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Nov03

intelli-Diet vs. Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiary




We will help you make sense of the many options available in the Healthcare & Fitness category in Apple’s App Store – focusing on iPhone diet apps. We’ll compare the intelli-Diet app against the Counter PRO by MyNetDiary app across four key customer benefits:

How to find the best iPhone diet app

➊ SAVE TIME (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiaryr
As with any calorie tracker app, the user must manually search for each and every food he or she consumes. Logging each and every calorie is tedious. There is also no way for you to plan your meals ahead of time.

intelli-Diet
Delivers customized meal plans for the entire week based on the foods you like and the foods you have. You can easily get new meals or swap out foods for incredible variety and delicious combinations!

➋ LOSE WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiary
App boasts thousands of foods in its “comprehensive” database – containing a large amount of highly processed foods with artificial ingredients. It is not the quantity that is important, but rather the quality of foods in the database.

intelli-Diet
Your plan includes only the healthiest, most economic and accessible foods from our custom-built database. You’ll get a well-balanced plan of lean proteins, whole grain carbs, healthy fats, delicious fruits, and fibrous vegetables.

➌ SAVE A LOT OF MONEY (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiary
No grocery list functionality. It’s up to you to figure out which of its “300,000 food items” to buy.

intelli-Diet
An automatically generated shopping list will tell you exactly what you need to purchase at the grocery store. You can e-mail yourself the printer-friendly shopping list which will make sure you only purchase the right foods.

➍ HAVE FUN! (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Calorie Counter PRO by MyNetDiary
Logging each calorie you consume. Typing in every individual food you eat. Is that your idea of fun?

intelli-Diet
Weight loss is fun and easy using our check-the-box-system and never worrying about calories. You’ll know exactly what to eat and how much to eat. You can track your weight loss progress using charts and tables and easily share your success with friends.

There really is nothing like intelli-Diet! Available for a limited time at a special promotional price!!

Download now!

Nov03

intelli-Diet vs. Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker




We will help you make sense of the many options available to you in the Healthcare & Fitness category in Apple’s App Store – focusing on iPhone weight loss apps. We’ll compare the intelli-Diet app against the Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker app across four key customer benefits:

How to find the best iPhone diet app

➊ SAVE TIME (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker
As with any calorie tracker app, the user must manually search for each and every food he or she consumes. Logging each and every calorie is tedious. There is also no way for you to plan your meals ahead of time.

intelli-Diet
Delivers customized meal plans for the entire week based on the foods you like and the foods you have. You can easily get new meals or swap out foods for incredible variety and delicious combinations!

➋ LOSE WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker
App boasts thousands of foods in its “comprehensive” database – containing a large amount of highly processed foods with artificial ingredients. It is not the quantity that is important, but rather the quality of foods in the database.

intelli-Diet
Your plan includes only the healthiest, most economic and accessible foods from our custom-built database. You’ll get a well-balanced plan of lean proteins, whole grain carbs, healthy fats, delicious fruits, and fibrous vegetables.

➌ SAVE A LOT OF MONEY (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker
No grocery list functionality. It’s up to you to figure out which of its “625,000 food items” to buy.

intelli-Diet
An automatically generated shopping list will tell you exactly what you need to purchase at the grocery store. You can e-mail yourself the printer-friendly shopping list which will make sure you only purchase the right foods.

➍ HAVE FUN! (Winner: intelli-Diet)

Livestrong.com Calorie Tracker
Logging each calorie you consume. Typing in every individual food you eat. Is that your idea of fun?

intelli-Diet
Weight loss is fun and easy using our check-the-box-system and never worrying about calories. You’ll know exactly what to eat and how much to eat. You can track your weight loss progress using charts and tables and easily share your success with friends.

There is nothing like intelli-Diet! Available for a limited time at a special promotional price!

Download now!

Nov01

Surprising Reasons WHY You Want to Lose Weight




It’s one of the biggest complaints in America: weight. Women across the country openly and privately condemn themselves for their weight, wonder how they gained so much weight, and desperately try to lose weight. It’s an on-going struggle that for some, has a very dim light at the end of the tunnel.

Many women say they want to lose weight so that they can fit into a bridesmaid dress, a wedding dress, or because they are jealous of their size 2 girlfriends. Other women say they want to lose weight because they feel like they should, someone else is telling them they are overweight, or because their doctor said that they are outside of the “normal” weight range for their height. But all of these reasons are often still not enough to push women to implement a regular exercise routine, healthier eating habits, or improved self-care…

If you’re trying to lose weight to impress someone, what happens when that person is out of your life? If you’re trying to lose weight to look good in wedding pictures, what happens when the wedding is over? If you’re trying to lose weight to show your doctor that you’re healthy, what happens after that last check-up?

The bigger the WHY, the easier the HOW. The bigger the reason WHY you want to lose weight, the easier it will be to lose weight. Similarly, the more EMPOWERED you feel to achieve weight-loss, the more momentum and strength you will have in doing so.

The reasons WHY you want to lose weight need to come from an inner place, from an empowered place. WHY you want to lose weight must come from a sense of self-care, responsibility, and dare I say self-LOVE? If you love yourself, you will do good things for yourself. If you HATE your stomach, flabby arms, or poochy waist, why would you do anything good for these areas? Maybe you’ll do crunches, but it will be because you hate your stomach and want to get rid of it. What if you changed this self-hate into self-love? Because you love your stomach, you want to make it flatter and are willing to do MORE for yourself.

If you value your life, your body, and your happiness, you will treat yourself in a more healthy and fit way. You will be excited to do something good for yourself. You will feel empowered to care for yourself just as you care for a significant other or a child. Through determining the deepest reasons for WHY you want to lose weight, weight loss and self-care become a natural process and one that returns the power and control to YOU instead of to something outside of yourself.

Here are some quick questions you can ask yourself to get to the core of WHY you want to lose weight:
1. How will you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror after you’ve lost weight?
2. What will you see in the mirror after you’ve lost weight?
3. How will you feel empowered and inspired to make other positive changes in your life once you’ve lost weight?

Notice how none of these questions have to do with other people or anything outside of yourself. These questions force you to dig deep to discover WHY you want to lose weight…for yourself.

Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is a nationally known Body Image & Confidence Coach and Health & Fitness Expert. She appears on local TV stations and privately coaches & trains clients in Chicago. She believes in a sustainable & holistic approach to health & fitness and empowers her clients to improve their confidence and self-esteem to live a happy, healthy, and fit life.

Oct19

Six Ingredients For the Best Diet App for iPhone




The sea of apps in the Health & Fitness category on the App Store can be overwhelming. When searching for a great iPhone diet app or weight loss app, there are a few important things to consider. This article will discuss the six fundamental features of a great health app:

How to spot the best diet app for iPhone

Healthy Foods:
Many iPhone diet apps boast the expansive food databases they offer. These databases have large QUANTITY; containing often 10,000+ foods including bacon wrapped dates, glazed donuts, and the notorious KFC Double Down. Instead, what is important is the QUALITY of the database. Don’t be fooled by these expansive databases. There are only so many foods that are truly healthy for lifelong health: good fats, whole-grain carbs, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Variety:
While there are some people that like routine, there are others that like variety. For those people, it’s important that the foods generated from the meal planner app can be mixed and matched. A good diet app should have the ability to easily customize your meal plan to seek your desired level of variety. Even though there are not 10,000s of “healthy foods,” you’d be surprised how many different combinations you can make out of just a few ingredients.

Weight Tracking:
A weight loss app would not be complete without the ability to track your weight loss. Moreover, the app should automatically calculate your new calorie requirements based on your (hopefully) lower weight. BMI (Body Mass Index) is a good proxy for your weight levels, and is a feature built into some of the iPhone diet apps. However, all body types vary so it’s important to use BMI along with a sanity check of your healthy weight.

Planning:
A good health app lets you plan your meals ahead. The nature of the word “planner” in a meal planner app should enable it to generate meals for at least a week ahead. Some features that should belong in any meal planning app are: ability to customize weekly meal plan, ability to e-mail plan, and the ability to print off the formatted plan.

Grocery List:
A diet app is only good if it uses foods you actually have. The grocery store is your friend. Eating out less and going to restaurants less will not only reduce your waist line, but will also save you a lot of $$$$$! The grocery list should be built into the meal planner app so that the foods it gives you are ones that you actually have available to you. Some features that should belong in such a health app are: ability to customize shopping list with your preferred foods, ability to e-mail list, and the ability to print off the formatted list.

Portions:
This is the main divide between weight loss apps in the Health & Fitness category in the App Store. There are diet apps that are simply calorie trackers. Then there are diet apps that are meal planner apps. Decide what is best for your needs. Traditional calorie trackers have two primary downfalls: it’s hard to plan ahead meals and you might not be getting the proper nutritional balance. On the other hand, a great meal planner app takes into consideration your caloric requirements, and generates a nutritionally sound meal plan based on foods you like AND foods you have.

Hopefully these fundamentals will allow you to better navigate the seas of the Health & Fitness category on Apple’s App Store. Cnet.com, a leading technology review site, recently came out with an article titled “Four killer iPhone apps that help you lose weight.” It named intelli-Diet as a “rising star among iPhone diet apps.”

Moreover, it nicely summarized the difference between a traditional diet app that is a calorie tracker, and a more robust meal planner app for weight loss:

“Apps like Calorie Counter Pro and Lose It merely keep track of what you eat, but intelli-Diet tells you what to eat, and when. In other words, it actually lays out a diet plan for you, one that’s based on the foods you like and/or have. It even generates a shopping list for the meal plans.”

Oct16

Weight Gain From Stress & How To Avoid It




We’ve heard before that “stress kills.” But did you also know that it makes you gain weight? When you are stressed, you have more amounts of the hormone cortisol, the “stress hormone” that causes belly fat!

In order to decrease your cortisol levels, you must de-stress and learn how to deeply relax. Here are a few quick tips on how you can learn to relax even in your busy and stressful life:

Deep Belly Breaths
o Deep breathing allows the nervous system to relax and takes the body out of “flight or fight” mode. Instead, the body is better able to move between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, allowing relaxation to occur.
o Place your hands on your stomach, and take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your stomach up into your hands.
o Then feel the air rising up into your chest.
o Slowly breathe out through your nose (keeping your mouth closed)
o Repeat this breathing 10 times slowly throughout the day or whenever you’re feeling stressed.

Exercise
o Exercise has been proven to reduce stress. Even if there is no physical change in your body, your stress levels are still greatly reduced.
o Your body releases feel good endorphins, which create a better mood and encourage a more relaxed demeanor.

Spending Time with Friends
o Research shows that people who socialize with friends report a reduction in stress levels and an increase in overall happiness.

Getting Enough Sleep
o The body needs time to repair itself, and it needs time to totally check out and relax during your sleep cycles.
o By getting an adequate amount of sleep for your body, you are able to be more relaxed and and also to relax more easily.

These tips will not only help you reduce stress, but also will help you avoid gaining weight. So if you’re not already, start implementing them today!

Stephanie Mansour is a Health & Fitness Expert and Body Image & Confidence Coach. Her company, Step It Up with Steph, can be found at http://stepitupwithsteph.com/

Sep18

Real Simple Fish Recipes




Baked Fish

Ingredients
1 fresh fish fillet
1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place fish filet into pam sprayed baking dish, and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, and oregano. When fish has cooked for 10 minutes, spread with herb blend. Continue baking for another 5 minutes until the topping is bubbly and golden.

Broiled Fish

Ingredients
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1 fish fillet

Directions
Preheat the oven broiler. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and spray with pam. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, sugar, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Place the fish on the prepared baking sheet, and broil about 3 minutes in the preheated oven. Drizzle dressing on filet and continue broiling until fish is flaky.

Grilled Asian Fish

Ingredients
Prepared Teriyaki sauce
1 fish fillets

Directions
Marinade fish filet in teriyaki sauce for 3 hrs. Preheat a grill for high heat. Spray grill with cooking spray for grills. Place fish fillets on the grill and discard the bag with the marinade. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes per side depending on thickness, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade.

Italian Baked Fish

Ingredients
1/2 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions
Place fish in a greased baking dish. Pour wine into dish. Combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, parsley, olives, garlic and pepper; spoon over fish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Grilled Fish

Ingredients
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 fish filet

Directions
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika. Sprinkle seasonings onto the fish. Grill fish until done.

Sep14

Quick & Easy Exercises While Cooking




Don’t have time to go to the gym today? A large part of “getting in shape” has to do with your mental attitude towards working out and eating healthy.

While you’re cooking a delicious and healthy meal, you can also work on your physical body and muscle memory by doing some exercising in your kitchen!

By including the below activities into your daily life, you’re training yourself to enjoy moving your body and doing good things for yourself. Eventually your body will begin to crave movement and physical activity, and it will make working out at the gym seem more fun and less of a burden.

Try these quick and easy exercises that you can do around your kitchen while cooking:
Bicep curls with cans of soup or veggies (about 2 lbs) or water bottles (about 1 lb). Hug elbows in to sides, with arms long at your sides. Slowly curl your arms up, bending at the elbow, and then lower arms back down.

Tricep extensions with a gallon of milk or juice. Hug elbows in to sides, with arms long at your sides. Bend slightly, then reach your arm back, straightening your arm. Keep your elbows hugging in to your sides as you extend your arm back to fire up the tricep muscles right above your elbows.

Squats while holding a larger item – watermelon, pineapple, gallon of milk – and twisting side to side working your abs!

Calf raises while microwaving food – come up onto your tip toes (up then down) while you’re waiting for food to heat up.

Side leg raises while cooking pasta – standing with feet hips width apart, continue stirring pasta while lifting one leg out to the side, then tapping your toe back down (keep leg straight).

Forward fold while waiting for water to boil – take a moment to bend forward and let your arms and head completely relax and hang. This is a nice stretch for the hamstrings and allows you to relax for a moment and take any tension off the back or your arms!

Hamstring stretch while you’re waiting for the oven to preheat – place your right foot a few feet in front of your left foot. Square your hips to the oven, and slowly fold forward, hinging at your hips. Hold on to the oven handle or the countertop in front of you and allow your head and neck to dangle while stretching the backs of your legs (hamstrings).

As you can see, these everyday activities are so easy and simple. While they are not going to largely increase your muscle mass or help you drop a lot of pounds, they are at least getting your brain re-wired to start to crave exercise and physical movement so that when it is time to do a big workout at the gym, you’re not dreading it.

Instead of standing around or feeling guilty for not working out, do something about it immediately and start moving your body and engaging your muscles any way you can. Through daily, baby steps, you will retrain your body to crave exercise and crave feeling good!

Stephanie Mansour is a Health & Fitness Expert and Body Image & Confidence Coach. Her business, Step It Up with Steph, can be found at http://stepitupwithsteph.com/

Sep08

Eight Important Tips For Eating Out




Eating out has become a large part of our society. Between work functions, celebrations, and simply being too tired to cook, it seems as though many Americans are eating out more than they are eating at home. Unfortunately, that means that we are leaving our health in the hands of a restaurant or chain whose main intentions are to reduce cost and to keep you coming back. Before you order lunch out again, read below for some important tips to enjoy dining out without compromising your weight loss goals.

1. Make an effort to dine out for special occasions or important functions rather than for convenience. It will become a treat to look forward to and the quality of the restaurant will most likely be better with the intention of enjoyment rather than ordering “quick” and “convenient” foods. You will also save $$$!

2. Due to the fact that restaurant portions can feed a family of 2-3 people, make sure to have the wait staff pack half the plate away before eating. Do this right away to immediately take the temptation to overeat the meal. If you are still hungry, you can always have the other half. Usually, you will find that you are actually satisfied.

3. Do not be afraid of kindly asking how your food is prepared. You are the paying customer and the only one with regard to your health.

4. Aim for grilled or broiled fishes or meats and choose veggies fresh or steamed.

5. Order sauces and dressings on the side.

6. Avoid creamy sauces, soups, and dressings. Instead choose vinaigrettes, marinara, and broth based soups.

7. Consume rice, pasta, potato, and other starches as sides to your protein source and veggies rather than ordering them as a main dish.

8. Share dessert with friends if you choose to order it! Other times choose a cup of coffee, tea, or fresh fruit instead.
Now that you are aware of the above considerations, you can probably imagine why dining out often is often associated with weight gain. However, if you follow these tips, you will enjoy a dinner out while substantially decreasing calories, fat, and excessive carbohydrates.

Aug27

Ten Reasons Why Diets Fail Us




If you were a visitor to the United States, you would notice all kinds of fitness facilities available, foods at the grocery store labeled “low carb”, “low fat”, and “light”, and you would see all kinds of information through the media promising to have the perfect solution for maintaining a healthy weight. You would also notice in the midst of all this…a staggering percentage of those around you struggling with their weight and the management of health conditions claiming they have “tried every diet out there without success”. Where did it all go wrong? The “Diet Mentality.”

What is the “Diet Mentality”? It is an extreme focus on losing weight as quickly as possible through rigid or extreme limitation of food groups, calories, or other nutrients. Below are 10 reasons why this way of thinking interferes with long term health and weight loss.

1. Unsustainable Diet
Severe restriction of calories, food groups, or macronutrients (carbs, proteins, or fats). While you may begin to lose weight at first, it is important to understand that the weight loss is coming from water and muscle as well as some fat. Because you are depriving your body of nutrients and calories that have a specific purpose in your body, you will often find that this kind of diet is not sustainable. When people return to their old habits, their muscle is gone and metabolism is slowed, making them more vulnerable to weight gain than ever before.

2. Nutrient Deficiency
Unless medically supervised, diets that are below 1200 calories rarely provide enough nutrients to support health. Often, the intense focus on weight loss throws the idea of actual “nutrition or nourishment” aside. This can result in turbulent blood sugars, nutrient deficiencies, bad breath, and bad moods.

3. Medical Conditions
Many people who seek weight loss have existing medical conditions and/or are taking medications. Unstable blood sugars, nutrient deficiencies, and poor balance of nutrients may worsen the status of the medical condition or affect the function of medication.

4. You cannot “reset” your metabolism with a liquid diet or a starvation diet
Your body is designed to survive and to offset any sign of environmental starvation. Your metabolism will slow down. The moment you return to eating healthy foods with more calories and nutrients, you risk putting that weight back on again.

5. Learning How to Eat instead of What to Eat
Often we hear the words, “Just tell me what to eat!.” Following a plan without understanding why is like copying your neighbor’s algebra homework and walking away with no knowledge whatsoever. Even if the plan was to work, most people would find it is not applicable to a variety of situations that may come up in their life. What about vacations, work lunches, dinners out, or simply not having access to the foods in the “plan”? Dieting deters you from learning and cheats you out of understanding the purpose of what you are eating.

6. Failed Attempts + Failure to Learn = Failure to Succeed Long-term
If you have heard yourself say “I have tried everything and nothing works for me!”. You are probably in this unfortunate cycle. It’s time to seek the help of a Registered Dietitian to get an understanding of how to balance yourself out nutritionally by understanding how calories and nutrients actually affect your body.

7. Are you ready for that change?
If you are making a change that you are unprepared for, you may assume eating well is not realistic for your life. In reality, you were not yet ready for that particular change. It is important to treat nutrition as a long-term process that is taken in steps that are realistic. This way, you will never look back!

8. What about exercise?
It is frightening to know that people embark on these diets while engaging in high intensity exercise. This is like withdrawing from a bank account without the right amount of money or the right currency. Can somebody say “Overdraft”?

9. Diet is not lifestyle
The changes that you make have to be those that you can incorporate into your life forever. Otherwise, the weight will return as soon as the bad habits return.

10. “Diet” and “Cheating” Do Not Exist in a Healthy Lifestyle
90% of the time you are eating healthy food that satisfies you enough and 10% of the time you indulge yourself without regard to portion size. Many of us say the word “lifestyle” but continue to regard healthy eating as “diet” and indulgences as “cheating”. These concepts do not exist in a healthy lifestyle because both healthy and non-healthy foods have their place.

The Conclusion: Long term weight loss is a reflection of what you do to improve health. By the time you have achieved your goal weight, you should find yourself naturally eating, exercising, feeling, and thinking like a person who would be that weight. Your new habits and how you feel prevent you from ever going back to your old ways. The process of learning, making one change at a time, and achieving one goal at a time, results in the complete transition that puts meaning into “Healthy Lifestyle” and ultimate long-term weight loss and vitality.

Aug11

Four Essential Meal Planning Supplies




Planning meals is a great way to stay on track. The Planner screen on intelli-Diet allows you to do just that. But you’ll need to make sure that you have the supplies to make eating the right foods easy and convenient. Here are four items that will help you on your journey.

Item #1: Storage Containers and Wraps
Ziplocs, Glad bags, and re-usable containers are great for storing portable foods. For example, use snack-size bags for nuts or seeds and use sandwich-size bags for breads or English muffins. Re-usable containers are very versatile and can be used to store fruits, vegetables, and many of other foods. Use Saran Wrap or Foil to protect sandwiches and other loose foods.

Item #2: Insulated Lunch Bag and Ice Pack
Take your insulated lunch bag with you on your way to work and put it into the fridge when you get there. eBags.com has a great selection of adult lunch bags. Also make sure to include a frozen Ice Pack to keep the food cold on your commute. Rubbermaid’s Blue Mini Ice Pack is reliable and fits well in most lunch bags. Make sure to purchase 2-3 so you’ll always have at least one ready to go in the morning.

Item #3: Water Filter
Having a water filter in the refrigerator will ensure that you’ll always have a filtered supply of water when you want it. There are many brands in this space, including Culligan, PUR, and Brita, just to name a few. However, the PUR DS-1800Z 2-Stage Water Dispenser is a bestseller on Amazon.com, is highly rated, and holds 18 cups.

Item #4: Reusable Water Bottle.
Make sure to purchase two reusable water bottles that are made of BPA-Free plastic or stainless steel. That way if one is dirty, you’ll likely have a clean one that is ready to go. Good BPA-Free options include those made by CamelBak and Nalgene. Good stainless steel options include Klean Kanteen and Sigg. These can all be found at low prices on Amazon.com

With these four items, you’ll be able to carry the right foods and a supply of water with you at all times. Exactly what you need to stay nourished, hydrated, and well on your way to your weight loss goal.

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WELL-BALANCED: ensures the right amount of good fats, carbs, and lean proteins

INCREDIBLE VARIETY: ability to swap meals and even particular foods

DAILY TIPS: receive daily health tips to help keep you on track

CUSTOMIZABLE: choose only the foods you like from our custom-built database

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