Are you still trying to lose weight and shed the extra pounds?
There are different weight loss diets and regimes providing you with different weight loss tips to follow. I am sure you may have heard of the tip: avoid late night snacking and go to bed hungry. So, how effective is this weight loss tip? Let’s take a look….
Avoid late night snacking, go to bed hungry
Studies have suggested that the only thing that matters for weight loss is what you eat and how much you eat, but various studies have now shown that when you eat is just as important in achieving your weight loss goals. Staying awake and eating late is a very recent occurrence in human history; many years ago, we humans never used to eat late at night.
Did you know that you don’t need to eat every 3 or 4 hours to live and be healthy and that you actually burn fat while you sleep?
Your body is inclined to burn fat at certain times of the day and store fat at other times. When you eat a meal or snack, your blood glucose rises, some of the glucose is used up by your muscles and brain for energy, some is stored in the form of glycogen in the liver, and the rest is stored as fat.
When you are asleep, your body is in a fasting state. Your blood glucose drops. As your blood glucose gets lower and lower, your body will use up your glycogen store; the glycogen is converted into glucose to provide energy. If you haven’t eaten anything after dinner, the glycogen store will be used up quickly, then your body will be forced to burn its own fat stores to provide energy to keep you functioning properly. This helps with your efforts to lose weight. If you snack before you sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to burn its own fat store, it uses the food you eat for energy.
Your body runs on a regular circadian rhythm (an internal clock) that matches with when you wake and sleep and almost every organ in your body also has its own circadian rhythm or internal clock when it is programmed to perform more efficiently. Light is the main cue that sets your body’s internal clock – for example, your liver is scheduled to function more efficiently during the day. The timing of your meals may throw off your body’s circadian rhythm and lead to weight gain.
Numerous studies have shown that weight loss is not just about “calories in and calories out”, but is to a large extent under the control of your hormones
The major hormone here is insulin. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. Higher levels of insulin prevents weight loss. Insulin is secreted in response to eating, so it tends to be raised during the day and fairly low when we are asleep. Insulin levels can be normalised by changing not just what we eat, but when we eat as well. So, avoiding snacks late at night and going to bed hungry will help to keep insulin low and help with your efforts to lose weight.
Ensure you have a routine to live by. Sticking to a meal schedule every day will prevent you from snacking after dinner. It is important to eat your last meal 3 hours before bedtime, so that you spend less time awake.
If you are tempted to snack after dinner, here are 2 things you can do to avoid yielding to that temptation:
1) Brush your teeth after dinner. This will give you the sense that you can’t eat anymore.
2) Drink warm water or a hot cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Make it hot (not burning hot) so that you can sip it gradually.
1) ScienceDaily (2012) Could high insulin make you fat? Mouse study says yes.
Avocado is known by its botanical name Persea Americana. It is also known as alligator pepper. Today, over 80 varieties of avocado exist most of which is HASS avocado.
Avocado is extremely nutritious.
It is loaded with high amounts of healthy fat, essential minerals and vitamins including fibre, vitamins K, B6, B5, C, E, folate, magnesium and potassium.
Did you know that avocado is one of the few fruits that can provide you with high amounts of good fat and protein? Did you know that avocado offers amazing number of benefits? Let’s take a look…
Here are 21 amazing benefits of avocado
1) Avocado enhances your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from plant food
Enhancing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from plant food is one of the amazing benefits of avocado.
It is important for your body to be able to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat where they can be used. Some nutrients need to be combined with fat in order to be absorbed meaning they are fat soluble.
A recent research carried out by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that adding fresh avocado or avocado oil to salad increased the body’s absorption of carotenoid antioxidant from the salad.
So, when avocado is eaten with other foods, your body is better able to absorb nutrients such as beta-carotene and lutein.
2) Avocado helps to protect your eyes
Protecting your eyes is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are essential for eye health. They protect the macula area of your eyes responsible for short range vision and detail.
A study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science Journal showed that lutein and zeaxanthin significantly reduced the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration which is common in the elderly.
3) Avocado helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels
Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides levels is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. A number of blood markers including high total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
A study suggested that a diet rich in mono-unsaturated fats using avocado as their major source reduced the total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. It also reduced triglyceride levels and increased the HDL-cholesterol level by about 11%.
The soluble fibre in avocado also helps with lowering cholesterol.
4) Avocado helps to reduce your homocysteine levels
Helping to reduce your homocysteine level is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Homocysteine is a consistent marker for cardiovascular disease. High homocysteine is linked to an increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Avocado is high in folate and vitamin B6. Research has shown that vitamin B6 and folate reduces homocysteine level in the blood.
5) Avocado helps with weight loss
Helping with weight loss is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is high in fibre, a plant matter that is not digested by the body.
High fibre foods make you feel full, reduce your hunger and cravings so you do not eat more than you need. This helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that a diet high in fibre promotes satiation, prolongs satiety and encourages healthy food choices and eating habits. It also encouraged weight loss and maintenance.
6) Avocado has anti-inflammatory properties
Its anti-inflammatory properties are one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado and avocado oil is high in good fat. It is rich in the healthy mono-unsaturated fat called oleic acid which is also the main component of olive oil.
Oleic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, it has been linked to reducing inflammation. A study published in the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Journal found that oleic acid reduces the biomarkers of inflammation.
7) Avocado helps to support healthy blood pressure levels
Supporting healthy blood pressure levels is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is very rich in potassium. It contains about 14% of the recommended daily amount compared to 10% found in bananas.
Potassium has been linked to reducing high blood pressure. A systematic review published in the BMJ showed that an increased potassium intake reduced blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
8) Avocado helps to stabilize blood glucose levels
Stabilizing blood glucose levels is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is high in soluble fibre which helps to stabilize blood glucose levels.
9) Avocado helps to nourish and moisturise your skin
Nourishing and moisturising your skin is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in antioxidant carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which helps to protect your skin from free radicals that can cause damage and aging.
Avocado is also rich in vitamin C and E, strong antioxidants which also prevent free radical damage. Vitamin C is also important for the formation of collagen and elastin which helps to maintain the structure and firmness of your skin and Vitamin E is important for the maintenance of healthy skin.
10) Avocado helps to build healthy bones
Helping to build healthy bones is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is high in vitamin K, an important nutrient for building healthy bones and the proper metabolism of calcium.
11) Avocado is a great conditioner for your hair
Conditioning your hair is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. It’s natural oil acts as a hair mask and helps to revitalise the scalp.
12) Avocado helps to improve your digestive health
Improving your digestive health is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in dietary fibre. About 75% of the fibre is insoluble while the remaining 25% is soluble.
Insoluble fibre helps to prevent constipation. It bulks up your stool and helps to maintain food moving through your digestive tract while soluble fibre helps to feed the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract helping to increase their numbers. This will boost your digestive health.
13) Avocado helps to boost your immune system
Boosting your immune system is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in vitamin C which is important for a healthy immune system. It is also high in antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation as a result boosting your immune system.
14) Avocado may contribute to cancer risk reduction
Contributing to cancer risk reduction is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado contains various bioactive carotenoids.
A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that these bioactive carotenoids are likely to be absorbed into the blood stream, where in combination with other diet-derived phytochemicals they may contribute to the important prostate cancer risk reduction linked with a diet of fruits and vegetables.
15) Avocado helps with balancing your hormones
Helping to keep your hormones balanced is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in mono-unsaturated healthy fat which are essential building blocks for hormone production and keeping your hormones in check.
16) Avocado helps to build lean muscle mass
Helping to build lean muscle mass is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado has a high protein and low sugar content which can help to build lean muscle mass and burn fat.
17) Avocado helps to maintain cellular health
Maintaining cellular health is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in magnesium which is important for maintaining cellular health.
18) Avocado pits can be used for arts and craft
Using avocado pits for arts and craft is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is so flexible, you can use the pit for arts and craft.
19) Avocado can be used as a natural food dye
Using avocado as a natural food dye is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. You can use the ink from the pit as a natural food dye.
20) Avocado helps to improve your mood
Improving your mood is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in the healthy mono-unsaturated fat which can help to improve your mood and your sense of wellbeing.
21) Avocado supports healthy pregnancy
Supporting healthy pregnancy is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in folic acid (folate) which is an important nutrient for forming your baby’s brain and nervous system. It is also rich in vitamin B6 which is important for your baby’s growth.
As you can see, avocado’s amazing benefits are great and so is its taste.
1) Fulgoni V, Dreher M, Davenport A. Avocado consumption associated with better nutrient intake and better health indices in U.S. adults (19+ years): NHANES 2001-2006. Abstract #8514. Experimental Biology, Anaheim, CA. April 28, 2010. 2010.
2) Delcourt C, Carriere I, Delage M, Barberger-Gateau P, Schalch W, POLA Study Group (2006) Plasma Lutein and Zeaxanthin and other Carotenoids as Modified Risk Factors for Age-Related Maculopathy and Cataract: The POLA Study. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 47: 2329-2335.
3) Carranza J, Alvizouri M, Alvarado M R, Chavez F, Gomez M, Herrera J E (1995) Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype ii and IV dyslipidemias. PUBMED 65:342-348.
4) Burton-Freeman B (2000) Dietary Fiber and Energy Regulation. Journal of Nutrition, 130: 272S-275S
5) Basu A, Devaraj S, Jialal I (2006) Dietary factors that Promote or Retard Inflammation. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 26: 995-1001
Do you experience ongoing hunger even if you have eaten so much? Did you know that what you actually eat controls how full you feel? Let’s take a look…
A study published in the Nutrition Research Review 2013 found that there are certain foods that you can eat that will fill you up, avoid the hunger and make you eat less.
Here are three tips to stay full for longer.
1. Eat Protein With Every Meal
Eating foods high in protein with every meal is one of the tips to stay full for longer. Protein is one of three main macro-nutrients required by the human body.
It is broken down into amino acids which your body needs for building muscles, balancing your hormones, neurological and mood support, digestion and many more. Protein helps to keep your body going.
It is the macro-nutrient that fills you up the most.
Your body needs twenty amino acids. It can create 11 of them but you need to get the other nine, which are called essential amino acids, from your food.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008 found that protein increases fullness to a greater extent than carbohydrate or fat and makes it easier for you to eat less.
Food sources high in protein include:
– Wild fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.
– Free-range eggs
– Free-range/organic chicken or turkey
– Whey protein/pea protein
– Yogurt – Raw milk[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2708″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]
2. Eat foods high in dietary fiber
Eating foods high in dietary fiber are one of the tips to stay full for longer. Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate which your body cannot digest; it passes through your digestive system and helps to keep it healthy.
There are two types of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble.
The two types of dietary fibre in your diet provide bulk; they take longer to move through your digestive system so it will keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition 2000 found that dietary fiber has unique physical and chemical properties that provide early and prolonged signals of fullness and satisfaction.
It is very essential to make sure you are drinking enough water when you are including fiber in your diet. Fiber absorbs water so if you are not drinking enough water you can get constipated.
Food sources high in dietary fiber include:
– Vegetables: broccoli, lettuce, carrot, peas, cucumber, kale etc.
– Fruits: Berries, apple, avocado, etc.
– Legumes: beans, lentils, etc.
– Oats[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2709″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]
3. Eat Foods With A High Water Content
Eating foods with a high water content are one of the tips to stay full for longer. Nearly all foods contain some water but some foods such as whole, unprocessed foods contain more water for example vegetables and fruits are made up of about 80-98% of water.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999 examined the effects of water combined with food such as soups on fullness. It found out that eating food that has high water content effectively increased fullness and reduced the need for more food.
Healthy homemade soups made with lots of vegetables and good quality protein is an excellent food that is high in water.
The Bottom Line
Foods that are not processed are generally more filling than foods that are processed. Always include protein and dietary fiber with all your meals to help you stay full for longer.
Hetherington M M, Cunningham K, Dye L, Gibson E L, Gregersen N T, Halford J C, Lawton C L, Lluch A, Mela D J, Van Trip H C (2013) Potential benefits of satiety to the consumer: scientific considerations. Nutrition Research Review, 26: 22-38.
Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes R D, Wolfe R R, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M (2008) Protein, weight management, and satiety. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87: 1558S-1561S.
Burton-Freeman B (2000) Dietary fiber and energy regulation. Journal of Nutrition, 130: 272S-275S.
Rolls B J, Bell E, Thorwart M L (1999) Water incorporated into a food but not served with a food decreases energy intake in lean women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70: 448-455
How exhausted are you? Do you feel tired all the time? Fatigue can be caused by many things. A study published in the Preventive Medicine stated that lack of physical activity, poor nutrition and psychological problems may be linked to a higher risk of feeling fatigue.
Having an understanding of the causes of fatigue and how to manage it is crucial.
Did you know that nutrition plays a role in fighting fatigue?
Food provides information to your body that helps your body know how to work. Certain foods can help with fighting fatigue. Let’s take a look.
Here are 5 foods to fight fatigue….
Nuts fight fatigue! They are rich in protein, magnesium and other amazing nutrients. Magnesium is a key electrolyte supporting cellular function. It plays an essential role in converting sugar into energy.
A study published in the Lancet found that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome had low red blood cell magnesium and when treated with magnesium their energy levels improved. The findings show that magnesium may have a part to play in fighting fatigue.
Nuts contains phytic acid which binds to minerals especially zinc and iron and prevents you from absorbing them so it is important to soak nuts for about 18 hours (or overnight) and dry in the oven at low temperature or in a food dehydrator and then roast them slightly before consumption, this will help to eliminate a large portion of phytic acid.
Fish is one of the foods to fight fatigue. It is a good source of protein and several amazing nutrients including vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 improves red blood cell production and red blood cells produce energy.
A study published in the PLOS ONE found that there was a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and fatigue. The study reported that the patients with vitamin B12 deficiency reported more fatigue symptoms than those without it.
3) Goji Berries
Goji berries are one of the foods to fight fatigue. It is packed with vitamins C, dietary fibre and iron.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine found that after patients had taken goji berry juice daily for 14 days, their energy levels and sense of wellbeing had improved tremendously.
Liver is one of the foods to fight fatigue. It is rich in good quality protein and amazing amounts of vitamins and minerals that help to fight fatigue. About 28g of raw liver has about 277% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 supports the methylation cycle and helps to improve energy levels. A study published in the PLoS One journal reported that there was a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and increased levels of fatigue.
Eggs are one of the foods to fight fatigue. They are rich in good quality protein and other amazing nutrients including selenium. A deficiency in selenium has been associated with fatigue.
A study published in the Biological Trace Element Research found that there was a link between low selenium and anaemia. Fatigue is often associated with anaemia.
The bottom Line
Your diet is one of the easiest places to start the process of fighting fatigue. Keeping your blood sugar balanced is also key to fighting fatigue. Having protein with every meal will help to keep your blood sugar balanced.
Chen M K (1986) The epidemiology of self-perceived fatigue among adults. Preventive Medicine. 1:74-81 PubMed
Cox I M, Campbell M J, Dawson D (1991) Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. The Lancet, 337: 757-760 ScienceDirect
Huijts M, Duits A, Staals J, van Oostenbrugge R J (2012) Association of Vitamin B12 Deficiency with Fatigue and Depression after Lacunar Stroke. PLoS One, 7: e30519
Amagase H, Nance D M (2008) A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study of the general effects of a standardized Lycium barbarum (Goji) Juice, GoChi. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 14: 403-412
Semba R D, Ferrucci L, Cappola A R, Ricks M O, Ray A L, Xue Q, Guralnik J M, Fried L P (2009) Low Serum Selenium Is Associated with Anaemia Among Older Women Living in the Community: The Women’s Health and Aging Studies I and II. Biological Trace Element Research, 112: 97-107