Written on January 31, 2012 at 7:00 am , by fitsugar
Eating a healthy, balanced diet should be top on your list, especially if you’re looking to lose some weight. You know you should avoid processed foods, but some of nature’s whole foods, although pure and untainted, are so high in calories that eating too much can cause you to gain weight. Here are five foods you should enjoy in moderation when it comes to eating a healthy diet.
A wonderful source of quick protein before a workout or as an afternoon snack, nuts and seeds are bursting with nutrition, but they are also tipping high in the calorie department. Instead of just blindly grabbing handful after handful, enjoy these salty snacks one ounce at a time. Get a visual and see what an ounce of nuts actually looks like. The same goes for nut butters — avoid spooning straight from the jar.
Orange juice is one of nature’s most refreshing beverages, and it’s made from oranges so how can it be bad? You can quickly gulp down a 163-calorie 12-ounce glass, and if you enjoy a glass every morning, it’s easy to see why the pounds are starting to increase on your bathroom scale. Skip the liquid calories and enjoy a fiber-rich medium orange for 62 calories instead.
Getting your fill of healthy fats is essential to your diet, and creamy avocado is an excellent source. Even though you could easily scoop out all 322 calories of entire avocado in minutes, it’s best to enjoy this fruit in smaller amounts. Definitely don’t give up this super healthy food! Dice a quarter of an avocado on your salad or mash it on your sammy, so you can reap the benefits of the healthy fats without affecting your waistline.
Pure Maple Syrup
A naturally occurring sweetener, it’s tough to sit down to a stack of flapjacks without pouring on pure maple syrup. This may be shocking, but a quarter-cup serving will run you 200 calories! That’s almost more than the pancakes themselves. Instead of dousing your breakfast plate in nature’s luscious syrup, mix two tablespoons with vanilla Greek yogurt and smear that on your stack, so you can enjoy the maple flavor without all the calories.
Keep reading for more fattening, yet all-natural foods.
Written on January 24, 2012 at 7:00 am , by fitsugar
Between meetings, appointments, work deadlines, errands, family obligations, and trips to the gym, our lives can be so busy that we fill our bellies with the quickest, easiest bites we can get our hands on. Whether your goal is to drop unwanted pounds or eat healthier, it’s in your best interest to pause before you take your first bite and ask yourself these four important questions.
Am I hungry? Seems like a silly question, because you’re eating, so you must be hungry, right? Many times we reach for food out of boredom, convenience (the bag of chips was open), depression (chocolate to drown your breakup sorrows), happiness (to celebrate a promotion), or desire (who could pass up the amazing brownies your co-worker brought in?). But if we recently ate, then we’re not even hungry. Make sure you’re due for a snack or meal before sitting down to eat one.
Is this food filling holes in my diet? We eat to live and that means the food we gobble down should offer our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly. Aside from being healthy, our daily diet should also be balanced. If you ate a high-protein breakfast of eggs and Greek yogurt topped with nuts, then for a morning snack, you probably want to eat something that offers your body something besides protein, such as fiber, potassium, or vitamin A. Think of each snack and meal as a piece of your daily diet puzzle; an opportunity to take in what your body is lacking.
Is it the correct portion size? It’s snack time, and you’re sitting down to a banana, toast with peanut butter, a cheese stick, and crackers. Although healthy, that’s way more calories than a typical snack should be. Depending on your weight, and your weight-loss goals, keep your snacks to around 150 calories, breakfast between 300 and 500 calories, lunch between 400 and 600 calories, and dinner around 400 and 600 cals.
Keep reading to find out the other more questions you should ask yourself before eating.
Written on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 am , by Karla Walsh
Consider these experts your Spanish-speaking Bob, Jillian and company! The creator of The Biggest Loser have launched Dale Con Ganas (Give It Your All), which premieres on Univision on January 11.
We asked the show’s nutritionist and three trainers to pass along their top 10 tips to help their contestants—and you!—lose weight in 2012.
Your dream team:
- Monica Montes, nutritionist
- Marcelo Crudele, trainer
- Maria Simon, trainer
- Oscar Luna, trainer
1. Take notes. “The most important first diet step is to write everything down,” Montes says. Each time you eat, track the time, food groups included, portion sizes and calories. “Contestants used food journals to adjust their meal schedules and food choices and learned how to measure proper portions throughout the show,” she adds.
2. Go easy on the joints. Sure, jumping moves like plyometrics burn major calories, but they aren’t the best choice for fitness newbies. “Try interval drills on the elliptical or in the pool, alternating challenging bursts and recovery periods to allow for increased heart rate with minimal impact on the joints,” Simon says.
3. Eat like a pro. “We enjoy meals and snacks more when they are colorful and full of flavor,” Montes says. Try this sample meal plan that contestants prepare on the show.
- Breakfast: Six egg white veggie omelet (spinach, tomato, onion, zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms), fresh salsa, high-fiber whole grain tortilla, orange
- Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries
- Lunch: Grilled salmon with black pepper and lemon, black bean soup and salad (made with spinach, basil, radish, broccoli, bell peppers, green onions with lemon, olive oil, black pepper and sea salt)
- Snack: Hummus with carrots and celery
- Dinner: Chicken soup (including chicken, corn, zucchini, onion, tomato, cilantro) with one or two corn tortillas
- Snack: Jicama, mango and cucumber salad
4. Focus. One motto that the contestants live by: “Train your mind to train your body.” The mental work comes first, then the physical, which is why the trainers love getting in the ring. “Boxing is a sport that requires full concentration,” says trainer Crudele, who is also a licensed boxing and kickboxing instructor. “It’s fun and improves both your mental and physical conditioning.”
5. Fit it in your life. Unlike on Loser, show participants “remain in their real life environments, including keeping their jobs and family responsibilities—as well as all the stress and temptations that come with these dynamics,” Simon says. Don’t radically overhaul your routine when trying to lose weight because this will likely be unsustainable. Find ways to revamp your current lifestyle to make it more wellness-focused (for example, switching to low-fat milk in your coffee rather than cream).
For five more pointers from the reality show’s experts, keep reading.
Written on November 14, 2011 at 9:40 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alyssa Belanger, editorial intern
Following in the footsteps of Madonna, Cher and Beyonce, a popular diet plan is now just known by its first name—Jenny—and teaming up with another big name: Mariah!
Last week, Carey, the best-selling female music artist of all time, announced her partnership with the diet program formerly known as Jenny Craig. In the past four months, the new mom of twins has lost 30 pounds (with the program—70 since she gave birth) and is feeling as proud of her body as ever.
During her pregnancy, Carey was uncomfortable with the extra weight she had put on. “I used to feel comfortable being naked—not in public, of course!—but with the weight I didn’t feel good being naked anymore,” she said at a press conference announcing the partnership. After her weight gain and before starting her health makeover, Carey wouldn’t even let hubby Nick Cannon see her bathing nude.
Today, Carey is back to her curvaceous, confident self! She admitted that losing the weight was not easy at first, due to adjusting to life as a mom and required time off from exercise, but thanks to her personal drive and some help from the people at Jenny, Carey says she was able to make simple lifestyle changes to get back to a healthy weight.
So, how is the mom of two keeping the weight off? In addition to following the Jenny program, Carey is enjoying spending time with her twins Monroe and Moroccan Scott in the pool.
More from FITNESS:
- Top Moves to Get Your After-Baby Body, Fast!
- Omega-3: The Must-Have Nutrient for Moms
- The Truth About Your Body After Baby
Written on November 8, 2011 at 10:37 am , by Karla Walsh
The food movement occasionally seems skewed toward the super-serious (Michael Pollan), the sexy (PETA) or the surreal (Supersize Me). But Marisa Miller Wolfson, a fairly new vegan, is bringing a little levity to the issue with her new film Vegucated. Her unique perspective and six-week experiment trying to persuade three carnivores to embrace a more produce-based diet caught our attention, so we reached out to her to learn more.
Can you tell us more about your personal transition to veganism?
I lived with vegetarians for seven years and rabidly defended my right as a Midwesterner to eat my meat. I thought vegans were from outer space—way too radical. Then I saw a documentary that showed how animals are treated on farms, and I went vegetarian on the spot, and went vegan three months later after I read more about health and environment issues. The whole process felt crazy: to have all these stereotypes of vegans and then suddenly call myself one. The first few months were a little tricky, but I lost 15 pounds and felt amazing, so I stuck with it.
There have been a few movies and books recently related to the topic of eating less meat, but Vegucated seems to be told in a different “voice” than many others. How did you decide to make your film stand out?
I had toured around the country showing award-winning documentaries on this topic and decided to make a film that appealed to a slightly different, younger crowd. I wanted to make it highly entertaining, charged with personality and I wanted people to laugh more than they cry, even when they’re getting exposed to powerful information. I used to do comedy.
Keep reading to discover how the film’s stars are eating now and to learn how you can find a happy veggie medium.
Written on September 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm , by Karla Walsh
Do you wake up every morning and bounce out of bed, ready to take on the new day? Probably not, but registered dietitian and FITNESS advisory board member Ashley Koff says that fantasy can be a reality. In her new book Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged, co-authored by trainer Kathy Kaehler, Koff shares simple suggestions for moms—or anyone!—to live a more pep-filled life.
“Today we’re giving out our energy to so many different spaces. It’s really important to focus on how to bring some energy back in your life,” Koff says.
Here are her top five tips for a diet that will rev your engine:
- Aim for better energy, not just more. “The pursuit of more energy can lead to harmful highs and lows, as people often turn to espresso, sugar or supplements. I tell my clients to aim for ‘better’ energy by following the next four steps.”
- Watch your portion sizes. “Think of one carbohydrate serving as about the size of your fist and one protein serving as the size of your palm. I don’t recommend cup measurements because caloric and nutritional needs depend on your body size.”
- Be a “qualitarian.” “The type of fuel dictates how your body runs. Try to make the highest quality choices available, and you will get more nutrients. Our bodies perform best on foods that it recognizes—in other words, non-processed foods.”
- Eat every three hours. “Your body is a race car not a street car. Fill up about every three hours and your body will use this as energy, rather than store it as fat. This also makes smaller meals less daunting, knowing that you’ll eat again in just a few hours!”
- Include protein, fat and carbs in every meal and snack. “Carbs provide a one-hour boost, and protein and fat each offer one hour of longer-lasting energy. This works perfectly with the three-hour eating plan and helps your metabolism work most efficiently.”
Keep reading to find a sample day’s eats on Koff’s vitality-boosting diet!
Written on July 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm , by Colleen Moody
I remember being a little girl counting down the days to Friday, when my dad would pick me up to stay with him for the weekend. Yes, it was great spending time with Dad, but the real excitement came from getting the chance to hit the Wendy’s drive-thru for dinner, something Mom would never allow (with good reason).
Sure, the occasional splurge is fine (yes Michelle Obama, you are allowed to have Shake Shack once in awhile), but with the increasing rate of childhood obesity, it’s clear that some serious action needs to be taken with menu options.
That’s why it’s great to see that 19 fast food chains, including Burger King, Friendly’s, and more, are taking a proactive approach, pledging to offer more healthy options for kids’ meals.
According to this article, Burger King will swap fries and a soda in its kids’ meals with milk and sliced apples, with other chains are taking a similar approach as part of the Kids LiveWell campaign. Any restaurant that participates in the campaign must offer one kids’ meal under 600 calories, no soft drinks, and at least two items that are either a fruit, vegetable, whole grain, lean protein, or low-fat dairy.
One small step for the food industry, but hopefully a big step towards lowering the childhood obesity rates. Besides, if there’s a toy involved, do you think they’ll notice that their fries have been swapped for an apple?
Now tell us: What else should we be doing to help lower childhood obesity?
Written on May 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm , by Karla Walsh
Ashlan Gorse has one sweet job: Covering the red carpet festivities at events including the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes. She’s also a correspondent for E! News, reporting on movie premieres, breaking entertainment news and the latest in fashion, beauty and fitness.
Now that the 2011 red carpet season has slowed down and Ashlan has had a chance to catch her breath, the down-to-earth journalist took time to tell us about staying chiseled for those couture gowns and the music that keeps her moving.
How do you get in shape for red carpet season?
Red carpet season is always so exciting. I watch what I eat for two weeks prior to each show and kick up my workouts. At the same time, I try to remember that it’s supposed to be fun and try not to stress about a pound or two!
What does a day in your diet diary look like?
I always eat breakfast—even if it’s just a protein bar or a hard boiled egg. I have to be at work at 6 a.m., so breakfast is at my desk. Lunch is a some sort of salad and dinner is filled with either protein or veggies. I’m trying to cut down on how much meat I eat and try to eat organic and local. It’s good for me and good for the environment. But I admit that I do indulge!
Written on February 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm , by Karla Walsh
In “Are You Normal About Food” from our March issue, more than half of the 2,400 women polled for the piece admitted to negative emotions after a binge (guilt, depression, sickness…). For more insight into this topic, we turned to a pro who has dealt with emotional eating and lost 85 pounds herself. Dr. Ramani Durvasala, the psychologist from Bravo’s Thintervention with Jackie Warner, told us about the reasons behind emotional eating and how to manage it.
How do you know if you’re an emotional eater?
First, examine how you talk about food. Do you use passionate, emotional terms like “love,” “obsessed” or “adore” to describe a certain snack or meal? I used to refer to food in that way and then I realized I don’t talk about much else that way ever—maybe just my kids!
A few other signals include eating in secret, feeling anxious or out of control around food, using food for a non-food purpose (such as a reward or a numbing tool) or not achieving success on several weight loss programs in the past.
Can it be “cured” or just “managed?”
Believe me, even after losing the weight, I still struggle everyday with emotional eating. I wish I could eat all that I want whenever I want, but I can’t. And that’s frustrating! Emotional eating is a lot like other addictions, and never really go away. It usually begins to develop in childhood, so you basically have to learn to deal with your triggers and preemptively plan to make good choices.
Read on for Dr. Durvasala’s five tips for emotional eaters…
Written on February 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm , by Sarah D'Angelo
Last week, the USDA and HHS released new dietary guidelines for Americans. So what changed, and what does it mean for your diet? Well, nothing too groundbreaking—to sum it up (and with apologies to Michael Pollan), Eat food. Not Too Much. Oh, and get up off the couch.
We know by now (I hope!) that eating real food, in normal portions, and exercising most days of the week will keep us feeling healthy and looking good in our skinny jeans (or our layers and snow boots, as many of you are probably wearing right now). But there are a few new developments added to the latest update that are especially important for women. We spoke with Elizabeth Ward, R.D., to help us break it down.
FITNESS: What are some of the most surprising changes in the new guidelines?
Elizabeth Ward: They’re really focusing on the obesity problem in both adults and children, emphasizing the need for healthier foods, smaller portions and exercise. They’re also paying attention to moms-to-be: maintaining a healthy weight to avoid increasing the chances your child will be overweight. Research has shown a connection between a mother’s BMI when she conceives and how much body fat the baby has at birth.