As a general rule women require less food to maintain a healthy balanced diet than men. The exception is salt and fiber intake, which should be the same for men and women.
Here are some easy ways to help you measure out how big meal portions of everything you should have as a woman.
Carbohydrates like cereal, rice, pasta, or potatoes – Clench your fist; this is the size of portion of carbohydrates you should have.
Proteins like meat, poultry, and fish – You should measure your protein to be the size of the palm of your hand.
Popcorn should just be enough to fit in two cupped hands.
Limit your baked goods to the size of two of your fingers.
Butter and spreads should be the size of the tip of your thumb.
So here are the balanced meals a woman should eat throughout her day.
This is truly the most important meal of the day. Kick-start your metabolism with protein. Be sure to include things like eggs, fish, lean ham or low-fat dairy. Stay away from the carbs in the morning. The protein will keep you full longer, helping you to eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps maintain your blood sugar. This doesn’t mean you eat more; it should be just a small pick-me-up. Some rice cakes spread with peanut butter and a banana are great for keeping your energy up.
Keep lunch to starchy carbs and lean proteins. The carbs will provide you with energy to keep you from falling victim to the mid-day slump that most people experience. You need to choose carbs that will give you a steady rise in blood sugar, so stay away from the sugar and white foods and opt for high fiber whole grain options. Try rye bread with salmon, chicken, or dairy. Don’t forget the greens. Whole grain toast with baked beans is another good lunch choice.
Is your sugar tooth starting to come out around this time of the day? Well, it’s a good time then to take care of that sweet tooth. But opt for fruit. A handful of dried fruit with some nuts are a good sweet and savory pick-me-up for a mid-afternoon snack. Combining dried fruits with nuts will help slow down the release of the sugar from the dried fruit, keeping you energized longer. Quick healthy snacks on hand like cherry tomatoes, grapes, and small vegetables will be great to keep in your fridge and grab for your mid-day snack.
Go ahead and have carbs at dinner. They’re low in fat, high in fiber, and help you relax in the evening. Have healthy fats like what you can get from salmon, mackerel, and sardines as well as nuts and seeds. Your body will use the fat overnight to regenerate and repair, which is great for healthy skin and hair.
Fill half of your plate with colorful vegetables, or a salad covered with a dressing made from flaxseed oil. Have meat, fish, or beans with brown rice or whole grain pasta.
Following these guidelines and making healthy choices throughout the day will keep you satisfied all day long, and ready to tackle a busy day.
The frenzied lifestyles we lead these days barely give us any time to think of what we will be having for the next meal of the day. But with some effort, you can easily chalk up a menu (for a week or two) that is nutritious and cost effective as well. A menu plan not only helps you save a whole lot of money, but it also lets you know what you will be eating.
It is far more healthier to have an idea of what you will be preparing, instead of pulling out the first thing you see in the pantry/freezer and deciding to make a meal out of it. To create a menu plan that saves time and money, here are some tips that you can follow:
The first step of menu planning is to find out what you have in hand. Make a mental note of the meals you can prepare using what is available in the freezer, pantry and fridge. Prepare a shopping list of the things you have to buy to help you shop smartly, avoid impulse purchases and save money and time. Remember the essentials like fresh fruits, cereal and milk which you always buy.
Before you set out, plan your expenses. Have a look at the grocery ads and food coupons you already have. Maintain a price book in which you record how much things cost at different stores to help you know where you will find the best bargains for different items.
When you plan the menu for different meals, pay attention to serving enough vegetables and fruits and remember to balance your meals. Keep note of the requirements of your family, based on their ages, activity rates etc to ensure that food does not get wasted. The trick to make a meal appealing is by offering a variety that is both tasty and nutritious.
While planning a menu, you should think of how you will utilize leftovers. Leftovers can come handy on a day when you don’t have time to do elaborate cooking. Making use of a part of a meal to make a completely new meal can help you reduce your cooking time and food costs.
There are bound to be times when you will have to come up with quick alternatives when things don’t go according to plans. A hectic day at work, your kid’s illness, surprise visitors at home or weeks when you need to stretch the paycheck are situations when you should be prepared to make changes to your menu and reschedule your plans accordingly.
When our fast paced routines give us no time to breathe, having a menu plan means one less thing to worry about. With a clear plan of healthy and cost-effective meals for the day and week, you can be content about taking care of your family’s dietary requirements without spending too much money.
It’s important to eat right at all times. But when you live an activelifestyle you have got to be sure you’re fueling your body right in order to keep up and not get run down and even get sick. If you don’t have the proper nutrients and end up running around like crazy, then you are more likely to have faster crashes and burns and even to end up catching colds and other illnesses much easier.
So here’s how to eat to fuel your body so you can keep up with everything you want to do.
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants. What this does for your body is protect it from damage due to free radicals which will cause you to age faster and break down the cells in the body. Lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will help to neutralize the effects of free radicals on your body. So fill up your plate, or at least half of it, with these foods.
Whole grains, low fat dairy, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables all provide the vitamins and minerals needed for energy to fuel an active lifestyle. Our bodies aren’t very efficient at producing the vitamins and minerals needed to function properly, so we have to choose the right foods with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat smaller, healthy, well-balanced meals throughout the day. Eating six to eight smaller meals a day instead of three large meals will keep you energized throughout the day so you can maintain your active lifestyle. It will keep your energy up and metabolism high.
You cannot avoid fat. Most foods contain fat and your body is in need of fat. But you need to choose healthy fats, not empty calories. Eating fats with key fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 will provide you with good heart health and will lubricate your joints. A great healthy fat to eat would be nuts like walnuts.
Don’t follow the old adage of waiting 30 minutes before you can swim. Eating prior to exercise will fuel that workout. But be smart about what you eat. You don’t want a big heavy four-course meal; it should be sensible. This way you aren’t hungry in the middle of your workout.
Remember to drink water throughout the day. An important part of nutrition is to remain hydrated, no matter what kind of lifestyle you live.
What you put into your body – your food and drink – is going to have a huge impact on how you perform throughout the day. So choose the right diet, but then fine-tune how you eat throughout the day based on how you perform. Be open to making changes and space out your eating schedule differently. Doing this will improve your performance, and will help you maintain your active lifestyle and remain in good health while doing it.
So overall, the cons might just outweigh the pros when it comes to using nootropic to increase or decrease quantities of specific neurotransmitters.But that is not to say there’s no way you can effectively increase your brain power with a little outside assistance. The key is simply to switch your focus to your long term brain health rather than trying to get an immediate boost to your intelligence.
And doing this is very easy with the right diet. Diet is absolutely essential for brain health and many of us don’t realize just how critical it is in this regard. Let’s take a look at just some of the nutrients and supplements that you can use to enhance your brain power.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When you eat any meat, your brain will break it down into the amino acids and then recombine these to build tissues around your body. These tissues include use in the brain and so consuming more amino acids can be used to actually improve the body’s ability to repair and grow the brain!
But this is not where the importance of amino acids ends.
Amino acids are also crucial for creating many neurotransmitters. For example, l-tyrosine is used to create dopamine, whereas tryptophan (discussed earlier) is used to create serotonin. Others, like l-theanine, can have direct effects on the brain and in this case it’s a somewhat calming effect. L-carnitine meanwhile has an energy boosting effect on the brain by increasing the performance of the mitochondria (more on this in a second!).
As we’ve seen with 5-HTP, it is possible to consume many of these amino acids on their own, in order to trigger immediate changes in the levels of neurotransmitters. However, this leads to imbalances as we’ve discovered and despite popular opinion, this is never a positive thing.
So instead, the best advice is to focus on trying to get a healthy mix of as many amino acids as possible. By simply eating lots of protein, or supplementing with amino acid products, it’s possible to provide the brain with all the materials it needs to create all of the different neurotransmitters as and when it needs them.
This then makes it better at entering every mental state and ensures that you can maximize your focus, concentration, memory and relaxation all at the same time. The best way to conveniently get lots of amino acids? To consume plenty of eggs. Eggs are one of the only ‘complete proteins’ meaning that they contain all of the amino acids that the brain doesn’t create on its own.
On top of this, they also contain choline, which is the precursor to excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine. They’re a great source of healthy saturated fat too and seeing as the brain is predominantly made from fat, this is also a very important and beneficial factor.
The same goes for countless vitamins and minerals. These too are used to create a lot of the neurotransmitters that are so highly sought after by people trying to enhance their productivity and focus. Vitamin B6 in particular is used to create a huge number of neurotransmitters. Vitamin C meanwhile is key for increasing serotonin and boosting the mood, while also providing protection against illness (which brings with it cytokines – an inhibitory neurotransmitter).
And there are plenty of other roles for vitamins and minerals too. Iron and vitamin B12 both help with blood flow by producing more red blood cells. Vitamin D helps with the regulation of hormones, especially testosterone. Zinc plays a key role in enhancing neuroplasticity. Magnesium meanwhile helps to combat depression and anxiety. In short, if you are not getting the micronutrients you need, then you are not giving your brain everything it needs to function optimally.And this is why you need to avoid processed foods.
Anything that is very artificial like a Mars Bar, bag of crisps or McDonald’s burger will contain calories to fill you up but won’t contain the nutrients you need to function. You’ll stay alive but you’ll feel tired, sluggish and far less productive as a result. Eat healthy salads, smoothies and lots of fruit and veg and you’ll find that you start feeling healthier and alert. The next best thing is a multivitamin and if you get the right one of these then it can do a lot to improve the function of your brain as well as your overall health and wellbeing.
If you’re looking for an immediate brain boost that you can get from safe supplements and foods, then look for vasodilators. A vasodilator is any substance that dilates the blood vessels (veins and arteries). These will allow more blood and more oxygen to get around the body, which in turn will result in more making it to your brain.
A particular favorite among nootropic-fans is vinpocetine because this vasodilator focusses on the brain specifically – and the prefrontal cortex even more specifically. This means you’re getting more energy right to the part of the brain that you use for planning and problem solving and some people describe the feeling as being like ‘a cold shower for your brain’.
Cognitive Metabolic Enhancers
This is a fancy term for anything that increases your brain’s energy levels and often this means things that will increase the efficiency of your mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy factories of your cells. They float around inside the cytoplasm and they use glucose and ATP to power your bodily functions – including brain function!
Numerous things can help your mitochondria to perform better and these include CoQ10, lutein, l-carnitine, PQQ and more. In other words, a mixture of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and all kinds of lesser known nutrients available in supplement form.Again, the best strategy is just to eat a very balanced and nutritious diet but you can also increase your energy levels further by using creatine.
Creatine is a supplement that is very often used by athletes and bodybuilders. Its main function is to convert used ATP (adenosine and ADP) back into more useable ATP. In other words, it recycles adenosine which thereby provides you with extra energy to use in your training. The more recent surprise though is that this also enhances brain function by improving the energy efficiency of brain cells.
Basically, it allows the brain to recycle its ATP too, which means you get just a second or two of extra energy at maximum exertion. Studies show that individuals who take creatine get a slight boost to their IQ, so this is definitely a very effective nootropic – and one with zero side effects or risks! Creatine is produced naturally in the liver and can also be obtains from your diet (sources such as beef). However, the best way to see a significant boost is to use it in supplement form – look for creatine monohydrate.
Omega 3 fatty acid is a great antioxidant that is found in tuna and other oily fish, as well as some nuts and various other sources. What makes omega 3 useful for the brain though, is the fact that it can improve ‘cell membrane permeability’. Essentially, this means that it makes the cell walls of the neurons just a little more permeable, thereby allowing things to pass through a little more easily. That includes neurotransmitters, nutrients and more – so it essentially makes brain cells more responsive and thereby gives you a slight boost yet again.
Antioxidants are key for looking after your brain’s long term health. These include vitamin C, omega 3, resveratrol and tons of other micronutrients. Essentially, antioxidants work by destroying ‘free radicals’ – substances that damage cells when they come into contact with them and which can even lead to cancer if they make it through the nucleus and cause damage to the DNA!
Consuming antioxidants is thus a very important strategy for your overall health and will also help you to reduce your likelihood of illness by strengthening your immune system. However, what we’re interested in right now is how this can boost your brain power in the long term by protecting brain cells from damage and potentially lowering your chances of developing tumors later in life.
Exercising is one of the best ways to keep the human body in optimum shape besides the more obvious elements like proper diet and food choices.
A good nutrition will allow the body to function well during and after a workout session.
Being aware of the protein intake when physical activity is being practiced on a regular basis is important as it helps to ensure the correct amounts of macronutrient needs are being met. The carbohydrate and protein intake must be adequate to help maintain the body weight, replenish the glycogen store and help with the building and repairing of any tissue damage.
The diet should ideally consists of energy derived from fat which should be about 20 – 25% of the overall energy contributor, anything less would not be able to yield the desired results.
Having a good pre workout meal or hydrating liquid concoction would be most beneficial in ensuring all the right nutrients are available within the body system to help the body cope with the exercise regimen designed.
This may include some orange juice, water and whey protein, or some Endurathon mixed in with water, or a vanilla whey protein smoothie with berries and orange juice. Even some yoghurt and cereal or some toast and peanut butter are good pre workout boosters.
The post workout meal is also very important as this is provides the necessary elements to repair any damage done during the exercising session or to simply replenish the nutrients for the body.
Drinking a shake or a sports drink or even eating an energy bar after a good work out session will help maximize the muscle building process and hasten the body recovery time..
The energy needed to get the best out of any exercise routine is often not simply available without the aid of essential supplements. There are many different ways of getting these supplements, some of which are through natural sources while other are taken in the form of pre processed supplements.
The following are some examples of essential supplements for extra energy sources:
Caffeine – this particular item has always been known for its “pick me up” qualities. Acting as a good energy booster this convenient and easily available item is a good stimulant that increases the energy, focus and endurance levels of an individual, and this is especially beneficial for high intensity workouts.
Energy drinks – these drinks are usually specially designed to help replenish the body during and after a workout. The energy boosting angle of this drink will be a good and easy source for the rejuvenation feeling. It is also a cheap and fuss free way of being re-energized.
Energy bars – these are food items that are specifically designed to be compact enough to conveniently carry around and they are filled with energy packed ingredients.
Energy shots – another conveniently small packaged drink that contains all the necessary stimulants to support energy and performance. This will help the individual stay refreshed and energized even after a strenuous workout.
Other essential supplements, that are usually ideal for workouts would include a good dose of carbohydrates as this also provides a good source of energy and fuel for the body.
Vitamin B is also another essential need for the body as it helps to promote overall healthy and optimizes the energy and metabolism within the body. Ribose is a natural occurring sugar that may increase the ATP production and performance while supporting the energy levels.