mass that typically occurs when following a reduced-calorie diet plan.
Following the Mediterranean Diet, which consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, and olive oil, and an occasional glass of red wine, may boost your longevity, according to a study recently published in BMJ. Analysis taken from the ongoing Healthy Nurses' Study found an association between those who ate the Mediterranean Diet and decreased shortening of their telomeres found at the ends of their chromosomes. Telomere length is an indicator of life expectancy.
Like a lot of existent research, this study had noted correlation rather than causation. In other words, following the Mediterranean Diet will not necessarily cause telomere shortening. Rather, there appears to be an association between eating the Mediterranean Diet and reduced shortening of telomeres. Nevertheless, geneticists have long known that longer telomeres are indicative of healthier aging and longer life expectancy. Living an unhealthy lifestyle (i.e., eating sugary, fattening foods and smoking) is associated with shortened telomere length. So it makes sense that eating an antioxidant-rich diet (i.e., Mediterranean Diet) may increase your longevity.
There are particular foods you can eat today that will increase satiety so that you take in less calories daily. High-protein and high-fiber foods are recommended to lessen appetite. Eating the following foods will control your blood sugar level (lessen insulin resistance) and thus curb your appetite:
This topic has received a lot of attention lately in the press because many people drink low-calorie diet sodas containing artificial sugar in an effort to lose bodyweight or bodyfat. With the increased trend of type-2 diabetes occurring in our society this news should sound some alarms. Maybe it's not a good idea to consume those diet sodas after all.
Scientists have discovered that the commonplace artificial sugars saccharin (Sweet 'N Low), sucralose (Splenda) and aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) raised blood glucose levels more than natural sugar by changing intestinal bacteria in the gut. The increase in fasting blood sugar levels was found to be significant enough to warrant attention because of the increased risk of type-2 diabetes.
The findings from the research has been criticized because the study was performed on a very small sample of people and uncontrolled confounding factors such as genetics, diet, gender, and health status may skew the results. Nevertheless, you may want to limit the amount of diet soda you consume and avoid putting artificial sugar in your coffee.
Aside from the obvious medications available today, the best way to control your blood cholesterol levels is to exercise regularly (i.e., 3 to 5 times per week of aerobic exercise, 2 to 3 times per week of anaerobic exercise) and eat healthy foods. Regarding the latter, here are some recommended foods that may help to lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level due to their quantity of antioxidants:
"Processed" is in quotes here because there is no legal definition of the term. The International Food Information Council Foundation defines processed foods as "Any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it's available for us to eat." This is such a broad definition that it could constitute any food that's chopped, conveniently pre-packaged, canned, boxed, blended, and/or pre-cooked. In this respect, processed foods are not necessarily unhealthy. Examples of foods that are considered processed but are not unhealthy include low-sodium canned vegetables and fruit, whole-grain bars containing nuts and seeds, quick oatmeal, and almond drink.
Processed foods generally contain preservatives (e.g., sodium). Does adding preservatives to a food inherently make it unhealthy? Not necessarily. Preservatives serve the purpose of increasing the shelf life of foods so that they do not spoil as quickly. The real issue here is how healthy are the preservatives themselves and what, if any, effect do they have on the body over the long term. Artificial flavors, colors, and assorted chemicals may also be added to processed foods to make the food more palatable and appetizing. Are these manmade ingredients unhealthy for consumption over the long term? Again, not necessarily. But having said this, words of wisdom are in order here: take a balanced approach and eat foods from each of the food groups daily and in moderation (i.e., fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods) to ensure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy life free of disease and sickness.
BOTTOM LINE: Not all processed foods are bad for your health. Be sure to reduce your consumption of processed foods that contain high amounts of sodium, sugar and fats.
Most people know that eating too much sugar may lead to chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Excessive sugar intake has also been linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and fatty liver disease. Now a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that eating too much sugar may increase the risk of heart disease, the top chronic disease killer of Americans. It's important to note that sugar in and of itself is not the problem because many natural healthy foods such as fruit contain sugar. Fruit also contains fiber and nutrients which lessen the impact sugar has on the body.
The main issue brought into focus with this study is the increased risk of heart disease for those Americans who eat food containing too much added sugar. Most of the processed foods we eat contain added sugar to improve flavor and texture. The biggest culprit by far is soda. One 12-oz can of soda contains 9 teaspoons of sugar amounting to 140 calories! What harm can drinking just one can of soda have on your health? Plenty. Especially if you drink a can of soda daily--it all adds up over time and can have a deleterious effect on your health before you know it. Other foods to watch out for include baked goods such as cakes, pies, and cookies as well as fruit drinks, candy, yogurt with added fruit, and ice cream.
So what is a healthy amount of sugar you can eat without increasing your risk of heart disease? The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends less than 25% of your daily caloric intake should come from added sugar. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends less than 10% of your daily calories should come from added sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends men should eat less than 150 calories (nine teaspoons) and women should eat less than 100 calories (six teaspoons) daily from added sugar. With all of these conflicting recommendations, what guideline should we follow? Nearly three out of four Americans eat more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugar while 10% consume about a quarter or more of their calories from added sugar. This study found that Americans who get about 15% of their calories from added sugar had almost a 20% increased risk of heart disease compared to diets containing little or no added sugar. The study also found that those who ate from 17 to 21% of their calories from added sugar had almost a 40% increased risk of heart disease. Finally, those who ate more than 21% of their calories from added sugar had almost an 80% increased risk (!) of heart disease. So clearly one should eat no more than 15% of their calories from added sugar (300 calories in a 2000-calorie diet) to lessen the risk (i.e., one in five chance) of incurring heart disease.
How can you track the amount of added sugar you're eating? Simply read the nutrition labels of foods and pay attention to words with the suffix -ose. Examples include fructose, maltose and sucrose. Also be aware of foods which contain any kind of syrup (e.g., corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, etc.).
In order to determine how many Calories (or kilocalories) you should be eating, it's essential to take into consideration five parameters:
There are three basic body composition goals:
After calculating your recommended caloric intake, the next step is to determine your recommended macronutrient ratio. This ratio is dependent on one of four basic fitness goals:
Finally, the last step is to determine how many grams of each macronutrient you should be eating daily. This can be calculated based on your recommended caloric intake value and keeping in mind that there are about 4 kcals per gram of carbs and protein and about 9 kcals per gram of fat. For instance, if your current recommended caloric intake is 2300 kcals and your fitness goal is to get lean (40:30:30), then your macronutrient grams should be about 230g of carbs (2300 * 0.40 / 4), 173g of protein (2300 * 0.30 / 4) and 77g of fat (2300 * 0.30 / 9).
I recommend using the MealLogger app compatible with your iphone to track your goal Calories and carb and protein grams. This app allow you to log the foods you eat by taking a picture of the food with your iphone. You may also network with professionals within the fields of nutrition or personal training for guidance.
* EER (males) = 662 - 9.53A + PA (15.91W + 539.6H) or EER (females) = 354 - 6.91A + PA(9.36W + 726H) where
A = age
PA = physical activity factor
W = bodyweight
H = height
Does it matter what time you should eat to lose bodyweight and if so, what's the best time of day to eat to lose bodyweight?
Analysis on this topic is largely based on research which is observational in nature rather than cause-and-effect. Nevertheless, there does seem to be an observational relationship between metabolic rate, circadian rhythm and meal intake times. When you eat affects your appetite hormone levels (e.g., insulin) which may cause disturbances in your circadian rhythm and lead to metabolic syndrome (i.e., obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.). Eating your biggest meal before 3pm tends to cause greater bodyweight loss than eating later.
A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity provides support that eating more food earlier in the day is more effective for losing bodyweight. This study compared two groups of participants: those that ate most of their food before 3pm and those who ate most of their food after 3pm. In both groups, caloric intake, macronutrient composition, activity level, sleep quantity, and appetite hormone levels were similar. The group that ate their biggest meal before 3pm lost more bodyweight at a faster rate than those who ate their biggest meal after 3pm. Other studies support this finding when it was discovered that those people who tend to skip breakfast are more likely to become overweight or obese than those who regularly eat breakfast. The reason for this may be because those people who skip breakfast tend to eat more food later in the day when their metabolic rate is usually reduced, thus perpetuating bodyweight increase.
BOTTOM LINE: Eating most of your food before mid-afternoon when your metabolic rate is elevated may be an effective and healthy habit for you to lose bodyweight. Certainly, avoid eating large late-night meals when your activity level is low--this is a recipe for weight gain!
When you feel fatigued or tired it may be because you're not eating enough food or eating the wrong kinds of foods. Remember, it's food that fuels your body. Your body needs food to function properly. Failing to fuel your body in a healthy manner surely will have consequences such as feeling sluggish and lethargic. Here are some suggestions you should consider if or when you feel tired:
Nuts are high in fiber, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds which promote good health. Nuts improve cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and help keep arteries flexible which minimizes elevated systolic blood pressure. Eating nuts regularly may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes. A large observational study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Nov, 2013) has found that eating a handful of nuts daily may increase longevity. Also, the report has found that regular eaters of nuts were more slender than those who did not eat nuts. This is likely due to the fact that nuts are relatively high in fiber and protein. It's fiber within nuts that makes you feel fuller longer so that you're less likely to eat as much food later. Nuts of any variety such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and pine nuts are healthy. So go ahead, eat nuts but do so in moderation--think one handful per day.
Fruits and vegetables should be eaten regularly throughout the day (read: each and every meal). Why is it so important to eat fruits and vegetables? Here are the most notable benefits:
Inadequate nutrition is continuing to affect the health of most Americans, contributing to chronic health diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, vascular disease, kidney disease, joint pain, arthritis, and cancer. Such a shame since all of these diseases can be alleviated by eating a more healthy diet along with exercise. Here are the most prevalent problems associated with the American diet that need to be corrected:
In no particular order, here are some ways you can lessen your risk of incurring the most prevalent disease in America:
Here are the most popular hurdles which may prevent you from following a sound nutrition plan along with healthy habits that may be the perfect solution to lessen each hurdle:
What are some of the most recommended supplements you should take to support a particular fitness goal or when you're deficient in certain micronutrients?
The following is a listing beginning with the more essential supplements:
Very low-calorie and very low-carb diets consist of eating about 10 calories per pound bodyweight and 10 to 15% carb intake daily, respectively. Usually professional physique competitors eat this way in order to achieve single-digit bodyfat percentages or to lose bodyweight/bodyfat. The trick to eating this way is to do it for only a relatively brief period (i.e., no more than four months) so as to not allow the body to go into starvation mode in which bodyfat storage occurs. To avoid plateauing when eating very low calories and/or low carbs, you should cycle your caloric or carb intake up and down to keep your body guessing and to prevent stagnation. In other words, decrease caloric/carb intake for a relatively short duration before increasing caloric/carb intake to fool the body so that is doesn't go into starvation mode. If the person dieting is very disciplined, dietary re-feeding every 3 to 4 days (or one to two weeks) in which caloric/carb intake increases by a factor of 1.5 (or 3.5) may be beneficial in obtaining an optimum physique. The risks of eating this way for a relatively long duration is the following:
Very high-carb diets consist of eating about 3.5 to 5g of carbs per pound of bodyweight or more than 70% carb intake daily. Usually endurance competitors or ectomorphic athletes eat this way in order to increase performance in long-duration events (e.g., marathon). Just as for very low-carb diets, very high-carb diets should occur for a relatively brief period (i.e., no more than four months) so as to not allow the body to convert carbs to fat when an excess supply is available. The risks of eating this way for a relatively long duration is the following:
There is a growing trend that you should eat according to your physique. This dieting plan is really about nutrient timing with regard to your bodytype, known as somatotype in the parlance of the fitness industry. For instance, an ectomorphic person with a lean build (read: naturally thin with skinny limbs) should eat mostly simple, refined carbs during and after exercise. A mesomorphic person having a muscular build (read: naturally muscular and athletic) may eat simple, refined carbs during and after exercise. A endomorphic person with a big-boned build (read: naturally broad and thick) should eat simple, refined carbs only during exercise.
There may be some benefit to eating by bodytype since hormone levels, metabolic rate, sympathetic nervous system, and carbohydrate tolerance are factors in determining the optimization of one's physique. The latter factor (carb tolerance) is what's emphasized in the bodytype diet. The timing of carb ingestion (esp. simple carbs) can affect the appearance of your physique. Since ectomorphs have a high tolerance for carbs, they should eat more simple carbs during and immediately after their workouts in order to gain muscle mass and strength. Mesomorphs have a moderate tolerance for carbs and therefore should eat some simple carbs during and after their workouts in order to continue building muscle mass while maintaining a low bodyfat. Endomorphs have a low tolerance for carbs and therefore should eat simple carbs only during their workouts in order to lose bodyfat.
Prepare yourself for the top foods that contribute to belly fat in our society. Most Americans love these foods but unless these foods are eaten occasionally (i.e., at most once per week), you can kiss your goal of acquiring six-pack abs goodbye.
Here are the worst foods you should resist the urge to eat due to high-calorie content :
Here are better foods you should eat to reduce belly fat:
Also, be sure to exercise to lose bodyfat--emphasize compound, full-body weight training movements and cardio intervals. Bear in mind that spot-reduction is a myth.
Being a smart, savvy food shopper is paramount if you want to save money and eat nutritious foods. With this in mind, here are some good tips you should follow the next time you go to your neighborhood food store:
Here are some smart nutrition tips when shopping for beans, bread, cereal, dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, pasta, seafood, and snack foods:
When shopping for beans:
When shopping for bread:
When shopping for cereal:
When shopping for dairy products:
When shopping for eggs:
When shopping for fruits and vegetables:
When shopping for meat and poultry:
When shopping for pasta:
When shopping for seafood:
When shopping for snack foods:
Type-2 diabetes is primarily a lifestyle-related disease and can be prevented by:
Fitness competitors and athletes alike usually employ a practice of manipulating fluid, carbohydrate and sodium intake within a certain period of time prior to their event. The pros know how to lean out and maintain muscle mass by learning how their body reacts to manipulating water, carb intake, etc. Experience is the best teacher in this case but the practice of manipulating fluid balance within the body in order to look more muscular and defined can work for anyone. The objective is to reduce your extracellular fluid volume without the use of diuretics so that there's less water stored between your skeletal muscles and skin. The result: your muscles will look more prominent and your body will appear leaner.
Here's the protocol that lasts for eight days that will help you to look more muscular and lean: