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5 Common Keto Diet Mistakes
Apr 16

This Free Keto Diet Calculator Will Help You Lose Weight by Avoiding 5 Common Mistakes

By Jessica | Diet , Keto Diet

We all know it can be hard to track your numbers on the keto diet. So today I’m going to show you a free keto diet calculator that makes it super easy to calculate your goals exactly for you. Here’s my favorite keto macro calculator on the web right now:

Keto Calculator: The Easy Ketogenic Macro Calculator.

Why You Should Know Your Keto Macros

Numbers are a big part of success on the keto diet. Not only do you need to keep track of what you eat, you also need to know what your target is.

Starting the keto diet without knowing your macros is like going on a road trip without GPS or a map. You have no idea where you are heading.  Having your macros will help you avoid the 5 most common mistakes people make when they start the keto diet.

5 Common Ketosis Mistakes

5 Common Keto Diet Mistakes

1. Not Tracking Carbohydrates

Always keep in mind that:

A keto diet has a macronutrient breakdown of HIGH fat, MODERATE protein, and LOW carbs. You need to live with very low carb intake in order to achieve success with your keto diet. And the one rule you need to take seriously is to track, track, track since additional carbs can slip unnoticed.

As much as you want to completely remove carbs from your diet to ensure 100% keto diet success, that’s just not possible. Carbs are everywhere and your body needs it to survive. In general, carbs take 5% of your keto diet. However, the exact amount of how much you can take and still stay in ketosis differs in every individual.

Some of the factors that affect how your body makes use of carbs are:

  • Your metabolic history
  • Your overall lifestyle
  • The carb type you eat

Using mobile apps are a good way to track your carbs intake. Such apps will help you see the exact amount of carbs and calories you eat.

2. Not Tracking Protein

Along with tracking your carb intake, you should also be mindful of your protein intake, For most people building lean muscle mass, protein is a must since it promotes muscle growth. However, too much dietary proteins lead to glucogenesis.  

Right. Glucogenesis is when the body breaks down protein in order to create glucose. Glucogenesis significantly reduces your ketone levels, while spiking your insulin and pulling from your lean muscle. Such process alternately burns fat and protein for fuel that ultimately leads to the high levels of fatigue and the infamous “keto flu”.

In order to avoid such situations, you need to only eat moderate protein for your body to stay in fat burning mode. This means reduced muscle based meats and fattier cuts of meats you consume.

3. Not Consuming Enough Calories

If you think that it is easy to have low-calorie intake when you are trying to lose weight, then you’re wrong. While you stick to moderate proteins and cutting carbs, you will find yourself not having enough calories from the high fats you are left.

Struggling to eat enough calories from fat daily is not good over time. This is because low-calorie levels turn on your body’ starvation mode. This means that your body will start holding on to your body fats and will negatively affect your hormones and other bodily functions, particularly in women.

4. Not Testing Blood Ketone Levels

So, you learn how to properly track your calories, protein and carb intake. Is that enough? No. What’s next? Track your ketone levels and make sure that you entered and is staying in ketosis state after every meal.

There are 3 different ways to test your ketone levels. These are:

  • Blood Ketone Test

Blood testing is the most accurate and simplest way to check your ketone levels. It uses a blood meter to make a small prick on your finger and measures BHB levels in your blood. This is the most accurate test for measuring ketone levels since there are no factors that can dilute the results.

  • Breath Ketone Test

Using a ketonix meter, you can test your ketone levels with your breath. You simply blow into the meter and will show a reading based on the acetone (which are ketones that shows on your breath) level it detected.

  • Urine Ketone Test

This test is quite simple. You just pee on a stick, wait for a few moments, and read the strip for your ketone levels. You can get keto test strips from Perfect Keto here.

5. Not Considering Nutrition

Most people only think about the low-carb, high-fat rule of ketogenic diet.

“Low carbs? Crossed out. High fat? I’ll eat every high-fat food I see. That should put me to ketosis, right?”

Yes, it should!

However, you also need to think about the types of food you are eating and don’t just freely throw nutrition out of the window. If you want best results for your diet and to your health, think about the food quality and its nutrients.

Mar 24

5 Best Ketogenic Diet Foods for Beginners

By Jessica | Keto Diet

Everybody is talking about the keto diet, but getting started can be hard. If you’re just getting started, check out this list of the 5 best ketogenic diet foods for beginners.

The Keto diet has gained popularity over the past few years mainly because it’s awesome. When done right, it can not only help you lose weight, but also help you feel more energetic.

The key to success is eating the right foods. Let’s take a closer look.

 

What is Keto diet?

But first, let’s define what does ketogenic diet really means.

A simple way to describe what keto means is when you eat something that contains high fat, moderate protein and low carbs your body produces ketones in the liver and converts it into an energy source using glucose and insulin. The sole purpose of keto is to keep your body in the ketosis or the metabolic state – or simply it keeps your mental and physical performance at its best.

Pretty awesome, right? Now let’s get started.

 

Best keto food #1: Full-fat dairy products

Low carbs and high in fat, that what dairy products such as butter, heavy cream, sour cream, full-fat cheese, and ghee has to offer which makes it in the list of healthy keto diet foods. Full-fat dairy products are known for its tons of health benefits such as reducing belly fats, improves blood pressure, glycemic control, triglycerides, and cholesterol. So, add butter or cream in your veggies now and expect an optimum result.

 

Best keto food #2: Avocados

As one of the healthiest low carb fruit (yes, it’s not a vegetable) on the planet is Avocados. You should put this one on your keto diet grocery list mainly because it has a lot to offer – from essential vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6 to minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. In addition, avocados also contain 6 grams of fiber, 500 mg of potassium, and 11 grams of carbs which is all essential for a keto diet.

 

Best keto food #3: Eggs

Ah, those delicious nature’s perfect food in the morning – eggs, is probably the keto dieter’s best friends mainly because it contains zero carbs but high in healthy fats and high-quality protein that great for the body’s cognitive function and mental health. Eating eggs means eating healthy when you’re on a keto diet.

 

Best keto food #4: Coconut oil

Coconut is known for its numerous health benefits and undoubtedly it gains its position on the list of acceptable food for a keto diet. Coconut oil from coconut-based foods such as coconut milk, shredded coconut, and coconut flour can contain about 70% of the special type of fat called the MCTs or the Medium Chain Triglycerides – what the heck is this? MCTs are metabolized, absorbed, and used for energy and keto production which boost the body’s metabolism, improve insulin sensitivity and suppressing the appetite. So if you’re looking for something that can eliminate those embarrassing body fats – coconut oil is the answer.

 

Best keto food #5: Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, and salmon is the best way to support our bodily functions including immunity, metabolism, vision health, cognitive function, heart health, skin health, and a healthy inflammatory response.

 

Conclusion:

If you’re going on a keto diet, a lot of people who practice it swear of a better general feeling, more energy, less hungry and better focus on any activity. The amazing thing about keto diet is eating low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat foods which lets you enjoy tasty keto foods without depriving yourself of food intakes which are usually practiced by other fitness diet plans. Going on a new diet can be sometimes, problematic but having the proper knowledge of what to eat and what to avoid will help you achieve an optimum result and get the most out of your regimen.

Eat healthily.

 

Bullet Journal Fitness Tracker
Jan 12

Do You Need Your Own Bullet Journal Fitness Tracker?

By Izzy | Diet , Exercise , Fit Gadgets

The new year has just kicked in, and there are a lot of fitness goals going around right now. What better way to achieve yours, old or new, but with a bullet journal fitness tracker?

What is a Bullet Journal?

A Bullet Journal, or as some users like to call it, a BuJo, is a highly customizable journal. It can be anything you want it to be depending on your interests and goals. Some of the things that people use a Bullet Journal for are:

  • A diary
  • A planner (yearly, monthly, daily, or even hourly!)
  • A sketchbook/ doodle book
  • An organizer

And more! The idea is that you take a blank journal (most BuJo users prefer dotted ones as they provide more flexibility) and design it however you want and need it to be.

For this post, we’re going to look at how you can use trackers in a Bullet Journal to help achieve your fitness goals.

Bullet Journal Trackers

People put trackers in their journals for practically anything. And since the beauty of a BuJo is that it’s not pre-formatted, you can put as many trackers as you want for different things. For instance, people create habit trackers to help them keep up with their annual resolutions.

For instance, someone wants to accomplish reading a hundred books in one year, they will create a spread in the journal to help them keep track of how much they have achieved so far. Trackers can be as simple as checklists or as elaborate as creatively illustrated pages in your journal.

While we’re focusing on physical fitness goals, take note that you can also use these trackers for your overall health. For instance, people create trackers for keeping track of their mental health using the ‘Year in Pixels’ spread, a tracker which notes what their overall mood is for each day.

Happy New Year!! Now that 2017 is over, I can finally share my completed #yearinpixels page. 😊 I ended up having a few more ‘tired’ days than ideal, but overall I love how it turned out! 😍 I’ll definitely be doing this again for 2018, with a different color scheme and minor tweaks to my categories. Thanks again to @passioncarnets for starting this great idea!! • And thank YOU so much for sticking around through my spontaneous hiatus!! My fall semester got crazy busy to the point that I took a break from all my social media, but I still kept bullet journaling. 😊 My TA duties kept me working right up until Christmas Eve, but I’ve spent the last few days getting my bujo set up for 2018, and it’s felt so good to be back in my planning groove! I’ve missed this community so much, and I’m so happy to be sharing with you again! • Edited to add my supplies: – Notebook: Nanami Seven Seas Crossfield, 1st edition (from nanamipaper.com) — The company that made this notebook doesn’t currently make this exact version; the 2nd edition Crossfield has a full grid instead of the tiny crosses (which were very similar to dot grid) of the 1st edition pictured here. – Pens: @staedtlermars Pigment Liners and Triplus Fineliners • • • • #bulletjournal #bulletjournaling #bulletjournalcommunity #bujo #bujocommunity #yearinpixels2017 #bulletjournallove #bulletjournaladdict #bulletjournalinspiration #moodtracker #plannerfun #greenishplanning #nanamipaper #tomoeriverpaper #staedtlertriplusfineliner #staedtlerpens #showmeyourplanner #bohoberrytribe #lifebyw

A post shared by Jady 🌱 Greenish Planning (@greenishplanning) on

The possibilities are endless. You can track how many hours you’ve slept, if you’ve taken your vitamins or medications, and so on. Now, on to how you can create your own bullet journal fitness tracker!

Bullet Journal Fitness Tracker Ideas

Most fitness goals often have something to do with exercise. After the binge eating celebrations of the holidays, a lot of us want to get back in shape once the new year kicks in.

Walking/ Jogging

One of the most common exercises is walking or jogging. In order to create a fitness tracker for your bullet journal for this specific exercise, you can track how many miles you’ve walked for the entire year. Set a goal and create a system to track how much of it you’ve achieved.

Workout

If you’ve got a workout regimen ready, a spread like this can help you keep track of the sequences (until you’ve got it all down, of course!) You can also see how many reps you need to do each time, and how you can progress as you get more used to the exercises.

Diet

If your fitness goals include a new diet regimen like Keto or Paleo, you can make a helpful list of which foods are recommended with the diet. You can also keep track of your meals to see how well you’re sticking to the diet (or straying off, no one’s judging).

Conclusion

Basically, with each part of your overall fitness goal, a tracker can be customized to go with it. A quick search on the internet can help you see if anyone has a format you can copy or base your own from. But if you’re a creative person, than you can whip up your own depending on your own specifications.

If you’re just starting out with a bullet journal, you don’t need to create a tracker or spread that looks as colorful or elaborate as the ones others post online. It’s your personal journal, so it can be as minimalistic or simple as you need it to be. It’s pretty understandable if you have a busy daily schedule.

Speaking of busy schedules, why don’t we just use an app, you ask? Since there are apps for practically everything nowadays, chances are there’s one for your goals, right?

While that’s true, it’s also true that some fitness tracking apps aren’t very customizable. Some of the features may also need to be purchased before you can get full access to the app to customize it better, and they may also be lacking for the exact things you need.

A bullet journal, on the other hand, can be crafted and edited to your heart’s desire. Plus, there’s a certain thrill to keeping a written log of your goals and coloring (or checking) each item as you achieve it. So if you’re still wondering if you need your own BuJo fitness tracker, the answer is YES! 

It’s super easy to get started with your own. All you’ll need is a blank notebook and a few colored pens/ pencils or markers.

Bullet Journal Fitness Tracker

I prefer using a dotted journal like the one that Scribbles That Matter have on Amazon (those cute color combinations makes me want to get one of each!).

They have a PRO version and a more laid back one with the titular scribbles right on the cover. The PRO cover is plain, but you can still get a taste of the scribbles on the back cover. Plus, there are pastel colors!

Other BuJo users also recommend a Moleskine or a Leuchtturm1917, and you don’t have to stick with dotted if you prefer a gridded, lined, or even blank notebook.

Jan 10

Forget the Latest Fad, Is a Mindful Eating Diet Right For You

By Jessica | 2 Week Diet

There’s always a hot diet everyone is talking about. Every year, sometimes every month, it seems like there is something new that is the “latest and greatest.” The problem is, these don’t always work for everyone.

The other problem is that it’s not always realistic to turn your life and routines on their head to lose weight. It’s no wonder people fail so often when these plans call for such drastic action.

Every season, men and women alike decide that they want to get in shape and change their ways for a more healthy lifestyle and more fit body. You may come across diets that involve rigorous structures and only allow certain foods, which can make it a bit daunting to start the diet in the first place.

One option to consider is a mindful eating diet – one that doesn’t specifically rule out any foods, making it an easier diet to follow if deprivation diets have let you down in the past.

Basic Principles of a Mindful Eating Diet

A mindful eating diet works off of the principle that you don’t have to stop eating the things you like in order to lose weight. Instead, the diet revolves around only eating when you really need to, as opposed to snacking constantly throughout the day or eating huge portions that go above and beyond what you really need.

While it’s very easy to snack on things like chips and candies throughout the day, it only adds empty calories and carbs. Typically, you would want to wait until you’re really hungry, and then eat a balanced and healthy meal.

You can also still eat unhealthy foods, like chips and candies, but just in smaller quantities. Instead of a whole bag of gummi candies, eat a single serving to go along with your meal.

If you’re still hungry and craving after that, you can always get more, but typically you won’t really be too hungry. Whenever you get the feeling that you might be hungry or even just want to eat, think about how hungry you really are at that moment.

Once you cross that line of needing some food, make the right choices and pick out your meal carefully. If you’re feeling like having some chips, check the serving size on the nutrition facts, and have just one or even one half of a serving.

By only eating when you’re really hungry, you cut back significantly on the amount of calories you take in, even if you’re eating unhealthy foods. This also means that you can spend more time doing things you enjoy, instead of just mindlessly eating.

By eating mindfully, you’re more aware of how much food you’re eating and what that food is. While eating mindlessly, like snacking while watching a movie or a TV show, it’s very easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.

There are some downsides to this diet, but there are way more positive aspects. For example, you may find it a bit more difficult eating in this new way, and have to teach yourself to not snack mindlessly.

However, the upside is that you can still have all of the foods that you like, just in more moderate quantities. Mindful eating has been proven to be an effective form of dieting, and is much better for beginners.

Since you don’t have to completely cut out any foods, you’re less likely to trail off from the diet due to cravings. There are no good foods or bad foods, and when you realize that nothing is off-limits, you aren’t as panicked wanting to binge on unhealthy foods – so it paves the way for better food choices.

Who a Mindful Eating Diet Works Best For

Mindful eating diets work really well for beginners or those who always fail to adhere to a deprivation or restrictive diet, because you don’t have to cut out food choices in your usual diet like you would with other stricter diets.

The hardest part of it is reversing the old habits you may have built up when it comes to mindlessly eating. You’ll have to actively think every time you eat and make sure you’re genuinely hungry, and if you’re not, make the decision to not eat until you are.

If you have a fair bit of time on your hands, then the mindful eating diet can work better for you. You have to forget about rushing through a meal and eat slower so that you can check your hunger cues.

You’ll be able to take time to prepare your meal when you’re hungry, and be able to wait and see if you’re still hungry after you eat. It’s recommended that you wait about 20 minutes after eating to see if you’re still hungry, because your body takes that much time to digest the food.

Mindful eating diets will allow you to get more acquainted with healthier foods, acting as a bit of a gateway into dieting. You’ll end up eating more healthy, low calorie food naturally because you’re still getting all the other foods you want that you previously considered a guilty indulgence – only in much smaller portions.

Fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein will help satisfy your hunger faster, allowing you to consume smaller portions. Mindful eating diets may not work as well with people who are very athletic, because they may need to eat even when they’re not hungry to fit in caloric and macromolecule goals.

People who don’t have a lot of time and have to eat a lot on the go may get frustrated with this diet as well, since they won’t be able to sit down and think about how hungry they are and if they really need to eat at that moment.

The mindful eating diet involves a lot of patience, so if you’re impatient, it might be worth checking out a different diet. If you’re very observant and patient and willing to take the time to understand your hunger cues, then this diet is definitely for you.

It takes willpower to be able to realize that you’re not hungry and then not eat until you really are. You’ll have to be able to say no to yourself when you want to snack or eat mindlessly, which isn’t an easy task.

Nonetheless, it’s entirely possible to do it successfully, so don’t get deterred. It will take some practicing, and you may slip once or twice, but once you get used to this diet, it will just come naturally.

How to Get Prepared for a Mindful Eating Diet

There are a few steps you can take to get yourself prepared for your mindful eating diet. These steps will make your transition to this new diet much easier, and make you more likely to succeed and not drop the diet.

If you try to just jump right into the diet without taking a few steps to ready yourself, you’ll find it to be pretty difficult and a very jarring transition. One step that you can take to get yourself ready is buying smaller portions of foods – especially those you love to eat that you deem “unhealthy.”

Instead of a large bag of chips, get individual portion sizes so that you become familiar with what a normal portion is. Get some healthier foods to balance it out, though, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and white meats.

Because no food is off limits, you’ll need to begin practicing how to balance the good with the “bad” so that you’re not living off of an unhealthy diet 24/7. You should also spend a few days before even making any changes to your diet just thinking about how hungry you really are while you eat.

The sooner you start taking note of things like this, the sooner you’ll get used to doing it naturally, making the whole diet a lot easier. Eat as you normally would, but just think about whether or not you’re really hungry when you eat – and to what point you eat, too – until you’re no longer hungry, or until you’re so stuffed that you’re miserable?

You’ll also want to get used to eating without doing something else at the same time. For example, you might be used to eating while watching TV, but that only leads to mindless eating, since you’re more focused on the TV than you are on how hungry you are.

Instead, try to get used to sitting down at a table and eating without any distractions. You’ll be much more observant about how much you’re eating and how hungry you really are, whereas if you were engrossed in a TV show, you could go through an entire large bag of chips without even realizing it.

It will also help if you roughly plan out your meals in advance. If you eat more on impulse, you’ll find that you end up eating more than you really should. Plan on eating a smaller sized meal, and then after you eat, wait before eating any more.

You can even prepare your smaller meals ahead of time and refrigerate them, so when you’re ready to eat them you can just microwave them. Try investing in smaller plates, too – more like the kid sized plates, bowls and cups.

This makes your brain think your plate is fuller, but the reality is, it’s a much smaller portion than you’re used to. It prevents you from overloading your plate with food your body isn’t truly hungry for.

Sample Meal Plan for a Mindful Eating Diet

One of the best parts about mindful eating is that you don’t have to follow an exact diet plan, with some foods being allowed and others not. While you should be incorporating more healthy foods, it’s not required with the mindful eating diet, since the whole point is just taking everything in moderation.

You can still have some dinners that aren’t that great for you, as long as you have less of it and only eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re no longer hungry (not until full).

When craving snacks – make sure that your body is genuinely hungry for it. It might just be a mental hunger or even mouth hunger, where your mouth is used to the habit of eating.

If you are truly hungry, you have options. You can have something you crave that’s unhealthy, but try to use a very small portion of it to take the edge off – and use healthier foods to fill the rest of that void.

For example, fruits are a really great mid-day snack. Whether it be bananas, apples, oranges, or any other fruit, they can stop your cravings and provide you with lots of nutrients.

You can also snack on peanuts, almonds, and other nuts, which are good sources of protein. You may also want to get foods that you can make in advance and refrigerate. For example, you can cook and store some chicken and vegetables.

Raw chicken is fairly cheap when bought in bulk, and it can be cooked in many different healthy ways for variety. You can pair the chicken with either cooked or raw vegetables, store it all in some plastic containers, and refrigerate it.

If you end up eating out at a restaurant, you can usually get to-go boxes that let you bring a good portion of your meal home. It’s very easy to overeat at restaurants, since they give you such large portions of food and you don’t want to waste it.

Always ask for a to-go container and only eat until you stop being hungry, rather than eating until you’re full. You can always put the food from the restaurant into the plastic containers to keep it fresh for a longer time.

The best kind of food to eat on a mindful eating diet is food that’s fresh and enjoyable – and full of flavor. You want to eat slowly when you eat mindfully because it takes time for your body to send the signal to your brain that you’re not hungry anymore.

You don’t want the kind of food that you scarf down quickly and eat a lot of, especially those that are high in calories and not filling. Ideally, when it comes to mindful eating, you would vary the sizes and contents of your meals according to what you felt like eating and how hungry you were at that time.

Don’t follow a structured schedule when it comes to meals, setting a time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While you don’t want to graze all day, learn how to be in tune with your body’s needs and eat only when true hunger strikes.

Tips to Increase Success on a Mindful Eating Diet

There are a few extra tricks that you can employ to increase your chance of success on the mindful eating diet. For example, it’s worth trying to keep a log of all the food that you eat.

When you eat mindlessly, you don’t realize how much you’re actually eating – especially since you don’t lay it all out at once before you eat it all. By keeping a log of what you eat and how much you’re eating, you can look back and see how much you’re really eating.

You don’t have to write it. You can create a private Instagram account and simply snap a picture you can look back on. You can even take 2 pictures per meal – a before and after, to see how much food you left on your plate.

Another good tip is to drink some water before you eat. The water will make you feel a bit fuller, making you want to eat less that you’ll usually want to. This also helps you get a good amount of water in your system, which will help you digest the food better.

Similarly, tea is a good thing to make and drink before eating or when you get the urge to snack when you’re not really hungry. Whenever you get the urge to snack without being hungry, work on a hobby that engages your mind and keeps your hands busy.

For example, you could mess around with some modeling clay or whittle some wood. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing as long as it takes your mind off of snacking. You should also avoid doing other things while you eat – unless you take time to stop periodically and assess your hunger cues, with 10 being miserably stuffed and 1 being starving.

If you’re watching TV shows, movies, reading, or doing anything else while you eat, you’re not going to be paying attention to how full you are or when you stop being hungry, leading to mindless eating.

Make eating more of an event by sitting down at a table and only focusing on eating food. This will make you much more conscious of what and how much you’re eating. Some have even recommended watching yourself eat in a mirror, which can really make you see how much food you’re eating.

You can also end up eating less if you slow down and enjoy your food more. Many people tend to eat very quickly, and don’t really realize how much they’re eating when they do that. Instead, chew each bite thoroughly.

This will not only make the food more enjoyable, but it will also give your body time to let your mind know if it’s hungry or not anymore. Finally, you should still eat some of the things you like and enjoy eating, even if it’s not healthy.

The hardest part of diets for everyone is the immediate switch in food choices, so if you don’t pull such a hard switch, you’ll find it much easier to stick with. You shouldn’t feel bad about eating, you should just be mindful of how much you’re eating and know when to stop.

If you think this sounds like something you want to try or at least learn more about, check out this link: Mindful Body Program

 

Jan 07

This is How to Reclaim and Restore Your Health with the 30 Day Paleo Challenge

By Jessica | 2 Week Diet

Sure, losing weight would be great. But wouldn’t also be great to feel healthy? What about actually having more energy? That would be awesome. Most diets I tried made me feel worse.

So what’s all the buzz about the 30 day Paleohacks Challenge? It’s about how to reclaim, restore and rejuvenate your health in 30 days or less. Let’s start with the basics, what is the paleo diet anyway? The paleolithic, or simply paleo diet – is a fairly popular diet which revolves around the concept of only eating foods that humans could’ve eaten in primal times, basically an all natural, no processed foods diet.

Basic Principles of a Paleo Diet

In a paleo diet, you can’t have any foods that prehistoric humans couldn’t have gotten. This means you can only have foods that are completely natural, either coming from animals or from plants and trees.

This diet has a lot of benefits to it. Since you’re cutting out processed and factory-made foods, you’re cutting out a ton of unhealthy foods from your diet. This alone will yield weight loss and health improvement results almost immediately. This is the foundation of the 30 Day Paleohacks Challenge .

Additionally, the lack of processed foods containing harmful ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup can lead to you having more energy and even an increased life span.

The paleo diet is supposedly how our bodies were meant to live, so we perform better on it. The meals you’ll eat on the paleo diet will leave you feeling more full, which helps prevent you from overeating, a major contributor to weight gain in the United States.

As long as you keep your portions controlled under this diet, you won’t be hungry, and you’ll be plenty satisfied. A paleo diet still allows you to have enough food options that you’ll never quite be bored of the meals, but is restrictive enough that you won’t be overwhelmed by options or be allowed to just go overboard.

No unhealthy food means you’re most likely going to lose weight, but just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean you can have as much of it as you want. For example, you can have just about as much broccoli as you’d like, which fits within the limits of the paleo diet.

However, if you were to eat an excessive amount of almonds, which is also allowed, you’d be taking in too many calories. One of the few drawbacks is that this diet can get to be a bit more pricey than a diet full of junk food.

Processed factory foods are often far cheaper than real natural foods, but there are a few ways around that if you know how to shop smart. However, the increased cost is worth it given the results.

The paleo diet can even help with inflammation pain, as naturally occurring foods like vegetables and fruits can help immensely with that. They contain all of the right nutrients to help your body fight disease, whereas the chemicals in factory foods can lead to increased risk of disease.

Are You Ready to Reclaim and Restore Your Health?

One of the hardest things about dieting and lifestyle change is staying motivated. It’s easy to go from gung ho New Year’s Resolution to complete defeat in a matter of a week. That’s what’s awesome about the 30 day challenge.

Most successful people will tell you that goals need to be well defined and they need to have time limits. You can’t just say, hey, I’m gonna lose weight this year. . .

It’s too broad. You lose focus and motivation too easily. That’s where the 30 day challenge kicks in. This will keep you focused and motivated to get you to the point where you see results and start feeling better.

If you think this sounds like something you want to try or at least learn more about, check out this link: 30 Day Paleohacks Challenge.

Everytime I want to do something, I put it off to “think about it.” By the time I decide two weeks later, I’m mad that I could have been making progress all that time. That’s especially true in this case, you could be halfway through in two weeks. So there’s no time like now to get started.

Jan 07

Get Heart Healthy and Lose Weight with the Mediterranean Diet

By Jessica | 2 Week Diet

If you’re tired of all the latest fad diets, but want to get serious about your health and losing weight, you should check out the Mediterranean Diet. Whenever you’re dieting for weight loss, it’s even better when there are additional health benefits. That’s what the Mediterranean diet brings to the table – a plethora of heart health benefits your body needs. The concept is derived from the eating habits and meal customs of the countries that are based around the Mediterranean Sea where the people enjoy olive oil, red wine, delicious vegetables and more.

On this particular diet plan, your cravings for sweets will dissipate and you’ll be able to enjoy a burst of energy because your blood sugar becomes more stabilized throughout the process.

Basic Principles of the Mediterranean Diet

This diet is proven to help reduce heart disease by helping you lower your LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol that accumulates in your arteries and causes blockages). The weight loss is a side benefit of following this diet, but it’s the primary reason why many people choose to follow it. In addition to heart health and weight loss, you also cut your risk of certain cancers and reduce the chance that you’ll suffer from dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

You’ll want to begin incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet and cut out processed foods like pasta and white rice. Whole grains are perfectly fine on this diet, and while you’ll be able to enjoy meat, it’s not the focus – plants are! When you do eat meat, make sure it’s heart-healthy fish or lean chicken. Red meat is okay, but it’s best to consume it in moderation. Forget about processed meats like bacon, sausage, or some sandwich meats. You want to make sure that you’re consuming plenty of produce throughout each day, about 9-10 servings per day – and start enjoying snacks of nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.

Your cooking habits might change a bit. Instead of cooking foods in a way that’s not healthy, you’ll be using olive or canola oils and naturally occurring herbs and spices to contribute flavor to the food – not salt. Can you drink milk or wine? Moderate wine (red) is acceptable, as are dairy products – but try to make sure it’s the low fat version. In other ways, you don’t want to eliminate fat from your diet – not healthy fat, that is.

Healthy fats like olives, avocados, and those found in nuts are beneficial for the body and won’t impede your weight loss efforts. They’ll also bring a lot of flavor to your meals and help you feel full, longer.

Who the Mediterranean Diet Works Best For

The Mediterranean diet plans work best for people who also want to reap the rewards of additional health benefits as they shed pounds. The way this diet works to promote better health is perfect for anyone who is borderline diabetic, has a family history of heart disease or who just wants to live a more natural life.

This is a plan that’s best created for people who have some time to meal prep or cook fresh food on a daily basis. Since most processed foods are the ones people choose for a chaotic, on the go lifestyle, this diet requires just the opposite. You’ll do well if you love vegetables and fruits. If your taste buds haven’t experienced produce in forever, it might be a drastic change for you to engage in right at first. But you can learn to prepare these foods in a delicious and healthy manner. If you’re a hardcore red meat eater who loves anything fried, then this diet might be a struggle for you. But if you’re a master on the grill, it might be the perfect pairing. Baking is also a wonderful talent to have when you’re following the Mediterranean Diet.

Activity-wise, it’s good either way. Those who are sedentary will do well on it because the diet doesn’t have a ton of foods high in carbs – besides fresh vegetables and fruit. But the active individuals will be able to enjoy the energy boost these foods give them, to help them maintain the go getter schedule they adhere to. Is this a good plan for the whole family? Yes! It’s not about weight loss. That’s a perk of being on this diet. It’s a meal plan that is heart-healthy and beneficial for the whole family – mom, dad, and kids alike!

If you’re the kind of person who can’t control portions or goes way overboard on calories, then this may not work as well for you as a stricter diet plan. With the Mediterranean Diet, they tell you what foods to eat, but the willpower to maintain normal portion sizes is up to you. You don’t have to worry about losing weight if you’re eating healthy fats. These are fats that actually work better to help you lose weight – not against you where you’re packing on the pounds.

It’s a good plan for anyone who wants some flexibility. It’s not foods that are eliminated, but more of a swap in the method of preparation. So instead of a chicken fried steak with cream gravy, you’d enjoy a lean filet mignon with fresh vegetables on the side. You’re still getting the same foods, but they’re prepared in a manner that’s better for your body. Grilled or steamed, baked or broiled. Not fried in unhealthy oils. This is more a matter of learning how to use foods to better your health than to use them against you.

How to Get Prepared for the Mediterranean Diet

Processed food is the enemy of success for this diet plan. You’ll want to spend some time and money stocking up on the freshest foods possible – along with some pantry staples such as herbs, spices and olive oil. Get a variety of flavors. With olive oil, you can get flavors like garlic, basil, lemon, Italian herb, fig, chili, orange, ginger, oregano, and even bay leaf. Get yourself a seasoning set so you can test out flavors such as cumin, rosemary, cinnamon, thyme and more. One of the best ways to prepare for the Mediterranean diet is to become familiar with how to cook a wide variety of vegetables to your liking. When you have a good grasp of how to prepare them, it makes it easy to save money.

Instead of being held hostage to the prices of the store, you’ll be able to amend your meal plan on the go whenever you spot a fabulous deal on a particular item in the produce section. Do some test runs on cooking meat in a healthier way if you’re used to deep frying and breading your meats. Try using the broiler or grilling the food and most importantly – learn which fish your palate likes and master the art of cooking it in line with the Mediterranean diet plan. If you like alcohol, make sure you have a variety of red wines available to pair with your menu options. Some non-alcoholic drinkers like to replace wine with red grape juice for the same great benefits.

Do you need a scale? The Mediterranean diet isn’t based on exact portions. You’re encouraged to watch your own hunger cues. But if it makes you feel better, then by all means get a food scale so you can measure the meats and other foods. You might want to get some Mediterranean cookbooks that align with how you like to eat. For example, if you’re a busy person, you might want to get a Mediterranean slow cooker cookbook so you can stick the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it prepare your meals for you by the time you get home. You can find smoothie recipes for the Mediterranean diet and get recipes for yummy desserts like biscotti, chocolate dipped fruits, baked fruits in wine sauce, grilled fruits and more.

You might be able to find some meal delivery services that specifically offer Mediterranean diet-friendly foods for their customers. The plan has such wide health appeal and is so popular that many companies offer it as a staple selection, so if you’re in a time crunch, ready to cook meals might be just the ticket to longevity with this diet.

Sample Meal Plan for the Mediterranean Diet

When you’re planning your meals, make sure you’re adhering to a natural foods premise. Fruits and eggs are great for breakfast – just make sure you’re cooking the eggs in olive oil. Omelets are a great options. You can load the eggs up with vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, onions and more – a Mediterranean-friendly breakfast choice. You can also make smoothies that are good for this diet plan.

Lunch and dinner can be similar, depending on whether you’re cooking at home, taking meal prep containers with you for lunch, or needing to pack more convenient foods. Some places, such as Starbucks, offer Mediterranean meals like the protein pack that are in line with this plan. If you’re cooking vegetables, make sure you add broccoli whenever possible. This vegetable curbs hunger and provides many nutritional benefits. You can sauté some green vegetables in olive oil with something to flavor it – like garlic. Or roast some red peppers for a bright, flavorful addition.

Choose whole grains to cook with – such as brown rice or quinoa. Making pasta meals is fine, but try to make the meal a healthy version and not one loaded with melted cheese and high fat meats. In fact, meat like fish and chicken are great to have frequently, but if you like red meat, cut down on that and only eat it in moderation, such as a couple of times per week for optimal health.

If you’re eating salads, don’t be shy about sprinkling nuts or seeds over the top. Greek salads are different from a typical lettuce-based salad. They sometimes include tomatoes, beans, cheese, olives, cucumbers, and onions and is drizzled with olive oil. Even pizza isn’t off limits! Pizza made with fresh ingredients is a healthy option – especially the heart healthy tomato sauce. One thing many dieters appreciate about this meal plan is that bread is not off limits.

You can have bruschetta, which is a delicious mix of the bread, topped with tomato, basil and garlic to flavor it. You can also have dips made from fava beans or hummus made from chickpeas and a few flavor additions. If you’re in the mood to snack, choose Greek yogurt – or make a nice plate of raw fruits, vegetables and healthy nuts. Anything natural that hasn’t been processed is usually a good option, but just eat enough to take your hunger away and no more. With all of your meals, keep them fresh and steer clear of drowning the nutrients out with creams and sauces – or cooking them in a manner that depletes the produce from maintaining its health benefits.

Tips to Increase Success on the Mediterranean Diet

Whenever you’re cooking, or planning a meal, look at each individual ingredient and ask yourself if it’s natural or processed. If it’s a processed food, like butter, figure out a comparable, Mediterranean friendly swap – such as olive oil. Look at the plate as you prepare it. Is it bland looking? Mediterranean meals are often vibrant, so the person eating it gets a wide array of produce, which delivers maximum health benefits.

Check to make sure you’re using whole grains in everything – including bread. You can enjoy bread and dip it into a flavored olive oil as a snack. This is delicious and filling, and helps you lose weight as long as you don’t overdo it. Make sure you’re not avoiding fat. It’s easy, on a diet to lose weight, to get the mindset where you want to avoid anything that even remotely resembles something you’re trying to lose – but this type of healthy fat can assist you in shedding pounds.

You have a wide variety of foods you can enjoy on this diet plan, so enjoy them! Try tons of foods you’ve never sampled before – or even heard of before. Get a recipe for it, buy the ingredients and go for it. Use the Greek habit of creating mezzes, which are little plates that almost create a sampling of appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. You can put things like your favorite nuts, green or black olives, and even cheeses. Make sure that first and foremost, you’re relaxing and enjoying your new Mediterranean way of eating. The natural fats will help you feel full, faster, but you still have to slow down and savor each bite so that you don’t go overboard.

If you’re doing this for weight loss, you’ll likely be tracking your weight on a regular weigh-in basis. But it might be helpful to track other elements of your health such as your cholesterol and triglycerides, too. You should notice a remarkable change in the numbers and the boost of confidence you’ll get, knowing you’re on the track to overall better health, will assist you in sticking to the program for a long period of time. The best part is, since the fat is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, you probably won’t be craving sweets anymore. Your energy will level off, rather than spiking and crashing throughout the day because your blood sugar will stabilize.

The Mediterranean diet is also easy to amend while eating out at restaurants. Simply ask the kitchen to prepare your foods in the way that you want them, and avoid menu options such as breaded meats and dishes with heavy creams and sauces in them.

Jan 07

Here’s How to Start Your New Year with a Low Fat Diet

By Jessica | 2 Week Diet

With all the talk of High Fat/Low Carb diets, people may have forgot that you can lose weight by cutting the fat in your diet instead of increasing it. Some may have also forgot that cutting fat can be very healthy. A low fat lifestyle can cut your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary disease, cancer and stroke. Unlike other popular diet plans that are complicated and time-consuming, the Low Fat Diet is easy to follow and beginners can adapt quickly.

Some researchers say that the low fat diet is better than the low carb diet for reducing body fat and losing weight. Others say a low carb diet is better for losing weight – and in recent years the low or no carb diet plans have been the trend.

You can easily research these two diet plans along with others you think you might want to try and decide which is best for you.

Basic Principles of a Low Fat Diet

Some research indicates that a low fat diet plan leads to more fat loss and eventual weight loss – and that a low carb diet leads to fast weight loss. Fat loss has proven to be best for your health and is best for obese men and women.

The low fat diet plan encourages exercise to help you lose weight and be able to keep it off. Your energy comes from both burning fat and carbs and both depend on the hormone insulin for a good balance.

A good hormonal balance ensures that your metabolism burns more fat, lowers your insulin levels and causes you to eat less. Researchers in one study noted that the low fat diet resulted in more body fat lost than a low carb diet when it was tested calorie-for-calorie.

When you choose the low fat diet, you’ll be restricting fat and saturated fats, plus cholesterol. Preventing heart disease and obesity is the main focus for the low fat diet. By reducing the fat in your diet, you’ll naturally cut calories, too.

By going low-fat in your diet plan, you’ll be able to eat more food than when your diet was high in fats. Limiting fat intake to 35% of the total number of calories you consume in a day can prevent obesity and control saturated fats.

The low-fat diet includes more carbohydrates than the low-carb diet, so the calories add up easily and you might find yourself gaining weight if you don’t watch the calorie count. The promise of a low-carb diet plan is that you can eat foods high in fat.

Low carb can be much more difficult to keep weight off because you eventually want to eat fruit and other great-tasting, high carb foods. Reducing the fat in your diet means you’re reducing calories, so weight loss will occur.

Most diet plans are based on reducing calories, so other plans can be just as effective as the low fat diet for losing weight. One of the huge benefits of the low fat diet is that you’ll help prevent heart disease and lower your total and LDL cholesterol because you won’t be consuming foods with saturated fats.

Who a Low Fat Diet Works Best For

A low fat diet is especially good for very overweight or obese people who need to embark on a healthy diet that reduces fat in the body and helps regulate the metabolism.

This is a diet plan that can be followed for the long term because followers are usually happy with taste, are satisfied by the amount of food that can be consumed – and, it’s a practical diet that doesn’t require a lot of unusual ingredients.

Also, if you’re at high risk for coronary disease, stroke or the many other problems that can be caused by too much body fat, this could be the diet plan for you. The low fat diet is also a healthy plan, requiring that you change your lifestyle to consuming low fat foods that can keep you on track.

If your main focus is to lose weight, almost any type of diet will work. But if your objective is to lose weight, eat healthy and keep the weight off, the low fat diet may be able to generate results.

If you’re not willing to give up high fat foods such as donuts, cookies, other types of sweets and fatty meats and starches, this diet may not be for you. But, if your cholesterol is elevated you could be at risk for a stroke because of the plaque in your arteries.

The low fat diet limits the percentage of calories you consume from fat and also limits the sodium, dietary cholesterol and total calories. Many have complained that the low fat diet is bland – but it doesn’t have to be.

There are many ways to spice up your food without adding fat calories. Snacking between meals is also discouraged unless you snack on veggies or other low or no-fat foods.

Keep in mind that the foods must also be healthy for you. Some foods that tout low fat may be processed and considered unhealthy. The low fat diet won’t necessarily help you lose weight fast, but it will immediately make an impact on your health. Eventually, you will lose the weight you desire and you’ll be living a healthy lifestyle.

How to Get Prepared for a Low Fat Diet

There are good and healthy fats that you need in your diet and then there are the high fat foods that can put your health at risk. On the low fat diet plan, you need to familiarize yourself with the foods you can cook with and consume without adding fat to your diet.

If you cook with cooking oils that contain saturated fats, change to heart-healthy canola oil. Choose extra-lean meat when purchasing beef, pork or chicken breasts and then trim the meat to remove any extra fat.

Since you can bake, braise, poach, grill, broil, slow cook and microwave foods, you may want to purchase items that you can use for some of those cooking techniques. Be sure to read labels for the calorie amount. Some calorie-rich foods are labeled low-fat.

Healthy carbs can be consumed on the low-fat diet because high carb foods can sometimes trigger hunger. Make sure you choose healthy carbs such as fruit and whole-grains. Again, be aware of calories.

Plan your meals so that you have about as much time when not eating as when you’re sitting down to a meal. Your body will get used to the routine and it will serve to balance hormones.

You can prepare low fat dishes as easily as high fat dishes by following simple cooking conversions. There are lots of online cooking conversion charts you can use at a quick glance.

Measuring spoons, cups and other types of tools for cooking is important for you to have available in your kitchen to take the guesswork out of calorie and fat consumption. If you’re a busy person, you won’t lack for low-fat meals you can just pop in the microwave.

Learn how to read food labels. It’s essential for you to know the exact amount of fat in the product you’re purchasing. For example, extra lean or lean is used for meat such as poultry, seafood, game meat and meat.

Raw food that has never been frozen, cooked and contains no preservatives can be classified as fresh. Low on a food label might refer to calorie, cholesterol, fat, sodium and saturated fats.

Stay committed to a low fat diet plan and you’ll derive the benefits that it can provide such as good health, prevention of chronic diseases, gaining control of your life and losing weight.

After awhile, you will have more energy and self-confidence. Low fat is a lifestyle that you can easily adapt to if you prepare ahead of time and search for low fat options in the supermarket.

Sample Meal Plan for a Low Fat Diet

You don’t have to give up your favorite foods because you’re on a low fat diet. There are ways to reduce the fat without diminishing flavor. For example, lower the fat content in a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich by trimming the fat on the bacon, use more lettuce and tomato and use mayonnaise that is fat-free.

Breakfast should always be a main meal on a low fat diet so you won’t lose steam in mid-morning. Use eggs and egg whites to make a great omelet with your favorite veggies and little or no butter.

Another healthy breakfast might consist of ¾ of a cup of oatmeal, orange juice, a banana and coffee. There’s hardly any saturated fat and as an extra bonus, all of the items can lower LDL because of the soluble fiber it contains.

Lunch can be quite filling with a Caesar salad made with egg substitutes and fat-free Parmesan cheese. Tacos or fajitas can be tasty items that you can take to work when you prepare ahead of time.

Use fat-free flour tortillas, lean flank steak – or beans – and lots of peppers and onions. Try ½ of a tuna sandwich made with light mayo, lettuce and tomato, a cup of low-sodium vegetable soup and an apple for a great brown-bag lunch that contains only 7.5 grams of fat.

Dinner can be very satisfying and tasty when you prepare ahead. You can prepare casseroles ahead of time and use trimmed, lean meat, reduced amounts of cream or cheese and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

Add lots of veggies, beans, grain, rice or pasta to the casserole for texture and taste. After dinner, enjoy a piece of fruit (but watch the calories) or a dessert made with low-or no-fat products.

Rather than preparing pasta dishes using high-fat cream, cheese sauce and meat, use pasta primavera or pasta marinara. Cream sauce could be made with skim milk, fat-free cottage cheese and sour cream and add a fat-free Parmesan cheese for a topping.

Give up unhealthy snacks such as potato chips or candy bars and snack on low-fat microwave popcorn and/or baby carrots. Snacking between meals can ruin your diet plans, so avoid the vending machine in favor of low-calorie, low-fat snacks.

Low calorie meal and snack alternatives can provide lots of ideas for revamping your favorites. Also, consider minerals and vitamins when preparing meals. Many foods contain calories from fat and sugar, but have very few vitamins and minerals.

Today, we can choose from many low-fat or no-fat substitutes as ingredients for many dishes. And, non-stick cookware can keep you from having to use oil for sautéing – or try the many varieties of olive oil and no-stick sprays.

Tips to Increase Success on a Low Fat Diet

The best ways to reduce fat and calories in a low-fat diet and achieve the success you want lies in the preparation process. By using some low-fat or no-fat substitutes in your favorite recipes you can eat more of the dish without the fatty side effects.

So many products on the market today can help you along with your low-fat diet plan. Low-fat mayonnaise, non-hydrogenated items and other substitutions for high-fat options are great choices to keep you from feeling deprived.

Avoid convenience items that may contain a high amount of fat and processed ingredients. When purchasing meat, always look for lean – and limit your red meat intake to no more than three times per week.

Dried beans, tofu, peas and lentils are great meat substitutes. You should also limit the amount of egg yolks you use to three or four a week. Always choose non or low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Other options for dairy include fat-free cream cheese and sour cream.

Use spices and herbs for flavoring to keep you from missing the fat that makes many dishes tastier. Use lots of veggies, rice and beans for meals and avoid recipes that require the use of a deep-fat fryer.

Our busy lives don’t always leave time to prepare dinner. During those times, choose low-fat frozen dinners or make extra when you cook and freeze some of your own dishes ahead of time.

For a delicious and light dressing for your salads, simply squeeze lemon juice, add a bit of vinegar of mist some olive oil on the veggies. When you’re cooking pastries, use Phyllo Dough for pies, tarts and turnovers.

Learn what your trigger foods are and avoid them. Trigger foods make you crave high-fat foods and can slow down your progress on the low-fat diet. Also, know what are your buffer foods are.

For example, to ward off cravings you may enjoy a couple of squares of dark chocolate in the afternoon rather than a high-fat snack. Using a fat-free chicken broth in your recipes like soups, gravy and mashed potatoes adds taste without adding lots of calories and fat.

Season French fries and bake them in the oven rather than frying them in oil. You can enjoy a glass of red wine in the evening. It’s full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and can actually help your heart by increasing HDL – the good cholesterol.

It’s all in moderation – and calorie counting. Exercise is a big part of any diet plan and you should know that some forms of exercise may serve to make you hungry while others have little effect.

Sleep and stress may also affect your weight loss and health plan. Be aware of your body and what it’s telling you about exercise, sleep and stress and discover how your lifestyle is affecting your eating habits and weight gain.

Your lifestyle greatly affects your metabolism and how your body reacts to the low-fat diet, so pay attention to your actions and preferences.

Jan 07

This is How the Blood Sugar Diet Can Help You Lose Weight and Be Healthier

By Jessica | 2 Week Diet

It’s hard to keep up with all the latest diets. Especially if you have other health concerns like type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. In that case, you need to know that a diet will help you lose weight and stay healthy. Today we’re going to check out the “Blood Sugar Diet” and look at whether its a good fit for you.

Taking control of your health by losing weight and feeling good are the main objectives of most diet plans. Everyone is different, so one particular diet won’t work for all of us. Many diets are followed for awhile and then dropped – causing more weight gain.

If you’re struggling with being overweight, tummy fat or type 2 diabetes, the Blood Sugar Diet may be the one that works best for you. Other diets may concentrate on weight loss through low carbohydrates, high protein or other methods.

Clinical trials have shown that The Blood Sugar Diet can greatly improve or reverse type 2 diabetes or prediabetes – and it’s the first diet to achieve that important goal. Research various diets yourself and choose one that you think would best work for you.

Basic Principles of a Blood Sugar Diet

Years of research has occurred to formulate the Blood Sugar Diet and the results have been amazing for those who have type 2 diabetes, prediabetes or those who simply want to have and maintain good health.

The Blood Sugar Diet is based on the popular and successful Mediterranean style diet plan. There are fewer refined and starch-based carbohydrates because these elements quickly transform to sugar in the blood.

Instead, this diet promotes a variety of colorful vegetables – lots of greens – and protein. Healthy fats like avocados and olive oil and unsweetened, plain yogurt are also on the list.

Not only can you lose up to 15% of your body weight in only eight weeks, but you’ll learn healthy eating habits that will help you reach your weight loss goals and keep the weight off.

The diet adheres to the theory that when you replace meals with bars and diet shakes, you don’t learn new eating habits that will keep your weight off and keep you healthy. You’ll just go back to the same meals, processed foods and those containing too much fat and gain even more weight as a result.

The biggest draw to the Blood Sugar Diet is that it can reverse some types of diabetes – and the evidence is there to prove it. You’ll learn that it isn’t the calories or portions that matter as much as it is learning a new way to eat.

It’s a formula for a healthy life. Your body controls your blood sugar levels and may become a serious problem if your level is too low or too high. In type 2 diabetes, blood sugar can no longer be controlled by the body.

Many young people are falling prey to this disease and they don’t seek help because they don’t realize they have it. The main objective of the Blood Sugar Diet is to get control of your blood sugar levels.

When that happens, you will lose weight rapidly and reach your goals faster than ever before.

Who a Blood Sugar Diet Works Best For

Anyone who has a problem or anticipates a future problem with blood sugar levels – particularly diabetes – can benefit from this diet plan. Since it’s based on the Mediterranean diet plan, you’ll get lots of fresh vegetables and a very healthy meal plan.

You may already have higher blood sugar levels than normal or have a history of diabetes (or raised lipids) in your family tree. Your waist line and tummy may be expanding, indicating that you’re storing excess weight around your internal organs.

Symptoms of unbalanced blood sugar include feeling thirsty, passing an excess amount of urine, cuts or scraps that are difficult to heal and feeling very fatigued most of the time.

The only reliable way to test your blood sugar is to have a blood test. Most people are unaware of raised blood sugar levels and only find out when they hear the doctor’s diagnosis and some damage has already been done.

If you need to lose weight (especially if you’re obese) or suspect you might develop diabetes, this diet plan is perfect for you. Be prepared for spending quite a bit of time required in the kitchen for prepping.

Chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients and sometimes weighing them and discovering new spices to make the food interesting can be time-consuming, but the results are delicious.

Although you won’t likely have hunger pangs on the Blood Sugar Diet, you might become bored with the plan. Since there’s no flexibility allowed, you might find it difficult to socialize at lunch or dinner at a restaurant since most meals would put you way above your daily allowance.

The Blood Sugar Diet doesn’t use low calorie shakes, but instead, advocates fresh and healthy foods to create meals from. The results for weight loss tend to be the same as meal replacement and the results are also proven to be healthier.

If you’re concerned about your health and blood sugar levels, this diet will work for you. If you simply want to lose weight you may want to check out other diet plans that are more acceptable to your lifestyle.

How to Get Prepared for a Blood Sugar Diet

Part of the preparation for the Blood Sugar Diet is to clear your pantry and refrigerator of all sugary, high-carbohydrate and processed foods that contain hidden sugars. You’ll want to find the nearest farmer’s market because you’ll want to eat fresh from now on.

Meals should be planned a week ahead of time to prevent last minute chaos and the possibility of going off the diet. You can find online sites that provide meals and ingredients for each week.

Some sites also include shopping lists so you can print it off and take it to the supermarket with you. Of course there will be foods you don’t like and in those cases you’ll need to substitute another meal and ingredients.

You can even find websites that will let you tweak the meals and ingredients so when you print the list out, it will be exactly what you need. Be prepared to spend a bit more to purchase ingredients for meals on the Blood Sugar Diet.

Fresh, organic and sugar-free foods cost less than sugar-laden and processed foods. You’ll likely have lots of leftovers which you can freeze and use on another day. You may also want to purchase pre-sliced or pre-packed fresh items in smaller quantities rather than a whole item.

For example, you can purchase vegetables already cut and in small containers rather than an entire vegetable. If you do find yourself with lots of leftover ingredients, consider preparing meals ahead of time and freezing them. It will save money and time.

Check out mail order or home delivery diet plans. Some have menus and ingredients specifically planned to be low-carbohydrate and low calorie. It may save you time in the kitchen and help you stay on the diet.

Kitchen gadgets help save you time during food prep and you might consider adding some to your kitchen when you begin preparation for this diet plan. You can get tools for blending, chopping and slicing and also those that make food more attractive (such as the tool that can julienne vegetables).

A food processor can make you look like a gourmet cook and can speed up the task of chopping, slicing and blending vegetables. It’s an investment that you’ll never regret and wish you had gotten sooner.

There are also mini-processors that are great for prepping smaller amounts of food – like chopping garlic, herbs and nuts. They’re great little tools and don’t take up a lot of room in your cabinet or countertop.

A box grater has been a staple in kitchens for a long time. Shredding and grating cheese, apples, zucchini, cucumber and carrots is easy and fast. The various holes in the gadget can be used for various ways you want to prepare the food.

Another must-have when preparing meals for the Blood Sugar Diet is the bench scraper. It’s usually used by bakers to scrape dough, but it works brilliantly for scooping up chopped veggies. It makes the kitchen cleanup fast and easy.

Anytime you embark on a new diet plan, there are ingredients and preparation techniques to learn and get used to. Eventually, you won’t have to think so much about the process and be able to prep in a flash.

Sample Meal Plan for a Blood Sugar Diet

Getting your blood sugar under control to prevent diabetes and other diseases can make a big difference in how you feel. The meals on the Blood Sugar Diet are designed to meet the need to stabilize your blood sugar, help you lose weight and give you more energy.

Some breakfast meals that are recommended on this diet include a vegetarian omelet made with fresh eggs and a variety of vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, onions or mushrooms. Be sure and sauté the veggies before adding them to your omelet.

Another good choice for breakfast would be a veggie frittata. Use any fresh vegetables such as squash, spinach or broccoli (use leftover vegetables if possible) to whip up a simple, but delicious frittata to get you off to a good start in the morning.

A Mediterranean salad bowl can be prepared ahead of time for lunch and give you all the nutrition you need for a balanced diet. Quinoa, cucumber, olives, tomato, hummus, red onion and olive oil can all be tossed in a bowl and eaten for nutritious and filling lunch.

Pizza rollups can be put together quickly and packed for a busy day’s lunch. Tortillas, tomato paste, black olives, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves can be mixed and spread over flour tortillas. Roll them up and cut them in ½ or 1 inch spirals.

Chicken and sage risotto is a hearty and delicious dinner meal that the entire family will enjoy. Cook onion and red pepper in low fat chicken broth and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” and add rice and garlic.

Then, add Arborio rice and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the cooked chicken at the end and you have a great dinner. Pair it with a salad and low-fat vinaigrette and you’ll have a dinner meal that will be asked for time and again.

Greek-style pasta is a real people-pleaser and simple to prepare. Combine tomatoes, feta, olives, spices and salt and pepper in a bowl and chill while cooking some penne pasta. Drain the pasta when done — then, heat the garlic with olive in the same pan.

Add the pasta, chilled veggies and toss. Greek-style pasta is an attractive and delicious dish to serve company. You can also add a salad made with a variety of greens to round out the meal.

Snacks for the Blood Sugar Diet might include chickpeas that have been roasted with sea salt and Tamari. Chickpeas are a staple of a vegetarian diet because it provides protein that is often lost on a vegetarian or Mediterranean diet.

Another choice for a snack could include roasted cauliflower. It can also be used for a side dish with a main meal – and it’s so easy. First, cut the cauliflower in bite-sized pieces and then toss with olive oil just until the pieces are lightly coated.

Sprinkle some salt and fresh-ground black pepper, add parmesan cheese and toss again. Place cauliflower pieces in a large casserole dish so it’s in a single layer and roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook another 15 minutes.

You’ll be eating fresh and healthy foods on the Blood Sugar Diet but you can add lots of twists to the recipes so it will never be boring.

Tips to Increase Success on a Blood Sugar Diet

There are many tips to ensure success on the Blood Sugar Diet. One thing to avoid on this diet is “diet products.” These items often contain sweeteners or sugar which keeps your hunger cues active.

Soups are especially healthy and can rapidly fill you up. They’re also inexpensive and practical. You can make a large pot of soup, freeze some and eat the rest throughout the week.

Rather than using starchy and high-carb potatoes at meals and in recipes, try using grated cauliflower. Cook or steam it for a few minutes, then mash it and serve rather than mashed potatoes. Cauliflower can also be used instead of rice.

Flavor boosters such as mustard, chili, lemon, pepper, garlic and many herbs can make any dish tastier. You won’t be adding as many calories, but you will get lots of taste. You can change your old recipes into more blood sugar friendly ones.

Another way to ensure you stay on the plan until your desired weight is achieved and your blood sugar is balanced is to join an online forum. These social online gatherings can encourage you to keep on and can provide lots of tips from those who have already been through it.

You don’t have to cook complicated meals when you follow the Blood Sugar Diet. You can poach or boil eggs and add mushrooms and spinach for breakfast or lunch. A grilled piece of chicken or fish is great for dinner with a simple salad.

As with most diets, the Blood Sugar Diet requires that you drink lots of water. If you become bored with that, try infusing some fruits and vegetables in the water – or, add a sliced cucumber or lemon to the water.

When you first embark on this diet plan, you may crave carbs, but hang in there – in a few days those cravings will subside. You’ll soon begin to enjoy the effects of the Blood Sugar Diet by realizing a balanced blood sugar level and also begin to restore your energy level.

Nov 21

7 Diet Hacks to Beat Down Your Mental Roadblocks to Weight Loss

By Jessica | 2 Week Diet

You know the drill. This $!?# is hard!

Another diet, another war with your toughest enemy: Your mind.

Totally unfair fight, because your brain knows what you’re thinking before you do! Well, if your brain’s not gonna fight fair, why should you?

That’s why you need these 7 hacks to beat down those mental monsters in your head.

If you were to spend two minutes on Google researching statistics on how many people fail at trying to lose weight, or sticking to their diets or achieving the body that they want, you would be surprised.

The current stats show a 95% to 99% range of failure.

That means that the majority of people are destined to fail at it. This may be a little shocking… or it may not.

There is a reason why the weight loss industry is a billion dollar one. Every month, new weight loss pills with bold claims, snazzy marketing and attractive packaging hit the market.

People flock to purchase these ‘miracles in a bottle’ hoping to shed the stubborn pounds that keep fighting the good fight and winning.

Yet, as usual, the pills don’t work. Results never appear and the jaded folk look towards the next shiny solution that will melt their flab.

The question one should ask is, “Why are most people failing to lose weight?”

After all, they start out with the best intentions. They promise themselves to be determined and stay the course. They actually take action and change their diets. Many drop a chunk of cash on a gym membership that will supposedly get them the body they’ve always desired…

And despite all these positive actions, they FAIL.

Why?

The answer is simple. Losing weight is a mind game.

Not a physical one. If you change your mind, you WILL change your body… but they never really change the way they think. And that’s why they fail.

You’re probably thinking, “So what does that really mean? What is a mind game?”

It means that your weight loss comes down to the decisions you make on a daily basis. Successful weight loss comes about through a sum of small efforts multiplied by time.

This is where most people trip up. They do not last the distance. They sabotage themselves along the way and when progress is slow to come, they beat themselves up over their lack of progress.

Finally, they decide that it’s all too difficult and they’re just not capable of it. They resign themselves to their fate of being overweight or obese… and they quit. The biggest tragedy of all – most people quit within a month.

But you’re not going to do that. No, not you. You’re better than that. You are going to develop the mindset that will take you from flab to fab. You’ll not stop till you get there… and if you understand the points below, get there you will.

1. “Does It Hurt Me Or Help Me?”

Before you make any decision that affects your weight loss journey, this is the first question you need to ask yourself. This question alone, is enough to make you think before you act.
If you see a donut in the office pantry, before you chomp down on it like a starving alligator, ask yourself, “Will it hurt me or help me?”

Common sense will indicate that the extra calories from consuming that donut will affect your weight loss adversely. It’s not something you should be eating… and here you are salivating and contemplating not realizing that you are about to hurt yourself.

Now that you’ve asked the question, it’s time to run for the door. Don’t do what hurts you.
The same applies to your workout sessions. Will skipping one hurt you? Of course it will. Your progress will be slowed down and there will be the niggling feeling in your heart that you did not keep your promise to yourself.

Your metabolism for that day will not be elevated and you’ll not be in fat burning mode. Your action or lack of it will hurt you. So, get the workout over and done with.

While training, are you tempted to take things easy and not push yourself? Does the idea of panting from exertion and perspiring profusely make you balk?

Good questions… but they’re irrelevant. The only one that matters is if it will hurt you to slack off on your workout. Yes, it will. Case closed. Do your best until you are a sweaty heap of exhaustion. Sweat is just your fat crying.

Like the Navy Seals say, “No one ever drowned in sweat!”
As long as you proactively ask yourself this question and do what helps you, your progress will be accelerated.

Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.
Help yourself. You’re all you’ve got when it comes to losing weight.

2. “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard…”

Yard by yard, life is hard. This is a very simple concept that the majority of people fail to grasp. Losing weight is a marathon and not a sprint. Most people gain the weight gradually over a long time. Just like how it took you a while to gain the weight, it will take you a while to lose it.

If you think that you can lose all your excess pounds within 2 weeks or a month, you’re almost certain to fail in your weight loss journey. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment and unnecessarily stressing yourself.
You want to make it easy on yourself by making small positive changes over time. If you drink 2 sodas a day, drop it to 1 and a half cans for a week, then 1 can a week and slowly eliminate it totally from your diet.

If you decide to go cold turkey and cut out sodas completely from your diet, you’re constantly going to be craving for it. Some people make it even worse by drinking water with lemon slices as a replacement for the old habit. They hate the taste of it and gag half the time while they’re fighting the urge to just drink the soda.

The goal here is to go slow. You do not want to do it all at once. We are creatures of habit. It takes time to break habits. Foods containing sugar are highly addictive. So is junk food and oily food. Your body craves these foods to feel satiated and happy.

By totally cutting them out in a misguided attempt at life transformation, you’re making your body and yourself unhappy. It’s just too much too soon. In most cases, sooner or later you’ll give in to temptation and binge on the very foods you’re supposed to avoid.

Asking yourself if it will help or hurt you will be pointless here. Your cravings will be too strong and you’ll cave in. The end result is that you’ll feel like you’ve failed yourself and you just don’t have the determination to stay the course.

This is what happens to most people who try to do too much too soon. Once they feel like they’ve failed themselves, they experience a sense of regret and guilt and worthlessness. The goal seems beyond their abilities and they throw in the towel without realizing that they are their only opponent.

Make slow, measurable progress over reasonable time. Slow and steady will make your journey easier and you will reach your destination.

3. Willpower isn’t your friend

This point ties in closely with the earlier one. We live in a day and age where there is so much talk about being disciplined and determined in order to succeed. Much emphasis is placed on willpower.
If you give in to temptation, you’re deemed weak and lack focus. When it comes to weight loss, you want to eliminate willpower from the equation as much as possible. It sounds counterintuitive but it works.

What does that mean?

If you’re trying to eat clean, you need to remove all unhealthy foods from your refrigerator if you have a sweet tooth. You need to avoid going to the bar with friends if there’s alcohol going to be served and you love your drinks.
It is arrogant to assume that you’ll have the willpower to say no and be true to your diet. Have you ever noticed that most people binge eat late in the day or at night?

There’s a reason for this. Every day when we wake up, we have a certain amount of energy for the day. As we go through the day, our energy stores get depleted. Willpower requires energy. When it’s early in the day, you’ll have the strength to say no to temptations that come your way.

However, by the end of the day, when you’re exhausted after a day’s work or a hard workout and you’re sitting on the couch watching TV… and a little thought creeps into your head telling you that there’s a tub of cookies and cream ice-cream in the fridge whispering your name, it will be extremely difficult to say no. And the whispering will get louder.

You can bet on that. You’re tired and you just do not have the energy to summon up enough willpower to say no. Next thing you know, the tub of ice-cream is all eaten and you go to bed feeling like a fat loser.

This could have been avoided if there was no ice-cream around.
No temptation = no willpower required.

The same applies to everything else.

Finish up your workouts early in the day. You might not have the energy to force yourself to hit the gym after work. Make things as easy as possible for you to follow through. You do not want to give yourself obstacles to cross. Losing weight is tough enough as it is.

4. Don’t Reward Yourself With Food

Don’t… just don’t. You only reward pets with food. It’s a common practice for people to have a cheat day every few days. This cheat day is like a reward for the hard work endured during the previous few days.

What many people don’t know is that one cheat day can undo 5 days or even a week’s worth of working out. Let’s assume that you lost about 3,000 calories over 4 days… and on your fifth day (cheat day), you decide to ‘reward’ yourself for your hard work.

And this is what you eat for the day:

* 2 Pancakes with maple syrup – 520 calories
* 2 Slices pizza (14″ regular crust) – 570 calories
* 1 Can of coke – 140 calories
* 1 Big Mac – 563 calories
* 1 Fries – 510
* 2 Scoops chocolate ice-cream – 530
* 3 Glasses of Vodka Red Bull – 558

Of course, one does need to party with the friends to celebrate a little. The above scenario is not exaggerated. In fact, it’s a very modest estimate. Many people eat way more than this because they feel entitled to reward themselves for their hard work.

That’s a total of 5,694 calories. If your daily calorie requirement is 2200 calories, you’ve just consumed an excess of 3,494 calories. That exceeds whatever you lost and you actually added an extra 494 calories.

Where are these calories going to end up? Back on your belly, waist and everywhere else. And people wonder why they don’t lose weight… or worse still… they gain a pound or two despite all their efforts.

This mindset will sabotage your weight loss progress greatly… and you may wonder why the weight on the scale just doesn’t seem to change.

It’s fine to have a cheat meal or indulge in some of the foods you love every now and then, but don’t go overboard. Don’t cause your blood sugar to spike and raise the insulin levels in your body. This will cause weight gain. Reward yourself with a movie or some new clothes… or something that you long for, as long as it’s not food.

5. Observe Your Patterns

Every one of us has certain behavioral patterns that we follow innately. It’s your job to understand yourself. If you notice that you feel great working out early in the morning, stick to it instead of working out at different times.

If you have food cravings whenever you watch TV late in the day, it’s best to avoid TV and go to bed early. By knowing yourself, you’ll know what suits you best. You do not need to do what everyone else is doing. Some folks may swear by a run in the morning, but if you hate waking up early you’d be better off doing a high intensity cardio session in the afternoon. Don’t work against yourself.

6. The Road Is Not Straight

This is something you should sear into your mind. The weight loss journey is not linear. It is very common to expect yourself to progress smoothly and steadily with no hitches or delays. Reality though is quite another story. There will be days where you slip up on your diet. There may be weeks where you hit a plateau and see no change in the scale weight. You did everything right and still no progress. This is normal.

Everyone who lost weight successfully has gone through this. All you need to do is keep going. If you slip up, acknowledge your mistake and examine what led you to it. Very often, you’ll notice that you tempted yourself or you were tired or you let someone tell you that ‘just one donut won’t hurt you.’

It happens. What’s crucial is that you do NOT give up and quit because your journey isn’t perfect. The goal here is persistence and not perfection. If you’re persistent, you’ll get it… and if you’re consistent, you’ll keep it. So, do not give up and you’ll never need to start over.

7. Don’t Take Your Eye Off Your Why

There is always an emotional reason for why we do what we do. If you’re trying to lose weight, there is DEFINITELY an emotional reason to it. This is your ‘why.’

The guy who got dumped by his woman might be trying to get in shape so that other women look at him in a whole new way. The mother who is trying to lose weight may want to improve her health so that she can be around to see her beautiful kids grow up. The successful career woman who wants to get in shape may secretly hate the way she feels when giving presentations because she thinks that she’s fat.

Whatever the case may be, there is an emotional reason and it ALWAYS conjures up images in your mind. Your job is to know exactly what your why is… and always keep your eye on it. When you take your eye off your why, you lose focus. Suddenly, all the effort seems like a pointless struggle. The juice doesn’t seem worth the squeeze… and you give up.

This applies to any goal you have in life. Success is about knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing… and then you will gladly pay the price. Make no mistake here. Losing weight will come with some sacrifices.  You will need to cut down on your food intake and reduce consumption of all the foods you love. You may need to give up TV time to work out at the gym.

All these sacrifices will be worth it in the end, if you know your why.  If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want will be your sacrifice… and that’s no way to live. Adopt the tips above and implement them in your life. Shift your mindset and you’ll shift the numbers on the scale. Be stubborn with your weight loss goal but be flexible with your methods. You will get there. It’s inevitable

Nov 17

5 Tips Every Keto Diet Beginner Should Know

By Jessica | Keto Diet

So you’ve heard the hype about the keto diet and now you’re ready to jump in. That’s awesome! Before you leap in, here’s 5 tips to help you succeed and lose weight with a ketogenic plan.So you’ve heard the hype about the keto diet and now you’re ready to jump in.

That’s awesome! Before you leap in, here’s 5 tips to help you succeed and lose weight with a ketogenic plan.

If you’ve never heard of the keto diet, no worries. In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a tried and tested diet and nutrition plan to help get you lean, a ketogenic diet plan could be exactly what you need. This nutritional plan has proven hugely effective in terms of fat loss, muscle growth and retention, and athletic performance.

A lot of athletes and sports personalities all over the globe, following a ketogenic diet all year round and they swear by it. While I’m about as far from a professional athlete as you could possibly be, I still think it’s a great fit for me and my life.

Keto diets can be tough to understand at first glance. The tips below will make things easier and help you get a better idea of what the ketogenic diet is all about.

1. Learn to Understand What the Keto Diet Is and isn’t a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that keto diets are basically the same as diets such as The Atkins Diet, but they aren’t. While both diet plans are indeed low in carbs, Atkins is high in protein and moderate in fat. Keto, however, is a low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. The focus is on the fats that you consume. So, the majority of your macros should be coming primarily from healthy fat sources.

2. Stay hydratedHydration during a keto diet plan is essential, which is why it’s vital that you drink plenty of water at regular intervals throughout the day. Hydration improves athletic performance. It helps your body to flush out toxins, and ensures that your organs function optimally while your metabolism is firing on all cylinders. Ideally, you want to be consuming at least 32 – 48 ounces of water before midday, of which 32 oz should be consumed upon waking to help jumpstart your metabolism.

3. Get plenty of healthy fats While you can be a little lenient when it comes to your fat consumption on keto, ideally you will need to ensure that the majority of your fats come in the form of healthy fats. Avoid trans-fats which are unhealthy, and instead, focus on healthy fats such as MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides). The reason for this is that MCTs, due to their molecular structure, are converted into ketone bodies almost instantly, providing you with instant bursts of energy. Organic coconut oil is enriched with MCTs, and other healthy sources of fat include: oily fish, nuts, seeds, nut butter, whole eggs, avocados, and red meat.

4. Be careful of too much protein Remember, protein consumption should only be moderate. Healthy fats should take priority here. People trying to build muscle on keto often make the mistake of thinking they need to be taking in heaps of protein when this is not the case at all. Too much protein can result in a physiological process known as gluconeogenesis, which causes amino acids to be converted into glucose sugars. Glucose sugars in the system can potentially knock you out of ketosis, which is the last thing you want.

5. Make a Plan and Stick to It. So much of success with any diet is having a plan. Not just an overall plan like the “keto diet” or the “paleo diet,” but a daily plan that works for you. Think about and plan what you are going to eat each day. This can be a big switch for some people.

If you’re not a big planner, think about buying a pre made plan. This is what I did. All information these days is available online for free, it’s just a matter of how much time you want to spend researching and constructing a plan. One Keto plan I would recommend is call Keto Beginnings which is a great place to start. Check it out here if you want.

Conclusion

Congrats on taking the leap, or at least laying the groundwork to start changing your life for the better. These 5 basic pointers will help you succeed on a ketogenic diet. Give it a try! You can do it.