Healthy Living: Say yes to ‘Fiber’
and no to ‘Gluten

Healthy Living: Say yes to ‘Fiber’ and no to ‘Gluten’

Liquid calories slide so easily in your daily routine,that it is almost impossible to avoid them. If you are one of those people who wonder why they are not losing weight even though they have been exercising and eating properly, the answer might be in your beverages.

To justify this further, researchers evaluated the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2004, to see how many calories Americans drink. They specifically looked at“sugar-sweetened beverages”which includes,

  • “Low-calorie” drinks

  • Sweetened teas

  • Fruit drinks and juices

  • Sweet coffee-bar drinks (such as Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate)

  • Rice and soy milk

  • Sports drinks

The results of their studies highlighted that 63% of Americans had one or moreof these beverages on any given day, and total calories per day from sweetened drinks has gone up in the last 20 years by 29% to over 200 calories per day. This does not include alcohol which in the survey accounted for another 99 calories per day.

Most of these drinks have become a part of our daily routines and we don’t even realize how many empty calories we intake which are not actually good for health. It’s time to make a move and decide to eat rather than drinking up the calories.

Here are some tips which will prove helpful for you to make smarter moves:-

a) Log your drinks

Don’t forget to log your morning juice and office time coffees in your digital trackers to keep a check on the calorie intake. Keep a check on the total empty calories you had throughout the week along with the extra sugar intake to see why your weight loss efforts are not showing any results.

b) Drink water

Another reason, you might be consuming empty calories in drinks is because you are thirsty. It is advised to have a minimum of 3 liters of water every day. Also, you must make sure that you start and end up your day with a glass of water. Also, be smart and always keep a water bottle on your office desk which will help in replacing mindlessly drinking calories with mindlessly drinking water.

c) Have water after wine

If you are going out for drinks with friends, try drinking a glass of water for every cocktail or glass of wine. You’ll surely end up drinking half the calories you normally would and you’ll wake up feeling a lot better the next morning, too!

d) Brew some tea

Be it green, black, white, or red just brew it and have it. Not only is it flavorful but it is healthy as well as easy to make. You can drink it cold, hot, or anything in-between and it’s tasty morning, noon, and night.

Smart Swaps To Keep Empty Calories At Bay

Don’t ruin your diet with empty calories from sugary drinks. Here are some ideas for drinks that are diet and health-friendly:

  • Drink a 12 oz diet soda instead of regular soda and save more than100 calories.

  • Have a cup of skim milk instead of a cup of whole milk to save around65 calories.

  • Want to have a hot chocolate? Add a sugar-free packet to your 2% milk, rather than sugar to save 60 calories.

  • Say no to the whipped cream on any coffee or beverage to save your 50 calories.

  • Swap a small chocolate milkshake for an 8 oz carton of chocolate milk to save 75 calories.

  • To avoid the intake sugar and save 15 caloriesper tsp go for black or green tea.

  • Love alcohol? Choose light beer over a dark beer to have 50 calories lesser.

  • Tried soymilk? Replace 1 cup of whole milk with a 1 cup of vanilla soy milk to save 50 calories.

  • Rather than going for packed/commercial smoothies make yourself one to save about 100 calories.

  • In the mood for some fruit juice? Rather than having it pure dilute it 50% with water to save yourself around 50 calories.You can also opt for V-8 juices, which is even better as you can save more than 60 calories/drink.

Takes what's best for your health!

When people are looking to lose weight, it is quite common to turn to a group such as weight watchers or slimming world. Nestled among others desperate to shift the pounds, you will benefit from the comradely of being around others who share the same goal as you; making it easier to stick to targets and reduce the feeling of isolation.

However, when you put yourself in a situation where there is a goal or target to be reached it comes hand in hand with the possibility of shame and guilt when that goal is not achieved. Not achieving the set target can mean falling colossally off the wagon and being left with a feeling of regret. Having to start all over again when the pounds have piled back on, is not always easy.

Don't keep counting your calorie intake!

Counting calories works well for some people, as they thrive from the challenge and enjoy the social aspect and the support from a network of slimmer’s. But counting calories isn’t for everyone and it isn’t always the best option. People that are dieting and counting calories are often terrified of fat. They will choose the low fat and rescued calorie option, opting for chemically enhanced flavors to replace the sugar.

But foods that contain natural fats such as nuts, avocados, and coconut oil, can assist with weight loss and they taste great too. Avocados are high-calorie food containing around 160 calories, but they contain monounsaturated fats which give your body energy to slowly burn. Avocados improve nutrient absorption and curb hunger pangs, leaving you with the feeling of being full after a meal.

Health and gluten may not always walk the same road and that’s exactly why you need to pep up the show with fibers. The latter is just what gets your digestive system back on track and flush out all the toxins from your body. We understand that not all gluten is bad but with regards to a fitness-centric lifestyle, it does make enough sense to know that consuming appropriate amounts of fiber in your daily diet will only help you.

You should aim for less than 30 grams of fibers every day and you can make up a certain part of this amount with fruits. We are taking off with first identifying how and where gluten is present in your food and just how you can replace it with fibers with zero trouble.

1. The Gluten-Free Way

As you all must be aware that gluten-free diets have become a boom lately and hence people who are gluten intolerant have loads of options available as a complete replacement to their favorite pasta, pizza, bread, etc.

Certain foods sold in the market as labeled gluten-free which contain no gluten but these snacks have a high amount of unsaturated fat which might lead to piling up of extra kilos and hence it is good to stay away from the following gluten-free yet fattening food items:

  • Processed meats

  • Candies and chocolates

  • Cakes, bread, and pasta

  • Ice creams

  • Chips

  • Salad dressings with mayonnaise

  • Fruit smoothies

  • Cookies

It is also advised to switch to everything whole and organic. From these food items, you can prepare extremely delicious dishes that you would never want to go back to gluten. When you consume such items you feel more energetic, fresh and it surely will help you to lose weight too. Some of the examples of these food items are listed as under:

  • Brown Rice

  • Quinoa

  • Oatmeal

  • Lentils

  • Fresh Fruits

  • Fresh Veggies

  • Buckwheat

Caution: Check your allergies and other health-related risks first!

Here is the list of few tips that must be kept in mind before actually opting for a completely gluten-free diet:

a) Suffering from celiac?

It is very important that before going for gluten-free eating, you go for a proper diagnose to a doctor. If you have been losing weight off lately, a deficit in iron, or have a history for celiac then you must consult a doctor before simply giving up gluten and evaluate its impact on your health.

b) Avoiding gluten may help you feel better

People who have celiac disease need to eliminate gluten from their diets as consuming even small amounts triggers symptoms, including belly pain and bloating. However, people who test negative for celiac may also benefit from going gluten-free if they’re experiencing a condition called gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity.

While it’s not the same as celiac disease, consuming gluten can cause bothersome side-effects in many people, including bloating and other gastrointestinal problems, mental fogginess, and fatigue. Avoiding gluten would only help you feel better and healthy.

c) Be prepared to be bugged

Since gluten-free diets are mostly opted by celebrities, many of your friends and relatives may relate it and bug you for becoming like them with your diet. They might not be able to understand the actual reason behind quitting gluten. So be prepared to face their comments and questions around what you're missing or what’s there for you to eat.

d) Gluten isn’t in every type of grain

Just because it's a grain doesn't mean it has gluten. You've got lots of options, including amaranth, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa. So just relax and enjoy it!

e) Outings are still on

There are many options available for restaurant lovers as there are a large number of restaurants that specifically offer gluten-free foods. National Restaurant Association's highlighted one of its reports that gluten-free food is among the top five food trends for 2014. Some of the top chains offering gluten-free are P.F. Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen, and Dunkin' Donuts.

f) The solution to skin problems

People suffering from celiac disease should ditch gluten. It helps in curing skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. The researchers have not yet proved that whether this is due to gluten specifically, or due to wheat or due to a simple switch away from more processed foods, but you could still shun it to have clearer skin.

g) Gluten-free foods can be processed, too

Gluten may be hiding in some sneaky places so be smart with your food selection. To your surprise, it may be hiding in veggie burgers, salad dressing, certain supplements, or even medications. You'll want to get smart about reading labels before you go in for consumption of any gluten-free food too.

h) Gluten-free diets can have risks

Going gluten-free involves a bit of a learning curve, and it can be especially difficult at the initial level. Those who do so out of medical necessity must be particularly cautious to avoid symptoms and additional health problems.

Those who move to a gluten-free diet may want to work with their doctor and/or a registered Dietician to identify new sources of these nutrients and ensure they are eating properly. Be smart with your options and don't forget to consult a doctor before going gluten-free as it might create health problems instead of boosting the weight loss process.

Being careful is the key to success with gluten-free diets! Now that we have identified the presence of gluten in our lives, we can understand how we can replace it with the healthy fiber content for better results. The same discussion is up next.

How to add more fiber to your diet?

Fiber is the opposite element of gluten. This makes eating a lot of fiber important for weight loss. This nutrient is comparatively important than others as it improves digestion, keeps blood sugar levels normal, and helps you stay full.

The recommended daily intake of this nutrient is 25-30 grams, which is a kind of an impossible target to achieve with a traditional food diet. We are offering some amazing tips which will help you sneak in more fiber in your daily routine. Check them out now-

a) Make spinach your best friend

Spinach is a green vegetable with a mild flavor and is easy to use in anything you eat. 1 cup of spinach has 1 gram of fiber but you can have a lot of it without feeling too filled which gives you enough opportunity to sneak in fiber. Put this veggie into smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soup, egg scrambles, and pasta.

b) Go for oats and nuts

Forget about breadcrumbs and coat your vegetables and chicken in nuts. Simply start including nuts into all your desired foods. This will not only make the dish tasty but also load it with fiber. If you don’t like nuts, you may use oats instead for its high fiber content.

c) Replace chips with popcorn

Can you believe that 1 cup of corn has about 12 grams of fiber? Also, 1 cup of popcorn has 1-gram fiber with only 32 calories. You would love this snacking option as it is both crunchy and salty while being lower in both calories and saturated fats in comparison to other savory snacks like chips and pretzels.

d) How about you eat avocado for a dessert?

Does it sound weird? Even if it does believe us it surely tastes amazing. Avocado has a creamy, dairy-like texture that makes it the perfect replacement for everything from ice cream to popsicles. Your desserts will not only be tastier but they will be loaded with fiber too as 1/2 of an avocado has 6 grams of fiber in it.

e) Chia seeds are a great source of fiber

These tiny seeds are amazing as they are packed with fiber and are extremely easy to incorporate into just about anything. Add them to your favorite puddings, muffins, pancakes, scones, or blend them into your next smoothie or juice. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds has about 10 grams of fiber.

f) Stick with whole-grain products.

When it comes to carbs, it is recommended to opt for those coming from whole grains. It is because they are good fats that are high in both proteins and fiber. Whole grain products are tasty and readily available like whole-grain bread, pasta, and many more.

g) Beans are a great source of fiber

This is the most expected item on this list. Beans are loaded with fiber and you’d be surprised to know that one cup of chickpeas has 12 grams of fiber. Beans can also be added to your daily nutrition easily in the form of salads, soups, gravies, or even roasted!

Try these smart ways to sneak in fiber in your routine and get the best results in the desired duration. Also, download the MEVO app now to get delectable fiber-rich recipes.