When you are trying to lose weight, you might try to cut down on junk food, purchase running shoes and enroll yourself in a fitness program. However, you’d be surprised to know that the quality and amount of sleep you get is just as important as your diet and workout plan. The aim of this blog is to help you understand the positive effects of sleeping well and how it can help you lose weight naturally!
1) Keeps Obesity at Bay!
If your quality of sleep is consistently getting compromised, your body will start producing stress hormones known as cortisol. To preserve energy, cortisol prompts your body to store any food it receives, especially fats. Having plenty of sleep can be the difference between struggling to lose fat and reaching your weight loss goals.
2) Reduces Craving for Unhealthy Food
Choosing salad over pizza can take a lot of will power. What ends up making or breaking this resolve is the quality of your sleep. The better you sleep, the more willpower you have. People with a full night’s rest tend to prefer healthier food. However, the same group of people, when sleep-deprived can make unhealthy food choices. This is because the area of their brain that helps them make rational decisions is inhibited.
3) Helps You Stick to Your Goals
Not getting enough sleep may lead to daytime fatigue and make you less motivated to workout. If you do get yourself to exercise, you would notice that are getting tired quickly. A quick fix to this would be to get more sleep. One of the reasons why getting good sleep is linked to reducing weight is because it helps you stay motivated to stick to your fitness goals.
4) Prevents Insulin Resistance Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for moving sugar from your bloodstream into your cells so that it can be used as energy. Lack of sleep can lead to your cells becoming insulin resistant. When this happens, sugar remains in your bloodstream which causes your body to produce more insulin. This excess of insulin can increase your hunger cravings and sends signals to your body to store more calories. Enough sleep will help prevent this from happening.
5) Burn Away Calories!
You are likely to burn anywhere between 50 to 100 calories an hour when you get a good night’s sleep. In fact, health experts are now learning that a good amount of sleep can lead to a healthy metabolism. On the contrary, lack of sleep can lead to a slower metabolism which could contribute to weight gain.
Getting proper sleep is one of the most under-appreciated factors that contribute to weight loss. Although, you must keep in mind that sleep is not a quick-fix. Like other weight-loss strategies, you must ensure that you receive quality sleep consistently. Only then will you notice the difference in your energy levels which in turn leads to making healthy decisions followed by weight loss.
Eating too much sugar can have devastating effects on your health. It is also shown to contribute to obesity, heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, and tooth decay. Sugar can be found naturally in many fruits and vegetables; however, it is the added sugars in processed food that are a cause for concern.
So, how do you cut down on sugar which is ubiquitous in food products these days? Here are a few tips you can follow:
1) Avoid Sugar-Loaded Drinks
Some of the popular beverages – sodas, energy/sports drinks, fruit drinks – available today contain obscene amounts of sugar. Even the so-called healthy drinks like smoothies and fruit juices have an excessive amount of sugar content.
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. However, many breakfast options like breakfast bars, pancakes, muffins, jams, and waffles are packed with high levels of sugar.
Here’s what you should pick instead:
Eggs (boiled, omelets, etc.)
3) Cut Down on Sugar-rich Sauces
While almost every household has ketchup, most people aren’t aware of the sugar content in it. For every 15-gram serving of ketchup, it contains 4 grams of sugar! Some of the other sauces that have high sugar content are sweet chili and barbecue sauces.
Alternatives you can try:
4) Increase Protein and Fat in Your Diet
Did you know that high sugar intake can lead to appetite and weight gain? Conversely, a diet high in protein and fat and low in added sugar reduces hunger and hence, food intake. Protein and fats in your diet help you feel fuller for a longer time. This reduces cravings and unhealthy snacking.
Some foods rich in protein and fats:
Cutting down your sugar intake can lead to many benefits and even help you lose weight. Avoiding obvious sources of sugars like desserts or soda may be easier. But always check the ingredients of the processed foods you purchase for hidden sugars.
Eating habits and choices that we develop in our childhood can affect our health into adulthood and beyond. It therefore becomes extremely important for parents to inculcate the right eating behavior in children as this will define their health when they grow up. As stated by James Baldwin, children have never been very good at listening to elders but have never failed to imitate them. So, it is very essential for parents to take charge and create the right environment to choose to make the right choices about food.
Have A Family Dinner Time
Make mealtimes pleasant by involving the entire family. Encourage your child to eat slowly. It takes the brain at least 20 minutes to register that the stomach is full. Also, never eat in a rush in front of your kids. Sit down, set aside a few minutes to nourish yourself and your child will imitate you.
Encourage Frequent Mini-Meals
Give your child frequent mini-meals during the dau, such as a mid-morning snack or pre-dinner snack. Ensure you have healthy snacks at hand. Nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, whole wheat crackers, and veggies chips are great low-calories healthy snacks for your child, as well as you!
Take them grocery shopping
Involve your kids when you go out grocery shopping. Give them the liberty to choose foods that they want but also take this time to educate them about ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ foods, how to under the labels and read the ingredients, and decide which is the right snack to consume.
Never force them to eat!
Do not force your child to eat a lot if he decides to eat less once in a while. This habit of not overeating will go a long way into adulthood. Adults who sometimes don’t realize and eat even after having a full stomach are 90% of the times the ones who always used to overeat when they were kids.
Don’t Be A Couch Potato!
As adults, many of us offer complain about constant neck pains and backaches. Well this is the result of a wrong sitting and couching posture! Teach your children about the importance of posture and sitting upright. Also, try to not slouch or slump in front of you kids because this will only lead to them mimicking you and might even stick as a habit.
Variety Is the Spice Of Life!
Include a variety of all foods into their diet; ensure their diet includes fresh vegetables and fruits of all kinds, dairy products, cereals, pulses and an occasional treat of their favourite foods.
Bitter foods re often shunned for their unappealing taste. However, bitter foods just happen to be loaded with a variety of plant-based chemicals that can have significant health benefits when eaten regularly. Here are 5 easily available bitter foods you should add to your diet right away if you want to lose weight quickly and naturally.
Rich in potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, radish is one bitter food that has a ton of health benefits to offer! Regular consumption of radish can help ward off constipation problems, prevent blood sugar spikes and even help improve oral health.
Go Crazy for Karela!
This green food is packed with phytochemicals that help prevent the onset of cancer, as well as diabetes. Karela is also known to possess antibacterial properties that clean the blood, boost immunity and fight inflammation.
Cucumber has zero fat, making it an ideal food for people who are trying to lose weight. This green fruit is 90 percent water which helps keep your body hydrated, flushes out toxins from your system and in turn aids natural weight loss.
Coffee may not be as bitter when you have it with milk and sugar, but plain black coffee is surely as bitter as bitter foods come! Coffee beans can act as a powerful detoxifier for the liver and colon. Drinking this beverage can help increase your attention, boost performance and burn away body fat!
Dark bitter chocolate or cocoa is known to have heart health, as well as weight loss properties. Eating bitter chocolate can help widen blood vessels, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This type of chocolate can also help curb cravings and help you control your appetite, in turn aiding weight loss.
So stop avoiding bitter foods and make sure you add them into your diet right away to enjoy natural weight loss and a ton of amazing health benefits!
Who doesn’t love a relaxing evening of binging on their favourite shows while chomping on some tasty snacks! But while you catch up on those shows, make sure those extra calories don’t catch up to you! A study conducted by Harvard Health in 2013 claims that distracted eating may add to weight gain. The study found that multitasking while consuming food can slow down the food savoring process and causing one to lose track of their food intake. But fear not! You do not have to give up on snacking while watching TV. Pooja Bhargava certified Health Coach and Fitness Trainer has put together a list of healthy snack options you can chomp on guilt-free while binge-watching your favourite shows!
A bowl of fruit & nuts
Nuts are loaded with minerals and omega 3 fatty acids which promote hair growth and reduce one’s risk of heart disease. Fruits, on the other hand, are low in calories, sugar and high in minerals and vitamins! Combine these two foods together for a healthy and wholesome snack.
Banana & Almond smoothie
Banana and almonds are two healthy foods that complement each other perfectly! Loaded with essential nutrients and minerals this smoothie will help keep you full for longer and help you increase your daily protein intake!
Hummus & Veggies sticks
Hummus is a tasty and low-fat snack, which is especially good for vegetarians as it high in protein. Club it with some vegetable sticks or on top of whole wheat toasted bread to enjoy a wholesome snack.
Loaded with sprouts and veggies, this bhel will surely help fill you up and the best part about it is that you can enjoy it guilt-free anytime you like!
Yogurt is loaded with nutrients & protein that help boost the immune system & fight off osteoporosis. This festive season skip the sugary desserts & opt for some sugar-free desserts, such as this low-fat yogurt fruit bowl!
Air-fried foods are certainly a healthier option compared to fried foods. Air fryers use significantly less oil than deep fryers and produce foods with lower fat content, calorie content and oil usage as compared to other fried foods.
Now that you have a healthy variety of snacks to choose from, we wish you a happy bingeing!
Gluten is a specific protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. It is a binding agent and gives dough its elasticity and ability to rise. It is composed of the proteins glutenin and gliadin (found in wheat), secaline (in rye) and hordein (in barley). There is no nutritional benefit in gluten itself but there are a lot of health benefits to be gained from foods containing gluten.
I strongly advocate whole grains and I fear that gluten free diets are depriving people with nutritional energy sources that are the staple foods of families who have been eating it for generations. The fiber, vitamins and minerals found in whole grains make us feel fuller and satisfied and keep us from eating more in order to feel satiated If you need a gluten-free diet, you need to be extremely smart about managing it.
Who Needs A Gluten-Free Diet?
People who suffer from celiac disease or gluten insensitivity need a gluten-free diet. Also, people with an auto-immune disorder, which has a negative impact on the intestines when gluten is ingested, need to avoid gluten.Villi, which are small finger-like projections on the surface of our small intestine, are vital to the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. With damaged or flattened villi, gluten intolerant people cannot get the nutrition they need from food and they become under-nourished no matter how healthy the food they eat may be.
The symptoms celiac disease or gluten intolerance can be gas, bloating, changes in bowel movements, sudden weight loss or weight gain, fatigue and weakness. But beware of self-examination and uninformed conclusions. It is easier said than done – you may need to log everything you eat and how you feel within 2 hours after consuming that food. Try this for one week with gluten products and one week without gluten products.If you think you may have a problem with gluten, a blood test can be done which detects abnormal levels of certain auto antibodies. In certain severe cases, an intestinal biopsy may detect damaged villi.
Can a Gluten-Free Diet Lead to Weight Loss?
There’s no evidence that a gluten-free diet leads to weight loss. In fact, moving from “regular” processed foods to gluten-free ones may result in weight gain. A lot of over-the-counter products are been sold as gluten-free products, but unfortunately not all the foods are healthy. Some are very high in saturated fats or cholesterol. Others may be very high in their carbohydrate contents, thus high in sugars. Many gluten-free diets are made with refined flour, which is fiber drained, leading to high sugar levels and hence more fat storage. It is almost like someone who is avoiding sugar to lose weight and ends up eating lots of sugar-free but fat and calorie-rich sugar-free laddoos and mithais. Besides, gluten-free diets are two to three times expensive than the regular foods.
We are what we eat and hence eliminating any food from our diets unnecessarily and extensively won’t do any good but shall harm you instead.A balanced diet with the right nutrients and their quantum according to your body weight requirements, naturally occurring fiber in local fruits and vegetables,cereals,and a good physical activity will ensure your goal towards weight loss. Switching to the right food for the right reason is the real long-term solution.
Often as a result of our unhealthy lifestyle we become prone to common health problems such as hair fall, constipation, acne and other such lifestyle and food-related disorders. But instead of turning to vitamin supplements, medication and serums to solve these problems, we can easily treat these health problems by resorting to the right diet and eating the right kind of food! Here are a few wonderfoods that can help you gain freedom from common health issues.
Gain Freedom from Cramps
Bananas are loaded with magnesium which help relax muscles and are rich in fiber and which help ease your bowel movement. Eating bananas will help you feel less bloated and ease your pain. Apart from this, they are also great for skin and high in potassium content which boosts heart health and keeps a check on blood pressure levels.
Gain Freedom from Headaches
Got that annoying headache that just won’t go away? Chomp on a few almonds to gain quick relief from your headache! A magnesium deficiency is usually the most common cause behind a headache. Almonds are loaded with magnesium and are known to help relax blood vessels which in turn help provide relief from headaches.
Gain Freedom from Acne
Foods that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids such as chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, and seafood help fight acne by lowering sebum production and fight inflammation. These foods are also known to fight off depression, promote brain and eye health in children, as well as adults.
Gain Freedom from Hair fall
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A and are a great source of beta-carotene which helps aid sebum production and in turn speed up the rate of hair growth and fight off hair fall! Sweet potatoes are also a healthy alternative to regular potatoes as they pack fewer calories, fat and are loaded with fiber, minerals and iron making them a healthy and yummy food indeed!
Gain Freedom from Constipation
Feeling constipated? Well here’s a quick nutritional fix for you! Dried fruits are full of fiber and sorbitol which acts as a natural laxative. Load up on a handful of dried fruits such as black raisins, cashews, walnut, and cranberries at least 2-3 times in a day to gain quick relief from constipation.
Each food has its own set of unique health and nutritional benefits. However, some foods can have powerful health benefits when combined with others! So let us take a look at these healthy food combos that you certainly must try!
Poha & Sprouts
Poha is often referred to as one of the healthiest breakfast options. It is gluten-free, wholesome and rich in carbohydrates and iron. However, this healthy breakfast food can be made even more healthy with the addition of some yummy and healthy sprouts! Sprouts are rich in essential vitamins and fatty acid nutrients which can help alkalize the body and protect it from serious diseases, such as cancer.
Milk & Nuts
Loaded with calcium, protein & potassium, milk is an essential food item with a load of wonderful health benefits. Nuts, on the other hand, are loaded with minerals and omega 3 fatty acids which promote hair growth and reduce one’s risk of heart disease. Combine these two power-packed foods and use it as a replenishing post-workout drink or a wholesome evening time snack!
Turmeric & Black Pepper
Turmeric is known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties while black pepper on the other hand can improve blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol naturally! When combined these two powerful spices can have a cleansing effect on your body and enhance curcumin’s bioavailability which in turn helps prevent heart disease and fights off arthritis and depression.
Sunflower Seeds & Fruit
Sunflower seeds are a powerhouse of vitamins & minerals. Regular consumption of these little seeds can help keep a check on your blood sugar levels & boost heart health!However, while sunflower seeds are convenient to munch on they should not be consumed in excess as this may lead to unwanted weight gain. Consume a combination of sunflowers seeds along with fruits such as apples, bananas or even kiwi as an evening snack or mid-morning meal to enjoy the health benefits these super seeds have to offer!
Peanut Butter & Whole Wheat Bread
Wheat and peanuts are both great sources of amino acids, which are known to increase muscle growth and decrease muscle soreness, making it a perfect post-workout snack. So snack on a whole wheat and peanut butter sandwich after a tiring workout or during your team time to enjoy the health benefits of this yummy food combo.