Four Ways To Prevent The Metabolic Drop Associated With Dieting

Decrease Graph - jscreationzsAs you go about your diet program plan, one thing that you need to be especially careful about is the metabolic drop that can sometimes occur. On any diet plan, it is very normal to see a decline in your metabolic rate as you progress along because this is the body’s natural way to protect against starving to death.

Unfortunately though, for you the dieter who wants to lose weight, it’s anything but beneficial.

Let’s take a quick peek at the main ways that you can prevent a metabolic drop so that you can carry on getting the results that you desire.

Don’t Crash Diet

The first and smartest way to prevent the metabolic decline that typically occurs is to avoid crash dieting entirely. If you start dropping your intake too far, it will be unavoidable and you will suffer a slower metabolism because of it.

Always use a moderate approach – you may see slightly slower results, but you will keep seeing results far longer.

Continue To Strength Train

Next, also make absolutely sure that you are continuing to strength train. If you forgo strength training, not only will your metabolism decrease more but you may also lose lean muscle mass and strength as well.

Strength training is one of the most important exercises to do when you’re on a fat loss diet plan.

Eat More Carbs

Moving along, also be sure that you get in sufficient amounts of carbs. Those who use lower carb diet plans tend to notice greater metabolic declines than those who use a more moderate approach, so do try and keep as many carbs in the plan as you can.

This doesn’t mean you have to eat a high carb diet, but don’t go very low carb either.

Moderate for most things when it comes to dieting is always better.

Refeed Every Few Weeks

Finally, you should also be making sure to do a refeed every few weeks. This is going to be a period in time where you bring your calorie intake up much higher, making your body think the diet period is over.

Eat at maintenance or slightly above for a 2-3 day period and then return back to the diet. When you do, you should see fat loss progressing along more quickly again.

So there you have some fast tips to prevent against the metabolic decline often seen while dieting. Use these and you will have better results to show for your diet efforts.

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What To Know About The GI Index

Oatmeal Cookies - Juggler PMMany people get into the habit of using the GI index to dictate the foods that they eat in their diet as they know that those that rank lower on the GI index scale tend to be superior choices for controlling hunger levels and managing blood sugar.

This said, before you strictly rely on just the GI index alone, there are some important points that you must consider.

Don’t Overlook Calories                                                      

First, make sure that you aren’t overlooking the calorie value of the foods you eat simply because they rank low on the GI index scale.

For instance, oatmeal is a lower GI food, but this does not mean you can eat an unlimited amount of it.

Calories do still count so while you can use the GI index to help you establish smarter choices over others, you must still track your calories if you want to lose or maintain your weight.

Consider GI Load

Next, also make sure to take into account the GI load as well. Remember that how much of a food you eat is also going to come into play.

If you eat only a small amount of a high GI food, it may boost blood sugars but it can only do so by a very little because you ate so little to start with.

If you eat a high dose of a lower GI food, that would actually have a greater effect simply because of how many carbohydrates you consumed.

Think About Proteins And Fats

Finally, also make sure that you take into account the proteins and fats you’re eating as well.  Remember that adding these to your meal will also slow down the digestion process, so this can change the influence of any food on your blood sugar levels.

If you are making a point to eat balanced meals throughout the day, making sure each meal or snack does contain some lean protein and if your calorie intake allows, a small dose of healthy fat, you shouldn’t have much of a problem at all with blood sugar control.

So there you have some key tips to keep in mind about the GI index scale. While it is a great scale to use for guidance as you pick and choose the foods to include in your plan, don’t that just because it’s a low GI food this means you can eat as much of it as you like.

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Are Detox Diets Safe?

Fruit Basket - IamharinDetox diets are ‘all the rage’ right now as more and more people are diving onto them thinking they are an excellent way to kick start their results.

But, is a detox diet really a wise move?  If you take a look at some of the detox approaches out there, you are going to come to see that many of these programs are quite harsh and definitely don’t have you eating much food.

Let’s have a look at a few of the main points to consider about detox diets.

Why Do A Detox?

So why should you consider a detox diet in the first place? Detox diets are going to aim to help you eliminate all the toxic waste build-up in the body, promoting a more optimal level of functioning and superior fat burning.

There’s no questioning the fact that for many of us, it’s toxic overload on our systems right now due to many of the dietary and lifestyle choices that we’ve made.

A detox diet aims to get you to a better place of functioning.

Recognizing Unsafe Detox Diets

If you are going to consider doing any type of detox diet, you need to be sure that you can recognize the good from the bad.

The bad detox diets look more like starvation diets in disguise and have you virtually starving throughout the day. They may have you drinking some type of magical potion that you create, claiming this is what causes detoxification.

All that will do is stress out your system.

Instead, you want to seek out detox diets that are going to have you eating a diet rich of various fruits, vegetables, and some lean protein.

If the detox is going to be used for longer than a day or two, protein will be a must to prevent against lean muscle mass loss.

Furthermore, a detox diet should make sure that you are taking in some helpful supplements while you do it including a quality multivitamin as well as essential fatty acids. This will help to safeguard against nutritional deficiencies from developing and all the potential side effects that could come along if some do.

Choose Wisely

When it comes to doing a detox diet, make sure that you are choosing wisely. Don’t dive onto the first one you come across because there are more unsound choices out there than there are sound ones.

Be smart in your selection and you will fare far better.

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What To Look For When Selecting A Heart Rate Monitor

Heart Rate - digitalartOne great tool that you may want to get yourself as you go about your workout program plan to see optimal results is a heart rate monitor.

Many people get into the habit of using these at first to make sure they are working in their target heart rate zone and then after seeing the benefits that they offer, choose to keep using them from that point forward.

The nice thing about a heart rate monitor is that it makes it much easier to keep tabs on the total intensity that your workouts are being done at.

Since not all heart rate monitors are created equally however, it helps to know what to look for when selecting one.

Let’s go over the main points to know.

One That Tracks Calories

The first feature you may find on some heart rate monitor devises is that it will also track your overall calorie burn as you go about your workout.  This may seem beneficial, but do be careful with this that you don’t take it too seriously.

Realize that many of these calorie tracking devices are notorious for not being all that accurate, so you’re best off simply going be perceived level of exertion and estimating your calorie burn from there.

If you feel like you’re working hard, you’re likely burning up sufficient calories. Don’t think that just because the readout says you’ve burned 600 calories that you should go and give yourself a 500 calorie treat!

One That Tracks Distance Travelled

Next, some heart rate monitors will also work as a pedometer and will also track the total distance you’ve travelled. This can be especially helpful if you plan on doing some longer runs outside as then you know precisely how far you’ve gone.

As an added benefit, you could always wear it throughout the day to ensure that you are getting in regular lifestyle activity and reaching your total steps taken goals.

One That Tracks Sleep Status

Finally, some heart rate monitors can also be worn in the evening and will track your total time spent in deep sleep. This can be beneficial to see – more for curiosity sake than anything and will allow you to figure out if you are getting the quality sleep that you need.

So have a good look at all the heart rate monitor options and make sure that you are choosing one that is going to be best suited to the workouts you plan to do.

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Best And Worst Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast - Serge Bertasius PhotographyIf you’re someone who loves to start your day off with a bowl of cereal, it’s going to be imperative that you are making a wise decision here.

With so many different cereal varieties to choose from, it can get pretty easy to make a wrong move. And if you do, you definitely will not be seeing the results that you had hoped for from your diet plan.

Let’s go over some of the top breakfast cereal choices and some of the worst.

The Good

When it comes to a cereal, you can’t beat oatmeal. As long as you choose an unsweetened variety, this breakfast cereal will provide fiber, long lasting energy, and is quite versatile as well.

Plus, it’s very filling for a lower volume of calories, so great for those on intense diet plans.

Another good cereal is bran buts or all-bran. Keep in mind that you do want to check the sodium content of these varieties as at times it can get high, but as long as it’s kept low, you’re good to go with this one.

Finally, shredded wheat squares are the last good breakfast cereal to consider and will help to pack in a serious fiber punch while keeping your blood glucose level steady.

The Bad

On to the bad.  One of the top cereals that tends to fly under the radar with most people is granola based cereals. Not only are these often high in sugar, but they can be very high in calories as well, which will really move you away from your goals.

Also be very careful about any of the flavored flake-like cereals you choose. While often they will seem healthy because they contain whole grains and come with added nuts or dried fruits, check the sugar content to be sure.

You may be getting in far more sugar than you think.

Finally, it should go without saying but any clearly obvious sweetened cereal – Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Pebbles, or Honey Rice Crispies for example should be avoided.

If it seems more marketed toward your child, it’s definitely not going to be a wise choice for your diet plan.

So keep these quick tips in mind.  Cereal can be a good way to start your day as long as you choose that cereal wisely and make sure to read the full nutritional label before bringing it home with you.

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A Closer Look At The Fat Burning Supplements

Diet Pills - M BartoschIf you’re in the market for some fat burning support, you may be looking at the various supplements that are open to you.  There is definitely no shortage of fat burning products out there – all you need to do is walk into any supplement store and you will be greeted by hundreds of different options available.

That said, which will work and which should you turn away from?

Let’s take a closer look at the fat burning supplements that you may want to consider.

Hunger Suppressants

The first type of fat loss supplements you’ll come across are the hunger suppressants. If you often find yourself falling off your diet plan because you just get so darn hungry, these are the ones for you.

Hoodia is one of the more popular hunger suppressing ingredients, so that may be the one to look for first. There are others on the market, however it tends to be most effective overall.

Metabolic Enhancers

Next, you’ll also find metabolic enhancers out there.  These are the ones that will stimulate your central nervous system to a greater degree, so you do need to be more careful with them.

You’ll find that you start to get a bit burned out if you start taking in too much of these and for a longer period of time.

What they will basically do however is boost your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories all throughout the day.

The greater your metabolic rate activation is, the more calorie burn you achieve.

Energy Boosters

The next type of fat loss supplement that you may come across is the energy boosting products. These typically stimulate the central nervous system as well, so if you are getting a metabolic enhancer, chances are you’re also getting an energy boost along with it.

Energy boosters can be good as most people do notice a significant decline to their energy levels when starting a diet plan and this can mean you’re less active and as such, burn fewer calories.

Just keep in mind that some energy boosters will case quite the crash after you come down from them, so you need to be aware that that may occur.

So there you have the three types of fat loss products out there. Some come in combination products so you can kill three birds with one stone, while others are sold separately.  This allows you to pick and choose the support you want.

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Healthy Vegetable Lasagne Recipe

Traditional lasagne made with minced beef, béchamel sauce and sheets of fresh pasta is delicious, but fattening. So if you are trying to control your calorie intake it is a far better idea to make a tasty vegetable lasagne instead. The good news is that you don’t need to sacrifice taste and flavour when making the following dish. Thanks to a perfect combination of ingredients, you can enjoy a healthy, low fat meal that is packed full of vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 x courgettes
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 1 x red onion
  • 4 x sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Small pinch of chilli
  • 1 x aubergine
  • 1 x red pepper
  • 1 x tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 x tin butterbeans
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 350ml rice milk
  • Parsley

How To Make Vegetable Lasagne

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / Gas Mark 4
  2. Slice the courgettes into thin ribbons. Rub oil and seasoning into the courgette ribbons and toast them on each side for one minute in a hot griddle pan. Put to one side until later.
  3. Fry the finely sliced onion and garlic in some hot oil for around five minutes. Remove half of the soft onions and place them in a blender.
  4. Add the sun dried tomatoes to the remainder of the onions and garlic in the frying pan and cook for 30 minutes. Add the chilli and season to taste. Blend into a sauce and add to a mixing bowl.
  5. Place sliced rounds of aubergine, thinly sliced pepper and sweetcorn on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with thyme. Place the tray in the hot oven for 20 minutes and then add the vegetables to the tomato sauce.
  6. Add the drained tin of butterbeans to the rest of the onion and garlic and blend into a smooth sauce.
  7. Create layers of courgettes, tomato sauce and butterbean sauce in a lasagne dish until all of the ingredients have been used up. Make sure your final layer is ribbons of cooked courgettes. Place the dish in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Serve your vegetable lasagne with a fresh green salad.

A portion of regular lasagne is around 600 calories. This version contains 50% less fat and is only 375 calories. Try it!

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Rebecca Adlington’s Tips Can Help Make Your Swim Training More Interesting

Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise, but it has to be said that swimming endless laps of the local pool is hardly inspiring. Yes, you might end up with a streamlined and trim body, but you may also end up bored rigid. So how can you make swim training more fun? Luckily for us, Olympic middle-distance swimming legend, Rebecca Adlington, has a few helpful tips.

Plan Your Swim Session

Swimming twenty lengths of the pool, three times per week, might keep you in reasonable shape, but it won’t help you reach a higher level of fitness. To do this you need to follow a training programme with achievable goals.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Mix up your swim training with speed work, drills, distance work, and recovery swims.

Have Training Goals

Make sure you have a specific goal for every session you do. Whether your plan is to achieve a specific lap time or swim a set distance, make sure you work towards this during your time in the water.

Set Small Targets

If concentration is waning and you are more interested in the hot girl or guy sitting in the Jacuzzi area, set small targets to stay focussed. Count strokes or try and increase the number of strokes between breaths; anything you can do to sharpen your mind and restore concentration levels is good.

Try A Few Swim Gadgets

There are lots of different swim gadgets available to help you make the most of your swim training sessions.

  • Pull buoy
  • Hand paddles
  • Swim float
  • Wrist and ankle weights

Incorporate one or more into your swim training sessions to help build up strength and improve technique.

Join A Swim Club

Swimming with other people is a lot more motivational than swimming alone week after week. The other benefit of joining a swimming club is that it gives you access to swim coaching, which is great if you need some pointers on your technique or advice about training plans. But if you can’t stand the thought of joining a swim club, try and arrange to swim with a friend. Even if they are at a different level to you, having a pre-set arrangement to swim together will help keep you motivated and encourage you to push yourself harder.

Swim In Different Environments

Where possible, mix and match your swimming environment. For example, swimming in open water or the sea is very different to swimming in a heated 25m pool. Different swim environments will help to improve your technique and make you a better swimmer.

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Warm Muesli Muffins

American muffins are pretty irresistible. Unfortunately, most varieties of muffin are packed full of calories and laden with unhealthy fat. So if you are watching your weight, they are not exactly the best choice for breakfast. Sometimes, however, we all deserve a little treat from time to time. The following muffin recipe may not fat-free, but it is a lot lower in calories than most other types of sweet muffin and the fat content is not quite as disastrous. It is also suitable for the lactose intolerant and vegans.

Ingredients

  • 75g wholemeal plain flour
  • 50g of self-raising white flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 150g fruit muesli
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml dairy-free milk
  • 1 x egg

How To Make Warm Muesli Breakfast Muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Place nine muffin cases in a muffin tin
  3. Sift both portions of flour into a large mixing bowl and add the fruit muesli, brown sugar and baking powder. Mix together.
  4. Pour the milk, sunflower oil and egg into a bowl or jug and blend with a fork. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Divide the muffin mixture between the nine muffin cases.
  6. Place the muffin tray in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes. Your muffins should be well risen and feel firm when you touch them, but to make sure they are thoroughly cooked insert a fork into the middle of one of them. If it comes out clean, they are cooked. If there are traces of muffin mixture left on the fork, place the muffins back in the oven for a few more minutes.

The Nutritional Information

A regular blueberry muffin contains around 377 calories and 16g of fat, 2.7g of which is saturated fat. Warm muesli muffins contain 251 calories per serving and the total fat content is 13.4g, of which 1.7g is saturated fat.

Serving Ideas

Served warm, these delicious muffins are perfect for breakfast. The fruit muesli gives them an extra healthy kick and as long as you don’t eat all nine together, they won’t do your diet too much damage. They also make a tasty mid-morning snack. And if your kids normally refuse to eat any form of fruit on the basis that it’s ‘healthy’, give them one of these muffins and see how long it takes them to wolf it down.

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Spicy Pork Goulash

Hungarian goulash is a tasty winter warming dish. It is guaranteed to fill you up on a cold winter’s night, and thanks to the chilli element, your metabolism will enjoy an extra boost. This dish only contains 305kcal and 11g of fat per serving so is ideal for anyone on a low calorie diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g pork fillet
  • 2tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper
  • 1 long chilli
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed caraway seeds
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 100ml low-fat natural yoghurt

How To Make Hungarian Goulash

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / Gas mark 4.
  2. Chop the pork fillet and toss it in a bowl with the paprika, flour and seasoning. Heat up the olive oil in a large oven-proof casserole dish. Once the oil is nice and hot, brown the pork pieces on all sides before removing them with a slotted spoon and placing in a dish for later.
  3. Reduce the temperature under the casserole dish and fry the sliced onions and crushed garlic until the onions are nice and soft. If the onions are beginning to stick, add a small amount of water to the pan.
  4. Next, add the chopped peppers, finely chopped chilli pepper, caraway seeds and oregano. Give everything a good stir. After about approximately one minute, add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and red wine vinegar to the pan.
  5. Add the pork back into the casserole dish, turn up the heat until it is nicely simmering once again and then place the dish in the oven with a lid tightly on for 1.5 hours.
  6. Once the casserole is cooked and the pork is falling apart, stir in the chopped parsley.
  7. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle some paprika on as a garnish.

Veggie Option

For a vegetarian alternative, substitute mixed beans for pork.

Top Tip

If you have a slow cooker, brown the pork first before adding everything to the slow cooker and leaving it to stew slowly on a low heat all day. By the time you get home from work, your Hungarian goulash will be cooked to perfection and you can sit down for a delicious and extremely tasty meal.

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