HomeTagsPosts tagged with "dieting"


Whether you just can't beat the bloat, or feel sluggish at the end of each day, there are a number of reasons why your metabolism might be slowing down.

So, to start you off on the right track this week, here are a few tips on how to speed yourself back up and feel as fresh as a daisy.

Don't skip breakfast

We've heard this time and time again, but it really is the most damaging.

"Starting the day right is key to revving up your metabolism and keeping you energised throughout the morning," Lindsey Passaic, a wellness coach, told Delish.

We know it can be easy to hop crawl out of bed and head straight to work, but you'll just end up munching on crappy food throughout the day, which we all know ain't great.

Food Gourmet on Top of Brown Table


Not drinking enough water

Ladies, drink ALL the water. It's not only great for boosting your metabolism, but it'll make you feel more energised and clear out your skin too.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking around two litres of water increases metabolic rate by 30 per cent.

If it makes it handier for you, jot down how many times you drink water per day and try to reach the two litre mark if you can.

Fruit Juice


Yoyo dieting

Many of us resort to crash diets if there's a big event coming up, which is probably one of the worst things you can do.

You really need to get your head into the long-term healthy eating game. It's not about dieting or losing weight – it's about making sure your body gets what it needs.

So, cut out the crappy food, follow a sensible eating plan, and stick to a good exercise regime.



This can be super frustrating if sometimes you just can't sleep.

But, it turns out that a lack of zzzs can really mess with your metabolism. Michael Breus, a sleep specialist, told The Daily Burn that just 30 minutes of sleep loss makes you more likely to gain weight.

“The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite," Michael said.



OK, so we may have overdone it on Christmas, eating all the turkey, stuffing and mulled wine in sight. But now, it's time to hang up the eating pants and embark on our 2016 resolution of working out and dieting with the girl squad… right?!

Wrong! Because as it turns out, having the same diet as your friend can actually be a really bad idea. 

A recent study from medical journey, Cell, has revealed that eating "healthy" is different for every person. 

The study involved a number of tests and surveys on 800 people, and they conducted body measurements and blood tests on each candidate.

They then gave the participants identical meals while also monitoring their blood glucose levels every five minutes. 

The researchers studied the glucose levels which allowed them to account for each participants glycemic index (GI) in relation to what they were eating, which helped them determine what foods were more responsible for raising their blood sugar.

They discovered that each person's GI was different, even though they were all eating the same foods. 

The researchers explained that, "Growing evidence suggests bacteria are linked to obesity, glucose and diabetes," adding, "specific microbes indeed correlate with how much blood sugar rises post meal."

So, what they're really saying is even if you have the exact same diet as your friend, it could be really good for her, and not so great for you.

Your best bet for a healthier new you is to stick to what suits only you and keep a diary of how different food and exercises effects you and your body. 


We all know the drill: we wake up bright and early on Monday morning ready to embrace fruit, granola and poached eggs… only to be scoffing down a spice bag by Friday afternoon. 


Yup, life is hard. But it's fine because there's always another Monday lurking on the horizon.

Now it has been revealed that the average yo-yo dieter is only motivated by looking at their mates anyway: a Forza Supplements study found that the main incentive for women to lose weight is… remaining thinner than a friend or sister.

And regardless of the triggers, by 30 we have spent an astonishing three YEARS on a diet. Oh and by 40, that will length of time will have increased to almost SIX YEARS. 

That's a hell of a long time spent asking for your dressing on the side. 

Indeed, the majority of Irish women will diet twice a year, on average losing about 4lbs through dieting alone. 

And just why-oh-why do we spend so much of our 30s counting calories? Well, fear of middle-aged spread and gaining weight during pregnancy are both apparently at fault.

There IS light on the horizon though. Many woman tend to become comfortable with their figure by their 40s resulting in spending much less time dieting…

So here's to hitting 40! 


Anyone who’s been giving clean eating a go will have heard the word ‘superfood‘. But what does it really mean?

When it comes to eating healthily it is important to know what exactly you are putting into your body – especially if you’re trying to drop a few pounds.

The truth is, some so-called ‘superfoods’ are not so super for you after all. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of what to include in your diet and what to avoid.

Superfoods you need in your life…

Cocoa powder
Like chocolate, cocoa powder contains flavonoids which are known to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and the heart. With less than 15 calories per tablespoon cocoa provides a strong chocolate flavour without the guilt.

Try adding the powder to a smoothie for a rich chocolatey taste.

Sea-grown vegetables are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and vitamin C. However seaweed is most treasured for its concentrated source of iodine which is crucial for normal growth and production of thyroid hormones.

Slice up some nori sheets and add to your salad or wrap for an extra crunch or add to your smoothie for an extra mineral kick.

Goji berries
Goji berries contain a lot of vitamin C needed for healthy teeth and gums and for protecting the liver. The have been used for centuries by Chinese herbalists to treat eye, liver and kidney ailments.

Sprinkle over cereal to instantly increase the nutritional density of the cereal.


And the superfoods best ignored…

Wheatgrass can cause nausea, appetite loss, and constipation and is often blended with sweeteners. It’s much better to stick to the leafy greens, like spinach for example, which is more affordable – and tastes better.


Vitamin-enriched drinks
Many vitamin drinks come flavoured with excess sugar and artificial additives. So keep things natural instead by simply adding lemon or lime slices to your normal water.

Gluten-free products 
These often have added sugars to make up for the lack of flavour. So unless you have an intolerance for gluten you should give these expensive items a skip.



At the height of her Instagram fame, Australian teen Essena O'Neill was making upwards of €1,500 a post, with over 600,000 followers hanging on her every word.

But after three years of faking it, the 18-year-old has finally had enough.

On October 27 she deleted 2,000 photos from her feed, leaving only a handful – with the captions re-edited to show the grim truth behind them all.

One photo of her lying by a pool studying while wearing a bikini was once captioned, "Things are getting pretty wild at my house. Maths B and English in the sun."

Now it reads, "See how relatable my captions were – stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs.

"I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention."

As well as skipping meals, exercising "excessively" and "barely eating" to stay slim, Essena says she was hugely insecure and felt her body was her only asset.

Another photo of her sitting on the beach reads, "NOT REAL LIFE – took over 100 in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good. Would have hardly eaten that day. Would have yelled at my little sister to keep taking them until I was somewhat proud of this. Yep so totally #goals."

The teen says she often took hundreds of photos, editing her selfies in various different apps until they looked exactly how she wanted them to.

Referring to a snap which shows her pulling her t-shirt up to reveal her toned stomach, Essena admits the photo was "the only thing that made me feel good that day."

As well as revealing the insecurities behind the seemingly carefree images, Essena has pointed out various photos she only posted to earn money.

"NOT REAL LIFE – paid $$$ to promote both the jeans and top," she wrote next to a "candid" shot of herself looking out to sea wearing jeans and a black top.

"Any girl with a lot of followers promoting a bikini brand is paid, I would say 99% of the time," she wrote next to another. 

"If they tag a company 99% of the time it's paid."

To further explain her decision to come clean, Essena has set up a website, Lets Be Game Changers, where she has been posting daily vlogs.

"Anyone who spends hours and hours on a screen wishing they could have a 'perfect' life, this is for you," she writes. 

"There is nothing cool about spending all your time taking edited pictures of yourself to prove to the world 'you are enough.'"


Whether it's a Saturday night blow-out or a few cheeky cocktails, a night of drinking can rack up far more calories than you might think.

Carb-heavy drinks, sugary mixers, post-pub chips… it all adds up.

If you're planning a night out this weekend but don't want to throw your clean-eating plans out the window, then it's important to plan ahead.

Being mindful of what you consume can go a huge way towards keeping you on track when it comes to dropping the pounds.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind…

1. Eat BEFORE you drink
Drinking on an empty stomach is NOT the way to lose weight, despite what you might think. Not only will it result in huge blood sugar spikes, but you'll get tipsier faster, meaning you're more likely to choose drinks and food that will send your diet flying out the window. Eat at least a light meal or a filling snack before you head out on the town.

2. Know your drinks
The cocktail menu can be a bit of a diet disaster – it's generally full of syrupy mixers and high calorie alcohol options. If you want a mixed drink, choose soda water or slimline tonic as your base. When it comes to beer, choose a low-carb or light version, or keep things simple with a glass of white wine or prosecco.

3. Water, water, water
Space out your drinking by ordering a glass of still or sparking water (whatever you prefer) with each drink, and not ordering your next round until the water is finished. Not only will you be inclined to drink far less, but by keeping hydrated you're already helping ease tomorrow's hangover.

4. Avoid mindless nibbing
Peanuts, finger food and bags of crisps are all readily available on a night out, but if they do show up on your table, it's time to get focused. Either say 'no' or sit somewhere where the food is out of arm's reach. If you have to lean over three people to get to those cocktail sausages, you'll find you'll eat far fewer of them.

5. Plan what you'll eat afterwards
If you're inclined to get the munchies after a night out, be one step ahead of your tipsy self. Either scope out late-night food joints nearby that have healthy options, or pre-prepare some guilt free snacks for when you arrive home, like carrot sticks and hummus or a bag of light popcorn. Convenience is key.


Eating pizza. Every day. And losing weight.

Quite literally our dream life… and now one woman has proved it IS a possibility. Well, at least in the short-term.

Writer Charlotte Palermino took one for the team recently when she agreed to eat only pizza for seven whole days, to see if a restrictive diet of any kind could lead to weight loss.

As with any other kind of "cleanse," Cosmopolitan reporter Charlotte also cut out alcohol and sugar, though she did allow herself to drink coffee. Phew.

Her rules? No fake cauliflower pizza bases of ANY kind – dough only, people. Plus, each pizza had to have some kind of cheese or topping, plus an oil or sauce. 

With an average "slice count" per day of around ten, you'd be forgiven for thinking poor Charlotte would be struggling to get into her jeans by the end of the week.

But, to the contrary, she had actually dropped 5 lbs.

"My cleanse was a 'success,' if you could call it that," Charlotte wrote

"Don't hate me, but I lost 5 pounds. I slimmed down not because pizza is some undiscovered super food, but because I was actually consuming fewer calories."

Her energy might not have been coming from the most nutritious of sources, but, as we learnt in Junior Cert Science, to lose weight you need to use up more calories than you take in.

Of course, there were a few cons.

As you'd expect after subsisting only on pizza, Charlotte said she did feel quite bloated and constipated midway through the cleanse, as well as suffering from heartburn and a few mood swings.

Our verdict? Pizza is great and all, but probably not the great dieting secret of the 21st century.


Model Roz Purcell has made something of a second career for herself with her love of cooking, but her relationship with food wasn't always so straightforward.

Nowadays, the 25-year-old has her own food blog, Natural Born Feeder, where she shares recipes for everything from paleo Ferrero Rocher muffins to dairy-free creamy chicken and broccoli bakes.

However just five short years ago, the model was surviving on a drastic low-calorie diet to stay as thin as possible.

"Five days a week I would just eat veg and at the weekends we would splurge on cupcakes," she said of her stint in the US after winning a contract with Donald Trump's modelling agency.

The former Miss Universe Ireland restricted her diet to drop the pounds, keeping her hunger at bay with copious amounts of coffee.

"I can never drink Starbucks again because I was using it to suppress my appetite,”  she told the Irish Daily Mail’s TV Week magazine.

"It reminds me of being really hungry. I came back and realised I would never go through that again."

As for exercise, these days Roz uses a mix of high-intensity interval training, cycling, swimming and boxing to stay fit – a stark contrast to her former regime which consisted of non-stop running.


A photo posted by rozannapurcell (@rozannapurcell) on

"I would run and run and run maybe 14 kilometers every day and downing coffee," she said.

"Models train like athletes now, that’s just the way it’s gone."

Speaking about her love of boxing to SHEmazing! recently, the model said her first attempt floored her – but she adored every bit.


A photo posted by rozannapurcell (@rozannapurcell) on

"The first class almost killed me. Afterward I felt like I needed to go lie down for the rest of the day.

"But now I’ve found my stride and I’m loving it."


Fat around the stomach area is generally the hardest to shift, which means it's something a lot of us are self-conscious about.

Even if you're not hoping for washboard abs, excess stomach fat can be a danger to our health as it signals a high level of fat around our internal organs too.

So it's worth taking on some of these simple diet and lifestyle changes to help melt away stubborn fat around your middle. 

And regardless of fat loss, you'll find these tips will make you feel better all over – improved mood and more energy can only be good things, right?

Here goes…

1. Eat MORE fat… the good kind
A diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can actually serve to burn fat faster. So try to have a few servings a day – a handful of nuts, half an avocado or a tablespoon of olive oil all count as servings. More guac – as if you needed an excuse.


2. Avoid blood sugar spikes with smarter snacking
Insulin spikes not only cause you to have more cravings for sugar, but they can also lead to more fat storage than is necessary for your body. If you're eating sugary or high GI foods like chocolate, sweets or processed carbs, balance out the blood sugar spike by eating a low GI food like a handful of raw almonds alongside them. 


3. Try high intensity exercise
Any form of activity that gets your heart pumping and causes you to break a sweat is a surefire way to burn fat. Go for high intensity interval training (HIIT) – bursts of high-powered activity followed by short periods of rest. For example, try running 600m at a fast pace, then resting for a minute. Repeat 5 times and you'll certainly feel the burn.


4. Eat the rainbow
Avoid 'beige' diets that consist mainly of white carbs and sugary foods (pizza and potato wedges, we're looking at you). Try to add at least one serving of fruit or veg to every meal, or even better, base your meal around those colourful foods. It'll mean more nutrients, more energy and a happier you.


5. Be mindful
High levels of stress (and lack of sleep) are directly related to excess belly fat, so be sure to take time for yourself each day. Whether it's ten minutes of meditation before bed or a walk in the fresh air after work, do something to clear your head and calm your mind.


We all have those days when you feel ravenous again by 11am, despite having eaten a full breakfast two hours before. But if those unexplained hunger pangs or cravings are happening on a regular basis, it could be time to re-evaluate your diet and routine.

Hunger levels are not just linked to how much you're eating. They're also linked to the kinds of food you choose, if you're drinking enough water, how you're feeling mentally and countless other things.

Here are a few of the reasons you might be feeling hungry even with a belly full of food.

1. You're dehydrated
Lack of H2O is one of the main causes of unexplained 'hunger' pangs. When we're dehydrated, our hypothalmus – the part of the brain that regulates appetite and thirst – can get confused, meaning our need for water is processed as a need for food. Next time you feel hungry even after eating, try drinking some water and waiting 15-20 minutes. You may find the feeling passes.

2. You’re not sleeping enough
A bad night’s sleep or a complete lack of sleep can leave us feeling foggy and fatigued. As a result our body craves sugar as a quick energy boost. Work towards getting 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep a night, but if that’s not possible at least have non-sugary snack alternatives on hand for emergencies.

3. You need more protein in your diet
Protein-packed food like lean meat, eggs and whole grains are not just important for energy and muscle repair. They also help to balance blood sugar levels, keep us feeling full and satisfied, and require more energy to digest than fat or carbohydrates. So swap tomorrow morning’s slice of toast for an omelette packed with yummy veg.

4. You need more healthy fats, too
Dieters tend to balk at the very mention of “fat” but some level of fat is needed for a balanced diet. Look for heart-healthy options like avocado, nuts, seeds and oils to improve energy levels and leave you feeling more satisfied after eating.

5. You skip breakfast
Even those of us with the best intentions can end up accidentally skipping breakfast simply because our morning is too busy to even think about stopping. Skipping meals can cause an increase in the production of ghrelin, the hormone that controls appetite. In short, if you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to overeat at lunch. Aim to eat something within an hour of waking up, even if that means prepping the night before.


Perhaps the biggest diet craze right now is the high-fat ketogenic diet.

Having reportedly been used by celebs such as Kim Kardashian and basketball player Lebron James, it is no wonder that it has taken the world by storm.

So, just how does the ketogenic diet work?

The diet is based on the process called ketosis. This process is what happens when your body is so starved of carbs that it converts the fat in your body into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which are then used as an alternative source of energy.

What do you need to eat for your body to reach ketosis?

In order for your body to reach the state of ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you take in need to come from fat, according to womenshealthmag.com. The remaining percentage should come from a combination of carbs and proteins.

Your carbohydrate intake is reduced to 10 to 35 grams per day. But don’t get too excited. That is the same amount of carbs that you would find in an apple or a glass of milk. This means you need to almost entirely cut out fruit and instead eat high-fat meats such as beef, hot dogs and bacon.

Certain vegetables are also okay in moderation, as is high-fat dairy cheese.

Will the ketogenic diet help you to lose weight?

The point of ketosis is that you lose weight because your body fat is burned off as energy instead of your regular intake of carbs. But studies suggest that it is the elimination of carbohydrates alone that is responsible for the weight loss.

Limiting carbs also means that any water weight falls off very fast. Carbs hold three times their weight in water in your body so if you cancel out the carbs you’re losing all that extra water as well.

Is it safe?

In a nutshell, no.

Studies have shown that most people can tolerate a moderate state of ketosis but that the side effects are usually too bad for people to maintain it.

Aside from weakness and fatigue, people whose bodies are going through ketosis usually suffer from terrible BO and bad breath. We think we’ll be giving this one a miss, that’s for sure!

And if that wasn’t enough to turn you off the diet, it can reportedly have some extreme long-term damage. Certain reports have stated that ketosis is dangerous for your liver and can lead to lots of medical illnesses such as kidney stones, headaches, menstrual irregularities, dehydration, and many more.

So overall, it is not advised. It may be tempting if you want to lose a few pounds fast, but the health risks are not worth it. And besides, we’d definitely trade being smelly for an extra pound or two!


With Hollywood’s hottest women all boasting gluten-free diets, it sure does seem like there is method to their madness.

We’re talking Zooey Deschanel, Miley Cyrus, Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, to name but a few.

Sure, we would all love to look like them but when the other option is eating a big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese and a slab of garlic bread… is giving it all up really worth it?

Thankfully, we now no longer have to make that choice.

Pasta with benefits’ has just been launched by the family-owned company, Leaves.

The company is run by husband and wife, Nico Oliveri and Sabine Hobbel. Sabine is a Dutch elite athlete and health researcher and her husband is an Italian chef who was determined to find a suitable pasta alternative after he discovered he had a wheat intolerance.

And their answer was the world’s first pasta with benefits. Made of entirely chickpeas and buckwheat, it contains 50 percent more protein and three times more fibre than regular pasta.

It is also the only pasta in the world that can provide all the essential amino-acids as well as being high in 10 key minerals and vitamins.

Finally, a pasta that we can enjoy and not feel guilty (or bloated) about afterwards.

It can be purchased online or in select Supervalu and specialty stores throughout the country.