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Category Archives: Diet

Juice Fasting for better Health

WARNING: Before attempting a Juice Fast I highly advise you to check with your Physician.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to improve my health and I’ve come to love short-term Juice fasts. While most people watch shows like Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and come away thinking you have to go on a 60 day Juice fast to do it correctly, this is far from the truth. In fact, in that documentary, the creator, Joe Cross, even states that if you can go on a 10 day Juice fast “good on you.”

But even if that sounds crazy or impossible, how about trying a 2 or 3 day fast just to give it a shot? The only thing that will happen is that you will drop some pounds and feel more energetic, as well as focused. We all tend to eat fast food and we all realize that it’s bad for us. Because of this, I’ve decided to try a Monthly Juice fast that lasted at least 2-3 days at a time, and I seemed to lose most of the fast food weight that I gained, as well as started feeling a bit healthier. I found that I wanted to spend more time walking on the treadmill and bike and I went for longer walks with my dogs more frequently.

Juicing has allowed me to refocus on my diet over and over, after I noticed that I had slipped up here and there. You know how it is — you go out with your family or friends, order a Coca Cola instead of a water, end up getting a slightly heavier meal that has more carbs, fat and calories, all while you’re missing out on nutrition, of course. With juicing I am reminded that I want to live longer, be healthier and, basically, just stay at a healthier weight. In America it’s not hard to gain fat very quickly, so having the ability to readjust your mindset will benefit you in the long run.

So, how do you get started with Juicing? First, I would get a good juicer if you’re serious about losing fat and getting healthier. A good juicer will last you a long time and it can also help you stay consistent. A good juicer will make things easier to juice and clean up as well!

My favorite Veggies to juice are: Kale (this is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat), Cucumber (gives it a watermelon taste), spinach and, (or) if you can’t find Kale, any big leafy greens will do. Greens are very good for you and will help you detox quickly.

My favorite fruits to juice are: Apples (all types, although I like to mix them once in a while), Berries (all types, although I do mix them), Lemon (1 will do in a big container of juice, otherwise cut it in half as it tends to be very strong), and sometimes grapes and cherries (yum!). As a matter of fact, if you find that your juice is not very tasty, I definitely urge you to give cherries a shot. They will make your juice much sweeter, although you should try not to add too many.

If you’ve never been on a juice fast before just remember that it’s not easy for most people. You have to really want to give it a real try. I do recommend that you watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, as it will not only get you pumped up to try out juice fasting, but it will also give you a better idea of what you’re about to try out. Juice fasting is a great way to lose weight fast, but do keep in mind that it can be dangerous if you try to do too much and you’re not in the best health. This is why I do want you to talk to your physician prior to trying it out so that you can make sure you’re not attempting too much.

Get yourself mentally ready or else you may give up too quickly. While it’s good to drink more juice, the goal is to go on a fast of nothing but juice. This means no solid foods, nothing to drink but water and all-natural, fresh juice. I should also add that we’re not talking about picking up one of those containers of Superfood juices that are pre-made and have been sitting around for weeks or months. Those juices are hardly the same thing!

What about fiber? Juicing doesn’t give you much fiber, so for some people it may be beneficial to take some sort of fiber supplement every day.

I will be writing more about Juice Fasting, so please come back and check out my other articles over time! Let me know how your progress goes or even ask any questions you may have, below!

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How to Lose Weight with the hCG Diet

The hCG diet has swept the nation by storm over the past 3 or 4 years, but what’s the truth about all of the hype? Is it safe or even effective? Let’s talk about how this diet works and if it’s for you.

What is the hCG Diet

There are a lot of crazy claims out there when it comes to fad diets. Losing weight without even trying isn’t really a major surprise when you hear this come up in any type of weight loss marketing on TV. It’s the norm. So is that what the HCG diet is about?

hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin and is a natural hormone that the body produces during pregnancy. The process for this diet is that you go to an hCG center and get a shot, or simply take a homeopathic product that can be purchased at a local store, like sprays, pellets or even oral drops.

The problem with the hCG diet is that it limits your caloric consumption to 500 calories per day. This is very low, which isn’t far from fasting. This diet will also last up to 8 weeks. Many researchers believe that the low calorie consumption is the reason for the rapid weight loss, and not the hCG itself.

Some key points about the hCG diet:

  • You can purchase “homeopathic” products at local stores
  • Or you can find a local health care provider that can give you an hCG shot
  • This diet limits your caloric intake to only 500 calories per day
  • The diet lasts for 8 weeks (each day consisting of 500 calories)
  • Research has shown nothing to indicate that this diet actually works
  • Not FDA approved for weight loss
  • Each meal needs to include a protein, (a) veggies, one bread and one fruit.
  • Most fish is not allowed
  • Broiled or grilled beef, chicken breast, white fish, crab, shrimp or lobster is okay with no visible fat
  • Veggies: spinach, green salad, tomatoes, chicory, oniones, fennel, asparagus, cucumbers, chicory, chard and cabbage
  • Bread: a breadstick or one piece of melba toast
  • Fruit: apple, orange, strawberries or half a grapefruit
  • No sugar allowed
  • No butter or oils allowed

These are just some of the details of an hCG diet, which means that it’s pretty difficult to sustain for 8 weeks. However, if you’re able to eat like this for 8 weeks, you will definitely lose some fat, especially if you can keep up a decent workout regimen.

Is the hCG Diet Worth the Effort

Yes and no. Look, at 500 calories you could easily drop a lot of fat. You’re basically taking the idea of fasting and just adding an extremely limited amount of calories. This is very difficult at times, maybe even more difficult than a fast for many, simply because once you have food you always want more. At least that’s how it works with the majority of people who have weight issues.

Personally, I would suggest trying out intermittent fasting for a few weeks instead, unless you have tried without much success. IF (intermittent fasting) is a great way to limit intake of calories, but also allow your body to burn off those calories and even get a break from digesting that food a bit longer than usual.

If you want to go the more brutal route, then definitely try a 24 hour fast to see how you feel, then you can even attempt a few days a week while also integrating intermittent fasting during days you eat. You can read more about that above.

hCG costs money for shots that are unproven to work. The lack of calories are what increases your chances to lose weight fast. This is really the only reason you will lose that weight, in my honest opinion. I don’t believe in magical pills or ‘natural weight loss cures’. You get what you put into your diet. If you put fat (fats, calories and carbs) into your diet, you get fat out of it. That’s the reality.

Skip the hCG and try intermittent fasting, or even water fasting.

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Intermittent Fasting Diet

Intermittent fasting has been used by people since before history, really. They just didn’t call it that. The theory behind intermittent fasting is to eat between certain times of the day, stopping after a specific time and not eating until the next day at a specific time. But between those times you’re welcome to eat what you normally eat. However, adopting a healthier approach will allow you to reap the benefits of this diet.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Some people simply refer to Intermittent Fasting as “IF”. IF is simply a timed form of fasting, where you can benefit from fasting on a smaller scale. For example, some of the benefits of IF are:

  • Less time spent eating, and even cooking and preparing meals in some cases
  • Body fat reduction
  • Life extension is a possibility for some
  • More cognitive alertness based on the ability to increase norepinephrine
  • Increased autophagy, meaning you get healthier cells!

Why Try Intermittent Fasting

Most people, such as myself, give IF a try to help them lose weight/fat quicker. For me I wanted to see if it would help my indigestion issues that I was suffering from. While they did not disappear after IF (one month so far), they have gone down a bit. I believe that normal fasting would be much more beneficial to me for this issue as fasting allows the digestive system (smooth muscle) to slow down and actually rest itself.

IF allows people to lose fat fairly quickly due to the fact that you are not always thinking about food, and you’re cognitive alertness is much higher, which keeps you from ‘thinking’ that you need food.

How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting

The first thing you need to do before getting started with intermittent fasting is to decide on timing of your meals. You will have a ‘window’ of eating that you will be able to eat your meals. For instance, for me I would allow myself to eat between 11am and 6pm at night, giving me a 7 hour period to eat.

In this case I am working on a 17 hour fast from food, which helps my body take a break and digest food. It also allows me to stick to a better schedule to get things done throughout the day.

So go ahead, create a time frame that you will allow yourself to eat. Some people will give themselves an 8 hour window, some people will be less lenient and give themselves a 4 hour window for eating their meals.

One tip: adjust your eating schedule as you go along with it. You might find that you feel better when you have a larger period of time to eat vs a smaller time, or vice versa. Do what makes you feel best!

What I would encourage you to do is to first eat a good, last meal before getting started the next day.

On the first day I would encourage you to simply drink water for a day. This is a great way to get your body ready for a new lifestyle. It helps your body detoxify itself and prepare for the ‘starvation’ feeling that people think they have. It’s not starvation. You are not starving. Most people have too much fat, which means they couldn’t possibly starve to death in a day.

However, please consult your doctor before trying any of this, obviously!

What Can I Eat?

This is where some people will say “EAT WHAT YOU WANT! OMG! DO IT!”. I will not. I’m going to tell you to cut down on high carb foods and drinks and stick with lean proteins, more water (no soda, milk or any other sugary drinks) and plenty of greens.

That’s not to say that you can’t have a cheat meal here and there, just be careful with those cheat meals. I will sometimes have a larger meal and that’s all I’ll eat for that day. However, that’s not a good habit to make. Do yourself a favor and become more strict and eat smaller, healthier meals every hour, two or three, depending on the window of time you have.

On day 2 you will start eating again, but healthier, smaller meals. Right? Of course.

Water. Lots of Water.

Water is the source of life. We thrive off water and it keeps us living. I want you to start drinking water when you feel any hunger pangs. Again, this does not mean you are starving, it simply means you are hungry at that time. Your body is used to eating at that time, but you are trying something new for a reason. Stick to it.

By drinking water you are putting something into your stomach and it makes you feel less hungry. But it also keeps you hydrated.

Working out While Fasting

Yes, workout each day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small, brisk walk down the street. Keep your body moving. You aren’t starving your body of nutrients, so don’t use that as an excuse. You’re not ‘tired’, you are just less alert due to the changes you’re making. This will stop affecting you after a few days, trust me. For now you need to keep pushing on.

If you’re eating healthier you will not suffer at all. You will be thriving off of this new change in your diet. Your body will make great progress within a short period of time, but so will your overall health.

More Hardcore Diet

Some people will want to try a more hardcore version of this diet, such as a 23/1, which means 23 hours fasting and 1 hour a day for eating, meaning one meal. This is actually what I do every other day.

In fact, there’s other versions such as “eat-stop-eat” which I’ve tried, or even “every other day” which I have not.

Eat-stop-eat means to go one whole day (24 hours) without eating, then go back to IF for your 4-8 hour fasting period, then a few days later you’re back at no eating again, then a few more days of normal IF, then back to a 24 hour fast. This is very beneficial to many people who need to lose fat quicker. You basically go a few days a week without eating.

Every other day means to do the same as above, but this time you eat one day, don’t eat the next, then the next day you eat again. This is something I’m considering for health reasons, but it can be difficult for some people. I think it’s great for breaking bad habits.

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