Friday, 27 June 2014

Healthy Tips to Gain Weight

Basic Guidelines

For an effective weight gain eat 5 or 6 small meals a day allowing about 3 hours in between meals to allow food to digest. By not eating as much per meal you will feel hungrier throughout the day.

You need to consume more calories than you expend physically. If you are not gaining weight, you are not eating enough.

Increase your portion sizes. Include nutritious, high calorie foods. Not only should your choices be calorie dense but also nutrient dense. In other words consider the nutrition value of foods.

Avoid high calorie junk foods such deep fried and high sugar foods.

Complex carbohydrates or starches such as whole grains, cereals, beans, potatoes and brown rice are high in calories. They are also more nutritious than refined carbohydrates such as sugar, sweets, and white flour.

Include a variety of fresh, canned, and dried fruit. In general, canned fruit and fruit juices are higher in calories than fresh fruits. Avocado and dried fruits are also calorie dense. 

Include in your diet high protein foods such as fish (tuna and salmon), whey protein powder (added to juice, soup, entrees, and flour to make your own bread or pasta), chicken and turkey breasts, lean meats, low fat milk and milk products, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Add healthy fats such as olive oil and flax seed oil, and nuts to existing dishes. They will help you gain weight more quickly.

Doing simple things will all add up and help increase your calorie intake.

-Serve nut butter, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese with apple, banana, or celery

-Try adding flaxseed and almond milk to oatmeal

-Use nuts, honey and fruit with your favorite yogurt

 -Add extra cheese to your sandwich or omelet

 -Cook beans with rice dishes, pasta, casseroles or soup

 -Snack on dried fruit, nuts and seeds

 -You can eat sandwiches made with whole grain bread, peanut or other nut butters.

Drink calories on the go such as smoothies, juices, soy or almond milk, or healthy high calorie beverages such as Boost or Ensure.

Use seasoning blends, herbs and spices to add flavor and aroma that help stimulate the appetite.

Resistance training exercises such as lifting weights will increase your appetite, increase your muscle size, and increase your body weight. 

Set a healthy weight gain target each month. About 0.5- 1kg weight gain a week or up to 4-5kg a month is reasonable. Keep track of your progress so you do not go over an unhealthy weight range.

It can take a while to gain the weight you need, be patient. Stay consistent with your efforts.

   If you do not see any significant weight gain within 6 months consult your primary care physician.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The 5 Phases of How to Quit Sugar for Good

Suspect you're hooked on the sweet stuff? It's time to restore your brain to its pre-sugar-fiend state. Resetting your palate and eradicating cravings isn't easy, but it is possible.

PHASE 1: Eliminate Sugary Beverages
If you're anything like the average gal, you slurp down nearly 40 pounds (70,000 calories!) of liquid sugar per year. Sipping sweet, fiberless beverages (think soft drinks, sweetened waters, coffee drinks) spikes your, insulin levels and cues major cravings. Over a period two weeks, cut out all such drinks. If straight H2O bores you, sip seltzer water or unsweetened teas or coffee.

PHASE 2: Quit Sugary Junk Foods
Cakes, cookies, candy bars—give 'em the heave-ho. Also press pause on secretly sugary fare such as granola bars. When you can, opt for fresh food over processed snacks—nearly 80 percent of the latter contains loads of added sugar. First, ID the foods you have the hardest time avoiding (um, cupcakes?) and quit those first, one at a time. Over the next two weeks, edit out all sugary junk. Sub in fruit when your cravings start up.

PHASE 3: Reduce Simple Carbs
Chances are, by this point you've halved your sugar dependence—and shed some serious pounds. Next, tackle simple carbs, which act just like straight sugar in your body. Make a list of the refined foods you typically eat (e.g., crackers, white breads, white pastas) and, again, reduce them one by one over the next two weeks. Try starting with pastas: Instead of making two cups of spaghetti, make one cup and top it with a protein-packed lean meat; the next time around, replace that remaining cup with a veggie such as spaghetti squash.

PHASE 4: Sleuth for Hidden Sugars
This one's the trickiest and could take a full two weeks to master. Because hidden sugars are, well, hidden, you could still be ingesting lots of sweet stuff. Keep a critical eye on ingredient labels on condiments, sauces, and salad dressings—all sneaky sugary sources. Also, be leery of "sugar-free" offerings; many are packed with simple carbs instead.

PHASE 5: Keep It Up (Realistically!)
It's all right to indulge every now and then, but pay close attention to your cravings. A slice of cake might be okay for one woman, but it could push another woman over the addictive edge. If a sweet snack leaves you yearning for more or, worse, bingeing, you'll know you're particularly vulnerable to sugar's powerful lure. Major bright side: Once you've kicked the habit and your taste buds are back to normal, fruits will taste super sweet and satisfying—and massive amounts of added sugar will taste like what they are: sickeningly sweet.


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Benefits Of Pepper

Peppers contain very little protein and carbohydrates and virtually no fat. They contain small amounts of B group vitamins, vitamin E and all dietary minerals. However, two vitamins are particularly noteworthy: 

  • Pro vitamin A(beta-carotene) with 500ug/100g(sweet red pepper) which represent more than half of the daily requirement of this vitamin for an adult male. In addition to beta carotene, which transforms into vitamin A in the body, peppers also provide other carotenoids such as lycopene. This carotenoids is also very abundant in tomatoes. It is a potent antioxidant that protects against the cancerous degeneration of the cells.
  • Vitamin C: Red peppers provide almost four times as much vitamin as lemons or oranges. One hundred grams of red peppers contain more than triple the RDA(Recommended Dietary Allowance)
  • They contain Flavonoids that are potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants that protect the circulatory system.
  • Capsaicin: This substance makes red hot peppers hot. capsaicin is an aperitif and stimulates digestion, although higher doses it irritates the skin and mucosa.
  • Peppers contain vegetable fiber, this along capsaicin, contributes to their laxative action.
  • Peppers are beneficial for those suffering with dyspepsia(indigestion) due to scanty digestive juice because they work as an aperitif, stimulating the flow of gastric juice and reducing inflammation.
  • Constipation: Peppers are mild laxative and are anti-flatulent
  • Diabetes and obesity: Because they contain very few carbohydrates or calories, peppers are well tolerated by diabetics and suitable for the diet of the obese.
  • Prevention of cancer of the digestive system: Because of their extraordinary richness of antioxidant vitamins (A and C), which protect the cells from the mutagenic action of carcinogens, regular pepper consumption contributes to the prevention of cancer, particularly of the digestive organs (stomach and colon)
The most healthful way to cook peppers is to roast them in the oven. Fried peppers are quite indigestible because of the large amount of oil that they absorb.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Making Wise Food Choices When You're Away From Home

We all eat many meals and snacks while we're on the run. These tips can help you stay on track.

Try these healthier choices
  • Fruits
  • A small handful of nuts
  • Baby carrots and cherry tomatoes
  • Whole grains crackers with low fat-cheese
  • Low-fat or fat free yogurt
  • Fat-free frozen yogurt
  • Low fat, low sodium crackers
  • Lower fat cookies such as graham crackers                                                                                                                                        Eating out in any restaurant
  • Ask for salad dressing, gravy or sauce on the side and use sparingly
  • Choose main dishes that are broiled, baked, roasted, or grilled, instead of deep-fried or pan fried
  • Don't be afraid to make special requests such as asking that something be cooked with less fat                                                When ordering a sandwich
  • Add lettuce and tomato
  • Ask for whole wheat bread
  • Choose mustard instead of mayonnaise                                                                                                                                              At Chinese restaurant            
  • Have brown rice instead of white rice
  • Order a side dish of steamed brocolli                                                                                                                                              At Fast food places
  • Order small burgers
  • Have grilled chicken
  • Choose water or low fat milk instead of regular soda                                                                           Lunches                                                                                                                              Make sandwiches with
  • Low-fat cheese or fat-free cheese
  • Chicken or turkey without the skin
  • Water-packed tuna
  • Lettuce leaves, tomato slices, cucumber slices and other vegetables
  • Whole-grain bread rolls
  • Reduced-calorie margarine or mayonnaise
  • Mustard                                                                                                                                                                                        Bring or buy healthy main-dish salads with
  • A variety of vegetables not just lettuce
  • Lower fat, lower sodium high protein food such as grilled chicken or turkey, low fat cheese
  • Lemon juice, herb, vinegar or reduced-calorie salad dressing    
  • Whole grain crackers or whole grain bread on the side                                                                                                                   At pizza places
  • Ask for vegetable toppings such as mushrooms or pepper rather than meat toppings
  • Get whole wheat crust
  • Request half the cheese
  • Eat a salad with low fat dressing in place of a slice of pizza                                                                                                            It's never too late to make changes in how you eat. Small changes can make a big difference.                                                                         

Monday, 16 June 2014



One of the quickest and healthiest ways to reduce calories and lose weight is to cut back generally on calories especially on the fat, because fat carries a lot more calories than protein and carbohydrate. Eating a diet low in fat is an important step in keeping your heart and arteries in a tip-top shape too. The overall goal is to avoid excess fat, especially saturated fat. Certain fat are very good for you, the body cannot function without them, while some are very bad for the body.  The simple steps below will guide you into choosing the right friendly fats more often
  • Limit your total intake of fat to <30% of your total calories each day. This is about 45-65grams each day (from all your meals / snacks per day)
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats to <10% of your calories each day. This is about 15-25grams each day.
  • Choose foods with healthy fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat.
  • “Good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn), nuts, seeds, and fish. For example cook with canola oil, snack on nuts, have fish for dinner.
  • “Bad” fats—saturated and, especially, trans fats—increase disease risk. Foods high in bad fats include red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream, as well as processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Limit how often you have fats that are solid at room temperature and foods that contain them such as fatty cuts of meat. If you eat foods with harmful fats limit how much you eat of them.
The key to a healthy diet is to choose foods that have more good fats than bad fats—vegetable oils instead of butter, salmon instead of steak—and that don’t contain any trans fat.

The low-down on low-fat

“Low-fat,” “reduced fat,” or “fat-free” processed foods are not necessarily healthy. One problem with a generic lower-fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it.  And low-fat diets are often higher in refined carbohydrates and starches from foods like white rice, white bread, potatoes, and sugary drinks.
  • When food manufacturers take out fat, they often replace it with carbohydrate from sugar, refined grains, or starch. Our bodies digest these refined carbohydrates and starches very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and then dip, which in turn leads to hunger, overeating, and weight gain.
  • Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat.
So when you cut back on foods like red meat and butter, replace them with fish, beans, nuts, and healthy oils—not with refined carbohydrates.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

10 good food habits

10 good food habits

Get these habits right, and you will be well on your way to maintaining a healthy body weight.

Always eat breakfast

Studies show that individuals who eat a substantial breakfast lose more weight than those who have a small breakfast. Choose eggs or baked beans on wholegrain bread, or muesli with fruit and yoghurt.

Eat your fruit and veg

Aim for three cups of vegetables and two fruits each day. Fill half your plate with veggies at lunch and dinner, and add fruit to your breakfast and for a snack on the way home from work.

Take time to shop each week

If the food is not in the house, how can you eat well? Schedule in time to shop each week or shop online.

Walk for 10,000 steps or exercise for an hour each day

A pedometer is extremely useful in providing feedback on how many steps you are racking up each and every day.

Sit down at the table to eat

Not only do you eat more slowly and often less food, but you'll enjoy the social experience of dining.

Always carry a protein-rich snack with you

This way you'll avoid eating high-fat food on the run. Great options to keep handy include nut- or protein-based snack bars, hard fruit such as an apple or a few wholegrain rice.

Have a green tea after meals

Green tea is high in antioxidants and can help increase metabolic rate.

Always carry a water bottle

Drink at least two bottles of water a day instead of juice, cordial or soft drinks.

Choose wholegrain, low-GI bread and breakfast cereal

Aim for the best-quality breads, crackers and breakfast cereals, as these are foods we eat every day.

Always eat carbohydrates and proteins together

Try eggs on grain toast, yogurt and fruit, wholegrain bread with tuna or chicken.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Nuts for the Heart

Many people think of nuts as just another junk food snack. In reality, nuts are excellent sources of protein and other healthful nutrients.
One surprising finding from nutrition research is that people who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease than those who rarely eat them. Several of the largest cohort studies, including the Adventist Study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study, and the Physicians’ Health Study have shown a consistent 30 percent to 50 percent lower risk of myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week. In fact, the FDA now allows some nuts and foods made with them to carry this claim: “Eating a diet that includes one ounce of nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease.”

There are several ways that nuts could have such an effect. The unsaturated fats they contain help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. One group of unsaturated fat found in walnuts, the omega-3 fatty acids, appears to prevent the development of erratic heart rhythms. Omega-3 fatty acids (which are also found in fatty fish such as salmon and bluefish) may also prevent blood clots,much as aspirin does. Nuts are rich in arginine, an amino acid needed to make a molecule called nitric oxide that relaxes constricted blood vessels and eases blood flow. They also contain vitamin E, folic acid,potassium, fiber, and other healthful nutrients.

Eating nuts won’t do much good if you gobble them in addition to your usual snacks and meals. At 185 calories per ounce, a handful of walnuts a day could add 10 pounds or more in a year if you don’t cutback on something else. This weight gain would tip the scales toward heart disease, not away from it. Instead, eat nuts instead of chips or other, less healthy snacks. Or try using them instead of meat in main dishes, or as a healthful crunch in salads.

Nutrition source