Packing a lunch every day is a great way to start (or keep) healthy eating habits. When you’re stressed at work and pressed for time, or running from one errand to the next, fueling up often ends up being something you do in haste, desperation, or simply on the way to your next appointment. Preparing and packing a lunch ensures that you won’t be taken in by what’s convenient but less than ideal nutrition-wise. But packing lunch is also a lot more complicated than it seems like it should be, because time and planning are essential to making a meal that's healthy, that satisfies, and that travels.
Throwing together a quick sandwich isn't the only speedy brown bag lunch option , however. And according to Yeung, when it comes to packing a healthy, balanced, sustaining lunch, the secret is in the storage.
Before we get to the details, it's important to note that weight loss as a goal isn't necessarily for everyone, and healthy eating can look completely different from person to person. What works for some may not work for others. For anyone who has a history of disordered eating, even if you're in recovery, you should speak with a doctor before you change your eating habits or pursue any weight-loss goal. Even if you don't have a history of disordered eating, it's really important to have realistic expectations and make sure you're approaching weight loss in a healthy way. Many factors play into weight loss—like exercise, getting good sleep, managing stress levels, and genetics—so simply eating fewer calories may not bring the results you want. With so many factors at play, it's no wonder weight loss varies so much person-to-person. But if you just want to eat healthier in general, these simple tips can help you do that, too.
The key to a properly prepped and packed lunch is containers that do the portion-control for you.
One way to make sure you're getting the right balance of nutrients, especially at lunchtime, is to actually measure it all out. This can be harder to do when you’re putting things in a storage container compared to dishing it out onto a dinner plate, where it’s easier to visually judge portion size, Yeung notes. To properly measure out your packed lunch, you have two options. Either actually get your measuring cups and spoons out (a tedious task that may further put you off the lunch-packing grind). Or, do as Yeung suggests and invest in containers that will do the portioning for you.
She tells SELF, "While I don’t measure my food, I do have a variety of containers ranging in sizes from a quarter to two cups, which helps keeps my portions in control. For instance, I’ll pack nuts and hummus in my quarter-cup containers and fruit in half-cup containers. For packing entrees, I use the 2 cup size containers.” Bucking the trend of topping a base of grains with veg and protein, she uses what she calls her “reverse plating” method , filling the container halfway with veggies and splitting the remaining space evenly between whole grains and protein.
There are lots of great products for packing up a perfectly portioned lunch, including cute bento boxes and Weck jars . But you don’t need to buy anything special to make the system work. Yeung says that though she is particular about the sizes of her storage units, she isn’t picky about the containers themselves. "I don’t use anything fancy to pack my lunches. It’s usually mason jars and basic Tupperware," she tells SELF. So if you're ready to alter your lunch packing habits, there are plenty of affordable, handy, and BPA-free storage options you can buy . A better midday meal is just a new Tupperware container away.
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Anyone who’s ever watched a Skittles commercial has heard the suggestion to “taste the rainbow.” While it may seem counterintuitive that a candy commercial has good weight loss and healthy eating advice, registered dietitians are fans of this guidance. The only catch: That “rainbow” you're talking about is produce , not sweets.
First, a head's up: You should know that when it comes to health and weight loss, it's all about finding what works for you, which may or may not be what works for other people. And if you want to lose weight, it's key to think about where that desire comes from—and whether losing weight is a decision that will ultimately make you healthier and happier. For instance, if you have a history of disordered eating , you should check in with your doctor before beginning a weight-loss plan or changing your dietary habits, no matter how healthy that change may seem. And keep in mind that even if you don't have that history, setting reasonable goals is key. When it comes down to it, weight loss is about a lot more than how many colors you have on your plate. Other crucial factors: how much you sleep, your general stress levels, hormonal changes, and more. No matter where you are on your health and fitness journey, do your best to be kind to yourself, take your time, and listen to your body.
Whether or not you’re trying to lose (or maintain) your weight—maybe you just want to treat your body well in general—eating the rainbow might help you get there. “Everyone always hears to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., founder of the New York-based BZ Nutrition , tells SELF. Specifically, the recommendation is that women between the ages of 19 and 30 eat 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day. Women between 31 and 50 should eat the same amount of vegetables, but downgrade the fruit to 1.5 cups a day (fruit has a lot of sugar).
That all sounds good in theory. In practice, it's easy to fall short of taking full advantage of produce’s potential, including bringing about weight loss. “A more fun, interesting way to approach [eating the recommended amount of produce]—and make sure you’re actually doing it—is to eat the rainbow,” Zeitlin says. This method helps keep you from getting bored with your healthy meals, plus it allows you to eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods without overdoing it on calories, Laura Cipullo, R.D., C.D.N., C.D.E., C.E.D.R.D., owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition , tells SELF.
“Every fruit and vegetable has different colors based on the different minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants it contains,” Zeitlin says. For example, sweet potatoes have that delightful orange color because of their beta-carotene , an antioxidant that your body can convert into vitamin A, possibly boosting your eye health, immune system, and skin. By switching up the fruits and vegetables you eat, you’re making sure to get as much varied goodness as possible.
You don’t have to meet an exact number of produce-provided colors at each meal. It’s more about the overall ethos of the “rule”: To maximize fruits' and vegetables’ incredible potential by getting as large of a variety as you can. “You don’t need to have every single color in one meal as long as you’re eating them throughout the day,” Zeitlin says. “Greens can be a good basis, then you can build on that.”
On the flip side, if your plates are regularly filled with various shades of white or brown, it could be a sign your diet isn't diverse enough, meaning you're likely missing out on a lot of nutrients. “If your plates are just one color, you aren’t including a variety of vegetables—you’re probably eating more packaged foods, probably doing more takeout,” Cipullo says.
In addition to phytonutrients, foods that are plants are a great source of fiber , which is great for weight loss, weight maintenance, and keeping blood sugar level. “When you’re trying to make your plate chock-full of colorful veggies, you’re loading up on fiber, which keeps you full for a long time,” Zeitlin says. She's right: Fiber is a bulky nutrient, taking up valuable real estate in your stomach and helping you feel more satisfied than you otherwise might. “When you get enough fiber, you don’t needlessly snack as much between meals, and when you’re heading into your next meal, you’re not as ravenous,” Zeitlin says.
Keep in mind that you can take baby steps when incorporating the rainbow IRL. “I just joined up a CSA—it forces you to get creative,” says Cipullo, who also recommends trying a meal delivery service , or simply making an effort to eat locally. “Then you’ll be eating in season, so it’s going to be varied,” she explains. But all of that can get expensive or seem overwhelming if you're not used to it, so eating the rainbow can be as simple as maximizing the number of colors of produce in your cart on your usual trip to the supermarket.
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After our beloved Maggi noodles, rice has become the latest to come under scanner for quality issues.
Allegedly, rice imported from China includes `plastic rice’ and it is difficult for ordinary people to differentiate between it and the real rice. It is believed that when plastic rice is ingested along with real rice, it creates trouble in the digestion system and causes severe gastric ailments.
However, despite all the huff and puff about contamination in rice, almost half of the world’s population cannot comfortably eliminate it from their households because it is an integral part of their staple diet.
But, even if you turn a blind eye towards the recent rice contamination episode, there is still something nastier about your staple food. There are several other contaminants found in rice that pose a severe threat to health. Here we list a few impurities found in rice that you should be aware of.
One of the most common contaminants in rice is a metal named Arsenic, which occurs naturally in soil and water. Rice, grown under water, is exposed 10 times more to the hazardous metal in comparison with other cereals. Constant exposure to arsenic can also lead to certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and skin lesions.
Batching, popularly known as mineral oil, can be commonly found in jute sacks in which rice is usually packed. The oil is used to treat jute fibers to give it flexibility. During transportation, rice seeds get contaminated with the oil, making it unsuitable for consumption.
Bacteria from Aspergillus species produce harmful substances called aflatoxins which contaminate edible commodities like rice. Prolonged exposure to humid conditions favours the growth of these bacteria, leading to contamination.
Lead and calcium
Common contaminants found in rice such as lead and cadmium can be found in high quantity in milled rice. When consumed in large amounts, they can have deleterious effects on the body. Moreover, certain fertilizers contain cadmium in severely high amounts, which gets absorbed by rice grain through the soil.
Faeces of mice and rats
Before being supplied to wholesale and retail markets, rice grains are stored in godowns. Storage in basements and dimly lit rooms exposes rice grains to contamination by bacteria spread through faeces of mice and rats, and consumption of rice contaminated with these impurities can be a cause of life-threatening diseases like hantavirus-4.
Losing weight can be really hard. The fact that there are so many supposed experts, new methods, and "right" ways to do it just makes it all the more complicated. But putting aside all the fads, a basic mandate of weight loss is that you should be burning more calories than you consume.
If you're achieving a calorie deficit, your body will tap into its own energy stores (aka, fat) and use that instead. "For many people, but not all, losing weight requires eating less," Caroline Cederquist, M.D., founder of diet delivery program bistroMD , tells SELF. Exercise is important, too, but there's truth to the adage, "You can't outrun a bad diet." It's generally easier to lower calorie intake than it is to burn enough calories through exercise to compensate. On the flipside, it's very easy to overeat highly caloric foods in two seconds flat, but burning calories through physical activity takes time (and a whole lot of energy).
If you cut calories without having a strategy, it'll leave you starving and unable to stay on track for your weight-loss goals. But if you're smart about cutting back, you can safely (and sanely) lose weight. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind:
A few calculations can help you determine approximately how many calories you should be cutting to lose weight.
There's no magic number or one-size-fits-all recommendation, but doing a few calculations can give you an idea of how many calories you should eat for weight loss . First, figure out your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is how many calories your body burns at rest, by just keeping basic functions running (like breathing). Experts use a formula called the Mifflin St. Jeor equation: (10 x your weight in kilograms) + (6.25 x your height in centimeters) – (5 x your age in years) – 161. You can also get your BMR measured at an endocrinologist's office. Then, factor in your activity level—try using this interactive calculator from the United States Department of Agriculture, which will give you a rough estimate of how much you should eat to maintain your current weight considering your BMR and activity level. To lose weight, you need to cut calories from that base number, either by deleting intake or increasing output. "Losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is reasonable, safe, and healthy for most," Cederquist says. Since 1 pound of fat is around 3,500 calories, you'd need to achieve a 500-calorie deficit each day to lose 1 pound each week.
Make sure you're eating the right kinds of calories.
"It’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal when it comes to providing your body with the nutritional foundation for weight loss," Cederquist says. The calories you are eating should come from macronutrients like lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grains. If you're cutting the number of calories, but only eating processed, sugary foods , your body won't be getting the fuel it needs to run efficiently. "I find that for most people, starting with an analysis of their protein intake is the best place to start when cutting or replacing calories." Eating lean protein is essential to preserve lean muscle mass as you lose weight, and to keep your metabolism chugging along. Other healthy nutrients like fats and whole grains will help keep you satiated and decrease the chance you'll feel starving and be tempted to binge on empty calories (read: sugar).
Finding the ideal amount of protein to eat can be tricky. The Institute of Medicine says the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)—how much you need to avoid deficiency—of protein for adults should be 0.8 g/kg body weight. To calculate it, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, then multiply by 0.8. But when you're trying to lose weight, your protein needs may change. Some research suggests doubling lean protein intake to help assist weight loss and prevent muscle mass loss. Cederquist recommends: "For a woman of average height (which in the United States is 5'4") I recommend 110–120 grams of protein per day," or about 4 ounces at each meal. "This is the equivalent of a small chicken breast —not an enormous burger or steak!" Before doubling up on protein, talk to a registered dietitian to make sure it's safe for you.
Don't cut back on calories too quickly.
Crash dieting can backfire and actually make it harder to lose weight—not to mention increase the chance you'll gain it back when you start eating again. At the same time, if you're cutting out calories without assessing and ensuring you're still eating the right ones, "you actually stop losing weight," Cederquist says. You can also feel weak, lightheaded and fatigued, like you're running off fumes. Not exactly the best motivation to hit the gym.
You should never eat less than 1,200 calories each day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics . If you dip below that, you risk losing muscle mass, screwing with your metabolism, and depriving yourself of the nutrients you need to sustain a basic level of activity.
Look for easy ways to automatically pare down your daily calorie count with minimal effort.
Load up on veggies—"Both cooked and raw veggies add satiety and nutrients without a lot of calories."
At the end of the day, it's always a good idea to consult a professional when you're changing your diet drastically.
A dietitian can help assess what balance of macronutrients you need. But it's also important to talk to your other doctors when you're cutting calories, especially if you're making a huge change, to make sure it won't affect any current medications you take or conditions you have. Losing weight may be your No. 1 goal, but maintaining your health throughout the process is just as—if not more—important.
Canadian scientists have nailed a protein behind high levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL), elevating the risk of heart disease. The research proves that the protein in question, Resistin, secreted by fat tissue, increases the production of LDL in human liver cells and also degrades LDL receptors in the liver, hampering the organ from clearing "bad" cholesterol. Resistin accelerates the accumulation of LDL in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. Shirya Rashid, senior study author and assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University, warned that a staggering 40 percent of people taking statins are resistant to their impact on lowering blood LDL. "The bigger implication of our results is that high blood resistin levels may be the cause of the inability of statins to lower patients' LDL cholesterol," says Rashid, according to a Mcmaster's statement. She believes the discovery could lead to revolutionary new therapeutic drugs, especially those that target and inhibit resistin and thereby increase the effectiveness of statins. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It can lead to a buildup of plaque in the artery walls and narrowing of the arteries, causing a condition called atherosclerosis which can make it more difficult for blood to flow through the heart and body. Being overweight also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure and diabetes, compounding the risks of heart disease and stroke.
She notes the research reconfirms the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and cholesterol level, two critical factors in the prevention of heart disease. "Fortunately, we know a great deal about heart disease prevention and how to reverse some of the risks," says Abramson. She urges Canadians to maintain their heart health through regular visits to their doctor, monitoring their weight and waist size, eating a variety of nutritious, low-fat foods and being physically active. "It is equally important to take your medications as directed by your physician to help further reduce risks." These findings were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.
There’s a phenomenon I’ve see happen again and again. A husband and wife realize they’ve been enjoying their after-dinner snacks a bit too much and are seeing the numbers on the scale rise. They decide to embark on a healthy diet to shed those excess pounds and, ideally, lose weight fast. Two months later, the husband’s shed serious pounds and is looking trim, while the wife struggles to get the scale to budge, even after a diet full of kale salads and grilled chicken breast.
Sound familiar? The truth is that while losing weight is tough for anyone, there are several factors that can make it extra challenging for women. In fact, American women recently hit a milestone — and not a good one.
A 2016 study published in the journal JAMA found that between 2013 and 2014, obesity among men was 35 percent and 40 percent among women. More interesting, however, was that between 2005 and 2014, while men’s rates of obesity essentially plateaued, the number of women who were very obese steadily increased. (1)
While obesity can take a toll on your self-esteem and confidence, it isn’t just about the way you look. In fact, that should be the least of your worries. Obesity contributes to premature aging and death by increasing the risk for developing life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Not obese but carrying around a few extra pounds than is recommended? You could be cutting your lifespan short. One 2017 study found that folks with a history of being overweight, not obese, had a 6 percent increased risk of dying from any cause. (2)
It can be a touchy subject but if you’ve got some extra weight, it’s time to take steps to change that and figure out what the best weight loss tips for women are. After all, reaching a healthy weight is vital for protecting your health, both today and as you age.
Reasons Why Women Struggle to Lose Weight
Like many other overweight and obese people, particularly women, you may have tried time and time again to lose weight with little to no success. You may feel discouraged and wonder what’s the point in even trying? While you’re not alone in these feelings and frustrations, there are some key weight loss tips involved in women’s weight loss you might not know about — and that could make all the difference.
Let’s explore the nine most common reasons why women struggle to lose weight alongside the weight loss tips that hopefully will remove the struggle!
Reason #1: You’re eating the wrong foods.
Take a walk through the supermarket, and you’ll be assaulted with aisle after aisle of low-fat and no-fat foods, “healthy” chips and cookies and juices and sodas galore. You likely already know that if you want to lose weight, cutting out processed foods and sweets is the first and most obvious step. But those healthy-sounding options can be just as bad, too.
When you eat foods that are low- or no-fat, other ingredients are added in so that the food tastes like its full-fat counterpart. Those extra ingredients don’t add in the nutrients that have been stripped away, however, so you end up craving more because, despite the fact that you just ate, your body is still lacking in the vital nutrients it needs. You end up eating more calories than you would have if you’d just eaten the full-fat product.
Sugar is another culprit in healthy foods. “Good” foods like yogurt, salad dressings and tomato sauce are often packed with sugar, leading to more cravings, headaches and more. It’s also one of the reasons you’re struggling to lose weight.
How to Know:
Look through your refrigerator and pantry and take stock of what’s in there. If most of your foods are boxed or in bags, it’s time to transition to more whole foods. Read the labels, too. How much sugar is in your favorite jar of pasta sauce? Are those crackers loaded with preservatives?
What to Do:
First, eliminate or seriously cut back on the fake foods. When possible, choose real foods instead. Among weight loss tips, this one is absolutely essential. That means an apple instead of apple juice, orange slices instead of something orange-flavored. If you’re craving something, skip the no-fat version that will likely leave you wanting more, and instead measure out a serving instead so you can enjoy the food without going nuts.
If you do buy snacks and other convenience products like salad dressings, read the ingredients list and nutrition facts. Buy brands that are organic and free of pesticides and dyes. Skip the flavored version of foods like yogurt and add your own fresh fruit and honey to it. And when possible, make your own foods. Spend a few hours meal prepping on the weekends to make staples you can eat throughout the week, like sauce, dressings and healthy on-the-go snacks.
Reason #2: You’re doing the wrong type of exercise.
If you’re spending hours at the gym but aren’t seeing results, you’re probably doing the wrong type of exercise. Women often focus their exercise efforts on cardio done at a moderate intensity, like jogging. And while that type of exercise is good for your heart, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s time to kick it up a notch.
Luckily, that doesn’t mean you need to dedicate even more time exercising. In fact, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can slash the time commitment while boosting results. HIIT workouts last about 20 minutes and combine bursts of super-intense exercise with slower recovery phases. This type of workout has been found to help people lose more fat once the workout is over, even though they burn less calories during the workout (since workouts are shorter) and also build muscle, rather than break it down the way conventional cardio does. (3)
If you shy away from weights at the gym, you’re also thwarting your own weight loss efforts. Women often avoid strength training because of a fear they’ll bulk up. That’s a mistake, because strength training is what gives you those well-defined muscles — you’d have to become a professional bodybuilder to get anywhere near bulking up.
More importantly, though, strength training does wonders for your body. It helps make bones denser, critical because our bones become weaker as we age, increasing the risk of osteoporosis — of the 10 million Americans suffering from the disease, 80 percent are women. (4) Strength training helps build lean muscle tissue, helping you lose more weight all over, including the dreaded belly fat. It also reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. (5)
How to Know:
This is pretty easy to determine — you know what you’re doing at the gym!
What to Do:
If HIIT workouts and strength training aren’t part of your exercise routine, it’s time to add them in. Instead of just running or walking on the treadmill do bursts of high intensityrunning or sprinting followed by a cool down. For example, you can sprint full force for 30 seconds, slow down and walk for two minutes, then rev it up and sprint again for 30 seconds. Continue this routine for 10 to 20 minutes. If your gym offers Tabata workouts, check those out, too.
For strength training, working with a trainer for a session or two can be helpful to acquaint yourself with dumbbells and the types of exercises you can do, but you don’t even need to use extra weight. One of my favorite weight loss tips for women is to add bodyweight exercises like push-ups and lunges to your workouts; they’re super effective and you can do them anywhere. Pilates and more vigorous yoga classes are a great option, too.
Reason #3: You have a thyroid problem.
Life is all about balance and, when it comes to your body functioning properly, this couldn’t be more true. Our body operates on a delicate balance of chemicals that it must maintain to function properly.
Some of the most important chemicals when it comes to weight and metabolism are the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, aka triiodothyronine and thyroxine.
These hormones can be thrown out of whack by many issues. From a diet with too much or too little iodine, to toxicity from amalgam fillings, to an undiagnosed medical condition, the thyroid can produce too much or too little T4, impacting your metabolism.
How to Know:
If you’re suffering from too much T4, or hyperthyroidism, you might find yourself experiencing these symptoms:
Unexplained weight loss
High amounts of perspiration
Multiple bowel movements
Thin, brittle hair
Hypothyroidism, or too little T4, can produce the following symptoms:
Dry hair, skin
Unexplainable weight gain
Muscle weakness and discomfort
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your health care practitioner.
The three most commonly used tests to determine if you have a thyroid condition are blood tests, a thyroid scan and the radioactive iodine uptake test. Your doctor can determine which one is best after a review of your specific conditions.
What to Do:
Instead of turning to hormone replacement therapies with the use of pharmaceuticals, natural hormones using animal hormones or, in extreme cases, surgery, first look at any nutritional deficiencies you may have that are contributing to an imbalance, like iodine or toxicity from things like amalgam fillings in your teeth.
Reason #4: You have a hormone imbalance.
It’s not just the thyroid hormones that can impact your metabolism and weight. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can block your attempts to lose weight, too. This “fight or flight” hormone increases your appetite, makes you crave loads of carbs, and keeps fat in the belly region, one of the reasons you can’t lose weight in that area.
How to Know:
While you can get tests to evaluate the cortisol level in your blood, only you can determine your own innate level of stress. Take some time to evaluate if you are living in a constant (or close to constant) state of stress. You might also notice increased anxiety levels, mood swings, trouble sleeping, fatigue (including feeling tired but unable to wind down) and high blood pressure.
Aside from rising stress levels, other causes of a cortisol imbalance can be the use of corticosteroid medications like hydrocortisone, prednisone and anti-inflammatory medications, nutrient deficiencies and hyperthyroidism.
What to Do:
The best way to lower your cortisol levels is by decreasing stress. While it’s easier said than done, weight loss tips like this one involve you simply taking the time to put yourself and your health first. Practicing saying “no” to events and things you know will cause you stress, carve out time to exercise, set aside some time daily — even just 5 minutes — to meditate or practice gratitude and learn to recognize when you’re feeling extra worn out and need a time out.
Reason #5: Your prescription meds are making you fat.
Are you on prescription medications? They could be the reason you can’t lose weight. Certain medications can cause weight gain as a side effect, whether from fluid retention, changing your appetite or an increase in hormones. Among the chief offenders are birth control pills, antidepressants, angiotensin-receptor blockers and steroids.
How to Know:
If you’re on one of these prescription medications and, despite all your best efforts, you’re struggling to lose weight, it might be time to speak with your doctor.
What to Do:
If possible, before starting a prescription medication, jot down your weight and then check in on the scale after two weeks. If you notice weight gain, it’s easier to nip it in the bud early on.
However, if you’re already on medication and think it could be hampering weight loss efforts, speak with your doctor about your options. It may be possible to transition to a more natural option, like a natural form of birth control, coming up with a plan to transition off medication or simply trying an alternative that’s not known to cause weight gain.
Reason #6: You’re not getting enough sleep.
Hitting the snooze button several times in the morning or spending too much time scrolling through your social media feeds while in bed? If you’re skimping on sleeping time, you’re not just yawning through the day, but also hurting your attempts to lose weight.
One review found that people who sleep between 3.5 and 5.5 hours a night consume nearly 385 more calories the next day when compared to those who sleep between 7 and 10 hours. (6) Sleep is critical for our bodies to repair and function properly. When you consistently don’t get enough sleep, not only are you more likely to gain weight, but you’re also at a higher risk for chronic diseases, anxiety, irritability and more.
How to Know:
Take note of what time you’re going to bed, what time you’re waking up and the quality of your sleep. If you’re consistently sleeping for under 7 hours, it’s time to make some changes.
What to Do:
If you’re having trouble getting to bed, these 20sleep strategies can help. To help stick to these strategies, consider these sleep tips your weight loss tips as well. Shutting off electronics an hour before bedtime, limiting caffeine intake in the afternoons, avoiding simple carbs in the evenings and journaling can all help you unwind so you get enough rest. You can also consider natural sleep aids to boost your ability to fall asleep and sleep soundly.
Reason #7: You’re eating your emotions.
After a long day at work, do you unwind with a glass or two of wine? Do you find yourself reaching for a pint of ice cream when you’ve had a stressful day? This emotional eating is likely holding you back from your weight loss goals.
When you’re eating to deal with your emotions, like anxiety, stress or unhappiness, you’re likely not reaching for carrot sticks and blueberries, but carbohydrates, processed foods and even alcohol. Those calories eventually add up and, at the same time, you’re avoiding learning how to deal with difficult emotions and situations. It’s pretty much a lose-lose situation.
How to Know:
Think about the times when you pig out on unhealthy foods. Are you stressed, distracted, bored? You might be emotionally eating.
What to Do:
Practicing mindful eating can be really helpful if you’re an emotional eater. Check in with yourself to see if you’re actually hungry or just avoiding that assignment that’s hanging over your head. If you’re going to eat, sit down and give your food your full attention. No eating out of the bag, either. If you’re going to snack on some chips, but them in a bowl so you can see how much you’re eating. That might help curb your cravings.
Of course, you want to get to the bottom of why you’re not feeling so hot. One study found that practicing relaxation techniques helped obese women who were emotional eaters lose weight over the course of three months, along with helping them reduce depression and anxiety. (7) Engaging in other activities that can help you relax are a better option than emotional eating.
Another study found that when women increased their frequency of workouts, they saw changes in their self-regulation around food, significantly improved their moods and were able to exercise more. (8) Instead of pouring a glass of wine or snacking all night, try hitting a yoga class or going for a long walk instead.
Reason #8: You’re eating too many healthy foods.
Good-for-you foods are delicious, but too much of a good thing is possible. While foods like avocados, nuts and full-fat dairy are great for your health, they’re also pretty high in calories. If you’re eating a lot of these foods, you might be consuming more calories than you realize.
Of course, on high-fat diets like the ketogenic diet, your meals will consist largely of fatty foods. What I’m talking about is following a standard diet that’s also packed with high-fat foods.
How to Know:
If your diet is packed with healthy fats like eggs, avocados, butter and MCT oil and you’re not following a low-carb, high-fat diet, you might be overdoing the fats.
What to Do:
If you’re already enjoying and eating foods high in fat along with protein, you might want to consider going on the keto diet. It’s been proven to be more effective at weight loss than a low-fat diet, and you’ll likely have an easy time transitioning to it. (9) Among my weight loss tips, going keto is the diet that produces the quickest results alongside significant health changes.
Otherwise, there’s no need to eliminate these healthy foods from your diet. Instead, it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes and sticking to one or two of these foods a day. For example, if you added a scoop of almond butter to your morning smoothie, skip the nuts in the afternoon and replace them with something else.
Reason #9: You have a food allergy.
Do you find that you feel constantly bloated, your skin is acting up or your tummy constantly feels “off,” but you’re just not sure why? You could have a food allergy or sensitivity.
About 9.1 million Americans and 5.9 million children suffer from a food allergy. (10) And these figures don’t include people who are sensitive to certain ingredients, are intolerant to foods or don’t realize they have a problem at all, so the real numbers are likely much higher.
If you’re allergic or sensitive to a certain ingredient and continue eating it, you’re likely to struggle with losing weight. The food is triggers inflammation, as your body fights against it. As you continue eating the same food that’s making you ill, the inflammation continues, making you a lot more susceptible to extra pounds and other health issues.
How to Know:
If you have a skin condition that doesn’t seem to improve, digestion issues or a general feeling of “meh,” you might have a food sensitivity or allergy.
What to Do:
An elimination diet is a good way to see if you might have a food allergy. During an elimination, you’ll avoid the top foods that people are allergic to, including eggs, soy, gluten, dairy and nuts.
After 30 days on the diet, you’ll slowly add in one of the restricted foods — one at a time and for a few days only — to see how your body reacts. At this point, you can continue just avoiding the ingredients you suspect you’re sensitive to, or go to an allergy specialist to receive confirmation and see if there’s anything else you might be allergic to.
From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Because Leaky Gut is so common, and such an enigma, I’m offering a free webinar on all things leaky gut. Click here to learn more about the webinar.
Bhringraj oil can be used for treating various hair and skin problems
2. Fenugreek or
methi dana is one treasure spice that may not have originated in India, but has grown to be an essential part of our culinary fare and culture, as if it always belonged to us. It is no wonder then that Ayurveda recognized its potential thousand years back and continues to make most of its health and
Fenugreek seeds are rich in folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C
3. Amla There is a reason why our mothers and grandmothers swear by for all their skin and beauty needs.
Amla or Indian gooseberry has been an essential part of hair care rituals in India since time immemorial. Massaging the scalp with
amla oil helps boost
blood circulation. This supplies enough nourishment to your follicles, which then increases hair growth. It also looks after the overall scalp health by removing dandruff and dissolving grease and dirt from follicles. It helps restore optimum pH levels of the scalp that boosts essential oil production. One of the biggest reasons behind
Amla is packed with Vitamin C. The potent antioxidant help keeps the free-radical activity at bay, which can also severely impact the health of hair. You can prepare some
amla oil at home too. Heat some coconut oil in a pan and add two teaspoons of
amla powder. Heat the oil until it turns brown. After 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat and set the oil aside to cool. Collect the oil in a bowl. Apply it on your hair, while it is still slightly warm and massage well. (Also Read:
Triphala powder has been known to reduce dandruff too. You can either apply
Triphala powder mixed with
coconut oil on your hair, or make it a part of your diet. Your diet plays a huge role in the health of your hair. One of the reasons why your hair volume is not up to the mark could be your liver condition and
It's an age-old ferment, but a new-age fancy. Kombucha, a fermented yeast tea, which dates back 2,000 years, has become quite the 'it' drink with fitness buffs in the city – being sold in flavours across several stores. But while most nutritionists and home brewers believe it to be filled with goodness from detoxifying to immunity boosting – doctors advise caution before consumption, citing reasons from acidity to toxicity.
But whether one chooses to drink or think, the fact is that bottles of the fizzy-sour kombucha – made by adding a culture of beneficial bacteria and yeast to tea, sugar, and fruit juice – have begun lining the shelves of departmental stores.
In February, Pune-based market research firm Markets and Markets had estimated that the global market for kombucha is poised to grow from the half a billion dollars it was in 2015 to $1.8 billion in 2020.
Srikant Ram of Econut, one of the oldest organic food stores in Chennai, has been brewing the yeast tea for more than a decade, having found a market of regulars. "Every food culture has its set of fermented foods," says Ram. "India has the ragi porridge as well as palmyra sap, which when fermented is a health drink but when over-fermented becomes toddy."
In Chromepet, Udhaya Raja is all set to move the manufacturing unit of his brand of kombucha, Ka, from his home to a more professional set-up. "The demand has increased since we launched in 2014. People are more aware of the health trends and are trying it out," says Raja, who now manufactures more than 3,000 bottles a month.
Bhavani ILG, retired professor of plant biology and biotechnology, says she believes in the goodness of kombucha, because "it's a natural ferment and a probiotic." Kombucha is a Chinese probiotic, just like curd, says Bhavani. "A lot of Indian foods such as idlis too are ferments," she adds.
"According to traditional knowledge, kombucha is supposed to help relieve pain, improve hair growth, aid digestion, and restore gut flora," says Bhavani, but cautions that it needs to be prepared with care or can cause side effects such as acidosis. "Over fermentation or unsanitary preparation of the drink poses a food safety threat," she says. "It can be toxic too when taken in large doses and is not recommended for children, people with low immunity and pregnant women."
But cardiologist Dr Sai Satish of Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, says whether or not kombucha is great for the gut, he prefers to go with his gut. "In medical literature, the documented claims of harm far outweigh the numerous unsubstantiated claims of the drink's health benefits. There has been no study showing evidence of it being beneficial to humans," he says. "In fact, there are more studies regarding its harmful nature. There have been documented cases of hepatic toxicity and metabolic acidosis among those who consumed kombucha. When it comes to health, there's no better brew than a brisk 45-minute walk."
Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed by the Doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician's advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.
Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has a key function
HDL or High density lipoproteins are classified as good cholesterol
High cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis or narrowing of arteries
Greasy fries, tall burgers, yummy cookies have become an inevitable part of urban living. No matter how you try to steer clear of them, they somehow manage to get the better of you. Let us tell you a secret. It is okay to let loose at times, indulge and enjoy. It is only when these temptations start going out of control that problems arise. One of the most common conditions faced by people of this generation is that of their high 'cholesterol' levels. So much so, that many people view cholesterol as an entity, that is sitting in your system to take your heart-health for a ride. That is not true. Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has important natural functions in stimulating various activities in the body that include digesting foods, producing hormones and others.
There are two types of cholesterol:
1. HDL or Good Cholesterol: HDL or High density lipoproteins are classified as good cholesterol and are very essential for smooth functioning of the body. High-density lipoproteins are one of the five major groups of lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are a class complex particles composed of multiple proteins. HDL Cholesterol transports all the wastes and toxins backs to the liver.
2. LDL or Bad Cholesterol: LDL or Low-density lipoprotein are one of the five major groups of lipoproteins which transport all fat molecules throughout your body. It is the excess of this class of cholesterol that may cause a host of health disorders particularly that of heart. Bad cholesterol forms a layer of plaque on the walls of arteries, which makes it difficult for the blood to flow in its natural pace, which further contributes to high blood pressure and in worse cases, even a stroke .
Bad cholesterol forms a layer of plaque on the walls of arteries which increases cholesterol levels
Causes And Effects Of High Cholesterol
According to various studies, high cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, which is a condition where the arteries harden due to a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls. These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause clots or rupture, in which case it can also lead to a stroke.
1. Poor diet: One of the primary reasons of high cholesterol is a poor diet. Eating saturated fats, found in animal products, and trans fats can raise LDL cholesterol levels. A High cholesterol diet is most likely to have all of these.
2. Obesity: Obesity could also trigger a spike in bad cholesterol levels. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
Obesity could also trigger a spike in bad cholesterol levels
3. Lack of exercise: Lack of physical activity and a sedentry lifestyle can also contribute to high cholesterol levels.
4. Smoking: If you have high cholesterol and are an occasional smoker, here's a reason to drop the butt now. Cigarette smoking damage the blood vessels, making them accumulate fatty deposits which can result in a spike.
Cigarette smoking damage the blood vessels, making them likely to accumulate fatty deposits
5. Diabetes: High blood sugar can damage the lining of your arteries which can give way for the LDL cholesterol to make their fatty deposits.
High Cholesterol Diet: What Must A Person Suffering From High Cholesterol Ensure?
A person with high levels of cholesterol has to ensure and control a lot of factors, from their diet to a healthy body weight. Eating a low-salt diet is a must. Switching from the saturated fats found in animal products to the good fats has also proven beneficial for those dealing with high cholesterol. According to consultant nutritionist Dr. Rupali, "People with cholesterol should try to maintain their body weight and should have a healthy mix of fats and fibers ( both soluble and insoluble). They must include foods such as nuts, almonds, walnuts meat and meat products as these foods help control the cholesterol"
Swap bad fats with good fats for increasing good cholesterol
Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood talks about ensuring a balance in the diet, "There are 3 main macronutrients on which our body thrives: Carbohydrates, fats and proteins. There are two types of carbohydrates i.e simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. A person with cholesterol should try to bring down the simple carbohydrates and should increase the amount of complex carbohydrates. They should definitely avoid foods rich in trans fats."
It is very essential to differentiate between good carbs and bad to ensure healthy cholesterol
According to Nutritionist and Wellness Expert Sonia Narang, "It is important to look after your diet and eat healthy. Avoid saturated fats like oil, ghee and hard margarine. Avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils as they go through a lot of processing. You will find these fats in cookies, chips and other packaged snacks. Try to have less fatty meat and meat products like sausages and bacon." You should also avoid too much alcohol as it raises your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
In addition to diet, one also has to ensure that he or she leads an active lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyle is linked with a variety of health problems like obesity and diabetes. Daily exercise is one of the best and natural ways to boost your HDL and lower your bad cholesterol.
Moderation and balance are key to not just healthy cholesterol but healthy life in general. Eating nutrient dense and balanced food that fights inflammation is just one of them. Here are some good and bad cholesterol foods that you must include/rule out from your diet wisely.
Good Cholesterol Foods:
1. Beans and Pulses Beans, lentils and various other kinds of pulses can significantly bring down the bad cholesterol levels. According to an old study, eating one serving a day of pulses, people can lower LDL ('bad') cholesterol by five percent. The low glycemic index of the pulses help keep the LDL cholesterol levels in check. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose. Carbohydrates with a GI higher than 70 cause marked fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. You can have them in sprouts, soups, stews or curries but make sure they are part of your daily intake. (Also Read: 6 Benefits of Sprouting and the Right Way to Do it)
Beans, lentils and various other kinds of pulses can significantly bring down the cholesterol levels
2. Nuts The chunky goodness of nuts like walnuts, almond and pistachios have long been associated with bringing down bad cholesterol. These nuts have a low glycemic index, are naturally cholesterol free, and are source of protein, fiber and antioxidants, which makes them the best bet for good heart health too.
These nuts have a low glycemic index, are naturally cholesterol free
The omega-3 fatty acids present in these fatty fish can help keep cholesterol levels
6. High-Fiber Fruits
High-Fiber fruits like dates, prunes, apples and pears can boost your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. Mostly, all the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables have low glycemic index too.
Mostly, all the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables have low glycemic index
Avocados can do wonders for your lipid profiling and keeping your cholesterol levels in control. A source of good fat, avocado can easily be swapped for all your fat-laden foods.
A source of good fat, avocado can easily be swapped for all your fat-laden foods.
High Cholesterol Foods To Avoid:
1. Packaged Chips, Burgers and Other Transfats: High in salt and cooked in refined oil, these trans-fat foods can wreak havoc on your lipid profile. These fats get accumulated and clog your arteries, which restricts the blood flow.
High in salt and cooked in refined oil, these trans-fat foods can wreak havoc on your lipid profile
2. Sugary cookies and goods: If salt is bad, then too much sugar does no good either. These cookies, crackers are packed with refined carbohydrates. These sugary foods cause immediate spike in blood levels and upset the blood sugar levels too.
3. Alcohol: Moderate drinking is okay, but according to various studies, excessive drinking can raise both cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Which is why people with high blood pressure should be extra weary of the number of glasses and pints of alcohol they take.
excessive drinking can raise both cholesterol and triglyceride levels
4. Red meat and bacon: Animal meat like mutton, lamb and pork is loaded with saturated fats which may up your cholesterol levels. Even if you are cooking the meat, make sure they are cooked in vegetable oil or are baked.
5. Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbs are the main culprit behind a host of problems such as obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. White breads, pasta, tortillas, and bagels are the most popular sources of refined carbohydrates which have been taking a toll on the overall cholesterol levels of millions across the world. Refined carbohydrates are said to have high glycemic index which significantly raises the LDL Cholesterol while having no impact on the good cholesterol
5 Healthy Recipes For People With High Cholesterol
Packed with the goodness of kidney beans, cottage cheese and julienned vegetables, this healthy and delightful salad tossed together with olive oil is the perfect way to beat cholesterol, blood pressure and those extra pounds!
2. Salmon Fillet With Vegetables Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, abundant source of protein, potassium and selenium- Salmon is one healthy superfood that should be a must-have in your diet. This light and lovely recipe made with tender fish fillets teamed with goodness of herbs makes for a filling dinner option.
Moong dal chila could prove to be one of the healthiest start to you day. Easy-to-prepare and made with the goodness of heart-friendly moong dal, this Indian pancake dish is one satiating dish you would never get enough of.
The nutrient-dense smoothie made with weight-loss friendly and heart-healthy apples and chia seeds is a health freak's dream come true. You can have it for breakfast. The lush smoothie can also serve as an ideal evening snack.
The eclectic Mexican dip is so easy-to-make and double up as a deliciously healthy treat too! The pungent delight made of fresh avocados, tomatoes, green chillies, onions and lime is a treat to for the soul.
There is a lot you can do on an individual level and ensure your cholesterol levels are in check. These simple ways could get you started on a way to healthier life.
Aloe vera has gained popularity in the past few years for the health benefits that it provides. And it’s difficult for a thing not to become famous once it's connected to the word ‘weight loss’. Aloe vera is helpful in losing weight due to the detoxifying properties it has. Most people who want to lose weight or are struggling to do so surely know about it. But what most of them don’t know is how to inculcate it in their diet/routine for losing weight in a healthy manner.
Below, we mention five ways you can consume aloe vera to reap its maximum benefits.
The best way to consume aloe vera would be to consume it with juices and smoothies. This will not only maximise its benefits but will also make it taste better.
1. Aloe vera juice with lemon
This juice can be consumed every morning empty stomach and you should not have anything an hour after you have had the juice. The detoxifying property of aloe vera helps it cleanse the body of toxins. The juice also cleanses the intestines which help to keep our bowel movement smooth and healthy.
How to prepare the juice
Take one glass of water and add one lemon juice to it. Now, take a tablespoon of aloe vera gel (preferably from the plant and not packaged one). Now put this solution in a pan and heat it while stirring constantly (until the gel blends in the water). Now add a tablespoon of honey and have it warm.
2. Aloe and ginger tea
This tea can be the best mid-afternoon drink. There are many healthy properties of ginger, such as it is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, promotes healthy digestion and also prevents fluid retention. These properties, when combined with aloe vera, helps to remove fats from the body.
How to make it
To make this delicious tea, grate one tablespoon of ginger and add one teaspoon of aloe vera juice to it. Add this mixture to a cup of water and bring it to boil. Once the gel is mixed nicely with the water, turn off the heat. Now let the mixture cool down for 10 minutes.
3. Pineapple, cucumber and aloe juice
The best time to consume this juice would be after you have had your lunch. Pineapple has the ability to improve digestion and detoxify your body. Cucumber is hydrating and has fibre, which further betters your digestion.
How to make this juice
To make this juice you will need one slice of pineapple, a tablespoon of aloe vera gel, a cup of water and half a cucumber. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend well until you obtain a smooth texture. Having this smoothie when feeling hungry after you have had your lunch would be a great idea.
4. Orange, strawberry and aloe vera smoothie
Low in calories and safe for diabetics, strawberries make a great fruit for weight loss. Strawberry is also rich in fibre and is a powerful cleanser. By combining orange, aloe vera and strawberries, you can make a great antioxidant drink for a healthy weight loss.
How to make it
To prepare this juice, squeeze some fresh orange juice. Add three to four slices of strawberry and one tablespoon of fresh aloe vera juice to it. Put all this in a blender along with half cup of water. Blend until smooth and you are done.