Hungry Eyes: Certain Foods Make You Starving

big breakfast

Most of the time when you eat, you expect to feel full and satisfied.

That isn’t always the case when you’re talking about certain food or drinks, some of which tend to only make you feel hungrier, rather than do what is intended.

Take the salty snacks you love to gobble down while you’re watching sports or waiting for the main course at a party or get together. Not only are chips, pretzels and peanuts going to make you thirsty for more to drink but they’re also not quite hunger busters, either.

Also on the list of foods that aren’t going to do you any favors if you’re trying to eat less is white bread and pasta that isn’t whole wheat. Your blood sugar goes into nearly extinction mode, and despite all the talk of pasta and carbohydrates leaving you feeling full, that isn’t going to be the case with white bread and pasta.

And if you’re going to pair that white bread sandwich or pasta with a beverage, you might want to pick something in the vein of water rather than alcohol. The latter won’t make you feel full, sick perhaps, but definitely not to the point where you want to stop eating. In fact, alcohol makes you feel that much hungrier one beer or mixed drink after another.

One menu item that customers of all shapes and sizes gravitate toward is sushi, namely the rolls. From the California Roll to the Spicy Tuna flavor, sushi rolls are equal parts expensive but so delicious when paired with a side of soy sauce and ginger. But even dozens upon dozens of rolls only is going to lead you back to the take out menu after only a few hours. Sushi tends to digest rather quickly and only an hour or two after eating up to 12-15 rolls, you’ll be starving again for certain.

The soy sauce also isn’t helping matters, either as the sodium content is going to act in the same vein as the aforementioned salty snacks. If you want to try something else from the Chinese food menu, think again because MSG might be worse than the sushi rolls when it comes to making you feel hungry.

If you’re expecting that nice, full feeling after a meal, you want to steer clear of salt, sushi and any carbohydrate that looks and tastes processed or refined. In other words, stick to fruits, vegetables, greens and high protein diets, food that often is associated as “bird food” or the kind that doesn’t stick to your ribs.

That couldn’t be further from the truth and thinking that way is only going to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Three Exercises that Don’t Break the Bank

Looking for ways to exercise without spending money? A gym or fitness center is the best place for a person to receive a full-body workout. Fitness centers can also provide a person with aerobic classes, Yoga classes, personal training and the like. However, most fitness centers have monthly fees that are between $30 and $50 a month. A struggling single parent or an unemployed individual may not have the funds to pay for such a membership. The following are three exercises that one can do to start losing weight and shaping up:

Bicycle Riding

Most gyms have stationary bicycles at their locations. A frugal fitness buff can burn more calories riding a real bike than he or she can on a stationary bicycle. A person who already has a bicycle does not have to spend a dime. He or she can burn approximately 500 calories during a one-hour session of bicycling between 12 and 14 miles per hour. The person can increase the number of calories burned by choosing uphill locations to cycle. Additionally, bicycling tones the leg muscles, and it gives a person an opportunity to explore new sites.

Home Racquetball

Racquetball is a sport that a person can play with a ball and a racquet. Any stable horizontal platform such as a garage door can serve as the target for the ball. The objective of a solo game of fitness-oriented racquetball is to get as much exercise as possible swinging at the ball and running after it to hit it back against the platform repeatedly. Racquetball can tone a person’s leg and arm muscles as well as provide that person with cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise always increases the heart rate and burns calories. The average amount of calories that a person can burn within an hour’s time is approximately 400 calories.

Shooting Hoops

A person with a basketball can find an area to shoot hoops at most public schools and parks. Many of these public basketball courts are open all hours of the night. Shooting hoops consists of throwing the basketball at the hoop without any other game play. Hoop shooting can be a fun activity for a person who is by himself or herself trying to burn calories. A 30-minute session of hoop shooting can burn approximately 200 calories.

Many creative calorie-burning activities exist. The key is for a person to take an inventory of the items around the house that could be useful in an exercise activity.

How to Lose 10 Pounds in 30 days With Math

You may want to lose weight fast for a once-in-a-lifetime event such as your first wedding, vacation to Hawaii, or an appearance on “America’s Got Talent.” You may believe that losing 10 pounds in 30 days is impossible, but it is very feasible. First, you must forget everything you have learned about fad diets, starvation, hormone supplements and the like. You are only going to need three tools to help you lose 10 pounds in 30 days: a standard calculator, calorie calculator and some motivation.

Step 1: Learn the Mathematical Equation

The first thing you need to do is take out your standard calculator and multiply 3,500 by 10. The number that you get is the total number of calories that you will need to eliminate to lose 10 pounds in 30 days (35,000). One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. That equation will be the foundation of any weight-loss plan you develop.

Next, you will divide 35,000 by 28, 30 or 31 days. That result will give you the number of calories that you need to eliminate on a daily basis. You can use 30 days just to grasp an understanding of the process. The daily caloric deficiency for a 30-day month is 1,167.

Step 2: Calculate Your Recommended Daily Caloric Intake

Calorie calculators will tell you the number of calories that you should consume to maintain your body weight. They will also tell you how many calories that you should consume to lose weight, but you will only want to use the calculator for your maintenance figure. You can find a calculator by conducting a Google search for “daily caloric intake calculator.” When you find a detailed calculator, you will enter the necessary information.

Most calorie calculators will ask for information such as age, gender, weight, height and exercise level. When you are finished entering data, you can click on “calculate” for your figure. This figure gives you a guide that you can use for analyzing and altering your current diet.

Step 3: Create Your Deficiency

Every day, you must “lose” 1,167 calories. You can achieve that by either removing/altering dietary items or implementing a vigorous exercise plan. Calorie counting is a complex science, so you might favor straight exercise. You may need to use both methods to lose an aggressive amount of weight, however. You can lose many calories by performing cardiovascular exercises. For example, 30 minutes of vigorous bicycling can help you to drop 500 calories. One full hour could almost complete your daily deficiency.

You know the basics of losing weight. You can adjust your activity level and your diet as needed.

Healthy Eating Habits: Stating the Obvious?

healthy eating

How many times do you find yourself eating when you aren’t even hungry? This is a very common occurrence for most people and it’s not necessarily a problem unless you, yourself, cannot control it and become overweight. All too often we turn to food to combat stress and comfort ourselves – the trick is control those urges and maintain healthy eating habits. Here are a few tips that can help to create better habits

Some strategies that can be used to stop emotional eating when stressed could be to work out; try a new sport, do yoga or meditation or even relax by taking a hot bath. If you find yourself eating unhealthily during afternoon snack time when you get a slump of energy, try going for a walk or listen to some of your favorite music. I have even held those urges off with a short nap. If you tend to eat when you are lonely or bored, call and catch up with one of your friends, take your pet for a walk or go out in public where there are a lot of people. Many times we eat more than we are aware of, living in such a fast paced world, mindlessly eating as we watch a television show or movie. Learn to pay attention while you’re eating, and slow down and enjoy your snack or food. Savor the smell and the textures and enjoy the taste. Avoid distractions and try not to eat when you are doing a mindless task. You could try chewing your food thoroughly, emasculating each bite 30 times before swallowing. You will slow down the process and give yourself more time to enjoy. Try enjoying your food with different utensils, using something like chopsticks to eat your food or using the opposite hand will mix up your experience. Lastly, stop eating before you are full, as it takes more time than you think to signal the brain that you are full. Avoid cleaning the entire plate, your satisfaction will come slowly after you put your plate down.

Dieting doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stop eating all together but what it encourages us to do is focus on eating foods that are more healthy but still help you to remain full. Low calorie food that still has substance. Healthy eating habits can be achieved by including more fiber which can make you feel full while still losing weight. High fiber foods are high in volume and take a longer time frame to digest which in turn make them a lot more filling. High-fiber options include fruits and vegetables; strawberries, apples, oranges, nectarines, plums and most kinds of berries. Also, anything with green vegetables and leafy salads. Beans are also a healthy option – high in protein and fiber. Try adding them to different entrees with options such as black beans, lentils, split peas, pinto beans and chickpeas. High fiber cereal is a great option as well, including oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat or multi-grain bread and air popped popcorn. Try eating vegetables raw or steamed and not fried or breaded, dress them with herbs and spices or a small amount of olive oil. Try adding nuts and cheeses to salads but be careful not to overdo it, use low-fat dressings. For breakfast, try less cereal and leave room for fruits like blueberries, strawberries or sliced bananas, this way its easy to eat less and feel more full.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice, and making small changes can make a big difference in the overall goal to your weight loss plan. Small steps are huge.

How to Maintain your Diet Plan around Christmas

diet plan around christmas

There’s no doubt that this time of the year brings with it a ton of excesses of all types. Spending, eating, drinking and if you’re lucky, laughing too, but for the casual dieter, this can also signal the point at which all of those “best laid plans” come crashing down surrounded by double helpings of meat, potatoes, and no small serving of Egg Nog and apple pie. Today, we’ll try to show you how to maintain your diet plan around Christmas.

The first thing to do is take a good look at your diet and exercise regimen. Are there areas that need to be looked at closely? For instance, you might feel that exercising 5 nights per week could be trimmed down to 3-4 nights given that you are on target pace. Particularly at Christmas time, we find ourselves really cramped for time with all that we take onto our plate so now is a good time to make changes. This type of move we also use to help soften the blow of making other adjustments to things such as dieting needs. The converse side to this is what to do if you are behind your pace. In that context, it is so important to not drop further behind so we have to consolidate by somehow returning to the original exercise plan, which we’ve deviated from in some way, most likely. Try to get back to your original starting point, just for 2-3 weeks, Trust me – you’ll need to.

The next item is the calorie intake. It is so important at this time of year to know what your calorie intake is, especially with the seasonal perks such as Christmas parties, a glass of wine after work, food at the Open House, and the festivities around New Year. I’m talking here about knowing what the calorie value of a bottle of beer is, or a shot of liquor. If you don’t know beforehand, then find out afterwards because these are all potential traps for falling completely “off the horse”. Tracking your intake on a daily basis means that you can make adjustments to your meals to cover for the excesses. Now let me be clear here, I’m not suggesting eliminating all nutritious food because you had a skinful the night before. We just have to be smart about how we enjoy the Yuletide.

Finally, it’s important to not invite opportunities for friends and family to help ruin your diet plan around Christmas. What I mean by that is where gift=giving is concerned, try to encourage people close to you to refrain from the cookie tins, the food baskets, and the frozen meats. These items become so irresistible to someone who is trying to regulate fatty, unhealthy foods. I usually let everyone know that these gifts will not be gratefully accepted. In fact, in years gone by, I have “flipped” those gifts to other people! Shameful, I know but what are we to do!

Remember that the point of all this is to allow you to have fun while not completely rolling off the rails in pursuit of your weight loss goals. This time of year is about enjoyment and having fun. We just need to make sure that we get that without adding another 15lbs to our ‘spare tire”!

Happy Holidays!

5 Reasons Why Building Muscle Helps Weight loss

One of the biggest misnomers in weight loss literature today is that building muscle mass somehow increases weight and reduces a person’s ability to lose weight, In today’s post, we’re going to look at 5 reasons why building muscle helps weight loss.

First of all, let’s define “building muscle“. What I’m referring to here is the process by which the body creates extra muscle in place of fat. Sometimes what happens is that the muscle mass is actually kept constant and the weight loss happens through burning through stored fat. The process depends on some old tried and tested methods that we’ll go over here. A word of advice though: this is not for everyone. If you haven’t been the type of person to do “resistance training”, which involves strength exercises or lifting weights, then I might suggest that this method is most likely not for you. In any case, please consult a doctor before embarking on a regimen of this type. An alternative I would suggest is enlisting the services of a personal trainer who can guide you through the do’s and don’ts of what could potentially be a hazardous route to losing weight.

1. Increased metabolic rate
Typically, muscles use up more energy during and after exercise which causes the body to burn calories even during a “warm-down” phase. The exercise causes the muscles to burn calories which continues after the exercise has been stopped leading to an an increase in fat-burning processes.

2. Elevated calories burnt following exercise
Pretty much a follow on from what we said above. In order to build muscle, it has to be exercised in a resistance-training environment. When that happens, the body depletes carbohydrates as energy along with calories. Following a work-out, further exercise results in the body turning to fat for energy rather than anything else.

3. Resistance training needs to be done 4-5 times per week.
Weight training is one of the most disciplined forms of working out and must be done in accordance with a strict routine. The body needs to have a force to work against to cause it to adapt by building extra muscle. That’s how we build mass and burn calories at the same time.

4. Consume sufficient amounts of protein
The key to building any additional muscle mass is to provide the body with sufficient protein to be able to begin the process of tissue reconstruction. The protein should be in the form of meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, or beans. Protein powder is not recommended as it is costly and can be of poor quality if bought inexpensively. Keep the meals small and under your calorie target for the day, and you will not gain any weight other than muscle.

5. Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours sleep per night
Sleep is a very underestimated part of an exercise and dieting program. Lack of sleep can completely throw off your body clock and metabolic processes which can lead to ill-health and weight gain. Also, with the implementation of the resistance exercise regimen, tissues need time to build back up. Sleep ensures that.

Many of us would find that this type of exercising would simply be too much. Frankly, at my stage of life in my middle 50’s, I would never last the course. However, for younger, more active people who want to create the beach body effect as well as shedding several pounds, building muscle helps weight loss.

It’s not Weight Loss – It’s a Lifestyle Change

lifestyle change

Many times over the past 12 months or so on this blog, I have tried to emphasize the importance of losing weight within a structure of a balanced approach to dieting. In other words, no quick fixes but more of a cultural adjustment. I haven’t quite been able to give this approach a name – until now. It’s a Lifestyle Change.

I happened to be reading an article about the effects of dieting on patients with Type 2 Diabetes. The consensus is that dieting as of itself which may involve large amounts of weight loss within a relatively short period of time, is just not something that doctors choose to recommend to people in this medical community. Doctors prefer, and dietitians heartily agree, that a “lifestyle change” is much more beneficial and healthy. Couldn’t agree more! Having said that, and bear in mind I am definitely NOT a doctor and definitely NOT medically trained, I can only imagine that any practice that involves reducing weight, lowering blood sugar and lowering blood pressure, can only be considered a positive step for a Type 2 Diabetes patient.

Remember that a “lifestyle change” involves not only the food and nutritional aspect, but that there is an exercise component too. We’ve always talked about how a well thought out exercise program is always a help to losing weight. Many times it involves a lifestyle change because our daily routines become seriously affected. With dieting, we’re just changing what we eat but exercise involves a huge commitment that can be an inconvenience.

The core principle that I’m hammering home here is that in order to lose weight for the long-term, you cannot just rely on reducing calories and jogging twice a week until you get down to your target weight. 75% of people who do that eventually gain 90% of the weight right back. The reason? Because they chose not to make the “lifestyle change”. Their attitudes and routines all came flooding back once the weight target was reached. Those people took a large intake of breath, a huge sigh, and it was “Katie bar the Door and someone please get me the keys to the ice-cream cabinet!”. With the lifestyle change, the weight loss target really is just the “first mile-marker” if you will, because now, it’s all about keeping the weight off.

Trust me, especially for people in my age group of the over-50’s, if you reject the “lifestyle change” then good luck to you because no matter how many laps you run, or how many pounds you bench-press, or how many salads you eat for lunch instead of a cheeseburger, as soon as all of that stops, it’s over. It might as well not have happened. I know, because I’ve done it (or not done it as the case may be). I understand how hard it is to make that type of commitment, but just as we said at the start of this article, the Type 2 Diabetic patients have no choice, and for them, it works.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on certain common medical conditions and how they relate to weight loss and dieting. There’s no doubt that in cases where there are extenuating medical circumstances, medical advice should be sought out BEFORE embarking on any dieting or exercise plan.

Fasting to Lose Weight: Good or Bad?

fasting to lose weight

As we’ve discussed many times on this blog, there are many different avenues to follow to get to your goal of losing weight. Some are good – some not so good. One suggestion involves fasting to lose weight. Does it work or does it cause more issues along the way? Let’s find out.

Fasting on the face of it should be helpful to lose weight. Just by examining the math of consuming fewer calories than you expend has to reduce weight. The question is whether there are any other more dangerous issues that lie ahead as a result of starving the body of essential nutrients. Let’s be clear. Fasting is the term used for eliminating food and drink intake from a diet that is of a nutritional nature. It does not include the elimination of water, vitamins or mineral and vitamin supplements.

Let me share a story. Back in the 1960’s, a 27yr old man in Dundee, Scotland who weighed 465lbs showed up at the local emergency room asking for help to lose weight. He wanted no food at all, but just enough expert monitoring to keep him healthy. The doctors agreed and after 3 days he had lost 5lbs. He left the hospital and continued the routine over the next 382 DAYS! The man got down to 180lbs wet through and never regained the weight back. He did take water, and vitamin supplements but his body survived with no lasting after-effects. The point is that fasting seems to be a definite tactic for losing weight. It does work under the correct and safest conditions.

However, there are a few considerations here that need examination. Is it really the food reduction that is the driving force or are there other factors at work here? Let’s look at a few of them:

1. Fasting decreases insulin levels which in turn increases the body’s ability to burn fat

2. The body hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline increase in the body during a fast which causes it to expend more energy at rest. Hence a reduction in muscle fat.

3. Growth hormone secretion is reduced during fasting. They are also fat-burning hormones too which suggests that this will have a negative effect on the weight loss process in this case.

4. Fat oxidation increases while “lean mass” remains constant. What we want to do here is burn fat, and not muscle, and certainly not reduce bone mass. That would be unhealthy.

5. Fasting seems to show clearly measurable results in terms of fat loss which would tend to increase a dieter’s resolve to lose weight as the weight loss is visible and relatively fast.

6. It seems that the most difficult and irritating side-effect are the hunger pangs and the sense of feeling tired and hungry which are natural reactions that the body uses to tell the brain it needs to eat. These effects tend to wane over time depending on how long the fasting period is.

The consensus appears that fasting to lose weight is a big help in a dieters weight loss travels. However, personally, I’m not a fan. I believe that it causes too many instances of vitamin deprivation, protein loss, and general feelings of ill-health. If a person insists on applying the fasting to lose weight principle, I would sternly recommend that a doctor or dietitian be consulted and regular check-ups conducted to keep track of body processes.

If you decide to try it out, let us know how it works!

Walking: To Lose or Not Lose Weight


Long has been the discussion on whether or not walking can effectively help a dieter to lose a significant amount of weight, and just as there are many people who have been unsuccessful in that regard, there are people who have found it to be famously rewarding. What we shall try to do today, is figure out the pros and cons of one of the most basic forms of exercise.

Walking is usually the first place that people start with starting their exercise plan. It usually occurs because they actually enjoy walking, they are too old to run or that they are too unfit to run. Typically it starts off with short walks either to take the dog out or walking through a neighborhood with a friend. Firstly, let me state that walking is better than doing nothing – much better, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Secondly, the usefulness of walking is determined by the speed and length of the walk. Pretty obvious stuff I know but it has to be said.

Let’s look at some statistics. A 30 minute brisk walk burns approximately 150 calories depending on your body weight and BMI ratio. That’s usually about a distance of 2 miles. To lose a pound of weight, you must burn 500 calories more than you take in so we’re presuming that you’ve already equalized the dietary arrangements so that we’re not treading water here. Based on these numbers, you should lose about a pound a week, which is a fairly brisk clip. The problem is that after several weeks of the same repetitive routine, the body acclimatize itself to the “new” body, and weight loss becomes harder assuming everything else stays the same. Two things need to happen here; speed and distance – increase both!

What started off as a social exercise needs to become real exercise. Anything to increase the calorie burn. Pump the arms, put ankle weights on or simply walk further and faster. What you’re doing now is getting close to what we would call a “Cardio’ workout where the heart gets to pump at a much higher rate than normal so burning those additional calories. I used to play golf regularly twice every week, on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Didn’t take a cart (which irritated my golf partners tremendously!). I have a firmly brisk walking pace so at 14,000 yards per week, I felt great and didn’t have to watch my food intake.

The downside of walking is that if you need to lose a considerable amount of weight, then eventually you are going to need to step up to full Cardio to push yourself over the top. For keeping your weight at a manageable level and for seniors, a brisk, healthy walking routine is hugely beneficial but remember that it all goes to waste when you stop off at the Burger King for the Double Whopper with cheese and the onion rings on the return leg home!

6 Useful Tips to Better Your Diet

Sometimes when it comes to weight loss, it is the little tweaks that we make to our work-out regimen or diet schedule that really help us make solid progress towards our goal. To help us out, here are 6 useful tips to better your diet and hopefully boost your weight loss results.

1. Liquid volume is better than food volume
Provided that we’re talking about either water or sugar-free drinks, liquids can help to take away those hunger pangs that be so debilitating late in the day. Be careful to not saturate yourself as that can create problems in itself but a healthy 8-10 glasses of water per day will go a long way to filling in for food cravings.

2. Low Fat Greek Yogurt
I try not to make my writing an ad for anyone’s products but this has almost become the wonder food over the past few years. Low in sodium, cholesterol, carbohydrates and only about 80 calories, its high-protein base of about 10-12g per serving make it almost the perfect diet staple. It’s not going to provide a ton of energy but as a late night snack – perfection!

3. Add to your diet – don’t take away
Many times we’re always trying to find ways to structure our diets where we eat less. This is all well and good because obviously less food means less calories, but as a result we lean eventually towards eating “unhealthily”, and that’s bad. Try to look for foods that you can add to your diet without compromising your weight loss plan and you will feel so much better, both physically and mentally.

4. Each time you’re hungry, make that decision
There are times, I know because it’s happened to me several times, when we get that hunger sensation while watching TV late at night, and so just like a robot, we get up to go get something to eat. These are the killer times when your body is starting to slow its metabolism down ready for rest, and we’re going to jam a packet of chocolate cookies down. All that food intake goes almost 100% towards fat. Try to decide if you are REALLY hungry or not. If so, then eat sparingly. If not, then you just saved yourself a ton of calories.

5. Take that pasta or potato off the plate and substitute with vegetables
My son’s girlfriend makes a fantastic salmon dish and because she is an avid fitness enthusiast, she doesn’t allow us to eat starchy foods. Consequently, the salmon comes with a nice, big helping of asparagus, and that’s it. Guess what. I don’t miss the starch one bit! Similarly, she’s substituted one of our meals with a salad each week. I can’t tell you how much better I’ve felt as a result. Bless her!

6. To treat yourself, leave the house rather than bringing the food in
There are times when we just can’t hold off the cravings anymore. I get it. However, to bring that huge jug of ice cream into the house and having it tantalizingly available in the freezer isn’t good. Go out for ice-cream. Take the family. It becomes less harmful in the long term. Similarly with pizza. Don’t order it. Go out for it.

There are a few more tips that I thought of but i think the six here will be plenty to be going along with. It’s hard to stay regimental with any weight loss plan no matter how regimental you are about it. These tips should help you navigate a little easier through those choppy waters

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