Healthy Chicken Recipes to Lose Weight

Healthy Chicken Recipes to Lose Weight

Chicken breasts (skinless if at all possible) are great meal choices if you are looking to lose weight through your diet. Relatively high in protein and low in fat, they are easy to add to numerous meal setups to keep your diet interesting.

It’s worth noting that simply adding chicken to your everyday diet is not the way to go – you need to use it to replace the higher-calorie food you normally eat and reduce your overall caloric intake.

Below are a selection of my favourite healthy chicken recipes to lose weight…

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MOROCCAN CHICKEN AND LENTIL SOUP

I first discovered this relatively easy-to-make soup on a Tesco leaflet for healthy meals – I’ve created it many times since! It’s a colourful dish that is pretty awesome at warming you up throughout the winter months.

CHICKEN AND LENTIL SOUP

The Ingredients You’ll Need…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 900ml (1 1/2pt) hot vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 390g tinned green lentils, drained
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 x 245g pack boneless chicken breast, skin removed and shredded
  • small handful fresh mint, roughly chopped

The Steps:

Grab a large pan and heat up the oil on a medium setting of heat.

Chuck in the onions and garlic and fry for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and tomato purée, and then fry onward for about 3 minutes further.

Chuck in the stock and your carrots, then leave your creation to simmer for around 10 minutes (I usually wait until the carrots seem tender enough – always a good sign that things are ready!).

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, apricots and lentils and simmer (I’d say for about quarter of an hour).

Next add the courgette and chicken – cook for a further 10 minutes (approx). I like to wait until the courgette is tender enough to eat, as an indicator.

Finally, stir in the lemon juice and leave to simmer for a further 3 to 5 minutes. Season it to your taste!


SPRING CHICKEN CASSEROLE

People tend to prefer casseroles in the winter months but let’s cook outside the box a bit – how about a spring version of a tasty casserole?

Check this out…

SPRING CHICKEN CASSEROLE

The Ingredients You’ll Need…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 300g small new potato
  • 425ml low-salt vegetable stock (such as Kallo low-salt vegetable stock cubes)
  • 350g broccoli, cut up into small florets
  • 350g spring greens, shredded
  • 140g petits pois
  • Bunch of spring onions, sliced up
  • 2 tbsp pesto

The Steps…

Pick a nice big pan and heat the oil up in it.

Chuck in the onion and fry up for about 5 minutes or so (until they are ready/soft)

Add the chicken to the onions and fry for about 6 minutes – make sure the chicken is sealed and light brown on all sides.

Add the potatoes, stock and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, then bring to the boil.

Cover the pot and simmer for around the half an hour mark – make sure the potatoes are cooked and the chicken looks cooked.

Add the broccoli, spring greens, petit pois and spring onions, stir well, then return to the boil.

Cover it all up and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Finally, stir in the pesto and heat through for about a minute

Enjoy!

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BAKED PESTO CHICKEN

This popular dish is one of the most simple, great tasting, chicken meals I have come across…and it’s ready in 35 minutes!!! This recipe feeds a family of four…

Pesto Chicken Dish

The Ingredients You’ll Need…

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • Half a cup refrigerated basil pesto
  • 2 – 3 plum tomatoes, sliced (optional)
  • Half a cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

The Steps…

Oven on – preheat to about 400 degrees F (about 200 degrees C).

Spread out a baking sheet and then line it with a good quality cooking foil.

Place chicken and pesto in medium bowl then toss thoroughly to make sure it is fully coated – then place on the foiled baking sheet.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in centre.

Once removed from the oven, top with cheese and tomatoes then return to the oven. Bake for a further 5 minutes until cheese is suitably melted.

That’s it! 🙂


GRILLED CHICKEN – MEXICAN STYLE!

A simple Mexican-styled marinade chicken that takes about 20 minutes to prepare (well, not including the marinade time!). Love this one – idiot proof recipe that feeds a family of four…

GRILLED CHICKEN - MEXICAN STYLE!

The Ingredients You’ll Need…

  • 4 chicken breast halves, on the bone
  • Half an onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Quarter of a cup of olive oil
  • Half a teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • Half a teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Half a teaspoon black pepper
  • Quarter of a teaspoon dried chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 limes, juice of or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 handful cilantro leaf (optional)

The Steps…

Liquify all of the ingredients put aside for the marinade in a blender or food processor.

Place marinade inside a freezer bag (or zip-locked bag) and add the pieces of chicken – give it a shake to distribute marinade.

Place bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours (if you are pushed for time – refrigerate for no less than 2 hours!).

When suitably marinaded, remove the chicken and place under a hot grill (get rid of the remaining marinade sauce)

Simply grill at a reasonable heat and turn occasionally – that’s it!

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How to Make Tap Water Taste Better

How to Make Tap Water Taste Better

The first thing I usually look at when people inform me they want to lose weight, is their drinking habits (regular drinks NOT alcohol – that’s another article!).

You can get pretty awesome weight loss results just from cutting out sugary drinks and increasing the amount of water you drink…but not everyone is that keen on the taste (or lack thereof) of water.

So today I thought we’d take a look at a few useful options on how to make tap water taste better – simple and healthy – check ’em out!

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SIMPLY ADD FRUIT

SIMPLY ADD FRUIT

I like to think of fruit options as ‘water enhancers’ – an incredibly simple and healthy way to flavor a glass of tap water.

I would recommend starting off with a few citrus fruit options, such as lemons, limes, and oranges. If you don’t mind the ‘bulky’ feel to your drink, you could go for the more diverse option of raspberries or watermelon.

When the summer months come around, my mother likes to add cucumber and fresh mint to chilled water (extremely refreshing option!).


BUBBLES!

Add bubbles to water

A lot of people tend to miss the bubbly effect of their choice of soft drink – they find still water a constant reminder that there are sweeter alternatives out there!

I have to be honest with you, I much prefer a carbonated mineral water as opposed to a straight mineral water. Again, add some fruit or fruit juices to the water – see what you can create!

Fizzy water tends to feel like much more of a treat…or is it just me?


COLD TEMPERATURE

Ice cubes in water

I always prefer my soft drinks cold – even in the winter! To go one step further, I would say that iced water tastes better than water served at room temperature.

I’m including this option because a friend introduced it to me last summer…and it was great…

She uses flavoured ice cubes to chill down her water. Simply use fruit additives…or any additives you fancy really…and flavour the water in the ice tray (before you chuck it in the freezer – obviously!).

If visitors pop round, and you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish (I like the fish shapes best!)

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SWAP SOFT DRINKS FOR TEA

Drink tea instead of water

Now, before we go any further, I should really point out that we are talking about the more HEALTHIER options of tea here (not your bargain basement standard black teabag from the local store!).

We are looking at herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas here – the options that are widely considered to be a LOT more healthy for you overall.

These teas contain little to no caffeine and have a great selection of exciting and enticing flavors to choose out of.

First stop is the local health store, or even the health section at your local supermarket – you’ll be quite surprised at what they offer there…if you look hard enough!

If you take to them, don’t stop there – start researching the huge choice of speciality teas that come from all parts of the world.


DO YOU LEAN TOWARDS THE SAVOURY SIDE?

Drink broth as a water alternative

If you find yourself getting a little peckish throughout the day, and your palate leans toward the savoury side, you may want to try out bouillons or broths.

Now I know this sounds a little strange…but hear me out for a couple of minutes…

There are numerous low-fat and low-sodium versions of these savoury options and at the end of they day – they are nothing more than (a posh version of) flavoured water!

Because these options are water-based, they also count towards your daily fluid consumption (which many people keep track of due to weight loss efforts).


Learn How to Make Tap Water Taste Better

So there we have it folks – five simple and healthy options for you to spice up your water.

What was your favourite? Do you have any ideas you would like to add to this list?

Please leave your thoughts and opinions on the article in the comment section below.

The Fat Burning Kitchen Guide – Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation to Make Your Body a Fat-Burning Machine. Find Out More HERE!

Eating Chips Everyday – Are French Fries Bad?

Eating Chips Everyday - Are French Fries Bad?

Running a health blog that remains interesting to the public, month after month, is a pretty hard job (believe me!). When I first launched this site I was determined to stay away from the ‘health fluff’ most of my predecessors had relied upon.

Let’s be honest here – how many times have you read a rehashed article on low carbohydrate dieting or the benefits of a Paleo lifestyle?

It sometimes seems as though one person publishes an excellent health article…only for the rest of the crowd to completely plagiarise it…time and time again.

So a lot of my time is spent searching out new and INTERESTING health topics – I try and think outside the box to keep this site as fresh (and popular) as possible.

A recent visit to a reasonably popular forum highlighted a really interesting post on eating chips everyday, and this post led me to an even more interesting article in The Independent newspaper…

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So, Are French Fries Bad For You?

Okay, before we go any further I should point out that ‘chips’ in the UK are what the Americans refer to as ‘french fries’ – we are not talking about the crispy bags of potato chips here – we are talking about the deep fried babies that go with your burger from McDonald’s.

Now that we’ve managed to clear that up…

The article of interest from The Independent carried the shocking news that ‘Eating chips (or ‘french fries’ if you are in the US) more than twice a week can double your risk of dying’.

With a headline like that I just had to dive in deeper….


The Fried Potato Problem

We all know that the good old fried potato can hurt our waistline but the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s latest report goes one step further.

Their studies highlighted the fact that over a period of eight years – people who regularly ate fried potatoes were twice as likely to die.

The tests were carried out on a group of individuals aged between 45 and 79, there were 4,440 of them in all. When the eight year period was up, 236 of the participants had died.

Now I don’t want to cause a panic here – this test was only taken out on the FRIED POTATO choices available – I’m not saying potatoes as a whole are bad for you. Think of french fries, hash browns, crisps (chips in the US), and wedges.

Various Forms of Chips or French Fries

The group of scientists involved in this eight year study claim that the age and sex of the participants had nothing to do with outcome of the fatalities.

They also pointed out that other factors including obesity, avoiding exercise and high salt consumption may also have contributed to the deaths.


Why Are French Fries So Bad For You?

Well the most obvious answer to this question is the bad fats that chips/french fries contain.

There’s no getting away from the fact that frying your foods is super-tasty – way more tasty than every other form of cooking (come on – be honest with yourself here!).

Unfortunately, bad fat or saturated fat is what turns a potato into a time bomb for cancer, heart disease and diabetes… and how many take away joints do you know that fry their chips in healthy olive oil???

None!

Chips (or french fries) are also full of the worst kind of carbohydrates for your body. Now, as I pointed out above in the previous section – potatoes in their natural form are not necessarily bad for you…it’s the way we choose to cook them that turns them into a health nightmare.

Are French Fries really That Bad?

And how many of you reading this like your fries plain and boring?

The cooking process is bad enough…but we then pile on a load of salt for taste purposes – fries without salt are just not fries in my book!

Most of the ‘big boy’ fast food joints, like McDonald’s or Burger King etc, actually add the salt before handing the carton of fries over – you have no choice in the matter!

Diets that are high in salt increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart and kidney disease and stroke.

A regular portion of fast food fries usually contains about 600 milligrams of sodium – nearly 1/3 of the recommended daily intake.


Eating Chips Everyday

So what are your views on this new study and it’s results – do you really think that eating fries/chips twice a week ‘doubles your chance of death’?

I would be really interested to hear your views on this subject, please leave them in the comment section below.

The Old School New Body program offers unique and effective solutions to lose weight and prevent ageing. Find out more HERE

The Best Healthy Foods For The Heart

The Best Healthy Foods For The Heart

These days, the typical ‘rat race’ of everyday life seems to frequently stand in the way of being able to cook a healthy meal at home. Simply put – not many of us have the time!

It’s sad but true – fast food and convenience options often win the day, with most of us struggling to find the time to fit in breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We all seem to forget that the food choices we make can drastically affect our heart health, energy and appetite control.

In this article we will be taking a look at a great selection of healthy foods for the heart (my top choices!)…

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Put Down The Haribo – Pick up The Watermelon

Put down that bag of chewy gelatin-filled disasters – if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth AND look after your heart why not try a couple of slices of fresh watermelon?

A top source of antioxidants and fiber, it also contains high levels of lycopene – which has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease and cancer.

Watermelon is also a top provider of vitamins C and A, along with potassium and magnesium.


Simple Tomatoes

Like watermelon, tomatoes are rich in lycopene as well as vitamin C, and are easy enough to throw into any old dish!

I often find that simple pasta is a good way to go – there are so many easy sauces that can be made with fresh tomatoes and oregano. Tinned tomatoes are always a quicker and cheaper option, but stick to fresh if you can!


Do You Like Avocados?

I only ask the question as I am not the biggest fan of this food…but it is a great choice for heart health at the end of the day!

Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and are a good source of potassium. Now, potassium is a pretty awesome mineral when it comes to heart health because it is particularly good at controlling your blood pressure.

On top of this they contain high levels of carotenoids which are often linked with a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.


Eat up ALL of Your Greens Please! 

You always used to hear your mum bang on about them often enough during dinners…and this was for a reason!

Collard greens are pretty awesome!

They have a tiny calorie count and are very high in vitamins K, A and C, as well as folate, manganese, calcium and fiber. These vitamins and nutrients allow your blood to clot normally therefore helping to prevent calcification of your arteries.

They taste pretty good too! 🙂


Walnuts!!!

Such as simple little snack – I’m often amazed at the amount of people who choose to ignore the health benefits of this tasty little blighter!

Easy to munch on right out of the bag or simply sprinkle over any old salad – walnuts improve your heart functions through their high levels of healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants.

Don’t worry about the calorie stigma attached to nuts – just two ounces of walnuts a day can improve blood vessel function among people with diabetes AND provide protection for the heart.


This Sounds a Little Fishy – Salmon! 

Salmon is a great food option for those looking to keep their heart in ‘tip top’ condition. I recently read through a study that pointed to the fact that regular consumption of fish can lead to a 30 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease over the long term.

You see, cold water fish (salmon) contains really high levels of omega-3 fats which are known to lower blood pressure and can help prevent irregular heart rhythms.


My Favourite – Peas

Even as a kid, peas to me have always been the easiest vegetable to get through on a plate. They are simple enough to sneak into just about any groovy dish you can think of!

You don’t even have to go for the the more expensive organic options – the frozen versions are actually flash-frozen at the peak of ripeness!

High in fiber and good for the heart – try slipping them into one of your home cooked dishes this week.


Oats – Oatmeal

By now, most of us should be aware that obesity is not exactly great for the health of your heart…right?

Whole grains will help in your fight to keep your heart healthy AND help with the battle of your bulge!

Remember – overweight individuals are more likely to suffer from heart disease and heart-related complications. Oatmeal is the perfect way to start your day off in a heart-friendly manner.


Healthy Foods For Your Heart

So you’ve read my suggestions above – which of them is your favourite? Which of them has already been added to your diet? What heart healthy foods do you think I should add to this list?

Please leave your answers in the comment section below.

Interested in a 3 week Diet and Workout Plan that can change the way you look at food? Find out more HERE

Getting Healthy at 40

Getting Healthy at 40

Does the term mid-life crisis mean anything to you? Well, some say that life (really) starts at forty…a time when your goals in life are either clearly defined (or partly accomplished), or in shambles…a time to think about healthy living!

For the wise ones (like you presumably…), getting healthy at 40 is not just an option…it’s a prerequisite.

Transitioning from young adulthood into the middle-age comes with its own bag-full-of-turmoil… your overall health is only one of the major concerns.

Turning 40 means that you have to deal with “realistic” future possibilities of suffering certain health conditions associated with advanced age such as cancer(s), cardiovascular problems, and other complications such as diabetes.

All those who maintain a healthy lifestyle until they’re 40 years old should continue to do so without faltering…those who don’t should quickly pick up the habit.

Here we’re talking about healthy habits like eating right, engaging in some exercising, quitting all forms of substance abuse including smoking tobacco (or moderating alcohol intake), and ensuring sufficient sleep.

This is basically avoiding all etiological factors that may lead to health risks and consequent chronic conditions.

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So How Can You Promote Self Healthy Living at 40?

Finding out details about your family’s health history is a good way to start. Certain health problems (or risks) may be as a result of some genetic predisposition.

All notable changes in your emotional, and mental health must be reported to your physician.

You should ask your doctor to recommend suitable procedures for immunization, screening, and general routine health exams.

Of course, you should also pay attention to your physical and social safety by adhering to laws and regulations that govern your day to day living.

So how can you promote self healthy living at 40?


What Health Concerns Are Common for 40 Year Olds?

Blood Sugar – The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that about 26 million Americans live with diabetes but only 14% of adults aged between 45 and 64 have been diagnosed. The rest live with the disease without any knowledge of the diabetic condition. The risk for diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, increases significantly with age.


Heart Health Indicators – These include homocysteine and triglycerides levels, High Cholesterol, RHR (resting heart rate), and blood pressure. Cases of Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Complications tend to develop slowly over time and the risks become even more amplified as individuals grow older. Individuals at 40 or older are more likely to face severe medical conditions such as stroke or heart attack. Medication or adopting certain lifestyle practices may be necessary to avert any occurrence of advanced heart related illnesses.


Sexual (and Reproductive) Health – Human sexuality is an integral part of your health at 40 (or in your 40’s) and the common dysfunctions experienced as individuals age include ED (erectile dysfunction) due to testosterone deficit and perimenopause for females, STIs or STDs (including HIV/AIDS), and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) among others. Approximately 50% of men aged between 40 and 49 years suffer transient (or occasional) impotence but menopause may set in at age 51 or older. These conditions (especially menopause) may cause irritability, poor mental and emotional health, as well as hot flashes for the women.


Stress or Tension – Although the responsibilities that come with advanced age – specifically at 40 – are virtually unavoidable, any individual faced with general life issues such as family obligations, career choices, or finances can still avoid being overwhelmed by enjoying (and maintaining) close contact with loved ones, exercising/ physical activities, adopting better eating habits, and practically staying away from situations that may cause the development of stress.


Osteoporosis – It is a well known fact that peak bone strength and density dwindles gradually once an individual hits 40. This leads to weakened bones and thus the susceptibility to fractures among other related bone problems. Women who go into menopause at the age of 40 or older are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. This situation can be remedied through healthy diets and regular exercising.


Loss of Hearing or Vision – In addition to decreased senses of taste and smell, individuals in their 40’s may also experience changes in hearing and vision. You may find that you suddenly need glasses or worse, hearing aids.


Homeostatic Imbalances – These include conditions such as an erratic bladder or urinary (and sometimes defecation) incontinence, problems with the digestive system including complications like ulcers. Basically what happens once an individual hits 40 is that the entire body system goes haywire. Nothing seems to work like before.


Body Weight Issues – Your body’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is another issue that you have to deal with in your 40’s. Sometimes it becomes excessively hard to maintain your body weight even with a strict exercise regimen and a healthy diet. Your weight distribution determines whether your weight is healthy, or whether you’re on the verge of being overweight…or obese. Comparing your hip size to your waist size helps in estimating the risk of developing weight-related health issues.


Depression and Anxiety – Mental and emotional health become a great concern at 40 as a result of extreme mood changes, anxiety, loss of energy, the inability to experience pleasure, loss of interest leading to withdrawal from usual social interactions and/or activities, and basically an all round case of apathy towards matters that were previously important. Screening your mental health can help bring your “groove” back or at least make sure that you never lose it in the first place.


Problems of the Skin – Nobody wants alligator (or overly sensitive) skin but sadly this is a condition that cannot be helped for some individuals in their 40’s. Changes in skin type, aging spots, adult acne, wrinkles, and sun damage (occasionally leading to skin cancer) are just some of the skin health issues you have to deal with in your 40’s. Wearing sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or talking to a dermatologist is a good way to deal with skin-related problems.


Unremitting Ache – Finally, there’s the issue of everything aching. Back pain, tendonitis, arthritis, and generally painful joints also seem to be prevalent among individuals older than 40 years. Talking to your physician is very important when these symptoms are observed…or felt.


Recommendations For Healthy Living at 40

Different recommendations can be made for individuals based on the personal risk factors, family health history, and lifestyle choices made throughout the years.

Physicians can easily advice you on routine tests, medical exams, or screening procedures to help in health risk assessments.

The results can help encourage healthy lifestyles or provide general guidelines for living healthy at 40.

Here are some health-related recommendations for individuals in their 40’s…

* Immunization against hepatitis and pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis as often as the doctor recommends; annual influenza shots; and a booster shot for tetanus every ten years.

* Women in their 40’s can get additional screening tests such as pelvic exams, breast or mammogram tests, pap smears, or bone density testing as often as recommended by the physician. On the other hand, men in their 40’s can get tested for testicular issues including risks for prostate cancer, as well as PSA testing.

* Generally, getting healthy at 40 requires you to have regular physical exams (every 2 or 3 years) or as recommended by a professional, dental check-ups and/or cleaning; screening for cholesterol levels, blood pressure, colorectal cancer, and diabetes; examining both baseline EKG and skin cancer risks; and lastly, a comprehensive hearing and vision exam.

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Low Carbohydrate Diet Risks

Low Carbohydrate Diet Risks

About Low Carb Diets

The impressive results of minimum effort low-carb dieting have led to its growing popularity over the past 50 years.

But in reality, much of the weight loss is actually due to a drop in water retention, not in fat. And there is the issue of low carb dieting risks that are often overlooked by those who practice the diet and its advocates.

This kind of diet became popular during the Swinging Sixties, but the same philosophy is still being espoused even to this day, despite a number of concerns over potential health risks.

The main approach of low carbing is one where the diet centers around eating low to no carbohydrate and filling up and fighting hunger with lots of protein.

Advocates of this style of diet believe that by cutting out carbs, you can reduce the body’s insulin production, and interrupt the way that the body converts what you eat into fat.

Additionally, supporters of this type of diet say carbohydrates do not leave one feeling sated, and so you eat more calories to make up for the deficiency.

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Low Carb Diet Successes

Recent research has demonstrated that low carbing can help people to lose a maximum of about 10 pounds. However, science has shown that the bigger the dieter, the more weight they are able to lose by following a carb-restricted diet.

In fact, over a period of six months to a year, dieters who followed low-carb diets, lost considerably more than those on other traditional types of diet.

When people followed a low carb lifestyle, they also saw a positive increase in their HDL cholesterol and a reduction in triglycerides – which help the body store fat and are the main cause of heart disease.

Low Carb Diet Successes

Previously, most people believed that a high-fat diet would be very bad for a person’s overall health. However, most of our culture’s obsession with low-fat products was a result of flawed research carried out in villages in a China a long time ago.

Of course, like all diets, unless the dieter maintains a commitment to living healthily, eventually, they will regain their lost weight.


Low Carb Diet Problems

Despite the high levels of success for many people following low-carb diets such as the Atkins and South Beach diet, there are low carb dieting risks. And many weight loss professionals and doctors are concerned about the unknown health problems that might be caused by low carb diets.

For instance, there’s no reliable scientific research to determine if those following this type of diet can continue to lose weight or keep weight off after the first year.

Would dieters who had initially restricted carbs simply pile it all back on again if they reduce their restrictions?

Additionally, there has not been sufficient research to determine the long-term impact of diets that emphasizes eating protein and a lot of fat.

And although a correlation between low carb diets and heart disease has not yet been established, it’s not too early to rule it out.

Low Carb Diet Problems

Furthermore, medical practitioners and dieticians have not yet ruled out the deleterious effects of a high protein diet upon our health.

Whenever we consume a lot of protein, it tends to force our organs (our kidneys and liver) into overworking, because they have to filter a higher amount of waste from the protein.

Health problems such as kidney stones are common when someone has a richly protein filled diet.

It can also introduce problems like gouty arthritis due to the unusual levels of uric acid that high amounts of protein introduced into the body.

For those with existing kidney problems, these low carb/high protein diets can exacerbate their medical condition – even when the diet isn’t sustained for a long period.

Some people even believe that high levels of protein consumption are responsible for deteriorating calcium and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Restricting carbs might also be a poor health choice. The sudden reduction in carbohydrate could trigger ketosis.

Ketosis is a condition that is dangerous to people with certain health conditions such as heart problems, diabetics and those with poor kidney functions.

Furthermore, when you choose to reduce your carb intake, it’s possible to miss out on some important nutrients. People on low carb diets tend to avoid grains, fruit, and veggies.

This can lead to a considerable deficit in certain fibers, vitamins and minerals.

This is the problem with most low-carb diets, they do not ‘normalize’ health eating or habituate a balanced diet. They are a form of extreme eating.


What We’d Advise

You should always consult a health professional before starting any form of new diet.

While, we know that low carb diets can cause rapid and exciting weight loss, at present, there’s not enough research done into low carb diet risks.

In order to prevent this type of diet from causing you health problems, you should consider balancing your meals in line with traditional eating guidelines.

But if you want to remain at the low carb end of the spectrum, you could stick with about 1/3 carbs, 1/3 protein, and 1/3 fat.

Of course, the simplest advice of all is to eat less and move more.

Eating less unhealthy food and building additional calorie burning activities into your day, is an effective long-term strategy that comes without any health risks.

The Fat Burning Kitchen Guide – Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation to Make Your Body a Fat-Burning Machine. Find Out More HERE!

The Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid For Weight Loss

The Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid For Weight Loss

Americans have struggled with the scourge of obesity since the 80’s, when the USA literally gave up on healthy eating and turned to high-calorie fast foods.

The problems of obesity as a severe health condition have led to numerous studies aimed at discovering safe methods of dealing with obesity and overweight people in general.

A few of these studies have revealed interesting results showing the benefits of alpha lipoic acid for weight loss and overall wellness.

However, one thing about the results obtained in all the studies involving alpha lipoic acid (ALA or a-lipoic acid) as a weight loss supplement is that they have been inconclusive; despite the seemingly positive outcomes.

Professionals in this area of study agree that more research and controlled clinical experiments (on human subjects) are required to guarantee best (and consistent) results.

They’re also quick to add that this remedy may not have similar effects on everyone. This may probably be due to the uniqueness of our genetic make-up and response to different stimuli.

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What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid is a critical coenzyme needed for mitochondrial energy production, but primarily known for its function as a strong antioxidant.

Numerous independent surveys have revealed impressive unique properties of a-lipoic acid that make it a potent supplement in the treatment and management of migraines, blood pressure, weight loss, bone health, glaucoma, stroke, diabetes (type 2), damaged nerves (neuropathy) or dementia, relieving oxidative stress, and kidney complications among others.

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Please Note: Alpha occurs naturally in animals and it is a vital co-factor in numerous key homeostatic functions.

Our primary focus is however on the benefits of ALA for weight loss. So, how does this connection between a-lipoic acid and weight loss really work? What is the science behind it?


Benefits of ALA for Weight Loss

According to several research findings, a-lipoic acid has been used successfully as a weight loss supplement; two of these studies particularly stand out.

One study conducted in 2015 and published in the Obesity Society Journal used a control group (placebo) and an intervention group that received doses of ALA and EPA (omega-3 fatty acid) in varied combinations for 10 weeks.

The results gathered from all 97 trial participants (obese/overweight women) who completed the exercise (parallel, short-term randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial) showed that although both groups lost weight due to the adjusted dietary and lifestyle changes, the ALA group, after receiving a daily dose of 300mg of ALA, lost 4 pounds (on average) more than the control group (an average loss of 15.4 and 11.4 pounds respectively).

A cohort study carried out by a Korean team in 2011 and published in the AJM (American Journal of Medicine) also reported a positive correlation between a-lipoic acid supplementation and notable acceleration of weight loss in both men and women.

A total of 360 overweight participants divided into 3 groups completed this experiment.

Two groups received a-lipoic acid in doses of 1800mg and 1200mg respectively (administered in spread-out small doses of 400-600mg before meals), and lastly there was the control group.

Benefits of ALA for Weight Loss

At the end of the double blinded 20-week trial, it was discovered that the placebo group had lost an average of 2 lbs, the 1200mg ALA group had lost 4 pounds on average, and the 1800mg group had lost an average of 6 pounds.

It is however important to note that only about 50 percent of the total weight loss was attributed to reduced fat mass.

Another 4-month study conducted on 1127 obese subjects by an Italian team of researchers in 2010 (and published in Current Pharmaceutical Design), also revealed that pre-obese and obese teenagers were able to lose between 8% and 9% of their total body weight after taking a daily ALA dose of 800mg for the duration of the trial.

This translated to an average loss of 15 pounds!

So, how does alpha lipoic acid fit into the “weight loss magic potion” equation?

How does it actually help you lose weight?

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ALA Science Explained

Modern science has attempted (and to some extent managed) to hypothesize (with near accuracy) the different ways that ALA helps in body fat reduction. The two most popular theories include;

#1 – Appetite suppression: Less calorie intake (having less hunger pangs and eating less food) logically means fewer opportunities for fat build up and eventual weight loss. ALA is known to act on the hypothalamus (part of the brain) to suppress feelings of hunger.

#2 – Increased Energy: By playing a major role in the increment of mitochondrial energy production function, obese people using ALA have more energy to move round and probably exercise a little to burn calories and body fat. The energy production process (which also sets your basal metabolic rate) is definitely expected to produce some heat which can theoretically help burn fat deposits directly while at rest.

More studies citing the key role played by a-lipoic acid in insulin suppression also show the significance of using ALA for weight loss.

Regardless of these encouraging results, it is imperative that you note this one simple fact: Alpha lipoic acid is not sufficiently effective on weight loss on its own…lifestyle and dietary changes that include a few exercise programs are still necessary for more desirable results.


Key ALA Facts to Consider

Although there are no known adverse effects of prolonged ALA use, a few people have reported side effects such as gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, itching or skin irritations, and nausea among other minor conditions.

It is therefore advised that you talk to your physician or health professional before starting on any dietary supplementation or medication regimens.

There are clearly numerous benefits of alpha lipoic acid for weight loss, but as research continues to remind us, these positive results may not be for everyone.

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Benefits of Eating Grapefruit for Weight Loss

Benefits of Eating Grapefruit for Weight Loss

Let’s take a close look at the benefits of eating grapefruit for weight loss and how a proper diet might assist us in losing up to 30 pounds in two months.

Each time we eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, the glucose level in our blood increases, encouraging the pancreas to excrete insulin.

In a healthy body, insulin’s role is to trigger lipid and muscle cells to ingest the surplus of glucose in our blood and convert it into energy.

We learned in school that when we eat too many processed carbs, our system generates too much insulin, creating the perfect environment for fat cells to be deposited.

Researchers present a theory that when too much insulin is coursing through our veins, it becomes almost impossible to shed extra weight because our cells develop a resistance to insulin.

Inflammation is a result of excess fatty tissue, leading to a pre-diabetic state and eventually, diabetes type 2.

Recent clinical studies have confirmed that when grapefruit is eaten or it’s juice consumed before meals, insulin levels are lowered and the absorption of glucose is facilitated, resulting in weight loss.

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If you want to lose weight, you need to consume less calories.

LED or “low energy density” represents a lower caloric intake in a greater volume of food and grapefruits are a LED food, containing between 39 and 52 calories.


Eating the fiber in grapefruit promotes excellent health

About two thirds of the fiber in grapefruit is easily digestible and satisfies your hunger for longer periods at a time.

Having a consistent eating schedule that includes grapefruit will help you lose weight because it administers glucose without raising your blood sugar level.

An entire grapefruit is equivalent to 12 grams of carbs, with around 9 grams comprised of sugar.

Eating the fiber in grapefruit promotes excellent health


Burn Fat with Vitamin C and improve your consumption of vital minerals

There are approximately 40 grams of Vitamin C in half a grapefruit which is essential in the synthesis of carnitine and burning fat for energy.

Your immune system will be revitalized as well, reducing risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke. This amazing fruit also contains high levels of magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber.

Red and pink grapefruit contain carotenoid phytonutrients and lycopene, an antioxidant which provides protection against damage caused by chemotherapy.

Limonoids, another important phytonutrient, exists in grapefruit and switches genes on that kill cancer cells. (Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011).


Drink Grapefruit Juice Before Meals

About half an hour before lunch or dinner, eat half a grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice.

A clinical study released in “Nutrition & Metabolism”, February 2011, described how 85 test patients who followed this method with a restricted calorie diet, experienced weight loss results up to 7 percent of their excess weight.


Strength training, exercise and restricted calorie intake as a part of a grapefruit diet

Calorie consumption apps are available on your smart phone to assist you in determining how many calories you consume daily to retain your current weight.

To lose weight, subtract between 800 and 1,000 calories and remain faithful to that goal.

As a safe measure, it isn’t wise for women to eat less than 1200 calories per day or men to ingest fewer than 1800 per day.

· Get out there and move for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Take your kids for a walk, your dog for a run or go swimming.

· Invest in some weights or join your local gym and work on a program where you are strength-training three times a week. Push ups, lunges and squats are excellent. Remember to make weight training a top priority because it will intercept the sequence of losing muscle and weight gain and restore a balanced metabolism.

· Drink an average of 8 glasses of water per day.

· A full 8 hour’s sleep is crucial during your diet.


Consult with your family doctor or nutritionist before starting a diet

Some prescription drugs have contra-indications regarding grapefruit juice; blood pressure medication, cholesterol drugs, anti-anxiety meds and a few antihistamines may be counter-acted.

Always consult with your physician, pharmacist or professional health-care specialist before exploring the benefits of eating grapefruit for weight loss.


Magical Grapefruit and Honey Weight-loss Drink:

Cut one grapefruit in half and scoop out the fruit. Add this pulp with 1 tablespoon of honey to a blender and process until it is smooth.

Drink this 20 minutes after lunch or dinner and watch the weight melt away!

Interested in a 3 week Diet and Workout Plan that can change the way you look at food? Find out more HERE

Greek Yogurt Benefits For Weight Loss

Greek Yogurt Benefits For Weight Loss

My petite 6 year old niece overheard our conversation the other day (okay, eavesdropped…) as we went on about weight loss programs and diets.

My sister (her mom…) mentioned something about Greek yogurt and weight loss and that’s when she jumped out from her hiding, arms akimbo, pouting her lips in a twist, and just went, “Mom, have you been feeding me Greek yogurt? Can I get it for grandpa and Uncle Charlie this Christmas mummy…?”

Poor skinny little thing (but awesomely adorable)… we laughed all afternoon… lost a few calories too!

Interlude: grandpa George and uncle Charlie have some weight issues and they are significantly pot-bellied!

Moving on Swiftly…

With its thick creamy texture and a sweet-sour taste that some describe as tangy, Greek yogurt remains one of the most preferred type of yogurt for many yogurt enthusiasts, specifically those looking to shed off a few pounds without giving up on their favorite foods.

So much has been said about this Mediterranean-style yogurt and its suitability for weight loss diets, but as to whether the claims are true or mere myth…it still remains largely debatable.

Now let’s put this matter to rest by looking at a few facts relating to weight loss “dieting” and Greek yogurt. This yogurt is not what you’d call a “fat busting super-food”, but here are a couple of things about Greek yogurt that will really amaze you…

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Nutritional Fundamentals on Greek Yogurt

A simple serving of about 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt (non-fat) is enough to supply your body with only 100 calories (6g Carbs, & 17g Protein).

Some people may argue that non-fat regular plain yogurt has fewer calories (95 calories)…and thus better than Greek yogurt but the truth is that this 5-calorie difference is negligible and it doesn’t matter that much either when you really think about it…

Despite the giving you less calories, regular plain non-fat yogurt has more Carbs (13g) and less Proteins (10g).

This means more carbs that can be turned into fat, and less proteins to help you metabolize…thus less advantage…

With that being said, you’ll want to note that Protein is an integral part of any successful weight-loss diet.

Nutritional Fundamentals on Greek Yogurt

According to the FSN (Food Science and Nutrition, 2015), their published study asserted that daily protein intake as part of your weight-loss diet was good for muscle mass preservation, the ability to burn calories, and better control of your hunger pangs throughout the day.

In short, Protein is good for your metabolism and this is where Greek yogurt beats regular yogurt hands-down!

At least 30% of your daily meal plan should contain foods rich in proteins.


More On Greek Yogurt and Nutritional Value…

A cohort study conducted in 2005 by the IJO (International Journal of Obesity) revealed that (despite not being Greek yogurt par se…) yogurt was a very important element in weight loss diets.

The study included 2 groups, the control group that was fed on low-calorie foods only, and the evaluation group that received both low-calorie foods plus yogurt.

The authors of this clinical study concluded that in addition to regular exercising, yogurt with high protein content was a viable inclusion in weight-loss diets/programs.

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Do We Get Sufficient Calcium From Greek Yogurt?

For starters, an average adult needs about 1, 000 mg to 1, 200 mg of calcium every day. So how much of this can we get from Greek yogurt?

Well, as a dairy product with notable amounts of calcium, a single serving of Greek yogurt contains 109 mg of this vital mineral. Regular yogurt has about 339 mg of calcium.

Do We Get Sufficient Calcium From Greek Yogurt?

This means you have to supplement your diet with more calcium rich foods such as cheese fortified foods, or regular fresh milk to reach your daily recommended calcium intake target.


Servings and Tips

As clearly elaborated above, Greek yogurt is a fine addition to weight loss meal plans because of its high protein and calcium content, as well as low-calorie count.

A cup or two of Greek yogurt are good for you each day.

You can add fruits of your choice to bump its nutritional value.

The US Department of Agriculture however recommends a limit of 3 cups of any combination of dairy products in a day.

Too much of dairy intake may not present negative effects on most people, but it may cause a few problems for lactose intolerant individuals with possible cases of bloating or indigestion.

Additionally, you can use Greek yogurt as an ingredient in your cooking.

If you need to dress your baked potatoes with a healthy topper, add more protein to your fruit smoothies, or whip up something “gourmet” that requires the use of yogurt, yet totally healthy, then Greek yogurt is an ideal ingredient to ensure that your meals are not only healthy, but tasty as well…

FYI: Too much of something is always not good… and too much Greek yogurt (even non-fat…) will only end up making you fat!

The Fat Burning Kitchen Guide – Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation to Make Your Body a Fat-Burning Machine. Find Out More HERE!

MSG Food Side Effects

MSG Food Side Effects

In the following article, we will deal with MSG food side effects. In order to do that we will answer the questions…

What is MSG, how does it get into our food and finally what are the effects of MSG on the human body?

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What is MSG?

MSG is the compound with the chemical name monosodium glutamate. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it is safe.

How and Why is MSG Found in Food?

MSG is used widely as a food additive because it enhances the flavor of food. Common users of this method include restaurants and food packagers.

MSG In Food

What Are The Effects of MSG on The Human Body?

Finally, we will look at a brief historical perspective and summary of reported scientific evidence on the interactions of MSG with the functions and wholeness of the human body.


Some people have reported their experiences of negative repercussions from the consumption of foods with this food additive. This is all in spite of the “safe labeling” by the FDA.

The earliest such negative experiences, brought into the light in an official context, date back all the way to 1968.

The main ones recorded were heart palpitations, loss of physical strength as well numbness of the arms and the back of the neck.

Almost three decades later, in 1995, a compilation of negative effects from the food addictive monosodium glutamate was released.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology was behind this work under the instruction of the FDA.

The content of the compilation was a list of suspected negative effects from eating foods enhanced with the food additive MSG. These listed symptoms were very extensive.

They included everything from headaches and nausea to drowsiness and weakness as well as issues like burning sensations in the upper body, numbness in the back and shoulder areas, discomfort of the face and other discomfort and pain of the upper body including the heart and chest specifically.

The combined group of negative effects from MSG consumption was termed by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, or FASEB, the MSG symptom complex.

The consumption of foods with the additive MSG has been linked to the occurrence of asthma attacks. The above referenced report by FASEB in 1995 inferred that MSG may induce asthmatic attacks in a small portion of asthma sufferers.

MSG and asthma

This stemmed from two research efforts previously conducted which looked at the MSG intake of individuals with asthma.

It should be noted that the FASEB writers cited some shortcomings in the study methods.

Studies that have followed have not provided conclusive evidence for this link.

A May 2009 review in “Clinical and Experimental Allergy” used evidence to judge that the reality of MSG-activated asthma is yet to be confirmed beyond doubt and further study is needed to ascertain a possible connection between MSG and asthma.


We will now look at the issues of swelling and nasal complications…

Additional reported negative effects of MSG are, among others, external rashes and swelling, blockage of the nose, itching and sneezing.

The writers of the May 2009 study in “Clinical and Experimental Allergy” assented with previous results and reached a deduction that MSG may infrequently cause hives and epidermal swelling in individuals responsive to the food enhancer.

Additionally, the writers observed that a fraction of the occurrences of nasal manifestations perhaps connected to MSG intake have been detailed.

For the small group of people concerned, nasal manifestations vanished when they observed a dietary regime that did not include additives.


Finally, we will discuss the start time and overall time period that people have been known to experience the negative effects of MSG consumption.

The potential negative effects within MSG symptom complex reportedly come into effect from 15 to 30 minutes of ingesting MSG, eventually dissipating naturally before 2 hours has passed.

For the infrequent occurrences when asthma attacks could have been associated with ingesting meals that carry MSG, symptoms were observed within an hour to 12 of ingesting the food.

In a small number of studies conducted with individuals suffering from chronic hives, the ingestion of MSG activated epidermal responses within an hour to 24 in a fractional group of individuals with noticeable responsiveness to the MSG additive.

And so, we now have a summary of the historical background and scientific research behind MSG food side effects.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.