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Recommended diet – how many calories should I eat in a day

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Counting calories may seem a chore, but it can be helpful when you are trying to lose weight.

How many calories you eat in a day depends on a variety of factors, and how many calories you burn doesn’t always depend on your exercise.

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Keeping track of what you eat can be a great way to keep track of how much you consume on a daily basisPhoto credit: Getty

Calories help measure the amount of energy that food and drink provide you with.

When you diet, you can usually lose weight if you eat fewer calories and do more exercise.

However, this is not always the case for everyone, and some people suffer from medical conditions that make it difficult for them to lose weight.

Calorie counting doesn’t always work for everyone, but if you think it would help you with your weight loss, here is everything you need to know.

How Many Calories Should I Have?

The NHS says women should have 2,000 calories a day and men should have 2,500 calories a day.

Your age can be a factor, and children and adolescents need more calories than a middle-aged man or woman.

How active you are affects how active you are, as does your height and weight – both of which affect how quickly you expend energy.

Medications, hormones, and malaise can also affect how quickly you burn energy.

To maintain a healthy weight, according to the NHS, you need to balance the amount of calories you eat and drink with the amount of calories you burn from exercise.

However, if you want to lose weight, you have to consume more energy than you need – then you can help reduce your calorie intake.

If you need to gain weight, you need to be consuming more calories than your body is consuming.

The NHS 12 Step Weight Loss Plan

FROM faddy diets to seedy detoxes, most of us have heard it all before when it comes to weight loss.

But burning fat can be easy and mostly free.

In fact, the NHS has a slew of medically approved tips on how to lose weight and lose body fat once and for all …

  1. Don’t skip breakfast
    Skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight. You could be missing out on important nutrients and snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
  2. Eat regular meals
    Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories faster. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
  3. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
    Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, low in fat and high in fiber – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain many vitamins and minerals.
  4. Get more active
    Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as offering many health benefits, exercise can help burn the excess calories that you cannot lose through diet alone.
  5. drink lots of water
    People sometimes mistake thirst for hunger. You may end up consuming extra calories if a glass of water really is what you need.
  6. Eat high fiber foods
    Foods high in fiber can help make you feel full, which is perfect for weight loss. Fiber is only found in plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, oats, whole grain bread, brown rice and noodles, as well as beans, peas and lentils.
  7. Read food labels
    Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie count to find out how a particular food fits your daily calorie needs on the weight loss plan.
  8. Use a smaller plate
    Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. As you use smaller plates and bowls, you may gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain that it is full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
  9. Don’t forbid any food
    Don’t eliminate foods from your weight loss plan, especially those that you like. When you ban foods, you will only crave them more. There is no reason why you cannot enjoy the occasional indulgence as long as you stay within your daily caloric intake.
  10. No junk food in stock
    To avoid temptation, avoid stocking junk foods like chocolate, cookies, chips, and sweet soda at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks like fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
  11. Cut down on alcohol
    A normal glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
  12. Plan your meals
    Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the week and make sure you are sticking to your caloric intake. It can be helpful to make a weekly grocery list.

How to track calories

First of all, the NHS recommends using a BMI calculator to find out whether or not you are a healthy weight.

The BMI scale has previously been criticized and experts have pushed for it to be abolished as some claim it is a “dangerous measure”.

But for now, it’s the level the NHS uses, and you can click here to find out your calorie count.

First you need to enter your height, weight and age. You will also be asked how active you are and what your ethnicity is.

For example, a 30 year old white woman who weighs 12.7 pounds, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, and has moderate activity would be classified as overweight.

The recommendation is that that person should lose 9 pounds – again, it doesn’t take into account what medications they would be taking or if they have any health issues.

The NHS app states that you should be eating 1545-1986 calories per day for someone with these measurements.

The government has partnered with various weight loss platforms like Noom and Weight Watchers to help people lose weight as part of their Better Health campaign.

Apps like Noom can help you discover the best foods to lose weight and encourage you to type in the foods you eat every day – like a food diary.

Linda Robson tries out recipes for weight loss on the NHS app

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

How To Build the Healthiest Lunch: Midday Meal Nutrition Guide

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Have you ever wondered what the healthiest lunch is? Well, the short answer to that is whatever you want – within reason. What we’re saying is that the healthiest lunch to you doesn’t look like a specific sandwich, wrap, or salad. It’s really not mandatory.

What’s the healthiest lunch?

Rather, creating the healthiest lunch to fuel your afternoons is about filling a plate — or bowl — with foods with a healthy balance of macronutrients (remember: carbs, fats, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins , minerals) that fuel your body and brain.

Want some healthy lunch ideas straight from a nutritionist? Scroll to the bottom of the page

The ultimate goal is to keep you satisfied and energized enough to handle whatever the latter half of the day may throw at you.

What should I eat for lunch to lose weight?

First of all, your choice of lunch is not a miracle cure for healthy weight loss. Rather, safe, sustainable weight loss is the result of a mix of behaviors that you check off every day: good nutrition, a mix of cardio and resistance training, proper rest and stress management techniques all play their part.

However, when it comes to your lunchtime meal and you have a weight loss or maintenance goal in mind, limiting your carbs to a quarter of your plate or opting for an open sandwich might help.

As for pronto protein? Grab cooked chicken breasts, smoked mackerel fillets, or canned tuna, or if you’re plant-based, opt for ready-made lentils and drain your canned chickpeas the night before so you can just tip them into a salad.

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While meat alternatives (if you’re looking at your frozen veggie sausages) can be useful, they’re often loaded with additional ingredients and are best not to be counted on – sliced ​​tofu is a better reputation. And to follow a fixed rule? Aim for your lunch to be 50% vegetables, says Dr. Chintal Patel, NHS GP and healthy eating blogger (@drchintalskitchen).

Sounds daunting, but this is something you can accomplish fairly easily. “It only takes seconds to toss a generous handful of spinach and frozen peas into your store-bought soup,” she suggests.

Is there anything else I should know about preparing a healthy lunch?

toppings? Not just for pizza. They offer another way to add more variety, flavor, and nutrients. “Cover salads with a tablespoon of seeds or a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs, add some sauerkraut to a sandwich, or a couple tablespoons of kefir or yogurt to a curry or daal,” adds Laura Tilt, nutritionist and gut health specialist (@NutritionValue) .

And how can I take care of my gut health at lunch?

One thing to think about when preparing or buying your lunch is your gut health. “A varied diet is important to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need,” says Tilt, who adds that to encourage diversity in your gut microbes, you should shoot 30 different types of plants each week.

And see, while we’re not saying that you need a wholesome Insta-perfect rainbow plate for the healthiest lunch, it’s kudos to get closer to your weekly goal with your lunch.

“Whether it’s bread, pasta, rice or another grain, opt for whole grains to get the extra fiber, which is great nutrition for your gut microbes and is good for maintaining your blood sugar levels – and therefore your energy levels,” he adds inclination.

Just buy pre-cooked packets of cereal like Merchant Gourmet or cook an extra portion the night before if you don’t want to pay extra.

How do I build the healthiest sandwich?

If you think that sandwiches have nothing to do with the healthiest lunchtime dishes, we’re happy to say you’re way off the mark. Bread – and we’ll repeat this until we’re blue in the face – isn’t bad. In fact, whole grains contribute a lot to a healthy, varied diet.

What can make sandwiches difficult to achieve your healthiest lunchtime goals is the fact that they’re not as simple a vehicle as, say, a salad to munch on tons of veggies.

For convenience, if you have a sarnie, you’ll probably need to shred some veggies to a child’s side rather than squeezing them between the slices.

“Seven cherry tomatoes count as a serving,” notes Tilt. “Just like a 2 inch piece of cucumber and a carrot.”

Is it healthy to buy lunch on the go?

When you work outside the home, a healthier lunch doesn’t come cheap. Before the pandemic, the average Brit office worker spent £1,580 a year on lunch*, while Londoners spent a whopping £4,000.

So why were some of us willing to spend so much hard-earned money to buy the healthiest lunch we could find? One word: convenience. But it pays to keep your wits about you when trying to pick up some delicious food along the way.

“Convenience foods that are labeled as ‘healthy’ are often not as nutritious as they are made out to be,” says Dr. patel “Often the focus is on caloric content rather than nutrient density. Also, ready meals often contain a lot of added sugar and salt – something that isn’t always obvious at first glance.”

That’s not to say that every meal you buy at 1 p.m. isn’t great nutrition news. “A grab-and-go salad or a cereal hot box can add more variety to your diet than you might otherwise get, especially if you’re a creature of habit,” says Tilt.

“You could make a chili with rice at home — but if you buy a chili to go, you might get three types of beans, avocado, coleslaw, and yogurt,” she says of a strong, healthier lunch option on the go. “And even if you buy ingredients like edamame beans, olives, and kimchi in your weekly grocery store,” she adds, “you’ll probably be eating them all week.”

Maybe food for thought?

After some inspo? 6 Healthiest Lunches From A Nutritionist

1. Mackerel pie, toast, red cabbage sauerkraut

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2. Eggs baked on the tray

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3. Chicken Soup

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4. Savory

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5. Fast Dhal

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6. Minestrone with a pan

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Best Eating Habits to Reverse Prediabetes, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That

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If you’re considered prediabetic (more than 30% of Americans meet the criteria, and many of you may not even know it), overhauling your diet and lifestyle habits can make a noticeable difference in improving your health. In fact, according to the CDC, it’s possible to reverse prediabetes with the right lifestyle interventions.

“Prediabetes can be a scary diagnosis, but the good news is that it’s reversible. Lifestyle changes such as healthy eating habits, better sleep, and physical activity can help. Take it slow and start with small, actionable steps,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. “If you need help setting goals or sticking to your diet, consult a licensed dietitian.”

to Burgess, Eleana Kaidanian, RD, CDN, CPT-WFS, registered nutritionist and owner of Long Island Nutritionist, a private virtual practice based in New York, comments: “Reversing prediabetes, or even reversing a full-blown diabetes diagnosis, is not a myth; in fact, I regularly help my patients achieve this, so I know it can be done, you can too! My clients can tell you and so will I, it takes work, it takes change, but if you set yourself up for success, I have seen A1Cs drop in the 8s (diagnosis of diabetes) to the mid 5s (healthy/normal range) achieved in 90 days with diet and exercise“, she says. “If you are consistent in your efforts, not only will your efforts become more habitual and easier over time, but you will also help produce the results you want.”

Aside from meeting with a health professional like a trusted doctor and/or nutritionist to find the best personalized approach for you, here are six simple guidelines that can help you reverse prediabetes. And to learn more about eating healthily, don’t miss out on drinking habits to avoid if you’re prediabetic, says nutritionist.

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Burgess recommends starting meals with a simple side salad or your choice of colorful roasted vegetables. That doesn’t sound bad now, does it? “Eating vegetables as the first part of a meal is a simple eating habit that can help control blood sugar levels. Research shows that those who ate vegetables before the main carbohydrate portion of their meal had lower post-meal blood sugar levels compared to those who ate carbohydrates first,” says Burgess.

Eat this, not that

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Quinoa Tomato SaladShutterstock

We’re not talking about Skittles, friends. “Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is an achievable and fun eating habit that can help reverse prediabetes. This is because the different colors in foods represent different antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients that are associated with a lower prevalence of prediabetes,” says Bürger. “Although it’s probably not realistic to eat every color in one meal, try to incorporate different colored foods throughout the week with the goal of eating as many as possible,” she continues, recommending people try yogurt with different ones Garnish berries and stir colorful peppers into pasta dishes or this rainbow quinoa salad.

Avocado toastShutterstock

More guacamole? Sign up with us. “Eating more healthy fats, like monounsaturated fats, can improve your body’s use of insulin, which may help reverse prediabetes,” says Burgess. “One study found that eating more monounsaturated fats, particularly olive oil, improved insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes. Other good sources of monounsaturated fats are avocados, nuts, and seeds. Try roasting veggies in olive oil and toasting avocado instead of butter on toast, or making nut-crusted salmon.”

woman eating sandwich and checking watchShutterstock

Intermittent fasting might be trendy, but listen to learn more about meal timing to reverse prediabetes: “Fad diets like intermittent fasting aren’t going to help you reverse your prediabetes. In fact, you should do the opposite. Try to eat frequently, ideally every two to three hours, as a schedule to prevent your blood sugar from dropping between snacks and meals, and to avoid very large meals due to gaps in the diet, which can cause blood sugar spikes.” , Kaidanian shares.

“Your body wants to keep your blood sugar constant. Encouraging rises and falls in blood sugar levels by skipping snacks/meals, going without food for long periods, and then overeating is not diabetes-friendly. Eating more of a small, balanced diet, eating every few hours will keep you full and within your carbohydrate limits due to portion size. You’ll feel happier and your blood sugar will be in a healthier and happier place with these changes in your eating plan,” she said, who also points to this research.

CONNECTED: Safe ways to lower your blood sugar, dietitians say

Apples with Almond ButterShutterstock

Listen, listen: “Not all carbohydrates are created equal or affect your blood sugar the same way,” Kaidanian proclaims. “When choosing snacks and meals, aim for high-fiber carbohydrates in the form of fruits/vegetables (especially those with intact skin), beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Fiber is rough and chewy—think wheat bread vs. white bread—and adding fiber to your diet puts more work in your body to convert it into energy. This work and time factor causes sugar to break down slowly over a period of time released into the bloodstream, preventing a potential spike from a fiber-free carbohydrate like juice,” she explains. As Kaidanian breaks it down, choosing a fiber-rich food like an apple with the skin on is more complex than choosing a simple carbohydrate, in this example apple juice .

“But you don’t have to stop here. “By choosing not to eat a carbohydrate on its own, even if it’s high in fiber, and adding a protein or fat, you can make snacking or meal choices even more complex,” she adds. Try a small apple with it, for example bowl and a spoonful of natural unsweetened nut butters, Kaidanian recommends.”That way, your body responds with better glycemic control of the foods you’ve just put into your body to break down for energy,” she concludes, citing this research She had us at apple and almond butter.

CONNECTED: 15 Best Snack Combos That Double Weight Loss

buttered breadShutterstock

“There are three macronutrients that make up all of the energy we get from our diet, specifically protein, fat and carbohydrates,” explains Kaidanian, noting that of the three, carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar. “It’s not that you shouldn’t eat carbs, it’s that you need to be aware of the amount of carbs you’re eating at any given moment. Unfortunately, our western diet is very high in carbohydrates. You probably don’t need to go on a low-carb diet, it’s just that most people eat a loaded carb diet. By comparison, it may seem like you’re going to have to make a big adjustment, but in reality you should just keep track and stay within reach of your carb needs,” she says, citing that research and these CDC carb counting guidelines.

“Carb counting is a method I use with my clients to understand how many grams carbohydrate sources have in a given session.”

For snacks, Kaidanian recommends 15 grams of total carbs (equivalent to 1 carb count) and a range of 15 to 30 grams for meals.

“Remember that you can and should add proteins and fats for bulking and filling food combinations. An example of a snack in this range might be a hard-boiled egg or two (0-1 grams of carbs) plus a cup of fresh bell peppers (9 grams of carbs).” To learn more about carbs, read How to Calculate Net Carbs calculated weight loss.

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9 Restorative Recipes for Any Time of Day

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Eating for your mental health doesn’t have to be complicated. These low prep recipes are for those days when preparing a meal feels like too much.

Depression can turn anything and everything into a chore—even eating.

When it’s zapping your energy and desire to cook, it can be tempting to swing through a drive-through, make a meal out of sweets, or just skip food altogether.

Instead, you can try these flavorful meals and snacks that may even have the added benefit of improving your mood.

Grocery shopping can feel overwhelming for some people — and even more so when depression is interfering with your motivation. But having some healthy things on hand can help you feel better.

Creating a simple list of essential groceries can make shopping a little easier, whether online or in-store.

oils

According to 2015 animal studies, extra virgin olive oil may help maintain brain function and prevent cognitive decline. Not only is virgin coconut oil rich in antioxidants, but a 2014 animal study found that it may also reduce stress.

sugar and sweeteners

Research suggests there is a link between added or artificial sugar and depression.

You might want to have these substitutes on hand if a recipe calls for sugar:

fruit and vegetables

A balanced diet can include fresh, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables. And if you don’t have the energy or motivation, buying pre-cut ones can make life a little easier.

Some good options are:

  • Carrot sticks or baby carrots
  • fresh or frozen spinach or kale
  • sweet potatoes
  • fresh, frozen, dried or freeze-dried:
    • bananas
    • grapes
    • apples
    • clementines
  • kiwi
  • cauliflower
  • fresh, frozen or freeze-dried:

carbohydrates

You can look for whole wheat breads and pastas or convenient microwavable cereals, including:

  • oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Andean millet

snacks

If you need a midday pick-me-up, consider one of these snacks:

  • dry roasted nuts
  • low-fat cream cheese
  • air popped popcorn
  • Wholemeal crackers
  • whole grain muesli

flavor enhancer

Healthy doesn’t have to mean bland. You can improve the flavor of your food with many things, such as:

  • dried spices, like Tajin
  • grated parmesan cheese to garnish pasta, vegetables and popcorn
  • hot sauce or sriracha (in moderation!)
  • vinegars to spice up salads and sauces, such as:
    • balsamic vinegar
    • red wine vinegar
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • brothto add extra flavor to pasta, rice or vegetables
  • Lemonsto press onto almost any meat or vegetable for added flavor and brightness

Once you have your basic necessities in stock, you can look through the recipes below and add other ingredients for recipes you want to make.

Fatigue and lack of energy are common symptoms of depression. Eating energy-boosting foods allows you to gain energy while avoiding negative side effects that could come with too much caffeine.

Research from 2020 suggests that eating foods rich in B vitamins, iron, and magnesium may help with fatigue.

A plain egg (or egg alternative) with a dark leafy green like this Spinach Feta Scrambled Egg can give you a healthy dose of these fatigue-fighting nutrients.

You can find the recipe here.

Some foods – like chocolate! — may support a more balanced mood. Chocolate contains tons of antioxidants like flavonoids, which interact with the brain and potentially boost mood and cognition.

Adding dark chocolate to dishes like peanut butter oatmeal can act as a tasty pick-me-up. The protein, healthy fats, and whole grains provide a trifecta for energy and comfort.

You can find the recipe here.

Not a chocolate lover? Other foods, like sweet potatoes, also contain B vitamins (to help produce serotonin) and magnesium (which may help lower anxiety).

With an Instant Pot, you can make a delicious, fluffy sweet potato in minutes. You can find the recipe here.

No instant pot? No problem. You can toss one in the oven for a baked sweet potato instead. You can find the recipe here.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be especially helpful for people who want to clear brain fog or sharpen their focus. Foods that are high in these fatty acids include:

  • Salmon and other fatty fish
  • avocados
  • walnuts

You can try this walnut-crusted salmon to get plenty of brain-boosting omega-3s.

You can find the recipe here.

Not a fan of fish or nuts? Chia seeds and flaxseeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids. You can add them to oatmeal, yogurt, cookies, and salads.

If depression is interfering with your sleep, eating foods rich in certain ingredients that promote better sleep can help your recovery.

A small 2018 study found that adults who consumed tart cherry juice for 2 weeks slept 84 minutes longer and more efficiently than when they drank a placebo juice.

If you blend a smoothie with berries, which are rich in dairy and antioxidants, you may be on your way to better sleep — although more research needs to be done to fully understand the why and how.

Adding tart cherry juice to a smoothie is an easy way to take advantage of this sleep booster.

You can find the recipe here.

Want something heartier than a smoothie?

Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which research found in 2014 may help produce melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in the sleep cycle.

A simple ground turkey taco is super quick to make in a single skillet. You may simply want to use spicy or high-fat supplements to get the most benefits.

You can find the recipe here.

A 2020 research report suggests that increasing your intake to at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can:

  • have a calming effect on your mood
  • promote a higher level of optimism
  • Reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms

Recipes that combine fruits and vegetables like a salad may prove to be the easiest. Adding some cheese or protein can help round it out even more.

This Strawberry Caprese Salad is an example.

You can find the recipe here.

While some people with depression find eating something challenging, depression causes others to overeat and often crave sweets and snacks.

You can satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy some creativity by creating your own trail mix mix. One option is a simple dark chocolate and cherry trail mix that’s loaded with nuts.

You can find the recipe here.

When living with depression, it can be tempting to skip meals or settle for foods that don’t nourish you. But good nutrition can help you take care of yourself and your condition—both in the short and long term.

If you’re looking for more ways to boost your energy, you can learn more here.

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