The Five

Did you know that normalizing portion sizes could reduce your calorie intake by almost 1/3 or 527 calories per day?! That means that you can eat what you want but still lose weight by paying attention to food portion sizes. This doesn’t mean, of course, that a majority of your calories can come from unhealthy fast foods. 

If you aren’t sure of the difference between serving size vs portion size, then you are not alone. Many tend to use these terms interchangeably but they don’t refer to the same thing. Keep reading to find out more. 

Serving Size

When you buy a family-sized package of chips from the grocery store, you might notice that the serving size, which is a standardized portion, says one serving is 1 ounce or 18 chips. This is the recommended amount of chips you should be eating in one sitting.

Portion Size

Serving Size vs Portion Size

Food portion size is the amount of food you end up eating. That is portion size is specific to you and how much you eat.

For example, you might see that the serving size for a package of chips is 18 chips, but because you are watching a movie and are distracted, you end up consuming the entire packet in one sitting. That is, you consumed several serving sizes in one sitting, and that becomes your portion size for this one instance. 

On another night, you might open a packet of chips, but only eat 18 chips because you are already full, and that is your portion size for that instance. As you can see both are quite different, as they are specific to you. 

Learn to Read Food Labels

The main idea here is that firstly you need to start reading food labels and the nutrition facts that are listed on labels, so you know what kind of nutrients your food has and how much of it to eat, so you don’t overeat. 

If possible, try to move the food item from the package to a bowl or a plate, so you see exactly how much you are consuming and you can choose your portion size.

Finally, follow your body’s guidelines rather than food labels. If you feel full after half a serving size, it’s okay to stop eating then, and if you are still hungry after eating two servings, it’s okay to keep eating until you feel satisfied.

Your body is your best barometer for how much to eat, so pay attention to its signs and signals. 

Serving Size vs Portion Size – Now You Know the Difference

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to eating healthy and losing weight. Now that you know the difference between serving size vs portion size, you can gauge correctly by reading food labels how much of each food to consume. 

If you aren’t sure how to discern portion size in cooked meals, then perhaps pre-made meals are the better option for you. With these healthy pre-made meals, you know exactly how many calories, and how much of each nutrient you are getting every time. 

Contact us to order your first batch or to ask any questions you might have.

Changing your diet by eating healthy food every day can increase your lifespan by up to 10 years! Eating well is a pillar of good health, and you can experience many benefits, like shedding a few pounds. But eating healthy foods won’t only help you lose weight. There are lots of unexpected benefits to a healthy diet, like improved mood and immunity! Read on to find out more. 

Improved Mood

It is not a secret that the food we eat can affect our mood. If you notice yourself feeling stressed or anxious, it could be because your blood sugar is low. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and high-protein foods will keep your spirits up. Make sure you drink lots of water, too, as hydration makes you more relaxed.

Better Digestion

A lot of research has shown the benefits of eating healthy for your digestive system. Prebiotic and probiotic foods can help to maintain a healthy gut and balance the microbiome. Going to the bathroom will be more comfortable and regular. You’ll also experience reduced bloating and gas. Foods like yogurt, garlic, and sauerkraut are great for keeping everything moving.

Eating Healthy

Stronger Immunity

Eating healthy means that you will be consuming lots more vitamins and minerals. This will help your body’s immune systems fight against illness and fatigue. If you do get sick, then eating healthy foods will help you to make a much faster recovery.

There are some particular foods known as “superfoods” which have a high nutrient density. For example, blueberries are high in antioxidants to keep your skin clear and fight breakouts. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are also high in vitamin C, which helps fight infections. 

Sleep Like a Baby

A healthy diet increases energy levels and helps you stay stable throughout the day. Avoiding going up and down in blood sugar levels will also allow you to sleep a lot better. Because you are even throughout the day, you will be able to sleep better at night.

You can eat slow-release foods, which will prevent you from waking up hungry. It is also important that you don’t eat too close to bedtime, as this can make it hard to digest. Having quick, nutritious meals available in the evening will be a lifesaver. 

Eat Healthy Food Everyday

We hope this article has given you a good idea of why you should eat healthy food every day. There are many benefits you can gain from healthy living, and you can improve your quality of life. With small, manageable changes, you can find your best diet. Here at Fit Five Meals, we take nutrition and healthy eating seriously. We have a huge range of healthy meals which are easy for you to prepare and eat.

We don’t add extra oils or fats and try to use seasonal produce for fun, tasty meals. We also have dairy-free and gluten-free options to suit different dietary requirements. 

Interested in kick-starting your healthy eating today? Then check out our meal selection today and enjoy the benefits!

Most of us know that we ought to incorporate more green foods into our diet, but do we know why? Greens aren’t just good for you in general, they’re packed with nutrients that can stave off illnesses, promote a healthy weight, and help various organs and systems in your body function better. Read on to learn more about all the benefits leafy greens have on your health.

1.   Cancer prevention

Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and vitamins that can help our bodies prevent and fight cancer. PowerofPositivity.com explains how this works:

of leafy greens

“Vitamins A, C, and E are potent antioxidants. The National Cancer Institute informs us that these vitamins eliminate harmful free radicals. If free radicals are at high levels, they can damage cellular components, including cell membranes, DNA, and proteins. This may expedite the development of cancer. Laboratory studies show that antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, prevent the variety of bodily damage caused by the formation of free radicals. As a result, many researchers believe that antioxidants may fight the growth of cancerous tumors.”

To boost your body’s cancer-fighting responses, consume leafy greens like kale, spinach, and salad greens. They contain high levels of vitamins A, C, E, and K. Spinach, bok choy, and kale also contain folate and other B vitamins known for helping prevent the development of cancer. Folate also decreases the risk of breast, cervix, and lung cancers.

2.   Weight loss

Another benefit of leafy greens is that they are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them a great addition to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. They also have a low glycemic index, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes, making them an excellent choice for diabetics.

3.   Overall body health

Consuming leafy greens maintains the health and functioning of various organs and systems in your body including your eyes, lung, brain, bones, skin, and immune system. For example, lettuce can reduce inflammation and even help you get a better night’s sleep! Leafy greens also rich in minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium.

  • Potassium regulates heartbeat and blood pressure, proper nerve conduction, protein synthesis, glycogen levels, and muscle contraction.
  • Manganese helps brain and nervous system function, bone health, and inflammation.
  • Iron boosts energy, hemoglobin, athletic performance, and promotes healthy pregnancy.
  • Calcium is essential to bone and oral health, promotes healthy body weight, and is good for heart muscles.

Which greens should you start incorporating into your diet?

There are so many different types of leafy greens out there, and if you’re not used to eating them or cooking them, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones you should buy for you and your family. Try starting with some tried and true greens like spinach, lettuce (especially romaine), arugula, and bok choy. These leafy greens are rich in vitamins and minerals, are easy to prepare, and fit into many dishes you already make. For example you could add kale or spinach to a breakfast casserole or serve lettuce and arugula as a salad alongside a steak and baked potato.

If you try a leafy green that doesn’t appeal to your tastebuds, don’t assume they all taste “bad.” Try a variety of kinds prepared in different ways (raw, steamed, sauteed, etc.) and find a few that you do like. If you’re having trouble incorporating leafy greens (or vegetables in general) into your diet, reach out to the FitFive team and ask about our meal selection. It’s important to us that our meals contain healthy vegetables prepared in appetizing ways.

Carb cravings can throw a wrench in even the best diet. While not all carbs are bad, most of the ones we crave are not good for us (think bread, pasta, and sweets). So how do you curb unhealthy carb cravings? First, you must understand what sparks that craving in the first place.

Why do we crave carbs?

Factors like hormone shifts, for example, or stress can spark carb cravings. Women may notice they crave carbs during their menstrual cycle. This is because eating carbohydrates increases serotonin in our body (the “feel-good” hormone). Once we start associating carbs with feeling good, we tend to turn toward carb-filled foods to make us feel better.

Food options for when you’re craving carbs

If you’re trying to steer clear of unhealthy carbs, sheer willpower probably isn’t going to cut it. So instead of just resisting the temptation to eat muffins, cake, and bread, swap out those carbs for a healthier option. Here are some healthy alternatives to incorporate into your diet.

1. Popcorn

Anytime you’re craving an unhealthy carb, replace it with a healthier alternative that still satisfies. So if you’re craving something crunchy, try eating popcorn. Popcorn has whole grain and fiber, two things that are great for you.

2. Baby carrots

Baby carrots are a great alternative snack choice to just about any carb. They’re easy to grab-n-go and can easily be spiced up with a little hummus or ranch dip.

3. Water

Dehydration can sometimes manifest itself as hunger. Consequently, drinking half your body weight in water each day can keep you from reaching for unhealthy, carb-filled foods and stave off the munchies. Getting a water bottle that keeps your water cold can help you get those ounces in and track how much you’re drinking.

4. Fruit

There are so many vitamins and nutrients in fruit. And, with so many options to choose from, you’re bound to find one that excites your taste buds. Curb your carb craving with a handful of berries, an apple, a mandarin, or a banana.

5. Better bread

Bread gets a bad rap and sure, many breads are heavily processed, full of sugar, and aren’t filling at all. But you don’t have to swear off bread! There are healthy options out there, like whole grain bread, that contain things that your body needs like fiber, iron, B vitamins, and magnesium. So just grab a better bread next time you’re at the store.

6. Nuts and seeds

carb cravings

Many of the carby things we enjoy like chips and pretzels are crunchy, salty, and easy to munch on. So again, when you’re looking for an alternative, try to find something that checks all of those boxes but also packs a good punch of protein and healthy fat, like nuts and seeds!

7. Dark chocolate

Did you know dark chocolate is a superfood? It’s rich in antioxidants and numerous minerals including iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. It also has soluble fiber. So the next time you’re craving a carb-filled donut, grab a piece or two of dark chocolate (70% or higher) instead.

8. Protein + carb

If you really can’t resist the urge to munch on some pita crackers or a muffin, try to pair that carb with a protein. Eat a cheese stick with the crackers or a couple of eggs with the muffin. Protein balances out the carbs, giving you a better, more sustainable burst of energy and making you less likely to crash later.

Because carb intake and stress are closely linked, lowering your stress levels could also help you cut back on carb intake. Trim down your obligations, get a solid 7-8 hours of good sleep each night, or go on a daily walk outside to boost your serotonin levels naturally. Relieving the stress in your life can keep your carb cravings in check.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and they’re not wrong. You might not be a “breakfast person,” but considering how many health benefits there are to eating a good breakfast, perhaps you need to become one! Here are just a few of the ways a good breakfast can have a positive impact on your personal fitness.

Breakfast can Prevent Snacking

If you only have a bagel and a cup of coffee for breakfast, you’re likely to be hungry by 10 o’clock and need a snack to make it to lunch. On the other hand, having a well-rounded breakfast consisting of a protein, a complex carb, fat, and fiber will help you feel full longer and prevent snacking throughout the day.

Breakfast can Give you Long-lasting Energy

Sugary cereals, pop tarts, and pastries might be tempting in the morning, but none of these foods really gives you any lasting energy. They spark your blood sugar, only to send it crashing later. This can cause you to reach for more coffee or another sugar-filled snack later.

breakfast can

Here’s a good way to think of it: if you need to fill your car with gas, you don’t put cheap gas in, right? You fill it up with good fuel so that it runs well. Well it’s the same way with your body. Instead of eating things that spike and crash your energy, you should start your day with foods that sustain and energize you consistently all day long. Need some inspiration? Here are some well-rounded, easy breakfast ideas, courtesy of Eat This, Not That that can provide you with lasting energy:

  • Option #1: Greek yogurt with granola and frozen berries
  • Option #2: Packet of plain instant oatmeal with peanut butter
  • Option #3: Plant-based protein shake with a tablespoon of almond butter, ice, water, a banana, acai berries, and pumpkin seeds
  • Option #4: Eggs with sautéed sweet potato
  • Option #5: FitFive’s overnight s’mores oats

Breakfast can Help You Lose Weight

Because it curbs snacking and gives you long-lasting energy, breakfast can help you lose weight with little to no extra effort! When you fill your body at the start of your day with a healthy, filling meal, you kickstart your metabolism. Writer and fitness advocate Brynne Chandler explains it well:

“Breakfast, like any other meal, is needed to fuel your body. After sleeping all night, your metabolism has slowed down, which means you’re not burning many calories. Skipping breakfast means you’re starting your day at a slower pace, physically. Once your metabolism wakes up, you may find yourself too hungry to make wise choices for lunch. Starting to eat later in the day can also mean that your body won’t have enough time before you go to bed again to absorb the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Feeding your body in the morning can jump-start your metabolism, which helps you burn calories more efficiently during the day. It also gives you a head start on taking in the nutrients you need and may help you make smarter food choices at lunch and dinner, because you won’t be too hungry to think straight.”

healthyeating.sfgate.com

If you haven’t been eating breakfast, now is the time to start! Slowly ease into a new rhythm, such as eating breakfast every other day, or add an element to your morning meal that will give it a bit of a boost, like protein or healthy fat. As always, let us know how WE can help you transform your breakfast routine so you can better your health.

Eggs are a staple in nearly every household in the nation. And practically every culture around the world has a dish that uses them. They’re versatile and relatively cheap considering how nutrient-dense they are. Here are 5 things you should know about eggs.

1. The color of a cracked egg can tell you how fresh it is.

Have you ever bought eggs and wondered how fresh they really were? Next time you make breakfast, take a look at the cracked egg’s coloring and use this as a guide for how fresh it is.

  • Clear egg whites: Old, but safe to eat.
  • Pinkish or fluorescent green egg whites: Spoiled, do not eat!
  • Cloudy egg whites: Super fresh egg!
  • Blood spots: Safe to eat, just look weird.

2. Eggs are rich in vitamins.

Eggs are humble, but they are mighty. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs on a daily basis. Low in fat and carbohydrates, a single egg contains 6-7 grams of protein.

About Eggs

Eggs might also be a good food to consume during pregnancy, because they contain choline (which helps with fetal brain development) and vitamins D, E, A, and zinc!

Did you know eggs are good for your eyes too? They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce free radical damage in your eyes and prevent the arteries in your eyes from hardening!

There used to be a myth surrounding eggs that said they were bad for your cholesterol, but recent studies have shown that might not be the case. If you are concerned about your cholesterol, talk to your doctor about the foods that you consume before you make any changes to your diet.

3. Eggs need to be refrigerated in order to stay fresh.

Eggs that come straight from a farm that haven’t been washed or processed in any way are safe to sit out, but most of the eggs people have in their fridge come from the store. These eggs have to be refrigerated in order to stay safe to eat because the protective coating on them has been washed off. Store eggs last about a month in the fridge.

If you’re ever unsure whether or not an egg has spoiled, put the egg in a bowl or a glass filled with water. If the egg lies flat, it’s good. If it stands up, it’s still good but it’s on its way out and needs to be used up as soon as possible. If the egg floats, it is spoiled and needs to be thrown away. Additionally, if you ever crack an egg and it smells bad or looks fluorescent in color, it isn’t any good and should not be eaten.

“The average American eats 250 eggs per year, which translates to a total annual consumption of 76.5 billion eggs in the U.S.”
LifeHack.org

4. Expiration dates can be confusing.

Have you ever tried to determine how much longer your eggs were good for and had trouble translating the expiration date? Today.com explains why and breaks it down for us:

“All USDA inspected eggs require packing dates and plant numbers. But they could be confusing since about 15 states have their own egg safety regulations.

Expiration dates or sell-buy date: these dates extend no longer than 30 days from when the eggs were packed. Typically eggs will stay fresh 10-15 days after this date if properly stored.

Use-by or best before date: 
these dates are typically 45 days from packing.

Packing date: 
the day of the year, example today would show ‘360’, that the eggs were packed in the carton, usually within one week of egg laying.”

5. Eggs aren’t just for breakfast.

Eggs are such an affordable protein, and there are countless dishes you can make with eggs. But eggs aren’t just a breakfast food! Eggs go well with lunch and dinner, too, so don’t be afraid to experiment and incorporate them into meals beyond breakfast. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Which of these egg facts surprised you?

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