Sidney is a two-time James Beard Award-winning food and nutrition writer, editor and mom based out of Birmingham, Alabama. A registered dietitian with a passion for research and being proactive about health, she loves to eat, write, run and create simple, tasty meals with whole-food-based approach. Find out more from her website, Instagram or Twitter.
Americans are snacking more than ever, so making smart snacking choices are key to achieving your weight loss goals. Aim for snacks that satisfy by choosing foods that provide a mix of protein and fiber, stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping hunger at bay. An apple and almond butter, a plain yogurt with berries, or high-fiber crispbread crackers and hummus can all be smart snacking options. For example, two Wasa Flax Seed crispbread crackers combined with two tablespoons of hummus provide 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber for staying power. For an added boost, add a few teaspoons of hot sauce. Research shows spicy foods may help speed up metabolism and curb appetite.
A love for the drive thru can get you in trouble: being overweight is one risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can happen when fat builds up in the liver and those fatty foods make the organ work overtime. Luckily, though, cleaning up your eats can help reverse some damage to liver cells. The American Liver Foundation recommends keeping them low-cal and loading up on fiber (raspberries, lentils, and oatmeal are good choices). But keep in mind this isn't a fad diet—it's more a medical necessity for those at risk. So while it's generally healthy, there's no reason to go on it specifically unless advised by your doctor.
Apples are a great inclusion to any detoxification methodology. This is because they linger longer than most fruits, which makes people feel fuller than usual. The end result is an unnoticeably suppressed appetite. Likewise, cinnamon speeds the metabolism to new levels of efficiency by providing extra heat for burning more calories. With fiery spicy sensations and profoundly transformative antioxidants, girls around the globe are pledging allegiance to their newly cultivated physiques. With the best detox water, skinniness happens on its own. As you can see, weight loss is hardly even a real pursuit when the drinks taste this unbelievably good.
Unlike many bottled drinks that are heated during pasteurization and sometimes hide both synthetic and genetically modified ingredients (as well as a ton of added sugar!), fresh juices are totally raw and you control what goes in them. It’s believed that consuming raw produce boosts digestion by preserving vital enzymes, which means you can beat the bloat and sip your way to more regular bowel movements for a flat, happy tummy!
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Low-calorie diets are also referred to as balanced percentage diets. Due to their minimal detrimental effects, these types of diets are most commonly recommended by nutritionists. In addition to restricting calorie intake, a balanced diet also regulates macronutrient consumption. From the total number of allotted daily calories, it is recommended that 55% should come from carbohydrates, 15% from protein, and 30% from fats with no more than 10% of total fat coming from saturated forms. For instance, a recommended 1,200 calorie diet would supply about 660 calories from carbohydrates, 180 from protein, and 360 from fat. Some studies suggest that increased consumption of protein can help ease hunger pangs associated with reduced caloric intake by increasing the feeling of satiety. Calorie restriction in this way has many long-term benefits. After reaching the desired body weight, the calories consumed per day may be increased gradually, without exceeding 2,000 net (i.e. derived by subtracting calories burned by physical activity from calories consumed). Combined with increased physical activity, low-calorie diets are thought to be most effective long-term, unlike crash diets, which can achieve short-term results, at best. Physical activity could greatly enhance the efficiency of a diet. The healthiest weight loss regimen, therefore, is one that consists of a balanced diet and moderate physical activity.
Drinking a combination of carbohydrates and protein after a hard workout can help restore your energy and aid in building lean, metabolism-boosting muscle, but it turns out that you don’t need a fancy recovery beverage to reap these benefits. After participating in a vigorous cycling session, cyclists who drank chocolate milk were able to ride 51 percent longer in a subsequent workout than those who drank a standard recovery beverage, a 2009 article in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found. Plus, chocolate milk is cheaper (and tastier) than anything you’ll find in a sports nutrition store.
Although we tend to favor plant-based proteins, Stonyfield produces a quality option for the milk-loving crowd. Low-fat milk and milk protein concentrate drive both the sugar and protein content, and we can’t scoff at the 1:1 protein to sugar ratio when most companies struggle to get close to 1:2. You won’t find any fancy flavors here, but the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry they do offer should be enough to satisfy most cravings.
Finally, in a notable blow to some interpretations of the Paleo diet, Katz and Meller wrote, "if Paleolithic eating is loosely interpreted to mean a diet based mostly on meat, no meaningful interpretation of health effects is possible." They note that the composition of most meat in today's food supply is not similar to that of mammoth meat, and that most plants available during the Stone Age are today extinct. (Though it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Paleo extremists are crowd-funding a Jurassic Park style experiment to bring them back.)
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, beans, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
While it might sound counterintuitive to eat something before you head out to a restaurant or party, showing up famished to the event will likely make it all the harder to stick to your weight loss goals. Eating something small (about 100 calories) with fiber (two to four grams) is a great way to readjust your appetite so you can show up and mingle a bit before diving into the cheese dip. Choose a whole food to take the edge off, like an apple or handful of nuts. For example, 30 pistachios are just 100 calories and offer two grams of fiber, along with protein and healthy fats, to truly take the edge off your appetite while providing a satisfying pre-party crunch. Enjoy your mini snack with a tall glass of water before the festivities to reduce your chances of post-party weight gain.
If you've got baby making on the mind, this may be the diet for you. Its basis comes from a 2009 book by Harvard docs, in which they make their recommendations from the Nurses' Health Study that concluded that what you eat impacts egg quality, ovulation, and your chances of getting pregnant. So you'll skip Standard American Diet stuff—red meat, processed foods with trans fats—and eat more veggie protein, nuts, and whole fat dairy. U.S. News & World Report gave The Fertility Diet one of the top overall diet honors thanks to the balanced approach; plus, it comes with the added perks of helping protect your heart and prevent diabetes.
This fizzy, pleasantly puckery fermented beverage is made by adding a probiotic-rich bacteria to lightly sweetened tea. More and more research is looking into gut health and how it relates to obesity and weight, finding that the millions of bacteria that live in our guts may play a large role by altering the way we store fat, how we balance blood sugar and how we respond to the hormones that make us feel hungry and full. Fueling our gut with beverages and foods that stimulate good bacteria may make losing weight easier than we ever thought possible. Kombucha is readily available in most supermarkets and comes loaded with probiotics — just be sure to look for brands with less than 5 grams sugar per serving.
“There are many diet plans on the market today that promote good health,” says Emily Kyle, RDN, who is in private practice in Rochester, New York. “The key is finding one that does not cause you stress or agony.” Ask yourself questions such as: Would the diet guidelines make you happy? Anxious? Stressed? Are you able to follow them long term? “Factors such as enjoyment, flexibility, and longevity should be strongly considered,” adds Kyle.
Consequently, researchers have widely discredited the hCG diet, which involves using hCG injections, pellets, sprays, or drops, and consuming as few as 500 calories daily. The diet is problematic not only because there’s a lack of research on hCG supplements, but also because the calorie requirement is dangerously low, potentially leading to nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, hormone imbalances, blood clots, and other issues. Thus, most experts agree the hCG Diet is not safe for anyone, the Mayo Clinic notes. (35)
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This really feels different. My typical way of eating was broken. So, weight loss or no, I did have to change it or I'd wind up with diabetes and even more self-hate. Dr. Peeke's recommendations may not work for everyone—they may feel too restrictive or won't gel with your style or issues. That's totally fine. But so far, this plan has simply guided me away from emotional eating and reintroduced me to my more intuitive, moderate self.
If you want to spend less time cooking and more time eating, the raw food diet could be your solution. The plan — which is mostly vegan — consists of eating foods that are raw or heated below 115 degrees. The diet also means saying goodbye to all processed and pasteurized foods, sugar and flour, caffeine, and salt. It might sound extreme, but because it consists of mostly fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts with no meat or dairy, you're bound to lose weight: Studies have shown a mostly raw diet leads to a decreased amount of body fat, and you don't even have to go full-out to see results.
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Say good riddance to the summers filled with unhealthy lemonade. Kiss the bellyaches goodbye by switching to the joy of this stunningly sweet strawberry detox water. A rich lemon core purifies the entire digestive arena, and it masks most of the complex flavor with a brilliant spectacle of sour. Scrunched basil leaves really amplify the tang, and strawberries bring endless antioxidants to the table. Overall, this is not a drink to be trifled with; however, it can be enjoyed during all occasions. As a bonus, it offers a great method to show off a gardeners grand harvest each coming year.
Not much of a coffee drinker? Tea is also a natural diuretic, and types of herbal tea such as dandelion or fennel root can also lend a hand. In fact: When a recent study compared the metabolic effect of green tea (in extract) with that of a placebo, researchers found that the green-tea drinkers burned about 70 additional calories in a 24-hour period.
The latest dieting trend has reached a new level of evolution with this insanely flavorful watermelon detox water. There are plenty of antioxidants stored within the juicy melons, and its nutrient contents are through the roof. One of its key compounds is the phytonutrient known as lycopene. This generous ingredient is an extraordinarily strong antioxidant, and it also is known to foster anti-inflammatory effects. Amino acids are also provided to aid in blood flow and cardiovascular well-being. This is great for anyone with a rigid fitness routine. Seedless watermelons are preferred for this blend, and the final product is a ruby red wonder!