Why The Ideal Heart Rate for The Fat Burning Zone Does Not Exist
There are a series of stubborn myths in the fitness world. Today I discuss the myth around the ‘ideal’ heartbeat for maximum fat burning, also known as the fat burning zone.
The myth is that if you sport in the right heart rate zone you burn the highest percentage of fat compared to the total number of calories.
That sounds good, probably because the media sometimes uses it. Yet this theory is somewhat misleading. In this article, look at what scientific research says about the fat burning zone.
What you will learn in this article:
Why the ideal heart rate is misleading
How to burn more fat and calories (in less time)
How you can benefit from the after-burn effect
If you look at the older fitness equipment, you sometimes see pictures explaining the fat burning zone.
Here is such a picture:
Burning Cardio Zone
In the yellow zone (maximum fat burn zone), your percentage of weight would burn the most fat.
To get into this zone, you should train at around 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate.
How do You Calculate The Ideal Heart Rate?
In order to calculate the ideal heart rate, you first need to calculate your maximum heart rate.
The formula is as follows:
220 – current age = maximum heart rate
Suppose you are 40, then the calculation is: 220 – 40 = 180 MHR (max heart rate).
For the maximum fat burning, you would then have to sit between 60 and 70% of this heart rate.
That will be:
Lower heart rate zone limit: 60% of 180 = 108 bpm
Upper heart rate zone limit: 70% of 180 = 126 bpm
In short, the ideal heart rate zone should be between 108 and 126 in this example. In this zone, according to the theory, there would, therefore, be maximum fat burning.
Another common way to calculate your maximum heart rate is 206.9 – (0.67 * age).
Training Less Hard with More Results?
Many old fitness theories have since been disproved, but one that can still be read on many old cardio machines, is the alleged power of the ‘fat burning zone’, that is to say, that with a moderate intensity of a person’s maximum heart rate the optimal level for fat burning is accomplished.
But the fat burning process of our body is much more complex than that. Although the percentage of fat burning may be higher, the total number of calories you burn is less than what would happen if you exercise at a higher intensity.
The theory suggests that you should not train on your maximum heart rate, because at a heart rate of 60-70% you would still burn more fat.
The inattentive people will take this theory for granted, but if you just look further than your nose is long, you will see that it is not quite right.
It is true that you burn more fat percentage-wise, but it is the same as the total fat burning …
We can make that clear with the following example:
Imagine you win a gold bar and you can choose between the following two bars:
1 kilo of 24-carat gold bar (99.9% content) worth $ 40,000
2 kilos of 18-carat gold bar (75% content) worth $ 60,000
Which do you choose? Do you go for the gold bar that has the highest gold content 99.9% or chooses the one that has the most TOTAL value?
Of course, most people choose the gold bar with the highest value. The same principle applies to the fat burning zone. This zone gives you the most fat burning percentage. However, this does not mean that the total fat loss is higher.
Why you do Not Burn Maximum Fat in the Fat Burning Zone
If the ideal heart rate for the fat burning zone is nonsense, you may wonder what is the best way to burn fat.
To tell that I will first have to give some explanation about some terms. Then I will show you a table where you can see exactly that a higher heart ratecauses more fat burning!
We start with the terms …. your body basically has two sources for the energy supply, namely fats and glycogen. Glycogen is a glucose supply in your liver and muscles that were originally glucose and gets you out of carbohydrates. For convenience, you can call glycogen a sugar supply in your body.
So if your sport burns your fats and glycogen, but in what proportion? Well, that has to do with the intensity.
The calculation that refutes the theory
If you train at 65% of your heart rate (fat burning zone), the burning ratio is around 40% fat and 60% glycogen.
On the contrary, if you train at 85% of your heart rate, the ratio is approximately 35% fat and 65% glycogen (source, source, source).
* Since the studies use VO2max instead of MHR I used the formula% MHR = 0.6463 x% VO2max + 37.182 to convert the values.
If you set your sport for 30 minutes, you will burn approximately the following number of calories:
300 calories when you train at 65% of your heart rate *
500 calories when you train at 85% of your heart rate *
* Of course, the number of calories you burn depends on your body characteristics.
The following table shows how many fats, glycogen (sugar supply) and calories you burn completely when you train for 30 minutes on different types of intensity.
30 minutes of training
Fat burning zone (65%)
High intensity (85%)
As you can see in the table, you burn more fat at a high intensity than at the low intensity, despite the fact that you burn more fat in the low intensity.
In the example, you burn 46% more fat calories in the high-intensity variant.
Why you actually Burn more Fats in High Intensity
When people think about burning calories, they are always talking about burning during exercise.
But did you also know that:
You burn calories at rest
You burn more calories after a workout at rest than if you had not trained
That after you burn more calories than you would normally do when you are at rest, we also call the afterburn effect. Officially this is called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, abbreviated EPOC (source).
How Big is The Afterburn Effect?
A study from 2005 investigated the afterburn effect (source). In the study, participants were assigned to two groups. In one group, participants cycled at a constant pace for 3.5 minutes. In the other group, participants were asked to do 3 sprints of 15 seconds each as quickly as possible.
This is what the groups burned during the sporting activity:
Cycling group: an average of 29 calories per participant
Sprint group: an average of 4 calories per participant
Yet the burned calories were completely different after the training. Here they are:
Cycling group: an average of 39 calories per participant
Sprint group: an average of 65 calories per participant
Weird huh? So big is the afterburn effect:
Cycling group: 26% of the total calorie combustion!
Sprint group: 94% of the total calorie combustion!
That’s what you hear … 94% afterburn effect!
From another study (source) with a longer sports duration showed that with an intensive spinning training of 45 minutes you burn more calories for no less than 14 hours.
In the 45-minute training, the participants had burned an average of 519 calories, adding an additional 190 calories after 14 hours. In short, the afterburn effect increases the number of calories burned by nearly 37%! Other studies show lower numbers (source, source).
Strength training has shown that the afterburn effect can last up to 38 hours (source).
I think you understand the message … the afterburn effect is not negligible and it is many times higher with high-intensity training. (HIIT)
In short, you know what to do if you want to burn fat! Although … nutrition is still the most important if you want to lose fat and want to be slimmer. Based on research ( source) and practical experience, the impact of food is about 80% compared to 20% sport.
Frequently asked questions about the Fat Burning Zone and Heart Rate Zones
Question 1: Is training at low intensity a waste of your time?
No, not so much because you still burn calories and exercise is healthy! But if you want to burn fat optimally, you can better exercise at high intensity.
Question 2: Can I / should I immediately start exercising at high intensity?
Yes, that is difficult. If you want to burn fat in a short period of time, you can better train at high intensity.
But if you are a beginner, this may be too challenging. Start quietly and build it up. With that idea in mind, you can also start cardio at low intensity first.
The following weeks you will continue to increase it.
Question 3: Can I also exercise for a longer time (eg 60 min) at low intensity so that I can keep up? Will I no longer burn fat in the end?
You can indeed do that. A disadvantage is that you lose muscle mass if you start running for so long. Muscle mass (also for women!) Provides a sexy figure instead of being lean.
So you can certainly do it, but then you do it more for fun and your health than you really burn fat with it.
Question 4: Can you train on more than 85% of your heart rate (zone)?
That depends on how fit you are and your age. A young top athlete can achieve up to 95% of his maximum heart rate with a super fanatical workout.
If you have little experience and you are elderly, a heart rate of 85% is not recommended. It can lead to dizziness and other more fatal consequences.
If you are worried about your maximum heart rate, use a heart rate monitor and discover how far you can go.
Question 5: Is it wise to do a long training at high intensity?
You could do that, but that is generally not recommended. With a longer training session, you will go anti at a given time! create stress hormone cortisol.
The cortisol hormone causes you to hold fat faster.
Overtraining can also have harmful effects on the immune system (source). Training with a high intensity of up to 30 minutes is more than sufficient (source).
Remember that taking a rest is just as important as training yourself (source).
A Good Way to Burn Fat and Calories
Do you want to lose fat, maintain muscle mass and burn most calories in proportion? Then go for interval training! Research shows that a high intensity alternates with short breaks for most fat burning causes (source). This is because all kinds of muscle fibers are used and take full advantage of the afterburn effect.
That does not mean that every workout you do must have a high intensity – this can lead to injuries and physical fatigue – but they also do not all have to have a moderate intensity, especially if weight loss is your ultimate goal.
Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)
Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!
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In order to make healthier choices at dinner, I give you 8 principles to pursue.
8 Principles For Healthy Dinner
Are you ready for it?
Here are the most important principles for a healthy evening meal:
# 1: Eat Plenty Of Vegetables
Vegetables are known to be good for your health.
Most vegetables contain few calories, but many vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers.
Some vegetables, however, distinguish themselves from the rest with even more proven health benefits.
Vegetables (and fruit) is an important part of a healthy diet and you can eat unlimited.
I give you my favorite vegetables for a healthy evening meal (in random order):
Spinach is full of vitamins and minerals.
A serving of raw spinach (30 grams) provides more than half of your daily vitamin A and full vitamin K requirement.
And all for only 7 calories (source). In addition, spinach has many antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Antioxidants are substances that help prevent oxidative stress by free radicals in the body.
Oxidative damage is considered one of the major causes of aging and many diseases, including cancer (source).
Research has shown that spinach (or a similar leaf vegetable) contains a lot of beta-carotene and lutein. These are two types of antioxidants that can lower the risk of cancer (source).
It also appears that eating spinach can be beneficial for the health of the heart, because it can help with lowering blood pressure (source).
Broccoli is not only delicious at dinner but also very healthy!
It belongs to the crucifer family. Other species that also include kale, white cabbage, cauliflower, etc.
Broccoli contains many dietary fibers, low carbohydrates and is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Even during the Roman Empire, broccoli was already considered a valuable food.
Broccoli also contains substances such as isothiocyanates and sulfofaran. These are two strong antioxidants that are involved in the stimulation of detoxifying enzymes and protect the structure of DNA (source).
Brocolli is also full of minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B6 that has a beneficial effect on the heart and brain.
The nutrients in broccoli help keep the heart healthy by preventing heart attacks and strokes and keeping arteries clean. It is also a natural cholesterol and blood pressure reducer.
But broccoli also has healthy effects on the skin.
Vitamin A is abundant in broccoli and important for the health of the skin, the health of the eyes and is even involved in fertility.
Eating broccoli as an evening meal helps with weight loss because it contains a healthy dose of fiber, protein and detoxifying phytochemicals.
These nutrients support a balanced blood sugar level and help you feel fuller for longer.
In addition, broccoli has a low-calorie density and a large volume. This has the advantage that it takes a lot of space in the stomach and you do not have to worry about having eaten too many calories.
With carrots, you can vary endlessly and it is still tasty too.
What about, for example, carrot stew as dinner? Delicious!
Carrots are rich in vitamin A (a serving of 128 grams gives as much as 428% of the recommended daily amount) and vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.
A carrot also contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives carrots their vibrant orange color and possibly helps reduce the risk of cancer (source).
Are you a fanatical smoker?
Then read along.
Eating carrots can reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers:
Compared with those who ate carrots at least once a week, smokers who did not eat carrots were three times as likely to develop lung cancer (source).
Not everyone should like Brussels sprouts, they should not be missed at a healthy dinner.
Brussel sprouts are very nutritious and contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, manganese and potassium.
Brussel sprouts also contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that can be particularly effective in preventing damage to body cells (source).
An animal study shows that eating Brussels sprouts leads to an increase of 15-30% of some enzymes that are responsible for the detoxification process (detoxification), which could reduce the risk of colon cancer (source).
Green peas are considered starchy vegetables.
This means that they contain a higher amount of carbohydrates and calories than non-starchy vegetables.
They can also affect blood sugar levels when consumed in large quantities.
That does not make them loved by everyone who wants to lose weight.
Nevertheless, green peas are incredibly nutritious. A portion of green peas (cooked) corresponds to 200 grams and contains almost 9 grams of fiber, 13 grams of protein and vitamins B1, B2 C, K, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
Because green peas are rich in fiber, they support digestion by strengthening good bacteria in the intestines and promoting regular healthy bowel movements (source).
Green peas also contain saponins, a group of substances that can potentially help fight cancer by reducing tumor growth (source).
Ginger is a powerful carrot that is used as a spice.
It actually occurs everywhere, from vegetable dishes to desserts.
In the past, ginger was also used as a natural medicine for motion sickness.
Why can not ginger be missing with a healthy evening meal? Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help with arthritis, lupus or gout (source).
In one study, participants with osteoarthritis were treated with a concentrated gem extract. She suffered less from knee pain and relief from other symptoms (source).
It is also thought that ginger can be effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
A study from 2015 looked at the effects of ginger supplements on diabetes. After 3 months the blood sugar level of the group was found to have decreased with ginger (source).
This vegetable is rich in various vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent addition to the evening meal.
Asparagus contains many important nutrients, including selenium, folic acid, vitamin B1, B2, K and vitamin E.
Asparagus is also a good source of dietary fiber. The fibers in asparagus help improve digestion.
The soluble fibers dissolve in our body and bind to glucose, cholesterol and fatty acids. As a result, these substances are absorbed less well and leave the body via the stool.
Red cabbage is one of the oldest types of cabbage and is full of antioxidants.
Half a portion of red cabbage (100 grams) provides almost 90% of the daily vitamin C requirement.
Various animal studies (among rats) show that red cabbage can lower cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the risk of heart and liver damage (source, source).
The last vegetable I want to discuss here is kale.
Of all healthy vegetables, kale is perhaps one of the most nutritious plant foods there is.
I will only mention the health benefits of kale that are supported by scientific research:
Kale is like other leafy vegetables, very rich in antioxidants. In kale are beta-carotene, vitamin C and various flavonoids and polyphenols (source).
Flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol are found in relatively large quantities in kale and also have other important functions.
These substances have been intensively studied in animal studies and have many beneficial effects on health. In animals, they work to reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cancer (source, source).
The vegetables above certainly belong to a healthy dinner. And of course, there are a lot more healthy vegetables that you can eat.
Every vegetable has its own unique nutritional value, variety is the secret of healthy eating.
# 2: Avoid Simple (refined) Carbohydrates
If you regularly surf the internet then you may get the idea that carbohydrates are bad for you.
But carbohydrates are not necessarily bad.
In reality, you need carbohydrates for energy and inhibit the breakdown of body tissue.
We must also make a distinction between slow (complex) carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates.
Do you get enough fiber at dinner? Dietary fibers are extremely important.
It slows the speed at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream.
If you eat many foods with fiber, simple carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly in those foods.
This ensures that your blood sugar level remains stable. The brain gets the signal that you are full, so you are less likely to overeat.
Fibers also clean your colon and behave like a kind of brush.
The brush effect of fibers helps to clean up bacteria and other harmful accumulations in your intestines and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Fiber-rich food is good for a good bowel movement and healthy digestion.
Fibers help you to have a soft and regular bowel movement, which reduces constipation (constipation). It also feeds friendly intestinal bacteria, leading to all kinds of health benefits (source, source).
The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men (source).
Most people, however, only eat half of that. Fortunately, increasing your fiber intake at dinner is relatively easy.
Examples of high fiber foods that are both healthy and satisfying:
By drinking water, you can also temporarily speed up your metabolism (source).
Several studies show that you burn 24-30% more calories an hour after drinking half a liter of water (source, source). This effect becomes even greater when you drink cold water. Your body then has to burn more energy to warm up the water.
What is healthy to drink during dinner? I’m glad you ask.
Water with lemon
A cup of coffee after dinner cannot hurt either. Make sure you do not add sugar.
Drinking dairy during or after an evening meal is not recommended. Lime is contained in milk, which can affect the absorption of minerals (copper, zinc, iron).
Research shows that iron is better absorbed if calcium is avoided while eating the meal (source). Taking a lot of calcium does not necessarily cause strong bones, because you also need vitamin D, K2, magnesium and silicon for good absorption.
Would you rather drink something from alcohol at dinner? Then keep it with a glass of red wine. Red wine has some health benefits if it is drunk in moderation.
# 6: Cook With The Right Oils
I regularly get the question with which oils and fats you can best bake and roast. I can tell you in advance, it is not a frying fat!
Saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids are highly resistant to heating, while oils that are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids can best be avoided (source, source).
My personal top 4 oils and fats for baking and roasting a healthy evening meal:
Oil / grease
Dominant Fatty Acid
Medium or Low Heat
# 7: High Protein Food (for weight loss)
Did you know that your organs, muscles and hormones are all made from proteins?
The protein that is in food is used by every part of our body to recover, grow and function.
Because proteins are involved in so many processes in the body, it is important that you consume enough protein every day during dinner to prevent a lack of protein.
Research shows that eating protein-rich foods has a number of health benefits.
It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, increase energy levels, support muscles and bones and even increase the metabolism (source).
Another advantage of a protein-rich meal is that you will feel satiated more quickly so that you have less trouble with cravings.
Increasing your protein intake is a great way to quickly lose weight and burn fat.
That makes it, even more, a shame that few people consume enough protein. Proteins and healthy fats are known for their satiating effect. You will be less hungry.
If your goal is to lose weight, I recommend at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is only for people who do sedentary work and are otherwise not very active.
For everyone who does muscle building and fat burning, I recommend eating about 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
You will be surprised how much protein-rich foods you can eat in the evening. Vegetarians and vegans also have enough protein-rich food to choose from.
A protein-rich inspiration for dinner:
Almonds (and other nuts)
Yogurt or kefir
Chicken and turkey
# 8: Avoid Processed Products
Most of the food products we eat today are unfortunately processed.
These are often the products in packages, bags and cans in the supermarket.
Processed foods are unhealthy because salt, sugar and fat are often added.
This is done to sweeten processed food or to increase the taste.
They are not essential nutrients, but they do contain a large number of empty calories. But empty calories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the harmful effects of these additives.
Several studies show that added sugars are bad for health. It can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased harmful cholesterol and increased fat deposits in the liver and abdominal cavity (source, source).
Most people do not get health problems from a sugar cube with the coffee, they get it from processed food products and sweet drinks.
Remember that weight gain can only be the first symptom of a much larger health problem that involves eating processed foods.
Therefore, keep it from eating natural foods. Avoid ready-to-eat evening meals that are full of salt and sugars.
Do not forget to read labels: many of these harmful ingredients are also found in foods that at first glance seem ‘healthy’, such as crackers, tomato sauce and salad dressings.
23 Quick & Easy Ideas for a Healthy Lunch + 3 Recipes
Healthy lunch? For many people, they simply skip a healthy lunch or don’t eat at all. Or they take their lunchbox with some slices of white bread with a sweet topping.
Possibly supplemented with yogurt drink or a bottle of soft drink.
The idea may seem good, but lunch can be much healthier.
In this article, I tell you where a healthy lunch should consist of and I give you several healthy lunch tips.
What you will learn is:
What you absolutely must NOT eat and drink during the afternoon
Or a healthy lunch can help with weight loss
10+ ideas for a healthy lunch
Different healthy lunch tips
3 delicious and healthy lunch recipes
The Importance of a Healthy Lunch
You may wonder, what is the importance of lunch? Eating a healthy lunch is important for various reasons.
A healthy lunch gives you the energy to get through the afternoon.
If you do not like breakfast, then lunch is your first meal of the day. That makes a healthy lunch even more important.
I give you a few reasons why you should value a healthy lunch.
Reason # 1: A Healthy Lunch Prevents Snacking
A healthy lunch reduces the chances of snacking later in the day. It is a well-known phenomenon that you will have a good snack if you do not bring lunch, or if your lunch is not enough.
People are more likely to eat unhealthy if no healthy food is available. Preparing your own meals at home ensures that you stick to your diet. This saves both your money and calories because most canteen foods consist of unhealthy foods and empty calories.
For example, a piece of milk chocolate can contain as much carbohydrate like a banana, but banana also contains potassium, vitamins and a lot of dietary fiber. Milk chocolate does not have these nutrients.
In addition, make sure that your lunch is not only healthy, but also filling. And if you still suffer from a grinding stomach when the clock strikes 4 hours, make sure you still have a healthy snack with you.
Reason # 2: A Healthy Lunch Gives You Energy
A lunch consisting of healthy food products ensures that you can still function efficiently during the day.
In addition, a healthy, filling lunch is very important, without sweeteners. Because if you get a lot of simple (refined) carbohydrates, then your blood sugar levels will rise significantly. In response to this, your body starts producing insulin, which does not benefit fat burning again.
Especially people who perform heavy physical work every day have an interest in a healthy lunch. You need energy and important nutrients to concentrate, to have the power to lift those heavy crates, etc.
If you do this kind of hard labor, then a healthy breakfast and healthy lunch are extra important, because you simply need more energy.
Reason # 3: A Healthy Lunch Helps To Keep Your Blood Sugar Level Stable
Carbohydrates that you eat are converted into blood sugar (glucose) in your body. The more simple carbohydrates you eat, the greater the chance that it will be stored as fat because your body will no longer have the chance to burn the surplus.
Carbohydrates in liquid forms, such as soft drinks, are absorbed even faster than simple carbohydrates in solid foods. That makes this kind of drinks a no-go for a healthy lunch.
Your blood sugar level rises, insulin is created, and you then quickly end up in a dip again. Even deeper than before. So you are “forced” to go to the vending machine again.
Not only is this the first step towards conditions such as insulin resistance (pre-stage of type 2 diabetes), it also causes (extra) excess weight, which increases the risk of diabetes.
A study in 175 countries showed that there is a clear correlation between the consumption of sugar and diabetes type 2 (source).
Especially for weight loss and keeping your target weight, it is important that lunch looks healthy.
Bring Your Own Healthy Lunch? Avoid These Products
I have given you a few important reasons why a healthy lunch is important for your health and body weight.
We are going to talk about quick and simple ideas for a healthy lunch. But first I go deeper into an unhealthy lunch. Because what is an unhealthy lunch?
Below I give you a list of food that you should avoid if you want to eat healthily and especially if you also want to drop off:
The following food products do not fit in a healthy lunch:
Fruit juice is often considered healthy.
It is not surprising that people think so since it is natural and seems to contain fruits.
What many people do not realize is that fruit juices are jam-packed with sugars. In fact, fruit juice contains as much sugar and calories as a sweet soda, and sometimes even more! (source).
Probably you look very surprised now, because fruit juices are good for your health? Every day an orange juice for your breakfast or at lunch was still a good choice?
The fruit juices in the store are often sweetened extra, which is not healthy for your blood sugar level and your body weight. The small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants in the juice do not make up a large amount of sugar.
The manufacturers make it even more confusing by not always being honest about what’s in their products.
The fruit juice that you find in the supermarket is not what you think it is. It is labeled as ‘100% pure’, but it is not. After the juice has been squeezed out of the fruit and the dietary fibers have been removed, the juice is usually stored in huge storage tanks several months before it is packaged.
The problem with this process is that it removes the taste of juices, allowing manufacturers to add sweeteners and sugars to reduce the taste lost during processing.
And the juices that are not sweetened, and only contain their own sugars, are also quickly and very inefficiently absorbed by your body. That means that even the most expensive fruit juices in the supermarket no longer resemble freshly squeezed fruit juices. They are in fact sweetened drinks with fruit flavor.
Several studies have shown that daily drinking of fruit juice is associated with an increased risk of overweight and type 2 diabetes (source, source).
Are you going for a healthy lunch? Do not drink fruit juice anymore!
It is better to eat a fruit piece yourself or to put it in the blender. You get the same sugars, but with the fruit’s dietary fibers the sugars are absorbed much slower by your body and you do not get any peaks and valleys in your blood sugar level.
You’ve probably had drunk yogurt breakfast drink before. I also thought that these kinds of yogurt drinks were healthy until I once read the nutritional value on the label.
These yogurt drinks are full of sugars, no less than 43 grams of sugars per 500 ml! In addition, the taste of the strawberry does not come from the tasty red fruit, but from artificial sweeteners.
If you still want to eat dairy, it is best to look for unsweetened, Greek yogurt. For Greek yogurt, go to a health shop or to a bio store. There the products are often (h) honest and fresh, without unnecessary additions.
Snacks and sweets
This is an in store, but would like to mention it for the sake of completeness.
It is very tempting to go to the snack bar around the corner, but if you want to eat healthily and if you want to lose weight, this is a very bad idea.
Snacks and sweets are full of sugars and empty calories. These food products do not saturate and contain no important nutrients that your body needs to function properly.
You probably know them: Those nut bars or granola bars in a green package.
Screaming texts printed on it that eating this bar is the healthiest choice. You would think that such a bar fits perfectly with a healthy lunch.
Unfortunately, the name is misleading again. Do not be tempted by energy bars, or energy bars. Look at the back of the package. Exactly, that very fine print in which the ingredients used is described. The sugar content is enormous, not to mention all those unnecessary additions and E-numbers.
Refined Grain Products
Have you ever considered that not all grains are the same?
For a healthy lunch, it is important to distinguish between whole and refined grains.
Many grains are usually consumed after they have been pulverized into a very fine flour. That makes refined grains unhealthy. They contain no important nutrients and mainly consist of
Important nutrients have been extracted from refined grains, such as fibers, minerals and vitamins. They contain mainly fast carbohydrates (sugars) that are quickly digested by the body.
Do you suffer from overweight? Then you can best leave wheat and other grains and opt for high-protein foods.
This also applies to bread. First of all, white bread is, of course, a big ‘no-go’, but even wholemeal bread you should not eat anymore, or at least to a very limited extent.
Get rid of the idea that bread should be the basis. Be very aware that the bread you buy, even at the bakery, has more additives than you like.
Have you ever thought why one bread gets old faster than the other? Comes through all those preservatives, fats and sugars.
In addition, bread is a bomb of carbohydrates with a very low Glycemic Index (GI). White bread is the bad winner here, but wholemeal bread does not do much better.
What Is A Healthy Lunch?
Lunch can be done in many different ways, but in most cases, people take their lunchbox to work.
There is often a few slices of wholemeal bread with cheese, sweet spreads or meat products.
This is not as healthy as you might think. But what exactly is a healthy lunch?
For your feeling, perhaps nothing remains to eat, but that is certainly not true.
You just need some more thinking, and the idea of letting go that bread is the basis of your breakfast and your lunch.
Healthy Protein-Rich Lunch Ideas
Let’s start with proteins.
Why does a healthy lunch have to contain a lot of protein? Protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient for weight loss and a leaner body.
Proteins can help you lose weight and lose stubborn belly fat.
It works through various mechanisms: high protein intake increases metabolism, reduces appetite and changes different weight-regulating hormones that affect your body weight (source, source, source).
By replacing simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats with high-quality proteins, you inhibit the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulate different ‘satiety hormones’ that provide a longer, full feeling.
This leads to the automatic loss of calories and is the main reason that proteins help you to lose weight.
What are high protein foods for a healthy lunch?
Protein-rich foods for a healthy lunch
Beans, lentils, tofu, chickpeas, etc.
Meat / poultry
Chicken, turkey, steak, beef, bacon
Fish / seafood
Salmon, mackerel, tuna, shrimps, herring, etc.
Chestnut mushrooms, shiitakes
Walnuts, cashew nuts, etc.
Healthy Carbohydrate-Rich Lunch Ideas
A healthy lunch does not mean that you do not consume carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also belong (albeit in limited quantities) in a healthy diet. They provide your body with energy (especially for the brain, carbohydrates are important).
When I talk about carbohydrates, I mean, of course, slow (complex) carbohydrates. Slow carbohydrates contain more nutrients than simple carbohydrates.
Because they contain many dietary fibers, they are absorbed more slowly in the body. This also makes slower carbohydrates more filling, which means they are a better option than fast carbohydrates for weight control.
When I talk about good carbohydrate sources for a healthy lunch, I mean:
One of the most common mistakes people make with a healthy diet is that they do not eat enough healthy fats. Fats are often still seen as ‘bad’.
But there is a difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fatty acids (trans fats). The healthy fats in avocado, for example, lower blood pressure and the ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol (source).
The fats that all scientists agree that they are bad for health are trans fats. In particular, trans fats have been made artificially. Trans fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and provide visceral fat (belly fat).
What is also important to know is that both unsaturated fats and saturated fats are good for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the body.
Healthy fats even help in the fight against obesity. By healthy fats I mean in particular monounsaturated fatty acids (s.a. in avocado and nuts) and omega 3 fatty acids (s.a. in fatty fish and flaxseed).
Below are high-fat foods that are healthy and nutritious:
Grass and cream butter, Greek yogurt, goat’s cheese, feta, Parmesan cheese, etc.
You may have noticed that some foods contain a lot of protein and healthy fats. That makes it easy to vary with it.
Delicious healthy lunch recipes are:
Salmon with avocado
Spicy chicken salad
Cauliflower salad with feta
Omelet with salmon and vegetables
Thai tuna salad
Avocado with egg
Vegetarian sushi roll
Bring Healthy Lunch To Work
Last tip for a healthy lunch that you can take easy with you and it remains sustainable.
If you want a healthy lunch, which still looks good in the afternoon, it is imperative that you are going to invest in something here.
Buy some plastic containers. Does not have to be expensive at all. Buy different sizes so that you can take lunch in its entirety, or the different parts separately. In this last way, it is not all one big porridge and it still looks good.
For example, if you bring Greek Yoghurt, you can put the fruit in a separate container. Mix them at the last minute, and you have a delicious lunch.
Lose Weight With A Healthy Lunch
Does a healthy lunch help with losing weight? Hell yes!
Losing weight is a matter of healthy, varied and less food, in combination with a healthy lifestyle.
This can reduce the total caloric intake by 400 calories per day (source, source). That makes eating a healthy lunch even more important, because it is your first meal of the day.
In the video below you see the 5 myths about skipping breakfast:
A healthy lunch with protein contributes to a fuller feeling and prevents the craving for unhealthy food in the afternoon. Healthy fats in a lunch contribute to a satisfying meal and slow carbohydrates are an important source of energy.
So have lunch!
3 Healthy Lunch Recipes
To help you on your way, I have made 3 healthy lunch recipes for you. Healthy recipes that you can easily take with you to work.
Are you ready?
Lunch # 1: Lettuce wrap with salmon, avocado and bean sprouts
What do you need:
1 head of iceberg lettuce
200 grams of smoked salmon
1 bell pepper, a color of your choice
1 hand of bean sprouts
pepper and salt
Cut the peppers, mushrooms and avocado into pieces.
Cut the salmon.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, add the pepper and salt and mix well.
Wash the iceberg lettuce and remove 6 nice leaves from the crop.
Spoon the mixture onto the lettuce leaves and sprinkle some bean sprouts over it.
Drinking Alcohol With a Low Carbohydrate Diet: Good or Bad Idea?
Have you recently started a low-carbohydrate diet? Then drinking alcoholic drinks can be a confusing point for you.
Especially if you want to lose weight and still have a drink at his time.
Is drinking alcohol in moderation allowed in a low-carbohydrate diet or should we abstain from it?
And if you still drink, which low-carbohydrate drinks can you choose the best? This article answers all these questions.
Most alcoholic drinks contain many carbohydrates, some even contain more carbohydrates than soft drinks or sweets!
Let me immediately disappoint the avid beer drinkers among us: most beers are a ‘no go’ if you follow a low-carbohydrate diet.
Beer contains a high carbohydrate content, because starch is one of the most important ingredients.
Drinking too much beer creates the well-known beer belly in men.
Mixed drinks and cocktails usually also contain a lot of carbohydrates because of ingredients such as added sugars, juices and other high-calorie mixtures that have been added to improve the taste.
Alcohol contains empty calories and can slow down fat burning
Alcohol is high in empty calories, which means that it contains many calories without vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that your body needs.
alcohol Studies confirm that overdrinking blocks fat burning and can impede weight loss. This is because your body does everything to get the toxic substance alcohol out of your body.
The liver receives the order to break down alcohol first. The fat burning is thus put on a lower burner (source). Food that has just been eaten is then converted more quickly into adipose tissue and eventually stored as body fat (source).
Heavy excessive drinking can also reduce fat burning and increase fatty acid synthesis, leading to an accumulation of triglycerides in the liver. Over time, this can lead to fatty liver (fatty liver disease) (source). This not only has adverse effects on your waist, but also serious consequences for your health.
For those who want to have a drink now and then I’ve made an overview below of alcoholic drinks with little to no carbohydrates (0 to 0.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml):
Note: that these alcoholic drinks contain few carbohydrates do not mean that they are low in calories! Excessive alcohol consumption can produce a lot of calories.
The above low-carbohydrate alcoholic drinks are best ordered in a bar or restaurant if you want to drink something. What is immediately noticeable is that almost all are strong drinks that generally contain little or no carbohydrates.
Are you a wine lover? Do not be alarmed …
The carbohydrate content of wine may vary slightly, depending on the grape variety and the sweetness of the wine. That is why it is better to go for dry white wine (0.6 grams of carbohydrates per 100 ml) if you still want to drink a glass of wine. I always recommend beer because of the large amount of carbohydrates in beer.
Low-carb food lowers alcohol tolerance
It is important to know that a low-carbohydrate diet can have a significant influence on your tolerance level for alcohol.
In a low-carbohydrate diet, most people need significantly less alcohol to get drunk. If you are driving, be extra careful.
You will notice that you are more likely to get tipsy when drinking alcohol. It certainly saves you money at the bar!
But how can we explain this?
This is probably due to the absence of carbohydrates, although little research has been done on this. My theory is that carbohydrates can serve as a buffer to slow down the breakdown of alcohol in the stomach.
The results of a study with 51 participants supports this idea. The study found that a meal with many carbohydrates (85% of the energy consisted of carbohydrates) significantly reduced the alcohol content in the blood compared to a protein-rich meal (94% of the energy was protein) (source).
That said, research shows that both carbohydrates and fats also reduce the absorption of alcohol, so probably more is going on (source).
Another possibility is the total amount of food you eat. Everyone knows the advice not to drink on an empty stomach, because this can lead to you getting drunk faster. Having food in your stomach slows down this process.
One of the advantages of a low-carbohydrate diet is that it provides a better feeling of satiety, which can result in a lower food intake. After all, you eat less!
In addition, most followers of a low-carbohydrate diet have the goal of losing weight, so these people choose to eat less than the average person.
Because you eat less, you are also quicker when you drink alcohol. Therefore, always try to drink sensibly when you are on a diet.
Excessive alcohol consumption is related to weight gain
Drinking too much alcohol has visible consequences for your weight.
In that respect, it does not matter whether you follow a low-carbohydrate diet or not, the best is still to drink alcohol in moderation. That means on average one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.
A study of 15,000 men found that increased alcohol consumption led to a greater risk of weight gain over a 24-year period (source).
If someone likes to drink a drink and follows a low-carbohydrate diet, I do not see any problems with that.
A moderate amount of alcohol – for example, two alcoholic drinks on a Saturday night can not really hurt when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals.
Certain drinks can easily fit into a low-carbohydrate diet if they are drunk in moderation. As you have read, wine and especially liquor are low in carbohydrates.
However, it is best not to drink more than 1-2 drinks a day, because excessive alcohol consumption can slow down fat burning and cause weight gain. My advice is therefore to drink in moderation only on weekends.
However, if you find yourself losing little or no weight, you should drink less alcohol. Because remember that less alcohol is always better if you want to achieve a healthy weight.
Drinking too much can lead to future health problems.
In short, focus on nutrition if you want to stay healthy!
How do I Get Rid Of My Beer Belly? 8 Tips for a Quick Result
If you are a man over thirty and drink beer regularly, chances are that you have realized in the shower that you have lost contact with your lower body.
That annoying beer belly predominates in everything you do. Whether you’re running or wearing a tight shirt, you feel uncomfortable with it.
But a beer belly is not only extra ballast, but it is also accompanied by health risks. Only this should give you sufficient motivation to get rid of that stubborn belly.
Do you suffer from a beer belly and want to get rid of it for good? With a little determination and the tips in this article, you will win that battle!
What you will discover in this article is:
What exactly is a beer belly
The different causes of the birth of a beer belly
What happens to your body when you give up alcohol
How you get the fastest out of your beer belly
The answer to the question: “is a beer belly really caused by beer?”
And much, much more …
What is a Beer Belly?
In the vernacular, a beer belly is often mentioned when it concerns men with a bulging belly. This is because a lot of beer drinking is associated with an increase in body fat, especially around the abdominal area.
Basically, we mean with a beer belly an accumulation of body fat in the abdominal area. It is often the result of consuming too many calories due to (alcoholic) foods and/or not enough physical activity.
The difference between a beer belly and a swollen belly is that in the case of the beer belly it is often about visceral fat, while a bloated stomach is caused by fluid retention or flatulence (gas formation in the abdomen).
5 Proven Health Benefits of Kefir + 3 Tasty Recipes
Kefir is fermented milk and is seen as the healthier version of yogurt. It is rich in probiotics and nutrients.
More and more people are discovering kefir as a better alternative to regular milk or yogurt. A few years ago you had to make your own kefir or buy it in a natural store. Nowadays there is so much demand that you can even choose from multiple brands in the normal supermarket.
In this article, you will discover which (proven) health benefits kefir owes its popularity.
This is what you will learn:
What is kefir
What kinds of kefir there are
Nutritional value of kefir
What the health benefits of kefir are
How you can make kefir yourself
Finally, we will give you a few delicious kefir recipes so that you can immediately discover how tasty it is.
What is kefir?
Kefir is a drink made from fermented milk. This fermented drink is produced by mixing a mixture of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in milk. This gummy-like mixture is called the kefir grains.
The lactic acid bacteria and yeasts live off the lactose (milk sugars) in milk. You can make kefir of all types of milk containing carbohydrates (sugars). This is usually done with cow’s milk but can also be done with goat, sheep, rice or soy milk.
The latest trend is to make kefir from coconut milk or coconut water. You can read more about how to do this yourself.