Miyerkules, Setyembre 14, 2011

The Basics of Calories

Nutrition Facts Labels are found on every packaged food. They contain useful information, including how many calories are in the foods you eat. Understanding how to read a food label is key to making wiser food choices.

The serving size is the measurement that is directly under the Nutrition Facts/Information label. It represents the specific amount of food that was used to calculate the calories and nutrient values for that specific Nutrition Facts Label. Therefore, the Nutrition Facts label reflects the nutritional information for that particular serving size NOT for the entire package of food.

Total calories are calculated per serving, so a little math is needed to determine the amount of calories you are eating. This requires comparing the serving size to your personal portion size.

   1. Find the relationship between the serving size and your portion size.

      A box of cereal has a serving size of 3/4 cup. You ate 1.5 cups of cereal so your portion size is two times greater than the serving size.
   2. Use above relationship to determine calories in your portion size.
      There are 120 calories in a serving size of 3/4 cup. Multiply 120 by two to get your caloric intake of 240 calories for 1.5 cups of cereal.

Some serving sizes are represented in grams. However, the exact same set of rules applies to determine the amount of calories you are consuming.

   1. Find the relationship between the serving size and your portion size.

      A box of cereal has a serving size of 100 grams. You eat a 40 gram portion of cereal so your portion size is 40% of the serving size.
   2. Use above relationship to determine calories in your portion size.

      There are 436 calories in a serving size of 100 grams. Multiply 426 calories by 0.40 to get your caloric intake of 174 calories for 40 grams of cereal.

The above set of rules is a useful way to count your caloric intake and stay within your healthy eating goals.

How to Lose Stubborn Abdominal Fat

Developing a lean, flat stomach takes time and patience, especially when it comes to losing those last few pounds. The lower abdominal fat and "love handles" can be two of the most stubborn and exercise-resistant areas.

There is only one way to lose fat in these so-called "stubborn areas," and that is with the correct combination of proper diet, aerobic exercise, abdominal training, and weight training. Abdominal fat loss is combination of 50% exercise and 50% nutrition.

Remember to keep the following 5 things in mind:

   1. It is impossible to "spot reduce" fat from one specific part of the body. Fat loss occurs systemically, meaning that you can’t control where the fat is lost. In women, the stubborn areas tend to be hips, thighs, and waist. In men, the troublesome areas are usually the lower abs and the "love handles."
 Training the abdominals every day with crunches and sit-ups will certainly tighten and tone the abdominal muscles, but it won’t do anything to remove the fat obscuring the muscles.
   2. The most effective way to burn this layer of flab from your midsection is not to do more abdominal exercise but to do more cardiovascular exercise. Aerobic exercise is the real secret to burning fat. Walking, jogging, bicycling, elliptical exercise and stair climbing are all great fat burners. The key to maximum fat loss is to work out for 30-60 minutes continuously every session.
   3. Even if you do cardio every day, without a balanced diet, you still won’t see results. A fat loss diet must also be low in calories. Regardless of how much you workout, if the number of calories you take in is greater than the amount you burn, you’ll still have abdominal fat. Ideally, you should spread your calories out into five small meals a day instead of two or three big ones so that you don’t overeat. Eat a variety of foods that are all natural, low in fat and low in sugar, with about 55% of the total calories coming from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 15% from fat.
   4. Sit-ups and leg raises do not isolate the abs but recruit the hip flexor muscles. The hip flexors attach the thigh to the spinal column, so working them with exercises such as straight leg raises creates a strong pull on the lumbar area, which is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Safer, more effective alternatives are crunches, crunch machines, hip lifts, and reverse crunches.
   5. The final component of your abdominal fat-reducing program is to incorporate resistance training. Many people are under the impression that they should only do cardiovascular activities until the weight comes off and then add weight training later on. Working out with weights will increase your lean body mass, which in turn raises your resting metabolic rate. The faster your metabolism is, the more fat you will burn!

Benefits of Eating Fruits

Fruit is one of the most healthy and natural foods in existence. There are thousands of different types of fruit available to eat, all of which provide us with strong health benefits. Fruit contains a large number of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and plant phytochemicals that help benefit health. It has also been shown that eating the whole fruit or juice is best to gain the benefits rather than taking supplements to provide each nutrient separately.

It has been recommended that we should be eating at least 5 pieces of fruit every day in order to gain the full health benefits of eating fruit.

Potential health benefits of eating fruit

    * potential for weight control
    * more energy for exercising
    * reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
    * reduced risk of developing cancers
    * lower blood pressure
    * potential to lower cholesterol
    * reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
    * potential to slow down age process

Fruit can also benefit many people wanting to lose weight. Energy consumption is thought to be mainly influenced by the palatability, fiber content, density of energy and the variety of foods. Eating fruit has the benefit of affecting some these factors. Fruit is also low in sodium so they help reduce the chance of gaining water weight. Providing you are eating about one-third of the diet as fruits & vegetables, you should notice rapid weight loss because the ample fruit consumption helps fill the stomach faster encouraging less high calorie foods to be consumed. The total calorie consumption will automatically reduce even if we are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. There is such a variety of fruits available that many can be freely eaten without consuming too many calories thereby controlling weight more effectively.

Gaining the benefits by eating more fruit

It can be quite easy to slip 5 pieces of fruit into the diet. Here are some tips:

   1. Add dried fruit to breakfast cereal.
   2. Prepare fruit salads to last few days.
   3. Eat an apple before leaving for work.
   4. Eat small pieces of fruits 30 minutes before/ after light workout.
   5. Drink more fruit juices.
   6. Find recipes that contain fruit.
   7. Always have a bowl of fruit in or near TV.

Fruit tip:
Eating a piece of fruit before each meal can help reduce total energy intake!