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Health

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

Diet

The Ketogenic Diet – A Simple And Complete Guide

A lifestyle approach to melt the kilos while reducing risk of several diseases.

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Full guide to ketogenic diet

INTRODUCTION TO KETO  |  WHAT IT IS  |  WHAT IT’S NOT |  FOODS TO AVOID |  FOODS TO EAT  |  IS THE KETOGENIC DIET HEALTHY FOR YOU?  

Along with Intermittent Fasting, the Ketogenic Diet is definitely on trend right now. It’s being touted as a healthy weight loss machine that can help you to drop up to 10 kg within the first week.

While there’s nothing new about cutting back on carbs and sugar as a strategic vehicle to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, the Ketogenic Diet makes grand claims of being able to melt weight at an accelerated pace.

There’s plenty of evidence to support these assertions.

Scores of people who’ve attempted this diet have testified to rapid weight loss, fuelling an already growing interest in this unconventional approach to eating.

When the Ketogenic first appeared on my radar, I dove into the vast world of Youtube personal vlogs for unsponsored reflections and reviews. As far as losing weight is concerned, many people have really had success.

What’s more, there’s nothing crash diet-y about the Ketogenic Diet.

Quite the opposite, actually. You are able to have as much food as you want. In fact, you can go ahead and have literally all the good stuff. Bacon and all kinds of juicy meat! You can have the cheese, eggs, oils, seeds, sausages, and enhance some of the greens with butter.

The catch, however, is that you also have to keep your sugar and carb intake very, very low.

WHAT IS KETOGENIC DIET?

The Keto diet entails a significant reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates, which are then replaced with fat.

See?

According to Healthline.com, the metabolic state resulting from the practice is known at ketosis. This process, according to an article published on the Harvard website, happens when your body releases ketones into the bloodstream.

In a nutshell, your body tends to rely on the blood sugar cells produced by carbohydrates as the main source of energy.

When you reduce your intake of carbohydrates significantly, which results in fewer sugar blood cells making rounds in your system, your body begins to break down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies.

RELATED: INTERMITTENT FASTING – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW 

In simple terms, the Ketogenic Diet is the replacing of sugar and carbohydrates with mainly fat and proteins so that the body may use the fat as a source of energy, resulting in weight loss. This diet typically involves foods such as meats, processed meats, eggs, sausages, cheese (yes, yum!), fish, butter, oils, seeds, veggies and nuts.

Fruits, while healthy and nutritious, carry a lot of naturally occurring sugars, which aren’t going to keep your body in the state of ketosis.

Unfortunately, natural sugars are bad news for those seeking to torch kilos through the Ketogenic Diet, so fruits and honey aren’t go-to’s here.

WHAT IT ISN’T

Although the eating method is quite restrictive, forcing participants to abandon carbohydrates that make up about 50% of the food people eat on a daily basis, it’s not a crash diet. Unlike most quick-fix  weight loss eating plans, Keto does not place any emphasis on the amount of food.

The focus is mainly on the kinds of food of food you can and can’t have. Some people have cited this reason for their continued weight loss despite lofty indulgences.

RELATED: 10 SUPERFOODS FOR IMPROVED HEALTH 

As a rule of thumb, however, moderation is always the safest principle. Keeping an eye on creating a slight caloric deficit is still beneficial for those looking at accomplishing smaller waistlines.

FOODS TO AVOID

The downside to the Ketogenic Diet revolves around its drastic restrictiveness. It’s also the reason why some people aren’t able to stay on it over the long haul. You are expected to abandon entire food groups you’ve known your whole life, many which are really quite delicious. Life without any form of potatoes is a troubling thought for me, amongst other foods without which life is not as fun.

Basic rule;  Foods with carbohydrates should be avoided, or limited. These include:

Sugary Foods – fruit juice, fruits, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, sweets, sodas etc.

Root Vegetables – Potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes

Starches and grains – wheat based cereals, pap, rice, pasta etc.

Beans – This includes lentils

Low Fat/Diet Products – These tend to be more processed, and likely to be higher in carbs.

Alcohol: More bad news.

FOOD TO EAT 

Meat – Every meat under the sun is permitted.

Fish

Eggs: You can have fried eggs using some olive oil. I still prefer boiled, though.

Butter – Butter is always nice with roasted (non-root) vegetables.

Cheddar – Go for unprocessed.

Healthy Oils

Avocados – Fun fact, I literally couldn’t stomach these prior to starting. But when restrictions starting coming into effect, you will find avocados to be unbelievably tasty, if you weren’t already a fan.

Green Vegetable: Low carb ones are preferred. Greens are the best, but you can also have tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.

IS THE KETOGENIC DIET HEALTHY? 

This question continues being hotly contested. There are many factors to be considered, such as the health of those who seek to participate prior to starting, their motivations for going on this diet (always a good idea to consult a relevant health professional before introducing massive changes to your eating patterns), and many other factors.

That said, there’s a minefield of research indicating that the Ketogenic Diet comes with a plethora of health benefits.

There are some studies, according to Harvard, that prove the diet’s effectiveness in reducing seizures in children. MedicalNewsToday.com also note  such incentives as helping with the risk of cancer, reducing acne, positive effects on your brain and improving the overall health of your heart.

Join the Conversation By Leaving Your Comment In The Comments Section Below, on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

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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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