Do you eat more when you are dining in large group? I don’t. In fact I feel awkward when I have to dine in large group or communal gathering even though I already know everybody else there.

Somehow I don’t feel like eating much food when I am in social gathering or some sort. However that's not the case with majority of children according to this research. Children who eat in large group consume 30% more than those who eat in small group.

For most of my friends, I see that they tend to eat faster and much more when they are dining with a group.

According the researchers, the cause of this behavior is the stimulant provided by the sight and sound of others who are engaged in the same activity (eating and talking). Somehow it overrides the satiety signal.

According to their observation, those who eat in large group tend to eat 30% more food, eat faster and don’t pay too much attention to what they eat.

So it’s advisable for children who eat too little to dine more with family and friends to encourage more consumption. While for those who eat too much, it’s advisable to avoid food court and fast food restaurant where the ambient may trigger them to eat more. How about you?

Research from Medical News - Web MD.

Wearing pedometer can help you to lose more weight and improve your physical fitness according to a research.

This small inexpensive device is mainly sold for $15 and can motivate those who are not so physically active to become more active.

The researchers evaluated studies covering 2767 patients who were not physically active. As a result, those who wear pedometer walked over 2100 more steps compared to those who didn’t.

I guess when you are wearing pedometer then you become motivated to walk more steps and see that little number adds up. This is especially true when you have goal such as walking 10,000 steps everyday.

"Much to my surprise, these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about 1 mile of walking per day." (ref: Medical News)

While 2100 more steps or one more mile may not seem to be a significant improvement, it equals to 27% increase of physical activity according to the researchers. It’s amazing how simple idea can beef up your exercise and your health. Go wear one and aim to walk specific number of steps today!

Research Abstract
Image from: Omron HJ-112 Pedometer - Amazon

It’s amazing how simple idea can actually becomes the solution of our problem. And it’s even more amazing to see the inventors profit so much just by mass producing simple idea to solve our problem. Portion control plays an important role in our dieting, and many people have problem in applying it. A UK based company decided to monetize on that fact and created simple plate with marked area for different food.

According to a study quoted by BBC, diabetics who used this marked diet plate lost more than 1.75% of their body weight compared to 0.05% (who relied on will power alone).

Sounds like a good product, but there’s one catch. It is expensive. Priced at $30, I think that’s way too expensive for plate.

But you can look it from another point of view too, people have spent A LOT OF money on various dieting products and plans that $30 seems to be insignificant. In fact I like the idea of this marked diet plate better than any drugs or expensive diet food.

Via That's Fit.

Update: Another competitor has sold similar plate for cheaper price here.

Happy Thanksgiving for those who are celebrating. While there's nothing stopping from overindulging yourself, remember that Thanksgiving doesn't last all season. Rome wasn't built in a day, your diet won't be devastated in a day either. But if you end up indulging on the left over for the next 7 days then chance is you will gain a lot of weight.

Enjoy yourself and celebrate it properly. Just remember to get back on track tomorrow. Remember you still have Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year (for those who celebrate it), so there are more feasts coming ahead.

For Thanksgiving link love:

Dinner on calorie budget
Turkey Trivia
Thanksgiving Prayer
5 Easy Ways to Enjoy Thanksgiving
Move Move! on Thanksgiving

I was tagged by Shern’s Mom to share few health tips and give my thoughts on the existing tips. I was supposed to only bold the tips that I agree with and add few more pointers but I couldn’t help commenting on the existing tips on the tags.

Here are the existing health tips by previous tags particpants (I am supposed to copy the whole thing):

Copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (check out especially the * starred ones.) Share one of your own health tip (tip on how to be more healthy) with others. Try to make your tip short but informative. Tag at least 2 person.
My response is written in italic below each of the points.

1. Be happy - Everyday health and beauty

2. Be contented with what God Bless us – chanelwong
I guess if becoming human with no ambition makes you healthy then so be it.

3. Be faithful – Ruth
While I have nothing against being faithful, I just don’t see how it can help your health if you don’t do something about it anyway.

4. Laugh a lot – Chinnee
Laughing is a good practice to reduce stress, just make sure there’s something to laugh about.

5. Take time out for rest and relaxation – Kiasumum *

6. A real work out for sweating - Dora *

7. Don't worry, worryin is like a rockin chair, it gives you somethin to do, but it gets you nowhere. - shern's mom *
Agree. Better wording is, worrying won’t solve any problem so you need to take action thus solving the problem and making your life somehow a little less stressful.

Now it’s my turn:

8. Do your household chores. Doing household chores is a great (although not fun) way to burn additional calories and making your house a little more inhabitable.

9. Can’t stop snacking? Next time eat the snack from the plate instead of the bag.

10. Have enough sleep. It’s vital for your body and health in general. In fact people who sleep less than 4 hours at night are 74% more prone to obesity in the long run (ref).

11. Get a dose of early morning sun daily. It warms you up and it’s great for your skin and body.

12. Sushi is godly.

I am tagging Curry Egg and LifeLongSharing for these tags. Copy the entire list, endorse the one that you like and add some pieces of your thought.

A Welsh woman is banned from entering New Zealand to join her husband who has been hired there. Rowan Trevize’s visa had been denied because the government deemed her as too fat. Her husband has already left to New Zealand after struggling to lose two inches through crash diet in order to meet the requirement.

“When the couple first tried to gain entry to the country they were told that they were both overweight and were a potential burden on the health care system. Reference

If Rowan still can’t lose weight in December, her husband has already stated that he would abandon the idea of moving to New Zealand and would come back to Wales.

New Zealand officials uses BMI to assess people weight require that immigrants should not be burden for the country’s health care. I completely agree with New Zealand’s policy on this issue, what’s the point of letting migrants enter when they can become potential burden for health care.

Another issue is the usage of BMI as measurement tool. Muscular people with high BMI can potentially fall into the ‘overweight’ category due to high muscular mass. Of course some would say that she should be allowed to enter with the consequence of not receiving any health care and insurance.

What do you think about such policy? Do you think she should be allowed to enter?

1. Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates refer to grain based foods where machinery has been used to remove the bran and the germ of the grain.

Examples of these foods are white rice, white bread, noodles and pasta. These foods cause our insulin production to increase and crash our blood sugar. When blood sugar crashes, we’ll crave for more food later on.

2. Boring Food

Often when we have eaten a LARGE meal which consists of just a type of food, we find that we still have place left for ice cream and a little dessert.

This is because our body and mind still craves for sweet. Rather than over eating the dessert, try to have more variety in the meals.

Prepare a small plate of fruit beforehand and eat it during your dinner, if you really need to have dessert, prepare a sensible portion of it beforehand. I find that I tend to eat more dessert if I don't prepare it beforehand.

3. Heat

When temperature drops low, our body sends a signal to our brain that we need to eat in order to increase our body temperature. The colder it is, the more that you want to eat. That’s why a lot of people gain weight during winter, coupled with holiday and a couple of festive dinners, weight can rise significantly during this period.

4. Perception

We often associate bigger plate with more food. Unconsciously we would eat more food if we were given bigger plate to start with. In fact, we also eat more when we eat snack directly from the package, regardless the size of the package. Read about the perception factors here.

5. Suppressed Craving

When you try to banish food that you crave, you will end up eating more of it in the future. At least that’s what a study quoted by BBC suggested. This rebound effect is also imminent in smokers too. The lesson, don’t banish it completely but eat it in controlled portion.

Holiday season is coming and it’s time for the wacky soda company, Jones Soda Co, to release their holiday pack. Last Christmas they have showcased fine arrays of soda products such as green pea, gravy, and potato soda.

This Christmas their flagship products will be ham, Christmas tree and sugar plum soda. For Hanukkah, dough nut flavored soda seems to be their flagship product.

While it does sound disgusting, out of curiosity I badly want to try ham flavored soda.

There’s even one more flavor that fickle my curiosity, according to CNN they have released dirt flavored soda in the past. Can’t seem to find it in their website though. What about you? Do you think you’ll dare to drink one?

Struggling to do your household chores? Are you lazy to vacuum your house on regular basis?

Try doing your daily household chores diligently and you can burn around 50.261 calories in a year.

In a study involving 3000 respondents, researchers found that people walk more than 22 miles in a year while they are cleaning their houses. In addition, the researchers also concluded that domestic household chores such as vacuuming and ironing translate into 6800 calories burned in a year.

“Keeping the house tidy annually burns the same number of calories found in 603 glasses of wine, 192 bars of chocolate, 369 cans of fizzy drink, 146 cheeseburgers or 394 packs of crisps.” Ref

Although one can’t expect to lose weight simply by doing household chores, a little more movement and extra calories burned can’t hurt either. Here’s a list of household chores which burn the most calories from DailyMail. Don’t ask me how laundry can burn freaking 9000 calories in a year (when all you need to do is to press a button and wait).

Over a year domestic chores were found to provide the same amount of exercise as spending 57 hours running at 8.5 miles an hour. That's about one hour running per week.

pumpkin pieThanksgiving can be a nightmare for those who are in calorie budget. It’s often touted as the most fattening day in the year beside New Year. Since Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, here are few tips to help dieters enjoy their Thanksgiving without overindulging themselves.

1. Limit your alcohol intake.
Alcohol calories can add up really fast. Not to mention that many drinks are high in calories. Limit your alcohol intake and stay sober.

2. No Finger Food
Many appetizers are high in calories. Keep in mind that you will be consuming a lot of calories in your main course. It’s harder to limit your portion on appetizer compared to on main course. It’s hard not to grab another appetizer if you have just had your first bite. Exceptions: seafood and vegetables.

3. Don’t starve yourself beforehand
Many people already reckon that since they will be overeating during the party, it’s better to starve themselves prior to the party so that their calories intake won’t soar to the roof. The fact is, if you are starved it’s hard not to have a second or triple helping on anything. Eat a normal breakfast and don’t arrive at the
celebration in starvation.

4. Don’t set yourself an impossible goal
Come to the celebration with the right mindset. It’s a holiday - change your mentality from weight loss to sensible eating.

5. Be selective
There will be plenty of delicious dishes on the table so take a look first on the choices and decide which one and how much that you want to eat beforehand. Prioritize seasonal dishes over everyday dishes.

6. Eat slowly
Take your time and allow your stomach to send signal to your brain whether you are full or not. Eat slowly and savor the food.

7. Portion Sizing
MSNBC has published a guide on how your plate should look like. A serving of turkey no larger than a deck of playing cards and half a cup each of two starches. (A half-cup is about the size of a computer mouse.)

Thinking of reaching water after your workout session? Hang on, recent research has just unveiled that beer is actually better than water in replenishing your body following a workout session.

The researcher from Granada University, Spain claimed that the bubbles in beer help quenching the thirst while the carbohydrate can quickly replace lost calories.

Participants were asked to run on treadmill in a hot condition (temperature 40 C) until they were exhausted. The he divided the participants into two groups; the first group was given water while the second group was given beer. The researcher concluded that beer is slightly better than water in rehydrating.

This fact is hard to believe and even harder to practice for me.

First of all if you are maintaining or trying to lose your weight, why waste hours and hours in the gym if you are going to recoup half of the calories your burn by drinking beer immediately?

Second, beer wouldn’t taste very nice on my mouth if I have just exercised for hours and feeling thirsty. Heck drinking beer often makes me thirstier. As a matter of replenishing, there are plenty of electrolytes drinks which taste better than beer after a workout.

Last, I can't tolerate beer on empty stomach. After a workout, chance is my stomach will be empty. Drinking beer on empty stomach will only make it goes straight to my blood. I get nasty stomachache either if I drink beer on empty stomach.

What do you think? Will you consume beer after your workout?

Via Orlando Sentinel Blog.

Related video: Watch the Beer Diet Guide!

Rather than buying cheap plastic lousy diet fork, here’s a cutlery that has dual purpose. Of course what it remains speculative on what we should do with this cutlery.

I guess it can enhance your masculinity, wrench = man, eat food with wrench = uber manly, right? Another use would be as a diet tool. Simply just eat with the tool end and you’ll eat way much slower, harder thus lesser. And of course you won’t chuck it away since it costs $24 each. You will need to pay almost $100 for four pieces of this wrench-cutlery.

Via ToolMonger - by Wrenchware

It’s no secret that fruit is good to your health, but not all fruits are created equal. Some fruits are high in extra sugar content that you probably don’t need. Sugar content is measured by glycemic index (GI), generally everything under 55 is considered low in GI. Fruits listed here will have GI value less than 45. Here are my top 6 favorite fruits which are low in sugar content and taste delicious also (in no particular order).

1. Avocado

Glycemic index is less than 15. This green, meaty fruit is loaded with oleic acid which has the ability to lower cholesterol.

On top of that, avocado is heart healthy. It’s loaded with folate, an important nutrient to your health. You can literally mix avocado with anything, slice it, dice it, puree it and mix it with your salad, steak or simply make a delicious refreshing avocado juice.

2. Tomato

Glycemic index is less than 15. Lycopene in tomato is a cancer busting anti-oxidant. 100 gram of tomato contains 18 calories according to calorie counter. Similar to avocado, you can literally mix tomato with anything. My favorite is to make quick 5 minutes Gazpacho (cold tomato soup).

3. Grapefruit

Glycemic index is 25. This sour and tangy heaven is rich in vitamin C and lycopene. 100 gram of this pink fruit contains approximately 32 calories.
Other than squeezing the fruit for the juice or topping it with sugar (try low calorie sugar substitute), you can also use the grapefruit to ceviche fish (sprinkling it on fish).

4. Plum

Glycemic index is 24. Plum is rich in phenols, antioxidant substance which protect your cell. Other than that, plum is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Even the dried plum, prune, still yields similar antioxidant and tastes excellent too. Beware of additional sugar content when purchasing packaged prune. 100 gram of fresh plum contains approximately 46 calories.

5. Apples

Glycemic index is 35. This is a great fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Apple is an excellent source of fiber, in fact one small apple is estimated to contain 2.5 g of fiber, approximately 10% of our daily recommended fiber intake. Apple juice is also one of the most refreshing and versatile drink that I ever had. Add diced apple to your salad or just take one for snack daily.

6. Cherry

Glycemic index is 22. One cup of cherry contains 74 calories. What I love about this fruit is its sweet but elegant scent.

On top of that, cherry has nice color; you can literally garnish most dishes and drinks with cherry. Be wary of dried cherry since it is often loaded with additional coloring and sugar.

A tin of sardine flavored pet food doesn't sound appealing to us, human. But it turns out that pet food isn't only good for your pet's health but also to yours as well, research suggested.

In a test conducted to measure fat, salt and sugar level in 30 human meals versus 15 brands of pet food, pet food scored better in term of healthiness compared to fast food.

Nutrition experts discovered that Gourmet Gold cat food has just 2.9g of fat per 100g ? a mouth-watering EIGHT TIMES less than the percentage found in pieces of KFC. The level of fat was also far lower than a McDonald’s Big Mac and a Pizza Hut meal. (ref)

Gourmet Cat food

Fat: 2.9g
Salt: 0.4g
Sugar: 0.4g
Protein: 7.7g
Fiber: 0.4g

KFC two chicken pieces & fries

Fat: 12g
Salt: 0.7g
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 12.2g
Fiber: n/a

Cesar dog food

Fat: 4.4g
Salt: 0.4
Sugar: 0.5g
Protein: 10.9g
Fiber: 0.7g

If pets have the same lifespan as human, would they live longer and healthier than us? But life as pet got to be boring, imagine eating the same food for the rest of your life. Perhaps that's the reason pets die at 10 - 15 years, out of boredom.

Rate dog pictures here.

Do you have a soft spot for certain food? If so, perhaps your gene is the one to blame according to researchers. The researchers at Kings College found a similar eating pattern between twins.

The research itself only analyzed twin as case study, but using the research result, the researchers pointed that genetics play a great part in determining preferred foods. This conclusion challenged the belief that our food preference is formed by our neighborhood. Furthermore, the researchers pinned that 41% - 48% of our food preference is influenced by gene.

The findings, and other similar research, pointed to genetics playing a "moderate" part in the development of preferred foods. She said that it was possible that genes involved with taste, or the "reward" chemicals released by the body in response to certain foods, might play a role. People have always made the assumption that food choices are all due to environmental factors during life, but it now seems this isn't the case. (ref)

While the researchers believe that environmental factors have little effect to food choices, I disagree. Educating children about healthy food can make significant impact in their food choices.

If they live in an environment where junk food is treated as daily staple, then they will grow up thinking the same. Environment still plays a great role regardless of the genetics. This research only means that greater efforts must be placed to influence one’s eating habit and improve self control.

Full story on BBC

edamame beanRecently I just got addicted to edamame. The reason was, I just found out that they actually cost very cheap if you know where to buy. Traditionally restaurant here has been selling a handful of edamame for $2 which was expensive for me.

I just found that I could get a bucket for just less than $1. On top of that, edamame tastes better than its soybean compatriots and loaded with tons of health benefit. For instance, edamame is good source of protein, fiber and mineral which actually tastes sweeter than other soybeans.

Here’s the nutritional information of 100g Edamame (from & HS):

Calories 125.0
Protein 12.1
Fiber 9
Carbohydrates 13.1
Fat 3.6
Calcium 9.3
Iron 2.7
Sodium 5.0
Vitamin A 130.0
Vitamin U1 0.31
Vitamin C 40.0

edamame soybeanAs you can see it’s packed in fiber (you need 4 slices of whole wheat bread to get the same amount of fiber). Adult needs 20 – 35 grams of fiber in a day, simply by snacking edamame can provide you with a boost in fiber.

Some researches suggested that edamame can ward of bad cholesterol and promote good cholesterol as well as reducing insulin resistance (for people with diabetes).Edamame have become a part of my daily snack now. I always have this as a companion snack whenever I am watching DVD or reading book.

To cook edamame into a delicious snack, you just need to boil it with salted water. Then let it cool for a while or just serve it when it’s piping hot. I also love adding edamame into my salad bowl or serve it with saut√©ed vegetables for a quick and delicious side dish.

I believe I’ve seen the worse when I saw caffeine infused pantyhose being marketed as weight loss solution until I saw this slimming soap. The sellers claim that this weight loss soap contains elixirs of various undersea plants (they don’t bother to tell us what various undersea plants are) and seaweed.

The marketers shamelessly plug this seaweed infused soap as magical weight loss soap by describing how seaweed can penetrate to your skin and wash away the fat. If this is true, I am sure I’ll be thin as a rake over a month since I often shower three times in a day during this hot weather.

I have nothing against seaweed at all. In fact, I understand that seaweed has many nutrients and minerals which are beneficial to our body. But if someone comes to me and tells that I can wash away the extra pounds just by applying the soap, well I’ll just regard with upmost skepticism.

This seaweed bar is priced at $7.95 here which is expensive, I’ll choose my ‘magicless’ soap anytime and use the money to buy real edible seaweed!

It’s easy enough to make money these days, just invent something and insert the word diet into the product and voila, your lousy product suddenly becomes premium product which you can sell at higher price.

Read more offbeat diet stories.

Squid Ink Rice

squid ink rice
Ink black is not an appealing color for rice. At least that’s what I thought when I saw this dish but upon taking a smell on the rice, I instantly fell in love with it. This fried rice was infused with squid ink to make it pitch black. The squid ink gave ‘sea tang’ aroma to the dish and instantly turned the boring fried rice into intriguing dish.

squid ink riceI’ve been digging around the net to find the recipe, but only managed to find the Italian style rice (risotto) instead of the Asian wok fried rice. My fellow diners refused to taste my black rice, apparently they said they have no idea whether squid ink is safe or not. Squid ink is definitely edible and it has been used for coloring in pasta and rice in Spain and Italy. It was their loss since the rice was completely wonderful. It’s quite salty even though the chef admitted that he only added a few pinches of salt.

Squid ink is sold in the fish market and if you don’t have it there, try buying the ink for $0.72 in Amazon. I’d love to get my hand on squid ink fetuccini or spaghetti.

Taking a breather during your workout may be the thing you need to boost fat burning. Research has found that individuals who took 20 minutes break in 60 minutes of exercise experienced higher fat loss compared to other those who exercised continuously for 60 minutes.

The researchers asked seven healthy men to perform three separate trials. In the first trial, the men were asked to exercise continuously for 60 minutes. In the second trial, they were asked to rest for 20 minutes after exercising for 30 minutes with one hour recovery period. The men were asked to rest for 60 minutes on the third trial.

The researchers found that taking 20 minute breather during the exercise helped increase fat burning mechanism. Glycerol concentration (chemical which is released when body burns your stored fat) also increased significantly during last 15 minutes of exercise. In addition to it, the respondents also experienced greater fat breakdown in the recovery period.

Similar research has been done in the past by UNSW. Women who cycled vigorously for 8 seconds followed by 12 seconds light cycling burned more fat compared to women who cycled at regular pace for prolonged amount of time.

Read more about the research here.

People do stereotype others based on what they eat according to this psychology research by University of Toronto. If you happen to be eating fast food, people will stereotype you as less intelligent, less health conscious but also as easy going, fun and more sociable.

Healthy eaters are perceived otherwise as being more intelligent, more responsible but also less humorous and boring. In addition to that, the study also analyzed what makes women more feminine and what makes men more masculine.

In addition of being perceived as fun and sociable, healthy eaters are stereotyped to be more honest than their Big Mac munching counterparts according to this research as published by

“Another experiment found respondents thought a woman who ate a chicken sandwich and salad for lunch would be less likely to cheat at school than one who ate a burger and fries. However, respondents said they would rather socialize with the burger eater” ref

The study also found that women are stereotyped to be more feminine when they eat small portions. That’s why women who are eating with ‘desirable’ male often end up eating much smaller portion than usual.

It’s easy enough for women to be more feminine, just eat less and choose healthy foods and you will become more feminine. On the contrary, men who eat larger and unhealthy meals are often stereotyped as masculine.

The stereotype image which I have in mind is similar to this research. I perceived men who eat in small portion and picky about their food as ‘less manly’. Unconsciously I also eat smaller portion when I am dining with ‘desirable male’.

What about you? Do you have the same stereotype?

Working out during work hours may seem like a wishful thinking. That’s why some Japanese inventors created this stupid fitness phone. Unlike technologically advanced (but aesthetically backward) health conscious phone, the inventors decided that attaching a dumbbell into the phone would work.

Who cares if it would make you appear like a dumb person, as long as you can workout in your office cubicle. Attach this dumbbell phone and hang up your phone for every one minute for maximum result. That will give you more chance to lift the dumbbell phone repeatedly. Of course you will look silly and probably annoy hell a lot of people, but anything for that sexy biceps.

From SmackShopping

If you are in for a laugh, there’s a whole more useless products that you can see here.

Read more offbeat weight loss gadget and story.

Additional Note: This product is a part of chindogu. It is a Japanese art of invention in inventing everyday’s gadget which is not entirely useless but most of the time it’s plain stupid. One of the key factors that makes stupid product a chindogu is, the product needs to be real and exist (apparently it also needs to be useless and plain stupid).

Smokers beware. In addition to lung cancer, it appears that cigarette smoking alters your food taste sensitivity sensor and causes you to crave for starchy food.

A research done by Monell Chemical Senses Center found that women smokers were less sensitive to sweet taste compared to non smokers. Additionally, the researchers concluded that cigarette smoking caused smokers to crave for high fat and starchy foods. The more they smoke, the more they crave.

"We found that food cravings were associated with nicotine dependence ... the more intense the cravings for cigarettes, the more frequent the cravings for foods high in fat and carbohydrates"(ref)

The researchers studied two groups of women, smokers and never-smoker. Some of the participants had a family history of alcoholism.

The research finding stated nicotine dependence and craving was related. The more cigarettes you crave the more high fat and high starchy foods that you crave. In addition to craving, sensory buds on smokers were proven to be duller. Whether this is a good thing or bad thing in relation with weight gain, the researchers didn’t clearly state. Well, I guess if you have difficulty in recognizing sweet taste, then you would need to eat really strong sweet stuffs in order to satisfy your sweet teeth.

In regard of alcoholism history, those with family alcoholism history (both smokers and never smokers) craved more sweet foods and had stronger preference over sweet foods compared to those with no family alcoholism history.

Another reason to quit smoking?

Read the research detail here, news via Yahoo.

Men’s Health has gathered a list of the dirtiest food. Some of the results are no brainer, while some of them are surprising.

9. Oyster
I have never missed eating oyster every time I visit an international seafood restaurant. Raw oysters taste great and they are addictive (and pricey!). Apparently raw oysters are often contaminated with norovirus and bacteria. Cheaper but similar alternative for me is to eat escargot (not sea food but at least it has shell).

8. Cold ham
It’s not the meat which is dirty, it’s the slicer. Ham slicer is often infected with listeria and the bacteria can still grow even though the ham is stored on refrigerator. The article suggested us to move the ham into another package and buy a week stock only.

7. Packaged Salad
They are often contaminated with E Coli according to the magazine. Never mind, they never sell any pre packaged salad here. And fresh salad tastes much nicer I believe.

6. Peach
Ouch, so peach is considered the dirtiest food. They taste nice and they are very expensive here since it has to be shipped from the other half of the globe. It’s considered dangerous since many producers use a lot of chemicals to clear the peach from blemish.

cantaloupe melon5. Cantaloupe Melon
Do you wash the cantaloupe’s skin before you eat it? I don’t. I don’t eat the skin therefore I just slice it directly. According to the magazine my habit makes cantaloupe become one of the dirtiest food. Cantaloupe skin is often infested with bacteria, and if you cut directly to the center then the bacteria will be transferred into the rind also. Be sure to wash the fruit with soapy water before you consume it.

4. Chicken
40% of the chicken sample they tested is loaded with E Coli. Well improperly cooked chicken is also a serious hazard here due to the bird flu outbreak recently.

3. Ground beef and ground turkey
Heavy processing makes ground beef an ideal spot for E Coli. One from four samples of Ground Turkey also contains bacteria according to the magazine. Make sure you cook them properly.

2. Egg
Raw egg is associated with 600,000 cases of food poisoning each year and more than 300 deaths according to the magazine. Raw egg is a major ingredient of popular local drink here. It is composed of milk, ginger, honey and raw egg. Many bodybuilders and athletes are also big fans of raw egg. Be sure to cook egg properly before you consume it.

1. Spring Onion
Uncooked spring onion is the perfect place for bacteria breeding according to the magazine; this nifty onion is also linked with Hepatitis A. This onion is often served raw with spring roll here. Spring onions are also widely used in soup but the thing is, they usually stay in top and not properly cooked.

Via Netscape

Eating and exercising have always been closely linked. There are many questions which arose from this topic such as how long do you have to wait after a meal prior a workout session or how soon should you eat after a workout session? What types of food that we should eat after exercise? Does exercise trigger hunger and increase food consumption?

Eating before exercise:

Eating before exercising is important as it will give your body the needed fuel to do your workout session. But you should pay attention to the type of food, the amount of time needed to digest the food and the type of exercise that you will be doing.

What food?

Food which is high in fat will stay longer in your stomach. It can make your stomach uncomfortable during the exercise (cramping). Carbohydrate on the other hand provides instant energy to your body. Complex carbohydrates such as banana, whole grain bread, pasta and oatmeal can boost your energy level. Study published in Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (quoted from MSNBC) even encourages caffeine consumption to enhance your work out.

How long do you have to wait?

While it varies from person to person, GoAskAlice has written a neat general guideline about this.

Less than 1 hour for 200 calories meal or lower
1 – 2 hours for liquid meal
2- 3 hours for 400 calories meal
3 – 4 hours for meals over 500 calories

Type of exercise:

The type of exercise that you will be doing also plays an important role. If you are going to do a light exercise such as brisk walking then you can getaway by eating soon before your workout time. If you are going to do intense exercise then wait longer.

During the exercise:

If your workout is a long and tiring one, eating a piece of fruit or drinking isotonic drink during the exercise can boost your energy temporarily. However, even water is usually adequate in keeping your body replenished. Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you drink since thirst may be a sign for dehydration. If you are sweating lot then compensate by drinking water. Don’t just rely on thirst.

After the exercise:

Some people have reported that exercise make them feel hungry that they want to eat even more food thus negating the effect of exercising. While this is true, people who exercise still end up with negative calorie balance. A study quoted by BBC examined two groups of people and gave them the same breakfast.

The first group was asked to exercise for half an hour while the second group did nothing. Then few hours later both groups were asked to dine.

The group who exercised consumed more calories than the group who sat idly but when the calories burned from exercising was taken into account, the group who exercised still ended up with negative calories balance.

Ideally you should eat within 1 hour or 2 hours after your workout; this is when your body absorbs the nutrients most efficiently and muscles absorb nutrients to recover. Protein and carbs are commonly consumed after workout. For weight loss purpose, try to lower your carbs intake but don't banish it completely as it's also important for our body.

Monster Sized Soda

Many fast food companies are making a big hit by offering jumbo sized beverages which sell pretty well.

Have we become thirstier than before? Are we accustomed to 'supersize' our drinks so that we get more value for our money? Fast food companies such as McDonalds and Burger King are selling 42 ounces beverages which contain more than 1 liter of soft drink in a glass.

I can’t imagine finishing it in a day, let alone in one meal. Here are some of the ‘hugest’ sized drinks available out there for you who want to gulp tons of calories without eating any food:

1. Hugo Soda

McDonald’s is kicking this item with a sweet deal that most people didn’t want to miss. This 42 ounces drink was available at $0.89 per glass on summer (no idea whether you can still get this at the same price). That’s a steal! This giant contains 410 calories and that’s not including all the meals and fries that people are having with this drink. I was very astonished at this fact, since the biggest cola served here at McD is ‘just’ 400ml which is just one third from the Hugo sized one.

2. Venti sized Starbucks

This big caffeine powerhouse contains 760ml of coffee which is around 300ml lesser than the grande version. And it’s more than just a caffeine powerhouse; it’s also a calorie powerhouse. Peppermint Mocha Venti with whipped cream can hold as much as 800 calories! (CC) (image from Seed of Growth).

3. 7-Eleven 64 ounces soda

This 64 ounces giant is equal to 1.9 liters! Personally I found this fact is shocking. The biggest soda here is only 1.4 liters ($2) and it will last for more than a week since it comes in resealable package. This behemoth is priced around $1.8 which is very cheap in my opinion.

That’s not all though, refill will cost you measly $1. Not surprisingly, they contain almost twice calories compared to the 42 ounces cup. This behemoth piece has already been sold for more than a decade.

celebrities weighing scaleNumbers can be discouraging. Especially when the number on your weight scale shows that you ate too much during the weekend. That’s why some offbeat folks decided that the world needs a revolutionary weighing scale that doesn’t display number as weighing measure.

Celebrity Weighing Scale compares your weight to famous figures in humankind such as Baby Jesus, Hulk Hogan, Karate Kid, Chuck Norris and many more.

While it still hurts if it shows that you have identical weight with King Kong, at least you can brag to your friends that you have identical weight to world’s richest ape.

That’s not all though, the inventor of this weight scale also invents another version of this weighing scale which uses animal as weight measurement tool.

animal weighing scaleThe animal scale uses various animals such as duck, pig, armadillo, bear and many more. While it also hurts if it shows that your weight is comparable to cow at least it’s a little bit more comforting to see animal picture rather than reading the word King Kong.

These scales are sold by Angry Associates for €35 plus shipping. We’ll let it up to you to choose between animals and celebrities, at least they are less of an insult than number!

Buy the weighing scale at Angry Associates.
Via Gizmodo by way of Diet Blog

More offbeat diet stories

Do you prefer death over exercising? If you do, you are not alone. A survey done by British Heart Foundation has found that six out of ten people in UK would prefer a short life full of beer and happiness instead of a longer life full of exercises and healthy food.

These people know that they are not going to live forever and they plan to get the most out of their life. Sadly, the survey also found that only one third from UK adults do moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day.

The ever demanding career environment has literally stolen plenty of times for exercising. Combined with the availability of fast food chains and sedentary lifestyle, the effect is deadly.

These 6 out of 10 people know that they will be very miserable if they have to live a healthy life far from many things that they love, so they prefer to ‘live life to the fullest’. Sadly most often they die early.

While the word ‘exercise’ is associated with a long strenuous workout at gym, surprisingly it takes much less than that to make your life last longer. Dr. Mike Knapton, director from British Heart Foundation, has said to Daily Mail that even simple activity such as 30 minutes brisk walking, few stairs climbing and house cleaning are already enough to keep our heart in shape.

Surprisingly it’s not as much as I have ever imagined. Sure for some people 30 minutes a day may be hard to squeeze, but surely it’s not impossible. As for myself, I want to live my life to the fullest in my own way.

Sure I may be having much less ‘fun food and drink’ but at least I’ll be happy since I know I am doing something which I want to do. What are your thoughts? Is it hard for you to start a healthier lifestyle and squeeze a little more room for moderate activities?

More on this: The Observer

In an essence, weight loss is simple. In order to experience healthy weight loss, you need to maximize your calories output while reducing your calories input in healthy manner. However, things seldom go as planned, there are a lot of things that can cause your diet to crash, from simple thing such as lacking willpower to utterly complex thing such as hidden calories. Here are five habits which may disrupt or fail your diet over time:

1. Not having well stocked pantry

One of the healthiest meals that you can have is the one that you cook yourself. Even if it's a simple salad, you won't be able to cook one if you don't have the necessary basic ingredients. Our pantry often becomes the deciding factor whether we will bother to cook the meals ourselves or to dine outside. Here is a list of basic ingredients that you should have in your pantry.

2. Not having enough sleep

Having enough rest and sleep should your top priority whether you are in weight loss diet or not. A research suggested that person who sleep less than 4 hours is 73% more obese than those who sleeps between 7 to 9 hours. On top of that, sleep can also relieve your body tension and stress. In order to have a quality life, having enough rest is essential.

3. Weighing yourself everyday

Set up a weekly goal rather than a daily goal. Weighing yourself everyday will only make you more and more anxious since our body weight is fluctuating according to many factors. Do yourself a favor and weigh yourself weekly or biweekly.

4. Not having a meal plan

While having a meal plan doesn't sound like a happy plan, you should really write your own daily meal plan if you are serious about losing weight. Measure and plan what you will eat throughout the week. Your meal plan should be feasible and easy enough to get so that there's a less chance that you will violate it. A good meal plan will also take into account unexpected meals. Try to make room for unexpected meals that you will have at restaurant and how you will cope with it.

5. Thinking everything will go as planned

In fact it rarely goes as planned. You will need to prepare for these and set up a reasonable and feasible long term goal for yourself. More importantly, you should take time and find out why you want to do this diet. Focus and remember your purpose and don't be dismayed if things don't go as well as planned.

Drinking water won’t have any effect in curbing your appetite, a research from Penn State unveiled. Sure, your body needs water in order to perform its metabolism but you won’t get skinny by water, the research suggested.

24 lean women were asked to participate in this research and were asked to spend one day per week for four weeks. The researchers analyzed the effects of these three types of meals to these women. The meals were chicken rice casserole, chicken soup and chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water.

The research result suggested that drinking water didn’t have any significant effect on calories intake while consuming dish with high water content did lower calories intake. Women who ate the chicken soup consumed 100 fewer calories compared to women who ate chicken casserole or chicken casserole with a glass of water.

Although water doesn’t really trim the fat down, but you should still consume a large number of it. In fact, my grandmother always forced me to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. During her childhood, medicine was scarce and when she got sick, she was forced to drink a lot of water so that she could heal faster.

But you should be wary of your water intake. Soda and even concentrated juices are packed with additional calories and sugar which may make you even thirstier. As a result you may drink more than you ought to thus packing more additional calories. Plain water is definitely the most ideal choice out there for your fluid intake. The trick of getting the habit of drinking water is to get used to it. Always bring bottled water and consume it whenever you feel thirsty.

Alternatively, if you believe about anything and don't mind spending a lot of money for fabled products, you can try this bottled diet water which promises you a trimmer waist line just by drinking. Of course it comes with a hefty price tag.

Related research: Puffy cereal makes you fuller.

It always amazes me on how people (especially celebrities) are willing to walk off the beaten path to embark on a quirky diet. Many celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are wolfing on jars and jars of baby food as a resort to maintain their figure!

The idea of baby food diet is to replace a part of your daily meals with baby food. Imagine having to choose between liquidized beef and the real thing, I’ll choose the real thing anytime. Followers of this diet may also replace their snacks with baby food to fend off unhealthy snacking habit.

Isn’t baby food supposed to make baby gain weight and become tougher? It’s often high in protein and carbs therefore it can even put on some weight upon the dieter if consumed excessively. Not to mention that babies and adults have different calories requirement. Adults may have to consume a few jars in order to feel satiated.

And this idea is just bizarre, I just can’t figure out why adult can stand to eat baby food every single day. For me the concoction looks and smells yucky (okay I can possibly stand on the fruit jar but not on the beef jar). I also begin to ponder, what’s the purpose of having teeth if you don’t use it for chewing?

Style guru, Mark Hayes, shared his example of a baby food diet plan on this website:

Breakfast: Porridge pudding or mashed banana.
Snack: Water or juice
Lunch: Chicken country vegetables or other fish jar.
Dinner: Liquidised chicken and potato.
Drank 2 litres of water a day.

An advised normal diet to aid weight-loss:

Breakfast: Porridge with banana
Snack: Protein shake
Lunch: Salad and sandwich with wholemeal bread
Dinner: Thai green curry with brown rice
Has six small meals a day

Some people may think that they aren’t that bad but then they must be missing the feeling of chewing food at the end of the day. Eating them occasionally is one thing but eating them as a routine is way too overboard for me. Well, good luck to Aniston and other people who do this baby food fad I am not jumping to the bandwagon. What about you? Do you enjoy eating baby food?

Have you ever had a situation where you have a obese friend who doesn’t really care about her weight, let alone her health? You want to tell her that she needs to really start taking care of her health unless she plans to have heart attack, but you just can’t find the way to tell it without hurting her feeling.

Or perhaps are you the type of person who knows that you need to diet but are just too lazy to start it? The new chair invention by Japanese scientists may be just the thing you need.

What does a cute glowing chair has to do with weight loss you ask? Let’s say that this chair will assign you a color based on several factors including your weight.

The inventors described this chair as an ‘interactive’ chair. It can interact with various objects including people who sit on it and assign color accordingly.

"For example, imagine that a heavy person sat on the sofa. The sofa would change its colour from white to red, as if the blood pressure was rising high," says Kanaya.”

So if you want to tell your fat little friend that she needs to start eating healthily, then just invite her to sit together on this chair set and watch the color changes. Of course this chair won’t save you from having to explain why her chair is flashing in red color.

This chair will do well as your personal diet reminder. Since you will probably need to pay at least $3000 for this chair set, then you would actually love this chair so much that you will sit on it whenever you can.

And if you weight too much, the chair will continuously display a red color, then you will be pissed off since you just waste $3000 on a chair which is supposed to change color but just refuses to do so. Since you don’t want your $3000 to be wasted, then you will probably start working out in hope that the next time you sit on your $3000 chair, it will finally change color and finally makes your investment breaks even.

From Gizmodo, ABC and Inventor Spot.

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