Greatest GIFT

Faith, God's Wisdom, journey to healthy living, Life and dreams


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Calorie Awareness

People nowadays can easily consume more than 2,000 calories in one seating. With the abundance of restaurants and fast food chains, a person can easily devour more than 4,000 calories from eating breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner in a day. If a person eat this much everyday, the weight gain is obvious. And if this person is not eating healthy, the person’s immune system would suffer and so does the rest of the person’s body organs and cells. Chronic diseases will follow suit.

2000calbreakfast

This worth of breakfast food is 2,100 calories, according to The Upshot article on What 2,000 calories look like.

Lunch

This lunch combination, or it can be for dinner,  is worth a whooping 2,670 calories.

dinner

This delicious meal just by itself without a soda or side dish and bread is 2,370 calories.

And when we dine out, we totally disregard the need to eat veggies and fruits that have so much nutrients and what our immune system is craving for. So, when we eat restaurant entrée and fast food, our digestive system is working so hard. If we are lucky, our body may get some protein in the process, but mostly bad fat and bad carbs that would add up to our waistline because that is where the bad food we had eaten would end up, while our immune system starve to death.

Ever since I’ve started using food scale and have been journaling my food intake for a year now,  I’ve noticed that my stomach has adjusted to the reduced calories I’ve been consuming each day.  I’ve mostly consumed foods eaten at home which I prepare and cook. Occasionally my hubby and I would venture and eat out at Whole Food’s food court or buy the ready made lunch/dinners they sell, which is heat and eat. Mostly, they are nutritious and not so high in calories. We’ve dined out occasionally on special occasion and I would go back to eating less the following day.

I’ve read that the way to accomplish this effect is to train your body to get used to accommodating smaller meals. Your stomach will adjust to proportions suitable for the needs of the average quantity of food you’re used to taking in, in a single serving. Over time, eating smaller-portioned meals reduces the size your stomach is accustomed to inflating during mealtime.

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This is one of my measured food portion for lunch which consisted of Asparagus Risotto at 71 calories, a combo of wild Akeya rice and brown rice at 203 calories, baked chicken wings at 107 calories and 136 calories of Romaine and Avocado salad with cucumber and Siracha ranch dressing. The total calories for lunch that I have eaten was 517 calories. That day I had also consumed 301 calories of healthy breakfast cereal with strawberries mixed with plain Kefir. For snack I had an apple with peanut butter and some blackberries at 235 calories. For a year now, I’ve used smaller plates and bowls. For my drink, I always have 8 glasses of water consumed in a day, not counting my glass of Mineral Water I would drink for lunch almost everyday. Thankfully, Mineral Water is zero calories.

My total calories that day was 1,053.screenshot_2016-05-30-15-58-22.png

To maintain my weight, according to this plan, I have to eat 1,599 calories (for me this is a lot of calories)  and to lose weight, I have to eat less than 1,368 calories a day.

I can see now why I gained a lot of weight from dining out. I had eaten more than 1,599 calories. Knowledge is power definitely! Using a food scale now, it revealed to me that  it’s very easy to eat more than 2,000 calories or more in a day!

I’ve learned that veggies and fruits have lower calories. We can eat lots of veggies and fruits combined and it will not even make it to 2,000 calories. Amazing!

According to this article I’ve read, women who consume more fruit and vegetables have a healthier and more attractive glow than those who don’t, scientists have discovered.

Carotenoids – a type of pigment found in carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and tomatoes, is credited with helping to protect against cancer.

People consuming diets rich in carotenoids are healthier and have lower death rate from a number of chronic illnesses.

The chemical can also work as antioxidants, aiding in the prevention of cancer.

A recent study showed that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42 per cent lower risk of death from all causes.

I’ve just read that: “A new study published in JAMA Oncology revealed four lifestyle choices that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Staying away from smoking, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and avoiding hormone therapies after menopause can lower your risk of getting breast cancer by 30 percent.”

 

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Intermittent fasting and weight goal

I am just five pounds away from my weight goal and at this point, I am not really in a hurry to get there. After losing 17 pounds since June 8, 2015, I can now wear a size 4 and even some size 2 clothes! Most of the clothes I was wearing before losing weight were pleasantly bigger now for me. I love that feeling!

I am not strictly calorie counting anymore like daily use of weight goal app nor do I use food scale either. I pretty much know now how to gauge the food I would eat for the day and still lose ounces or maintain my current weight. I still drink 8 glasses of water each day which has tremendously helped me with my weight loss.

And most of all, which is so important, is I weigh myself every morning. This works for me years ago before I started gaining weight. When I was weighing myself daily, I was able to maintain my weight for years. When I stopped this important habit, my weight slowly crept up. I have learned this the hard way, just because I listened to all these online articles on the pros and cons of daily knowledge of your weight. Not all the things that these so called health experts are true, at least, in my case and what will work or not work for me. It’s good to read them and be updated, but I’ve learned to pick and choose what will work for me eventually.

My own body is my indicator. What surely has done wonders to my body organs and cells and immune system is eating more raw vegetables. Real organic foods have delivered the goodness to all areas of my body. I can feel it and I see it with my blood pressure readings and blood tests.

SaveYourLife

Intermittent fasting has done great things for me also. I am forever going to do this in my lifetime.

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According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:

Timing Your Meals Can Significantly Boost Weight Loss Success

“There’s compelling evidence suggesting that when you eat morning, noon, and night, you increase your risk for both obesity and diabetes. Not only does this continuous grazing tend to lead to overeating in general, it also causes biological changes that result in metabolic dysfunction and subsequent weight gain and diminished health.

Our ancestors did not have access to food 24/7, and from a historical perspective it appears your body was designed for intermittent periods of fasting. In fact, a number of beneficial effects take place when you go for periods of time without eating. For the last couple of years, I’ve suggested an intermittent schedule that limits meals to a narrow window of six to eight hours a day — ideally by skipping breakfast, and having lunch be your first meal.

However, some people really struggle without breakfast, and I’ve more recently come to realize that you can skip breakfast or dinner — as long as you skip one of them. The key to remember is to only eat within a window of six to eight consecutive hours each day, and avoiding food for at least three hours before bedtime. However, due to the way your body generates energy from mitochondria production explained below, I am not convinced that it’s ideal to skip dinner. Another alternative is to have a very light meal as early as possible.”

What works for me as far as intermittent fasting goes and in which I have incorporated in my daily routine is my daily meal window is 5 to 6 hours and sometimes I stretched it to 7 hours, but rarely. Most of the time, I’m done eating for the day and starts my intermittent fasting at 4 pm. I eat breakfast and by 2 pm, I should have eaten my lunch. By 4 pm, I start drinking more water to fill me up. I am so used to not eating until the following day at most time by 10:30 am. I can pretty much tell if I maintain or lose ounces when I weigh myself the next day. My body loves this routine. Should I wake up feeling hungry, I would end my fasting earlier than usual and eat. At any rate, I’m able to fast for 18 hours daily.

Also from Dr. Mercola’s website, I pretty much follow his chart and his food pyramid below, but not necessarily to the letter. But I surely avoided a lot of processed foods and my daily meals mostly include grass fed meats, organic chicken and wild caught fish. For my grain, I mostly eat brown rice and have always included flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds to my daily green juice. Last summer, I’ve eaten lots of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, all organic and eaten a lot of the power packed organic veggies. Since the season has changed and fruit choices are limited, I make sure I eat organic bananas and organic apples. I eat plenty of sunflower seeds. I have some Whole Food scones to treat myself once in a while or some of Whole Foods or HEB’s French Macarons. Or some whole grain bread or French Brioche. But I make sure I limit my sugar intake overall. My last blood test, my blood glucose reading was good. I want to keep it that good!

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MercolasFoodPyramid


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Saying No to Binge Eating

Somehow, I really got curious about intermittent fasting. I’ve searched ‘high and low’ to get more detailed explanations and how it can be beneficial to my weight loss journey. First thing I have learned is that when you are on a calorie counting eating program, you would be somehow on an intermittent fasting.  Especially so when I schedule my calorie consumption in the morning until four in the afternoon. Then, I completely stop eating and just drink water. I start eating the next day at 9 am or 10 am which gives me 17 or 18 hours of fast daily.

Discovering that there’s a name given for those hours I was not eating, has given additional motivation for me to obtain details about those hours I sort of psych myself up that I am not hungry, that my stomach is small to have additional food that I really do not need. These subliminal messages I put in my senses and brain did work eventually for my body system has adjusted to the change in my eating habits. wpid-screenshot_2015-08-01-07-32-50-1.png

Learning about intermittent fasting, made me realize that I am really doing a big favor to my digestion and all the organs that work on digesting and distributing the healthy food nutrients I’m ingesting. It takes eight hours for everything to be digested and distributed in my body. What I’ve learned is that after all the work, my system has a chance to repair, clean and whatever job they have to do to keep my organs and cells work to prime. And this happens when my body is in a fasted state. Aside from optimizing my health, it is in this fasting state that my body access the fat it stored for additional energy to do the job of maintaining, cleaning, getting rid of body waste, reduce and eventually reverse inflammation, balance my sugar glucose, get my blood pumping better in my arteries and veins to help with blood pressure and keep the cholesterol in the right level. Our body system is actually a miraculous worker to help heal the body. And with unnecessary interruptions from extra food that we do not need to eat, it disrupts this process. And that’s why intermittent fasting is good for our health when done right.wpid-screenshot_2015-07-08-22-11-57-1.png

Now I understand why health experts were saying that our body can heal the maladies, illnesses and diseases we contracted if given the correct nutrients it craves to help with the healing process; and when we give the body time with no excessive interruptions from eating excessive food. If we are feeding our body with so much sugar, abundance of junk food and bad fat, the body’s natural healing ability will not function. That’s when our body breaks down. It’s just like when we put a wrong fuel in our vehicle’s gas tank. The car engine can be seriously damaged. And so it is with our body.

Bingeing or excessive indulgence after fasting would do the same thing. Aside from defeating the purpose of intermittent fasting, the abuse on our body by eating so much food, can seriously damage our organs. More so when we indulge on junk food bingeing. Worst thing we can do to our body. It will be in a sorry state.  Eventually if we keep on doing binge eating  whether after we fast or not eating for hours after we awake, it will take its toll in our body. Our body system will suffer and it will manifest at first as silent killers and eventually unfold into serious illnesses and diseases that can cause untimely death.

From what I’ve read about intermittent fasting, it works well with a healthy weight loss plan.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, Founder and director of The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine:

A 2007 review by University of California, Berkeley, researchers concluded that alternate-day fasting may:

  • Decrease cardiovascular disease risk.
  • Decrease cancer risk.
  • Lower diabetes risk (at least in animals, data on humans were less clear, possibly because the trial periods in the studies were not long enough to show an effect).
  • Improve cognitive function.
  • Protect against some effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

What should we make of this?

I don’t recommend IF for everyone. Children under 18 should not fast, nor should diabetics, nor pregnant or lactating women. Some health conditions — such as severe gastrointestinal reflux disease, or GERD — are easier to manage when food intake is more regular.

But I do think the evidence for the health benefits of IF should make us rethink what seems to be a modern cultural imperative: to avoid hunger at all costs. To the contrary, getting hungry now and then is clearly a healthy thing to do as long as overall caloric intake stays high enough to maintain a healthy weight. (Fasting, like every other healthy activity, must be done sensibly and in moderation.) Many people who follow IF regimes report both physical and mental benefits, including improved energy and concentration, better sleep, and an overall feeling of well-being.

From my own experience, I really feel much better now and my energy level is high. So far, I’ve lost 11 pounds and 8 ounces since I started calorie counting on June 8, 2015. I feel really good.wpid-screenshot_2015-07-08-22-12-18-1.png