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Often when people are attempting to lose weight they generally shoot themselves in the foot by attempting to follow some fad diet that has been created to eventually make you fail. If you are used to consuming 3000 calories a day then immediately cutting it by half and replacing carbs with odd, small portions is going to be a hard challenge even for the most dedicated person.
However there are plenty of small ideas that you can introduce as well as a focus on eating healthier and more natural produce, in a bid to shed some pounds. One of the most obvious of these is thinking about everything you are currently digesting on a regular basis, are you consuming a handful of cookies everyday? Then what can you swap them out for that will fill that craving but won’t have all calories and sugar? Introducing the idea of food swapping into your lifestyle is a small thing but it can have a drastic impact on your daily calorie intake and each correct decision will leave you with a mini feeling of success, knowing that you are on the right track to a healthier and happier you.
Switching food is an easy way to cut around 500 calories from your daily intake, it could be even more depending on what you swap foods out for! If you aren’t too sure how you feel about it then just try it for one day and you’ll immediately be able to see the difference. To get you started here are some quick examples of ways you can cut your daily calorie intake with healthier alternatives.
If you simply can’t function without coffee then why not consider trading in your daily latte (290 calories) for a cup of black coffee (22 calories)? You will have already drastically cut your calorie intake before you’ve even gotten to work.
We all crave a bit of sugar throughout the day to keep us going but this is an easy way to load up on unwanted calories. If you have a sweet tooth for cake then why not consider going for mini-cake options instead of regular sizes? Yes we’d say go for fruit but if you simply can’t manage life without a treat or two then this is a great way of cutting around 500 calories.
If you are a fan of the cinema then often the lure of the sweet stand can be overwhelming. Instead of ordering some expensive and calorie-laden popcorn, be sure to bring your own air-popped or healthily cooked popcorn and you’ll save a huge 900 calories!
If you are partial to picking up a sandwich for lunch then you might want to start by replacing that tuna melt or baguette with a sushi roll instead, not only is it a bit healthier but it will also save you over 600 calories.
As well as replacing food you might want to consider replacing your crockery! Swapping large plates out for smaller ones has been shown to help you subconsciously cut back on calories, as the plate looks fuller. Even opting for smaller forks or chopsticks is an easy way to help you take more time with your food and digest it properly.
More and more foods are being marketed as “superfoods” but it makes you think what is the exact criteria that is required to give something this title? Turns out it isn’t a lot and the name superfood is used quite a lot by marketing companies to suck people in who are looking for easy and quick ways to become more healthy. There is also a joke that says anything that is reasonably hard to pronounce deserves a place as a superfood, Quinoa, Kimchi, Acai?
But these foods aren’t particularly super and are more ‘in trend’, that isn’t to say that they are bad for you but do they really deserve the title “superfood”? As consumers we tend to be overwhelmed with products and information telling us what the latest amazing food is and often it is one that has been around for a considerable amount of time and it just seems like a marketing company has decided to plug it more in a bid to boost its sales. I’m sure we have all been witness to some crazy new berry trend that has sparked a huge amount of media attention and has everyone ordering dried berries at extortionate prices just because a TV show or magazine announced it was a “weight-loss miracle”.
For most of us nutrition is about commonsense rather than complicating it with strict plans. If there was more emphasis on being responsible and sensible with what we eat rather than trying to follow some ludicrous diet based upon cutting carbs whilst the next one is all about increasing carbs and cutting protein, then we would all be a happier and healthier bunch of people.
No one seems too sure where the whole “superfood” craze came from but if you compare the products that are being sold to us as super to those processed options we usually consume, then in comparison a berry probably will seem like a superfood. Superfoods have caught on so much because we live in a society that want drastic and immediate results, a huge proportion of people in the UK and America are obese and live their lives hoping that they can find a quick cure to their diet woes. So when they do hear about some miracle berry from the depths of a jungle, they are quick to pounce on the trend.
No that these foods are bad for you, yes they are a lot better for you than what you are usually consuming but we are getting to caught up on fads and trends in our diets. A lot of people are no longer able to see that being healthy and having a healthy diet is simple, all you have to do is cut your calories and eat unprocessed and nutritious fruits and vegetables instead of fast food and snacks that have been designed to make us want to keep consuming them.
What we are trying to get at is that getting caught up on a title such as ‘”superfood” makes you lose track of the bigger picture. It isn’t going to be a fast track to happiness and healthiness…it might help! But it isn’t going to be particularly different to other similar produce.
The term “superfood” is one that is thrown around too often these days. Now companies and their marketing teams try to trick health conscious people in by promoting “the next great superfood that easily makes you loose weight” and it is usually a food that has been around for a long time, most of the time it is some form of berry they are trying to plug too.
Originally the term was created for foods with a nutritional value that considerably exceeds that of your average piece of fruit or vegetable. But for all the fake superfoods out there that marketing teams are tasked with increasing the sales of, there are actually those that do deserve the title. Generally these superfood tend to be exotic fruits and vegetables that we aren’t familiar with in the West, but if you are on the hunt for foods that will do wonders for your body then look no further than those in the below list.
This is one superfood that we have all become pretty familiar with in the UK, but it is also one that whilst people still use it, its great benefits seem to have fallen from the publics consciousness. Wheatgrass just so happens to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods known to science, giving you way more bang for your buck than your average greens.
Research has shown that by having around 4 grams of wheatgrass powder you will be fuelling your body with an impressive 1,600 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RCA) of vitamin E, 7,000 percent of the RCA of manganese, 413 percent of our RCA of zinc and plenty of other quite astonishing statistics of essential nutrients that is incredibly surprising considering it is grass! Wheatgrass is a potent detox food and should be in all of our diets.
The name may be less appetizing than wheatgrass but the single-celled algae known as spirulina is another great superfood. When spirulina is actually combined with chlorella they become a pretty impressive tag team! They compliment each other and although they are both single-celled algae, they both serve different purposes in our bodies.
Chlorella contains more iron that spirulina and is good at removing any heavy metals from the body, while spirulina contains more protein and has more cancer-fighting properties than chlorella. Therefore if you consume these two together then you are giving your body a pretty great nutrient boost, one that is far stronger than regular fruit and veg.
You may not be familiar with the name but this is seen as the king of superfoods. Moringa is a Himalayan tree that has leaves with an insane amount of goodness in them, so much so that it has been named a ‘miracle tree’. The leaves harbor over 90 different nutrients and boast some pretty impressive statistics, such as having seven times the vitamin C of oranges, four times the calcium of milk and three times the potassium of bananas! This is a powder that is definitely worth investing in and is easy to order online.
It took a celebrity chef in the form of Jamie Oliver to open a lot of our eyes as to what exactly goes on in school cafeteria and a lot of the findings weren’t pretty. Now with childhood obesity on the rise it seems even greater steps have to be taken to ensure we are setting our children off on the right path to a happy and healthy future.
In order to do this the European Commission has published the first ever comprehensive report on school food policies in Europe. What this first shows is that all of us across the EU’s 28 countries (as well as Norway and Switzerland) acknowledge the importance of food on a child’s health and also their performance at school. All of these countries have existing guidelines for what quality of food should be provided to children at school but as you might imagine these guidelines vary considerably between countries. You can see examples of these different measures that vary from the banning of vending machines to voluntary guidelines given to children about portion sizes.
A disturbing report has stated how nearly one in three children in Europe is overweight and the consequences of this are that they will develop nasty habits they will take into later life and also risk developing a number of preventable illnesses and diseases. Any place that your child spends a large quantity of their time is going to affect them in some way and therefore schools play an important part in developing healthy eating habits as you children are likely to eat one to two of their main meals a day there.
The assessment is therefore a step in the right direction to learn as much as we can from other countries to help limit the risk of obesity. Not only is it an interesting read but it also can provide a strong basis for any European policymakers, education boards or researchers to investigate the link between school food policies and obesity in children and the best ways to promote a healthy diet.
Some interesting findings from the report show that only half the countries in Europe have either banned vending machines or restricted the products to healthier food types. Surely either removing all of them or only offering natural products is an immediate way to cut back on over eating at a young age. Who can blame a child for being tempted to have a chocolate bar when they end up walking past a vending machine full of them everyday? Even the best of us would struggle to exercise that self control a lot of the times so how can we expect a child to do so?
Most of the findings showed that schools supported the restrictions or recommendations related to the availability of fizzy beverages (65-82%), with the majority of them having free access to water. But this is something that could easily be improved.
Overall it seems that we might just have to get Jamie Oliver back in to save all of Europe and maybe even Sean T from the Insanity workouts to make sure our children are getting the exercise they need!
Sometimes it is hard to stay on top of all the comings and goings in the world of food, whether it is a new restaurant launch, the latest food crazes or a quirky new cooking tool that will make your life so much easier. So in order to keep you with current places to eat, ways to cook and things to talk about, we have compiled a list of August’s growing food trends.
The Rise of Pickling
Pickles were once a staple in our homes and down at the local pub, but now the pickle has become much more of a classy affair and it is seeing a rise to the big leagues. Now no chef is worthy of his title if he hasn’t dabbled in putting his own spin on one of the most classic ways of preserving food.
This trend is so prominent in London that restaurants such as Rawduck now have their own pickles menu! Now there is a pretty strong belief that pickling has moved on from being some old tradition you do in your home and now the vast majority of chefs have their own pickles that perfectly compliment a large variety of foods on the menu.
Milk From Vending Machines
A trend that has already got traction in the EU is that of shoppers being able to buy raw, unpasteurised milk from vending machines. The recommendation for this to happen in the UK by the food safety regulator has caused some controversy too! The FSA believe that consumers should have greater access to raw drinking milk after they found that most people supported a relaxation of the rules. Up to now raw milk can only be bought directly from farmers and sales are controlled strictly because of the potential harmful bacteria that could be in the milk. We’ll just have to wait and see whether it goes ahead.
On a lighter note Chipotle has announced a burrito bonanza, after they have promised to giveaway 14,000 free burritos for a week during August. Check out their site for more details.
The Philips Noodle Maker
The latest gadget to be released is the inventive noodle maker from Philips. Anyone who likes noodles or pasta and has ever fancied creating their own would love this product. It is capable of producing 500 grams of noodles in just 15 minutes! And it does all your favourite styles too, whether you are partial to udon, soba or ramen noodles. If you really want this product then you’ll have to get it delivered from either Japan or Hong Kong, otherwise you will have to wait for it to makes its move over to the West.
Eating with the Chefs
One of the cooking books released this month that is of note is Per-Anders Jorgenson’s Eating with the Chefs. Jorgenson’s photography captures staff meals at some of the best restaurants around the world and throws in 50 recipes to top it all off. There are some beautiful images of the time when a lot of people believe the best food is cooked in a restaurant…for the staff.
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