Should I count calorie or carbohydrate intake?

Weighing Machine

Ever since I started my freelancing, I’ve been able to use my time efficiently for important matters such as health. I’ve been attending a nearby gym to exercise daily, arranging my own food and having enough sleep every night. I rarely exercised when I was in university and because of that, I grew a balloon belly. When I started working, I became more conscious of my health. I realized that my eating pattern was important. After all, we are what we eat. And so, I started noticing the nutrition facts located in every pack of food that I buy. I did some research and found out that we should count the calories instead of carbs.

Weight loss is ONLY possible when there is a calorie deficit. I can eat simply anything that I want but unless I eat less calories, nothing will change. Knowing how much carbs or fat you’re eating doesn’t help because it doesn’t take into consideration everything you’re eating. Everything put into the body requires energy to burn, whether it be vegetables, fruit or a hamburger and fries. It all counts when you’re trying to lose weight.

Here are 2 basic things that you can do.

  1. Calculate your daily calorie needs
  2. The American Cancer Society has this nifty tool to calculate your daily calorie needs. Just enter your weight in pounds, gender, lifestyle activity level and you will get the number of your daily calorie needs to maintain your current weight. To lose weight, enter the desired weight and get the recommended calorie needs. Here’s a screenshot of my daily calorie needs.

    calorie need

  3. Anne Collins’s Calorie Table
  4. Congrats to Anne Collin who has made a huge collection of calorie tables divided into 8 different categories which are

    • Alchohol
    • This includes beer, cocktails, spirit, wine …

    • Soft Drinks
    • Coffee, milk, juice, coke, soda, shakes …

    • Eating Out
    • Burritos, Chinese, fast food, pizzas, sandwiches, sushi, tacos …

    • Snack Foods
    • Cakes, candies, chewing gum, chocolates, cookies, ice cream …

    • Meats
    • Beef, chicken, duck, lamb, pork, steaks, turkey, veal, venison …

    • Fish
    • Anchovies, caviar, clams, squid, salmon, tuna …

    • General Food
    • Apples, beans, bread, cereals, dairy products, vegetables, fruits …

    • Food Nutrients
    • Calories in carbs, fat and protein

Basically, just avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar. Refined sugar is sugar in processed food which is bad carbs. Sweetness from fruits is much more healthier and enjoyable. Also learn to enjoy whole foods like brown rice, wholemeal breads and wholemeal pasta. Reason is they are full of fibre and will fill you up for a lot less calories because you’ll be eating less. Drink a lot of water when eating fibre to prevent constipation.

ASC Calorie Need Calculator
Calculate your daily calorie needs.

Table of calories
Huge collection of calorie content in food.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

classroom

Late last year, I recovered from a high fever and my whole body just started growing rashes. My mom took me to the doctor’s and we waited for my turn. After a while, a lady with a boy in her arms came into the waiting area. This boy wasn’t any normal boy. He kept clapping his hands and shaking his head frequently. I was a little shocked to see him in that condition. I wasn’t really sure on what to make of it but my mom told me that it was actually a birth defect called ADHD. When I went home, I looked it up and this was what I found.

ADHD is found in about 4% of the population in the US. Other symptoms include forgetfulness, poor impulse control and distractibility. Stimulation medicine such as medicine and psychotherapy is the most effective way to treat the disorder. Here are all the symptoms of ADHD in 2 categories.

Inattention:

    1. Failure to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes when doing schoolwork or other activities
    2. Trouble keeping attention focused during play or tasks
    3. Appearing not to listen when spoken to
    4. Failure to follow instructions or finish tasks
    5. Avoiding tasks that require a high amount of mental effort and organization, such as school projects
    6. Frequently losing items required to facilitate tasks or activities, such as school supplies
    7. Excessive distractibility
    8. Forgetfulness
    9. Procrastination, inability to begin an activity
    10. Difficulties with household activities (cleaning, paying bills, etc.)
    11. Difficulty falling asleep, may be due to too many thoughts at night
    12. Frequent emotional outbursts
    13. Easily frustrated
    14. Easily distracted

Hyperactivity-impulsive behavior

    1. Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat
    2. Leaving seat often, even when inappropriate
    3. Running or climbing at inappropriate times
    4. Difficulty in quiet play
    5. Frequently feeling restless
    6. Excessive speech
    7. Answering a question before the speaker has finished
    8. Failure to await one’s turn
    9. Interrupting the activities of others at inappropriate times
    10. Impulsive spending, leading to financial difficulties

If a person has experienced any 6 of the listed symptoms above, the diagnosis is then considered positive. Thank God, I only have 4 of the 14 listed in Inattention. During my days in university, I always sleep in class. I also get distracted easily when I am doing work halfway. Like blogging, somewhere in between reading related articles, I’ll wander to read news on my favourite football team. Man, I can’t concentrate on work when the music is on. Even soft jazz will distract me. I used to procrastinate a lot, catching up on tutorials and projects when deadlines and exams are just around the corner.

But hey, looking in a positive way, a ADHD person actually has an abundance of attention. It’s just hard to focus on one thing. If it’s meaningless, then it’s pointless to do it. Anne Underwood says while the A students are learning the details of photosynthesis, the ADHD kids are staring out the window and pondering if it still works on a cloudy day. That’s actually out of the box thinking.

David Neeleman, CEO of low cost JetBlue Airways calls ADHD one of his greatest assets. The airline e-ticketing system was first used by him! What a smart guy. History legends Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were also ADHD positive. If you have ADHD, make it your asset. I have 4 traits of it but I will still try to ROCK the world! =)

The Gift of ADHD
Looking at the upside of a disorder

Fruits – Apricots

Apricot is native to China and was later spread to Europe and the world over. It is also called a stone fruit because of the seed in the middle that looks like a stone. Here are the major solutions and enrichment that apricots provide to our body.

Beta-carotene

Three small apricots contains more than 50% of the recommended daily intake of beta-carotene, which is a type of anti-oxidant that protects the skin against oxygen free radicals. It helps:

  • prevent build up of plaque deposits in the arteries
  • protect the eyes from sun damage
  • deactivate free radicals to decelerate the aging process
  • reduce the risk of cancer

Vitamin A

This happens when our body naturally converts beta-carotene to Vitamin A. It retains

  • good vision
  • lubrication in the eyes (good stuff for contact lens wearers)

Iron

The apricot also contains significant levels of iron which helps hemoglobin (oxygen carrying pigment in red blood cells) growth. It reduces risk of health problems like

  • anemia
  • pale skin
  • undernourished hair

Laetrile

is an extract of apricot seeds that has been unofficially used to treat cancer and ulcers since year 502.

Cellulose and Pectin

cellulose is a type of insoluble fiber and pectin is a natural gelling agent which helps bowel movements and retaining water. Greatly beneficial for constipation.

Well, I don’t usually eat raw apricots. The only times I apricots that I eat are dried apricots and bread with a layer of apricot jam.