Category Archives: Diet

Meet Your Weight Loss Goals How To Stay Motivated And Stick To A New Diet

With the new year approaching, it is without a doubt that many people are going to be setting weight loss and fitness goals. However, one of the biggest mistakes that most people make is setting unrealistic goals that set them up for failure. Weight loss does not have to be an incredibly difficult mission. With the right knowledge, commitment and patience, losing weight can be very simple.

Set realistic goals

One of the first things you need to do in order to lose weight and keep it off for good is to set realistic weight loss goals. Most nutritionists and exercise physiologists agree that the average person should aim to lose anywhere between one to two pounds a week. Individuals who often lose large amounts of weight usually are not necessarily just losing fat, but are also losing water and muscle. Setting realistic goals will also help you to stay motivated and not get discouraged when aren’t making drastic improvements.

Count your calories

Weight loss is as simple as making sure that you burn more calories than you consume. The easiest way to track this is to monitor your daily food intake. Eating out makes it very difficult to track calories given that you will never know exactly how much of various ingredients cooks are using to make their savory dishes. A simple rule to follow is that if you can’t count it, don’t eat it.

Engage in daily exercise

While it is quite possible to lose weight simply through dieting and caloric restriction, it is also necessary to engage in some form of daily exercise. To maximize weight loss efforts, perform aerobic exercise at least four to five times a week for at least 40 to 60 minutes. Weight training can be done anywhere between three to four times a week. If you can’t work that into your schedule, anything will help, even 10 minutes of walking a day.

Try the HCG Diet

Another helpful boost that many successful individuals use to lose weight is the HCG diet. This diet works by specifically raising HCG levels in the body in order to maximize weight loss. Although at first this can seem different, the HCG diet has helped people lose anywhere between 10 to 20 pounds in a month.

Avoid processed foods

Although calorie counting is important, it is also vital to ensure that you are eating real foods. Stay away from all processed carbohydrates, oils and other foods. Processed sugars easily lead to weight gain, diabetes and other common health ailments.

Be Optimistic

Losing weight, as stated earlier, is not challenging, but can be difficult to some who want results overnight. Remain persistent and try your best to think positive. Consider reporting to someone else who has similar weight loss goals so you can stay motivated together.

Weight loss is as simple as eating healthier and being physically active. Start with these tips to get started on your weight loss goals today.

Diets that Work Fast for Women

In today’s image-driven age, women of all ages run from pillar to post in order to lose those few extra pounds that will give them their desired look or make them fit into a desired dress.

Crash dieting or fad dieting is fast becoming a norm with younger women, but with various diets that claim to give very fast results and so many diet plans to choose from, it can be confusing as to which ones to follow and which ones to avoid.

Although these fast diets work, and will no doubt help you achieve a considerable weight loss, it lasts only for a short term. This is because a massive weight loss achieved within a short period of time, especially without any exercise is only water loss.

This weight loss is almost always regained when you revert to your normal eating habits. For healthy and long-lasting weight loss, it is best to consult a dietitian who can come up with a diet plan which is suitable for you. Also, make sure you follow a well-balanced diet, drink plenty of water, get a good amount of sleep and exercise regularly to stay healthy and fit.

If you are looking for a way to lose weight for an upcoming party or wedding, here are a few diets that will help you.

Zone Diet
This diet is based on a 40:30:30 ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; and was popularized by a biochemist named Barry Sears in 1995. Although the efficiency of the diet is still debatable, it has been a real hit in the dieting world. It basically suggests that a diet should ideally contain 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 30% fats. This can be calculated using a zone diet calculator. When following this diet, you eat five meals a day, of which three are whole meals and two are light snacks. This diet claims to improve intelligence, maintain hormonal balance, and increase energy in women. Eggs, bean stew, blueberry pancakes, and beef are some of the foods which are included in a zone diet. Celebrity followers include Demi Moore and Madonna.
How fast is it?
The diet claims that you can lose up to 5 pounds in the first two weeks and 1.5 pounds per week after that.
The Good

Fewer dietary restrictions.
A lot more sensible than other diet plans.
Regulates insulin levels.

The Bad

Dieter might have to invest in books or online membership to follow the diet correctly.
Suggests eliminating many nutritious food items.
Difficult to follow.
No scientific evidence to back up the efficiency of the diet.
Not recommended for people with kidney dysfunction.

Medifast Diet
The diet works on a ‘5 and 1’ plan which means five out of six meals include ready-to-eat weight loss Medifast products like shakes, bars, soups, puddings, etc., and the sixth meal will be a small portion of lean meat, salads, and vegetables. The Medifast Company which was established by Dr. William Vitale, started selling weight-loss products in 1980. Initially, the products were directly sold to doctors, which were then prescribed to patients. Today, the products are readily available for consumers. Celebrities who follow this diet are Kristy Swanson and Genie Francis.
How fast is it?
This diet claims to help you lose 2 to 5 pounds in a week.
The Good

Ready-to-eat foods makes the diet convenient.
A large variety of foods to choose from.

The Bad

Not suitable for everyone.

Low Glycemic Index Diet
Sometime around 1980, Dr. David J. Jenkins, a nutrition professor at the University of Toronto devised a diet plan for people suffering from diabetes. Due to its numerous benefits, people started following the diet to lose weight. It has worked wonders for many people since then. The diet suggests that you eat only those foods which have a low glycemic index (50 or less) i.e., the foods that have very little effect on your blood sugar levels. Since, these foods are digested slowly by the body, they offer a prolonged source of energy and reduce food cravings. The diet suggests intake of foods such as asparagus, avocado, cabbage, green beans, peanuts, spinach, cucumber, lettuce, snow peas, and cauliflower. Whole grain bread, skimmed milk, soy milk, low-fat ice-creams, and fat-free milk are also included in the low glycemic foods list. Celebrities who swear by this diet include Kylie Minogue and Sharon Stone.
How fast is it?
Dieters claim to have lost up to 2 pounds per week.
The Good

Lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Helpful for women with PCOS.
Helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels.

The Bad

Calculating the GI of foods is confusing.
Diet also suggests intake of various unhealthy food items merely due to their low GI.

Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet involves decreased intake of carbohydrates and consists of four phases – the induction phase, the ongoing weight loss phase, the pre-maintenance phase and the lifetime maintenance phase. In the induction phase, the carbohydrate intake is as low as 20 grams per day. In the ongoing weight loss phase, the carbohydrate intake is slightly increased, while in the pre-maintenance phase, it is again raised by ten grams. The lifetime maintenance phase involves continuing with the habits which have been developed during the first three phases. In the Atkins diet, you can include food items such as cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, salads, fish, and poultry. It is advised that you drink a lot of water and avoid certain legumes like green beans. Candies, cookies, potatoes, bananas, and apples should also be avoided. Alcoholic drinks are a strict no-no for people following the Atkins diet. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Geri Halliwell, and Renee Zellweger are known to have followed this diet religiously.
How fast is it?
The diet claims that you lose 6 – 10 pounds during the first phase, up to 3 pounds during the second phase and 1 pound per week in the fourth phase.
The Good

Quick weight loss.
Diet suggests cutting out on processed foods and alcohol.
Easier meal plans.

The Bad

Restricts intake of carbs without which you feel weak and lethargic.
Suggests high intake of animal protein which increases one’s risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Cabbage Soup Diet
The cabbage soup diet is a 7-day detox diet which includes consuming cabbage soup for seven consecutive days. The soup, which is extremely low in calories, is consumed along with fruits excluding bananas on the first day and, with vegetables like potato on the second. On the third day, you are allowed to have various fruits and vegetables while you again return to bananas on the fourth day. On the fifth day, the cabbage soup is coupled with beef and tomatoes; and again with beef and vegetables, on the sixth day. On the final day, it is eaten with rice and fruit juices. Celebrity followers include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jaime Pressly.
How fast is it?
The diet claims to help you lose 10 pounds in seven days.
The Good

Quick and massive weight loss.
Easy to follow.
Reduced food cravings.

The Bad

The diet is a very low-calorie diet.
The diet is very monotonous, thus making it difficult to follow.
Lacks nutrition.

Things to Remember…

The above diets are not suitable for everyone and should be followed only after consulting a health professional.
Rapid weight loss is considered unhealthy. It is always advisable to lose no more than 2 pounds per week.
These diets should be strictly avoided by women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or those who suffer from any major health problems.
In case you experience any side effects, stop following the diet immediately.
Once you are off the diet, make sure you stick to a healthy and well-balanced diet plan to avoid gaining back the lost weight.

Diet Tips For Healthy Skin

Want to know some healthy skin secrets? Do you want to know how you can look younger and have a beautiful skin? These few tips will show you how.

People tend to worry when they actually begin to look older than their actual age. They want to remain young, sexy and still very attractive. Those wrinkles and facial lines don’t help at all. In fact, you could go all the way looking for skin products or facial make ups just to hide those worrisome lines and of course, everybody wants to look sweet sixteen.

Best Foods For Healthy Skin

  1. Water: Drinking enough water is one great way to keep your skin healthy and in shape. It helps to keep your skin moist, helps the cells in the body to absorb nutrients and expel toxins. Water helps with blood flow and keeps your skin glowing. You can choose to drink the commonly recommended 8 glasses of water or get enough water from fruits, vegetables, juices etc. to add to your water intake.
  2. Antioxidants: Antioxidants are essential to slowing the effects of and preventing healthy cells from free-radical damage. Antioxidants may be found in fruits and vegetables such as berries (cranberry, bilberry, and blueberry), spinach, tomatoes, and cherries.
  3. Co-enzyme Q10: CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like substance found in every human cell. But the older you get, the less of it you make. It is involved in key biochemical reactions that produce energy in cells, is capable of regenerating other antioxidants and provides protection against oxidative damage to DNA. It may also be useful in softening wrinkles and other signs of ageing. You can get Co-enzyme Q10 in fish like salmon and tuna, poultry and whole grains.
  4. Foods Rich in Vitamin A: Known to be one of the best vitamins for healthy skin, Vitamin A is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Products also rich in vitamin A may help deal with wrinkles and brown spots. In fact some of these products are also prescription treatment for acne and other skin conditions. Foods rich in Vitamin A include Carrots, leafy greens, eggs, etc.
  5. Foods Rich in Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy collagen and elastin in the skin and repair damaged tissues. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwis, papayas and Brussels Sprouts.
  6. Foods Rich in Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an effective anti-inflammatory that helps prevent sun damage. Vitamin E may be gotten from leafy greens, olives, vegetable oils and spinach.
  7. Green Tea: A type of tea made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis, and is a caffeine-free antioxidant-packed nutritional powerhouse. It supports anti-aging, stops inflammation, helps slow DNA damage.
  8. Omega-3 and Omega-6: they are good fats that help keep away dryness and blemishes. These essential fatty acids help to give your skin a smoother and younger-looking feel.

The Five Best Diet Tips for Reducing Acne and Maintaining Healthy Skin

There are probably few hygiene issues more feared by both men and women around the world than the common acne breakout. Whether it’s caused by stress, dirt, or other factors, acne can be an unsightly burden for many students and professionals, and an entire market of supplements, soaps, and medications, has been created to try and combat this common problem. One area that many acne sufferers never consider as a method of treatment, however, is their diet. That’s a pretty big mistake: There are five major dietary adjustments that can help reduce the frequency and severity of acne outbreaks. Additionally, these five diet tips can promote healthier skin overall, which bodes well for things like aging.

Give the Skin the Nourishment it Needs

Dietary habits are often associated with nourishing the body’s daily functions and its muscles, but those same habits are crucial to nourishing the skin. Healthy, well-nourished skin is less likely to break out and cause unsightly acne pimples to appear day after day. In particular, it’s recommended that those in pursuit of healthy skin eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene. These typically yellow and green fruits and vegetables can make a major difference in the clarity of a person’s complexion.

Those looking for the right fruits and vegetables to nourish their skin should stick to greens and yellows, including fruits like apricots, cantaloupe, mangos, and peaches. Vegetables like carrots, spinach, and squash, are also perfect options.

Eliminate the Foods Most Likely to Cause Acne

One of the keys to preventing acne is to remove foods and dietary habits that can increase the likelihood of a breakout. Some of these, like greasy foods and spicy meals, are well-known among those who suffer from acne breakouts. Others, though, might come as a surprise. In general, there are a few things that should be avoided in the pursuit of healthier, clearer skin:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Processed foods
  • Caffeienated and alcoholic beverages
  • Soda — even decaf or diet varieties
  • Dairy products

With these foods largely eliminated from the diet, skin can retain its healthy, clear appearance, while acne breakouts will likely decline in frequency an severity.

Stay Away from Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is one of the leading causes of acne pimples and large-scale breakouts, so much so that many dermatologists refer to acne as the “diabetes of the skin.” These sugars are all too common, and they’re likely to be found in virtually every processed food in local supermarkets. Whether refined sugar is found in condiments, like ketchup and barbecue sauce, or even store-bought cookies, deli meats, and processed dinners, it can have a disastrous effect on the skin.

Rather than eating processed foods and pre-made products during meal times, switch instead to a diet that consists of fresh, all-natural ingredients. This makes it easy to monitor how much sugar — or high-fructose corn syrup — is being consumed. And it allows for exact control over every gram of refined sugar added into a daily diet.

Cleanse the Skin with a Healthy Diet

When people try to make other parts of their body healthy, by eliminating fat or nourishing their muscles, they almost always engage in a cleansing process to make sure their body is healthy, efficient, and free of toxins that might slow down their path to better health. The same process should be done when ensuring clear skin. Luckily, there are some great foods that can help this process along.

When cleansing the skin and starting a new, acne-preventing dietary regimen, foods like broccoli, celery, cabbage, and asparagus should become a central part of most meals. Additionally, herbs and spices can help cleanse the skin and lay the foundation for better days ahead.

When in Doubt, Pursue a Supplement for Better Skin

All the healthy eating in the world might not prevent clear skin without the help of vitamin-rich supplements. The skin needs a full amount of vitamins like A, C, and E, in order to stay healthy and clear of acne pimples. If those vitamins aren’t coming from food sources, they should come from a daily multi-vitamin that can make up for the deficiency. When the body, and the skin, are fully nourished by healthy foods and the right vitamin intake, they’re able to stay clearer, healthier, and better looking, for a longer period of time.

Five Great Ways to Avoid the Headache of an Outbreak

Preventing acne is as easy as eating the right foods, taking the right vitamin supplements, and avoiding bad habits that can force the skin to break out on a regular basis. With the right fruits and vegetables, a strong daily vitamin supplement, and the avoidance of things like unhealthy drinks and smoking, the skin can stay clear, healthy, and resilient, for a long time to come.

12 Diet Tips To Get Healthy Hair

Did you think that a little shampoo and conditioner is enough to maintain healthy hair? Then you are wrong! Every part of our body needs nourishment and good diet, this holds true for hair too. Only a healthy diet, along with smart lifestyle changes can help you get a vibrant and lustrous crown of glory. People following a weight loss program are bound to experience stunted hair growth. They will experience hair fall at an alarming rate and this hair does not even grow back quickly.

Diet Tips for Healthy Hair:

Starvation depletes the body of all the nutrients important for hair growth and quality. It will also act on the hormones in our body, leading to the reduction in hormone production in turn thinning hair. A good nutrition provides the environment for building strong and beautiful hair. Here we list down some simple diet tips that can help you rejuvenate your hair.

  1. Protein:

Protein is required for the growth of all the cells, including the hair cells. It provides the building blocks of hair that allows repairing and replacing the hair follicles. Without enough protein, the strands will weaken and will lead to slow growth.

Source:

Lean meat, chicken, turkey, soy products, eggs, beans, nuts and fish are some common protein rich foods.

2. Essential fatty acids:

There are certain fats that are essential to healthy body and good hair production. The three active ingredients in essential fats – alpha linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid are important components of the outermost layer of the epidermis that contains keratin and water holding capabilities in our hair.

Source:

Foods rich in essential fatty acids include fish oil, eggs, mackerel, salmon, tuna and walnuts. B complex supplements containing fish oils can also speed up the growth of hair follicles. Avoid eating foods that contain saturated, Trans and hydrogenated fats.

3. Iron

Iron is one of the very important nutrients for healthy hair. It helps to deliver oxygen to the cells – right from the hair follicles to tips. A deficiency in iron can lead to anemia, a condition in which the cells do not get enough oxygen to function properly. Anemia is one of the leading causes of hair loss.

Source:

Lean meats are an excellent source of iron. Vegetarians can consume beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables and tofu to up their iron levels in the body. Apart from this doctors sometimes prescribe iron supplements too.

4. Zinc:

Zinc’s role in our body is to repair damaged tissues. For hair Zinc makes sure that the oil glands around the follicles work in a proper way. It is a component of hundreds of enzymes in the body, which regulate the body’s ability to make new protein. Low levels of zinc can cause dandruff, slow hair growth and even hair fall.

Source:

You can get your daily dosage of zinc by eating oysters, low fat beef, wheat germ, pumpkin and squash seeds. Did you know that dark chocolate is also a good source of zinc. Do not take zinc supplements as it can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb copper.

5. Vitamin C:

Vitamin C deficiency leads to weak and lusterless hair. Our body requires vitamin C to build collagen, a structural fiber that helps the body to hold everything together. It assists in breaking down iron, a building block for hair.

Source:

Supplementing your diet with 250 milligrams of vitamin C can boost the collagen production, besides reducing the wrinkle in our skin. Our body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, thus you need to consume foods that contain high concentrations of vitamin C. Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, clementine, broccoli, spinach are packed with vitamin C.

6. Biotin:

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps our hair and nail grow. The mineral is used to treat alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease that causes hair fall. The deficiency of biotin is rare as our body makes its own biotin. Therefore, you do not need supplements to get the daily dose of biotin.

Source:

The dietary sources of biotin include nuts, avocados, raspberries, brown rice, green leafy vegetables and oats.

7. Methylsulfonylmethane:

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) aids in the production of keratin a protein in the hair, while strengthening the hair follicles. A study has shown that 100% people who were supplemented with MSM showed a reduced hair fall and increased hair growth in just 6 weeks.

Source:

Green leafy vegetables like Swiss chard, cabbage and watercress contain moderate amounts of MSM. Heat kills some of the Methylsulfonylmethane so try to consume green leafy vegetables in their raw form.

8. Silica:

Silica is critical for hair growth. Take 500 milligrams of silica two times a day for proper hair growth.

Sources:

Food sources of silica include cucumber, beans, celery, asparagus, and green leafy vegetables.

9. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is crucial to nourish damaged hair and prevent hair fall. It helps the body to manufacture keratin within the hair strands. This prevents hair fall and breakage.

Source:

Supplement your diet with 400 IU of vitamin E to restore the locks. Foods high in vitamin E include almond, pine nuts, dried apricots, spinach and olives.

10. Vitamin B6:

Vitamin B6 is involved in the creation of red blood cells, which carry the nutrients to different parts of the body, including scalp and follicles. Lack of vitamin B6 can starve the cells, causing slow growth, weak hair and hair shedding.

Source:

The best foods for vitamin B6 are wild salmon, chickpeas, lean beef and pork, oats, lentils and Brussels’s sprouts.

11. Supplements:

The herbalists have used saw palmetto since ancient times to treat hair loss in both men and women. A research in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that taking 400 milligrams of extract of saw palmetto and 100 milligrams of beta-sitosterol could help increase hair growth in men.

A 100 milligrams daily consumption of B complex supplements can reduce the hair thinning by increasing blood circulation in the scalp and rejuvenating the hair follicles.

12. Water:

Besides the mentioned foods, you need to consume 2 liters of water on a daily basis to get beautiful and healthy hair. Do not drink tap water as it contains fluorine, chlorine and chemicals that can inhibit iodine absorption.

Remember, excess usage of chemical laden products and hair styling tools can do irreparable damage to the hair. Do not repeatedly perm, crimp, curl or bleach your hair as it can alter the natural composition of the hair.

Sample Diet Chart:

Maintaining a good diet is as important and choosing a good diet.

Early Morning: 7 AM

  • A cup of green tea

Breakfast: 9 AM

  • 2 slices of whole grain bread with omelet
  • 1 glass of soy milk

Lunch: 1 PM

  • 1 cup of paneer curry with 2 chapattis
  • 1 medium sized banana

Evening Snack: 4 PM

  • 1 cup of unsweetened yogurt topped with fresh fruits

Dinner: 9 PM

  • 1 bowl of fish curry / green leafy curry with 1 chapatti and 1 bowl of brown rice
  • 1 cup of milk

Hope that you love your hair as much as we love ours. Maintaining healthy lustrous hair isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Just maintain a healthy diet and follow a daily exercise routine. We would love to hear if you have any amazing tricks to stop hair fall.

Heart Healthy Diet Food Cooking Tips

How Heart Healthy Is Your Diet?

When so much is spoken about the importance of staying healthy and fit, it is needless to say that your heart needs to remain healthy too. Yes, your health depends a lot on your heart’s health. Just as weight management and healthy living is important, consuming a diet, which is heart healthy is much needed. Hence, it is time to ask yourself, if your diet is heart healthy and if not, there is always room for improvement.

A heart healthy diet simply means a diet that is important to keep your heart in good state, so that it is able to function effectively. This does not mean simply avoiding junk food or certain food items. It means much more, it is a change in your lifestyle, a change for your health. While excluding the foods that are detrimental to your heart is essentially important, including heart healthy foods is the key to a successful heart healthy diet plan.

Preventing Heart Disease

Today, heart disease is a major part of lifestyle disorders. However, by choosing the necessary heart friendly lifestyle options, you can surely protect your heart. The major factors that contribute to heart disease include your body weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If any of these factors are out of their range, your risk for heart diseases increases.

The only way to prevent heart disease is to follow a regimen that is absolutely heart-smart that includes a heart healthy diet and heart friendly exercises. Some researchers also suggest this heart healthy plan for reversing heart diseases, which is needed if you are already experiencing some heart disorders or are at an increased risk.

Heart Healthy Diet

You can adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle if you wish to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stay healthy. The American Heart Association recommends consuming nutrient rich foods from all food groups and limiting intake of simple sugars and fats while avoiding those foods which are poor in nutrition.

Plan a heart healthy diet for yourself by choosing

  • More portions of fruits and vegetables at least 5 servings per day. There are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, while low in sodium, fat and cholesterol.
  • Whole grains and cereals like multigrain bread or pasta, brown rice and oatmeal instead of refined cereals. These are rich in vitamin B, fiber, iron and other nutrients, but low in fat and sodium.
  • Lean meat cuts and egg whites in your diet. Limit intake of egg yolk to a maximum of 3 to 4 per week. Fish is a better alternative, rich in omega-3-fatty acids; small portions can be regularly included in your diet.
  • Low fat milk and milk products like yogurt and buttermilk while avoiding cheese, butter and high fat milk products.

Heart Healthy Foods

Some foods have gained popularity as heart healthy foods or superfoods for heart disease, as they support metabolism and help to maintain weight, reduce cholesterol or they are a rich source of nutrients that are important for your heart.

If you are wondering about any healthy superfoods you should be eating for your heart health, here are to name a few. Fish particularly salmon and tuna; berries, oranges, papaya, pomegranate; avocado, spinach, broccoli, kale, tomatoes; beans and legumes; soy protein like tofu or soy milk; almonds and walnuts, oatmeal, extra virgin olive oil; flaxseeds and something that you are sure to enjoy is dark chocolate and red wine in limited quantities.

Heart Healthy Cooking

Heart smart cooking is the need of the hour. Use cooking methods like boiling, steaming, grilling and baking of meat and fish instead of deep frying. Do not forget to trim all visible fat and washing meat well before cooking or use skinless meat.

Be more creative and experiment with heart healthy superfoods. Use olive oil for cooking or in salads, limit use of salt and add healthy herbs and spices to make your meal more interesting. Basil, parsley, oregano, mint, ginger, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon can be some great options.

Make your food plate more colorful by including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in form of salads, preferably without dressing and soups without thickening agents.

Heart Healthy Tips

Following simple rules and slight modification in your lifestyle can help you achieve your goal of a heart healthy routine.

  • Maintain ideal weight by balancing your calorie intake and making healthier food choices.
  • Limit your salt, sugar intake and avoid saturated fats. Refrain from processed, canned and packaged meals. Check food labels and take a wise decision.
  • Avoid fat or sugar laden foods, baked foods and those made from refined grains. Avoid junk food, colas and candies; limit intake of alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly; include aerobics like walking, jogging, swimming or cycling. It is good to perform 30 minutes of physical exercises at least 5 days a week; everyday is the best. A combination of aerobic, flexibility and strengthening exercises can work well to keep you fit and active.

Healing Your Heart

Take a mindful approach to your heart healthy diet. Watch your shopping list and take active part in cooking to ensure use of heart healthy cooking methods. Realize the health benefits and act for your heart health. Exercise and healthy eating can make you feel better, calmer and healthier. Relax with meditation, manage your stress and feel the heart healthy approach from within.

Five Easier Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Many people hate the idea of rigid diets but the good news is that you follow the five easier ways to lose weight fast below, you will lose weight a lot easier. The diet tips require no real willpower and can improve anyone’s diet and chances of healthy weight control.

Five Easier Ways to Lose Weight Fast

  1. Drink Water

One of the most effective diet tips is to take in plenty of water. Water is possibly the single most important strategy in losing weight and keeping it off.

Water acts as a natural appetite suppressant by keeping your stomach full and stopping dehydration that also leads to hunger and cravings. Water provides the benefit of flushing out the toxins from your body.

Water also helps with your body to metabolize stored fat by helping the kidneys flush out the waste. The difference when you don’t drink enough water is that the liver works to provide stored fat for energy and also because it helps the kidneys eliminate waste it becomes less effective at metabolising the fat.

  1. Eat Breakfast

Your mother has always told you to eat your breakfast and she was right! If you don’t eat breakfast you will start snacking throughout the day and kill any diet plan you are on!

If you don’t have time to eat breakfast , get up earlier, seriously!

  1. Increase Fibre Intake

Eating lots of foods rich in fibre helps keep the movement through your bowels. Just like water, fiber rich foods will fill you up and make you feel less like snacking. In fact, you could lose around 10 pounds  just from doubling yourr fiber intake.

High fiber foods are much lower in calories and will fill you up, so eating more fibre foods means you’re eating fewer calories and leaving less room for calories from other foods. Fiber also cuts calories by attaching itself to some of the other proteins and fats that you eat and eliminates them as well.

The average person consumes about 8g of fiber per day, but many experts recommend 25g. Start your day with a high fiber cereal and keep eating fibre throughout the day.

  1. Eat Healthy Fats

Many experts claim that fat can cause obesity, it will raise your cholesterol and cause heart disease, but this is not strictly true. If fat is all that bad, why is it part of our natural diet chain? The reason is fat can be very good for you.

Fat provides the body with essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids) needed for normal reproduction and growth, as well as for production of prostaglandin, a hormone like compound that regulates blood pressure, blood clotting, and inflammation.

When eating fats you should eat the healthier fats. Eating healthier fats includes the cold-water fish, mackerel and salmon, nuts, and olive oil. By eating healthy fats rather than unhealthy ones you will effectively lose weight.

  1. Lean Protein

Lean protein is a great weight control tool because of the immediate, I feel fuller, factor and because it keeps you full for longer periods of time. It also balances out the carbs by preventing insulin spikes that can lead to a draining your energy and sugar cravings.

Protein also helps maintain muscle mass, which is very important in the fat burning process. At least 20% of calories should be in the form of protein.

Top Tips for a Heart Healthy Diet

While it is important to take care of our whole body and support the health of all our various organs, I think we can all agree that the health of our heart is particularly important to tend to. Unlike a kidney, we do not have one to spare. Whether your heart is in good working order right now, you have some room for improvement or you are recovering from cardiac surgery, adopting a heart-healthy diet is a powerful way to keep your ticker in tip top shape.

Healthy Fats

Fat has always had a bad reputation when it comes to eating a healthy diet but not all fats are created equal, not by far. There are many different types of fats, and certain ones, such as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, offer numerous health benefits, especially for the heart. A typical healthy diet will consist of 25 to 35 percent of your calories from fat and most of them should be these healthy fats. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include oily fish such as salmon and tuna. If you do not or cannot eat fish, good plant sources incude flax seed, hemp seed and walnuts  Rich sources of monounsatured fats include olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives.

While on the subject of fats, you want to limit your consumption of omega-6 fatty acids—they offer health benefits, but in the quantities consumed in the typical Western diet, they promote inflammation–a major contributor to heart problems. Limit intake of soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil. Read food labels carefully since these are the types of oils used in many packaged foods.

Key Nutrients for Keeping Blood Pressure in Check

Maintaining normal blood pressure is one of the most important things you can do for your cardiovascular health and the good news is, making sure to include certain foods regularly into your eating plan has been shown to reduce hypertension as well as medications according to major government studies. The key players appear to be magnesium, potassium and calcium. The good news is, getting these nutrients into your diet on a regular basis is not that difficult since they are abundant in a variety of healhty foods so you should have no trouble finding foods you like.

Good sources of magnesium include wheat bran, almonds, spinach, cashews, soybeans, oatmeal, peanuts, baked potato, black-eyed peas, brown rice, lentils, kidney beans, avocado and raisins. Foods high in potassium include apricots, avocados, bananas, dates, figs, kiwi, melon, orange raisins, almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, artichokes, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, chick peas, lentils, soybeans, spinach, tomatoe, potatos and sweet potatos. Calium-rich foods include dairy (stick to low-fat for heart health benefits), sesame seeds, spinach, collard greens, black strap molasses, kelp, tahini, broccoli, Swiss chard, kale, Brazil nuts, celery, almonds, papaya, flax seed and oranges.

Fiber-Rich Foods

A high-fiber diet is a heart-healthy diet. Fiber helps promote steady insulin levels, which is important for not only your heart but for overall health. Fiber is also good for keeping cholesterol levels in check. It is found in all plant foods but some sources are particularly rich. Beans are a great source, with most kinds providing anywhere from 11 to 18 g of fiber per one cup serving. Choose whole grains over refined grains—they are higher in fiber and research suggests they help reduce abdominal fat and lower inflammation in the body—two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. All fruits and vegetables are great sources but the richest ones include berries of all kinds, pears, oranges, bananas, leafy greens, squash, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of fiber.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health content; she has contributed work to many blogs and websites on a range of topics from nutrition to alternative medicine

Healthy and nutritious diet tips

What are your top tips for getting healthy glowing skin this summer?

Clear out the ‘junk’ foods that are rich in sugar and fats and stick with foods that nourish your body.  Research shows that sugar-rich foods, such as chocolate, appear to damage collagen and may lead to premature skin ageing. Collagen is the foundation for youthful, great-looking skin.

To boost collagen production in your skin, we need to eat protein-rich foods like milk or soya milk, eggs, tofu, lean red meats, chicken and fish along with vitamin C rich foods like berries, peppers, oranges and good quality orange juice.

Why do you think it’s important for beauty that people think about the vitamins they get in their food and drink?

Our skin is the body’s largest organ and it’s easy to forget that, like all other cells and tissues and organs in our bodies, it needs the right nourishment to flourish, look and feel healthy.

We need a range of vitamins including vitamin C and vitamin E to help make and maintain great looking skin that is able to cope with the ultraviolet rays, pollution, soap, water and rain, all of which it is exposed on a daily basis.

Eating right is not only important for our waistlines but overall health, which foods promote good health on the inside and outside?

They are, in many ways, one and the same. Protein-rich foods like milk or soya milk, eggs, tofu, lean red meats, chicken and fish are crucial for helping to make good quality collagen. Meanwhile, we need fruits and vegetables for their vitamin C and super nutrients that help protect our skin from sun-damage from the inside out.

Foods that can help with this are berries, oranges, good quality orange juice, red peppers, spinach, kale, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, apricots, tomatoes and watermelon.

Which three foods would you encourage people to eat more of?

I would suggest three colours of foods rather than three individual foods to concentrate on.

Orange-coloured ones like carrots, oranges, orange juice, apricots and mangoes; red-coloured ones like tomatoes, watermelon and red peppers and green coloured ones such as spinach and kale and watercress will hold you in good stead to help protect our skin from sun damage from the inside out.

Which foods would you suggest that people cut out or cut down on in their diet?

Alcohol, sugary foods and drinks all take their toll on the skin. These should definitely be kept as treats, rather than a regular feature in our diets.

Bikini season is fast approaching so which foods can help speed up metabolism?

The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and do more exercise than you normally do.

That said, research suggests that on a temporary basis, chilli-based sauces and green tea are two foods that help to slightly speed up the rate at which our bodies burn calories, however, you need to eat these as part of a healthy diet.

Which foods can help flatten your stomach?

If you tend to feel bloated, then avoiding fizzy drinks, not chewing gum, eating more slowly, not eating while talking and finding ways to de-stress can all help to avoid swallowing excess air, which can lead to bloating.

Sipping chamomile tea may help to calm you and your digestive system too. Sticking with just a couple of caffeine-containing drinks a day may also help

5 Tips to Keeping Your Spine Healthy

“Sit up straight!”

For hundreds of years, those three words were the only spine health advice most people ever received. Occasionally, they heard the corollary, “Don’t slouch.”

While those are still words to live by, care of the spine has evolved well beyond good posture and lumbar support car seats.

Remember that your spine is part of your central nervous system and not just a backbone.

Follow these helpful tips for optimum spine health, and keep them in mind throughout the day because your spine is always on duty:

Mind Your Spine When Lifting Heavy Items

Everyone says you can injure your back if you lift heavy items, and you should listen to them. Orthopedic doctors confirm that approximately 85% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point; the other 15% have probably never tried to lift anything heavy.

The worst thing you can while lifting is twist. Twisting is the most harmful movement for your spine, and twisting your body while lifting makes it twice as dangerous.

If the object is too heavy to lift, avoid pulling it. There is less strain on your back if you push it, and you should use your legs to push rather than your back or upper body.

The best advice is to get someone to help you with overweight items. Is it worth a lifetime of back pain just to get some box out of the way?

Be Careful When Bending and Reaching

When picking up something from the floor, never bend at the waist to reach for it; instead get as close to the object as you can by kneeling down on one knee, and pick it up slowly. Even better, you should bend at the knees and lift with your legs.

If you must reach for an item that is higher than your shoulder, use a stool. If you strain to reach for something on a high shelf, you may injure your neck and shoulders, as well as your back.

Sitting and Standing Properly Is Key

Always stand with one foot slightly in front of the other to take the strain off your lower back. Don’t lean forward for long periods of time, as this will weaken your lower back muscles and likely lead to pain.

Be kind to your spine if you must sit for hours at a time. Keep your head up and your shoulders back, and don’t forget what your Mom told you: sit up straight!

Let Your Spine a Good A Get Night’s Rest

You spend about a third of your life sleeping, so give your spine a rest in bed and avoid sleeping on your back. Whenever you lie on your back, place a pillow under your knees, which will greatly ease the pressure on your spine.

Most people sleep on their sides, a healthy position for your back if you keep a firm pillow between your knees as you drift off to sleep. If you experience any back or neck pain in bed, change positions immediately.

Maintain a Healthy Diet And Exercise Regimen

If you’re overweight, your spine has to work harder, so the closer you are to your ideal weight the less pressure there is on your back. The biggest strain on your lower back is a paunch, so lose the potbelly before it damages your back muscles, ligaments and tendons.

A proper exercise routine will not only strengthen your back, but also help you lose weight. However, before beginning any exercise program be sure to consult with an orthopedic doctor, particularly if you’ve had back problems in the past.