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    5 Easy Eating Habits That’ll Help You Lose Weight And Get Healthier

    It’s time to ditch the fad diets and embrace the power of simple, healthy eating habits. These habits may seem small, but they can have a big impact on your overall well-being. By adopting these righteous rituals, you can change your body for the better and feel your best. And the best part?

    These habits aren’t complicated or time-consuming. They can easily be integrated into your daily routine without much effort. So, whether it’s swapping out sugary drinks for water, adding more veggies to your plate, or eating mindfully, these gastronomic good deeds should be at the top of your to-do list today.

    Habit 1: Say yes to beans

    Top your salads with half a cup of black beans or kidney beans. Legume eaters have smaller waistlines and a 22% lower risk of obesity than bean shunners.

    Faithful to Nature Black Beans

    Woolworths Split Red Lentils

    Komati White Kidney Beans

    Habit 2: Squeeze in goodness

    Squeeze a lemon wedge into every glass of water you drink. One lemon provides just 63kJ, but more than 45 percent of your daily immune-boosting vitamin C (and it costs a lot less than flavoured bottled water).

    Habit 3: Garlic for the win

    Use crushed garlic when cooking vegetables. It slashes your risk of everything from food-borne illnesses to heart disease and the common cold.

    Habit 4: An apple (or two) a day…

    Eat two apples as an afternoon snack. They act as nature’s energy bar and, if you leave their skin on, two of these crunchy gems help you meet 20 percent of your daily fibre quota for just 500kJ. They also deliver loads of the antioxidant vitamin C and the mineral potassium, which reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease while soothing feelings of anxiety, irritability and stress.

    UCook Curried Chicken & Butternut Recipe

    5. Ed’s tip: UCook Meal Kits

    One of the biggest saboteurs of healthy eating? Time.

    Try the UCook meal kits or frozen dishes to take out the hassle of planning dinner tonight. They offer restaurant-quality meals planned, packed and delivered to your doorstep.

    Opt for the Veggie and Carb Conscious options.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    22 Simple Tips To Help You Lose Weight Safely—They Actually Work

    Are you tired of constantly trying to lose weight and failing? This is often due to bad desperate decision-making. Yes, we are looking at you bread-hating diets and you torturous Cleanse diet. It’s time to break the cycle and make healthy habits that’ll stick.

    Losing weight by improving your diet and lifestyle is without a doubt the healthiest way to go. All you need is practical tips on how to incorporate simple, easy and healthy choices so that you can not only shed those extra kilos. They’ll help you transform your relationship with food and exercise and embrace a happier, healthier version of yourself!  These tips hold true for most across the board — and they’re theories that you can put into practice today. Let’s get started!

    1. Do Some Aerobic Moves

    Not the Jane Fonda kind, but aerobic exercise. It refers to the exercise you do ‘with oxygen’ (think: cardio), and it used to be considered the best exercise for burning fat, as you use a higher percentage of it for energy. But it’s the anaerobic kind (short bursts of intensity, like HIIT – more on that later) that burn more energy over time.

    2. Burn Brown Fat For Weight loss

    The fat in your body is made up of different colours. Surprised? We know! White fat is the standard fat that stores energy and gathers around your body. Too much of this white fat can cause obesity. Brown fat is a type of body fat that regulates your body temperature in cold conditions. Brown fat also burns calories and generates heat, as does the less potent but more plentiful beige. Regular prolonged cold exposure fires up both helping you to slim down. Turn your air conditioner down to 19 degrees.

    3. Work The Deficits To Slim down

    If you are looking to lose body fat, you’ll need to be in a calorie deficit, explains sports nutrition expert Dr Emilia Thompson. “That means, simply, that you’re burning off more calories through exercise than you’re taking in.” Not a fan of tracking every morsel? Thompson recommends ruling out post-dinner snacks as a low-effort way to stay within your caloric budget and, ultimately, maintain your deficit.

    4. Watch Your Environment

    By which we mean factors that influence you to eat more and move less. This covers everything from eating the leftovers straight out of the pot (portion size) to a commute that consists of walking to your dining room table (sedentary jobs) and medicating a bad mood with an entire box of Astros (stress).

    5. Choose Foods That Keep You Full

    Or satiated. The goal is to choose foods that keep you comfortably full, for a while – and not to the point where you need a nap. The protein-rich yoghurt, fibrous fruit and fatty flaxseed in this breakfast parfait from performance nutritionist Liam Holmes will reduce your levels of hunger hormone ghrelin and raise levels of satiating peptides.


    150g Greek yoghurt (or a vegan alternative)

    A handful of berries

    1⁄2 banana, sliced

    2 tbsp flaxseed

    METHOD: Dollop half the yoghurt in a jar or bowl. Add half the fruit and flaxseed. Repeat. Eat.

    6. Watch The Junk

    In a Stanford study, we cited subjects who lost significant amounts of weight without counting calories by eschewing processed foods for the whole, real and satisfying kind. Guess what? They ate fewer calories without number-crunching. Quantity and quality both have an impact.

    7. Check Your Intentions

    Ensure that you’re trying to lose weight for the right reasons. If you think you can reduce deep sadness by slimming down or control a scary situation by controlling the number on the scale, that’s anything but healthy and could tip you over into disordered eating territory. Address the emotional issue first.

    8. TRY A HIIT Workout

    Want to torch excess fat in an expeditious fashion? Welcome high-intensity intervals into your weekly workout schedule. Try this no-gear, no-excuses circuit. Warm up, then go hard on each move for 45 seconds, resting for 15 in between. Build up to three circuits, giving yourself a minute after each round to get your breath back.

    01 | Push-up

    02 | Squat jump

    03 | Bicycle crunch

    04 | Close-hand push-up

    05 | Jump lunge

    06 | Bicycle crunch

    07 | Staggered-hand push-up

    08 | Split squat jump

    09 | Bicycle crunch

    9. Drink More Water

    Animal studies indicate that H2O may facilitate fat breakdown, while human trials show that if you drink more, especially before meals, you’ll eat less, as it helps you distinguish thirst from hunger. Another reason to hit your 2L target.

    10. Go Slow And Steady

    Your metabolism slows as you lose weight, stalling progress – or even reversing it. Former contestants on the diet show The Biggest Loser came away burning up to 800 calories per day fewer than average. Why? Because their bodies had adapted by going into starvation mode, doing all they could to cling to fat stores. Go slow and steady: aim to lose no more than 1kg a week.

    11. Axe Keto

    Touted to being the queen of weight loss. Think again. If you’re unfamiliar with “Atkins on steroids”, it’s essentially forgoing carbs (and fun) to get your body into ketosis: a state in which it burns fat for fuel. But once calories are matched, other diets are as effective for weight loss and superior for exercise performance and retaining muscle. Is it really worth forgoing fruit, veg, fibrous grains and beer? Didn’t think so. Should you need more convincing, two words: keto breath.

    12. Say No To Stress

    Stress triggers cravings and may leave you too strung out to buy and prepare healthy foods. It can lead you to eat poorly, mindlessly and irregularly (by disrupting hunger signals) or emotionally. Plus, you lose out on sleep. Dial it down with meditation, yoga or this breathing exercise by Michael Townsend Williams, founder of Do Breathe (

    01 | Sit somewhere comfortable and, ideally, quiet (or wear headphones).

    02 | Breathe deeply from your belly and through your nose, feeling the air passing through you.

    03 | Count to five on each inhale and exhale. Repeat three to five times.

    13. Get Some Light

    We kid you not. Yes, we’re talking about the UV kind. The sun’s rays shrink white fat cells, while studies have linked bright morning sunlight exposure to lower BMI because it signals that it’s time for your metabolism to get moving. Meanwhile, vitamin D from sunlight, salmon and eggs stir the fullness hormone leptin. Go for an al fresco brunch, basically.

    14. Stop Overeating

    Just don’t do it. Only eat when you feel physical hunger (gradual and in your stomach), not emotional (sudden and for a specific food). Ask yourself if you’re thirsty or bored. And be sure to stop before you’re full – as opposed to 10 minutes after.

    15. Work Your Quads

    Write this down: One of the two prime movers in a squat, a move that burns the most calories of all the common lifts. Read again, ‘burns THE MOST calories of all the common lifts’. Strength training while losing weight retains and even adds muscle, which raises your metabolic rate.

    16. Be Pro Probiotic

    Yes, the gut. You’ve been there, done that and brewed the kombucha. But did you know that gut bacteria also affect calorie extraction? Grow your own probiotics in your gut by eating plenty of garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, cabbage and oats. All contain prebiotic fibres that “good” bacteria go crazy for.

    17. Try Tracking

    Pretty self-explanatory, this. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a useful way of monitoring your dietary intake. Whether you use an app or pen and paper, give as much detail as you can about where key health markers – sleep, digestion, mood – are that day. It’ll help you see how lifestyle tweaks are affecting you.

    18. Reward Yourself

    The odd treat (not “cheat”) doesn’t affect your metabolism substantially but can refuel your staying power. But if weight loss is your goal, keep within your deficit, or all that discipline will be in vain.

    19. Eat More Consciously

    You eat more when you’re distracted by screens or music. So, contemplate what’s on your plate with mindful eating: bring your awareness to what you’re consuming, slow down and savour the smells, colours, textures and flavours. Om (nom nom).

    20. Eat More Veggies

    Eating less is hard – so eat more. According to a Penn State study, subjects trained to monitor portion sizes still ate however much was in front of them, but they consumed fewer calories by filling up on low-calorie, high-fibre veg. Devote half your plate to a variety of vegetables and you’re good.

    21. Add Yoga To Your Regime

    Regular practice can support weight loss for reasons beyond a raised heart rate. In a 2016 study, yogis who had lost weight credited the discipline with reducing cravings and stress eating. It’s also been proven to aid sleep.

    22. Get More Zzz’s

    Insufficient shut-eye causes you to sleepwalk towards a bunch of weight loss-sabotaging behaviours: eating bigger portions, selecting food impulsively, consuming more calories and expending less energy overall. It disturbs your hormones and gut bacteria to boot. So, remember: if you don’t adequately snooze, you don’t lose. More

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    The Alkaline Diet: Can This Unusual Viral Method Seriously Help You Shed Kilos?

    By dietician Karen Ansel

    The Alkaline Diet, or so-called pee strip diet, is having a moment. According to the New York Post, celebs like Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston are fans of the plan, which requires you to monitor your pH levels by peeing on a strip of paper that tests your urine. Fun right? It’s also doing the rounds on TikTok, with advocates touting its many health benefits, from weight loss to more energy.

    The Alkaline Diet theory

    Certain foods (and not always obviously acidic ones like lemons and tomatoes) are said to produce acidic by-products when digested. These can throw off your pH balance and lead to weight gain, according to fans of the diet. There’s also the theory that these foods produce mucous in the body, which fuels disease by allowing them to thrive.

    Proponents of the diet say you should swap acid-forming eats like meat, eggs, dairy, processed foods and most grains. Instead, opt for high-alkaline fruits, vegetables, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds to correct your body’s pH and magically torch fat.

    In order to create an alkaline environment, you’d need to cut out acid-forming foods and introduce alkaline foods. In order to make sure your body is in an alkaline level, you’d need to pee on a strip to test.

    But does it work?

    While it’s a no-brainer that switching from fatty meats and processed carbs to a low-kilojoule produce-and-legume regimen will help you drop kilos, there’s zero evidence that your body’s pH has anything to do with it – or even that a certain diet can affect pH at all.

    “If our diets were able to drive the pH of our blood outside of the body’s normal range, people with lousy diets would be falling into comas and dropping dead left and right,” says nutritionist Tamara Duker Freuman, a registered dietician. Alkaline diets can be nutritionally sound but often lack many of the nutrients that vegan diets do. That’s not to say the alkaline diet hasn’t been praised by vegans on TikTok, since the diet focuses on raw foods, like cucumber noodles.

    Plus, while your pH in urine can be influenced by food, your blood should stay in a normal pH range, which is already slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.36–7.44. Your stomach, on the other hand, should be acidic, which is key for digesting food. It could be fatal if your blood’s pH goes out of balance. This happens when you drink too much alcohol, are diabetic or during starvation.

    The Conclusion

    While the alkaline diet encourages you to focus on whole foods, leading to a healthier body overall, studies can’t guarantee specific health benefits. Any weight loss would result from cutting out whole food groups, leading to a calorie deficit. Since the science isn’t up to scratch, you’re better off focusing on whole, healthy foods, rather than trying to alkalise your body.

    This article was originally published on  More

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    11 Reasons You Just Can’t Lose Weight, No Matter What You Try

    So you’re eating well and working out but that number on the scale still won’t budge. If you can’t lose weight, know this: a caloric deficit is the only way the number on the scale can drop. But sneaky lifestyle habits could be what’s getting between yourself and creating fewer calories in than calories out. We’ve rounded up a few of the ways you could be sabotaging your weight loss without knowing it.

    1. You eat with your hands

    A new study suggests that people who use tongs to serve themselves food actually eat about 30 per cent less of it. Even if you’re eating with cutlery, you may be eating too quickly for your body to slowly register satiety. Try eating with chopsticks – experts say it slows down your eating, allowing you to register fullness faster – before you wolf down all those noodles.

    2. You’re drinking too much

    Most people overlook liquid kilojoules entirely, says Felicia Stoler, registered dietician and author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes. So don’t expect to notice when a seemingly single-sized juice can or bottle actually contains two or three servings – and two to three times more kilojoules. Your best bet: Replace juice with water, and eat your kilojoules instead of drinking them, she says.

    3. You eat fruity yoghurt

    Most fruit-flavoured yoghurts – and plenty of other healthy-sounding foods – are sweetened with fructose. But unlike other sweeteners, this one doesn’t tell your brain you’re full, according to a new study. The result: You end up eating way more kilojoules than your body actually needs.

    4. You hit up happy hour – A LOT

    People don’t realise just how many kilojoules they drink, says Stoler. What’s more, the alcohol in your cocktail can reduce your inhibitions, so you hit the happy hour menu (hello, nachos!) even harder. To imbibe without overdoing it, switch to water after drinking one or two of them.

    5. You’re overdoing it at breakfast

    While the standard serving size for cereal is about two-thirds of a cup, breakfast bowls can hold much, much more. So when you fill yours to the brim with cereal and top it off with milk, you could be eating twice as many kilojoules as you think – or more, leading you to think you’re being conscious even though you feel you can’t lose weight.

    6. You treat yourself a little TOO often

    When you indulge in sweet or fatty foods like ice cream regularly, you end up craving larger portions to feel satisfied, says Stoler. Need a sweet treat every day? A new study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference found that a few bites really will satisfy you just as much as a larger serving.

    7. You’re guzzling fizzy drinks

    Drinking kilojoule-free sweeteners is like dumping water in your gas tank instead of petrol, says Stoler. (For non-mechanics: It fills you up, but doesn’t keep your motor running.) When hunger strikes, drink water instead, and fill up on wholesome foods to drive off hunger pangs later.

    8. You’re depriving yourself

    Often when we think we can’t lose weight, we tend to cut out whole food groups (like carbs or fat, for instance). When you do that, you set yourself up to binge eat them the next time you let yourself splurge. So instead of crossing them off your grocery list, entirely, learn how to manage your cravings.

    9. You order the “regular” size

    Think you’re in the clear because you downsized your large order of chips? Turns out, people actually consume more kilojoules when they order regular-sized menu items than when they order portions advertised as “double-sized”, according to a new study.

    10. You’re staying up too late

    People who hit the sack on the late side tend to eat more high-fat and high-kilojoule foods than those who tuck in earlier, according to a recent study. No wonder they also gain more weight.

    11. You think working out gives you a “pass”

    Exercising can make you want to eat more – but that doesn’t mean you should, says Stoler. And it doesn’t help that most people grossly overestimate the number of kilojoules they torch at the gym. The good news: picking up the pace might actually decrease food cravings, according to a new study. More

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    So… What Is The Keto Diet Exactly?

    The second my never-tried-a-diet-in-his-life friend said he was doing keto (as mine recently did), I knew the eating plan had surpassed trend status.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that, if said not-into-wellness-at-all friend has heard of (and is trying!) the keto diet, you most certainly have. Still, you may be a little hazy on the details. Well, no more!

    Short for “ketogenic diet,” this eating plan is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats to get your body to use fat as a form of energy, says Scott Keatley, registered dietician, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. While everyone’s body and needs are slightly different, that typically translates to: 60-75% of your kilojoules from fat, 15-30% of your kilojoules from protein, and 5-10% of your kilojoules from carbs.

    After about two to seven days of following this eating routine, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn’t have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. Then it starts making ketones, or organic compounds that your bod then uses in place of those missing carbs—and oh, it also burns fat for more energy, says Beth Warren, registered dietician, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living A Real Life With Real Food.

    READ MORE: ‘Keto Crotch’ Might Be A Surprising Side Effect Of A Low-Carb Diet

    Why Did The Keto Diet Become So Trendy For Weight Loss?

    Believe it or not, keto was designed to help people who suffer from seizure disorders—not to help people lose weight. That’s because both ketones and another chemical produced by the diet, called decanoic acid, may help minimise seizures.
    Jessica Cording, New York-based registered dietician

    But people who started following the keto diet noticed weight loss for a few reasons: When you eat carbs, your body retains fluid in order to store carbs for energy (you know, in case it needs it). But when you’re not having much in the carb department, you lose this water weight, says Warren. Also, it’s easy to go overboard on carbohydrates—but if you’re loading up on fat, it may help curb cravings since it keeps you satisfied.

    That, plus the fact that ketosis encourages your body to burn fat, means you can end up with pretty dramatic weight loss.

    “The keto diet took off because its ‘rules’ make sense to most people,” Keatley says. “Almost all of us want to lose some fat from somewhere on our body, and this diet focuses on fat as fuel.”

    Celebs who’ve done the keto diet didn’t exactly hurt its rep, either. (We’re looking at you, Vanessa Hudgens, Halle Berry and Kim Kardashian.)

    What Can You Expect On The Keto Diet?

    It usually takes three to four days for your body to go into ketosis because you have to use up your body’s stores of glucose, i.e., sugar first, Keatley says. Any major diet change can give you some, uh, issues, and Keatley says he often sees patients who complain of IBS-like symptoms and feel wiped out at the beginning of the diet. (The tiredness happens because you have less access to carbs, which give you quick energy, he explains.)

    Those issues are part of what’s known as the “keto flu,” Warren says. Other side effects of the keto diet, all of which are tied to carb withdrawal, can include lightheadedness, nausea, mental fog, cramps, and headaches, in addition to diarrhoea and tiredness. Luckily, the keto flu doesn’t usually last more than a week—which is coincidentally about when people start to see the number on the scale go down, says Warren.

    Some people on the keto diet also experience ‘keto crotch‘, a strange-smelling odour down there as a result of the diet.

    READ MORE: Is When You Eat More Important Than What You Eat?

    Okay, But Will It Actually Help *You* Lose Weight?

    Probably, and there are a few reasons why, Keatley says. For starters, people usually reduce their daily kilojoule intake to about 6,276 kilojoules a day because healthy fats and lean proteins make you feel fuller sooner—and for a longer period of time. And then there’s the fact that it takes more energy to process and burn fat and protein than carbs, so you’re burning slightly more kilojoules than you did before. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.

    Everyone is different, and how much you weigh when you start the diet matters, but you could safely lose around half to one kilogram a week on keto, Keatley says. “It’s sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the individual’s caloric needs,” he adds.

    Worth noting: The keto diet isn’t a “miracle fat burner,” says Keatley. “The kilojoules in the fat must are still kilojoules, so working out and keeping total intake at a reasonable level is the only way it works,” he says. “Being on a keto diet but eating more kilojoules than you need will still add fat to your frame.”

    Who Does It Work Best For?

    Cording says the keto diet is really ideal for people who suffer from seizure disorders. If that’s not you, she doesn’t recommend it as a long-term approach because it’s so hard to stick with.

    That said, a keto diet will work for someone who really loves meat and heart-healthy oils like olive oil and safflower oil, Keatley says. However, he and Warren also stress that it’s not easy—or necessarily healthy—to follow over time (certain types of carbs are good for you!).

    If you’re interested in following keto for a short period of time, Cording says it’s important to set yourself up for success by making sure you have the right ingredients and tools to make it happen.

    Although if you just love carbs way too much to entertain the idea of doing the keto diet, well, that makes two of us.

    This article was published on More

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    Fibre For Weight Loss: How Much Should You Eat? What Nutritionists Recommend

    If the phrase “fibre in your diet” calls to mind images of your mom popping Metamucil tablets, we don’t blame you — fibre is basically the Golden Girls of the nutrient world. However, it’s also essential for weight loss.

    Fibre is about as close to a magic weight loss ingredient as you can get, says Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t getting enough of it, she says. Here’s everything to know about fibre intake for weight loss.

    How much fibre should you eat per day?

    The average woman should be getting 25 grams of fibre per day, according to the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines. That’s the amount in seven apples, or 12 cups of broccoli, or seven and a half cups of oatmeal. But we’re going to take a wild guess that you’re not eating that many apples.

    How does fibre help you lose weight?

    Getting an adequate amount of that nutrient through whole foods (not fibre supplements, more on that later) keeps you fuller longer because fibre digests much slower than simple carbs. And the more full and satisfied you feel after eating healthy, fibre-filled foods, the less tempting those cookies in the break room will be after lunch, explains Gans.

    READ MORE: Finally, A Medical Aid Is Offering DNA Tests To All Members

    Another bonus that comes with packing fibre into your diet is that healthy, weight-loss-friendly foods, like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, are already full of the stuff, says Gans. So by aiming to meet your fibre quota, rather than counting calories, you’ll likely end up making better food choices overall, she says.

    What are the other health benefits of eating enough fibre?

    Fibre is an essential nutrient for health, says Katie Hake, a nutritionist at Indiana University Health. “Fibre can help to reduce cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease. It can also help control blood sugar by slowing down the breakdown of food, particularly for those who live with diabetes,” she says.

    On top of that, this essential part of your diet keeps your digestive system trucking along, so you won’t be bloated or constipated. (*Insert poop emoji here.*) How exactly does fibre do that? It depends on the kind you’re consuming.

    There are three kinds of fibre: soluble, insoluble, and fermented. The first two aid digestion, but each type has a different role. “Soluble fibre, from oats, nuts, and seeds, acts as a broom to ‘sweep’ things along,” says Hake. Insoluble fibre, from things like cabbage, brown rice, and some dark leafy vegetables, on the other hand, promotes bowel movement by making your stool easier to pass. “[It’s] non-digestible and adds bulk to the stool, which can aid in moving things along,” says Hake.

    Then, there’s fermentable fibre, which you can get from foods like beans and garlic. “Fermentable” means the fibre holds an ability to promote growth of good bacteria in the gut, similar to probiotics, says Hake.

    How can I eat 25 grams of fibre a day?

    Since pounding six apples at the end of your day to meet your fibre goal isn’t appetizing, the best strategy is to spread your servings out across all your meals and snacks for the day, says Gans.

    “All of your meals should include at least eight grams of fibre,” she says. To hit the 25 grams per day goal, snack on a medium pear or half an avocado, which has about six grams of fibre each, says Gans.

    READ MORE: Tracey-Lee Lusty Opens Up About Her Bariatric Surgery And What Being Body Positive Means To Her Now

    To ramp up your fibre intake at each meal, start including oatmeal, which has four grams per cup, quinoa (five grams per cup), and barley (eight grams per 1/4 cup) into your menu. To up the ante even further, get friendly with fibre-filled mix-ins like chia seeds (10 grams per ounce), and chickpeas (about nine grams per 1/4 cup). Above all, remember that fibre is your friend.

    What foods are highest in fibre?

    If you need more ideas of high-fibre foods you can add to your daily diet, there are plenty of other options. Here’s a list of foods you can try, according to Hake.

    Lentils (7.8 g of fibre per half cup): “Lentils can be a great source of protein for lentil tacos, chilli, or stuffed in cooked peppers,” she says.

    High-fibre bran cereal (9.1 grams of fibre per half cup): “It’s an easy food to add to yoghurt or eat for breakfast to help keep you full for a busy day ahead,” Hake says.

    White beans (9.6 grams of fibre per half cup, cooked): Hake notes that white beans are easy to add to a soup or salad for an added fibre boost.

    Black beans (7.7 grams of fibre per half cup, cooked): “These make a great base for all kinds of meals and add additional fibre,” she says.

    Artichokes (7.2 grams of fibre per half cup, cooked): Try adding artichokes to a salad or on top of homemade pizza for a twist.

    READ MORE: Will Eating Less Really Help You Shrink Your Stomach?

    Can you eat too much fibre — and what happens if you do?

    It is possible to have too much fibre, especially if you’re incorporating supplements into your diet or if you consume in excess of the dietary guideline limit of 25 grams a day. If you’ve had too much, you’ll feel it. “Consuming an excess of the dietary guidelines can cause gas, bloating, discomfort, nausea, and even constipation,” says Hake.

    Again, the best way to avoid going overboard is to avoid fibre supplements. (Tip: It’s also better to get fibre from natural foods because it encourages you to eat more nutritious options, which you might not if you rely on supps — not ideal for weight loss.)

    If you’re just beginning to monitor and up your fibre intake, Hake suggests increasing gradually to allow your body time to adjust and minimize symptoms. Drinking plenty of water can also help reduce any likelihood of stomach aches from upping your daily fibre.

    The bottom line: Fibre is a crucial nutrient for weight loss, and the average woman needs 25 grams per day, which can be spread out across your meals and snacks.

    This article was originally published on More

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    What Exactly Is The OMAD Diet?

    What’s your favourite meal of the day? Maybe it’s breakfast when you can have a hearty plate of eggs and bacon, or dinner when you can finally have that salmon you’ve been thinking about all day.

    Now, imagine that’s the only meal you can eat each day. That’s the premise behind the OMAD diet, which stands for “one meal a day,” which is essentially a form of fasting.

    While fasting can be good for you (just ask Vanessa Hudgens or Jenna Jameson), some experts believe certain methods like the OMAD diet aren’t a healthy, sustainable solution for weight loss. Here’s what you need to know.

    What exactly is the OMAD diet?

    “Think of OMAD as intermittent fasting on steroids,” says Dena Champion, registered dietician of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “OMAD is literally when someone eats one meal daily during one hour of the day and then fasts the other 23 hours.” You are allowed to drink black coffee or other non-calorie drinks during that fasting time—but nothing else.

    On top of that, you’re instructed to eat that one meal during the same four-hour window every day, says Jen Oikarinen, a clinical dietitian with Banner University Medical Center Phoenix. “Consistency is emphasised in the OMAD diet,” she says. And while it is recommended that you make healthy food choices, it’s more about when you eat than what you eat, says Champion.

    READ MORE: Will Eating Less Really Help You Shrink Your Stomach?

    OMAD dieters are supposed to adhere to a set of rules known as the “4 ones,” says Oikarinen. So if you’re on the OMAD diet:

    You should only be eating one meal per day

    You can only eat within one hour of your four-hour eating window

    You must eat off an 11-inch (27cm) diameter plate

    Your meal shouldn’t be more than seven centimetres high on your plate (so…a mountain of french fries is definitely off-limits)

    Worth noting: While the OMAD diet is technically a fasting diet, it’s quite different from other intermittent fasting diets like the 16:8 diet, which instructs you to fast for 16 hours and eat three (or four!) meals during the remaining eight hours.

    READ MORE: This Vegetarian Recipe Makes The Perfect Movie Night Snack

    So, can the OMAD diet help me lose weight?

    Yes, but again, some experts say it’s neither healthy nor sustainable weight loss.

    OMAD is basically a starvation diet if you follow all the stipulations, says Rebecca Elbaum, a clinical administrative dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. That’s because you’re not consuming enough calories with just one meal as you would by eating three or four times a day, so weight loss will occur.

    Also, because you’re eating so little (and so sparingly), you’d also likely go into ketosis (the state during which your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs) from this diet—not because you’re upping your fat content and decreasing your carbs, but because you’re eating very little in general, says Elbaum.

    Aside from the weight loss, a fasting programme like OMAD can also result in mood swings, muscle loss, hormone disturbances, and even changes in your menstrual cycle (like having it stop completely), says Oikarinen. “Another major concern is the increased risk for nutrient deficiencies; decreased intake of food also means decreased intake of beneficial vitamins and minerals,” Oikarinen says.

    One study showed that compared with people who ate three meals a day, the risk of death increases by 30%, and goes up even more for cardiovascular-related deaths. And, skipping meals is closely related to having an unhealthy diet, a higher intake of alcohol and taking in less energy overall.

    READ MORE: Want To Manifest Your Goal? Don’t Make These Manifesting Mistakes

    Should I try the OMAD diet?

    While plenty of people sing the OMAD diet’s praises online, and some experts certainly endorse various forms of intermittent fasting, Elbaum believes not even healthy people should try the OMAD diet. And that goes doubly for anyone who’s pregnant, breastfeeding, recovering from past disordered eating, has diabetes, or even regularly exercises or lifts weights, she says.

    “Healthy weight loss will be whatever is the most sustainable over a lifetime,” she says. “This includes a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.”

    Interested in some type of fasting? A less intense form (like the 16:8 diet) might be your best bet. Even then, it’s wise to talk to a registered dietician about your options and how best to work an intermittent fasting diet into your lifestyle, says Oikarinen.

    The bottom line: Definitely steer clear of the OMAD diet—it won’t promote healthy or sustainable weight loss.

    This article was originally published on  More

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    Exactly How Sleep Deprivation And Weight Gain Are Linked – And How To Prevent The Spread

    Before, we thought that sleep deprivation and weight gain weren’t related. But research in recent years has shown that not only are they linked, but getting too few zzz’s can have a major impact on an expanding waistline.

    In a study by the University of Chicago, researchers determined that four nights of sleep deprivation reduced insulin sensitivity in fat cells by a whopping 30 percent. And the less sensitive your cells are to insulin, the less your body produces the hunger-regulating hormone leptin.

    “This is one of the first studies to show that a cell outside of the brain – the fat cell – also needs sleep,” says study author Matthew Brady, vice-chair of the Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition at the University of Chicago.

    Brady and a team of researchers put seven young, healthy subjects through two study conditions: First, they spent 8.5 hours in bed for four nights in a row (participants slept for roughly eight hours each night, the ideal length). One month later, they spent 4.5 hours in bed for four nights.

    Previous research has shown that getting only four hours of sleep negatively affects metabolism. After the fourth night, the subjects took a glucose tolerance test and had fat cells biopsied. And, yes, food intake was controlled and identical.

    READ MORE: Will Eating Less Really Help You Shrink Your Stomach?

    How Sleep Affects Fat

    The authors found that sleep deprivation made fat cells less sensitive to insulin, a hormone that cells use to take in glucose for energy. Brady explains that insulin-stimulated glucose uptake is proportional to the secretion of leptin, a hormone made in the fat cell that regulates hunger. The less sensitive cells are to insulin, the less leptin they produce, and the hungrier you are. And the magnitude of the decrease, in this case, was very surprising.

    “A 30 percent reduction in insulin sensitivity is equivalent to metabolically ageing the subjects 10-20 years just from four nights of four and a half hours of sleep,” Brady says.

    “It’s not that we took someone who was on the tipping point of developing metabolic disease and just pushed them over the edge. These were very young, healthy subjects.”

    Brady says the findings are important because they suggest that sleep could be a treatment for obesity. To that end, his next study will consist of trying to improve the sleep of overweight or obese subjects who have obstructive sleep apnea to see if sleep quality has any effect on insulin sensitivity and metabolism.

    He’s excited about the possible impact such a study might have: “It’s hard to get people to diet and exercise but if you could show that improving your sleep quality and duration has a positive benefit, that may be an easier therapeutic intervention for people to undertake.”

    Getting more sleep can also yield weight loss results. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, overweight participants who went from sleeping only 6.5 hours a night to sleeping a full 8.5 hours were able to reduce their daily caloric intake by a huge 270 calories.

    In another literature review, authors noted that sleep deprivation is linked with a higher intake of calories throughout the day. Sleeping less than six hours a night is associated with a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) and having less sleep for five days in a row can result in short-term weight gain. Even working nights and having irregular schedules is linked with a less favourable metabolic profile.

    READ MORE: Exactly How To Lose 2kg, 5kg Or 10kg, According To A Dietician

    Ways To Get Better Sleep

    While the University of Chicago study still leaves some questions unanswered – namely, if “catching up” on sleep over the weekend can reverse the effects – it’s clear that getting enough sleep is important for both your mind AND your body. Here are five ways you can improve your sleep now.

    1. Make a Bedtime Routine

    Pick an hour for shutting down every night and stick to it – on weekends, too. A regular bedtime and waking time will help you fall asleep.

    2. Power Down

    Checking your cell before bed amps up brain activity, making it harder to doze off. Plus, the blue light emitted from gadgets can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin. At least an hour before bedtime, turn off your TV and computer and don’t use your phone.

    READ MORE: 6 Weight Loss Strategies That’ll Get You Closer To Your #BodyGoals

    3. Chill Out

    A cooler body makes it easier to fall asleep. Exaggerate that feeling with a toasty, pre-bed bath or shower. Lower your thermostat a bit, then pile on the blankets—you’ll save money on your heat while you’re at it.

    4. Sip Wisely

    No caffeine after sundown and no booze before bed. While drinking alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, you could wake up in the middle of the night. Enjoy a cup of decaf or herbal tea instead.

    5. Drown Out Noise

    Sleep with a fan on or invest in a sound machine that can produce white noise to block the racket of the outside world. More