Though I had adopted plant-based diet as my diet plan for my 3 months of weight losing, I believe not everybody is suitable for vegan foods due to several factors. Example, you might have food allergy towards most vegetables, or you have a poor digestion such that you get bloated easily as soon as you touch any vegetable. Other factors could be the availability of the foods in your local stores, or the costs of the foods.
Whatever reason you have or might be facing, you can be assured that there are quite a number of weight loss diet plans available for you to choose.
Plant Based Diet
The main reason why I chose this form of diet plan is that vegan foods are usually lower in calories but higher in fiber. It makes us feel full over a longer period. My previous article “Top 6 Benefits Of Having A Plant Based Diet” elaborated further on this.
Keto Diet (aka. Ketogenic Diet, Low Carb Diet, Low Carb High Fat Diet)
Image Credit: Marco Verch’s What Is Keto? Trendy Diet Allows for Plenty of Cheese and Fat album
As the name suggests, this form of diet plan (keto diet) is fundamentally low carb eating. When we consume lesser or no carb, our body is being forced into a metabolic state whereby our body will start to break down fats in our liver to produce ketones to use as energy, instead of glucose and insulin (which primarily come from carbohydrates).
Fasting Diet (aka. Intermittent Fasting Diet)
Fasting diet refers to fasting of food intake on certain of the days of the week, but not all. You can do it for either 2 days a week (5:2 diet), or every alternate day of the week. An average person needs around 8,700 kilojoule of energy to maintain his current body weight each day. Fasting diet involves severe restriction of kilojoule based on 25% of normal needs on day of fasting, which is equivalent to 2,000 to 3,000 kilojoule only.
Clean Eating Diet
Image Credit: Johnbillu’s Cleaning Eating album
The effect of clean eating diet on weight losing has drawn many discussions. While some say it doesn’t work at all, but some say it does help weight loss to a certain extent. Clean eating involves taking unprocessed or minimally processed foods that contain lean protein, healthy carbs and fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, in controlled amount, over 6 times a day. It requires the help of proper hydration and regular exercising to boost metabolism and burn fats faster.
Image Credit: Leon Brocard’s IXS_9669 album
If you read my previous article, drinking enough water can help to boost our body metabolism, so it is not surprising that drinking water (water diet) can help to lose weight too. We expend energy even when we are resting, and we call this resting energy expenditure. Studies show that when we drink at least 0.5 liter (17 oz) of water, our resting energy expenditure increases by 24 to 30%, which last for at least an hour.
Paleo Diet (Paleolithic Diet, Caveman Diet, or Stone-Age Diet)
Image Credit: Hayes Gray’s paleodietfoodlistinfographic_flickr album
As what the term paleo suggest, this form of diet is unique. Paleo means older or ancient, especially relating to the geological past. Paleo diet hence, suggests you can only eat foods that are available during the old days or caveman days i.e. meats, fishes, leafy vegetables, nuts. You have to omit modern foods like pasta, cereal or candy. This diet also discourages the counting of calories, but rather to focus on eating the right foods (even until you are feeling full) and structuring the environment, to achieve your weight loss results or build the muscles you desire.
Different diet plans suit different body types to drop your kilos effectively. You just have to find one that is suitable for you. In my upcoming articles, I will cover each of these diet plans in details.
What is a Keto Diet?
What are ‘fasting’ diets and do they help you lose weight?
The Eat-Clean Diet Review
How Drinking More Water Can Help You Lose Weight
The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet
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Probably a natural distinctive trait of mine – always hoping to see results fast, I neglected the fact that more often than not, things have to go slow if they are meant to be. I can’t believe I have taken too much fiber too quickly, I started to feel unwell.
Let me explain now why too much fiber within a short time is bad… slowly….
A high dietary fiber diet is beneficial to our body in many ways particularly lowering our blood cholesterol, maintaining healthy blood glucose level and reducing our risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, we shouldn’t ignore the potential health issues resulted from excessive fiber intake, especially over a short period.
Image Credit: Cathy Arkle’s Nuts and Grains album
Adverse Effects Of Excessive Fiber
1) Poor Minerals Absorption – Essential minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium will be passed in our body without absorbing them. Take enough supplements to replace them if necessary.
2) Result In Gastrointestinal Issues – Gas and Bloating are common gastrointestinal issues with your upped intake on fiber.
Tips To Reduce Excessive Fiber Symptoms
Apart from increasing the fiber intake gradually and hydrating yourself more, as recommended above, here are some tips to reduce your symptoms:
1) Exercise more
Whether you are taking a walk at the park, or doing cardio workouts, you are encouraged to increase your physical activity level to improve your colon movements.
2) Take Supplements
You may take supplements if you are facing some digestive distress symptoms i.e. if you are facing constipation, you may take magnesium supplements to optimize your bowel function.
Otherwise, you may consider taking multi-vitamins to replace the lost nutrients due to malabsorption.
3) Do It Gradually
A typical daily fiber intake for a healthy diet should be around 20 – 40 grams and if you used to take only 10 – 15 grams per day, you should increase by 2 – 3 grams for a start and monitor if you are facing any digestive distress. I suggest monitoring this over 6 – 8 weeks on a safer side.
4) Drink More Water
As you increase your daily fiber, it is also recommended to increase your water intake, as fiber depends on water. Not drinking enough water may result in dehydration. Dietary fiber comes in 2 types, soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and slows down the food leaving our stomach. Insoluble fiber traps and retains water from our intestines to prevent constipation. Due to their benefits, you can observe that they depend on water to work.
5) Take Probiotics
Fiber only helps to facilitate the digestive process but may not build a healthy environment for our gut. Modern processed foods pretty much kill the good bacteria in our digestive tract,which advertently affect our digestive health. Certain probiotic strain like Bacillus subtilis relies on fiber to thrive, which makes the two a truly winning combination.
Also read: 6 Effective Tips To Help You Build A Strong & Healthy Gut
6) Try Colon Hydrotherapy
Also known as colon therapy, colon hydrotherapy is a form of colon cleansing that uses special herbs, enzymes, or probiotics, to boost the medicinal properties to remove toxins from our colon and keeping it clear.
You may experience some abdominal issues like gas and bloating during the initial stage of fiber increase because your body is adjusting slowly to the change. However, you shouldn’t feel pain at all and these initial symptoms should go away after a while.
After reading this, I think you should know how to move your pace when it comes with eating enough fiber every day.
Too Much Fiber? 2 Ways Your Gut Will Tell You
Signs and Symptoms of Too Much Fiber in the Diet
Does Fiber Increase Water Needs?
Colon Hydrotherapy: Everything You Need to Know
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Food addiction is a form of eating disorder, which behaves pretty much like drug addiction, since it involves the areas or neurotransmitters in our brain. It is usually associated with junk (processed) or unhealthy foods, especially highly palatable foods like sugar, fat & salt, because they are treated as rewards or pleasures in our brain involving dopamine, a “feel-good” brain neurotransmitter.
Signs Of Food Addiction:
There are several common signs for food addicts, mostly involves getting cravings for certain foods even after a full or nutritional meal. You may even find yourself eating more than usual for the food you crave. After which, you may start to feel guilty & tell yourself to quit or set rules for eating, but unsuccessful.
Types Of Food Addiction:
To learn how to curb food addiction effectively, you need to understand the 3 types of such disorder below:
1) Compulsive Overeating
A behavioural addiction involving typically eating, gambling or shopping, triggering intense pleasure. People suffering from this, will easily lose control over their eating behaviour & preoccupied most of their time with food instead of other activities like working or spending time with family. Eating could be their only way to manage negative emotions too.
2) Binge Eating Disorder
Usually involves with people unable to control what they are eating or how much they are eating. After which, they would feel guilty or sad over their over-eating.
3) Bulimia Eating Disorder
Similar to Binge, except that people with Bulimia will regularly overeat & intentionally attempt to purge after which. Purging involves making themselves vomit, exercise excessively or use laxatives.
5 Ways To Curb Food Addiction
Image Credit: Courtney Emery’s hungry? album
If you are determined to fight food addiction, it might be a long journey for you but it can definitely be done. Just learn how to manage & curb it well, just like how you fight alcohol or smoking addiction.
1) Write down the list of pros & cons. If the pros are worth more the sacrifice than cons, ask yourself this question “Is it worth it?” & remind yourself every day. You can motivate by telling yourself that you can lose weight, live longer & spend longer time with your family.
2) Write down the list of trigger foods that you crave or binge & avoid them at all costs. Knowing what you shouldn’t eat & avoid them is better than eating them unknowingly & lose your control over it.
3) Find fast food places that serve healthy foods as well. Fast food places are everywhere and often than not, we are not in the mood or no time to cook. Easy to grab healthy foods from such places will prevent a relapse.
4) Learn to eat only when you are hungry, not when you have craving. This requires discipline & you will get used to this new habit if you are discipline enough. Try to avoid snacking unless if necessary.
5) Seek help from nutritionist, psychologist, or doctor to uncover the underlying problems (i.e. negative emotions) of your eating disorder or finding out what you have been eating wrong.
Feel free to leave a comment below.
Food Addiction — A Serious Problem With a Simple Solution
Slideshow: Visual Guide to Binge Eating Disorder
Compulsive Overeating and How to Stop It
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Image Credit: Hey Paul Studios’s I Love Your Gut Studio
I came across a very interesting article recently – Newly Plant Based? How To Fix Stomach Bloating. You should have a good read. It elaborates on why some of us experience bloated during the initial stage of plant based diet & shares how we can overcome & improve on this condition. Here are 2 important questions we have asked ourselves prior to taking up such diet.
1) Why do we go plant based? For the sake of our health, or the sake of the animals? What if we fail; are we going to persist or simply give up?
2) Is plant-based diet worth the effort? Or we can simply go for low-carb diet to lose weight?
My Opinion: As I have always emphasize the benefits of plant based diet & superfoods, it is not surprising that I would prefer vegan over low-carb or fasting diet so as to build a stronger and healthier body by boosting my immunity through superfoods, which are usually plant based foods.
To prepare your body to take up such diet, lose your weight and maintain it for a long haul, it is, hence, essential for you to build a strong and healthy gut. To achieve this, here are some tips for you!
1) Go Organic
One of the tips to detox our body naturally is to go organic so that the foods you consume can be pesticide and herbicide free. Such pesticides can kill your gut bacteria.
2) Go Vegan Or Choose Your Meat
Eliminated or cutting down on meat & poultry will reduce the amount of antibiotics we consume from these animals fats. Alternatively, look out for “hormone free” or “antibiotic free” food labels when you do shopping. Antibiotics from animal fats can kill your gut bacteria too.
3) Avoid Food With Allergies
You should keep a journal of foods that your body are allergy to. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
4) Take High Dose Or Extra-Strength Probiotics Or Digestive Enzymes
To have a happy colony of good bacteria living in your gut, you need to take extra-strength probiotics. At the same time, you also need to feed your these probiotics with natural prebiotics like potatoes & bananas. Ideally, you should stick to at least 1-month course of probiotics.
Digestive enzymes help to break down your food further to prevent or reduce gas & bloating.
5) Take Smaller Frequent Meals If Possible
Here comes another great benefit of taking smaller frequent meals, apart from just boosting our metabolism: Yes, it helps to build a healthy gut when our gut bacteria can catch up with the new load slowly.
6) Chew Your Food Slowly
When you chew your food slowly & more, you are actually connecting to it more & at the same time, digesting it better. Try to chew your food at least 30 – 40 times to do it well. Our digestion starts first in our mouth when our food breaks down. So chew more.
Source: Newly Plant Based? How to fix stomach bloating
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In my previous article on “7 Secrets To Supercharge Your Body Immune System Naturally“, I shared some secrets about boosting your body immune system naturally and one of the secrets is to eat superfoods, and it will be even better to eat these foods together in your regular diet to create a synergistic effect on our overall health.
Therefore, what exactly are superfoods and so called? To explain simply, superfoods are rich in nutrients and these nutrients are beneficial to the health and well-being of a person.
1) Leafy Green Vegetables
[Image Credit: Emily Barney’s Fruits & Vegetables Album]
These dark green vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are plant pigments well known to prevent heart diseases and strokes, as well as common cancers like lung and breast cancers.
They are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron. These vitamins and minerals are essential to our body natural defences and healing, as well as maintaining healthy bones and skin.
[Image Credit: Prescott Pym’s Fruit Study]
Fruits, in general, are high in dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as potassium and folate (folic acid). I always encourage eating plenty of fruits and vegetables to maximize the benefits.
[Image Credit: Kevin Lau’s Berry Sunday Album]
Our recommended berries are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries since you can easily grab them off-the-shelf in your local fruit stores, thus allowing you to eat regularly, and they are extremely high vitamins and anti-oxidants, which is all you need.
If you feel like going for more, you can add wolfberries (goji berries), acai berries and cherries to your diet too, though they may not be easily available.
[Image Credit: Cowell Solo’s Nuts Album]
Nuts are also known as super snacks since we usually took them during our free time. They are rich in proteins and perfect for boosting our heart health. Instead of purchasing each type of nuts in several packets, we recommend mixed nuts in a single packet or snack bar that comes with cashews, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, pecans and pine nuts. You can finish a single packet faster thus with lesser worries for storing several packets at one time for too long.
[Image Credit: ICARDA – Science for Resilient Livelihoods in Dry’s Seeds Album]
Seeds are easily forgotten when it comes to superfoods because we cannot usually link them together. Over here, we call them superfood seeds. The more recent popular ones are chia and flax seeds, while cumin, hemp or sunflower seeds have been around for very long. Different seeds contain different vitamins and minerals which you can easily add them to your daily diets to improve your overall health i.e. boost immune system, improve blood circulation or lower blood pressure, and maintain your well-being too.
[Image Credit: Kenneth Leung’s Mr Bean album]
Beans are known to be nutrient-rich yet less expensive. A bowl of colourful mixed beans can contain most of the vitamins and minerals you need i.e. copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. They are usually prepared and served as desserts, which can be rather high in sugar; hence, we recommend preparing your own at home, if you have the time. A bag of raw mixed beans you can grab from the supermarket does not cost much too.
Superfoods not only improve your body health in overall, but also help you to lose or maintain your weight as they are fiber-rich which makes you feel full most of the time.
You can start trying them out today and let us know if they do work for you by dropping a comment below.
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Visceral fats (内脏脂肪), as weird as the name suggests, are actually active fats that are stored around our abdominal area, particularly around our internal organs like pancreas, liver and intestines. Such area is also known as intra-abdominal fat. See below diagram.
Why should we get rid of our visceral fats? Well, such fats are dangerous because they affect our hormone functions negatively, and linked with numerous health problems including Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
As we age, it is quite natural for us to have a growing belly due to laziness to move & losing of muscles, but it may not be all visceral fats as there will also be some subcutaneous fats stored together. So how exactly can we know how much visceral fats is to use a digital weighing scale that measures visceral fat level? The ideal level should be less than 13. Any level from 13 and above is considered excessive. See below.
Another way to find out if you have too much visceral fat is to measure your waistline. For women, it is usually 35 inches or higher while men is 40 inches or higher.
So how exactly can we reduce our visceral fats naturally & effectively? Here I am going to share with you 7 simple tips to benefit you easily.
- Reduce amount of trans fatty food intake – Visceral fats contain high level of trans fatty acids, which link with the amount of trans fatty foods we have consumed. Check the trans fat content in your food before you eat. Go for trans fat free as much as possible. Trans fatty acids are linked with LDL cholesterol too.
- Cut down on your alcohol intake – You can still drink moderately but not heavily. Intensive drinking is bad & does affect your level.
- Reduce your stress level – When we stress, our body will produce a kind of catabolic hormone called Cortisol in response. Long-term production of such hormone will increase the distribution of body fat to our abdominal area.
- Stand, do not sit – Studies show that people with sedentary lifestyle, or spend too much time sitting, will easily grow or have highest level of visceral fats or total abdominal fats.
- Have a well-balanced diet – Adopt a high fibre, low sugar, and low fat diet & maintain a healthy weight is the key to healthy living. Proper diet is still crucial to reduce such fats.
- Exercise more & exercise right – Do more resistance training & if possible, coupled with high intensity interval training like aerobic to encourage distribution of body fats healthily.
- Sleep enough – Studies also show that by sleep enough, meaning more than 5 hours & less than 8 hours daily, can maintain a good level of visceral fats.
Feel free to drop me any question or comment using the comment box below. Thanks.
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