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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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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Some Weight Loss Tips

I was at the gym the other day and was think of some weight loss ideas while I was on the bike and I thought I might share some of my ideas that I have used in the past and also planning to use myself.

Eating a handful of nuts will help you stay full

Muscle burns at least four times as many calories as fat does, so try twenty minutes of strength straining two to three times a week

Try drinking skim milk at breakfast instead of juice. Overweight people who drank skim milk for breakfast ate fewer calories

Make sure you check food labels and avoid anything with more than 4 grams of sugar

Replace your regular pasta noodles with whole wheat pasta for a more filling meal

Avocados can be your secret weight loss partners. They’re high in fiber and healthy fats, giving you a meaty-tasting meat alternative

Get your Zzzzzs. Sleep deprivation alters levels of hormones in the body that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite

Oats are your friends! Eating a cup of oatmeal in the morning will prevent you from gorging in the afternoon

3 Sweet Snacks Under 200 Calories

Tropical Fruit Parfait
In a small glass — or a jar with a lid, if you’re on the go — layer 1/2 cup fruit cut into 1/2-inch cubes (kiwis, mangos, and pineapples are nice) with 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt. Top with 1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds. Makes 1 serving mbd105487_0310_parfait_066187_hd

Cherry-Berry Tea Smoothies
Protein-rich tofu gives this drink a thick and creamy texture, and frozen blueberries, cherries, and grapes deliver deep flavor and additional antioxidants. Makes 4 servings (110 calories each). Protein-rich tofu gives this drink a thick and creamy texture, and frozen blueberries, cherries, and grapes deliver deep flavor and additional antioxidants. Rooibos tea, grown in South Africa, adds an herbaceous sweetness to this fruit smoothie without the caffeine found in other teas.cherry-berry-smoothies-xd105682_horiz

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup water
2 Rooibos tea bags
6 ounces silken tofu
10 ounces (2 cups) frozen sweet cherries
6 ounces (1 cup) frozen grapes
3 ounces (1/2 cup) frozen blueberries
DIRECTIONS
1. Bring water to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat, and add tea bags. Let steep, uncovered, for 8 minutes. Discard tea bags. Refrigerate tea until cold, about 40 minutes.
2. Puree tea, tofu, and fruit in a blender until smooth, and serve cold.

Mango Salsa
Swapping mangoes for tomatoes lends a fresh, sweet taste to this dish. Serves 4 to 6 (about 43 calories each, not including chips).

Swapping mangoes for tomatoes lends a fresh, sweet taste to this dish.
15 Minutes
6 TOTAL TIME PREP SERVINGS

INGREDIENTs

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Warm tortilla chips, for serving
DIRECTIONS
1. In a medium bowl, combine mango, onion, cilantro, chile, and lime juice; season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips.download (3)