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Which kuih gives you the most calories?

Do you love to snack during tea break? Having a tea break during the day is a favourite Malaysian pastime, and the kuih-muih stall is a must-visit! With the usual price tag RM1 for 3 pieces, it’s hard to resist getting a bagful of these delectable goodies. But as you bite down on your 4th piece of crunchy pisang goreng, have you thought about how this is going to affect your daily calorie intake?

Weight loss follows a simple theory. As long as your calorie intake is lower than your calorie output, you’ll maintain or lose weight. However, the average Malaysian leads a sedentary lifestyle with little to no exercise, yet chomps down on nasi lemak, ayam goreng, sirap bandung and a host of other calorie-packed foods throughout the day. Add to that a few pieces of kuih here and there, and you’ll be waaaay past your daily energy needs, which should be around 2,000kcal.

See which kuih gives you the most calories and how you can burn it off here:

Malaysian-Kuih-Muih-CaloriesKuih-Muih is the quintessential Malaysian tea time snack. Learn about your favourite kuih-muih and how you can burn off the calories in this educational infographic.

* Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

Healthy Snack – High Protein Snacks

Protein Snack

Busy men are always looking for nutritious snacks to eat when they are on the go. Unfortunately, many of you end up grabbing high-carb, high-fat and low-protein convenience store snacks, which are terrible nutritional choices.

Although the opinions of experts vary greatly as to how much protein men should consume on a daily basis, the generally accepted figure is one gram of protein per 2.2 pounds (1kg) of body weight. Therefore, a 180-pound (82kg) man should get about 82 grams of protein in his diet each day.

If you’re one of the many men who doesn’t manage to meet this minimum requirement, or if you’re simply looking for some alternative nutritious snack ideas, read on: The following nine high-protein snacks require little preparation and are generally low in both carbohydrates and fat.

1- Beef jerky
Believe it or not, this old classic is actually a healthy choice. On average, one ounce contains about 70 calories and one gram of fat, but delivers 11 grams of protein. However, the brands sold in convenience stores are often high in salt. If you’d like beef jerky to be one of your high-protein snack options, look for healthier versions in health food stores.

egg white protein

2- Egg whites
One egg white has only 15 calories, is fat- and cholesterol-free and contains four grams of protein. Throw two or three in a pan (with some peppers and onions if you want to make an omelet) for a quick, nutritious mini-meal.

3- Cottage cheese and fruit
A half cup of 2% cottage cheese contains on average 16 grams of protein, yet only has 102 calories and two grams of fat (as opposed to other types of cheese, which can be extremely high in fat). If high protein isn’t your ideal goal, then mix it with some fresh fruit for a fast, healthy snack.

4- Tuna
Tuna is a great source of protein with approximately 25 grams per can. Plus, one can of tuna in water contains approximately 111 calories and is fat-free. And hey, go easy on the mayonnaise if you’re making a sandwich — it’s full of fat.

5- Protein bars
Herbalife Protein Bar is an ideal protein snack to give you a boost on the go. This deliciously chewy bar is packed with soluble fiber, 23 vitamins and minerals to help control hunger. A Herbalife protein bar provides 12g of healthy soy and whey protein blend.

Herbalife protein bar

6- Herbalife Shakes
As with protein bars, Herbalife protein shakes delivers 15 grams of protein (with Herbalife Formula 3 protein powder), is perfect for guys who work out post recovery nutrition.

7- Lentils
Although they may not seem appetizing on their own, putting a handful of them in your soup or salad will give your snack a protein boost. One cup of lentils has about 230 calories, one gram of fat and 18 grams of protein.

8- Peanut butter
If you loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a kid, you’re in luck: one tablespoon contains about four grams of protein, eight grams of fat and 95 calories. For an energy boost, spread it on a slice of whole-wheat bread (60 calories and one gram of fat) and top it with banana slices.

9- Oatmeal
According to Aubyn Garstang, a certified personal trainer, many men who train hard favor oatmeal for its balance of protein and good carbohydrates, which gives them the energy necessary to make it through an intense workout. One packet of instant oatmeal has about five grams of protein, 105 calories and two grams of fat. You can eat it alone or add some cinnamon to the mix.

No matter how busy you are, it’s really not that difficult to eat nutritious, high-protein snacks. If you keep a few cans of tuna and some eggs in your fridge at all times, you’ll have some healthy alternatives to fatty junk foods like chips and chocolate bars.

However, keep in mind that your body does need a certain amount of carbohydrates, which is the main source of energy for working muscles and other bodily functions. Therefore, you shouldn’t try to eliminate carbs completely, especially if you work out.

The key is to eat a balanced diet that includes lean protein, minimally refined carbs (whole grain pasta, whole grain rice), simple carbs (raw fruits and vegetables), and a small amount of fat in order to provide your body with all the nutrients and energy needed to function at your best capacity.

Beat Your Stress Fat

For most of us, stress is a fact of life. Unfortunately, research reveals that it’s also a fact of fat. “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women.

stress fatHere’s what happens: Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry…very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues.

But few of us reach for carrots in these situations. “Instead, we crave sweet, salty, and high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension,” explains Elissa Epel, PhD, a researcher on stress eating at the University of California, San Francisco. This soothing effect becomes addicting, so every time you’re anxious, you want fattening foods.

With your adrenal glands pumping out cortisol, production of the muscle-building hormone testosterone slows down. “Over time, this drop causes a decrease in your muscle mass, so you burn fewer calories,” explains Shawn Talbott, PhD, author of The Cortisol Connection. “This occurs naturally as you age, but high cortisol levels accelerate the process.” Cortisol also encourages your body to store fat—especially visceral fat, which is particularly dangerous because it surrounds vital organs and releases fatty acids into your blood, raising cholesterol and insulin levels and paving the way for heart disease and diabetes.

Obviously, getting rid of all anxiety isn’t an option. But by taking these 7 steps to beat stress, you can get your cortisol levels and your weight under control—and improve your health.

1. Drop and do 10.

healthy livingThat’s right, power out some push-ups. “Moving your muscles is an effective, instant stress reliever. It actually fools your body into thinking you’re escaping the source of your stress,” says Talbott. “Exercise makes your blood circulate more quickly, transporting the cortisol to your kidneys and flushing it out of your system.” But if push-ups aren’t practical, just flexing your hands or calf muscles will help move cortisol along, he says. Even taking a stroll on your lunch break is beneficial. In one study, Talbott found that 18 minutes of walking 3 times per week can quickly lower the hormone’s levels by 15%.

2. Go slowly at meals.

Under stress, we tend to scarf down even healthy food. In fact, research has linked this behavior to bigger portions and more belly fat. But Epel hypothesizes that slowing down, savoring each bite, and paying attention to feelings of fullness may lower cortisol levels along with decreasing the amount of food you eat, thereby shifting the distribution of fat away from the belly.

3. Stop strict dieting.

Stop strict dietingIt’s ironic, but research shows that constant dieting can make cortisol levels rise as much as 18%. In addition, when your cortisol levels spike, your blood sugar goes haywire, first rising, then plummeting. This makes you cranky and (you guessed it) ravenous. When your brain is deprived of sugar—its main fuel—self-control takes a nosedive, and your willpower doesn’t stand a chance.

4. Give in to cravings‚ a little.

When stress drives you toward something sweet or salty, it’s okay to yield a little. “It’s much better to indulge in a small way and cut off your cortisol response before it gets out of control,” says Epel. “Have a piece of chocolate. You will feel better. Just stop at one.” If you have trouble restraining yourself, take precautions so you won’t binge. Buy a single cookie when you’re out instead of keeping a box at home; or keep them in the freezer so you have to wait for one to defrost.

5. Curtail caffeine.

Next time you’re under duress, choose decaf. When you combine stress with caffeine, it raises cortisol levels more than stress alone. In one study by the University of Oklahoma, consuming the equivalent of 2½ to 3 cups of coffee while under mild stress boosted cortisol by about 25%—and kept it up for 3 hours. When subjects took 600 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of 6 cups of java) throughout the day, the hormone went up by 30% and stayed high all day long. You’ll experience these effects even if your body is accustomed to a lot of lattes. And because high cortisol levels can contribute to stress eating, you might want to consider quitting caffeine altogether.

6. Power up breakfast.

herbalife breakfastDeficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium are stressful to your body. And these deficiencies lead to increased cortisol levels and food cravings, says Talbott. But you can fight back by eating a breakfast that’s high in these nutrients. He suggests some OJ, a grapefruit, or a large handful of strawberries to supply vitamin C; 6 to 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, which contains calcium and magnesium; and a whole grain bagel or toast with a bit of peanut butter. Whole grains are bursting with B vitamins, while peanut butter contains fatty acids that can decrease the production of stress hormones. Herbalife nutrition is a good choice of breakfast.

7. Sleep it off.

The most effective stress-reduction strategy of all: Get enough shut-eye. “Your body perceives sleep deprivation as a major stressor,” says Talbott. A University of Chicago study found that getting an average of 6½ hours each night can increase cortisol, appetite, and weight gain. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours. As if that weren’t enough, other research shows that lack of sleep also raises levels of ghrelin, a hunger-boosting hormone. In one study, appetite—particularly for sweet and salty foods—increased by 23% in people who lacked sleep. The good news: A few nights of solid sleep can bring all this back into balance, and getting enough regularly helps keep it there. Says Talbott, “You’ll eat less, and you’ll feel better, too.”

* Source: Prevention.com