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!

 

Lose weight step by step – The ultimate weight loss guide!

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Since I have received many requests on “how to lose weight fast and what should I do”, I have decided to write an explicit weight loss guide that will entail the most basic and efficient weight loss tools.

Your weight loss results will depend on the strictness with which you follow this guide and stick to your regimen. Don’t expect anything “magical” and “easy-to-do” because I don’t know anybody who has managed to lose weight just by sitting on the couch and putting no diet and exercise effort whatsoever.

Enough talking, let’s get back to business. So your goal is weight loss, and whatever the amount of kilograms (pounds) you would like to shake off, you will manage to do it with the help of some basic rules.

Remember: weight loss takes time, so don’t expect to get rid of enormous amounts of weight within an instant. Your weight loss strongly depends on your current weight, the amount of exercise you will pursue, and the strictness with which you will follow your diet. If you are overweight – you will lose more weight and faster. If you’ve already lost a lot of weight or you have a normal, healthy BMI – your weight loss will be slightly more challenging.

Rule #1 – Start exercising! If you haven’t ever been exercising before, you are likely to burn 30% more fat if you are exercising. Another benefit of exercise is building muscles. They will not only give you nice shapes, but also speed up your metabolism, thus making you lose weight faster. If you’ve never been exercising before and sport is not your habit, I recommend starting with 40-50 minutes workouts, 3 to 5 times a day. The most efficient fat-burning exercises are cardio exercises: running, jogging and biking. Don’t push too hard, too fast. Start with fast walking – slow running, and gradually increase your speed and the duration of your workout as you progress through the weeks. If you are already exercising for a while, increase the speed and the duration of your workouts.

Rule #2 – Watch your diet! As obvious as it sounds, you have to leave out a few basic foods in order to make weight loss possible. These include: junk food, fat/greasy foods, take-aways, sauces, dressings, all sorts of salty snacks, all sorts of sweet snacks. The foods that you CAN and actually should eat during a healthy diet are: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, diary products (don’t exaggerate with them), brown rice, whole-wheat bread, nuts, eggs and oats. For more recipes with healthy and low-calorie sweets, please refer to the following link on my page: https://galinabella.wordpress.com/category/good-foodrecipes/

Rule # 3 – Watch your portion size! I know it sounds tough but this is what you have to do in order to lose weight. Besides the fact that your body has to receive healthy, nutritious foods, it also has to receive less of it. For a start, I recommend removing a quarter of our portion, and then bringing it down to a half of your portion. This will most likely make you feel still hungry after you’ve polished your plate – but this is what it takes. Drink a glass of green tea after your meal in order to survive the food cravings. At some point, you will be fine with eating less, and I believe most people eat more than their body actually requires – so it will do you good.

Rule # 4 – Don’t eat after 6 pm! This is yet another challenge to overcome. If you’re a fan of late-night snacks and dinners – you better forget about them! 6pm is your last chance to have something to eat, and it better be something light. A fruit salad, or a vegetable salad with 1 cup of yogurt and 1 slice of whole-wheat bread is what you can eat. In order to combat with your food cravings after 6 pm, I recommend green tea, plain yogurt and vegetables. For more healthy snacks ideas please refer to my article: https://galinabella.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/some-healthy-snacks-you-can-have-during-your-diet/

Rule # 5 – It’s all about cooking methods! In order to lose weight, you have to take good care not only of what you eat, but also how you prepare your foods. When you’re on a diet you should NOT deep fry or pan fry your food, and definitely exclude using oils, butter, sauces and fat while cooking. In return, you can oven-bake, microwave and boil your foods or eat them raw. There is no need to use excess of oils, sweeteners, sauces and dressings – get used to the natural taste of food.

Rule # 6 – Watch your drinks! I know that fizzy drinks and sodas taste good – but they are nothing but water with gas and a whole a lot of sugar (yes, even the ones that are “light” or “zero” sugar). Forget about fizzy drinks and chose water, tea or coffee instead. You can occasionally give in to fresh fruit juices, however do not exaggerate with them either since they contain quite some sugar as well.

Rule # 7 – Have a healthy daily regimen. For this you will have to remember to sleep during the night and not any other time of the day and try to adapt the “early awake early asleep” approach. Your weight loss processes take place during your sleep, especially between 12am – 6am. This is the time that should be dedicated to sleeping. Another important factor for a healthy metabolism is waking up and having breakfast early in the morning – between 7am – 9am. This will make you feel energetic during the day, and will make you feel less food cravings and hunger pangs during the day.

Rule # 8 – REGULARITY is the key! You have to understand that doing all these things for one day or one week isn’t going to get you anywhere. A healthy diet and exercise should become a habit, a lifestyle that should be rather routine than rarity. If you are decided to start, start NOW and stick to your plan! Consistency and regularity is the key to successful weight loss! What is a battle in the beginning, is a habit in the end, and it will do you only good!

I wish you best of luck and I hope this has been helpful!

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!

How to choose the right muesli for breakfast? Diet Essentials Part 8

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ImageThere are a lot of muesli and cereals on the shelves in the supermarkets, and most of us tend to just pick the first package that seems to be the most attractive. I have to admit I am not a fan of muesli and until last week I haven’t ever had them for breakfast.

Everyone thinks they’re so yummy and amazing so – I decided to give them a shot! I have to be honest, it took me about 30 minutes and all my nutritional knowledge before I chose the suitable pack. I have to say I picked up some quite useful things from this experience. Again, reading the label is of crucial importance – even more important than reading which type of chocolate or dried fruit goes into your muesli. Especially if you’re careful with your weight, it is important that you follow the right steps when picking your muesli:

1. First examine a few packages

2. Pick 3 or 4 that seem at the same time tasty and most healthy to you

3. Pick the healthiest out of them

Now I am going to define the word “healthy” in the world of muesli. Obviously, everyone of us has a different perception of what healthy is –  however if you are on a diet and your goal is to lose or maintain weight, you have to follow some basic guidelines for “healthy” in this case.

First things first, so when you’re studying the label of your muesli, you should look at:

1. Carbohydrates

2. Fats

3. Sugar

Note: Your goal is to pick the package that suits best to your taste and has a relatively decent amount of all the above listed.

To give you a real-life example, after 30 minutes of examining and struggling with my choices, I picked a muesli mix made of: rolled oats, wheat, cereals, seeds and nuts. Quite a traditional muesli mix, which had 53 grams of carbohydrates and 5.6 grams of fat per 100 grams of muesli.

I believe it was the most decent and tasty choice (for myself) that I’ve made. Some packages that contained added chocolate or dried fruits had from 70 to 77 grams of carbs and about 6 to 8 grams of fat per 100 grams of product. Watch out for preservatives like honey and syrup added to make your muesli taste better. Those mixes should have about 77 grams of carbs and 8 grams of fat in a 100 grams (which is a lot). And what about those chocolate cornflakes in your muesli? Dramatically, their presence can already add 4 extra grams of carbs and 2 extra grams of fat to your portion.

I would also stay away from mixes that contain cornflakes in general, since that only adds up to the overall carb and fat amount and doesn’t contribute that much to the taste. Beware of added sugars as well. Some producers tend to add sugars to the mix just to make them taste better – that ruins the concept of healthy and your diet alltogether.

Diet implications of muesli:

Now let’s get back to basics. In order to lose weight a person needs to eat around 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day. If your breakfast muesli makes up to 50% of carbs that you need during the entire day, I can imagine it will be very hard to NOT to slip out of this range by the end of the day.

The same applies for weight maintenance. If you’re aiming at maintaining your current weight, you should be eating between 100 and 150 grams of carbs a day. If you have a generous portion of muesli in the morning, it will be hard to stay within that limit.

As a conclusion I would just like to point out that you should be careful with muesli. I do not recommend having them on a daily basis, especially if you are aiming at losing weight. I hope this article also gave you an insight on how to pick the most innocent muesli and still enjoy them with less harm for your diet.

Gaining weight but yet training hard! Why is it so?

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keep-calm-and-train-hard-38This is a short note for everyone who has experienced this! I have heard it from many of my fellow fitness fans that during the first 3 to 4 weeks after the introduction of their exercise regimen and dieting, they actually experienced weight gain rather than weight loss. This article is going to explain why does this happen and whether it is a significant weight gain.

In fact, this might be very true and it is likely to happen especially if working out is completely new to your body. To start off, I want to calm you down and assure you that there is nothing wrong with your exercise routine and your body is capable of losing weight.

Weight gain during your primary steps into exercising, is in fact a natural process – it is your body’s adaptation to the new regimen. Since your system is not used to exercise, your muscles are storing water because they are being subjected to unusual levels of activity. So, to be more precise, your post-exercise weight gain is nothing but “water weight” which is going to be drained out of your body naturally. This is a first reaction, a wake up call – your body is adapting and there is nothing but good in that!

This is definitely not a good reason to quit exercising and to lose your motivation – remember: KEEP CALM AND TRAIN HARD! it will come 😉

Coleslaw with raisins and walnuts – a delicious low-calorie lunch

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ImageThis delicious salad doesn’t only have an amazing taste but is also a perfect low-calorie lunch or dinner option. It keeps you full for a long time due to raisins, walnuts and plain yogurt that goes into its composition. It is one of my most favorite recipes and it doesn’t involve any baking, cooking or temperature processing. Its fresh, raw and juicy!

List of ingredients:

– white cabbage

– carrots

– raisins

– walnuts

– plain yogurt

– ginger syrup

– 1 apple

How to prepare:

In order to prepare this salad you need to shred the carrots and the cabbage. Cut the apple into small cubes and mix them with shredded carrots and cabbage. Add the raisins and walnuts to the mixture. Use about 4 table-spoons of plain yogurt and 2 table-spoons of ginger syrup for the flavor. If you are the spicy type, I recommend using a bit of salt and pepper for more taste. DONE!

The main benefits of this salad:

Easy, convenient and delicious! A cup of this salad has only about 180 calories and I promise that it will keep you full for quite some time if you combine it with a cup of soup or a toast. You can have it as a snack in between your meals, or make it a full meal but making the portion bigger. Moreover, this salad doesn’t contain any unhealthy fats and very little added sugar (from ginger syrup and raisins). If you don’t like raisins, you can replace them with more types of nuts such as: almonds, macadamia or hazelnuts.