Sunday, 10 May 2015

Cacao a guilt free treat

Hot cacao is a great way to consume something nutritious while feeling decadent. But you should buy cacao in its raw form, rather than the highly processed, low-grade hot chocolates that contain nothing but empty kilojoules and little in the way of true cacao.

The pros

Naturopath Aimee Robbins says raw, powdered cacao is full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. "Antioxidants protect the body from ageing and disease caused by free radicals. Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cacao powder, and has the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world." Scientists from Cornell University in the US recently discovered that raw cacao contains nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidant content of green tea.
The cacao bean is also rich in magnesium, an energy mineral and vital electrolyte. This super-food is also a good source of sulfur. Sulfur is associated with strong nails, shiny hair and a healthy liver and pancreas. Medical herbalist Dominique Finney says the flavonoids in cacao prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidising and clogging the arteries. "Cacao has also been found to help regulate blood pressure and reduce cholesterol while building the immune system."
Drinking a cup of hot cacao before meals can diminish your appetite by helping the body tune in to its natural appetite. According to Dr Gabriel Cousens, this is due to cacao's monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors). This is why it is often added to weight-loss supplements.

The cons

You can have too much of a good thing. Cacao is very powerful on the central nervous system and over-indulging can interfere with calcium retention. Don't consume more than 40 grams (or four to six heaped teaspoons) of raw cacao a day.

How to eat it

The best way to make sure you're getting the real deal is to start with quality raw cacao powder available in good supermarkets and health food shops. The best powder is dark brown and will taste bitter. You can make your own hot beverage by mixing the powder with hot water or milk. Some research has found that mixing dairy with cacao inhibits the absorption of the nutrients. So to get the most health benefits from your cup of cacao, try using a milk substitute such as coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk or just plain water.
If you have a sweet tooth, add sugar, honey or agave nectar. Drinking hot cocoa will give you more antioxidants than simply eating chocolate, because the heat releases more antioxidants. That said, Melbourne chocolatier Kirsten Tibballs recommends eating 60 grams of good-quality dark chocolate every day for a healthy body. "There is also a new chocolate called Acticoa that has nine times the antioxidants of red wine and five times more than green tea."

Mood enhancer

Raw cocoa is an aphrodisiac because it contains anandamide, a substance that induces euphoria. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mood enhancer. While this super-molecule exists naturally in the brain, the only other food that contains PEA is blue-green algae.


Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Weight Loss Fridge

Forget diets. That’s right, we just said it. When it’s time to make a permanent change in your life—the kind you’ll see and feel—then you need to create change from the ground up. One of the best places to begin is in the fridge. But where should your refrigerator rehab start? This list for a Forever Weight Loss Fridge will help jumpstart your new lifestyle.

For many women, dieting involves adjusting eating habits until a certain amount of weight is lost, and then drifting back to the unhealthy habits that triggered the excess weight in the first place. Stop the diet yo-yo and start to make changes that keep you healthier and fitter for life. A smart step is to adopt a clean eating lifestyle that includes foods to support weight loss.

What is clean eating? It’s choosing to consume healthful portions of foods that are non- or minimally processed instead of those that are packaged and processed. The reality is that too many processed foods are loaded with stuff your body doesn’t need. Think sugar, fat, calories, and chemical additives. With clean eating, you’ll snack on a fresh apple rather than artificially-sweetened applesauce.  Learn more in 7 Simple Steps to Clean Eating.


Butter - Real butter is one of the clean eating foods that can be eaten in moderation.

Cheese - Low-fat cheese is also fine in moderation. Stock up on low-fat string cheese for a quick perfectly-portioned snack.

Milk - Choose unflavored, low-fat or fat-free varieties.

Dairy Alternative - If you’re dairy-sensitive, stock the fridge with unsweetened alternatives, such as almond, hazelnut, or rice milk.


Greek Yogurt - Reach for fat-free Greek yogurt to benefit from a higher protein content than typical varieties. Choose plain to avoid refined sugars. For a boost of flavor and nutrition, add a handful of berries, nuts, or homemade granola.  Greek yogurt is also a healthier alternative to sour cream in many recipes.


When buying foods to support weight loss, produce is a must-have, so load up on fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Frozen is an economical choice, too. If you’re choosing frozen, avoid options with added sugar or sauces.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh Veggies

Green, Leafy Veggies - We included these separately because green, leafy vegetables, like romaine lettuce or spinach, are a staple for living a healthier lifestyle. Use them to put together a green salad to enjoy with entrees or use them as a sandwich topping.


Lean Poultry - Chicken breasts, ground chicken, and ground turkey are all smart clean eating foods for your fridge.

Healthy Fish - Get your omega-3s by choosing wild salmon, halibut, flounder, tilapia, trout, anchovies, or shrimp. Dig into this Wild Salmon Vegetable Salad with Lemon Miso Dressing.


Dip - Clean eating dips are tasty with fruits and vegetables. Try Skinny Peanut Butter-Yogurt Dip or Skinny Ms. Ranch Dip.

Hummus - Enjoy fresh veggies with Zucchini Hummus.

Ketchup - Switch out processed brands, which often contain refined sugar, for this Homemade Healthy Ketchup.

Salad Dressing - Forget store-bought brands with added refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup—make your own healthy dressing, like this Clean Eating Caesar Dressing.
Salsa (no sugar added)

Foods to support weight loss aren’t just for the fridge! Check out The Forever Weight Loss Pantry to learn how to reboot your pantry for clean eating.


How to lose 3 pounds in a Day - Christina Carlyle

Give this video a watch guy, and let me know what you think? If you think it works or if it doesn't, just your thoughts?

17 unusual weight-loss tips

Losing weight around the world

Just about every culture has some custom that can help people lose weight. For example, if you dine out in Europe, a waiter generally sets a bottle of mineral water on your table. But at restaurants here in Canada, you often have to request water and, as a result, you may end up having pop or other drinks high in calories instead. Or you might have one more glass of wine or beer than you would if you were alternating sips with water. Here’s our collection of clever tips from 17 countries—call it an international healthy eating plan that can help us all.

Thailand: Eat spicy food

Thai food is among the spiciest in the world. Hot peppers raise your metabolism, but the real benefit of food with a little zing is that spicy food slows your eating. When you eat too fast, as many North Americans do, by the time your body signals it’s full, you’ve overeaten. Eating more slowly is a good weight-loss strategy, and making food spicier is an easy way to do it.

Poland: Eat at home more often

Poles typically spend only five percent of their family budget on eating out. On the other hand, the average Canadian family 
now spends almost 30 percent of total food dollars at restaurants and fast-food joints, according to Statistics Canada. To save money and pounds, start tracking how often you eat out and how much you spend on those meals each month, then gradually cut back.

"People who eat out a lot tend to eat less-healthy food and to be heavier," says Melodie Yong, dietitian for the Heart and Lung Institute of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. In fact, the decline of cooking at home, linked in part to the increasing number of women in the workforce, tracks very closely with the rise in obesity over the past 30 years, she notes.

Brazil: Have rice and beans

All that shaking at Carnaval isn’t the only body-friendly habit in Rio; Brazilians stay slim by enjoying this traditional dish with just about every meal. A study in the journal Obesity Research found that a diet consisting primarily of rice and beans lowers the risk 
of becoming overweight by about 14 percent when compared with the typical Western fare. That’s because it’s lower in fat and higher in fibre, which is thought to stabilize blood sugar levels. It may be counterintuitive, but a diet full of beans equals a beach-ready body.

Netherlands: Ride your bike

Bikes outnumber people (at 18 million versus 16.5 million) in the Netherlands. While just 1.2 percent of work trips in Canada are made by bicycle, 40 percent of the Dutch use their bikes for commuting. Traffic lights in some parts of Amsterdam are even synchronized to bike speed. While most Canadians have to deal with winter conditions, riding bikes in good weather for errands, work or pleasure can help fend off weight gain.
"Casual riding for errands and commuting can burn around 500 calories an hour, but if you up the exertion or add in hill-climbing, you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour," says Stephen Cheung, an exercise physiologist at Brock University, who commutes by bike—a 34-kilometre round trip—nine months of the year.

Germany: Eat breakfast

An impressive 75 percent of Germans eat breakfast daily, sitting down to whole-grain cereals, breads and fruit. Nutritionists have been advising people against skipping breakfast for years, but recent studies give a better picture of its importance. 
In one, British researchers discovered that 
if you haven’t eaten breakfast, your brain’s reward centre will light up more vividly when you see a high-calorie food—making you likelier to indulge.
"If you could make just one change to impact the obesity epidemic, it would be to get everyone to eat breakfast," says Dr. Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network.

Switzerland: Try a bowl of muesli

The ingredients in this porridge—oats, fruit and nuts—have all been linked to better health and weight control. Muesli was developed by a Swiss physician more than 100 years ago to nourish hospital patients, but today the Swiss eat it for breakfast or as a light evening snack. "Eating a lot of soluble ’fibre can reduce bad cholesterol levels by 
up to 10 percent," says dietitian Melodie Yong. Muesli’s fibre makes it slow to digest, keeping you full 
longer. But read the label carefully, though: Sugar content can vary from two to 14 grams per serving.

United Kingdom: Eat smaller portions

In restaurants and at home, the Brits prefer smaller portions—perhaps a lingering vestige of the frugality instilled by World War II rationing. Nutritionists say supersizing a meal supersizes you.

France: Don't rush your meals

The French excel at leisurely family meals. On average, 92 percent of French families dine together nightly. These meals typically last 33 minutes during the week and 43 minutes on weekends. In contrast, a 2007 Statistics Canada report noted two trends in Canada over the past 20 years: a steep decline in the number of families eating together, and shorter mealtimes. Although it sounds illogical, lengthy meals actually encourage less eating. "It generally takes 20 minutes from the time you’re full for your brain to realize you’re full, so taking longer to eat means you’ll end up eating less," says dietitian Melodie Yong.

India: Do more yoga

Most Canadians respect yoga’s stress-busting and flexibility-enhancing power, but not many of us realize it facilitates weight loss. In fact, a recent study found that yoga devotees have a lower body mass index (BMI) than other exercisers do. Some reasons why: Yoga is best done on an empty stomach and can build muscle (depending on your preferred poses), which boosts metabolism. And it encourages mindfulness, which includes paying attention to whether you feel full.

Russia: Grow your own food

Country houses, or dachas, where 51 percent of city dwellers spend vacations and summer weekends, almost always feature 
a garden. Russians, who live in a similar climate to Canada’s, grow their own vegetables and fruit, which automatically makes their diet more nutritious. Plus, they preserve what they grow.

Finland: Try Nordic walking

This is one of the Finns’ favourite outdoor activities. All that’s required is a pair of inexpensive, lightweight walking poles. Holding these in your hands aids balance, which is great if you’re older or if you’re on slippery terrain. Even better: Because they make you use muscles in your shoulders, arms and torso, the poles transform walking into a total-body workout that burns 20 percent more calories. A number of recent studies show that Nordic walking increases the number of calories you burn by up to 65 percent, without the feeling of working harder. No matter what the time of year, it’s a simple way to derive more fat-reducing benefit from your regular walk.

Mexico: Eat a big lunch

Instead of ingesting the bulk of the day’s calories in the evening, Mexicans traditionally eat their biggest meal between 2 and 
4 p.m. If you eat less at night, you’ll wake up hungrier and eat a bigger breakfast, which facilitates weight control. As a general fat-fighting rule, try to get the bulk of your daily calories at breakfast and lunch.

Malaysia: Cook with tumeric

This spice, a key ingredient in curries, grows wild in Malaysian jungles. One of its chief components is a substance called curcumin, which may turn out to be a potent fat fighter. A recent study from Tufts University in Boston found that mice fed a high-fat diet with small amounts of curcumin gained less weight and body fat than other mice given meals that were similar but curcumin-free. Researchers think the ingredient suppresses the growth of fat tissue. Try some turmeric in your next curry or stir-fry.

Hungary: Eat more pickles

Hungarians like things pickled—not just cucumbers but bell peppers, cabbage and tomatoes. All of these brined beauties can help keep you thin, probably because of 
the vinegar that pickles them. Growing evidence suggests that acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, helps reduce blood pressure, blood sugar levels and fat formation. If you’re watching your sodium intake, though, check the product label—pickled foods can be high in salt.

Norway: Spend time outdoors

It’s a deeply rooted Norwegian habit: On Sunday, everyone—from toddlers to grandparents—heads out to hike (in summer) or cross-country ski (in winter). By comparison, in 2007, Statistics Canada found that 
in the past 20 years, Canadian families have been spending less time on such activities. So start this weekend tradition and get everyone out for a walk in the neighbourhood or a hike up the nearest hill.

Japan: Take a nap

In this on-the-go country, many people take a daily 20- to 30-minute nap, says James Maas, a sleep researcher at Cornell University and the author of Power Sleep. There is increasing evidence that chronic sleep deprivation raises the risk of weight gain. Maas cites two hormones: leptin, which helps the brain sense when you’re full, and ghrelin, which triggers hunger. The less sleep you get, the lower your leptin levels—and the higher your ghrelin. "Many people think they’re hungry when they’re actually sleepy," Maas says. "Instead of a snack, they need shut-eye."

South Africa: Drink rooibos tea

Enjoyed throughout the country, rooibos tea is more robust than green tea, and it’s naturally sweet. Swapping your specialty coffee for rooibos tea or any hot drink without cream or sugar could save you thousands 
of calories a month. "Liquid calories sneak up on us," says Toronto dietitian Sue Mah. "Even a cup of fruit juice has over 100 calories. Cut out 100 calories a day from food or drinks and you could lose 10 pounds in one year."


5 Super Foods to Help You Lose Weight Fast

Let me know what you guys think, is this helpful for your weight loss journeys? do you want to see more video posts or more articles? or do you guys want to see something completely different? let me know and tell me your ideas :)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Top 20 winter foods for weight loss


Nothing beats a hot bowl of oatmeal in the winter. Not only is oatmeal tasty and convenient, it’s also full of nutrients and phytochemicals. It also keeps you full and provides lasting energy. According to one study, people who eat oats for breakfast consume one third fewer calories at lunch.


Guava is a tropical fruit that tastes similar to pears and strawberries. It contains five times more vitamin C than an orange and is rich in fiber - especially if you eat the seeds. Guava also contain lutein, potassium, soluble dietary fiber, calcium and iron. The best part? It only has 60 calories in one serving, making it the perfect slimming snack.


This citrus fruit looks like a large grapefruit with thick bark. Sweeter than grapefruit, its yellow flesh is loaded with antioxidants that help prevent the spread of cancer cells. It is also rich in folic acid and potassium.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B, protein and folate. They also help protect the immune system. They’re loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that prevents cell damage, supports healthy skin and hair and can even prevent cancer


Honey is the most natural sweetener you can find. But be careful not to overdo it - at equal volume, it contains more calories than sugar. It’s a good source of antioxidants and its antimicrobial properties make it an ally during the winter.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are a melt-in-your mouth treat, known for their health benefits. They are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (good fats) and may help reduce cholesterol. They are also rich in vitamin E and antioxidants and contain omega-3 and omega-6 in a ratio of about 1 to 1, which is great.

Prickly pears

Also called pear cactus, this fruit, has a vibrant ruby red and golden pulp that is soft and sweet (like a cross between watermelon and lemon). Each fruit is richer in magnesium than an orange, an apple and a pear combined. A study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which included more than 64,000 women, found that when magnesium intake increases, the risk of type 2 diabetes falls.

Coconut milk

Research suggests that the fatty acids present in coconut milk can help speed up your metabolism and even promote weight loss. Read labels - some brands are very high in calories. In addition, its dietary fibre will keep you feeling full.


Dark green leaves and peppery watercress are among the most nutritious greens. Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer and other diseases. It is a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C,  as well as calcium and potassium. One cup contains five calories.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds pack a huge nutritional punch. It contains large quantities of iron, folate, calcium, magnesium and omega-3. Its soluble fiber increases the duration of satiety. Add them to a smoothie for a healthy start to your day.

Dark chocolate

Losing weight can be impossible if your diet is too restrictive. Rich and decadent dark chocolate in small amounts can satisfy your craving for sweets without consuming too many calories. In addition, you will benefit from its antioxidants.


Not only does this fruit have a sweet yellow apple flavor, it’s also loaded with potassium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts immune function and fights infections, and beta-carotene. Bonus: It only has 29 calories.

Red wine

Drinking a glass of red wine is a great way to relax in the late evening while enjoying its antioxidants that slow premature aging and reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. This treat contains few calories: 80 to 90 calories per serving of 120 ml.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt contains more protein (and calcium) than regular yogurt. You feel satiated longer. Try replacing the sour cream and mayonnaise based dips with Greek yogurt.

Shiitake mushrooms

Appetizing and nutritious mushrooms are very low in calories (10 in half a cup), almost devoid of fat and a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, selenium, riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid, vitamin B6 and zinc. According to laboratory studies, they also help immune cells to destroy viruses.


This cross between tangerine and grapefruit is like an orange, but it is more acidic than tangerine and sweeter than grapefruit. Although it contains less vitamin C than orange, it is richer in vitamin A than any other citrus fruit. A medium tangelo contains 35 calories and 130 mg of potassium. Consume it before your workout for an energy boost!

Maple syrup

Replace artificial sweeteners with pure maple syrup. A tablespoon of maple syrup provides 50 calories and contains more minerals and vitamins than sugar and corn syrup.


Oysters are among the best sources of high quality protein which contain little fat. An oyster has only 8 calories. In addition, it is an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, fluoride, iodine, iron, zinc and others. It is also a good source of B-complex vitamins.


The liver is a relatively inexpensive source of protein. It is an excellent source of vitamin A and B12, folic acid, niacin and minerals, especially iron. With only 200 calories, it overrides most cuts of meat, but the problem is its high cholesterol: 400 mg per 115 g of liver braised. That said, if you stick to a diet low in fat and cholesterol, eating liver from time to time can not hurt if you're healthy


Kefir (a beverage made from fermented milk, similar to yogurt) is particularly rich in vitamins B1 and B2, calcium, folic acid, magnesium and vitamin A. What makes kefir unique is its fermentation process, which greatly facilitates digestion. This allows the body to focus on the absorption and assimilation of nutrients and proteins necessary for the growth and regeneration of muscles and bones. In addition, kefir contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that relaxes the nervous system, making it an ideal food for athletes post-workout.


10 Ways to Move Beyond a Weight Loss Plateau

Hit a weight loss plateau? It's hard to fathom that for weeks your weight loss programwas taking the pounds off. Then, suddenly, the scales won't budge another ounce.
Take heart. A weight loss plateau is normal. No matter how diligent you are in following your good health regimen, from time to time you'll fall off the wagon. The key to getting back on the program, experts say, is to acquire the skills and self-knowledge that will enable you to recover after a relapse.
We've pulled together the top 10 plateau-busting strategies for you to try right now.

1. Imagine You: Healthy and Vibrant

Have a vision of success. According to Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author of Diet Simple, the mind is a strong tool -- use it to achieve what you want.
"Visualize yourself dancing at an upcoming celebration in a fabulous black dress," Tallmadge tells WebMD, "and then apply that vision every day to stay motivated."
While you're imagining, remind yourself of reality: excess weight is unhealthy, as is yo-yodieting. Make sure this is a lifetime commitment for optimal health instead of a temporary plan to drop 10 pounds before bathing suit season -- which you may regain again once you stop your program.
To stay compliant to your weight loss program, Tallmadge suggests keeping only healthy foods in the refrigerator, so you're less likely to stop and grab something greasy on the way home from work. "Even if your family isn't dieting, you can still keep tempting foodsout of the kitchen

2. Understand Your Weight Loss Personality

According to Thomas R. Przybeck, PhD, personality plays a role in our attitude towards food. As an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Przybeck recommends that you know your tendencies and tailor your plan to conquer the unproductive inclinations.
Impulsive. "If you have a tendency to be impulsive, you might see a pint of Ben & Jerry's in the freezer and go for it," Przybeck says. Clearly, you are a dieter who needs to remove those temptations.
Oblivious. If you tend to not pay attention when you eat -- maybe you're a TV snacker? -- you need to avoid such situations if you want to control portions.
Uptight. "If you are highly anxious, you will probably have more difficulty," Przybeck says. "Those who are anxious, nervous, and depressed might eat to feel better."
Tenacious. Certain personalities don't find it that difficult losing weight. "If you are highly self-directed,cooperative, and have a lot of stick-to-it-ive-ness, you are going to have an easier time," Przybeck says.
Sociable. Przybeck also found that if you tend to monitor your food intake better than others, you may be more sociable.

3. Record Every Food Morsel You Eat, Taste, or Lick

Underestimating just how much food you've eaten is a common mistake, one that can lead to a weight loss plateau or weight gain. Yet keeping a diary of your daily food intake (every bite, taste, or lick) can help you see where you're going wrong. Try these food diary tips:
  • Track the time of day and your feelings when you eat to discover problem times and emotions that cause you to binge eat.
  • Recognize your eating triggers and find healthier foods to satisfy your hunger or better alternatives than food to cope with your emotions.
  • Monitor your progress, track your new behaviors, and reward yourself with amanicure or movie for all your hard work.

4. Beware of 'Calorie Creep'

A key reason for a weight loss plateau is eating more than you think. It's easy for portion sizes to creep up, and before you know it, you end up eating more than your plan prescribes. That's why it's important to weigh and measure your food to understand proper portions. Try cutting your daily calorie intake by 100 or 200 to move beyond the weight loss plateau. Here's how:
  • Eat a high-fiber breakfast that will help reduce the quantity of food eaten at lunch.
  • Use mustard or low-fat mayonnaise on your sandwich instead of regular mayonnaise.
  • Have a piece of fresh fruit instead of cookies or chips.
  • Drink diet soda instead of regular soda.
  • Choose sherbet or sorbet over super-premium ice cream.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of light whipped butter or margarine instead of regular.
  • Top your favorite pasta with a red sauce instead of a cream sauce.
  • Eat a snack-sized chocolate bar instead of a whole candy bar. And choose heart-healthy dark chocolate.
  • Order your pizza with veggies instead of high-fat meat toppings.
  • Order your sandwich on whole-grain bread instead of a croissant or bagel.
  • Try an open-faced sandwich with only one slice of bread.

5. Watch Restaurant Overeating

At restaurants, rich foods and supersized portions can sway even the most determined dieter. Especially if you eat out often, look at restaurant eating as a chance to practice good portion control.
According to Tallmadge, there isn't a law that says you must order an entree every time you eat out. "Pay attention to your appetite, and order a dinner salad or appetizer instead of a main dish," Tallmadge says, "or take half home in a doggie bag."

6. Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs

New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger. Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check.
Researchers concluded that the findings suggest possible mechanisms contributing to the effects of high-protein/low-carb diets to promote weight loss, and high-fat diets to promote weight gain.

7. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fill up on produce. Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetablescrowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables. Or try starting lunch or dinner with a vegetable salad or bowl of broth-based soup, suggests Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The VolumetricsEating Plan.
The U.S. government's dietary guidelines suggest that we get 7-13 cups of produce daily. Make sure you stock your kitchen with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and add a few servings at each meal. In doing so, you'll boost your intake of healthful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. In addition, if you fill up on low-calorie, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, you'll be less likely to binge on highly processed snacks.

8. Push the Envelope Past That Plateau

Hitting the treadmill every day for a 30-minute walk or doing the neighborhood loop with your buddies gets your body into a groove. After a while, your muscles get used to the routine and become very efficient at doing the task at hand.
To keep your muscles guessing -- and performing the ultimate calorie burn -- vary your physical activity. And push the envelope to power past that plateau!
For example, during your 30-minute treadmill session, include a few intervals at higher speed or at a higher incline (climb hills if you're walking outside). Sustain this higher intensity for a few minutes, and then return to your comfort level. After you recover, do it again -- and again. This will help you burn more calories and blast through the plateau.
Also make sure your routine includes strength-training exercises (like weight lifting), which help counteract muscle loss due to aging. Building and preserving muscle mass is a key factor in reaching a healthy weight, as muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat.

9. Wear a Pedometer

Wearing a pedometer each day and having a daily step goal can boost your activity level and burn more calories. Wearing a pedometer may also help decrease blood pressure.
Put the pedometer on first thing in the morning. Then make it a point to be more active: pace while you talk on the phone, take the dog out for an extra walk, and march in place during television commercials. Each 2,000 steps burn roughly 100 more calories, so aim for 10,000 steps daily for weight loss.
If you thrive on feedback and praise, buy a talking pedometer that rewards you by reporting aloud (and loudly!) the number of steps you've walked.

10. Try Yoga to Avoid Stress Eating

Stress eating is bingeing on food -- homemade chocolate chip cookies, salty chips, a handful of this, a fistful of that -- to soothe your inner emotional turmoil, not your real hunger. Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulinsensitivity -- a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.
Britt Berg, MS, research manager and therapist at Emory University Medical School, recommends the "child's pose" to clients who want to avoid stress eating.
Start by kneeling on the floor on your hands and knees, making sure that your hands are under the shoulders and your knees under the hips, with toes touching. Stretch your neck forward and lengthen your spine through the tailbone. Gently rock the weight of your body back toward your feet, allowing your hips to stretch farther back as you continue to lengthen and stretch your spine.
Now, stretch your arms forward and walk your fingertips as far forward as they will go on the floor or rug, lengthening your arms fully. Extend your hips back until they come toward your heels. If you're very flexible, you may be able to rest your hips on your heels and your forehead on the floor.
Berg recommends putting your forehead on the rug or pillow to calm your mind. Do the "child's pose" any time you feel the urge to binge on high-calorie snacks.


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