Cold Weather Eating

 

As temperature gets colder, experts say our appetite increases – and so can our waistline.

Studies have indicated that we tend to eat more during the winter months, with the average person gaining at least one to two pounds – and those who are already overweight likely to gain a lot more. People who are affected with this tend to have lower blood levels of serotonin – not surprisingly, those carbohydrate-rich foods give us a serotonin rush, so for many people winter food cravings are a way of self-medicating – as the days get shorter the need for these ‘carbo-rich comfort foods’ increases. WHAT TO DO?

While cold winter weather may be encouraging us to eat more, experts say we don’t have to lose control of our appetite in the process. Here are 5 ways to get some winter comfort without packing on the extra pounds.

But what is about falling temperatures that urges us to eat more?

One reason is that food performs the simplest of winter functions: It helps keep us warm.

“Simply put, when outdoor temperatures drop, your body temperature drops and that is what actually sets up a longing for foods that will warm you quickly,” says Kristin Herlocker MS, RD, a nutrition expert with Diabetes Centers of America in Houston, Texas. In short she says shivering triggers a self preservation mode that sends our body a message to heat up fast! And while technically, any food – including fruits and vegetables – will boost our metabolism and help create the extra heat we crave, for most folks it’s the traditional “comfort” foods that come to mind when it’s cold.

While for some it’s the falling temperatures that set their appetite in motion, for others it’s the decrease in sunlight that increases the need to feed. The reason is a brain chemical dysfunction known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD– a type of depression that occurs in a response to a lack of sunlight. So what’s the link to an increased appetite? Experts say that the early winter sunsets combined with the cold weather means many folks simply stay indoors more this time of year – and that often means we feel isolated and, usually hungrier.

Winter often provides lots of excuses for moving less. Not only does it contain shorter days, it cuts our outdoor time by several hours –- in many locations the temperatures, as well as other weather related factors like snow and ice, make our chosen fitness activities, like walking or running, more difficult. Since exercise helps increase serotonin levels, the lack of activity can have a direct influence on how much we eat.

If we’re eating more and working out less, there’s no place for our weight to go but up!

1. The colder the temperatures the more you need to snack. But if you make it a high protein, high fiber snack you’ll rev up your body’s heat mechanism quickly and remain warmer longer.  And that means you’ll not only burn more calories, you’ll also have a less of a drive to eat more often.

2. Create Low Cal Comfort Foods – If you know that nothing take the chill off your bones like comfort food, look for ways to cut the calories and still get that warm and cozy feeling. Try a bowl of vegetable soup instead of a high fat chicken noodle, make your cocoa with non fat milk, try Mac & Cheese with no-fat cheese – be creative in finding ways to make feel-good food less fattening.

3. See The Light – Get in the SUN! Even an hour of direct sunlight a day can help elevate your disposition. Or if you definitely find yourself more hungry on dark, gloomy days talk to your doctor about light therapy. It’s a way of using artificial light to increase serotonin levels – and reduce your appetite.

4. Exercise Your Daily Life – If you can’t go outside to do your regular workouts, find a studio that has an indoor area – or even if the weather keeps you from getting to the gym – put more activity into your daily living. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, march in place while you’re sorting the laundry or doing the dishes, or clean out the closet/basement/garage instead of curling up with your favorite DVD movies every night. The more you move the warmer you will feel and the less hungry you will be.

Dinner Entree: Turkey Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 6 ounces extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 whole-wheat, low-fat flour tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter, warmed on a skillet
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup salsa

In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, cumin and oregano.

In a nonstick frying pan, add the ground turkey and onion. Cook over medium heat until the turkey is browned and onion is translucent. Drain well. Add the spices to the turkey mixture. Stir to mix evenly.

To serve, place a 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture in each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1/4 of the diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce and 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold in both sides of each tortilla up over the filling, and then roll to close. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Serving size: 2 tacos
Calories 340 Cholesterol 49 mg
Protein 28 g Sodium 423 mg
Carbohydrate 31 g Fiber 7 g
Total fat 13 g Potassium 681 mg
Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 209 mg
 ** Tip: Taco seasoning mixes from the grocery store usually have large amounts of sodium. Here, the taco seasonings — chili powder, cumin and oregano — have all  of the taste but none of the sodium. *Also you can substitute the whole wheat tortillas with  lettuce leaves for less calories.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Pregnancy and Cravings

Many women have experienced food cravings during the course of their pregnancy. Many of these cravings consist of chocolate, ice cream, meat, cheese and salty snack food. Most doctors believe that cravings can be nutritionally based. It could be a message from your body on what it needs to eat. If you are craving salty foods it could be because your body needs more sodium as your blood volume increases. If you are craving fruit, your body might need more vitamins C. The problem is sometimes the message gets lost on the way to our brain. You may find yourself craving something sweet and instead of getting berries or fruit, you find yourself gulping down snicker bars.

Cravings can be the downfall of your weight gain especially if the message is getting scrambled. There are some ways though you can help curb your cravings.

Fighting Food Craving

Food craving is actually normal, but pregnant women need to learn how to deal with these cravings so that proper nutrition is maintained. It is important for a pregnant woman to clearly know her limits in terms of overindulging, especially when the cravings are particularly on food items that have little, or no nutritional value.

Start with breakfast

Eating a good breakfast helps begin the day in a healthy way and at the same time prevent cravings later in the day.  An example of a nutritious breakfast would be yogurt, fresh fruit, whole grain bagel with jam, and orange juice. You can try some soy crisps, instead of French fries. Instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt. If you feel like candy is calling your name, snack on some frozen grapes. If you want something salty try pretzels, or even rice cakes to satisfy that urge. A good substation for soda would be some fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.

Think small

If you are craving chocolate, you do no need to reach for a king size bar. The snack size bar will satisfy your craving just the same. If you want a brownie, have one; just do not eat the whole pan. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a few of your cravings as long as you know not to overdo it. Eat regularly to avoid drops in blood sugar that could trigger food cravings. Dividing up food into six small and satisfying meals can help.  Focus on lower-calorie foods. Frozen yogurt and low-fat fudge bars may do the trick when you desire super-premium ice cream. Sorbet, sherbet, and frozen fruit bars are other lower-calorie frozen treats that can stand in for higher-calorie options.

Dairy

Take dairy products, for example, rich in protein, calcium, and several other nutrients, which are among the top foods women want during pregnancy. Dairy foods can include: yogurt, string cheese, milk, or even frozen yogurt ice cream.

Physical Activity 

Include regular physical activity (as permitted by your doctor).

Cravings to Avoid

No matter how strong your desire, steer clear of foods considered health risks for pregnant women and developing babies. These include and are not limited to:

  • Raw and unde rcooked seafood, meat, and eggs
  • Unpasteurized milk and any foods made from it, including Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, and Mexican-style cheeses
  • Unpasteurized juice
  • Raw vegetable sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, and radish
  • Herbal teas
  • Alcohol

Remember, a good nutrition plays a key role in a healthy pregnancy. And it is very important for women to try to eat well-balanced meals and maintain a fitness routine in order to support the needs of the growing baby.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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The perfect body for you

Building the perfect physique is not easy. It requires making hard choices, enduring sacrifices, and setbacks. But it’s worth the sweat. Building the perfect physique is about getting into the best shape of your life and improving your health on all levels. Therefore, if you’re looking to turn your lifestyle around, here are 6 practical tips that can help.

Lose Weight with Protein

Protein is vital for building muscle mass and good recovery but it can also help you keep hunger at bay, which in turn prevents any excess weight. According to a study done by the University of Sydney and the Cambridge University, people who have consumed a daily diet comprising of even just fifteen percent protein slashed about 1000 calories over a period of four days than those who opted for a ten percent protein diet.

 

Consume Fats

Fats are not the enemy of your diet. In fact, consuming adequate amounts of fat can in fact help you shed those pounds and promote better health. Unsaturated fats can help suppress cravings and have minimum impact on blood sugar levels. They are mostly found in vegetable oils and avocados. On the other hand, saturated and trans fat are harmful since they boost your levels of LDL—also known as the ‘bad cholesterol’—which increase the likelihood of heart ailments and weight gain.

Body Workouts for a Strong Core

If you’re looking to get a strong midsection, incorporate total body exercises. These types of exercises recruit more muscles, shed mad calories, and improve core strength, thus leading to greater fitness rewards. According to a study at Southern Illinois University, performing seven abs exercises five days a week for six weeks showed no reduction in body-weight, belly fat or waist circumference. The best way for getting a six-pack instead is via using total-body exercises such as deadlifts, chin-ups and squats.

Use Free Weights

If you’re looking to achieve greater muscle gains, then using free weights is the way to go. According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, working out with free weights rather than fixed machines will lead to better muscle activation, thus boosting strength and fitness gains.

Stretch Those Muscles

Adding a yoga session to your training program can provide with many benefits as doing aerobic exercise. A study done by University of Maryland revealed that yoga has been shown to outperform aerobic exercise when it comes to improving flexibility and muscle strength.

Bootcamp for Success

Besides aerobic classes, bootcamp classes are a great way to shed more weight by booting calorie burn and metabolism.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Nutrients and Menopause

It’s important for women to stay healthy during menopause. More and more women are taking control of their nutritional health by incorporating natural products into their daily regimen. Eating right and choosing proper supplements for nutritional insurance are extremely important.

According to the North American Menopause Society, the majority of women experience menopause at about age 51, but it can occur as early as the 30’s or as late as the 60’s.

Common Signs of Menopause Include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Personal dryness
  • Irregularity in menstrual cycle
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness

Vitamin A

Women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding and dryness of the skin, benefit by taking Vitamin A supplement. Natural food sources of Vitamin A include carrots, spinach, watermelons and goat liver.

Vitamin B6

This vitamin plays a critical role in the manufacture of serotonin which is much required during menopause. Vitamin B6 levels are found to be low in menopausal women. This vitamin also helps fight and decrease insomnia and irritability, which are typically menopausal symptoms. It may be a helpful addition in treating menopausal symptoms.

Vitamin D

During menopause, there is an increased need for calcium as the estrogen levels are low. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium from the intestines. Hence, it is functional in preventing osteoporosis. The best way to get an adequate quota of Vitamin D is to take a walk in the sun, eat fish oils and fortified cereals rich in Vitamin D.

Vitamin E

The chemical activities of this vitamin are not clearly verified, but it is believed that it may relieve menopausal women of hot flashes and depression. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps douse the destructive effects of free radicals. It is also good for skin and prevents wrinkle formation. Foods rich in vitamin E are leafy vegetables, nuts, vegetable oils and whole grain cereals.

Magnesium

This mineral when taken with calcium helps calm the nervous system. It also helps protect the bones by promoting better calcium absorption.

Water

Water plays many roles in keeping you healthy. It helps to digest food so you can absorb the nutrients you need. It gives you an important source of minerals like magnesium and calcium. Water moistens mucous membranes and lubricates the joints and cools the body through perspiration. Drink 10-12 glasses of water, watery soups and vegetable broths.

Menopausal symptoms are precipitated by hormonal decline. So what does it make to arrive at a healthy menopause? A nutrient dense diet, an intake of vitamins, physical exercise and a positive mental attitude. If you want to prepare for it well in advance, begin early in your thirties and you will find yourself ahead of the game.

  • Health Alert
  • Go easy on the salt.
  • Limit your caffeine and sodas.
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol
  • Watch the spicy foods.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, salt and spicy foods can all trigger hot flashes and worsen their intensity.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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