4 most common “healthy” foods to AVOID!

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EMD-ICON-SQ-LARGEThanks to food industries‘ multi-billion advertising campaigns many of us have been fooled to eat food products that carry the “healthy” label. Unfortunately, some of these products are only healthy on the label, but in fact, they could be contributing to making us fat. Today, I would like to discuss some of these products and show you that what is believed or advertised as “healthy” is not always true. 

If you’ve noticed that despite of your healthy diet you’re still gaining weight, you could be lured by those “healthy” labels and low fat products.

Before we start, I would like to point out one very common “crime” most of us commit. Whenever the label of a product states that it is “Fat free” or “Reduced fat”, most of us tend to eat 50% more of that product just because it seems healthy, and should logically have less calories. Well my friends, this is a dramatic misunderstanding and lack of knowledge. In fact, the amount of fat in a product doesn’t necessarily mean that the product has less calories. Food industries tend to compensate the fat in “Fat free” or “Reduced fat” products by adding sugar and other food enhancers that have the same amount of calories as the fat does. So, as a result, your “Reduced fat” yogurt or chips may have exactly the same amount of calories as the ones with a regular fat content. In order to avoid this mistake, always read the calorie content of the product and check the sugar and carbohydrate amount stated on the label instead. 

As you’re more informed now, I would like to show you which products you should better avoid or eat in smaller amounts even though they carry the “healthy” or “organic” label. 

#1: Muesli/Cruesli/Cereal – Muesli bars or muesli for breakfast have been always considered one of the healthiest things to eat. People tend to believe that if those goods are healthy, they can have more of them. A regular 40 gram portion of muesli has about 200 calories, plus you’re probably eating it with milk –  so add another 50 to 60 calories to it. As a result, one portion of muesli has around 250 calories, and from my own experience I can tell that 40 grams is a rather decent portion. People tend to eat 70 – 90 grams of muesli with milk, which adds up to 500 calories per portion only for muesli. im_healthy

#2: Yougurts – With fruit flavors, cereals,  jam – there are hundreds of yogurt variations that claim to be super healthy. In fact, most of these yogurts have a huge amount of added sugar to them in order to make them taste better. A regular cup of fruit yogurt with cereal has the same amount of calories as a crispy doughnut. It’s all about our perception of those things – doughnuts are seen as unhealthy and fattening and yogurt must be good for you. Try to avoid sweet yogurts even if they have attractive fruit pieces in them. Buying a cup of plain Greek yogurt and adding freshly chopped fruit to it will be way healthier for you than eating the processed factory yogurt with God knows how many taste enhancers and sugar in it.

#3: Juices – I know that for some of you this is a reality check, but juices are not as diet friendly as they seem. One 150ml bottle of multivitamin juice bought in the “healthy” section of the supermarket has the same amount of calories as a serving of chocolate cream cake. Again, always look at the calorie amount and not at the attractive package that says “organic”, “fresh” or “healthy”. Juices have a lot of sugar in them – both fresh juices and factory juices. It will take you about 12 apples to make a 150ml bottle of apple juice, so by drinking it – you’re drinking the sugar content of 12 apples – Think about it! Instead of drinking the juice, I would suggest eating the fruit alone. The same applies to  “beverages”. Supermarkets offer a wide range of fruit beverages, and they are called so, because they only contain a tiny-tiny amount of fresh juice in them – the rest is sugar, sugar and more sugar. organic-logo

#4: Supermarket salads – These are my favorite topic of discussion, because people have no idea how fattening these salads can be. A regular supermarket “salad to go” can have the same amount of calories as a Big Mac from McDonald’s. Why is it so? Because of the sauces that go with it and because of the preparation method of that meat that goes with it. If you’re having a chicken Caesar salad, it will probably be accompanied by a Caesar dressing and fried pieces of chicken that have been stabilized with chemicals to make them taste good. The truth is, all together your salad will have about 500-550 calories, which is quite a lot for a salad. Be careful with “salads to go”, and the best way to avoid the redundant amount of calories is by NOT adding the sauce that goes with it.

I hope this has been a wake-up call for some of you. Always read the labels carefully instead of getting fooled by the catchy label! And don’t forget about exercise! If you know some more of such products, please feel free to share!

Cheers x

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The truths behind binge eating disorder – how to stop!

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I am sure that most of us suffer from it either occasionally or regularly and in fact, binge eating is considered one of the most common eating disorders of the modern nation. I must admit that there is no magical pill against binge eating, and the purpose of this article is to show you that the cure lies in your mind!

There are a few causes for binge eating, and since I’ve experienced it myself, I am more than willing to share how I feel about it. 

1. First cause for binge eating is due to your consuming desire to lose weight. If you’ve been on a very strict diet for a while, and you feel hungry for most part of the day, you are very likely to experience binge eating at times. You’re holding yourself to a strict dieting plan that causes more harm than comfort, and at some point you snap and eat enormous amounts of food.

2. Another cause for binge eating could be your emotional or mental attachment to food. This happens when you’re thinking of food about every minute of your day, and it becomes a major, if not the most important part of your life. Usually, binge eaters that have emotional attachment to their meals stuff themselves with food without even properly chewing it, or feeling the taste.

Now I have experienced binge eating due to restrictive dieting and I know exactly how it feels. It makes you happy at that point in time, and 10 minutes later you are bitterly regretting it. There is only one way to get rid of this – think before you eat, and eat wisely. Start a balanced diet, combined with exercise and a variety of healthy foods. Eating 3 proper meals a day will prevent you from experiencing wild food cravings that will cause binge eating. 

The situation is slightly different for emotional binge eaters. They do feel a strong attachment to food, and it will take a lot of effort and self-control in order to break that attachment. The problem with emotional binge eaters lies in their minds rather than in their bodies and they do tend to fill up their emotional appetite rather than physical. Since this issue is complicated and requires some guts and a good dose of self-control, I would like to give all emotional binge eaters some genuine advice and encouragement. 

First of all, it is important that you find the root cause for your binge eating. There must have been something in your life that has caused you to start filling out your emotional frustrations with food. Once you figure that out, it is important that you resolve your emotional issue with some counselling, support of your friends or talking to your beloved ones instead of addressing it to food. You must understand that emotional problems have to be solved through emotional actions and food doesn’t have anything to do with that.

Another important aspect that you must understand, is that through this eating disorder, you’re severely harming your body and your health. Most of us want to live a long, healthy and happy life, and you should sometimes sacrifice your food preferences to more healthy food options for the sake of your health. 

Last but not least, you must understand that there is much more to life than food. Think of the things that you’re not able to enjoy or the things you’re missing out on because you’re stuck in a vicious circle of binge eating. You’re not happy about yourself and you’re not able to do a lot of things because of your addiction – is it really worth it? Think of whom you can become and how many things you can experience once you start learning to control yourself and compromise your food choices.

I sincerely hope this has given you some encouragement and should you require any further advice, don’t hesitate to ask for it. 

Cheers everyone!

 

You have to eat- to lose weight! Tips from my own experience

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Quote of the day: “You should treat exercise as your job! It requires commitment, regulartiy and devotion. Only then you will succeed!”

First of all, apologies for not posting for a while, I am graduating from university this year and it’s been quite busy for me.

Despite the fact that I’ve been busy, I kept working out and experimenting with my body. Due to the study load during these weeks I have been eating quite irregularly, with a lot of sugar cravings and feelings of hunger in between. I also ditched my regular sleeping routine which has also impacted my body. These, of course, resulted in a slight weight gain (about 1 kg – 2.4 Ibs) in about 10 days.

Nothing can set me back and obviously I am going to drop this sugar weight, however, during this experience I have observed a very interesting pattern that I would like to share with you. I decided to name it “you have to eat – to lose weight” and there is no hidden message behind it, it’s just as obvious as it sounds.

From my own observations, I’ve concluded that irregular eating and skipping meals will definitely lead you to weight gain. During this study week I’ve had, I tended to skip my meals and tried to hang on to fruit and sugar snacks instead. I ate a light breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snacked about 5 times a day.

I must say, after an entire day of this kind of nutrition I felt exhausted, tired and most importantly – I was starving. I had to take extra sugary snacks to be able to perform during my workout.

When I realized that my nutrition was rubbish and it only harmed my body, I started finding time to eat full, balanced meals instead of snacking and getting through the day with convenience foods.

I started having a full breakfast: egg, two toasts with a slice of cheese and bacon and a piece of fruit.

Lunch was something like: chicken salad with a slice of brown bread and fruit

Dinner was: some kind of fish with rice/beans or salad.

The results once again proved that eating healthy, full and balanced foods is 10 times more beneficial for your weight loss than trying to starve yourself and hang on to various snacks. I have returned to this healthy way of eating 5 days ago, and with no effort and no changes in my workouts I’ve again lost around 1 kilogram (2.4 Ibs).

I felt more energy during the day, I didn’t have to snack more than 2 times in between meals and I felt energetic enough to exercise in the evening. Moreover, the quality of my skin improved considerably. The sugary diet gave me a lot of pimples and dry skin.

Through this I wanted to show you once again the importance of eating 3 times a day and eating the healthy food: fish, meat, diary, fruits and vegetables. Snacks such as nuts, peanut butter and bananas will help you ditch your sugary cravings in a fast and efficient way.

Everyone have a great day and please share your opinion about this!

Breaking more diet myths – Lose weight faster!

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ImageThere are some more common mistakes that people consider to be beneficial for their diet and weight loss, and since I haven’t managed to mention all of them in my previous article, I will have to bust a few more myths. 

The purpose of this is to make you realize that dieting and eating healthy is way more simple than it sounds, and can be quite efficient if common mistakes are avoided. Let’s start:

– A very common statement I have heard from many dieters is: “If I eat before sleeping, I will gain weight”. This is wrong simply because your body doesn’t shut down when you’re sleeping. It is a 24/7 machine that doesn’t slow its processes down even during your sleep. The reason why “late-night eaters” or “midnight-snackers” do gain weight, is because of overeating, which doesn’t have anything to do with the time when the meal was taken. Studies prove that people that have the habit of eating during late/night hours, tend to exceed the healthy amount of calories per day which therefore causes weight gain. So if you’ve just had your meal and you’re tired – relax and go for it!

All you have to do is watch your portion size! If you have a 700 calorie Pasta/Cheese meal before you go to sleep – it will tend to deposit somewhere on your body!

– Another common nonsense that I’ve heard quite often is “If I only eat healthy stuff, I can eat as much as I want of it – it’s healthy” – dear reader, don’t be fooled by this. Obviously, healthy, nutritious foods are beneficial for your health, but overeating them will also lead to weight gain. Seeds and nuts are very healthy for instance, but they contain about 600 calories per 100 grams, and if you overeat those – weight gain is guaranteed! Healthy doesn’t mean you can have tons of it! If you’re aiming at losing/maintaining your weight, you will have to discover the virtue of small and balanced portion sizes. Don’t snack too many times during the day even if those are all the healthy snacks. Don’t overeat with your healthy foods because they won’t prevent you from getting a big belly – believe me.

And, to make it short for today, I would like to finalize this with one last tip: “Don’t weigh in every day!”. Don’t do it for the sake of your mental sanity and motivation, since I have experienced it all on my skin. Your body tends to accumulate and absorb water in higher or smaller quantities throughout the month. Sometimes it absorbs less, and sometimes more (especially for the ladies during their period). If you hop on the scale on a daily basis, you are going to go bananas! Your body is able to accumulate 2.4 Ibs (1 kilogram) of water weight overnight, and I can imagine your facial expression in the morning! Don’t do it! Relax, watch your diet and your exercise and I guarantee you are going to be fine! 

Everybody have a great day and see you soon in another post!

Major mistakes to avoid when losing weight – Diet Essentials

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ImageToday I am going to talk about “the forbidden”! There are a few things that might mistakenly seem like helpful for your diet, but in fact they only make things worse for you.

I have had a lot of women complaining to me that “oh I almost don’t eat anything and I’m not losing any weight”, and having heard enough of that, I want to break the most common dieting myths for good. 

Myth 1 – Skipping meals will help you lose weight! This is the most common and the most ridiculous thing to do when you’re on a diet. Besides the fact that it won’t make you lose weight, it will leave you feel hungry and irritated at all times. The worst case that this can turn into is actually weight gain, since your body is starving and desperately clinging on to calories. The best way to avoid this is obviously having 3 good meals a day, since it is not the meal itself that makes you fat – but the portion size and the content of your meal. 

If you’re having balanced, healthy and nutritious meals 3 times a day, and you’re not putting garbage in your stomach, you are more likely to lose weight!

Myth 2 – I can replace my breakfast with coffee and cut out some calories! No, no and again no. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and by skipping it, you’re leaving your body starving until the afternoon. What will actually happen should you decide to skip your breakfast – you will eat more during the rest of the day, and you are very likely to exceed your calorie limit for the day. 

To avoid this, have a healthy, filling breakfast on a regular basis. Studies show that people who tend to have a regular breakfast are less likely to exceed their calorie limits during the day. 

Myth 3 – Fat free and low carb food is the most important during diet! This is not necessarily true. Foods that are rich in healthy fats (monosaturated fats) such as nuts, avocado and fatty fish are actually good for your diet. Saturated fats (the unhealthy fats) are the ones to avoid. They are present in almost all the processed foods, such as: snacks, junk, sweets, white breads, etc. The same applies to carbs. Foods that are rich in healthy carbs are: oats, whole-grains, dairy products, etc. 

Diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid all foods that are rich in sugar, carbs and fats. It is all about knowing which kinds of foods contain healthy, nutritious fats, carbs and sugars, and I can assure you, they won’t harm your diet. Your body needs these essential nutrients to carry out a healthy living. 

Myth 4 – I can eat rubbish as long as I exercise hard! This is not exactly true. If you’re aiming at losing weight, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Eating rubbish food is not good for you from many perspectives, not only the losing weight point of view, but also for your general well-being. I bet you don’t want to have anything to do with heart diseases, high blood pressure, fat on your liver and clogged vessels. These reasons are already enough to make you quit eating rubbish food. So, for the sake of your health in the first place – stop making a waste bin out of your stomach. Exercising won’t help you lose weight if you’re not eating proper foods, and it will only bring your motivation down when you’ll see that you don’t progress. 

To avoid this, have a balanced diet and exercise. Exercise will tone your muscles, strengthen your immune system, help you lose weight, and finally, make a healthy person out of you!

If you can’t survive the temptations with all the sweets and junk in your closet – throw them away or feed them to birds. Don’t buy them if you know you will eat them. Gradually, you will stop craving for them once they are not there – out of sight, out of mind!

Goodluck everyone! 

A bowl of health – 300 calorie breakfast and super delicious!

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ImageWe have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and since it is not a simple rumor but a fact, breakfast should start with a healthy kick of nutrients for the day! If you’re wondering what a healthy breakfast should look like – here is a perfect example.

This Orange-Apple combination with a pinch of oats will start your day with a “kick” of vitamins, fiber and minerals! And most importantly: it is absolutely delicious! I could have this for breakfast for weeks in a row, even though – variety is the most important element of a healthy diet (don’t forget)!

So how is this prepared? Very simple: it will take you about 5 minutes to prepare and about 8 minutes if you really suck at cooking. All you have to do is chop an orange and one apple into small cubes. Place them in a bowl together with 4 table-spoons of plain yogurt and 4 table-spoons of dried oats!

To spice it up you can add nuts and raisins to it – this will increase its calorie content from 300 to 400 calories (which is still quite decent for a good breakfast)! Nuts will provide your body with natural, healthy fats, while raisins will enhance the taste – whatever you prefer!

For a good finish of your healthy breakfast, wash it off with a glass of fresh orange juice or a cup of green tea! This will get your system going for the day and boost your energy levels! Make an effort for yourself and treat your body with care – it will pay off!

How to easily change your portion size – you will not notice!

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ImageToday I am going to speak about the so-called “psychological eating” – and no, its not a syndrome or an insanity diagnosis, its a simple but nevertheless common habit that is present in everyone of us. 

So what is “psychological eating” in fact? Scientists have proved that a person tends to eat with their eyes, and usually that hunger is bigger than the natural, physical hunger. To be more explicit, this means that people tend to eat as much food as they see, since it looks yummy, delicious, mouth-watering, and so and so on. By seeing all these gifts of heaven on our buffet or plate, we usually tend to ignore our real hunger, and stuff ourselves with all the things we love. Have you experienced this?

You will not believe it, but by knowing this weakness in us, and doing the right things to prevent it from taking over our minds, we can reduce our food and beverage intake with every single portion we’re having, just by following a few very useful cheat codes. Let’s see!

1. Put less food on your plate – This is rule number one if you want to eat less. People tend to polish their plate regardless to the amount of food that’s on it. It’s like we’re in a competition with ourselves to finish that God dam* meal despite the fact that we’re full already. Just by putting less food on your plate, you can already eat less without noticing it.

2. Out of sight – out of mind – This works exactly the same way as point number 1. You are full already, but you can’t avoid the temptation of eating just a little bit more of the foods that are laying around you on the table. Never place sweets, sauces or any kinds of snacks around you when you’re having your main meal. I can assure you that you will have a taste of those snacks once they’re around you, and you will less likely have them if they’re laying somewhere in your grocery closet.

3. Eat slower – As stupid as it sounds – it works. The feeling of fullness comes only about 15 to 20 minutes after you’ve started your meal. Your stomach is not reacting as fast as your mouth does, so give it some time. For some people it is quite challenging to eat slow, and I can totally understand that. However, make an effort and slow down – you will see that you’ll feel full from eating a smaller portion.

4. Use the right glass – Besides being food lovers, we also are keen at drinking lots of soda, juices or refreshing drinks. It is common knowledge that fizzy drinks and juices contain a lot of sugar, and their consumption should be diminished if not to zero, well then at least to minimum. Here is where I would like to test you. Below there are two glasses in front of you. Is the amount of liquid in both of them, equal?Image

The answer is: Of course NOT! See what happens if I pour the content of these glasses into two absolutely identical wine glasses:

ImageExactly! You see my point? The thick, fat glass, contains about 30% more liquid than the thin, tall glass! My kitchen is definitely not a NASA laboratory but the outcome of this experiment is obvious! By choosing to drink from a thin glass, you will drink, in average, 30% less than if you used the thick glass. Simple, isn’t it? 

This was it for today and I hope this will change something about your eating habits! It is easy and it works. All the temptations are there in your brain and so is your appetite sometimes. So stop thinking about food and do some jogging instead 😉

Cheers everyone!