Category: Blog

Is It Better to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

Posted by Dan Buda on August 4, 2017 in Blog

Is It Better to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

It turns out there may be something to the gym floor “bro science” of exercising on an empty stomach to fire up that coveted fat-burning metabolism. Research published in the March 2017 edition of the American Journal of Physiology–Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that eating versus fasting before a workout can affect gene expression in adipose tissue (your fat stores) in response to exercise.

In the study, British scientists had a small group of overweight men walk at 60% of their maximum oxygen intake for 60 minutes in the morning either in a fasted or a fed state (a carb-rich meal 2 hours before exercise). The research team collected adipose tissue samples before exercise and again 1 hour afterward.

It turned out that adipose gene expression differed between the two trials. In the fasted state, an uptick in genes (specifically two called PDK4 and HSL) indicated an increase in the use of stored fat to fuel metabolism. When subjects exercised after eating, these genes decreased, which could indicate less fat-burning.

After eating, the researchers suggested, our adipose tissue is affected by the food and will not respond in the same way. The upshot is that for people who are eager to shed a few fat pounds, working up a sweat in a fasted state may bring about more favorable metabolic changes in adipose tissue to help treat Buddha-belly.

Still, it remains to be determined whether this outcome would apply to more intense bouts of exercise. Many people find it challenging to keep up the pace in a vigorous workout when their stomach is growling—and if pace suffers, calorie burning will drop overall. It’s important to note that we’re talking fat-burning here, not performance.

Can you eat your way calm? Which foods which can affect your mood?

Posted by Dan Buda on July 10, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford Dan Buda , talks about different foods which can affect your mood.

Say No to Ice Cream, Say Yes to Berries

As much as you may want to, you can’t make yourself feel better with a bowl of your favourite ice cream. It won’t help — the problem is all that sugar. Spikes in your blood sugar can bring on changes in your hormone levels. They can start with “jitteriness” and eventually lead to crashes. But other foods may help boost your mood.

Berries

These have lots of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from stress and may help ease feelings of anxiety. You can get them from nuts, beans, walnuts, or green vegetables, too.

Spinach

If this one leaves a bad taste in your mouth, almost any leafy green will do — kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard. The key is the magnesium, which may help you feel calmer. Make sure you get enough of that mineral to help keep things in check.

Oatmeal

This is a complex carb — it gets into your system slowly and gives you a steady flow of energy that can help keep you on an even keel. It also can give you a boost of a brain chemical called serotonin that can lift your mood.

Dark Chocolate

The flavonoids in the cocoa help protect your cells. They’re a type of antioxidant that may also help lower your blood pressure, boost the blood flow to your brain and heart, and make you less anxious. The dark stuff — at least 70% cocoa — is best, but don’t overdo it. The caffeine in chocolate can make anxiety worse if you have too much, and no one needs a lot of extra fat and calories.

Oysters

The zinc in these saltwater mollusks may help boost your mood. If oysters aren’t your thing, you can get it from cashews, liver, beef, or eggs, too.

Oranges

You may think of vitamin C when you think of these citrus fruits, and that’s a big reason it might help your anxiety. Studies have shown that a diet rich in it may help calm you and put you in a better frame of mind.

Sardines

These little fish aren’t for everyone, but they have lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help with depression and anxiety. The reason for that may be related to the way they can ease inflammation. If sardines are too fishy for you, try salmon or albacore tuna, which are lighter but also have plenty of omega-3s.

Coffee

This one can be a blessing or a curse — the issue is the caffeine. A couple of cups of black coffee a day may boost your mood and energy, and up to four cups seems to be OK for most people. But more than that can make you jittery and anxious, and some people are more sensitive to it.

Tea

For some, the ritual of a cup of tea has a calming effect. Certain herbs — lavender and chamomile, for example — may help, too, along with the antioxidants in the tea leaves themselves. Just make sure you don’t get too much caffeine. Many teas have that, too.

Sauerkraut

Cabbage has folic acid, vitamin C, and some B vitamins that may help ease anxiety. If it’s left to ferment — stew in its own juices — bacteria break down sugar and other things and make it taste sour. These “good” bacteria help keep your gut healthy. They also play a part in making serotonin, a calming brain chemical.

Liver

Calf is best, but chicken liver works, too. Both are loaded with B vitamins and folic acid that help make brain chemicals that affect the way you feel. You can get B vitamins from avocados and almonds, but they don’t have B12, which affects your mood and energy level. If you’d rather pass on the liver, you can get B12 in eggs, fish, or chicken.

16 ways to lower your cholesterol

Posted by Dan Buda on June 8, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer Dan Buda, talks about 16 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol

Simple Steps Add Up to lower cholesterol

Has your doctor said you have high cholesterol? Then you know you need to change your diet and lifestyle to lower cholesterol and your chance of getting heart disease. Even if you get a prescription for a cholesterol drug to help, you’ll still need to change your diet and become more active for heart health. Start with these steps.

1. Know Good and Bad

Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol. But many people have too much, especially the “bad” kind, or LDL cholesterol. That can happen if you eat too much saturated fat, found mainly in foods from animals. If your LDL level is too high, plaque can build up in your heart’s arteries and lead to heart disease. The “good” cholesterol, HDL, helps clear LDL from your blood.

2. Use Your Hands

It’s easy to eat too much, especially when you eat out and the portions are huge. That can lead to weight gain and higher cholesterol. What’s a true portion? There’s a “handy” way to tell. One serving of meat or fish is about what fits in your palm. One serving of fresh fruit is about the size of your fist. And a snack of nuts or serving of cooked vegetables, rice, or pasta should fit in your cupped hand.

3. Think Delicious and Nutritious

Load your plate with fruits and vegetables — aim for five to nine servings each day — to bring down your LDL level. Antioxidants in these foods may provide the benefit, along with fiber. And you may eat less fatty food if you fill up on produce. Bonus: You’ll also help lower blood pressure and keep your weight in check.

4.Boost Your Omega-3s

You can eat fish twice a week. It’s a great source of protein and omega-3s, which are a type of fat your body needs. Omega-3s help lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. They may also cut down on cholesterol, slowing the growth of plaque in arteries. Go for fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines. Grill, roast, bake, or broil, but don’t fry them.

5. Start Your Day With Whole Grains

A bowl of oatmeal is a smart choice. It fills you up, making it easier not to overeat at lunch. The fiber also curbs LDL cholesterol. Whole grains aren’t just for breakfast. You’ve got plenty of options to try later in the day, such as brown or wild rice, popcorn, and barley.

6. Go Nuts

Need a snack? A handful of almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or other nuts is a tasty treat. They are high in monounsaturated fat, which lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol but leaves HDL “good” cholesterol alone. Studies show that people who eat about an ounce of nuts a day are less likely to get heart disease. Keep the portion small, so you limit fat and calories. And avoid those covered in sugar, chocolate, or a lot of salt.

7. Make It Unsaturated

You need some fat in your diet, but probably less than you think. Plus, the type of fat matters. Unsaturated fats — like those found in canola, olive, and safflower oils — lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and may help raise HDL “good” cholesterol. Saturated fats — like those found in meat, full-fat dairy, butter, and palm oil — raise LDL cholesterol. Remember, good fats have just as many calories, so use just a bit.

8. Pick the Best Carbs

Beans and whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat have more fiber and don’t spike your blood sugar. They will lower cholesterol and make you feel full longer. Other carbs, like those found in white bread, white potatoes, white rice, and pastries, boost blood sugar levels more quickly so you feel hungry sooner, which can lead you to overeat.

9. Go for 30

Just half an hour of physical activity 5 days a week can lower your bad and raise your good cholesterol levels. More exercise is even better. Being active also helps you reach and keep a healthy weight, which cuts your chance of developing clogged arteries. You don’t have to exercise for 30 minutes straight. You can break it up into 10-minute sessions. Or go for 20 minutes of harder exercise, like running, three times a week.

10. Walk It Off

It’s simple, convenient, and all you need is a good pair of shoes. Aerobic exercise (“cardio”) such as brisk walking lowers the chance of stroke and heart disease, helps you lose weight, keeps bones strong, and is great for your mood and stress management. If you’re not active now, start with a 10-minute walk and build up from there.

11. Go Beyond the Gym

You can be active anywhere. Garden, play with your kids, hike, dance, walk your dog — if you’re moving, it’s good! Even housework goes on the list if it gets your heart rate up. Do as much as possible, as often as you can, wherever your day takes you.

12. Be Smart When You Eat Out

Restaurant food can be loaded with saturated fat, calories, and sodium. Even “healthy” choices may come in supersize portions. To stay on track:

•Choose broiled, baked, steamed, and grilled foods — not fried.

•Get sauces on the side.

•Ask for half of your meal to be boxed up before you get it.

13. Check the Label

What’s the serving size? The nutrition info may look good, but does the package contain two servings instead of one?

If it says “whole grain,” read the ingredients. Whole wheat or whole grain should be the first one.

Note the saturated fat, sodium, calories, and cholesterol. Are they OK for your daily plan? If not, what will you choose to change?

14. Stay Chill

Over time, out-of-control stress becomes a problem. It raises your blood pressure, and for some people, it might mean higher cholesterol levels. Make it a priority to relax. It can be as simple as taking some slow, deep breaths. You can also meditate, pray, socialise with people you enjoy, and exercise. And if some of the things that stress you out are things you can change, go for it!

15. Check Your Weight

Extra pounds make you more likely to get high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. These all affect the lining of your arteries, making them more likely to collect plaque from cholesterol. Losing weight, especially belly fat, raises your good and lowers your bad cholesterol.

16. Keep Tabs

Celebrate your progress! Remember that you’re in charge of your health and that you can turn your cholesterol around. See your doctor regularly so you know how it’s going. Working together, you’ll keep your heart going strong.

15 Things That Slow Your Metabolism

Posted by Dan Buda on June 3, 2017 in Blog

 Dan Buda , Personal trainer in Oxford talks about few things that can can slow your metabolism.

 

1. Your Genes

Metabolism is how your body changes food into energy. If your body is slow at burning calories while you rest or sleep, you probably got that from your parents, through your genes.

What you can do: Since you can’t change your genes, focus on your habits. One of the best ways to pep up your metabolism is to get more exercise. Look for ways to sneak more activity into your day.

2. Hormones

A shift in your hormones can put the brakes on your body’s energy use. That can make you tired. Some conditions, like an underactive or overactive thyroid and diabetes, are hormonal diseases that affect your metabolism. Stress also releases hormones that can trigger a slow-down.

What you can do: If you have a medical condition, keep up with your treatment. And make it a priority to nip stress in the bud.

3. Your Lack of Sleep

Good shut-eye helps your metabolism stay steady. When you toss and turn night after night, it’s harder for your body to use energy well, which can make conditions like diabetes and obesity more likely.

What you can do: Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re not there now, try it for a week and see how much better you feel.

4. Strict Diets

How you lose weight matters. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism switches to slow-mo. Severe diets, especially when you also exercise, teach your body to make do with fewer calories. That can backfire, because your body clings to those calories, which makes it harder to take weight off.

What you can do: Although it may take longer, keep your weight-loss plan realistic, not drastic.

5. Trendy Salt

Sea salt is a darling for foodies and chefs. You’ll find it in top restaurants and gourmet kitchens. But it lacks iodine, which your thyroid needs to manage your metabolism.

What you can do: Just a dash of iodized table salt meets that need. Or enjoy an iodine-rich food, like shrimp.

6. Water

Without enough H2O, your metabolism can stall. How about a tall, cool glass of water? Some studies show that it helps the body burn energy and fuels weight loss. At any temperature, water also helps you fill up, so you eat less.

What you can do: Sip it throughout the day. You also can eat more foods that are naturally rich in water, such as watermelon or cucumbers.

7. You Drink Decaf

It’s a good option if you like a cup before bedtime. But you’ll miss out on the jolt of caffeine that gets your metabolic motor running. Remember that some research shows coffee can affect blood sugar levels. So you may need to limit it if you have diabetes.

What you can do: If you can’t handle caffeine, lean into the other tips in this slideshow. Many things can help your metabolism, and you’ll want to use as many of them as possible.

8. Not Enough Calcium

You need it for more than your bones. It’s also a key nutrient for a swift metabolism, among the other positive things it does for your body. Many people don’t get enough of it.

What you can do: There are many delicious options! You can get calcium from milk and dairy products, of course. It’s also in many fortified foods (such as cereals, orange juice, and soy or almond milk), canned salmon, turnip greens, kale, and tofu.

9. Your Thermostat Is Set Too High

It’s not always a good idea to heat things up in the bedroom — at least not when it comes to your metabolism. Room temperatures of 75 degrees keep your body from making brown fat, which is loaded with calorie-burning cells.

What you can do: Turning the thermostat down to 66 degrees before bedtime boosts brown-fat levels. When it’s cold outside, taking regular brisk walks also may do that.

10. Your Meds

Some drugs can slow down your metabolism. These include many antidepressants and certain antipsychotics doctors use to treat schizophrenia. Many other medications, like those that slow the heart rate, also can have that effect.

What you can do: Let your doctor know if you think your prescriptions might be a problem. There may be something you could take instead.

11. Cutting Carbs

Sure, easing up on unhealthy carbohydrates can help you manage your weight and burn fat faster. But your body needs them to make insulin. Go low-carb all the time and you make less of this key hormone. Your metabolism stalls and you don’t burn as many calories as you once did.

What you can do: Get your carbs from fruits, vegetables, and grains that are rich in nutrients, like sweet potatoes and whole wheat flour. They’ll keep your metabolism in check and head off those cravings that can take you off-track.

12. Being Nocturnal

Catching the red-eye flight or working the night shift messes with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Those changes can lead to a sluggish metabolism and other problems like diabetes and obesity.

What you can do: Reset your body clock. If you take a lot of red-eye flights, get a different departure time. If you work at night and can’t change, talk to your doctor about healthy ways you can get on track.

13. Changing Meal Times

When you eat is as important as what you eat.  Skipping meals or grabbing a bite on the go creates social — and metabolic — jet lag. Shifting meal times can wreak havoc with your metabolism and raise your risk for heart disease.

What you can do: Consider a regular mealtime with your family, and stick to it.

14. Chronic Stress

When you are in a stressful situation, your body makes a hormone called cortisol. It’s meant to give you a quick boost of energy. But if you’re stuck in a stressed-out zone, the body thinks you still need to fight, so it keeps making cortisol. High levels of this hormone make it harder for your body to use insulin. That puts the brakes on your metabolism and fuels weight gain.

What you can do: Find ways you can de-stress. Breathe deep. Do something you love. Find what works for you.

15. A High-Fat Diet

Eating loads of fatty foods like greasy burgers and buttery goodies is never a healthy idea. It changes how your body breaks down foods and nutrients. Your body’s ability to use insulin is affected, too. That’s called insulin resistance, and it’s been linked to obesity and diabetes.

What you can do: Reach for more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. Beans, peppers, and shellfish are good options, too.

Few things you can do for your health today

Posted by Dan Buda on May 28, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford , Dan Buda talks about few things You Can Do for Your Health Today

Eat Slowly

This gives your brain the chance to get the signal that you’re full, so you’re less likely to overeat. And if you take it slow, you’re more likely to think about what you’re eating and make sensible, healthy choices.

Socialize

It’s not about how many people you know or how often you see them. What matters is a real connection with others. It can make you happier, more productive, and less likely to have health problems. So call up a friend and go to dinner, or join a team or club to make some new ones.

Ditch the Juice, Eat the Fruit

If you like orange juice, have an orange instead. Even 100% pure juice loses nutrition when you process it, and it can put a lot of hidden sugar in your diet. On the other hand, actual fruits are good sources of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid. And they’re low in fat, sodium, and calories.

Take Time Off

It’s a time when you can bond with family and friends, which is good for your mental and physical health. People who take more vacations live longer and are less likely to have heart disease and other health problems.

Watch the Fat

It’s not as clear-cut as it sounds. You definitely want to keep an eye on trans fats, which are added to some foods (like frozen pizza and baked goods) to keep them fresh. They’ve been linked to heart disease. But some fat — from dairy, whole eggs, fish, avocado, or nuts, for example — is good for you as part of a balanced diet. And high-fat dairy may even help you lose weight better than low fat.  This may be because the fat satisfies your hunger better than other calories.

Manage Your Stress

We all have stress in our lives. It makes your muscles tense and your heart race. If this happens a lot — during your daily commute, for example — and you don’t handle it well, it can cause serious health problems, including high blood pressure, ulcers, and heart disease. So take time to breathe, do something that calms you, and try to accept what you cannot change — like rush-hour traffic.

Cut Back on Sugar

Most of us get way more of it than we need. It’s not just the added calories and the lack of nutritional value: It also can make your blood sugar spike and then crash, and that leaves you tired, hungry, and irritable — “hangry.”

Be Active

Exercise is a proven way to improve your health, your mental well-being, and even your libido. You don’t have to sign up for the New York Marathon — just get your heart rate up for 30 minutes or so a few times a week. Gardening works, and so does a walk around the block. If you can’t make it a habit on your own, try to make it social: Join a local sports league or plan regular runs with a friend.

Keep Moving

If you work in an office, get up and walk around every hour or so, or try a standing desk for part of the day. You’ll burn more calories, improve your circulation, and stay more alert. It may even help prevent certain health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Eat Your Greens

Kale, spinach, collards, Romaine, arugula, bok choy, broccolini — make sure you get plenty of these leafy green vegetables. They’re chock full of nutrients, low in calories, and have loads of fiber, which fills you up and satisfies your hunger.

Dance

It keeps your mind sharp because it’s a skill that involves body movement, and that’s especially good for your brain. It’s also social and can be lots of fun, which bring health benefits of their own. And you might not even notice that you’re exercising!

Get Your ZZZs

A lack of sleep can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. If that’s not enough reason to get your ZZZs, it also causes car crashes and other accidents. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours each night.

Get Outside

The sunlight helps set your sleep clock and leads to more exercise. You’ll also get more vitamin D, which many Americans don’t get enough of. It’s important for cell function, mental health, and heart health. But don’t stay in the sun too long, and wear sunscreen. Too much sun is linked to skin cancer.

HOW MUCH WATER IS IN YOUR DIET?

Posted by Dan Buda on May 28, 2017 in Blog

How Much Water Is in Your Diet?

Drinking liquids isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. You typically get about 20% of your water each day from food. You can get even more if you eat certain things. And there are benefits to taking in water through food: You absorb it more slowly and get nutrients along the way.

Cucumbers

They’re 95% water and low in calories. They also may help fight inflammation and might even slow the aging process. They’re great in a salad or as an edible scoop for dips.

Carrots

This one may be a surprise. Crunchy and dense, you wouldn’t think they’re full of water. But they are, around 90%. And they’re loaded with beta carotene and other antioxidants that protect you against cancer and keep your heart strong. Add them to a salad or have them as a snack.

Zucchini

This green squash that grows like a weed in the South is 95% water. It has antioxidants — things that help protect your cells from damage — including two that are good for your eyes. It’s great grilled or roasted in the oven.

Iceberg Lettuce

It’s 95% water, and while it has fewer nutrients than some other greens, it does give you a few things. Besides fiber — which helps keep you regular — it also delivers potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous — all essential minerals that can help keep you healthy.

Spinach

Here’s a green leafy veggie that can be used raw in a salad or sauteed as a side dish. It doesn’t have quite as much water as iceberg lettuce, but it’s loaded with vitamin K, folate, manganese, and magnesium, plus antioxidants that help fight inflammation and cancer.

Celery

It has a satisfying crunch and is still 95% water. It’s also low in calories and high in vitamin K, folate, and potassium. And celery is good for digestion because it has lots of fiber and helps prevent inflammation in your digestive system.

Cauliflower

You may not have thought of this one, but it’s 92% water. It’s also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and other essentials. And it has other nutrients that may help lower cholesterol and protect you against cancer. But don’t boil it — roast it to keep in the nutrients.

Soup

No surprise here: The whole idea of soup is that it’s largely liquid. But it’s a great way to get fiber and nutrients as well — and there’s one for every taste. Make broth from fish, chicken, or vegetables, and add almost anything to it, from beans to greens and meats — even pasta. Homemade chicken soup is not only good for hydration, but it also might help fight the common cold.

Tomatoes

They’re 95% water, and they can add flavor and sweetness to a sandwich or salad. They have lots of antioxidants, including one called lycopene that may help fight cancer. They also can help lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and may boost your overall heart health.

Watermelon

This summer treat is a good way to stay hydrated when it’s hot. It’s sweet, but low in calories, and can quench your thirst, thanks to its 91% water content. Like tomatoes, it has lots of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect your cells from sun damage and help your skin.

Strawberries

They’re 91% water and also have lots of antioxidants, especially flavonoids — chemicals that help your brain stay sharp and healthy. Eat them for dessert with a bit of whipped cream, or put them in a summer salad.

Yogurt

It’s 85% water and a great source of protein and electrolytes that make your heart and other organs work the way they should. It also has bacteria (probiotics) that are good for digestion and help keep you regular. Have some with a few strawberries to get even more water in your afternoon snack.

Oatmeal

Made with water or low-fat or skim milk, it can help keep you hydrated and give your heart a boost. It can lower your cholesterol levels and may even help ward off type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. It’s a healthy way to start the day — as long as you watch the added sugar.

Grapefruit

That sour bite can sure wake you up in the morning. Plus, at 90% water, it will help keep your body hydrated. It’s also full of fiber and nutrients, especially vitamin C, which helps your immune system and can protect your cells against damage. But it can cause problems if you take certain medications, so check with your doctor first if you take any prescription drugs.

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.

stop your soft drinks habit

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 Blog

Personal trainer , Dan Buda talks about 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 top 10 super 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

Dan Buda talks about 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.

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