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Healthy Eating 101: 5 Carbs That Actually Promote Weight Loss

For years, we believed that cutting on our carbohydrate intake is the cornerstone of diets that promote weight loss. As it turns out, however, there are certain carbs that could actually help in your plan to shed off some weight. Here, we listed down some of the best carbs you’d want to keep around as you start pushing through the path of losing weight.

Oatmeal

Despite being known as a snuggly comfort food, oatmeal can actually be of great help for your weight loss plan. Nutritionists in Singapore also explain that the complex carbs found in oatmeal will help in filling you up and keeping you from going overboard at lunch. Just make sure that you steer clear from brands with added flavouring and sweeteners, and just stick with using almond butter, cinnamon or coconut sugar for that extra flavour.

Barley

Being a member of the cereal grains, barley is believed to be capable of increasing the leptin levels on our body – a hormone tied to the regulation of appetite, food intake and body weight. One study showed that consuming a serving of boiled barley can already change the bacteria in your gut, which in turn revs up your metabolism. It is also found that this fibre-rich starch can decrease one’s hunger sensations. So be sure to include this cereal grain into your diet either by mixing it with your baked goods or sprinkling it on your salads and soups.

Quinoa

With this powerhouse grain containing twice as much fibre as the other grains, its fibre gets released a lot slower into the bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar levels balanced and speeding up your metabolism. Additionally, quinoa has also been shown to aid in weight loss as it produces lower fatty acid levels that’s linked to insulin resistance.

Sweet Potatoes

Be sure to keep a couple of this root veggie in your pantry for moments when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth and carb craving. Despite containing about 27 grams of carbs, sweet potatoes have been shown to help increase adiponectin levels – a hormone that monitors blood sugar levels and encourages faster metabolism. Plus, they’re fat-free and contains fewer sodium and calories compared to white potatoes.

Whole Grain Cereals

Whole grain cereals are naturally high in fibre and low in fat – and is believed to help decrease the size of your waistline. A study showed that men and women who consumer whole grain cereals has less abdominal fat and lower body mass index (BMI). Just be sure to steer clear from those with artificial sweeteners or flavouring.

Consuming carbs won’t only cause you to gain weight – it could also help you shed off some weight, if you just eat the right and healthy carbs. So be sure to keep these healthy carbs in your pantry to help make your journey to losing weight more productive and less stressful.

Habits That Cause You to Gain Weight Over the Weekend

 

You’ve been grinding the gym for many days now and eating healthy. Come weekend, you have plenty of time to relax and rest but when it is Monday, you will realize it will hit you hard – instead of seeing the scale fall, you see it rise. You then realized that you gained weight over the weekend and that is not good news for you.

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Do not fret because there are easy fixes that you can consider for your recent gains. You just need to identify what caused the gaining of weight over the weekend and quickly fix it. Here are the habits that will surprise you:

  • Water habit: You already know that your body is made of water and changes in hydration (even over the weekend) can lead to fluctuations in your body weight. People gain weight because they confuse sensations of thirst and hunger. You may be just thirsty but you find yourself reaching for food. The good news is that if you are dehydrated, you will shed few pounds but they will eventually go back when your water intake increases.

 

  • Period habit: This is only applicable for women. When you have your period, combination of your hormones such as the estradiol and progesterone will lead to hormonal fluctuations not to mention upsurge of metabolism. When this happens, the brain will think that the fluctuations are characterized by lack of glucose which will lead you to consume 100-200 extra calories.

 

  • Bathroom habit: Pooping is the body’s way of getting rid of excess. When you are constipated but consumed large amount of food over the weekend, expect to weigh more. In fact, when pooping, you lose one to four pounds.

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  • Shopping habit: When you shop for food, you have to read the nutritional contents before buying, right? That is a good habit however it can mislead your diet. Be careful for items that are labelled “low fat” or “low carb”. You could be sneaking tons of fat or carbs for all you know.

 

  • Sleeping habit: It is normal to work even on weekends here in Singapore but you have to watch out your sleeping habit. No matter how busy you get, you should not skimp sleeping. Getting enough sleep is a crucial part in your life. When you do not get enough sleep, the body will release cortisol and upsurge post-meal insulin. This will encourage fat storage which is linked with weight gain.

It is good to be conscious of your weight if your goal is to achieve your body mass index but obsessing over numbers is not a good thing.

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Here’s What to Eat to Avoid Sleep Problems

 

If sleep problems are troubling you at night, perhaps you want to be more cautious of the snacks you munch on before hitting the sack. After a long, tiring day, all we want is a good night’s sleep, but unfortunately, not all of us are able to fall into deep sleep easily. To ensure a re-energizing slumber, here are a few smart tips we want to share with you. No, were not giving you a list of lullabies, but food recommendations to avoid specific sleep problems.

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Sleep Problem: Difficulty to Fall Asleep

What to take: A glass of warm milk before going to bed.

When you were little, perhaps mom gave you a glass of milk before tucking you to bed. This is because milk—and other dairy products—are rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes sleep.

A bit of carb to go with your dairy is also ideal to condition your body to be at rest. Carbohydrate-rich foods increase the level of tryptophan in the blood, encouraging your system to slow down. So, pair milk with cereals or yogurt with some bananas and nuts to easily send you to dreamland.

 

Sleep Problem: Getting Nightmares

What to take: Some avocado or leafy vegetables like spinach or kale.

Opioid peptides, an amino acid found in some cheese, can be the cause of vivid bad dreams since they send your imagination and endorphins to overdrive.

Magnesium is said to decrease chances of nightmares. By incorporating magnesium-rich food into your dinner, you reduce your chances of experiencing bad dreams at night.

 

Sleep Problem: Waking Up at the Middle of Sleep

What to take: Vitamin C-rich foods, such as kiwi and orange also help improve sleep.

According to Singapore health experts, these foods help reduce stress and, in result, provide you continuous sleep at night.

Avoiding too much liquid before going to bed is also advisable. If you drink too much liquid before tucking yourself in, chances are you’ll wake up in the middle of sleep with the urge to pee, or wake up in the morning with full and heavy bladder, which is very uncomfortable.

 

Sleep Problem: Snoring

What to take: Citric fruits like grapefruit or orange.

Snoring is often caused by clogged nasal pathways and being overweight. If you’re not overweight, you might have problems in your sinuses that force you to breathe through the mouth, causing the snoring noise. Vitamin C from citruses helps clear the sinuses, so snack up on these foods to be a more silent sleeper.

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More Foods to Promote Better Sleep

  • Legumes

Legumes, such as lentils and black-eyed peas, contain high levels of B vitamins that help calm down the nervous system. This is a good choice to include in your dinner because they are a good substitute to animal protein, which can cause some sleeping problems.

 

  • Honey

A drizzle of honey in your tea or warm milk doesn’t just enhances the flavour but also aids the mind to be at rest. Lots of sugar can be stimulating, but a little glucose commands the brain to switch off orexin—a neurotransmitter that’s linked to alertness.

 

  • Almonds

As mentioned, magnesium helps reduce sleep disorders. And since almonds are a good source of magnesium, munching on them as your after-dinner snack help promote sleep. By switching the body from alert adrenaline cycle to rest-and-digest mode, you’ll easily fall asleep the moment you hit the sack.

 

  • Bread

Rich in carbohydrates, bread can definitely help in putting yourself to sleep, especially when you have it three to four hours before going to bed. However, avoid this if you’re trying to lose weight. It will pack a rise in the blood sugar, causing your to gain weight.

 

  • Soups and Stews

Soups and stews—especially those with fiber-rich legumes and veggies—as well as low-fat casseroles, are much more rewarding in terms of putting your body into its relaxed state. So instead of having seared meat or hot and spicy food for dinner, a warm bowl of pork or chicken soup would be a much better option.

Eating the right kind of food is important for a sound sleep. However, the ultimate tip here is to take everything in moderation. Keep your meals, especially your dinner, small and light so you don’t stress out your digestive system. When your digestive tract works hard, your body won’t be able to relax and you’ll feel uncomfortable to the point you will have trouble sleeping.

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5 Reasons Why Apricots Should Be Added to Your Diet

Keeping track of your level of fitness isn’t easy, especially if you’re a career woman living a fast-paced lifestyle. Helping yourself to the fast food counter is far easier than preparing a healthy meal every day and sticking to a fitness regimen. For those with limited time, apricots can be a unique blessing. In fact, it’s a miracle fruit that can help you achieve your beauty and health goals while on the go. Here are other reasons why you should start stocking up on this godsend fruit right away.

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  1. Prevents Aging and Skin Damage. They may not look like it, but apricots can actually help us with our acne and wrinkle problems. The fruit is loaded with vitamin A, an age-fighting agent that reduces wrinkles, brown spots and skin roughness, and vitamin C, an anti-aging supplement that improves the skin’s elasticity and smoothness. Aside from that, apricots also contain traces of vitamin B3, a lotion ingredient that’s known to reduce skin redness. So ditch your daily soda drink now and enjoy your fresh apricot juice.

 

  1. Improves Eyesight. We’ve all grown up hearing how good carrots are for our eyesight, but a new research shows that apricots can actually even be better for improving and maintaining one’s vision. An average apricot has around 39 percent vitamin A, which is the vitamin needed by the retina for low-light and colour vision. It also contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which aids in preventing eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration glaucoma, and even vision loss.

 

  1. Reduces Heart Disease Risk. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women worldwide, which is why it goes without saying that nurturing a healthier heart has never been more important. Luckily, apricots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that prevents stroke, heart attacks and peripheral vascular disease. The fruit’s vitamin C content also propels collagen development, thus maintaining the natural elasticity of your arteries.

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  1. Fights Anaemia. Because of the way their bodies function, women tend to be at the greatest risk of acquiring anaemia. This condition disrupts how tissues and organs normally function, forcing the heart to work harder than it needs to do. Luckily, dried apricots are the perfect snack to eliminate and prevent the said illness. Vitamin-rich, loaded with iron and low in calories, apricots have been recommended as a dietary supplement that can treat iron-deficiency anaemia.

 

  1. Promotes Bone Formation and Strengthening. Apart from anaemia, apricots can also be a good dietary supplement to prevent osteoporosis. The fruit contains a great mix of vitamins and minerals that has much to offer. This vitamin-mineral mix includes boron, which activates vitamin D to carry magnesium and calcium to your bones, instead of excreting it through your urine. Apricots also contain high potassium levels that aids in muscle function, copper for maintaining bone and joints functions, and traces of vitamin K that is essential for allowing calcium-bonding proteins like osteocalcin in building bones.

Apricots are a multi-tasker fruit that can help you in achieving our fitness and health goals on the go. So incorporate this fruit in your diet and you’ll be a step closer to the healthy lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

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5 Vegetables You Should Be Eating More

When it comes to vegetables, you can never really go wrong. We all know that they’re healthy, but what we’re really missing out is that some of these greens are actually a lot healthier than the others. We understand that eating the same veggies every time can become a bit boring, which is why we’ve rounded up five of the healthiest vegetables that you can and should certainly add into your diet.

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  1. Onions. Known as one of the most versatile, flavourful and recipe-friendly vegetable, onions also happened to be one of the healthiest veggies. This vegetable is rich in phytonutrient polyphenols that aid in reducing inflammation and increasing bone density. Other than that, onions also has sulphur compounds that are believed to prevent cancer and heart disease. What great benefits in such a little veggie, right?
  1. Beets. They may be good at adding a pleasant shade of pink into any beverage, but beets are actually worth more than that. This tiny pink veggie actually aids in lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation and boosting stamina. So the next time you head to the gym, bring a few beets along to help you stick through your routine much longer.
  1. Asparagus. It may not look like it, but this spring vegetable is actually rich in folate, selenium, vitamin’s B2, C, E and K. Not only is it packed with health benefits, asparagus can also be used into countless recipes and ways of cooking. They make a great side dish as well, especially when they’re in season.

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  1. Radicchio. If you’re into leafy veggies, then radicchio is definitely a must-try. Rich in antioxidants, B vitamins and vitamin K, radicchio will surely make your salad nutrient-packed. Other than that, it also contains lactucopicrin, the one responsible for its bitter taste and has a rather analgesic effect.
  1. Broccoli Rabe. This veggie can be alarmingly bitter if you’re not used to eating it, but if cooked properly, it can be surprisingly delicious too. Health experts even recommend it to allergy sufferers as it is rich in a wide range of nutrients and vitamins from vitamin C to folate.

The idea of consuming these vegetables regularly may not seem palatable to most of us, but by creating delicious meals out of this veggies, adding these healthy greens into your diet will surely be one of the best decisions you’ll make.

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4 Secrets the Diet Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

 

Even if you’re not trying to lose some pounds, chances are you have seen some ideas on how to do so, such as “Ten minutes to a leaner tummy,” “Lose seven pounds in seven days,” or “Finally, celebrities’ diet plan is here.” While these claims sound very alluring, there’s just no easy way to lose weight.

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However, here’s the good news: You can certainly lose weight without a magazine, book, expensive exercise machine, or personal trainer. To help, here’s a peek of some of the weight-loss industry’s untold secrets.

1. Fat is an essential part of a weight-loss plan. The trick here is eating the right kind of fat. Good fats,such as monounsaturated fatty acids actually help in losing weight, while saturated fat often found in processed meats and trans-fat in desserts are bad for your health and waistline. Eating foods such as avocados, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon is a good way to add good fats to your diet plan.

2. Exercise alone is an ineffective weight-loss plan. If a trainer tells you that his workout routine will lose all those extra pounds, save the money and exercise on your own instead. To lose weight and to be able to maintain it, you have to pair exercise with good eating habits. Exercise alone as your weight-loss tool can only induce more hunger, which can offset improvements you have already made.

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3. Dairy can shed off some pounds. Most people believe that dairy products can make you fat, while in fact studies show that calcium deficiency greatly contributes to weight gain and loss of appetite control. Some dairy sources of calcium, such as non- or low-fat cheese and yogurt are effective at accelerating weight-loss. So, instead of skipping dairy altogether, have three of low-fat dairy a day to speed up your weight-loss.

4. Fidgeting burns LOTS of calories. It’s difficult to create an exercise video or workout routine hat includes fidgeting, but simply squirming, tapping, or making constant little movements throughout the day can burn calories. Look for little ways to keep you moving throughout the day in order to burn calories. There’s even a study that says incorporating fidgety activities in your day can burn 600 calories or more.

So many people make money by selling diet plans and weight-loss equipment, proving that weight-loss is one of Singapore’s biggest businesses. If you don’t want to fall into the hype and make use of your money wisely, bear in mind these long-hidden secrets when working on your diet plan.

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