Browsing Tag

diet

Posted on October 27, 2015

The truth about carbs

Health

good carbs vs bad carbs

A low-carb diet has never been my thing. I have always been a firm believer that all foods should be consumed in moderation. That’s why I continue to be baffled by those who are constantly carb-counting or totting up their calories half-way through the day. In my eyes, carbs are not the enemy.

What a lot of people don’t realise is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with carbohydrates. Provided you eat the right ones and in the right quantities, carbs are needed for our brain and body to function normally. And I’m not just saying this because I am a carb addict – or bread addict – to be precise. I’m saying this because I have made a recent discovery that I’m going to share with you.

The human saliva contains an enzyme which helps breakdown starch into sugars. This means that biologically, we are supposed to eat carbohydrates – Mother Nature wants this for us people! It just comes down to whether we eat the right ones or not.

There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbs (the good) and simple carbs (not so good). Complex carbs take time to digest. These include whole and unrefined grains, fibre and vegetables. Simple carbs on the other hand, provide the body with a quick burst of energy. These include refined starches and sugars added during food processing.

Good carbs

good carbs

Unrefined grains

Unrefined grain products like brown rice, whole-grain pasta, beans, whole wheat bread, buckwheat, oats etc are considered to be good carbs. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are all essential to your health. Because they are slowly digested, they cause a slower change in blood sugar levels.

Fibre

Fibre is a good carb that isn’t digested by our body. However, it is needed for intestinal health as it aids with digestion and ensuring that damaging toxins are excreted from the body. Foods high in fibre include leafy greens such as broccoli, beans, lentils, apples and pears.

Not so good carbs

bad carbs

Refined starches

White-flour breads, pasta and rice. Crackers, biscuits and other baked packaged foods are all considered as refined carbs. The bran, hull and fibre are removed from the grain during the refinement process meaning they contain little to no fibre and a lot of minerals and nutrients are lost.

Refined sugars

Refined sugars are probably one of the worst things you can feed your body with. These include sucrose, lactose, molasses and fruit juice concentrates. High level of sugar consumption can lead to extreme fluctuations in energy, more sugar cravings and mood swings.

In a nutshell: good carbs take time to digest in the body and as a result, you stay fuller for longer. They include whole-grain foods and vegetables. Bad carbs give you a sudden burst of energy and as a result cause a fluctuation in blood sugar levels. They include sweets and refined starches.

So before you unfairly black-list some carb-loaded foods, ask yourself this: is it a good carb or not? 🙂

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Posted on April 22, 2015

7 reasons your ‘diet’ isn’t working

Diets/ fitness/ Health/ health benefits

moderation

There’s nothing more annoying than spending so much time in the gym, doing calorie counts at a restaurant, avoiding all your favourite snacks and still seeing no results. Despite all your efforts and ability to maintain will-power for so long, the number on the scale doesn’t seem to want to budge– mind-boggling, right?

Luckily, you don’t have to throw in the towel right away and you might even find it comforting to know that you probably aren’t the only ‘dieter’ who isn’t seeing the desired results.

In most cases, it could just be because you’ve picked up on a few small – and extremely common – habits that are preventing you from seeing the scale drop. All it takes is making a few smart lifestyle changes that will have you shedding weight sooner than you think.

dieting

Here are some of the reasons your ‘diet’ isn’t working:

#1: Calling it a ‘diet’ to begin with

I personally don’t like the word ‘diet’. To me, it implies starvation, limitation and robbing your body of what it needs to survive – ok, that’s a bit of a stretch, but you know what I’m getting at. I think it’s better to regard your weight loss goals as creating a lasting healthy lifestyle – this also promises a lot more consistency!

#2: Not knowing your eating personality

I recently wrote a piece about knowing your eating personality. Knowing whether you’re a socialiser, a binger or an emotional eater can bring you one step closer to seeing the the results you want because you will know how to go about on making your lifestyle changes.

#3: Going cold turkey

I’ve already touched on the idea that I associate the word diet with restriction and limitation. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that labelling certain foods as big no-no’s will only make you want them more. Remember, moderation is key!  If you focus on having more of what your body needs i.e fruits, vegetables and water, then you can treat yourself every now and again.

one meal doesn'tmake you skinny

#4: Trying to eat as little as you can

Don’t get me started on this one. Nothing hurts me more than hearing someone say ‘I’m starving, but I can’t eat past 8pm’ it drives me absolutely insane! Some people seem to forget that food is their body’s fuel. You need it to keep energised during the day. Eating within a healthy range of foods is not bad for you – even if it is after 8.30pm!

#5: Misreading the scale

When I first started at the gym I was 50kg, then after a couple of months, I went up to 52kg. Some people would freak out about this, but I knew that it was just all the muscle that I was gaining for working out! If the scale isn’t budging, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t losing inches. You could simply getting fitter and gaining lean muscle mass.

lean

#6:  Dieting but not exercising

If you want to see results, then you need to bare in mind that watching your diet and exercising go hand-in-hand. If you’re too embarrassed to go for a jog and don’t want to join any gym classes then there are a lot of YouTube videos that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals in the comfort of your own home- you have no excuse!

#7: Giving up too soon

Anyone can have a setback, but it takes someone with real determination to get back up and try all over again. I’m not going to lie, I have my moments when I give up completely and need a few weeks to get back on track. But when I do, I get enthusiastic about it all over again!  It all comes down to being realistic about what you can achieve in the time that you have. Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

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Posted on October 30, 2014

The truth behind unsuccessful dieting

Diets/ Nutrition

dieting fails

Summer is officially over, the New Year is approaching and you’ve already decided that one of your resolutions will be to go on a diet and stick to it – like always.

However, there’s a chance you could be wasting your time and money trying to follow diet plans that will probably never work. I’m not trying to discourage you here or anything but as it turns out, the reasons behind a lot of failed diets go beyond lacking persistence and not having enough willpower.

Instead, much of our dieting downfalls come down to our personality types and more often than not, we set out goals that we are genetically incapable of sticking to.

According to new research, the relationship you have with food actually depends on your ‘eating personality.’ Whether we’re ‘rushers’, ‘pickers’ or ‘socialisers’, our eating personality has a huge impact on whether or not we can stick to diet plans.

scale

‘Rushers’ are women who don’t make great diet choices because they don’t have enough time – they usually resort to ready-made meals.

‘Pickers’ snack in between meals, and ‘bingers’ are the ones who starve themselves for ages and then down a colossal amount of food in one go – “I had plain greek yoghurt for breakfast and then a carrot for lunch. Then I came home and ate the entire kitchen,” sound like you?

Other personalities include ‘comfort eaters’ (the type I’m all too familiar with), ‘socialisers,’ who put on weight because of their drinking habits and ‘settlers,’ who pile up on the pounds once they’ve gotten into a relationship – the get ‘em and trap ‘em kinda gals!

Although your eating personality affects your dieting, it’s no reason to use it as an excuse to why you aren’t losing weight.  Once you identify your weaknesses and work out what exactly it is that makes you want to eat (besides hunger), dieting becomes a tad bit easier!

I guess there’s always comfort in knowing that a lack of will power isn’t entirely to blame for our bad food choices…….

So tell me, which would-be slimmer do you think you are?

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Posted on August 14, 2014

6 beauty tips for getting rid of dark circles

maintenance/ Natural beauty/ Tips

beauty tips

We’ve all been there: that one week where you’re overloaded with work overload and you just can’t seem to catch a break. That one time you desperately need a few hours of self-pampering – except when you finally do get the chance, you completely regret looking at your reflection in the mirror.

Yes, we’ve all been there.

Dark circles can be a total beauty nightmare and more often than not, they are usually a sign of sleep deprivation – unless of course you’ve had them all your life (our genes don’t always work in our favour).

When it comes to treating dark circles, one of the most common remedies is to cut a few slices of cucumbers and put them over your eyelids. But in severe case, cucumbers just won’t work and you will have to try a few other things to conquer this beauty problem:

1. Get more sleep
Of course a full night of shut-eye won’t keep dark circles at bay, but since a lot of the times dark circles are a sign of sleep deprivation, it’s a good idea to clock in a few more hours in La La Land.

2. Drink more water
In some cases, dehydration can be the cause of dark circles. Try your best to get at least eight glasses of water each day. If you get bored of drinking normal water, you could be more adventurous and try one of these.

lemon water

3. Maybe some milk
The protein and enzymes in milk can help heal certain skin problems. Dab a bit of cotton into chilled milk and apply it over your eyelids for about 15 minutes. Do this a couple of times a week until you see results.

4. Watch your diet
Dark circles can also be a sign of a poor diet. Lay off the junk and try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables – eventually it will shine through in your face.

5. Almond oil
Apply a few drops of almond oil around your dark circles and gently massage it in before you go to bed. This natural oil will help moisturise and lighten this part of your skin.

6. Rose water
Soak some cotton wool into rose water and apply over eyelids for 10 – 15 minutes. This will help rejuvenate the skin around your eye area, giving it a brighter appearance.

Do you have any tips for easing dark circles around the eyes? If so, feel free to share them with me!

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Posted on August 6, 2014

Do’s and Don’ts for gaining weight healthily

fitness/ weight

black-woman-on-scale

As hard as it may seem to believe, there are some people out there whose goals consist nothing of losing weight or finding ‘the perfect diet’. Instead, they are working towards putting on a few kilos because no matter how much they eat, they just can’t seem to put on any amount of weight.

While this is a dream for some, it is a nightmare for others – especially when these people are subjected to being called ‘too skinny’ or even ‘anorexic’ in some cases – oh, I know this all too well!

So if you want to gain weight in the healthiest way possible, then here are a few Do’s and Don’ts you might want to consider:

  • DO consume more calories than you’re burning.
  • DON’T spend your time binge eating.
  • DO blend your food and take it in a liquid form – this will help you consume more calories.
  • DON’T overdo it with the cardio – it’s your worst enemy right about now.
  • DO include some light exercise in your weekly routine, this will help you convert fat into muscle.
  • DON’T become besties with junk food – you want healthy fats, not bad fats!
  • DO keep track of what you eat.
  • DON’T skip any meals – aim to have at least six small meals a day.
  • DO get your 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This will give your body the time it needs to build muscle as you rest.
  • DON’T check the weighing scale every single day – you will only disappoint yourself!
  • DO include a lot of protein in your diet i.e. chicken, fish, nuts etc.
  • DON’T be afraid of carbs – they will help keep your calories up.
  • DO keep snacks with you at all times.
  • DON’T get discouraged if you don’ see results soon, it’s all about being consistent and having patience!

Hopefully these tips will help you gain the extra kilo or two! Let us know how you get on if you do decide to try them out 🙂

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