Tag: weight management

Food Tracking for Weight Management

My friends, when we begin a new weight loss plan, it is usually a given that food or nutrition tracking will be required for success. Fortunately, there are some really good nutrition tracking apps to be found on the internet, so there is no reason one should not track their food intake.

One of the pitfalls once reaching weight loss goals, is many people quit tracking their nutrition and eventually put all of their lost weight back on. If you have ever had a problem with your weight, it will always be imperative that you continue to track everything that you eat. Tracking is a form of measurement, and what gets measured gets done. Tracking is a way of holding yourself accountable, being accountable will always be the key to maintaining your body at a healthy weight and body fat percentage. It is when we quit being accountable that we begin having problems with our weight again, and this is true no matter what method you are using to take off those unwanted pounds. When we believe we no longer need to be accountable, we have failed ourselves. Accountability is everything when we care about our weight, our health and level of physical fitness. Also, know that accountability is not about feeling guilty when you have strayed from the path of good health, accountability is about getting yourself back on that path as soon as possible.

Stop With the EXCUSES!

I do not have a way to track my food intake. 

There are nutrition tracking apps available on the internet that do not cost you a penny to use. You can also track your nutrition in a small notebook, if you do not have a phone on which to download an app. All food labels will list everything you need to keep keep track of including calories, fat, carbs, protein and added sugars.

I do not have the time to track my nutrition.

No time to track? How much time do you think it takes to track your nutrition. On any given nutrition app, you can log an entire meal or snack in about one minute or less. Even when you go out to popular fast food joints or restaurants, you can take a small moment to track what you just consumed. A good many nutrition trackers have information for most common restaurants available.

I do not have time to weigh and measure food.

If you are having individual portions, the nutrition information is on the label.

If you are cooking meats or fish, just how long does it take to place a piece of meat on a food scale, look at the number and then place it in your cooking vessel of choice?

Use measuring cups or ladles to serve up your food for portion control. Most ladles come in predetermined sizes just for this.

I do not have the time to preplan meals, or to cook ahead for the week.

Do you have the time to NetFlix and chill?

Does it take extra time to double or triple portions when you are cooking in order to have something already prepared for later?

I have been significantly overweight, actually I have been obese. I write from not only my learned knowledge, but from my personal experience as well. I now maintain my body fat percentage between 9 and 10 percent which is pretty lean, but I also know that I can never let my guard down or I will regain my weight. I can never quit holding myself accountable if I want to remain healthy and fit as I age. I will always measure and weigh my foods because I know that once I quit doing so, it will not take long before 4 ounce portions actually become 5 or 6 ounce portions if I just begin eyeballing and estimating my portion sizes. These trends never seem to go in reverse for weight management, we will always underestimate our caloric intake and overestimate our caloric burn from exercise. As disciplined as I am in my nutrition and physical fitness, I still have to hold myself accountable, it is a part of my lifestyle. While many people might see tracking, measuring and weighing as an inconvenience, I see trips to the doctor for avoidable ailments as a larger more expensive inconvenience.

Life can be hard my friends, choose your hard.

 

Greek Yogurt For a Flat Tummy

Photo by Evan Reimer on Unsplash

I used to hate the taste of yogurt. My mind was made up that there was no way there would ever be any type or flavor I could find that I might enjoy. I could not see myself getting past that yucky tang that comes with the taste of yogurt, that taste of sour milk repulsed me. I foolishly believed all yogurts were made equal, equally yucky that is…

But, I was totally wrong in my belief!

Today, plain, full fat Greek Yogurt is something I eat each and every day. 

About five or six years ago, my youngest daughter Molly told me how much better Greek yogurt tasted than regular yogurt. She talked me into trying Oiko’s brand Key Lime flavored Greek yogurt and I became hooked that day. Except there was one problem…

All key lime flavored Greek yogurts I could ever find were low fat versions, and after a while, I began tasting that tangy sour milk taste coming through. I tried other flavors of Greek yogurts but could not find any that had a flavor I could enjoy, and I was really burnt out on the key lime after about a year of eating it. This was all when I was eating an excessive amount of calories to fuel my power lifting regimen and did not care about sugar content which all the Greek yogurts in my local stores have as an ingredient.

Once I cut sugar entirely out of my diet, there seemed to be nothing I could eat in the way of Greek yogurts anymore. That is until my wonderful co-author Brenda Sue suggested I give plain, full fat Greek yogurt a try. I got to say, at first this sounded horrible to me. I could not see myself eating any plain Greek yogurt, but then she turned me on to several different ways to flavor it my own way, and best of all, do it without any added sugar at all.

Let me tell you, plain, full fat Greek yogurt is a creamy and versatile treat. I use sugar free Crystal Light to flavor it anyway I want. I also use powdered peanut butter, Saigon cinnamon, nuts and seeds to add further dimensions of texture and flavor to it as well. I love this stuff, and eat it every day now.

And best of all, this treat is about as healthy and good for cutting body fat as they come.

Greek yogurt makers add an extra step to their process so that excess water, lactose, and minerals drain out. What’s left is a creamy, rich yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. A cup of it can help you meet the recommended dietary guideline of three daily servings of dairy products. People who have lactose intolerance may also find Greek yogurt easier to digest because of the bacterial breakdown of the milk’s sugars. An average serving, depending on the brand, can have 12 to 17.3 grams of protein!

Yogurt has a much higher amount of protein than milk.

Your body uses protein to build:

bones

muscles

cartilage

skin

hair

blood

Protein is also one of the three nutrients that provide energy. It also transfers substances, such as oxygen, across cell membranes. Getting the right amount of protein for yourself is important for your immune system, nerves, and fluid balance.

You’ll need more protein to maintain muscle mass as you age. For the average adult , 65 years old or older, the amount of protein needed increases to between 1 and 1.2 grams per kilogram a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. For those who are active in sports or weight training, you will need up to 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, especially if you need to avoid meat. If you enjoy chia seeds, add 2 tablespoons of them for a protein and fiber boost. Probiotics keep you regular and happy

Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics.

Many people find that dairy is positively correlated with inflammatory responses or processes, however, that’s not the case not when it comes to Greek yogurt. Research has actually been shown to prove that Greek yogurt that contains probiotic strains of Lactobacillus actually promotes the formation of a desirable anti-inflammatory environment in the blood system. The effects of probiotics may be a consequence of the body working against potentially pathogenic/pro-inflammatory endogenous microbiota in the digestive system. A healthy tummy means a healthy body in a lot more ways than one.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help boost your immune system and decreases stomach issues, such as diarrhea and pain.

These healthy bacteria normally live in your intestines,  having good microorganisms in your intestines helps keep you healthy. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria from probiotics, too much bad bacteria can build up and cause damage to our immune systems.

And just as stress and emotions can trigger stomach issues, your gut can send signals the other way around, too. One study found that probiotics could also affect the brain,  and that probiotic supplements can reduce an individuals tendency for distress and thoughts about sadness, including thoughts about hurting others or themselves.

Calcium is key to keeping healthy

Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it’s high in calcium. Calcium is key to building strong muscles and helping your vital organs function. Your body also doesn’t produce calcium on its own. Without enough calcium, children may not grow as tall as possible and adults can be at risk for osteoporosis.

A serving of Greek yogurt has 18.7 percent of your daily value for calcium.

Greek yogurt is an excellent option for older adults who want to maintain their bone health. It’s also ideal because it’s convenient and easy to eat, especially for those who have trouble chewing.

Greek yogurt is a great source of  vitamin B-12

Your body needs vitamin B-12 for red blood cells to form, brain functions, and DNA synthesis. Many might choose to supplement vitamin B-12 into their diet, but Greek yogurt offers a powerful, natural alternative. One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 21.3 percent of your daily value. People who are vegetarian usually lack vitamin B-12 because the vitamin is naturally found in animal products, such as fish, meat, and eggs. Greek yogurt is an excellent, meat-free way to add more to your diet.

Potassium balances out sodium

One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 6.8 percent of your daily potassium intake value.

Potassium helps lower blood pressure and balance out the sodium levels in your body. If you have high sodium levels or a diet high in sodium, you may want to eat foods high in potassium so that your body can pass the excess sodium when you go to the bathroom.

Keeping your waist in check

Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of iodine. Your body doesn’t naturally make iodine, so it’s important to get enough through the foods you eat. Iodine is important for proper thyroid function, and the thyroid is essential for healthy metabolism.

People today tend to be iodine deficient, which can cause serious problems, including rapid fluctuations in weight. For people with weight problems, increasing iodine levels in their diet increases the thyroid’s activity and, in turn, increases their metabolism promoting weight loss.

Another major benefit of Greek yogurt is the fact that it’s easy to prepare and relatively portable. It’s one of the fastest ways to add more protein to your diet without having to spend hours preparing and cooking protein dishes. Adding a few servings of Greek yogurt to your smoothies instantly gives them a huge protein boost. There are probably thousands of smoothie recipes that utilize Greek yogurt and most of them take just minutes to prepare, making Greek yogurt one of the best weight loss foods in terms of convenience. That makes a major difference because a lot of packaged foods and processed foods become popular because they are simply convenient. If you can come up with several recipes that are easy to make and don’t take a lot of time to prepare then you’ll be less likely to want to snack on junk foods between meals.