Category Archives: Nutrition

The Truth about Food Cravings

Everyone has food cravings. Some people are constantly craving chocolate or sweets. Others have a burning desire to eat fast food, such as pizza, hot dogs, or fries. It is estimated that 70 percent of men and 100 percent of young women had food cravings over the past 12 months. Are cravings real or just an excuse to indulge in your favourite treats? Let’s find out the truth about food cravings!

chocolate dreams cookies


What Are Food Cravings Anyway?


Research indicates that certain areas of the brain – the insula, hippocampus, and caudate – are responsible for food cravings. Most people are craving sugar when they are stressed. Food cravings can also occur when your diet lacks particular nutrients such as vitamin B12 or calcium. The desire to consume certain foods is often related to specific hunger.


Studies suggest that chocolate and other high carb foods increase the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are also known as “feel good” chemicals. When you eat candies, your pituitary gland releases these compounds, which lifts your mood. As a result, your brain will associate candies with happiness. If you satisfy your cravings and eat what you want, you’ll get trapped in a vicious circle that can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.


Food cravings are characterized by an intense desire for chocolate, chips, ice cream, fruit and more. Most people crave sweet, spicy, or salty foods. Pregnant women can experience unusual cravings for non-food items like mud, unripe fruit, and charcoal. This usually indicates nutritional deficiencies. In general, women’s cravings are influenced by hormones.


What Are Your Food Cravings Trying to Tell You?


As you see, there are several possible causes of food cravings. Scientists believe that certain cravings indicate a lack of specific vitamins and minerals. For example, if you crave chocolate, you actually need magnesium. This mineral can be found in fruits, legumes, seeds, and raw nuts. Sugar cravings may indicate low levels of chromium, tryptophan, sulfur, carbon, or phosphorus. This means you should eat more broccoli, cheese, chicken, turkey, liver, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.


What if you’re craving bread or cereals? This could indicate a nitrogen deficiency. Make sure you eat high protein foods such as meat, beans, nuts, and fish. Those who crave fatty foods may have low calcium levels in their body. If this is your case, eat more dairy products, legumes, kale, and seeds.


How to Fight Cravings


A balanced diet that includes all food groups can help reduce cravings. This explains why most people have cravings when trying to lose weight. If you constantly feel the need to eat certain foods, keep them out of your sight. Fill your fridge with fresh fruits and veggies, lean meat, fish, and legumes. Don’t keep chocolate, sweets, or junk food at home.


If you crave sugar, eat a small fruit or a piece of dark chocolate. Cravings for salty foods usually occur when you’re stressed. Exercise more and get plenty of rest to overcome this problem. When you crave steak, burgers, or red meat, eat foods rich in iron. Your cravings will eventually go away. Listen to your body and try to figure out what it really needs.

The Importance of Eating Lunch

Is lunch important to your training performance? Do you really need this meal or can you skip it? A quick and healthy lunch will increase your energy and keep you full between meals. Most bodybuilders and athletes take six or more meals a day, so it’s hard to tell which one is lunch. In general, they consume three main meals, and several snacks or protein shakes. A good lunch leaves them energized and boosts their physical and mental performance.


Is Lunch Really Necessary?


Lunch is definitely one of the most important meals of the day. Without this meal, you’ll lack energy, lose concentration, and feel fatigued. Opting for a combination of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats is the way to go.


If you’re planning to hit the gym after lunch, have a light meal about an hour prior. Those who are having lunch post workout should eat a small amount of simple carbs along with a significant serving of protein. This helps replenish muscle glycogen stores, prevents fatigue, boosts your energy and maximizes your recovery. You can skip the carbs on non-training days if you’re concerned about body fat percentage but either way, your post workout meal should come not long after your training.

post training meal


There are plenty of reasons to have lunch and whether you opt for a quick snack or a larger meal, it’s recommended to at least eat something in the afternoon. When you don’t eat for several hours, your body turns catabolic. In other words, you’ll eat away at your muscle for energy. The worst part is that your metabolism will decrease and you’ll burn fewer calories throughout your day to day activities. If you want to lose weight, don’t skip lunch, that’s a huge mistake. At least grab a protein bar or a light snack to keep your metabolism fired up and muscle from being eaten away.


If you work out regularly to build muscle and improve strength, you should never skip lunch! For those of you who are dieting to lose weight, eat mainly protein and small portions of carbs when possible. If you must consume carbohydrates do it on the days that you work out, but little or no carbs on your off days will be the way to go.


What Should You Be Eating for Lunch?


vege fork

There are hundreds of recipes that you could try for lunch, determined by your free time and cooking skills. Ask your health conscious friends what they do and learn from them. If you’re always in a hurry, try preparing your lunch ahead of time. This may stop you from snacking or eating junk food. If you have to purchase food from a café or bar, stay away from fatty or deep fried options. Keep your calorie intake to around 300-350 if you’re being conscious of putting on weight. It’s more than enough for one meal.


People who want to drop body fat should get their carbs from green vegetables and avoid fruits with high sugar content like apples and strawberries. A good example would be fish and big colorful salads with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, olives, onions, and spinach.

salmon and veg


Try healthy lunch recipes such as tuna salads, turkey wraps, fish and brown rice, chicken breast and green beans, sweet potatoes with chicken or turkey, shrimps, stir-fry dishes, or protein pancakes. If you’re eating out, order simple dishes like a chicken salad, lean meat and veggies, omelet, or fish. If you don’t have time to eat for lunch, have a protein shake, cottage cheese, trail mixes, eggs, or blueberries. A healthy snack is much better than eating nothing!

Daily Eating Plan – Past

Day 1



Cereal – Antioxidant Plus + Soy Milk

Cup of Tea



Chicken Salad



Blueberries & Almonds


During Training


After Training

Protein Shake



Baked Fish & Steamed Vegetables



Day 2



Protein Shake + Soy Milk (60 mls)




Sliced Ham 60 grams



Quinoa Beetroot Salad



Baby Corn + Cucumber


During Training


After Training

Protein Shake



Cous Cous, Tuna & Steamed Veg





Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of The Day?

How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Is this true or not? Most health experts agree about the importance of breakfast for good health. However, some claim that skipping this meal can actually help you lose weight and improve insulin sensitivity.

Benefits of Breakfast


There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the first meal of the day. Whether you should have breakfast or not depends entirely on your goals. Skipping this meal as part of an intermittent fasting schedule will cause your body to burn more fat, especially if you’re doing cardio in the morning. On the other hand, people who skip breakfast usually have more sporadic eating patterns. As a result, they are more likely to gain weight.


However, it’s no doubt that having breakfast is good for health. Studies indicate that people who eat in the morning are leaner and have lower blood sugar levels. They are also less likely to get hungry later on in the day. A healthy breakfast can boost your energy, prevent hunger pains, and lower diabetes risk. It also accelerates your metabolism, so you’ll burn more calories at rest. Here are other benefits of having breakfast:


  • Better focus at work
  • Increased productivity
  • Less belly fat
  • Better morning workout performance
  • Fewer cravings
  • Stronger body
  • Reduced hunger
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Better cholesterol levels
  • Improved memory function
  • More strength and endurance
  • A leaner body


Choosing the right breakfast foods is essential to your health. If you eat sausages and refined sugar first thing in the morning, your risk of diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, and cancer will increase. A healthy breakfast is one that provides your body with essential nutrients from whole, natural foods. If you want to lose weight, eat high protein foods. For strength and muscle gains, eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For those who want to shed fat, breakfast is the only time of the day when they can eat carbs without having to worry about weight gain. However, your carbs should come from quality foods such as oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole rice, or green vegetables.


Starting Your Day Off Right


So, what are the best breakfast foods? Well, you may start your day with oat bran and fruit. This would make an ideal pre workout meal. One cup of oat bran has 231 calories, 62 grams of carbs, 14 grams of fiber, 16 grams of protein, and six grams of fat. Mix it with blueberries, strawberries, yogurt, coconut milk, or low fat yogurt.


Eggs are great for breakfast too. Rich in protein and amino acids, they will provide your muscles with the nutrients needed for growth and repair. Try an omelet with veggies, cottage cheese, chicken breast, or olives. You can also make some high protein pancakes with eggs and whey isolate.


If you’re short on time, have some protein balls or a protein shake in the morning. Eventually, you can eat protein bars that contain both complex carbs and protein. This delicious treat will fuel your muscles and prevent hunger between meals.

protein balls

How the Digestive System Works

Have you ever wondered how the digestive system works? How does your body break down food and absorbs essential nutrients? What about the friendly bacteria in your belly? Digestion is a complex process that involves organs such as the liver, pancreas, small intestine, and stomach. Your digestive system helps absorb and transport all the nutrients your body needs in order to live. It also eliminates the waste and toxins. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? Let’s find out more about the digestive system and how it works!

 Screenshot (376)

Why Is Digestion Important?


The role of your digestive system is to turn the food you eat into energy. When you eat meat, bread, vegetables, fruit, grains or any other foods, your body can not use them as fuel right way. They must be processed and broken into macronutrients before being absorbed into your bloodstream and used for energy. Digestion makes these things possible.


After the nutrients are extracted from food, the waste is excreted. Digestion not only contributes to nutrient absorption, but also removes undigested food and waste from your body. The digestive system basically breaks down foods into vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, carbs and other nutrients that are essential to your survival. This complex process has two main components: chemical and mechanical digestion. The physical breakdown of food into small pieces is known as mechanical digestion. When enzymes break down food into smaller substances that are absorbed into the bloodstream, we’re talking about chemical digestion.


The way we process food has evolved significantly since the beginning of mankind. However, it remains the only way for humans to obtain the energy needed for breathing, moving, thinking, and living. Your digestive system works closely with the circulatory and excretory systems to process the nutrients in food. If something goes wrong in your belly, the whole body will be affected. That’s because all of the systems in your body are interconnected. Thus, it’s important to take care of your digestive system and eat whole, natural foods that support good health.


How Is Food Digested?


When you eat a cookie or an apple, it doesn’t go right into your stomach. Digestion starts in the mouth. As soon as you take first bite, your salivary glands make saliva to break down food. The muscles in your mouth send the cookie to your upper esophagus. A few moments later, food goes into your stomach. Here it gets broken down into smaller pieces. This process is known as peristalsis.


Your stomach produces enzymes and acid to turn the food into a liquid or paste. Once this process is complete, the food goes to your small intestine. This organ is made up of three components: the ileum, jejunum, and duodenum. Its shape resembles that of a long tube. The small intestine keeps breaking down food using bile from your liver and enzymes produced by the pancreas. The ileum and jejunum help your body absorb nutrients during digestion. The duodenum contributes to the breakdown of food in your stomach. The enzymes secreted by your pancreas break down fat, protein, and carbs from the goods you eat.


The liver plays a key role in digestion. This vital organ produces bile and helps cleanse the blood coming from your small intestine. Bile helps you digest fats. During digestion, bile and pancreatic juices mix with other fluids secreted by your small intestine. A few hours later, food moves to the ileum where all of the remaining nutrients are absorbed into your body. The last pieces of food in your stomach are basically a combination of chloride, electrolytes, waste, and water. These substances pass through your colon before emptying of the stomach occurs. They are expelled in the form of feces through bowel movements.


The digestive and urinary systems are connected. Many times, excess toxins are eliminated in the urine. This happens when your digestive system can not break down certain foods. Your stomach has a total volume of 1.6 fluid ounces when it’s empty, but it can hold over 64 fluid ounces after you eat.


What’s Up With Your Gut?


Your body doesn’t handle digestion all by itself. The friendly bacteria in your large intestine turn undigested food into acids, gases, and vitamins. They also ensure good digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, and help your body break down the drugs and chemicals ingested. Bacteria also help your body convert extra calories to fat.


happy gut

Maintaining your digestive system healthy should be a priority. Constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, stomach ulcers and other common problems affect digestion and nutrient absorption. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly supports digestive health. If you notice any chances in bowel habits or experience stomach pain and cramps frequently, seek medical help. Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis, diverticulitis and other serious problems can affect your digestive system as well as your overall health.

Top 10 Superfoods of the World

There are many healthy foods that will keep you fit and ward off diseases. They come in all shapes and sizes, featuring a wide range of flavours. Some of them contain powerful antioxidants that slow aging and fight free radicals. Others are rich in carcinogenic agents and natural compounds that protect your health. Make sure you add these 10 super foods to your diet:




Packed with antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest foods in the world. This nutrient-rich veggie contains tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other compounds that support optimal health. Cooked or raw, broccoli fights cancer and supports weight loss.




Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats. Oleic acid, one of its key ingredients, reduces hunger and burns belly fat. This fruit is also high in protein and dietary fiber. If you’re on a ketogenic or low carb diet, avocado is a great choice. Mix it with eggs, make a puree, or add it to your favorite smoothies.




Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and other nuts are loaded with healthy fats and protein. Despite their high calorie content, they promote weight loss. Nuts are rich in dietary fiber, so they keep you full longer between meals. Eat them raw to reap their benefits.




These tiny fruits are best known for their anti-aging properties. Blueberries contain antioxidants that delay aging and minimize the harmful effects of free radical damage. Compared to other fruits, they are low in calories and carbs. You can eat them raw or add them to diet-friendly desserts, smoothies, and fruit salads.




Loaded with protein and essential fatty acids, salmon should be a staple in your diet. This delicious fatty fish can help you lose weight, build muscle, and stay healthy. Due to its high content of good fats, it improves cardiovascular health and prevents strokes. Regular consumption of salmon helps lower cholesterol levels and slows the aging process.




This ancient grain is rich in iron, protein, and complex carbohydrates. For this reason, it’s a favorite choice for many athletes and fitness buffs. Quinoa contains more protein and fewer calories than other grains. It’s also a great source of vitamin E, zinc, and selenium.





Chia seeds have been used since ancient times for their amazing health benefits. These tiny seeds absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, keeping you full longer. Studies indicate the chia may improve athletic performance, boost your endurance, and prevent dehydration. This superfood is a natural energizer that leaves you refreshed and strengthens your immune system.




Eggs are an excellent source of quality protein and amino acids. They also contain zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that protect your skin from UV damage and lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. If you have an active lifestyle, eggs should play a key role in your diet. They are low in calories, contains a lot of protein, and increase satiety.




Garlic is renowned for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. This popular spice aids in fat loss, lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces blood pressure. It also prevents cancer and heart disease.




Cocoa keeps your heart healthy and lowers blood pressure. It contains theobromine, a potent antioxidant that protects your body from free radicals and helps reduce inflammation. Cocoa can be used raw or added to homemade desserts and hot drinks.

Does Nutrition Affect Your Immune System?

Have you ever wondered if the foods you eat affect your body’s natural ability to fight off viruses and infection? It’s no doubt that nutrition and immunity are strongly connected. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables help prevent diseases and boosts your immune system. Certain foods, such as oranges, berries, grapefruit, broccoli, and spinach, contain large amounts of antioxidants and vitamins that protect you against harmful pathogens. Making small lifestyle changes and eating a well-balanced diet can keep your immune system healthy.


Nutrition and Immunity


A strong immune system starts off with a healthy diet. Whole, natural foods are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and other nutrients that support optimal health. If you’re looking for ways to prevent cold and flu, start by changing your eating habits. The antioxidants in fruit and vegetables protect your body from free radical damage, increase immunity, and lower your risk of cancer. These compounds also prevent aging and boost your energy.


When combined with exercise, good nutrition can help you lose fat and at the same time, make your immune system stronger. The ability of the immune system to prevent diseases is directly influenced by the foods you eat. Inadequate intake of nutrients may cause infections, immune deficiency, premature aging, lack of energy, chronic renal failure, diabetes, obesity, and fatigue. A poor diet can affect your health on long term and compromise your immune system. By replacing bad eating habits with good ones can help prevent these problems and strengthen immunity.


family exercise

Engage in physical activities, such as jogging, swimming, hiking, brisk walking, cycling, gardening, strength training and sports. Eat fewer carbs and more protein along with moderate amounts of healthy fats. Make sure your diet provides the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. Consume fruits and vegetables every day. Replace sodas with water and tea. Try to get more rest as a lack of sleep may have a negative impact on your immune system. It also causes inflammation in the body and stimulates the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. So be well rested as often as possible.


Best Foods for a Strong Immune System


Most fruits and veggies are rich in nutrients that support immune function. Recent studies have shown that yogurt may play a part in improving immunity too. It seems that a daily seven-ounce dose of yogurt is just very beneficial. Oats and barley contain beta-glucan, a special fiber with antioxidant properties. These grains will keep your immune system strong and lower your risk of cold and flu.

garlic for immunity

Garlic is renowned for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. This popular spice enhances your body’s ability to fight infection and bacteria. It also reduces your risk of stomach and colorectal cancer. Your diet should also include berries and citrus fruit, which contain vitamin A, C, E, and zinc. These nutrients kill bacteria and viruses, possibly even cancer cells. Also, don’t forget to eat fatty fish and seafood, which contain essential fats and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system.


immunity berries

What to Eat After Exercise?

Post-workout nutrition plays a key role in muscle growth and repair. Certain foods can speed up your size and strength gains, enhance your performance, and improve recovery time. An ideal post-workout meal should contain fast digesting protein along with complex and simple carbs. Depending on your goals, you can vary the amount of carbs and protein ingested after exercise. Find out the best way to get the nutrients you need for optimal performance!


Why Is Post-Workout Nutrition Important?


Eating the right foods after exercise can help you build muscle and recover faster. Post-workout nutrition aids in protein synthesis, reduces catabolism (muscle breakdown), and helps replenish glycogen stores. It also prevents muscle fatigue and boosts your energy. This is particularly important for athletes and bodybuilders. Repletion of nutrients lost is also a key component in maximizing physical performance.


Your post-workout meal should include high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of carbs, and little or no fat. Opt for fast digesting protein because it’s more easily absorbed into the bloodstream and limits muscle loss. Eat less than three grams of fat per 100 calories. How many carbs you need depends on your goals. There’s a lot of controversy regarding these macros, but recent studies suggest that the human body doesn’t need carbs post workout to recover. Most fitness competitors and bodybuilders follow ketogenic diets and still manage to build muscle.


If you want to get bigger and stronger, we recommend you eat protein and carbs after exercise. Those who want to lose fat can skip the carbs or keep them to a minimum. Post-workout carbs are a good choice when bulking up and many lifters use mass gaining protein shakes to maximize muscle growth. The downside is that they also gain fat. Anyone looking to stay fit and healthy can eat moderate amounts of cabs after exercising. As long as your post-workout meal fits into your daily macros, there’s nothing to worry about.


Post Workout Nutrition Myths


There are a number of myths surrounding post workout nutrition, such as:


The post-workout meal is the most important meal of the day – While it is true that post-workout nutrition can make or break your progress, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most important meal. A balanced diet as well as a comprehensive and targeted workout routine has the biggest impact.


Replenishing glycogen is the primary goal of post-workout nutrition – This popular myth claims that glycogen resynthesis is essential to muscle growth. Research indicates that replenishing glycogen has a minimal impact on your overall progress.


There’s a one-hour window of opportunity for muscle growth after exercise – An overwhelming number of studies have shown that the so-called “anabolic window” is just a myth. The foods you eat throughout the day and prior to training are more important to muscle growth and repair than your post-workout meal is.


What to Eat Post-Workout?


Once you workout is done, you can either have a protein shake or a meal. Whey protein and other post-workout drinks will be digested much quicker than a solid meal. You can also eat fruit, steak and rice, meat and veggies, fish, or protein bars. Choose whole, naturalfoods and avoid refined sugars, pre-made dinners, and junk food.






The Truth About Calories

Are you tired of counting calories? Do you want to lose weight on the long term? If so, you need a plan and it’s important to be aware that not all calories are created equal. 100 calories from chocolate affects your body differently than 100 calories from fish or steak.


How many calories you need depends on a number of factors, such as your age, gender, activity level, body weight, and fitness goals. Whether you want to lose fat or build muscle, it’s essential to plan your meals and calculate your daily macros.


Are Calorie Calculators Accurate?

Do a quick search online and you’ll find thousands of calorie calculators. Most of them are designed for those who want to lose weight. However, these tools aren’t always accurate because they determine your daily calorie intake based on your body weight index and basal metabolic rate. The BMI (body mass index) does not consider the fat to muscle ratio.

Muscle weighs more than fat so a 180lbs bodybuilder looks different than a sedentary person with the same body weight. Most female fitness models and competitors weigh 140-150lbs in the off season, but they still look lean and toned. They often have less than 12 percent body fat. A 150lbs sedentary woman is most likely overweight.

As you can see, the body mass index (BMI) isn’t that important. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) may also vary based on your muscle to fat ratio. So since most calorie calculators don’t take these factors into account, the results won’t be accurate.


How Many Calories You Need?

How many calories corporate fitness coaching

The recommended daily calorie intake depends on your goals. Most fitness trainers and nutritionists suggest the following numbers:

  • Number of calories for weight loss: 9-11x bodyweight in pounds
  • Number of calories for maintenance: 13x bodyweight in pounds
  • Number of calories for bulking up: 20x bodyweight in pounds


However, this formula won’t work for everybody. There are dozens of other ways to determine your calorie intake. When it comes to counting calories, there are no exact numbers. The best thing you can do is to try out different formulas and choose one that works best for you.


It’s All About Quality over Quantity!

Make sure your daily calories come from quality foods, such as fruit and vegetables, raw nuts, lean meat, fish, eggs, and low fat dairy products. It’s the quality of the calorie that counts rather than the total calorie intake eg the calorie/nutrition ratio . Certain foods, such as candies, baked goods, bread, and cereals, cause inflammation in the body and may contribute to weight gain. Some cause fluid retention and have a high glycemic index. Others increase insulin resistance. These factors contribute to diabetes, obesity and other health problems. Many of these foods are low in calories, but they can still make you fat.

Whether you want to lose a few pounds or gain lean muscle, start with small steps. Increase or lower your daily calorie intake gradually. Wait a few days to see how your body reacts and then make new changes. For a lot of people, this is the only way to get lasting results.


successful diet tips corporate fitness coaching

Is Nutrient Timing Really Important?

Does when you eat really matter? Could this affect your ability to stay lean and build muscle? An overwhelming amount of research indicates that nutrient timing is essential to muscle growth and repair. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you build lean muscle, lose fat, and recover faster after intense training.


The Science behind Nutrient Timing


Nutrient timing is based on how your body handles the protein, carbs, and fats in food at different times. These principles are not very important for the average person who isn’t following a strict workout routine. However, it can make all the difference in the world for a bodybuilder or athlete looking to build muscle and strength.


Some foods should be consumed at certain times of the day. What to eat depends entirely on your fitness goals. Those who want to build lean muscle and keep body fat levels low need complex carbs pre-workout, simple carbs and protein post workout, and casein or other source of slow digesting protein at bedtime. To lose fat and preserve muscle, reduce your carb intake and consume more protein throughout the day. Avoid eating carbs in the evening. These rules may vary from one person to another.


The Benefits of Nutrient Timing


The key to successful nutrient timing is to eat the right foods when your body needs them the most. After exercise, your muscles are depleted of glycogen and need energy to recover. This is the best time to have a meal rich in simple carbs and quality protein. On non-training days, there’s no need to replenish muscle glycogen stores, so you can keep your carb intake low.


What and when you eat affects your overall performance as well as your ability to build muscle. Determine your fitness goals and then plan your daily meals around your workout. This approach will help you get the most out of your workout and reach your maximum potential.