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Weight loss for women's health covers diets, weight loss plans, weight loss surgery, tips for successful weight management, dieting tips, and healthy eating. Discover the facts about the latest diet books and eating plans for weight loss and maintenance of healthy weight when you've met your dieting goal.

 

 Weight Loss:


10 Best Weight Loss Food Rules

Remember the old adage that it's not only what you eat but how you eat and when you eat that most affects your health and weight management? Here are some of our favorite tips on eating for weight loss:



Weight Loss Food Rule #1

Read your labels! If it comes in a box or bottle or plastic wrapping, chances are it's high in carbs and/or artificial ingredients. Always check the nutritional information on the label. If the carb content is more than double the protein content, don't eat it. And if you see more than four artificial-looking ingredients, good to skip that too.

Weight Loss Food Rule #2

Eat low-glycemic foods. The glycemic index of foods indicates the rate at which its carbohydrate content breaks down into sugar in the body. Foods with a low glycemic index will stimulate a relatively low amount of insulin. Foods with a high glycemic index will, on the other hand, trigger a big spike in insulin.

Weight Loss Food Rule #3

Eat fruit solo. Fruits digest rapidly, so it's best to eat them alone or with a little yogurt. Other foods can be eaten a half hour later. When fruits are eaten with foods that require longer digestion time, indigestion will occur. To get specific, the fruit sugars will putrefy in your gut, causing bloating (adding non-fat inches to your waistline!) Fruit is a superb diet food when eaten right. Go for low glycemic fruits. They can safely be eaten alone. When you eat a high glycemic fruit, be sure to eat it with soaked nuts (almonds, preferably, as it's a great weight loss food) or non-fat plain unsweetened yogurt or low-fat cheese. Consult our glycemic index chart for glycemic load rates of various fruits.

Weight Loss Food Rule #4

Eat protein with every meal or snack.* Protein is a natural regulator of fat-producing insulin. Make sure you include protein with any high carb or sugary meal or snack. It will reduce the amount of insulin production, which will encourage your body to burn the food you eat rather than store it as fat.

*
This may sound contradictory to Rule #3, but keep in mind this caveat: low glycemic fruits can be eaten with little or no protein, if you tend to have digestive difficulties.

Weight Loss Food Rule #5

Don't be afraid of fat. Fat does not make you fat. The wrong kind of fat will cause digestive problems and other health issues, but fat in and of itself is not your dietary enemy. Eat the right fats: olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, to name a few.

Weight Loss Food Rule #6

Be afraid very afraid of transfats. Avoid like the plague! all products containing hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil. Also, skip the french fries and other fried foods served at restaurants.

Weight Loss Food Rule #7

Chew your food thoroughly. Did you know digestion starts in your mouth? Saliva breaks down carbohydrates, so chew your breads and grains until soft and mushy. Thorough chewing also jump starts enzyme production in the stomach. Remember that undigested food creates bloating and toxins that find their way to your fat cells, making them larger in size.

Weight Loss Food Rule #8

Stop eating before you are full. 80% fullness is the ideal. One of the most prevalent factors underlying many diseases is over-eating. When we eat too much at once, we put tremendous stress on the digestive organs, and later the eliminative organs. Lighter meals will nourish your body more fully and give you more energy.

Weight Loss Food Rule #9

Eat in peace. Eat in a calm, serene setting. If you're eating alone, let the process of eating be a sensory meditation. If you're eating with others, keep the conversation on pleasant topics. Never eat during an argument or while watching disturbing shows on TV.

Weight Loss Food Rule #10

Don't eat late. Eat your last meal at least three hours before going to bed. Any undigested food that a late night meal or snack produces will increase your waistline from bloating and your fatty tissues from the storage of toxic by-products.
 

The Glycemic Index: What It Is and What It Isn't

The glycemic index is a rating system that assigns a number to any given food designating the rate at which the sugars in that food produce an insulin response in the body. Foods are rated from 0 - 100. The higher the number, the more quickly that food raises blood sugar levels; low numbers are assigned to foods that raise blood sugar very slowly.

Glycemic index is not a measurement of the sugar a food contains, but rather the rate at which that food breaks down into glucose sugar in the body. Instant mashed potatoes have a high glycemic index, a whopping 87; honey has a glycemic index of 61; a raw apple, 36. Glycemic index ratings are 'raw' numbers, meaning that the foods are rated in their most basic state. The mashed potatoes had no added condiments when it was measured. If you add butter and sour cream, the glycemic index of those dehydrated potatoes will change. The GI will drop, in fact, because dietary fat slows down the breakdown of the complex sugars in the potato, thus slowing down the increase in insulin production.

Many factors, then, will affect the actual glycemic impact of the foods your eat. Keep this in mind as you use the glycemic index to plan your meals. There are individual differences that can't possibly be added to the equation as well. For example, your insulin response to foods may be affected by your age, activity levels, the time of day and your unique insulin sensitivity.

The Glycemic Index: A Tool for Healthy Eating & Weight Loss

Any one pursuing a weight loss diet or interested in weight management, disease prevention and long life, can benefit from just a rudimentary understanding of the glycemic index. We suggest only a basic understanding, because the science of glucose-insulin response is really quite complex. Here's what you need to know in order to benefit from using the glycemic index for weight loss, weight management or disease prevention:

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

The glycemic index has recently been improved with a second rating factor: glycemic load. Here is the difference between the two: glycemic index measures how quickly a particular food elevates blood sugar levels and then triggers an insulin response. The higher the number, the quicker the response. The glycemic index is looking at the carbohydrate content of the food, since that is the triggering food component relative to blood suger. A glycemic index of 70 or more is considered high, 56-69 is medium, and 55 or less is low.

The glycemic load of a food looks at more than the carbohydrate in a food, and takes into account how much carbohydrate a food contains. The glycemic load offers a more accurate assessment of the glucose/insulin impact a food will likely create when it's consumed. The glycemic load of foods are also numerically rated. 20 is considered high, 11-19 is medium, and 10 or less is low.

Most low GL foods have a low GI. Medium to high GL foods can be anywhere on the GI scale. The watermelon presents an interesting comparison. The glycemic index of a watermelon is 72, which is high. This is the measurement of its carbohydrate glycemic rate. But watermelon is mostly water, and it's relative carbohydrate content is very low. We find then, that the glycemic load of watermelon is 4, very low.

The Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load: Numbers & Charts

Next you need access to a comprehensive chart showing the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods. We have published several charts here. The University of Sydney has a searchable database on their web site glycemicindex.com.

The Glycemic Index: Why It's Important and How It Can Help

Blood sugar levels are important to maintain for a few reasons. First, there are the physical reactions and food cravings that result when levels that dip too low, which can result in lethargy, headache, dizziness, inability to concentrate and increased hunger. Your body may not need more food, but it does need more glucose, so it will motivate you to eat, and it usually wants high carb foods to feed the low glucose level.

When your blood sugar level is too high, your body produces insulin to bring that level down and stabilize the glucose content of your blood. When insulin is released into your blood, it converts the excess glucose into fat and it also signals to your body to store it's fat reserves. We find then, that high glycemic snacks and meals, even though they may initially offer an elevation in energy and mood, will inevitably result in fat storage and the crash that is experienced when our body is slammed with a high dose of insulin.

Low glycemic foods release glucose gradually into the bloodstream, which necessitate a modest amount of insulin production. Blood sugars remain stable and balanced. Energy levels, while not necessarily explosive, will be sustained and even. Your body will be more likely to burn fat reserves rather than use up the glucose in your blood. For dieters and those with diabetes, a diet rich in low glycemic foods is highly desirable. A low glycemic orientation can be applied to virtually any weight loss diet. An increasing number of doctors, diet experts and nutritionists advocate using the glycemic index in conjunction with meal programs for the management of diabetes as well as for weight loss.

Diet VS Exercise

In a perfect world, everyone would work out enough and eat correctly all the time. But that's not always possible, so we turned to the experts to find out what really matters most dieting or exercise for losing weight, fighting disease and boosting overall wellbeing. Here, we crown the champ in each category.

 

If You Want To Lose Weight

The Winner: Diet

The Reason: As research makes clear, trimming kilojoules from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller dress size. "It's much easier for most people to cut 2000kJ from their diet than it is to spend an hour in the gym trying to burn the same amount of kilojoules," says dietician Charlene Giovanelli-Nicolson. However, both diet and exercise are essential for keeping that weight off.

If You Want To Boost Energy

The Winner: Exercise

The Reason: Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, says exercise psychologist Dr Patrick O'Connor. People who train consistently report surges in energy, according to some 70 studies.

Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

The Winner: Diet

The Reason: "If you had to focus on one nutrient that would lower your heart disease risk, it would be omega-3 fatty acids," says cardiovascular disease physician Dr William Harris. In studies, omega-3s from oily fish lower heart disease risk by up to 64 percent. That said, working out does strengthen your cardiovascular system, reducing risk.

To Prevent Diabetes

The Winner: Exercise

The Reason: Around 840 000 South Africans have diabetes. Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the strongest defence against the disease, but physical activity has a slight edge. Active muscles gobble up glucose from the blood for fuel, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable.

Prevent Cancer

The Winner: Both

The Reason: Eating a mostly plant-based diet and exercising regularly remain the gold standard for warding off cancer. Keep in mind: the more consistently you work out, the greater the protection.

Improve Your Mood

The Winner: Exercise

The Reason: A 20-minute sweat session can be enough to perk up your mood for a whopping 12 hours, reports a recent US study. It may also be as effective as medication for treating depression. And exercise can lead to changes in the brain that protect you from stress.

 

Splenda: A Natural Sweetener?

The chemical name of Splenda is sucralose. While sucralose begins as as a sugar molecule, it is the process by which it's made that is concerning. Sucralose is a synthetic chemical that is manufactured in a five-step patented process. During this process, three chlorine molecules are added to a sugar molecule. The initial, natural sugar molecule is a disaccharide made up of two single sugars bound together; these single sugars are glucose and fructose.

The chemical process used in making sucralose modifies the chemical makeup of the sugar so much that it is converted into a molecule that does not normally occur in nature. Because this artificial molecule is not natural, the body does not know how to metaboize it. According to the manufacturers of Splenda, this is the very grounds on which Splenda is calorie neutral -- it is not broken down or metabolized by the body. Splenda simply passes through your digestive track without depositing any caloric residue.

This is misleading, however, as Splenda's no calorie status would only hold up if the body did have the capability to metabolize it. More troubling, the fact that sucralose is a wholly artificial ingredient proves questions about its safety, especially if used in large amounts over a long period of time. There is the additional matter of insulin reaction. While research reports are still inconclusive, the medical research community widely theorises that Splenda elicits an increase in insulin levels, which, despite the calorie content, will signal the body to hold on to fat reserves or even store more fat.

New Sugar Substitutes

Nutritionist Janet Starr Hull has researched Splenda and other new sugar substitutes and shares these conclusions:
 

  • Splenda is a chlorocarbon, which has a history of producing organ impairment, genetic mutation and reproductive issues.

     

  • Splenda can do damage to the thymus gland, which plays an significant role in healthy immune system function.

     

  • Splenda can induce swelling of the liver and calcification of the kidneys.

     

  • The studies cited by the manufacturers Splenda only report selective results and do not show an accurate assessment of the actual health impact of Splenda.

     

  • The cholrine that is used in the process of producing Splenda is a carcinogen, a fact published in the OSHA Hazardous Waste Handbook.

     

  • Sucralose is not as health-threatening as Aspartame. If you had to choose between the two, choose Splenda. Saccharin is the only artificial sweetener that is in any way acceptable. But you will be better off using a natural form of sweetener.

     

  • The uncommon sweetness of sucralose (Splenda is rumored as being 600 times sweeter than sugar) only provokes greater addiction to the taste of sweetness.

     

  • Unless one's digestion is impaired, any food or substance you ingest will be assimilated. If we feed the body a wholly indigestible material (such as margarine), it will move through the body undigested, if it doesn't get bound in the gall bladder. If sucralose is really indigestible, that is a bigger problem than the problem of absorption.

     

  • The only benefit to using Splenda is the profit the manufacturer gains.
     

Splenda Side Effects

Skin welts, blisters or other irritation
Rash
Allergic response
Itching
Swelling
Bloating
Diarrhea
Headache
Tremors
Nausea
Abdominal pain
Depression
Forgetfulness
Mood swings
Anxiety
Inability to concentrate
Lightheadedness
Feelings of paniceeling faint
 

Splenda Self-Test: How to Detect if Splenda is Harming You

The best way to detect if sucralose is impacting your health is to perform this simple test. First, eliminate sucralose entirely from your diet for two weeks (as well as all other artificial sweeteners). After two weeks, consume three to five portions of Splenda for up to three days. Do not eat any other variety of artificial sweetener during this time. Observe very carefully how your body responds. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, there is reason to believe that you have a sucralose intolerance. If you have severe reactions, particularly on day one, there is a very hight chance that Splenda has a toxic effect in your body. It would be a good idea to avoid Splenda entirely. This self-test can be done with any of the artificial sweeteners.

Super-Skinny Snacks

Snacking is great for your metabolism! These 400-kilojoule snacks are a perfect fit for your diet...

The Right Nuts

Almonds are super healthy and a great skinny snack. You can have 15 as one snack which is equal to 400 kilojoules

Say Cheese

One of slice Gouda cheese (pre-sliced packets, 20g per slice) is the equivalent of 400 kilojoules. Bonus? Cheese fills you up quick and for longer.

Mielie Munchies

One cup air-popped popcorn will do the skinny snack trick. Note: Aired. No butter allowed!

Divine Intervention

Take a five minute break and have 15 grapes to fill the gap.

Skinny Beans

Snack on 45 steamed edamame. Yum!

A Great Fat-Free Choice

Try 125g fat-free cottage cheese ( of a standard 250g container).

Must Love Nuts

Pack 14 walnuts halves in your lunchbox and snack on them during the day.

Dairy Delicious

150g fat-free fruit yoghurt, like Woolworths Fat-Free, Gero Fat-Free, Pick n Pay Fat-Free.

Peanut Butter Treats

Snack on two teaspoons of peanut butter with five small celery sticks.

Make Like Bugs Bunny

Make like bugs bunny and eat your carrots eight to be exact with three tablespoons of hummus.

Cashew Nuts

We all love cashew nuts but they're only good for you in small doses. Best you only have 10 cashews as a snack.

A Taste Of Chocolate

One cup sugar-free hot chocolate (10g powder + hot water)

Juicy Lucy

One large apple

 

 

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