Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 16, 2020

How Far Will You Go To Satisfy That Craving?

How Far Will You Go To Satisfy That Craving?

Obesity (defined by the World Health Organisation as having a BMI greater than 30), is highly related to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. In 2014, more than 2 in 3 adults in the US were considered to be overweight or have obesity. Our choice of food does not merely affect the joy and pleasures that we get from our tastebuds, but also affects our health and physical body in the long run.

After hearing about a lawsuit against McDonald’s from two girls, accusing the restaurant chain for contributing to their obesity, Morgan Spurlock decided to film a movie about his experience following a 30-day period, during which he ate only McDonalds. The documentary titled Supersize Me was nominated for the academy award, and six weeks after the film’s debut, McDonalds dropped their supersize portions, showing the influence of the film.

Advertising

Advertising

    Spurlock started his experiment eating a McDonalds meal three times a day, consuming every item on the menu at least once. For every day, Spurlock consumed an average of 5,000 kcal (equivalent to 9.26 Big Macs) during the 30-day period. The film documented radical effects on Spurlock’s well-being, physically and mentally.

    Advertising

    The ugly truth

    During the 30-day program, he consumed as many McDonalds meals as most nutritionists say the ordinary person should eat in 8 years, including 30 pounds of sugar and 12 pounds of fat within 30 days. The most startling part of the documentary was a school cafeteria scene showing how kids eat junk food when parents are not around, and school administrators pay no attention.

    The movie ends with the question “Who do you want to see go first, you or them?” Leaving room for viewers to reflect on their dietary habit and how it affects their body. This documentary is not exactly a storytelling, plot-twisting film, yet it is real and thought-provoking, when we see so many of us, who chose to live in a fast food nation, poisoning our own bodies, knowing perfectly well the effect fast food has.

    Watch Supersize Me in iTunes

    Advertising

    More by this author

    Brian Lee

    Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

    Dismissing Sadness Will End up Making You Sadder How To Protect Your Focus From Being “Robbed” By Notifications and Social Media Why We Say What We Won’t Do (but Still Say It Anyway) Don’t Wait for People to Praise You. Do It Yourself Every Single Day We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

    Trending in Diet & Nutrition

    1 How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week 2 13 Best Food To Eat For Weight Loss And Energy 3 7 Homemade Diet Foods That Are Good For Your Health 4 10 Best Low Calorie Foods That Help You Lose Weight Fast 5 20 Easy Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on January 14, 2021

    How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week

    How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan for the Week

    Meal plans are a great way to cut down waste, make shopping for food quicker and easier, and help you to stick to healthy choices. But where do you start? What makes a healthy meal plan for the week, and how do you know what to include?

    Firstly, there is no healthy meal plan that works for everyone. At different stages of your life, you will need different levels of nutrients, but there are some general principles that you can follow, and then adjust as necessary. Here’s how to create a healthy meal plan for the week.

    The Backbone of Your Healthy Meal Plan

    For the vast majority of adults, these practical tips should be the backbone of your meal plan:

    • A range of fruits and vegetables
    • Whole grain carbohydrates (brown rice, brown bread, millet, bulgar wheat, etc)
    • Fermented food such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut
    • Unsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, and nuts
    • Two portions of oily fish such as salmon per week (or nuts and seeds if you don’t eat fish)
    • A handful of nuts and seeds a day
    • Aim for 30g of fiber a day
    • Eat a range of beans and pulses (such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils)
    • Drink approximately 8 glasses of water a day[1]

    Calorie Counting

    A calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g water from 14.5 to 15.5°Celsius. This is calculated in a laboratory, by burning the food. However, the food is not “burnt” in our bodies, and people’s metabolism and energy expenditure vary, so it’s a very rough estimate.

    Advertising

    The absorption and, therefore, how much energy is available for you to use, is also affected by how the food is processed. An example of this is sweetcorn. If you grind it down into a powder and make a tortilla, you will absorb far more calories than if you eat whole sweetcorn kernels. Instead, you will see most of the kernels untouched, in the toilet!

    Another concern with calories is that instead of thinking about nutrient quality, it promotes prioritizing quantity. For example, there is a huge difference in the number of nutrients you could consume in 500 calories of fruit and vegetables, versus 500 calories of ice cream.

    Also the number of calories you need varies according to so many factors, such as age, gender, lifestyle, and activity level, that it is hard to accurately predict exactly how many you need. Instead, I prefer to recommend a general principle of how to balance your plate and a reminder to eat mindfully when you are physically hungry, not because of an emotional trigger.

    How to Balance Your Plate

    When thinking of your healthy meal plan, for each meal your plate should contain approximately:

    Advertising

    • Fruit and vegetables (1/2 plate)
    • Whole grains (1/4 plate)
    • Lean protein (1/4 plate)
    • A spoon of unsaturated oil

    This will help you when you think of each meal to work out what to include and approximate portion sizes.

    An Example Day

    Breakfast

    • Overnight oats, with chia seeds, quinoa and milk or fortified plant based milk
    • A piece of fruit

    Snack

    • A handful of mixed nuts

    Lunch

    • Grilled tofu with a mixed salad and bulgar wheat
    • A piece of fruit

    Snack

    • Apple slices with nut butter

    Dinner

    • Chicken / tofu / salmon with miso brown rice and spring greens
    • OR vegetable curry, daal, and brown rice
    • OR stuffed aubergine with mixed vegetables and millet or quinoa
    • A piece of fruit

    How to Adjust Your Meal Plan

    There are certain phases when more or less nutrients are needed, so it is important to consider your changing needs.

    When You’re Pregnant

    During your pregnancy, you should limit oily fish to once a week, and only 2 tuna steaks or 4 medium sized cans of tuna per week, because of the risk of pollution.

    You should also avoid the following food groups:

    Advertising

    • Raw or undercooked eggs
    • Unpasteurized cheese
    • Raw or undercooked meat
    • Pâté
    • Swordfish, shark, and marlin
    • Homemade ice-cream with raw egg
    • Soft-serve ice cream from vans or kiosks
    • Vitamin A supplements
    • Liquorice root
    • Alcohol

    When You’re Breastfeeding

    While you are breastfeeding, your body needs more calcium (1250mg), selenium (70mcg), and iodine (200mcg). Ensure that you include these in your meal plan.

    When Going Through Menopause

    Menopause

    changes your long-term risk of disease, so it is important to focus on items that help support bone and heart health. The framework above already sets out a diet to support long term heart health, but for bone health aim for:

    • 1200mg calcium per day
    • High-quality protein at every meal
    • Foods rich in vitamin K
    • Foods rich in phosphorus
    • Foods rich in magnesium

    Organizing Your Shopping

    Once you have completed your healthy meal plan for the week, you can save the ingredients that you regularly need to an online shopping list, in order to make repeat ordering simpler. Some recipe books also now have a QR code so that you can easily synchronize the ingredients needed with your online shopping.

    Advertising

    Try to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables where possible, but canned beans, frozen, dried, and freeze dried fruit make great substitutes for fresh, retaining most of the nutrients.

    Final Thoughts

    Creating a healthy meal plan for the week may be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll become a fun addition to your weekly planning, and one that will ultimately improve your overall lifestyle. Try to use the general feedback above and adapt it to your own specific needs. Enjoy looking for new and exciting recipes to include in your plan!

    More on Healthy Eating

    Featured photo credit: Ello via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next