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Stop your soft drinks habit

Posted by Dan Buda on January 7, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer at Triumph Fitness tells you how to Stop your soft drinks habit


Don’t Pop That Top -Kick the Soda Can
A 12-ounce cola has about 150 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar. That’s 4 teaspoons more than most women should have in an entire day and 1 more than most men should. Too much sugar in your diet is bad for your teeth, can make you gain weight, and isn’t good for your heart. That may be because it can raise your blood pressure and put harmful fats in your bloodstream.


Water
When you’re thirsty, reach for a glass of water — your body will thank you for it. This naturally sugar-free option is good for you in many ways. Staying hydrated helps keep your body the right temperature, gets rid of waste, and even helps your joints move.
Homemade Lemonade
If water by itself isn’t your thing, spruce it up with some lemon and a little sugar. That sweet-and-sour combo can sneak it — and its health benefits — right past your taste buds.
Coffee
Part of your soda craving could have something to do with the caffeine in soft drinks. Try a cup of coffee instead. Even with a teaspoon of sugar, about 15 calories, it’s better for you than a typical soda.
Tea
Replace that soda with a cup of tea, especially the green variety. It may be linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. But be careful not to add too much sugar, or you’ll tilt the scale back the wrong way.
Spritzer
A little juice in some sparkling water is kind of like a soda and may be a way to scratch that soft-drink itch without the empty calories. But juice has as at least as many calories per ounce as most soft drinks, so a little splash is all you want.
New Ritual
Old habits die hard, particularly when it comes to sugar. If you enjoy a soda every day at 3 p.m., it may be tough to kick it unless you replace it with something else you enjoy, say a cup of coffee or a square of dark chocolate.
Diet Soda
Don’t think of this as a good substitute. Research shows that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas can throw off your metabolism, make you gain weight, and increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. And a study of more than 3,000 women (mostly white) showed that two or more diet drinks a day can be hard on your kidneys.

11 Easy Ways to Make Healthy Eating a Habit

Posted by Dan Buda on December 31, 2016 in Blog

11 Easy Ways to Make Healthy Eating a Habit

 

Sneak Yourself More Vegetables

You know you should eat more veggies. They’re full of good-for-you fiber and vitamins. But the average person eats only about half the amount they should. So how can you get more in? Swap out pasta for strands of zucchini that you shred with a julienne peeler. Or pulse cauliflower in the food processor until it looks like rice, and use it in pilafs and stir-fries. You’ll cut calories and add major nutrition.

Curb Snack Attacks With Protein

It’s hard to resist the junk food-filled vending machine when your stomach is growling at 3 p.m. But you don’t need to rely on willpower alone. The right food choices earlier in the day can set you up for success. Reach for protein: It fills you up and helps you feel satisfied longer than carbs do. Go for meals and snacks that include things like hardboiled eggs, Greek-style yogurt, peanut butter, and skinless chicken.

Don’t Ditch Full-Fat Dairy

If you miss the flavor and texture of whole milk and full-fat yogurt because you think skim is better for your waistline, you may be in luck. It’s OK to indulge in the regular versions of dairy products from time to time. Drinking creamy whole milk was even linked to a lower risk of obesity in one study. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and get too many calories or grams of fat overall.

Give Yourself Proper Portions

You might think you’re likely to eat more when you’re really hungry or if you’re digging in to one of your favorite dishes. But that’s not always the case. One of the biggest things guiding how much you eat is portion size. Studies show that people eat more food, even if they don’t like it, when it’s served in a large container. So serve food on smaller plates to limit how much you eat.

Log Your Meals in a Food Journal

It takes just a few minutes a day and can make a big difference. Not only do these journals make you more aware of your food choices, but they also can help you stick to a healthy diet. In one study, people who kept food diaries over the course of a year lost more weight than those who didn’t. Try online tools, mobile apps, or plain old pencil and paper to find what works for you.

Eat More Beans

A satisfying, protein-rich meal doesn’t have to be built on an expensive slab of steak or pork. At only 25 cents per cup, dried beans are one of the best values at the grocery store. To save time, cook up a double or triple batch of beans and freeze them in 1- and 2-cup portions for fast meals later on. Don’t get stuck in a rut with any one kind: There’s a rainbow of options that can add variety to your diet.

Have Veggies at Breakfast

There’s no rule limiting vegetables to lunch and dinner. If you want more in your diet, breakfast is a great place to start. Cut one egg out of your favorite omelet and add cooked spinach, mushrooms, onions, or red peppers. Make a smoothie loaded with kale, apples, bananas, and yogurt. Vegetables are lower in calories than most other breakfast foods, and their fiber will keep you feeling full longer.

Cut Back on the Food Blogs

Ever find yourself drooling over photos and recipes on TV shows, magazines, or blogs? Seems harmless. But when you ogle those images of tasty dishes, you’re likely to be hit harder by cravings. Pictures of food can make your body produce more ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. To stick with your healthy habits, try to limit the foodie TV shows and blogs — and view them after you’ve eaten, not before.

Plan a Weekly Menu

It can be hard to think straight when you come home tired at the end of the day. It’s also the worst time to try to figure out what to make for dinner. You can save yourself from the drive-thru when you plan meals and have convenient dinner building blocks handy, like frozen vegetables. When you cook, make a double batch. Sliced and seasoned chicken means an almost instant stir-fry, and cooked ground beef makes for a speedy taco night.

Chop Right

When you bring your groceries home from the store, don’t just stash your veggies in the crisper. Instead, take a few minutes to cut your carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers into snack-friendly sticks. That way, when you get hungry, vegetables are just as easy to grab and eat as pretzels or potato chips. Hate chopping? Buy bite-sized veggies like baby carrots and grape tomatoes, or get the precut kinds.

Focus on the Positive

As you build healthy eating habits, find things you can add to your diet. Seek out cool new fruits beyond the usual apples and bananas, like kumquats or clementines. Pick up an unfamiliar vegetable at the farmers market, like a neon-colored cauliflower. You’re more likely to stay on track when you embrace what you can have instead of dwelling on things you want to limit, like junk food and sugary soda.

 

TOP 10 SUPER FOODS FOR WOMEN

Posted by Dan Buda on December 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

Top 10 super foods for women

What foods do you need to stay strong and healthy?

Weird and wacky super foods that are big on promises but sometimes short on substance change all the time. We’ve had yuzi fruit and chai  seeds to acacia berries and seaweed. These so-called  superfoods often have their moment in the spotlight and then fade away until the next one emerges.It can be hard to work out what’s the latest marketing ploy and what really are the best foods to eat. We asked the experts from the  British Dietetic Association for their advice on the healthiest foods for women – the real super foods to include in your  diet.

  1. Apples – We’ve all heard of apples! No strange and novel discovery there, but still a brilliant food to include in your  diet.

“It is best to eat apples with the  skin on as a lot of its  vitamin C is concentrated just under the  skin,” says registered dietitian, Perryn Carroll. “In addition to this, the skin provides a great source of  insoluble fibre that is good for gut health.”Fibre is essential for a healthy  digestive system. Insoluble fibre (‘roughage’) helps prevent  constipation. Apple flesh also contains a soluble fibre called pectin, which can help bind  cholesterol and lower  blood cholesterol levels.

2. Yoghurt-Yoghurt is an excellent source of protein,  calcium,  potassium,  zinc and  vitamins B6 and B12.

They are good for digestive and  bone health“If you’ve been on  antibiotics your gut is stripped of healthy bacteria so pick yoghurt with  probiotics or prebiotics to top up your natural levels,” says registered dietitian and BDA spokesperson Sioned Quirke. “Yoghurt contains  calcium which is essential for women’s  bone health, three  dairyfoods a day are recommended and a pot of yoghurt is an easy and portable option,” she says.

Always read the labels on yoghurt as some are high in  sugar, fat or both.

3. Oily fish – Salmon, sardines and mackerel contain the health giving omega-3 fats.

“Oily fish is a great source of omega-3s that may help with  heart disease prevention and is also a good source of  vitamin D, a fat soluble  vitamin which helps with bone health,” says Perryn.

“With oily fish the omega-3’s are in the flesh of the fish that’s why it’s a darker colour than white fish,” says Sioned.

“Evidence is still not conclusive,” says registered dietitian and spokesperson for the BDA Sasha Watkins, “but studies suggest that eating oily fish may be protective against macular degeneration which is a cause of blindness in your old age.”

Perryn says aim for at least one portion of oily fish per week, with women who are pregnant, or planning to be pregnant, or  breastfeeding not eating more than two portions per week.

4. Beans and pulses- Pulses are a great low fat protein source providing  carbohydrate, fibre and  iron.“They are an excellent source of protein, high in fibre with no saturated fat” says Sioned, “which helps with  bowel health and longer term  digestive problems.”

“The fibre found in pulses has been found to help with lowering  blood pressure,” says Perryn.

In studies published in the International Journal of  Cancer, researchers found that beans in general, and lentils in particular, may have some protective effects against breast cancer.

5. Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries not only taste good but are good for us too. They are high in  folic acid and vitamin C which offer anti-oxidant protection.

Anti-oxidants are thought to have  cancer fighting properties, says Sioned: “A lot of research is being done in this area but the medical profession doesn’t fully understand all of the properties and benefits at the moment.”

“Blueberries, blackberries and strawberries contain flavonoids which may be beneficial for  heart health due to their  antioxidant activity,” says Perryn.

Frozen berries are an alternative to fresh and are often cheaper.

6. Whole grains – Whole grains are a cornerstone of a healthy  diet and include foods like brown rice, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta and wholegrain  breakfast cereals.

“Wholegrain refers to the entire grain, meaning it contains all three layers of the grain in the product,” says Perryn.

“These layers include the fibre rich outer layer, the nutrient packed inner layer and central starch layer. In combination they work together to reduce the risk of developing many common diseases such as  heart disease,  stroke, some forms of cancer and  type 2 diabetes,” she adds.

“They are also good for bowel health, lowering  blood pressure and reducing cholesterol,” says Sioned.

Many are fortified with folic acid and iron which is particularly good for women as they are more prone to  anaemia.

7. Bananas – One of the most portable snacks and much healthier than a packet of crisps or a bar of  chocolate.

It may have a few more  calories than other  fruits but bananas are rich in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure.

They also contain  vitamin B6 for skin and  hair health.

Powdered extracts of banana and skin has been shown to have an antacid effect, but there’s no evidence so far for fresh bananas

8. Green vegetables- It’s good to include green non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and green beans in your diet.

Leafy greens are low in  calories and fat but  high in protein, fibre and iron.They’re also full of  vitamins and minerals like  magnesium, vitamin C and K., and very high in  vitamins

A review of six studies by the University of Leicester found that increased green leafy vegetable intake was associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“For women especially, try to go for leafy green veg because of their good iron content,” says Sioned, to ward off deficiency.

A 2014 study from scientists at University College London confirms the importance of vegetables and fruit in our diet.

Registered dietitian Sasha Watkins says: “It found eating seven or more portions of vegetables and fruit a day reduces the risk of death by cancer and by  heart diseaseby 25% and 31% respectively. The research also found that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruit.”

9. Eggs – An egg is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

“Eggs are protein packed with nutrients such as vitamins D, A, B2 and iron. Contrary to belief, eggs are fine to include in the diet and there are no restrictions to how many we can eat within a balanced diet,” says Perryn.

“Keep these in the fridge for quick meal ideas on busy nights or boil a few and save for salad or sandwich fillers,” she recommends.

10. Water – “This is a super fluid rather than a super food,” says Sioned.

Keeping hydrated is an important thing to do as most of our body is made up of water.

“The chemical signals in our brains for  dehydration and hunger are similar so don’t have a snack have a glass of water instead. You may be thirsty not hungry,” she adds.

Foods that really are super

So-called super foods come and go (that’s your hemp and goji berries!) but our experts recommend including the top 10 foods in your diet.

“We often overlook the health benefits of ordinary foods because they are everyday,” says Sasha. “We already know about them and they simply don’t make as ‘super sensational’ newspaper headlines.”

They are the building blocks of  healthy eating rather than one minute wonders that don’t always deliver on the hype.

Best Diet Tips Ever — 22 Ways to Stay on Track

Posted by Dan Buda on December 17, 2016 in Blog

Best Diet Tips Ever — 22 Ways to Stay on Track

Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.
Before you tear into that bag of potato chips, drink a glass of water first. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really all you needed. If plain water doesn’t cut it, try drinking flavored sparkling water or brewing a cup of fruit-infused herbal tea.

Tip No. 2: Be choosy about nighttime snacks.
Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. Snacking in front of the TV is one of the easiest ways to throw your diet off course. Either close down the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack.

Tip No. 3: Enjoy your favorite foods.
Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag. You can still enjoy your favorite foods — the key is moderation.

Tip No. 4: Eat several mini-meals during the day.
If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. But when you’re hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be a challenge. “Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight,” says obesity researcher Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD. She recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying most of them earlier in the day — dinner should be the last time you eat.

Tip No. 5: Eat protein at every meal.
Protein is the ultimate fill-me-up food — it’s more satisfying than carbs or fats and keeps you feeling full for longer. It also helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning. So be sure to incorporate healthy proteins like seafood, lean meat, egg whites, yogurt, cheese, soy, nuts, or beans into your meals and snacks.

Nutritional Guidelines

Tip No. 6: Spice it up.
Add spices or chilies to your food for a flavor boost that can help you feel satisfied. “Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and be more satisfying, so you won’t eat as much,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Malena Perdomo, RD.

Tip No. 7: Stock your kitchen with healthy, convenient foods.
Having ready-to-eat snacks and meals-in-minutes on hand sets you up for success. You’ll be less likely to hit the drive-through or order a pizza if you can throw together a healthy meal in five or 10 minutes. Here are some essentials to keep on hand: frozen vegetables, whole-grain pasta, reduced-fat cheese, canned tomatoes, canned beans, pre-cooked grilled chicken breast, whole grain tortillas or pitas, and bags of salad greens.

Tip No. 8: Order children’s portions at restaurants.
Ordering a child-size entree is a great way to cut calories and keep your portions reasonable. This has become such a popular trend that most servers won’t bat an eye when you order off the kids’ menu. Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look like more, and if your mind is satisfied, your stomach likely will be, too.

Tip No. 9: Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.
Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year. “You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Tip No. 10: Always eat breakfast.
It seems like an easy diet win: Skip breakfast and you’ll lose weight. Yet many studies show the opposite can be true. Not eating breakfast can make you hungry later, leading to too much nibbling and binge eating at lunch and dinner. To lose weight — and keep it off — always make time for a healthy morning meal, like high-fiber cereal, low-fat milk, and fruit.

Tip No. 11: Include fiber in your diet.
Fiber aids digestion, prevents constipation, and lowers cholesterol — and can help with weight loss. Most people get only half the fiber they need. To reap fiber’s benefits, most women should get about 25 grams daily, while men need about 38 grams — or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. Good fiber sources include oatmeal, beans, whole grain foods, nuts, and most fruits and vegetables.

Tip No. 12: Clean the cupboards of fattening foods.
If you have chips in the pantry and ice cream in the freezer, you’re making weight loss harder than it has to be. Reduce temptation by purging the cupboards of fattening foods. Want an occasional treat? Make sure you have to leave the house to get it — preferably by walking.

Tip No. 13: Lose weight slowly.
If you’re losing weight but not as fast as you’d like, don’t get discouraged.Dropping pounds takes time, just like gaining them did. Experts suggest setting a realistic weight loss goal of about one to two pounds a week. If you set your expectations too high, you may give up when you don’t lose weight fast enough. Remember, you start seeing health benefits when you’ve lost just 5%-10% of your body weight.

Fitness Assements

Tip No. 14: Weigh yourself once a week.
People who weigh themselves regularly tend to have more weight loss success. But most experts suggest weighing yourself only once a week, so you’re not derailed by daily fluctuations. When you weigh yourself, follow these tips: Weigh yourself at the same time of day, on the same day of the week, on the same scale, and in the same clothes.

Tip No. 15: Get enough sleep.
When you’re sleep deprived, your body overproduces the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin but under-produces the hormone leptin, which tells you when you’re full. Getting enough sleep may make you feel rested and full and keep you from doing unnecessary snacking.

Tip No. 16: Understand portion sizes.
We’re so used to super-sizing when we eat out that it’s easy to carry that mind-set home. To right-size your diet, use a kitchen scale and measuring cups to measure your meals for a week or two. Use smaller plates and glasses to downsize your portions. Split restaurant servings in half — making two meals out of one big one. Portion out snack servings instead of eating them directly from the container.

Tip No. 17: Eat more fruits and vegetables.
The best “diet” is one where you get to eat more food, not less. If you eat more fruits and vegetables, you shouldn’t feel as hungry because these nutrient-rich foods are also high in fiber and water, which can give you a feeling of fullness. Snacking can be a good thing as long as you choose smart snacks.

Tip No. 18: Limit alcohol to weekends.
Alcohol contains empty calories: a glass of wine has 175, a pint of beer about 253. Because our bodies don’t require those calories, they can get converted into fat. If you enjoy an occasional drink, consider a compromise. Enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage on weekends only, with just one drink for women per day, two for men.

Tip No. 19: Chew sugarless gum.
The next time you want to grab a fattening snack, reach for some sugar-free gum instead. Chewing some types of gum gives you fresh breath and can also help manage hunger, control snack cravings, and aid in weight loss. (Keep in mind, however, that excess sorbitol, a sugar alcohol sometimes used in low calorie gums, can have an laxative effect in some people.) Although gum might make you eat less, it doesn’t mean you can stop eating right. A good diet and exercise are still important.

Tip No. 20: Keep a food diary.
A simple pen and paper can dramatically boost your weight loss. Studies show the act of writing down what you eat and drink tends to make you more aware of what, when, and how much you’re consuming — leading you to ultimately take in fewer calories. One study found that people who kept a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much as those who only kept a diary one day a week or less.

Tip No. 21: Celebrate success (but not with food).
You lost five pounds this month and walked every other day? Time to celebrate! Rewarding weight loss success really can encourage more success, so revel in your achievements. Buy a CD, take in a movie, and set a prize for the next milestone. Just don’t celebrate with a sundae or deep dish pizza.

Tip No. 22: Get help from family and friends.
Getting support can help you reach your weight loss goals. So tell family and friends about your efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. Maybe they’ll join you in exercising, eating right, and losing weight. When you feel like giving up, they’ll help you, keep you honest, and cheer you on — making the whole experience a lot easier.

Does Your Workout Really Work?

Posted by Dan Buda on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

Done right, these seven exercises give you results that you can see and feel. You can you do them at a gym or at home.Good technique is a must. If you’re not active now, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor first.

1. Walking
Why it’s a winner: You can walk anywhere, anytime. Use a treadmill or hit the streets. All you need is a good pair of shoes. How to: If you’re just starting to walk for fitness, begin with five to 10 minutes at a time. Add a few minutes to each walk until you get to at least 30 minutes per walk. Then, quicken your pace or add hills.
2. Interval Training
Why it’s a winner: Interval training boosts your fitness levels and burns more calories to help you lose weight. The basic idea is to vary the intensity within your workout, instead of going at a steady pace.
How to: Whether you walk, run, dance, or do another cardio exercise, push up the pace for a minute or two. Then back off for 2 to 4 minutes. Exactly how long your interval should last depends on the length of your workout and how much recovery time you need. A trainer can fine-tune the pacing.. Repeat the intervals throughout your workout.
3. Squats
Why it’s a winner: Squats work several muscle groups — your quadriceps , hamstrings, and gluteals– at the same time.
How to: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair. Keep your knees right over your ankles. Add dumbbells once you can do at least 12 reps with good form.
Squats Done Right
Practice with a real chair to master this move. First, sit all the way down in the chair and stand back up. Next, barely touch the chair’s seat before standing back up. Work up to doing the squats without a chair, keeping the same form
4. Lunges
Why it’s a winner: Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles of your lower body. They can also improve your balance.
How to: Take a big step forward, keeping your back straight. Bend your front knee to about 90 degrees. Keep weight on your back toes and drop the back knee toward the floor. Don’t let the back knee touch the floor.
Lunges: Extra Challenge
Try stepping not just forward, but also back and out to each side, with each lunge. Add dumbbells to lunges once your form is down pat.

5. Push-Ups
Why it’s a winner: Push-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
How to: Facing down, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your toes on the floor. If that’s too hard, start with your knees on the floor. Your body should make a straight line from shoulders to knees or feet. Keep your rear-end muscles and abs engaged. Bend your elbows to lower down until you almost touch the floor. Lift back up by pushing through your elbows, Keep your torso in a straight line throughout the move.
Push-Ups: Too Hard? Too Easy?
If you’re new to push-ups you can start doing them by leaning into a kitchen counter. As you get stronger, go lower, using a desk or chair. Then you can move onto the floor, starting with your knees bent. For a challenge, put your feet on a stair, bench, or couch while keeping good form.
6. Crunches — Method A
Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your head resting in your palms. Press your lower back down. Contract your abdominal muscles (abs) and in one smooth move, raise your head, then your neck, shoulders, and upper back off the floor. Tuck in your chin slightly. Lower back down and repeat.
Crunches — Method B
You can also do crunches with your feet off the floor and knees bent. This technique may keep you from arching your back. It also uses your hip flexors (muscles on your upper thighs below your hip bones).
Mastering Crunches
Keep your neck in line with your spine. Tuck in your chin so it doesn’t stick out. Breathe normally. To keep chest and shoulders open, keep your elbows out of your line of vision.
7. Bent-Over Row
Why it’s a winner: You work all the major muscles of your upper back, as well as your biceps.
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, and bend forward at the hips. Engage your abs without hunching your back. Hold weights beneath your shoulders, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and lift both hands toward the sides of your body. Pause, then slowly lower your hands to the starting position. Can perform with a bar or dumbbells.
Mastering Bent-Over Rows
First, do this move without weights so you learn the right motions. If you have trouble doing bent-over rows while standing up, support your weight by sitting on an incline bench, facing backward.

This source does not provide medical advice.

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