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losing weight

A new food trend is sweeping over Instagram and Pinterest and we think it might just be the answer for carb-addicts everywhere.

Cloud bread has popped up on numerous food and health blogs. It is gluten-free, carb-free and has very little sugar in it too.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it only have four ingredients so you can try it out yourself at home.

All you need is eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, and a packet of sweetener or honey (which is optional).

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  • Separate your eggs. Then, in one bowl, mix together the egg yolks, cream cheese and sweetener until smooth.
  • In the second bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they are fluffy and form stiff peaks. Beat the egg whites until it looks like whipped cream. 
  • Slowly fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Be careful as you don't want it to break.
  • Be as quick as possible doing this as the mixture may start melting – Split the mixture into 10-12 even circles on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then before you serve, grill for 1 minute and watch it until the tops become golden.

Serve and enjoy!

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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.

Seaweed
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
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.

 

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When it comes to weight loss, we're all guilty of telling a few lies from time to time.

Whether it's the skinny jeans that 'probably shrunk in the wash' or the 'few biscuits' that were more like a full packet, sometimes it's just easier to ignore the truth.

But being unrealistic about your weight loss efforts could be having a long-term negative effect. If the number on the scales is going up and you know it's time to address the reasons why, then the following are a good starting point.

Here are a few of the lies we should all stop telling ourselves if we really want to see weight loss results…

1. "Healthy food is way too pricey for my budget"
Stock up your cupboard with basics like tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, brown rice and seasonings and all you need to do on a weekly basis is to buy whatever fresh items you need. Buying fresh meat, poultry, fish and veg on a weekly basis is FAR cheaper than that regular takeaway habit.

 

2. "I just hate the taste of healthy food"
If you have memories of being forced to eat broccoli or Brussels Sprouts as a child, it's no surprise you've sworn off veggies. But so much of the taste of food is in how it is prepared. Go for a crunchy Asian broccoli salad rather than a plate of mushy green veg and we guarantee you'll taste the difference. 

 

3. "I usually skip breakfast, so I can eat what I want later"
A healthy breakfast not only sets you up to stay focused all morning, but it also balances your blood sugar to reduce cravings later on. If you can't stomach much food in the mornings, try something light like eggs, a green juice or some sliced apple and nut butter.

 

4. "Being overweight runs in my family, so there's nothing I can do"
Yes, in some cases being overweight or obese can have a genetic link. But in many other cases, it's bad eating habits and lack of education about nutrition that have been passed down to you, not genes. 

 

5. "My appetite is too big for me to eat healthily"
If you find you're hungry ALL the time, the food you're eating is the most likely cause. High-carb, high-sugar meals lead to blood sugar spikes which mean we're craving food again within an hour. Eat meals that are packed veg, fish, lean chicken and turkey and wholemeal grains to stay satisfied for longer.

 

6. "I do cardio at the gym, that's enough"
Running at the same speed on the treadmill for 30 minutes might burn some fat, but high-intensity training that uses more muscle groups is a far more efficient method. Use your gym time wisely and break up cardio seasons with weight lifting, HIIT training and core work like Pilates and yoga.

 

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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.

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With so many fad diets and exercise regimes out there, it can be hard to tell what's true and what's not. 

And those who rely on the BMI index, a new study has found that it isn't everything you thought it was. 

The study has found that more than one-third of those at risk of obesity-related problems are considered healthy, per BMI calcultion. 

Now that's worrying news. 

A superior marker to find out the right weight for you is a waist-to-height ratio test, which accounts for extra belly fat (which is linked to heart disease and diabetes). 

The test is easy and takes all of 30 seconds. 

All you have to do is cut a piece of string to the length of your height, then fold it in half and wrap it around your waist. 

If there's an overlap, your at your ideal range. 

If it's a bit snug then it could be time to trim down. 

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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!

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Motivating yourself to get to the gym for a workout is hard enough, so don't waste your time by slacking off when you get there.

If you're keen to see better results, a few simple changes could be all you need to boost your metabolism and burn even more calories.

These six things are proven to maximise calorie burn and make your body work even harder than usual, so give them a try next time you're exercising.

1. Work out in the morning
Your energy levels are generally at their highest in the morning as you've just woken up from a night's sleep, so it's natural that you'll be able to work harder at this time of the day. If you're not a morning person though, choose a time when you usually feel most energised, be it after work or on your lunch break.

2. Warm up well
Stretching or jogging for 5 – 10 minutes before an exercise session not only loosens the muscle but also gets the blood flowing so that you're burning calories before your workout has even begun. Ease your body into your workout to see better results.

3. Mix it up
A slow and steady workout might seem like the best way to do things, but it's important to give your body variety. Try a series of high-intensity exercises like jumping jacks, wall sits, lunges or push-ups, doing 30 seconds of each and taking a 10 second break between each one. If you're doing strength training, make each set a "superset" by combining two exercises in quick succession before a short break.

4. Don't be scared to use heavier weights
Many women have a tendency to go for small 2kg or 3kg weights for fear of getting "bulky," but using heavier weights is the best way to burn calories, and we promise you won't look anything more than toned and lean. Research has shown that using heavier weights for fewer reps burns 25% more calories than using smaller weights for more reps (eg. 5kg 10 times versus 10kg 5 times).

5. Eat shortly after your workout
Refuelling your muscles after a workout is essential for helping them to repair themselves and get stronger. The stronger your muscles are, the more calories you'll burn every day. Simple. So be sure to eat a protein-rich snack within 2 hours of finishing your exercise session.

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Fat around the stomach area is proven to be the hardest to shift, but it can also be the most dangerous.

Excess fat in that area can lead to a greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even certain kinds of cancer.

So how can you give your body a fighting chance, and lose those stubborn pounds? As with any fat burning measures, becoming more aware of your diet and exercise routine is key, but even with a revamped diet and regular gym sessions you may still find that fat lingers in that area.

Here are a few surprising reasons why your stomach fat refuses to budge…

1. You're doing the wrong kinds of exercise
Any kind of exercise is great for the body, but be sure to combine different types for best results. Cardio workouts (eg. running, spinning) alone won't burn much fat, but if you combine them with strength training you'll see much better results. The more muscle you have, the more fat you'll burn.

2. You're not working hard enough at the gym
If you're not pushing yourself in every workout, your body won't respond as it should. Burn more calories and fat in less time by switching up your routine and going for three high-intensity workouts a week.

3. You're eating too much processed food
Just because a microwave meal says it's "low fat" doesn't mean it's the best choice for you. Belly fat is often linked to inflammation in the body, and processed foods like white bread, crisps, convenience meals and soft drinks can all increase that inflammation. Go for fresh produce and wholegrains as much as you can.

4. You're stressed
Even if you're not a stress eater, anxiety can cause the body to hold onto extra weight. The stress hormone cortisol, produced by the body when we're feeling the strain of a busy day, is thought to enlarge fat cells and increase the amount of fat your body holds onto. 

5. You're not getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep has been proven to be one of the biggest obstacles to losing weight. If you're getting by on only four or five hours a night, you'll not only be more likely to reach for sugary foods, but your metabolism will also be slow and sluggish.

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The whole world seems to be on a clean eating buzz at the moment, and while it makes your Instagram feel a lot more annoying to scroll through, things could be a lot worse.

Forget juice cleanses and raw food, over the last few decades any number of crazy fad diets have come and gone. Some of them seem kind of legit, and others are just plain bizarre.

Here are a few that would send us running for the nearest Burger King…

1. The Baby Food Diet
In theory this seems like it could be a good idea. After all, food intended for babies is probably super-healthy, right? Yes, if you subsist solely on jars of puréed baby food your diet will be low in sugar and fat… but it will also be devoid of taste and texture. Puréed beef? Sounds delightful!

2. The Cabbage Soup Diet
This famous diet apparently leads to weight loss of up to 10lbs per week… along with a serious amount of bloating and flatulence. Yay! Along with some severely restricted meals, you’re only permitted to eat low-sodium cabbage soup for the duration of the diet.

3. The Master Cleanse
Beyoncé reportedly endured this awful diet to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls. Lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water are mixed into a special drink, of which almost two litres must be consumed every day. This is combined with a special laxative tea to keep things moving. This one is just a bit too drastic for us…

4. The Grapefruit Diet
To complete this diet, a grapefruit is eaten before every meal. While many have reported weight loss, it’s thought to be due to the fact that dieters are only allowed to consume three meals per day, all of which are seriously low in fat and calories. So what you’re saying is that if I eat a grapefruit before every pizza, I’m not going to lose weight? Oh. Okay then.

5. The Sleeping Beauty Diet
Getting enough rest is key to maintaining a healthy weight, that much can’t be denied. But the premise of this diet, as favoured by Elvis (whose weight loss journey didn’t end well, if you recall), is to sleep excessively, so that you miss lots of meals at once. If you can’t naturally sleep for days on end, don’t worry, you can take sedatives! Charming.

 

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If you find that strict diets only make you crave unhealthy food even more, perhaps it’s time to rethink your weight loss regime.

While there’s never a quick fix for staying in shape aside from eating well and getting enough exercise, you might not realise that a few simple changes to your routine can make all the difference.

So behold, our lazy girl’s guide to losing weight!

1. Have a lie-in!
We know that staying in bed a little longer isn’t possible every morning, but make the most of your days off by catching a few hours extra shut-eye. Too little sleep can negatively affect your metabolic rate, and you’re also more likely to crave sugar when your body is in desperate need of a pick-me-up. So do yourself a favour and enjoy those relaxed Sunday mornings in bed!

2. Keep healthy snacks nearby
Studies have shown that we are more likely to eat whatever is nearest to us when craving a snack. By keeping quick and healthy foods like fruit and nuts nearby, you’re less likely to make your way to the shop for a sneaky bag of Doritos.

3. Take time for each meal
Mindless eating is a sure-fire way to gain weight. If you inhale your lunch or dinner while leaning against the worktop or scrolling through Facebook, you won’t process how much you’re eating and how fast. Ever notice that when you’re standing at the buffet or snack table at a party that you eat far more than you usually would? Take the time to sit down and eat your meal slowly without any distractions.

4. Swap dessert for tea or coffee
If you begin a restaurant meal with a couple of glasses of wine and end it with dessert, you’ve automatically added an extra 500 calories at least to your daily intake. Skip dessert, opt for a tea or coffee instead, and save the Death by Chocolate for a special occasion.

5. Drink a glass of water before each meal
It's easy to mistake thirst for a feeling of hunger. Make sure you’re hydrated before every meal by drinking a full glass of water. This will also fill your stomach a little, ensuring you don’t overeat without realising.

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Everyone worries about losing weight and avoiding obesity, but, according to new research, what we should be worried about is whether or not we feel lonely.

This might come as a bit of a shock, but findings showed that feeling lonely later in life can do more damage to our health than obesity ever could.

The reasons for this is because feeling unloved and cut off from loved ones can raise a person’s blood pressure and cause them to have a heart attack or stroke. It can also weaken the immune system and cause someone to be depressed.

So before you decide to sulk and dwell on your pain, remember that you aren’t doing yourself or your health any favors.

liz_taylor

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