• 8 Tips To Having A Healthier Easter!

    Its that time of year, spring is here and out comes the chocolates! Now when it comes to Easter, it’s way easy to go crazy with the chocolate eggs, bars and hot cross buns. An average chocolate egg weighs about 200 grams and have around 60 grams of sugar, 30 grams of fat averaging about 600 calories per egg. Taking a few seconds to eat but about an hour to burn it off!

    Let’s get a grip this Easter with 8 healthy tips, below are some tips that i found useful!

    1 Keep an eye on your Portions
    You will eat chocolate, that’s a given… but just remember portion control. Instead of eating large eggs at hourly intervals (which can be up to a third of your daily intake if you are trying to lose weight), buy individually wrapped mini eggs. The process of unwrapping each small egg is more time consuming and will make you more aware of the treats you are consuming.

    2 Choose Quality Over Quantity
    Step away from the cheap foil-wrapped bunny and exchange it for some dark, good quality chocolate. Ideally something with at least 70 per cent dark cocoa which has the added bonus of antioxidants (milk chocolate has none). The high levels of cocoa have also been shown to lower blood pressure due to the large amounts of flavonoids.
    If you want to take your health kick a step further over Easter, head to your local health food store and get yourself some raw organic cacao nibs; these cocoa beans are straight from the source and are the foundation for all chocolate and cocoa products.
    The nutritional benefits of raw cacao products include being a source of: beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), omega-3s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle-relaxing and stress-relieving magnesium. Other good news is that it is only 92 calories and 0.54gm of sugar per 15gm serve!

    Suggested uses: eat as raw nibs or add to your cooking (use instead of chocolate chips), add to your smoothies or grind with your coffee beans.
    Feeling creative? Why not make your own healthy chocolate?

    Raw Homemade Chocolates
    Recipe by Lee Sutherland – Director of Fitness In The City

    Ingredients
    ¾ cup coconut oil (it needs to be liquid so if solid put jar in hot water to melt)
    ¾ cup agave nectar (you can also combine honey/maple syrup/agave)
    1 cup of raw cacao powder (organic cocoa powder is another option)
    1 tbsp IsoWhey® Ivory Coast Chocolate protein powder
    1 tbsp of almond butter
    1/3 tsp vanilla extract

    Directions
    1. Place liquid coconut oil in a bowl – if hard, melt beforehand.
    2. Mix all ingredients together with a hand blender until smooth.
    3. Pour chocolate mixture into molds or pour into a baking dish lined with baking paper.
    4. Place moulds into freezer to be set (approximately 15 minutes).
    Options: add goji berries or peppermint oil for a flavour change.

    3 Start the day with High fibre and protein
    On breakfast that is. Make sure you start the day right with a protein-and-fibre-rich breakfast so you aren’t reaching for a chocolate an hour later. Never eat Easter eggs on an empty stomach (i.e. for breakfast!) as this will cause havoc to your blood sugar levels for the rest of the day. Think veggie-and-protein-packed omelette or a protein shake with berries, chia seeds and a handful of spinach leaves to get your day started the right way.

    4 Don’t follow everyone, make your own Easter
    Sure it’s traditional to give chocolates at Easter but why not give a gift that lasts (and no, this doesn’t include cellulite or unwanted fat). Rethink the basket of eggs and swap it for a basket of beautiful local fruit. How about a pot of herbs for a gift that keeps giving? Get in the kitchen and whip up some homemade treats such as bliss balls – healthy and considerate!

    5 Snack regularly
    Snack on something small and healthy every 3-4 hours. This will help balance your blood sugar levels, which in turn will help avoid that nasty energy drop associated with eating chocolate for breakfast. Foods that cause a spike in blood sugar are generally refined sugar and carbohydrates (aka chocolate and hot cross buns). They cause the body to produce insulin, which makes you crave food constantly, leading to weight gain and a variety of health conditions including diabetes.
    The key to a balanced snack is to always included the three macro-nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and good fats.

    Snack options:
    • Natural yogurt with berries and walnuts. Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra power punch.
    • Hummus with vegetable sticks.
    • A homemade meat pattie with a small side salad.
    • An apple with a teaspoon of almond butter and a drizzle of honey.
    • Small bowl of vegetable and barley soup.
    •  Shaved turkey, sliver of avocado wrapped in lettuce.
    • Banana smoothie with milk/nut milk; linseed, sunflower and almond mix (LSA); scoop of protein powder (go for a natural option); cinnamon and ice.

    6 Plan ahead!!
    Make sure you stock the fridge so there are always healthy options on hand. When hunger calls and you have nothing but a giant chocolate bunny in the house to eat, your willpower will lose every time. Have pre-made delicious options ready to go, and don’t space meals too far apart. Got kids? Remind them that the Easter Bunny eats carrots as a great in-between snack option.

    7 Keep Hydrated
    Need another reason to drink water? Research has shown that by increasing water consumption by 1.5 litres a day, you can burn an extra 17,400 calories per year. Additionally, a study by Dr Brenda Davy, an associate professor at Virginia Tech, found that people who drank water before a meal consumed an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal. Another glass anyone?

    8 Burn off that egg
    To counterbalance the extra calorie intake over Easter it is important to exercise every day, whether it be a beach walk, sprint session, bike ride with the family, a game of cricket or a home workout – just move that body!
    You don’t have to waste hours of your day either; choose intense interval training which will burn more in a shorter time-frame!

    Calories Burned

    To burn off a 50g chocolate bunny (approximately 275 calories):
    • Power walk with the dog for 85 minutes
    • Dance up a storm for 56 minutes
    • Swim freestyle for 36 minutes
    • Jump on the cross-trainer for 33 minutes
    • Clean the house intensely for 70 minutes.

    To burn off a 25g chocolate egg:
    • Go for a brisk 30 minutes walk
    • Jog/skip/box for 15 minutes
    To burn off a 100g chocolate egg:
    • Go for a brisk 2 hour walk
    • Run/skip/box for 1 hour.

    Know your Eggs!

    Below is the nutritional values for the most popular eggs available!

    Rank (by sugar content) Egg Saturated fat per 100g Sugar per 100g
    1 Green & Black’s organic dark 70% chocolate egg 165g 25 28.5
    2 Green & Black’s organic milk chocolate egg 165g 21.5 45.5
    3 Green & Black’s organic butterscotch egg 165g 20.5 47.5
    4 Waitrose Woodland Friends Ollie the Owl 21.8 50.2
    5 Lindt Gold Bunny Egg Milk Chocolate 125g 22 51
    6 Thorntons Footy Fan Chocolate Egg 150g 19 54
    6 Thorntons Miss Flutterby 149g 20 54
    8 Thorntons Milk Chocolate Classics Collection Easter Egg 223g 19 55
    9 Celebrations Large Egg 248g 14.4 55.3
    10 Cadbury Creme Egg Medium Easter Egg 138g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg Heads Easter Egg 77g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Dairy Milk Small Easter Egg 72g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Double Decker Large Easter Egg 307g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Heroes Large Easter Egg 274g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Mini Eggs Medium Easter Egg 130g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Roses Large Easter Egg 300g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Twirl Large Easter Egg 282g 18.5 56
    10 Cadbury Wispa Large Easter Egg 269g 18.5 56
    19 Nestlé Milkybar White Chocolate Egg 65g 19.1 56.8
    20 Sainsbury’s Milk Chocolate Easter Egg with Chocolate Caramels 155g 16.2 57.8
    20 Sainsbury’s Milk Chocolate Easter Egg with Mini Jelly Beans 175g 16.2 57.8
    20 Sainsbury’s Milk Chocolate Easter Egg with Rainbow Buttons 170g 16.2 57.8
    23 Galaxy Minstrels Large Chocolate Easter Egg 262g 17.3 58.3
    23 Maltesers Medium Chocolate Easter Egg 127g 17.3 58.3
    23 Maltesers Teasers Large Chocolate Easter Egg 248g 17.3 58.3
    23 Snickers Milk Chocolate Large Easter Egg And Chocolate 274g 17.3 58.3
    27 Nèstlè Quality Street Honeycomb Crunch Easter Egg 162g 17 60.1
    28 Nèstlè Kit Kat Bites Easter Egg And Chocolate 245g 17.5 61.2
    28 Nèstlè Kit Kat Chunky Egg 140g / 17.5 / 61.2 17.5 61.2
    30 Smarties Medium Egg 122g / 16.4 / 61.7 16.4 61.7

    So what do you guys think? How will you be spending your Easter and what tactic will you use to keep it healthy? leave your interesting comments below and lets have discussion.

  • Recovery From An Eating Binge

    Hey Guys

    First of i’m not here to give you a telling off if you binged, remember we are only human and it can happen. But instead i’m gonna tell you a bit about why you might have binged and what you can do about from both medical standpoint and from me personally!

    So first off let’s cover they WHY!!!!!

    Now It’s not clear what causes binge eating, but, like most eating disorders, it’s seen as a way of coping with feelings of unhappiness and low self-esteem. Personally i use to binge eat massively on the regular when i was morbidly obese since that was all i knew and it did at the time help deal with emotional issues (from bullying to loneliness) . nowadays it tends to be when i get sick. When i’m ill unlike a lot of people my appetite increase massively rather than decreases and i can easily go and eat 5000 cals in a day (which is not healthy). But like i said the important things is progress over perfection. Where as before i would overeat for at least 3-4 weeks, now i can reduced down to 3 days, aiming to bring it next down to one day, so always looking to improve!

    So here are some factors that can trigger binge eating:

    • Factors that may increase your risk of binge eating include:
    • having low self-esteem and a lack of confidence
    • depression or anxiety
    • feelings of stress, anger, boredom or loneliness
    • dissatisfaction with your body and feeling under pressure to be thin
    • stressful or traumatic events in your past
    • having a family history of eating disorders
    • Binge eating can sometimes develop following a strict diet, particularly if you skipped meals, cut out certain foods and didn’t eat enough food. These are unhealthy ways to lose weight and may mean you’re more likely to binge at another time

    So for me, i have had all of these factors affect me from a family history of eating disorders to dealing with depression.

    So what are the signs of binge eating disorder? Below are the most common signs of binge eating from both medical literature and what i personally have experienced:

    • Eating much faster than normal during a binge
    • Eating until you feel uncomfortably full and beyond
    • Eating a large amount of food when you’re not hungry
    • Eating alone or secretly because you’re embarrassed about the amount of food you’re consuming
    • Having feelings of guilt, shame or disgust after binge eating
    • People who regularly eat this way are likely to have a binge eating disorder.

    What happens during a binge:

    • Binges are often planned in advance and the person may buy “special” binge foods.
      Sometimes, a person will describe being in a “dazed state” during a binge – particularly
    • Binges at night – and not being able to remember what they ate.
      The person often feels they have no control over their eating.
    • After a binge a person can feel overwhelmed and have symptoms similar to panic attack

    Getting help! Guys this is probably the main reason you’re here and is the most important, so let’s go over what the NHS has recommended:

    Now remember guys If you occasionally binge eat, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a binge eating disorder. Can can mean you just need to make sure your nutrition is good to help reduce incidence.  

    But see your GP if you binge regularly, particularly if it’s affecting your physical and/or mental health. With the right treatment and support, most people get better.
    Beat is a UK-based charity that provides help and support for people with eating disorders.

    You can contact them either by phone or email:
    helpline for adults – 0808 801 0677 (email: help@b-eat.co.uk)
    helpline for young people (under 25) – 0808 801 0711 (email: fyp@b-eat.co.uk)
    The helplines are open Monday to Wednesday, 1pm to 4pm and Thursday and Friday, 10am to 1pm.
    You can also find out more about Beat’s support services.

    Treating binge eating

    So what are the The main treatments for binge eating:

    • self-help programmes – this may be individually, using a book or online course, or as part of a self-help support group or visiting our website 🙂
    • guided self-help (self-help supervised by regular contact with a professional)
      specialist group intervention
    • individual (one-to-one) psychological therapy
    • medication called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

    What causes binge eating?
    Okay unlike a lot of disorder it’s still not clear what causes binge eating, but, like most eating disorders, it’s seen as a way of coping with feelings of unhappiness and low self-esteem.
    Factors that may increase your risk of binge eating include:

    • having low self-esteem and a lack of confidence
    • depression or anxiety
    • feelings of stress, anger, boredom or loneliness
    • dissatisfaction with your body and feeling under pressure to be thin
    • stressful or traumatic events in your past
    • having a family history of eating disorders

    One big factor can be result of following a strict diet, particularly if you skipped meals, cut out certain foods and didn’t eat enough food. These are unhealthy ways to lose weight and may mean you’re more likely to binge at another time. So more healthy way to get lean vist out transformation workout program.  

    Who’s affected
    NOW there is a common misconception that binge eating only affect women but anyone can be affected by binge eating disorder, although it’s slightly more common in women than men.
    Binge eating disorder tends to first develop during early adulthood, but many people don’t seek help until they’re in their 30s or 40s.
    It’s estimated that you have a 1 in 30 to 1 in 50 chance of developing binge eating disorder at some point in life.

    Health risks of binge eating
    Binge eating is often associated with serious psychological problems, including depression and anxiety which may get worse if you continue to binge eat.
    Weight gain is a common physical effect of binge eating, which can lead to obesity. Being obese puts you at risk of getting a number of serious physical health problems, including:

    • High cholesterol and high blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Some types of cancer – such as breast cancer and bowel cancer

    [Reference from NHS]

    So what do you guys think? What your experience with binge eating and how did u beat it? Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion.

  • Fact or Fiction?: Feed a Cold or should you Starve a Fever

    So for the last few days I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, and when it comes to how much we should be eating there are two camps:

    • The first being you need to eat less and starve the fever
    • The second being eat more calories and feed our body

    This saying has been traced to a 1574 dictionary by John Withals, which noted that “fasting is a great remedy of fever.” The belief is that eating food may help the body generate warmth during a “cold” and that avoiding food may help it cool down when overheated.
    But recent medical science says the old saw is wrong. It should be “feed a cold, feed a fever.”

    Let’s take colds first. When your body fights an illness it needs energy, so eating healthy food is helpful. Eating can also help the body generate heat—although wearing an extra layer of clothes or slipping into bed can keep you warm, too. There’s no need to overeat, however. The body is quick to turn recently digested food into energy, and it’s also efficient at converting stored energy in fat.

    The reasons to eat for fever are more interesting. Fever is part of the immune system’s attempt to beat the bugs. It raises body temperature, which increases metabolism and results in more calories burned; for each degree of temperature rise, the energy demand increases further. So taking in calories becomes important.

    Even more crucial is drinking. Fever dehydrates your system, in part through increased sweating from that elevated temperature. Replacing fluids is therefore critical to helping the body battle the infection. The same is true for combating colds. “You have to make yourself drink fluids, even though all you want to do is collapse,” says William Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

    Dehydration also makes mucus in the nose, throat and lungs dry up, which can then clog sinuses and respiratory tubes. When mucus hardens it becomes more difficult to cough, Schaffner notes, which is our way of trying to expel mucus and the germs it contains. Staying hydrated helps keep the mucus running, which, even though it may be disgusting, is one of our natural defenses.

    The challenge, of course, is that when you’re sick you may not feel much like drinking and even less like eating. Loss of appetite is common, and might be part of the body’s attempt to focus its energy on pounding the pathogens. Given the wisdom noted above, Schaffner says, don’t force yourself to eat if you don’t feel like it. “But drink,” he adds. “It’s the liquids that are important.” Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine enhances dehydration. So does alcohol, and it is also a depressant, holding us down.

    Bowl of clear chicken soup with noodle and vegetables

    What about some other common conceptions for beating colds and fevers, such as eating chicken soup? Chicken soup doesn’t possess any magic ingredients, but it has calories as well as the all-important liquids again. The warm vapor rising from the bowl can also moisten and loosen dried mucus. The same goes for vapor from hot tea, with or without lemon or honey. Taking a hot shower can soften mucus, too—and if you dare, you can get rid of it by gently blowing your nose one nostril at a time while you’re in there.

    Supplements are dubious at best. The data from studies about taking vitamin C are inconclusive, as they are for zinc. Solid studies of echinacea show no benefit. If there’s any positive effect at all from any of these compounds, it is very small, Schaffner concludes. Over-the-counter remedies may or may not help, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. They can relieve symptoms but they do not kill off viruses or bacteria. Cold and fever germs usually run their course, and the immune system eventually gets the upper hand. In the meantime, drink drink drink. And sleep as much as you can, to give your body the rest it needs to fight the good fight.

     

    Below is a few examples of food that you should be eating to feel better:

    So the main thing to keep in mind, is that when your feeling ill is to give your body time to rest and recover. When it comes to food intake, keep is wholesome and try not to go over board. Personally I’ll rather make sure my body gets the calories it needs then stave my fever out, since it’ll lead to a faster recovery. so what do you guys think? when your feeling ill what do you do? Leave your interesting comments below and lets have a discussion.

  • Is lack of sleep making you sick and making you fat?

    Is lack of sleep making you sick and making you fat?

    Sleep is one of those thing that the more you chance it, the less likely you are to achieve it!! Which can be very stressful and many effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences on your physical health? One in three of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed.
    However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.
    Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including;

    • Obesity
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Mental health issues
    • High blood pressure
    • Sex drive and fertility issues
    • Statistically speaking it shortens your life expectancy
      So it’s very clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.

    So how much sleep do we need to keep healthy?

    Studies so that most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. Personally i find i need a bit more with around 9-10 hr making me feel at my best. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it. Again just like all you guys, I can understand that in the real world it might not always be possible, but do try your best!  As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep. A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea. But in most cases, it’s due to bad sleeping habits.

    So what happens if I don’t sleep?

    The most common signs of lack of sleep is fatigue, short temper (#triggered) and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep. Now remember guys the occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.
    However after several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate, make decisions lead to confusion. You’ll start to feel down, which can lead to symptoms similar to that of clinical depression and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.

    Driving while dealing with lack of sleep can be worse than drink driving!

    Okay guys, driving when tired is a very serious thing, studies have shown that it can be worse than drink driving, lack of sleep impairs cognitive ability. So please, if u don’t feel well enough to drive, take a cab or public transport!

    Here are seven ways in which a good night’s sleep can boost your health:

    1. Sleep boosts immunity
      If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs. So sleep is the time the body needs to undergo a lot of its immunes functions, similar to when you pc runs diagnostic in safe mode!
    2. Sleep can slim you
      Sleeping less may mean you put on weight! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get seven hours of slumber.
      It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone). These hormones are involved in the body signalling its full and when it’s hungry!
    3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing
      Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety. When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night. So sleep is the time the brain needs to rest and undergo mental processing!
    4. Sleep prevents diabetes
      Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes.
      It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel. This combined with the disruption of leptin and ghrelin levels can cause overeating, causing weight gain.
    5. Sleep increases sex drive
      Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex, research shows.
      Men who suffer from sleep apnoea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido. So to help your love life, by getting some nice sleep!
    6. Sleep wards off heart disease
      Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.
    7. Sleep increases fertility
      Difficulty conceiving a baby has been claimed as one of the effects of sleep deprivation, in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruptions can cause trouble conceiving by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.

    So we know it’s important but how do you catch up on lost sleep?

    If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – that’s right, by getting more sleep. It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks. Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!). Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

    Late night thinker?

    Like a lot of people i think A LOT! Especially when it comes time to sleep, so what i found can can really help is keeping a notebook near my bed, so i can write down anything that’s on my mind and save it for tomorrow, when i can tackle it fully refreshed!   

    Energy Drinks and caffeine

    Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

    So hopefully this will help you get a nice night’s sleep and help you guys live a healthier life. So what do you guys think? How much sleep do you need? What helps you sleep? Post your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion!   

  • Beginners Guide to Meal Preperation

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

    To ensure that you stay on track with your nutrition plan make sure that you always have plenty of healthy options on hand. Food preparation is not just for the athletes and fitness models, but it’s something that we should also get in the habit of since it help us manage our food intake, making sure that we don’t go overboard.

    Knowing exactly what extra ingredients are in that take away dish or how much fat/sugar there is, can go a long way toward helping keep your calories in check and your macros in line with your goals.

    In fact, scientific research from Johns Hopkins University found that subjects who cooked their own dinner six to seven times a week consumed fewer calories, fat, and sugar on an average day compared with those who only cooked dinner once a week or less.

    Having your food ready to eat when hunger hits will also keep you from going on a binge on snacks, takeaway or prepackaged convenience food. As both a scientist and an fitness specialist, I not only encourage my clients to organise their meal prep in advance—I also practice what I preach.

    Here are my top tips for keeping your menus on track and your body adequately fuelled.

    Tip 1: Organise your meals

    Plan on eating about every two to three hours, with or three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and snacks in between. Organise each meal around a quality protein (chicken, fish, or beef), a complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, brown rice, or fresh steamed vegetables), and some healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts, etc.).

    Tip 2: Go shopping prepared

    Making sure you have a shopping list in hand with all your necessities. Now a day you can use you mobile phone to make notes or even get an app like AnyList, which allows you to easily share your must- gets with your spouse or roommates so everyone knows what you need. Some basic to keep on hand: canned foods like tuna and beans, frozen veggies to use in a pinch, and brown-rice pasta.

    Tips 3: Experiment and get creative

    Experiment with low- salt, low-sugar seasonings (remember some mixed seasoning have a tonne of sugar so check the label), such as turmeric, sesame seeds, or spice blends. Try mixing different veggies together (onions and mushrooms, tomatoes and bell peppers) to add colour and variety. Use flavoured vinegar and hot sauces, but be careful of added sugars, and look for hidden sources such as high- fructose corn syrup and artificial additives.

    Tip 4: Measure out your portion for each meal

    Remember to weigh and measure your food to keep your serving sizes on point and to ensure your macro-nutrients meet your needs. Try aiming for three to five ounces of protein, 1⁄2 to 1 cup of complex carbohydrates, and 1⁄2 to 1 tbsp of healthy fats, like olive oil or coconut oil, per meal. Pack up fare in easy-to- transport containers and use food-cooler bags to keep your stash safe.

    Tip 5: Get yourself a good container

    Having a good container can make your life and eating so much better. Depending on what you have available you might need to get yourself a thomoflank, which will help keep your food nice a warm when it comes time to eat, or if you’re putting your food in the fridge (maybe at work) than make sure it has a good seal, so it won’t leak in transit. Don’t forget you might need to take a fork and spoon with you.

    Tip 6: Stay Prepared

    Remember that things might not go according to plan so keep some emergency healthy snacks on hand. These can include a shaker cup with some quality whey/casein protein powder in a plastic baggie (just add water or low-fat milk or almond milk when you’re ready to sip), some mixed nuts and fruit, or a few quality high-protein energy bars (remember to check the label since lots of protein bars are full of sugar and fat).

    Tip 7: Keep a Drink bottle With you

    Buying water from the shop cost more then buy fuel for your car!!! That’s right, we as a people spend a lot of money on buying bottled water when we can get it for free from a drink tap, so why not bring your won drink bottle that you can fill up at the work place kitchen. It’ll save you money, help you control your appetite and keep you hydrated!

    So what do you guys think? What tips would you give someone when it comes to food prep? Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion.

  • 10 Tips For Buying Nutritious Food On A Budget

    Like a lot of people money can be an issue when it comes to eating better, but not to worry here are 10 easy shopping tips to help you keep eating healthy food and won’t break the bank!


    1. Use Digital And Paper Coupons

    Using a shoppers’ club card doesn’t mean you automatically get all the discounts. Download your store’s apps, then attach digital coupons to your club card. Grab the food flyer on your way into the store and find the paper coupons you want. Combine paper coupons, digital coupons, and your shoppers’ club card for great deals. And by using shopping cards and digital coupons, the store can track what you buy and give you more coupons for the things you like to buy.

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    2. Buy In Bulk And Wholesale

    Big-box stores like Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club stock high-quality bulk foods, including all-natural and organic products. You pay more up front (plus any membership fees) for large quantities of food. But the price per unit is usually much lower than at a regular grocery store.

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    3. Shop Seasonally And Locally

    Shop at your local farmer’s market, and you can often snag very fresh food at seriously discounted prices—plus you’ll be supporting the local economy. Be prepared to pay cash. You can also join a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. For a flat fee, CSA farmers will give you a box filled with whatever fruits and veggies they picked that week. Go to localharvest.org to search for farmers markets and CSAs in your area.

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    4. Be A Flexible Shopper

    Sometimes, you need to be flexible to be frugal. It might take shopping at multiple stores to maximise your savings. Check the paper and the internet for the best local food buys. That ritzy store up the street might have a special that knocks the socks off the big-box store across town. And you may find not only great prices but also new foods to put on the table. Just be sure to factor the amount of gas and time involved into your cost calculations.

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    5. Plan Your Shopping With Your Freezer In Mind

    With enough freezer space, you can save money by buying in bulk and in season. Affix labels so you know when you packed each item. Then, plan a meal using one or more of your frozen foods each week. That way, you won’t end up with those mysterious, freezer-burn-covered shapes in the bottom of the freezer drawer.

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    6. Plan Ahead To Avoid Waste

    Healthy foods are often fresh foods (think fruits, veggies, meats, dairy) that don’t last long. Before you buy them, make sure you know when you’ll use them. If you have lots of leftovers, put a date (and maybe the name of the dish) on the container. And if something is about to go bad, cook it into something good before it does. Example: Got lots of extra bananas? Make banana bread before they all turn black.

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    7. Compare Apples To Apples

    When comparing prices, make sure you’re comparing the same units. If you find a bag of pre-cut broccoli at $5 per bag and heads of broccoli at $1.59 per pound, do the math. If the bag has four pounds of broccoli in it, that may be the better deal (it helps to be able to look inside the bag to see what you’re paying for). Some stores provide price tags on the shelves that show cost per unit, which makes comparison shopping a lot easier.

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    8. Mix It Up!

    Mix cheaper foods in with the more expensive stuff. Cabbage is super cheap (and delicious). Combine it with costlier asparagus to give yourself a full plate of veggies without the high cost. Instead of serving each person an entire chicken breast, mix less chicken with more vegetables and grains to make a well-balanced and less-expensive meal.

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    9. Do A Shopping Post-Mort em With Your Receipts

    What do you spend your grocery money on? If it’s for reasonably nutritious things that you like to eat, then consider it money well spent. But if you buy things because you think you should be eating them—but never finish what’s on your plate—find better foods to spend your money on.

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    10. Account For Your Protein Supplements

    When budgeting, remember that every dollar you spend on supplements is a dollar less you have to spend on protein from whole food. Make sure your shopping and food budgeting reflects the fact that, for all intents and purposes, supplements are food too!

    So what do you guys think? what tactics do you use to keep food shopping on budget? Leave you interesting comments below and lets have a discussion! 🙂

  • Is the mass i gained from taking Creatine just water?

    Hey guys,

    Danny here, I just got asked a interesting question the other day and thought I’d write a quick piece on it.

    So for you guys who are taking the supplement creatine probably noticed that your body weight has gone up as well as your muscle look and feel more fuller, logic tells you that the weight gain is almost all water.

    That may be largely true after you first begin taking it, but even then, the increase in weight appears to be proportional to the total weight gained. Remember guys that muscle is around 75% water, so if you put on say 10 pounds from using creatine, about 7.5 pounds of that is water.

    When it comes to creatine it does cause cellular volumization and that’s an important determinant of protein breakdown and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle (and other cell types, too). Working out turns on protein synthesis while simultaneously breaking down protein, but creatine shifts the balance towards protein synthesis.

    Yes, creatine supplies an extra phosphate group to help regenerate ATP during high-intensity contractions, but cell volumization is an even more important cause of creatine’s muscle-building effect.

    Long-term use is a slightly different scenario because that’s when creatine increases fat-free mass without a concomitant increase in total body water. Muscle fiber diameter goes up, along with strength, so long-term effects appear to be caused largely by increased muscle mass.

    What Creatine Product is right?

    First of all make sure it’s from a reputable company. Remember supplements are Not FDA checked so don’t go buying supplement from so dodgy drug store or warehouse! When it comes to what type, simple creatine monohydrate is fine. Dosages wise, about 3-5 grams pre workout is good (follow the instruction on the label). One last thing remember to keep hydrated to prevent cramps or stomach issues!

    So what do you guys think? Do you guys take Creatine? If so what type? And what was your experience like, leave your interesting comments blow and lets have a discussion.

  • New Year’s Resolution Top 10 Tips On How To Do It Right

    It’s that time of the year, we done with 2016 and now we are welcoming 2017 and it is an opportunity for us to reflect on our past success and challenges. It will also be the time of year where lots of us will be making new year’s resolution and one of the biggest will be get healthy, maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less – but what’s the best way to stick to it?

    Now new years resolution can be hit and miss but studies and psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based. So let’s go over the top 10:


    Top 10 Goal-setting tips

    1. Make only one resolution. OK guys I know there will be the temptation to want to much but you have greater chances of success when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.Look for internal desire/wants to drive you.
    2. External factors such as it being new years can be useful as a trigger but will fade as times goes by, this is one of the main reason that so many people fail to keep their resolution/goal. So look for the reason why you want to get healthy and it’ll drive not just for the next few weeks, but for the whole year!
    3. Avoid previous resolutions. Deciding to revisit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment, so to help you keep a positive mindset try focusing on something new .
    4. Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life and what is important to you.
    5. Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based. This will help you keep focused and but achieving smaller goal will help you reward yourself and keep going to the next sub-goal.
    6. Tell your friends and family about your goals. You’re more likely to get support and want to avoid failure. But be careful, not everyone will support your goals, maybe due to their own failures they are unable to see what possible. So create a support group of other positive people and work together.
    7. To stay motivated, make a checklist of how achieving your resolution will help you. Remember having the smaller goals will help you keep track!
    8. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a subgoal, which will help to motivate you and give you  a sense of progress. But remember rewards does not have to be a binge of food or drink, but something more positive like some new gym clothes!
    9. Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures. Remember visual cues can help you keep on track!
    10. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether. Remember success is never straight road and the ability to bounce back is keep, so keep moving forwards!

    So what do you guys think? what new years resolution will you be setting for yourself? what tips do you use to keep on track? Let us know and lets have conversation below.

  • How to Host a Healthy XMas Dinner

    Hey Guys

    So we talked about some tactics you can use to help prevent you from getting massive weight/fat gains over the X Mas holidays, now we are gonna talk about some tips for you all who will be doing the hosting/cooking for the festivities and how you can help keep it healthy, enjoyable and your guests will thank you for it!

    Cooking Methods Tips  

    Use Spray Oils

    Use Spray Oils

    OK when it comes to cooking we can’t always boil everything, for one the food tends to lose it flavour and can become quite soggy, and the last thing we want is to be suving our guest some bland and soggy food. So what can we do about it? Well this is where spray oil can be a life saver for light frying food, it’ll help keep the calorie count down, while providing the food with a nice crispness to it that we all enjoy. Which one to choose can be down to your personal preference and can depend on what your cooking, personally i use coconut oil spray since it give the food a nice nutty tasty and coconut oil is very stable at higher temperatures.

    Use A Light Fryer For The Dishes That Need To Be Deep Fried

    Use a Air fryer for the dishes that need to be Deep Fired

    So some dishes like chips, battered meats and fish will sometimes need to be deep fried, but we can work around this by investing in a air fryer. These machine a pretty handy and will usually only use about a tablespoon of oil to cook a large portion of foods that normally would need a 1 litre or more to deep fry. Yes it can got a bit to get especially if you’re looking to cook for a large group of ppl, but with their mart function and health benefits i think it some you guys should look into getting.

    Roast Rather The Fry

    Roast rather the fry

    As we mentioned some dish usually are cooked by deep frying, but another alternative to this is to oven roast your food. Again for glaze try using spray oil rather than drowning the food in oil and use lots of herbs and spices to help bring out a lovely tasty and aroma.

    Recipe Tips

    Replace sugar with natural sweeteners

    Replace sugar with natural sweeteners

    OK we all love a nice home made dessert, the amount of time and care put into them is kind of like mix of art and chemistry, however they can tend to be filled with lots of sugars in the baking process. So to help keep the levels of sugar down and to enough that no one goes into sugar shock, try replacing sugars with a natural sweetener, sweetener are much for potent the sugar so you’ll need a lot less of it and will help keep the calorie count down.

    Make sure there is plenty of veggies available for guests to snack on

    Make sure there is plenty of veggies available for guests to snack on

    OK giving your guests the option of veggies to snack on will help fill them up and provide fibre for them, this is turn will help their bodies process the more indulgent food more effectively and help stop them binge too much. It’ll will also help keep your food bill low since veggies can quite affordable and what’s not eaten can be cooked later in the weekend. So this one will help your guest waistline and your wallet! Just be careful of dips that you might offer with these since some of the can have lots calories.

    Make Your Own Dips

    Make Your Own Dips

    As mentioned above, there are lots of dips on the market and most of them will be heavily processed and be filled with “empty” calories and lot of preservatives. So one way to avoid this is to make them yourself, from humus to salsa dips, which are very easy to make and tasty even better fresh. So why not give it a try your guest will love it!

    Try Skinless Poultry Meats

    Try Skinless Poultry Meats

    OK cooking with can help the meat from drying out and does have a lot of flavour, but with that comes an increase of fat. To help keep your meats nice and healthy try cooking your meats skinless, it have a massive decrease in fat, mainly consisting of protein. To help prevent the chicken from drying out try making a nice saucy marinade to coat the poultry in when roasting. This will help the meat keep it moistness and allow the meat to absorb the flavour.

    Try Getting Lean Cuts Of Meat

    Try Getting Lean Cuts Of Meat

    When it comes to selecting your meats, try buying lean cuts of both red and white meats. In the case of red meat especially since  going for anything under 10% fat would be great. And in the case of white meat, ideally chicken breast is the leanness, but you’ll be ok with thigh to, just keep it skinless as we mentioned above.

    Drinks

    Serve Sugar Free Drinks

    Serve Sugar Free Drinks

    Of diet drinks are a bit hit and miss, some studies have shown that even though diet drink have no calories they can cause the body to increase its appetite, which can result in guest eating more food. But you have to take into account that calories from solid foods are broken down much slower than from liquid, meaning that there will be a reduce insulin pike in the blood. So as long as there is heathy food available this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

    Keep The Alcohol To A Minimum

    Keep The Alcohol To A Minimum

    OK i’m not much of an alcohol drinker, but i can understand a lot of ppl are, and as a host you want to cattier to your guest needs, so having some available to them is not going to be the end of the world, but having too much available can lead to ppl getting pissed and really missing up the festive atmosphere. Also alcohol have 7 cal per gram, so for example 1 pint of beer has around 200 cal, which is a the same as a slice of pizza or dessert! Out the to i know which i would choose. So keep drinks to a min, and really focus on creating a festive atmosphere.

    Make Tea and Coffee Available To Guest

    Make Tea and Coffee Available To Guest 

    I am a massive fan of tea, from both my Asian culture and the health benefits. Have herbal tea available will help your guest with aiding them digest their food, keeping them warm and herbal teas have shown to help suppress the appetite. When it comes to coffees, having both caffeine and decaf would be great, since later in the evening your guest might not want to much caffeine and this is where the decaf comes in handy. Again with these option provide sweeteners rather than sugar to your guest, with skimmed or semi skimmed milk to help keep the calories count down.

    Have Plenty Of Water Available To Guest

    Have Plenty Of Water Available To Guest 

    Remember to have plenty of water available for your guest to drink, this will help them keep hydrated and feel full, stopping them going over boards.  So remember water is cal free and comes straight from the tap, so FREE!

    Desserts

    Serve Smaller Portions Of Dessert

    Serve Smaller Portions Of Dessert

    OK as mentioned above if you are baking from scratch try using sweetener rather than sugar. But if you’re purchasing your desserts, try getting desserts that are already in small portion, like mini cakes. The reason being that this means each guest has a fixed about to eat, and will help stop them going over board. If you’re getting a large dessert, try cutting it up into small portion than serving rather than have your guest do it, since some may go a bit over board!!

    Serve Dessert On A Smaller Dish

    Serve Dessert On A Smaller Dish

    It science fact now that if you use smaller dishes to serve food, ppl will end up eating less, so this one is a no brainier! It help stop your guest going overboard on food and save you money to, so win win!

    So what do you think? What tactics will you be using to keep your festivities healthy yet fun? Let us know in the comments below and lets have a discussion. And HAPPY X MAS to you all!

  • 28 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight and Fat Gains While Enjoying Yourself

    Ok its almost that time of year, family and friends are around, there will be a lot of food and drink available. There nothing wrong with enjoy the festivities but i’m here to make sure you don’t end up looking like Santa by the end of them. Below is a list of tips that can help you during the this time.  

    Tips for Eating and Drinking

     

    1. Try Eating before drinking and celebrating.

    Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic since not eating until the afternoon may lead to binge eating later on So stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to binge your face later.

    2. Keep your protein in the meal.

    Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety and important for healthy muscle growth. Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or if you’re a veggie some prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

    3. Bring your own snacks and treats.

    Rather than spending all the day trying to figure out what’s in every dish at a party or avoid eating altogether, bring a healthy side dish or dessert (this is where having some protein bars on you can come in handy). So have a nibble what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.

    4. Eat, chew slowly and really enjoy your food.

    Eating slowly may not be easy when appetiser options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savor each bite and enjoy the food and company.

    5. Serve meals restaurant-style.

    When you sit down for the main event, leave food out of sight rather than on display a basket full of treats, snacks, and an entire turkey directly on the table. When you’ve cleaned your plate, take a breather, and then decide if you really want seconds. Changing up the environment—in this case, by leaving food near the stove—can help reduce overall food intake.

    6. Fill up on fibre.

    Snacking on vegetables like cucumber and celery with other high-fibre items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer. Also the body responses to calories different when there is fibre present and will release energy much slower help prevent blood insulin spikes.

    7. Use smaller plates.

    Plate sizes have expanded significantly over the years. Whenever possible, choose the smaller salad plate (8-10 inches) instead of a tray-like one (12 inches or more). Using smaller plates can actually make us feel fuller with less food. The brain associates a big white space on the plate with less food (and smaller plates generally require smaller portions).

    8. Make room for (healthy) fats.

    Cutting butter and oil can slash calories , but not all fats are bad fats. We need fat in our diets to provide energy and help body functions as well as absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, plus fat helps us feel full.

    9. Avoid simple carbs such as sugar.

    Holiday cookies, cakes, white bread and pies are nothing short of tempting, but all that simple carbs will may increase your blood sugar then your insulin causing your body to store it as fat. Try your best to stick to complex carbs that comes in its natural form (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and try enjoying small nibbles of the desserts you’re truly craving rather than loading up a full plate of bland cookies.

    10. Just say no.

    Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

    11. Wait before grabbing seconds.

    Like we’ve said earlier, the quicker we eat a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness. Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or chat with friends before dishing up seconds.

    12. Invest in some toss-away Tupperware.

    Before guests leave you with half-full platters of food, have some Tupperware at the ready. Load up containers for friends and family to hand out as they leave. Bonus points for getting containers that are holiday-themed or for adding a festive bow to your parting gift.

    13. Freeze it for later.

    If you end up with loads of leftovers on your kitchen counter, pack up the extras and store them in the freezer for a later date. Studies show that when food is out of sight, you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping.

    14. Chew gum to stop you over eating.

    Studies have conflicting results on whether chewing gum will actually help curb your appetite and lead to weight loss in the long run. However, in the short-term, chewing can keep you busy when socializing or when you’re full but still eyeing a second plate of dessert.

    15. Turn your back on temptation.

    The closer we are situated to food that’s in our line of vision, the more we’ll actually consume. A simple fix? Face away from the dessert spread to listen to cues from your gut rather than your eyes.

    16. Beware of booze.

    Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking too much in the presence of champagne, eggnog, wine, and beer can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly. Take it easy with the bubbly before you start saying things like, “Eh, what’s one more cookie?”

    17. Cave in to cravings.

    Finally, a suggestion we can all get behind. It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Caving to a craving—as long as it’s in moderation—can curb the desire to go at it like a kid in a candy store. Forbidding a specific food or food group during the holiday season may only make it more attractive. Still want more of that apple pie after a couple of bites? Try thinking of your favourite holiday activity, like opening presents, watching Christmas movies, or playing in the snow. Research shows that daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings.

    18. Choose smaller drinking cups.

    When you’ve got a hankering for some seasonal eggnog, reach for a tall, thin glass, not a short squatty one. Research shows people pour less liquid into tall glasses than into their vertically challenged counterparts. With a taller glass, you’re likely to down less in one sitting (which is especially helpful when drinking booze).

    19. Drink Plenty of water!!

    Drinking water helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Rather than guzzling calorie- and sugar-laden sodas and juices (which are associated with increased body fat and blood pressure) treat yourself to a glass of wine with dinner and keep your allegiance to water for the rest of the day.

    Tips for Moving and Mindset


    OK so we have gone over some eating tips, now let’s go over mindset tips that will also help!

    1. Meditate.

    Emotional eating to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad or anxious can interfere with weight loss goals. But meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness—can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions. This is especially important at parties where there’s a ton of food on display.

    2. Set realistic goals.

    Come New Year’s resolution season, it’s easy to set lofty goals about weight loss (i.e. drop three dress sizes by February!). Since impractical targets can slow down long-term weight-loss, it’s important to address those goals before making any health and fitness changes. Write down your goals—keep them specific and attainable—and post them somewhere highly visible, like the refrigerator door. If your goal is “stick to two cookies at every holiday party” seeing it periodically may help you commit.

    3. Stay positive.

    Many of us demonize certain foods and even punish ourselves for indulgences. Instead, positive messages like “I can control my eating” or “I’m proud that I ate responsibly today” can re-frame our relationship with food. Research shows positive expectations are associated with weight loss. Even if it feels a little silly, try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation per day.

    4. Try to De-stress.

    The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful keeping up with family get-togethers and paying for all those gifts. Unfortunately, a lot of stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates. If family time (or being away from family during the holidays) has you feeling overwhelmed, try out one of these ways to reduce stress before downing hot chocolate and cookies.

    5. Let go of limitations.

    No, we’re not talking about unbuttoning your pants at the dinner table. Before hitting up holiday parties, remember that a good workout isn’t limited to a gym or the track. It’s easy to use your bodyweight—even in small spaces—to work up a sweat.

    6. Rest and get plenty of Sleep.

    Though there’s likely no stopping the urge to wake up early on Christmas morning, getting enough sleep can help shave off some pounds, since sleep loss is linked to changes in appetite. Getting enough sleep has also been associated with less weight gain. Practice good sleep hygiene, like turning off electronics in the bedroom and avoiding high-fat foods at night.

    7. Partner up.

    Research suggests we perform better on aerobic tasks like running and cycling when exercising with a partner. If you’re home for the holidays, call up a friend or family member for a gym date or a home workout with our favorite partner exercises, including medicine ball lunge-to-chest passes, and clapping push-ups.

    8. Move it to lose it.

    A simple phrase for losing weight is to move more and eat less. The secret here—like we said before—is that moving doesn’t just mean hitting the track or going to the gym. Make a conscious decision to get more steps into the day by taking the stairs or parking the car far away from the grocery store entrance. Before curling up around the fire, round up family members for a hike or snowshoeing session.

    So what do you guys think? What do you use to help keep you weight in check over the holiday period and did we miss anything? let us know in the comments below and lets have discussion.