10 most popular weight loss articles of 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011 16:38
Comments Off on 10 most popular weight loss articles of 2011


time to exercise

During 2011 thousands of people visited our web site, read our articles, commented on our posts and interacted with our free online tools. To wrap up a successful year for Weight Loss Help and Tips we have selected the 10 most popular posts of 2011. These are the posts that received the most comments and social media mentions (Facebook likes, Google+ and tweets). Go through our list and select your favorite posts and do not forge to share them with your social media friends! You can also register to our RSS Feed (on the sidebar) to receive our new articles directly in your inbox.

Weight Loss TipsWeight Loss Tips
The most visited page of our web site was the home page. More than 1000,000 people landed on our home page in 2011 and selected one of our articles. Our huge collection includes more than 500+ weight loss tips.

Fast weight lossFast weight loss
20+6 tips that matter the most when it comes to fast weight loss. This post explains the most important factors that affect weight loss and what you can do to ensure that you will lose weight and keep it off.

20 Healthy weight loss tips
We always encourage and promote healthy weight loss methods. This post outlines 20 healthy weight loss tips you can easily fit in your lifestyle and get results without making too much effort.

Diet and Exercise PlannerFREE Diet and Exercise Planner
During 2011 we also introduced our free diet and exercise planner. Our on-line tools include a food calorie counter and fitness calorie counter as well as a diet calendar and weight tracker.

Weight loss tips for womenWeight loss for women
The majority of our readers are women and this post is especially for them. 12 Weight loss tips for women of any age and body type. If you are not the woman that can spend endless hours in the gym then this post is for you.

Weight loss tips for teenange girlsWeight loss tips for Teenage girls
More than 60 teenage girls commented on this post asking for weight loss advice and more than 50 got a personalized answer (by email) from our experts. We try our best to reply to all emails and help even more teens get into the right path of following a good diet and exercise program suitable for their age.

Weight loss motivationWeight loss motivation
You cannot lose weight if you are not motivated enough. Motivation is perhaps the most important success factor. If you are motivated and know what to do you cannot fail. Set your weight loss goals today!

Best Tips for Fast weight loss7 Best tips for fast weight loss
The 7 most effective tips for quick results. If you need results fast you must ensure that you follow these 7 tips. Start now and post your favorite weight loss tip in the comment and see  what works for other people.

Best Weight loss programs for womenBest weight loss programs
There are hundreds or even thousands of weight loss programs on the Internet today but which ones are the best? Which programs can you trust that they can generate results in a healthy way.

Weight loss exerciseExercise for weight loss
Last but not least, exercise for weight loss. Regular exercise promotes good health, well-being and weight loss. If you are serious about losing weight then exercise is a must.

7 tips for setting your new year’s weight loss resolutions

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 17:07
Comments Off on 7 tips for setting your new year’s weight loss resolutions


weight loss goals

One more year is coming to a close, the pads come out and the resolutions begin. January is actually the busiest time in the fitness and gym industry. February and March are probably the quietest with most people having given up on the weight loss and fitness effort…well until the bikini time comes around again. Setting New Year’s weight loss resolutions is no different than setting other goals. Your goals need to S.M.A.R.T, in other words: Simple-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Timely, but most importantly you need to have the desire and willpower to work hard towards your targets. In this article we share 7 tips for setting your New Year’s resolutions in such a way so they are achievable and realistic.

Weight Loss Tips for 2012

1. Set life goals

Instead of making a resolution list of the things you want to do make a list of the things you want to have and/or achieve in your life. For example a resolution list of the things you want to do could look like this:

Resolution List 2012

1. Lose weight

2. Join the gym

3. Change my job

Instead think ‘what do I want to have in my life’? For example:

Life Resolution List 2012

1. Look good and feel healthier

2. Be happier in my job

3. Be less stressed

Then think how you can achieve each one of them. Weight loss and exercise can then be a process of achieving to look good and feel healthier but is not the end to all means. In addition, there are other ways to achieve your goal such as eat healthier, or cut down on takeaways and sweets.

If you just concentrate on losing weight you will join the gym and get the next diet regime in the hype of the times. Then you will soon lose sight of why you are torturing and depriving yourself from food. No surprise most gym memberships are sold in January to never be used again by February with maybe small exceptions when preparing for the bikini season.

2. Compare your list with last years

What did your resolution list look like last year? Do you automatically list the obvious things which are expected to be in your list? For example I used to be a smoker and for about 10 years in the top of my list was I will cut smoking. Smoking was bad for me and I knew I had to give up so every year I expected myself to try and stop smoking and then feel depressed as I had failed myself.

In addition think why you didn’t follow your last year’s resolutions. Did something affect you? Did something change? Finding the reasons why you didn’t do what you wanted last year it may be a way to help you avoid the same mistakes or help you plan for this year.

3. Be realistic

Christmas and New Year can be emotionally charged times. The end of an era and the beginning of a new one it can make us make decisions based on emotions and not reality.  Don’t forget to also ask yourself if you are realistic in what you want. My resolution could well be finding a gold bucket at the end of a rainbow but no matter what I do it may not quite reach fruition.

4. Get off the diet wagon.

Another problem with concentrating with dieting is that you are likely to grab the next diet regime, book etc that looks good. Does it work? You may lose some weight in a few weeks but you will have to stop dieting at some point and then what? Have a break until the next diet or is it that you never stopped.

The weight loss industry is a very lucrative business and it does bank on the fact that you are looking for quick solution. I will go back to my first point which says make life goals and not a dieting commitment. Therefore, weight loss would be part of the life changes you want. Undoubtedly not everybody can do it by themselves, however try to pick that weight loss solution which will help you to learn about healthy eating, give you tips for your everyday life and support in what you are trying to achieve.      

5. Get support

Studies have actually shown that people who have support tend to lose more weight and adhere to diet regimes. Support which comes from your immediate family environment is always the best. However, if for any reason you can’t make that work support could come from friends, weight loss buddies, and even weight loss clubs and online weight loss services.

There are plenty of choices out there so you can find the one that works for you.

6. Move everyday

Physical activity and exercise is a bonus for your health and weight management. Make a pledge to move every day. You don’t have to necessarily pay big monthly subscriptions to a gym. Make a pledge to move a little bit every day.

Go for a walk, or run in the park, go shopping and walk around the shops, have a spring clean, play a game with the kids, have a swim and so on. All you need is commitment and imagination.

7. Start living

Once you set your life goals and resolutions all you have to do is start living. This is my new year’s mojo. Stop dieting and start living. I am sure I’m not the only one who says that but I am loving it.

10 Best 100 calorie snacks

Sunday, December 18, 2011 17:24
Comments Off on 10 Best 100 calorie snacks


Snacks can play a big role in our everyday diet. Snacks are that something you want in between meals, which need to be easy to eat, relatively small but enough to fill the hunger gap, or that little something which will keep your mouth occupied.

However whether you are on a weight loss diet or not, finding what to snack on can be a hard job. The usual commercial choices tend to be high in sugar, high in calories and high in fat and often not a ‘healthy’ choice.

In general it is recommended to avoid too much snacking and aim for higher in protein lower in sugar snacks. Such snacks would keep you full for longer and can also be better for blood sugar control. You can also read our previous post 13 healthy snack ideas for weight loss for more details. In today’s post we have selected the best 100 calorie snacks for weight loss.

10 Best 100 Calorie Snacks

1.     Fruit.

Fruit are low in calories and full of nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals. They can and make an easy, light and healthy snack and they can always satisfy a sugar craving. The calorific values vary for each fruit with bananas being slightly calorie heavy.

Majority of fruit are also rich in fibre and high in water content both of which tend to make you feel full.

Tip: Keep one or two fruit of your choice in your bag so you can have them at reach wherever you are and whenever you want a snack.

Tip: Alternatively you can make a small fruit salad. Fruit salad panes are usually sold in most food stores or cafes so it can be an option if you are on the go. A 200gr fruit salad is approximately 82 calories; values can vary depending on the fruit used.

Here are the nutritional values for some fruit most commonly consumed.

Fruit Sugars Fibre Calories
Apple (medium) 14.4 g 13.3 g 72 kcal
Banana (medium) 14.43 g 3.1 g 105 kcal
Pear (medium) 16.27 g 5.1 g 96 kcal
Peaches (medium) 8.22 g 1.5 g 38 kcal
Orange (medium) 12.25 g 3.1 g 62 kcal

 

2.     Yogurt

Yogurts are protein based snacks which can make you feel fuller for longer. In addition, yogurts can provide a flexible taste option as they be eaten plain or with toppings.

Tip: It is always recommended to aim for natural plain yogurts and add fruit or nuts rather than the pre-prepared fruit yogurts which tend to be anything else but yogurt.

Tip: Also avoid adding loads of sugar or syrups as it can increase the calories and the sugar content.

3.     Smoothies

Smoothies are another flexible option. With smoothies you can create your own combination to please your own taste, you can use fruit and vegetables, yogurt, cream, ice whey-protein powder, and the list can go on. It is not as easy to make if you are on the go or in work.

Tip: Unless you can have a freshly prepared smoothie is best to avoid the ones sold in the shelves. Pre-bottled ones tend to be full of sugar, taste enhancers and preservatives. Plus by the time you drink it most of the vitamins would have disappeared.

Tip: Avoid adding syrups and sugars. You could add a small teaspoon of natural honey or just a sweeter fruit.

4.     Punnet of blueberries or any berries of your choice

Some studies actually suggest that blueberries and in general colourful fruit (and veg.) can actually have a protective role against obesity related diseases. Satisfy the craving and help your body regulate blood sugar, and conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Tip: Be aware that by eating berries alone will not do miracles. A healthy balanced diet as well will be a better winner.

5.     Avocado

Avocados are one of my favourite snacks. They can be eaten alone or in combination with other toppings. Calorific values of the snack will vary according to what you add on it. It can be easy and you could have an avocado on the go. I like to pre-cut an avocado in half and then take it in small container in my bag and eat it with a spoon when I want a snack.

Tip: Add honey and nuts for a sweet option or lemon juice for a savoury option.

6.     Rye crackers with ham or cheese

With approximately 32kcal each rye crackers can be a great snack. Add a slice of ham or a slice of cheese to add more taste. Again this is an easy and flexible snack option. In addition rye crackers tend to have high fibre content and therefore they can make you feel full for longer.

Tip: Have a little bag with 2-3 rye crackers in your bag. I often spend a lot of time driving in my job and they are handy to just munch on.

7.     Tin of tuna

Now this tends to be a very popular snack with body builders. This is an easy and high in protein snack.

Tip: You can add ¼ of finely chopped red onion, a pinch of finely chopped parsley and a small squeeze of lemon juice for taste.

8.     Olives and feta cheese

This is a simple, low calorie and nutritious snack option. There is a huge variety of olives and you can also buy them infused with herbs and spices so it can suit a lot of tastes. Feta cheese is a protein based option and combined with the olives makes a classic Mediterranean snack. If cheese is not to your liking you could have just the olives.

Tip: A lot of food stores or cafe places sell pre-prepared olive containers. Just be aware of the oil they could contain. Avoid the ones in vegetable oils; also olive oil can be healthy but if you eat loads of it then you could just be increasing the calorific values. Just be aware.

9.     Parma ham and melon

A Mediterranean favourite snack. There are different variations in the Mediterranean region. Italians tend to like Parma ham with melon and in Greece they tend to serve feta cheese with melon. Either way, it can be a refreshing and slightly higher in protein snack. If you combine 2 slices of Parma ham with 6 slices of melon you have a snack of approximately 80 kcal.

Mellon is also high in water content and as mentioned above it promotes satiety.

10. Baked beans

Baked beans are a British favourite snack. A small tin of approximately 150g contains 122 kcal. Slightly over budget but it is not a big deal. Values can vary depending on the size of the can and the brand. If I’m stuck for choices I tend to open a small tin however, I know that many people don’t like them cold. Depending on your taste they can be an easy and on the go snack or it may need a bit of preparation.

Tip: You can use a couple of spoonfuls of beans with a handful of cheddar cheese.

You can also read:

How to burn fat with food

The Ultimate list for fat burning foods

How to control your desire for food

Single best exercise for weight loss for Women

Thursday, December 15, 2011 16:49
Comments Off on Single best exercise for weight loss for Women


exercise for women

This is a question we get very often especially from women: “What’s the best exercise for weight loss?” What can I do so that I get results fast and without the risk of putting the weight back? Is there a single exercise I can do at home and make me slim and fit? There are two answers to these questions and this is what we are going to explain below.

 

First let me say that this is not a new question for us. If you read most of the comments you will see that women are constantly looking for the best way to get fit. It is no coincidence that one year ago we published the post “Best Weight loss exercise for great results” which talks about the most efficient weight loss exercises. Basically the post gives more insight about the number of calories you can burn through stationary bike, elliptical trainer, step aerobics and running. These are certainly among the best weight loss exercises but this is not the complete answer for today’s question.  The complete answer has other parameters which are equally important to the calories burned by each exercise.

The best exercise for weight loss is the one you can do

What do we mean by this? The best exercise for weight loss for you is the one you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter how many calories you will burn what it matters most is that you do it regularly and for a long time.  For example, you can burn approx. 600 calories per hour by doing step aerobics. This is great if you like doing aerobics, if you have the time to do aerobics and if you are physically fit to perform this type of exercise. Maybe step aerobics is the best exercise for weight loss but when it comes to you, this is not your best exercise. You may enjoy walking or running or any other form of cardio exercises and this is what is right for you. The 2 main reasons that most people fail to lose weight with exercise are:  boredom and injury. In other words they either get bored to do their workouts or they get injured because they attempted to perform a workout that does not fit into their body style and physical condition. How do you solve this problem?

Make a list of the exercises you like to do

So, as a first step make a list of the exercises you would like to do and find out how many calories you can burn for a 30 minute workout.

Then once you have your list, identify which of the exercises you enjoy doing and select the one(s) that is more efficient in terms of calorie burning. For example, let us suppose that this is your list:

Exercise Calories burn (30 minutes session)
Aerobics, high impact 250
Aerobics, low impact 180
Aerobics, water 200
Basketball game 270
Bicycling, < 10 mph, 150
Canoeing 130
Dancing, ballroom 110
Weight training 190
Rope jumping 430
Running, 5 mph 300
Stair treadmill 330
Swimming, laps 210
Walking, 2 mph 100

 

From the list above the best exercise is rope jumping with 430 calories per 30 minutes. Maybe you don’t like to do rope jumping but you enjoy dancing, water aerobics, swimming and running. If you only have 30 minutes per day to work out then running is your best exercise for weight loss since it is an exercise you enjoy doing, it is an exercise you can do constantly and it is the most efficient exercise in terms of calorie burning from the other exercises you would like to do.

What if I do exercises I like but get bored again?

It is normal that doing the same exercises over and over again will sometimes make you bored. The solution of this is to do cross training. By doing cross training you basically do different exercises instead of doing just one. This has a number of benefits: first you will not get bored, second you get better results (more calorie burning), third you exercise more muscles and fourth you avoid the risk of injury by moving the pressure to different joints.

You already have the list with your favorite exercises so why not choose 2-3 exercises and do them in terms. For example you can do swimming on Monday, running on Wednesday and finish your week on Friday with aerobics. In between you can do walking for 30 minutes (10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes at night). If you take this approach you will never get bored and you will get better and faster weight loss. You can also apply cross-training within your exercise sessions. For example do 10 minutes walking, 10 minutes running and 10 minutes aerobics instead of doing a single 30 minute session. Choose whatever suits you better and do it consistently for a number of weeks.

Learning how to exercise correctly is very important

It is not enough to exercise but you need to learn how to exercise correctly. For each exercise there is a good and a ‘bad’ way to do it. Doing it the wrong way will not give you the expected results and also you run the risk of getting injured. It is best to consult a professional trainer before starting any exercise or at least make sure that you have the right equipment (e.g. good running shoes, exercise mats etc) before starting your workout. We have outlined 10 fitness tips for women in a previous post that gives you guidelines on how to structure your workout.

Exercise is only part of the weight loss equation

Everybody knows that the best way to lose weight is by following a balanced diet and doing regular exercise. Exercise is a key part of the whole process that can help you lose weight faster but most importantly keep the weight off and never gain it back. Besides that, there many other tips you can follow for more solid results. You need to take care of your diet and lifestyle habits. We have gathered in a previous post 28 weight loss tips with exercise for getting the best results from your exercise sessions.

 The best exercise for weight loss for women is…

To sum up the best exercise for weight loss for women is the set of exercises you like doing consistently and for a long time without getting bored and can generate the best calorie burning results according to your lifestyle, body structure and physical condition. Finally, always remember that doing any exercise (even walking on a daily basis) is better than not doing any exercises at all.

The 5 most important weight loss tips for 20 year olds

Monday, December 5, 2011 17:31
Comments Off on The 5 most important weight loss tips for 20 year olds


weight loss for teens

The basic principles of weight loss apply to all ages but there are specific weight loss tips for 20 year old that take into account the energy and enthusiasm of young people. To start with, people in their twenties have more than one reason to take care of their weight and appearance. Ages 20 – 30 is the period to make friends and connections and the last thing you want is to worry about your weight. So, the 5 most important tips that will help you lose weight and make you look better but most importantly feel better are:

 

Tip #1: Learn the very basic rules of weight loss

You probably do not have the patience to read a lot of theories about weight loss but it is important that you know at least the basic rules:

  1. You will lose weight if you manage to eat less calories and burn more. The only way to eat less is by being selective on what you eat and drink and the only way to burn calories is through exercise and activity (e.g sports).
  2. One pound of fat is 3500 calories. This means that for every 3500 calories you save (by eating less and exercising more) you will lose one pound. If the opposite happens (i.e. you eat more than you burn) you will gain one pound.
  3. If you don’t want to go on a diet then use a food calorie counter to count the calories you take in and try to burn more calories through physical activities.

You can also read why lose weight and how to do it correctly for more detail information as  well as easy tips to cut 200 calories per day from your diet

Tip #2: Drinks do have calories

Statistically people in their twenties tend to drink a couple (or more) drinks especially those containing alcohol. What you should understand is that drinks do have calories and if not taken into consideration can literally destroy all your efforts to lose weight. It is common to take care of what you eat but neglect the calories contained in drinks and then wonder why you are still putting on weight. You should take note that:

1 can of soft drink (cola diet – non diet) contains 140 calories. If you multiply that by 30 its 4200 calories or 1 + ½ pounds just by drinking one soft drink per day.

1 can of pre-packaged orange juice may contain up-to 600 calories

A regular vodka and tonic has 130 calories

Medium glass of wine has 130 calories

One pint of beer has about 240 calories

One shot of Whiskey about 55 calories

Calories from drinks are considered “empty” calories since they have nothing to offer (no nutritional value)

Tip #3: If you don’t want to join a gym then move!

Going to a gym on a regular basis will help you stay fit and within your normal weight. Unfortunately not all people like or want to spend time in the gym but this does not mean that they cannot lose weight. Use your energy wisely and engage into activities that you like and at the same time burn calories. Sports are perfect examples where you have fun, socialize and lose weight at the same time. For instance:

With Cycling you can burn 300-400 calories every 30 minutes

Playing 30 minutes racquetball is equivalent to 300 calories

30 minutes of basketball is 290 calories

30 minutes of tennis is 300 calories

Hint: You can use our free diet and exercise planner to analyze the calories you burn from each sport or activity

You can also read 28 exercise tips for weight loss and Best weight loss exercise for more detail information.

Tip #4: Do you drink enough water per day?

I cannot stress enough the importance of water for a good health and weight loss. Water helps your body organs function better, enables easier digestion, replaces lost body fluids and can delay (and minimize hunger). The best way to start drinking water is by first taking note on how many classes of water per day you normally drink. Do not be surprised if the results are 1, 2 or 0! Many people tend to drink other beverages instead of water but NONE of them can replace water functions. So, find out your daily average and try to increase that to 6-7 classes per day. The more you can drink the better is for your health.

Tip #5: Breakfast, protein and carbohydrates

A protein rich breakfast is important for many reasons. It will give you enough energy for your daily activities and keep your stomach busy until lunch time. It is a fact that many people do not eat breakfast, especially when they wake up late in the morning but it is important to make an effort and change this habit. You can read the importance of a good breakfast for more detail information.

Also you should have clear in your mind about the role of protein and carbohydrates in losing weight. Both nutrients are necessary for a healthy and balanced diet. Protein promotes weight loss by keeping you full for longer, helping you build more muscles (and burn fat) and by making your bones stronger. Carbs are as equally important since they are used as a ‘fuel’ from the body. They are especially important for those who exercise regularly and when taken in moderation can do more good to your health than any harm. Read more about carbohydrates and weight loss.

You may also like to read:

Weight Loss for Teens and Weight Loss Tips for Teenage Girls

How do Americans lose weight?

Thursday, December 1, 2011 14:10
Comments Off on How do Americans lose weight?


weight loss for americans

A very interesting study by Gallup reveals how Americans lose weight. The study, among other things, shows that the real way to lose weight is not through weird weight loss programs but by adopting the basic principles of losing weight (eating less and exercising more) in your everyday life. These are the concepts we are trying to promote in our web site and products and we are more than happy to see that the majority of the people who want to lose weight follow this path and not any other shortcut. The 10 main findings of the study are the following:

  1. 52% of Americans have succeeded (at least once) to lose weight in their life. This also means that 48% failed but hopefully the results of this study will motivate them to give it another shot and succeed.
  2. The most effective way to lose weight according to the responses is by working out and exercising (31%) and by eating less (23%).
  3. 12 % of those who choose to go on a diet used a calorie counter to achieve results while 10% gave more preference to natural foods.
  4. Among the commercial diets, Weight Watchers is the most popular (4%) while the majority (32%) used a DIY diet i.e. eating less sugars and sweets, taking care of portion size and giving more value to fruits and vegetables.
  5. Diet pills and other weight loss supplements account only for 4% of the answers while surgery is only used by 1%.
  6. Men tend to exercise more compared to women and people over 55 tend to prefer dietary changes rather than exercise.
  7. The best method to lose weight is to combine both diet and exercise. 47% stated that this combination can generate the best results.
  8. It is believed that 66% of all Americans believe that they are overweight but only 1/3 are actively trying to lose weight. These numbers show the magnitude of the problem and backup the statement that obesity is one of the most popular diseases of the modern American Society. These numbers are consistent the last 5 years which makes the problem even more serious.
  9. The percentage of women who are trying to lose weight (or tried even once) is bigger than men. This shows that women take weight loss more seriously than men, something we have identified many times in the past.
  10. Women have more willingness to lose weight and 37% have tried between 3-10 times while men give up after one or two unsuccessful attempts.

Obesity is indeed a huge problem for Americans and despite the directions given by the different Government departments and non-profits organizations the problem becomes even bigger. The percentage of people who never tried to lose weight (48%) is big and this is very worrying. Lifestyle is to blame but it is also the responsibility of each and every one of us to take action for our own benefits and health. Weight loss is the result of eating less and exercising more, you do not need to engage into complicated, restrictive and dangerous programs. We have many weight loss tips that are very easy to implement and help you get started. Do not delay it any longer but take action today. You can continue by reading our 300 weight loss tips

How do Americans lose weight

7 weight loss tips for Christmas

Sunday, November 27, 2011 14:42
Comments Off on 7 weight loss tips for Christmas


weight loss tips for 2012

Christmas is approaching and along with the big present’s shopping comes the big eat. Christmas is almost synonymous with putting on weight. After all there are so many festive parties, dinners and goodies which you only get to enjoy once a year.

Can you go through the party season and not topple the scales but at the same time enjoy what the festivities have to offer? I say yes and it is easier than you may have thought. Read below our weight loss tips for Christmas.

Tip #1: Beware of the sweets

I think we all may know that sugar and sweets do contain a lot of calories and are what I call sticky; they stick in the thighs, belly, and bottom and well just about everywhere. If you have the will power of superman then you can go through the festive season without touching them but I’m sure there will not be many people who can do that.

1. Have a daily allowance of sweets. For example set a 200kcal limit a day or 2 sweets a day. Work it out in whichever way it suits you, whether it is keeping your sweet eating for one meal, or a little bit per day, or once a week.

2. Keep your sweet eat allowance for those sweets which you really want. Boxes of chocolates change hands constantly through the season and you could find a couple in work, a couple in the house, sweet sampling in the streets or shops, in your neighbour’s or friend’s house. As a matter of fact there are in every corner and they look inviting and delicious. Don’t spend your day picking and picking and picking, instead save it for those specific sweets which you have been waiting all year for.

Tip #2: Save your calories for the main meals

Cut down on snacking through the day. A lot people tend to pick food all day, and do what we call grazing. Once upon a time everybody used to advise that the secret to weight loss is to eat a little bit and often. This may be recommended if you have insulin/blood sugar problems or if your doctor has advised it for other reasons. However, in general grazing all day can have some problems.

1. You could be consuming more food than you think. Snacks such as a packet of crisps, a biscuit, and a cereal bar etc can contain a lot more calories than you think and when all put together they may be more than your main meal. Be especially careful during the festive period where there are snacks and nibbles everywhere.

2. Plan your snacks and meals so you have an account of how many times and what you are eating.

Tip #3: Plan for the dinner party

Do not skip meals. Do make sure you have the 3 main meals through the day. If you have a dinner party don’t just starve all day so you can save your calories for the evening meal. Starving all day and then having one big meal once a day will not do any favours to insulin levels or other metabolism and hunger controlling hormones. The result could be that you may be feeling hungrier and end up eating more or storing more calories as fat.

Tip #4: The ‘It is a healthy food so it is ok to eat it’ misconception

Well dried mixed nuts are good for you, right? So it is fine if you have a load of those caramelised hot nuts which are popular in Christmas markets, right? Actually the answer is no. Just because a food item contains some healthy ingredients it doesn’t mean that is automatically healthy or low on calories. For example a mixed fruit stew, cooked in masses of margarine and sugar probably has as much trans fats and calories as a portion of chips. Same could go for apples covered in chocolate or caramel, or other popular festive foods.

1. Think how far has this food come from its natural form and how much cooking and processing it has gone through before you eat it. Also what ingredients does it contain? A lot of commercially prepared food could be fried or cooked in vegetable oils and margarines. They could also contain high amounts of salts and sugars preservatives etc or you could be adding on top of it loads of toppings such as creams and sauces which are far from healthy.

2. Try home cooking. You could save a lot of money and calories. Well sugar is sugar but if you make your own apples and bake them instead of frying them or add less sugar, or in general go for healthier cooking options you could be better off. You could also be having some quality family time as well.

3. Count all calories. If you are trying to stay on a calorie budget then all calories do count no matter how small or secret or healthy they are. Be aware not to go mad or obsessed with calorie counting but be aware what’s coming in.

Tip #5: Work the buffet food.

Buffets are a common festive practice and in general are full of pastries, sandwiches, chips or potato wedges, pizza pieces, breads, mini burgers…and you can fill your plate as much as you like and usually as many times as you like!

1. Look carefully the options contained in a buffet and don’t just go through adding everything and anything. There are healthier options such as chicken pieces, salad, some past options. Avoid things which are drowning on mayonnaise or other creamy sauces, loads of pastries or bready foods such pizzas, burgers etc.

2. Don’t add it on your plate just because is there and don’t eat just for the sake of it. You do not have to eat from every single platter just because is there.

3. Don’t over fill your plate as if you are not going to see food for the next 10 years. It is a buffet and it could well be that there is enough food to feed the whole of the neighbourhood. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to eat it all. Add one layer not mountains and when you finish wait 5 minutes before you have a second helping. Think are you really hungry or do you just eat because it is there.

4. Don’t stand over the buffet and keep on picking. Do you ever say ‘I am on a diet’ or ‘I don’t want to eat loads’ and you just put one small piece of something on your plate? Then you sit or stand by the buffet and every 2 minutes you go and pick one thing. You can so easily loose count of how much food you had or what you had. Better put on your plate what you think you are going to eat and eat that, than kid yourself with regular trips and grazing.

4. Sit yourself away from the buffet or with your back to it. You will be less likely to go for seconds if you are not constantly looking for food or if you are sitting in a sit which is harder to go back out to the buffet.

Tip #6: Just because it’s free it doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

You walk through the mall or though the supermarket and there are tones of people who want to sample this and that. You have a tiny piece of chocolate, a piece of cheese, or a piece of cake. In addition, this morning someone brought a box of doughnuts in the office, or there was a buffet in the kid’s school. It is all offered for free so why turn it down.

As with everything else a little piece at the time adds up to a massive piece. You also loose count of what you had and finally just because it is free and someone offers it to you doesn’t mean you have to have it. Saying no thank you is not a bad thing.

Tip #7: Don’t fall into the festive moment of compulsive buying & compulsive eating.

The festive season more than often does end up with masses of money being spend and giving in to compulsive buying. As with everything else left post festivities you have loads of food still to eat in your kitchen.

Marketing is well designed to make you buy and with the festive season is so easy to give in to compulsive shopping without a second thought. But think to yourself do you really need so much of everything. The more you buy the more you are likely to eat and from experience it is usually around March that the last box of chocolate gets eaten.  

Sausage & Fennel Stuffing

Sunday, November 20, 2011 23:38
Comments Off on Sausage & Fennel Stuffing

From our resident Chef Silvia – her own special stuffing……

“Regardless of who hosts Thanksgiving in my family, I’m always asked to make the stuffing. It’s become a family classic – it’s so flavorful, easy and different. I made this with sweet Italian sausage but you can use hot or a combination. I also spiced it up with a few pinches of crushed red pepper and a diced jalapeno pepper but you can leave that out if you have little ones. This recipe is enough to stuff a small turkey but you can easily double it. ”

Recipe
1 lb. Italian Sausage
14 oz package of corn bread stuffing (or bread stuffing if you prefer)
1 fresh fennel bulb (sliced thinly)
1 large sweet onion (medium dice)
¼ cup of olive oil
1 large fresh garlic clove (medium dice)
2 cups chicken broth
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
1 diced jalapeno pepper (medium dice)
Finish with a about ¼ cup of fresh chopped Italian parsley

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add about ¼ cup of olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Heat until hot but not smoking and add the onion and the fennel (and the jalapeno pepper).

Cook for about 5 minutes or just until the vegetables are soft and golden.

Add the garlic (and the crushed pepper) and cook for about 15 seconds followed by the sausage.

Cook for about 10 minutes until the meat browns. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl if your pan isn’t large enough to accommodate the stuffing.

Add the stuffing followed by the broth (a little at a time) and stir until all of the mixture is moistened. Finnish with the parsley and that’s it. Stuff your turkey.

Enjoy!

5 Weight loss myths for a safe weight loss

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 14:57
Comments Off on 5 Weight loss myths for a safe weight loss


green tea

If you are looking for weight loss information, you probably read hundreds of weight loss tips and tricks, diet reviews and product showcases but how many of these are truth and which ones are fake or just myths that emerged over time? Read our post below for the top 5 weight loss myths of all times.

Myth #1: Fast weight loss diets work for permanent weight loss

The majority of weight loss programs promise fast and permanent weight loss results. This is one of the biggest weight loss myths for two simple reasons. First rapid weight loss diets are restrictive and this makes it very hard to follow for a long time, as a result people get tired and quit and the result is of course weight gain.  Second, crash diets are unhealthy and sooner or later people realize this and give up.

Do not fall into the traps of marketing gurus, if you want to lose weight permanently then follow healthy weight loss tips and guidelines and have in mind that the recommended (maximum) amount of weight to lose per week is ½ to 2 pounds.

Myth #2: Avoid fat and carbohydrates when dieting

Both carbohydrates and fat are necessary for a healthy body. Completely avoiding them is not recommended and will not aid your weight loss efforts. Following a diet that is very low on carbohydrates will make you feel tired and weak and may cause ketosis which can prove very dangerous in certain cases. Carbohydrates are necessary for normal digestion and also give you the feeling of fullness for longer periods thus saving you calories from ‘unnecessary’ eating.

It is true that fats have twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein but they are necessary to keep your body in normal temperature levels and your stomach full for longer periods.

The only way to lose weight is by following a balanced diet which includes moderate consumption of both carbohydrates and fat. It is no wonder that during a recent study the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet (both diets are balanced diets) were voted as the best weight loss diets.

Myth #3: You can lose weight by exercise alone

It is a fact that exercise is the only way to burn calories. During a normal day your body burns calories to perform the normal body functions (breathing, digestion, walking, etc) but to accelerate this process and burn more calories you have to exercise. Exercise also promotes good health and increases your chances for a permanent and safe weight loss.

Exercise alone though cannot give you optimum results. You also have to be careful on what you eat. Weight loss will happen when the calories you burn are more than the calories you consume. When this deficit is above 3500 calories you will lose one pound. Also, consider that to burn the calories you consume from a meal may take many hours in the gym so by taking care of what you eat your chances of losing weight are greatly increased.

Myth #4: Light or low-fat foods have 0 calories

Not really. Compared to the same size full-fat version the low-fat will have fewer calories but certainly not zero. The label ‘low-fat’ is not representative of the number of calories a food may contain. Some low-fat foods have more calories than the full-fat equivalents because of added sugars or other ingredients that add calories.

Myth #5: Just be careful on what you eat without counting your calories

Many people believe that by just eating less (compared to what they used to eat) will lose weight. This is partly true. If you have more weight than normal then this means that you are consuming more calories than what your body needs. So, one of the expected actions to reverse this situation is to start eating less. But this is not the end of the story. You need to know approximately how many calories to save per day in order to lose weight. By making some simple calculations you can find out how many calories to eat per day, how many calories to burn through exercise and how to distribute your calorie intake between meals.

10 Dining out tips for losing weight

Sunday, November 13, 2011 18:10
Comments Off on 10 Dining out tips for losing weight


weight loss tips

Eating out is unavoidable but this should not impact your weight loss efforts.  There are little things that make a big difference when eating out and if you manage to follow our weight loss tips correctly, you can enjoy your next meal without feeling guilty and more importantly without breaking your weight loss plan.

10 Dining out tips for losing weight

Tip 1: Select a good restaurant

A ‘good restaurant’ in our context is one that:

Serves a variety of menu dishes (not buffet) including fish and salads

Displays nutritional information for each meal

Has a good reputation for serving fresh food

Tip 2: Decide in advance what to eat

It is better not to go to the restaurant with an empty stomach and it is advisable that you know in advance what to eat. Before leaving home do your research by visiting the web site of the restaurant and make your decisions.

Tip 3: Choose your meals wisely

Eating out once in a while will not destroy your weight loss efforts but it is better to make smart food choices so that the impact is limited to none. As a rule of thumb try to order ‘Mediterranean style’ dishes such as fish, poultry, salads, legumes and whole grains. If this is not possible then give preference to the following dishes:

Steak – remove the fat and eat only the lean part (no sauces or gravy)

Chinese – prefer dishes that have lots of vegetables and avoid eggs as well as sweet and sour sauces. Go for steam rice instead of fried and try to avoid oil as much as possible.

Italian – Pasta with red sauce is a great choice. Carbonara and other cream sauces better be avoided.

Pizza – Vegetarian pizzas or margarita are better.

Mexican – Spicy foods are good for weight loss since they help metabolism. You can order chicken fajitas with vegetables and rice instead of chips. Minimize though the consumption or sour cream.

Tip 4: Drink Water or wine with your food

Soft and alcoholic drinks are full of calories and sugars. You can enjoy your meal with a class of red wine or water. It’s also ok to order a zero (light) soft drink. Also try to avoid fresh fruit juices and cocktails.

Tip 5: Eat an appetizer

It’s a good idea to eat an appetizer before your main meal. This will cut down your hunger and save you many calories. When choosing an appetizer avoid creamy food, cheese (for example nachos), sauces (for example chicken wings with barbecued sauce) and prefer: Salads (for example a small green salad), seafood (smoked salmon is a great choice), soups and vegetables. Have in mind that avocado which is used very often as an appetizer has a lot of fat and calories.

Tip 6: What about side dishes?

Restaurants have many choices for a side dish. You can safely choose steamed or boiled vegetables, baked potato (without butter, cheese or sauces), rice, noodles or even seafood. Potato chips, salads with dressings, fried food is not recommended.

Tip 7: Eating slowly does matter

One of the little things that do play a role is eating slowly and chewing your food very well. When eating slowly you give enough time to the brain to get the ‘signal’ from the stomach that it is full and thus avoiding the consumption of extra and unnecessary calories. Also by chewing your food very well you make the digestion process faster and easier for the stomach. Take your time, talk with your friends, drink your water or wine and enjoy your dinner.

Tip 8: Size does matter

The size of the portion does matter. Restaurants usually have big plates and this makes the food quantity look small but in reality this is not the case. Do not judge the size of the portion from the plate size but during your meal try to stop when you are feeling full. Do not get carried away by what your friends may be doing or eating and make sure that you leave space for a desert as well.

Tip 9: Deserts

Deserts don’t have to be full of fats and sugars to be tasteful. You can still enjoy a fresh fruit salad, a low-fat yogurt or a lemon pie for a desert and be happy. It’s ok to have a small ball of vanilla ice cream but as a rule of thumb try not to eat chocolate cakes, cookies and creamy deserts.

Tip 10: Enjoy your meal without feeling guilty

Even if you eat more than expected it is not the end of the World. Do not feel guilty about it, try to enjoy your meal and try to be better next time. What is important though is to take corrective actions. If for example you eat a few calories more then try to burn those calories the next day by walking, running or using other forms of exercise. You need to keep a balance so that you are happy and satisfied. If you made a mistake during your meal then you need to correct your mistake by doing something more during your exercise sessions.

Page 11 of 507« First...456789101112131415161718...304050...Last »