The Best Foods for Building Muscle

Most people are aware of the foods that they shouldn’t eat, but few pay attention to the ones that they should. This is especially true when trying to build muscle, as it will take plenty of the right foods if you really want to pack on the bulk and strength. Simply lifting weights is not enough if you want to maximize your results, as you also have to take your nutrition into account. Here are the foods you should eat if you are trying to build additional muscle.

If you are a budding bodybuilder or just want to put on some extra muscle, these are the foods you should eat:

-Omega 3 Eggs: There have ben conflicting reports of the health benefits of eggs over the years, as some doctors have vilified them as one of the leading causes of clogged arteries. However, new studies have found that there is no link between eating eggs and heart disease, which has put eggs back to the forefront of great muscle building foods. Eggs are high in protein and low in fat, which is a common theme among the best muscle building foods. In addition, eggs contain a fair amount of leucine, which doctors agree is one of the best muscle building fuels you can eat.

-Nuts: Nuts such as peanuts and cashews are the ideal combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates for someone that is trying to build muscle. Just one ounce of almonds or cashews contains enough calories to give you a boost without adding inches to your belly. Another great thing about nuts is that they actually taste good and are easy to digest, unlike some of the processed “health” bars on the market that often contain extra sugars and bad calories. A handful of nuts before, during and after a workout is a great way to get the energy and protein your muscles need.

-Protein Shakes: You should always try to ingest plenty of protein before a workout, as it will prepare your body for optimal nutrient usage, muscle growth and recovery. A good protein shake will also help get more blood flow to your muscles during a workout, which will help you to workout longer and increase the results. Just be sure to choose a good protein shake that that has balanced carbohydrates and no extra sugar. Try to avoid shakes with a lot of artificial flavors or sweeteners, as these will reduce the benefits you are getting from the shake.

-Full Fat Cottage Cheese: Dieters have long used cottage cheese as a staple, as it is low fat and also full of protein. However, it can also be good for building muscle, as it contains casein, a slow acting protein that gives you elevated levels of protein for a longer period of time. Also, cottage cheese contains good bacteria that will aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrition. Cottage cheese is essentially a slow released protein that is perfect to eat just before or after a workout for maximum results and recovery.

-Garbanzo Beans: Garbanzo beans, which are also known as chickpeas, are another great food for building muscle. Chickpeas are a good choice if you need some carbohydrates, as they are also loaded with fiber. A serving of Garbanzo beans contains 45 grams of carbs that will slowly be released into the body for longer lasting energy. It also has 12 grams of fiber per servings, which will help regulate your digestive system. You can eat them plain, dried or even make them into products like hummus.

-Lean Meats: Lean meats like pork, chicken and beef have long been heralded for their ability to help you gain muscle. Lean meats are low in fat and high in protein, which is always a good combination for muscle growth. Lean meats also have just the right amount of saturated fats, which is great for maintaining high levels of testosterone. When your body has increased testosterone levels you will have more energy, strength and will see greater results from lifting weights and other exercises. However, as with most things you need to eat meat in moderation. Eating too much meat, particularly beef, can make you sluggish and actually hurt your results.

-Rotisserie Chicken: This goes along with the entry from above, but rotisserie chicken has additional benefits. The biggest is that it is readily available in the deli section of just about any supermarket. Many people fail to get the correct nutrition because they are too lazy or lack the know how to cook themselves proper meals. With a rotisserie chicken you get a low fat, high protein meal that is already prepared and ready to eat. This will save you the hassle of trying to cook and help you avoid the temptation of other fast foods that are not nearly has healthy.

-Lentils: Lentils are one of the best foods in existence when it comes to building muscle mass. This is because a single serving of lentils has as much as 18 grams of protein and 40 grams of good carbohydrates. The carbs in lentils are the slow release variety, which will give your body a continuous source of energy during a workout, thus increasing your results. Not only that, but lentils are super cheap and easy to cook, so even someone that is clueless in the kitchen can probably boil up a pot of tasty lentils. Dried lentils will keep for a long time, so you can buy a bag and they will always be there when you need them.

-Salmon: Salmon has long been heralded for its positive heart effects. It contains Omega-3 fats that doctors recommend for a healthy heart. However, these fats also prevent muscle breakdown and make amino acids more effective, which helps you to workout longer and more efficiently. Wild caught salmon is the best, as the skin of farmed salmon can contain chemicals that are not good for the body. If you don’t enjoy the taste of fish then you can get try fish oil pills or other supplements that have similar nutritional content.

-Fermented cheese and dairy: There is a fermented dairy product known as Kefir that many people aren’t aware of, but they should be. Kefir contains good bacteria known as probiotics that will help you digest your meals more easily and get maximum nutrition from the foods you eat. You will be able to more effectively assimilate your nutrition so that your body can maximize nutrients before, during and after a workout. Many people add a cup of Kefir to their protein shake, which is a great way to get this product into your system.

It’s not just about the weights

If you are working out hard but not getting the results you want, then it is probably due to the foods you are eating. It is not enough to simply lift weights if you are just going to come home and eat a bucket of fried chicken afterwards. You need the correct balance of protein, fat and carbs if you really want to get the best possible results. The foods on this list will not only help you build muscle but can also be used as part of a healthier diet, as many of them have additional health benefits. It is time to stop focusing only on the workout and start paying attention to the foods you eat, as they will go a long way to determining how much muscle you will grow.

10 Best Fat Burning Exercises for Women

These 10 exercises are excellent for women looking for that healthy, toned bodies by building lean muscle while scorching pounds of fat. The best thing is that these are designed to be mixed and matched to keep interest and motivation at high levels. For the absolute best results try a combination of 3 – 4 exercises three times a week and watch your body transform before your eyes.

Strength Training

  1. Squats

This is a favorite of health trainers everywhere. Many people don’t realize that some of our bodies’ largest muscles are found in the legs. And the smooth and easy to do motion of a proper squat works several leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.  Be sure to practice a little with a chair to ensure that you get used to the balance and proper motion. You’ll find them relatively easy to do with or without additional weights.

  1. Lunges

Next to squats this is the go to exercise favored by trainers everywhere. Lunges also target all the major muscle groups of your lower body and have the added benefit of engaging the core and improving your overall balance. Be sure to keep your back straight and your abs taut throughout the entire motion. Keep your hands on your hips to help you with balance and never let your back knee touch the floor. After a few sessions, the motion will feel a lot more natural. Hold weights in each hand to make this more challenging.

  1. Pushups

Yes, what was once thought of a punishment handed out indiscriminately in gym class is actually one of the best exercises you could be doing to tone your upper body and lose weight. Pushups strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps and even core muscles but don’t add tremendous bulk to your upper body. Pushups are relatively simple to do, but be sure to remain focused on the proper form for the greatest effect. Your hands should be just slightly wider than shoulder-width and be sure to keep your back straight from shoulders to feet.

  1. Crunches (Flat or Raised Feet)

Crunches are a near perfect exercise in that it targets a specific and hard to engage muscle group essential to balance and posture. You will benefit from both types of crunches—either with feet on the ground or feet raised—but you need to make sure you keep proper form to prevent neck or shoulder energy. Raised feet crunches offer a greater challenge but also help you keep your form by preventing you from arching your back.

Cardiovascular  

  1. Walk, Jog, Run

Walking is single handedly the easiest and provides the less stress on your body. It’s also a great place to start if you haven’t been active for a while or are recovering from injury. All you need is a good pair of shoes and you could walk anywhere and at any time. For greater challenge try picking up the pace with a light jog or a run. You’ll want to find shoes designed for running that fit your sole comfortably. Don’t forget to stretch and focus on your form and breathing. Sooner than later you’ll find your distance and speed increasing and the unwanted fat disappear.

  1. Step Aerobics

In addition to strength training it’s important to work your cardiovascular system with high intensity aerobic exercises. A great way to do that is to add any form of step aerobics into your exercise routine. Step aerobics mostly targets the muscles in your legs, hips and rear – areas that most women want to tone. Doing as little as one hour a day will show tremendous results in as a little as a few weeks.

  1. Cycling

Cycling is a great calorie-scorching activity to do if you love the outdoors. If you’re just getting started there are plenty of inexpensive easy-to-ride road bikes to help you get on your way to burning anywhere between 500 – 1000 calories per hour. The exhilaration is amazing and after just a few sessions you’ll find yourself with excess energy lasting throughout the week. If you’re pressed on time, invest in a nice exercise bike with course-difficulty adjustments or join a spin class to achieve tremendous results in a short time.

  1. Swimming

It’s a surprise that more people don’t do this extremely enjoyable exercise. Simply doing laps up for about an hour will burn about 750 calories, improve your respiratory system and tone your legs, arms and shoulders. Also, the invigorating effect of the cool water is great for the skin and your overall mood. An added bonus can be had if you find a location to swim that also has Jacuzzi. Take the opportunity to reward your hard work with deep muscle relaxation.

  1. Elliptical Burner

The elliptical burner gets a bad rap sometimes because many believe that the easy motion doesn’t provide nearly as great a workout as some of the other machines you’ll find at your local gym. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Elliptical burners are very versatile and could be set to provide some of the most grueling cardiovascular workouts you could ever dream of. Most come with preset programs providing a wide range of training options—hills, endurance, and speed just to name a few. The smooth motions benefit both your arms and legs and will keep your form perfect so that you’re unlikely to suffer from injury.

The A-Z of Vitamins

Vitamin and minerals come in many forms so here is a quick run down of what is available to help you decide what they are and why you might take them.

VITAMIN A – aids strong bones, skin and sight. It is essential the body have plenty of Vitamin A, also boosts the immune system and cell reproduction.

VITAMIN B – important for red and white blood cells, they keep your body clean and free from illness, also good for skin and muscle tone and increasing metabolism.

VITAMIN C – the most commonly taken vitamin and usually the tastiest! Found in oranges of course, vitamin C is a brilliant antioxidant so great for all round health and keeping nasties at bay. It also has added benefits such as looking after your gums and strengthening the collagen found in muscles and bones.

VITAMIN D – we get a lot of our vitamin D from the sun so when the sun is absent, it’s good to supplement! It helps the body maintain healthy bones and again is another great vitamin for the immune system.

VITAMIN E – a great supplement for your skin, acts an antioxidant and an anti-ageing ingredient. You will notice Vitamin E in many moisturisers and other skin care products. It is also said to prevent skin cancer.

Folic Acid – the pregnancy vitamin! Most women will begin to take folic acid when they are thinking about becoming pregnant. It will prevent anaemia and helps to prevent birth defects and is also thought to be good for the heart.

Magnesium – having plenty of magnesium ensures we absorb calcium, which is needed for strong teeth and bones. It also benefits out muscles, keeping them functioning and will aid stiff muscles.

Omega 3 – a fatty acid found in fish with many benefits and relatively new. Good for the heart and cholesterol levels, this has also been linked to protecting the body from a particular protein thought to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Potassium – regulates water balance and helps retain normal levels of blood pressure. It is said to be good for your muscles and nerves and digestion so covers a few bases.

ZINC – found in every cell in your body, Zinc is needed for a healthy immune system as well as ensuring your senses are functioning well. It is another supplement suggested to expectant mothers as it supports growth and development.

All vitamins/supplements should be taken in stated doses and doctors consulted if necessary, particularly for those already taking regular medicines and/or pregnant.

The Fundamentals of Healthy Eating

You want to eat healthier, and that’s great. In recent times people have become more and more interested in healthy eating practices, and this is no fad by any means. The popular interest in healthy eating has been sparked by a growing awareness of the genuine benefit of healthy eating practices one derives in order to live life more fully in the present, and extend one’s lifespan by a significant degree. Do you want to know the most powerful healthy eating tips known to man?

I thought so…

First of all, we need to be clear about our eating schedule. Let’s make some decisions about what times we’re going to eat, and stick to those times with a good measure of discipline. Without this structure in place people just end up eating any old time, being dragged about by their whims, and end up making poor food choices as a consequence of the lack of discipline involved in this approach, as well as falling prey to overeating.

This brings us neatly on to our next point. A lot of people these days tend to be making healthier eating choices, but still end up often eating more than they require. In these circumstances it makes no difference if what a person has been eating is healthy or not, the excess calories consumed will be stored as fat, bringing about all of the associated negative health consequences. The only way around this problem is to calculate your daily calorie requirement, and then to make yourself familiar with the calorific content of the food you’re eating.

A similar concept applies to fluid intake. Both soda and alcoholic drinks contain a large number of calories, meaning that if one wishes to maintain proper health then these beverages must be consumed within strict moderation, or not at all. In fact you’d probably be surprised at how many calories they are in a cup of natural fruit juice; it’s much better to consume whole fruits.

With today’s busy lifestyles we often end up eating while we are on the go, and under such circumstances it’s very easy to eat more then you realise. There’s an easy solution to this however which is very easy to overlook: just plan your eating ahead of time, so then you will have already determined the portion sizes for the foods you are going to eat at certain times of the day, and which foods they will be.

Fat consumption is still somewhat of a problem, even for those actively taking up healthy eating practices. Always be on the lookout for low fat alternatives to common foods, as this will greatly reduce your calorific intake, as well as decreasing the amount saturated fat in your diet.

We all know the importance of including five portions of fruits and vegetables in our daily diets, but even those of us with the best of intentions struggle to keep up with this habit. The importance of it aim is so great that before you do anything else for the benefit of your health, you should set some time aside in which to plan how you will be able to maintain this practice on a daily basis.

Bodyweight is Biological — What you Need to Know About Leptin

Leptin is a very important adipokine that helps regulate energy expenditure and intake, and regulates energy for things such as appetite and hunger, behavior, and metabolism.  It is secreted by adipose tissue, and is one of the most important adipose derived hormones, and is something many people don’t realize plays a big part in fat reduction.

Leptin and Fat Loss

So what exactly does leptin do, and how can it help you burn unwanted fat?  Leptin works with the hypothalamus in the brain, acting as an appetite suppressor in a few different ways:

  1. Neuropeptide Y- leptin counteracts neuropeptide Y, which is a powerful stimulant that activates feeding signals, and is found in cells in the gut and hypothalamus.
  1. Anandamide- leptin counteracts anandamide, which is another stimulant that sends feeding signals. It attaches to the same receptors as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
  1. a-MSH- leptin promotes the production of a-MSH which is an appetite suppressor.

Why do we need leptin? 

Leptin is a natural appetite suppressant, so the less leptin we have in our bodies, the more often uncontrollable food intake occurs, causing obesity.  Fasting and having a very low calorie diet are two ways to reduce leptin levels, studies have shown.  This method is actually counterproductive for weight loss, as it reduces leptin levels and lowering the natural appetite suppressants in your body, making it harder not to eat uncontrollably.

Leptin levels are more affected by starvation rather than over eating—you will have more of an impact on your levels of leptin when fasting, drastically lowering them.  Conversely, they do not rise dramatically after eating a lot of food in a short period of time.

There are unclear results of leptin levels while sleeping—some studies suggest the presence of melatonin found during sleep suppress leptin levels, whereas other studies find that insulin and melatonin actually increase leptin levels.  More studies are necessary to be sure of a conclusion.

What does this all mean?

Leptin is an appetite suppressor that binds to neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons in order to decrease their activity.  Then, the leptin is what signals the brain that you have had enough to eat.  This term of signal completion and brain recognition is called satiety.

However, there is a small group of humans that have a mutation in the leptin gene, causing constant food cravings and leading to severe obesity.  Fortunately, there is some successes in treating this condition by administering additional leptin to the patient.

Extensive clinical trials using this method are inconclusive however, as only severely obese patients who were given relatively high doses of leptin saw significant weight loss.  It was found that only large and frequent doses found the best success in the obese patients, making the procedures frequent and uncomfortable.  Additionally, these injections caused patients to drop from the study, because of inflammation at the injection site, which was a common side effect.

There is a specific form of leptin, called Fc-leptin, which can further aid in the relief of these problems associated with the mutation of the leptin gene.  This related gene fuses with other genes in the body, and has proven to be successful in mice with low leptin levels and normal leptin levels—however, this has not yet been tested on humans.  If successful testing continues, Fc-leptin could be a highly effective solution for humans with a leptin mutation.

People with servere obesity are insensitive to the effects of leptin, causing larger appetites and more frequent eating without being sated.

Essentially, leptin inhibits activity of genes and neurons that agitate hunger and feeding, and help promote appetite suppressing genes and neurons.

What else does leptin do?

Aside from appetite control, leptin helps with a few other very important bodily functions.  It promotes the growth of new blook vessels, and helps with circulation.  Also, it helps fetal lungs develop and grow.  In mice, it is needed for fertility in both males and females—however, it has a lesser effect on human fertility.

Leptin is produced by fat cells, and also by the placenta.  During pregnancy, levels of leptin increase, and decrease after childbirth.  Leptin also induces uterine contraction.  It also plays a role in morning sickness.

Summary

Bodyweight is biologically related, and naturally tries to maintain a distinct range of body fat.  This natural regulation is in part caused by leptin, which is a natural appetite suppressant that helps you control your eating.

These natural systems more often work for fat loss rather than weight gain, as seen with leptin levels being more drastically effected by starvation rather than overeating.

Leptin works with other hormones in the body to regulate food intake—specifically sending signals to the brain to let it know that you are done eating; there are some with a leptin mutation that resist the effects of leptin, causing severe obesity.

There are conflicting studies showing the effects and interactions of leptin on and with the body—two different studies showed opposite results for levels of leptin while sleeping.  It is safe to assume that it does have some combined effect with insulin and potentially melatonin.  Both leptin and insulin change with food intake—leptin levels decrease with dieting and fasting, causing more uncontrollable food cravings, and insulin changes on a per meal basis.

Dieting and fasting have an inverse effect on leptin, lowering leptin levels and making it more difficult to not eat.

Studies show that there is some benefit to having additional leptin injections for those with the mutation that are severely obese—however, this was only with the most severely obese, and relatively large doses of leptin.  Further testing needs to be done for any conclusive results.  A different form of leptin, Fc-leptin, could be a potential gain in the grounds of leptin injection treatments, and has shown some successes in mice; it has yet to be tested on humans.

It is important to fully understand the biology that goes into regulating bodyweight and appetite to get a hold on your eating and take back control of your health.

Foods that Burn Belly Fat

You probably know that there are a number of foods that go straight to your mid-section, turning into fat almost before you can get up from your meal, but there are also a number of food items that will help you to burn fat and get rid of belly fat much easier. So, if you have been struggling with belly fat and you want to trim down, then you should know that it isn’t just how much you eat, but sometimes it is what you eat, too.

What Are You Eating Now?

If you  are retaining belly fat, then it might not be that you are just eating too much. It might be that you are eating the wrong kinds of foods and that by changing your diet, you can lose weight and belly fat. The primary culprit in the majority of American’s diets is processed foods. These might taste good, they can be easier to cook, and they are often cheaper, but they will also make you put on weight.

Processed foods of all kinds are terrible for your metabolism, and so instead of your body using the calories as an energy source, it essentially gives up and turns these foods into belly fat for later use. Once they are stored as fat, it is then unlikely that they will be used as energy.

What Can You Do?

The first thing that you should do is eliminate these foods from your diet and then replace them with higher quality nutrition that will not lead to belly fat. For instance, make sure that all of the meats that you eat are lean protein and preferably not red meat, and that they are free from hormones and various chemicals. If you have to pay more for this kind of meat, then it is worth it.

If you are not going to eat red meat, then you can eat pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts, and get your protein in a different way. The more protein you are able to consume (to a limit, of course), the more muscle you will put on, and that means you will burn more calories.

The other thing to keep in mind is that not all foods are created equal. For instance, a dish that is particularly spicy can burn up to twice the number of calories than a dish that is not. That is why you will see capsaicin in so many diet pills. This is an extract from a red pepper, and it can greatly increase your metabolism.

How Many Calories Should You Eat?

Before you go on a big calorie counting regimen, it is always a better idea to look at the foods that burn belly fat, such as fruits, protein, spicy foods, herbs, and introduce more of these into your diet. They will end up taking the place of poor quality foods, such as those that are loaded with chemicals, foods that are processed, high in hormones or chemicals, and those that are too high in calories for the amount of nutrition that you actually get from them, and this will result in weight loss.

Where Can You Get More Information on Foods That Burn Belly Fat?

Everyone has their own theory about which products work, which exercises work, and what foods you should eat to burn belly fat, but if you are looking for a truly trusted resource, then you might want to take a look at the Truth About Abs. This is an extremely popular product that has helped a lot of people to trim their “love handles” and “muffin tops”, and finally see what their abs look like.

What is key about this program is that it is dedicated to showing you that it takes more than just exercise to get abs and that if you are relying only on crunches and sit-ups now, then you are pretty much wasting your time.

Will This Work for You?

When you read any Truth About Abs review, you will see that this product has really worked for a lot of people and you will see their photos and videos online, showing off their new abs. Once you find the foods that burn belly fat and integrate them into a new and healthier diet, you too will see what it feels like to have abs that you can see and feel.

The Truth About Abs won’t give you abs overnight because nothing will, but it does come with a full money back guarantee, so if you don’t see results within 30 days, you can get your money back. On the other hand, chances are that you are going to learn so much from this program that you will want to keep working on your abs, improving your diet, and getting in the best shape of your life.

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight

While most of the world is preoccupied with losing weight, there are actually some of us who want to gain weight! Unfortunately, gaining weight for naturally skinny people can be as complicated as losing weight is for the overweight. In your quest to discover a method to gain weight you’ll no doubt come across all manner of solutions. Here we present tried and tested healthy ways to gain weight to help you reach your goals with compromising on your health!

When we talk about gaining weight, we’re principally talking about adding muscle to our bodies. We don’t want to add fat to our bodies, due to both general health and aesthetic concerns, that is unless our body fat has reached a dangerously low level. Such cases however are extremely rare; if this is your condition then we strongly recommend that you seek medical help without delay. The main reason naturally thin people have trouble adding muscle to their frame is that they have high metabolisms. For weight gain to occur, we have to take in more calories than we use. As a consequence, one of the most healthy ways to gain weight is to slow down your metabolic rate through relaxation techniques. Relaxation is vital to all around good health, and by taking this approach you have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose! The easiest way you can do this is to lie down on your back and relax every muscle in your body. Consider every muscle group in turn, and ensure there is no tension present. Then begin to breathe deeply with your whole abdomen, keeping your breathing slow but natural. Do this for twenty minutes, or longer if you wish. It is preferably to do this exercise with your eyes closed. As you become more practiced at it, you can move on to researching more advanced techniques.

Of course, if you are to gain weight then you’ll have to increase your daily caloric intake. The best way to do this is to eat more frequently, ensuring that your meals have a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Concentrate on natural whole foods rather than processed, packaged foods. A high intake of plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrain oats and rice will provide your body with the macronutrients it needs to add muscle mass. Your healthiest sources of protein are whey protein isolate, lean fish, nuts, and legumes.

Finally, in order to ensure that the weight you gain is muscle and not fat you’re going to have to train. Healthy training practice means that you don’t try to do too much too quickly. Strength often takes time to develop in skinny people; a good approach is to start with callisthenics (such as push-ups for the triceps and chest, pull-ups for the biceps, squat-jumps for the quadriceps and so forth) and monitor your development by charting how many reps of each you are able to perform in each session. You can choose whether or not you want to move onto a weight training program depending on how you progress; in spite of what you often hear, you don’t necessarily have to lift weights to add the optimal amount of muscle to your frame.

9 Super Foods to Look and Feel Healthy While Losing Weight

When it comes to weight loss there is no overnight or miracle drug solution to boost your health and shed the pounds. There are, however, very simple small changes in your diet you could do to shed pounds and improve your overall health. Here is a list of the top 10 foods you should keep on hand:

  1. Black Beans

All beans are high in soluble fiber and contain lots of protein – two essential dietary necessities that are both filling and digest slowly – but black beans are perhaps the best when it comes to dish versatility and taste. They’re great by themselves but even better as side to compliment just about any Cajun or Spanish-influenced dishes. They’re also great for the heart, are naturally low in sodium and cholesterol. Beans are pretty much the perfect food.

  1. Eggs

For years eggs have swung back and forth on the health pendulum, leaving many to ask the question: Are they or aren’t they healthy? Well, hopefully this settles the debate once and for all. Eggs are actually really, really healthy. Here’s why: Eggs are packed with protein which when eaten early in the day can provide you with the sustained fuel you need to last several hours – often that period of time when you can find yourself mindlessly reaching for unhealthy snacks or sugary drinks. Don’t skip on the yolk! Half of the protein you find in eggs come from that delicious yellow stuff.

  1. Dark chocolate

I can imagine the relief you felt when you saw this make the list. Dark chocolate is great for your heart, lowers your blood pressure and can generally improve blood flow. Dark chocolate is also chock-full of antioxidants that help you get rid of cell-damaging free radicals which have been linked to speed up the process of aging and may the cause of some types of cancer. Add dark chocolate 2 to 3 times a week for optimal health.

  1. Nuts

Too many people are scared of foods that contain fats, but the reality is most people are aware that our bodies need the right kinds of fats for heart-health, lower blood pressure, and lower LDL cholesterol. Nuts are also linked to lower levels of stress which, as we all know, is often a trigger that can lead to unhealthy and spontaneous eating which of course is grounds for rapid weight gain. Nuts are a high satiety food that is metabolized slowly in the body leaving you feeling fuller for hours. Make nuts your go to snack in between meals. You’ll find yourself eating smaller meal portions throughout the day.

  1. Avocado

This miracle berry – yes, avocados are berries with a single large seed in their center – contains a mono-unsaturated fat compound known as oleic acid which actually triggers a feeling in most people that quiets hunger. Avocados, full of healthy fats, also work wonders for the skin and helps slow its aging process. Avocados also have a unique anti-inflammatory nutrients that help prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Add a half avocado to your daily diet and you’ll notice a healthier glow to your skin and the belly fat start to melt away in no time.

  1. Salmon

By now, we should all know the importance of the essential nutrient that is protein – specifically, though, if you’re looking to lose weight you should be reaching for more lean sources of protein. And there is perhaps no better choice than salmon. One regular serving of salmon–about 5 ounces—contains about 70% of the daily protein needed for a 2,000-calorie diet. On top of that, salmon is full of Omega-3 fatty acid which is vital to the health of your cells and skin health. Omega 3 helps protect your skin tissue, keeping it elastic and youthful. Add 2 servings of salmon a week and you’ll notice a healthier and more vibrant glow appear on your face in just a matter of days.

  1. Grapefruit

Most fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals that have tremendous health benefits that work towards overall good health and weight loss, but grapefruit anti-tumor, LDL-fighting, healthy-heart characteristics places it in a class of its own. Besides taking in and benefitting from its high levels of vitamin C, eating as little as half a grapefruit per day also helps prevent certain types of lung and colon cancer as well as help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) in your body. And of course, there’s the weight loss. Grapefruit helps prevent weight gain by lowering insulin levels, which at high and unhealthy levels trigger your body to store excess glucose as fat.

  1. Quinoa

If you’ve seen this next to the rice in your local grocery store, but haven’t been too sure about what to make with it (or of it) you’re not alone. This super grain still lies along the fringe of most grocery lists despite being one of the oldest and healthiest food choices on the planet. Quinoa is a great source of protein, as well as B vitamins that help combat high-levels of stress. Quinoa is great plain and can easily be sprinkled over just about anything to boost nutrition. Veggies, salad, and over breakfast foods such as cereal and yogurt, will become instantly healthier with this one simple addition.

  1.  Chia Seeds

No, these seeds aren’t just a novelty gift item you remember from when you were a kid. Chic seeds are among the super foods that need to become a regular part of your diet if you’re trying to achieve optimal health. Chia seeds are loaded with healthy omega-3 fats, lots of fiber and are a great way to add protein with absolutely no cholesterol. Chia seeds are often vegetarians go to food to load up on the protein they miss from giving up meat and fish, but the seeds can be added to just about any dish for non-vegetarians alike. You’ll feel fuller faster while reaping the benefits of a healthier heart and weight loss.

 

The Simple Way to a Healthier Diet

Here’s a few simple healthy eating tips you can implement immediately, and with minimal effort.

Avoid Processed Foods

Generally speaking, this is probably the most important healthy eating tip we can provide. The number one mistake people make these days regarding eating healthily is excessive consumption of processed foods. How did this come to be?

We have to bear in mind that the primary concern for all food companies is to maximise their profits. Though many of them attempt to convey an appearance of caring for the health of their customers, in reality their only goal is to make money, and the appearance of ‘caring’ is only maintained for the purpose of boosting sales to an increasingly health-conscious consumer base.

Processing their food products allows them to increase the profitability of these products, in a number of different ways, but that’s something we won’t go into here.

Processing foods has the effect of removing nutritional value or adding harmful elements, and in many cases both. The amount of damage eating processed foods does to the human body cannot be underestimated, and when you add into the equation the deprivation of nutrition caused by displacing ‘real’ food with its processed counterpart you have a true recipe for health disaster!

How much processed food should you eat? Well, the best answer is: none!

If your response to reading that is “What?!! You must be out of your mind! I can’t do that!!”, then please, fear not. Completely avoiding processed foods in this day and age is a bit of a challenge. If you can manage to cut processed foods out of your diet completely then great, you’ll benefit tremendously. But if you can’t achieve that extreme the next best thing is to cut your consumption to an absolute minimum. Your individual level will be set by your willpower and circumstances.

How do you measure how processed a particular food is? Simply think of food as it occurs in nature. If Isaac Newton had decided to eat the apple that fell on his head he would have been eating 100% natural food.

Contrast this with a candy bar which required highly unnatural industrial processes and the inclusion of various additives and preservatives before it made it’s way to your belly. The apple comes from a tree, the candy bar comes from a factory.

This leads us neatly on…

Eat More Plant Foods

This is certainly the second most important healthy eating tip we can impart.

By eating more plant foods you will add years to your life. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts andthe grains are the most nutrient dense foods there are. And not only that, but they are virtually void of anything that could be of harm to your body.

While it is true that animal foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs) contain important nutritional benefits, they also typically contain substances which have a detrimental effect on your body in the long run. Eating more plant foods and less animal foods is a sure way to keep your body disease free and as healthy as can be.

The debate about whether or not it is necessary to include animal foods in your diet is something which we are sure will carry on for many years to come, and we’re not here to put an end to it! Nor do we want to get involved for that matter! All we’re saying is that maximising your plant food consumption and minimising your animal food consumption is best for health, no one’s about to dispute that!

General guidelines provided by most governmental authorities these days suggest eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Please keep in mind that’s just the minimum though, the more the better!

What are the best plant foods? Well, the most important thing to understand is that when it comes to fruits and vegetables specifically they all provide significant nutritional benefits, so you can’t really go wrong!

Chances are you’ve already been made aware that certain fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, blueberries, and broccoli have particularly special properties, and are thus known as “super foods”. But you might not be aware of just how powerful oranges are. The simple act of eating one or two oranges (medium to large in size) per day can go a long way towards preventing cancer. Including a cup of green tea whenever you eat a meal will also provide a similar benefit, decaffeinated being just as good as natural in this regard.

Eat a Varied Diet

Our bodies need a wide array of nutrients to stay healthy. The best way to ensure you get all the nutrients you need is to eat as broad a range of plant and animal foods as you can every day, a significant majority of this being plant foods of course.

You want to ensure you are getting the maximum nutritional benefit from all the food you eat. This can be achieved by eating food in the form which is closest to how it occurs in nature. As mentioned previously, much of the food which makes its way to us these days is in some way unlike what it would have been for most of our ancestral past. Food companies have so much to gain by processing food that it tends to be easy for them to look past the moral implications of doing so.

Always try to eat unprocessed, natural food to be certain you are getting the true nutritional benefits associated with the food. This means buying organic produce whenever possible, and always preferring food which is sold loose rather than in packaging.

A great way to ensure that you’re getting all of the various nutrients you need from the plant foods you’re eating is to eat fruits and vegetables of a broad range of colours. The more colours there are in the fruits and vegetables you eat, and the brighter colours are, the better.

Including a multi-vitamin from reputable manufacturer in your daily diet is a good idea. But it’s important to always bear in mind that supplements are not a substitute for nutrition derived from real food.

The Best Way to Lose Weight, Explained

All intelligent people who have weight loss in mind try to figure out the best way to lose weight. After all, why would you want to waste your time and efforts with any method other than what might reasonably be considered to be the absolute best?

Let’s get right to it. The best way to lose weight, generally speaking, is simply to use more energy than you consume. Your body needs a certain amount of energy to function, and if that energy isn’t coming from food then your body will burn off stored fat to create that energy. It’s this “gap” between the amount of energy your body needs and the amount it’s actually receiving which causes weight loss to occur. You can create this gap either by exercising more, or eating less.

But what exactly should you do? Should you exercise like there’s no tomorrow? Should you stop eating completely? Extremes like these are to be avoided at all costs, even though so many people fall prey to them in their understandable eagerness to achieve quick weight loss.

Having understood how weight loss works, it can be very tempting to endeavour only to reduce your food intake without beginning an exercise program. We are all well aware that exercise can be mentally taxing, so most of us are keen to avoid it. However, taking a lopsided approach such as this will inevitably slow down your progress, and it is most assuredly not the best way to lose weight.

A combination of a well planned out, progressively intensive exercise program, and an intelligent diet plan is what is usually considered to be the best way to lose weight fast and safe by weight loss professionals. Here’s why…

When the body receives less food than it needs over a prolonged period of time it responds by lowering its metabolic rate. It does this because it takes the sudden lack of food as a signal that food is scarce, and energy must therefore be conserved to ensure survival. This response is a remnant of our evolutionary past, when food wasn’t always as readily available as it is today.

This means that you are severely restricted in terms of the amount of calories you can deprive your body of. But when you exercise you add to the energy deficit you’re creating inside your body, meaning you don’t need to deprive your body of food as much as you would have to do if you were to leave exercise out of the equation. With the aid of exercise you’ll find you can eat more while losing more weight, as well as being able to continue your progress at a steady rate.

What’s more, regular exercise can have the effect of raising your metabolic rate at all times! This effect is usually associated with gaining muscle mass as a result of weight training. However, if you are not in the habit of taking regular vigorous exercise then when you do begin to do so you’ll add muscle mass to your body anyway, regardless of whether or not you use weights to train with. That being said, if you are at all able to train with weights then it’s certainly a component which you should consider adding to your training regime, as it has been repeatedly proven to increase the rate of weight loss. Two of the most popular weight loss systems online which incorporate weight training are the Fat Burning Furnace and Turbulence Training.

While there are certain advantages of familiarising yourself with the science behind weight loss, as we’ve been doing above, there’s no need to get too caught up on it. The main thing to focus on is your actions, rather than on what responses your actions will induce. As long as you continue to do the things you know you should be doing you’re certain to continue to lose weight, whether you understand what’s going on inside your body or not!