‘Tis the Season to Eat Comfort Food

‘Tis the Season to Eat Comfort Food

With summer having left the building, (although not that many of us heard it knock in the first place), it is now officially the season of comforting food. Autumn combines grey skies and plentiful food supplies and it’s a great time for a whole range of warm, filling comforting recipes. Not traditionally known for its focus on diet friendly cooking, autumn is a time for stocking up our cupboards and our bodies. In the darker, colder months we all need to keep our energy levels up and while it’s important to eat healthily at all times of the year, this time of year can provide an excuse or two for adding a few extra calories to our plates. As long as you keep an eye on those portion sizes, autumn is a good time to bring into play the old say ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’!

Smashing Mash

For perfect mash every time all you need is a little milk and butter, which does sound a little fattening! It probably is, but a little is the key word here. Once you’ve softened your potatoes mash them with a dash of milk and a knob of butter, plus salt and pepper to taste. Give a final blitz with a whisk to create the perfect, filling, tasty and comfort-food mix. If you really don’t care about the calories add cheese to create cheesy mash.

Perfect Pie

Chicken pie is not only a classic food it’s a great make-do-and-mend dish; it often features as Monday’s Tea, as a way to make Sunday’s leftovers earn their keep. If you’re splashing out on a chicken especially for the pie you’ll need a medium sized one. If you’re being sensible and efficient get a big one for Sunday and don’t let the kids see where you’ve hidden the leftovers. The chicken should be combined with some onions that have been fried off, steamed vegetables, carrots and/or leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast are a great idea. Pastry, unless you’re a die-hard cook, can be bought and rolled out but the classic white sauce should be home-made. Two ounces of butter, two of plain flour and half a pint of milk should be enough to make a good quantity. Place chicken, veg and sauce into your pastry casing, top with more pastry and bake for around twenty five minutes.

Pancake-tastic Breakfasts

A comforting winter addition to the breakfast table is the home-made pancake. Obviously we’re not talking the Monday-Friday breakfast table here. Although simple to make pancakes fall under the “faffy” section in most peoples’ minds, with fairly good reason. For a warming winter twist, add a dash of ginger to the recipe, which adds an unexpected kick. Essential for happy families and a messy kitchen is a good smothering of maple syrup. Again, not exactly calorie counting friendly, but Monday-Friday breakfasts are for that; we all deserve a treat at the weekend!

Bonfires and Bangers

With firework displays and outdoor Christmas markets pressing upon us, one great dish for parents faced with not only their own but several lucky friends and neighbours kids to cater for, consider a mass batch of Toad in the Hole. The big advantage to Toad in the Hole is that it’s not exactly a high-octane cooking event. For large batches it’s best to use several baking trays. The batter recipe is basically the same as Yorkshire pudding batter and can be found easily online. For large quantities use 5 eggs per tray and scale up the other ingredients to match. Ten sausages should hopefully be enough per tray, and once the batter is ready and the oven heated to around 220C it takes no more than 30 minutes to cook. Onion gravy is a welcome addition in most cases. It may be calorie filled and cheap but it is very definitely cheerful!

All of these dishes contain a healthy dose of dairy products, particularly milk, which is a great source of calcium and vitamins for growing bodies. While not exactly low on calories skimmed milk and healthier butter alternatives can be added, without compromising on taste or essential goodness. Dairy products, carbohydrates and protein filled pies may not sound exactly good for your diet, but at this time of year a little comfort food can help your body to build your immune system and keep you healthy.

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Top 5 Dieting Mistakes To Avoid

While starting our fitness plan and regime – the first mistake we make is of becoming ambitious! We want quick results. However with some early success, sooner or later we come to a point where there is no progress at all; or on the contrary, we start to gain weight instead.

You might start to believe that the diet plan was not for you or you might just blame the equipments for not working on your body. But wait a minute, was it really the plan that didn’t work or was it YOU? It could also be some common mistakes people make while going on diets. Here are some common mistakes that render the dieting plans as ineffective, make sure you aren’t committing them! Here goes:

1. Avoiding Carbohydrates

Completely depriving your body of carbohydrates is not the right way to go on a diet. No doubt that carbohydrates are the new food demons (a status formerly reserved for fats and lipids), it is however not good to completely cut off carbohydrates from your diet.

Carbohydrates are important for your body as they help in energy production. They are necessary for the secretion of serotonin which evokes the feeling of happiness in our body. So, in other words, it is about eating smart. You can eat the good healthy carbs like whole grains and you can avoid the refined unhealthy carbohydrates on your way to weight loss & fitness.

2. Consuming Calories Unknowingly

Take a look at the food items which you are consuming. Some harmless looking food stuff contains a great amount of calories which you forgot or thought them as harmless and note down in your calorie counting book. Gulping that glass of orange juice in a hot afternoon or that coffee while you were conversing with your fellow workers might seem harmless, but they contain good amount of calories which can lead to weight gain.

Sweetened beverages are even worse in this context and one must avoid consuming these products.

The key is to be aware and alert about what you are having. Noted dieticians often comment that most of the people who come to them claim not having anything extra or unhealthy. But they’d be popping chocolates, drinking sweet – cold coffee and binging on potatoes chips and crispies. This is far from healthy! So be aware.

3. Depriving Yourself

Completely depriving yourself of certain food items can actually backfire to your diet program. Although your intention might be to control the intake of calories and get to that ideal weight, your body is not accustomed to the changes. If you have been regularly catering to your “sweet tooth” then a sudden stop on sweet intake may not go down well with your body. There can be the “withdrawal symptoms” and at times, you might even suffer from ill effects.

So instead of completely avoiding certain food items, here is what you could do:

  1. Decrease the intake frequency. For instance, don’t have dessert everyday!
  2. Decrease the quantity of intake. For instance, have a small helping of ice-cream for dessert instead of the regular bowl.
  3. Burn your calories. And this is irrespective of whether you have that dessert or not!

Exercise is important for weight loss. More so, it is important for your fitness.

4. Not keeping a tab on calories

If you are not monitoring your calories, there is a real problem. You must know what you are eating.

For starters, you should maintain a journal to keep a track on your calories. Not keeping one is also a reason for diet plan fails. For your weight loss plan to be a success, you must keep a tab on the calories you eat as well as on those you exhaust. It may be a bit hard and awkward to count the calories at first, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. Make sure that you shamelessly count each and every calorie which you ever consume and don’t even let the harmless looking candy slip off! It’s after all, for your health. At the same time, keep a tab on the number of calories you spent as the difference is what will tell you how much you have improved and how close you are to the ideal weight and figure!

5. Skipping Meals

You might think that to reduce weight one needs to reduce calories. Skipping meals can then reduce a whole bunch of calories, can’t it? Well, although the same might be true in a perfect world, ours sadly isn’t one. Skipping meals can interfere with your body’s digestion and lead to indigestion and render your body unable to utilize the food properly. Also, it is found that people who skip a meal overeat when they get a chance to in the next meal, which possesses a higher threat to weight loss.

So it’s all about being wise, eating well and doing the right amount of exercise. Get that discipline in your life – your body deserves it! Cheers!

The author is a writer in a blog which provides various health and nutrition related solutions. She has written blog posts in the subject of weight loss tips, prevention and cure of acne, prevention of early aging and HGH  to name a few.

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Lose Weight and Build Muscle – 4 Tips

Most people believe it is impossible to lose weight while gaining muscle at the same time. This belief is not wrong, but just not clear how it could be possible. For starters, to gain weight one must consume an excess of calories; on the other hand, to lose weight you must reduce the total number of calories you consume. So how is it possible to do both? Read these tips to help you accomplish it;

Do Cardio

Although this is fairly obvious to anyone wanting to lose weight, it is the type and duration that makes the difference. There is standard “slow” cardio, which is done for maybe 45 minutes at a time; and then there is HIIT (high intensity interval training), done for 30 minutes max. The difference with these two types being that the HIIT type expends more calories while limiting protein breakdown, while the slow type may be more geared to a gradual mainly weight loss pattern. So if losing fat and gaining weight are your goals, HIIT seems better suited for you.

Weight training

You must do this if you require your body to take on a new look. Endless cardio won’t reveal your “hidden” body; actually you will look like one of the many skinny-fat guys around. The reason for this is because cardio is an activity that quite often results in both fat and muscle breakdown. So if you really want to change the way you look, strength training must be done to give the body a reason to change.

Nutrition

Nutrition is basically the make or break factor when it comes to achieving this double feat. Every time we eat, hormonal signals are released which dictate if we gain muscle, fat or lose weight. The nutrition plan that seems most geared to the goals in focus here work around cycling carbohydrate and fat intake, while keeping protein levels reasonably high. It appears that the body makes best use of carbohydrates to incorporate in muscle glycogen when taken around the workout; some before and about three times following the workout.  During these high-carbohydrates meals, fat should be minimized. It is a good rule of thumb to state that fat and carbohydrates should not be consumed in large quantities together, this is a recipe for weight gain.

Wise Use of Supplements

Many natural thermogenics exist; including green tea extract, ginseng and even the use of Chia seeds. These supplements can give you that small push to increase your metabolism and shift into a recomposition state.

Above all, be realistic; don’t expect to gain large amounts of muscle while simultaneously losing excessive fat, expect to do a little bit of both. After all, no vehicle ever got anywhere with its wheels spinning in the opposite directions.

 

John has been a personal trainer for over 3 years. He enjoys writing about bodybuilding, supplements, and natural remedies. His favorite website is Remedy Tip.

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Natadrol: Taking Your Body to the Next Level

The health industry has taken a more natural approach in recent developments. In the past, weight lifters and athletes who wanted to gain weight and strength in a short amount of time were usually limited to hormonal supplements. The dangers of hormonal supplements have shown to be plentiful and varied in nature. In an effort to protect the health of consumers, leaders in the health industry have stepped up their game with various Natadol supplemental programs to encourage a more natural approach to muscular enhancements.

Some of the negative effects of using hormonal drugs include damage to the genitals, hair loss, mood swings, depression, injury, and so on. Steroids, because of the list of negative side effects and the huge strength and weight gain that you get from taking them, have be made illegal in most professional and amateur sports organizations. Testing positive for steroids has to many athletes being discredited and humiliated in the public eye.

In an effort to encourage healthier alternatives, Natadrol supplemental products have been introduced into the market. The supplemental blend of recently discovered Tinospora Cordifolia and Curculigo Orchioides extracts give body builders and athletes a more lean appearance in their muscular development. This more vascular look and feel attracts many bodybuilders who are looking to gain weight, but maintain a lean emasculate system. Another benefit to the leaner look is also heightened sexual stimulation during intercourse.

While these products are groundbreaking and exciting for those in the know, it cannot enhance your body if you are not putting forth effort to reach your goals for your health. Maintaining a healthy diet, daily exercise, and plenty of water is the key to attaining a healthy body. Forget those three things and your supplements are useless. Doing these three things and taking supplements can help consumers blaze through their workout goals.

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Fad Diet Does Not Mean Mean Fad Weight Loss

In America today, fad diets are a growing trend.  Celebrities act as the trendsetters.  Gossip magazines use celebrities and their diets as an advertising technique.  When you go to a store, take a look at the magazine stands.  Almost every issue that pertains to women contains a cover story having to do with another weight loss solution.  Truth is, most fad diets do not work.  They require a person to make extreme changes to their diet and lifestyle to lose weight quickly.

Fad diets can have devastating effects on one’s body.  First of all, most of them cause people to under consume calories.  Yes, you do need to limit your intake of calories when trying to lose weight.  But calories are required for energy and when you aren’t consuming enough, your metabolism slows down and your body cannot carry on its normal functions.  Every person’s calorie limit differs and you can easily calculate how many you need to consume to lose weight.

Most fad diets necessitate the need to decrease consumption of a nutrient such as carbohydrates and fat.  In order to maintain proper health, you need to ingest a proper amount of every nutrient daily.  Although overconsumption of carbohydrates and fat can lead to weight gain, they are needed to produce energy in the body.  Weight gain will not be a problem if the macronutrients are obtained from the right foods.  If any diet you hear of requires you to eliminate a nutrient, decide against it.

Another reason why extreme diets are unhealthy is because most of the pounds you lose at first are from water.  One will think that they lost weight quickly and will continue the diet, leading themselves to even more problems.  After a few weeks on a low calorie diet, your body goes into starvation mode.  The basal metabolic rate, which is the rate at which the body burns calories, decreases.  Your muscle mass will decrease because your body steals energy from them since it is not getting enough from food.  The smaller your muscle mass, the fewer calories you burn.  It is harder to gain back muscle than it is to gain back water and fat because you have to work harder for it, so think about that next time you consider going on a fad diet.

Most individuals who use fad diets for weight loss are “yo-yo” dieters, meaning that they go on a diet for a week, stop for another, and try another diet the next week.  This causes their weight to fluctuate, sometimes at extreme levels.  Over time, the body loses its ability to burn fat efficiently so the person will eventually gain more weight when they are not on the diets.

It is likely that people who partake in fad diets fail.  This is because many of them basically cause a person to eat the same thing over and over again or deprive themselves of food that their body needs.  Since they usually require very low calorie intakes, fad dieters gain their weight right back when they go back to eating normally.

If you wish to lose weight, do it healthfully.  Make it a “in with the new and out with the old” process by eliminating self-defeating behavior as well as considering the use of a body cleansing/organ detoxification product.  Don’t listen to the media—usually they are just trying to sell products when they advertise weight loss solutions.  Lose weight gradually because it will be easier on your body and you will be likely to keep it off in the long run.  Be sure to follow a balanced, nutritious diet that consists of a variety of foods.  Exercise regularly and do not be afraid of gaining muscle weight.  The larger your muscle mass, the more calories you burn.  If you wish to try out a fad diet, be cautious and stop if you begin to feel the negative effects on your body.

 

Brianna Elliott is a dietetics major, and attends UW-Stout in Menomonie, WI.  She is a regular contributor at ProbioticSmart.com and PSCLife.com – leading health and nutrition websites.

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