Junk food is food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat and has little “nutritional value”. It primarily contains excessive fat, sugar, salt, and calories. Frequent consumption of junk increases the intake of excess fat, simple carbohydrates, and processed sugar.
Junk food cravings are very common. These cravings can become your worst enemy when you are on a Healthy Life/ weight loss journey. Junk food cravings can turn into binges and may increase the risk of weight gain/ Lifestyle Problem.
Here are some helpful tips to help curb your cravings for junk food.
Have small meals in short intervals
Eat regularly and avoid long periods of hunger. Cravings do not arise when the stomach is full. So, avoid skipping meals. The best is to start your day with a healthy breakfast and follow up with a nutritious lunch and dinner. Keep healthy snacks close at hand.
Consume more proteins
High protein diets aids in weight loss. Protein can make to feel full for longer and allow your body to consume lesser calories. Protein-rich foods will leave less space for junk and avoid experiencing cravings. Have a protein-rich meal the first thing in the day for healthy life.
Eat healthy fats
Fats do not make you fat. There are many different types of fats. Out of which, trans fats and saturated fats are considered unhealthy fats. On the contrary, heart-healthy fats help you feel full and reduce cravings.
Thirst can also lead to cravings. Drinking a glass of water when you feel like eating junk may suffice the craving, and at the same time, provide other health benefits. If plain water sounds boring, enjoy it by adding a slice of lime, lemon or cucumber.
Related read: Importance of water in our diet
Sleep deprivation tends to increase calories intake. Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased cravings for junk food and weight gain. Lack of sound sleep can lead to poor appetite regulation and cravings. When you have slept adequately, it becomes easier to fight cravings.
Stay away from stress
Stress influences your eating behaviour and can induce junk cravings. People, who are stressed, tend to eat significantly more calories and experience more cravings than non-stressed women/ people.
There are plenty of healthy, whole foods that can satisfy a craving for something sweet or salty. Besides, being aware of your craving and their triggers makes them much easier to avoid. It also makes it a lot easier to eat healthily and lose weight.
With the teen years come a tremendous amount of physical, biological and emotional changes. This is a significant time for physical growth and sexual maturation. Physical growth in this age increases the need for nutrients and calories.
Out of this, nutrition is an important determinant of physical growth and needs due attention. This is the time when the teen should develop a positive relationship with the right food.
Why do teenagers need healthy food and good nutrition?
Teenagers go through major physical changes in puberty. They need to eat healthy food and provide the body with the right nutrition to fuel these physical changes. Moreover, inadequate nutritional intake during adolescence can also affect the reproductive years and beyond.
Check out Nutrition for Healthy Living
Key Nutrients for Teens
Like any other age, teenagers also requires major nutrients including protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins to support different body functions.
However, due to body physiology during adolescence, places extra nutritional demand on the body. Different nutrients are responsible to fulfill various demands of the teenage body.
- Proteins – Required for bodybuilding and help in the repair and maintenance of body tissues.
- Fats – High-energy foods and a source of energy. They also make the food more palatable and provide fat-soluble vitamins.
- Carbohydrates – The main source of energy.
- Vitamins & Minerals – Enable the body to use other nutrients and also play an important role in the growth, repair and regulation of vital body functions.
- Iron & Calcium – Required to manage rapid physical growth during adolescence. Calcium needs during adolescence are greater due to the rapid increase in lean body mass and skeletal growth.
- Zinc – Helps in growth and sexual maturation.
A balanced diet provides all nutrients in required amounts and proportions for maintaining health and general well being. It makes a small provision for extra nutrients to withstand a short duration of leanness. It can be achieved through a blend of the above-mentioned food groups. How much a teen should eat depends on their individual needs.
Along with good nutrition, physical activity during adolescence is important to build muscles, bones, and lift the teen’s spirits.
Whether a teen looks and feels too skinny or too fat, it is important to focus his or her attention on eating well and eating healthy and staying fit.
There have been a lot of discussions about healthy eating. To take it one step further, healthy eating is about choosing the right food in the right proportion. Few questions need to be answered while considering healthy eating.
- What type of foods to put on your plate?
- How much should be the portion size?
- How often should you eat?
While it is important to ensure to provide your body with the essential nutrients with every meal, one also has to take care of the food groups and portions of each of these food groups. And it all starts with your plate.
While following a healthy eating plan, what food you take on your plate is an important consideration. So, when it comes to filling your plate, think quality over quantity. Building a meal centred around nutrient-dense, wholesome fruits and vegetables are important.
How to create a healthy eating plate
Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes all provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and nutrients. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the remaining half with fibre and protein to create a healthy foundation for every meal. Besides, ensure one serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy to round out each meal.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie foods with tremendous health benefits. They are an important source of nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Choose from a variety of colourful fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to include a variety of different colours like greens, reds, and oranges to get a wider variety of nutrients and health benefits.
Whole Grains for Healthy Carbs
Carbohydrates should be your body’s main source of energy in a healthy, balanced diet. Starchy vegetables and whole grains are rich in healthy carbs. Besides, they also provide many other nutrients, including dietary fibre, several B vitamins, and minerals, like iron, potassium, magnesium, and selenium.
Proteins play a crucial role in metabolism, immunity, fluid balance, and energy. Foods that provide high levels of protein include dairy and plant proteins. These foods provide not only protein but B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
Healthy fats provide essential nutrients and can come in lots of shapes and sizes. It could be part of your protein or part of your vegetable intake in the form of nuts or seeds. Oils derived from plants provide essential fatty acids, mono- and polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E.
Step up to Supplements
While creating a balanced meal plate can get you the essential nutrients, due to certain health conditions or food allergies, you may at times have nutritional gaps that may need to be filled by supplements. The supplement can help ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need. However, it is important to talk to a nutrition expert before taking any supplements.
Healthy food choices vary from person to person, depending on age, gender, overall health, and physical activity. Though it may seem difficult to make every meal perfectly divided into food group portions, taking small steps can make a difference and lead to healthy lifestyle choices. Talk to our nutrition expert at 8 Fitness Tips to learn more about balanced nutritional meals.
Food systems can deliver numerous biological functions through dietary components in the human body. Our body needs different types of nutrients to perform different functions. The more variety of food you have on your plate, the more types of nutrients the body gets from it. And that’s where Indian food wins. The inclusion of various spices, pulses, rice and grains, makes it one of the most wholesome foods in the world.
What does the Indian diet offer?
Indian Food Offer Variety
Typical Indian meals consist of dal (a legume dish) and rice, vegetables, salad, and fruit. This supplies the body with major nutrients including minerals, vitamins, iron, carbohydrates, proteins, calcium and fats. They are derived through a combination of the five major food groups – fruits and vegetables, cereals and pulses, meat and dairy products and fats and oils.
How does an Indian diet help healthy living?
Here are the reasons why you should stick with an Indian Diet.
Preparation of Indian food
The way Indian food is prepared contributes a lot to its health benefits. Sprouting, fermentation, malting etc enhance the functional properties of foods. Indian cooking style retains the nutritional aspects of the food and optimizes and also enhances the benefits provided by that.
Medicinal properties offered by herbs and spices
The use of herbs and spices has been incredibly important throughout history. Spices like turmeric, garlic, chillies, black pepper, cumin, fenugreek and many more offer exceptional medicinal and healing properties. The Indian cuisines make optimum use of these spices and herbs adding a healing property to the dishes.
Loaded with proteins and dietary fibre
Indian food consists of a variety of grains that are high in dietary fibre and enhances the body’s health and functioning. Besides, pulses that are high in protein are also an important part of Indian meals.
Fewer and safer preservatives
Traditional Indian cooking involves cooking fresh vegetables from scratch making the food healthier and preservatives free. Even if there is any use of preservatives in any of the preparation, it is done by using natural preservatives like salt, lemon, spices etc.
Use of good fats
Indian cooking is believed to make use of oil and ghee more as compared to other cooking methods. However, it involves the use of a variety of oils and ghee which contributes to fulfilling the body’s healthy fats requirement. Besides, the oils which are used in cooking are made from mustard seeds, peanuts, coconut, and groundnut which again is healthier choices an individual can make for cooking food.
Syndrome (PCOS)/ (PCOD) causes the formation of follicle cysts in the ovaries. It can result in the excessive secretion of androgen (male steroid hormones), which is said to be the cause of several unusual changes in a female’s body.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a syndrome in which several cysts, i.e. sacs filled with liquids, start growing on both the ovaries of women. They are large and often made out of immature eggs and other secretions. Due to the syndrome, women may experience problems with their periods. They may not have them at all or can get delayed and unpredictable.
What is PCOD?
Like PCOS, PCOD can have similar implications on the ovary but they are minor. In PCOD, lesser and smaller sacs are formed on ovaries, which can go back in three months. The periods are usually normal and sometimes, may get delayed. PCOD gets detected when women are not able to conceive during childbearing age.
The common symptoms in both PCOD and PCOS include no ovulation, irregular periods, acne and hirsutism.
PCOS has several symptoms ranging from obesity, irregular or no periods, excessive facial hair, baldness, body odour, fatigue, sleep-related problems, depression, anxiety, mood swings, headache etc.
The symptoms of PCOD can be similar to that of PCOS with some major differences. PCOS is usually detected at child-bearing age when women who are trying to conceive are not able to.
Periods can be irregular, which may cause buildup on the uterine wall. Besides, it has been observed women with PCOD gets more affected by obesity than those with PCOS problem.
Diet & Lifestyle
The medical treatment of PCOD/PCOS focuses on managing individual concerns including infertility, hirsutism, acne or obesity. Besides, weight loss has been shown to help with hormonal imbalance and infertility.
Along with medical treatment, it is important to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to fight PCOD and PCOS. It is recommended to consume a healthy diet for a hormonal balance and a healthy weight.
- To minimise the problem of irregular periods, women can increase the intake of antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and herbs.
- Consuming complex carbohydrates, food having a low glycemic index and micronutrients like selenium, magnesium and chromium can also help in PCOD.
- Deep-fried foods, simple carbohydrates, sugar, honey, and jaggery can be avoided by women with PCOD since they are insulin resistant.
- It is important to keep the water intake in check as PCOD can make one prone to constipation and water retention.
- Saturated fats can increase cholesterol and calorie level so it is advisable to avoid foods containing saturated fats.
- Some herbs have also been considered to keep your hormone health in check therefore consuming herbal supplements can also help fight PCOD.
- Besides nutrition, exercising for 30 to 60 minutes a day can also help in reducing insulin resistance.
- Consuming fibre-rich food can help fight PCOS problems. So, women with PCOS can add plenty of fruits and vegetables to their diet since these are loaded with fibre.
- In PCOS, the level of androgen (male hormones) gets higher than normal. A diet rich in protein can lower the level of androgen and also help lose weight.
- Diet having low GI can also help in weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity.
- An optimum level of healthy fats can improve insulin levels as well as promote weight loss. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also improve insulin resistance.
While natural and herbal supplements and alternative therapies can help PCOS and PCOD treatment, they are not a substitute for a customized, ongoing dialogue with your doctor about your symptoms.
Talk to the nutrition expert at 8 Fitness Tips to know more about PCOS and PCOD.
Many people are aware of the need for ongoing self-improvement. But often the emphasis is placed on external factors: physical fitness, acquiring skills to make yourself a stronger leader, or executive acumen.
However, none of that will get you where you truly want to go without support from a strong inner core.
What is Inner Strength?
People tend to get confused between mental strength and inner strength. is the strength of the soul. Inner strength is the core strength of a person, while mental strength is the strength of the mind.
Inner strength means having strong willpower with self-discipline. It is expressed through positivity and courage and how one withstands difficulties and obstacles.
Importance of Inner Strength
Inner strength is an essential skill, necessary for carrying out tasks, chores and decisions, and for the achievement of goals. It protects and assists day-to-day functions and is responsible for much of our movement.
A strong inner self gives us patience and courage essential for doing our duties. It gives us self-confidence, determination, tolerance and enthusiasm for leading a healthy and quality life.
It helps in controlling unnecessary and harmful impulses and habits. If you tend to be lazy, developing inner strength will help you overcome laziness.
It makes it easier to form goals and follow them through giving you the courage and strength to endure difficulties and hardships.
How to develop a strong inner self?
Developing this ability requires that you train your willpower and self-discipline. This is a gradual process and is highly beneficial.
Disconnect & Meditate
The only way to calm your inner chaos is with 100% focus. Distractions and disruptions can chip away at your core. Set aside one day a month to completely unplug everything. Take time to rejuvenate, connect with nature and just sit with your thoughts.
Give Importance to Your Body
You can use your body to strengthen your soul so be proactive about your health. It’s tough to feel strong inside if you are unhealthy outside. Make a strong effort to be fit and healthy. Eat right, exercise and feel good about yourself.
Here are a few simple exercises you can do:
- Drink your water.
- Climb up the stairs instead of taking the lift.
- Park your car a little far from your destination and walk.
Be Open to New Experiences
New experiences build resilience and creativity – two crucial aspects of inner strength. Get involved in new activities and give yourself the freedom to experiment and learn from diversity. Do something that you’ve never done before but wish to experiment; something that’s exciting, inspiring, and insightful.
A joint is the part of the body where two or more bones meet to allow movement. They are held together, supported and cushioned by connective tissue called cartilage and ligaments. As the bones move against one another, smooth cartilage prevents friction.
However, just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage can break down, too. And without enough padding, the bones will hurt when they rub against each other at the joints. This discomfort, ache or soreness experienced in joints due to breakdown of the cartilage is called osteoarthritis.
Tips to keep your joints healthy
Frayed cartilage can’t heal or grow back. However, you can always protect the cartilage and safeguard your joints. To maintain or improve your joint health, exercise is key. But what else can you do?
Here are a few tips for safeguarding your joints — and the cartilage that supports them.
Stay physically active
The body is supposed to move; our joints allow for movement. Movement eases joint stiffness, reduces joint pain, strengthens the muscles which surround the joints, and helps us maintain a healthy weight.
Keep a check on your body weight
We must maintain our ideal body weight for a lot many reasons including healthy joints. Carrying excess body weight adds stress to our joints, especially the weight-bearing joints. Weight loss can significantly reduce knee pain and joint stiffness.
Give muscle support to your joints
Strong muscles support your joints. If you don’t have enough muscle, your joints take a pounding, especially your spine, hips, and knees, which must support your entire body weight. Weight training exercises help build muscle and keep your muscles and surrounding ligaments strong. That way, your joints don’t have to do all the work.
A certified fitness trainer can show you the best exercises for healthy joints and how to do them correctly.
Take care of your nutrition
For strong bones, it is vital to take in enough calcium and vitamin D every day. Additionally, your muscles need protein too. If you think your body is not meeting your requirements, consider supplements.
Give importance to the posture
To protect your joints from your neck down to your knees, always stand and sit up straight. When walking, make sure your shoulders are back and your spine is straight. If you work at a desk, take a break every hour to stretch and readjust your posture.
Pay attention to body pains
Over time, a certain amount of wear and tear on your joints is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to affect the way your body feels, functions or moves. If you experience a clicking or popping sensation in the joint when you walk, bend or lunge, but there’s no pain or swelling, you don’t need to worry about it. However, if you have pain or swelling with that clicking or popping, it’s best to schedule a visit to your doctor.
Otherwise, follow these steps to protect these essential joints to minimize your risk of experiencing pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your knees.
If you are experiencing pain or stiffness in your joints, talk to our fitness expert at 8 Fitness Tips.
There is a well-established relationship between good health and good nutrition. The impact of nutrition sporting performance itself has become a subject of study. Whether you are a competing athlete, a hobby sports player or a religious exerciser, the foundation to improve your performance is a nutritionally rich diet.
You are more likely to feel tired and perform poorly when you do not get enough calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fluids, iron, vitamins, and other minerals. Eating a nutrition-rich diet can help provide the energy you need to finish a race, or just enjoy a casual sport or activity.
Good Diet for Athletes
When we talk about the nutrient requirements for athletes, the quality of nutrients consumed is equally important as the quantity of nutrients. In that case, fats, proteins and carbohydrates and all the other micronutrients need to be high quality.
Besides, the basic training diet should be sufficient to meet the demands of training and exercise and enhance adaptation and recovery between training sessions. This diet has to be tailored considering an athlete’s body weight and composition, training duration and the type of sport they play.
Diet Requirement of Athletes
Athletes who exercise vigorously may need to increase their carbohydrates intake to meet their energy requirements. Carbohydrates act as a key energy source during exercise and fuel exercising muscle tissue and other body systems.
If carbohydrate in the diet is restricted, a person’s ability to exercise is compromised. This can also result in a loss of protein (muscle) tissue, since the body may start to break down muscle tissue to meet its energy needs.
Protein plays a key role in post-exercise recovery and repair and therefore is an important part of a training diet. Protein needs are generally met by following a high-carbohydrate diet because many foods are a combination of carbohydrates and protein.
Water is another most important, yet undervalued, nutrient for all including athletes. The body can lose several litres of sweat in an hour of vigorous exercise. Water and other fluids help to keep the body hydrated and at the right temperature.
Ensure consuming a good amount of water and other fluids throughout the day, whether or not you will be exercising.
Vitamins and Minerals
Athletes should ensure to consume the essential vitamins and minerals they need to support their general health and sports performance. The body requirement of vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients is usually achieved by consuming a varied, balanced diet. Some may choose to take supplements to meet the requirements.
If you are considering nutritional supplements to improve your athletic performance, talk to 8 Fitness Tip’s professional nutritionists today!
Besides the right nutrition, the timing of meals and snacks also plays an important role in an athlete’s performance. The timing and content of meals can help support training needs, reduce fatigue, and help optimize body composition. These may vary depending on the type of athlete.
Nutrition According to the Sport Type
Athletes have different nutritional requirements depending on which sport they are in. They may need to consult a sports nutritionist, or a registered dietitian, to ensure they consume the right diet and maintain ideal body weight for optimal performance and recovery. Plan a timing strategy that suits your body, sport, and schedule.
Plan a diet that is right for your needs. Talk to our professional nutritionists at 8 Fitness Tips.
What are Hormones?
A hormone is a substance that influences growth and development. These substances act as chemical messengers responsible for functions like metabolism, reproduction, and mood in the human body. These messengers control appetite, weight and mood, among other things and thus they strongly affect mental, physical and emotional health.
Understanding Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are produced by endocrine glands including the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal and pancreas. These glands produce different hormones for different bodily functions. Any minor changes in the production of any of these hormones can cause major imbalances in cells or even the entire body function. Therefore, it is important to keep the hormones balanced.
However, age affects the production of certain hormones. Besides, medications, lifestyle habits, poor diet and nutrition and environmental changes can also cause hormonal imbalance.
Fortunately, a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle can help in keeping your hormonal health in check. Here is how you can keep your hormones balanced with the right diet and lifestyle.
Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Nutrition
Protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake. Eating protein-rich food stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full.
Healthy fats trigger the release of hormones that help you feel full and satisfied. On the contrary, trans fats can promote insulin resistance and increase the storage of belly fat. To optimize hormone health, consume a healthy fat source at each meal.
Soluble fibre is an important component of a healthy diet. Eating fibre-rich food protects against insulin resistance and overeating. It can also help in increasing insulin sensitivity and stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel full and satisfied. Although soluble fibre tends to produce the strongest effects on appetite and eating, insoluble fibre can also prove to be equally helpful.
Avoid Refined Carbs
Sugar and refined carbs have been linked to many health problems. Avoiding or minimizing these foods may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function.
Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Lifestyle Changes
Avoid Overeating and Undereating
Over or under eating may also result in hormonal changes which may, in turn, lead to weight-related problems. While overeating can increase insulin hormone levels and reduce insulin sensitivity, cutting down on calories can increase the stress hormone cortisol levels.
It is important to consume enough calories which can help you maintain hormonal balance and a healthy weight.
Physical activity can strongly influence hormonal health. Exercising can reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Besides, physical activity can boost levels of muscle-maintaining hormones and growth hormones.
Poor sleep has been linked to hormonal imbalances including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin and growth hormone. Despite a nutritious diet and optimum exercise, not getting enough sleep can disbalance your hormonal health.
As mentioned earlier, hormones are involved in every aspect of health – physical, mental and emotional. And, we need a very specific amount of these chemicals in our body for its optimum functioning.
Although certain factors are beyond control to maintain a healthy hormonal balance, we can still keep the production of these chemicals in check by following the above-mentioned ways. Consuming nutritious foods, exercising regularly and engaging in other healthy behaviours goes a long way toward improving your hormonal health.
What is Nutritional Deficiency?
The body requires many different vitamins and minerals referred to as micronutrients which are important for growth and disease prevention. These micronutrients are obtained from the food we eat. The amount of each nutrient required by the body depends on many factors including your age, health status, level of activity etc. When the body lacks the necessary amount of a nutrient, it causes nutritional deficiency.
Why Nutritional Deficiency Occurs?
Mostly, inadequate intake is the basic cause of the nutritional deficiency. However, increased requirement of a nutrient (like during pregnancy) which is not met or inadequate absorption of nutrients by the body also causes deficiency.
Deficiency Due to Malabsorption
One may have a nutritional deficiency, despite eating the right food. Inadequate absorption of nutrients by the body is also referred to as Malabsorption. It can be caused due to digestive problems where the body can’t absorb enough of certain nutrients and fluids. So, it is important to understand that eating right is not enough.
Absorption of Nutrients
The food we eat undergoes a chemical and mechanical digestion process. During this, it is broken down into macro and micronutrients by the digestive enzymes produced in the stomach. If the stomach is not able to produce these enzymes, the body will not be able to absorb the nutrients from the food.
Therefore, a healthy digestive system is important for this nutrient absorption process to work optimally. If our digestion or gut health is not good we may not absorb nutrients well.
Besides, good levels of hydrochloric acid, good gut bacteria and good cell integrity of the gut are important for nutrient absorption.
How to Improve Nutrient Absorption
Here are a few ways in which you can treat malabsorption.
These supplements can help your body absorb the nutrients it can’t absorb on its own.
Nutrient supplements needs to be change
Consult a nutrition expert to understand which nutrients are not being absorbed by your intestine and how to address the deficiency through supplements.
Nutrient deficiencies can have a profound impact on your health. Nutrient replenishment can make a world of a difference in energy levels, brain health, physical fitness, and more.
Talk to our nutrition expert to know more!