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26 Not-So-Healthy Habits

 

From magazine headlines to wise words from our mother, we’re constantly bombarded with “tips” to keep our health in check. But before drowning in diet soda and daily showers, reassess some of these behaviors that may be doing more harm than help.

 

Foods and Eating Habits:

1. Enhanced water. A little faux fruity flavor might seem like a great way to up H2O intake, but flavored water, like Vitamin Water or even Smart Water, can be filled with sugar. Skip the artificially sweetened water and infuse water with actual fruit.

 

2. Granola and granola bars. Granola is made from whole grains, so it can’t be bad, right? Not so fast. Granola and granola bars are both calorically dense and often contain a ton of sugar. You may as well eat a candy bar…

 

3. Protein bars. Protein bars don’t fall far from the granola-bar-tree. They are often ultra-high in calories and sugar — not exactly what the body needs after a hard workout. Choose a healthier high-protein snack instead.

 

4. Vitamins and supplements. Multiple studies have shown that taking vitamins (in pill form) may not have any positive effect on long-term health. Researchers have surveyed the nonexistent (or even potentially harmful) ties of vitamin E and C supplements with heart disease, cancer, and cancer treatment[1][2][3]. Plus, most people get all the vitamins they need from their food, and substituting pills for whole foods may mean missing out on the benefits from other compounds found in the natural sources.

 

5. Light beer. News flash: Light-beer doesn’t necessarily mean less calories. Instead, many simply have a lower alcohol content. And for those interested in getting a buzz on, the calorie difference may be negated by the need to drink more. Sip a healthier beer instead, and split up the six-pack between friends.

 

6. “Low-fat” foods. Think twice before skipping the fat-filled salmon. While cutting some fat could help weight loss, we may miss out on some big benefits from healthy omega-3 fats, such as boosting brainpower and lowering the risk of heart disease[4][5][6].

 

7. Skipping meals. Skipping meals probably won’t save us any calories in the long haul. Forgoing a meal may result in overeating later on, so choose a healthier lunchtime treat instead[7][8][9].

 

8. Bottled water. Some bottled water may be filled with bacteria or chemicals when bottled in plastic containers[10][11] So grab a water filter and purify tap water instead.

 

9. Passing on dessert. Don’t deny your favorite dessert. If really craving that double chocolate brownie, enjoy a few generous bites instead of going for seconds at the dinner buffet line — which could rack up even more calories.

 

10. Diet soda. Diet Dr. Pepper may not be our friend. Scientists suggest too much of these zero-cal beverages could do as much damage as the sugary stuff, potentially leading to weight gain and an uncontrollable sweet tooth[12][13] The solution? Skip the soda completely and opt for a healthier choice.

 

11. Juice diets. Many of us could use a few more fruits and veggies, but we don’t need to have spinach-apple juice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Juice diets may leave out important nutrients and enough calories to stay strong throughout the day.

 

12. Microwave diet meals. Try making your own meals, without the box and frozen plastic tray. Many frozen meals are packed with sodium, while lacking veggies and enough calories. Short on time? Make a large batch of your favorite meal over the weekend and freeze individual portions to eat throughout the week.

 

Hygiene and Health

13. Hot tubs. They may be super relaxing, but hot tubs are a one-stop shop for bacteria and germs, and may even cause a rash. Gross.

 

14. Antibacterial soap. It may not be worth scrubbing down with the fancy stuff: Regular soap and water is just as beneficial when it comes to staying squeaky clean[14].

 

15. Brushing right after every meal. Just ‘cause dessert was devoured doesn’t mean we should grab the toothbrush and paste. Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal so saliva can neutralize the acid in the mouth and strengthen the enamel on those chompers.

 

16. Avoiding the sun. While too much sun could cause a nasty burn (or worse!) sidestepping the sun at all costs may lead to a lack of Vitamin D which is essential for proper muscle and bone development[15].

 

17. Daily showers. Stop the scrubbing! Hopping in the shower too often may irritate and dry out skin. If you really need to freshen up, spray on some perfume or cologne and save the shower ‘till tomorrow.

 

18. Catching up on sleep. We’re sorry to break it to you, but it’s pretty tricky to catch up on sleep. So rather than skimping on sleep in order to cash them in later, aim for a solid seven to nine hours a night.

 

19. Sitting up straight. Yeah, we’re surprised too. Sitting up straight may be bad for the back, so skip the seat and try a standing desk at the office[16][17].

 

20. Cleaning with disinfecting products. There’s some evidence that certain chemicals in disinfecting products could lead to asthma[18][19]. Simply use a regular cleaning product  or detergent without the chemicals instead.

 

Working Out

21. Only doing cardio. Hitting the roads is great and all, but don’t retire the weights for the running shoes. Make sure to strength train to burn fat, lean out, and look badass in the process.

 

22. Doing a million crunches. The secret to six-pack abs probably isn’t crunch after crunch. To flatten out and tone up the core, try running some intervals, lifting a few weights, and cleaning up that diet instead.

 

23. Breathing deeply through the chest. Whether running the final lap or heading down the basketball court, avoid deep breathing with the chest. For a most effective breath to help any athlete’s performance, remember to use the diaphragm!

 

24. Static stretching pre workout. When warming up, static stretching (aka holding positions for a certain length of time) won’t do much in way of preventing soreness[20]. Skip the still motions and do dynamic stretches, like lunges and high knees, instead[21].

 

25. Lifting machines. Most lifting machines focus on single joint exercises, which fail to improve muscle imbalance and does not burn as many calories as hitting the squat rack or swinging a kettlebell.

 

26. Hitting the gym daily. Don’t get us wrong, exercise is important! But spending too much time at the gym leaves little time for muscles — and the mind — to recover. Make sure to get at least one or two days of rest, and dominate those dumbbells the rest of the week.

 

Source:  http://www.greatist.com

 

 

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Eat To Balance Your Hormones

The hormone leptin is released from your fat cells after you eat to tell your body to stop feeling hungry and start burning calories. So the more leptin the merrier, right? Not exactly. The more fat you have on your body, the more leptin you produce, and excess leptin can eventually cause your body to become resistant. If your body is resistant to leptin, the hormone can’t do its job. The goal is to optimize your leptin levels by choosing foods that work to increase your body’s sensitivity to leptin and strategically raise levels of it when necessary. Here are a few of the nutrients you should look for.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): This type of omega-3 fatty acid stimulates leptin production by increasing the metabolism of glucose. It’s found in cold-water fish, such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. (Farm-raised fish are not a great source of EPA or other omega-3s because their diet makes them produce more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Omega-6 fatty acids encourage inflammation and can counter the healthful effects of omega-3s.) Other types of omega-3s can cause a temporary dip in leptin levels, which can help you kick-start a sluggish metabolism.

Protein: One study found that increasing protein to 30 percent of total daily calorie intake improved participants’ leptin sensitivity, which resulted in overall lowered calorie intake. Good sources of protein include yogurt, Pacific wild salmon, turkey, eggs, and peanut butter.

Zinc: This mineral acts like EPA, in that it raises leptin levels. Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products are all good sources of zinc.

 

Source:  http://www.jillianmichaels.com

 

 

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10 Healthier Beers by Greatist

These are worth a try, but avoiding overindulgence, not just on the booze content, but the calories alone are KEY.  Here is the shared list…enjoy!

Many of beer’s benefits stem from natural antioxidants called phenols found in beer, wine, and many other foods. Ales typically have a higher phenol concentration, which means they also pack more heart-protecting powers. While phenols do provide some health benefits, slamming a keg won’t provide much more than a killer hangover. Stick with moderate alcohol consumption (one drink per day for women, and up to two for men) to get the health benefits without feeling down the next day.

1. Yuengling Light Lager

Looking for a full-flavor lager that’s still light on the calories? Search no further. Yuengling managed to cram the health benefits of a lager with a lower carb count at only 99 calories, this is definitely the best selection for a healthier classic brew.

Type: Lager

Alcohol Content: 3.8%

Calories: 99

Carbs: 9 grams

2. New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale

This newer brew skips out on the gluten and uses sorghum, corn, and raspberry puree  malty to create a not-too-sweet fruity brew with extra antioxidants (from the berries). Perfect for those looking to indulge and still stay away from gluten. Plus, New Planet donates a portion of sales from this beer to Colorado-based non-profits using the 3R philosophy — reduce, reuse, recycle.

Type: Ale

Alcohol Content: 5%

Calories: 160

Carbs: 17 grams

3. Abita Purple Haze

Don’t enjoy the bitter taste of beer but still want to reap the heart-health benefits? Have no fear! Abita infused this brew with real raspberries to deliver a fruity aroma and a sweet taste. Packed with so many berries, this brew even displays a purplish hue (hence the name)!

Type: Lager

Alcohol Content: 4.2%

Calories: 145

Carbs: 11 grams

4. Left Hand Good Juju

Complete with a hint of fresh ginger (one of our favorite superfoods!), this unique ale combines unique herbs and spices to bring out a full flavor. This lighter-bodied brew is perfect for those that want full flavor without sacrificing an expanding waistline.

Type: Ale

Alcohol Content: 4.5%

Calories: 131

Carbs: 12.1 grams

5. Guinness Draught

This dark Irish blend — famous for quenching thirsts on St. Patty’s day — makes the list as a classic with a creamy decadence and sneakily healthy twist! Packed with phenols, this super-dark staple brings the taste and feel of a stout with fewer carbohydrates and calories.

Type: Stout

Alcohol Content: 4%

Calories: 126

Carbs: 10 grams

6. Sam Adam’s Light Lager

Creating a light beer that still stands up to the Sam Adam’s taste was no easy task. Brewers stuck to the basics and invented a lighter calorie beer that didn’t sacrifice flavor making this beer perfect for those looking to stay health conscious without skimping on the taste.

Type: Lager

Alcohol Content: 4%

Calories: 119

Carbs: 9.7 grams

7. New Belgium Blue Paddle

This brew packs the hops without expanding the waistline. Complete with a fruity/herbal aroma and a slightly bitter finish, this beer delivers a healthy wallop!

Type: Pilsner (Lager)

Alcohol Content: 4.8%

Calories: 145

Carbs: 14 grams

8. Stone/Ishii/Baird Japanese Green Tea IPA

Perhaps one of the most exotic beers on the list, this collaboration effort from several breweries packs a unique taste and higher alcohol content. Don’t fall prey to sticker shock — while this brew packs the highest calorie total on the list, the antioxidants from the green tea pack a huge health benefit. Plus, it’s higher in alcohol, so just half of one 12-ounce bottle will surely suffice. And don’t go overboard and kick back the whole six-pack. Still not convinced? Feel good about indulging, as all proceeds from this beer go to Japanese tsunami relief programs.

Type: India Pale Ale

Alcohol Content: 9.2%

Calories: 276

Carbs: 19 grams

9. Butte Creek Organic India Pale Ale

Looking for an organic pale ale that is made free of potentially hazardous pesticides and chemical fertilizers but still tastes great? Look no further! Butte Creek has managed just that with this Indian pale ale.

Type: India Pale Ale

Alcohol Content: 6.4%

Calories: 201 (22 oz.)

Carbs: 1.9 grams

10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Combining a heap of hops with slight hints of orange blossom is no small task. Sierra Nevada pulls it off with this award-winning brew.

Type: Pale Ale

Alcohol Content: 5.6%

Calories: 175

Carbs: 14.1 grams

*Note: All nutrition facts are based on a 12-ounce serving unless otherwise noted.

 

Source:  http://www.greatist.com by Jeremey DuVall

 

 
 

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400 Calorie-Burning Interval Treadmill Workout

Running burns an insane amount of calories and it also targets your tush and legs, so it’s the perfect workout if you’re trying to slim down and tone up below the waist. Add hills to your workout and you’ll tone your lower body even faster and more effectively.

Set the treadmill incline to zero, and after warming up begin this workout. For each three-minute brisk walking interval, you’ll need to raise the incline to 15 percent (or as high as it’ll go), and for each 60-second sprinting interval, you’ll need to lower it to zero. Adjust the speed as necessary if either the walking or sprinting pace seems too slow or fast.

Time Pace (mph) Incline % Calories Burned*
00:00-05:00 4.0 (15 min/mile) 0 20
05:00-8:00 4.0 (15 min/mile) 15 36
8:00-9:00 7.0 (8.5 min/mile) 0 11
9:00-12:00 4.0 15 36
12:00-13:00 7.0 0 11
13:00-16:00 4.0 15 36
16:00-17:00 7.0 0 11
17:00-20:00 4.0 15 36
20:00-21:00 7.0 0 11
21:00-24:00 4.0 15 36
24:00-25:00 7.0 0 11
25:00-28:00 4.0 15 36
28:00-29:00 7.0 0 11
29:00-32:00 4.0 15 36
32:00-33:00 7.0 0 11
33:00-36:00 4.0 15 36
36:00-37:00 7.0 0 11
37:00-42:00 4.0 0 20

Total calories burned: 416

*Calories burned calculations are based on a 130-pound woman

 

Source: http://www.fitsugar.com/Tush-Toning-Interval-Workout-Treadmill-23321392

 

 
 

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Burning Calories

Source:  http://pinterest.com/pin/178032991489865006/

 

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Naked Calories

This is a guest blog post by Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

I was recently sent a copy of a new book, Naked Calories: How Micronutrients Can Maximize Weight Loss, Prevent Disease and Enhance Your Life. Here is my interview with the coauthors Mira and Jayson Calton, and additional commentary from a spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Elisa Zied: What inspired you to write Naked Calories?

Mira: After being diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis at the age of thirty, I knew that I had to find out what had caused my bones to become so frail at such an early age. My condition became so debilitating that I had to quit work, sell my company and leave Manhattan to move to Florida where my sister could take of me. I was lucky enough, in my search for a natural remedy, to meet Jayson Calton, PhD—not only did we reverse my disease in only 2 years, but we fell in love as our passion to find a cure became a passion for each other.

Prior to this happening to me I never would have imagined how common micronutrient deficiency is. In fact, according to the USDA, more than 90 percent (nearly all) of Americans are deficient in achieving adequate amounts of their essential micronutrients from food alone. For example, only 7.6 percent of the population has an adequate intake of potassium. Additionally, only 13 percent are ingesting adequate levels of vitamin E. The data also states that more than seven out of ten Americans are deficient in achieving adequate intakes of calcium, and only approximately five out of ten are adequate in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium. [z1]

After reversing my condition, we felt obligated to let people know that these chronic lifestyle conditions that are negatively affecting so many peoples lives, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and even obesity, can be prevented or reversed through becoming sufficient in our essential micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids (EFAs) and accessory micronutrients). We wrote Naked Calories to share what we had discovered with the world and provide the reader with a realistic and sustainable 3-step plan to create micronutrient sufficiency and ultimately optimal health.

EZ: What exactly are ‘Naked Calories’?

Jayson: Food has two primary components. First, there are calories, which are comprised of MACROnutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and fats—and secondly they contain MICROnutrients, which are vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids (EFAs) and other accessory micronutrients. Naked Calories are created when the MICROnutrients are somehow stripped away from the calories. This happens for a variety of different reasons:

– food processing,

– factory farming, and

– cooking methods.

This can leaves us with nutritionally impaired food, which we call “Naked Calories.”

EZ: Can you explain your “rich food, poor food” philosophy?

Mira: Our Rich Food, Poor Food philosophy advocates eating an abundance of micronutrient rich foods and avoiding micronutrient poor foods in order to achieve optimal health through micronutrient sufficiency. Think of it as a new-and-improved method of food swapping. Rather than choosing foods based on their fat, sodium or calorie content, we focus on the essential vitamins, minerals and EFAs in the food, and replace micronutrient-poor foods with micronutrient-rich food. Rich foods are natural, unprocessed, or minimally processed, high in micronutrient content, and help you increase your micronutrient sufficiency level. Poor foods are often highly processed and are low or void of micronutrients. These foods are full of naked calories and provide inadequate amounts of essential micronutrients to maintain health. Some poor foods, like sugar, can even rob our bodies of certain micronutrients, increasing the likelihood of micronutrient deficiency.

Our goal is to spread the message that processed, micronutrient-poor foods, filled with naked calories, are detrimental for everyone—no matter what dietary philosophy you may follow. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, low fat, Mediterranean, Paleo or low-carbohydrate dieter, following our rich food, poor food philosophy will help to maximize weight loss, prevent disease, and achieve optimal health.

EZ: Do you absolutely, positively believe every single person needs to take supplements? Why or why not?

Mira: We would love to tell you that a balanced diet of food alone will provide you with 100 percent of the RDI for your essential micronutrients and save you from the dire consequences of micronutrient deficiency. However, not one study has ever shown this to be true in a realistic and sustainable way. We want to be clear in stating that we believe food should always come first as the best way to get our essential micronutrients. However, in Naked Calories[z2] [z3] [z4] we reveal that study after study conclude that diets comprised of food alone do not provide micronutrient sufficiency. Even researchers from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics[z5] were unable to create a diet that was palatable within a reasonable calorie level using the foods available to people today that would supply the minimum level of essential vitamins and minerals needed to avoid deficiency diseases. Even at a calorie level of between 2200 – 2400 calories only 11 percent of the menus met the RDA for zinc. Half of the menus did not meet the RDA for vitamin B6 and one-third did not meet the RDA for iron. While we would never tell anyone that they have to supplement, for those who feel they may be falling short in their essential micronutrients we highly recommend supplementation as an insurance policy to fill in gaps and achieve micronutrient sufficiency.

EZ: In Naked Calories, you argue that micronutrient deficiency relates to chronic conditions such as excessive weight and obesity. Can you explain your assertion?

Jayson: We believe that micronutrient deficiency is the most widespread and dangerous health condition of the 21st century. Our research and the USDA’s published reports have lead us to believe that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in their essential micronutrients to some extent. According to Mark Hyman MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, “a whopping 92 percent of us are deficient in one or more nutrients at the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) level.”[z6] Mehmet Oz, M.D., chooses these sad statistics in reporting on the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency: “A study of 3 million people revealed that less than 1 percent of the participants got enough essential vitamins from diet alone.” [z7] While some may only have slight deficiencies, millions of others are unknowingly suffering from severe micronutrient deficiencies. The danger with this is that over time these deficiencies can lead to life threatening chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.

In Naked Calories we point out the connection between micronutrient deficiency and numerous chronic lifestyle diseases. One condition we focus on is overweight/obesity and ask the question, “Could micronutrient deficiency be the missing link in the fight against overweight/obesity?” Additionally, we share numerous scientific studies that show specific micronutrient deficiencies lead to food cravings, overeating and weight gain. It is our belief that individuals who are overweight may simply be biochemically more in tune with their body’s need for their required essential micronutrients and are trying to achieve micronutrient sufficiency the only way that their bodies know how—by eating more food.

EZ: What are your thoughts about current 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Do you support the guidelines or feel the government has missed the boat?

Mira: As far as the current guidelines are concerned, we have a hard time supporting the “anti-fat” approach, as some of the essential micronutrients are naturally found in higher fat foods. Additionally, while we both support people eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, we feel that the quality of the consumed foods needs to be examined more closely. For example, for us, canned apple sauce from pesticide sprayed apples, loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, made from GMO corn does not constitute a smart choice for one of the five servings a day.

More education and attention needs to be paid to the quality of the food choices across the board, and more weight needs to be put behind the foods that are micronutrient rich and are able to deliver high levels of essential vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, without delivering anti-nutrients such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup or pesticides, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In the National Diet and Nutrition Survey carried out in Great Britain on behalf of their Food Standards Agency, UK residents were observed to determine if they were taking in enough micronutrients from food alone to maintain basic health. It was determined that every person was at risk for micronutrient deficiency to some degree.

Below is a commentary from Roberta Anding, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

The authors of Naked Calories remind all of us that WE ARE eating overprocessed foods.  As registered dietitians, we advocate a whole foods philosophy. However there are some claims that are difficult to substantiate with science. The claim that nearly all Americans have a micronutrient deficiency is not accurate. Clearly, the most prevalent nutrient deficiency found in the United States is vitamin D and prevalence numbers are ~ 2/3 of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency per NHANES.

A recent report in adults who tend to under consume calories, the elderly, indicates the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is 84 percent of African Americans and 57% of whites.  Additionally, other high-risk populations don’t indicate a prevalence of a nutrient deficiency of 100 percent.  In a study of pregnant women who are at risk of iron deficiency, the prevalence was 18 percent.

There are calorie levels which reaching all nutrient adequacy becomes difficult. Intakes of less than 1200 calories per day, even with healthy choices, may place someone at risk of nutrient deficiency. I would agree that there are some “naked calories” to include high sugar and highly processed foods. Certainly some people can end up with nutrient deficiencies if the quality or the quantity of the food is reduced. For example, I have some eating disorder patients who only eat healthy food but end up deficient based on the low level of intake. I have also had patients who will drink large amounts of soda and consume adequate calories that are nutrient poor. But that doesn’t mean that the quality of the food supply is always suspect. Working with physically active men, I have found an increased risk of iron overload, so nutrient toxicity is also a concern

Naked Calories mixes encouragement of a whole foods approach with claims regarding nutrient deficiencies that can’t be backed up with science.

Source:  http://blog.fooducate.com/2012/05/29/what-are-naked-calories/

 

 

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Burning Calories – 150 at a Time

English: A breaststroke swimmer, in a hotel sw...


For a 150-pound person, doing these exercises will burn about 150 calories:

  • Walking a mile at a pace of 15 to 20 minutes per mile
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Bicycling for 30 minutes
  • Running a mile at a pace of 10 minutes per mile
  • Climbing stairs for 15 minutes
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
  • Playing basketball for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Playing volleyball for 45 to 60 minutes
  • Gardening for 30 to 45 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
  • Dancing for 30 minutes

If you want to run a few miles every day or swim for long periods of time, speak with your doctor first. She may be able to suggest exercises and activities specifically geared toward your hypertension and individual health needs.

Source:  http://www.everydayhealth.com

 

 

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