Sunday

Can Sausages Really Help to Shed the Pounds ??

So, can sausages really help us to shift those unwanted pounds .......?

 

No. I'm afraid they can't .... Get real !!!

However, sausages do feature very highly in the top 10 foods that influence our weight.

A team of Harvard researchers in the U.S have revealed the results of a study of 120,877 people showing that small changes in lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, sleep duration, and TV-watching are strongly correlated with long-term weight gain.

But the most important factor was diet - and among the report's most intriguing findings is precisely how much weight gain (or loss) can be attributed to consuming an additional daily serving of a variety of specific foods over a four-year period. These 10 food items in particular, correlated with long term changes in weight. The first 5 food items promote weight gain, and the next 5 promote weight loss. Let's see how your favourite foods fare in this list.


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Foods that correlate to long term weight gain:

1. Crisps –
Crisps are not surprising here, with the starch content and their deep fried texture.

2. Potatoes – The innocent potatoes that we inject into our daily diet, by way of making even a boring salad more interesting, could be adding to weight gain.

3. Sugar sweetened beverages – Again, these are silent killers. Without even realizing it, an innocent sip here, and a sip there could lead to more weight gain than you thought possible.

4. Un-processed red meat – Red meat with the high fat content, before it has been trimmed is definitely on the list of foods that lead to weight gain .....

5. Processed meats – ....... As are processed meats like sausages, bacon and salami. This is because of the high salt content as well as the unnatural preservatives that go into giving these meats a long shelf life.


Foods that correlate to long term weight loss:


1. Vegetables – No surprises here. Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, capsicum, all those colours are nutritious and rich, and therefore filling. Vegetables are a must to up in your diet if you are on a weight loss mission.

2. Whole grains – Oats, whole wheat, brown rice, are grains rich in fiber and promote weight loss if included in a diet. But that is only if you are switching over from the 'higher in sugar', refined version of grains.

3. Fruits – Great filler between meals, delicious, and nutritious, fruits are high on the list of food items you should consume to promote weight loss.

4. Nuts – Again a great snack to have between meals instead of wasting your appetite on deep-fried foods that make you feel hungry very quickly.

5. Yoghurt – The study has found that a regular consumption of yoghurt on a long-term basis promotes weight loss.



What are Empty Calories?


I've been asked on several occasions very recently to explain what is meant by the phraise 'Empty Calories'.

Calories are the unit of measurement that we use to measure the amount of energy that is provided by our food and drink.

But, in addition to 'calories of energy', our bodies also need other things to be provided by our food and drink, such as vitamins, minerals and nutrients.


An "empty calorie" is a loose term used to describe calories from foods or drinks that have little or no nutritional value. 
This means that, for the percentage of caloires they provide to your diet, there are very few, if any minerals, vitamins, or nutrients. Meaning you would need to consume even more calories to achieve the quantities of those minerals, vitamins or nutrients our bodies need. Empty calories tend to be high in sugars, starches, and fats.
So, as an easy example, let's look at two common foods to compare how they provide our bodies with much needed minerals, vitamins and nutrients to maintain our vital organs.
Firstly, a typical apple will contain about 100 calories of energy.
But, in addition to the 100 calories, the apple will also contain lots of pectin, anti-oxidants and vitamin C. 
It will also contain no fat, only a tiny amount of sodium (salt) and will be fortified with vitamins, minerals, fibre and GI carbohydrate (the same 'slow release' carbs that are in brown rice!).
Alternatively, a similarly weighted portion of french fries that contains nearly 3 times more calories of energy, only offers us a tiny proportion of the nutritional value our bodies need. A little bit of iron, a tiny amount of vitamin C, a small amount of dietry fibre and a small amount of protein, but with nearly half of the total calories coming from fat and a high sodium content (even before you've added you're own salt!).
In this example, we would need to eat a heck of a lot more french fries, in order to get enough of the good bits out of them, that we actually need. Then we would also need to eat a lot of something else in order to get the rest of the stuff we also need (that the french fries don't provide). But in doing this, we would probably be consuming more then 10 times the calorie content, to achieve what the apple gave us, as well as high amounts of sodium and saturated fat. 
The calories provided by the french fries are 'empty' of nutrients, when compared with the  calories provided by the apple.    

So, some examples of typical foods where the calories provided offer very little nutrition are;

Sweets, Chewing Gum, Chocolate bars, White bread, White rice, Pastries, Cakes, Biscuits, White pasta, Refined cereals, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Soft drinks, Flavored drinks, Alcoholic drinks and Fast Food.

And a few examples of foods that are packed with nutritional value within their calories are;

Brown rice, Brown bread, Wholemeal bread, Wholewheat pasta, Oats, Rolled oats, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts (eg walnuts, cashew nuts) - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Skinless chicken breast, Skinless turkey breast, White fish, Oily fish (eg salmon, trout, halibut, mackerel) - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Olive oil - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Cottage cheese, Egg whites, Sweet potato, Soybeans (eg bean curd or tofu, soya milk), Skimmed milk, Kidney beans and Red lentils.


Stranger Weight Loss Tips

It isn't always easy sometimes to come up with ideas that will help you stay on the right track to keeping the weight coming off, particularly when you're constantly surrounded by temptation.

So here are the first five of ten quirky ideas that will help you start thinking beyond the 'norm', stay focussed, remain in control and help you maintain your aim at your target weight!



1. Snack on 'Difficult to Eat' Foods ...

Instead of crisps, crackers or shelled peanuts, buy in snacks that actually make you 'work for it'. As well as forcing you to slow down, these snack choices help you keep you more aware of your calories.

Pistachio nuts and Monkey nuts are good for this (in moderation) for a savoury snack, or for more of a sweet craving, satsumas and tangerines are similarly effective.


2. Stay Hydrated - Make Water Sexier !! ...

Whilst having a beaker full of tap water on the go may be okay for some people, for others keeping up fluid intake needs to be a little more appealing. So why not turn it into a proper drink?

It cost nothing to have a stock of ice-cubes in the freezer, and next to nothing to add a bag of limes or lemons to your weekly shopping list. But having a delicious, chilled glass of refreshing, ice cold water with plenty of ice and lime (or even a sprig of mint) is something that is much easier to develop a craving for and will reward you with countless hydrating benefits (which you can be reminded of by delving into the archives of this blog).

3. Use Smaller Dinner Plates .....

Okay, maybe this isn't that weird, and it really is an old trick .... but it does work, and it isn't just because we're likely to serve ourselves a smaller amount;

It's a fact that many of us eat with our eyes, rather then with our stomachs. We know we've 'had enough to eat' once our plate is empty!

The great news is that we can use this anomally to our advantage. When we dish up a familiar meal on a smaller plate, our perception is distorted. Our brains don't have any 'previous experience' with which to make a comparison to decide whether or not the usual portion size has been served up. So with the brain in this confused state, it is forced to rely far more heavily on the signals from the stomach as an indication of how satisfied you're feeling.

4. Brush Your Teeth ....

Good dental hygiene obviously has many benefits of its own, outside of the scope of losing weight. But that minty, fresh taste really can help you to stick to your plan. Whenever you're feeling tempted by a snack or if you've finished a meal and want to resist picking at the left-overs, just brush your teeth with normal mint toothpaste.

Our brains have been conditioned not to expect any food for some time after brushing our teeth, so this action, along with the mint flavour, switches off any hunger or craving signals from the brain. Even if we we're tempted to try a bite of something, we would quickly discover that food really doesn't taste good when mixed with all that fresh-mint flavour. Plus, the slick feeling of clean teeth is enough to keep most people from being tempted by another bite.

5. Make Left-Overs Less Appealing .....

Okay, these may seem like extreme measures, but they really can work. Particularly when you just can't put your fork down ... even though you'd love to and even when you're full.

Try putting the handles of your knife and fork into the left over food, you won't want to pick up those greasy utensils to take another bite. If you're in a restaurant, accidentally 'drop' your fork on the floor first before doing this for that added incentive to draw things to a close. Scrunch up your napkin and place it in your food or perhaps, rearrange the remaining food on your plate so that it simply doesn't look appetizing.   


I'll have the next five Stranger Weight Loss Tips for you next time.

Best wishes

Tony

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