Monday, 31 December 2007

Healthy Foods Part 4: Proteins

The Reasons Why Protein Should Be On Your Food List!

Proteins should be a staple part of everybody’s diet but most people are too concerned with tracking the calorie count or fat content to bother with the protein content. Protein is the substance in food that helps to build muscles and repairs them if they are damaged. It is also an alternative source of energy, along with fats and carbohydrates. Everyone needs protein to be able to move about, but athletes have to take on extra protein to boost their energy levels as well as maintain muscles.

The main food sources of protein are red meats, fish, chicken, eggs, beans and nuts. If you happen to be a vegetarian then tofu is also packed full of protein. Health professionals and dieticians recommend eating two or three servings of protein a day to make sure that the body tissues remain healthy.

You would think that protein would actually make you pt on weight, but that isn’t always the case. If you eat too much protein then you may put on weight as a result of that, but if you stick to the daily recommended amount then you won’t. After all, think of all of the protein based diets that are out there and very popular at the moment. That is because people see results when they go on a protein diet and can lose a lot of weight.

The main reason why protein is great for weight loss is because it has been proved to suppress the appetite. Eating protein can make you feel very full, more so than eating foods out of any other group, and as a result of that, you can lose weight. After all, if you don’t feel hungry then you’re less likely to snack between meals. This will then decrease your calorie intake. You can eat less but feel just as satisfied after a meal and lose weight!

Protein also digests slowly so you have a constant release of energy throughout the day. Slow releasing foods not only make you feel full, but also make you feel less tired. Some simple carbohydrates release their energy very quickly and can leave you feeling tired later on. When this happens, your body will make you feel hungry because it needs another dose of energy, but proteins will keep you feeling energetic all day! No snacking equals losing weight!

Proteins also contain amino acids, which can help you to lose weight. Amino acids transport energy to your muscles so that it is used up and not stored as fat. Without amino acids, the energy has to find another way to get to your muscles, and that usually means that you don’t burn off enough energy to lose weight.

If you want to lose weight, you could do far worse than eat protein. It has so many benefits and very few negative features when it comes to dieting and getting healthy that it would be wrong to forget about it in your quest to count calories! Eat steak and chicken every day and watch the calories fall away!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Healthy Foods Part 3: Diuretic Foods!

Diuretic Foods: Why Getting Rid Of Water Can Help You Lose Weight

In terms of weight loss, many of the major foods we eat every day are well documented for their great results, but the diuretic foods available are not. They should be though! Diuretic foods are well known for their ability to keep the body healthy by helping it to release excess fluid that is not needed for any of its functions. It does this by elevating the level and frequency of urination. The body has a nasty habit of retaining water, which can put a lot of pressure on vital organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys and so diuretic foods can really help to alleviate the strain and maintain its health for a lot longer than would otherwise be possible. However, they aren’t known for helping people to lose weight, and yet this is an essential function of diuretic foods in many of the best diets out there at the moment.

There are many diuretic foods out there, and most of them are considered staple elements of a healthy diet already. Parsley, watercress, melon, asparagus, artichoke, celery, juniper berries and dandelion are all foods that have diuretic properties. Coffee, tea and coke also have a diuretic effect owing to the theobromine in caffeine, which increases urine volume, although too much caffeine can actually reverse this property. It can actually cause the body to retain water if too much is consumed as a result of the initial strong diuretic effect that it has on the kidneys. As the body suffers from dehydration when caffeine is consumed, it is more likely to store as much water as possible in order to hydrate the next time it becomes available.

Diuretic foods can really help weight loss, and all because of the natural makeup of the body! All cells within the body contain between 65% and 90% water. All cells in the body need water to be able to function properly otherwise we’d be ill constantly. However, some cells tend to retain water more than others, especially if they’re not working properly. As cells hold so much water, if they are holding too much then you’ll put on weight. By making sure that your body only holds enough water to function correctly, you can make sure that your weight remains steady and, more importantly, low!

If you want to make sure that your body doesn’t contain too much water then diuretic foods should be a part of your diet! Diuretic foods will help you to lose weight because they get rid of any excess water that is in your system. By getting rid of that water, you can lose a lot of weight indeed. After all, think about why you weigh less in the morning than you do before you go to bed at night. Your body has gotten rid of the water that it doesn’t need when your body’s at its most relaxed – when you’re asleep! Diuretic foods help this function by flushing out extra water naturally, without the need for supplements.

There are diuretic supplements on the market that are designed to help you lose weight. However, they can actually flush out nutrients and minerals that your body needs. Diuretic foods, if eaten in moderate amounts can flush the water out but leave the minerals and nutrients that your body needs right where they should be!

Diuretic foods should only be eaten as part of a balanced diet to help you to lose weight, but they can be extremely effective. Why not lose weight and keep your organs healthy at the same time when all you have to do is eat a few vegetables and drink a cup of coffee?

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Healthy Foods Part 2: Thermogenic foods!

Thermogenic Foods: Give Your Metabolism A Boost

Thermogenic foods are new to the dieting circuit so many of yesterdays generation wouldn’t have heard of them and would probably label them as another dieting fad that boasts of weight loss properties but doesn’t deliver, like so many other fashionable foods and diets at the moment. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Thermogenic foods have been around for years, even if they have only just made it onto the dieter’s must-eat list! Thermogenic foods actually help the body to burn more fat by increasing the metabolism and can help us to lose weight as a result!

Although thermogenic foods don’t actually provide energy themselves, they can be used to help release more within the body. They are called thermogenic foods because they release heat, which them helps to break down existing body fat. The heat reacts with the fat and starts to remove it. In other words, these foods can help us to lose weight because they break down the fat that is already within the body and turn it into energy that we can use. This sets off a chain reaction because the release of energy speeds up the metabolism so that more of that energy is used to power the body.

Thermogenic foods play an active role in weight loss because they enable the body to use the fat that is stored under the skin. Whenever you pinch your stomach or leg to show someone else how much fat you have, you’re pointing at your stored fat, and that is the stuff that thermogenic foods just love to get rid of. The body can break down energy that’s in the form of carbohydrates or protein far more easily than stored fat, but these foods go straight for that stored fat and begin to break it down by heating it. As the heat reacts with the surface of the stored fat, it converts it into energy that can be used far more easily. Not only does this process get rid of your fat, it also gives you far more energy so you don’t feel tired all day, so there’s an added benefit too!

The whole process actually burns off calories and a little more aerobic activity would use the rest. As a result, thermogenic foods actually accelerate weight loss as well as getting rid of your fat. Every time your body generates heat, it burns calories, and eating thermogenic foods is just one way to do it.

Bitter orange, ginger, guarana, cayenne peppers, hot peppers. chilli and brindleberry are all great examples of thermogenic foods, and caffeine is also a good thermogenic. That can be found in coffee and some soft drinks. All of the above are known for their ability to increase the metabolism within the body, but brindleberry is also known for suppressing the appetite too, so it can stop you snacking as well as burning off your fat and providing energy!

Thermogenic foods provide a great way to lose weight naturally, but it does help if you exercise as well. Exercise is a great way to burn off the extra energy thermogenic foods produce, so put in a little effort and watch the weight just fall off!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Healthy Foods Part 1: Superfoods!

To get this blog off to a flying start, I'm going to post a multiple part series to give everyone an idea of what they can be eating in their daily diet to feel good and look great from the inside out! First up SUPERFOODS!!!

The Rise And Rise Of Superfoods

In terms of weight loss, superfoods are the new kids on the block, and yet have tried and tested properties to help with the process. Superfoods actually contain large amounts of antioxidants, which defines each one as a superfood, and antioxidants actually strengthen the cells within the body as a result of eliminating free radicals that roam around attacking cells. Weight loss is aided by this process because it actually makes the cells more efficient, allowing them to work harder and thus burn more calories.

The concept of superfoods is relatively new, mainly because superfoods have largely come about as a result of modern research. Unlike the rest of the dieting fads that seem to be getting a lot of attention, superfoods have a laboratory tested seal of approval for people wanting to lose weight, as well as having extra benefits that can keep aging at bay. Laboratory tests have proved that including superfoods in your diet can actually make your entire system more efficient because, thanks to the antioxidants, the cells remain healthier for longer.

There are many different superfoods, but the main known ones are blueberries, raspberries, russet potatoes, broccoli, salmon, oats, beans, spinach, nuts, turkey and soy. The majority of foods do contain a certain amount of antioxidants. In fact, the only foods that don’t tend to contain antioxidants are junk foods and red meats, but only the foods with the highest amounts in them make the superfoods list!

Antioxidants actually attack and neutralise free radicals that are floating around your body. As previously stated, free radicals attack cells, thus damaging them. This can hamper some of your bodily functions, but if you eat foods with antioxidants then they take care of the cells, maintaining their health and ensuring that no lasting damage is inflicted by the free radicals. Healthy cells can actually metabolise at a greater rate than those damaged over time. That, in turn, burns more fat from the stored reserves.

Some superfoods actually suppress appetite as well as having properties that speed up your metabolic rate. Bee pollen is a perfect example. It helps to speed up the metabolism because it contains enzymes and phytochemicals that help to break down stored fat. It also contains lecithin, which is well known for flushing toxins out your system thus making it more efficient, and phenylalanin, which suppresses the appetite. Blueberries also do exactly the same in terms of your metabolism. The fructose contained within blueberries is slower than other sugars to release and thus speeds up your metabolic rate, and the fiber within the blueberries can also help you to stave off hunger.

Superfoods are packed full of goodness, whether you want to lose weight or get and stay healthy. However, if your intentions lie with the first option then you could do far worse than to superfood your diet! Superfoods have so many positive points that it would be foolish not to! If you get the balance of superfoods in your diet right then not only will you look better, but feel better from the inside out too!

Get Happy And Healthy In 2008!

With just 3 days to go before we wave goodbye to 2007 and welcome 2008 with open arms, you are probably thinking about the New Year's Resolutions that you will make for the coming year... and why not?!

They should be New Year's Resolutions with a difference though... a promise to keep them! I don't know about you but I usually break my no smoking one within 24 hours (actually more like 24 minutes!) but I have had such a rubbish 2007 one way or another than I am determined to make 2008 count!

So here is to a happy and healthy 2008!

Stay tuned for tips on everything from healthy eating to your lifestyle to staying positive! Roll on 2008!