Health – Life by Daily Burn https://dailyburn.com/life Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-20-minute-meals/ Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:15:48 +0000 https://dailyburn.com/life/?p=66139 10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals

10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals

Dinner. It’s the same grind every week, but that doesn’t make it any easier — especially when you’re short on time (always) and sticking to your health goals (mostly).

If you’re struggling to keep things fresh and fast each night, it’s time to rethink your approach. Follow the lead of these inspiring food gurus who show us that when you strip down your expectations and focus on mastering a few basics, meal time is never more than 20 minutes away.

RELATED: 21 Meal Prep Pics From the Healthiest People on Instagram

10 Easy Shortcuts for 20-Minute Meals

[caption id="attachment_66199" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals - Roasted Vegetables Photo and recipe: @katekosaya[/caption]

1. Batch-Cooked Roasted Vegetables

By roasting a big batch of vegetables once or twice a week, Kate Kosaya has the foundation for multiple meals to take her through the week. Her weekly vegetable haul will get “cut into wedges, circles or slices, drizzled with oil or ghee, sprinkled with spices, and roasted in the oven at 375°F.” Once cooled and stored in glass containers, it’s simply grab-and-go to create a veggie bowl or creamy vegetable soup made with coconut milk.

RELATED: 20 Healthy Meals You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

[caption id="attachment_66213" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals-Canned Seafood Baguette Photo and Recipe: Wild Greens and Sardines[/caption]

2. Canned Seafood

World-wide travels have imparted Linda Schneider of Wild Greens and Sardines with a love of all things oceanic. “While canned seafood hasn’t entirely caught on here in the United States, they’re highly revered in parts of Europe,” she says. “Small fish, such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel are sustainable, healthy, inexpensive, versatile and easy to prep. They're already cooked, so it's just a matter of opening a can and adding a little creativity.” With a can in hand, it’ll become dinner when layered on a big green salad, tossed with pasta, served over beans, or even spread on toast.

[caption id="attachment_66183" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Healthy Bowl Dinner Shortcuts Photo and recipe: McKel Hill / Nutrition Stripped[/caption]

3. Simple Stir-Fry

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN and Founder of Nutrition Stripped, practices what she preaches in her Guide to Master Meal Planning, making a simple stir-fry on most evenings. Her formula: leftover roasted vegetables, a protein, a carbohydrate and a healthy fat (such as coconut oil). She also relies on a changing mix of herbs and spices to keep things interesting. Not only is it simple and quick, but “it leaves me feeling really great,” Hill says.

RELATED: 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean

[caption id="attachment_44458" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Easy Egg Scramble Recipe Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Eggs Anytime

“Where is the rule that eggs are only for breakfast?” asks Sarah Gim of TheDeliciousLife.com. Even when she’s not short on time, she prefers to make a scramble for dinner by sautéing garlic, onions and whatever vegetables she has on hand along with three to four eggs. Once cooked, add a dollop of almond milk ricotta, a few avocado slices and some gut-boosting chopped kimchi. Voila, your 20-minute meal is served! “I eat some variation of avocado, eggs, vegetables and kimchi almost every other day,” she says.

[caption id="attachment_66196" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie Recipe Photo and recipe: Liz Moody / @sproutedroutes[/caption]

5. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie

Another breakfast-for-dinner winner: A well-balanced smoothie. For Liz Moody of Sprouted Routes and the author of Glow Pops, smoothies are a weeknight staple. “A good smoothie takes literally five minutes to make, and it's one of the cheapest dinners around. Usually mine are under $5 a serving,” she says. “The secret to making a dinner smoothie is making sure there's a good amount of greens, fat and protein.” Her favorite flavor combinations include mint chocolate chip and cilantro cucumber.

RELATED: 14 Deliciously Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes

[caption id="attachment_66194" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Quinoa Brussels Spouts Dinner Shortcuts Photo: Courtesy of Sara Sullivan[/caption]

6. Cooked Quinoa

For plant-based nutrition counselor and holistic health practitioner Sara Sullivan, batch-making quinoa on Sundays is her secret to a low-stress week. “I love that quinoa is so versatile! You can add it to veggie chili, toss it with roasted vegetables, top it with a fried egg or mix it with some pesto for a quick nutritious meal. The options really are endless,” she says. “Quinoa is a complete source of plant-based protein and is much more affordable than meat.”

[caption id="attachment_23114" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Canned Chickpeas Photo and Recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

7. Canned Chickpeas

Jenny Lei of LiveGreenHealthy knows how to assemble dinner in less time than it takes to order takeout — the operative word being “assemble.” With a can of chickpeas that she always has stashed in the pantry, she’ll whip up a chickpea salad using half a can of chickpeas paired with half an avocado, a sprinkle of feta on top and a swoosh of balsamic vinaigrette. If mixed greens are in the crisper, all the better. “I love how easy and quick this salad is,” she says. “Just assemble and eat!”

[caption id="attachment_66210" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals - Cabbage Photo and recipe: FamilyandForks.com[/caption]

8. Red and White Cabbage

Hearty, versatile and extremely affordable, there’s a lot to love about the humble cabbage. Slice it up thin or grate it, and you’ve got the beginnings of dinner, says Lisa Stewart of FamilyandForks.com. Her favorite go-to: a riff on Filipino pancit, made with a base of sautéed cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic. Top it with broth-soaked rice noodles, any leftover pork or shredded chicken you may have and eggs. Whether served hot or at room temperature, it’s a low-maintenance dish that tastes anything but.

[caption id="attachment_24504" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy 20-Minute Meals: Sweet Potato Kale Tacos Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

9. Anything-Goes Tacos

For Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks, tacos are the perfect foil for leftovers. “We love taking what's in our refrigerator and pantry and making it into tacos — especially using eggs, since they're so quick to cook,” she says. “We are big believers in quick ‘improv’ cooking.” Rehashing food as mix-and-match tacos isn’t only a creative dinner, it’s one that helps reduce food waste, too.

RELATED: 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas

[caption id="attachment_66215" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals - Cauliflower Veggie Smoothie Photo and recipe: Choosing Chia[/caption]

10. Frozen Cauliflower

Did we say 20-minute meals? This one takes five! For a creative twist on your usual smoothie, look to frozen riced cauliflower. It’s how Jessica Hoffman of Choosing Chia takes her almond milk blends to new heights. Cauliflower packs a nutritious punch, plus it won’t alter the color of your mixture. “Adding veggies to my smoothies helps me to make sure I'm getting my daily servings of vegetables without feeling like I have to be eating salads all day,” Hoffman says. “I also love adding a source of protein like almond butter, hemp seeds, or plant-based protein powder to make my smoothie a more substantial meal.”

Read More
16 Healthy Homemade Energy Bar Recipes
30 Delicious Whole 30 Recipes You'll Actually Love
50 Resources to Make Meal Prep a Snap

The post 10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals

10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals
Dinner. It’s the same grind every week, but that doesn’t make it any easier — especially when you’re short on time (always) and sticking to your health goals (mostly). If you’re struggling to keep things fresh and fast each night, it’s time to rethink your approach. Follow the lead of these inspiring food gurus who show us that when you strip down your expectations and focus on mastering a few basics, meal time is never more than 20 minutes away. RELATED: 21 Meal Prep Pics From the Healthiest People on Instagram

10 Easy Shortcuts for 20-Minute Meals

[caption id="attachment_66199" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals - Roasted Vegetables Photo and recipe: @katekosaya[/caption]

1. Batch-Cooked Roasted Vegetables

By roasting a big batch of vegetables once or twice a week, Kate Kosaya has the foundation for multiple meals to take her through the week. Her weekly vegetable haul will get “cut into wedges, circles or slices, drizzled with oil or ghee, sprinkled with spices, and roasted in the oven at 375°F.” Once cooled and stored in glass containers, it’s simply grab-and-go to create a veggie bowl or creamy vegetable soup made with coconut milk. RELATED: 20 Healthy Meals You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less [caption id="attachment_66213" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals-Canned Seafood Baguette Photo and Recipe: Wild Greens and Sardines[/caption]

2. Canned Seafood

World-wide travels have imparted Linda Schneider of Wild Greens and Sardines with a love of all things oceanic. “While canned seafood hasn’t entirely caught on here in the United States, they’re highly revered in parts of Europe,” she says. “Small fish, such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel are sustainable, healthy, inexpensive, versatile and easy to prep. They're already cooked, so it's just a matter of opening a can and adding a little creativity.” With a can in hand, it’ll become dinner when layered on a big green salad, tossed with pasta, served over beans, or even spread on toast. [caption id="attachment_66183" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Healthy Bowl Dinner Shortcuts Photo and recipe: McKel Hill / Nutrition Stripped[/caption]

3. Simple Stir-Fry

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN and Founder of Nutrition Stripped, practices what she preaches in her Guide to Master Meal Planning, making a simple stir-fry on most evenings. Her formula: leftover roasted vegetables, a protein, a carbohydrate and a healthy fat (such as coconut oil). She also relies on a changing mix of herbs and spices to keep things interesting. Not only is it simple and quick, but “it leaves me feeling really great,” Hill says. RELATED: 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean [caption id="attachment_44458" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Easy Egg Scramble Recipe Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Eggs Anytime

“Where is the rule that eggs are only for breakfast?” asks Sarah Gim of TheDeliciousLife.com. Even when she’s not short on time, she prefers to make a scramble for dinner by sautéing garlic, onions and whatever vegetables she has on hand along with three to four eggs. Once cooked, add a dollop of almond milk ricotta, a few avocado slices and some gut-boosting chopped kimchi. Voila, your 20-minute meal is served! “I eat some variation of avocado, eggs, vegetables and kimchi almost every other day,” she says. [caption id="attachment_66196" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie Recipe Photo and recipe: Liz Moody / @sproutedroutes[/caption]

5. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie

Another breakfast-for-dinner winner: A well-balanced smoothie. For Liz Moody of Sprouted Routes and the author of Glow Pops, smoothies are a weeknight staple. “A good smoothie takes literally five minutes to make, and it's one of the cheapest dinners around. Usually mine are under $5 a serving,” she says. “The secret to making a dinner smoothie is making sure there's a good amount of greens, fat and protein.” Her favorite flavor combinations include mint chocolate chip and cilantro cucumber. RELATED: 14 Deliciously Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes [caption id="attachment_66194" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Quinoa Brussels Spouts Dinner Shortcuts Photo: Courtesy of Sara Sullivan[/caption]

6. Cooked Quinoa

For plant-based nutrition counselor and holistic health practitioner Sara Sullivan, batch-making quinoa on Sundays is her secret to a low-stress week. “I love that quinoa is so versatile! You can add it to veggie chili, toss it with roasted vegetables, top it with a fried egg or mix it with some pesto for a quick nutritious meal. The options really are endless,” she says. “Quinoa is a complete source of plant-based protein and is much more affordable than meat.” [caption id="attachment_23114" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals: Canned Chickpeas Photo and Recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

7. Canned Chickpeas

Jenny Lei of LiveGreenHealthy knows how to assemble dinner in less time than it takes to order takeout — the operative word being “assemble.” With a can of chickpeas that she always has stashed in the pantry, she’ll whip up a chickpea salad using half a can of chickpeas paired with half an avocado, a sprinkle of feta on top and a swoosh of balsamic vinaigrette. If mixed greens are in the crisper, all the better. “I love how easy and quick this salad is,” she says. “Just assemble and eat!” [caption id="attachment_66210" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals - Cabbage Photo and recipe: FamilyandForks.com[/caption]

8. Red and White Cabbage

Hearty, versatile and extremely affordable, there’s a lot to love about the humble cabbage. Slice it up thin or grate it, and you’ve got the beginnings of dinner, says Lisa Stewart of FamilyandForks.com. Her favorite go-to: a riff on Filipino pancit, made with a base of sautéed cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic. Top it with broth-soaked rice noodles, any leftover pork or shredded chicken you may have and eggs. Whether served hot or at room temperature, it’s a low-maintenance dish that tastes anything but. [caption id="attachment_24504" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy 20-Minute Meals: Sweet Potato Kale Tacos Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

9. Anything-Goes Tacos

For Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks, tacos are the perfect foil for leftovers. “We love taking what's in our refrigerator and pantry and making it into tacos — especially using eggs, since they're so quick to cook,” she says. “We are big believers in quick ‘improv’ cooking.” Rehashing food as mix-and-match tacos isn’t only a creative dinner, it’s one that helps reduce food waste, too. RELATED: 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas [caption id="attachment_66215" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Meals - Cauliflower Veggie Smoothie Photo and recipe: Choosing Chia[/caption]

10. Frozen Cauliflower

Did we say 20-minute meals? This one takes five! For a creative twist on your usual smoothie, look to frozen riced cauliflower. It’s how Jessica Hoffman of Choosing Chia takes her almond milk blends to new heights. Cauliflower packs a nutritious punch, plus it won’t alter the color of your mixture. “Adding veggies to my smoothies helps me to make sure I'm getting my daily servings of vegetables without feeling like I have to be eating salads all day,” Hoffman says. “I also love adding a source of protein like almond butter, hemp seeds, or plant-based protein powder to make my smoothie a more substantial meal.” Read More 16 Healthy Homemade Energy Bar Recipes 30 Delicious Whole 30 Recipes You'll Actually Love 50 Resources to Make Meal Prep a Snap

The post 10 Brilliant Dinner Shortcuts for Healthy 20-Minute Meals appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can’t Live Without https://dailyburn.com/life/health/kitchen-tools-meal-prep/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 16:15:29 +0000 https://dailyburn.com/life/?p=66102 The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can't Live Without

The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can't Live Without

Successful meal prepping can mean winning healthy eating for the week versus three consecutive nights of "Oops, I guess we'll have takeout again." It can save money, reduce food waste, and relieve the stress of finding a quick, healthy, budget-friendly meal at the last-minute on a busy day. But of course, anyone who's prepared a week's worth of meals in a single afternoon knows that meal prepping (especially without a plan!) can cause some damage to your time schedule and stress level. On the other hand, a solid plan of attack and a few essential kitchen tools can score you efficiency and an easy meal prep day. That’s why we asked our favorite preppers which kitchen tools they rely on to get the job done week in and week out. Snag their secret weapons; score some healthy meals. Simple as that!

RELATED: 21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram

8 Kitchen Tools You Need for Easy, Successful Meal Prep

[caption id="attachment_66111" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Organizational Containers Photo courtesy of Chungah Rhee of Damn Delicious[/caption]

1. Organizational Containers

Meal prep containers were a favorite among many of the cooks we spoke to. A matching set stacks neatly in the fridge and helps prevent an avalanche when you open the door. Chungah Rhee of Damn Delicious adds, "It just screams meal prep and makes me feel so accomplished on Sundays when all these containers are packed and ready to go for the week!" The true definition of a good-for-you grab-and-go meal.

[caption id="attachment_66112" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Spiralizer Photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston, RD of The Lean Green Bean[/caption]

2. Spiralizer

A spiralizer makes it quick and easy to swap healthy veggies for pasta in a slew of delicious zoodle recipes. Lindsay Livingston, RD, of The Lean Green Bean uses her spiralizer to create veggie noodles ahead of time for quicker dinner prep. Slice ‘em up and stash ‘em in the fridge for when you’re ready to whip up a low-carb dish.

RELATED: 9 Genius Uses for Your Spiralizer (Low-Calorie Chips, Fries and More!)

[caption id="attachment_66113" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Mini Food Processor Photo courtesy of Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch[/caption]

3. Mini Food Processor

Talia Koren at Workweek Lunch considers a mini food processor (often called a "mini prep") a must for weekly meal prepping. She says, "I use it for pesto, tahini-based sauces and  avocado-based sauces. It's useful for prepping energy bites, too. I've also used it to make black bean burgers and butternut squash soup!"

[caption id="attachment_66114" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Mason Jars Photo courtesy of Denise of Sweet Peas and Saffron[/caption]

4. Mason Jars

Sometimes you just don't need a full-size container for every meal. That’s where mason jars come in, thanks to them being inexpensive, durable and eco-friendly. "I love them to make jar salads, parfaits, smoothie packs and homemade instant noodles," says Denise of Sweet Peas and Saffron. (Watch her video here for details on exactly how to meal prep with mason jars.) Look for one pint standard or wide-mouth jars.

[caption id="attachment_66115" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Instant Pot Photo courtesy of Lorena of Green Healthy Cooking[/caption]

5. Instant Pot

Lorena at Green Healthy Cooking says, "I'm currently obsessed with my Instant Pot both for everyday cooking and meal planning." It's perfect for quickly making a big batch of rice for the week without taking up precious stovetop space. (See Lorena's guide to failproof Instant Pot rice here.) Denise at Sweet Peas and Saffron adds, "I also love making freezer packs with dinners that I can thaw and throw in the Instant Pot on a busy weeknight."

RELATED: 7 Instant Pot Recipes for Healthy, On-the-Go Breakfasts

[caption id="attachment_66116" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Food Scale Photo courtesy of Layla Atik of Gimme Delicious Food[/caption]

6. Kitchen Scale

According to Layla Atik at Gimme Delicious Food, a scale is another must-have for meal prep. Some recipes specifically rely on ingredients measured by weight so a scale is a must. Danielle Madden at Project Meal Plan adds that a scale is, "necessary for portioning out evenly sized meals and keeping track of calories."

[caption id="attachment_66117" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Stasher Bags Photo courtesy of Danielle Madden at Project Meal Plan[/caption]

7. Stasher Bags

Overwhelmed by the number of disposable baggies you're going through now that you meal prep all the time? Madden has the answer: Stasher bags. "Stasher bags are plastic-free silicone bags that are great for storing food. They're microwave-, dishwasher-, freezer- and sous vide-safe,” she says. “I'll stick any kind of leftovers inside or use them to pack snacks for my husband. I love to use these in place of a Ziploc or other plastic bag!"

[caption id="attachment_66118" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Muffin Tins Photo courtesy of Taylor Stinson of The Girl on Bloor[/caption]

8. Muffin Tins

Taylor Stinson at The Girl on Bloor swears by her muffin tins for prepping a week's worth of meals all at once. "I make a ton of breakfasts all at once for the week using muffin tins — anything from egg cups to oatmeal cups and beyond! There are so many ways you can get creative," Stinson says.

Read More
20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know
Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating
13 Healthy Freezer Meals to Prep Now and Eat Later

The post The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can’t Live Without appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can't Live Without

The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can't Live Without Successful meal prepping can mean winning healthy eating for the week versus three consecutive nights of "Oops, I guess we'll have takeout again." It can save money, reduce food waste, and relieve the stress of finding a quick, healthy, budget-friendly meal at the last-minute on a busy day. But of course, anyone who's prepared a week's worth of meals in a single afternoon knows that meal prepping (especially without a plan!) can cause some damage to your time schedule and stress level. On the other hand, a solid plan of attack and a few essential kitchen tools can score you efficiency and an easy meal prep day. That’s why we asked our favorite preppers which kitchen tools they rely on to get the job done week in and week out. Snag their secret weapons; score some healthy meals. Simple as that! RELATED: 21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram

8 Kitchen Tools You Need for Easy, Successful Meal Prep

[caption id="attachment_66111" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Organizational Containers Photo courtesy of Chungah Rhee of Damn Delicious[/caption]

1. Organizational Containers

Meal prep containers were a favorite among many of the cooks we spoke to. A matching set stacks neatly in the fridge and helps prevent an avalanche when you open the door. Chungah Rhee of Damn Delicious adds, "It just screams meal prep and makes me feel so accomplished on Sundays when all these containers are packed and ready to go for the week!" The true definition of a good-for-you grab-and-go meal. [caption id="attachment_66112" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Spiralizer Photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston, RD of The Lean Green Bean[/caption]

2. Spiralizer

A spiralizer makes it quick and easy to swap healthy veggies for pasta in a slew of delicious zoodle recipes. Lindsay Livingston, RD, of The Lean Green Bean uses her spiralizer to create veggie noodles ahead of time for quicker dinner prep. Slice ‘em up and stash ‘em in the fridge for when you’re ready to whip up a low-carb dish. RELATED: 9 Genius Uses for Your Spiralizer (Low-Calorie Chips, Fries and More!) [caption id="attachment_66113" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Mini Food Processor Photo courtesy of Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch[/caption]

3. Mini Food Processor

Talia Koren at Workweek Lunch considers a mini food processor (often called a "mini prep") a must for weekly meal prepping. She says, "I use it for pesto, tahini-based sauces and  avocado-based sauces. It's useful for prepping energy bites, too. I've also used it to make black bean burgers and butternut squash soup!" [caption id="attachment_66114" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Mason Jars Photo courtesy of Denise of Sweet Peas and Saffron[/caption]

4. Mason Jars

Sometimes you just don't need a full-size container for every meal. That’s where mason jars come in, thanks to them being inexpensive, durable and eco-friendly. "I love them to make jar salads, parfaits, smoothie packs and homemade instant noodles," says Denise of Sweet Peas and Saffron. (Watch her video here for details on exactly how to meal prep with mason jars.) Look for one pint standard or wide-mouth jars. [caption id="attachment_66115" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Instant Pot Photo courtesy of Lorena of Green Healthy Cooking[/caption]

5. Instant Pot

Lorena at Green Healthy Cooking says, "I'm currently obsessed with my Instant Pot both for everyday cooking and meal planning." It's perfect for quickly making a big batch of rice for the week without taking up precious stovetop space. (See Lorena's guide to failproof Instant Pot rice here.) Denise at Sweet Peas and Saffron adds, "I also love making freezer packs with dinners that I can thaw and throw in the Instant Pot on a busy weeknight." RELATED: 7 Instant Pot Recipes for Healthy, On-the-Go Breakfasts [caption id="attachment_66116" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Food Scale Photo courtesy of Layla Atik of Gimme Delicious Food[/caption]

6. Kitchen Scale

According to Layla Atik at Gimme Delicious Food, a scale is another must-have for meal prep. Some recipes specifically rely on ingredients measured by weight so a scale is a must. Danielle Madden at Project Meal Plan adds that a scale is, "necessary for portioning out evenly sized meals and keeping track of calories." [caption id="attachment_66117" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Stasher Bags Photo courtesy of Danielle Madden at Project Meal Plan[/caption]

7. Stasher Bags

Overwhelmed by the number of disposable baggies you're going through now that you meal prep all the time? Madden has the answer: Stasher bags. "Stasher bags are plastic-free silicone bags that are great for storing food. They're microwave-, dishwasher-, freezer- and sous vide-safe,” she says. “I'll stick any kind of leftovers inside or use them to pack snacks for my husband. I love to use these in place of a Ziploc or other plastic bag!" [caption id="attachment_66118" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kitchen Tools for Meal Prep: Muffin Tins Photo courtesy of Taylor Stinson of The Girl on Bloor[/caption]

8. Muffin Tins

Taylor Stinson at The Girl on Bloor swears by her muffin tins for prepping a week's worth of meals all at once. "I make a ton of breakfasts all at once for the week using muffin tins — anything from egg cups to oatmeal cups and beyond! There are so many ways you can get creative," Stinson says. Read More 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating 13 Healthy Freezer Meals to Prep Now and Eat Later

The post The Kitchen Tools These Bloggers Can’t Live Without appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Top 11 Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle https://dailyburn.com/life/health/top-nutrients-build-muscle/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 16:15:42 +0000 https://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65973 11 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle

[caption id="attachment_65975" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

As much as exercise hits your body with a barrage of feel-good hormones, it also puts your body in a state of stress. From your gut to your heart, every cell is working hard to maintain all bodily functions while you work out. That’s why it’s so important to get proper nutrition and fuel your body with foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants. “Exercise produces stress on the body, and that increases the need for certain nutrients that the body might otherwise be able to produce enough of,” says Ashley Koff, RD, founder of The Better Nutrition Program and Espira by AVON nutritionist.

Take the amino acid, glutamine, for example. “Your body produces it, but when your body is under stress during exercise, you need more of it to repair muscle, including the digestive tract lining,” Koff says. Read on to learn what vitamins, macronutrients and amino acids are crucial for building and maintaining muscle.

RELATED: Got Milk? The 9 Best Protein Sources to Build Muscle

11 Key Nutrients for Muscle Building

1. Water

You already know how important it is to drink enough H2O for replenishing fluids before, during and after a workout. But staying properly hydrated also aids digestion and nutrient absorption. “Hydration is more than just quenching thirst; it means water carries nutrients to the muscles for them to do their work,” Koff says.
Best sources: Straight from the tap, or vegetables and fruits

2. Protein

Protein is one of the most essential macronutrients for muscle growth and repair because it’s packed with amino acids that your body does and doesn’t produce. That’s why it’s important to have protein post-workout to restore these muscle-building macronutrients. “Proteins not only helps rebuild and build lean body mass, but they’re also a core part of enzymes and hormones that help communicate with the body to repair itself,” Koff says.
Best sources: Dairy, lean meats, beans and other legumes, seafood, soy and eggs

3. Calcium

Calcium does more than help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. Koff says the mineral is responsible for triggering muscle contraction. Muscles are comprised of two protein filaments: myosin and actin. When muscle contraction occurs, these filaments slide over each other to convert ATP (adenosine triphosphate), aka the way your body stores and uses energy. The more you exercise, the more ATP your body needs to keep your muscles moving.
Best sources: Yogurt, fortified milk and cereals, cheese, tofu and spinach

RELATED: 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

4. Magnesium

Feeling more tired than usual? A magnesium deficiency could be to blame. As one of the best de-stressing minerals, magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation and preventing cramps, Koff says. Together with calcium, magnesium works to help reduce blood pressure and promote better sleep.
Best sources: Leafy greens, beans and other legumes, squash, nuts and seeds and whole grains

5. Glutamine

You might have heard of non-essential (meaning your body can produce it) and essential (meaning your body can’t produce it) amino acids, but there are also conditionally essential amino acids. Koff says your body needs more conditionally essential amino acids, such as glutamine, during intense workouts. “Glutamine helps repair muscle tissue, including the lining of the digestive tract, especially when the body has experienced stress during high-intensity exercise, like weightlifting and HIIT,” Koff says. Glutamine is also important for maintaining gut function and boosting the immune system.
Best sources: Chicken, fish, beef, dairy, eggs and spinach, Brussel sprouts and fermented foods

6. Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin is probably best known for ensuring strong bones, but it’s also critical for strong glutes, biceps and everything in between. Koff says, “Vitamin D is linked to healthy hormones like testosterone, which helps with muscle maintenance and growth.” A daily dose of D can also improve your mental health and help reduce anxiety. Because not that many foods are rich in vitamin D, some doctors and nutritionists recommend taking a supplement.
Best sources: Fatty fish, like salmon and sardines, fortified yogurt, milk and orange juice, mushrooms and eggs

RELATED: Got a Vitamin D Deficiency? Dig Into These Recipes

7. Potassium

Just like calcium and magnesium, potassium is a key electrolyte in muscle contraction. But it’s also essential for carrying other nutrients to your muscles. “Potassium brings water, along with other nutrients, into muscle cells. They work in opposition to sodium,” Koff says. Potassium helps your kidneys flush out the excess sodium in your body, Koff explains. What’s more: New studies have shown that people who don’t get enough potassium are at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease.
Best sources: Bananas, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken and salmon.

8. Carbohydrates

Contrary to what you might believe, carbs are one of the best building blocks of muscles. “They’re the key nutrient to support muscle growth and repair,” Koff says. As the best source of glycogen, carbs help fuel your workouts and rebuild muscles more effectively post-workout. Runners aren’t the only ones who can benefit from carb loading. Everyone from weightlifters to HIIT enthusiasts need to restore glycogen stores after an intense sweat session.
Best sources: Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans and other legumes

9. B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) belongs to a set of eight B vitamins known as the vitamin B complex. But what sets B12 apart is it assists in creating red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin that binds to oxygen. “[Iron] builds red blood cells, which carry oxygen to muscle, and helps metabolize protein and fats for use in muscle building and repair,” Koff says.
Best sources: Poultry, meat, fish and dairy

RELATED: 12 Energy-Boosting Recipes Rich in Vitamin B

10. Iron

If you want to know why Popeye was slamming down cans of spinach, it’s because the leafy green is packed with iron, a mineral that “brings oxygen to muscle tissue,” Koff says. It also helps regulate metabolism and promotes a healthy immune system. Without enough iron, your red blood cells can’t carry oxygen to your muscles and the tissues that need it.
Best sources: Leafy greens, lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs and fortified whole grains

11. Beta-Alanine

Muscle cramps are one of the most common sleep complaints. The good news: Beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid, has been shown to help people stave off muscle cramps from doing intense workouts, says Koff. “Beta-alanine helps produce carnosine, which balances the pH in muscles and fights against lactic acid buildup that leads to fatigue and cramping,” she says. Koff also says that vitamins C and E can help combat inflammation from excessive exercise. “Vitamin C helps with muscle repair as it supports collagen production, and vitamin E helps remove free radicals produced after a workout,” Koff adds.
Best sources: Animal protein and plant-based foods, like asparagus, edamame, seaweed, turnip greens and watercress

Read More
Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started
The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)
How to Know If You Have an Iron Deficiency

The post The Top 11 Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
11 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle

[caption id="attachment_65975" align="alignnone" width="620"]11 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle Photo: Twenty20[/caption] As much as exercise hits your body with a barrage of feel-good hormones, it also puts your body in a state of stress. From your gut to your heart, every cell is working hard to maintain all bodily functions while you work out. That’s why it’s so important to get proper nutrition and fuel your body with foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants. “Exercise produces stress on the body, and that increases the need for certain nutrients that the body might otherwise be able to produce enough of,” says Ashley Koff, RD, founder of The Better Nutrition Program and Espira by AVON nutritionist. Take the amino acid, glutamine, for example. “Your body produces it, but when your body is under stress during exercise, you need more of it to repair muscle, including the digestive tract lining,” Koff says. Read on to learn what vitamins, macronutrients and amino acids are crucial for building and maintaining muscle. RELATED: Got Milk? The 9 Best Protein Sources to Build Muscle

11 Key Nutrients for Muscle Building

1. Water

You already know how important it is to drink enough H2O for replenishing fluids before, during and after a workout. But staying properly hydrated also aids digestion and nutrient absorption. “Hydration is more than just quenching thirst; it means water carries nutrients to the muscles for them to do their work,” Koff says. Best sources: Straight from the tap, or vegetables and fruits

2. Protein

Protein is one of the most essential macronutrients for muscle growth and repair because it’s packed with amino acids that your body does and doesn’t produce. That’s why it’s important to have protein post-workout to restore these muscle-building macronutrients. “Proteins not only helps rebuild and build lean body mass, but they’re also a core part of enzymes and hormones that help communicate with the body to repair itself,” Koff says. Best sources: Dairy, lean meats, beans and other legumes, seafood, soy and eggs

3. Calcium

Calcium does more than help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. Koff says the mineral is responsible for triggering muscle contraction. Muscles are comprised of two protein filaments: myosin and actin. When muscle contraction occurs, these filaments slide over each other to convert ATP (adenosine triphosphate), aka the way your body stores and uses energy. The more you exercise, the more ATP your body needs to keep your muscles moving. Best sources: Yogurt, fortified milk and cereals, cheese, tofu and spinach RELATED: 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

4. Magnesium

Feeling more tired than usual? A magnesium deficiency could be to blame. As one of the best de-stressing minerals, magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation and preventing cramps, Koff says. Together with calcium, magnesium works to help reduce blood pressure and promote better sleep. Best sources: Leafy greens, beans and other legumes, squash, nuts and seeds and whole grains

5. Glutamine

You might have heard of non-essential (meaning your body can produce it) and essential (meaning your body can’t produce it) amino acids, but there are also conditionally essential amino acids. Koff says your body needs more conditionally essential amino acids, such as glutamine, during intense workouts. “Glutamine helps repair muscle tissue, including the lining of the digestive tract, especially when the body has experienced stress during high-intensity exercise, like weightlifting and HIIT,” Koff says. Glutamine is also important for maintaining gut function and boosting the immune system. Best sources: Chicken, fish, beef, dairy, eggs and spinach, Brussel sprouts and fermented foods

6. Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin is probably best known for ensuring strong bones, but it’s also critical for strong glutes, biceps and everything in between. Koff says, “Vitamin D is linked to healthy hormones like testosterone, which helps with muscle maintenance and growth.” A daily dose of D can also improve your mental health and help reduce anxiety. Because not that many foods are rich in vitamin D, some doctors and nutritionists recommend taking a supplement. Best sources: Fatty fish, like salmon and sardines, fortified yogurt, milk and orange juice, mushrooms and eggs RELATED: Got a Vitamin D Deficiency? Dig Into These Recipes

7. Potassium

Just like calcium and magnesium, potassium is a key electrolyte in muscle contraction. But it’s also essential for carrying other nutrients to your muscles. “Potassium brings water, along with other nutrients, into muscle cells. They work in opposition to sodium,” Koff says. Potassium helps your kidneys flush out the excess sodium in your body, Koff explains. What’s more: New studies have shown that people who don’t get enough potassium are at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease. Best sources: Bananas, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken and salmon.

8. Carbohydrates

Contrary to what you might believe, carbs are one of the best building blocks of muscles. “They’re the key nutrient to support muscle growth and repair,” Koff says. As the best source of glycogen, carbs help fuel your workouts and rebuild muscles more effectively post-workout. Runners aren’t the only ones who can benefit from carb loading. Everyone from weightlifters to HIIT enthusiasts need to restore glycogen stores after an intense sweat session. Best sources: Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans and other legumes

9. B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) belongs to a set of eight B vitamins known as the vitamin B complex. But what sets B12 apart is it assists in creating red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin that binds to oxygen. “[Iron] builds red blood cells, which carry oxygen to muscle, and helps metabolize protein and fats for use in muscle building and repair,” Koff says. Best sources: Poultry, meat, fish and dairy RELATED: 12 Energy-Boosting Recipes Rich in Vitamin B

10. Iron

If you want to know why Popeye was slamming down cans of spinach, it’s because the leafy green is packed with iron, a mineral that “brings oxygen to muscle tissue,” Koff says. It also helps regulate metabolism and promotes a healthy immune system. Without enough iron, your red blood cells can’t carry oxygen to your muscles and the tissues that need it. Best sources: Leafy greens, lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs and fortified whole grains

11. Beta-Alanine

Muscle cramps are one of the most common sleep complaints. The good news: Beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid, has been shown to help people stave off muscle cramps from doing intense workouts, says Koff. “Beta-alanine helps produce carnosine, which balances the pH in muscles and fights against lactic acid buildup that leads to fatigue and cramping,” she says. Koff also says that vitamins C and E can help combat inflammation from excessive exercise. “Vitamin C helps with muscle repair as it supports collagen production, and vitamin E helps remove free radicals produced after a workout,” Koff adds. Best sources: Animal protein and plant-based foods, like asparagus, edamame, seaweed, turnip greens and watercress Read More Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) How to Know If You Have an Iron Deficiency

The post The Top 11 Nutrients Your Body Needs to Build Muscle appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Eat Better, According to Dr. Mark Hyman https://dailyburn.com/life/health/mark-hyman-healthy-food-choices/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 12:15:16 +0000 https://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65976 How to Make Smarter Food Choices, According to Dr. Mark Hyman

[caption id="attachment_65984" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Make Smarter Food Choices, According to Dr. Mark Hyman Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

The big fat debate about dietary fat and its effects on your health isn’t the only nutrition advice that’s done a 180 in the past few years. We’ve seen eggs turn from public enemy number-one to a solid source of protein. Butter — once attached to weight gain and heart disease — has become a mainstay for Bulletproof and ketogenic diet-backers (that is, as long as it’s grass-fed). Same goes for coconut oil. So, with all the flip-flopping, how do you know if what you’re putting on your plate is helping or hurting your health? That’s exactly what Mark Hyman, MD, set out to answer in his new book, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? The No-Nonsense Guide to Achieving Optimal Weight and Lifelong Health.

“We should eat eggs; then we shouldn't eat eggs. Or we should eat oatmeal; we shouldn't eat oatmeal. We should eat meat; then we shouldn't eat meat. It's enough to make anybody kind of throw up their hands,” he says. “I wanted to break through the nutrition confusion and help people understand why there’s so much controversy. And then go through each category of food we actually eat and give people a practical roadmap to understand just what the heck they should eat.”

Dr. Hyman — who practices functional medicine, a whole-body approach to healthcare — doesn’t focus on calorie counting or quantity of foods. Instead, he emphasizes the quality of the foods and using it as medicine. To set the nutritional record straight, we asked Dr. Hyman to share his expert knowledge and provide advice for a clearer path to a diet full of whole foods. Here’s what he had to say.

RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

What Dr. Mark Hyman Wants You to Know About Choosing Whole Foods

[caption id="attachment_65985" align="alignnone" width="620"]Dr. Mark Hyman's Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? Photo courtesy of Little Brown & Co.[/caption]

On the most important thing to keep in mind at the grocery store…

“Eating healthy is very simple. Just ask yourself one question: Is this something that’s man-made or nature-made? If nature made it, you can eat it. If man made it, put it back. Did nature make a Twinkie? No. Did nature make an avocado? Yes.

"Then you can take it a step further: How close to its original state is that food? In other words, if it’s some hydrogenated, strange concoction of weird altered food product, then probably don’t buy it, right? Looking at the label, if it has stuff in it that you wouldn’t have in your cupboard, you probably don’t want to eat it. If you want to eat wheatberries, fine, but whole-wheat pasta is not a whole food. Neither is brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta. Now, they may be better than other things, but they’re still processed in a way. So those are sometimes a treat, as opposed to staples. The staples in your life should just be stuff you recognize — a piece of chicken, a piece of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds.”

RELATED: 11 Delicious Veggie Pasta Recipes for Zoodle Lovers

On where diet advice went wrong…

“In the late 50s, all the major food companies gathered…to understand how to subvert the American kitchen and replace real food with processed food that they could sell. They invented Betty Crocker. She was not a real person, even though I thought she was. My mom had the Betty Crocker cookbook. I still have a copy. And if you read the recipes they're like, ‘Sprinkle one packet of crackers on top of your broccoli.’ … Cultural convenience was pushed on us as a way to save time and money and eat well. It turns out it was the worst thing that's ever happened to America.”

On the ease and importance of learning how to cook…

“If you have your teeth and you want to keep them, you need to learn how to brush your teeth and floss your teeth. If you want to improve your body and want to keep it healthy, you need to learn how to cook and feed it…I think [cooking] is really a skill like anything else. You have to learn, but once you learn, it’s not that hard. You learn how to cut, chop, stir fry and bake. Just simple cooking skills.” 

RELATED: 4 Cooking Methods Every Beginner Chef Needs to Know 

On fat…

“We were told to consume low fat because we were taught that heart disease is caused by fat, clogging our arteries. Being overweight is caused by fat, because fat has more calories than carbs so if you eat less fat, you can lose more weight. Both of those are scientifically untrue. They've been shown to be such over the last few decades, but it's taken a while for everybody to catch on. In fact, it wasn't until 2015 that the U.S. dietary guidelines changed the recommendations from eating low-fat to actually removing any restrictions on fat, and also removing any restrictions on dietary cholesterol."

On meat…

"As far as meat goes, let's qualify what we mean by meat. Is it factory meat? I think that's bad for our health, bad for the environment, bad for climate change and bad for the animals. But if we're talking about grass-fed meat, that's a whole different story. [Many of the previous studies on meat] were done in error, and the people who were eating meat at that time — and this was based on the actual data in the studies — they smoked more, they drank more, they didn't exercise, they didn't eat fruits and vegetables, they had processed food.

"So there really wasn't any reason why they would be healthy…There's an argument that eating more of the right meat actually can help the environment and help your health, because we need protein, especially as we age. Also, grass-fed beef has higher levels of antioxidants, higher levels of good fats, and that the saturated fatty meats don’t raise your cholesterol."

On carbohydrates…

"The third thing is carbs, and we have to define what we mean. I think carbs are probably the most important food to help weight loss, but what I'm talking about is our vegetables. Vegetables are carbs. But they're low glycemic, they're full of fiber, and they're full of vitamins and minerals and nutrients. They don't raise your blood sugar. They help improve health in so many ways. Those are the kind of foods we need to be eating — not refined carbohydrates, such as flour and sugar. Our biology has adapted to [high amounts of flour and sugar] to lead to high levels of fat storage. It’s sort of a fat fertilizer, leading to a vicious cycle of obesity and bad eating. It makes you hungry, it stores fat, it's a horrible cycle.”

Read More
The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat
6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean
The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)

The post How to Eat Better, According to Dr. Mark Hyman appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Make Smarter Food Choices, According to Dr. Mark Hyman

[caption id="attachment_65984" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Make Smarter Food Choices, According to Dr. Mark Hyman Photo: Twenty20[/caption] The big fat debate about dietary fat and its effects on your health isn’t the only nutrition advice that’s done a 180 in the past few years. We’ve seen eggs turn from public enemy number-one to a solid source of protein. Butter — once attached to weight gain and heart disease — has become a mainstay for Bulletproof and ketogenic diet-backers (that is, as long as it’s grass-fed). Same goes for coconut oil. So, with all the flip-flopping, how do you know if what you’re putting on your plate is helping or hurting your health? That’s exactly what Mark Hyman, MD, set out to answer in his new book, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? The No-Nonsense Guide to Achieving Optimal Weight and Lifelong Health. “We should eat eggs; then we shouldn't eat eggs. Or we should eat oatmeal; we shouldn't eat oatmeal. We should eat meat; then we shouldn't eat meat. It's enough to make anybody kind of throw up their hands,” he says. “I wanted to break through the nutrition confusion and help people understand why there’s so much controversy. And then go through each category of food we actually eat and give people a practical roadmap to understand just what the heck they should eat.” Dr. Hyman — who practices functional medicine, a whole-body approach to healthcare — doesn’t focus on calorie counting or quantity of foods. Instead, he emphasizes the quality of the foods and using it as medicine. To set the nutritional record straight, we asked Dr. Hyman to share his expert knowledge and provide advice for a clearer path to a diet full of whole foods. Here’s what he had to say. RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

What Dr. Mark Hyman Wants You to Know About Choosing Whole Foods

[caption id="attachment_65985" align="alignnone" width="620"]Dr. Mark Hyman's Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? Photo courtesy of Little Brown & Co.[/caption]

On the most important thing to keep in mind at the grocery store…

“Eating healthy is very simple. Just ask yourself one question: Is this something that’s man-made or nature-made? If nature made it, you can eat it. If man made it, put it back. Did nature make a Twinkie? No. Did nature make an avocado? Yes. "Then you can take it a step further: How close to its original state is that food? In other words, if it’s some hydrogenated, strange concoction of weird altered food product, then probably don’t buy it, right? Looking at the label, if it has stuff in it that you wouldn’t have in your cupboard, you probably don’t want to eat it. If you want to eat wheatberries, fine, but whole-wheat pasta is not a whole food. Neither is brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta. Now, they may be better than other things, but they’re still processed in a way. So those are sometimes a treat, as opposed to staples. The staples in your life should just be stuff you recognize — a piece of chicken, a piece of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds.” RELATED: 11 Delicious Veggie Pasta Recipes for Zoodle Lovers

On where diet advice went wrong…

“In the late 50s, all the major food companies gathered…to understand how to subvert the American kitchen and replace real food with processed food that they could sell. They invented Betty Crocker. She was not a real person, even though I thought she was. My mom had the Betty Crocker cookbook. I still have a copy. And if you read the recipes they're like, ‘Sprinkle one packet of crackers on top of your broccoli.’ … Cultural convenience was pushed on us as a way to save time and money and eat well. It turns out it was the worst thing that's ever happened to America.”

On the ease and importance of learning how to cook…

“If you have your teeth and you want to keep them, you need to learn how to brush your teeth and floss your teeth. If you want to improve your body and want to keep it healthy, you need to learn how to cook and feed it…I think [cooking] is really a skill like anything else. You have to learn, but once you learn, it’s not that hard. You learn how to cut, chop, stir fry and bake. Just simple cooking skills.”  RELATED: 4 Cooking Methods Every Beginner Chef Needs to Know 

On fat…

“We were told to consume low fat because we were taught that heart disease is caused by fat, clogging our arteries. Being overweight is caused by fat, because fat has more calories than carbs so if you eat less fat, you can lose more weight. Both of those are scientifically untrue. They've been shown to be such over the last few decades, but it's taken a while for everybody to catch on. In fact, it wasn't until 2015 that the U.S. dietary guidelines changed the recommendations from eating low-fat to actually removing any restrictions on fat, and also removing any restrictions on dietary cholesterol."

On meat…

"As far as meat goes, let's qualify what we mean by meat. Is it factory meat? I think that's bad for our health, bad for the environment, bad for climate change and bad for the animals. But if we're talking about grass-fed meat, that's a whole different story. [Many of the previous studies on meat] were done in error, and the people who were eating meat at that time — and this was based on the actual data in the studies — they smoked more, they drank more, they didn't exercise, they didn't eat fruits and vegetables, they had processed food. "So there really wasn't any reason why they would be healthy…There's an argument that eating more of the right meat actually can help the environment and help your health, because we need protein, especially as we age. Also, grass-fed beef has higher levels of antioxidants, higher levels of good fats, and that the saturated fatty meats don’t raise your cholesterol."

On carbohydrates…

"The third thing is carbs, and we have to define what we mean. I think carbs are probably the most important food to help weight loss, but what I'm talking about is our vegetables. Vegetables are carbs. But they're low glycemic, they're full of fiber, and they're full of vitamins and minerals and nutrients. They don't raise your blood sugar. They help improve health in so many ways. Those are the kind of foods we need to be eating — not refined carbohydrates, such as flour and sugar. Our biology has adapted to [high amounts of flour and sugar] to lead to high levels of fat storage. It’s sort of a fat fertilizer, leading to a vicious cycle of obesity and bad eating. It makes you hungry, it stores fat, it's a horrible cycle.” Read More The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)

The post How to Eat Better, According to Dr. Mark Hyman appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating https://dailyburn.com/life/health/meal-prep-tips-healthy-eating/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:15:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65952

[caption id="attachment_65956" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

The meal prep secret is out. Everywhere you look, chefs, dietitians, food bloggers and the Insta-famous have all embraced the #mealpreplife. After all, this ultimate healthy eating habit can save time and money, and with healthy food ready and accessible, you’re less likely to make a poor meal choice. “If we don’t plan or prep, it’s much easier to fall into the rut of eating the same few things over and over or to become less mindful of our choices and how we enjoy food,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD of Smart Street Nutrition.

Your weekly meal prep routine is also a great opportunity to rev up the nutritional profile of your meals, making it easier to stick to your health goals — whether that’s cutting back on sugar, calories or processed ingredients. “If you’re making it at home, it’s already healthier than what you can buy out at a restaurant,” says Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch. “You control each ingredient and can tailor your food to your preferences and restrictions.”

Ready to step up your meal prep to slim down your plate? Here are 10 pro tips on how to meal prep for better health — and flavor — in every bite.

RELATED: 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know

Create Healthier Dishes with These Meal Prep Tips

1. Mix and Match

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean prepping the same meal for the entire week. Instead, Harbstreet recommends focusing your meal prep efforts on prepping the main elements of a meal — grains, protein, veggies, sauces — so you can mix and match ingredients and create well-balanced, nourishing dishes you’ll enjoy. “This erases the boredom and burnout that many meal preppers report experiencing,” she says.

“I like to cook a big pot of beans and grains to throw into salads, wraps, and grain bowls all week,” says Andrea Nordby, Head Chef of Purple Carrot. “Stick to basics like brown rice and chickpeas, or cook a big batch of faro, wheatberries or barley.” When you have these ready, you just might skip that store-bought mac and cheese or pre-made pizza.

2. Create Your Own Secret Sauce

Nordby recommends prepping a stash of versatile sauces too so you can create a completely different meal from the same stash of ingredients. You can drizzle sauce over pasta, salads and stir-fries. One of her favorites? “Pesto for drizzling on everything,” she says. Making a sauce at home also eliminates the extra ingredients in packaged sauces that often skyrocket the sugar and calorie count in a dish.

RELATED: 3-Ingredient Sauce Recipes to Spice Up Your Meals

[caption id="attachment_65957" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Swap Wheat for Veggies

Try replacing half of your white or brown rice with cauliflower or broccoli rice, suggests Lindsay Cotter, author of Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day (out March 2018). Not only will you get more fiber and vitamins and minerals, you’ll also save a few calories.

Pasta, whether pasta salad or your favorite noodles with sauce, is a go-to meal prep option. But next time you make it, opt for zucchini or sweet potato noodles, says Cotter. The veggie noodles will add more color and texture to keep your palette entertained, not to mention extra fiber and vitamins — and fewer calories too!

A general rule: Focus less on limiting food groups and more on swapping out low nutrient-dense foods with those loaded with vitamins and minerals, Cotter says. You’ll eat healthier, still feel satisfied and most likely cut back on calories in the meantime.

4. Go Spice Crazy

Spices are every cook’s secret weapon. You can create an endless variety of good-for-you meals featuring a mix of different flavors. “Look to international flavors for inspiration,” says Koren. “If you take chicken, asparagus and sweet potato, you can make that an Indian-inspired dish by turning it into a curry or a Mexican-inspired dish by adding in cilantro, some jalapeños, and lime.” The best part: Herbs and spices are very low in calories. So while you up the flavor, you don’t up the energy count.

RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less

5. Overload on Veggies

We all need to eat our veggies, right? So why not sneak in some extra into your prepped meals? “You can typically eat a lot of it and not have to worry about packing in a lot of unwanted calories,” says Alex Torres aka @mealprepmondays. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower, which are both filling and nutrient-dense. Or swap cabbage into a hearty stew instead of noodles, says Cotter.

6. Pack for Portion Control

Not only do good food containers keep your refrigerator neat and organized, they can also keep you honest about portion sizes to help you avoid overeating. Torres prefers glass Bentgo containers, which are divided into sections — one for your main meal and one for a side of veggies or fruit.

RELATED: Bring on the Cheese! 7 Portion Size Rules for High-Fat Foods

7. Make Your Appliances Work for You

Instant Pot, slow cooker, multi-cooker — chances are you have one (or all) of them in your cabinets. Instead of letting them collect dust, put them to use! Cotter suggests making a big batch up oatmeal in an Instant Pot spiked with fruit, spices, nuts and seeds and you’ll have nourishing breakfast for the entire week. It’s a healthier choice than the pre-packaged, processed breakfast options out there.

8. Organize and Declutter

“Decluttering can set up your environment for meal prepping and make for a more efficient process,” and make mealtimes less stressful, says Harbstreet. “We can then enter a meal with a more positive or relaxed mindset,” and be more aware of hunger signals, making it less likely you’ll eat past the point of fullness, says Harbstreet. “This is one of the things that supports a healthy, balanced relationship with food.” So throw out or repurpose containers that don’t have matching lids. Invest in stackable containers and other commonly used items like a good chef’s knife and cutting board. And then get to prepping — your daily sugar and calorie counts just might drop by your next meal time.

Read More
21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram
9 Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes
21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day

The post 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_65956" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption] The meal prep secret is out. Everywhere you look, chefs, dietitians, food bloggers and the Insta-famous have all embraced the #mealpreplife. After all, this ultimate healthy eating habit can save time and money, and with healthy food ready and accessible, you’re less likely to make a poor meal choice. “If we don’t plan or prep, it’s much easier to fall into the rut of eating the same few things over and over or to become less mindful of our choices and how we enjoy food,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD of Smart Street Nutrition. Your weekly meal prep routine is also a great opportunity to rev up the nutritional profile of your meals, making it easier to stick to your health goals — whether that’s cutting back on sugar, calories or processed ingredients. “If you’re making it at home, it’s already healthier than what you can buy out at a restaurant,” says Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch. “You control each ingredient and can tailor your food to your preferences and restrictions.” Ready to step up your meal prep to slim down your plate? Here are 10 pro tips on how to meal prep for better health — and flavor — in every bite. RELATED: 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know

Create Healthier Dishes with These Meal Prep Tips

1. Mix and Match

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean prepping the same meal for the entire week. Instead, Harbstreet recommends focusing your meal prep efforts on prepping the main elements of a meal — grains, protein, veggies, sauces — so you can mix and match ingredients and create well-balanced, nourishing dishes you’ll enjoy. “This erases the boredom and burnout that many meal preppers report experiencing,” she says. “I like to cook a big pot of beans and grains to throw into salads, wraps, and grain bowls all week,” says Andrea Nordby, Head Chef of Purple Carrot. “Stick to basics like brown rice and chickpeas, or cook a big batch of faro, wheatberries or barley.” When you have these ready, you just might skip that store-bought mac and cheese or pre-made pizza.

2. Create Your Own Secret Sauce

Nordby recommends prepping a stash of versatile sauces too so you can create a completely different meal from the same stash of ingredients. You can drizzle sauce over pasta, salads and stir-fries. One of her favorites? “Pesto for drizzling on everything,” she says. Making a sauce at home also eliminates the extra ingredients in packaged sauces that often skyrocket the sugar and calorie count in a dish. RELATED: 3-Ingredient Sauce Recipes to Spice Up Your Meals [caption id="attachment_65957" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Swap Wheat for Veggies

Try replacing half of your white or brown rice with cauliflower or broccoli rice, suggests Lindsay Cotter, author of Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day (out March 2018). Not only will you get more fiber and vitamins and minerals, you’ll also save a few calories. Pasta, whether pasta salad or your favorite noodles with sauce, is a go-to meal prep option. But next time you make it, opt for zucchini or sweet potato noodles, says Cotter. The veggie noodles will add more color and texture to keep your palette entertained, not to mention extra fiber and vitamins — and fewer calories too! A general rule: Focus less on limiting food groups and more on swapping out low nutrient-dense foods with those loaded with vitamins and minerals, Cotter says. You’ll eat healthier, still feel satisfied and most likely cut back on calories in the meantime.

4. Go Spice Crazy

Spices are every cook’s secret weapon. You can create an endless variety of good-for-you meals featuring a mix of different flavors. “Look to international flavors for inspiration,” says Koren. “If you take chicken, asparagus and sweet potato, you can make that an Indian-inspired dish by turning it into a curry or a Mexican-inspired dish by adding in cilantro, some jalapeños, and lime.” The best part: Herbs and spices are very low in calories. So while you up the flavor, you don’t up the energy count. RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less

5. Overload on Veggies

We all need to eat our veggies, right? So why not sneak in some extra into your prepped meals? “You can typically eat a lot of it and not have to worry about packing in a lot of unwanted calories,” says Alex Torres aka @mealprepmondays. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower, which are both filling and nutrient-dense. Or swap cabbage into a hearty stew instead of noodles, says Cotter.

6. Pack for Portion Control

Not only do good food containers keep your refrigerator neat and organized, they can also keep you honest about portion sizes to help you avoid overeating. Torres prefers glass Bentgo containers, which are divided into sections — one for your main meal and one for a side of veggies or fruit. RELATED: Bring on the Cheese! 7 Portion Size Rules for High-Fat Foods

7. Make Your Appliances Work for You

Instant Pot, slow cooker, multi-cooker — chances are you have one (or all) of them in your cabinets. Instead of letting them collect dust, put them to use! Cotter suggests making a big batch up oatmeal in an Instant Pot spiked with fruit, spices, nuts and seeds and you’ll have nourishing breakfast for the entire week. It’s a healthier choice than the pre-packaged, processed breakfast options out there.

8. Organize and Declutter

“Decluttering can set up your environment for meal prepping and make for a more efficient process,” and make mealtimes less stressful, says Harbstreet. “We can then enter a meal with a more positive or relaxed mindset,” and be more aware of hunger signals, making it less likely you’ll eat past the point of fullness, says Harbstreet. “This is one of the things that supports a healthy, balanced relationship with food.” So throw out or repurpose containers that don’t have matching lids. Invest in stackable containers and other commonly used items like a good chef’s knife and cutting board. And then get to prepping — your daily sugar and calorie counts just might drop by your next meal time. Read More 21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram 9 Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes 21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day

The post 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
5 Healthy Pastas That Are Nutritionist-Approved https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-pasta-gluten-free/ Sun, 25 Feb 2018 14:15:10 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65927 5 Pasta Options That Get Nutritionists' Approval

5 Healthy Pasta Brands That Are Nutritionist-Approved

Whether you love spaghetti and meatballs or mac and cheese, there’s nothing more comforting and satisfying like a bowl of pasta. And while there’s no harm in enjoying some white pasta every now and then (hello, carb-loading runners), a cup of spaghetti can set you back 221 calories with only two-and-a-half grams of fiber and eight grams protein.

Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Diet Detox—Why Your Diet Is Making You Fat and What to Do About It, says, “Dried, store-bought pasta can vary greatly in nutritional value, depending on what they’re made of. I always make sure that every meal has protein and fiber, so I look for a pasta with those in the greatest quantity.”

Impossible? Not these days. Thanks to a new wave of healthy pasta products made with chickpeas, lentils and quinoa — many of which are gluten-free — nutritionist-approved noods do exist. Not only are these options excellent sources of protein and fiber, Alpert says, “Pastas made from legumes have potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron.”

From cold-pressed beet juice fusilli to chickpea shells to quinoa penne, you can have your fettuccine and eat it, too.

RELATED: 8 Delicious Mac and Cheese Recipes You Can Feel Good About

5 Healthy Pasta Brands (Almost All Gluten-Free!)

When shopping for pasta, Alpert recommends looking for brands that have at least five grams of protein and seven grams of fiber per serving. But those aren’t the only things you want to pay special attention to on a label. “Pasta is primarily made of carbohydrates, so focus on keeping the added sugar to a minimum,” Alpert says. This means looking at your pasta dish as a whole. Avoid tomato sauces high in sugar, go light on the cheese and pair your plate with veggies and lean meats.

So what macaroni should you reach for at the grocery? Check out our favorite pasta products below.

RELATED: 6 Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes That Aren’t Marinara

[caption id="attachment_65929" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Banza Chickpea Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Banza[/caption]

1. Chickpea Pasta

Chickpeas and pea protein give this gluten-free pasta a filling punch with 14 whopping grams of protein and eight grams of fiber. Better yet, a two-ounce serving will give you 30 percent of your daily dose of iron.

Our pick: Banza Chickpea Shells. Cook al dente and toss in some pesto or vegan cheese. Pair with turkey meatballs or chicken breast. From rotini to ziti, Banza has a variety of pasta shapes for every recipe repertoire. ($25 for six boxes; eatbanza.com)

RELATED: 11 Delicious Veggie Pasta Recipes for Zoodle Lovers

[caption id="attachment_65930" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Living Now Quinoa Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Living Now Foods[/caption]

2. Quinoa Pasta

A paleo favorite, quinoa is high in fiber and protein, which makes it a great option for vegans and vegetarians, too. What’s more is that it’s gluten-free and is considered one of the least allergenic grains. Most store-bought quinoa pasta includes a blend of rice and has a slightly nutty flavor.

Our pick: Living Now Quinoa Spaghetti Pasta. Perfect for people with food allergies, the organic macaroni is also free of wheat, corn, soy and other allergens. A blend of rice, quinoa and amaranth give the pasta a hearty texture minus the bloat. With five grams of protein in each serving, you’ll fill up fast. If you’ve got some leftover parsley, blend it with some olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes for a flavorful chimichurri sauce. ($5 per box; nowfoods.com)

[caption id="attachment_65931" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Sfoglini Beet Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Sfoglini Pasta Shop[/caption]

3. Beet Pasta

Aside from its bold, vibrant hue, beets are rich in vitamins A and C and other inflammation-fighting nutrients. It’s also a good source of potassium, so many athletes swear by beet juice for preventing muscle cramps. While your spiralizer can do the trick of making beet spaghetti, some store-bought pastas are combining beet juice with a blend of grains and rice for some added health benefits. Everything in moderation, right?

Our pick: Sfoglini Beet Fusilli. While Sfoglini’s pastas aren’t gluten-free, cold-pressed beet juice replaces the water in the pasta dough and serves as the liquid mixed with the organic durum semolina flour for a healthy dose of antioxidants. Enjoy it as a pasta salad with loads of arugula, pecans, apples and crumbled feta. ($8 per box; sfoglini.com)

RELATED: 13 Comfort Food Recipes You’ll Feel Even Better About

[caption id="attachment_65932" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Miracle Noodle[/caption]

4. Shirataki Noodles

Yup, meet the zero-calorie noodle. Made with konnayaku, a Japanese product made from a plant in the taro family, these gluten- and soy-free noodles are perfect for preparing poke bowls and Asian-inspired dishes. The noodles are incredibly light, so the sauce and other foods in the dish can take the spotlight.

Our pick: Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Noodles. Got the sniffles? Use these noodles to make homemade chicken soup. When paired with bone broth, you’ve got an immunity-boosting bowl. ($34 for 10 packages; miraclenoodle.com)

[caption id="attachment_65933" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Explore Cuisine Black Bean Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Explore Cuisine[/caption]

5. Bean Pasta

If you’ve got a serious fettuccine craving but want to cut back on carbs, bean pasta is the way to go. Beans have a much healthier nutrition profile than brown rice pasta because they’re higher in fiber, which and can help stave off hunger. Moreover, beans have a lower glycemic index than rice, quinoa or any whole grain, so you won’t get as big of a blood sugar spike and crash. With a hearty texture and a neutral taste, these gluten-free pastas help you fill up fast and soaks up a variety of sauces and flavors.

Our pick: Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti or Red Lentil Penne. Explore Cuisine’s the black bean spaghetti has 23 grams carbs, 24 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. A cheesy butternut squash sauce makes a healthy base for macaroni and cheese, and a chockfull of mushrooms, carrots and celery with tomato sauce is great for vegan-friendly Bolognese. ($7.55 per box; explorecuisine.com)

Read More
30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas
15 One-Pot Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinners
20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

The post 5 Healthy Pastas That Are Nutritionist-Approved appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
5 Pasta Options That Get Nutritionists' Approval

5 Healthy Pasta Brands That Are Nutritionist-Approved
Whether you love spaghetti and meatballs or mac and cheese, there’s nothing more comforting and satisfying like a bowl of pasta. And while there’s no harm in enjoying some white pasta every now and then (hello, carb-loading runners), a cup of spaghetti can set you back 221 calories with only two-and-a-half grams of fiber and eight grams protein. Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Diet Detox—Why Your Diet Is Making You Fat and What to Do About It, says, “Dried, store-bought pasta can vary greatly in nutritional value, depending on what they’re made of. I always make sure that every meal has protein and fiber, so I look for a pasta with those in the greatest quantity.” Impossible? Not these days. Thanks to a new wave of healthy pasta products made with chickpeas, lentils and quinoa — many of which are gluten-free — nutritionist-approved noods do exist. Not only are these options excellent sources of protein and fiber, Alpert says, “Pastas made from legumes have potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron.” From cold-pressed beet juice fusilli to chickpea shells to quinoa penne, you can have your fettuccine and eat it, too. RELATED: 8 Delicious Mac and Cheese Recipes You Can Feel Good About

5 Healthy Pasta Brands (Almost All Gluten-Free!)

When shopping for pasta, Alpert recommends looking for brands that have at least five grams of protein and seven grams of fiber per serving. But those aren’t the only things you want to pay special attention to on a label. “Pasta is primarily made of carbohydrates, so focus on keeping the added sugar to a minimum,” Alpert says. This means looking at your pasta dish as a whole. Avoid tomato sauces high in sugar, go light on the cheese and pair your plate with veggies and lean meats. So what macaroni should you reach for at the grocery? Check out our favorite pasta products below. RELATED: 6 Easy Pasta Sauce Recipes That Aren’t Marinara [caption id="attachment_65929" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Banza Chickpea Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Banza[/caption]

1. Chickpea Pasta

Chickpeas and pea protein give this gluten-free pasta a filling punch with 14 whopping grams of protein and eight grams of fiber. Better yet, a two-ounce serving will give you 30 percent of your daily dose of iron. Our pick: Banza Chickpea Shells. Cook al dente and toss in some pesto or vegan cheese. Pair with turkey meatballs or chicken breast. From rotini to ziti, Banza has a variety of pasta shapes for every recipe repertoire. ($25 for six boxes; eatbanza.com) RELATED: 11 Delicious Veggie Pasta Recipes for Zoodle Lovers [caption id="attachment_65930" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Living Now Quinoa Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Living Now Foods[/caption]

2. Quinoa Pasta

A paleo favorite, quinoa is high in fiber and protein, which makes it a great option for vegans and vegetarians, too. What’s more is that it’s gluten-free and is considered one of the least allergenic grains. Most store-bought quinoa pasta includes a blend of rice and has a slightly nutty flavor. Our pick: Living Now Quinoa Spaghetti Pasta. Perfect for people with food allergies, the organic macaroni is also free of wheat, corn, soy and other allergens. A blend of rice, quinoa and amaranth give the pasta a hearty texture minus the bloat. With five grams of protein in each serving, you’ll fill up fast. If you’ve got some leftover parsley, blend it with some olive oil, minced garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes for a flavorful chimichurri sauce. ($5 per box; nowfoods.com) [caption id="attachment_65931" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Sfoglini Beet Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Sfoglini Pasta Shop[/caption]

3. Beet Pasta

Aside from its bold, vibrant hue, beets are rich in vitamins A and C and other inflammation-fighting nutrients. It’s also a good source of potassium, so many athletes swear by beet juice for preventing muscle cramps. While your spiralizer can do the trick of making beet spaghetti, some store-bought pastas are combining beet juice with a blend of grains and rice for some added health benefits. Everything in moderation, right? Our pick: Sfoglini Beet Fusilli. While Sfoglini’s pastas aren’t gluten-free, cold-pressed beet juice replaces the water in the pasta dough and serves as the liquid mixed with the organic durum semolina flour for a healthy dose of antioxidants. Enjoy it as a pasta salad with loads of arugula, pecans, apples and crumbled feta. ($8 per box; sfoglini.com) RELATED: 13 Comfort Food Recipes You’ll Feel Even Better About [caption id="attachment_65932" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Miracle Noodle[/caption]

4. Shirataki Noodles

Yup, meet the zero-calorie noodle. Made with konnayaku, a Japanese product made from a plant in the taro family, these gluten- and soy-free noodles are perfect for preparing poke bowls and Asian-inspired dishes. The noodles are incredibly light, so the sauce and other foods in the dish can take the spotlight. Our pick: Miracle Noodle Angel Hair Noodles. Got the sniffles? Use these noodles to make homemade chicken soup. When paired with bone broth, you’ve got an immunity-boosting bowl. ($34 for 10 packages; miraclenoodle.com) [caption id="attachment_65933" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Pasta: Explore Cuisine Black Bean Pasta Photo: Courtesy of Explore Cuisine[/caption]

5. Bean Pasta

If you’ve got a serious fettuccine craving but want to cut back on carbs, bean pasta is the way to go. Beans have a much healthier nutrition profile than brown rice pasta because they’re higher in fiber, which and can help stave off hunger. Moreover, beans have a lower glycemic index than rice, quinoa or any whole grain, so you won’t get as big of a blood sugar spike and crash. With a hearty texture and a neutral taste, these gluten-free pastas help you fill up fast and soaks up a variety of sauces and flavors. Our pick: Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti or Red Lentil Penne. Explore Cuisine’s the black bean spaghetti has 23 grams carbs, 24 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. A cheesy butternut squash sauce makes a healthy base for macaroni and cheese, and a chockfull of mushrooms, carrots and celery with tomato sauce is great for vegan-friendly Bolognese. ($7.55 per box; explorecuisine.com) Read More 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas 15 One-Pot Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinners 20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

The post 5 Healthy Pastas That Are Nutritionist-Approved appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) https://dailyburn.com/life/health/benefits-high-fiber-diet/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65781 The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)

[caption id="attachment_65788" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You can argue the pros and cons of a ketogenic or a vegan diet on end, but there are only upsides to a high-fiber diet. If you had a diet matchmaker, it’s likely a high-fiber diet is “the one” — with zero reservations or stipulations. Yes, fiber is that good.

"Research has shown that diets low in fat and high in fiber reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and even some cancers," says Robert Graham, a board-certified integrative-medicine doctor and co-founder of FRESH Med. "So start eating your fiber!"

Read on to learn more about fiber, and the best food sources to get your fill.

RELATED: Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The Facts on Fiber: Soluble vs. Insoluble

Dietary fiber is the indigestible parts of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, that travel through the gut and help manage digestion and waste. This essential nutrient falls into the carbohydrate category, but unlike most carbs that break down into sugar, dietary fiber remains untouched as it passes through the body.

"Fiber is like a sponge, so without water, it won’t work."

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber comes from structures within the cells of the plant. Once it enters the digestive tract, it mixes with water to form a gel in the digestive tract that binds to fatty acids. This slows down digestion and the rate of sugar absorption. As a result, blood-sugar levels stabilize and cholesterol levels go down, which in turn helps prevent heart disease.

RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too

On the other hand, insoluble fiber comes from the hard, structural part of plants, such as bran, seed husks and the skins of fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber makes its way through the digestive system relatively intact, bulking up stools and acting as an intestinal broom that sweeps waste out through the colon.

Both types of fiber are necessary, but neither one can function on its own. “Both types of fiber are completely dependent on the amount of hydration in your system,” says Graham. “Fiber is like a sponge, so even an adequate amount of fiber won’t work without enough water.”

RELATED: How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You’ll Love

The Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

In addition to regulating bowel functions, a high-fiber diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and lower risk of breast cancer. Fiber can also contribute to weight loss because it makes you feel full without the extra calories (insoluble fiber has no calories). Some studies even link a high fiber diet to fewer and less severe food allergies. Got digestive issues, like constipation or an upset stomach? Fill up on fiber.

"When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, bad bacteria can take over."

Fiber helps power the gastrointestinal system, which plays an important role in boosting your immune system, says Andrea Arikawa, PhD, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida. “Once undigested fibers arrive in the large intestine, they serve as prebiotic fuel for the friendly bacteria living there,” she says. “When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, there will be a shift in the microbiome to favor growth of bacteria that can survive on fat and protein (aka the bad guys).”

Arikawa explains that gut microorganisms produce compounds that are circulated throughout the entire body. An overgrowth of bad bacteria can produce inflammatory compounds or compounds that cause plaque in the veins. “Therefore, a lack of fiber has implications for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” she says. “It goes way beyond gut health.”

RELATED: The 11 Best and Worst Foods for Your Gut

Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But it’s worth noting that these numbers are just the minimum requirement. "That is where we should be starting,” says Graham. “A high-fiber diet is considered to be anything over that minimum.”

Currently, Americans only eat about 16 grams of fiber per day, which is alarming since fiber is essential for healthy bowels and regularity. “We’re a fiber-deficient society,” says Graham, “which means we’re a constipated society.

On the other end of the spectrum, it's also possible to overdo it. Arikawa says going above your maximum tolerable amount (40 to 50 grams for most people) can result in gas, bloating, cramping and, ironically, constipation. “The important thing is that if you want to increase your fiber intake, do it gradually and drink lots of fluids along with it,” says Arikawa.

Those on low-carb diets (we’re looking at you keto) are at more risk of fiber deficiency because a lot of fiber is found in grains and fruits. "The diet itself is fine, but the problem is people sacrifice fruits and vegetables for too much meat,” says Graham. “Instead, they should focus on low-carb, plant-based foods.” Avocados, for example, could meet both high-fiber and high-fat needs.

RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up

[caption id="attachment_65789" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Fiber Supplements: Friend or Faux?

So, can we just take fiber supplements to boost our intake? Yes and no. Fiber pills and powders can help get you there, but they’re not a one-to-one substitute for natural fiber-rich foods. Graham says fiber supplements should only be used to complement a well-balanced diet, but never as a primary source. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he explains, “and these products don’t provide the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that fibrous foods have.”

If you need supplements to fill in gaps, be wary of synthetic sources of the fiber, such as methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil and wheat dextrin. “They’re chemicals and we’re not robots,” says Graham. “We’re humans and we need to process food.” He recommends food-based supplements, like psyllium and inulin, which is also a prebiotic.

The best sources of fiber are always going to be whole foods, most of which contain the two types of fiber. But Arikawa says it’s not necessary to calculate them separately. The focus should be on overall fiber intake, rather than the specific type of fiber.

RELATED: The Truth About the New Probiotics Trend

Top Foods High in Fiber

[caption id="attachment_65794" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Top Foods High in Fiber Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Read More
9 All-Natural Sources of Probiotics
30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans

The post The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)

[caption id="attachment_65788" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You can argue the pros and cons of a ketogenic or a vegan diet on end, but there are only upsides to a high-fiber diet. If you had a diet matchmaker, it’s likely a high-fiber diet is “the one” — with zero reservations or stipulations. Yes, fiber is that good. "Research has shown that diets low in fat and high in fiber reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and even some cancers," says Robert Graham, a board-certified integrative-medicine doctor and co-founder of FRESH Med. "So start eating your fiber!" Read on to learn more about fiber, and the best food sources to get your fill. RELATED: Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The Facts on Fiber: Soluble vs. Insoluble

Dietary fiber is the indigestible parts of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, that travel through the gut and help manage digestion and waste. This essential nutrient falls into the carbohydrate category, but unlike most carbs that break down into sugar, dietary fiber remains untouched as it passes through the body.
"Fiber is like a sponge, so without water, it won’t work."
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber comes from structures within the cells of the plant. Once it enters the digestive tract, it mixes with water to form a gel in the digestive tract that binds to fatty acids. This slows down digestion and the rate of sugar absorption. As a result, blood-sugar levels stabilize and cholesterol levels go down, which in turn helps prevent heart disease. RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too On the other hand, insoluble fiber comes from the hard, structural part of plants, such as bran, seed husks and the skins of fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber makes its way through the digestive system relatively intact, bulking up stools and acting as an intestinal broom that sweeps waste out through the colon. Both types of fiber are necessary, but neither one can function on its own. “Both types of fiber are completely dependent on the amount of hydration in your system,” says Graham. “Fiber is like a sponge, so even an adequate amount of fiber won’t work without enough water.” RELATED: How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You’ll Love

The Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

In addition to regulating bowel functions, a high-fiber diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and lower risk of breast cancer. Fiber can also contribute to weight loss because it makes you feel full without the extra calories (insoluble fiber has no calories). Some studies even link a high fiber diet to fewer and less severe food allergies. Got digestive issues, like constipation or an upset stomach? Fill up on fiber.
"When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, bad bacteria can take over."
Fiber helps power the gastrointestinal system, which plays an important role in boosting your immune system, says Andrea Arikawa, PhD, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida. “Once undigested fibers arrive in the large intestine, they serve as prebiotic fuel for the friendly bacteria living there,” she says. “When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, there will be a shift in the microbiome to favor growth of bacteria that can survive on fat and protein (aka the bad guys).” Arikawa explains that gut microorganisms produce compounds that are circulated throughout the entire body. An overgrowth of bad bacteria can produce inflammatory compounds or compounds that cause plaque in the veins. “Therefore, a lack of fiber has implications for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” she says. “It goes way beyond gut health.” RELATED: The 11 Best and Worst Foods for Your Gut

Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But it’s worth noting that these numbers are just the minimum requirement. "That is where we should be starting,” says Graham. “A high-fiber diet is considered to be anything over that minimum.” Currently, Americans only eat about 16 grams of fiber per day, which is alarming since fiber is essential for healthy bowels and regularity. “We’re a fiber-deficient society,” says Graham, “which means we’re a constipated society. On the other end of the spectrum, it's also possible to overdo it. Arikawa says going above your maximum tolerable amount (40 to 50 grams for most people) can result in gas, bloating, cramping and, ironically, constipation. “The important thing is that if you want to increase your fiber intake, do it gradually and drink lots of fluids along with it,” says Arikawa. Those on low-carb diets (we’re looking at you keto) are at more risk of fiber deficiency because a lot of fiber is found in grains and fruits. "The diet itself is fine, but the problem is people sacrifice fruits and vegetables for too much meat,” says Graham. “Instead, they should focus on low-carb, plant-based foods.” Avocados, for example, could meet both high-fiber and high-fat needs. RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up [caption id="attachment_65789" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Fiber Supplements: Friend or Faux?

So, can we just take fiber supplements to boost our intake? Yes and no. Fiber pills and powders can help get you there, but they’re not a one-to-one substitute for natural fiber-rich foods. Graham says fiber supplements should only be used to complement a well-balanced diet, but never as a primary source. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he explains, “and these products don’t provide the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that fibrous foods have.” If you need supplements to fill in gaps, be wary of synthetic sources of the fiber, such as methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil and wheat dextrin. “They’re chemicals and we’re not robots,” says Graham. “We’re humans and we need to process food.” He recommends food-based supplements, like psyllium and inulin, which is also a prebiotic. The best sources of fiber are always going to be whole foods, most of which contain the two types of fiber. But Arikawa says it’s not necessary to calculate them separately. The focus should be on overall fiber intake, rather than the specific type of fiber. RELATED: The Truth About the New Probiotics Trend

Top Foods High in Fiber

[caption id="attachment_65794" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Top Foods High in Fiber Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Read More 9 All-Natural Sources of Probiotics 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans

The post The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:15:23 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=44274 The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

[caption id="attachment_63815" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’ve tried them all in your pursuit of flat abs: crunches, reverse crunches, planks, bicycles and even the ab roller. After all, it seems logical. To increase muscular definition and lose fat, you should workout your stomach muscles more. But will that really lead to a trim belly?

RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism

“You can do 50,000 crunches a day, but it will still only be toned muscles under your belly fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN and owner of Nutrition Starring You. “The truth is, unless the weight comes off, you’re not going to get a six-pack.”

So how do you get rid of the stubborn cushion around your midsection? Read on to get the real scoop on how to lose belly fat.

RELATED: 5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Abs

Stomach Fat 101

“You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise.”

First things first, everyone has fat, both the layer of subcutaneous fat just under our skin that helps insulate the body and the deeper visceral fat that surrounds and protects the organs. That’s right: You’re supposed to have belly fat. But just how much fat you have and how it’s distributed has more to do with genetics than your core workout.

Men and women squirrel away fat differently, according to Harris-Pincus. On average, women have six to 11 percent more body fat than men. That extra fat typically gathers lower on the body (especially before they hit menopause) around the hips and thighs, creating a pear-shape. Men, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around the belly (hence, the beer gut).

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises

Thanks to the hormone estrogen, the female body likes to hold on to fat, too. A study in Obesity Reviews shows that women store fat more efficiently than men in an effort to prepare the body for pregnancy. But while it seems like women may have drawn the short-end of the stick, the stereotypical pear-shape is actually considered healthier than boasting a beer gut, because belly fat is a red flag when it comes to your health. “Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” says Harris-Pincus.

[caption id="attachment_44281" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Belly Fat - Eat The Right Things Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Lose Belly Fat and Keep It Off

Doing ab workouts might strengthen your core, but it won’t actually decrease fat or shrink those love handles — and that’s why you need to eat healthy. “You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise. You need to eat the right things,” says Harris-Pincus.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

Repeat after us: It’s time to start eating clean. She recommends a combination of veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein like poultry, eggs and fish for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. And drop the added sugar while you’re at it. “Studies show that when you have a diet rich in whole grains — and calorie-controlled — that you can reduce the belly fat,” she says. But remember to watch your portions, too. “A lot of people eat very healthy and don’t eat junk, but their portions are too large.”

If you’re smart about the foods you choose and limit your intake, eventually you’ll start to lose body fat and drop pants sizes. But sorry: There’s no way to get it to disappear from only your belly — you'll likely reduce your overall body fat percentage and lose it in your face, hips, butt and chest, too.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets

Luckily, exercise can help spur things along when it comes to that pesky stomach fat. “Visceral fat responds well when… [you] start exercising and watching your calories and what you eat,” Harris-Pincus says. And while endless crunches aren’t your ticket to a flat stomach, it is still important to train your ab muscles. “Everything radiates from the center of your body – your balance, your posture, your functional movement,” says Joe Ardito, founder of Fit Crush NYC. “You can perform better when you have a strong core.”

Research also shows that workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help reduce excess fat around your middle. Besides working your core, try incorporating a day or two of more vigorous exercise into your weekly schedule. (You can start with these three beginner routines.) Keep in mind that you can lower your total body fat percentage even by moving around more at work, according to another study.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t one magic trick or quick fix that will melt the fat around your midsection and give you those coveted abs we all see on the newsstands. Decreasing belly fat — and all body fat for that matter — is about making changes over the long-term.

Originally published October 2015. Updated February 2018.

Read More
12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight
The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts
Here's Why Your Ab Workouts Aren't Working

The post The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

[caption id="attachment_63815" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’ve tried them all in your pursuit of flat abs: crunches, reverse crunches, planks, bicycles and even the ab roller. After all, it seems logical. To increase muscular definition and lose fat, you should workout your stomach muscles more. But will that really lead to a trim belly? RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism “You can do 50,000 crunches a day, but it will still only be toned muscles under your belly fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN and owner of Nutrition Starring You. “The truth is, unless the weight comes off, you’re not going to get a six-pack.” So how do you get rid of the stubborn cushion around your midsection? Read on to get the real scoop on how to lose belly fat. RELATED: 5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Abs

Stomach Fat 101

“You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise.”
First things first, everyone has fat, both the layer of subcutaneous fat just under our skin that helps insulate the body and the deeper visceral fat that surrounds and protects the organs. That’s right: You’re supposed to have belly fat. But just how much fat you have and how it’s distributed has more to do with genetics than your core workout. Men and women squirrel away fat differently, according to Harris-Pincus. On average, women have six to 11 percent more body fat than men. That extra fat typically gathers lower on the body (especially before they hit menopause) around the hips and thighs, creating a pear-shape. Men, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around the belly (hence, the beer gut). RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises Thanks to the hormone estrogen, the female body likes to hold on to fat, too. A study in Obesity Reviews shows that women store fat more efficiently than men in an effort to prepare the body for pregnancy. But while it seems like women may have drawn the short-end of the stick, the stereotypical pear-shape is actually considered healthier than boasting a beer gut, because belly fat is a red flag when it comes to your health. “Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” says Harris-Pincus. [caption id="attachment_44281" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Belly Fat - Eat The Right Things Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Lose Belly Fat and Keep It Off

Doing ab workouts might strengthen your core, but it won’t actually decrease fat or shrink those love handles — and that’s why you need to eat healthy. “You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise. You need to eat the right things,” says Harris-Pincus. RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet Repeat after us: It’s time to start eating clean. She recommends a combination of veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein like poultry, eggs and fish for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. And drop the added sugar while you’re at it. “Studies show that when you have a diet rich in whole grains — and calorie-controlled — that you can reduce the belly fat,” she says. But remember to watch your portions, too. “A lot of people eat very healthy and don’t eat junk, but their portions are too large.” If you’re smart about the foods you choose and limit your intake, eventually you’ll start to lose body fat and drop pants sizes. But sorry: There’s no way to get it to disappear from only your belly — you'll likely reduce your overall body fat percentage and lose it in your face, hips, butt and chest, too. RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets Luckily, exercise can help spur things along when it comes to that pesky stomach fat. “Visceral fat responds well when… [you] start exercising and watching your calories and what you eat,” Harris-Pincus says. And while endless crunches aren’t your ticket to a flat stomach, it is still important to train your ab muscles. “Everything radiates from the center of your body – your balance, your posture, your functional movement,” says Joe Ardito, founder of Fit Crush NYC. “You can perform better when you have a strong core.” Research also shows that workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help reduce excess fat around your middle. Besides working your core, try incorporating a day or two of more vigorous exercise into your weekly schedule. (You can start with these three beginner routines.) Keep in mind that you can lower your total body fat percentage even by moving around more at work, according to another study.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t one magic trick or quick fix that will melt the fat around your midsection and give you those coveted abs we all see on the newsstands. Decreasing belly fat — and all body fat for that matter — is about making changes over the long-term. Originally published October 2015. Updated February 2018. Read More 12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts Here's Why Your Ab Workouts Aren't Working

The post The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/feed/ 18
The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:45:51 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=22984 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_65621" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Whether your priority is looking good in a bathing suit or living to see 100, there’s one piece of information that might stand in the way: body composition. Many people overlook this important metric, or the measure of fat mass to lean tissue, including bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons and organs. Higher body fat percentage has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other heart risks. And the overall amount isn’t the only concern; distribution of body fat matters, too. For some individuals, increased levels of abdominal fat have been tied to higher risks of heart disease and cancer compared to fat distributed across the rest of the body. So, how exactly do you track body fat?

A quick Google search will reveal dozens of methods to measure body composition, ranging from the quick and (relatively) painless to the incredibly detailed. These measurement techniques can help individuals determine how to set baseline values for body composition and future goals. However, with the variation in methods comes a fluctuation in accuracy. While one method might calculate your body fat percentage to within a few decimals, others leave a wider range of error. To help you navigate the numerous techniques, read on for the top five methods for measuring body fat percentage, along with the pros and cons of each.

RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

How to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_22995" align="alignnone" width="620"]Skin Calipers Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Skin Calipers

It might not be St. Patrick’s Day, but get ready to be pinched! Perhaps the most accessible method for measuring body composition, technicians perform a skin fold assessment using either three, four or seven sites (meaning parts of the body). The technician doing the test first pinches the skin. Then, he or she uses the skin caliper device to measure the thickness of the skin fold for each site. Each protocol has specific sites for testing, commonly including the chest, arms, abs and thighs. After plugging the numbers into a formula, practitioners can estimate body fat percentage.

The Pros

Since calipers are relatively inexpensive (about $10 per pair), the skin fold method is the most easily accessible of all the methods listed here. Most gyms will have a pair handy. And you can expect more than a few trainers on staff to have adequate experience using them. Eager to keep close tabs on your progress? Consider investing in a pair of calipers for at-home testing. (Remember though, it does take considerable practice to be able to accurately self-administer the test.) Bonus: A proper skin fold assessment can be completed in just a matter of minutes, anytime or place.

The Cons

This method relies on readings from only a handful of body parts, so margin for error can vary. This highly depends on the experience and knowledge of the technician. To minimize error, Jessica Kneeland, personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness, says “The most important thing is to use the exact same spots every time. Consistency with calipers takes practice, so the key is to practice a lot — or find an expert technician.” Body fat distribution can factor into the accuracy level as well. Although the test takes a measurement from each main area of the body (including the upper body, midsection and lower body), a participant that holds greater amounts of fat outside of the measured areas might end up with a lower reading.

RELATED: How to Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

[caption id="attachment_55308" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Bioelectrical Impedance

Although the name might sound intimidating, bioelectrical impedance is far from shock therapy. In fact, users won’t even feel a thing. Bioelectrical impedance scales range from the simple (a normal scale with electrodes under each foot) to the complex (a scale that has handholds with additional electrodes). Regardless of the machine, the devices work by sending tiny electrical impulses through the body and measuring how quickly those impulses return. Since lean tissue conducts electrical impulses quicker than fatty tissue, a faster response time is correlated with a leaner physique.

The Pros

Bioelectrical impedance monitors tend to be affordable enough to keep one around the house. In fact, many traditional weight scales come with built-in body composition features that can generate and track body fat percentage alongside bodyweight. Outside of the house, you can find bioelectrical impedance monitors at many gyms and personal training studios. (You might need to pay to use them.) Since this technique requires little more than pressing a button, users need little to no previous practice. Plus, you'll get measurements in a matter of seconds.

The Cons

The skill and time trade-off comes at an expense: accuracy. Bioelectrical impedance measurements are generally much less accurate than methods like DEXA scans (see below). Readings can be greatly affected by variables like hydration levels (since water also conducts electrical impulses), meal times (a recent meal can skew results), and workouts (taking a reading directly after exercise leads to a lower body fat reading). Kneeland, who uses a bioelectrical impedance device called an InBody Machine with clients, acknowledges that it’s crucial for clients to follow a set protocol. That's especially important in terms of food and fluid intake. How to get a most consistent reading? Take readings at similar times during the day and in the same conditions, Kneeland says.

RELATED: How Often Should You Weight Yourself?

3. Hydrostatic Weighing

If the thought of getting dunked underwater suits your fancy, this might be the method for you. Hydrostatic weighing, commonly referred to as underwater weighing, compares a subject’s normal bodyweight (outside the water) to his or her bodyweight while completely submerged. Using these two numbers and the density of the water, operators can accurately calculate the subject’s density. This number is then used to estimate body composition.

The Pros

Hydrostatic weighing is an incredibly accurate technique for measuring body composition. The technique uses tried and true variables that feature a low percentage of error. For that reason, many experts refer to hydrostatic weighing as the gold standard for measuring body composition. It's also commonly used in research settings.

The Cons

Unless you happen to have an underwater scale at home, you’re going to have to find a lab or a performance center for this. As a result, this method can be a bit inconvenient. It's more expensive (ranging from $40 to $60) compared to other techniques, too. Subjects also have to forcefully exhale as much air out of their lungs as possible to reduce potential for error and sit submerged completely underwater. This might be uncomfortable for some individuals.

RELATED: Weight Fluctuations: What's Normal and What's Not

4. DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)

Think X-rays only detect broken bones? A DEXA scan exposes patients to X-ray beams of differing intensities. And experts use it to calculate bone mineral density alongside body composition. Participants lie still on a table while a machine arm passes over their entire body. This arm emits a high- and a low-energy X-ray beam. By measuring the absorption of each beam into parts of the body, technicians can get readings for bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat mass. Also, because the machine scans body parts individually, the test can also break down body composition per limb. That means you can confirm suspicions that your right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than your left.

The Pros

Like hydrostatic weighing, DEXA scans are incredibly accurate at measuring body composition. Whereas hydrostatic weighing involves dunking under the water, a DEXA scan simply involves lying on a table for a few quick, dry and painless minutes.

The Cons

Like the hydrostatic weighing method, don’t count on around-the-clock availability of DEXA's advanced technology. Getting a DEXA scan usually involves making an appointment with a medical professional. The high level of accuracy also comes at a relatively high price tag (which will vary by location) compared to other methods.

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

5. Air-Displacement Plethysmography

Don’t let the name intimidate you. Air-displacement plethysmography is actually very similar to underwater weighing. First, participants sit in a small machine, like this “BOD Pod.” Then, by measuring how air displacement by the individual, technicians can determine body density. Like underwater weighing, the participant’s body density is then used to calculate body composition.

The Pros

Since the air-displacement plethysmography method doesn’t involve dunking your head underwater, many subjects will find it more comfortable. The shape and size of the machine used in this technique, which typically resembles an egg, makes it accommodating for almost any age, shape and size.

The Cons

Along with DEXA and underwater weight, you won't find air-displacement plethysmography in your neighborhood gym. While commercial machines might pop up at select high-level training facilities, locating one near you might be difficult. Plus, the cost (between $45 and $60 per reading) is another factor to consider.

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

[caption id="attachment_55305" align="alignnone" width="620"]Measuring Body Fat: 3D Body Scanning Photo Courtesy of Naked Labs[/caption]

6. 3D Body Scan

You'll see this option become more readily available and accessible. Several brands offer at-home devices that scan your body, take circumference measurements of different body parts and then track your body fat via a corresponding app. Many can also tell you your muscle mass. One example: The at-home machine, Naked ($999, accepting preorders now). It's a full-length mirror embedded with sensors that use infrared light to provide a full-body 3D image. It also comes with a turntable to read your weight and provide a 360-degree body view. Similarly, mPort ($5/month for the app subscription) creates a 3D image of your body using infrared light and circumference measurements. You can find these machines in several LA Fitness locations, most commonly in California. Styku is another body mapping machine, offering similar readings.

The Pros

For most body types, 3D mapping comes within two percent of the accuracy of the DEXA method. Because of the devices' corresponding apps, you can also easily and frequently track your progress and find small changes you wouldn't normally notice. That's even simpler with a machine like Naked, which you can use in the comfort and privacy of your home. While accuracy improves if you do a scan at the same time every day, you don't need to worry about hydration or meal times like you do with bioelectrical impedance.

The Cons

You do, however, need to worry about your clothes. You'll get more accurate number when you're naked. But if you prefer, tight pants and a top also works. Just remember to wear that same outfit for every reading. Standing as still as possible during the scan is also how to ensure the most accurate results.

Remember the Big Picture

Regardless of which metric you go with, resist the urge to test on a weekly basis. According to Kneeland, results take time. “I encourage new clients to wait at least six to eight weeks before re-measuring their body fat percentage," she says. "At first I just want them focusing on implementing good habits and noticing how they feel." As for which testing procedure to try, find a method that works for you — then stick with it. Though bioelectrical impedance and skin calipers tend to be slightly less accurate than more high-tech methods like underwater weighing, they can still be an incredibly useful tool. And remember, body composition should be just one metric on the road to health and fitness. Sleep quality, energy levels and happiness should also take priority. So don't make body fat the entire focus of your training.

Originally posted on December 30, 2013. Updated February 2018. Additional writing and reporting by Mallory Creveling.

Read More
Is Weight Loss As Simple as Calorie Counting?
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism
3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

The post The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_65621" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Whether your priority is looking good in a bathing suit or living to see 100, there’s one piece of information that might stand in the way: body composition. Many people overlook this important metric, or the measure of fat mass to lean tissue, including bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons and organs. Higher body fat percentage has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other heart risks. And the overall amount isn’t the only concern; distribution of body fat matters, too. For some individuals, increased levels of abdominal fat have been tied to higher risks of heart disease and cancer compared to fat distributed across the rest of the body. So, how exactly do you track body fat? A quick Google search will reveal dozens of methods to measure body composition, ranging from the quick and (relatively) painless to the incredibly detailed. These measurement techniques can help individuals determine how to set baseline values for body composition and future goals. However, with the variation in methods comes a fluctuation in accuracy. While one method might calculate your body fat percentage to within a few decimals, others leave a wider range of error. To help you navigate the numerous techniques, read on for the top five methods for measuring body fat percentage, along with the pros and cons of each. RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

How to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_22995" align="alignnone" width="620"]Skin Calipers Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Skin Calipers

It might not be St. Patrick’s Day, but get ready to be pinched! Perhaps the most accessible method for measuring body composition, technicians perform a skin fold assessment using either three, four or seven sites (meaning parts of the body). The technician doing the test first pinches the skin. Then, he or she uses the skin caliper device to measure the thickness of the skin fold for each site. Each protocol has specific sites for testing, commonly including the chest, arms, abs and thighs. After plugging the numbers into a formula, practitioners can estimate body fat percentage.

The Pros

Since calipers are relatively inexpensive (about $10 per pair), the skin fold method is the most easily accessible of all the methods listed here. Most gyms will have a pair handy. And you can expect more than a few trainers on staff to have adequate experience using them. Eager to keep close tabs on your progress? Consider investing in a pair of calipers for at-home testing. (Remember though, it does take considerable practice to be able to accurately self-administer the test.) Bonus: A proper skin fold assessment can be completed in just a matter of minutes, anytime or place.

The Cons

This method relies on readings from only a handful of body parts, so margin for error can vary. This highly depends on the experience and knowledge of the technician. To minimize error, Jessica Kneeland, personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness, says “The most important thing is to use the exact same spots every time. Consistency with calipers takes practice, so the key is to practice a lot — or find an expert technician.” Body fat distribution can factor into the accuracy level as well. Although the test takes a measurement from each main area of the body (including the upper body, midsection and lower body), a participant that holds greater amounts of fat outside of the measured areas might end up with a lower reading. RELATED: How to Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) [caption id="attachment_55308" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Bioelectrical Impedance

Although the name might sound intimidating, bioelectrical impedance is far from shock therapy. In fact, users won’t even feel a thing. Bioelectrical impedance scales range from the simple (a normal scale with electrodes under each foot) to the complex (a scale that has handholds with additional electrodes). Regardless of the machine, the devices work by sending tiny electrical impulses through the body and measuring how quickly those impulses return. Since lean tissue conducts electrical impulses quicker than fatty tissue, a faster response time is correlated with a leaner physique.

The Pros

Bioelectrical impedance monitors tend to be affordable enough to keep one around the house. In fact, many traditional weight scales come with built-in body composition features that can generate and track body fat percentage alongside bodyweight. Outside of the house, you can find bioelectrical impedance monitors at many gyms and personal training studios. (You might need to pay to use them.) Since this technique requires little more than pressing a button, users need little to no previous practice. Plus, you'll get measurements in a matter of seconds.

The Cons

The skill and time trade-off comes at an expense: accuracy. Bioelectrical impedance measurements are generally much less accurate than methods like DEXA scans (see below). Readings can be greatly affected by variables like hydration levels (since water also conducts electrical impulses), meal times (a recent meal can skew results), and workouts (taking a reading directly after exercise leads to a lower body fat reading). Kneeland, who uses a bioelectrical impedance device called an InBody Machine with clients, acknowledges that it’s crucial for clients to follow a set protocol. That's especially important in terms of food and fluid intake. How to get a most consistent reading? Take readings at similar times during the day and in the same conditions, Kneeland says. RELATED: How Often Should You Weight Yourself?

3. Hydrostatic Weighing

If the thought of getting dunked underwater suits your fancy, this might be the method for you. Hydrostatic weighing, commonly referred to as underwater weighing, compares a subject’s normal bodyweight (outside the water) to his or her bodyweight while completely submerged. Using these two numbers and the density of the water, operators can accurately calculate the subject’s density. This number is then used to estimate body composition.

The Pros

Hydrostatic weighing is an incredibly accurate technique for measuring body composition. The technique uses tried and true variables that feature a low percentage of error. For that reason, many experts refer to hydrostatic weighing as the gold standard for measuring body composition. It's also commonly used in research settings.

The Cons

Unless you happen to have an underwater scale at home, you’re going to have to find a lab or a performance center for this. As a result, this method can be a bit inconvenient. It's more expensive (ranging from $40 to $60) compared to other techniques, too. Subjects also have to forcefully exhale as much air out of their lungs as possible to reduce potential for error and sit submerged completely underwater. This might be uncomfortable for some individuals. RELATED: Weight Fluctuations: What's Normal and What's Not

4. DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)

Think X-rays only detect broken bones? A DEXA scan exposes patients to X-ray beams of differing intensities. And experts use it to calculate bone mineral density alongside body composition. Participants lie still on a table while a machine arm passes over their entire body. This arm emits a high- and a low-energy X-ray beam. By measuring the absorption of each beam into parts of the body, technicians can get readings for bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat mass. Also, because the machine scans body parts individually, the test can also break down body composition per limb. That means you can confirm suspicions that your right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than your left.

The Pros

Like hydrostatic weighing, DEXA scans are incredibly accurate at measuring body composition. Whereas hydrostatic weighing involves dunking under the water, a DEXA scan simply involves lying on a table for a few quick, dry and painless minutes.

The Cons

Like the hydrostatic weighing method, don’t count on around-the-clock availability of DEXA's advanced technology. Getting a DEXA scan usually involves making an appointment with a medical professional. The high level of accuracy also comes at a relatively high price tag (which will vary by location) compared to other methods. RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

5. Air-Displacement Plethysmography

Don’t let the name intimidate you. Air-displacement plethysmography is actually very similar to underwater weighing. First, participants sit in a small machine, like this “BOD Pod.” Then, by measuring how air displacement by the individual, technicians can determine body density. Like underwater weighing, the participant’s body density is then used to calculate body composition.

The Pros

Since the air-displacement plethysmography method doesn’t involve dunking your head underwater, many subjects will find it more comfortable. The shape and size of the machine used in this technique, which typically resembles an egg, makes it accommodating for almost any age, shape and size.

The Cons

Along with DEXA and underwater weight, you won't find air-displacement plethysmography in your neighborhood gym. While commercial machines might pop up at select high-level training facilities, locating one near you might be difficult. Plus, the cost (between $45 and $60 per reading) is another factor to consider. RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners [caption id="attachment_55305" align="alignnone" width="620"]Measuring Body Fat: 3D Body Scanning Photo Courtesy of Naked Labs[/caption]

6. 3D Body Scan

You'll see this option become more readily available and accessible. Several brands offer at-home devices that scan your body, take circumference measurements of different body parts and then track your body fat via a corresponding app. Many can also tell you your muscle mass. One example: The at-home machine, Naked ($999, accepting preorders now). It's a full-length mirror embedded with sensors that use infrared light to provide a full-body 3D image. It also comes with a turntable to read your weight and provide a 360-degree body view. Similarly, mPort ($5/month for the app subscription) creates a 3D image of your body using infrared light and circumference measurements. You can find these machines in several LA Fitness locations, most commonly in California. Styku is another body mapping machine, offering similar readings.

The Pros

For most body types, 3D mapping comes within two percent of the accuracy of the DEXA method. Because of the devices' corresponding apps, you can also easily and frequently track your progress and find small changes you wouldn't normally notice. That's even simpler with a machine like Naked, which you can use in the comfort and privacy of your home. While accuracy improves if you do a scan at the same time every day, you don't need to worry about hydration or meal times like you do with bioelectrical impedance.

The Cons

You do, however, need to worry about your clothes. You'll get more accurate number when you're naked. But if you prefer, tight pants and a top also works. Just remember to wear that same outfit for every reading. Standing as still as possible during the scan is also how to ensure the most accurate results.

Remember the Big Picture

Regardless of which metric you go with, resist the urge to test on a weekly basis. According to Kneeland, results take time. “I encourage new clients to wait at least six to eight weeks before re-measuring their body fat percentage," she says. "At first I just want them focusing on implementing good habits and noticing how they feel." As for which testing procedure to try, find a method that works for you — then stick with it. Though bioelectrical impedance and skin calipers tend to be slightly less accurate than more high-tech methods like underwater weighing, they can still be an incredibly useful tool. And remember, body composition should be just one metric on the road to health and fitness. Sleep quality, energy levels and happiness should also take priority. So don't make body fat the entire focus of your training. Originally posted on December 30, 2013. Updated February 2018. Additional writing and reporting by Mallory Creveling. Read More Is Weight Loss As Simple as Calorie Counting? 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

The post The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/feed/ 16
Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills https://dailyburn.com/life/health/weight-loss-supplements-garcinia-cambogia/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 12:15:16 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65539 The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements

[caption id="attachment_65549" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

We’ve all seen the ads: Supplements promising to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, rev your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine. We admit — the idea of popping a pill to lose weight sounds pretty enticing. After all, it’s so much easier than cleaning up your diet and regularly sweating it out at the gym.

Despite the rise and fall of weight loss pills (remember Fen-Phen, Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean extract debacle?), supplements still line the shelves of most health food and drug stores. Georgia Rounder, RDN, says, “For many individuals seeking to lose weight, weight loss supplements provide a ‘quick fix’ approach to meet their desired weight goals, especially products that are marketed in a flashy, convincing manner.” But do they actually work?

RELATED: 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight

Weight Loss Supplements: Animal vs. Human Studies

The short answer is there’s no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of weight loss supplements. Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, says, "There are no real clinical trials to show that they work in humans."

While researchers have investigated the ingredients in diet pills, most studies are on animals. “Animal studies are done when initially researching a specific supplement, but human studies are necessary for confirming the effectiveness of the supplement in the body’s physiological makeup,” Rounder says.

For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement touted as a fat burner. “Some research has shown that CLA may be beneficial in decreasing fat mass in animals,” Rounder says. But according to Rounder, human studies are inconclusive and have an overall minimal effect on total body weight and body fat.

RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Garcinia Cambogia: Decoding Diet Pill Claims

For other supplements, the findings have been inconclusive. Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from the pulp and rind of a fruit-bearing tree of the same name. “Many weight loss benefits have been proposed for this supplement, including the suppression of food intake throughout the day. But short-term clinical trials completed up to this point reveal next to no effect on total body weight,” Rounder says.

Another example is raspberry ketones, a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries that's believed to make it harder for your body to store fat. “However, this particular supplement was primarily studied in combination with other ingredients. This prevents us from making conclusions about using it as a weight loss supplement,” Rounder says.

Industry partners or the supplement companies also sponsor some of the research on weight loss pills. “This can lead to a bias within the research and ultimately favor the industry’s product or aim in some way,” Rounder says. Plus, Ditkoff says some diet pills can have the opposite effect of wrecking your metabolism and causing weight gain.

RELATED: Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Contrary to what you might think, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate weight loss supplements. Unlike drugs, which go through rigorous clinical trials, manufacturers don't need to prove that dietary supplements are safe.

So for advertisements that claim to help you burn fat 10 times faster than normal, the manufacturer doesn’t actually have to demonstrate that those claims are true. What’s promised on the packaging isn't always in the pills, so there's a risk you don't get what you buy.

“Since they’re not approved by the FDA, you don’t even know what’s in them, which is pretty scary,” Ditkoff says. “They can have fillers and additives. You don’t know what else is in there.”

In fact, Vox investigated current dietary and weight loss supplements on the market and found that many contained hidden drugs, including ones that have been pulled from the U.S. market. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20,000 emergency room visits each year are from adverse reactions to dietary supplements. Think: palpitations, chest pain and increased blood pressure. Nearly 72 percent of those cases are from weight loss or energy products.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

A Smarter Weight Loss Solution

The truth is there isn’t one pill that’s going to fix everything. But if you want to introduce a new supplement to your regimen, talk to a professional. “If you’re seriously considering taking any of these supplements on a routine basis, first consult your physician to get the final OK,” Rounder says.

Taking a weight loss pill can sometimes do more damage than good. “Depending on the supplement and your medical history, the side effects of these supplements may include GI distress, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and headaches. They may even interfere with the absorption of key vitamins and minerals,” Rounder says. Ditkoff says the key to weight loss is lifestyle change. That means committing to eating a balanced diet and getting more exercise. And be patient. While you may wish for instant, healthy weight loss is a long-term affair.

Read More
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism
The Beginner’s Guide to Using Protein Powder

The post Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements

[caption id="attachment_65549" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption] We’ve all seen the ads: Supplements promising to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, rev your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine. We admit — the idea of popping a pill to lose weight sounds pretty enticing. After all, it’s so much easier than cleaning up your diet and regularly sweating it out at the gym. Despite the rise and fall of weight loss pills (remember Fen-Phen, Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean extract debacle?), supplements still line the shelves of most health food and drug stores. Georgia Rounder, RDN, says, “For many individuals seeking to lose weight, weight loss supplements provide a ‘quick fix’ approach to meet their desired weight goals, especially products that are marketed in a flashy, convincing manner.” But do they actually work? RELATED: 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight

Weight Loss Supplements: Animal vs. Human Studies

The short answer is there’s no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of weight loss supplements. Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, says, "There are no real clinical trials to show that they work in humans." While researchers have investigated the ingredients in diet pills, most studies are on animals. “Animal studies are done when initially researching a specific supplement, but human studies are necessary for confirming the effectiveness of the supplement in the body’s physiological makeup,” Rounder says. For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement touted as a fat burner. “Some research has shown that CLA may be beneficial in decreasing fat mass in animals,” Rounder says. But according to Rounder, human studies are inconclusive and have an overall minimal effect on total body weight and body fat. RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Garcinia Cambogia: Decoding Diet Pill Claims

For other supplements, the findings have been inconclusive. Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from the pulp and rind of a fruit-bearing tree of the same name. “Many weight loss benefits have been proposed for this supplement, including the suppression of food intake throughout the day. But short-term clinical trials completed up to this point reveal next to no effect on total body weight,” Rounder says. Another example is raspberry ketones, a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries that's believed to make it harder for your body to store fat. “However, this particular supplement was primarily studied in combination with other ingredients. This prevents us from making conclusions about using it as a weight loss supplement,” Rounder says. Industry partners or the supplement companies also sponsor some of the research on weight loss pills. “This can lead to a bias within the research and ultimately favor the industry’s product or aim in some way,” Rounder says. Plus, Ditkoff says some diet pills can have the opposite effect of wrecking your metabolism and causing weight gain. RELATED: Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Contrary to what you might think, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate weight loss supplements. Unlike drugs, which go through rigorous clinical trials, manufacturers don't need to prove that dietary supplements are safe. So for advertisements that claim to help you burn fat 10 times faster than normal, the manufacturer doesn’t actually have to demonstrate that those claims are true. What’s promised on the packaging isn't always in the pills, so there's a risk you don't get what you buy. “Since they’re not approved by the FDA, you don’t even know what’s in them, which is pretty scary,” Ditkoff says. “They can have fillers and additives. You don’t know what else is in there.” In fact, Vox investigated current dietary and weight loss supplements on the market and found that many contained hidden drugs, including ones that have been pulled from the U.S. market. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20,000 emergency room visits each year are from adverse reactions to dietary supplements. Think: palpitations, chest pain and increased blood pressure. Nearly 72 percent of those cases are from weight loss or energy products. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

A Smarter Weight Loss Solution

The truth is there isn’t one pill that’s going to fix everything. But if you want to introduce a new supplement to your regimen, talk to a professional. “If you’re seriously considering taking any of these supplements on a routine basis, first consult your physician to get the final OK,” Rounder says. Taking a weight loss pill can sometimes do more damage than good. “Depending on the supplement and your medical history, the side effects of these supplements may include GI distress, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and headaches. They may even interfere with the absorption of key vitamins and minerals,” Rounder says. Ditkoff says the key to weight loss is lifestyle change. That means committing to eating a balanced diet and getting more exercise. And be patient. While you may wish for instant, healthy weight loss is a long-term affair. Read More How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism The Beginner’s Guide to Using Protein Powder

The post Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And What You Can, Too) https://dailyburn.com/life/health/bob-harper-heart-disease/ Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:15:58 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65289 What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And You Should Know, Too)

[caption id="attachment_65292" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And You Should Know, Too) Photo: Daily Burn Black Fire[/caption]

Heart disease can happen to anyone — even the fittest trainers. When Bob Harper had a near-fatal heart attack last February, it was the last thing he thought could happen. The then 51-year-old Daily Burn Black Fire trainer was in top shape, followed a healthy Paleo diet and had routine check-ups with his cardiologist. “I was working out and felt really good,” Harper recounts.

But during a training session at BRICK New York, Harper suddenly collapsed. The next thing he remembers was waking up in a hospital bed surrounded by family and friends. “I didn’t have any traditional signs of a heart attack, so it was a major surprise when I woke up in the hospital two days later,” Harper says.

RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too

Heart Disease Can Be a Silent Killer

Heart disease runs in Harper’s family. His mother and grandfather (his mother’s father) both passed away from a heart attack at age 70. “When a person dies at 70 of a heart attack, a red flag doesn’t necessarily go up, but my doctor told me I had a bit of an issue with cholesterol,” Harper says. Harper later discovered that he had high levels of lipoprotein, a particle in your blood that carries cholesterol, fats and proteins. Lipoprotein can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease because it builds up fatty deposits in your arteries. What makes it difficult to treat lipoprotein is that the amount you have in your blood depends on your genes — and diet and exercise have little to no impact.

While genetics play a large role in your heart disease risk factors, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., a preventive cardiologist from New York and a national Go Red For Women volunteer, says keeping track of your numbers always helps. “People who have a family history of heart disease should monitor their cholesterol and blood pressure. If you have a parents who had a heart attack at age 45, you shouldn’t wait until you’re 45 to get your heart checked,” Dr. Steinbaum says.

RELATED: How Old Is Your Heart? Try This Calculator to Find Out

5 Strategies to Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk

It was a long road to recovery, Harper says. “For the longest time, the only activity I could do was walk, and then it was me going back to the gym and being able to trust that I’ll be alright when I work out.” But today, The Biggest Loser host continues to take proactive steps to protect his health — starting with his diet and exercise routine.

With that said, here are some of Steinbaum’s top tips to reduce your risk of heart disease and stay healthy. Plus, learn how Harper is following doctors’ orders post-heart attack.

1. Follow a healthy, balanced diet.

Sticking to a clean eating routine can help protect your heart, since many pre-packaged foods are loaded with saturated fat, salt and sugar — a triple threat to your ticker. Dr. Steinbaum recommends the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet for heart health. “These diets are filled with vegetables and fruits, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids,” Dr. Steinbaum says. But the worst diet for your heart? The ketogenic diet. “Ketosis is the unhealthiest state for your heart,” Dr. Steinbaum says. “We know that saturated fat increases your risk of heart disease.”

Leading up to the incident, Harper was following a Paleo diet, but since his heart attack, he has a new approach to clean eating. In his latest book, The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength Eat Real Food, Harper talks about the benefits of whole grains and the complex carbohydrates in vegetables and fruits. “I was working on the book before my heart attack, and back then I was relying solely on macro nutrients, like protein and fat,” Harper says. But Harper realized that people who are following a grain-free or Paleo diet are missing essential nutrients from whole grains that can help lower cholesterol. “What I learned about following a heart-healthy diet is to have balance. I don’t want people to be afraid of ‘carbage,’” he says.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans

2. Exercise, but keep an eye on intensity.

Working out has many benefits: It’s good for your heart, boosts your metabolism burns fat and makes you feel good. But there’s such thing as adding too much intensity too soon. If you’re new to working out, ease into a regular routine before you jump into more intense workouts, like HIIT. “HIIT could be beneficial in preventing heart disease, but the more important thing is getting at least 150 minutes of cardio and weight training each week,” Steinbaum says. “That could be walking, running or cycling. It doesn’t need to be an extreme form of exercise,” she says.

After his heart attack, Harper changed his exercise routine and dialed down the intensity of his workouts. “I used to do workouts at a really high intensity, but now I’m not as concerned about pushing myself to such extremes. I balance my workouts with more yoga,” he says. Bottom line is to become more active, whether that’s through HIIT, running or weightlifting.

3. Manage stress.

Beyond diet and exercise, Dr. Steinbaum says keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum is an important component of heart disease prevention. “Stress can cause depression and increase heart disease risk two to four-fold. Managing these parts of ourselves are actually critical to preventing heart disease,” she says. To help alleviate stress, Harper practices transcendental meditation. “Transcendental meditation makes me feel better. When I do yoga and meditation, I’m able to make time for myself and be present for everyone in my life,” Harper says.

4. See your doctor regularly.

Cholesterol and blood pressure aren’t the only numbers you should be tracking. Dr. Steinbaum says to also monitor significant weight gain or changes to your blood sugar. “What’s interesting is that many women will learn about their heart disease risk when they’re pregnant because they might develop high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during this time,” Dr. Steinbaum explains. Heart disease takes decades to develop, but the real risks happen in your 20s and 30s. “Being overweight or obese can predispose you for heart disease and other conditions, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They’re all related,” she says.

RELATED: Is Sugar Worse Than Salt When It Comes to Your Heart?

5. Stay committed to your health.

You can’t change your genes, but what you can control about your heart health is how well you take care of it. “Heart disease is 80 percent preventable. When people know that they can reverse their risks through healthy lifestyle choices, it makes the disease less scary,” Dr. Steinbaum says. For Harper, it means being able to trust his heart again. “During my recovery, it took a lot for me to go back to gym and know that my heart could handle it,” he says. “The gym was a safe and happy place for me before my heart attack, so it’s been a growing experience. It’s completely changed my relationship with my heart.”

Read More
7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple
Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat
33 Sources of Workout Motivation

The post What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And What You Can, Too) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And You Should Know, Too)

[caption id="attachment_65292" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And You Should Know, Too) Photo: Daily Burn Black Fire[/caption] Heart disease can happen to anyone — even the fittest trainers. When Bob Harper had a near-fatal heart attack last February, it was the last thing he thought could happen. The then 51-year-old Daily Burn Black Fire trainer was in top shape, followed a healthy Paleo diet and had routine check-ups with his cardiologist. “I was working out and felt really good,” Harper recounts. But during a training session at BRICK New York, Harper suddenly collapsed. The next thing he remembers was waking up in a hospital bed surrounded by family and friends. “I didn’t have any traditional signs of a heart attack, so it was a major surprise when I woke up in the hospital two days later,” Harper says. RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too

Heart Disease Can Be a Silent Killer

Heart disease runs in Harper’s family. His mother and grandfather (his mother’s father) both passed away from a heart attack at age 70. “When a person dies at 70 of a heart attack, a red flag doesn’t necessarily go up, but my doctor told me I had a bit of an issue with cholesterol,” Harper says. Harper later discovered that he had high levels of lipoprotein, a particle in your blood that carries cholesterol, fats and proteins. Lipoprotein can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease because it builds up fatty deposits in your arteries. What makes it difficult to treat lipoprotein is that the amount you have in your blood depends on your genes — and diet and exercise have little to no impact. While genetics play a large role in your heart disease risk factors, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., a preventive cardiologist from New York and a national Go Red For Women volunteer, says keeping track of your numbers always helps. “People who have a family history of heart disease should monitor their cholesterol and blood pressure. If you have a parents who had a heart attack at age 45, you shouldn’t wait until you’re 45 to get your heart checked,” Dr. Steinbaum says. RELATED: How Old Is Your Heart? Try This Calculator to Find Out

5 Strategies to Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk

It was a long road to recovery, Harper says. “For the longest time, the only activity I could do was walk, and then it was me going back to the gym and being able to trust that I’ll be alright when I work out.” But today, The Biggest Loser host continues to take proactive steps to protect his health — starting with his diet and exercise routine. With that said, here are some of Steinbaum’s top tips to reduce your risk of heart disease and stay healthy. Plus, learn how Harper is following doctors’ orders post-heart attack.

1. Follow a healthy, balanced diet.

Sticking to a clean eating routine can help protect your heart, since many pre-packaged foods are loaded with saturated fat, salt and sugar — a triple threat to your ticker. Dr. Steinbaum recommends the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet for heart health. “These diets are filled with vegetables and fruits, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids,” Dr. Steinbaum says. But the worst diet for your heart? The ketogenic diet. “Ketosis is the unhealthiest state for your heart,” Dr. Steinbaum says. “We know that saturated fat increases your risk of heart disease.” Leading up to the incident, Harper was following a Paleo diet, but since his heart attack, he has a new approach to clean eating. In his latest book, The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength Eat Real Food, Harper talks about the benefits of whole grains and the complex carbohydrates in vegetables and fruits. “I was working on the book before my heart attack, and back then I was relying solely on macro nutrients, like protein and fat,” Harper says. But Harper realized that people who are following a grain-free or Paleo diet are missing essential nutrients from whole grains that can help lower cholesterol. “What I learned about following a heart-healthy diet is to have balance. I don’t want people to be afraid of ‘carbage,’” he says. RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans

2. Exercise, but keep an eye on intensity.

Working out has many benefits: It’s good for your heart, boosts your metabolism burns fat and makes you feel good. But there’s such thing as adding too much intensity too soon. If you’re new to working out, ease into a regular routine before you jump into more intense workouts, like HIIT. “HIIT could be beneficial in preventing heart disease, but the more important thing is getting at least 150 minutes of cardio and weight training each week,” Steinbaum says. “That could be walking, running or cycling. It doesn’t need to be an extreme form of exercise,” she says. After his heart attack, Harper changed his exercise routine and dialed down the intensity of his workouts. “I used to do workouts at a really high intensity, but now I’m not as concerned about pushing myself to such extremes. I balance my workouts with more yoga,” he says. Bottom line is to become more active, whether that’s through HIIT, running or weightlifting.

3. Manage stress.

Beyond diet and exercise, Dr. Steinbaum says keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum is an important component of heart disease prevention. “Stress can cause depression and increase heart disease risk two to four-fold. Managing these parts of ourselves are actually critical to preventing heart disease,” she says. To help alleviate stress, Harper practices transcendental meditation. “Transcendental meditation makes me feel better. When I do yoga and meditation, I’m able to make time for myself and be present for everyone in my life,” Harper says.

4. See your doctor regularly.

Cholesterol and blood pressure aren’t the only numbers you should be tracking. Dr. Steinbaum says to also monitor significant weight gain or changes to your blood sugar. “What’s interesting is that many women will learn about their heart disease risk when they’re pregnant because they might develop high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during this time,” Dr. Steinbaum explains. Heart disease takes decades to develop, but the real risks happen in your 20s and 30s. “Being overweight or obese can predispose you for heart disease and other conditions, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They’re all related,” she says. RELATED: Is Sugar Worse Than Salt When It Comes to Your Heart?

5. Stay committed to your health.

You can’t change your genes, but what you can control about your heart health is how well you take care of it. “Heart disease is 80 percent preventable. When people know that they can reverse their risks through healthy lifestyle choices, it makes the disease less scary,” Dr. Steinbaum says. For Harper, it means being able to trust his heart again. “During my recovery, it took a lot for me to go back to gym and know that my heart could handle it,” he says. “The gym was a safe and happy place for me before my heart attack, so it’s been a growing experience. It’s completely changed my relationship with my heart.” Read More 7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax, Stat 33 Sources of Workout Motivation

The post What Bob Harper Learned from His Heart Attack (And What You Can, Too) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today https://dailyburn.com/life/health/weight-loss/nutrisystem-weight-loss-diet-plans/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 12:15:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65347 5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today

[caption id="attachment_65349" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photos: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption]

This post is brought to you in partnership with Nutrisystem.

Losing weight isn’t easy, but keeping it off is even harder. So if you’re looking for a program that helps you shed unwanted pounds and turns healthy changes into permanent habits, look no further than Nutrisystem. “Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program that’s high in protein and fiber to help keep you feeling full throughout the day,” says Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, corporate dietitian for Nutrisystem.

Nutrisystem offers three different meal plans: At the basic level, you’ll receive pre-selected, ready-to-eat meals. Upgrade to the core program, and you’ll get access to nutrition counseling and tools and trackers to help you stay accountable. Want more? Try the Uniquely Yours plan, which gives you everything from the core program, plus unlimited frozen foods.

If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time for meal prep, why not make Nutrisystem your personal chef? All of your meals and snacks come right to your door, so all you have to do is click order. Interested in learning more? Here are five more reasons the program works, and why you should sign up today.

1. You get healthy, well-balanced meals.

No matter which Nutrisystem plan you sign up for, you’ll get healthy, balanced meals with just the right portion of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fat.

“While you’re losing weight, you’re also learning how to recognize appropriate portion sizes, which is an important component of keeping the weight off once you’ve met your goal,” McCormick says. With your first Nutrisystem order, you’ll receive a four-week plan that includes delicious meals and snacks, plus guidance on how to incorporate flexibility into your meal plan through the addition of one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week. You prepare these flex meals at home to help set you on the right path to clean eating. “We provide guidance on what these meals should look like to ensure you’re learning how to make healthier choices,” McCormick says.

2. You won’t feel deprived.

Pasta, pizza, chocolate cake. You can have it all — just in moderation and with the right portion sizes, of course. “We make sure you’re getting healthier versions of your favorite foods, while ensuring they’re made with whole grains, fiber and protein,” McCormick says. The program aligns with the USDA dietary guidelines and limits added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you’re a snacker, Nutrisystem offers a selection of bars and shakes, but you can also prepare your own flex snack at home. “You incorporate three snacks into your day. These can be Nutrisystem snacks or grocery food add-ins, like fruit, low-fat dairy and lean proteins,” she adds.

3. You don’t have to count calories.

Since Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program, your daily meal plan will have a 1,000-1,500 calorie range. All meal plans will meet this calorie requirement, so you don’t have to think about what you can and can’t enjoy. Have an allergy or dietary restriction? “We have a staff of trained weight loss counselors and dietary service representatives that can help people customize plans for certain dietary restrictions,” McCormick says. People also have the option to customize their meal plan to a 1,500 mg per day sodium plan if they’re watching their salt intake, she says.

[caption id="attachment_65353" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photo: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption]

4. Your family can enjoy Nutrisystem meals, too.

Good news: You don’t have to be a short-order cook. Thanks to flex meals, you can enjoy dinner out or prepare a healthy one at home. Nutrisystem has a helpful weight loss blog, The Leaf, that’s home to hundreds of healthy recipes that fit with their weight loss plans so you never have to go it alone. The Leaf also has a Dining Out Guide that breaks down how to enjoy dinners out with your family and friends without falling off track.

Nutrisystem also offers foods a la carte if you want to purchase additional meals for your significant other and kids. And the foods look and taste a lot like what you’re accustomed to ― no cardboard diet food here. So if the gang wants lasagna for dinner, you can make the usual dish and then pop your Nutrisystem lasagna entrée in your microwave. That way, you can all enjoy a lasagna dinner together. “The great thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of additional work to enjoy a similar food with your family,” McCormick says.

5. You’ll get support even after you’ve reached your goal.

Your journey to better health doesn’t end at the scale. Keeping the pounds off is a challenge itself. That’s why Nutrisystem offers a variety of transition and maintenance plans to help you prepare your own healthy, homemade meals. “For example, we have a ‘Just Lunches and Snacks’ plan that provides lunches and snacks, and guides the customer on how to incorporate their own perfectly portioned breakfasts and dinners,” McCormick says. You can also reach out to weight loss counselors via phone or email. McCormick adds, “The counselors can offer individualized support to help customers overcome a weight loss plateau.”

Nutrisystem also has a free tracking app, NuMi, that helps hold users accountable during and after their weight loss journey. With NuMi, you can log your food, weight, water and activity every day. Plus, you’ll get fresh weight loss tips and recipes tailored to you, so you’ll never fall off the wagon.

Ready to embark on your weight loss journey while still eating delicious meals? Sign up for Nutrisystem today!

Read More
50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight
What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner
21 Quick and Easy Protein Shake Recipes

The post 5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today

[caption id="attachment_65349" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photos: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption] This post is brought to you in partnership with Nutrisystem. Losing weight isn’t easy, but keeping it off is even harder. So if you’re looking for a program that helps you shed unwanted pounds and turns healthy changes into permanent habits, look no further than Nutrisystem. “Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program that’s high in protein and fiber to help keep you feeling full throughout the day,” says Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, corporate dietitian for Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem offers three different meal plans: At the basic level, you’ll receive pre-selected, ready-to-eat meals. Upgrade to the core program, and you’ll get access to nutrition counseling and tools and trackers to help you stay accountable. Want more? Try the Uniquely Yours plan, which gives you everything from the core program, plus unlimited frozen foods. If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time for meal prep, why not make Nutrisystem your personal chef? All of your meals and snacks come right to your door, so all you have to do is click order. Interested in learning more? Here are five more reasons the program works, and why you should sign up today.

1. You get healthy, well-balanced meals.

No matter which Nutrisystem plan you sign up for, you’ll get healthy, balanced meals with just the right portion of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fat. “While you’re losing weight, you’re also learning how to recognize appropriate portion sizes, which is an important component of keeping the weight off once you’ve met your goal,” McCormick says. With your first Nutrisystem order, you’ll receive a four-week plan that includes delicious meals and snacks, plus guidance on how to incorporate flexibility into your meal plan through the addition of one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week. You prepare these flex meals at home to help set you on the right path to clean eating. “We provide guidance on what these meals should look like to ensure you’re learning how to make healthier choices,” McCormick says.

2. You won’t feel deprived.

Pasta, pizza, chocolate cake. You can have it all — just in moderation and with the right portion sizes, of course. “We make sure you’re getting healthier versions of your favorite foods, while ensuring they’re made with whole grains, fiber and protein,” McCormick says. The program aligns with the USDA dietary guidelines and limits added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you’re a snacker, Nutrisystem offers a selection of bars and shakes, but you can also prepare your own flex snack at home. “You incorporate three snacks into your day. These can be Nutrisystem snacks or grocery food add-ins, like fruit, low-fat dairy and lean proteins,” she adds.

3. You don’t have to count calories.

Since Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program, your daily meal plan will have a 1,000-1,500 calorie range. All meal plans will meet this calorie requirement, so you don’t have to think about what you can and can’t enjoy. Have an allergy or dietary restriction? “We have a staff of trained weight loss counselors and dietary service representatives that can help people customize plans for certain dietary restrictions,” McCormick says. People also have the option to customize their meal plan to a 1,500 mg per day sodium plan if they’re watching their salt intake, she says. [caption id="attachment_65353" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photo: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption]

4. Your family can enjoy Nutrisystem meals, too.

Good news: You don’t have to be a short-order cook. Thanks to flex meals, you can enjoy dinner out or prepare a healthy one at home. Nutrisystem has a helpful weight loss blog, The Leaf, that’s home to hundreds of healthy recipes that fit with their weight loss plans so you never have to go it alone. The Leaf also has a Dining Out Guide that breaks down how to enjoy dinners out with your family and friends without falling off track. Nutrisystem also offers foods a la carte if you want to purchase additional meals for your significant other and kids. And the foods look and taste a lot like what you’re accustomed to ― no cardboard diet food here. So if the gang wants lasagna for dinner, you can make the usual dish and then pop your Nutrisystem lasagna entrée in your microwave. That way, you can all enjoy a lasagna dinner together. “The great thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of additional work to enjoy a similar food with your family,” McCormick says.

5. You’ll get support even after you’ve reached your goal.

Your journey to better health doesn’t end at the scale. Keeping the pounds off is a challenge itself. That’s why Nutrisystem offers a variety of transition and maintenance plans to help you prepare your own healthy, homemade meals. “For example, we have a ‘Just Lunches and Snacks’ plan that provides lunches and snacks, and guides the customer on how to incorporate their own perfectly portioned breakfasts and dinners,” McCormick says. You can also reach out to weight loss counselors via phone or email. McCormick adds, “The counselors can offer individualized support to help customers overcome a weight loss plateau.” Nutrisystem also has a free tracking app, NuMi, that helps hold users accountable during and after their weight loss journey. With NuMi, you can log your food, weight, water and activity every day. Plus, you’ll get fresh weight loss tips and recipes tailored to you, so you’ll never fall off the wagon. Ready to embark on your weight loss journey while still eating delicious meals? Sign up for Nutrisystem today! Read More 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner 21 Quick and Easy Protein Shake Recipes

The post 5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? https://dailyburn.com/life/health/what-is-the-keto-flu/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:15:35 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65245 What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It?

[caption id="attachment_65248" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

If you’re looking into starting the ketogenic diet, it doesn't take much research before you encounter the dreaded "keto flu." Symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches and nausea, can be enough to knock even the most dedicated dieter off the wagon. But before you give this low-carb, high-fat diet a no-go, we've got some important info about the keto flu, and a few tips for avoiding it.

RELATED: How to Know If the Ketogenic Diet Is Right for You

The Science Behind Ketosis

The ketogenic diet focuses on limiting carbohydrates and increasing fat intake in your diet. With this way of eating, your body operates from the fat you consume, and as a result, you also easily burn fat.

According to Dr. Adam Nally, a board-certified obesity medicine physician, ketogenic expert and author of The Keto Cure, the ketogenic diet also helps reduce insulin overproduction — a common symptom of the American diet. Insulin overproduction can increase the likelihood of developing other chronic diseases, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

What Causes the Keto Flu?

 Dr. Nally says that the body's levels of insulin and salt are related. "What happens when you switch into ketosis, [is that] your insulin level has reduced, and the need to retain salt has been reduced," he explains. Therefore, your body rapidly expels excess salt. If your body loses too much salt (and other electrolytes, such as potassium), you can start to feel flu-like symptoms including fatigue, headaches, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, irritability, lightheadedness and leg cramps.

Another potential cause of fatigue, says Dr. Nally, is not consuming enough fat when on a ketogenic diet. "Because we've created a fat phobia, some people just aren’t adding back enough fat." Protein is generally used by the body to maintain muscles, skin, hair and nails, says Dr. Nally, whereas carbs are usually used for energy. When you remove carbs in a ketogenic diet, it's essential that you consume enough fat to provide energy through ketogenesis.

RELATED: The Truth About the Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

How to Prevent and Alleviate the Keto Flu

The keto flu tends to strike around three to five days into a keto diet and usually goes away on its own, says Dr. Nally. "The body will attempt to compensate [for lost salt] and in many cases it does," he says. But if you’re not consuming enough salt and potassium, it can prolong keto flu symptoms. If simply salting your food a little more doesn't provide relief, try increasing electrolyte intake through sports drinks. "Often by just adding some bone broth or bouillon broth, symptoms will improve in minutes," says Dr. Nally.

Of course, you'll also want to make sure you're consuming enough calories overall and that your calorie intake includes enough fat. High-fat snacks, known as "fat bombs" in the keto community, can be one way to keep fat intake up. It may also be worth investing in a keto meal plan or keto-specific recipes to help keep track of your macronutrient intake.

RELATED: 7 Keto Fat Bombs for a Satisfying Low-Carb Snack

When You Should See a Doctor

For the most part, those who experience keto flu symptoms won’t want to exercise, but Dr. Nally says there's no reason not to work out if you feel like it. Simply stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes up.

But if your headaches don’t get better, and you continue to vomit or feel weakness and fatigue, it’s time to see your MD. People with diabetes who use the ketogenic diet to moderate blood sugar may want to test their ketone levels, in addition to blood sugar, to make sure they aren’t at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis. Even those without other pre-existing conditions keep eye out for potential adverse reactions.

As long as symptoms resolve relatively quickly and painlessly, though — as they should — there's no reason the keto flu should keep you from trying out this diet program.

Read More
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans
Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Counting Calories?
Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

The post What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It?

[caption id="attachment_65248" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] If you’re looking into starting the ketogenic diet, it doesn't take much research before you encounter the dreaded "keto flu." Symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches and nausea, can be enough to knock even the most dedicated dieter off the wagon. But before you give this low-carb, high-fat diet a no-go, we've got some important info about the keto flu, and a few tips for avoiding it. RELATED: How to Know If the Ketogenic Diet Is Right for You

The Science Behind Ketosis

The ketogenic diet focuses on limiting carbohydrates and increasing fat intake in your diet. With this way of eating, your body operates from the fat you consume, and as a result, you also easily burn fat. According to Dr. Adam Nally, a board-certified obesity medicine physician, ketogenic expert and author of The Keto Cure, the ketogenic diet also helps reduce insulin overproduction — a common symptom of the American diet. Insulin overproduction can increase the likelihood of developing other chronic diseases, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

What Causes the Keto Flu?

 Dr. Nally says that the body's levels of insulin and salt are related. "What happens when you switch into ketosis, [is that] your insulin level has reduced, and the need to retain salt has been reduced," he explains. Therefore, your body rapidly expels excess salt. If your body loses too much salt (and other electrolytes, such as potassium), you can start to feel flu-like symptoms including fatigue, headaches, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, irritability, lightheadedness and leg cramps. Another potential cause of fatigue, says Dr. Nally, is not consuming enough fat when on a ketogenic diet. "Because we've created a fat phobia, some people just aren’t adding back enough fat." Protein is generally used by the body to maintain muscles, skin, hair and nails, says Dr. Nally, whereas carbs are usually used for energy. When you remove carbs in a ketogenic diet, it's essential that you consume enough fat to provide energy through ketogenesis. RELATED: The Truth About the Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

How to Prevent and Alleviate the Keto Flu

The keto flu tends to strike around three to five days into a keto diet and usually goes away on its own, says Dr. Nally. "The body will attempt to compensate [for lost salt] and in many cases it does," he says. But if you’re not consuming enough salt and potassium, it can prolong keto flu symptoms. If simply salting your food a little more doesn't provide relief, try increasing electrolyte intake through sports drinks. "Often by just adding some bone broth or bouillon broth, symptoms will improve in minutes," says Dr. Nally. Of course, you'll also want to make sure you're consuming enough calories overall and that your calorie intake includes enough fat. High-fat snacks, known as "fat bombs" in the keto community, can be one way to keep fat intake up. It may also be worth investing in a keto meal plan or keto-specific recipes to help keep track of your macronutrient intake. RELATED: 7 Keto Fat Bombs for a Satisfying Low-Carb Snack

When You Should See a Doctor

For the most part, those who experience keto flu symptoms won’t want to exercise, but Dr. Nally says there's no reason not to work out if you feel like it. Simply stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes up. But if your headaches don’t get better, and you continue to vomit or feel weakness and fatigue, it’s time to see your MD. People with diabetes who use the ketogenic diet to moderate blood sugar may want to test their ketone levels, in addition to blood sugar, to make sure they aren’t at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis. Even those without other pre-existing conditions keep eye out for potential adverse reactions. As long as symptoms resolve relatively quickly and painlessly, though — as they should — there's no reason the keto flu should keep you from trying out this diet program. Read More Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Counting Calories? Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

The post What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-best-beers/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-best-beers/#comments Thu, 25 Jan 2018 12:15:26 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=17410 9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories

[caption id="attachment_65148" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories Photos (clockwise from top left): Blue Point Brewing Company / Anderson Valley Brewing Company / Founders Brewing Company / Allagash Brewing Company[/caption]

While low-carb beer gets a bad rap for being watered down and flavorless, these craft beers pack zest in every ounce — without turning your six-pack into a beer belly. As a general rule, the higher the ABV (alcohol by volume) in a drink, the higher the calorie and carb count. So if a healthier buzz is what you’re after, consider craft beer six percent or under. Just remember that women should stick to no more than one 12-ounce drink a day, and men up to two.

Whether your favorite style of beer is chocolaty, full-bodied stout or a crisp and fruity IPA, we’ve got the best low-calorie beer for you. (Seriously, all of these beers are 200 calories and under!)

RELATED: The Truth About Your Post-Workout Beer Habit

9 Best Low-Carb Beers for Craft Brew Lovers

[caption id="attachment_65128" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Valley Brewing Company[/caption]

1. If you want a sour…

Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Blood Orange Gose
Calories: 126; ABV: 4.2 percent
If you’re not a fan of hoppy beers, go for a gose (pronounced goza). A German-style beer that’s brewed with ground coriander seeds and salt, goses are typically low ABV, so it’s perfect for sipping on something light and flavorful. In this refreshing sour, the beer is fermented with blood orange to impart a citrusy, tart flavor.

RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting?

[caption id="attachment_65129" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Founders All Day IPA Photo: Courtesy of Founders Brewing Company[/caption]

2. If you want an IPA…

Founders Brewing Company's All Day IPA
Calories: 140; ABV: 4.7 percent
Love the hoppy, floral flavors of a New England-style IPA? Then you’ll appreciate the crisp and aromatic taste of Founders’ All Day IPA. Simcoe and Amarillo hops infuse this session beer with a punch of sweet and bitter flavors, while keeping calories and alcohol content low. Crafted for the “active” beer lover, you can go from a hike to the party with this award-winning brew.

[caption id="attachment_65532" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Left Hand Brewing's Saison au Ble de Minuit Photo: Courtesy of Left Hand Brewing [/caption]

3. If you want a stout…

Left Hand Brewing’s Saison au Ble de Minuit
Calories: 199; ABV: 6.8 percent
Stouts are, by definition, boozy beers, which is why they’re so high in ABV. The average stout is upwards 300 calories, but this under-200 farmhouse ale packs the same full-bodied cocoa and espresso flavors of an imperial drink. You'll also get hints of spice and dried fruit to balance the hearty tastes. We’ll toast to that!

RELATED: 11 Flavorful Recipes for Every Craft Beer Lover

[caption id="attachment_65131" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Allagash White Photo: Courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company[/caption]

4. If you want a Belgian wheat beer…

Allagash Brewing Company’s Allagash White
Calories: 159; ABV: 5.1 percent
Spiced with a special blend of coriander and Curacao orange peel, this Belgian-inspired wheat beer doesn’t disappoint. And because it’s brewed with oats and malted wheat, you can bet it’s got a creamy finish and foamy top. Since you’ll save extra calories on this award-winning brew, it’s safe to pair it with a lobster roll — staying true to its Maine brewery roots.

[caption id="attachment_65132" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner Photo: Courtesy of Coney Island Brewing Company[/caption]

5. If you want a pilsner…

Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner
Calories: 160; ABV: 5.3 percent
Pilsners are light-bodied beers, but they’re full of hoppy, floral and spicy tones. This German-style pilsner gets some heat from the rye malt, which is tamed with hints of grapefruit and lemon. While most people believe low-carb beers exist only in mermaid fairytales, we’re so glad we can find this delicious brew beyond its Brooklyn shores.

[caption id="attachment_65133" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Blue Point Toasted Lager Photo: Courtesy of Blue Point Brewing Company[/caption]

6. If you want a lager...

Blue Point Brewing Company’s Toasted Lager
Calories: 165; ABV: 5.5 percent
The Toasted Lager is Blue Point’s most popular beer, and for a good reason. Designed for easy drinking, the Toasted Lager is a brew you’ll want to enjoy every day, thanks to its low ABV and crisp and smooth taste. Brewed with six different grains, you’ve got all the sweet, roasted and bitter notes you’d want in an American amber lager — minus the whopping calories.

RELATED: Beer Before Liquor and Other Booze Myths, Busted

[caption id="attachment_65134" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Prairie The Standard Photo: Courtesy of Prairie Artisan Ales[/caption]

7. If you want a farmhouse ale…

Prairie Artisan Ales' Standard
Calories: 168; ABV: 5.6 percent
Prairie is known for their lip-smacking ales, and this saison is no different. The Standard is dry hopped with Motueka, a New Zealand hop with a lime-like flavor, to pack zest without adding calories. A vibrant mix of fruity, tart and bitter tones, this golden-hued ale is semi-dry. So if you want a low-carb beer closest to the taste of champagne, this is the glass for you.

[caption id="attachment_65135" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale Photo: Courtesy of Sweetwater Brewing Company[/caption]

8. If you want a pale ale…

Sweetwater Brewing Company's 420 Extra Pale Ale
Calories: 168; ABV: 5.7 percent
Straight from Atlanta, Sweetwater Brewing delivers their version of a West Coast-style beer with the 420 Extra Pale Ale. If its name and golden tint isn’t enough pique your curiosity for a pour, then its refreshingly light carbonation is sure to tickle your taste buds. Packed with Cascade and Centennial hops, a delicious pint of this calorie-conscious pale ale is bursting with grapefruit flavor.

[caption id="attachment_65136" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beer: Bell's Porter Photo: Courtesy of Bell's Brewery[/caption]

9. If you want a porter…

Bell’s Porter
Calories: 183; ABV: 5.6 percent
When it comes down to it, the main difference with porters and stouts is the ABV count; stouts tend to be much higher in ABV. So if you’re craving the smooth and rich flavors in a stout but don’t want the extra calories, go for a glass of this award-winning porter. Its got hints of chocolate and coffee you’d expect and a surprising touch of bitter hops.

Read More
How Bad Is Booze, Really? 6 Crazy Facts About Alcohol
7 Real Pumpkin Beers You’ll Want to Stock Up On
What Trainers Really Drink at Happy Hour

The post 9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories

[caption id="attachment_65148" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories Photos (clockwise from top left): Blue Point Brewing Company / Anderson Valley Brewing Company / Founders Brewing Company / Allagash Brewing Company[/caption]
While low-carb beer gets a bad rap for being watered down and flavorless, these craft beers pack zest in every ounce — without turning your six-pack into a beer belly. As a general rule, the higher the ABV (alcohol by volume) in a drink, the higher the calorie and carb count. So if a healthier buzz is what you’re after, consider craft beer six percent or under. Just remember that women should stick to no more than one 12-ounce drink a day, and men up to two. Whether your favorite style of beer is chocolaty, full-bodied stout or a crisp and fruity IPA, we’ve got the best low-calorie beer for you. (Seriously, all of these beers are 200 calories and under!) RELATED: The Truth About Your Post-Workout Beer Habit

9 Best Low-Carb Beers for Craft Brew Lovers

[caption id="attachment_65128" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Valley Brewing Company[/caption]

1. If you want a sour…

Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Blood Orange Gose Calories: 126; ABV: 4.2 percent If you’re not a fan of hoppy beers, go for a gose (pronounced goza). A German-style beer that’s brewed with ground coriander seeds and salt, goses are typically low ABV, so it’s perfect for sipping on something light and flavorful. In this refreshing sour, the beer is fermented with blood orange to impart a citrusy, tart flavor. RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? [caption id="attachment_65129" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Founders All Day IPA Photo: Courtesy of Founders Brewing Company[/caption]

2. If you want an IPA…

Founders Brewing Company's All Day IPA Calories: 140; ABV: 4.7 percent Love the hoppy, floral flavors of a New England-style IPA? Then you’ll appreciate the crisp and aromatic taste of Founders’ All Day IPA. Simcoe and Amarillo hops infuse this session beer with a punch of sweet and bitter flavors, while keeping calories and alcohol content low. Crafted for the “active” beer lover, you can go from a hike to the party with this award-winning brew. [caption id="attachment_65532" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Left Hand Brewing's Saison au Ble de Minuit Photo: Courtesy of Left Hand Brewing [/caption]

3. If you want a stout…

Left Hand Brewing’s Saison au Ble de Minuit Calories: 199; ABV: 6.8 percent Stouts are, by definition, boozy beers, which is why they’re so high in ABV. The average stout is upwards 300 calories, but this under-200 farmhouse ale packs the same full-bodied cocoa and espresso flavors of an imperial drink. You'll also get hints of spice and dried fruit to balance the hearty tastes. We’ll toast to that! RELATED: 11 Flavorful Recipes for Every Craft Beer Lover [caption id="attachment_65131" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Allagash White Photo: Courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company[/caption]

4. If you want a Belgian wheat beer…

Allagash Brewing Company’s Allagash White Calories: 159; ABV: 5.1 percent Spiced with a special blend of coriander and Curacao orange peel, this Belgian-inspired wheat beer doesn’t disappoint. And because it’s brewed with oats and malted wheat, you can bet it’s got a creamy finish and foamy top. Since you’ll save extra calories on this award-winning brew, it’s safe to pair it with a lobster roll — staying true to its Maine brewery roots. [caption id="attachment_65132" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner Photo: Courtesy of Coney Island Brewing Company[/caption]

5. If you want a pilsner…

Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner Calories: 160; ABV: 5.3 percent Pilsners are light-bodied beers, but they’re full of hoppy, floral and spicy tones. This German-style pilsner gets some heat from the rye malt, which is tamed with hints of grapefruit and lemon. While most people believe low-carb beers exist only in mermaid fairytales, we’re so glad we can find this delicious brew beyond its Brooklyn shores. [caption id="attachment_65133" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Blue Point Toasted Lager Photo: Courtesy of Blue Point Brewing Company[/caption]

6. If you want a lager...

Blue Point Brewing Company’s Toasted Lager Calories: 165; ABV: 5.5 percent The Toasted Lager is Blue Point’s most popular beer, and for a good reason. Designed for easy drinking, the Toasted Lager is a brew you’ll want to enjoy every day, thanks to its low ABV and crisp and smooth taste. Brewed with six different grains, you’ve got all the sweet, roasted and bitter notes you’d want in an American amber lager — minus the whopping calories. RELATED: Beer Before Liquor and Other Booze Myths, Busted [caption id="attachment_65134" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Prairie The Standard Photo: Courtesy of Prairie Artisan Ales[/caption]

7. If you want a farmhouse ale…

Prairie Artisan Ales' Standard Calories: 168; ABV: 5.6 percent Prairie is known for their lip-smacking ales, and this saison is no different. The Standard is dry hopped with Motueka, a New Zealand hop with a lime-like flavor, to pack zest without adding calories. A vibrant mix of fruity, tart and bitter tones, this golden-hued ale is semi-dry. So if you want a low-carb beer closest to the taste of champagne, this is the glass for you. [caption id="attachment_65135" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beers: Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale Photo: Courtesy of Sweetwater Brewing Company[/caption]

8. If you want a pale ale…

Sweetwater Brewing Company's 420 Extra Pale Ale Calories: 168; ABV: 5.7 percent Straight from Atlanta, Sweetwater Brewing delivers their version of a West Coast-style beer with the 420 Extra Pale Ale. If its name and golden tint isn’t enough pique your curiosity for a pour, then its refreshingly light carbonation is sure to tickle your taste buds. Packed with Cascade and Centennial hops, a delicious pint of this calorie-conscious pale ale is bursting with grapefruit flavor. [caption id="attachment_65136" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Carb Beer: Bell's Porter Photo: Courtesy of Bell's Brewery[/caption]

9. If you want a porter…

Bell’s Porter Calories: 183; ABV: 5.6 percent When it comes down to it, the main difference with porters and stouts is the ABV count; stouts tend to be much higher in ABV. So if you’re craving the smooth and rich flavors in a stout but don’t want the extra calories, go for a glass of this award-winning porter. Its got hints of chocolate and coffee you’d expect and a surprising touch of bitter hops. Read More How Bad Is Booze, Really? 6 Crazy Facts About Alcohol 7 Real Pumpkin Beers You’ll Want to Stock Up On What Trainers Really Drink at Happy Hour

The post 9 Low-Carb Craft Beers Under 200 Calories appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-best-beers/feed/ 3
5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever https://dailyburn.com/life/health/coffee-hacks-stay-awake/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:15:32 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65001 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever

[caption id="attachment_65005" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Coffee, thanks to its caffeine jolt and hot health benefits, remains the beverage of choice for millions of Americans every morning. And the energizer isn’t losing its steam anytime soon. In fact, the number of coffee consumers continues to rise, according to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association USA.

Evidence shows that java improves alertness and contains a high amount of antioxidants that may help reduce your risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And because it’s readily available and inexpensive, it’s no wonder people turn to it for their 9 a.m….and 3 p.m. pick-me-up.

So if you’re one of many drinking a cup of joe (or five) on the daily, test out these five coffee hacks that’ll boost your morning fuel in new ways. Heck, you might even find that your first cup is so satisfying, you can pass up on a second.

RELATED: 7 Tricks to Slim Down Your Starbucks Order

5 Ways to Boost Your Coffee Pick-Me-Up

1. Add Protein Powder

Unless you add milk to your coffee, you aren’t getting any protein from a typical cup of joe. But having the macronutrient — essential for muscle growth — at breakfast can up your fullness levels and keep you from snacking later in the day, according to research. (Keep in mind, the study involved an egg-filled breakfast, rather than straight protein powder.)

Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, recommends adding enough protein powder to reach the target of 15 to 20 grams of protein per meal. (Just mix powder with cold water first for a smoother, more effective sip.) “The amount you add depends on your taste buds and the rest of the menu. If you are having just oatmeal or toast, you likely want more protein powder than if you’re having three eggs, in which case you have reached the protein goal for the meal,” says Clark.

2. Take a Coffee Nap

If you really want to take your energy boost to the next level, try snoozing right after you sip. A slew of evidence supports the idea that coffee combined with a nap can lead to optimal performance. One study found, for example, that subjects who followed up their caffeine intake with 20 minutes of shut-eye experienced less sleepiness later in the day. To time it right, science shows that you should drink a beverage with 200mg to 250mg of caffeine and then settle in for a 15- or 20-minute nap. It’s the ideal recipe for wakefulness.

RELATED: 10 Reasons You’re Exhausted and What to Do About It

3. Energize Your Workout

Prefer to use your brew to maximize gym time? Instead of splurging on pre-workout supplements, try drinking your morning joe an hour before a workout. Just like java perks you up at your desk, it’ll also give you an energy boost to push through a tough sweat. “The caffeine makes the effort seem easier, so the person can exercise harder, without actually feeling as though he or she is working harder,” says Clark.

Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology also suggests that sipping coffee before your workout could make the session more enjoyable — a good thing to consider when you just don’t feel like hitting the gym. To top it off, research shows that having caffeine pre-exercise can help you eat fewer calories afterward. Three health benefits in one cup of joe.

4. Time Your P.M. Cup Correctly

OK, sometimes you just need that extra pick-me-up post-lunch. But what’s the cut-off to avoid a sleepless night? According to Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, Mattress Firm sleep health consultant and author of My Child Won’t Sleep, your body “clears about half of the caffeine in your system every four to seven hours,” he says. “As such, ensure that your last cup of coffee, or other caffeinated beverage, for the day is at least six hours before you go to bed.” That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some joe in the afternoon, though. Cortisol levels start to decrease after 1 p.m., so consider grabbing a mug around that time to combat deskside drowsiness.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep

5. Lighten Your Tired Look

In addition to drinking coffee, you can also use it to reduce the look of tired eyes. According to Dr. Lily Talakoub, dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, “caffeine helps to de-puff the under-eye area and it helps tighten the skin.”

When you brew your cup of joe at home, set aside the coffee grounds, let them cool, and then apply them under your eyes. Dr. Talakoub recommends washing your face first, and then letting the coffee grounds sit on your under-eyes for about five minutes before wiping them off. Voilá — coffee to both feel and look better.

Read More
7 Buzz-Worthy Recipes for Coffee Lovers
Is Your Morning Coffee Secretly Dehydrating You?
7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Want to Quit Coffee

The post 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever

[caption id="attachment_65005" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Coffee, thanks to its caffeine jolt and hot health benefits, remains the beverage of choice for millions of Americans every morning. And the energizer isn’t losing its steam anytime soon. In fact, the number of coffee consumers continues to rise, according to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association USA. Evidence shows that java improves alertness and contains a high amount of antioxidants that may help reduce your risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And because it’s readily available and inexpensive, it’s no wonder people turn to it for their 9 a.m….and 3 p.m. pick-me-up. So if you’re one of many drinking a cup of joe (or five) on the daily, test out these five coffee hacks that’ll boost your morning fuel in new ways. Heck, you might even find that your first cup is so satisfying, you can pass up on a second. RELATED: 7 Tricks to Slim Down Your Starbucks Order

5 Ways to Boost Your Coffee Pick-Me-Up

1. Add Protein Powder

Unless you add milk to your coffee, you aren’t getting any protein from a typical cup of joe. But having the macronutrient — essential for muscle growth — at breakfast can up your fullness levels and keep you from snacking later in the day, according to research. (Keep in mind, the study involved an egg-filled breakfast, rather than straight protein powder.) Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, recommends adding enough protein powder to reach the target of 15 to 20 grams of protein per meal. (Just mix powder with cold water first for a smoother, more effective sip.) “The amount you add depends on your taste buds and the rest of the menu. If you are having just oatmeal or toast, you likely want more protein powder than if you’re having three eggs, in which case you have reached the protein goal for the meal,” says Clark.

2. Take a Coffee Nap

If you really want to take your energy boost to the next level, try snoozing right after you sip. A slew of evidence supports the idea that coffee combined with a nap can lead to optimal performance. One study found, for example, that subjects who followed up their caffeine intake with 20 minutes of shut-eye experienced less sleepiness later in the day. To time it right, science shows that you should drink a beverage with 200mg to 250mg of caffeine and then settle in for a 15- or 20-minute nap. It’s the ideal recipe for wakefulness. RELATED: 10 Reasons You’re Exhausted and What to Do About It

3. Energize Your Workout

Prefer to use your brew to maximize gym time? Instead of splurging on pre-workout supplements, try drinking your morning joe an hour before a workout. Just like java perks you up at your desk, it’ll also give you an energy boost to push through a tough sweat. “The caffeine makes the effort seem easier, so the person can exercise harder, without actually feeling as though he or she is working harder,” says Clark. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology also suggests that sipping coffee before your workout could make the session more enjoyable — a good thing to consider when you just don’t feel like hitting the gym. To top it off, research shows that having caffeine pre-exercise can help you eat fewer calories afterward. Three health benefits in one cup of joe.

4. Time Your P.M. Cup Correctly

OK, sometimes you just need that extra pick-me-up post-lunch. But what’s the cut-off to avoid a sleepless night? According to Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, Mattress Firm sleep health consultant and author of My Child Won’t Sleep, your body “clears about half of the caffeine in your system every four to seven hours,” he says. “As such, ensure that your last cup of coffee, or other caffeinated beverage, for the day is at least six hours before you go to bed.” That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some joe in the afternoon, though. Cortisol levels start to decrease after 1 p.m., so consider grabbing a mug around that time to combat deskside drowsiness. RELATED: 9 Ways to Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep

5. Lighten Your Tired Look

In addition to drinking coffee, you can also use it to reduce the look of tired eyes. According to Dr. Lily Talakoub, dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, “caffeine helps to de-puff the under-eye area and it helps tighten the skin.” When you brew your cup of joe at home, set aside the coffee grounds, let them cool, and then apply them under your eyes. Dr. Talakoub recommends washing your face first, and then letting the coffee grounds sit on your under-eyes for about five minutes before wiping them off. Voilá — coffee to both feel and look better. Read More 7 Buzz-Worthy Recipes for Coffee Lovers Is Your Morning Coffee Secretly Dehydrating You? 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Want to Quit Coffee

The post 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated https://dailyburn.com/life/health/bloated-gas-stomach-habits/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/bloated-gas-stomach-habits/#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:15:31 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42528 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64831" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Bloating, which is nothing more than just excess air and gas trapped in your digestive tract, comes down to more than just the foods you eat. Some everyday habits could be the culprit for your tighter jeans and tummy woes. Feeling bloated is one of the most common stomach complaints around, says David T. Rubin, M.D., fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The University of Chicago Medicine. Many of his patients even snap “bloating selfies” to show how much their waistlines fluctuate throughout the day. (We won’t blame you if you keep those off Facebook.)

RELATED: How Fast Can You Banish Bloat?

But before you swear off baked beans for good, check out these six small things that might be having a surprisingly big impact on how bloated you feel.

6 Things Secretly Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64832" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. You Love Chewing Gum

Bad news for Orbitz addicts: If your tummy is feeling the effects, it might be time to limit those minty-fresh sticks. “A lot of people chew gum to keep them from eating between meals, but when you chew gum, you unwittingly swallow some air,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N. That excess air intake can make your intestines feel like a balloon animal. Plus, most gums contain sugar alcohols, which can cause gas and bloating as well, she says. Even sugar-free sticks generally contain sorbitol, which can cause a ton of stomach issues, bloating included, according to Rubin.

RELATED: The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Its Effects on Our Health

2. You’re Scarfing Your Food

Here’s yet another legit reason to start eating more mindfully (aka: slowly). “Digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach,” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. With every chew, you not only crush each bite into more easily digestible bits, but that food mingles with saliva and specialized enzymes that break down your food upon impact. When you inhale your food, you largely miss out on that process, meaning your stomach has to work overtime to digest your food, leading to gas. Plus, you literally inhale air, she says. Slow down and don’t forget to chew.

"Many packaged foods are fortified with a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach."

RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now 

3. You Love Drinking Through a Straw

A colorful straw might make your morning smoothie even more Instagram-worthy, but it isn’t doing your body any favors. “Every time you sip through a straw, air comes up before the liquid,” says Taub-Dix, owner of Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It. Even reusable water bottles with built-in straws can cause problems. Sip straight from the lid during your next workout to save your stomach any unnecessary discomfort.

4. You’re Snoring Up a Storm

Do you feel bloated first thing in the morning? “Then you are probably snoring or at least mouth-breathing in your sleep,” says Rubin, who notes that most people who suffer from sleep apnea also struggle with a.m. bloating. Tomorrow morning, look at your stomach. If it seems bigger than when you went to bed, consider scheduling an appointment with a sleep doc to figure out a way to curb snoring for good.

RELATED: 8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes for Better Sleep

5. You’re Feasting on Fiber

Yes, fiber can help you feel full and lose weight, in addition to promoting heart health. But before you down a bowl of fortified cereal, some chia seed pudding and a mega-serving of Brussels sprouts, take pause. Ramping up your fiber intake all at once can cause a lot of bloating, Taub-Dix says. Instead, focus on increasing it gradually, over a number of weeks. This will give your belly more time to adjust and produce the enzymes necessary to pass fiber through your system without trouble. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting your fiber from whole, unprocessed foods like veggies, fruits and whole grains. Many packaged foods are fortified with inulin (aka chicory root), a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

RELATED: Want to Start Clean Eating? Avoid These Common 6 Mistakes

6. You’re Stressed 24/7

What evil does stress not cause? While the hormones can aggravate your digestive system and cause gas and bloating, stress can also prompt people to rush through meals at their desks, skip much-needed bathroom breaks and suck in air during anxiety attacks, Batayneh says. One way to cope: Try to manage your stressors using cognitive behavior therapy or relaxation therapy. Both can help prevent and relieve bloating, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. 

Originally published August 2015. Updated January 2018. 

Read More
The Low-FODMAP Diet: Your Solution to a Healthier Gut?
9 All-Natural Sources of Healthy Probiotics
Is It All in Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

The post 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64831" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption] Bloating, which is nothing more than just excess air and gas trapped in your digestive tract, comes down to more than just the foods you eat. Some everyday habits could be the culprit for your tighter jeans and tummy woes. Feeling bloated is one of the most common stomach complaints around, says David T. Rubin, M.D., fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The University of Chicago Medicine. Many of his patients even snap “bloating selfies” to show how much their waistlines fluctuate throughout the day. (We won’t blame you if you keep those off Facebook.) RELATED: How Fast Can You Banish Bloat? But before you swear off baked beans for good, check out these six small things that might be having a surprisingly big impact on how bloated you feel.

6 Things Secretly Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64832" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. You Love Chewing Gum

Bad news for Orbitz addicts: If your tummy is feeling the effects, it might be time to limit those minty-fresh sticks. “A lot of people chew gum to keep them from eating between meals, but when you chew gum, you unwittingly swallow some air,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N. That excess air intake can make your intestines feel like a balloon animal. Plus, most gums contain sugar alcohols, which can cause gas and bloating as well, she says. Even sugar-free sticks generally contain sorbitol, which can cause a ton of stomach issues, bloating included, according to Rubin. RELATED: The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Its Effects on Our Health

2. You’re Scarfing Your Food

Here’s yet another legit reason to start eating more mindfully (aka: slowly). “Digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach,” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. With every chew, you not only crush each bite into more easily digestible bits, but that food mingles with saliva and specialized enzymes that break down your food upon impact. When you inhale your food, you largely miss out on that process, meaning your stomach has to work overtime to digest your food, leading to gas. Plus, you literally inhale air, she says. Slow down and don’t forget to chew.
"Many packaged foods are fortified with a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach."
RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now 

3. You Love Drinking Through a Straw

A colorful straw might make your morning smoothie even more Instagram-worthy, but it isn’t doing your body any favors. “Every time you sip through a straw, air comes up before the liquid,” says Taub-Dix, owner of Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It. Even reusable water bottles with built-in straws can cause problems. Sip straight from the lid during your next workout to save your stomach any unnecessary discomfort.

4. You’re Snoring Up a Storm

Do you feel bloated first thing in the morning? “Then you are probably snoring or at least mouth-breathing in your sleep,” says Rubin, who notes that most people who suffer from sleep apnea also struggle with a.m. bloating. Tomorrow morning, look at your stomach. If it seems bigger than when you went to bed, consider scheduling an appointment with a sleep doc to figure out a way to curb snoring for good. RELATED: 8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes for Better Sleep

5. You’re Feasting on Fiber

Yes, fiber can help you feel full and lose weight, in addition to promoting heart health. But before you down a bowl of fortified cereal, some chia seed pudding and a mega-serving of Brussels sprouts, take pause. Ramping up your fiber intake all at once can cause a lot of bloating, Taub-Dix says. Instead, focus on increasing it gradually, over a number of weeks. This will give your belly more time to adjust and produce the enzymes necessary to pass fiber through your system without trouble. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting your fiber from whole, unprocessed foods like veggies, fruits and whole grains. Many packaged foods are fortified with inulin (aka chicory root), a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. RELATED: Want to Start Clean Eating? Avoid These Common 6 Mistakes

6. You’re Stressed 24/7

What evil does stress not cause? While the hormones can aggravate your digestive system and cause gas and bloating, stress can also prompt people to rush through meals at their desks, skip much-needed bathroom breaks and suck in air during anxiety attacks, Batayneh says. One way to cope: Try to manage your stressors using cognitive behavior therapy or relaxation therapy. Both can help prevent and relieve bloating, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.  Originally published August 2015. Updated January 2018.  Read More The Low-FODMAP Diet: Your Solution to a Healthier Gut? 9 All-Natural Sources of Healthy Probiotics Is It All in Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

The post 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
https://dailyburn.com/life/health/bloated-gas-stomach-habits/feed/ 6
6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-breakfast-ideas-clean-eating/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64774 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Eat Cleaner Today

6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean

If you’re trying to eat clean, breakfast can be a minefield. Standard fare is often grab-and-go choices like bagels and muffins, or sugary options like waffles and doughnuts. The bad news is these processed, starchy foods can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism.

That’s why it’s important to eat a wholesome meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to start your day. “It literally breaks the fast of not eating overnight,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle. “Eating a high-quality breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism in the morning, while nourishing your body for the day’s activities,” she says.

Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, adds that people who consume a well-balanced breakfast tend to have “increased energy, better regulation of their blood sugars, increased consumption of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and better hunger control throughout the day.” Need help cleaning up your breakfast options? We asked Kosyzk and Kyle for simple and healthy swaps to rethink your first meal of the day.

RELATED: 13 High-Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day Strong

Breakfast Ideas to Make Clean Eating Easy

[caption id="attachment_64778" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Sweet Potato Pancakes Photo: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

1. Instead of waffles or pancakes…

Sure, waffles and pancakes are the picture-perfect idea of Sunday brunch. But they are packed with simple carbohydrates, so your blood sugar levels will crash fast — and hard — soon after consuming them. Plus, they lack protein and heart-healthy fats that help keep you full longer, says Kyle.

Go homemade. While pre-made mixes are convenient, skip them. “Make your own at home using whole-wheat flour. This will increase the dietary fiber and offer more nutrients than traditional white flour,” she says. “Consider topping your waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yogurt. This will help you to consume more nutrients, heart-healthy fats, and protein without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.”

[caption id="attachment_64779" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Greek Yogurt Parfaits Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

2. Instead of a yogurt parfait…

While yogurt may be a healthy choice, a parfait can be a sugar bomb in disguise, especially if you buy one from the store. When you add a sweetener on top of fruit, granola and jam, the sugar content quickly adds up.

Grab Greek yogurt. Construct your own parfait using plain Greek yogurt, Koszyk suggests. “This will cut down on the added sugar from flavored yogurts and provide you with extra protein than regular yogurt,” she says. For one-half cup of yogurt, add one cup of fresh fruit for natural sweetness, not to mention vitamins and fiber. And granola? “Choose one with less than six grams of sugar per serving,” she says. Just don’t overdo it — sprinkle a handful on top.

RELATED: 10 Yogurt Parfaits That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

[caption id="attachment_64780" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Oats Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Instead of cereal…

Cereal can be a tricky breakfast choice. While convenient, it’s often highly processed and packed with sugar — not exactly the ideal clean breakfast. But if you can’t give up your Snap, Crackle and Pop, be sure read the nutrition label, says Kyle. “Choose an option that has less sugar and more protein. Then pair that cereal with a serving of fresh fruit and a glass of your favorite milk, plant-based or traditional dairy, for a more wholesome meal,” she says.

Opt for overnight oats. Simply mix some dried oats with some milk or water in a jar and allow them to soak overnight in the fridge. Letting the oats sit in the liquid allows them to soften and become a pudding-like texture. Flavor with vanilla extract and spices, and top with some fruit for natural sweetness. For a warmer choice, oatmeal or oat bran bowl topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit.

[caption id="attachment_64781" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: English Muffin Egg Sandwich Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Instead of an egg sandwich…

From the corner deli to your greasy spoon diner to McDonald’s, egg sandwiches are a breakfast staple. But typical ones may be overloaded with fat from butter and oil. Then, there’s the bread, which is usually an oversized sub, bagel or croissant.

Make an English muffin sandwich. Prep your own sandwich with a high-fiber English muffin, says Koszyk, which offers five or more grams of fiber per serving. Cook one egg with olive oil cooking spray and skip the butter. “Since cheese and bacon are both higher in fat, choose one or the other to add to the sandwich,” she says. Add a side of fruit for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes

[caption id="attachment_64782" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Whole-Grain Bagel Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Instead of bagels...

OK, we love bagels, too. “The challenge with bagels is the portion size and quantity of carbohydrates. One entire bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread, about 60 grams of carbs,” says Koszyk.

Stick with half a serving. To cut down on your carb intake, enjoy half of a high-fiber bagel. “Add lox or smoked salmon for protein and tomato for vitamins and nutrients,” she says. You can also top with sprouts, capers and radishes for more fiber.

[caption id="attachment_64784" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Muffins Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Instead of scones or muffins…

“Most traditional baked goods come in extra large serving sizes these days, which can add a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar to your morning,” says Kyle.

Bake your own batch. Kyle suggests swapping out heavier ingredients like butter or eggs for applesauce, chia seeds, pureed bananas or Greek yogurt. “A simple swap like this can help you save up to 100 calories and add in some additional nutrients as well,” she says. “Add in fruits or veggies for your fillings instead of nuts or chocolate chips.”

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scone or muffin for breakfast once in a while, even if you’re eating clean.

Read More
10 Healthy Ways to Get on the Egg Muffins Trend
What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner
9 Veggie-Packed Breakfast On-the-Go Recipes

The post 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Eat Cleaner Today

6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean
If you’re trying to eat clean, breakfast can be a minefield. Standard fare is often grab-and-go choices like bagels and muffins, or sugary options like waffles and doughnuts. The bad news is these processed, starchy foods can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism. That’s why it’s important to eat a wholesome meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to start your day. “It literally breaks the fast of not eating overnight,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle. “Eating a high-quality breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism in the morning, while nourishing your body for the day’s activities,” she says. Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, adds that people who consume a well-balanced breakfast tend to have “increased energy, better regulation of their blood sugars, increased consumption of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and better hunger control throughout the day.” Need help cleaning up your breakfast options? We asked Kosyzk and Kyle for simple and healthy swaps to rethink your first meal of the day. RELATED: 13 High-Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day Strong

Breakfast Ideas to Make Clean Eating Easy

[caption id="attachment_64778" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Sweet Potato Pancakes Photo: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

1. Instead of waffles or pancakes…

Sure, waffles and pancakes are the picture-perfect idea of Sunday brunch. But they are packed with simple carbohydrates, so your blood sugar levels will crash fast — and hard — soon after consuming them. Plus, they lack protein and heart-healthy fats that help keep you full longer, says Kyle. Go homemade. While pre-made mixes are convenient, skip them. “Make your own at home using whole-wheat flour. This will increase the dietary fiber and offer more nutrients than traditional white flour,” she says. “Consider topping your waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yogurt. This will help you to consume more nutrients, heart-healthy fats, and protein without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.” [caption id="attachment_64779" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Greek Yogurt Parfaits Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

2. Instead of a yogurt parfait…

While yogurt may be a healthy choice, a parfait can be a sugar bomb in disguise, especially if you buy one from the store. When you add a sweetener on top of fruit, granola and jam, the sugar content quickly adds up. Grab Greek yogurt. Construct your own parfait using plain Greek yogurt, Koszyk suggests. “This will cut down on the added sugar from flavored yogurts and provide you with extra protein than regular yogurt,” she says. For one-half cup of yogurt, add one cup of fresh fruit for natural sweetness, not to mention vitamins and fiber. And granola? “Choose one with less than six grams of sugar per serving,” she says. Just don’t overdo it — sprinkle a handful on top. RELATED: 10 Yogurt Parfaits That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat [caption id="attachment_64780" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Oats Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Instead of cereal…

Cereal can be a tricky breakfast choice. While convenient, it’s often highly processed and packed with sugar — not exactly the ideal clean breakfast. But if you can’t give up your Snap, Crackle and Pop, be sure read the nutrition label, says Kyle. “Choose an option that has less sugar and more protein. Then pair that cereal with a serving of fresh fruit and a glass of your favorite milk, plant-based or traditional dairy, for a more wholesome meal,” she says. Opt for overnight oats. Simply mix some dried oats with some milk or water in a jar and allow them to soak overnight in the fridge. Letting the oats sit in the liquid allows them to soften and become a pudding-like texture. Flavor with vanilla extract and spices, and top with some fruit for natural sweetness. For a warmer choice, oatmeal or oat bran bowl topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit. [caption id="attachment_64781" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: English Muffin Egg Sandwich Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Instead of an egg sandwich…

From the corner deli to your greasy spoon diner to McDonald’s, egg sandwiches are a breakfast staple. But typical ones may be overloaded with fat from butter and oil. Then, there’s the bread, which is usually an oversized sub, bagel or croissant. Make an English muffin sandwich. Prep your own sandwich with a high-fiber English muffin, says Koszyk, which offers five or more grams of fiber per serving. Cook one egg with olive oil cooking spray and skip the butter. “Since cheese and bacon are both higher in fat, choose one or the other to add to the sandwich,” she says. Add a side of fruit for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes [caption id="attachment_64782" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Whole-Grain Bagel Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Instead of bagels...

OK, we love bagels, too. “The challenge with bagels is the portion size and quantity of carbohydrates. One entire bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread, about 60 grams of carbs,” says Koszyk. Stick with half a serving. To cut down on your carb intake, enjoy half of a high-fiber bagel. “Add lox or smoked salmon for protein and tomato for vitamins and nutrients,” she says. You can also top with sprouts, capers and radishes for more fiber. [caption id="attachment_64784" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Muffins Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Instead of scones or muffins…

“Most traditional baked goods come in extra large serving sizes these days, which can add a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar to your morning,” says Kyle. Bake your own batch. Kyle suggests swapping out heavier ingredients like butter or eggs for applesauce, chia seeds, pureed bananas or Greek yogurt. “A simple swap like this can help you save up to 100 calories and add in some additional nutrients as well,” she says. “Add in fruits or veggies for your fillings instead of nuts or chocolate chips.” And remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scone or muffin for breakfast once in a while, even if you’re eating clean. Read More 10 Healthy Ways to Get on the Egg Muffins Trend What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner 9 Veggie-Packed Breakfast On-the-Go Recipes

The post 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-naturally-boost-metabolism/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-naturally-boost-metabolism/#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:15:39 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=31172

[caption id="attachment_64761" align="alignnone" width="620"]Naturally Increase Metabolism with Coffee Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Metabolism: We've all got one, but some people's are "faster" or "slower" than others'. And that matters, because the rate at which your body burns calories and converts fuel to energy can also affect how easily you gain or lose weight. It also says a lot about how at-risk you are for diabetes, and how much pep you've got in your step. While much of your metabolic rate is determined by genetics, age, gender and body size, there are some lifestyle changes that can, quite literally, speed up the process.

It's important to note that metabolism can't be solely held responsible for weight gain or loss. Someone with a super-fast burn can't stay slim eating junk food and not exercising, while people with slower metabolisms aren't automatically doomed to an overweight fate.

But even tiny adjustments to a person's metabolic rate can add up to significant health benefits over time, says Francesco Celi, MD, chair of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Read on to learn how to increase your metabolism, the natural way.

RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Naturally Increase Your Metabolism with These 7 Tips

1. Turn down the temp.

Sleeping in a cool room seems to increase people's percentages of brown fat — a type of fat that acts more like muscle — according to a 2014 study conducted by Celi and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. The research involved five male volunteers, who slept in climate-controlled rooms with only light pajamas and bedsheets, for several months. After four weeks of 66-degree nights, they'd nearly doubled their amounts of brown fat, and also experience an increase in their calorie burn.

"It would be extremely naive to do this and expect to lose weight to the extent you would on a diet," Celi says. "On the other hand, we did see a measurable increase in glucose metabolism that could certainly add up over time."

Keeping your home or office cool during the day may also have a similar effect, he adds.

2. Drink a cup of Joe.

A few small studies have shown an association between caffeine consumption, increased metabolic burn, and a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. Celi says this could possibly be because it helps the body break down fat.

But don't go overboard: Too many caffeinated beverages a day can cause nervousness, nausea or insomnia. Plus, some coffee beverages are high in fat and sugar.

3. Keep stress levels low (or try to!).

Even if stressful situations don't cause you to binge on fatty foods, your body may take longer to process any calories that you do eat. In a 2014 study from Ohio State University, women who reported being stressed out over a 24-hour span burned, on average, 104 fewer calories after they ate a meal of eggs, sausage and biscuits. The researchers point out that over the course of a year, this deficit could translate to an 11-pound weight gain.

"The stress response activates the hormone cortisol," explains Celi, "which has been clearly associated with a worsening of metabolism and, in the long-run, increasing the risk for obesity." In other words, to help speed up metabolism make sure to wind down more often.

4. Get a good night's sleep.

Not getting enough quality shuteye has also been shown to slow metabolism in both men and women; this also may have to do with the brain's secretion of cortisol when the body is under stress, says Celi. And even if you hit the hay early, that may not be enough. Research has shown that broken sleep (when you're woken up frequently throughout the night) isn't nearly as restorative as seven consecutive hours. So on top of crawling under the covers early, be sure to give yourself enough hours to get the rest and recovery your body needs.

RELATED: Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

5. Pump some iron.

Celi says any type of physical activity — even just walking for 30 minutes — can help speed up metabolism. (Anything is better than sitting for hours, which is one of the worst things you can do.) But the kind of exercise that works best to activate brown fat and rev metabolism is strength training.

"By increasing muscle mass, we can increase our resting energy expenditure, which is what's going to help you burn calories all day long," Celi says.

Try adding some weights into your workout regimen and see if you notice a difference. Consider bigger lifts as well if you’re body is trained for it.

RELATED: Ladies, Here's Why You Should Lift Heavy Weights

6. Snack on something spicy.

Capsacian, a molecule found in spicy chiles, has been shown to increase body temperature and speed up fat loss — although only temporarily, and only by a small percentage. Celi says there's also some evidence that chemicals called isothiocyanates, which are present in pungent foods like spicy mustard, wasabi, and horseradish, may help activate brown fat and speed up metabolic rate. Bloody Mary, anyone?

7. Power up with plyometrics.

If you’ve been skimping on plyometric training, you might want to throw it back into your workout rotation. All those squat jumps and burpees are by nature high-intensity, getting your heart rate up so you burn more calories in a short amount of time. Plus, when performed interval-style, you'll speed up your metabolism for the 24 to 48 hours after you leave the gym. According to one study, 12 weeks of HIIT plus plyometric exercise resulted in more lean body mass, reduced body fat and improved metabolic abnormalities compared to just HIIT alone. Not sure where to start? Give these six exercises a try.

Originally published August 2014. Updated January 2018.

Read More:
I'm Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight?
How to Boost Your Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s
50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight (The Healthy Way)

The post 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_64761" align="alignnone" width="620"]Naturally Increase Metabolism with Coffee Photo: Pond5[/caption] Metabolism: We've all got one, but some people's are "faster" or "slower" than others'. And that matters, because the rate at which your body burns calories and converts fuel to energy can also affect how easily you gain or lose weight. It also says a lot about how at-risk you are for diabetes, and how much pep you've got in your step. While much of your metabolic rate is determined by genetics, age, gender and body size, there are some lifestyle changes that can, quite literally, speed up the process. It's important to note that metabolism can't be solely held responsible for weight gain or loss. Someone with a super-fast burn can't stay slim eating junk food and not exercising, while people with slower metabolisms aren't automatically doomed to an overweight fate. But even tiny adjustments to a person's metabolic rate can add up to significant health benefits over time, says Francesco Celi, MD, chair of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Read on to learn how to increase your metabolism, the natural way. RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Naturally Increase Your Metabolism with These 7 Tips

1. Turn down the temp.

Sleeping in a cool room seems to increase people's percentages of brown fat — a type of fat that acts more like muscle — according to a 2014 study conducted by Celi and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. The research involved five male volunteers, who slept in climate-controlled rooms with only light pajamas and bedsheets, for several months. After four weeks of 66-degree nights, they'd nearly doubled their amounts of brown fat, and also experience an increase in their calorie burn. "It would be extremely naive to do this and expect to lose weight to the extent you would on a diet," Celi says. "On the other hand, we did see a measurable increase in glucose metabolism that could certainly add up over time." Keeping your home or office cool during the day may also have a similar effect, he adds.

2. Drink a cup of Joe.

A few small studies have shown an association between caffeine consumption, increased metabolic burn, and a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. Celi says this could possibly be because it helps the body break down fat. But don't go overboard: Too many caffeinated beverages a day can cause nervousness, nausea or insomnia. Plus, some coffee beverages are high in fat and sugar.

3. Keep stress levels low (or try to!).

Even if stressful situations don't cause you to binge on fatty foods, your body may take longer to process any calories that you do eat. In a 2014 study from Ohio State University, women who reported being stressed out over a 24-hour span burned, on average, 104 fewer calories after they ate a meal of eggs, sausage and biscuits. The researchers point out that over the course of a year, this deficit could translate to an 11-pound weight gain. "The stress response activates the hormone cortisol," explains Celi, "which has been clearly associated with a worsening of metabolism and, in the long-run, increasing the risk for obesity." In other words, to help speed up metabolism make sure to wind down more often.

4. Get a good night's sleep.

Not getting enough quality shuteye has also been shown to slow metabolism in both men and women; this also may have to do with the brain's secretion of cortisol when the body is under stress, says Celi. And even if you hit the hay early, that may not be enough. Research has shown that broken sleep (when you're woken up frequently throughout the night) isn't nearly as restorative as seven consecutive hours. So on top of crawling under the covers early, be sure to give yourself enough hours to get the rest and recovery your body needs. RELATED: Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

5. Pump some iron.

Celi says any type of physical activity — even just walking for 30 minutes — can help speed up metabolism. (Anything is better than sitting for hours, which is one of the worst things you can do.) But the kind of exercise that works best to activate brown fat and rev metabolism is strength training. "By increasing muscle mass, we can increase our resting energy expenditure, which is what's going to help you burn calories all day long," Celi says. Try adding some weights into your workout regimen and see if you notice a difference. Consider bigger lifts as well if you’re body is trained for it. RELATED: Ladies, Here's Why You Should Lift Heavy Weights

6. Snack on something spicy.

Capsacian, a molecule found in spicy chiles, has been shown to increase body temperature and speed up fat loss — although only temporarily, and only by a small percentage. Celi says there's also some evidence that chemicals called isothiocyanates, which are present in pungent foods like spicy mustard, wasabi, and horseradish, may help activate brown fat and speed up metabolic rate. Bloody Mary, anyone?

7. Power up with plyometrics.

If you’ve been skimping on plyometric training, you might want to throw it back into your workout rotation. All those squat jumps and burpees are by nature high-intensity, getting your heart rate up so you burn more calories in a short amount of time. Plus, when performed interval-style, you'll speed up your metabolism for the 24 to 48 hours after you leave the gym. According to one study, 12 weeks of HIIT plus plyometric exercise resulted in more lean body mass, reduced body fat and improved metabolic abnormalities compared to just HIIT alone. Not sure where to start? Give these six exercises a try.
Originally published August 2014. Updated January 2018. Read More: I'm Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight? How to Boost Your Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight (The Healthy Way)

The post 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-naturally-boost-metabolism/feed/ 6
Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? https://dailyburn.com/life/health/calorie-counting-weight-loss/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/calorie-counting-weight-loss/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:15:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=51220

[caption id="attachment_64732" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Calorie Counting Photo: Pond5[/caption]

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to get sucked into counting calories. After all, that’s what weight loss is all about, right? To some extent, that’s true, says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet.

For example, if you usually consume 2,500 calories a day and then cut back to 1,600 calories, you’re going to lose weight from that 900-calorie daily deficit — even if all you ate was potato chips. But you won’t be healthy and you most likely won’t be able to keep the pounds off.

That’s because when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there’s much more going on behind the scenes than simply calories in, calories out. Here’s what you should know about the real role of nutrition in weight loss, and what you can do to set yourself up for success.

RELATED: I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Calories: It’s All About Quality Over Quantity

If you’re only focused on calorie counting, you could be missing the bigger picture. Sure, cutting back on how much you eat will lead to weight loss, but what’s even more important than calories is the quality of the foods you’re choosing, says Gans. Eating balanced, healthful meals will not only ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to improve your overall health status, but it will make your weight loss more sustainable.

“We can’t just look at a number on the scale when we think about weight loss,” she advises.

If you eat too few calories, or too many empty calories, you’ll wind up feeling hungry all the time. And you'll likely overeat more unhealthy foods later on, she says. Going back to the potato chip example, you could eat 160 calories of chips, but it won’t hold you over. In an hour, you’ll be hungry for another 160 calories, or even double that, because your “meal” was lacking the variety, fiber and protein needed to keep you satisfied. Eating foods high in fiber, healthy fats and lean protein, such as eggs, grilled chicken, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, avocados and olive oil, can keep hunger at bay and keep you fuller longer.

RELATED: The One Habit That Could Slash 1,400 Calories Per Week

“If you had sat down at the beginning and had 300 calories of some whole grain bread, avocado, a little chicken, now all of a sudden you have a well-balanced meal and you’re not going to be hungry,” says Gans. “Those 300 calories are going to do a lot more for you.”

Calorie Counting Conundrum: You Can’t Out-Run a Bad Diet

If weight loss were as simple as calorie counting, you’d be able to lose as much weight as calories you could rack up on the treadmill screen. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise can make up for a poor diet, says Gans. It’s common for people to hit a weight loss plateau or even gain weight if they continue to follow a bad diet, despite becoming more active.

“If you’re exercising all the time but eating like crap or eating too many calories, you’re not going to lose weight,” she says. In other words, how many calories you burn in the gym is irrelevant if you're overeating — or attempting to fuel with low-quality foods every day.

Meanwhile, while you can lose weight by cutting calories and not exercising at all, Gans strongly advises against it. Not only would you miss out on all the health benefits of exercise, but activities like running, swimming and cycling are lifestyle factors that often make it easier to keep the pounds off. Plus, exercise helps boost your metabolism, especially strength training. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy you’ll have to burn calories even when you’re just sitting down.

In fact, one 2014 scientific review found that diet plus exercise was more effective for weight loss than diet alone.

“This tells us it’s a lifestyle,” says Gans. “For those individuals who lose weight and incorporate exercise, it’s because they’ve made a better lifestyle of taking care of themselves. And that’s where you see the true success.”

RELATED: 6 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

Eat, Sleep, Train, Repeat: All in a Day's Work

The three most important factors for weight loss are diet, exercise and sleep, says Gans. If you can work on improving the quality of one of those factors in your life, you can create a chain reaction for improving the rest.

“It’s almost like what came first, the chicken or the egg,” she says. “If you sleep well and have more energy, it stands to reason that you would be more likely to go to the gym. Now you’ve been going to the gym, you’re working out better, which makes you want to eat better. And so the cycle continues.”

RELATED: What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner

When counseling patients, Gans stresses that even though what we put in our mouths is the most important thing for weight loss, if you’re exhausted it will be a lot more difficult to choose a yogurt and a banana over a donut on the way to work. She also emphasizes the importance of planning and getting enough sleep. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to help your body recover from the day, manage stress levels and improve your willpower so you reach for a kale salad instead of a burger a fries.

“Yogurt and fruit could have more calories than a donut. But we know that the donut is probably going to make you hungrier, and now you’re going to have a bigger lunch,” says Gans. “But if you had that yogurt and fruit because you planned for it, you might have been able to control what you had for lunch.”

Originally published August 2016. Updated January 2018. 

Read More
Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes
This Is How Many Calories You're Burning During Exercise
How to Calculate Your BMR (And Why It Matters)

The post Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_64732" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Calorie Counting Photo: Pond5[/caption] When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to get sucked into counting calories. After all, that’s what weight loss is all about, right? To some extent, that’s true, says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. For example, if you usually consume 2,500 calories a day and then cut back to 1,600 calories, you’re going to lose weight from that 900-calorie daily deficit — even if all you ate was potato chips. But you won’t be healthy and you most likely won’t be able to keep the pounds off. That’s because when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there’s much more going on behind the scenes than simply calories in, calories out. Here’s what you should know about the real role of nutrition in weight loss, and what you can do to set yourself up for success. RELATED: I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Calories: It’s All About Quality Over Quantity

If you’re only focused on calorie counting, you could be missing the bigger picture. Sure, cutting back on how much you eat will lead to weight loss, but what’s even more important than calories is the quality of the foods you’re choosing, says Gans. Eating balanced, healthful meals will not only ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to improve your overall health status, but it will make your weight loss more sustainable. “We can’t just look at a number on the scale when we think about weight loss,” she advises. If you eat too few calories, or too many empty calories, you’ll wind up feeling hungry all the time. And you'll likely overeat more unhealthy foods later on, she says. Going back to the potato chip example, you could eat 160 calories of chips, but it won’t hold you over. In an hour, you’ll be hungry for another 160 calories, or even double that, because your “meal” was lacking the variety, fiber and protein needed to keep you satisfied. Eating foods high in fiber, healthy fats and lean protein, such as eggs, grilled chicken, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, avocados and olive oil, can keep hunger at bay and keep you fuller longer. RELATED: The One Habit That Could Slash 1,400 Calories Per Week “If you had sat down at the beginning and had 300 calories of some whole grain bread, avocado, a little chicken, now all of a sudden you have a well-balanced meal and you’re not going to be hungry,” says Gans. “Those 300 calories are going to do a lot more for you.”

Calorie Counting Conundrum: You Can’t Out-Run a Bad Diet

If weight loss were as simple as calorie counting, you’d be able to lose as much weight as calories you could rack up on the treadmill screen. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise can make up for a poor diet, says Gans. It’s common for people to hit a weight loss plateau or even gain weight if they continue to follow a bad diet, despite becoming more active. “If you’re exercising all the time but eating like crap or eating too many calories, you’re not going to lose weight,” she says. In other words, how many calories you burn in the gym is irrelevant if you're overeating — or attempting to fuel with low-quality foods every day. Meanwhile, while you can lose weight by cutting calories and not exercising at all, Gans strongly advises against it. Not only would you miss out on all the health benefits of exercise, but activities like running, swimming and cycling are lifestyle factors that often make it easier to keep the pounds off. Plus, exercise helps boost your metabolism, especially strength training. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy you’ll have to burn calories even when you’re just sitting down. In fact, one 2014 scientific review found that diet plus exercise was more effective for weight loss than diet alone. “This tells us it’s a lifestyle,” says Gans. “For those individuals who lose weight and incorporate exercise, it’s because they’ve made a better lifestyle of taking care of themselves. And that’s where you see the true success.” RELATED: 6 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

Eat, Sleep, Train, Repeat: All in a Day's Work

The three most important factors for weight loss are diet, exercise and sleep, says Gans. If you can work on improving the quality of one of those factors in your life, you can create a chain reaction for improving the rest. “It’s almost like what came first, the chicken or the egg,” she says. “If you sleep well and have more energy, it stands to reason that you would be more likely to go to the gym. Now you’ve been going to the gym, you’re working out better, which makes you want to eat better. And so the cycle continues.” RELATED: What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner When counseling patients, Gans stresses that even though what we put in our mouths is the most important thing for weight loss, if you’re exhausted it will be a lot more difficult to choose a yogurt and a banana over a donut on the way to work. She also emphasizes the importance of planning and getting enough sleep. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to help your body recover from the day, manage stress levels and improve your willpower so you reach for a kale salad instead of a burger a fries. “Yogurt and fruit could have more calories than a donut. But we know that the donut is probably going to make you hungrier, and now you’re going to have a bigger lunch,” says Gans. “But if you had that yogurt and fruit because you planned for it, you might have been able to control what you had for lunch.” Originally published August 2016. Updated January 2018.  Read More Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes This Is How Many Calories You're Burning During Exercise How to Calculate Your BMR (And Why It Matters)

The post Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
https://dailyburn.com/life/health/calorie-counting-weight-loss/feed/ 0
How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) https://dailyburn.com/life/health/read-nutrition-labels-facts/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:15:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64639 How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped)

[caption id="attachment_64643" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Sometimes, trying to determine whether a packaged food’s nutrition facts mean it’s healthy for you (or at least sort of healthy for you) can feel about as confusing as reading Ulysses after a few glasses of wine. Big, bright labels declaring an item “low-fat” or “low-sugar” might sound promising. But then you flip over the package to discover a list of ingredients longer than your family tree.

Thanks to the FDA’s nutrition facts updates, decoding packages should get easier. The government now requires large, easy-to-read numbers for calories, servings per container and serving size. And the serving size info will reflect what people typically eat, rather than what’s suggested (for example, a full 15-ounces of soup rather than half of it). Finally, added sugar will stand out as its own category.

But even with these changes, some info can be tricky to decipher. Luckily, a few sound strategies can help you cut through the confusion to identify packaged foods that won’t mess with your health. Follow these six steps to simplifying nutrition labels and finding good-for-you groceries.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating

6 Steps to Easily Deciphering Nutrition Labels

[caption id="attachment_64650" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels 6-Step Check List Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

1. Make sure you can identify all the ingredients.

Here’s a simple way to start a food product assessment: Read the whole ingredient list, and take note of whether you actually know what each ingredient is. “If there is an item listed that you are unfamiliar with, I recommend looking it up before consuming it,” says Maxine Yeung, RD, NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk.

As a general rule, shorter ingredients lists will be easier to decipher — and that usually says good things about the product. “A longer list is likely to include additives,” says Yeung.

2. Note the order of ingredients.

Manufacturers list ingredients from heaviest (or most prominent) to lightest, says Yeung. “[This] can guide you in choosing a healthier item.” For example, if a multigrain bread product lists white flour before whole wheat flour, you’ll know the bread is made primarily from refined carbohydrates. That means you’re probably better off choosing a different product, preferably one with whole grains listed higher up.

RELATED:  The Ultimate Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Carbohydrates

3. Check the serving size.

“It’s very important to pay attention to the serving size on the food label, because oftentimes what seems like a small package and individual serving may actually be two or more servings,” says Yeung. That means you could consume more calories, fat, salt and sugar than intended. (One reason the FDA is requiring updates on serving size.)

4. Focus on what’s most relevant to your personal needs.

“It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients that will affect your personal health the most,” says Yeung. For example, she says, if you have issues with blood pressure, you should pay particular attention to salt content. If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, make sure you’re evaluating total carbohydrates and added sugars. For those trying to achieve healthier cholesterol levels, watch out for unhealthy fats, like saturated or trans. And if you’re watching your weight, the calorie content will probably be most relevant. Try to keep all these numbers low, but especially those most important to your health, Yeung says.

RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

5. Identify fat and sugar sources.

Sure, the quantity of fats and sugars can tell you something about the healthfulness of a given product. But where these nutrients come from also matters.

“Keep the amount of saturated fat you consume under seven to 10 percent of your daily total calories, and total fat intake should be 20 to 35 percent of your total daily calories,” says Yeung. “This means the majority of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.” Yeung also recommends avoiding items with partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil, as these are just different names for trans fats.

The source of a product’s sugar is another crucial component. “Ultimately, any type of carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in your body,” says Yeung. “However, with sugar from natural sources (such as fruit) you also get vitamins, minerals, fiber and water, which helps better manage sugar levels in your body. You want to limit the amount of added sugar as much as possible.” That includes maple syrup, cane sugar, brown rice syrup and honey.

6. Don’t get fooled by front-label claims.

“Front-label claims can be helpful in narrowing down items, such as choosing a gluten-free product if you have a [sensitivity] to gluten,” says Yeung. But these labels can also be misleading. In fact, a study from earlier this year found front-label claims may lend people a false sense of confidence that they’re purchasing healthy foods. On the contrary, many of these products actually had worse nutritional profiles than those without those claims.

“Oftentimes when companies eliminate or reduce fat, sugar or salt in a product, they will use one of the others to help flavor the product,” says Yeung. “For example, a fat-free product may have a lot of added sugar. This can increase the amount of calories and lead to an increase in fat stores.”

Also, note that “reduced” doesn’t mean “low.” “Reduced fat or reduced salt doesn’t mean the product is low in fat or salt,” says Yeung. “‘Less salt’ just means the product has at least 50 percent less salt than in the original food, and ‘reduced salt’ means the product has at least 25 percent less salt than the original food. The product has to say ‘low sodium’ or show 140 mg of salt or less per serving to actually be a low-salt food.”

Final Food for Thought

Reading food labels doesn’t have to feel impossible enough that you give up and just buy whatever it is you’re holding. Use these strategies to break down the nutrition facts and easily figure out what’s good for you (and what’s not) so you can make the best decision for your body. And remember, most vitamin- and mineral-rich foods don’t require labels.

Read More
Shop Smarter: 6 Common Food Labels, Explained
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped)

[caption id="attachment_64643" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) Photo: Pond5[/caption] Sometimes, trying to determine whether a packaged food’s nutrition facts mean it’s healthy for you (or at least sort of healthy for you) can feel about as confusing as reading Ulysses after a few glasses of wine. Big, bright labels declaring an item “low-fat” or “low-sugar” might sound promising. But then you flip over the package to discover a list of ingredients longer than your family tree. Thanks to the FDA’s nutrition facts updates, decoding packages should get easier. The government now requires large, easy-to-read numbers for calories, servings per container and serving size. And the serving size info will reflect what people typically eat, rather than what’s suggested (for example, a full 15-ounces of soup rather than half of it). Finally, added sugar will stand out as its own category. But even with these changes, some info can be tricky to decipher. Luckily, a few sound strategies can help you cut through the confusion to identify packaged foods that won’t mess with your health. Follow these six steps to simplifying nutrition labels and finding good-for-you groceries. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating

6 Steps to Easily Deciphering Nutrition Labels

[caption id="attachment_64650" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels 6-Step Check List Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

1. Make sure you can identify all the ingredients.

Here’s a simple way to start a food product assessment: Read the whole ingredient list, and take note of whether you actually know what each ingredient is. “If there is an item listed that you are unfamiliar with, I recommend looking it up before consuming it,” says Maxine Yeung, RD, NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk. As a general rule, shorter ingredients lists will be easier to decipher — and that usually says good things about the product. “A longer list is likely to include additives,” says Yeung.

2. Note the order of ingredients.

Manufacturers list ingredients from heaviest (or most prominent) to lightest, says Yeung. “[This] can guide you in choosing a healthier item.” For example, if a multigrain bread product lists white flour before whole wheat flour, you’ll know the bread is made primarily from refined carbohydrates. That means you’re probably better off choosing a different product, preferably one with whole grains listed higher up. RELATED:  The Ultimate Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Carbohydrates

3. Check the serving size.

“It’s very important to pay attention to the serving size on the food label, because oftentimes what seems like a small package and individual serving may actually be two or more servings,” says Yeung. That means you could consume more calories, fat, salt and sugar than intended. (One reason the FDA is requiring updates on serving size.)

4. Focus on what’s most relevant to your personal needs.

“It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients that will affect your personal health the most,” says Yeung. For example, she says, if you have issues with blood pressure, you should pay particular attention to salt content. If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, make sure you’re evaluating total carbohydrates and added sugars. For those trying to achieve healthier cholesterol levels, watch out for unhealthy fats, like saturated or trans. And if you’re watching your weight, the calorie content will probably be most relevant. Try to keep all these numbers low, but especially those most important to your health, Yeung says. RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

5. Identify fat and sugar sources.

Sure, the quantity of fats and sugars can tell you something about the healthfulness of a given product. But where these nutrients come from also matters. “Keep the amount of saturated fat you consume under seven to 10 percent of your daily total calories, and total fat intake should be 20 to 35 percent of your total daily calories,” says Yeung. “This means the majority of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.” Yeung also recommends avoiding items with partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil, as these are just different names for trans fats. The source of a product’s sugar is another crucial component. “Ultimately, any type of carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in your body,” says Yeung. “However, with sugar from natural sources (such as fruit) you also get vitamins, minerals, fiber and water, which helps better manage sugar levels in your body. You want to limit the amount of added sugar as much as possible.” That includes maple syrup, cane sugar, brown rice syrup and honey.

6. Don’t get fooled by front-label claims.

“Front-label claims can be helpful in narrowing down items, such as choosing a gluten-free product if you have a [sensitivity] to gluten,” says Yeung. But these labels can also be misleading. In fact, a study from earlier this year found front-label claims may lend people a false sense of confidence that they’re purchasing healthy foods. On the contrary, many of these products actually had worse nutritional profiles than those without those claims. “Oftentimes when companies eliminate or reduce fat, sugar or salt in a product, they will use one of the others to help flavor the product,” says Yeung. “For example, a fat-free product may have a lot of added sugar. This can increase the amount of calories and lead to an increase in fat stores.” Also, note that “reduced” doesn’t mean “low.” “Reduced fat or reduced salt doesn’t mean the product is low in fat or salt,” says Yeung. “‘Less salt’ just means the product has at least 50 percent less salt than in the original food, and ‘reduced salt’ means the product has at least 25 percent less salt than the original food. The product has to say ‘low sodium’ or show 140 mg of salt or less per serving to actually be a low-salt food.”

Final Food for Thought

Reading food labels doesn’t have to feel impossible enough that you give up and just buy whatever it is you’re holding. Use these strategies to break down the nutrition facts and easily figure out what’s good for you (and what’s not) so you can make the best decision for your body. And remember, most vitamin- and mineral-rich foods don’t require labels. Read More Shop Smarter: 6 Common Food Labels, Explained Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>