Why Cutting Calories Could Be Sabotaging Your Health Goals?

One of the many reasons why most of the diets fail is because they ask you to count your calories, weigh your food or remove certain food groups from your diet.

However, even though various diets just don’t mention anything about watching, tracking and counting calories, most people would still believe that they need to reduce their calorie intake if they want to lose weight.

This whole concept of tracking and restricting our calorie intake is so deep-rooted within us that even if we allow ourselves to eat breakfast, we will limit ourselves to consuming a protein bar, a hard-boiled egg or a green juice.

But, here is the truth – calorie restriction would not help you in losing weight, but it backfires. Keeping a rigid check over calorie intake ignores your biological needs, hormonal reactions and blood sugar responses.

Let’s have a quick look at few more such truths related to calorie counting, and what should be done instead.

  • It makes it difficult for you to meet your nutrient needs

We often tend to underestimate the importance of vitamins, fiber, minerals and other nutrients to our well-being.

But, anything that is not visible, doesn’t necessarily mean, that it won’t impact your quality of life in long-term. Let’s understand this with the help of a simple example. Dietary calcium is important for our body functions like blood circulation and muscle control.

For the first 30 years of our life, our body stores excess calcium in bones. After 30, your body stops gaining muscle mass and starts relying on existing calcium storage. Thus, if you don’t consume the right food, your body won’t be able to meet the calcium needs after a certain age, and you will become prone to the risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis.

  • It slows down your metabolism

When you start eating less just to limit your calorie intake, your body switches itself to survival mode and would start breaking down the muscles to release the stored glucose.

Losing muscle mass can have an adverse effect on your body. Further, it can even impact your weight loss goals, as our muscles burn calories 24 x 7, and when you have fewer muscles, they will burn fewer calories.

  • It compromises your brain’s performance

This might not be expected, but once you start cutting your diet, you also start losing your mental edge. This is because our brain runs on glucose, and it needs enough of it to keep working. If you keep yourself hungry, it is only obvious that you won’t be able to work at the top of your capacities.

  • It might give you gallstones

Low-calorie diets of around 800 calories per day can help you in losing the weight, but would also make you prone to the risk of gallstones. In the worst scenario, it might cause abdominal pain and would need surgery.

The bottom line here is to eat right and intake all daily nutrients, after all, at the end, it is your health that matters.

Ways to Get a Flat Belly for Summer and Bikini Season

Summer season is almost here and we all want to gear up for the beach body and greet the season with a body built for our teeniest bikini. So how to get rid of the unsightly flab before it hangs over our bikini bottom this summer?

Here are some tips and tricks that can help you prevent distressing, uncomfortable belly flat!

  • Drink plenty of water

If you want to lose on that stubborn belly fat, it is very important to keep the body well-hydrated. Drinking plenty of water increases metabolism, digestion and cleanse your system of toxins. Additionally, the liver works better and burns fat efficiently if you keep your body hydrated.

 So, drink enough water for the entire day for a flat belly and a healthy body. According to research, drinking 2 cups of water before you eat can help you consume fewer calories when you dig in.

  • Cardio is the key

The best way to slim down in the middle is cardio exercise. Make more time for cardio as it is the most effective in reducing belly fat. Aerobic exercises burn more calories than resistance training or combination.

HIIT (High intensity interval training) or, very low-intensity cardio like walking, or ideally, a mix of both can show fast effects. Some good examples of exercise are walking, swimming, jogging, aerobics, bicycling and the likes.

  • Target big muscles

Targeted weight loss or spot reduction is not possible. So, if you want to get rid of excess fat from your belly, you will need to lose overall body fat. Target the stubborn muscles like legs, chest, and back. This will help the stomach muscles in maintaining the balance and this will help trim your belly down.

  • Say no to carbonated drinks

Stick with flat water over any kind of carbonated and sweetened drinks. Try having more of green tea, natural smoothies or detox drinks. Carbonated drinks store gas in the stomach and cause the stomach to swell and bloat. Add lemon, ginger, and cucumber to the variety of drinks to make it more tasty and healthy.

  • Make friends with fiber

 Include a lot of fibers in your diet for a healthy stomach functioning and digestion. The good digestive system is linked with fat loss and weight loss.

Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits for a healthy body and flat belly. Add some dressings on the salad. Little fat in the dressings help in absorbing the veggie nutrients and you will feel fuller.

  • Say no to dairy products, refined grains, and sugar

Sugar is a form of carbohydrate with no nutrition and empty calories. When you eat sugar, your body retains glycogen and fluid which causes bloating. Prefer whole grains over refined grains and avoid dairy products as much as possible.

  • Get your daily sleep

 Too little sleep can cause more cravings for high carb foods. And the more tired you feel the stronger are the cravings as your body needs energy. Cut these cravings by having a good sleep of at least 7 hours at a stretch.

Scary Weight Loss Diets You Should Never Try!

Could you have ever imagined that weight loss diet could scare the shit out of people?

Who said movies like Insidious and The Exorcist can only be the scariest things ever? Who said that a power cut in a guest house, where you are staying alone in the night, could scare you the most?

Whatever women do these days to lose weight can be scary. There are some weight loss diets that can be very frightening. Please have a look below.

Weight Loss Diets That Would Scare The Shit Out Of You

The Cigarette Diet

The ones who are already smokers will get delighted to read this. Apart from acquiring lung cancer, cigarettes can at least help us in some way.

The nicotine helps to lose weight. Yes, you are reading right. According to some trainers and modelling experts, water and cigarettes give rise to the nicotine diet which gives you the perfect sexy figure. Obviously, you have to choose between getting a perfect figure and preventing cancer. It is totally your call.

The Last Chance Diet

In the 1970s, Roger Linn introduced the Last Chance diet. He made a protein drink of 400 calories. Well, it’s very evident that 400 calories per day would eventually make a person shrink to a skeleton.

The scariest part is the source of that protein. The protein was extracted from the leftover horns, hides, tendons, animal bones, etc. of a slaughterhouse. Yuck! It is unfathomable that how anyone can even take a gulp of that protein drink after getting knowledge of its manufacturing ingredients.

The Tongue Patch Diet

This is another scary weight loss diet you could have ever thought of. In this diet plan, a plastic mesh would be attached on the surface of your tongue so that you cannot consume any solid food. It pains too much if you try eating with that mesh on.

The only form of consumption throughout the diet plan would be a liquid of 800 calories per day. By adopting this tongue patch diet for a month, a person can lose up to thirty pounds. A California-based cosmetic surgeon introduced this tongue patch diet procedure in the USA and it costs a patient $2000.

The HCG Diet

The HCG diet includes an intake of 500 calories per day throughout the diet regimen. That is not the scary part. It gets scary when you need to get injected with a drug termed as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is a fertility drug.

The HCG drug is prepared from extractions of a pregnant woman’s urine. Just imagine that when this thing sounds so yuck, how on earth people choose to take these injections to lose weight.

The HCG diet was popular in the 1950s

All the weight loss diets mentioned above are not merely diets, but those are starvation campaigns. If you want to stay fit and healthy, eat right and work out religiously. That’s the key.

7 Common Kitchen Ingredients That Can Help You Fight Against Cold and Flu

Cold and flu are two common illnesses people fall prey to with the sudden change in temperature. The best way to protect your body from coughing and sniffing is by making your immune system stronger. This can be done by consuming the various immune boosting foods that will help your body fight against cold and flu. Some of these are:

1. Oranges

Oranges are powerhouses of Vitamin C and are quite effective in dealing with the symptoms of cold and flu. This might come as a surprise to you, but in addition to helping you restore the glow on your face, oranges also help you fight against cold and flu.

We just gave you another reason why you must eat plenty of oranges this winter season!

2. Blueberries

Blueberries contain antioxidants that help your body to fight against cold and flu. According to research, people who consume flavonoids foods are 33% less likely to catch a cold than those who do not consume such supplements daily.

Well, statistics don’t lie! Thus, consume blueberries and eliminate the risk of suffering from cold and flu.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli should be the first kitchen ingredient that must be added to your diet if you are seeking protection against cold and flu. Why? This is because broccoli enhances the immunity. It contains a chemical called sulforaphane that creates antioxidants in specific immune cells, which in turn, helps you fight against the free radicals and protects your body from catching a cold.

4. Spinach

Spinach is full of goodness that is important for keeping you healthy. It is not only packed with digestion-regulating fibers but it is also a rich source of Vitamin C, which helps you fight against cold and flu.

5. Eggs

The yolks in eggs contain a nutrient that helps in boosting the immunity of your body. Eggs also contain Vitamin D which helps in regulating and strengthening the immunity system of the body. Consuming vitamin D in any form daily makes you less prone to fall for any upper respiratory tract infection in winters.

6. Apples

An apple a day could keep cold and flu away!Apples contain phytochemical antioxidants which act solid in fighting against chronic diseases like cold and flu and are helpful in developing the immunity system for the future, thus preventing your body from cold in future.

7. Tomatoes

Tomatoes is another food rich in vitamin C which also makes them a great food to eat. A medium-sized tomato contains around 16mg of Vitamin C. It is a great ingredient to cure a cold and flu and helps you strengthen your immune system.

If you are wondering why vitamin C is helpful in boosting immune system it is due to the fact that it contains phagocytes and t-cells, whose mere presence in the body helps your immune system to fight against pathogens and in return acts as a shield against cold and flu.

Thus, roll up your sleeves and stay healthy with these hacks!

Are You Maintaining Your Health While You’re Young?

Health is an important part of being young.

Isn’t it energizing to cherish the peak years of your life?

Oh yes! It is believed that the age of 20s is the most life-changing, vivacious and integral phase of one’s life.

It is in your twenties when you embark upon a professional career, start earning your livelihood and some set forth with their conjugal life as well. Some even turn into proud parents. Well, in the midst of the paraphernalia of twenties’ life, you tend to forget the important aspects of your health.

Aspects Of Health To Think About In Your 20s

This is the right time when you can build some healthy habits that will let you have a great 30s and 40s life ahead.

  • Start exercising and paying attention to your fitness

Working out for an hour or more wouldn’t do any harm to your limbs or bones. The more you start paying attention to your fitness and exercise regularly, the muscles and bones would grow stronger and more flexible, reducing the chances of getting knee pain, backaches, joint pains, arthritis, etc. in the later years.

It also helps you to maintain a proper posture and prevents you to slump for the rest of your life.

  • Start eating healthy and cutting down on alcohol & unhealthy snacks

It is quite evident that this is the very age when you love to booze, binge on pizzas, pasta, burgers, hotdogs, wafers, etc. No one is telling you to stop consuming all this. However, it is highly recommended to lower down the intake of and restrict yourself to one or two cocktails.

Try it. It is not so tough. You can fill in by gorging on fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, etc. This will benefit your health for a long, long time.

  • Sleep for 7 to 8hours

Going sleepless for nights may not show any serious effects now but it will definitely hamper your health in the next few years. So do not sacrifice your good night’s sleep for anything else.

  • Apply sunscreen every 4 to 5hours during the daytime

Whether you step out of your house or stay indoors, whether you have a field job or sitting in front of a computer, apply sunscreen to protect the skin from pigmentation, dark spots and tanning.

This habit is not only for your cosmetic appeal. It will slow down the aging of your skin and protect your body from the harmful UV rays that cause many skin and neurotic diseases.

  • Go for a health check-up twice in a year

You might feel that it is unnecessary to go for a health check-up as everything seems to be fine at this age. There is no harm in keeping a tap on your health aspects.

Wrapping Up

Since there are no serious health issues, the vital aspects of health might easily be ignored. But, just as the age-old saying goes—‘Prevention is better than cure’.

“I look back on my 20s. It’s supposed to be the prime of your life, the most vital, and beautiful. But you’re making your critical decisions and sometimes your most critical mistakes.”

–Ann Brashares

Expert Approved Ways Essential Oils Can Help Your Weight Loss Efforts

There are many people out there who are all excited to buy the essential oils! But, what next? What after buying them? Bringing them home from the nearest grocery is still easy but not all of them are aware of how these essential oils can come in hand to improve your diet. Using something without knowing its true advantages wouldn’t be of much use. This article will help you know the expert-approved ways essential oils can help your diet!

Essential oils to get your hands on for losing weight

  1. Peppermint oil

This essential oil is easily available at any grocery store and has more benefits than we think it has! When peppermint oil is added to our diet, it boosts our body’s metabolism, thus soothing the upset stomach and keeping our digestive health better. This oil can be taken either through inhalation or by drinking it on mixing with water. Simple as that! Experts say that by inhaling the peppermint (by putting some drops on cotton) the appetite is suppressed. So, time to add some peppermint oil to your regular diet!

  1. Ginger oil

Experts say that ginger has an essential element gingerol. This gingerol is an organic compound which is found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerol present in this essential oil increases thermogenesis which boosts our metabolism. Experts suggest drinking ginger oil by just mixing it with a little water. But if you feel yikes, then a better alternative is by adding 3 to 4 drops of ginger oil to your evening tea.

  1. Bergamot oil

The very scent of bergamot oil helps our body to relax and make our mood better. It is richly packed with polyphenols which are found in abundance in green tea helping to burn fat and sugar in your diet. Bergamot oil is scientifically proven that by consuming bergamot oil, the psychological problems like mood swings are uplifted. It can be used by adding few drops of bergamot oil while preparing food or simply by mixing it with plain water. Besides, it is also believed that the endocrine system is relaxed by including it in your diet.

  1. Lemon oil

Lemon oil is known for its ability to improve digestion and reduce unnecessary appetite. This is also proved to improvise your metabolism. It can be taken by adding it to your diet. Or you can also mix it with your regular food stuff! The essential vitamins in lemon oil also help in removing the dead cells from your body and thus help to regenerate new cells giving you a healthy and glowing skin.

  1. Cinnamon oil

Cinnamon oil is a rare essential oil to find. It breaks down the sugar in your diet and converts into essential lipids which are stored as fat in your body. Cinnamon oil is also known to increase the metabolism. It helps in proper blood clotting. So, if you are a regular consumer of cinnamon oil, and you have a wound, the chances of you recovering are higher and your wounds heal quicker too!

So, add these essential oils to your regular diet to reap various advantages offered by them. Trust the experts when they say including essential oils to your regular diet benefits in much more ways than you can ever imagine!

Food swaps to a healthy diet!

Going on a diet to lose weight or to get healthy doesn’t automatically mean cutting down on food or giving up something for life. Most of the time, it all boils down to making a healthy choice.

Here are some food swaps that you can do to reach your health goals:

  • Swap your sugary, calorie-laden soda for water or other sugar-free options

A 12-ounce can of Coke shockingly has around 9 ½ teaspoons of sugar, which in Coke’s list of ingredients, is hiding behind the name high fructose corn syrup.
This is way above what the American Heart Association has recommended, which is no more than 6 teaspoons a day for women and up to 9 teaspoons for men. So drop the coke and reach for plain water and see the pounds drop.
A study has shown that people who switched to water were twice as likely to lose 5% or more of their body weight.
There are also other health benefits to drinking water.
But if you’re one of those who don’t like the bland taste of water, go for soda water and add a bit of flavour with a little cranberry juice or a slice of lemon.

  • Swap your regular butter for ghee, nut butter and other spreads

Butter might have a bad reputation among some groups for being a health villain, an unhealthy ingredient that should be avoided at all cost.
However, it’s actually margarine, which is chockfull of trans fat, that should be avoided. While butter might have saturated fat, full fat butter that’s produced from grass-fed cows has vital nutrients like Vitamin K12 and butyric acid, which helps keep our colon healthy. The trick here now is choosing an organic butter or its healthier alternatives, like ghee.

  • Bake better brownies with black beans

Make your pastries or baked goods healthier by adding black beans. Black beans can minimize the blood sugar spikes people experience when eating sweets.
Using black beans in brownies, for instance, won’t affect the chocolate taste. But it will add much needed protein and fiber.

  • Replace tortillas with spinach

Put a paleo spin to your favorite fajitas recipe by ditching the tortillas and using spinach instead. You still get to enjoy the meats, spices, peppers and onions that make fajitas great, but you won’t miss the carbohydrates and calories the tortillas bring.
On a related note, this swap can also be used on another Mexican favorite – the burrito.

  • Swap pasta for vegetable noodles

It’s hard to imagine living in a world without pasta. Luckily, you don’t need to give it up as you can make noodles out of almost any vegetable and even some root crops with the help of a good vegetable spiral cutter.
Once you have one, you can start making your own squash or zucchini spaghetti.
There are a wide range of sauces that you can do, like sesame ginger sauce or ginger almond butter sauce for your veggie pasta.
You can even go all out and make your own pesto bacon sauce.

To achieve a healthy diet is by making healthy food choices.
This is not just about choosing fresh produce over frozen ones, but also the kind of produce you pick.

Keeping healthy or losing weight is not always easy.
But with a little know-how, some creativity and these healthy food hacks, you can be on your way to a healthier and happier life.

6 Tips For New Runners

Are you new at running and want to master the art? Before you lace up your shoes, go through the below-mentioned tips for new runners which will make you love running all the more.

1. Run for small intervals

Don’t exhaust yourself on the very first day by running the whole distance in a go. As a new runner, you should break down your running sessions into small intervals.

You can also walk in between to catch your breath when running gets too hard. Increase a minute after every running interval till you excel at running the distance without walking.

2. Don’t run too fast

Your body isn’t used to handling the stress of running. Don’t start running too fast from the very starting as this will exhaust you in a few minutes. Start running with a normal pace.

Even racers start off by running at a slow pace initially for long distance races. Save your energy by running at a moderate pace and give time to your body to get used to the change.

3. Give your body time to recover

Enjoyed your first run first day and ready to head out again the next day? Well, wait for a little. Give time to your cardiovascular system to adapt to changes and relax your muscles and bones for the next run. For this, you should wait for a day or two before your next workout.

4. Take short steps

Running is an art. It’s not easy if you are not doing is right. Try to be a smart runner, in a good form, take short and small steps instead of long strides. This way, you will be able to run more swiftly and cover more distance without getting tired easily.

5. Not to eat much before running

Side aches while running are quite common. To avoid them, it is advised not to eat prior to running. Also, drink liquids in small quantities. In case, ache does strike, stop jogging and walk for a while. Press your hand against the side it aches and take a relaxed and calm breath. Don’t run until the pain subsides.

6. Choose the right surface to run

It is a common thought as to what is the ideal surface to run on. A mix of all the surfaces is the best and further depends on the purpose of your running. Some of the surfaces you can run on are:

  • Pavement: it is the most common space for joggers and actually even best for fast running. However, don’t be too hard on it to twist your ankle. Just be your normal-self and you will be good.
  • Forest or park floor: It is soft and provides easy cushioning. However, be careful of rocks, bumps, and roots.
  • Sandy surface: It is best for working up your calf muscles but make sure that you do not overdo.
  • Treadmill: it is best for all the year round running. However, it is a bit different from normal running as it involves moving over the belt beneath your feet.

Taking Care of Your Health This Spring

Spring is finally here! It is the right time to get rid of your bad health habits which you might have picked up in the winter.

It is the right time to recharge your mind and body and welcome the new season. Here is what you need to know about.

  • How about gardening?

This might sound a bit off topic and weird to you at first, but you should actually get in the garden. Gardening would not only make your personal space look beautiful, but this simple activity could also burn 250-350 calories in an hour.

To get the best results, do gardening thrice a week for at least an hour. Indulge yourself in activities like mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and so on. However, rotate your task every 20 minutes so that your major muscle groups receive an equal workout and none of them is overstrained.

  • Know that it is the allergy season

If you are prone to developing allergies, and sneezes as the weather starts getting warmer, it is highly recommended to stock up on your allergy medications. You should essentially see your doctor and get the nasal steroids prescribed.

  • Become an early bird

This is specifically for you if you are a night owl. Studies have revealed that people who wake up earlier are comparatively healthier than night owls. Thus, take good advantage of the morning light, get moving and have your much-needed dose of vitamin D. What’s more, this will also keep you away from depression.

  • Eat seasonal foods

While enjoying foods from different seasons might sound tempting, it is always best to consume in-season produce, whether it be fruits, flowers, eggs, and the likes.

  • Get moving

Lunchtime? How about having a walk? This would not only help you appreciate the beauty of the spring and let you enjoy the smell of daffodils, but a walk will also keep you moving and would boost your health.

  • Change your pillows

It is recommended to change your pillows every 5 years. This is because, after five years, the ten percent of your pillow’s weight comprises of pollen fungi, mold, and bacteria and so on. It is highly recommended to cover your pillows with proper protective covers to seal out any allergens, and also wash them weekly.

  • Your makeup drawer needs cleaning too

Let’s admit, cosmetics do expire! Thus, similar to your medicine stash, your cosmetic need cleaning too. Expel out your blusher, concealer, and tube of mascara which you have been using for long and can’t remember when you bought it.

This will keep you protected from any sort of bacterial infections and breakouts.

Your Turn

Spring is the best time to recharge yourself and appreciate the beauty of nature. Take the right steps ahead, and keep yourself fit to be able to make the most out of this amazing season!

Healthy Food Items to Get Hold of While Travelling

To have unlimited fun while travelling, it is essential to eat healthily and stay healthy. On the same lines, to eat healthy during your trip, it is important to plan beforehand.

Here is how you can do so!

  • Eating healthy on a road trip

It’s not much difficult to pack food with you while going on a road trip like chips, sodas, bread and stuff. But let’s move to something healthier.

Enroute your trip to roads that involve restaurants and stations and choose healthy food over the junk. Go for the fruits instead of burgers and pizzas. Drop at a restaurant for healthy breakfast including oatmeal, bran muffins, and omelette, protein bars during the way, fruit juices and more.

Bring plenty of water, packed sandwiches, a cooler filled with fruits and vegetables and a container full of dry fruits with cashews, walnuts, almonds and the like.

  • Eating healthy while travelling through the air

The pre-ordered food provided by most airlines is healthy and you can stick to it. However, in case, they don’t provide, then make sure that you keep healthy refreshments ready.

Prefer going by your daily routine meal. Eat a little in the vicinity of the airport. Look for the meals allowed during the flight and pack them accordingly. Here are the guidelines followed by the airlines when it comes carrying your own meal. You can carry:

  • 3.4 ounces of liquid or gel substances like sauce, jam, salad dressing, cream cheese etc.
  • Fresh fruits, vegetables, and berries
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • Honey and sweet syrups
  • Cakes and pastries
  • Crackers, chips, and sandwiches
  • Yoghurt, protein bars

For a better understanding, you can take everything with you that isn’t messy and doesn’t have a strong aroma.

  • Eating healthy while travelling by train

The food you carry on a train journey depends on the length of your journey. The proves to be most comfortable when it comes to having food as you have a decent amount of space to eat your food in.

Pack perishable dishes if you are on a short journey. If you can pack everything nicely, you can stick to your normal meal. Like those square-shaped containers for packing bread and tissues are most important. Keep a knife with you if you are carrying fruit. Carrying a spoon is must!  

  • Eating healthy on a ship cruise

A good cruise provides a delectable meal and you don’t have to worry about your tummy while travelling. However, you can still choose to carry your own food especially if you are a pure-vegetarian.

Pack non-messy food in a hygienic way. You can take a look at the food provided by the liner in advance and pack yours accordingly.

Eat in balance, don’t overeat even if they provide tasty dishes. Further, plan well in advance as to what all delicacies you will be eating so that you don’t overeat.  

How do you stay healthy during travelling? Let us know in the comments below!