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The Benefits Of Eating Grilled Food

August 28, 2015
Grilled vegetables on cutting board on dark wooden background

The benefits of grilled food go far beyond the great taste. There is a reason why fast food restaurants have started to offer grilled meat as an alternative to fried meat. It’s better for you. If you have avoided grilled foods for a long time, it may be time to rethink your eating habits. Here are some of the most important benefits of eating grilled food.

Less Fat

When you fry food, even on the stove, you essentially cook it in its own fat. With a grill, that fat is able to fall right through the grates, leaving you with a much healthier piece of meat in the long run. Baked meat and broiled meat also have low fat, but most people prefer the taste of grilled chicken over its bland broiled cousin. If you are trying to cut back on your fat intake, grilling your food could be a good start.

More Moisture

Grills operate at a very high temperature, which locks in the moisture for any meat that you cook. The end result is tender, juicy meat each and every time, as long as you go through proper cooking practices. The grill still cooks the inside of the meat, but it does so without forcing the moisture through the pores. That quickly enhances whatever meal you are grilling for.

Lower Calories

Because grilled meat is naturally juicy, you don’t have to use butter or oil to cook it. You might marinade the meat for flavor or brush with oil to lock in spices. For the most part though, you don’t have to rely on anything but the grill itself. Most people don’t bread meat they put on the grill because the breading just catches fire. That breading is the source of most of the calories in something like fried chicken. Grilling lowers the calories in your meals without sacrificing the flavor.

More Vitamins

Grilling meats and vegetables can help them maintain their essential vitamins. This inevitably makes the food better for you. Meats maintain their riboflavin and thiamine levels, and vegetables lock in natural vitamins and minerals. This will boost your immune system and energy levels so you can get through the day better. It acts as a passive way to detox your system.

Keep In Mind…

The benefits of eating grilled food only exist if you keep condiments to a minimum. Sour cream, ketchup, steak sauce, and butter can quickly turn a healthy meal into something worthy of the McDonald’s menu. If you feel the need to add sauce, try adding spices and marinades instead. That way you get the flavoring without dipping your food straight into calories.

Make the most of your grilling season and the health benefits that come along with it. Once you start making grilled food a regular part of your diet, you will wonder why you ever ate anything else. You might even lose a little weight along the way! Can’t complain about that, right?

Blog Diet

5 Hassle-Free Healthy Snacks For Summer

August 24, 2015
ingredients for a healthy breakfast - berries, fruit, muesli and wooden background, top view, horizontal

When most people think about hassle-free snack, they think about chips, candy, and anything else you can get from a vending machine. Just because you are limited on time doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your waistline. You can eat something quick and healthy at the same time, and you may even like the way it tastes better than the fatty alternatives. Here are some quick and easy healthy snacks for summer that won’t mess up your diet.

Fruit

You can never go wrong with fruit, and lucky for you, it’s super portable. Grapes, apples, pears, oranges, watermelon slices and more can all make filling, tasty snacks that don’t cost a lot of money. Taste something you have never tried before and just see if you like it. You might be surprised.

Note: As an alternative to carrying around full fruit, you may consider dehydrated fruit instead. This will not have all the nutrition as the real-deal, but it’s a great option when you need something that stores well in the summer heat.

Nuts

Nuts are great sources of protein, and they are really easy to pop in your mouth while you’re on the go. Honey roasted nuts aren’t the most healthy snacks in the world, but dry roasted ones work well. You might have to spend a little more for nuts than other snacks, but you’ll get your money’s worth.

Trail Mix

This is just a combination of the two options above. Whether you make your own trail mix or buy some in a bag, you can enjoy delicious flavors that work well on the go. The great thing about trail mix is that it is so versatile. You can play around with all sorts of combinations and never worry about running out of things to eat. Take it with you on a summer hike or munch on it at work. It’s up to you!

Pretzels

You can find pretzels in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so play around with different options. You might want to avoid the crazy flavored ones because those can be messy and fattening. The simple sticks with a tiny bit of salt on them will be ideal.

Crackers

Get some Goldfish, Cheez-its, Club Crackers, or anything else along those lines and eat them as a snack. You can pair them with peanut butter or some kind of spread if you want, depending on where you’re eating them. The more you try, the more chances you will have of finding your next favorite snack.

Blog Diet

What Fad Diets Do To Your Body

August 21, 2015
fad-diet

Fad diets are everywhere, and they are so easy to fall for. People are always looking for easy ways to lose weight and look better, and fad diets seem like an easy way out. Sadly, the vast majority of these dietary plans do more harm than good, and they end up causing people to gain weight in the long run. Before you fall into the trap left by fad diets, you need to get a reality check. Here’s what they might do to your body.

Stretch Marks And Sagging Skin Due To Rapid Weight Loss 

When you start to lose weight rapidly, your skin doesn’t have time to adjust. This will leave you with a ton of stretch marks and dangling skin. Some programs out there will allow you to get rid of stretch marks, but the only way to get rid of excess skin is through cosmetic surgery. It is better to lose a little bit of weight over a long stretch of time than to lose a ton of weight in a few short days. To avoid stretch marks, drop the pounds progressively.

Temporary Routines With Short-Term Results 

With a fad diet, you have to go through temporary changes to lose a lot of weight. The problem is that these changes don’t lead to good habits. You’re not making adjustments that you can take with you long term. You are making short, sporadic tweaks that will only last for the duration of the diet. Once old habits start to sink in, you will put all the weight back on or more. Then none of the struggle will be worth the stress.

Extreme Stress On Your Body And Your Mind 

When you put your body through sudden changes, you’re bound to get stressed out. This is not going to be good for your skin, your energy levels, your hair, your teeth, your eyes, or anything else. Sure, you’ll lose weight, but at what cost? If you end up bald, wrinkled, and full of pimples, will the stress be worth the weight loss? Probably not. The minute you get sucked into a plan like this, you add a ton of pressure to your mind. You don’t need that, and you can get fit without it.

Fad diets are terrible for your body. They flee from the media just as quickly as they come into it. Stick to eating healthy foods and working out in order to lose weight, and you will see a good transformation.

Blog Diet Health

What 100 Calories Really Looks Like

July 20, 2015
Closeup portrait, beautiful, pretty young woman in sweater picking up, choosing green leafy vegetables in grocery store

Do you count calories as part of your diet? This may not be a fool-proof weight loss method, but it is a good way to monitor the amount of food you eat in a day. Burn more calories than you eat, and chances are you’ll lose weight.

Most of the people I speak to are shocked to find out just how many calories are in the foods they eat once they start keeping track of their intake. If you have never sat down to assess your food, it may be time for a reality check. That’s why today, I wanted to go over what 100 calories really looks like, just to let you see what you can do to control your caloric intake from day to day.

Americans Guess What 100 Calories Looks Like

This video shows an excellent example of just how much food 100 calories can get you, and how misinformed most Americans are about calories as a whole. In the video, people are asked to create 100 calorie portion sizes for different types of foods. In most cases, the people either portioned out way too much food or way too little, and they were surprised by the results. The foods assessed in the video include:

  • Granola (25 Grams) – Participants guessed 54 grams
  • Baked Potato Chips (15 Chips) – Participants guessed 31 chips
  • Mustard (225 Grams) – Participants guessed 19 grams
  • Olive Oil (11 Grams) – Participants guessed 19 grams
  • Strawberries (310 Grams) – The video did not say what the participants guessed, but it appeared to be about 150 grams

High Calorie Foods To Avoid

If you want to get the most out of the calories you consume throughout the day, avoid these high-calorie foods:

  • Fats And Oils
  • Nuts And Seeds
  • Butters Made From Nuts And Seeds (Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Etc.)
  • Chocolate
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ready-Made Salad Dressings (See: How To Make A Basic Vinaigrette)
  • Pre-Made Fruit Juices
  • Ice Cream
  • Processed Meats

Not all of these high calorie foods are “bad for you,” so to speak, but they will add to your waistline if you are not doing enough to burn calories throughout the day. If you aren’t committed to working out just yet, try to stay clear of these foods.

Low Calorie Foods To Embrace

100 calories can go a long way if you have the right foods to eat. Listed below are some healthy and delicious low calorie foods that will make you feel full and energized at the same time:

  • Broccoli (Fun Fact: It takes more calories to digest broccoli than the broccoli itself provides. You can literally burn calories just by eating broccoli!)
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Lean Meats
  • Soup Broth

As you can see, most low calorie foods involve some sort of fruits and vegetables. You can mix in meats, grains, and even sugars from time to time, but try to keep an eye on the calories you’re really eating with every meal. If you pay close attention to your diet, you will have a much easier time losing weight and staying in shape.

Blog Diet

Make Your Drinking Water More Enjoyable

June 22, 2015
Smiling Young Woman with glass of  Water

Can’t figure out how you could possibly squeeze eight glasses of water into your day? Have an aversion to H2O that sends you straight for the soda when you get home? Some people are naturally drawn to the pure, wholesome taste of water, but others have a hard time enjoying more than a glass a day. If you’re not a fan of plain water, the tips below will help you make your drinking water more enjoyable.

Add Some Flavor

No, we’re not talking about those dissolvable flavor packets you can buy at the supermarket. Those things are often packed with sugars and other things that aren’t great for your body (even salt to make you thirstier than you were before!). Stick with fresh fruit juices, like lemon or lime, to give your water a little punch.  You don’t need a ton of extra flavor – just enough to get your pallet excited.

Test Different Types Of Water

There are a dozens of different versions of plain old water out there. You could drink straight from the tap, or you could get a filter to put on your sink. You could also test out different types of bottled water to see what you like the best. They all have a slightly different flavor that may or may not suit your taste. Don’t assume that the expensive water is the best either. Some people prefer basic distilled water more than anything else.

Get A Fun Water Bottle

Investing in a good water bottle may encourage you to drink more. There are so many different ones to choose from these days. Some have freezable cores. Others have slots in the middle to store fruit. Some are designed to fit the contours of your hand. Whatever the case may be, get a water bottle that peaks your interest and gets you excited about staying hydrated.

Drink With A Straw

For some reason, people are naturally inclined to drink from a straw, even if it is something they’re not fond of. This is why you’re more likely to guzzle a whole fountain drink than you are a bottle of soda with the same amount of fluid inside. If water from a glass or bottle isn’t cutting it, try adding a straw to the mix. You may be surprised by how much you start to drink.

Keep your bottles full and your body hydrated this summer, and you’ll make it through the heat without a hitch!

Blog Diet

Check Out The New Sonic Low Calorie Sodas

June 12, 2015
low-calorie-sodas

America’s favorite drink stop now has exciting new menu options for the fitness fanatics among us. The fast food chain has introduced a set of made you order low-calorie sodas that taste great and won’t hurt your figure. If you’re looking for a quick treat during a break at work or just something to tickle your taste buds, one of these sodas could turn into your new obsession.

Flavor Combinations And Nutritional Facts 

The Sonic low-calorie sodas come in a wide range of flavors, all customizable to suit your specific taste. Of course, adding a special flavor to your soda may add to the calories, but you can customize the sodas as you like. Here is a look at some of the new flavor combinations, as well as the nutritional facts for each.

Note that these are for small sizes, which are approximately 260-300 grams.

Sonic Splash Sunshine Berry
Calories – 20

Sonic Splash Mango-Lime
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Blackberry
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Blackberry and Pineapple
Calories – 35

Sonic Splash Raspberry
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Mango
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Peach
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Mint
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Peach and Mint
Calories – 0

Sonic Splash Hawaiian Wave
Calories – 40

Mix And Match To Make Your Own

Since you can make your soda whatever you want, try playing around with some of the different options above to see what you get. For instance, I love the pineapple mango flavors of the Hawaiian Wave, and they would probably taste great with a little mint added in. It’s creative stuff like that that keeps my mind racing when coming up with new recipes to post around here. Test out some crazy combinations after you find a soda you love and see what works best for you. With the variety Sonic has to offer, you could spend your whole life making new flavors and never run out of ideas!

Save Money On Your New Sweet Obsession 

Since this is Sonic, if you can enjoy half price drinks during happy hour, which is from 2-4PM. Sonic also offers 99 cent large drinks before 10AM, if you want to grab a soda before you go to work. I have tested several of the new soda options, and they’ve all tasted really great so far. Check it out for yourself and see what you think!

Blog Diet Salads

Salads Aren’t Always Healthy For You

May 20, 2015
salads

A lot of people assume that anything with “salad” in the name is healthy, nutritious, and diet-friendly. While there are plenty of healthy salad recipes on the market, not all salads are created equal. In fact, there are a number of not-so-healthy salads out there that you may want to avoid if you’re counting calories and trying to stay fit. Let’s take a closer look at this controversial food item so you can make sure you are eating the right type of salad for your dietary goals.

What Is A “Salad”?

In America, we traditionally associate the term “salad” with a bowl of lettuce, topped with dressing, croutons, fruits, nuts, or other vegetables. However, a “salad” is any food item that consists of small pieces of food mixed with dressing, sauce, or similar covering. Good examples of other types of salads include macaroni salad, potato salad, and fruit salad. Most of these do not have the same nutritional benefits of a common green salad.

Not-So-Healthy Salad Ingredients To Watch For

Here are some common salad ingredients that won’t do your waistline any good:

  • Heavy Salad Dressings (Ranch is a prime example – check the calories!)
  • Croutons
  • Mayonnaise (Used as a base in many non-lettuce salads and heavy salad dressings)
  • Cheese
  • Bacon Pieces
  • Breaded Chicken

Considering the options above, a traditional Cobb Salad is far from a healthy food option, even if it looks healthy on the surface. This is what you have to watch out for when you determine what you want to eat. The green leafs in the background don’t necessarily indicate that it’s a good mean for you.

Healthy Alternatives To Unhealthy Salad Ingredients

Want to indulge in a tasty salad without filling your body with hard-to-burn calories? Check out these healthy alternative salad ingredients:

  • Nuts (Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios add crunch and protein to a salad without the high-calorie impact of bread)
  • Pretzels (Great if you need to add a salty taste to your salad)
  • Vinaigrettes (Try making your own. It’s easy!)
  • Dried Fruits (Raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)
  • Low Calorie Cheeses (Opt for Parmesan instead of cheddar, bleu cheese instead of mozzarella)
  • Grilled Chicken

Test out different combinations of ingredients to get unique flavors from every meal. That’s the best part about making a salad – you can add whatever you want!

For more inspiration, check out these amazing salad recipes from Healthy Fitness Meals to boost your energy levels, trim down your belly, and please your taste buds all at once!

Blog Diet Health

Does Counting Calories Really Work For Weight Loss?

February 28, 2015
counting-calories

Counting calories is a common practice many people turn to when they want to lose weight. The concept is pretty simple: burn more calories than what you consume, and you’re going to get thinner. If you are looking to start a new diet, you may ask yourself, “Does counting calories really work for weight loss?” We’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of this practice to determine just how effective it is overall.

Calories Are Not The Only Factors To Consider

When it comes to choosing good foods to eat, you can’t rely on calories alone. For instance, a granny smith apple has an average of 80 calories in it, which is the same as about six Milk Duds. Which one do you think is going to be better for your body, the fruit or the candy? This all comes down to good calories vs. bad calories. Your body needs other nutrients in order to function properly throughout the day, so you cannot rely on calorie counting alone to help you lose weight. You need to look at your diet as a whole and eat foods that are going to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Accurately Monitoring Calories Is Tough

It is very hard to accurately know how many calories you eat throughout the day if you rely on the Nutritional Facts in the foods you eat. This is especially true if you are eating out because restaurant portions and cooking styles can vary greatly from one serving to the next. If you order a hamburger with mayonnaise on it instead of ketchup, you have to understand the caloric differences between the condiments. This can all get a bit overwhelming, and it takes the fun out of losing weight.

Counting Calories Is A Great Guideline, Nothing More

If counting calories helps you avoid overeating, then by all means, give it a try. Just keep in mind the idea of maintaining a well-balanced diet. It’s not just about the amount of calories going into your system. It’s about the types of foods that you choose to put in your body. If you can make the right choices consistently, you are going to look great and feel great at the same time. Drink a lot of water, and find a fitness regimen that works for you. All of these components will put you on the path to a healthy life.

Blog Diet Health

How To Conquer Food Addiction

February 27, 2015

Food addiction is a growing problem in America, and it has made a huge contribution to the obesity rates in this country. If you already exemplify some signs of food addiction, now is the time to refocus your goals and take control of your life. Today we are going at how to conquer addiction so you have a path to follow moving forward.

1 – Know If You Are A Food Addict

Earlier this week, we looked at signs of food addiction that you need to watch out for, like eating when you are not hungry or feeling depressed after you eat. Any symptoms you may associate with drug or alcohol addiction can be apparent in food addiction, even if food is not designed to be addictive like hard substances. If you feel out of control when you eat throughout the day, you have a problem that needs to be solved. Keep reading!

2 – Understand Why You Developed An Addiction

Food addictions usually don’t just crop up over night. They are the result of using food as a coping mechanism, perhaps to replace a feeling that you may be missing in life. For example, if you lost a loved one and started gaining weight shortly after that, chances are you used food to compensate for the loss. Once you can identify the source of your addiction, you can work on improving the underlying problem and ultimately getting healthy once again.

3 – Avoid Processed Foods

A recent study from the University of Michigan showed that processed foods are just as addictive as hard drugs. Pizza, burgers, fries, and almost anything you can get from a fast food restaurant is highly addictive. Healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, do not send the same addictive signals to the brain that processed foods send. You can control your food intake easier when you have the right foods in your diet.

4 – Start A New Hobby

Sometimes all you need is something new to focus your energy o to get away from bad eating habits. Try a new hobby that you have always wanted to get into, like gardening, jogging. Or photography. If your hobby involves you being more active throughout the day, that’s even better. You’ll be able to use that activity to lose weight and start feeling better about yourself. If you can build up your self-esteem, you may not feel as enslaved by your food.

5 – Consciously Control Your Eating

This is the most important step of all: you must identify when you are eating excessively and make a conscious effort to cut back. In other words, “just say no.” You don’t have to stop eating entirely, but you should manage your food intake. Eat only enough to get full, and try not to eat a lot of food in one setting. If you need to curb your cravings throughout the day, keep some healthy snacks around that you can grab on the go. Once this becomes part of your routine, you won’t have to worry as much about food addiction.

Don’t wait any longer to get your body and your life back in shape. A better life is waiting for you right now.

 

Blog Diet Health

The Signs And Dangers Of Food Addiction

February 26, 2015

More than two thirds of adults in America are considered overweight or obese. For some people, this is simply due to a lack of activity throughout the day. For others, it’s a matter of eating the wrong foods at the wrong times. One of the biggest reasons why Americans gain weight is because of food addiction – the inability to control their food intake on a daily basis. If you or someone you know has food addiction, it is important to conquer that feeling and start eating well in the future.

Here are some signs and dangers of food addiction to watch out for.

Signs Of Food Addiction

The signs of food addiction vary from one person to the next, but they are similar to many other addiction symptoms. The body is tricked into thinking food is a drug, so a person begins to crave it more aggressively than normal eating habits would suggest. Common indicators for food addiction include:

  • Feeling “High” While Eating A Meal
  • Hoarding Food
  • Eating In Secret
  • Lying About Your Food Intake
  • Eating When You Are Not Hungry
  • Going Into Debt To Buy Excessive Food
  • Eating Past The Point Of Being Full
  • Eating When You Are Bored
  • Getting Depressed After Eating

If you find yourself ignoring important aspects of your life because you’re thinking about food, you have an addiction you need to take charge of. We will go over ways to fight food addiction in our next discussion, so you can have the tools you need to get back to a healthy life.

Dangers Of Food Addiction

Why is food addiction so significant? Because it directly ims your long-term health. This is just as powerful as any eating disorder you may face in your life, and it can be just as difficult to get past. Some dangers of overeating include:

  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • Increased Risk Of Diabetes, High Cholesterol, And Other Health Conditions
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Difficulty Walking
  • Developing Depression And Anxiety
  • Debt Due To Food Costs

When food starts to control your life, you need to make a change. Don’t succumb to the power and temptation of greasy foods that add inches to your waistline and take years off your life. Stay tuned for more posts later this week where we go over how to get over food addiction and truly start enjoying your life.