Fork Fed: It’s NOT All About the Numbers

Post by Fork Fed

scale

Recently, I decided to measure my body fat percent on a body composition machine and boy oh boy was I nowhere near happy by the numbers. I’ve been going to my workouts religiously and watching what I eat, for the most part. My pant size has gone down 2 sizes, I’m much more toned and definitely stronger than I’ve ever been before. Why haven’t my numbers changed?? Here are some reasons as to why numbers do not really reflect that change that is DEFINITELY going on within you.

Equipment used to measure body fat percent is not always accurate!
The most common of all equipment to measure body fat percent is the bioelectrical impedance, and despite the fact that this machine is commonly available and easy to use, it is probably the least accurate way to measure body fat percentages. Bioelectrical impedance works by sending electrical impulses through the body and measuring how long they take to return; the quicker the return of the impulses are equates to a leaner body (fat hinders the movement of the impulses). This technique is not always accurate because hydration levels can also affect how fast the electrical impulses move through the body. The more hydrated you are the faster the impulses move; therefore if your body was somewhat dehydrated, you will be getting a false reading in regards to your body fat percent. The calipers are probably the most accurate, BUT you need to have a skilled person taking measurements and the measurements need to be taken in the same place at different times to ensure accuracy. It can be hard to remember the exact skin-fold that was measured previously.

The scale and BMI are the worst measures of weight loss.
Both the scale and body mass index (BMI) do not take your muscle mass into account. Therefore if you are someone that is working out and doing a lot of resistance training – you are building muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. So, your weight might increase or stay the same regardless of the fact that you are actually losing fat and dropping in size. If you are not exercising and only restricting your food then using a scale to monitor your weight loss could actually be beneficial. Although to be completely honest with you, I do not like the term weight loss and prefer to focus on fat loss. Taking a look at BMI, it is a calculation of your weight and height. It does not take into account how much of your weight actually comes from muscle or fat, therefore it is the worst indication of whether or not you are at a healthy weight range.

The numbers may frustrate you, but don’t let them bring you down! Numbers do not always reflect everything. As long as you feel good about yourself, then that is all that matters. Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well. Remember, any change you make should be a lifestyle one and not a temporary one. I hope this helps you if you’ve been let down by your weight.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source


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Did Your ATM Card Stop Working Recently?

Post by Mark

chip

In the past two months I’ve had three different KNET cards fail on me because the security chip on them stopped working. The first time it happened I didn’t think much of it, I just went to NBK and got a new ATM card made. But, a few days after getting my new card it stopped working again with the exact same chip error. I was kinda embarrassed to go back to the same branch cuz I thought maybe I had done something wrong but I couldn’t think of any change I did in the way I was handling my ATM cards. Still, I went back to a different NBK branch and had them print another card for me. Everything was fine until last week my card stopped working again with the same chip error as before. So I went back to NBK and this time the employee at the front desk asked me if I had used my card at a gas station? She proceeded to tell me that they’ve been having a lot of chip failures because the gas station card machines were ruining the chips. She wasn’t talking about the KNET machines which you use to pay at gas stations, but the second machine they slip your card into after you’re done paying. Thats when it hit me, every time my card failed I had used it to fill up gas at the Alfa gas station on the Gulf Road (Shaab).

I’m not sure if this applies to all gas stations or just the Alfa ones, but in my case my chip cards were getting ruined because of that one Alfa gas station on my way home. As you can imagine its extremely annoying to have your ATM card just stop working but this is exactly why I have two bank accounts with two different banks, it’s for unfortunate situations like this. And even though NBK can print a new card for me while I wait, I still have to keep creating a new account for my online banking every time I get a new card and I am so over filling in answers to different security questions.

So if you’ve had ATM card failures recently now you know why. I’m going to be paying only cash at the gas stations until this issue gets sorted out.


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World’s 50 Richest Arabs 2016

Post by Mark

richest

Arabian Business have released their World’s 50 Richest Arabs list for 2016 and Kuwait made the list three times:

10- The Al Kharafi Family
11- The Bukhamseen Family
26- The Alghanim Family

The richest Arab is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud from Saudi Arabia but thats not a surprise. What is a surprise to me at least is that 7 people from Lebanon made the list including Joseph Safra whom I hadn’t heard of before coming in 2nd place. Due to the amount of wealth in Kuwait I just expected more people from Kuwait to make the list although a lot of Kuwaitis are not on the list like Mohammed Alshaya because Alshaya is a private and family-owned business and so their finances are a secret.

Check out the full list [Here]


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Fork Fed: Going Bananas!

Post by Fork Fed

banana

As I’m getting ready to move apartments, I can’t help but feel like I’m going bananas! Which, brought me to think about discussing bananas. I’ve realized that people can be divided into 2 groups – a group that loves bananas and think they’re healthy and a group that wants to stay away from one of the starchiest fruits out there. So are bananas worth the calories? Let’s take a look.

Taking a look at the Nutrition Facts (please keep in mind that a banana comes in a variety of sizes and ripeness, this information is for the average medium sized banana)

– Energy: 105 kcals
– Carbs: 27 grams
– Protein: 1g

The calories in bananas are mainly from 2 types of carbohydrates – resistant starch and pectin. Both are mainly found in unripe (green bananas).  These type of starches are essential in maintaining gut health (feed your good bacteria), keeping you full, and helping avoid a blood sugar spike post meal. All of which are key factors to helping anyone eat less and hopefully lose some weight regardless of the caloric amount. This makes banana an excellent choice for a quick and easy breakfast, along with a nut butter, or alone as a snack. Keep in mind that the more ripe a banana is the less pectin and resistance starches are available, BUT don’t let that bring you down, ripe bananas contain a good amount of soluble fiber, the kind that attracts water turning the food into a gel-like consistency and slowing down absorption. I guarantee you you’ll be full regardless of the ripeness of the banana.

Bananas are also high in antioxidants like dopamine and catechins (similar to those found in white tea), provide your body with many nutrients and help protect your heart’s health. The antioxidants and nutritional profile make a banana an excellent snack for athletes as it provides a quick source of energy as well as many electrolytes to help avoid dehydration.

I personally find bananas to be worth every single calorie. I know that some may prefer another 100 calorie snack, but not all calories are the same, and if you choose to alter your taste buds to favor the unripe kind, bananas could actually keep you full and help you achieve your weight loss goals. In the midst of packing up my kitchen and not having any cookware to prepare a meal, a banana with 2 tablespoons of almond butter might just be my dinner of choice.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.


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965 Flowers is now Bleems

Post by Mark

Back in 2012, 965 Flowers launched as a local online flower delivery website and I ended up posting about them after I needed to use them one day. Over time though they started adding other items that also fit with the different occasions people gifted flowers, items like chocolates, baked goods and other kinds of small gifts. They also started expanding to other parts of the GCC so their name 965 Flowers became an issue for them. They were no longer just based in Kuwait and they no longer just had flowers so they decided to rebrand and starting today they’re going by Bleems.

bleem

They chose the word Bleems because it doesn’t mean anything and works in Arabic and English. They chose a word that had no meaning because they didn’t want to end up with a name that would limit their ability to expand their business later on down the line. Personally Bleems reminds me of the old PlayStation emulator for the PC called Bleem! while a quick search on Urban Dictionary pops up some interesting other definitions. In any case, it’s still a much better name than 965 Flowers (or 965 anything).

Their official re-launch is today and the owners sent me the video above which basically explains everything I just wrote. Here is a link to their [Website]


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Kuwait Islands Project 2035

Post by Mark

island1

Yesterday the Amir was presented a video showing a proposed project for developing the Kuwaiti islands Boubyan, Failaka, Awha, Warba and Miskan. I watched the video late last night and I’m in complete awe. The video presentation is around 20 minutes long and showcases ideas on what could be done to our islands. It was pretty inspirational and really made me realize how lucky we are to have all these islands around us. But, it also made me realize how we are under utilizing the islands even though there is so much potential.

I don’t have permission to share the video just yet, I was told it should be launching officially sometime today so for now I’ll just share some screenshots below. I’ve already uploaded the video online so once I get the green light I’ll share it right away.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Boulevard Opening Soon

Post by Mark

b0

Boulevard is a project that seems like it’s been under construction for an eternity. The first time I posted about the project it was back in 2010 and the project was already well under way by then. Boulevard is located in Salmiya right off the 5th Ring Road and opposite Souk Salmiya. It’s a large project that contains a bunch of things including a mall, a restaurant complex, parks and even a cricket field. I passed by it last April and was impressed with the size of the whole thing but the project still didn’t have any water back then so there was no greenery or lakes. But, a reader just emailed me recent photos of the place and looks pretty nice. According to the reader, Boulevard is expected to open in 3 months time but no official date has been set yet. Check out all the photos below.

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New Proposals for Drones

Post by Mark

A user sent me a link to a proposal by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on drones and other unmanned aircrafts. I’ve been going through the proposal now and here are some points I think are worth highlighting:

For Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Under 5KG (Private Use)
– The UAS shall not be operated within 300 Meters of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the UAS operator; and additionally, during take-off or landing the UAS shall not be flown within 200 Meters of any person, unless that person is under the control of the aircraft operator;

– UAV shall not be operated over a congested areas, except with the permission of the DGCA; it shall not fly over public or private properties, or within 5km of Kuwait’s airport outer fence, Heliports, Helicopter landing Sites, and airfields and shall remain clear of control zones.

– DGCA UAV Registration required for UAV which have a total mass including batteries and equipment greater than 1/2kg. Registration shall be done through proper entity.

drone

For Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Under 5KG (Commercial Use)
– DGCAA UAV Registration. Registration shall be done through proper entity.

– DGCA UAS Operating Approval.

– DGCA Security Approval when equipped with camera or other scanning or surveillance equipment.

For Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Over 5KG and Under 25KG (Private Use)
– DGCA approval shall be obtained if operating outside flying clubs air space or the DGCA allocated defined zones.

– UAV shall not be operated near public and private properties;

– Use of video or image capturing device shall be prohibited;

– The applicant shall fill DGCA form to purchase this category.The form can be obtained from proper entity.

So basically if you own a drone or any other unmanned air vheicle you’re going to have to register it. If you’re shooting video and selling the footage then you’re going need to also get approval to operate the drone and approval from the air aviation security department. Finally if you’ve got one of the larger aircraft (over 5KG) like the hobby planes, then you’re going to be very limited on where you could use the aircraft plus you need fill out a form to be able to purchase one.

One thing I found odd is how sometimes they say UAS and sometimes UAV. So I started googling some of the points from the document and turns out they’ve just copied pasted a bunch of stuff from different proposals around the world including from the British CAA and the Emirati GCAA.

If you’d like to download the proposal and check it out, here is the [Link]

Image is a screenshot of drone footage from film Inspiring Kuwait
Thanks Abdulwahab


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Visiting the Bayan Botanical Garden

Post by Mark

botanical1

If you’re interested in visiting the Botanical Garden at Bayan Palace I have some good news (and a bit of bad news as well). The Bayan Botanical Garden is open to the general public every Thursday. You don’t need special permission or anything of the sort. All you need to do is give security your civil ID and they will let you access the garden.

botanical2

The Bayan Botanical Garden contains three different zones with different kind of plants in each. It’s not that big but it’s still pretty cool and most of the plants are labeled with their names. There isn’t a guide book that contains details on the plants so if you’re really curious to know more about each plant be prepared to wikipedia from your phone.

botanical3

Now for the bit of bad news. The Bayan Botanical Garden is open every Thursday… from 9AM to 1PM. That pretty much sucks for everyone who has a job. It also explains why the only other visitors at the garden while I was there were housewives with their kids. Still, it’s better than having no access at all. If you’d like to visit the garden, here is the location of the entrance on [Google Maps]

Thanks Maaz!


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Fork Fed: Avocados

Post by Fork Fed

avocado

If there is just one food item I think you should add to your diet everyday, it’ll definitely be avocados! Creamy, delicious and most importantly super nutritious! There just isn’t one reason I can think of as to why you shouldn’t have this food everyday, except for the fact that if you’re not careful your calories could get out of hand.

When talking about fats to any of my clients I always sense some hesitation in adapting them into their day-to-day eating habits; but not all fats are created equal, after all i’m only pushing for them to have more fruit – but a fatty one this time. Despite being called a fat, some fats can actually make you thinner! Let’s take a look at avocados because I really believe they are one of the supreme fats out there.

Bye-Bye Hunger!
Yes, fats will keep you feeling full for a very long time. Who wouldn’t want to feel full? I certainly do! Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, the healthy fats that keep your heart happy and tummy feeling full. Research has proven that eating just 1/2 an avocado can help keep you feeling full for hours to come; just be sure not to have chips with your avocados and instead aim to have them in a salad to feel fuller for longer.

Hello Waist-Line
We all want to shrink our waist-lines and believe it or not avocados have been proven to help. High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, no wonder this miracle fruit can help us with weight loss. But! It’s not just general weight loss that we’re talking about, research has actually found an association between reduction in belly fat and consumption of avocados. Yes, we can still eat and lose weight. It’s the type of fat in avocados that has been linked to regulating the gene that stores fat in your belly area. It definitely is worth a try, just make sure to swap your avocado for other fats you were eating and not add it to your diet. A swap will help cut down some of the calories.

Nutrient Booster
Not only are they loaded with antioxidants and minerals, but avocados can also help boost the absorption of other vitamins. Adding avocados to other veggies (like your salad) can help you absorb about 3 to 5 times more antioxidants than you would had you chosen to have that salad alone. See some vitamins (A,D,E,K) need fat for better absorption and you can’t go wrong with a fat like an avocado. But, like I said not only does it help you absorb more nutrients but avocados are also loaded with nutrients like vitamins K, C and potassium.

Bad Fat Crusher
Worried about your cholesterol? You shouldn’t be worrying if you’re including healthy fats in your diet like avocados. Avocados are loaded with mono and poly unsaturated fats which boost your heart function by increasing the good kind of cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the bad kind (LDL). Stronger heart, stronger you!

Control that Sugar Spike!
My favorite benefit of having avocados is the fact that it will limit how much your blood sugar spikes after a meal. There are many times where we have sugary foods and if you don’t pair those sugary treats wisely you could end up with a sugar spike which is always followed by a crash! Ever feel sleepy after indulging in carbs? My solution is to always add a healthy fat to whatever you’re eating, this way you somewhat control your sugar from spiking too high. Avocados on the other hand, are not just healthy fats, they’re loaded with fiber and vitamin K – both have been shown to improve your insulin sensitivity helping control your blood sugar levels.

Before you run and grab your avocados keep in mind that 1/2 an avocado contains 161 kcals, 15g fat, 8.5g carbs (of which 6.7g are fiber) and 2g protein. If you choose to substitute your oils with avocado oil (which I think is a great idea) then 1 tablespoon contains 124 kcals and 14g fat – you do lose the fiber and protein if you choose to have the oil. With this in mind, baby steps are all it takes to achieve a healthier lifestyle, you can do it!

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

Image Source


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