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10 Superfoods For Faster Weight Loss & Improved Health!

We go behind the ‘superfoods’ buzzword to unpack 10 foods you should be having more of right now. These healthy foods are nutritionally dense, low in calories and come with some mind-blowing health benefits that have no side effects.

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Losing weight is no child’s play, although you really ought to be playing like one if you intend to get that summer bod.

There are many factors to be considered; your metabolic rate, body type, lifestyle and – hopefully, you already know this – exercise and diet, that all play their part in the journey.

When it comes to the diet aspect of it, knowledge is power. You have to pay more attention to foods that promote  optimum weight loss and health. If you’ve already thought about a healthier diet, you are off to a good start. Therefore, this is a perfect time for you to be introduced to ‘superfoods’.

What Are Superfoods? 

The buzzword simply refers to foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, thus being able to promote optimum weight loss the healthy way.  Most superfoods are plant-based, though some are fish and dairy. These foods are generally good for health, as many of them contain extra antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, as well as compounds that can help you burn fat much faster. All these factors make them brilliant fitness companions!

10 Superfoods You Should Know About 

 

APPLES

An apple a day keeps more than just the doctor away.

These delicious fruits are a good source of antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C. They also happen to be rich in fibre and potassium, which means they can keep you feeling fuller for longer periods.

All of that comes at just 47 calories, on average, for an apple! What’s more, increasing the consumption has been associated with the reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and, amongst others, certain cancers, according to Greatist.com

GREEN TEA

Photo: Jason Leung

Green tea is not considered the healthiest beverage on earth for nothing!

The calorie-free tea is packed with antioxidants and nutrients, making it essential for improving your health. Some well-known health benefits associated with the consumption of green tea include weight loss, brain function, lowered risk of cancer, improved physical performance, and more.

BLUEBERRIES

 

Berries, in general, are miracle fruits for your health! See why they appear on our Top 10 Smoothie Ingredients list. But more to the point, blueberries bear more proof that good things really do come in small packages.

RELATED: SMOOTHIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS – 7 INGREDIENTS TO SHED THE KILOS! 

According to WebMD, Blueberries contain plenty of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. They are also high in potassium (associated with lower cholesterol and regulated heartbeat) and Vitamin C (may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, potentially lower heart disease risk, lower blood pressure), both which are part of the reason blueberries are highly favoured by doctors and nutritionists.

GRAPEFRUIT 

 

This sweet and sour tropical citrus fruit is nutritious and rich in antioxidants and fibre, all which make it rank pretty high on any superfoods list.

RELATED: HOW TO USE ONION JUICE TO PROMOTE HAIR REGROWTH 

Like a few of the other superfoods in this list, grapefruit can help with the lessening risk of heart disease, and for weight loss. Amongst many health benefits, grapefruit can also help prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.

ALMONDS 

If you are going to be snacking while eyeing a goal waistline, almonds are your perfect go-to. As far as nuts go, almonds have the highest nutritional concentration per calorie. Known for lowering cholesterol, these nuts a powerful source of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and iron.

OLIVE OIL 

The US Food & Drug Administration reported two daily tablespoons of olive oil may lead to the lessening of heart disease risk, thanks to the monounsaturated fat content. Virgin Oil is also the far healthier alternative to the artery-clogging fats in butter, by far. The healthy monounsaturated fats contained in Olive Oil may help reduce the risk of heart disease, promote good cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

POMEGRANATE SEEDS 

 

Pomegranates are stunning and the seeds look even more enticing! But that’s just the start. Like the other superfoods here, these fruits are low in calories (234 calories in an entire pomegranate), high in nutrients, and contain antioxidants.

BANANA

Bananas are dense in fibre and potassium, which means they can keep feeling full for a good while, and also give you energy. This is why they are a good pre and post workout snack. The sweet fruits are also packed with impressive amounts of vitamins C and B6. These highly nutritious yummies can help reduce blood pressure and help battle hypertension.

AVOCADO

You know it was only a matter of time before avocado appeared on this list! The delicious comes with a whole host of health, beauty, hair, skin and weight loss benefits, amongst other things. Avocados have a lot of fibre, folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. The fat is on the high side, it’s the healthy kind you absolutely need.

 

Photo Credit: James Sutton

Kale is a superfood but lentils are considered better, but we aren’t for that petty conversation. They are affordable, easy to work with, and vegetarian/ vegan-friendly. They are high in protein and other essential nutrients.

Sources:
Self.com
Chiquita.com
Healthline.com

Health

Intermittent Fasting – Everything You Need To Know

Your full guide and tips for Intermittent Fasting, the new buzzword for your health.

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Photo Credit: Bruce Mars via Unsplash

I couldn’t contain my excitement after recently stepping on the scale to find that I’ve dropped 5 kilos (11 pounds) in less than two weeks!

It’s certainly the most – not to mention fastest – amount of weight I’ve lost since picking up over 15 kg in a year. I talk a little more about how I picked up weight after quitting cigarettes and refined sugar here.

And while I’ve definitely upped my workout sessions and their frequency as the summer looms, I have good reason to credit the weight loss to intermittent fasting. By the way, I didn’t even conduct properly until exactly 7 days ago so I’m really mind blown.

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?  

At its core, Intermittent Fasting (IF) refers to cycles of prolonged periods of complete, voluntary abstinence from food that alternate with windows during which eating is ‘allowed’.

Unlike a conventional diet, where strict emphasis is placed on creating caloric deficits and removing certain foods from the menu, Intermittent Fasting is more focused on timing one’s approach to eating.



While there’s no specification on the quantities and kinds of foods one is allowed to consume during their eating periods, nothing with calories may be consumed during the fasting windows.

Although, for those who intend to torch the weight considerably faster, a significant reduction in calorie consumption during the normal food intake windows is not such a bad idea.

RELATED: GOING VEGAN? 5 THINGS TO EXPECT 

Amongst a plethora of proven health benefits attached to this system of eating is weight loss and maintenance. Improving one’s overall health, simplifying your life and minimising the effects of aging are all part of the reason why intermittent fasting is gaining all the buzz.

WHAT IT’S NOT

Because intermittent diet is not a crash diet that you go on to shed rapid weight (and gain all of it back as soon as you stop), it is not to be approached with the same mindset one would have tackling a dietary plan.As such, those who choose to adopt a system of eating that involves cycling between eating and fasting will have to think about a long time commitment to intermittent fasting.

TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING 

  • 5:12 

This approach is considered the most effective catalyst for rapid weight loss. This method requires part takers to choose two days of extremely low caloric consumption in a week.



On the two days, you have no more than a total of 500 calories. You can continue eating normally on the other 5 days of the week.

Further to weight loss, according to TheConversation.com, research also indicates that this method can help with reducing levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood.

  • Alternative Day Fasting (ADF)

Similarly, the Alternative Day Fasting approach to Intermittent Fasting comes with alternating between days in which calorie intake is extremely limited (up to 500 cals a day), and normal eating.

The main difference with ADF is that you are to repeat these cycles every other day of the week, which makes them about twice as frequent as those on 5:12.

RELATED: 10 SUPERFOODS FOR OVERALL IMPROVED HEALTH 

This is partly why weight loss tends to be faster with this approach. The downside to ADF is that it’s often quite unsustainable over time.

This is part of the reason why a high number of those who attempt are more likely stop, after a while, compared to the other methods.

  • Time Restricted Fasting 

This brings us to the most popular approach of the three. As explained above, this is where you alternative between interval of normal eating and complete voluntary abstinence.

There are three options in this formula.

16:8: You can only eat in a period of eight hours and remain in the fasting state for the other sixteen. On a typical day, this would be skipping breakfast in order to have both lunch and dinner within eight hours.With all things considered, this is the best way to transition into intermittent fasting for those who are just starting out.


20:4: Similarly, you can only eat within a four hour window within  a day, and remain a fasting state for most of the day. If possible, you can even fit two meals within the four hours, although one full meal and some snacks are more doable.Eat Stop Eat: Some of the more advanced methods include this method, which entails at least two non consecutive 24-hour fasting days.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Weight loss is the main reason most people are trying out intermittent fasting. However, this lifestyle intervention comes with a plethora of health benefits that make it even more appealing.

According to Heathline.com, intermittent fasting can also help with reducing insulin resistance, which contributes to the lowering of blood sugar. That, in turn, can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent can also reduce inflammation. While inflammation is your body’s natural way of defending itself from illnesses, injuries, and promote healing, prolonged inflamation is linked to such diseases as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

IF is also noted for its role in preventing cancer, while stimulating overall heart and brain health.

 

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Diet

How I Gained 13 Kilos, How I Plan To Lose it in Three Months

A short story of how I gained 13 kilos in one year after quitting cigarettes, and the plan to torch it all in three months.

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I’ve gained an average of 13 kilos since I quit smoking a little over a year ago.

And please, I have no intentions of scaring anyone from dropping tobacco. The benefits of quitting sugar and cigarettes far outweigh the little inconveniences you are bound to encounter, even though 13 kilos is anything but ‘little’.

This is me about a year ago, on my way to the body I’ve always wanted.

Quite the opposite. Not only have I gone up two sizes, I’ve stayed there for the longest time. Lovely belly fat has replaced my formerly impressive set of (almost) shredded abs, and it all fluctuates from meal to meal. I haven’t quite reached the love handle stage, but we are a few chocolates and gwinyas away from that too.

WHAT HAPPENED

I had my last cigarette on April 23rd, 2018.

To cut a long story short, it was harder than I hoped, but better than I feared. There were some pretty serious withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes I felt sick. Sometimes a little bit cranky. Or straight up mad.

But! After eight years of the habit, it was actually easier than the horrors I had anticipated with much dread. Some people reported insomnia in the early days.

RELATED: THE SKIN BENEFITS OT CUTTING SUGAR OFF YOUR TEA

I actually found that sleeping got easier as my chest cleared up.

Just a few days after quitting, everything basically improved. Your sense of smell clears up so impressively you can sniff chocolate through walls. So do your taste buds. The food smells and taste sooo good a few days in. Not to mention, you compensate by eating more to wean off the cravings at first, which doesn’t help matters.

RELATED: LOSING 5 KG IN ONE WEEK WITH THE CABBAGE SOUP DIET 

While it isn’t inevitable, weight gain after one quits smoking is expected. Not only are cigarettes appetite suppressants, they can also increase your metabolism. Everything returns to normal after quitting, which means you eat more while burning fewer calories.

See? Almost all roads lead to weight gain after quitting.

RELATED: AVOID THESE 5 FOODS TO ACHIEVE DEFINED ABS 

Fortunately, TIME Magazine reports that I’m likely to start shedding some of it off automatically a year later. While that’s exciting, however, I have a plan of mine to start torching the extra kilos. My goal is not only to return to my normal, healthy weight, but to achieve my ultimate body goals!

HOW I PLAN TO LOSE 13 KG IN THREE MONTHS

Losing weight has never been a problem before, but that’s because of the smoking habit, which influenced a chain of other habits that kept me on the lean side for the most part.

To be honest, I totally under estimated how challenging it would be to shed the gain on this side of life. That said, a year in, I’m absolutely excited to start with the journey towards the body of my dreams, which will start on the first of June!

In my next article on this subject, I intend to detail on exactly how I plan to do this. A lot of the tricks I’ve used before, and the results were incredible. I will, however, be introducing a new plan designed not only to help me lose weight, but to do so in the most sustainable way.

Keep an eye on QuenchSA.com!

 

 

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Diet

Giving Up Sugar In Your Tea: The Skin Benefits To Expect

There’s no sugarcoating it, the white stuff is bad for you. That’s the tea. Quit and here’s everything your skin will be thanking you for.

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The idea of tea with no sugar had always been incredibly weird to me, as much as it is for many.

The reality turned out to be even less appealing, of course, the first morning I attempted ditching refined sugar in all my hot beverages. Switching to a teaspoon of honey and some lemon was especially awful at first.

Having plunged from 5 teaspoons of sugar (I know, right!?) on 10 cups of tea a day to that, the whole mildly sweet and sour taste threw me off. Then there were green teas. Ja, no.

‘Sugar ages your skin “faster than a lifetime of lying in the sun”‘

Like millions of people, I loved nothing more than kicking off my mornings with a creamy cup of super sweet tea. The five teaspoons did the trick, a cigarette and some Wendy Williams ‘Hot Topics’ segment on YouTube to kick off my day with that punch of good shade.

But, to summarise a plot twist that led to a series of positive lifestyle changes; I quit cigarettes, cold turkey.

SUGAR CRAVINGS

Two things happened after I quit smoking; my taste buds cleared and everything tasted so much better, and I developed a superhuman smell that helped me to sniff sugar through walls, basically. Although I knew better than giving in to the primordial urges, I also knew better than messing with the most sensitive days of my cigarette detox.

MORE: AVOID THESE 5 FOODS TO ACHIEVE DEFINED ABS

For a while, I gave in and started bingeing as I needed a lot of activity around my mouth to wean me off from the threat of a relapse. Less than a month in, I had gained over 5 kilos, my skin had broken out and I was bloated.

As much as I hated those first sugar-free days, I can only thank myself now for sticking it out! The health benefits start as soon as you stop. Here’s why your skin will thank you

BETTER SKIN 

Slow Down Aging 

Excluding refined sugar from your hot beverages, cereals, snacks and meals can slow down the ageing process quite significantly.

Many people who give up sugar report an improvement on the texture and tone of their skin, typically with diminished blemishes. I started noticing a glow to my skin just days after ditching the white stuff, and many people would follow with the positive feedback around two weeks later.

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN YOU GO VEGAN 

The benefits of doing away with sugar include fewer wrinkles in the long run, and better-looking skin now.

Why? Because sugar ages your skin “faster than a lifetime of lying in the sun”, according to Dr Patricia Farris via DailyMail, where she also describes sugar as “the new nicotine.”

The accelerated ageing occurs when our bodies break down glucose from sugar and refined carbohydrates. On the contrary, quitting sugar renders collagen and elastin more supple and resilient.

Reduce Acne 

Acne and breakouts are directly caused by a hormonal imbalance or surge. Food that is high in sugar causes this hormonal reaction in the body. The body absorbs the sugar rapidly, which leads to the release of insulin for regulation of that sugar.

Insulin will most likely inform the body to store access sugar as fat; this is the reason reducing sugar consumption is essential for torching weight. In general, the activation of insulin gets the body in the mood to store fat.

As far as skin is concerned, though, glycemic foods and sugar activate hormones that stimulate the production of oil, which in turn proliferates skin cells that block and clog pores.

Along with medications, a low glycemic index diet is now recommended by many dermatologists as an effective treatment for acne.

Controlling Psoriasis

Psoriasis refers to a chronic skin disease that shows up through red, scaly and often itchy blotches of skin, according to www.skinsmatter.com. It can affect the scalp, elbows and knees. In extreme cases, it can affect the whole body. While both non-life threatening and incurable, the condition can be treated with a low sugar or ‘anti-fungal diet’.

Wanna replace that first cup of coffee or tea with sugar with something just as yummy, but with fewer health risks? Take a look at 7 Smoothie Ingredients for Weight Loss

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