Thursday, February 21, 2013

Eat (UN)healthy once a month :)

You guys know that I'm a health nut, and I do not often visit fast foods  where I can eat junk or meals with countless calories. I always say " Eating too much potato free is really bad for our health, don't drink soda, please avoid all that junk food" 
Well, yes , that's me, I don't want to see my friends and relatives lose their health because of bad eating habits.
Junk foods typically contain high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals
Salted snack food,gum, candy,  sweet desserts,fried fast food and sugary carbonated beverages.

Though it's also known that many meals such as hamburgers, pizza and tacos can be considered either healthy or junk food depending on their ingredients and preparation methods with the more highly processed items usually falling under the junk food category.
Just imagine that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin. Now get closer to the idea of changing bad habits, transforming them into healthy ones.
Of course I understand the eating a healthier diet may be intimidating at first. But once you see for yourself how good it makes you feel and how good healthy food can taste, you have a better chance of succeeding. Over time, your preferences will change and cravings for bad-for-you foods will fade away.

After making a research over the topic of helping ourselves to get rid of bad habits I found some interesting and useful steps, that each should take to get a better lifestyle in general.

So here we go

  • Start each day with a nutritious breakfast.
  • Get(or at least try to get) 8 hours of sleep each night, as fatigue can lead to overeating.
  • Eat your meals seated at a table, without distractions.
  • Eat more meals with your partner or family.
  • Teach yourself to eat when you're really hungry and stop when you're comfortably full.
  • Reduce your portion sizes by 20%, or give up second helpings.
  • Try lower-fat dairy products.
  • Make sandwiches with whole-grain bread and spread them with mustard instead of mayo.
  • Switch to cafe au lait, using strong coffee and hot skim milk instead of cream.
  • Eat a nutritious meal or snack every few hours.
  • Use nonstick pans and cooking spray instead of oil to reduce the fat in recipes.
  • Try different cooking methods, such as grilling, roasting, baking, or poaching.
  • Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks.
  • Eat smaller portions of calorie-dense foods (like casseroles and pizza) and larger portions of water-rich foods (like broth-based soups, salads, and veggies).
  • Flavor your foods with herbs, vinegars, mustards, or lemon instead of fatty sauces.
  • Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per day.

Now let's pass to the most common bad eating habits that we should try to leave aside.

Eating on the Run
If you live a busy life, there may not be enough time to prepare meals or sit down to eat. Eating in the car or going through a fast food drive-thru may be part of your eating habits. The challenge with eating on the run is that you don’t have a chance to pay close attention to what you’re eating.
Eating quickly makes it easier to eat more. When you eat quickly in the car or while on your way somewhere, your mind is on other things and not on how much you’re eating. If you’re eating fast food, you are also very likely consuming more fat and excessive calories without the necessary nutrition.
Eating Large Portions
As bad eating habits go, eating more food than the body needs is a common behavior. This can happen for a variety of reasons. If you’re distracted by the television, you might eat more. Some people eat more when they’re feeling lonely.
To control portion sizes, think ahead about how much food will be enough. Serve yourself on a small plate or bowl and sit down at the table to eat. Avoid eating foods right out of the box or bag. It is easier, for example, to eat many more cookies when the box is sitting right in front of you as you watch television. Decide ahead of time how many cookies you will eat and put the box away before you sit down.
Using Food to Relieve Stress

Many people use food to relieve stress. After a long and difficult day at work, eating many slices of pizza and drinking beer may be an attractive option. Using food in this way, however, leads to greater weight gain. When feeling stressed out, find ways to relax yourself that don’t involve food. Spending time in nature, talking with friends, meditating and exercising are a few options.
Skipping Meals
Many doctors and nutritionists will tell you repeatedly to avoid skipping meals. When you don’t eat regularly, your hunger increases and you may also experience drops in blood sugar level. Many people compensate for this by eating larger meals later in the day or by excessive snacking. Be sure to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
Late Night Eating
Eating late at night is one of the bad eating habits that’s very common. Nighttime eating often consists of snacking and excessive calorie consumption. This may be due to boredom or being distracted by sedentary activities such as watching television or surfing the web. To avoid eating late at night, find interesting things to do that take away the boredom. Possible options may include a fun hobby, an interesting book, meditation, an exercise DVD or a conversation with a good friend.

Foods are classified as "Unhealthy foods" if they...
...provide empty calories.These kinds of foods are high in calories but have little or no nutritional value. Donuts are a good example of empty calorie foods. If you eat one standard donut, you will get about 200 calories - mostly from fat and sugar. There are little or no vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in donuts.
...don't have enough fiber. Low fiber means it will be much harder for your body to get the residue out the food of your system after you've digested it. A good example of a food low in fiber would be white bread. Two slices of white bread will give you only about 1 gram of fiber. Not nearly enough for a healthy gut.
...take nutrients from your body and leave you more nutritionally deficient than before you ate them. A good example would be soda pop drinks that are high in caffeine, sugar, and phosphorus. These drinks do not provide your body with any nutrition. They are full of caffeine, sugar, and phosphorus which cause your body to lose calcium from your bones. damage to your body in one or more ways. An example of a food that does damage to your body is margarine and any other food that contains hydrogenated oils. When oils are hydrogenated, they form trans-fatty acids. Trans-fats do damage to a number of systems in the body and are linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

Unhealthy Foods To Avoid

Here is a list of some foods that are not good fuel for your body. Try to avoid these unhealthy foods whenever you can. At the very least, limit how often you eat them.

Canned Soup
Canned soups that you see lining the shelves of grocery stores tend to have high levels of salt, trans-fats. You may be able to find healthier options in the health food store, but the best soup is homemade soup.

Commercial Breakfast Cereals
Commercial cereals are often anything but healthy. A lot of them have sugar as one of the first ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup is usually somewhere on the list of ingredients as well.
Most cereals are made from refined grains. That means that you are getting a load of empty calories first thing in the morning. Not a very healthy way to start your day, especially if you combine the cereal with other empty calorie foods.
If you love the convenience of ready-made cereals, then try to stick to healthier choices. Shredded Wheat and Cheerios are reasonable choices. You can find several quality brands in health foods stores. Be sure to read the labels before you buy though. Not everything in the health store is healthy for you.

Commercially Baked Goods
Commercially baked goods such as cookies, biscuits, cakes, and packaged cake mixes almost always contain high amounts of trans-fats. They also tend to have other additives such as artificial flavors, artificial colors, corn syrup, and a variety of preservatives. They may have more trans-fats than any other foods because they are made with hydrogenated oils. Sometimes they are even fried in hydrogenated oils as well.

Donuts are an unhealthy food.
Donuts are made from refined flour, white sugar, and partially hydrogenated oil (that means that they contain trans-fats). They also have a healthy dose of artificial flavors and colors. That's what makes them look and taste yummy. Donuts are lacking in fiber and they do not provide you with any nutrients whatsoever.

Fatty Foods
Most North Americans consume at least 37 percent of their calories from fat (usually the wrong kind of fat such as animal fat and refined vegetable oils). This is way more than our bodies can handle.
If you have a diet that is too high in fat, it puts you at risk for obesity, adult onset diabetes, certain cancers, and arteriosclerosis (hardening and plugging up of the arteries).

Foods That Cause Constipation
Chronic constipation can put you at risk for colon cancer and other diseases.

Foods That Give You Too Much Protein
If your diet is heavy in meat and other animal products, chances are you are getting a lot more fat and cholesterol than your body can use. People in Western society eat 2 to 3 times more protein than our bodies need.
Research shows that too much protein (especially animal protein) is not healthy for you. It can cause your body to lose too much calcium and it can even damage your kidneys.
Animal protein has also been linked to cancer and other serious diseases.

Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified foods (GM foods) have been on the shelves of North American grocery stores since 1996.

Hydrogenated Fats and Trans-Fats
Hydrogenation is the process that is used to turn liquid oils into a solid form. Vegetable margarine and vegetable shortening are hydrogenated fats. 

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
Commercially made ice creams and frozen desserts are loaded with sugar and various chemicals to give them flavor and texture.
If you love frozen desserts, try to stick to brands that are made with pure, natural ingredients. You can also buy an ice cream machine and make your own ice cream creations.

Potato chips, French Fries, and other Fried Foods/Snacks
Potato chips and French fries make it to the list of unhealthy foods because they are fried at very high temperatures.

French fries are on the list of foods to avoid.
Any time food is cooked, fried, or processed using high heat, a substance called acrylamideis produced. Acrylamide is a known carcinogen and neurotoxin.
French fries and potato chips also contain trans-fatty acids which increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
These foods are usually high in calories and very low in nutrients. They may satisfy your cravings, but they will not satisfy your body's need for real nutrition.

Processed and Refined Foods
When you take food in its natural state and alter, process, refine, and package it, it loses fiber and a whole lot of nutrients.

Processed Cheese Products
The name doesn't lie. Processed cheese is exactly that. Processed. It is made from cheese and a long list of other ingredients including, extra salt, food coloring, and other milk ingredients. It also contains harmful chemical additives such as sodium aluminum phosphate.
Aluminum has been linked to many diseases including anemia, osteomalacia, Lou Gehrig's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Sausages, Hot Dogs, Cured Meats, and Luncheon Meats
Sausages, hot dogs, cured meats, luncheon meats, bacon, pepperoni, and other processed meats are dangerous because they contain a cancer causing ingredient known as sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is a close chemical relative of sodium nitrate. Stay far far away from these unhealthy foods!

Soda Pop and other Artificial Beverages
It is pretty common for North Americans to prefer drinking anything except water. It is typical to have several servings of soda pop, juice, and other sweet drinks every single day.
These kinds of drinks are high in calories from sugar and/or alcohol. The sugar can send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing only to crash later on leaving you feeling tired and moody. They can get in the way of your efforts to lose weight.
Sugar-free sodas and beverages are usually sweetened with aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. They are not a healthier choice. 
The caffeine, sugar, phosphates, artificial colorings, and other chemicals found in these beverages are damaging to your health. They can cause your body to lose much needed minerals such as calcium.
Over time, drinking these beverages on a regular basis can cause you to gain weight. This is true even for the so called "diet" drinks since aspartame can cause weight gain. They can also lead to tooth decay , diabetes, and other diseases.

I know, I know, you'll now say that it's really impossible to go by all this and live without tasting deliciously made barbecue at a friend's, or keep away from those sweet yummy desserts or ice-cream with chocolate topping. 
Okay, i agree....but! As for me, I've made a "HILARIOUS" custom for myself. I let myself get "nasty" and announce a day of  "freedom" once a week. Isn't it perfect?
So, I know that I will let myself eat late at night in a company of friends not to "let them down" , or eat a big burger with pleasure when I really want it, or just feed my hunger and thirst of Cola, Bounty that I love too much,Ice-cream,waffles with chocolate topping ,pizza, french free etc.
I get all this once a month as a long-awaited gift for being a good girl :)  and enjoying smoothies and oatmeal during the entire month. I am a genius, YES I AM!!! I know I am. :)

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