The Right Food and a New Gym Routine Can Be Better Than Calorie Counting

Sean Pravica

by Sean Pravica | September 22, 2011 @ 02:00PM

E-MailE-Mail PrintPrint Share Text Size Down Text Size UpText Size

Woman Working OutNational Women’s Health and Fitness Day takes place next week on Wednesday, September 28th and many women across the country will be acknowledging it by attending health-related events in their communities. The day takes place every year on the last Wednesday of September and serves to encourage women to always take their health into their own hands and practice healthy eating with active lifestyles.

Whatever your fitness goals are, the events that will occur on National Women’s Health Day provide great opportunities for women of all ages. Workshops, walking events, health screenings, and exercise demonstrations are a few of the types of activities participants may anticipate.

For anyone looking to lose a few pounds, here are a few helpful hints to kick-start your weight-loss program and keep the spirit of National Women’s Health Day working all year.

These days, it is all too easy to get caught up in nearly obsessive calorie counting in the quest to lose weight. Nutritionists advise that it is not just maintaining a healthful caloric intake that is important; the kind of food you eat plays a major factor. Furthermore, if you’re too busy trying to keep the calories down and you’re walking away from a meal hungry and dissatisfied, you are only going to increase your risk of giving in to poorer food situations later, such as excessive portions at your next meal or heavy snacking.

One way to keep the calories down is to eat water-rich foods, such as soups, fruits, and veggies.  Studies have actually shown that women who have eaten these foods in greater volume than women who ate not as water-heavy meals lost more weight. The reason is because the water-rich foods are more filling and have fewer calories.

Not all foods have to contain lots of water to fill you up while slimming you down. A single egg packs 6 grams of protein and just 70 calories, making them an excellent option in the morning versus a bagel or a carb-loaded cereal. Another filling and trimming breakfast option is oatmeal, which provides a great amount of fiber, while staying low on calories. To add even more fiber, as well as flavor, toss in a cup of blueberries.

Other foods that keep you fuller longer are beans, legumes, and nuts. Beans and legumes are complex carbohydrates that take a while to break down, which lower the chances of you reaching for a midnight snack. And they’re also chock full of protein. When it comes to nuts, these versatile foods make great additions to oatmeal, salads, and can even be a healthy snack. They contain the solid mix of fiber, protein, and good fat. Stick with walnuts or almonds and any nutritionist will tell you that you can’t go wrong.

On the other hand, there are some foods that can actually make you hungrier. When it comes to the wrong kind of carbs, be wary of perennial snack culprits such as cookies and crackers, as well as the junky breakfast favorite croissants. All of these processed foods are high in sugar that break down quickly and send hunger on the rebound. When looking for a carb-based snack, stick to whole grains. Whole wheat bread with a scoop of peanut butter or a cup of low-fat popcorn is a better alternative.

And believe it or not, many low-fat frozen dinners only make you want to eat more. These foods are typically too low on calories, veggies, and fruits, hardly making them satisfying or nutritious.

One more thing that’s important to keep in mind applies to everything you eat: take your time. It’s far better to enjoy your food and eat slowly than to number crunch calories and count your bites. Because your brain takes roughly 12 minutes to receive the signal from your stomach that it’s full, taking your time makes eating more pleasurable and helps you control your portions.

Away from the dinner table and at the gym, another common misconception is that a treadmill is all you need to keep the weight off. While cardio exercises burns off the calories at a minute-to-minute better rate than weight lifting, the latter does far more to raise your metabolism. Studies have shown that lifting three days a week over six months can boost your metabolic rate by seven percent. And if you want to burn more calories while you’re at it, stick with smaller weights and lift quicker. Researchers believe that the muscle contractions produced by fast, explosive movements are what help to burn calories faster than slower movements.

So whatever your fitness plan this year, remember to include good amounts of water-rich foods to your diet, stick to whole grains over complex carbs, and change it up in the gym. And when dinner time comes, make it an enjoyable experience, not an endless chore in caloric calculations.

Back to Top

blog comments powered by Disqus
Plastic Surgery Studios Network ienhance Beauty Chat Blog iEnhance on Facebook iEnhance on Twitter