Smart Weight Loss Archives

How Your Taste Buds Can Help You Lose Weight

apple-15687_640It’s no big secret that people have different taste preferences. Some of us gleefully devour arugula salads for lunch, while others won’t touch greens unless they’re baked and smothered in cheese (and sometimes not even then). Some people gulp down pumpkin spice lattes; others go into sugar shock after just one sip.

“When it comes to taste, each one of us is hardwired differently,” says Valerie Duffy, RD, professor of nutritional science at the University of Connecticut. And emerging research is showing that our flavor preferences may affect our waistlines and health in surprising ways. Check out the fascinating scoop on exactly what’s going on inside your mouth and how to tap your taste buds to dump unwanted pounds.

Continue reading…

Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

Fit and Fat photo by TipsTimesAdminGetting rid of your belly bulge is important for more than just vanity’s sake. Excess abdominal fat—particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a “beer gut”—is a predictor of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers. If diet and exercise haven’t done much to reduce your pooch, then your hormones, your age, and other genetic factors may be the reason why. Read on for 11 possible reasons why your belly fat won’t budge.

Continue reading…

How Quickly Can You Lose Weight?

diet-398613_640Take your average guy or gal that decides they’re committed to finally losing that extra weight that’s crept on over the years. They’re going to eat healthy (primally, of course), start working out, and stop all the nonsense they know to be unhealthy. This might be you.

A few days go by, then a week. The scale is budging, but barely. “This is going to take forever! How long is this going to take?

See more…

diet-398613_640While they often begin as logical and innocuous, “I’ll start Monday” and numerous other overused cliches stall fat loss and inhibit us from reaching our full potential.

Any of these seven self-sabotaging sayings sound familiar?

“I workout rigorously so I metabolize sugar better than other people.”
During my personal training days, I heard this often, usually from clients who treated themselves post-workout to fro-yo or some high-sugar impact smoothie.

“I do intermittent fasting and so I can eat whatever I want during my ‘feeding phase.’”
You’ve diligently fasted for hours or even days, and that ravenous aftermath means you’ll devour anything within eyesight.

“I eat healthy all week so I can splurge on the weekends.”
Sorry, but your body is a biochemistry lab, not a bank account. You can’t “save” calories and spend them elsewhere.

Continue reading…

Why is Inulin Found in So Many Diet Foods?

Image by Abbie yangNutrition research has shown that protein and fiber help people with satiety. While most Americans consume adequate amounts of protein or more, fiber consumption is way below the recommended value of 25 grams per day.

Dietary fibers are carbohydrates that do not get absorbed by our digestive system. They help us feel fuller, so we eat less, and they fill an important role in intestinal chemistry, or what some people call “keeping regular”. It’s important to get enough fiber into our system in order to keep the pipes flowing. Unfortunately, modern diets have depleted fiber from most people’s meals, through highly refined foods.

Read more…

Four Q’s to Successful Fat Loss

Fit Photo by Life Mental Health

1. Questions

Many folk fail to ask themselves why they want to lose fat. By not asking detailed enough questions, you fall victim to only giving yourself vague reasons and vague goals. If you don’t know exactly where the goal is you will find it almost impossible to score.

2. Quantity

Make sure you absolutely know how much you should be eating for your activity level, and body size. (Height and frame type). Eating too little can be as self-defeating as eating too much.

The other quantities you absolutely must know are the size and weight you want to be when you reach your target. Notice that was size and weight. The most important of these is actually the size you want to be, as your weight can be influenced by the type of exercise you do to help achieve your goal.

3. Quality

You really are what you eat. People who eat junk and processed food on a consistent basis really do have lower health levels than those who take full responsibility for what they put into their bodies.

Just have a look at the long list of preservative and taste enhancers that you find on the ingredients list of commercially produced food.

The only way you can almost guarantee not to be slowly poisoned by them is to prepare your food from quality, fresh and preferably organically sourced ingredients. Which for the most part need not cost any more if you do you shopping wisely.

4. Quitting

In a word… Don’t

Churchill’s admonition to never, never, never give up was spot on particularly for those in the battle against the bulge.

That seemingly weeks going by with no movement in the scales does not mean your overall condition is not improving either. And remeber – using weight to measure how much you have lost is not the best way to see how you are doing anyway

The Metabolism myth

Healthy Photo by artistlike

You eat less than your skinny friend but still put on weight – can that be true?

It is true that our metabolism – the rate at which we process the food we eat – varies from person to person.

What is not clear is why two people can appear to eat virtually the same amount of food, which causes one to be thin and the other to pile on the pounds.

We uncover some home truths…

Many of us have friends who seemingly can eat anything they want and never put on weight. Whereas there are some of us who can just look at a slice of cake and we can feel our waistline getting bigger by the second. Whilst metabolism may have some effect, the answer is not as simple as we may think.

The Test

In this test, two friends – Cindy and Michelle – were the volunteers. They both have very different shaped bodies. Cindy was very slim while Michelle was nearly 15kg over her desired weight.

They both thought that the amount that you ate was really down to your metabolic rate.

Over the course of ten days, both Cindy and Michelle were watched closely and also asked to record how much food they ate in their food diaries.

However, it wasn’t left entirely to chance, or the honesty of the two ladies! At the beginning of the test they were each given half a litre of doubly labelled water. This is water in which both the hydrogen and the oxygen have been partly replaced with an uncommon isotope of these elements, in this case a non-radioactive form of deuterium and oxygen 18.

By doing this, it was possible to see exactly how many calories each of the girls were consuming, as well as the energy they were using just by moving around, by examining a urine sample each day.

It won’t be too much of a surprise that by the end of the week, the urine samples didn’t match the food diaries! The urine samples showed that although they did much the same amount of activity, Cindy actually ate 50% less each day than Michelle did.

Here is a simple but stark fact, and it may fly in the face of a lot of things that you understand, the fact is that the larger you are, the higher amount of energy your body will use, even at rest.

This means that your metabolic rate is higher as well. If you think about it, this is obvious, because even though you are at complete rest, larger people need more energy to pump the blood around the body and keep moving. You could use the analogy of a big car, having a big engine, so it uses more fuel to move itself around. In the same way, a bigger person uses more energy to move themselves around.

So the next time you’re tempted to blame your metabolism for your weight, remember, here’s the simple stark truth.

Some people eat less.

The other thing that should be pointed out is that whilst our two friends thought they both ate about the same, remember, Cindy ate 50% less than Michelle, and no-one was more surprised about that than her!

Now it is possible to make your metabolism work faster. One of the simplest ways of doing that is by exercising to the point where you start to be out of breath.

Once your body gets the message that it needs to ‘up’ the energy level – it will continue to do so even when the exercise has stopped.

That means you’ll be using up more calories even when you’re sleeping.

Snack Box Diet Food Preperation

Snack Box Diet Food Preperation

This is one problem you won’t have with the snack box diet as when you think about it, you are preparing all your meals for the day at the same time. And even if your still having to prepare meals for the rest of the family, it won’t really take up any more time.

The real keys here are planning and using your time wisely.

Planning is virtually self-explanatory.

With most diets you would be encouraged to sit down at the beginning of the week and sensibly plan what it is you’re going to eat throughout the week or even the month. With the snack box diet this is done for you.

Not only that but the shopping list has also been taken care of as well.

So there is a huge time gain over other diet systems.

Wise Use of Time

This again is fairly self-explanatory.

If you’ve got to be in the kitchen preparing food, you may as well be doing the preparation – not just for the meal that you’re going to eat immediately, but also for the meal that you might be eating later on or even the next day.

While you’re waiting for one pot to come to the boil or something to finish cooking under the grill or in the oven, you can make preparations for what it is you’re going to need for a later meal.

Then all you need to do is store it safely in the cooler ready to be used as and when it’s needed.

Even simple things like doing a few days salad preparation in one hit, and then storing it in a plastic bag in the cooler, can gain you so much time it would seem a shame not to take those opportunities.

So there you have a few seeds for thought, it’s really up to you to take them and nurture them, and build on them, using probably the most valuable tool any cook can have.

That tool? … Plain common sense.

What do I do?

For instance, the other weekend, we had a stir-fry Chinese meal, and when I was preparing the vegetables for that I didn’t just prepare the vegetables that I needed for the immediate meal, I literally doubled the quantity and put the excess into the fridge ready for another meal.

Let’s face it, it’s not the actual work of chopping and peeling and things like that that take the most time – it’s the getting things out and prepared and the clearing away afterwards that takes the most time. So just by doing two lots of vegetables at one time, you gain 15-20 minutes preparation and clearing up time in one fell swoop!

Other things, for example, if you’re cooking a chicken – cook a slightly bigger chicken so that you’ve got extra meat left over that you can then use in another meal, such as a chicken salad. It’s all of these little things that build up in order for you to gain time.

How to Organize Your Kitchen for Weight Loss

diet-398612_640How you set up your kitchen—from décor to utensils to where you keep treats—can make a substantial difference when it comes to losing weight. There’s a reason Google “strategically designed” their campus cafeteria using behavioral economics to “make it easy for people to make healthy choices.”

You don’t need an entire kitchen overhaul to make a difference. Many revamps take just a minute. Here are simple ways to start:

Make It Easy to Reach for Healthy Foods
Make healthy snacks like nuts, pre-cut veggies, fruit, and Greek yogurt easy to grab when you’re hungry.

Hide the Junk Food
If you must keep treats in the house, stash them where you don’t see them all the time.

Stock Your Spice Rack
Spices and herbs are bursting with flavor. That’s why research shows getting creative in the kitchen and adding them to foods (cumin on your carrots, red pepper flakes on Brussels sprouts) can help replace some fat in your cooking—without you even realizing it’s missing.

Continue reading…

eat-547511_640We would all love to consistently have a perfectly healthy diet, but life often seems to get in the way and we are quick to forget our commitment to improving our diet.

Maybe you’ve set ambitious healthy eating goals in the past and you know how overwhelming it can be. But eating healthy is certainly not about being perfect. Most people tend to get much better results when they start small and make incremental changes to their current diet.

Here are five ways you can start eating healthier even when you’ve failed before.

Continue reading…