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Weight Loss and Beans

Beans are good for more than just your heart. They’re loaded with proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and that can benefit your brain and muscles, too. Not to mention, they digest really slowly, which can help you feel fuller, longer, and fuel weight loss efforts without causing feelings of deprivation. Look for easy-to-use, pre-cooked BPA-free varieties that come in a pouch or a box.

Add them to soups and salads or mix them with brown rice and steamed vegetables to create a hearty—yet healthy—dinner. Big into snacking? Mix black beans with some salsa and corn, and serve with some whole grain crackers in place of your favorite packaged dip. Just make sure you slip them into your diet! Eating beans is one of the 10 daily habits that blast belly fat.

Protein Payoff: 1/2 cup, 109-148 calories, 7-10 grams of protein

Looking for a Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies can be a perfect meal or snack substitute.

You can combine avocado with green, leafy vegetables like kale and fruits like banana, pineapple or berries. Plus, for a protein-packed smoothie, try adding some protein powder, Greek yogurt or milk.

For a quick smoothie, blend together:

1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
1/2 banana
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup of Blueberries
Ice to taste
The options are endless when it comes to smoothies.

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Need a Substitute for Sour Cream

Avocados can be perfect for dishes that are usually made with sour cream.

For instance, you can make baked potatoes topped with mashed avocados and shredded cheese. Another option is to make a dairy-free sour cream substitute by blending together the following:

  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Beware of Health Halos

Do you consider products from specialty supermarkets to be healthier than those from other grocery stores? Or do you think that dishes from organic restaurants are all waistline-friendly? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you could be derailing your weight loss efforts. When people guess the number of calories in a sandwich coming from a “healthy” restaurant, they estimate that it has, on average, 35 percent fewer calories than they do when it comes from an “unhealthy” restaurant, according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Remember that the next time you reach for that package of Whole Foods’ Organic Fruit & Nut Granola. One cup of this seemingly healthy snack contains almost 500 calories. Yikes!

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Set realistic goals

It may seem obvious to set realistic weight-loss goals. But do you really know what’s realistic? Over the long term, it’s best to aim for losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity.

Depending on your weight, 5 percent of your current weight may be a realistic goal. Even this level of weight loss can help lower your risk for chronic health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you’re 180 pounds  that’s 9 pounds.

When you’re setting goals, think about both process and outcome goals. “Walk every day for 30 minutes” is an example of a process goal. “Lose 10 pounds” is an example of an outcome goal. It isn’t essential that you have an outcome goal, but you should set process goals because changing your habits is a key to weight loss.

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