WEIGHT LOSS FOODS

 

12 Best Foods for Fastest Weight Loss

Try these foods to lose the pounds faster.

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Here’s some fantastic food ideas to help you achieve the look you desire. Add these 12 Foods for the Fastest Weight Loss to your healthy shopping list.

1.  Avocados. This green fruit (that’s right, fruit) delivers monounsaturated fat which has been known to accelerate belly fat burn.

2. Almonds. These omega-3 packed nuts are ideal for weight loss. The healthy fats curb your appetite,. They’re slow digesting, combined with the filling fiber, it’s a great choice.

3.  Chili pepper. Spice it up with this tasty weight loss super food. It contains capsaicin , a substance that temporarily boosts your metabolism by raising your body heat, and reduces the appetite.

4. Blueberries. Any berry is great for weight loss, but blueberries in particular are better because they contain higher amounts of fiber which fill you up more, and antioxidants, which curb your appetite since your brain’s less likely to receive the famine signal.

5. Green tea. Green tea is packed with potent antioxidants called catechins, which  assist the body in shed body fat. and the caffeine kick will give you more energy to stay active, plus, green tea has appetite suppressing qualities.

6. Cruciferous vegetables.  Veggies such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, are very high in fiber and nutrients.

7. Legumes. Beans, lentils, anything grown in a pod is considered a legume.  The’re rich in fiber, protein, and slow burning carbs. (low glycemic index, GI). Legumes are powerful additions to any weight loss menu. Mix them into salads, stir fry, or anything that sounds good. Be creative.

8. Leafy greens. From spinach and kale, to romaine lettuce, leafy greens deliver belly shrinking fiber without the extra calories.

9. Oats. Avoid those packaged oatmeals though. They are often loaded with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients, with a misleading package. Oatmeal is filling with it’s high fiber content and healthy vitamins and minerals. It goes well with other healthy foods such as fruit and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.

10. Mushrooms.  Mushrooms are great for losing weight. They’re very filling and nutritious too. Many people use portobella mushrooms as a meat substitute and save hundreds or thousands of calories which all add up and count.

11. Olive oil.  This slow digesting, healthy staple contains fat called oleoylethenolamide (OEA) that suppresses the appetite so you’re less likely to over eat.

12. Quinoa. This healthy grain- like seed is high in fiber and is a meat-free complete protein source. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index, so it won’t trigger blood sugar fluctuations which lead to cravings.

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5 Weight Loss Promoting Teas

You should sip on this

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1.  Green tea.  Green tea ranks most popular among teas- it acts as an appetite suppressant and increases your body’s calorie burning rate. At the same time, it prevents insulin spikes and boosts your workout performance. You can  burn an extra 70 calories per day by simply drinking 3-5 cups of green tea!

2. Ginger tea.  Ginger tea provides your body with an abundance of health benefits, many of which can help with weight control. Along with behaving as a digestive aid, ginger acts as a thermogenic agent, helping to burn fat. Plus, it enhances satiety, increasing your feeling of fullness after a meal. Studies have also shown that ginger can boost the body’s metabolic rate.

3. Bilberry Tea.  Bilberry tea has  many health benefits. Among these, it has the ability to help you control your weight naturally. Bilberry tea helps your body’s blood sugar levels balance out, and can act as an appetite suppressant.

4. Hibiscus tea.  Hibiscus tea can help you in your weight loss journey. The key ingredient is an enzyme inhibitor known as ‘Phaseolamin’ which blocks amylase production. Your body uses amylase to break down sugar and starch molecules and ultimately absorb these carbohydrates which can lead to weight gain. By inhibiting amylase production, Hibiscus tea prevents your body from storing too many carbohydrates.

5. Oolong tea. Traditional tea drinking countries like China and Japan praise this tea for it’s slimming reputation! First, Oolong tea boosts your metabolism and blocks fat absorption. It’s natural fat burning effects prevent fat from accumulating over long periods of time.

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Best Sources of Protein for Faster Weight Loss

Build muscle and get fit!

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We use protein to build and repair muscles, but our bodies don’t maintain stores of protein. We need to feed our bodies with important proteins every day. This is especially true for people who are working out regularly. Weight lifting breaks down your muscle fibers. Your body needs a wide range of amino acids to repair them. The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, so there’s no set number that would apply to everyone.

Here’s a list of the Best Sources of Protein for Weight loss so you can decide which foods are right for you.

1.  Tuna. Another protein- packed fish that is low in fat. Tuna is a lighter option than Salmon. A 3 oz serving of light canned tuna contains about the same grams of protein, but since it doesn’t contain the essential fatty acids, it’s only a fraction of the calories. Just make sure to avoid tuna salads which are loaded with mayonnaise. Instead, try a light mayo, hot sauce, or sprinkle over your salads.

2. Salmon. A 3 pz serving of salmon contains about 150 calories and 23 grams of protein. This means that if you eat 100 calories worth of salmon, you’re consuming about 14 grams of protein. Salmon is also rich in essential  acids including omega 3’s , which have countless health benefits. They’re linked to healthy brain function, good blood pressure, and weight loss.

3. Egg whites. One cup of egg whites has only 115 calories and a whopping 26 grams of protein! While egg yolks are rich in fats, egg whites contain none and are made with pure protein. They contain many essential muscle building amino acids with next to no carbs.

4. Turkey or lean chicken breast . Lean skinless turkey or chicken breast is one of the best sources of protein. It’s very versatile, and could be shredded into salads or ground into burger patties. The possibilities are endless.

5. Tofu. Tofu is completely plant based. It’s made mostly from soy beans. It’s one of the best vegan sources of complete protein. Half a cup contains about 100 calories and 10 grams of protein. You can use tofu in almost anything.

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Top 11 Detox Foods

Kiss those stored toxins good bye!

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After eating too many fattening treats and processed junk food, you probably feel sluggish. The good news is you can clean your body out with a detox!

These 10 best detoxing foods contain powerful detox- friendly properties that work to flush toxins from your system. Add these foods to great recipes or enjoy by them selves. Your entire body will benefit from these natural powerhouses, helping you feel full of energy and in your best health.

1. Lemons. A little lemon juice mixed with water makes the easiest, ultra effective detox drink. Lemons are packed with vitamin C compounds that restore your body’s alkaline-acid balance, which helps flush dietary and environmental toxins.

2. Water. Perhaps the cheapest, quickest way to rid one’s self of impurities is to flush your system with filtered water. It’s essential for your overall health and is great for your kidneys and liver. Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning and your body will reap the benefits!

3. Cilantro. Cilantro enhances any meal with it’s fresh flavor. But that’s not all- this herb binds with heavy metals that can cause a whole host of problems, then helps remove them from the body.

4. Grapefruit. Grapefruit has high amounts of vitamins C and A, fiber, and antioxidants. In addition to having a low calorie profile, the super food binds to toxins during digestion and flushes the impurities away from the body.

5. Asparagus.  Asparagus is a diuretic that helps flush toxins from your system. The spears also contain amino acids that have been known to cure a hangover.

6. Apples. Apple’s high amounts of fiber and pectin soak up harmful waste and washes them away through the intestines. Apples contain glucaric acid, which helps  eliminate harmful heavy metals which will oxidize in the body, causing a host of problems.

7. Turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, the compound that gives it it’s sunshine yellow color. Curcumin stimulates digestion and clears the liver and kidneys. The spice contains antioxidants that will give your health a beneficial boost.

8. Cinnamon.  This popular spice is an excellent source of calcium, manganese, and dietary fiber. It’s nutritious properties can block the accumulation of harmful fats and trigger your body to eliminate these substances.

9. Parsley.  This herb contains powerful detoxing nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene, and chlorophyll. These elements bind onto impurities and sweep them away for good.

10. Garlic. Garlic has sulfur-containing compounds that fight harmful bacteria and yeast from the intestines. These compounds help your body eliminate many types of toxins. Chopping or crushing garlic will help release the compounds. The more raw, the more beneficial compounds.

11. Ginger. Start your detox in high gear and rejuvenate your system with this nutritional powerhouse. Besides acting as an appetite suppressant and aiding in weight loss, ginger can also rev your metabolism and flush away toxins. There are countless health benefits from ginger!

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Top 5 Fastest Belly Fat Burning Foods

Yummy fast food – for fat loss that is!

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These 5 Fast Belly Fat Burning Foods are great for your journey because they work in ways that increase thermic temperature, reduce your appetite,  and rev up metabolism. People who sneak these foolproof, fat fighting foods in their diet have an easier time losing weight than people who are only focused on nutrition fact numbers. Go for these foods when you want a satisfying snack or add them to your meals. Either way, these nutritional powerhouses will combat belly fat and help you keep it off!

1. Oranges. At only 60 calories, an orange is a smart choice. Oranges rank high on the satiety scale because of their high fiber content. High fiber foods such as citrus fruits take longer to chew and digest. They take up lots of space in your stomach and help you feel full. Oranges also have low energy density, meaning fewer calories per gram than your average fruit.

2. Garbanzo beans. Beans are a fiber, protein, and antioxidant rich. These low- glycemic legumes stabilize blood sugar levels and curb your appetite. The fiber help lower the amount of glucose your blood stream absorbs, which keeps blood sugar low and makes it difficult for your body to store fat.

3. Cinnamon.  This super food has long been acknowledged for it’s powerful fat loss effects and high nutritional profile. This spice has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels, helping to curb your appetite, and control hunger hormones. Nutrients like calcium, manganese, and fiber, can prevent your body’s accumulation of fat, preventing weight gain while combating stubborn fat.

4. Pine nuts. Pine nuts are full of heart – healthy fatty acids which promote your body’s production of satiety hormones. The pinolenic acid in pine nuts helps you feel full and resist the temptation to make diet disaster food choices. Plus, they have the highest protein content of any other nut.

5. Eggs.  Studies show that individuals who ate eggs in the morning feel fuller longer. Eggs pack loads of  nutrients. One egg has only 75 calories and 7 grams of protein. Their filling protein and low- glycemic index will help prevent cravings.

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10 Easy Fat Burning Snacks for Busy Moms

Before running out the door on a busy day, grab one of these fat fighting snacks!

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A healthy lifestyle with a hectic schedule is absolutely possible. It starts with snacks. It’s important to remain full, and energized on busy days. Reaching for the right fuel is key. Here’s a list of 10 Easy Fat Burning Snacks for Busy Moms to help you take whatever comes your way. If your schedule leaves no room for a quick gym session, don’t sweat it.  These are perfect for those crazy days!

1. Almonds.  Almonds are the only nut with omega-3’s only. The healthiest form of fat for your body. Almonds have a generous amount of fiber and protein , and many other nutrients as well.

2. Whole wheat crackers ‘n’ peanut butter. This is a great option, especially due to the nutrient rich combination of complex carbs and protein to help keep your blood sugar stable and keep you fuller for longer.

3. Fruit. Grab an apple, pear, peach, grapes, etc. as you dash out the door every morning. If you grab different fruit each day, you’ll obtain a good variety of nutrients, fiber, and you won’t get bored with the same ol’ snack. The average serving of fruit is around 70 calories. The fiber and nutrients will keep you feeling full and prevent mindless eating.

4. Instant oatmeal. When you’re rushed at work and need something warm and comforting, heat a packet of plain instant oatmeal (only 110 calories) for a quick and filling snack. Add your own healthy flavorings such as fruit, dries fruit, cinnamon etc.  Doubling as a fiber rich breakfast or daytime snack, oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

5. Veggies ‘n’ Greek yogurt. Forget the high fat, high sodium snacks at the mini market. Pack a container of fresh veggies like celery, carrots, and grape tomatoes. Raw veggies fill you up because of the high fiber and water content. If you struggle eating veggies in the buff, try dipping them in nonfat Greek yogurt, or any low calorie, high nutrient dip like salsa or hummus.

6. Cucumber ‘n’ feta bites.  Cucumbers are a great alternative to crackers during snack time. Top them with a little feta, nonfat Greek yogurt, or maybe walnuts for added protein and healthy fats.

7. Salsa, guac and pita chips. Combine salsa and fresh avocado together to create a quick and easy guacamole. A squeeze of lemon will prevent browning.

8.  Eggs with a kick. Create a batch of hard boiled eggs on Sunday, then you’ll have available all week in the refrigerator. Slice the egg in half and drizzle with a little hot sauce for a spicy 80 calorie snack.

9. Canned tuna.  Tuna’s packed with vitamin B3, B12 and protein. It’s a lean food that’s also low in fat. Tuns’a loaded with omega- 3 fatty acids that have huge antioxidant benefits. The best kind is albacore, which is pure white tuns with no mixture of other tuna species. For a snack, you can eat it straight from the can, mix it with brown rice, or sprinkle over a healthy salad.

10. Edamame. Edamame is a fancy name for soybeans that are boiled. They’re a delicious, low fat, and low calorie snack that’s full of complete protein and fiber. There’s also vitamin C, A, and iron. You may be tempted to add too much salt though, you’ll negate the health benefits.

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10 Essential Super foods for Weight Loss

Super power your weight loss with these clean eating foods.

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By adding super foods for fat loss to your plate, you nourish your body with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins it needs to drop pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

1. Green tea.  The key to green tea’s weight loss power is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) an antioxidant believed to combat fat and boost metabolism.  Green tea also has an appetite suppressing effect.

2. Green beans. Green beans are rich in fiber and iron, fat free, and low in calories. They blend well with many recipes.

3. Greek yogurt. With more protein and probiotics than typical yogurt, this healthy dairy food fills you up with healthy ingredients and supports digestion. It goes well with vegetables, cooked or raw.

4.  Lentils.  These weight loss staples are high in protein and nutrients, plus they’re easy on a budget.

5. Oats. Oats are full of fiber which satisfies the appetite and delivers slow burning energy. It mixes well with healthy options such as berries, apples, raisins, cinnamon, etc.  and is super easy and fast to prepare. Just steer clear of the packets loaded with added sugar.

6. Apples. Apples are packed with pectin, a type of fiber that satisfies the appetite while reducing the risk of some types of cancer. They’re great for on the go as well.

7. Blueberries. Fresh or frozen, these fiber filled super food are perfect for weight loss. Frozen blueberries are perfect for smoothies.

8. Avocado.  Avocado’s monounsaturated fats boost belly fat burn.  This is a versatile fat loss food you can enjoy anytime. Get creative and add it to healthy dishes.

9. Broccoli. Broccoli delivers a hefty dose of antioxidants, fiber and protein.  Broccoli has the same amount of protein per pound as a steak!

10. Cauliflower. This non -starchy vegetable is low in calories and high nutrients including fiber to support in healthy weight loss.

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10 Best Fall Fat Loss Foods

Slim down this autumn eats

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1.Artichokes. Artichokes are a natural diuretic, preventing water retention and bloating. They’re also high in fiber.

2. Beets. This non fat food is a great option for adding fiber, iron, and antioxidants to your weight loss efforts. They don’t even need sauce or seasoning. Their flavor alone is great.

3. Brussels sprouts. This nutritional powerhouse ranks high on any list of foods to lose fat. In addition to fiber, brussels sprouts offer lean protein.

4. Cabbage.  Fat -loss foods like cabbage are wise additions to any weight loss plan. Like any weight loss food, it’s high in nutrients such as fiber.

5. Apples. Apples are loaded with pectin, a substance that satisfies the appetite. Not to mention it’s high fiber and antioxidants.

6. Pears. This fruit delivers a combination of filling fiber and natural energy from it’s fructose.

7. Cranberries.  Natural cranberries without added sweeteners are high in fiber and nutrients.

8. Persimmons. This fall fruit contains iodine, which is important for the thyroid function that helps regulate a healthy metabolism. Enjoy them as a snack or chilled with a squeeze of lemon juice.

9. Pomegranate.  The fiber in pomegranates can help maintain even blood sugar levels and satisfy your appetite. An easy way to de-seed them is to stand up straight, cut horizontally across it’s belly, but don’t cut all the way through, since you’d cut the seeds, just about 1/2 inch around it. Rip open, so you have 2 halves. Take one half at a time. Place it seed side down on top of the palm of your hand. Place a bowl underneath your hand, grab a giant spoon, then tap with medium-low pressure. The seeds will all fall into the bowl!

10. Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a fall baking favorite which offers more than great flavor, it wards off extra weight too. It’s known to stabilize blood sugar, which prevents insulin spikes, the fat storing hormone.

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Top 9 Snack Swaps for Weight Loss

Snack the healthy way with these slimming options.

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Snacks are good. They help maintain blood sugar levels and provide the body energy  throughout the day. Sadly, there’s plenty of unhealthy snack options to temp even the most committed healthy eater.

The solution? Swap out unhealthy ingredients for those that support fat loss. These healthy snack swaps include whole foods loaded with fiber, protein, or other nutrients. Plus, these snacks are quick and easy to prepare.

1. Craving: Store bought trail mix       Instead: Homemade trail mix.

Packaged mixes may look healthy, but they’re usually loaded with sugar and salt. Instead, mix your own snack by combining whole, unsalted seeds and nuts, and dried fruit with no added sugar.

2. Craving: Store bought granola       Instead: Homemade granola 

Like packaged trail mix, granola mixes too often contain excess sugar and salt which will stall your weight loss efforts. Clean eating granola recipes are healthier- and easier to prepare than you might expect.

3. Craving: Chips     Instead: Homemade chips

Enjoy whole, unsalted nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. They’re another crunchy alternative to unhealthy chips. Always check the serving sizes before munching.

4. Craving: Cheese       Instead: Low- Fat Mozzarella Srick

Swap out whole milk cheese for low fat mozzarella cheese sticks. These are great for kids too! The protein provides energy to carry you through the next meal. They’re perfectly portioned for smart snacking.

5. Craving: Cafe smoothie         Instead: Homemade smoothie

Avoid the cafe or convenience store smoothie trap and switch to a homemade version that nourishes the body with nutrients and isn’t loaded with added sugar.

6. Craving:Crackers & dip    Instead: Veggie slices with clean eating dip

Nourish your body with healthy snack swaps like trading crackers for naturally low- cal veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, and celery sticks.

7. Craving: Candy bar       Instead: Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is lower in fat and sugar and higher in antioxidants than milk chocolate in most candy bars.

8. Fruity gummy candy    Instead: Dried fruit with no added sugar

Gummy fruit may be enriched with vitamin C, but many brands have artificial flavors, preservatives, and added sugar. Swap it out for dried fruit. Since it’s easy to over eat sweet foods, always check portion sizes. These are great for kids and on the go!

9. Craving: Store bought granola    Instead: Homemade granola

Like packaged trail mix, granola mixes too often contain excessive amounts of salt and sugar that will back track you. Clean eating granola recipes are healthier and easier to prepare than you may think.

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5 Fatty Foods That Burn Fat Faster

Discover the health effects of good fats!

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Choosing the right fatty foods for weight loss can be an important tool to keep the pounds off for good. Polyunsaturated fats are one type that researchers suggest reduces body fat and increases calorie burning muscle mass.Monounsaturated fats are another type believed to boost metabolism and help to burn fat more efficiently.

1. Pumpkin seeds. These seeds deliver poly and monounsaturated fats to increase fat burn and satisfy the appetite. Pumpkin seeds are a great on the go snack, and they taste great in salads.

2. Almonds. Almonds are full of monounsaturated fats, making them one of the fatty foods that burn fat faster. In published research, obese adults who ate an almond -rich, low calorie diet, showed a 63% greater weight loss and 50% greater reduction in waist size than on just the low cal diet.

3. Walnuts. Walnuts are an excellent source of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, researchers discovered that those consuming walnuts reported better appetite reduction than those who did not.

4. Salmon. One 4 oz serving contains more omega-3 fatty acids than  most American adults consume over several day. Plus, those healthy fats also support joints,  eliminate inflammation, and a host of great health benefits.  Choose wild caught salmon instead of farmed. These fish are fed corn and have to be injected with color because their natural food source creates that color, which is also high in antioxidants.

5. Avocados.  These fruits (that’s right!)  contain a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is a significant source of energy for the cells. In other words, your body uses that specific fat to create energy rather than storing it.

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10 “Diet” Foods to Avoid

Beware!

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Choosing foods based on the “diet” label may seem like the right choice, but don’t be misled by the label. Beware of The 10 “Diet” Foods to Avoid.

1. Artificial sweeteners. They may be low in calories, but research indicates that artificial sweeteners leave you feeling less satiated, meaning that your brain keeps getting hunger signals. This causes overeating. Plus, the chemicals are highly toxic and can cause a host of problems.

2. Sugar free sweets. We’ve known refined sugars are bad for us, nut sugar free sweets aren’t necessarily any better. They often contain high amounts of fat. Be sure to read nutrition labels for more of an understanding of what’s in your food.

3. Flavored yogurt. Yogurt can be a healthy option for your diet, but it can also be a hidden source of sugar. Check the nutrition label. You can avoid added sugars by eating plain. You can flavor it yourself with healthy options, like berries or nuts.

4. Light salad dressings. When it comes to premade salad dressings, less fat usually means more sugar. Also, the lack of fat my actually inhibit your body from absorbing important nutrients from the veggies in your salad. Making your own is the healthiest option.

5. Trail mix. Nuts ‘n’ fruit. They would be a perfect snack option if not for the loads of salt,sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy oils. The best route is to make your own mix using nuts and dried fruit.

6. Baked veggie chips. Premade chips are most likely loaded with salt. You can bake your own and avoid the excessive salt.

7. Fast food smoothies. Sadly, when purchasing premade smoothies, you’re likely getting a ton of added sugar. Blend up your own clean smoothie instead!

8. Rice cakes. Rice cakes are low in nutrition and high on the glycemic index scale, meaning they will likely cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

9. Microwave popcorn. Salt, oils, scary chemicals in the bag make a bad choice. The smart way to go would be popping it at home with an air popper.

10. Diet soda. Countless research has indicates a link between drinking diet soda and weight gain. The toxic chemicals added make diet soda a no- go.

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5 Bad Carbs That Pack on the Pounds

Stay slim by avoiding these carbs.

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Carbohydrates aren’t always bad. Good carbs are full of nutrients, and release energy slowly, which maintains stable blood sugar, so that you reduce the spikes and dips that effect mood and hunger. Good carbs include: beans, whole grains, and whole wheat pastas. Bad carbs offer no nutritional value; empty calories. Here’s a list of 5 Bad Carbs That Pack on the Pounds.

1. White bread.  This bread is made from flour that’s been processed to make sweeter and easier to digest. But, the processing strips white bread of all grain’s natural ingredients including it’s fiber, vitamins and minerals. Researchers found that people on a low calorie diet that incorporate whole grains lost more belly fat that those eating refined grains, like white bread.

2. Refined sugar. These sugars are often added to processed foods to make them taste better, and make you want more. Refined sugar has many names including brown sugar, white sugar and corn syrup.

3. Desserts and pastries.  Packaged, store bought, and homemade desserts and pastries are low on nutrition and high in calories. They incorporate the bad carb combo of refined sugar and white flour. Beware, just because a choice may seem healthy, like a whole grain muffin, it may be loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats.

4. Fruit juice.  Manufactured fruit juice is a hidden source of bad carbs. It seems like a good choice since naturally occurring sugars are considered healthy, right? It’s true that carbs from fruit offer nutrition, like antioxidants, not found in refined sugar. The problem is that fruit juice manufacturers often add refines sugar (or artificial sweeteners) to their ingredients to make their products taste sweeter.

Homemade or non sweetened juices are the healthiest choice because they offer much of a fruit’s nutrition without the carbs that pack on the pounds.

5. Soda.  A 12 oz can of soda pumps the body with 10-12 teaspoons of sugar, which causes insulin spikes that lead to an increased risk of tooth decay,  high blood pressure, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.

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10 Budget Super foods

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There’s some foods that are strong enough to reduce heart disease risk, prevent cancer, lower your cholesterol, and save you money! These super foods are inexpensive and perfect for your healthy lifestyle.

1. Oatmeal.  You’re probably aware of the immune boosting and inflammation reducing benefits of oatmeal. This budget super food gives you iron, zinc, plus antioxidants at around thirty cents per serving. Since you can keep your cholesterol low while maintaining your finances, oatmeal is the smart choice.

2. Spinach.  Spinach is considered a budget super food because it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but, it’s very inexpensive.

3. Flaxseed.  Flaxseed is loaded with omega-3’s, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants with over 75% of daily vitamin E per serving and only around $1.00 per bag.

4. Quinoa.  At about 1.00 per pound, quinoa is a  budget super food that works as complete protein source. It’s loaded with calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. It can replace meat which is much more costly.

5. Mango. Just one serving gives you 80% of your daily vitamin C, plus vitamin A, fiber, and potassium. Add to plain yogurt or smoothies. At around 70 cents each, this budget super food is a great snack you should always keep in your fridge.

6. Dried cranberries.  This budget super food has both antioxidants and phytochemicals, , making them able to fight off free radicals which cause diseases. Low in calories and high in fiber, apples serve as a quick snack for the woman on the go. At only around 50 cents each, apples are a great choice.

7, Black beans. Black beans are capable of replacing your daily multivitamin and processed burger patty. Loaded with magnesium, iron, and folate, this super food packs a healthy punch. Plus, they have sufficient protein, which makes a great option for vegans and vegetarians. You can get a one pound bag for only around one dollar.

8. Sweet potatoes.  This vegetable nourishes your skin by neutralizing wrinkles, decreasing the appearance of sun spots and revitalizing skin’s cells. Plus, sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. These super foods are loaded with energizing vitamins and mineral with sufficient fiber. This budget super food runs only around 50 cents each.

9. Salmon.  Wild that is. With salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, this fish lowers heart disease and cancer risk. It’s reasonably priced at around one dollar per serving.

10. Eggs.  Eggs are highly nutritious and affordable at only twenty five cents each. Loaded with zeaxanthin, lutein, and essential vitamins and minerals. It;s easy to pack on the go for a protein snack!

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9 Clean Eating Snacks Under 150 Calories

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Clean eating snacks , in the right portion sizes, are exactly what you need to lose weight more efficiently. These snacks are tasty, and once you get accustomed to clean eating foods that aren’t loaded with chemicals and additives, you may find that you no longer want to go back to those old eating habits.

1. Kale chips. With only 140 calories per serving, this healthy snack is delicious and nutritious. It’s also great for on the go!

2. Apples ‘n’ peanut butter. Dip the apple slices from one apple into 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter.

3. Veggies ‘n’ ranch dip.  Two tablespoons of this clean eating dip has just 30 calories, perfect for you low calorie snacks menu.  Pair it with broccoli, mini carrots, or any of your favorite veggies.

4.  Plain nonfat Greek yogurt with berries.  1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 cup of berries or diced fruit. This provides filling protein with filling fiber and nutrition.

5.  2  large hard boiled eggs. These provide an array of nutrients including 13 grams of protein.

6. Baked apple chips. 2 thinly sliced apples, sprinkled with cinnamon, baked at 275F  for two hours, flipped, then baked for about 30 minutes longer. Once they look nice and crispy, remove them and allow to cool.

7. Garden salad with squeezed lemon. 

8. 1.5 cups of sliced berries. Highly nutritious including antioxidants and  filling fiber.

9. A handful of almonds.  These provide omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Almonds are also perfect for on the go!

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9 Fruits to Help Lose Weight Fast

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By choosing fruits high in fiber, you’ll help your body eliminate fat, while keeping you fuller, longer. Plus, you’ll benefit from the vitamins and minerals. Here’s 10 delicious fruits that will help you lose weight faster.

1. Apples. These are one of the easiest foods to grab. They take no prep time and are great for on the go.  One medium apple with it’s peel contains between four and five grams of fiber. Most of apple’s nutrients are in the peel.

2. Raspberries. These little red super foods  tip the fiber scales at eight grams per serving. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, K, and manganese.

3. Persimmons.  If you’ve never tried a persimmon, it’s time to add this bright orange fruit to your fridge. Each one contains about 6 grams of fiber, and doctors believe they have properties to help prevent heart disease.

4. Mangos. Spring and summer is the perfect time to snack on mangos. They contain about 5 grams of fiber per serving. Try dicing mangos over Greek yogurt for a sweet treat that fills you up.

5. Oranges. The pulp is what counts the most. One small orange contains between two and three grams of fiber and only 45 calories. You can also benefit by squeezing your own orange juice at home. Just remember to leave the pulp in for your greater weight loss results.

6. Bananas. Most people probably aren’t aware that bananas are botanically considered a berry. It’s no wonder, then, that they’re high in protein like their more traditional berry cousins. One medium banana contains around three grams.

8. Guava. This fruit hits the fiber charts, containing as much as nine grams per large guava. Choose one that’s soft, and light in yellow color. Slice and eat it as you would an apple.

9. Blackberries.  Pretty much any berry will give you a healthy helping of fiber, but the black ones top the lists with seven grams per serving.

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6 Foods to Help you Lose Weight and Keep You Fuller for Longer

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Here’s a list of foods that are delicious, filling, and very nutritious. They will help you shed pounds, and won’t leave you with cravings afterwords.

1.Tofu. Tofu is high in protein, low in calories and fat, Substituting fattier meals with marinated tofu offers a clean and light alternative. If you’re a little hesitant on tofu because of the taste or texture, put a block of it on a fruit smoothie. Tofu’s subtle taste can be masked easily by stronger ingredients like strawberries or soy sauce.

2. Nuts. Nuts don’t only have the healthy fats necessary for your daily diet. They’re high in protein, which help you feel full. Some nuts, including walnuts and almonds, also contain vital omega-3’s.

3. Beans. Beans are full of cholecystokinin, a digestive hormone that naturally suppresses the appetite and keeps you feeling full. Other bean benefits including regulating blood sugar, being high fiber and low in cholesterol. This food is great to your heart and digestion.

4. Grapefruit. This citrus fruit reduces insulin levels, forcing your body to convert calories into energy rather than storing fat. Plus, it’s a great way to start your day if you’re on the go or usually not hungry when you first wake up.

5. Eggs. Eggs are another high protein food that helps you feel fuller for longer.Research has shown that protein may prevent spikes in blood sugar.

6. Kale. Kale is low in calories and full of fiber, as well as  hearty because of the contents of calcium and iron. Mix chopped raw kale and cooked black beans and quinoa, makes a great snack.

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Top 10 Clean Eating Do’s & Don’ts

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1. Don’t skip breakfast.  Your morning meal establishes healthy metabolism throughout the day. Plus, if you skip it, you’ll likely find yourself consuming larger quantities of food at later meals.

2. Do eat four to six small meals per day.  Smaller, more frequent meals will keep your blood sugar levels stable and will increase your metabolism. And, because the meals keep your belly satisfied throughout the day, you’re less likely to turn on a binge.

3. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Whether it’s wine or beer, alcohol offers only empty calories. If your going to drink alcohol, save it for special occasions.

4.  Do drink water.  Drink at least four to six glasses each day to keep your body hydrated. Water also detoxes the body and keep you belly feeling full, making it less likely to give into unhealthy snacks.

5. Don’t derail yourself with sugar. Excess sugar is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and obesity. Packaged and processed foods often flood the body with unnecessary sugar. People are often misled to believe a food is healthy. Always read the label. To satisfy a sweet tooth, try fruit. The natural occurring sugar in fruit (fructose) is great for your body.

6. Do keep clean eating snacks on hand. Whether your day is filled with the kids events, or running errands, it’s great to keep healthy snacks on hand.   This will avoid heading to the drive through.

7. Don’t serve supersized portions. Even if you’re eating a clean diet, it will be difficult to lose weight. You will still need to control your portion sizes, but eating the right foods will fill you up faster and prevent cravings because they are nutrient dense.

8. Do combine lean protein and complex carbs at each meal. This clean eating combo decreases insulin spikes and maintains energy levels. The combo acts as an appetite suppressant, helping you feel fuller longer.

9. Don’t go into the week without a meal plan. it’s important to plan rather than figuring it out in the last minute. Decide on a week’s worth of clean eating recipes ahead of time so that you don’t get stuck feeding the family a boxed meal containing processed or powdered junk food.

10. Do learn to love veggies. Vegetables deliver many nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, the’re very filling and low on calories. Load up!

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Top 8 Ways to End Food Cravings

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1. Get moving. According to researchers, vigorous exercise allows for the proper release of hormones related to appetite and fullness. Suppress your appetite naturally with a workout, a laundry load, or anything to distract yourself and get work done at the same time.

2. Eat a healthy breakfast. Taking time to eat breakfast gets the metabolism moving. It helps reduce the feelings of hunger throughout the day.

3. Chuck the junk. If Doritos are calling your name from the pantry, it’s time to do some chuckin’. Don’t keep unhealthy snacks in the house.

4. Steer clear from foods you crave. When you want to drop the lb’s, keep cravings in check by avoiding the temptation. Instead of joining friends at the deli, meet them at the park.

5. Sleep more. Cutting back on sleep drops levels of hormones related to appetite and fullness. Sleep between 7 to 9 hours per night for less cravings.

6. Wait 5 minutes. Hunger usually comes in waves. When the intensity has ramped up to the point where you absolutely must eat that food, Stop! and promise yourself that you’ll wait five minutes before eating. If the cravings are still there, reach for a healthy snack, like an apple.

7. Ask the root question. Are you actually hungry? The truth is that we often eat mindlessly when we’re bored, anxious, or upset. Stress is an infamous overeating culprit. If you’re craving something from emotion, find a healthier outlet, such as taking a walk or calling a friend.

8. Beware of banning. Banning favorite foods from your diet in attempt to lose weight can have the same effect on the brain. Rather than imposing a strict personal rule that’s set up to break (“I’ll never eat chocolate again!”) Make it an occasional  treat that you enjoy in controlled portions.

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7 Foods to Avoid Forever

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With all the information, and misinformation out there about food, it’s often difficult to decide which foods are healthy, and which aren’t. Knowing what not to eat just got easier. There are certain foods that experts from farmers, to doctors, to dieticians agree should be avoided. 8 Foods to Never Eat Again is a short list of foods to avoid if you would like to eat healthier and do so for a lifetime. Slim Sexy Mom.com advocates eating clean foods that have been minimally processed, unrefined flours, and unrefined sweeteners to name a few. Opt for whole foods without any processing when possible.

1. White rice. Like white bread, white rice offers no nutritional value and the body doesn’t know how to process it. Plus, white rice spikes blood sugar, making it dangerous for diabetics.  Avoid white rice and choose brown rice instead.

2. White bread.  White bread and other refined flours contain little to no vitamins or nutrients, so they offer zero nutritional value. Plus, the body doesn’t know how to properly digest these foods, which can lead to health problems. Consider unrefined white whole wheat flour, which is a whole flour. This type of flour has the same nutritional value as whole wheat flour, but is sweeter,milder, and lighter.

3. Cured meat products. Bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and most deli meats are most likely full of nitrates and other preservatives that have been linked to cancer and heart disease. It’s recommended that when buying meats choose those which comes from organic, grass fed animals and read the packaging to be certain that nitrates haven’t been added.

4. Movie theater popcorn. This snack is loaded with unhealthy and genetically modified ingredients and loaded with unhealthy fats. Try bringing your own organic, air popped popcorn instead.

5. “Diet foods.” If a food is labeled as “diet” it’s probably been replaced with refined sugar or chemically made sweeteners like aspertame, or saccharin, which have been linked to many health issues.

6. Conventional frozen meals. Yes, the’re convenient, but they’re loaded with unhealthy preservatives, processed salts, and artificial ingredients and often full of fat.

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7. Conventional protein bars. Beware, just because these are usually located in the health food isle, it’s likely misleading. These bars usually contain preservatives, sugar, and are far from “health foods”.

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5 Best Breakfast Foods for Your Metabolism

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Many breakfast foods are perfect metabolism boosters because they’re high in complex carbohydrates, protein, or fiber. Here’s The 5 Best Breakfast Foods for Your Metabolism:

1. Lean protein.  You can enjoy in healthful portions of lean meat as part of a metabolism boosting breakfast. Just be mindful and be sure it’s low  in fat.

2. Whole grains. When you’re looking to burn more calories during the day, grab the whole grains. Oatmeal, quinoa, and whole wheat toast, to name a few.

3. Fruit. The fiber in fruit makes it a natural calorie burner. The best part is it’s very versatile and is great for on the go. Try it diced in Greek yogurt or oatmeal.

4. Eggs.  Eggs are a great source of energy with their nutrients, including 7 grams of protein. They are also great for on the go. You can hard boil the whole dozen, then you’ll have them ready for the entire week.

5. Low fat dairy. Low fat dairy provides plenty of protein to boost metabolism naturally. Non fat Greek yogurt is a great option. It’s higher in protein that the non Greek counterparts.

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9 Plant Based Proteins

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Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or not, plant based protein is essential for your body;s ability to properly function. For most, meat and dairy products are their main source of protein. Those on plant based diets often have a more difficult time meeting their daily protein requirements. Finding plant based sources of protein isn’t difficult either. Here’s 9 Plant Based Proteins to help you stay healthy and strong on a plant based diet.

1. Brown rice. Brown rice has a higher protein content than most grains with 6.5 grams of protein per cup.

2. Dark leafy greens.  Dark leafy greens are great sources of protein. Broccoli and spinach have the same amount of protein as a steak per pound! They also contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamins, and fiber.

3. Almonds. Almonds are a  protein and nutrient rich source of protein. Plus they contain omega- 3 fatty acids.

4. Quinoa.  Quinoa’s considered a super food. It’s high in nutrients and contains 14% protein mass.

5. Sprouts. Sprouts contain the highest quantity of nutrients per calorie of any food. Plus, with over 35% protein, sprouts can be a great addition to a plant based diet.

6. Spirulina. Spirulina isn’t only high in protein, it’s a super food.

7. Beans. Beans are one of the best if not THE best plant based sources of protein. Not only are they versatile, there’s many varieties to choose from, and they a high in antioxidants and fiber.

8. Avocado. Avocados are high in protein, with 6.5 grams per fruit (yes fruit) They’re also high in healthy fats.

9. Chia seeds. Chia seeds are 23% complete protein, full of fiber, and easy to use.

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3 Reasons Sweet Potatoes are Sweet

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Sweet potatoes are not only versatile, they’re full of health benefits. Here’s the 3 Reasons Sweet Potatoes are Sweet!

1. They can build immunity.  Sweet potatoes contain iron, which plays an important role in out bodies. It helps manage the production of blood cells and build a strong immune system. Plus, iron is responsible for providing energy to keep you going all day long.

2. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins B6, C, and D, so they’re helpful in fighting off a number of illnesses and diseases. Plus, the vitamin C helps accelerate healing and prevents premature aging.

3. Sweet potatoes can help you relax and fight stress. The magnesium found in sweet potatoes is one mineral that’s known for influencing the body toward relaxation. Magnesium is also necessary for healthy eyes, heart, bones, muscles and nerve function.

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3 Reasons Green Tea’s a Super Food

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Eastern cultures have discovered the health benefits of green tea for centuries. Not only is it calorie free, but green tea is also a great source of antioxidants and has been shown to help prevent and fight cancer.

1. You can lose weight with green tea. The combination of catechins and powerful antioxidants found in green tea work together to help your body fight fat and burn more calories. Plus, green tea is calorie free.

2. It’s a cancer fighter.  The antioxidants found in green tea, called catechins, have been shown in laboratory studies to slow the effects of radicals on cancer cells. Catechins reduce the size of tumors, and now they may even cause cancer cells to die instead of allowing them to grow and spread.

3. It’s easy to add green tea to your diet. The best way to enjoy all the benefits of green tea, you should drink it regularly, about 2-3 cups per day. To add variety to your green tea, you can add a variety of flavors such as lemon, orange, and mango.

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Top 10 Tips to Avoid Overeating

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1. Shop primarily the outside perimeters. Most of the processed junk food is located on the inside of the grocery aisles whereas the whole foods are located on the outside, such as dairy, eggs, produce, oils, etc.

2. Don’t grocery shop while hungry. 

3. Always take a shopping list, and stick to it. 

4.Prepare cut up veggies, and throw in a bag for a quick snack.

5. Use salad size plates instead of traditional dinner sized plates.

6. Eat about every 3-4 hours.

7. Plan meals one week in advance.

8. Don’t eat in front of the TV or the computer. You’ll easily get distracted and can lead to mindless munching.

9. Think about chewing your food as you eat.

10. Chew your food completely.

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Meal Timing Tricks

 

Try these meal timing tricks to make the most of your metabolism!

Many people have their meals at specific times each day because they fit into our schedules– we wake up at the same time most days, take lunch at the same time most days, and arrive home for dinner at the same time most days.  But did you know that there are meal timing tricks that will help you to reach your fitness and nutrition goals?

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Eat as soon as you wake up.

Eating as soon as you wake up helps prime your metabolism for the rest of the day.  Even if you don’t eat much, try to have an apple, a yogurt, or a small serving of oatmeal.  You can eat more later if you’re not too hungry now, but it’s important to kickstart your metabolism once you’re up for the day.

 

Give yourself 4-5 hours between meals.

If you add new food on top of food that hasn’t yet been digested, your body won’t digest the new food quite as efficiently.  Try to give yourself 4-5 hours between meals to let your metabolic functions do their work.

Make space between dinner and bedtime.

If you go to bed right after dinner, those calories can turn to fat.  Instead, give yourself a few hours between dinner and bedtime to let your body start to burn some of those calories.  You’ll go to bed still satisfied but with your body in its proper digestion mode.

 

Time your pre-workout meal correctly.

If you work out during the afternoon or evening, then your pre-workout meal should come 1-3 hours before your session.  If you work out right when you wake up (and thus haven’t eaten much), then dinner the night before should be packed with your favorite workout fuel.

Time your post-workout protein correctly.

The process of recovery lasts around 12 hours after your workout ends, but the first 30 minutes after you finish is an important window of opportunity to pack in the protein.  After that, try consuming 25g of protein every 3-4 hours for the 12 hour period.  The post-workout protein is important, but remember to consume protein at every meal throughout the day as well!

What are your favorite meal timing tricks to keep your metabolism on track?

 

Try these meal timing tricks to make the most of your metabolism!

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6 Ways to Control Your Appetite

Use these 6 tips to avoid overeating and stay on track with your fitness goals!
Overeating and mindless snacking are so easy to do– they’re a problem for lots of us.  Doing either of these can derail your fitness and nutrition goals, but they’re such a common problem.  I’ve got 6 ways for you to avoid these roadblocks and stay on track!

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Judge your hunger realistically.

Before you put anything in your mouth, make a realistic analysis of your hunger level.  If your stomach is growling and you can’t stop thinking about food, this is a good time to have a meal.  If you’ve past that point, you need to eat within the hour to avoid getting into low-blood pressure territory.  If you just want something to snack, check yourself.  You might be bored or thirsty– two sensations we often confuse for hunger.  By really thinking about whether or not your body needs food before eating, you can stave off snack attacks and overeating.

Eat something every 4 hours.

Full-on hunger usually hits us 4-5 hours after a balanced meal.  By eating regularly, you maintain a steady blood sugar and energy level, which helps you avoid the desperate, will-power-out-the-window decisions we sometimes make when we’re starving.  Set your watch and prepare balanced meals.  Having a 150 calorie snack between meals if you’re just not satisfied can help tide you over until the next meal.

Eat breakfast no matter what.

We all know it’s the most important meal of the day, but the morning can be hectic.  It’s been proven in study after study that the more carbs, fat, and protein that we eat in the mornings, the fewer of those things we eat throughout the day.  Even if you’re super busy in the mornings, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself in line.  Chop fruits the night before so you have an easy breakfast in the morning– just add yogurt!  You can stash some granola, oatmeal packets, or other dry goods at your desk at work if you know you won’t manage breakfast before making it out of the house.  Even if you can’t stomach a meal at 6 a.m., eating a later breakfast around 9 will still give you the benefits of a good breakfast.

Keep your foods high-volume.

When we eat solid foods with a high fluid content (fruits and vegetables, for example), we stay fuller for longer because we’re getting bigger portions for fewer calories.  Try starting lunch and dinner with a salad, choose fresh fruit over dried fruit, and slip veggies on your plate at every chance you get!

Up your fiber consumption throughout the day.

Fiber will help you feel fuller faster and for longer, so it’s important to consume it throughout the day to stave off snacking.  Try to get 25 grams of fiber each day.  The easiest way to do it?  Snack on carrots and apples, which are naturally high in fiber.

Get some protein in every meal.

Egg whites, tuna, or skinless chicken are great options to throw into a salad or on toast, and that’s before considering other options such as beans, quinoa, lentils, and seeds.  By consuming more protein, you’ll feel satisfied for longer.  That will make a big difference in the temptation to snack after lunch.
What are your top ways to to avoid overeating?
Use these 6 tips to stay on track with your fitness goals and avoid overeating!

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Meal Timing Tricks

 

Try these meal timing tricks to make the most of your metabolism!

Many people have their meals at specific times each day because they fit into our schedules– we wake up at the same time most days, take lunch at the same time most days, and arrive home for dinner at the same time most days.  But did you know that there are meal timing tricks that will help you to reach your fitness and nutrition goals?

» Show more

Eat as soon as you wake up.

Eating as soon as you wake up helps prime your metabolism for the rest of the day.  Even if you don’t eat much, try to have an apple, a yogurt, or a small serving of oatmeal.  You can eat more later if you’re not too hungry now, but it’s important to kickstart your metabolism once you’re up for the day.

 

Give yourself 4-5 hours between meals.

If you add new food on top of food that hasn’t yet been digested, your body won’t digest the new food quite as efficiently.  Try to give yourself 4-5 hours between meals to let your metabolic functions do their work.

Make space between dinner and bedtime.

If you go to bed right after dinner, those calories can turn to fat.  Instead, give yourself a few hours between dinner and bedtime to let your body start to burn some of those calories.  You’ll go to bed still satisfied but with your body in its proper digestion mode.

 

Time your pre-workout meal correctly.

If you work out during the afternoon or evening, then your pre-workout meal should come 1-3 hours before your session.  If you work out right when you wake up (and thus haven’t eaten much), then dinner the night before should be packed with your favorite workout fuel.

Time your post-workout protein correctly.

The process of recovery lasts around 12 hours after your workout ends, but the first 30 minutes after you finish is an important window of opportunity to pack in the protein.  After that, try consuming 25g of protein every 3-4 hours for the 12 hour period.  The post-workout protein is important, but remember to consume protein at every meal throughout the day as well!

What are your favorite meal timing tricks to keep your metabolism on track?

 

Try these meal timing tricks to make the most of your metabolism!

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Healthy Food Swaps

Try a few of these healthy food swaps to meet your fitness and nutrition goals!

Eating healthy can be a challenge sometimes, but one way to approach it is to swap ingredients for healthier options while following the recipes you always cook!  Try some of these food swaps to cut out the junk and add some great nutrients to your everyday diet!

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Raw Spinach vs. Iceberg Lettuce

Spinach is packed with Vitamins K and A, Calcium, and Iron!  Iceberg lettuce?  Not so much.  Try spinach in your salads, tacos, and on your sandwiches to pack some nutrients into your lunches!

Oatmeal vs. Sugary Cereal

Your breakfast sweet fix can be replaced by this heart healthy option that will keep you full til lunch.  Many cereals are ultra processed and super sugary.  Try oatmeal instead, and add honey and fruit to keep the mix sweet!

Toast vs. Bagel

Hear me out:  A bagel can be the caloric value of up to 5 pieces of toast!  Then, top your toast with avocado instead of butter to get those healthy fats!

Apple Slices vs. Crackers

Everybody loves cheese, and they pair naturally with crackers, but they also pair great with apple slices!  Make this swap to save on carbohydrates and sodium while getting the great nutrients of the apple!

Sparkling water vs. Soda

Sodas can be a great way to stay refreshed and energized in the afternoon, but is the sugar and chemical bomb really worth it?  Have a glass of sparkling water instead, and add lemon, mint, or other fruits for natural flavor!  You’ll still get the great taste that will wake your brain up but without the calories and chemicals!

Fresh or dried herbs vs. Salt

Salt is used to up the flavor factor in cooking, but most of us need to cut back to watch our sodium levels.  You can cut back on salt while throwing in some great fresh or dried herbs and end up with a healthier meal.  Try oregano, rosemary, thyme, fresh ground pepper, cumin, or chives to start out!  It’s a great excuse to try your hand at herb gardening, too!
There you have it!  6 super simple healthy swaps to help you lower your calories and fat intake and make great use of the rest of the calories by packing in great nutrients that weren’t there before! What’s your favorite healthy swap?
Eating healthy can be a challenge sometimes, but one way to approach it is to swap ingredients for healthier options while following the recipes you always cook!  Try some of these food swaps to cut out the junk and add some great nutrients to your everyday diet! 

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WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

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10 Secrets About Your Metabolism That Can Help You Lose Weight

Try these healthy & easy metabolism boosters & burn more calories every day!

 

 

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Top 20 Things That Bloat You

Grow a gut overnight? These things may be to blame.

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As you likely assumed, diet is first to blame for a bulging belly. But, there are a number of less obvious lifestyle and health factors that might be  a cause too. Read on to discover some of the top causes of belly swell so you can clean up your diet and maintain your flat belly. See how many apply to you and then stop your belly bloat at last.

1.  Canned Soup.  Even though soups are normally packed with nutrients, many cans are loaded with sodium. Even if they’re low in calories and fat, many cans are overflowing with sodium. In fact, a typical serving of soup contains anywhere from 750 to 1,100 milligrams of sodium- which is bad news for your belly. When your system gets loaded with sodium, the kidneys can’t keep up, so the salt sits in the bloodstream where it attracts the water, causing water retention and bloat. To ward off the issue, look for soups with less than 600 milligrams per serving.

2. Pizza.  Pizza is packed with fat and salt- two nutrients that have been shown to cause belly bloat. Consuming too much salt can lead to water retention and temporary weight gain while fatty foods can delay stomach emptying, making you feel full and bloated.

3. Apples and pears. The good news: Both of these fruits are packed with satiating fiber, making them perfect foods to lose weight. The bad news: Since they’re so fibrous and take up so much space, they can cause bloating. If you discover these foods cause your belly to bloat, cut your serving size in half, then slowly add more to your plate if you can tolerate more.

4. Booze. Drinking alcohol can slow stomach emptying, which can leave you feeling heavy and bloated. Alcohol can also cause you to retain water, so you’ll feel more puffy and bloated.  To keep the bloat at bay, try cutting yourself off after two drinks and alternate each sip with a glass of water.

5. Corn. This yellow grain may be the source of your ballooning belly. Not all carbs are easy to digest. Corn contains a type of carbohydrate that is difficult for the body to break down. This can lead to GI bacteria fermentation and trapped air and gas, which causes bloating.

6. Cruciferous vegetables.  Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage and cauliflower are all great sources of vitamin C and fiber, but they can also make you bloated and gassy, until you get accustomed to them.

7. Seltzer. The carbonated bubbles in sparkling water and seltzer get trapped in your stomach and cause it to balloon. Stay away from the stuff if you want to maintain your slim belly.

8. Diet soda. Aside from the bloat inducing carbonation, diet drinks also contain artificial sweeteners that can wreck even more havoc on sensitive bellies.

9. Onions. Everyone knows onions can make your breath smell, but they can also make your belly expand. Onions are a main source of fructans, a class of oligosaccharides, or complex sugars, that the small intestines can’t break down. For this reason, fructans can contribute to bloating, gas and pain.

10. Sweeteners. Packaged sugar -free and “diet” foods like soda, candy, and chips may save you calories, but they’re full of chemicals that cause your belly to expand. Sugar free foods are filled with sugar alcohols which contain sweet tasting indigestable compounds. The body sees this as foreign and cannot process them, causing gas and bloating. Limit your intake of the artificial stuff and keep your tummy flat and bloat free.

11. Legumes.  Anything grown in a pod is a legume. Beans and lentils both contain oligosaccharides, a class of indigestable sugars that can cause bloat and gas. Want to lessen their bloating effects?  Use the protein filled super foods as salad toppers, omelet fillers and soup additions rather than the main attraction on your plate.

12. Dairy. Dairy doesn’t cause bloating for everyone, but those with even the mildest lactose sensitivities will often see their waistline expand if they consume milk, cheese or yogurt. When lactose, the naturally occurring sugar found in dairy, is not absorbed correctly in the small intestine, it then travels to the large intestine, where it’s fermented by gut bacteria. The result is often bloating.

13. Eating too quickly.  Eating too quickly can cause you to swallow more air, causing or worsening bloat. To ward off bloat, meals should be at least 30 minutes. Not only does this reduce the amount of excess air you’ll take in, but it also allows you to listen better to your body and stop eating when you’re full, which is likely to aid in weight loss.

14. Drinking through a straw. Drinking out of a straw isn’t doing your belly any favors. When you drink through a straw, you also suck in the air into your belly, which can increase gas in your digestive tract. SIp straight from the lid to ward off any tummy issues.

15. Chewing gum. Chewing gum may seem harmless, but it can cause you to swallow excess air, which can bloat you. If you reach for the sugar free options, you’re in for even bigger trouble. Sugar free breath fresheners contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol known for causing bloating and other gastrointestinal distress. To refresh your breath after meals and ward off bloating, make yourself a cup of peppermint tea. The brew is a common home remedy for flatulence and can also relieve pain and discomfort from gas and bloating.

16. Upping your fiber intake too quickly.  You’ve most likely heard that upping your fiber intake can aid in your weight loss efforts, but if you aren’t used to eating it in large doses the stuff can be hard for your body to digest. You should wean yourself onto higher fiber foods like beans, bran cereals, beans and lentils.Down a full glass of water with every high fiber meal. Fluids help move fiber through the digestive tract, preventing bloat.

17. Smoking. It’s common knowledge that smoking wreaks havoc on the heart and lungs, but what many don’t realize is that the habit can also slow the mortality of the digestive tract and causes bloat- inducing health issues lime GERD and liver disease. A bloated gut is just another reason to finally kick your smoke habit for good.

18. Chronic stress. When your stress level spikes, so do hormone levels that can aggravate your digestive tract, resulting in bloating and gas. Then, when you’r pulling your hair out, you may scarf down your go-to lunch too quickly or take in excess air during anxiety attacks, all of which can contribute to bloating.

19. Gluten intolerance & Celiac disease. If you get very bloated right after eating certain sources of carbs and gluten, you may have Celiac disease. This disease is very rare, but sensitivities  to wheat are pretty common.  You can get a blood test to confirm your suspicion, or just cut the gluten out and see how you feel.

20. Sleep apnea. If you commonly feel bloated as soon as you roll out of bed, there’s a good chance your either suffering from sleep apnea or snoring. If morning bloat is a constant issue, consider scheduling an appointment with a sleep specialist to see how you can improve your sleep. There are dental devices to soundless CPAP machines, there’s several options you can choose from.

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13 Surprising Things That Happen When You Lose Weight.

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1. You’ll need to buy a sweater.  When you drop pounds, -even if only 9% of your body weight – your thyroid hormone levels can drop, which can make you feel cold more often than not. Says the director of Weight Control Center at Columbia University Medical Center Judith Korner.

2.  Food tastes better. Odd, but true: After losing body fat, your lunch may taste better. Stanford University researchers discovered that overweight Individuals had less taste sensitivity than their lighter counterparts. The reason: Their taste buds had become dulled from overuse. Another theory points to hormonal shifts which take place during the weight loss process, which may change the way taste receptors communicate with the brain.

3. You will have less allergies. Being overweight can put a strain on the adrenal glands and respiratory system, exacerbating asthma and allergy symptoms. Now that you’re thinner, you may be able to toss your inhaler and cut down on the seasonal medications.

4. Super libido. It’s not just your imagination! As your BMI drops, you’re more easily turned on. It’s because of rising testosterone levels. In one study, heavier men had T-levels comparable to men nearly a full decade older. You may also feel less self conscious naked, which can also increase you desire.

5. Sex becomes more satisfying.  In a Duke University Medical Center survey of 1,210 people of varying weights, obese people were 25 times more likely to report their lighter counterparts.

6. You’ll won’t snore as bad. Sleep apnea and snoring, which are often caused by excessive fat around the neck, can disappear with weight loss of only 5%.

7. You’re excited to go work out.  It’s true! The feel- good endorphins which rush through your body after a good workout can be really addictive. Plus, the progress is addicting/ When you start losing weight and gaining strength, you’ll be anxious to go back for more.

8.  Your kids will eat healthier. If you want your kids to eat broccoli, you have to eat broccoli. Same goes for salad and whole grains. Get this: If your child is overweight, your weight loss may benefit them as well. A University in California study found that for each unit decrease in a parent’s BMI, their children lose one quarter of theirs. To simplify, a parent’s weight loss has a trickle down effect for their children.

9. Your partner may not be supportive.  After you’ve lost the weight, your partner may feel threatened. It’s actually common  that partners get jealous and insecure with their newly attractive mate.  They could also be uncomfortable with your new healthy lifestyle- especially if they know they also need to make those changes to improve their health.

10. People come to you for advice. Yep! After people see that you’ve slimmed down, they’ll get inspired and want to come to you for advice. Be proud that people are looking up to you . Just be honest about what worked for you and the hurdles you had to overcome.

11. People may not recognize you.  It’s unlikely that someone close wouldn’t recognize you, but don’t be surprised if aquaintances and co workers do a double take when they notice the new you for the first time.

12. You’ll find out who your real friends are.  When your figure changes, so will your relationships. Most of your friends will be happy for you, but sadly, it’s likely you’ll have some that will turn jealous and resentful- especially if your friendship was built on mutual understanding of what it’s like to be heavy.

13. You’ll lose your sweet tooth. When months have past from you eating clean and seeing how fantastic you look as a result, Ho ho’s and Twinkies may no longer call your name. If you lose the junk food, you will lose the addiction, and the cravings that follow.

 

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13 Reasons it’s Easier Than Ever to Lose Weight

Learn why weight  loss is easier these days!

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1.  Chain restaurants have to tell you the truth.  New government regulations make it mandatory for food establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations must provide calorie and nutrition information for standard menu items. Knowing what your food is in terms of fats, carbs, calories, sugars and proteins may actually change your decision to get that double double.

2. “Fat tax.” It may have not come into full effect, yet.(and is pretty controversial,) but even the fact that the government is discussing implementing taxes on candy, junk food, and soda, help raise awareness and build consciousness in the collective public about what we’re shoveling and gulping down. In 2014, Berkeley, California even successfully passed a soda tax, becoming the first of it’s kind in U.S.

3. Plant- based is gaining popularity. There’s more plant based options now more than ever. It’s now considered “trendy” for restaurants to feature vegan and vegetarian options. People feel good about receiving loads of nutrients from their meals, but also the filling fiber and water, which is a winning combination to help people feel satiated with fewer calories.

4. There’s more farmers’ markets these days. In the U.S. farmers’ markets have become more accessible now due to demand.  According to the USDA, there’s been a 76% increase since 2008.  Farmers’ markets have a wide variety of local fruits and veggies at affordable prices. Produce that is vine ripened is much more nutritious that being picked green, then being ripened by ripening  inducing gasses.

5. People are more aware of healthy fats.  Healthy fats are finally getting the attention they deserve. People used to avoid fat from all sources, and couldn’t feel satisfied since fat contributes to feeling full. Now that plant based fats from foods like nuts, avocados, and seeds are encouraged, people feel satisfied and no longer deprived, which makes weight loss much easier!

6. “Fit-stagram.” Instagram has gained massive popularity. Much is filled with healthy, fit inspiring images and quotes. Google “best health bloggers” or “yoga Instagram accounts” and get followin’.

7. There’s many free online programs and apps. There’s many free programs to track your calories and fitness.  In the past, you had to guess whether you may have exceeded your calorie limit, but it’s now easier than ever to know if you’ve reached your limit.

8. The hospitality industry is up-to-date.  Vacations are no longer an excuse to veg out and skip the gym. All sorts of hotels are catering more and more travelers who don’t want the gym experience to feel like being locked in a dungeon.  There’s beach side yoga, pilates and aerobic classes just to name a few.

9. Added sugar has finally gotten it’s bad reputation.  For the first time, the government has put a suggested limit on sugar. The 2015 nutrition labeling guidelines suggest that sugar should be less than 10% of your calories per day.  For example, if you’re eating 2,000 calories a day, that’s about 50 grams allotted for added sugar, which can be found in just one Snapple Iced Tea! It’s still a lot of sugar, but it’s  a great start.

10. There’s Tinder for gym rats. The new app Sweatt makes it easy and fun to connect with others in your local fitness community and to find those with similar fitness interests as your own. Geared towards people with a fit lifestyle.

11. There’s more GMO awareness.  There’s been a huge win for People vs. Big Food.  People are becoming aware now and major brands are listening to the feedback. Big brands are taking steps to eliminate GMO’s in their food. Big chain restaurants are also removing all it’s artificial ingredients, and avoiding GMO’s.

12. You have a support group at your fingertips. You have 24 hour support when you’re trying to lose weight and make healthier changes. Features such as groups, chats, and meetups enable mutual encouragement, advice, inspiration and recipe sharing.

13. You don’t need a gym to work out. Home workouts and classes are available from many sites and apps. No more excuses for not going to the gym!

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13 of the Easiest Ways to Cut Out Sugar

Or at  least  lower it

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Added sugar is lurking in your “wholesome” wholesome bread, your “healthy” snack bar, and your smoothies. It may be just the reason you can’t get that flat belly you’ve been working on.

It’s completely possible to cut it back! (and prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and tooth decay) Here’s a list of the easiest ways to lower your sugar intake- without sacrificing the flavor in your favorite foods.

1. Look for aliases. There’s 56 different name for added sugar including dried cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave, molasses, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and sucrose- or any word ending in “ose.” If sever forms of sugar appear on the label, think again before making it an addition to your diet.

2. Rethink that drink. The third largest source of calories in the U.S. is soda, which is also one of the largest sources for sugar. Some sodas contain over 52 grams of sugar, which is more than a day’s worth. Ditch the sodas and sweetened teas and reach for healthier options such as  fruit infused water or unsweetened teas. This simple swap can help you drop ten pounds one a single year.

3. Buy unsweetened. Look for the unsweetened versions of whatever you’re buying. Making products with “no added sugar” and “unsweetened ” labels will save you tons of sugar and calories over the course of one year.

4. Stock up on nature’s candy.  Fruit is naturally free of added sugars , of course. Dietitians say that eating fruit is one of the healthiest ways to satisfy a sweet craving.

5. Beware of dried fruit. Food manufacturers often add juice concentrates, sugar, and syrups to extend their fruit’s shelf life and improve the flavor.

6. Go for dark chocolate. Reach for the dark chocolate instead of chocolate milk, which has nearly twice the sugar content. Dark chocolate has four times the iron and filling fiber than its sweeter counter part.

7. Add applesauce.When baking, simply swapping sugar for unsweetened applesauce can save you hundreds of calories! One cup of sugar contains over 780 calories, the same amount of applesauce contains 100. Depending on how big your cookies are, that could save you between 20 and 80 calories a pop!

Note: If you’re swapping out applesauce, a 1:1 ratio works fine; but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup.

8. Beware of energy or  snack bars. Some popular energy bars contain over 27 grams of sugar. Don’t be fooled by misleading packaging and always read the label.

9. Use coffee shop extras. Try vanilla cocoa powder, or cinnamon in an unsweetened latte or coffee instead of table sugar. You’ll save about 20 calories and 4 grams of sugar for each packet you keep out of your cup.

10. Toss cereals.  Even the healthy-seeming cereals are loaded with sugar. Many popular “healthy” cereals, contain over 19 grams per cup! That’s more than you’ll find in a bag of Pretzel M&M’s! Next time you hit the grocery store, look for a box with less than 6 grams of sugar per serving which provides a hefty dose of fiber. Some of the most popular high fiber, low sugar cereals include  Fiber One Original Bran Cereal (0 sugar, 28g fiber) and Shredded Wheat Spoon SIze Wheat ‘n Oat Bran (0 sugar, 7g fiber.) Add natural sweetness and flavor to your bowl by pouring in some fresh berries or diced apples.

11. Pick a better bread. White bread may be tastier to some, but it’s also a sneaky source of added sugar. One slice of Wonder Classic packs down 2 grams of sugar. That means if you have a slice of toast with your breakfast sandwich and a sanwich for lunch, you’re getting 6 grams or 13 % of your day’s sugar from your bread drawer. To save sugar and shrink your waistline, switch to Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, a zero sugar variety.

12. Go for the plain oats. Skip the flavored oats pouches- most are loaded with sugars and chemicals in a misleading package. Use healthy kitchen staples such as cinnamon, fruit, nutmeg and vanilla extract to flavor your oatmeal.

13. Forget the fake.  Turning to artificial sweeteners may seem like a good idea when cutting back on the real garbage, but don’t be fooled. Diet sodas, fake sugars, and sugar free candy aren’t any better. Many researchers have found a link between fake sugars and weight gain- not loss. 

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   2016’s Best Fitness Trackers

Which tracker’s right for you?

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You know it’s time to make the health changes you deserve. All you need to get started is the right set of tools. If you’re thinking about making a fitness tracker on of those weight loss tools, then check out the Best Fitness Trackers of 2016.

In addition to a healthy eating lifestyle , a fitness tracker is one of the tools that can jump start your weight loss journey. A good fitness tracker is so much more than some fancy pedometer. It’s a device that delivers a better picture of your overall activity level. Many models also monitor sleep quality, an important quality in weight loss.

Here are some of the best fitness trackers for monitoring your health, wellness, and weight loss goals.

  1. Fitbit Charge HR
  2. Consider one of the best fitness trackers by many, the Fitbit Charge HR offers a range of features that monitor health and wellness. It provides continuous heart rate monitoring, more accurate calorie burn estimates than other models, step counting, and sleep tracking. Tha app for the Charge HR is simple to read and easy to use. Fitbit offers this model in a range of colors, all with an understated design that doesn’t scream “fitness tracker.”

Drawbacks:

  • Not waterproof
  • Only simple sleep tracking options
  • Less than desirable run tracking

Price: $149.95

2. Fitbit Surge

This model is one of the best fitness trackers for runners, it offers features like GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, and accurate run tracking. The SUrge also includes Bike Mode, which incorporates charts, graphs, and route mapping.

Drawbacks:

  • Fewer features when using smartphone notifications
  • Less than attractive design
  • Some users have debated the unit’s GPS accuracy
  • Pricey compared to the other fitness tracker brands

Price: $249.99

3. Jawbone UP2

If you want a device that handles the basics, this is one of the best. The UP2 provides solid basics like step counting, sleep tracking and other activity essentials. Many users say this tracker is a winner when it comes to comfort. The app is relatively fuss free and simple to use.

Drawbacks:

  • Not waterproof
  • No heart rate monitoring
  • Specific charging cable (you can’t use other cables to charge it)

Price: $99.99

4. Jawbone UP3

This fitness tracker snags good reviews for sleep quality tracking. It monitors respiration rate, body temperature, and skin response to provide stats about heavy/light sleeping and REM sleep. This Jawbone model also provides basic fitness info, such as step counts and heart rate. The stylish design makes it look more like an accessory and less like a fitness tracker.

Drawbacks:

  • Splash proof rather than water proof
  • No on device display (you view stats via the app)
  • Pricey for the level of monitoring it offers

Price: $179.99

5. Garmin Vivoactive

If your exercise tastes run the gamut, this Garmin model might be the perfect fir. It provides step counting, cycling, swimming, and track running stats, and more. The Garmin app offers plenty of features, including the ability to motivate yourself by earning badges. Users also like the app because it’s easy to read.

Drawbacks:

  • Less than attractive design
  • Some users say the sleep tracking isn’t as good as other fitness trackers
  • Reportedly unreliable Bluetooth syncing

Price: $249.99

6. Apple Watch with Misfit App

The  combination of Apple Watch and the Misfit App allows you to create a workout based on a length of time you set. It essentially works like an automated coach that guides users through body weight exercises and high intensity circuit training.

Drawback:

  • Requires an iPhone 5 or later to use
  • Users say it’s slow to communicate with a paired iPhone
  • Battery power for the Apple Watch is notoriously brief

Price starts at $$349. for Apple Watch

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8 Most Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Avoid These Mistakes and Finally Reach Your Goal!

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Everyone makes mistakes. When it comes to losing weight, it’s easy to fall into  a few traps.  What looks like a healthy choice could be swimming with destructive elements, ultimately derailing your attempt to shed pounds! Fortunately, awareness of these errors will set you back on track toward real, permanent weight loss. On the road to a slimmer, fitter you, watch out for these 8 Common Weight Loss Mistakes.

  1. Reaching for “Diet” foods

Many people are trying to lose weight opt for lower calorie, fat free versions of their favorite foods. Thinking this “lighter” option will serve them well. Unfortunately, most diet foods compensate for their flavorless “diet” status by including loads of artificial chemicals and ingredients. These phony, over- processed ingredients are far from clean or satisfying. At the same time, many people exposed to “lighter” foods end up eating more because they think they are healthy choices. Approach with caution.

2. Not Consuming Enough Calories

One of the most common, destructive weight loss mistakes to make is eating less calories than your body needs. Your body has a minimum calorie requirement to maintain basic functions like pumping blood and brain activity. You’ll enter a state of famine if you refuse to consume enough calories to support your body. As a result, this famine mode will train your body to hold on to every calorie you consume there after and slow your metabolic rate. Your body’d new low calorie need will cause you to gain, even more weight as soon as you stop starving yourself!

3. Ditching Breakfast

They don’t call breakfast the most important meal of the day for nothing. If you want to see real results when you step on the scale, don’t do yourself the disservice of having a weak breakfast, or skipping it completely. Breakfast will jump start your metabolism, deliver energy to help you take on the day, also curbing cravings later in the day. Breakfast nourishes the body. As a result, you’re most likely to eat less throughout the day.

4. Cardio Only

Do not commit the cardio only crime! Even though an intense cardio sweat session may seem like a more effective, calorie burning routine than lifting, a number of studies have proved that weight training can help you burn even more calories throughout the day after your workout. Opt for varying your exercises to benefit you in the long run. Distribute some cardio with lifting weights for a change and start to notice the results. This healthy habit should have you smiling from ear to ear when you see the results on the scale.

5. You’tr Lifting Too Light

Do you include strength training in your regular fitness routine, but wonder why you’re still not seeing results? It’s likely you’re using weights that are too light and not making effective use of your time at the gym. Instead of going down the lightweight, high rep track, try heavier weights with fewer reps. This blasts calories and builds muscle which increases you’re metabolism in the long run. Lift more, lose more!

6. Making Drastic Changes

Give your body a break! It isn’t built to undergo immediate, drastic changes, and will respond by resisting. For instance. it will feel threatened by the dramatic drops in calories and will enter starvation mode, as a result, holding on to every calorie you consume. Instead, make gradual, yet consistent changes that doesn’t stress out your body. You’ll acclimate to your new lifestyle and won’t relapse after dropping a few pounds. Baby steps are key.

7. Depriving Yourself

Just because your goal is to lose weight, doesn’t mean you have to give up everything delicious. When you have a very strong craving, you shouldn’t hesitate to acknowledge you’re desire instead of shutting it down completely. Make room in your lifestyle to treat yourself with something indulgent. Doing so will prevent your weight loss journey from being miserable and unlikely to commit to. When you do indulge, arrange your treats mindfully. Scoop yourself some ice cream in a bowl instead of shoveling into the carton. Pour yourself some chips instead of wolfing them down straight from the bag. These mindful habits should make a lasting difference!

8. Too Much Protein

There’s no denying the importance of protein when you’re trying to lose weight. It strengthens  your bones and muscles and fights off hunger. But be aware! Overdosing on protein has adverse effects on your body just like excess carbs do. Don’t fall victim to high protein meal replacement shakes or bars either-they’re just loaded with sugar, fat, and other substances that interfere with your goals.

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30 Days to Change Your Eating Habits

Start today!

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Eating habits are hard to break, especially the ones we’ve been living with since childhood. But you have the power to change! You can start today. We’re sharing a week by week guide on how to change your eating habits in 30 days.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not happy with your current habits. You understand that it’s time to change. Maybe you’re not sure where to start. We’ve broken down a strategy for how to eat healthy into small, doable steps. Make these steps part of your routine. Over time, you can change your eating habits and how you look and feel!

Week 1  Focus: Plan menus.

  • Make time to plan. If you don’t do so already, set aside time before each grocery trip to plan what you’ll eat for the next week. This help you avoid resorting to “unhealthy’ packaged foods or takeout.
  • Plan menus with clean eating foods. Choosing a clean eating lifestyle means eating foods that are minimally processed or whole. It’s eating a fresh apple instead of packaged, artificially sweetened apple sauce. These foods are usually found around the perimeter of the grocery store, like the produce department.
  • Plan for snacks, too. Healthy snacks are just as important as meals. They help maintain blood sugar levels and provide the body with more consistent energy levels. Don’t find yourself with a hand in the chip bag to stave off hunger. Plan for nutritious snacks and put them on your shopping list.

Week 2 Focus: Get clean.

  • Clean out the kitchen pantry. This step is a must have. Processed foods, often loaded with refined sugar, fat, artificial sweeteners, or sodium, are one big reason it can be difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Start a clean slate by clearing out sugary cereals, packaged frozen meals,  and processed snack foods like chips.
  • Keep an eye out for refined sugar. Change your eating habits this week by booting refined sugar from the kitchen and pantry too. It’s often found in surprising places, such as store bought salad dressings or frozen waffles.

Week 3 Focus:  Pare down portions.

  • Always check portion sizes. Read the serving sizes listed on the recipes and food packages for a better sense of how many calories you are consuming. Eating out? Stick to portion size guide lines or look up the nutrition information on the menu or the restaurant’s website to determine how much of the meal is a reasonable portion size.
  • Use smaller bowls and plates. Research suggests that people who eat from smaller plates consume less calories than those eating from larger plates. Consume less by serving meals in small bowls or on  salad plates rather than dinner sized plates.

Week 4 Focus: Adjust drinking habits.

  • Lose the soda. Whether your weakness is sugar or artificially sweetened soda, it’s got to go if you want to make lasting changes in your health and weight.
  • Drink more water. Plain water hydrates the body with zero calories or chemical preservatives. It fills the stomach, taking the edge off hunger that can send reaching for unhealthy foods.
  • Consume less alcohol or quit altogether. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories and sugar, plus it dehydrates and creates toxins in the body. 

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12 Ways to Cut 500 Calories Out a Day

Try these painless tips to achieve your dream body easier!

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If you’ve dieted in the past, you probably know that 3,500 calories makes one pound of body fat. That means you’d have to cut 500 calories per day to burn one pound in a week. The feat may sound difficult or even impossible. But in reality, all it takes is some determination and a few ordinary changes to take on the challenge.

Here at Slim Sexy Mom, we’ve collected a few tips and tricks to cur off 500 calories per day the healthy way. It takes some effort to turn these patterns into habits, but with enough perseverance, you’ll be waving those unwanted pounds goodbye in no time.  Stop moping and start skipping down the path towards that dream body!

1. Stand when you can. We spend much of our day sitting. As much as we wish this sedentary position would blast calories, it doesn’t. Luckily, you’re provided more opportunities daily than you realize to swap sitting for standing. Shockingly enough, standing burns upwards of 120 calories per hour! Instead of lounging on the sofa while chatting on the phone or waiting for a friend, get up!

2. Limit additives. Sure, half and half might give your coffee that creamy kick. A dollop of Blue cheese dressing might make eating vegetables exciting. But that rich milky taste from creamy coffee flavorings and salad dressings packs on the calories.  Substitute almond milk for whole milk or heavy cream in your coffee. Opt for mindful salad toppings rather than traditional high calorie dressings. Mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil and garlic for a super nutritious option.

3. Serve, than step away. The layout of family style meals invites people to pile their plates with seconds or thirds without listening to their bodies. It’s easy to overeat in a social atmosphere with friends and family. The very presence of enticing food on the table will only encourage this further. You can cut hundreds of calories a day by stepping away from serving dishes after filling your plate. The habit will clue you into how you’re really feeling, and lead to mindful eating.

4. Size matters, when it comes to plates. Restocking your cabinets with smaller plates and packages is a painless way to peel 500 calories a day. You’ll pile them up with less food and, consequently, fewer calories. Research indicates that when people are exposed to large sized portions, they eat more. Using smaller dishes, containers, and bowls could have you consuming 25% less food each meal without even realizing it. Dig out your smaller dishes and drop your daily calorie count!

5. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can do some scary damage to your waistline. If you don’t get enough sleep, your once active metabolism will fall to a snail’s pace, causing you to burn calories much slower than you once would if you had proper sleep. Sleep deprivation affects hormones that trigger feelings of hunger and craving carbs. As a result, you’re likely to overeat and sabotage your weight loss goals. Getting more sleep will ensure that your metabolism functions at optimal speed and prevent you from overeating or experiencing deceptive feelings of hunger.

6. Don’t eat out- be your own chef! Cooking your own meals gives you a rush of pride and blasts calories.After grocery shopping for about an hour followed by an hour it two in the kitchen, you have more reasons besides that beautiful meal you created to rejoice. The overall process squeezes in some major cardio, torching at least 500 calories depending on the time you spent out and about. make time to create a fabulous feast -your waistline will thank you.

7. Add eggs to the menu. Instead of scarfing down a breakfast drowning in carbs and sugar, substitute your morning meal with two hard boiled eggs. Eggs are bursting with nutrients and full of protein. They rank high on the satiety index, a scale measuring how full a food makes you feel. By simply eating two eggs in the morning, you’ll feel full and consume less calories throughout the day. The tasty food will speed up your metabolism and grant you lasting energy.

8. Drink water before meals. Drinking water before meals can do wonders for your waistline! Many studies have shown that those who drink two glasses of water before a meal consume less food overall. The calories you save add up over the course of the day. How can something as simple as water wash away unwanted pounds? Water provides a sense of fullness. By the time you eat your meal, it takes less food to reach the point of satiety. On days when your hunger is spiraling out of control and water doesn’t cut it, eat a bowl of low calorie soup before your meal. Soup’s large volume takes up a lot of stomach space, like water, and prevents you from overeating.

9. Slow down and enjoy. Your overflowing agenda should’t stop you from chewing your food efficiently. Research shows that people who chew at least 20 times before swallowing eat less during meals, which can save calories. It takes your body 20-30 minutes to register feelings of fullness. people often scarf down their dishes in half that time. As a result, they wind up grabbing more food to relieve lingering hunger. Slow down and enjoy the taste, texture, and temperature of your food. After all, mealtime should be an experience, not a race.

10. Wear a pedometer. Walking tops the charts when it comes to versatile exercises. You can lace up your shoes, grab your bottle of water, and head out for a walk, or simply walk around your office wearing a suit and heels. Either way, walking feels great and is amazing for your joints and cardiovascular system. Strap on a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day, which burns about 500 calories. If you find it difficult too reach that number, try making little changes, like parking farther away, or taking the stairs.  These minute modifications should add more steps than you think!

11. Forget the drinks. That glass of orange juice in the morning, or pumpkin spice latte at noon takes a toll on your calorie bank. Sugar sweetened drinks such as sodas, juices, and flavored coffees contain empty calories. They dump calories into your daily intake without the nutrition to satisfy your hunger. As a result, you’ll eat just as much as you would otherwise. That initial sugar rush isn’t worth the extra calories. Grab a glass of water whenever you’re tempted to reach for something else.

12. Focus on vegetables. Vegetables are under appreciated. They boast a low calorie, high nutrient profile which surpasses all other food groups. By focusing on veggies, you can significantly reduce your daily calorie consumption. For dinner, cut your protein serving in half and fill the space with extra vegetables. At lunch, eat half of that sandwich or spaghetti serving, and fill the remaining space with extra veggies.  You’ll feel just as full without having to sacrifice taste!

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Pick 3 Lose 10 Pounds Plan

Check out the best 25 ways to lose 10 pounds!

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There are thousands of weight loss tips put there, but many just aren’t realistic. Here are the 25 easiest and most effective ways of all time to finally achieve that body of your dreams and maintain it for a lifetime.

1. Drink 2 glasses of water. Before eating, down 16oz of water. Doing this will curb your appetite and lower your risk of overeating. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, fill it with fruit or herbs. Lemon tops the list. They’re also great for detoxing the liver and a host of other great benefits for your body.

2. Swap soda for tea.  Ever time you choose tea (green’s the best for weight loss)  over a soda,you save from 140-210 calories! Soda calories are the high glycemic (the rate your body digests carbs) and toxic kind.  One study found that drinking green tea burns about 70 additional calories in a 24 hour period. When you add everything up, that’s a total of at least 210 calories saved which translates to 21 pounds in one year!

3. Eat dark chocolate.  Have a sweet tooth? Instead of chomping on cookies or a candy bar, calm those sugar cravings with a small piece of dark chocolate.  A dark chocolate square may not seem quite as satisfying as your favorite choice the first few times, but after a while, you won’t even miss the sweeter snacks.  If a Milkyway bar is your weekend vending machine splurge, switching to dark chocolate will save many calories in the long run.

4. Swap fries for a salad. Good news if you love your fast food: You can still eat your favorite burgers and nuggets and still lose weight. As long as you switch out the fries for a side salad. Hard to believe? Consider this: A side salad with low- fat Italian dressing from Mc Donald’s has 70 calories, while the calories are in a small order of Ronald’s fries complete with a packet of ketchup has 240. If you eat fast food twice per week, this simple swap will save you 17, 689 calories, or 5 pounds per year! Obviously the calorie saving varies depending on the fast food place, but as long as you go light on the dressing, you can be sure you’re saving at least 100 calories each time you dine.

5. Order an appetizer. Recent stats indicate that Americans dine out between four and five times per week- which is bad news for your belly. Not only are portions and calorie counts substantially larger at restaurants compared to home cooked meals, and even seemingly healthy dishes are full of excess fat, calories, and salt. Instead of ordering a healthier meal every time you dine out, commit to ordering a broth- based soup as an appetizer. People who eat soup as an appetizer, consume an average of 20% less calories over the course of a meal.  Whats that mean for you? The average meal from a sit down restaurant contains a whopping 1,130 calories, according to a University of Toronto report, so you’d save about 230 calories each time you ate out. If you shave off 230 calories from your plate just four times a week, you can easily drop 14 pounds this year- without making any other changes to your routine.

6. Chase your cocktails. Dieters all know that booze is a major source of calories, but not everyone is willing to quit drinking to fit into their skinny jeans. Instead of ditching the booze, commit to drinking a glass of water before each alcoholic beverage. It’ll slow down your drinking and prevent you from heading mindlessly to the late night burger joint.  You’ll likely cut your total drinks to about half and save a minimum of 300 calories. If you booze it up twice per week, you could easily slash 9 pounds from your frame in one year. The water will also prevent a hangover which will make it more likely to be more active the following day, and save some cash while you’re at it.

7. Brown bag it.  Save some money, time, and calories by  packing a brown bag at least a few times per week. Don’t think packing a lunch could make a dramatic difference? Consider this: A homemade turkey sandwich runs you around 320 calories and 6 grams of fat. The average turkey sandwich at a deli runs about 100 calories more, with almost 20g more fat. Make the switch just three times per week which equates to about 3 pounds in one year.

8. Swap flavored for plain yogurt.  Sure, flavored yogurt tastes great, but you’re tricking yourself if you think it’s healthy. Chobani’s take on the flavor made with zero percent fat milk packs 130 calories and 15 grams of sugar- more than 50 percent of the daily recommended intake.  To lose weight with out sacrificing flavor – opt for a plain Greek yogurt topped with berries. It will run you about 100 calories and nix all the added sugar. Make this change every day for one year and you’ll stand to lose about 3 pounds!

9. Forget the cheese. On average, one slice of cheese has about 80 calories. Eliminate it from just three meals per week to keep 11,000 calories and keep three pounds off over the course of the year. You may miss your spicy Jack at first, but if you load up your bread with veggies and a thin swipe of hummus or guac, you won’t miss it in the long run. 

10. Create a snack stash. Poor diet decisions happen when you’re hungry and unprepared. You may not realize it, but those bags of chips from the office vending machine and those free danishes from the bank really add up. To stay on track all day long, load your car, purse or desk with raw nuts, non-perishable fruits like bananas, apples, carrots, and pears. If you have access to a refrigerator, stash away a container of Greek yogurt instead of your daily “emergency” pastry could save you up to 160 calories a day, which is just shy of 17 pounds per year!

11.  Mini lifestyle makeovers. These small changes to your daily routine can help you drop more pounds faster  than you could have dreamed. Give them all a good thought and then choose which one is more sustainable for you.

12. Mind your meals. When it comes to eating, it’s best to grab a seat. Research has shown that people who stand while eating chow down 30% more during their next meal than those who sit!  Scientists speculate that when we eat on our feet, we don’t consider it a “real meal” and subconsciously eat later in the day. If you currently consume a 450 calorie dinner, you could easily bring that number down to 360 just by making time for sit-down lunch. That translates to 9 pounds lost over the course of one year.

13. Turn in early.  In a recent study of more than 500 participants, researchers found that losing just 30 minutes of sleep increased the risk of obesity by 17 %! Another study found that sleep deprived people consume an average of of about 300 more calories per day than their well rested counterparts. Hit the bed a half hour early to ensure you get the rest you need. Doing this just twice per week and you could actually save yourself 9 pounds a year!

14. Making de-stressing a top priority. It is known that stressing is bad for your health, but did you know that stressing out also damages your metabolism? An Ohio State University study found that in the 24 hours following a stressful experience, women burn 105 less calories than more relaxed women in seven hours following eating a high fat meal, a difference that could result in weight gain of almost 11 pounds in one year. Find effective ways to keep it cool to help those excess pounds stay off. Hit the gym, garden, take a bath. Whatever works for you to relax.

15. Take the stairs. If riding the elevator is a part of your daily routine, head towards the stairs instead. Spending just 10 minutes per day going up and down stairs burns about 80 calories, which translates to 400 calories per week and 6 pounds per year! There’s even more great news: Harvard research indicates that regularly taking the stairs can decrease mortality rate by up to 18%.

16. Sweat through commercials. For each hour you watch TV you watch, you’ll see about 15 minutes of commercials, according to global information and measurement company Nielsen. Instead of using that time to check out another channel or worse, refill the popcorn bowl, stand up and do some crunches. Spending 15 minutes per day jumping around torches around 70 calories- which translates to a 7 pound weight loss over the course of a year.

17. Stick to the one minute rule. You can lose weight and save cash on gas all in one shot. Leave the car at home and walk to any errands that are less than one mile away. If you live away from the center of town, then drive to a location where you can run several errands by foot. Adding just 40 minutes of walking to your routine each week could help you lose about 3 pounds per year!

18. Dress down. A study by The American Council on Exercise suggests that casual clothing can increase physical activity levels in our daily routines. Participants in the study took an additional 490 steps and burned 25 more calories on days where they wore denim than wearing traditional suit wear. That may not sound impressive, but the calories add up. Researchers say keeping it casual just once per week could slash over 6,000 calories over the course of the year- enough to offset the average annual weight gain experienced by most Americans.

19. Leave behind a bite.  Some experts believe that leaving behind just one bite behind at each meal could save you about 75 calories a day. That adds up to nearly an 8 pound weight loss in just one year.

20. Fitness turbochargers. Already going to the gym regularly? Good! Now get more bang for your calorie burning buck by adding one of these fitness turbochargers to your routine.

21. Jog to the gym. Running or jogging to the gym  can take your calorie burn and weight loss to the next level. While a 150- pound woman burns about 140 calories in 45 minutes of yoga, running twenty twenty minutes to get there will add on another 300 calories. The result: You’ll find yourself 9 pounds lighter in just one year!

22. Add some sprints. Accelerate your speed to accelerate your weight loss. By performing short- all- out sprints with short periods of rest is the most effective form of cardio for fat loss. Try a 2-1 “work -to- rest” ratio, meaning, sprint two times longer than you rest. SO if you run a one minute sprint, then walk for 2 minutes and then repeat the pattern until you hit the 30 minute mark. A 150 pound person using this approach to cardio will burn of 60 more calories than running at a steady pace. Add two sprint days to your weekly fitness routine and you could lose 2 pounds every year.

23. Turn it up! Playing music while you work out could increase your endurance- and further your calorie burn- by up to 15%, says Brunel University researchers. How you ask? Researchers hypothesize that music wards off fatigue and makes fitness buffs feel like they can do anything they put their minds to. But not just any music. Look for music that’s about 120-140 beats per minute to maximize results. The results of this simple- and totally fun-change to your workouts will vary based on your routine of choice. However, if you typically use a stationary bike for 30 minutes three times a week, you could burn an additional 3,790 calories per year. That’s just over one pound lost in just 12 months- with next to zero effort.

24. Go outside. Not only is running outdoors more entertaining than staring out of the gym windows, trading your favorite treadmill for an outdoor trail can amp up your weight loss efforts. Scientists say that exercisers work of 10 % more calories when they walk or run outside, than on a treadmill, moving at the exact same speed. If you walk for 60 minutes five times per week on the treadmill, simply taking your routine outdoors could help you lose 2 pounds in one year.

25. Move your arms. If you want to make the most out of your half hour cardio session on the machine, make sure you’re using the moving handles to pump your arms. This extra motion can increase the calorie burn by up to 30%, which translates to 40 calories in one half hour. Say you use the machine four times a week; that’s an easy two pounds of fat every year.

26. Up the incline. If you want to get the most out of your cardio workout session, then increase the incline from 0 to 1 %. Cranking up the grade will incinerate about 430 calories in 30 minutes, while doing the same workout on a flat surface will burn just 380. Over the course of a year, making this simple change could help you lose 1.4 pounds of fat!.

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Top 7 Cellulite Burning Foods

It really is possible!

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The C- word. It’s undesirable and unflattering. Yep: we’re  talking about cellulite. Sadly, cellulite is more common in women than men. It’s simply normal fat beneath the skin. It appears bumpy and cheesy- like because the fat is pushing against the connective tissues.

Cellulite is not harmful, but many women want to reduce the visibility of cellulite. It’s possible for any body type to gain cellulite.  Some contributing factors are poor diet, lack of physical activity, dehydration, hormone changes, slowed metabolism, and others. However, there’s simple ways to reduce cellulite in the body. Include some physical activity in your daily life and try these 7 foods to burn cellulite!

1. Whole Grain

The fibers in whole grain foods will keep you satisfied and feeling fuller longer.

2. Avocados

Avocados provide texture, taste, and nourishment to keep you satisfied.

3. Cherries

Cherries are great for keeping insulin levels under control and increase blood sugar levels at a slower rate.

4. Asparagus

Asparagus helps reduce stress levels and provides necessary vitamins your body needs.

5. Cucumbers

Cucumbers contain high water content, which refreshes your body and also adds more water to your diet.

6. Raw Nuts

Walnuts, almonds, and pecans contain plant sterols that fight against bad cholesterol.

7. Papaya

Papaya is loaded with vitamin C, which helps keep your skin stay healthy and fresh.

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Top 5 Mindful Eating Tips

Eat mindfully and Lose More Weight!

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Have you ever rushed through a meal so quickly, that you hardly tasted it? It’s hard to know if you even enjoyed it! I used to do this all the time.

When we eat mindfully, we are a lot more aware of our food, our body’s cues, and the act of eating. We’re able to savor our food so we need less of it to feel satisfied. Mindful eating can help eliminate excessive snacking too. That was a big one for me, especially at night. My relationship with food began to change when I started incorporating mindfulness into my mealtimes. This method has really helped me and should help you as well.

1. Before you start eating, do a quick body scan. I used to be a super fast eater, since I’ve been super busy.  When I started paying attention to my meals, I noticed that I often felt a bit of tension in my body before I began eating.

I now release this tension before i eat. I take the time to do a quick body scan from head to toe in order to notice where I’m holding stress, breathe into it, and release it. When I do this, I start my calmly and, in turn, eat slower. I am then able to notice the flavors and textures and truly enjoy it. It also prevents me from feeling deprived.

2. Bless your food. Sounds silly? Perhaps, but it works!  I take a brief moment to bless  my food with a sentence or two such as ” I love my food and my food loves me” or “Thank you, Universe, for this nourishing meal.” A touch of gratitude goes a long way and sets the tone for your meal.  I take a brief moment to acknowledge how much this food is helping my body stay healthy. I contemplate all the people that help get this food to me. It isn’t just about the chef. It’s about the farmers, the delivery truck drivers, and the people who work at the store. This is simply another example of how we are all interconnected. It’s difficult to bless Doritos and cupcakes, so blessing your food gives you an extra minute to back out of a potential bad snack situation.!

3. Decide, even if you like it.  I like to use the good french fry and the bad french fry analogy. We’ve all had amazingly delicious fries in the past. They’re hot and salty. They’re worth it! Most of us have also had a cold, mushy french fry that are definitely not worth it. Those are the ones we eat and feel the guilt wash over us. We wonder why we can’t make better choices.

Now, when I eat something that is on my unhealthy list, I take one bite and determine if I like it enough to have more. If I take a bite, love it, and want another, I savor it without beating myself up. If I take a bite and label it not worthy, I stop at one bite.

4.  Try to limit technology while eating. Do you spend a lot of time on the internet and social media? If so, join the club. I promise you you’re not alone. It happens without us even realizing it, right? If we’re mindless during our web sessions, just imagine how many chips or chocolate covered raisins we could op in or mouth while browsing. We eat much more mindfully when we focus on the process.

Enjoy the taste and smell of your food, put your fork down between bites, and appreciate  what you’re eating. I try to make eating my main activity, not something I do while watching TV or scrolling through Facebook. Mindfulness also includes sitting down while eating and never eating from a bag or box. Always decide how much of something you’re going to eat before you start by mindfully portioning it on a plate.

5. The in/out rule. I believe that life should be full of joy and love. We should have adventures and experiences because they help us expand as individuals. We don’t need extreme dietary restrictions unless there are medical reasons. That being said, I do limit unhealthy items in my diet, but in a way that feels good to me with the in/out rule.

When I’m at home, I eat healthily. I don’t eat anything white like pasta, potatoes, or bread, and I only eat natural, raw sugars like honey. I don’t feel deprived at home and I enjoy coming up with creative ways to incorporate lots of produce.

I balance this healthy routine at home with occasional splurges when I’m out. I limit these splurges because it can be a slippery slope.

The in/out rule allows me to eat super healthy most of the time without feeling guilty about indulging once or twice a week. It feels sustainable to me, and that feels great.

I encourage you to choose one or two of these tips to incorporate into your routine. See how they feel. I’m confident that you will notice the difference.

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20 Best Weight Loss Secrets From Thin People

What are the skinny people doing?

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1. They know it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady is the best way to lose weight. You don’t ruin your metabolism by starving yourself, and it’s sustainable for a lifetime, so you keep the weight off.

2. They crack the color code.  The pigment of produce can provide you with information about it’s nutritional content. Check out how each of these five different color categories of fruits and vegetables can improve your health. The mix ‘n’ match for a total of five servings each day. One serving equals 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked. Blues and purples reduce risk of many types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Greens protect bones, teeth and eyesight. Whites, lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Yellows, boost immune and protect your eyes. Reds, help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and improve blood flow to the heart.

3. They play with squash. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta. It goes great with spaghetti sauce. They taste like real noodles, but you’re getting a dose of vegetables and a ton of fiber instead.

4. They pour Pinot Noir. any studies have shown that pinot noir consistently contain the highest levels of resvaretrol among wines- and resvaretrol has been shown to blast fat. One study founf that pinot had more than five times the amount found in cabernet. While it has the lightest body and tannins of the classic red grapes, pinot can posses a variety of flavors.

5. They skip soda.  Sodas are loaded with toxins and sugars with no nutritional value.  They’re very high in the glycemic index, which means they digest very quickly, spiking your blood sugar levels. This creates the hormone insulin which is a fat storing hormone.

6. They know organic isn’t always healthy. When it comes to packaged and processed foods, “organic” doesn’t mean “healthy.”  Your body metabolizes organic fat and sugar the same way it does conventional. In fact, some companies use organic to convince people to load up on sugary yogurt and cereal with unhealthy amounts of organic high-fructose corn syrup, insinuating that they’re healthy .

7. They go for 100. Be small minded about snacks. An experiment at the Cornell University food and bran lab, researchers gave study participants either a single bag containing 100 wheat thins or four smaller bags holding 25 Thins each, waited for the munching to subside, then did the cracker count. The tally: Those given the jumbo bag ate up to 20 % more. Outsmart your snack habit by sticking with the tiny 100-calorie packs now being used for everything from Doritos to Goldfish.

8. They shop the perimeter. Grocery stores are designed like casinos. No clocks and nearly windowless expanses flooded with artificial light and music. Casinos force their guests to navigate a maze of alluring gambling opportunities before they reach essential destinations; restaurants, bathrooms, exit doors, same goes for grocery stores. The most common staple foods bread, milk, eggs, produce, are placed along the perimeter of the store to ensure that customers travel the length of the store, and thus are exposed to multiple junk- food temptations along the way. Shop the perimeter, and only dip into the middle when necessary.

9. They check themselves out. Impulse purchases drop by 32% for women, and 17% for men- when they use the self checkout aisle, according to a study by IHL Consulting Group. 80% of candy and 60% of salty snack purchases are impulse buys.

10. They come prepared. The prepared foods section of the supermarket has grown in recent years since consumers demand quicker, at low cost alternatives to restaurant meals. One survey found that 64% of people had purchased a ready to eat meal from the grocery store in the previous month, and experts estimates that the sector would grow to $14 billion by the end of 2011. Sadly, markups can be high and nutrition is scarcely a concern for supermarkets looking to maximize profits. Your best bet on a busy night? A rotisserie chicken, only about $6, healthy and versatile.

11. They scan for new brands.  As with music and movies, sometimes the best stuff is the most obscure. Not only can bigger manufacturers afford better real estate, but they often pay to keep smaller manufacturers off the shelf or in disadvantageous locations. In California, independent bakers filed a lawsuit accusing Sara Lee of paying grocery stores to relegate local bagel makers to only the top and bottom shelves. Sadly, these lesser known brands are often healthier and more affordable than their big name counterparts.

12. They add 8%.  When choosing frozen meals that is. Coming up with the exact calorie counts for full dinners is trickier than averaging out what you’ll get from a one serving of a single food, like a cereal or a soda. Since packagers want to look as nutritionally appealing as possible, they’re likely to enter on the lower side.

13. They shop on Wednesdays. Most people leave their shopping for Saturday or Sunday mornings, when the stores are packed. Consider making midweek evening runs instead. According to one analysis,only 11 % of Americans shop on Wednesdays, and on any given day, only 4% shop after 9:00pm.  So if you’re planning on shopping at say, 9:00pm on a Wednesday, you’re able to get in and out quickly, which means you’ll spend less time fighting impulse items in the aisles and check out lines. As an added bonus, you’ll free up your Saturday morning for something more enjoyable, like cooking a healthy breakfast. 

14. They stay on top of toppings. When a restaurant chain makes it’s mark serving giant slabs of fat and calories, even their attempts at “lite” foods can be corrupted by an instinct to slather and garnish. Ask your server to put the dressing or toppings on the side and you be the judge of how much goes on top.

15. They make sure grilled means grilled. Grilled chicken may be healthier than fried and breaded, but it’s nowhere as healthy as the same version made on your own backyard grill. Most restaurants use a “grill” that’s actually a griddle- basically a giant frying pan, which requires a generous oil slick to prevent sticking. It’s often the bacon fat saved form breakfast. If you’re watching what you eat, and “flame grilled” options aren’t available, ask your food to be prepared to your liking. Your best bet: Ask if  “grilled” means “flame grilled.” If not, ask for it broiled, which will give you a similar effect- with less fat.

16. They’re Wrap artists. Koreans love to use large lettuce leaves to wrap rice, meats, kimichi, and sauces. In fact, it could be anything.It’s like eating a delicious burrito for a quarter of the calories.

17. They blend plant protein smoothies.  Protein drinks are a great way to get a generous dose of nutrition that’s also a  delicious filling snack. High doses of whey protein can amplify the belly-bloating effect. Try vegan protein, which will give you the same fat burning, muscle building benefits, without the bloat.

18. They’re never thirsty. Since thirst is often mistaken for hunger, you shouldn’t go anywhere without a bottle of water. It also fills you up so there’s less space for excessive food.

19. They keep it clean. Whether you have 10 or 100 pounds to lose, the first thing you should do is create an environment for success. That requires removing all temptation from your kitchen. Collect all the processed, sugary and fatty foods from your house, and bring them to a local food bank for donation. Then restock your kitchen with healthy groceries. Real, natural, whole foods- such as fruits and vegetables, almonds, and lean proteins.

20. They put the iPad down. With laptops, iPods, and smartphones, we’ve become accustomed to round-the-clock entertainment. But your mealtime may be one time of day we should fight our addiction to amusement. Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that diners who were distracted at mealtimes consumed significantly more unhealthy snack foods later on than those who paid close attention to what they ate. One possible explanation: When you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, your brain doesn’t fully register the experience. That will leave you less satisfied and more likely to overeat.

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5 Easy Weight Loss Tricks

Try these hassle free ways to improve your  weight loss goals

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Weight loss is challenging for most people, but there are tips and tricks that make the journey a little easier. Here are 6 super easy weight loss tricks to get you started or help you get over a plateau.

No matter which of these tricks you incorporate into your healthy lifestyle, the key to long term weight loss success is consistency. Create a plan for success and stick to it. Will you make mistakes? Probably. There will come a day or two when life becomes so crazy you won’t have the time or energy to plan a healthy meal or fit in a workout. But the key is to acknowledge the hiccup and get back on the weight loss track.

1. Make healthy recipe swaps. Women often think of healthy eating in negative terms. The truth is that you can enjoy many of the same foods by swapping out traditional recipes for those that use whole or minimally processed ingredients.

2. Hydrate the healthy way. Beverages are a big time weight loss trap for many women. Refined sweeteners add empty calories, while artificial sweeteners alter the metabolism and lead to weight gain. Swap out sodas, processed teas, cafe drinks, and sports drinks for water.

3. Volume up the veggies. One of the most simple ways to lose weight is to add veggies to your menu. Vegetables nourish the body with nutrients such as fiber. Fiber is so filling and takes a much longer time to digest, which keeps you fuller for longer. Plus, the’re so loaded with nutrition, you’re brain won’t get signals to eat because your body is starved of nutrients.

4. Portion down. American adults consume an average of 300 more calories per day now than in 1985.  Another easy weight loss trick is to eat portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight.

5. Step it up. Take more steps! This is often one of the easiest tricks to lose weight. Taking more steps each day has been linked to benefits like weight loss as well as lower blood pressure and healthier glucose levels. Use a fitness tracker or a simple pedometer to track your steps.

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37 Ways to Clean Up Your Diet

Big results from taking baby steps.

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The best way to make a major lifestyle change is to make a series of small, conscious changes to your everyday routine. In time, they’ll add up to a big shift in your diet and to your overall level of health.

Anyone can benefit from these ttyyrhh ways to clean up your diet, whether you’re just easing into a clean eating routine or you’re an old pro at the SlimSexyMom.com lifestyle.

1. Ditch refined grains. That bag of white flour sitting in your pantry? Toss it. Processed grains are stripped of important nutrients, namely fiber. Instead, try whole grains. The first ingredient should say “whole”. Whether it be “whole grain” or “whole wheat”.

2. Cut the sugar out. Sugar- the added kind, not naturally found in foods-has an adverse effect on out bodies and minds. It’s highly addictive and leads to a host of problems, including weight gain, and all the negative effects from just the weight gain alone.

3. Eat healthy grains.  Grains are far from off limits, just make them the healthy kind like quinoa, oats, brown rice, and barley.

4. Dump the soda. Soda is packed with empty calories, toxins, and sugar that rots your teeth and bloats your belly. The diet versions are terrible too.  Opt for tea, black coffee, sparkling water, or just plain H2o instead.

5. Drink more water. Nothing will flush your system faster than drinking more water. If you have a tough time chugging it down, make your own flavored water infused with fresh lemon wedges or orange slice.

6. Eliminate processed foods. Processed foods are high in sugar, corn syrup, and unhealthy trans fats. Clean up your diet by ditching them. Hint: the more ingredients on the label, the more likely it needs to go.

7. Avoid GMOs. GMO stands for genetically modified organism. It’s a food that has been altered from it’s natural state with genetic engineering- think supersize fruits and pest resistant crops. While GMO’s are currently allowed by the FDA, there’s insufficient evidence to prove they’re safe to eat over many years.

8. Go organic. Certified organic foods cannot be genetically modified, and they don’t contain the harsh pesticides associated with traditional meat and produce.

9. Read the ingredients. The ingredients list is a surefire way to make a snap decision whether or not to eat something . If there’s an ingredient you’ve never heard of or can’t pronounce, it won’t do any good for your clean eating efforts.

10. Think of food as fuel. When you change the way you look at food, you’ll be less likely to crave indulgent dishes to make you “feel good.” Try to think of food as fuel for your body to function. Just like with a car, the higher the quality of fuel you put in, the better the resulting performance.

11. Shrink your serving size. Americans are notorious for massive portion sizes. When you cook at home, serve yourself on a salad plate rather than the traditional dinner plate. At a restaurant, ask in advance for your server to box half your portion to take with you.

12. Cook dinner at home. Being active in the kitchen is the only way to know exactly what you’re eating. When you cook at home, you’ll avoid the excessive oils, fats, and sugars that are used in most commercial kitchens.

13. Brown bag your lunch. If you work in an office setting, lunch can be one of the biggest pitfalls to a clean diet. Pack a light salad or healthy wrap instead of grabbing takeout.

14. Eat breakfast. Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast on a daily basis is a proven way to lose weight and keep it off. It prevents you from feeling starved later in the day, which leads to ravenous eating.

15. Eat “real food.” The closer a food is to it’s ‘whole’ form, the better. Aim to make the majority of your meals with foods that have no added “ingredients,” i.e. bananas, apples, chicken breast, brown rice, etc.

16. Snack on fiber rich fruits. Fruits like oranges, pears, raspberries, grapes, are high in fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer and cleans out your system

17. Reach for water filled foods. Snacks like cucumber, celery and watermelon are made up mostly of water, which means they’re low on calories but will still fill you up. Plus, these foods are loaded with nutrients which prevent cravings.

18. Pack healthy snacks. When you have healthy snacks on hand, you’re far less likely to visit the vending machine.

19. Freeze fruits for snacks and smoothies. Frozen fruit is just as nutritious and delicious as the fresh kind. It’s great for using in smoothies and eats almost like a frozen dessert, particularly frozen blueberries and bananas.

20. Make your own dressings. Dressings are one of the worst offenders for making otherwise healthy meals unfriendly. Make your own flavorful dressings at home with clean ingredients with fewer calories and more nutrition. Lemons, vinegar, olive oil, herbs, spices, are all good examples of what should be on your salad.

21. Practice meal prep. Have a few healthy meals in the freezer at all times for easy access. This way, you’re less likely to resort to ordering a pizza or grabbing takeout on a busy weeknight.

22. Make healthy swaps.  There’s nothing wrong with tricking your taste buds with a cleaner ingredient. Swap Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and use mashed cauliflower to mimic mashed potatoes.

23. Try veggie noodles. You don’t have to give up pasta to clean up your diet- simply make it with a clean eating ingredient. Carrots and zucchini take the place of traditional pasta nicely. Get a spiralizer or shredder. Pasta sauce is one good option to top with.

24. Say bye bye to traditional milk. Believe it or not, but traditional dairy milk isn’t as healthy as we once thought. Most store brands are filled with hormones and antibiotics. Try switching to a dairy alternative, such as soy, almond, or coconut milk.

25. Clean up your alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages are a prime suspect for adding unnecessary calories to your day. Stick to one drink maximum daily. Avoid sugary mixers. They add loads of empty calories.

26. Lose fried foods. There’s a reason American’s waistlines are bulging- it’s partially because we’re so used to frying everything! Bake and grill meats and veggies instead of frying them, especially in unhealthy oil.

27. Eat less meat. One serving of a piece of meat is about the size of a deck of cards- crazy when you think about the massive size of a typical steak. Incorporate leaner protein sources in a few of your meals per week. Think Portobello mushrooms, tofu, beans, lentils, etc.

28. Consider a cleanse. A cleanse is a way to rid your body of toxins that are slowing it down and blocking the absorption of nutrients. There are several great ideas on this site. Just look under “weight loss” on the sites home page menu, then click “cleanse and detox.”

29. Don’t use food to feel good. It’s not uncommon to look at food as a reward or a means of cheering yourself up on a bad day. Instead, lift your spirits with other things, like fitness, family, or a hobby you enjoy.

30. Avoid getting famished. When you reach a point where your stomach is growling for hunger, you’re much more likely to have lapses in judgment when it comes to your diet. Reach for a healthy snack every few hours to avoid getting to that point in the first place. If your going to be on the go, pack some healthy

31. Think of the rainbow. Bright colored fruitd and veggies contain powerful antioxidants that absorb free radicals. Aim to eat a rainbow of foods such as bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, and broccoli.

32. Wash your fruits ‘n’ veggies. Produce that’s straight from the store can have pesticides on the surface. Mix three parts water to one part white vinegar for a natural produce rinse.

33. Grow your own garden. What better way to have your pick of the freshes, ripest, nutritious ingredients than to have them grow in your own backyard? Carrots, green beans and cucumbers are easy veggies to get started with.

34. Eat the peels. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, most of their nutrients are in their peels. This goes for pears, apples, potatoes, cucumbers and more.

35. Go for the nuts. Nuts are a healthy source of protein, heart healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Grab a handful of nuts with a low number of calories per ounce, like almonds, cashews or pistachios.

36. Drink tea. Green tea contains bio active substances that help you burn more calories. It’s a healthy alternative to sugary sodas and bottled juices.

37. Try new super foods. Blueberries and acai are phenomenal, but don’t count out the lesser known super foods like rutabaga, chard, and chia seeds.  

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10 Best Ways to Resist Junk Food

You’ll say “no” with ease with just a few of these tricks

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While it may be easier to cheat on your diet and nibble on something delicious, you’ll feel and look better after a healthy snack. Abstain from sugary morning breakfasts, mid afternoon bites, and unhealthy late night snacks with these 10 Best Ways to Resist Junk Food.

1. Stay full. Eating smaller meals more frequently allows you to feel full for longer periods of time. By staying full, you are more likely to resist your favorite junk food obsession and to keep your diet on track.

2. Throw away the junk food you have stocked.  Once you buy healthy snacks to replace junk food, remember to go through your pantry, and all the hidden spaces  you might have stashed your goodies and throw away the temptation.  If you leave junk food around your house, you’re more likely to fall back into the trap.

3. Have healthy snacks on hand. By making junk food inaccessible at home, you make it easier to eat healthy. Instead of shopping for food when you’re hungry, eat a meal before going to the store to keep from impulsively buying junk food.

4. Sleep your cravings away. When you feel drained during the day, try taking a nap instead of going for your favorite junk food snack. A common misconception is that eating will boost your metabolism and give you more energy. A 15 minute power nap will do the trick without the extra calories.

5. Keep food out of sight.  Touching upon the common phrase out of sight, out of mind is the key. If you’re constantly looking at junk food, you’re more likely to convince yourself that you’re hungry and indulge. Keep your snacks hidden in the pantry, the refrigerator, or behind cabinet doors to resist the urge.

6. Drink more water. Your stomach sometimes misinterprets your body’s needs. If you’re hungry for junk food, hydrate yourself before you head toward your favorite snack. You might be surprised to discover that you were just thirsty.

7. Define the way you eat junk food. After you determin what junk foods you crave most, take a moment and analyze whether there’s a pattern to your cravings. Some of us emotionally eat when we are stressed, lonely, or bored. If you discover why you eat what you eat, you’re more likely to kick the bad habit.

8. Determine what junk foods you crave the most. Not all junk food is equal and your stomach agrees. Take a look through your stash and  discover your weaknesses. Buy smaller portions of things like chips and candy bars to limit your junk food intake.

9. Eat junk food in moderation. Cutting out junk food altogether sounds like the best plan…..at first. Being too ambitious may lead to a relapse. Treat yourself once a week to an item of junk food, but remember not to binge. Check the serving size and limit yourself to just that.

10. Exercise. How does exercising relate to eating junk food? Simply taking a walk after a meal will help digest your food and jump start your metabolism. Staying active keeps you away from junk food temptation and makes you crave the nutritious foods that your body lacks.

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Top 20 Ways to Lose a Muffin Top

Finally!Kiss that muffin top away!

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Women of any age, size, or fitness level can develop that dreaded padding of fat that encircles the middle. Some women, particularly those in perimenopause and menopause, may be more vulnerable because of changes in estrogen levels.

Belly fat can harm your health by boosting inflammation in the body. That inflammation has the potential to trigger or worsen conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and some kinds of cancer.

But you can change! Start using these tips below to see a noticeable difference in the way your abdomen looks and feels. Choose two or three strategies to begin now! In another week, incorporate more of these ideas into your lifestyle.

1. Boost fiber intake. If you’re searching for ways to lose a muffin top, it might be tempting to avoid fiber filled foods. In fact, fiber aids digestion and reduces the bloat and constipation that makes the stomach area look larger than it actually is.

2. Ditch refined sugar. Refined sugar, like white or brown sugar, adds nothing but empty calories to your diet – and your mid- section.

3. Cut unhealthy carbs. White breads, pastas, pastries, and other foods made from refined grains , have been stripped of their nutrients, making them virtually empty- calorie foods. Swap out refined grains for whole wheat options.

4. Eat the healthy fats.  Healthy fats, like those found in avocados, nuts, and salmon, support metabolism and help prevent belly fat build up.

5. Pump up lean protein intake. Protein isn’t stored by the body, so we need to consume it regularly to fuel the lean muscle growth that boosts metabolism.

6. Reduce your juice intake.  Sometimes juice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be- in particular, store bought juice often contains excess calories, added sugar, and artificial colors.

7. Drink one full glass of water before each meal. Water fills you up so you’re less likely to overeat at meal -or snack time.

8. Reduce or eliminate alcohol. Alcoholic beverages, especially mixed drinks , are high in refined sugar and calories.  Plus you’re more likely to make bad food choices and will likely not be active the next day.

9. Eat 3 small meals and two healthy snacks daily. Eating nutritious food regularly throughout the day helps keep blood sugar stable and provides a steady stream of energy.

10. Choose healthy snacks. Keep blood sugar stable and the body fueled with naturally low calorie snacks filled with the nutrients that support weight loss.

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5 Best Ways to Beat the Bloat

Try these simple steps to beat the bloat

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1. Slow down while eating. Take your time during meals and snacks. Eating too quickly can make you swallow excess air, which contributes to bloating. Another benefit to slow eating is that chewing starts the digestive process. Chewing food fully allows digestion to work more efficiently, which helps prevent bloating.

2. Drink more water.  When you’re dehydrated, your body conserves water by retaining it, leading to bloating. Avoid carbonated beverages and sugary sports drinks, and instead hydrate with filtered water.

3. Try probiotics.  Probiotics are natural bacteria that support healthy digestion and balance out bad bacteria in the digestive tract. Yogurt is a rich, versatile source of probiotics, if the it’s labeled “live active cultures.” You can find them in pill form at the drugstore or supermarket.

4. Boost potassium intake. Potassium is a mineral that plays a role in regulating body fluids. Potassium also flushes out excess sodium, which increases water retention. Potassium- rich foods include dark leafy greens, bananas, lentils, sweet potatoes, and salmon.

5.  Add diuretic foods to your menu. Diuretics are substances that cause the body to produce more urine. Eating these types of foods is a wonderful way to beat bloating because they help flush extra fluid from the body.

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5  Spices That Burn Calories

Spice it up ‘n’ shed some pounds!

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The following spices burn calories to help you lose weight or maintain the weight you’re already satisfied with.  Let’s add some zest into your diet!

1. Cayenne Pepper. The spiciness in Cayenne raises your body temperature, boosting your metabolism. This causes you to burn more calories, because your body requires energy as it immediately attempts to cool itself. If you’re not used to pniching this fiery zest on your food or simply can’t handle the heat, check out some delicious Mexican dishes that call for pepper in small amounts.

2. Black Pepper. Aside from enhancing the taste of any meal, the fact of consuming black pepper has numerous beneficial side effects, including ones that will slim you. Piperine, the primary fat fighting component in black pepper, gives the spice it’s unique punch while blocking the formation of new fat cells. It’s also a thermogenic food, meaning your body will burn more calories than using it.

3. Cinnamon.  A spoonful a day can wash the pounds away! Cinnamon not only tastes amazing, it also has numerous benefits including many that can aid in weight loss. First, it regulates blood sugar levels and prevents these levels from soaring and plummeting, activity which can lead to fat storage. At the same time, it mimics the way sugar is metabolized and in doing so, blocks the metabolism of sugar into fat. For an easy way to get your daily dose of this miracle spice, mix a spoonful along with a drizzle of honey into some herbal tea.

4. Mustard. Luckily for you, this condiment has several benefits besides being virtually calorie free. By substituting mustard for oils, dressings, and sauces, you can drastically cut down on your fat and carb intake without giving up flavor!

5. Ginseng. Research indicates that Ginseng’s constituent, ginsenoside Rg3, interacts with your cells in a way that prevents their ability to store energy for fat. This infringement on the cells fat storage process that  can prevent you from packing on the pounds.

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12 Tips for Lasting Weight Loss

Improve your life with lasting weight loss.

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Losing the weight is the easy part. It’s keeping it off that’s the real challenge! Try these tips for lasting weight loss and keep those pesky pounds off for good.

1. Choose whole or minimally- processed food. Processed foods seem convenient, but you’ll pay a price measured in excess jiggle. Avoid added refined sugar, sodium, and artificial sweeteners, by choosing ingredients that have few or no additives.

2. Eat three small meals and two healthy snacks every day.  Fuel your body with a steady stream of healthy energy and nutrients so you’re less likely to overeat at meals or snack time.

3. Be mindful of your portions. One of the most important tips for weight loss is to redefine serving sizes.

4. Plan meals in advance. Planning nutritious meals reduces the temptation to order unhealthy takeout or prepare processed, boxed, or frozen meals. Set time aside weekly to plan which recipes and snacks you’ll eat during each week.

5. Boost fruit and veggie intake. About one half of every plate of food should contain fruits and vegetables, with the rest divided between grains and protein.

6. Don’t drink too many calories. It’s easy to lose track of calorie intake when you’re drinking sweetened drinks, whether it’s lemonade mixed from powder or an energy drink from the convenience store. Choose plain or naturally flavored water instead.

7. Cut back on refined carbs. Refined carbs have been stripped of nutrients – but not calories. Avoid foods like pastries, white breads or rolls, and flour tortillas. Choose whole grain foods, which are rich in nutrients and waist friendly fiber.

8. Use smaller plates. One of the best lasting weight loss tips is to eat off of smaller plates and bowls. It  tricks your mind into believing you consumed more.

9. Commit to regular workouts.  You can’t ignore exercise if you’re looking for sure fire weight loss tips. The key to shedding weight is to burn more calories than you consume.

10. Lift weights. As we age, metabolic slowdown is a major weight gain culprit. We can battle that natural process by building muscle mass.

11. Set workout goals. You know where you want to be weight wise, so build a road map that helps you get there. Establish doable goals and slowly increase them over time. For example, plan to work yourself from a two mile run to a four mile run over several weeks.

12. Walk more. One of the simplest tips for weight loss is to engage muscles and burn extra calories by walking as much as possible throughout the day. Try parking your car on the far end of the office or grocery store parking lot.

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10 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

Finally Win the Battle with These Tips

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Losing any amount of weight can be a challenge, especially when you lead a busy life. It can be just as frustrating to work hard to lose a lot of weight, but be unable to lose those last few pounds.

1. Sit less, move more. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time is dangerous to your health. Make an effort to move around more. You can multitask and get more done while you’re at it.

2. If you’re not getting enough  sleep. Sleep influences  important hunger hormones so that not enough sleep can lead to reaching for food in your body’s attempt to get more energy.

3. Eat calories that count. Rather than consume empty calories with simple carbohydrates, i.e. candy, pastries, chips, choose instead, complex carbs like fruits, low fat yogurt, and fresh veggies. Make the calories you consume count toward achieving your weight loss goals.

4. Eat more, not less. Skipping out on meals deprives the body of needed fuel and often results in snack attacks or overeating at meals. Plan to consume three small meals and two healthy snacks every day. Eat clean foods with healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbs.

5. If you’re stressed. Stress happens, regardless of who you are. Do what works best to ease it. Stress impacts hormones that play a role in hunger and fat storage. Cortisol is a well know fat storing hormone, especially around the mid section.

6. You’re drinking too many calories.  Cut back or eliminate sugary drinks. Be aware of those sneaky calories . Drinking them doesn’t make them any different.

7. Artificial sweeteners are detrimental. Diet drinks are attractive because they offer zero calories, but research suggests they also have a negative impact on the metabolism, making it harder to keep the weight off. Artificial sweeteners make you feel hungrier and trick you into believing you can eat more.

8. Think smaller portions. Even if it’s healthy food you’re eating, it’s still possible to take in much more calories than you’re burning. Stick to proper serving sizes. Read the label and listen to your body for the time to put down the fork.

9. Mindful eating.  Mindful eating means that we think through out food choices and how they will effect our bodies. Simply pay attention and appretiate what you eat. Mindless eating is when your mind is somewhere else, and before you know it, the bag of popcorn has vanished and you can’t recall how.

10. Muscles like variety. Muscles become accustomed to a particular workout, making that exercise less challenging and less effective. Switch up routines regularly to put those calorie burning muscles to work.

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28 Naural Ways To Boost Your Metabolism

Try these natural ways to get that sluggish metabolism into gear.

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1. Drink lemon ware as soon as you wake up. This is a great morning ritual that will help kick start your hydration process and cleanse your digestive tract. The lemon contains vitamin C which will not only help your metabolism, but also provides strength to your immune system as well. The scent will wake you up and also give your liver a cleanse. One of your liver’s many tasks is to metabolize fat, so you should certainly keep it functioning properly.

2. Eat more protein. More protein will provide a metabolism boost, so it’s important that you’re getting enough. You shouldn’t go overboard, just make sure you don’t fall short in this department for long periods of time.

3. Get more fiber. Make an effort to get at least, your daily fiber requirement every day. Aim for at least 25-30g.

4. Never skip meals.  Focus on eating more frequently without getting extra full. Keeping your metabolic fires fueled is an effective way to make sure you always have enough energy to keep going. This also prevents over eating because you become ravenous.

5. Sleep better. You want to find a good balance because too much sleep isn’t good either. Lack of sleep causes hormones in your body to make you want to eat more, in attempt to get more energy. 6-8 hours is ideal.

6. Strengthen your muscles. A stronger, leaner physique is a guaranteed way to achieve a faster metabolism. You’ll be burning fat in your sleep and during down time, which means you’ll really be turning the tables and getting ris of fat stores that have built up over time.

7. Eat metabolism boosting foods first. When you fill up on foods that boost your metabolism, you’ll be avoiding the foods that either slow or have no effect on your metabolism. The best part is, these foods are great for your overall health, so you’ll be getting an amplified benefit from eating them.

8. Stress less.  The more stress, the slower your metabolism, and the more likely you will eat comfort foods which will only back track your progress. Learn to take time each day to attend to relaxation time and recharge your batteries, along with your metabolism.

9. Increase your omega-3 intake.  Omega-3 is an important part of any metabolism- conscious diet plan. One great choice is salmon (wild), olive oil, and almonds.

10. Monitor your blood sugar levels.  Even if you’re not a diabetic, you can keep your blood sugar levels in mind and do the best you can to keep them stable. Make sure to combine proteins with slow digesting carbs to avoid spikes, keeps your energy levels up, and is great for your metabolism.

11. Don’t skip breakfast.  You don’t want to miss your chance  to get your digestive system in gear before you leave the house in the morning. It doesn’t have to extravagant, just something to snack on should do the trick.

12. Buy organic. You can’t expect your body to run at full potential if it’s trying to battle pesticides and herbicides. By keeping your food clean, you help keep your body clean and your metabolism strong.

13. Use healthier oils. The right oils can set you up for success, and will save you from the ill effects of using oils that slow you down. Opt for olive oil, or grape seed oil for hottest cooking. There’s many options in the vegetable oil aisle.

14. Increase your NEAT score. NEAT is an acronym for Non- Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It basically refers to all of the activity you get throughout the day doing activities. You can keep your metabolism in high gear just by being productive and getting things done like cleaning your house, car, backyard, or any task that requires being active.

15. Get essential vitamins and minerals. If you’re running any sort of shortage on important vitamins and mineral, your metabolism is going to suffer for it. Minerals such as iron, zinc, and chromium are all essential, which is why it’s so important to eat mostly fruits and veggies that keep you at your optimum level.

16. Work out using intervals. Cardio has long been recommended for a faster metabolism.There’s no better way to go about it than with interval training. Compared to long periods of moderate intensity, shorter sessions of intervals means you’re burning more fat even hours after you’ve worked out.

17. Try yoga. Even though it doesn’t seem like you’re doing much, holding yoga poses helps to increase your metabolism. Stick with it consistently and you’ll see the results of an improved metabolic rate.

18. Drink green tea.  The catechins in green tea can boost your metabolism. The tea in itself is an antioxidant which helps the body in many ways. It also contains some caffeine, which gives a boost, as well as green tea’s ability to heat up the body like spices can. Green tea is a thermogenic drink.

19. Snack strategically. Prepare snacks ahead of time to avoid any gaps in your nutrition, and reduce the likely hood of eating something else that’s unhealthy because you’re hungry and panicky.

20. Cleanse your body with gradual detoxing. Detoxing helps your body rid itself of toxins that are interfering with obtaining a healthy metabolism. Release the toxins and your body will do what it’s meant to do.

21. Spice it up.  Getting generous with spices can have a direct impact on reving up your metabolism. Cayenne pepper is a great spice to try. The capsaicin it contains has been proven to speed up your metabolism.

22. Exercise in the A.M. Getting going in the morning can mean the difference between being in fat burning mode, or stuck in a fat storing mode. Work up a sweat first thing and you’ll be set.

23. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is one of the biggest culprits for a compromised metabolism. Drink enough each day and you’ll be giving your organs and the rest of your body what they need to do their job.

24. Give ginger a try. Ginger has a cleaning effect on the body, which can lead to an improved metabolism. You can grate fresh ginger onto a meal, or use powdered ginger in a smoothie, stir fry, or soup.

25. Try a kelp supplement.  Kelp supplements contain iodine, which is essential for proper thyroid health. Getting you thyroid functioning at it’s best, is a major step toward realizing the full potential of your metabolism.

26. Eat grass few beef. Organic grass fed beef contains far more CLA in it than grain-fed beef, which will assist in burning more fat. Grain fed beef, in comparison, contains antibiotics and growth hormones which are designed to fatten up cows.

27. Try an L-arginine supplement.  L-arginine may be able to stimulate your metabolism into action. It’s an important amino acid that’s required by the body, and will help to build lean muscle which translates to a more efficient metabolism.

28. Give acupuncture a shot! Ask your acupuncturist to help out with your metabolism and they’ll work on specific points that are linked to metabolism.

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20 Natural  Zero Calorie Foods

Check out these healthy foods to help shed those pounds and improve your overall health.

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Each of these foods has less calories per 100 gram serving. SInce chicken breast has 172 calories in that same portion size and is considered a low calorie food, it’s clear to see these foods rank very low in terms of calories.

1. Celery.  Celery is a food that when you eat it, you don’t really feel like you’re eating anything, so it’s not shocking to find out that it has essentially zero calories. The stringy nature of celery makes it seem as if it only exists to hold the water it contains. What you’ll typically see is celery with penut butter or creamy fillings inside of it, and you’ll want to avoid those if you’re keeping track of calories, as they can swing it back the opposite way very quickly.

2. Oranges.  Oranges are known for their vitamin C, but they’re also low in calories compared to other fruits, whether or not you expend the total number of calories while eating oranges is debatable, but the whole point of eating foods this low in calories is not to cancel out the calories, but to keep your total caloric load for the day lower than normal.You’re trying to create a caloric deficit, and an orange can help you reach your goal.

3. Cabbage. Cabbage is often brought up for it’s ability to prevent cancer and heart disease, it also often ranks on lists of foods the aid in weight loss. That’s because it has a calorie count so low you end up burning it off just by going about your normal everyday life. Cabbage soup is one great way to eat cabbage, as it’s a filling meal while containing far fewer calories than most soups.

4. Asparagus.  Asparagus shows up as a side dish for many meals, and it’s a great choice because it’s fibrous nature means it will satisfy your hunger, but the number of calories makes it so it doesn’t add much to your daily total. Eating asparagus fresh on a salad is a crunchy and satisfying treat, while grilling or steaming it is another great option.

5. Beets. If you’re going to try beets as a low calorie food, you should stick to fresh beets that you either steam, grill, or boil. If you go with the pickled variety you’ll be adding a bit more calories to the mix. In addition to being low in calories, beets are great for the body. Beets contain betalains, an antioxidant that gives it’s color and is only found in a few select foods.

6. Cucumbers. Cucumbers contain so much water, it’s not surprising that they’re low in calories. That’s why cucumbers make a great addition to most salads, especially when it’s loaded with other low cal veggies. You can eat until you feel full, while still keeping your total number of calories to a minimum. Combine this sort of eating with a more active lifestyle, and you’ll start to tip the scales!

7. Lemons. Not like you’ll plan on sitting around chomping lemons, but it’s nice to know that you can use them as much as you want without breaking the calorie bank. They’re great for infusing water, or sprinkling on top of fish, salads, etc.  They’re also an alkalizing an alkalizing food and contain antioxidants to keep you healthy.

8. Cauliflower.  Cauliflower also ranks as one of the lowest calorie foods on the chart. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable and has many benefits to it, including being an anti inflammatory food, and helping  the body’s cardiovascular and digestive system. It’s a great weight loss aid all the way around, not just because it’s low in calories. You can easily burn through it’s caloric load with the act of cooking.

9. Mushrooms. No matter which mushroom you choose, chances are it’s very low in calories. These fungi just don’t know how to get high in calories , so you don’t have to stress when using them in a recipe. Even the big portabella mushroom is low in calories, having only 22 of them in a 100 gram serving. Maybe that’s why it makes such a good replacement to high calorie beef in mushroom burgers.

10. Watermelon.  Watermelon has a low number of calories, despite being so sweet. This has to be the sweetest food on the list, while still ranking low in calories. In addition to being popular, watermelon has antioxidants which help your body in many ways. It’s also been shown to be able to boost your metabolism, just don’t go overboard on portion sizes.

11. Zucchini.  Zucchini is low in calories because it’s a popular side dish, and can even be incorporated into things like zucchini bread. It’s a very versatile vegetable that puts up such a low number in the calorie department. It’s hard to do any damage with it. That being said, too much of a good thing is never good, so you’ll want to use this to help you feel satisfied during a meal without overdoing it.

12. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and it’s only fitting that they come in low on the calorie radar. The lycopene they contain has cancer fighting properties, and staves off heart disease, so you’re doing yourself a favor each time you eat it. It also makes a great weight loss food because it has such few calories that you burn it off just getting it prepared for cooking. Combine it with other foods on the list and you’ll get a delicious-low calorie meal.

13. Grapefruit. Grapefruit is often labeled as a diet food. A title it deserves, seeing how it’s been shown to rev up a slow metabolism, and it’s recommended to heart patients after surgery. The calories on this aren’t the lowest you can find, but they’re still not worth mentioning when you’re tallying up your total calories for the day. Fruits in general tend to have more calories than vegetables, but they often bring a preferred flavor to the table as well.

14. Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients and clock in low on the calorie meter. They’re also a cruciferous vegetable, so they provide similar benefits to eating broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Adding butter or cheese might make them taste better will surely bump up the calories, so be careful and find the right balance.

15. Kale. You should definitely start eating more kale. It;s very good for you, and to top it off, it has protein, fiber, and phytonutrients. It manages to keep it’s calories down, so it’s nothing but beneficial to you. Try baking some kale chips. This is a great alternative to eating potato chips.

16. Turnips. These vegetables show up from time to time in recipes, but most often they’ll be used as a part of a side dish. You can also use them on a salad. They’re an anti inflammatory food , so they can help calm down the symptoms of several conditions caused by excessive inflammation in the body.

17. Apples. Apples contain plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is no forbidden fruit and should be a part of a calorie conscious diet to make sure that you’re not exceeding you daily allowance. Apples can make a great snack between meals to fold you over, and keep you from eating junk, or fast food in a moment of hunger.

18. Onions. Onions are often referred to as a healthy food that can help you reach your weight loss goals, and studies show that they contain flavonoids that help the body.

19. Carrots.  Carrots are a low glycemic food, so they can help you manage your blood glucose levels, and they’re a natural diuretic, so they’ll help rid your body of excess sodium and retained water. They’re also an anti-inflammatory food so they can be used to help treat inflammation in the body.

20. Broccoli. Broccoli is a well know cancer fighter that’s also low in calorie. It’s packed with phytonutrients, as well as fiber, so it helps keep your digestive system going strong, which is key to maintaining a proper weight. It even contains plant- based protein which can help you if you’re resistance training to build lean muscle.

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8 Benefits of Detox Drinks for Weight Loss

Try ‘n’ see what using a detox drink for weight loss will do.

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You can make your own detox drinks at home using ingredients found in most grocery stores. Use these as a catalyst to long- term weight loss. There’s distinct benefits to using detox drinks as your method to weight loss. They’re stimulant free, and made from  all natural ingredients. Below  are the select benefits you can expect to receive when you use detox drinks as a part of your overall weight loss strategy.

1. Lose weight naturally. Detox drinks use fruit and vegetables, preferable organic, so you can’t get much more natural than that.

Rather than rely on a specific wonder food, or a magic bullet weight loss secret, detox drinks simply use foods that we’ve known for centuries are good for the body. This makes it a no nonsense approach to weight loss that isn’t just a trend.

If you’re not used to eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, using detox drinks is a great way to start a new habit. It makes them more approachable and easier to digest, and even when you’re done detoxing, you can use them on an ongoing basis whenever you need a pick me up.

2. Lose weight without exercise. You’ve probably seen diet pills being advertised as “no need to exercise” but with detox drinks, it’s actually true. In fact, of you’re using them as a part of a detox program, you probably will want to limit the amount of exercise until you’re done.

This is because you’ll be restricting your calories, so you don’t want to push the body or force it into extreme physical exertion. You can take a light walk outside, but you really won’t need to exercise heavily while taking detox drinks.

Of course, with the lighter and more energetic you, that results from using detox drinks you’ll probably find that you naturally want to exercise more once the program has finished.

3. Rids the body of excess waste.  Detox drinks act as a diuretic, so you’ll be able to flush the body of any stores up water weight, excess sodium, and any body waste that hasn’t made it’s way to you.

The fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients in detox drinks have been selected for their ability to help your organs and systems purge themselves of stored toxins. Since these drinks contain a lot of water, you’re able to flush them out more easily as well.

A sluggish digestive system and urinary system can leave various wastes stored up in the body, leading to feelings of lethargy, making it more difficult to feel motivated to get up and get moving.

4. Boosts metabolism. While  it’s been said that detox programs slow down the metabolism, if you do it correctly, detox drinks should actually help to boost a slowed metabolism. This is because the organs responsible for your metabolism will get an influx of vitamins and nutrients to help the function more efficiently.

Some detox programs are pretty extreme, and require that you go several days or even weeks without eating solid foods. Using detox drinks for weight loss should not be confused with this type of detox.

Some of the most popular detox drink companies will have your entire detox program laid out for you, and provide you with labeled juices and beverages that you drink on certain days and at certain times.

5. Gets digestive system back in line.  If you’ve noticed your digestive system has been having issues, whether it’s constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, or any other digestive disorder, detox drinks can help in a number of ways.

Maybe the most important factor is that they provide your digestive system with the nutrients it’s likely been lacking due to poor diet and unhealthy food choices. Flood it with vitamins and minerals while simultaneously giving it a break from the  S.A.D.  (Standard American Diet) is a big move.

Detox drinks are very beneficial to the liver, especially ones that have been especially crafted to help the liver do it’s job. The liver plays a huge roll in your digestive system, even though it doesn’t seem like it. Getting your liver functioning correctly is a huge step in having a successful weight loss experience.

6. Improves liver function.  Be sure to add ingredients to your detox drinks that will benefit the liver. Your liver is the single most important organ for weight loss, since it assists all of your organs do their job more efficiently.

You can find detox drinks that have been created to help the liver function better, and since it’s job is to filter out toxins from the foods and drinks we consume, as well as provide digestive juices to help break those foods down, you can’t go wrong by investing time to help it work well.

The reason your liver needs a helping hand is because our modern world is full with things that make it harder for the liver to function. Alcohol, fatty foods, caffeinated and carbonated beverages, and many other items act to contaminate the liver, which brings down the ability for it to function as it should.

7. Improves colon function. The extra fiber which most detox drinks contain will help your colon function better, also, this is a very important part of the weight loss process.

A diet full of processed, fried, or prepackaged foods is going to result in a colon that’s struggling to keep up with these foods that are foreign to the body. A healthy colon requires plenty of fruits and vegetables consumed each day, which sadly most of us don’t come close to.

While detox drinks are no cure-all for what’s ailing your colon, they can play a small part in helping it rid itself of stored up waste, and put it on the path to better daily functioning.

8. Increases Chances of Long- Term Weight Loss

Using detox drinks is not a crash diet, but instead a way to genuinely give your body what it needs, while placing a stop to the constant influx of food.

Most of the diets you see advertised on TV or other media, often get labeled as fads or crash diets since thy’re not sustainable in the long term. Using detox drinks can help you establish the habit of getting daily nourishment from food, and can even be used as a daily detox.

When choosing which detox drinks to use, go with the ones that resonate with you. Listen to your body. You’ll often intuitively know which to use because you’ll have experienced problems in one or more areas that these drinks can address.

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23 Weight Loss Vitamins and Supplements

If just eating healthier food sometimes may not feel like enough, try some of these vitamins and supplements

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1. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)- Studies have shown promising results in this helping with cardiovascular disease, general inflammation of the body, migraines, dysfunction of the organs, staving off Alzheimer’s, aging concerns, erectile dysfunction.

Getting your organs and cardiovascular systems to function more properly will be a big boost to your weight loss efforts, and any other side benefits are just icing on the cake, Be sure to check with your doctor before starting out on this to see if there’s any contraindications you should be aware of.

2. Apple cider vinegar.  This has been long associated with weight loss, and is said to help you feel more full when you drink it, therefore allowing you to eat less, or have fewer cravings. It’s definitely all natural because it’s made from apples. When taken in small amounts, there’s few side effects linked to it.

If you do try taking it, you don’t have to go overboard. Success was reached in a study in Japan in which the participants who lost the most weight only consumes 30ml of it per day. You definitely don’t need to chug it or drink ridiculous amounts of it to feel fuller and see the benefits.

3. Bitter Orange. This works by suppressing the appetite, but is an extract from citrus fruit, so it doesn’t rely on artificial stimulants to get the job done. Recently it’s been used as a less harmful substitution for other ingredients that have been known to have harsh reactions to the body.

It’s not yet clear as to whether this actually works, and there hasn’t been much formal testing in regards to the adverse effects it can have on the body, so it might be one of those all natural supplements to use with caution.

4. B Vitamins.  Her’es the lineup of B vitamins that you get in a complex : B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. You don’t have to go over board on these, especially if you don’t have a deficiency in any one of them. You can take them singly if it’s discovered that you’re lacking in only a few. There’s many ways these vitamins help the body in all of it’s processes, and a lack of them will trip up your weight loss efforts.

Vitamin B12 usually gets the most attention, and some dieters even get injections of it in order to help boost energy levels and help with losing weight.

5. Capsaicin.  There’s a bit of debate as to whether this actually helps with weight loss or not, but one thing that it seems to be good for is not gaining the weight back that you’ve lost. This makes it a good supplement to take while you’re dieting so you don’t experience the classic rebound and gain the weight back you’ve lost.

This is found in spicy red peppers but you don’t have to eat them in order to get the health benefits. They’ve pulled out the extract and have put it in pill form so that it’s more convenient to take-and not spicy.

6. Chia. Chia seeds made it to the list of super foods with high levels of omega-3. It provides a non-fish oil way of introducing more omega- 3 into the body, and also contains healthy amounts of alpha-Linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is often added to healthy diets.

Chia seeds are pretty easy to incorporate into your diet, since they don’t have a distinctive flavor and aren’t like a typical seed that you need to grind up. You can pretty much sprinkle them on anything you want and enjoy the benefits they bring.

7. Chitosan.  A lot of debate has arisen, and companies have been given warnings by the FDA for claiming that this can aid in weight loss, or to what degree it can help. These products refer to Chitosan as a fat binder, with the idea being that they’ll grab fat in move it through the digestive system.

So while you may want to wait for further studies to come out regarding it’s effectiveness as a fat binder, it’s still been shown to be a soluble fiber, and is all natural, although better options may exist, like beta-glucan.

8. Coenzyme Q10. This has so many possible benefits listed that you’ll want to make sure you’re not running low on it. They say it keeps your energy levels up, and helps you burn more fat than you otherwise would without it. It’s also supposed to help with the immune system, help with the heart, migraines, and is even been looked into as a possible cancer treatment.

Fish is the most easily accessible food which contains Coenzyme Q10, as many aren’t willing to add more organ meats to the menu. It’s also available as a supplement which makes it easy to take.

9. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) In addition to being touted for it’s fat loss properties, this is actually a fat itself. It’s a healthy fat you can find in dairy products, but in order to get the amount needed to assist in weight loss, you’ll want to go with the supplement form.

Before you start taking it, you might want to talk to your doctor. Several studies have shown that it may not have the weight loss properties it once was thought to, and it may not be essential to your diet and reaching your weight loss goals.

10. Ephedra.  Even with all of the proven side effects, warnings, and controversy surrounding ephedra, it’s still being used by the supplement industry in various weight loss products. Apparently it’s just too effective at what it does, and it’s been proven to provide some short term results, but the risks don’t seem to outweigh the benefits.

The problem with trying Ephedra, is that it comes in such a wide array of doses, and there’s  limited information about how much is the right amount to take, and for how long, it’s also unclear whether the weight loss is kept off, or regained after you stop taking it.

11. Fucoxanthin. This supplement is algae based which has shown promising results from research trials in Japan. It specifically attacks the fat so it’s not just overall weight loss, but fat loss. It was discovered first in animal test subjects, but the human trial showed obese women were able to lose weight with it.

For best results while using this, you’ll want to get more active. Start doing cardiovascular exercises and weight training if you don’t already. It does’t have to be intense.

12. Green Tea Extract.  Just about everyone has heard a lot about the health benefits of drinking green tea, mostly for it’s antioxidants. Green tea has recently been making news as an effective weight loss supplement for it’s ability to increase your metabolism. It’s been shown to change the form of your fat at a molecular level so it can be used for fuel.

13. Guarana.  You may recognize the name from seeing it on an ingredients list of an energy drink. This is because it contains caffeine, which helps these drinks create a jittery and alert feeling they refer to as “energy.” Even though it’s been dubbed generally safe by the FDA, there’s still several side effects to consider.

14. HCG.  Since HCG is a hormone, it’s considered an all natural approach to weight loss. Proponents of the diet say that it produces dramatic results in a short amount of time. It also involves following an extreme diet, so it’s not clear if it’s the HCG, or simple calorie restriction.

The primary reason it gets so much attention is that it’s supposed to leave muscle tissue alone, while mainly attacking the fat, resulting in the lean and tones look that people are trying to achieve.

15.  L-Carnitine. Aside from assisting in weight loss, this has a lot of benefits as an antioxidant and a great addition to a healthy lifestyle and overall well being. It hasn’t been proven to cause weight loss on it’s own, but it has been shown it helps your efforts quite drastically.

It’s been shown to help maintain energy levels, increase your muscle mass, and decrease you fat mass, which would then lead to weight loss, and a more fit body over time.

16. Iodine. Iodine is supposed to assist with the thyroid gland, which in turn regulates how your body functions and will help you lose weight when it’s working properly. If your thyroid is out of commission, you’ll have a more difficult time losing the weight and you’ll retain more water.

How does it help your thyroid? Your thyroid needs certain levels of iodine in order to do it’s job efficiently. A deficiency will lead to slow performance. It’s not a matter of raising your iodine levels, but filling in a deficiency if one exists.

17. Omega-3’s.  This fatty acid has long been known as an essential fatty acid because your body doesn’t produce it on it’s own, but needs it to have a healthy metabolism. Fish oil is the most commonly recommended way to supplement this.

There are numerous benefits to supplementing omega-3’s. They include improved heart health, increased metabolism, lowered cancer risk, and overall anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

18. Raspberry Ketones.  Raspberry ketones are claimed to be an all natural weight loss supplement sourced from raspberries. Because it’s an extract, you don’t have to eat the hundreds of raspberries it would take to get the same benefits.

It’s supposed to regulate the metabolism and help your body break down fat cells so you can get rid of the stubborn problem areas. It is said that 100mg per day is what’s needed for results.

19. Resveratrol.  Resvaretrol is the main reason doctor’s recommend a daily glass of red wine, but it’s also used as a dietary supplement to help you lose weight. It can help with “bad” cholesterol, which protects the heart, and helps with blood glucose sensitivity, which is what helps keep your weight in check.

There are studies showing it improves longevity and energy levels.

20. Vitamin C.  Some people take high doses of vitamin C  to assist in their weight loss efforts, but there’s little evidence that you have to take it in large doses to get the benefits.

You may also find that your regular diet gives you enough vitamin C, but if you’re doubting it, you may want to supplement.

21. Vitamin D.  It’s very easy to run low on vitamin D, especially if you live in climates where it’s not always easy to get outside in the sunshine. It’s not only a mood booster, but it helps strengthen the immune system, plus it plays a big roll on how your body functions.

Studies have shown that individuals who are vitamin D deficient are more likely to gain weight. It’s recommended to take 1000 IU’s of vitamin D-3 most days.

22. White Bean Extract. This supplement is fairly new which started getting attention after Dr. Oz had it on his show claiming it helps rev up your metabolism. It’s also said to be able to block carbs from being absorbed in your body, so it will no doubt become popular with those who follow a low carb diet.

The other benefits of taking this is that it’s been shown to regulate blood sugar levels. Even if you’re not diabetic this can be helpful because it will prevent spikes that cause that lethargic feeling after eating a meal, and also causes cravings.

23. Zinc. Zinc is an important one. It has many weight loss properties that shouldn’t be overlooked. It can help you if you have a slowed metabolism. This alone will help with everything else you’re doing to lose weight. It also gets your body to produce more of the thyroid hormone responsible for maintaining your healthy weight.

You won’t need to get it in supplement form if you’re getting enough meat, seafood, nuts, and other zinc containing foods.

Note: None of these supplements are a replacement for a healthy diet and regular exercise. You should start with a foundation, then fill in what you’re missing in an effort of overall health and well being. All of these add-ons work best when the body gets the right foods, and is getting daily exercise, even a 20 minute walk.

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6 Habits for Lasting Weight Loss

Try these Top 6 Habits Thin People Have and keep the pounds off!

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1. Stop eating before you feel full.  Make it a habit to push the plate away before you get that stuffed feeling. By the time your stomach tells your brain it’s full, you’ve likely eaten more than you should have.  By stopping before you get that signal, you’ll be able to sail right to “just enough” feeling where you’re not hungry anymore, and not so bloated you can’t hold in your belly anymore.

Overeating doesn’t only cause weight gain, but digestive problems, and a feeling of lethargy which prevents you from being active.

2. Be active every day. The hardest part will be establishing the habit, this usually takes a few weeks. Experts say it takes 21 days to change the subconscious mind into changing it’s habits. Just do something active every day until you get to the point of feeling strange if you don’t get off the couch. Develop this habit and you’ll put your fitness on auto pilot.

3. Have a positive mindset.  A tendency for most people is to think of losing weight as a chore. This put’s you in the wrong frame of mind for effective, lasting weight loss. If you immediately dread going on a diet and start thinking of all the foods you’re going to miss out on, your mind isn’t in the right place. Choose a plan that makes you feel good about starting it, and ride those feelings throughout the process.

Behind your desire to be in shape is a desire to feel better. You don’t have to defer those good feelings until you reach your goal weight. You can start choosing things to think about that make you feel good. Find the things you love best about yourself and focus on making them even better.

4. Keep records of your efforts. One successful habit of those who have lost weight and kept it off is to keep records of what they’ve accomplished in order to lose weight. This includes a journal of the foods you’re eating, the workouts you’ve done. They’re called “success crumbs” because you can trace them back to see how you accomplished your goal.

This serves several purposes, it holds you accountable for your actions and inactions. It gives you an idea of what’s working and what’s not. It shows you where you need help and where your weaknesses are.

5. Buy healthy food. Thin people have the habit of buying healthier food while they’re out shopping. When people think about eating right, they picture themselves eating healthier food. It’s much smarter to picture yourself buying healthier food. The decision of what you eat is made as you reach out and put the items in your cart. Few people have the money or conviction to toss out perfectly good food once it’s purchased.

Today’s stores make it difficult to find foods that won’t make you fat, and millions of dollars are spent on research and marketing to get you to buy the junk or fast food. One good rule to stick to is to  buy foods you you haven’t seen an ad for.

6. Don’t be hard on yourself.  When attempting to lose weight, you risk being negative, and beating yourself up for the past actions that put you in this position. You have to first accept where you are, then use that as motivation to get where you want to be. Some may claim that being their own toughest critic helps motivate them, but for most, it’s counterproductive.

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11 Foods that Make You Hungrier

If weight loss is the goal, then avoid these foods that spike your appetite even more!

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1. Cheese. It all goes back to when we were babies. “humans are programmed to have an opioid response to protein found in milk (casein) so that infants will continue their desire to consume enough amounts of their mother’s milk,” explains Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant based dietitian. Cheese, which is a concentrated form of milk, also includes this effect. The more you have, the more you crave.

2. Juice. Even though juicing is very healthy, the process used to make juice strips the most filling nutrient, fiber, from the sugary liquid. This leaves you with a calorie containing beverage which spikes your blood sugar, leading to a crash which leaves you hungrier. Studies have shown that our bodies aren’t any more satiated with the calories in juice as opposed to those from food. Stick with water for hydration and eat whole fruits and vegetables with their filling fiber intact.

3. Sugar. Sugar and all it’s counter parts (from artificial sweeteners to organic cane juice and everything in between) are highly addictive because of it’s associated heightened dopamine release.  Don’t avoid fruit though! Fruit is different because it maintains it’s fiber and nutrients. It’s sugar (fructose) is sugar in the natural state which isn’t seen as foreign to the body and is easily digested.

4. Ketchup. Think again before squeezing this sticky condiment on your potatoes or eggs. Ketchup is made with high fructose corn syrup and can make your appetite continue to grow. High fructose corn syrup interrupts the body’s metabolism and slows down the message to your brain that you’re full. As a result, there’s no message being sent to your body that you’re full and that it’s time to stop eating.

5. Muffins. Muffins are often loaded with calories, fat, and sugar. This sugar is rapidly digested (high glycemic) and absorbed, leaving your body starved for more on top of having that blood sugar spike, then crash.

6. Refined grains.  White bread, crackers, etc. The fact that the fiber has been stripped away when refined, these foods can easily be eaten in excess. This is why chewing your way through a bread basket is a lot easier than finishing off a bucket of brown rice.

7. Artificial sweeteners. Just because it’s sugar free doesn’t mean it’s any better. Always check a label to see if there’s been artificial sweeteners added. These chemical sweeteners trick your brain into thinking it’s getting a pleasurable food. When you don’t eat the real thing and your body’s expecting it, it’s likely you’ll be craving that sugary food even more. Multiple studies have shown a link between weight gain and artificial sweeteners, not the other way around.

8. Chinese food. Chinese food is often loaded with MSG. Monosodium glutamate is used as a flavor enhancer and is found in other types of food such as soups, processed meats, and much more. Some research suggests that chemicals in MSG cause drastic increase in appetite, which seems about right as people who consume the most amounts of MSG are more likely to be overweight compared to those that have no MSG in their diet.

9. Chewing gum. Dieters often try gum to take their minds off eatingSadly, that trick usually doesn’t work. The chewing action actually tricks your body into thinking food is coming down, which means the gastric juices are prepared in the stomach. When no food comes down, the stomach begins to churn with nothing in it. It can be painful, and make you more conscious to eat.

10. Bagels and croissants. These are made up of white sugar and flour. They contain no fiber or nutrients. As a result, your blood sugar spikes, then comes crashing down, causing you to feel hungrier than before.

11. Foods you can easily overeat.  Excessive consumption of calorie-dense foods stimulates a response in the brain similar to opiates, promoting addictive behavior.

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WEIGHT LOSS FOODS

 

12 Best Foods for Fastest Weight Loss

Try these foods to lose the pounds faster.

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Here’s some fantastic food ideas to help you achieve the look you desire. Add these 12 Foods for the Fastest Weight Loss to your healthy shopping list.

1.  Avocados. This green fruit (that’s right, fruit) delivers monounsaturated fat which has been known to accelerate belly fat burn.

2. Almonds. These omega-3 packed nuts are ideal for weight loss. The healthy fats curb your appetite,. They’re slow digesting, combined with the filling fiber, it’s a great choice.

3.  Chili pepper. Spice it up with this tasty weight loss super food. It contains capsaicin , a substance that temporarily boosts your metabolism by raising your body heat, and reduces the appetite.

4. Blueberries. Any berry is great for weight loss, but blueberries in particular are better because they contain higher amounts of fiber which fill you up more, and antioxidants, which curb your appetite since your brain’s less likely to receive the famine signal.

5. Green tea. Green tea is packed with potent antioxidants called catechins, which  assist the body in shed body fat. and the caffeine kick will give you more energy to stay active, plus, green tea has appetite suppressing qualities.

6. Cruciferous vegetables.  Veggies such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, are very high in fiber and nutrients.

7. Legumes. Beans, lentils, anything grown in a pod is considered a legume.  The’re rich in fiber, protein, and slow burning carbs. (low glycemic index, GI). Legumes are powerful additions to any weight loss menu. Mix them into salads, stir fry, or anything that sounds good. Be creative.

8. Leafy greens. From spinach and kale, to romaine lettuce, leafy greens deliver belly shrinking fiber without the extra calories.

9. Oats. Avoid those packaged oatmeals though. They are often loaded with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients, with a misleading package. Oatmeal is filling with it’s high fiber content and healthy vitamins and minerals. It goes well with other healthy foods such as fruit and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.

10. Mushrooms.  Mushrooms are great for losing weight. They’re very filling and nutritious too. Many people use portobella mushrooms as a meat substitute and save hundreds or thousands of calories which all add up and count.

11. Olive oil.  This slow digesting, healthy staple contains fat called oleoylethenolamide (OEA) that suppresses the appetite so you’re less likely to over eat.

12. Quinoa. This healthy grain- like seed is high in fiber and is a meat-free complete protein source. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index, so it won’t trigger blood sugar fluctuations which lead to cravings.

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5 Weight Loss Promoting Teas

You should sip on this

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1.  Green tea.  Green tea ranks most popular among teas- it acts as an appetite suppressant and increases your body’s calorie burning rate. At the same time, it prevents insulin spikes and boosts your workout performance. You can  burn an extra 70 calories per day by simply drinking 3-5 cups of green tea!

2. Ginger tea.  Ginger tea provides your body with an abundance of health benefits, many of which can help with weight control. Along with behaving as a digestive aid, ginger acts as a thermogenic agent, helping to burn fat. Plus, it enhances satiety, increasing your feeling of fullness after a meal. Studies have also shown that ginger can boost the body’s metabolic rate.

3. Bilberry Tea.  Bilberry tea has  many health benefits. Among these, it has the ability to help you control your weight naturally. Bilberry tea helps your body’s blood sugar levels balance out, and can act as an appetite suppressant.

4. Hibiscus tea.  Hibiscus tea can help you in your weight loss journey. The key ingredient is an enzyme inhibitor known as ‘Phaseolamin’ which blocks amylase production. Your body uses amylase to break down sugar and starch molecules and ultimately absorb these carbohydrates which can lead to weight gain. By inhibiting amylase production, Hibiscus tea prevents your body from storing too many carbohydrates.

5. Oolong tea. Traditional tea drinking countries like China and Japan praise this tea for it’s slimming reputation! First, Oolong tea boosts your metabolism and blocks fat absorption. It’s natural fat burning effects prevent fat from accumulating over long periods of time.

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Best Sources of Protein for Faster Weight Loss

Build muscle and get fit!

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We use protein to build and repair muscles, but our bodies don’t maintain stores of protein. We need to feed our bodies with important proteins every day. This is especially true for people who are working out regularly. Weight lifting breaks down your muscle fibers. Your body needs a wide range of amino acids to repair them. The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, so there’s no set number that would apply to everyone.

Here’s a list of the Best Sources of Protein for Weight loss so you can decide which foods are right for you.

1.  Tuna. Another protein- packed fish that is low in fat. Tuna is a lighter option than Salmon. A 3 oz serving of light canned tuna contains about the same grams of protein, but since it doesn’t contain the essential fatty acids, it’s only a fraction of the calories. Just make sure to avoid tuna salads which are loaded with mayonnaise. Instead, try a light mayo, hot sauce, or sprinkle over your salads.

2. Salmon. A 3 pz serving of salmon contains about 150 calories and 23 grams of protein. This means that if you eat 100 calories worth of salmon, you’re consuming about 14 grams of protein. Salmon is also rich in essential  acids including omega 3’s , which have countless health benefits. They’re linked to healthy brain function, good blood pressure, and weight loss.

3. Egg whites. One cup of egg whites has only 115 calories and a whopping 26 grams of protein! While egg yolks are rich in fats, egg whites contain none and are made with pure protein. They contain many essential muscle building amino acids with next to no carbs.

4. Turkey or lean chicken breast . Lean skinless turkey or chicken breast is one of the best sources of protein. It’s very versatile, and could be shredded into salads or ground into burger patties. The possibilities are endless.

5. Tofu. Tofu is completely plant based. It’s made mostly from soy beans. It’s one of the best vegan sources of complete protein. Half a cup contains about 100 calories and 10 grams of protein. You can use tofu in almost anything.

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Top 11 Detox Foods

Kiss those stored toxins good bye!

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After eating too many fattening treats and processed junk food, you probably feel sluggish. The good news is you can clean your body out with a detox!

These 10 best detoxing foods contain powerful detox- friendly properties that work to flush toxins from your system. Add these foods to great recipes or enjoy by them selves. Your entire body will benefit from these natural powerhouses, helping you feel full of energy and in your best health.

1. Lemons. A little lemon juice mixed with water makes the easiest, ultra effective detox drink. Lemons are packed with vitamin C compounds that restore your body’s alkaline-acid balance, which helps flush dietary and environmental toxins.

2. Water. Perhaps the cheapest, quickest way to rid one’s self of impurities is to flush your system with filtered water. It’s essential for your overall health and is great for your kidneys and liver. Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning and your body will reap the benefits!

3. Cilantro. Cilantro enhances any meal with it’s fresh flavor. But that’s not all- this herb binds with heavy metals that can cause a whole host of problems, then helps remove them from the body.

4. Grapefruit. Grapefruit has high amounts of vitamins C and A, fiber, and antioxidants. In addition to having a low calorie profile, the super food binds to toxins during digestion and flushes the impurities away from the body.

5. Asparagus.  Asparagus is a diuretic that helps flush toxins from your system. The spears also contain amino acids that have been known to cure a hangover.

6. Apples. Apple’s high amounts of fiber and pectin soak up harmful waste and washes them away through the intestines. Apples contain glucaric acid, which helps  eliminate harmful heavy metals which will oxidize in the body, causing a host of problems.

7. Turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, the compound that gives it it’s sunshine yellow color. Curcumin stimulates digestion and clears the liver and kidneys. The spice contains antioxidants that will give your health a beneficial boost.

8. Cinnamon.  This popular spice is an excellent source of calcium, manganese, and dietary fiber. It’s nutritious properties can block the accumulation of harmful fats and trigger your body to eliminate these substances.

9. Parsley.  This herb contains powerful detoxing nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene, and chlorophyll. These elements bind onto impurities and sweep them away for good.

10. Garlic. Garlic has sulfur-containing compounds that fight harmful bacteria and yeast from the intestines. These compounds help your body eliminate many types of toxins. Chopping or crushing garlic will help release the compounds. The more raw, the more beneficial compounds.

11. Ginger. Start your detox in high gear and rejuvenate your system with this nutritional powerhouse. Besides acting as an appetite suppressant and aiding in weight loss, ginger can also rev your metabolism and flush away toxins. There are countless health benefits from ginger!

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Top 5 Fastest Belly Fat Burning Foods

Yummy fast food – for fat loss that is!

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These 5 Fast Belly Fat Burning Foods are great for your journey because they work in ways that increase thermic temperature, reduce your appetite,  and rev up metabolism. People who sneak these foolproof, fat fighting foods in their diet have an easier time losing weight than people who are only focused on nutrition fact numbers. Go for these foods when you want a satisfying snack or add them to your meals. Either way, these nutritional powerhouses will combat belly fat and help you keep it off!

1. Oranges. At only 60 calories, an orange is a smart choice. Oranges rank high on the satiety scale because of their high fiber content. High fiber foods such as citrus fruits take longer to chew and digest. They take up lots of space in your stomach and help you feel full. Oranges also have low energy density, meaning fewer calories per gram than your average fruit.

2. Garbanzo beans. Beans are a fiber, protein, and antioxidant rich. These low- glycemic legumes stabilize blood sugar levels and curb your appetite. The fiber help lower the amount of glucose your blood stream absorbs, which keeps blood sugar low and makes it difficult for your body to store fat.

3. Cinnamon.  This super food has long been acknowledged for it’s powerful fat loss effects and high nutritional profile. This spice has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels, helping to curb your appetite, and control hunger hormones. Nutrients like calcium, manganese, and fiber, can prevent your body’s accumulation of fat, preventing weight gain while combating stubborn fat.

4. Pine nuts. Pine nuts are full of heart – healthy fatty acids which promote your body’s production of satiety hormones. The pinolenic acid in pine nuts helps you feel full and resist the temptation to make diet disaster food choices. Plus, they have the highest protein content of any other nut.

5. Eggs.  Studies show that individuals who ate eggs in the morning feel fuller longer. Eggs pack loads of  nutrients. One egg has only 75 calories and 7 grams of protein. Their filling protein and low- glycemic index will help prevent cravings.

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10 Easy Fat Burning Snacks for Busy Moms

Before running out the door on a busy day, grab one of these fat fighting snacks!

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A healthy lifestyle with a hectic schedule is absolutely possible. It starts with snacks. It’s important to remain full, and energized on busy days. Reaching for the right fuel is key. Here’s a list of 10 Easy Fat Burning Snacks for Busy Moms to help you take whatever comes your way. If your schedule leaves no room for a quick gym session, don’t sweat it.  These are perfect for those crazy days!

1. Almonds.  Almonds are the only nut with omega-3’s only. The healthiest form of fat for your body. Almonds have a generous amount of fiber and protein , and many other nutrients as well.

2. Whole wheat crackers ‘n’ peanut butter. This is a great option, especially due to the nutrient rich combination of complex carbs and protein to help keep your blood sugar stable and keep you fuller for longer.

3. Fruit. Grab an apple, pear, peach, grapes, etc. as you dash out the door every morning. If you grab different fruit each day, you’ll obtain a good variety of nutrients, fiber, and you won’t get bored with the same ol’ snack. The average serving of fruit is around 70 calories. The fiber and nutrients will keep you feeling full and prevent mindless eating.

4. Instant oatmeal. When you’re rushed at work and need something warm and comforting, heat a packet of plain instant oatmeal (only 110 calories) for a quick and filling snack. Add your own healthy flavorings such as fruit, dries fruit, cinnamon etc.  Doubling as a fiber rich breakfast or daytime snack, oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

5. Veggies ‘n’ Greek yogurt. Forget the high fat, high sodium snacks at the mini market. Pack a container of fresh veggies like celery, carrots, and grape tomatoes. Raw veggies fill you up because of the high fiber and water content. If you struggle eating veggies in the buff, try dipping them in nonfat Greek yogurt, or any low calorie, high nutrient dip like salsa or hummus.

6. Cucumber ‘n’ feta bites.  Cucumbers are a great alternative to crackers during snack time. Top them with a little feta, nonfat Greek yogurt, or maybe walnuts for added protein and healthy fats.

7. Salsa, guac and pita chips. Combine salsa and fresh avocado together to create a quick and easy guacamole. A squeeze of lemon will prevent browning.

8.  Eggs with a kick. Create a batch of hard boiled eggs on Sunday, then you’ll have available all week in the refrigerator. Slice the egg in half and drizzle with a little hot sauce for a spicy 80 calorie snack.

9. Canned tuna.  Tuna’s packed with vitamin B3, B12 and protein. It’s a lean food that’s also low in fat. Tuns’a loaded with omega- 3 fatty acids that have huge antioxidant benefits. The best kind is albacore, which is pure white tuns with no mixture of other tuna species. For a snack, you can eat it straight from the can, mix it with brown rice, or sprinkle over a healthy salad.

10. Edamame. Edamame is a fancy name for soybeans that are boiled. They’re a delicious, low fat, and low calorie snack that’s full of complete protein and fiber. There’s also vitamin C, A, and iron. You may be tempted to add too much salt though, you’ll negate the health benefits.

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10 Essential Super foods for Weight Loss

Super power your weight loss with these clean eating foods.

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By adding super foods for fat loss to your plate, you nourish your body with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins it needs to drop pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

1. Green tea.  The key to green tea’s weight loss power is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) an antioxidant believed to combat fat and boost metabolism.  Green tea also has an appetite suppressing effect.

2. Green beans. Green beans are rich in fiber and iron, fat free, and low in calories. They blend well with many recipes.

3. Greek yogurt. With more protein and probiotics than typical yogurt, this healthy dairy food fills you up with healthy ingredients and supports digestion. It goes well with vegetables, cooked or raw.

4.  Lentils.  These weight loss staples are high in protein and nutrients, plus they’re easy on a budget.

5. Oats. Oats are full of fiber which satisfies the appetite and delivers slow burning energy. It mixes well with healthy options such as berries, apples, raisins, cinnamon, etc.  and is super easy and fast to prepare. Just steer clear of the packets loaded with added sugar.

6. Apples. Apples are packed with pectin, a type of fiber that satisfies the appetite while reducing the risk of some types of cancer. They’re great for on the go as well.

7. Blueberries. Fresh or frozen, these fiber filled super food are perfect for weight loss. Frozen blueberries are perfect for smoothies.

8. Avocado.  Avocado’s monounsaturated fats boost belly fat burn.  This is a versatile fat loss food you can enjoy anytime. Get creative and add it to healthy dishes.

9. Broccoli. Broccoli delivers a hefty dose of antioxidants, fiber and protein.  Broccoli has the same amount of protein per pound as a steak!

10. Cauliflower. This non -starchy vegetable is low in calories and high nutrients including fiber to support in healthy weight loss.

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10 Best Fall Fat Loss Foods

Slim down this autumn eats

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1.Artichokes. Artichokes are a natural diuretic, preventing water retention and bloating. They’re also high in fiber.

2. Beets. This non fat food is a great option for adding fiber, iron, and antioxidants to your weight loss efforts. They don’t even need sauce or seasoning. Their flavor alone is great.

3. Brussels sprouts. This nutritional powerhouse ranks high on any list of foods to lose fat. In addition to fiber, brussels sprouts offer lean protein.

4. Cabbage.  Fat -loss foods like cabbage are wise additions to any weight loss plan. Like any weight loss food, it’s high in nutrients such as fiber.

5. Apples. Apples are loaded with pectin, a substance that satisfies the appetite. Not to mention it’s high fiber and antioxidants.

6. Pears. This fruit delivers a combination of filling fiber and natural energy from it’s fructose.

7. Cranberries.  Natural cranberries without added sweeteners are high in fiber and nutrients.

8. Persimmons. This fall fruit contains iodine, which is important for the thyroid function that helps regulate a healthy metabolism. Enjoy them as a snack or chilled with a squeeze of lemon juice.

9. Pomegranate.  The fiber in pomegranates can help maintain even blood sugar levels and satisfy your appetite. An easy way to de-seed them is to stand up straight, cut horizontally across it’s belly, but don’t cut all the way through, since you’d cut the seeds, just about 1/2 inch around it. Rip open, so you have 2 halves. Take one half at a time. Place it seed side down on top of the palm of your hand. Place a bowl underneath your hand, grab a giant spoon, then tap with medium-low pressure. The seeds will all fall into the bowl!

10. Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a fall baking favorite which offers more than great flavor, it wards off extra weight too. It’s known to stabilize blood sugar, which prevents insulin spikes, the fat storing hormone.

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Top 9 Snack Swaps for Weight Loss

Snack the healthy way with these slimming options.

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Snacks are good. They help maintain blood sugar levels and provide the body energy  throughout the day. Sadly, there’s plenty of unhealthy snack options to temp even the most committed healthy eater.

The solution? Swap out unhealthy ingredients for those that support fat loss. These healthy snack swaps include whole foods loaded with fiber, protein, or other nutrients. Plus, these snacks are quick and easy to prepare.

1. Craving: Store bought trail mix       Instead: Homemade trail mix.

Packaged mixes may look healthy, but they’re usually loaded with sugar and salt. Instead, mix your own snack by combining whole, unsalted seeds and nuts, and dried fruit with no added sugar.

2. Craving: Store bought granola       Instead: Homemade granola 

Like packaged trail mix, granola mixes too often contain excess sugar and salt which will stall your weight loss efforts. Clean eating granola recipes are healthier- and easier to prepare than you might expect.

3. Craving: Chips     Instead: Homemade chips

Enjoy whole, unsalted nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. They’re another crunchy alternative to unhealthy chips. Always check the serving sizes before munching.

4. Craving: Cheese       Instead: Low- Fat Mozzarella Srick

Swap out whole milk cheese for low fat mozzarella cheese sticks. These are great for kids too! The protein provides energy to carry you through the next meal. They’re perfectly portioned for smart snacking.

5. Craving: Cafe smoothie         Instead: Homemade smoothie

Avoid the cafe or convenience store smoothie trap and switch to a homemade version that nourishes the body with nutrients and isn’t loaded with added sugar.

6. Craving:Crackers & dip    Instead: Veggie slices with clean eating dip

Nourish your body with healthy snack swaps like trading crackers for naturally low- cal veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, and celery sticks.

7. Craving: Candy bar       Instead: Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is lower in fat and sugar and higher in antioxidants than milk chocolate in most candy bars.

8. Fruity gummy candy    Instead: Dried fruit with no added sugar

Gummy fruit may be enriched with vitamin C, but many brands have artificial flavors, preservatives, and added sugar. Swap it out for dried fruit. Since it’s easy to over eat sweet foods, always check portion sizes. These are great for kids and on the go!

9. Craving: Store bought granola    Instead: Homemade granola

Like packaged trail mix, granola mixes too often contain excessive amounts of salt and sugar that will back track you. Clean eating granola recipes are healthier and easier to prepare than you may think.

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5 Fatty Foods That Burn Fat Faster

Discover the health effects of good fats!

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Choosing the right fatty foods for weight loss can be an important tool to keep the pounds off for good. Polyunsaturated fats are one type that researchers suggest reduces body fat and increases calorie burning muscle mass.Monounsaturated fats are another type believed to boost metabolism and help to burn fat more efficiently.

1. Pumpkin seeds. These seeds deliver poly and monounsaturated fats to increase fat burn and satisfy the appetite. Pumpkin seeds are a great on the go snack, and they taste great in salads.

2. Almonds. Almonds are full of monounsaturated fats, making them one of the fatty foods that burn fat faster. In published research, obese adults who ate an almond -rich, low calorie diet, showed a 63% greater weight loss and 50% greater reduction in waist size than on just the low cal diet.

3. Walnuts. Walnuts are an excellent source of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, researchers discovered that those consuming walnuts reported better appetite reduction than those who did not.

4. Salmon. One 4 oz serving contains more omega-3 fatty acids than  most American adults consume over several day. Plus, those healthy fats also support joints,  eliminate inflammation, and a host of great health benefits.  Choose wild caught salmon instead of farmed. These fish are fed corn and have to be injected with color because their natural food source creates that color, which is also high in antioxidants.

5. Avocados.  These fruits (that’s right!)  contain a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is a significant source of energy for the cells. In other words, your body uses that specific fat to create energy rather than storing it.

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10 “Diet” Foods to Avoid

Beware!

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Choosing foods based on the “diet” label may seem like the right choice, but don’t be misled by the label. Beware of The 10 “Diet” Foods to Avoid.

1. Artificial sweeteners. They may be low in calories, but research indicates that artificial sweeteners leave you feeling less satiated, meaning that your brain keeps getting hunger signals. This causes overeating. Plus, the chemicals are highly toxic and can cause a host of problems.

2. Sugar free sweets. We’ve known refined sugars are bad for us, nut sugar free sweets aren’t necessarily any better. They often contain high amounts of fat. Be sure to read nutrition labels for more of an understanding of what’s in your food.

3. Flavored yogurt. Yogurt can be a healthy option for your diet, but it can also be a hidden source of sugar. Check the nutrition label. You can avoid added sugars by eating plain. You can flavor it yourself with healthy options, like berries or nuts.

4. Light salad dressings. When it comes to premade salad dressings, less fat usually means more sugar. Also, the lack of fat my actually inhibit your body from absorbing important nutrients from the veggies in your salad. Making your own is the healthiest option.

5. Trail mix. Nuts ‘n’ fruit. They would be a perfect snack option if not for the loads of salt,sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy oils. The best route is to make your own mix using nuts and dried fruit.

6. Baked veggie chips. Premade chips are most likely loaded with salt. You can bake your own and avoid the excessive salt.

7. Fast food smoothies. Sadly, when purchasing premade smoothies, you’re likely getting a ton of added sugar. Blend up your own clean smoothie instead!

8. Rice cakes. Rice cakes are low in nutrition and high on the glycemic index scale, meaning they will likely cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

9. Microwave popcorn. Salt, oils, scary chemicals in the bag make a bad choice. The smart way to go would be popping it at home with an air popper.

10. Diet soda. Countless research has indicates a link between drinking diet soda and weight gain. The toxic chemicals added make diet soda a no- go.

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5 Bad Carbs That Pack on the Pounds

Stay slim by avoiding these carbs.

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Carbohydrates aren’t always bad. Good carbs are full of nutrients, and release energy slowly, which maintains stable blood sugar, so that you reduce the spikes and dips that effect mood and hunger. Good carbs include: beans, whole grains, and whole wheat pastas. Bad carbs offer no nutritional value; empty calories. Here’s a list of 5 Bad Carbs That Pack on the Pounds.

1. White bread.  This bread is made from flour that’s been processed to make sweeter and easier to digest. But, the processing strips white bread of all grain’s natural ingredients including it’s fiber, vitamins and minerals. Researchers found that people on a low calorie diet that incorporate whole grains lost more belly fat that those eating refined grains, like white bread.

2. Refined sugar. These sugars are often added to processed foods to make them taste better, and make you want more. Refined sugar has many names including brown sugar, white sugar and corn syrup.

3. Desserts and pastries.  Packaged, store bought, and homemade desserts and pastries are low on nutrition and high in calories. They incorporate the bad carb combo of refined sugar and white flour. Beware, just because a choice may seem healthy, like a whole grain muffin, it may be loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats.

4. Fruit juice.  Manufactured fruit juice is a hidden source of bad carbs. It seems like a good choice since naturally occurring sugars are considered healthy, right? It’s true that carbs from fruit offer nutrition, like antioxidants, not found in refined sugar. The problem is that fruit juice manufacturers often add refines sugar (or artificial sweeteners) to their ingredients to make their products taste sweeter.

Homemade or non sweetened juices are the healthiest choice because they offer much of a fruit’s nutrition without the carbs that pack on the pounds.

5. Soda.  A 12 oz can of soda pumps the body with 10-12 teaspoons of sugar, which causes insulin spikes that lead to an increased risk of tooth decay,  high blood pressure, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.

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10 Budget Super foods

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There’s some foods that are strong enough to reduce heart disease risk, prevent cancer, lower your cholesterol, and save you money! These super foods are inexpensive and perfect for your healthy lifestyle.

1. Oatmeal.  You’re probably aware of the immune boosting and inflammation reducing benefits of oatmeal. This budget super food gives you iron, zinc, plus antioxidants at around thirty cents per serving. Since you can keep your cholesterol low while maintaining your finances, oatmeal is the smart choice.

2. Spinach.  Spinach is considered a budget super food because it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but, it’s very inexpensive.

3. Flaxseed.  Flaxseed is loaded with omega-3’s, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants with over 75% of daily vitamin E per serving and only around $1.00 per bag.

4. Quinoa.  At about 1.00 per pound, quinoa is a  budget super food that works as complete protein source. It’s loaded with calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. It can replace meat which is much more costly.

5. Mango. Just one serving gives you 80% of your daily vitamin C, plus vitamin A, fiber, and potassium. Add to plain yogurt or smoothies. At around 70 cents each, this budget super food is a great snack you should always keep in your fridge.

6. Dried cranberries.  This budget super food has both antioxidants and phytochemicals, , making them able to fight off free radicals which cause diseases. Low in calories and high in fiber, apples serve as a quick snack for the woman on the go. At only around 50 cents each, apples are a great choice.

7, Black beans. Black beans are capable of replacing your daily multivitamin and processed burger patty. Loaded with magnesium, iron, and folate, this super food packs a healthy punch. Plus, they have sufficient protein, which makes a great option for vegans and vegetarians. You can get a one pound bag for only around one dollar.

8. Sweet potatoes.  This vegetable nourishes your skin by neutralizing wrinkles, decreasing the appearance of sun spots and revitalizing skin’s cells. Plus, sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. These super foods are loaded with energizing vitamins and mineral with sufficient fiber. This budget super food runs only around 50 cents each.

9. Salmon.  Wild that is. With salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, this fish lowers heart disease and cancer risk. It’s reasonably priced at around one dollar per serving.

10. Eggs.  Eggs are highly nutritious and affordable at only twenty five cents each. Loaded with zeaxanthin, lutein, and essential vitamins and minerals. It;s easy to pack on the go for a protein snack!

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9 Clean Eating Snacks Under 150 Calories

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Clean eating snacks , in the right portion sizes, are exactly what you need to lose weight more efficiently. These snacks are tasty, and once you get accustomed to clean eating foods that aren’t loaded with chemicals and additives, you may find that you no longer want to go back to those old eating habits.

1. Kale chips. With only 140 calories per serving, this healthy snack is delicious and nutritious. It’s also great for on the go!

2. Apples ‘n’ peanut butter. Dip the apple slices from one apple into 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter.

3. Veggies ‘n’ ranch dip.  Two tablespoons of this clean eating dip has just 30 calories, perfect for you low calorie snacks menu.  Pair it with broccoli, mini carrots, or any of your favorite veggies.

4.  Plain nonfat Greek yogurt with berries.  1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 cup of berries or diced fruit. This provides filling protein with filling fiber and nutrition.

5.  2  large hard boiled eggs. These provide an array of nutrients including 13 grams of protein.

6. Baked apple chips. 2 thinly sliced apples, sprinkled with cinnamon, baked at 275F  for two hours, flipped, then baked for about 30 minutes longer. Once they look nice and crispy, remove them and allow to cool.

7. Garden salad with squeezed lemon. 

8. 1.5 cups of sliced berries. Highly nutritious including antioxidants and  filling fiber.

9. A handful of almonds.  These provide omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Almonds are also perfect for on the go!

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9 Fruits to Help Lose Weight Fast

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By choosing fruits high in fiber, you’ll help your body eliminate fat, while keeping you fuller, longer. Plus, you’ll benefit from the vitamins and minerals. Here’s 10 delicious fruits that will help you lose weight faster.

1. Apples. These are one of the easiest foods to grab. They take no prep time and are great for on the go.  One medium apple with it’s peel contains between four and five grams of fiber. Most of apple’s nutrients are in the peel.

2. Raspberries. These little red super foods  tip the fiber scales at eight grams per serving. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, K, and manganese.

3. Persimmons.  If you’ve never tried a persimmon, it’s time to add this bright orange fruit to your fridge. Each one contains about 6 grams of fiber, and doctors believe they have properties to help prevent heart disease.

4. Mangos. Spring and summer is the perfect time to snack on mangos. They contain about 5 grams of fiber per serving. Try dicing mangos over Greek yogurt for a sweet treat that fills you up.

5. Oranges. The pulp is what counts the most. One small orange contains between two and three grams of fiber and only 45 calories. You can also benefit by squeezing your own orange juice at home. Just remember to leave the pulp in for your greater weight loss results.

6. Bananas. Most people probably aren’t aware that bananas are botanically considered a berry. It’s no wonder, then, that they’re high in protein like their more traditional berry cousins. One medium banana contains around three grams.

8. Guava. This fruit hits the fiber charts, containing as much as nine grams per large guava. Choose one that’s soft, and light in yellow color. Slice and eat it as you would an apple.

9. Blackberries.  Pretty much any berry will give you a healthy helping of fiber, but the black ones top the lists with seven grams per serving.

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6 Foods to Help you Lose Weight and Keep You Fuller for Longer

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Here’s a list of foods that are delicious, filling, and very nutritious. They will help you shed pounds, and won’t leave you with cravings afterwords.

1.Tofu. Tofu is high in protein, low in calories and fat, Substituting fattier meals with marinated tofu offers a clean and light alternative. If you’re a little hesitant on tofu because of the taste or texture, put a block of it on a fruit smoothie. Tofu’s subtle taste can be masked easily by stronger ingredients like strawberries or soy sauce.

2. Nuts. Nuts don’t only have the healthy fats necessary for your daily diet. They’re high in protein, which help you feel full. Some nuts, including walnuts and almonds, also contain vital omega-3’s.

3. Beans. Beans are full of cholecystokinin, a digestive hormone that naturally suppresses the appetite and keeps you feeling full. Other bean benefits including regulating blood sugar, being high fiber and low in cholesterol. This food is great to your heart and digestion.

4. Grapefruit. This citrus fruit reduces insulin levels, forcing your body to convert calories into energy rather than storing fat. Plus, it’s a great way to start your day if you’re on the go or usually not hungry when you first wake up.

5. Eggs. Eggs are another high protein food that helps you feel fuller for longer.Research has shown that protein may prevent spikes in blood sugar.

6. Kale. Kale is low in calories and full of fiber, as well as  hearty because of the contents of calcium and iron. Mix chopped raw kale and cooked black beans and quinoa, makes a great snack.

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Top 10 Clean Eating Do’s & Don’ts

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1. Don’t skip breakfast.  Your morning meal establishes healthy metabolism throughout the day. Plus, if you skip it, you’ll likely find yourself consuming larger quantities of food at later meals.

2. Do eat four to six small meals per day.  Smaller, more frequent meals will keep your blood sugar levels stable and will increase your metabolism. And, because the meals keep your belly satisfied throughout the day, you’re less likely to turn on a binge.

3. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Whether it’s wine or beer, alcohol offers only empty calories. If your going to drink alcohol, save it for special occasions.

4.  Do drink water.  Drink at least four to six glasses each day to keep your body hydrated. Water also detoxes the body and keep you belly feeling full, making it less likely to give into unhealthy snacks.

5. Don’t derail yourself with sugar. Excess sugar is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and obesity. Packaged and processed foods often flood the body with unnecessary sugar. People are often misled to believe a food is healthy. Always read the label. To satisfy a sweet tooth, try fruit. The natural occurring sugar in fruit (fructose) is great for your body.

6. Do keep clean eating snacks on hand. Whether your day is filled with the kids events, or running errands, it’s great to keep healthy snacks on hand.   This will avoid heading to the drive through.

7. Don’t serve supersized portions. Even if you’re eating a clean diet, it will be difficult to lose weight. You will still need to control your portion sizes, but eating the right foods will fill you up faster and prevent cravings because they are nutrient dense.

8. Do combine lean protein and complex carbs at each meal. This clean eating combo decreases insulin spikes and maintains energy levels. The combo acts as an appetite suppressant, helping you feel fuller longer.

9. Don’t go into the week without a meal plan. it’s important to plan rather than figuring it out in the last minute. Decide on a week’s worth of clean eating recipes ahead of time so that you don’t get stuck feeding the family a boxed meal containing processed or powdered junk food.

10. Do learn to love veggies. Vegetables deliver many nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, the’re very filling and low on calories. Load up!

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Top 8 Ways to End Food Cravings

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1. Get moving. According to researchers, vigorous exercise allows for the proper release of hormones related to appetite and fullness. Suppress your appetite naturally with a workout, a laundry load, or anything to distract yourself and get work done at the same time.

2. Eat a healthy breakfast. Taking time to eat breakfast gets the metabolism moving. It helps reduce the feelings of hunger throughout the day.

3. Chuck the junk. If Doritos are calling your name from the pantry, it’s time to do some chuckin’. Don’t keep unhealthy snacks in the house.

4. Steer clear from foods you crave. When you want to drop the lb’s, keep cravings in check by avoiding the temptation. Instead of joining friends at the deli, meet them at the park.

5. Sleep more. Cutting back on sleep drops levels of hormones related to appetite and fullness. Sleep between 7 to 9 hours per night for less cravings.

6. Wait 5 minutes. Hunger usually comes in waves. When the intensity has ramped up to the point where you absolutely must eat that food, Stop! and promise yourself that you’ll wait five minutes before eating. If the cravings are still there, reach for a healthy snack, like an apple.

7. Ask the root question. Are you actually hungry? The truth is that we often eat mindlessly when we’re bored, anxious, or upset. Stress is an infamous overeating culprit. If you’re craving something from emotion, find a healthier outlet, such as taking a walk or calling a friend.

8. Beware of banning. Banning favorite foods from your diet in attempt to lose weight can have the same effect on the brain. Rather than imposing a strict personal rule that’s set up to break (“I’ll never eat chocolate again!”) Make it an occasional  treat that you enjoy in controlled portions.

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7 Foods to Avoid Forever

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With all the information, and misinformation out there about food, it’s often difficult to decide which foods are healthy, and which aren’t. Knowing what not to eat just got easier. There are certain foods that experts from farmers, to doctors, to dieticians agree should be avoided. 8 Foods to Never Eat Again is a short list of foods to avoid if you would like to eat healthier and do so for a lifetime. Slim Sexy Mom.com advocates eating clean foods that have been minimally processed, unrefined flours, and unrefined sweeteners to name a few. Opt for whole foods without any processing when possible.

1. White rice. Like white bread, white rice offers no nutritional value and the body doesn’t know how to process it. Plus, white rice spikes blood sugar, making it dangerous for diabetics.  Avoid white rice and choose brown rice instead.

2. White bread.  White bread and other refined flours contain little to no vitamins or nutrients, so they offer zero nutritional value. Plus, the body doesn’t know how to properly digest these foods, which can lead to health problems. Consider unrefined white whole wheat flour, which is a whole flour. This type of flour has the same nutritional value as whole wheat flour, but is sweeter,milder, and lighter.

3. Cured meat products. Bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and most deli meats are most likely full of nitrates and other preservatives that have been linked to cancer and heart disease. It’s recommended that when buying meats choose those which comes from organic, grass fed animals and read the packaging to be certain that nitrates haven’t been added.

4. Movie theater popcorn. This snack is loaded with unhealthy and genetically modified ingredients and loaded with unhealthy fats. Try bringing your own organic, air popped popcorn instead.

5. “Diet foods.” If a food is labeled as “diet” it’s probably been replaced with refined sugar or chemically made sweeteners like aspertame, or saccharin, which have been linked to many health issues.

6. Conventional frozen meals. Yes, the’re convenient, but they’re loaded with unhealthy preservatives, processed salts, and artificial ingredients and often full of fat.

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7. Conventional protein bars. Beware, just because these are usually located in the health food isle, it’s likely misleading. These bars usually contain preservatives, sugar, and are far from “health foods”.

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5 Best Breakfast Foods for Your Metabolism

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Many breakfast foods are perfect metabolism boosters because they’re high in complex carbohydrates, protein, or fiber. Here’s The 5 Best Breakfast Foods for Your Metabolism:

1. Lean protein.  You can enjoy in healthful portions of lean meat as part of a metabolism boosting breakfast. Just be mindful and be sure it’s low  in fat.

2. Whole grains. When you’re looking to burn more calories during the day, grab the whole grains. Oatmeal, quinoa, and whole wheat toast, to name a few.

3. Fruit. The fiber in fruit makes it a natural calorie burner. The best part is it’s very versatile and is great for on the go. Try it diced in Greek yogurt or oatmeal.

4. Eggs.  Eggs are a great source of energy with their nutrients, including 7 grams of protein. They are also great for on the go. You can hard boil the whole dozen, then you’ll have them ready for the entire week.

5. Low fat dairy. Low fat dairy provides plenty of protein to boost metabolism naturally. Non fat Greek yogurt is a great option. It’s higher in protein that the non Greek counterparts.

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9 Plant Based Proteins

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Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or not, plant based protein is essential for your body;s ability to properly function. For most, meat and dairy products are their main source of protein. Those on plant based diets often have a more difficult time meeting their daily protein requirements. Finding plant based sources of protein isn’t difficult either. Here’s 9 Plant Based Proteins to help you stay healthy and strong on a plant based diet.

1. Brown rice. Brown rice has a higher protein content than most grains with 6.5 grams of protein per cup.

2. Dark leafy greens.  Dark leafy greens are great sources of protein. Broccoli and spinach have the same amount of protein as a steak per pound! They also contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamins, and fiber.

3. Almonds. Almonds are a  protein and nutrient rich source of protein. Plus they contain omega- 3 fatty acids.

4. Quinoa.  Quinoa’s considered a super food. It’s high in nutrients and contains 14% protein mass.

5. Sprouts. Sprouts contain the highest quantity of nutrients per calorie of any food. Plus, with over 35% protein, sprouts can be a great addition to a plant based diet.

6. Spirulina. Spirulina isn’t only high in protein, it’s a super food.

7. Beans. Beans are one of the best if not THE best plant based sources of protein. Not only are they versatile, there’s many varieties to choose from, and they a high in antioxidants and fiber.

8. Avocado. Avocados are high in protein, with 6.5 grams per fruit (yes fruit) They’re also high in healthy fats.

9. Chia seeds. Chia seeds are 23% complete protein, full of fiber, and easy to use.

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3 Reasons Sweet Potatoes are Sweet

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Sweet potatoes are not only versatile, they’re full of health benefits. Here’s the 3 Reasons Sweet Potatoes are Sweet!

1. They can build immunity.  Sweet potatoes contain iron, which plays an important role in out bodies. It helps manage the production of blood cells and build a strong immune system. Plus, iron is responsible for providing energy to keep you going all day long.

2. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins B6, C, and D, so they’re helpful in fighting off a number of illnesses and diseases. Plus, the vitamin C helps accelerate healing and prevents premature aging.

3. Sweet potatoes can help you relax and fight stress. The magnesium found in sweet potatoes is one mineral that’s known for influencing the body toward relaxation. Magnesium is also necessary for healthy eyes, heart, bones, muscles and nerve function.

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3 Reasons Green Tea’s a Super Food

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Eastern cultures have discovered the health benefits of green tea for centuries. Not only is it calorie free, but green tea is also a great source of antioxidants and has been shown to help prevent and fight cancer.

1. You can lose weight with green tea. The combination of catechins and powerful antioxidants found in green tea work together to help your body fight fat and burn more calories. Plus, green tea is calorie free.

2. It’s a cancer fighter.  The antioxidants found in green tea, called catechins, have been shown in laboratory studies to slow the effects of radicals on cancer cells. Catechins reduce the size of tumors, and now they may even cause cancer cells to die instead of allowing them to grow and spread.

3. It’s easy to add green tea to your diet. The best way to enjoy all the benefits of green tea, you should drink it regularly, about 2-3 cups per day. To add variety to your green tea, you can add a variety of flavors such as lemon, orange, and mango.

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Top 10 Tips to Avoid Overeating

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1. Shop primarily the outside perimeters. Most of the processed junk food is located on the inside of the grocery aisles whereas the whole foods are located on the outside, such as dairy, eggs, produce, oils, etc.

2. Don’t grocery shop while hungry. 

3. Always take a shopping list, and stick to it. 

4.Prepare cut up veggies, and throw in a bag for a quick snack.

5. Use salad size plates instead of traditional dinner sized plates.

6. Eat about every 3-4 hours.

7. Plan meals one week in advance.

8. Don’t eat in front of the TV or the computer. You’ll easily get distracted and can lead to mindless munching.

9. Think about chewing your food as you eat.

10. Chew your food completely.

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ITALIAN

Spaghetti  Bolognese Recipe

Yields: 6 servings – Serving Size: 3/4 cup – Calories: 340 – Total Fat: 12g – Carbs: 38 – Protein: 23g

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 jar marinara sauce, no sugar added
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of salt and pepper

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Directions

  • Prepare and drain spaghetti according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, pour olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cook for 6-8 min, until onions have softened.
  • Add garlic, ground meat, and basil. Cook for an additional 5 min, until the meat is browned and cooked through. Add the marinera sauce, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add cooked spaghetti to meat sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.  Enjoy!

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Turkey Sausage Balls

Yields: 4 servings – calories: 230 – carbs: 1g – fat: 15g – protein: 21g

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp oregano flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

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Directions

  • Combine all ingredients, except the olive oil, together in a bowl. Form small balls.
  • Place 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and allow to heat.
  • Working in batches, place sausage balls in the oil and cook until brown on the outside and cooked all the way through, for about 8 min. Place on paper towel lined plate. Cover to keep warm. Repeat with second batch, adding more oil as necessary.

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Meatballs with Spicy Marinera Sauce

Yields: 6 servings – serving size: 2 meatballs – calories:260 – fat: 10g 

Ingredients

  • Meatballs: 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black pepper, divided
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Marinera Sauce: 
  • 1 (24oz) jar marinera sauce 
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all the meatball ingredients (except ground turkey). Add the meat and incorporate into the ingredients with your hands. Roll into 12 (1 1/2 inch) meatballs and place on a nonstick or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 min. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 10 min, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, pour marinera sauce and crushed red pepper into a saucepan. Cook on the stove top over low heat until simmering. Add cooked meatballs. Garnish with parsley and onions. Enjoy!

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Baked Chicken Parmesan

servings: 8 – size:1 piece – points+: 6pts – smart points 5 – calories: 240 – carbs: 14 g 

Ingredients

  • 4 (about 8oz each) boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced in half to make 8
  • 3/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp margarine or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup marinera
  • cooking spray

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the margarine onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  3.  Lightly spray a little more oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 min. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 min.
  4. Remove from oven, spoon 1 tbsp sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake 5 more min until cheese is melted.

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One Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Yields: 4 servings – calories: 350 – fat: 18g – carbs: 8g – protein: 37g

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided 
  • 3 tbsp oregano
  • salt and pepper

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Directions

Using the bottom of a wide jar or glass, pound the chicken to an even thickness. Salt and pepper both sides.

Place a broiler safe saute pan with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat on the stove top. Make sure the bottom of the whole pan is coated with the olive oil. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Add chicken to pan. Cook for 1 min to get golden on the bottom. Turn the breasts over and turn the heat to low.

Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 10 min. Don’t remove the lid while cooking. After 10 min, remove the pan from the heat, still covered, and allow to sit for 10 additional min.

Make sure there is no pink in the middle of the breasts. Top chicken breasts first with mozzarella and tomatoes, then with parmesan, and last with the bread crumbs. Add tomatoes on top.

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Angel Hair with Shrimp ‘n’ Tomato Sauce

serves: 4 – serving size: 1/4 – calories: 320 – carbs: 45g – fat: 3g – points+:10 – smart points: 7

Ingredients

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 8 oz angel hair pasta ( whole wheat)

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Directions

  1. Boil water for pasta. Cook according to package directions
  2. Season shrimp and salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Cook shrimp and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 min. Add tomatoes, wine, salt and pepper and cook an additional minute.
  4. Add yogurt and cook 1 more minute. Add lemon juice and parsley and serve over pasta,  enjoy!

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Angel Hair Pasta with Scallops ‘n’ Tomatoes

Yields: 4 servings – size: 1 1/4 cups – points+:9 points – smart points: 9 – calories: 340 – carbs: 40 – fat 5g 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bay scallops, dried well
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 14oz can diced petite tomatoes, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 7 oz angel hair pasta (whole wheat)

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Directions

  1. Place a large pot of water to boil
  2. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet on high heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat until mixture starts to brown.
  3. Make sure the pan and oil mixture is very hot. Transfer half of the scallops to the skillet and cook without moving untill seared, about 30 seconds.-Gently flip and sear on the other side for another 20-30 seconds. Remove from skillet and set aside, cook remaining scallops and repeat as the first batch; set aside with first batch.
  4. Add the angel hair to the boiling water, cook according to package directions for al dente.
  5. Reduce the skillet to medium-high heat; add remaining tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and cook 1 min. Add the tomatoes, wine, salt and pepper and cook an additional 2 min. Add lemon juice and 2 tbsp of parsley, remove from heat.
  6. Drain any liquid that accumulates from the scallops, then add the scallops to the skillet and remove from heat.
  7. Drain the pasta and place in a large mixing bowl. Top with the scallops and sauce, then add more parsley.

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Skinny Spinach Manicotti

Yields: 8 servings – size: 2 manicotti – points+ 10 pts – old points:8 pts – calories: 370 – fat: 16g – carbs: 27g 

Ingredients

  • 16 oz part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups lowered fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 crespelles
  • 32oz marinara sauce 

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine ricotta , 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, egg, spinach, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  2. Fill each crespelle with 1/4 cup spinach filling and roll. In a large baking dish, pour a little sauce on the bottom of each dish. Place rolled manicotti seem side down onto baking dish. Top with a little more sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake about 20-25 min.

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Light Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Yields: 8 servings – size: 1 cup – points+:7 pts – smart points: 10  -calories: 290 – fat: 8g – carbs: 32g 

Ingredients

  • 12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
  • 2 tbsp margerine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth 
  • 8 oz lowered fat mild cheddar
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 cups baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • cooking spray

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Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large , heavy skillet, melt margerine. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring woth a whisk. Add onion and cook another 2 min. Add milk and chicken broth and continuw whisking, raising heat to medium- high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  3.  Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and spinach. Pour into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top.
  4. Bake for 15-20 min, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.

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Easy Pasta ‘n’ Broccoli Recipe

Yields: 6 servings – size: 1 1/2 cups – points+8 pts = smart points:8 – calories: 280 – carbs: 46g – fat: 7g 

Ingredients

  • 12 oz uncooked pasta (whole grain)
  • 6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets, no stems
  • 6 cloves of harlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or romano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper

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Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water boils, add pasta and broccoli at the same time and cook according to package directions for al dente. When pasta is almost done cooking, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  2. Return the pot to the stove and set heat to high; add 1 tbsp olive oil, when hot, add garlic. Cook until golden, reduce flame to low and add pasta back to the pot.
  3. Mix well, add remaining olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste mixing well and smashing any large pieces of broccoli to break up.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and mix well adding more if needed.
  5. Serve in pasta bowls with additional grated cheese on the side.

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Light Chicken Fettuccine ‘n’ Broccoli

serves 6 – size: 1 1/4 cup – calories: 320 – fat: 10g – carbs: 30g – WWP+:8 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups low fat chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked + cut into bite sized cubes
  • 8 whole wheat fettuccine noodles
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • 10 oz jar light alfredo sauce
  • 1/8 cup reduced fat grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper

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Directions

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, add chicken stock, water, and chicken. If need be, add more water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 12 min. Keep water.Remove chicken breasts with tongs and set on a plate to slightly cool. When  chicken is cool enough to touch, dice into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
  2. Place chicken water back on stove top and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add broccoli florets and continue to boil for 2-4 min or until broccoli is tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a stock pot, boil fettuccine according to package directions, drain and return pasta to the pot.
  4. Microwave turkey bacon according to package directions. Let cool and dice into small pieces, set aside.
  5. In the stock pot that contains the noodles add chicken, broccoli, alfredo and toss to coat. Heat on low for 3 min.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, add crumbled bacon, sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.

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Tilapia Piccata

serves 8 – size: 1 piece of fish, 1/2 cup quinos, 1 tbsp sauce – calories: 300 – carbs: 20g – fat: 8g – WWP+:8pts 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (makes about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-6 tilapia fillets
  • 3 tbsp margarine, divided
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder

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Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Ass in tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir gently to mix and keep warm.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine flour. Dredge fish from pan and keep warm.
  3. Melt 1 tbsp margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan and cook 2 min on each side until desired doneness. Remove fish from pan and keep warm.
  4. In same skillet, add wine, and lemon juice. Cook over medium high heat for 1-2 min. Remove from heat.
  5. Add remaining 2 tbsp margarine to pan and stir the margarine into the sauce until the margarine melts.
  6. Spoon sauce over fish and serve with quinoa.

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skinny florentine flatbread recipe serves 8 low fat low calorie and vegetarian view full cooked flat bread

Florentine Flatbread

serves: 8 – size: 1 flatbread – calories: 300 – carbs:33g – fat: 13g – WWP+:9 pts

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp  margarine
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, miced
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained+squeezed dry
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts with out oil,, drained, chopped
  • 8 oz reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 8 Flatout Flatbread Soft 100% whole wheat wraps
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup reduced fat, shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup tomato, diced

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet on medium-low heat, saute onions and garlic in the butter until tender.
  2. Add the chopped artichokes, and drained spinach to the skillet. Saute for about 3 min.
  3. Add  sour cream, and chili powder to the skillet and mix well. Let mixture cook for about 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  4. Place flatbreads on a cookie sheet and lightly coat the tops of each flatbread with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 3 min, remove from oven
  6. Top each flatbread with 1/2 cup spinach/artichoke, 2 tbsp of cheddar, and 1/8 cup diced tomatoes.
  7. Bake topped flatbreads for an additional 5 min,
  8. Turn your broiler on and watch until edges of flatbreads turn golden brown and crispy.

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Light Lasagna

serves: 12 – size: 1/12 lasagna – calories: 300 – fat: 6 g – carbs: 36g WWP+ 8pts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground sirloin
  • 3 links italian turkey sausage
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-14.5 cans diced tomatoes, with seasoning added
  • 12 oz can tomato paste
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil 
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim, shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese

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Directions

  1. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add lean ground sirloin. Remove casing from turkey sausage and add to skillet. Add in diced onions and garlic. Cook for 5-7 min until sausage and ean ground sirloin are brown and onions are translucent. Use spatula or spoon to break up meat while cooking.
  3. Next, stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup water to meat mixture.
  4. Add basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to sauce and stir. Simmer covered for 45 min to 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  5. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.
  6. Cook whole wheat lasagna noodles in boiling water for 7-10 min. Drain noodles with cold water. Lay out noodles flat on a sheet of wax paper.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F In a medium size bowl, mix part skim ricotta cheese and 1 egg. Add chopped parsley and stir to combine ingredients.
  8. For assembly, spread about 1 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups of sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  9. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.
  10. Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture onto noodles.
  11. Top with 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese.
  12. Repeat with 1 1/2  cups meat sauce.
  13. Add 6 noodles, spread remaining ricotta cheese and add 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese.
  14. Top with remaining meat sauce and add remaining 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese and add parmesan cheese.
  15. Cover with foil, making sure the foil is not touching the cheese. Bake in oven for 25 min covered.
  16. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 min.

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http://www.skinnymom.com/spinach-stuffed-shells-with-meat-sauce/

Spinach Stuffed Shells ‘n’ Meat sauce

8 servings – size: 3 stuffed shells – calories:230 – carbs: 28g – fat: 6g – WWP+:5pts

Ingredients

  • 12 oz box jumbo shells pasta
  • 10 oz bag frozen spinach
  • 8 oz part skim ricotta cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp low fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups pasta sauce

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Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Add pasta shells to boiling water and cook for 8-10 min until almost al dente.
  2. Drain pasta shells and spread pasta shells onto a sheet of wax paper to dry.
  3. Place spinach in microwave and cook for 5-6 min as directed on package.
  4. Drain spinach and make sure to remove all the moisture from spinach until it’s dry
  5. In a medium sized bowl, mix spinach, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  6. Using a 9×13 casserole dish, spoon a small amount of meat sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.
  7. Next, fill pasta shells with spinach mixture by using a spoon to place mixture inside each pasta shell.
  8. Place filled pasta shells with pasta sauce and sprinkle mozzarella on top.
  9. Heat pasta shells in oven for 15-20 min and serve hot.

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

6 servings – size: 2 meatballs – calories: 200 – carbs: 10g – fat: 5g – WWP+:5pts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup marinera sauce
  • Add whole wheat pasta, extra marinera sauce, and mozzarella for the rest of the dish. Ingredients listed above are for meatballs only.

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a cookie sheet or baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix ground chicken, whole wheat breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, parsley, garlic, onions, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper with your hands.
  • Form mixture into 12 equal size meatballs
  • Place meatballs evenly on cookie sheet. Top each meatball with 1 tbsp marinera sauce.
  • Bake meatballs for 20 min until ground chicken in cooked through.
  • Serve meatballs with whole wheat pasta, additional marinera sauce, and top with mozzarella.

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Skinny Manicotti

serves: 10 – size: 1 of manicotti – calories: 160 – carbs: 24g – fat: 13g -WWP+8

Ingredients

  • 10 manicotti noodles
  • 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Lightly coat a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Cook manicotti noodles according to package directions.
  4.  Combine parmesan cheese , spinach cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, egg white, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl, mix well.
  5. Scoop mixture into gallon size zipper bag and cut one corner of the corner of the bag.
  6. Spread 3/4 cup of pasta in the bottom of 9×13″ baking dish.
  7. Fill each manicotti noodle by squeezing about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture into each noodle.
  8. Place filled manicotti noodles into baking dish.
  9. After all the manicotti noodles are filled, top with the remainder of the pasta sauce.
  10. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 20 min.
  11. Remove from oven and top with remaining 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella.
  12. Set oven to broil and place oven rack into top position. Return manicotti to oven, placing baking dish on the top rack. Keep oven door cracked and broil for an additional 4 min, or until cheese is melted.

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Spicy Italian Sausage ‘n’ Peppers

serves: 4 – size: 1 cup – calories: 200 – carbs: 12 – fat: 9g

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs lean spicy Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tri colored bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 15oz can diced tomatoes with seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup basil 
  • 3 tbsp parmesan

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Directions

  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Pierce the sausage all over with a fork, arrange on a baking sheet and broil, for about 8-10 min, flip halfway through. They should be golden brown but won’t be fully cooked. Transfer to a cutting board and cut 3/4″ pieces on the diagonal.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bell peppers and onions. Cook until onions are slightly golden brown and peppers are soft, about 5-8 min. Add the garlic, salt and pepper.Cook, stirring, for 1 more min. Remove pepper mixture and place in a large serving bowl.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, water and basil. Add the sausage and reduce heat to medium. Cook until sausage is done, about 3-4 min.
  5. Combine the sauce and sausage with the pepper mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated. Garnish with basil.

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