Why Nutrition is Important in Your Weight Loss Program

posted in: Fitness, Nutrition | 2

So, you want to lose some weight. You’ve tried hitting the gym, taking cycling classes, doing push-ups, going for daily runs and everything you could possibly think of – but still, your belly fat still rolls like a turbulent ocean every time you try jumping. Why isn’t it working? Well, it’s simple – you’ve got your nutrition plan very wrong!

The impact of nutrition on your weight-loss program cannot be overemphasized. Perhaps you’ve met some people who approach you with a “smug” face and tell you – “it doesn’t matter what you eat, you just gotta work it off.” Such people believe that “hitting the gym” just about fixes everything. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, because nutrition and weight loss are practically inseparable.

Don’t get me wrong; exercises are great and they come with a plethora of benefits for your body’s general physiology. Such benefits include, better cardiovascular fitness, improved blood circulation, healthy muscles and bones, and enhanced metabolism, among others. But as good as exercising can be, it should only “accompany” good nutrition – that is of course, if you are actually serious about losing weight.

Come to think of it, haven’t you met people who are always looking slim, fresh and healthy without having gym bags or running shoes? The secret is not far-fetched – good nutrition! Although it is worthy of note that genetics also plays a very important role in this, because some folks naturally have the “fat” tendency running in their genome, while some others simply “can’t” get fat, no matter how hard they try! This is primarily due to the working of thyroid hormones, which play a huge role in determining the rate of body metabolism. Anyways, let’s leave the genetics jargon out of this!

What exactly is Good Nutrition?

Good nutrition has no single definition, but in simple terms, your nutrition is considered to be good, if it supplies your body all that it needs to function optimally, without overburdening your system with excesses. Simple enough? It means every meal you take should provide all the 5 food classes in the appropriate amounts.

Let’s think of it this way, if you don’t overeat, you won’t get fat, right? So, what is fat exactly? Well, fat is your body’s way of telling you that it is receiving “way too much” than it needs. Fats are stored in various adipose tissues in the body and when that storage begins to fill up, you begin to look plump and – well… fat! What this means is that your body takes what it needs out of every meal you take and instead of “wasting” the rest, it converts it and stores it, in case you need it in the future.

So, in essence, you get fat mainly because of poor feeding habits, not necessarily due to lack of exercises. Now, since the source of the problem is nutrition, then the best way of fixing it is also nutrition! In a nutshell, this is the link between nutrition and weight loss. Every meal we take has a unique caloric content (amount of energy it supplies) and some seemingly innocent foods like peanut butter (yummy!), cheese and high-sugar ice cream all have high caloric values that will eventually get you fat, when taken in excessive or addictive quantities.

What Do I Do Now?

  1. Stick to low calorie foods: Get in touch with your dietician for suitable low calorie diets for your weight loss program or use Food Guide Pyramid to plan your meals and monitor your eating habits. Consistency is the key to success.
  2. Take enough fibre: Stick to daily fibre intake of 25-30 g
  3. Reduce calorie intake: Stick to calorie consumption of less than 1500 kcal per day
  4. Take lots of water: Drink 8-10 Oz per day.
  5. Exercise regularly: Exercises produce better results when your diet is right.

 

On a Final Note…

You are what you eat! Irrespective of the specific approach you may be planning for your weight loss program, if it does not take nutrition into consideration, then you might as well forget about it altogether, because it’s not going to work! So, if you’re serious about losing some weight, then you need to start paying a very close attention to your diet – nutrition is the key!

Awesome Late-Night Snacks That Won’t Compromise Your Health

posted in: Fitness, Health, Nutrition | 0

You know, sometimes you just feel like having early dinner, but instead of going to bed, you discovered there’s this new movie you need to “quickly” see. The downside is that by the time the movie ends, your bowels are completely emptied and you begin to witness hunger in a new dimension. As expected, you decide to opt for a late-night snack, which isn’t a bad thing, unless your favorite combination includes high-calorie combinations like heavy scoops of peanut butter, grilled cheese and ice cream (yeah, I know — I like it too).

The problem with these kinds of snacks is that they contain high amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fat, which, you’re more likely to store-up if you take them just before bed (since your body has no means of “burning” them while you’re asleep). What’s the implication? Well, you become fat! And fatness comes with tons of health risks.

Okay, what options do you then have, to quench that grilling late-night hunger and stay healthy? Well, here are a few:
1. Greek yogurt with Pomegranate seeds: The Greek yogurt is highly nutritious and healthy. It contains half the carbohydrate and twice the protein content of your regular yogurt and it is a particularly good choice, if you’re looking to lose some weight. When mixed with Pomegranate seeds, the health bonus rises to a whole new level, as pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals in your system, keeping you perpetually healthy.

2. Pistachio nuts: This nut is highly rich in nutrients and is an excellent late-night snack. Apart from the fact that it offers more nuts per ounce, it actually encourages your weight loss program, while reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases at the same time. And of course, it digests readily, giving your system less work to do while you sleep.

3. Cherries: Yep! Those tiny red angels do you a whole lot of good when you’re about to hit the bed. Cherries contain melatonin, which enhances sleep by lowering your body temperature and inducing drowsiness. In short, you sleep more efficiently without exposing yourself to an excessively high level of calories.

4. Cottage cheese: If you’re a cheese lover, then this is definitely one way of enjoying it without predisposing yourself to health risks. Treating yourself to a nice bowl of cottage cheese, capped with berries, will give you a smooth night rest like no other. This is because cottage cheese contains slow-digesting proteins, which ensure that you don’t get hungry in the middle of the night, not to mention the calcium content which glides you to sleep easily.

5. Almonds: Almonds are excellent quick snacks that require no form of preparation. The nuts are rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that supports sleep. Almonds also contain magnesium, which helps your muscles to relax naturally, while you enjoy blissful dreams on your bed.

A Final Word…
Health is wealth! You may feel tempted once in a while to take heavy scoops of your favorite ice cream or peanut butter just before retiring to bed, but you must resist and stick to the healthier stuff. It will definitely save you a lot of headache later on.