Nutrition Tips

80 Healthy Recipe Substitutions

  |  in Blog, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

If you could make your favorite foods healthier without sacrificing the delicious flavor, would you? Who wouldn’t!  Below is an article that I came across the other day that I knew would be helpful for myself and many others. Print it out and keep it in your kitchen. Below are 80 substitutions to make our favorite foods healthier.

Baking

1. Black beans for flour
Swapping out flour for a can o black beans (drained and rinsed, of course) in brownies is a great way to cut out the gluten and fit in an extra dose of protein, Plus, they taste great.

2. Whole wheat flour for white flour
In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture. Because whole wheat includes the outer shell of the grain, it also provides an extra punch of fiber, which aids in digestion and can even lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

3. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar
Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack in more than 770 calories!

4. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter
Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter. This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, or in muffins and even with pre-boxed mixes!

5. Almond flour for wheat flour
This gluten-free switch gives any baked good a dose of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor.

6. Avocado puree for butter
They’re both fats (albeit very different fats) and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. Check out this recipe for perfect proportion guidelines.

7. Brown rice cereal with flax meal for Rice Crispies
Brown puffed rice has the same texture as conventional white rice, but with half the calories. The flax adds extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals to the mix without compromising flavor!

8. Marshmallow Fluff for butter and sugar (in frosting)
Replacing the fat and sugar in frosting with marshmallow achieves the perfect consistency with many fewer calories. While two tablespoons of marshmallow has just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar (and no fat!), the same amount of conventional frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 14 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of fat.

9. Natural peanut butter for reduced fat peanut butter
While they may appear better than traditional Skippy or Jiff, reduced fat versions of peanut butter can actually have more sugar — and an extra-long list of artificial additives— than the classics. Natural peanut butter (preferably unsalted) provides the same sweetness without call the extra junk.

10. Vanilla for sugar
Cutting sugar in half and adding a teaspoon of vanilla as a replacement can give just as much flavor with significantly fewer calories. Assuming the recipe originally calls for one cup of sugar, that’s already almost 400 calories cut out!

11. Mashed bananas for fats
The creamy, thickening-power of mashed (ripe!) banana acts the same as avocado in terms of replacing fat in baking recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas add nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.

12. Nut flours for flour
A word of caution: Nut flours don’t rise the same way as wheat flour so an additional rising agent might be needed when replacing more than ¼ cup of wheat. Many gluten free blogs detail how to streamline nut flour-based baking. And while these flours are typically higher in calories and fat, they also have more fiber and protein.

13. Coconut flour for flour
High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, coconut flour is a great partial substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes.  Be careful, though — using more than half a cup at a time could allow the flour’s bitterness to take over. Substitutes can be tricky in baking, so when using coconut flour, be sure to add an equal amount of extra liquid!

14. Meringue for frosting
Made from just egg whites and sugar, meringue can be a great fat-free substitution for traditional frosting. Feel like going a step further? Take a torch to it. Lightly charring the edges of the meringue can add a nice caramelized flavor. (Not to mention a cool visual effect!)

15. Graham crackers for cookies (in pie crusts)
Who doesn’t love a fresh baked cookie-crust pie? Next time, refrain from the traditional sugar or Oreo cookie crust and grab the graham crackers. Reduced-fat graham crackers offer the same consistency and flavor with about half the calories of the conventional options.

16. Evaporated skim milk for cream
It’s the same consistency with a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (only about 2 grams), but the major drop in fat content is well worth the switch.

17. Stevia for sugar
The natural sweetener stevia is lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. But watch the grocery bill — this fashionable sweetener can also cost up to 5 times as much as granulated sugar.

18. Prunes for butter
In brownies and other dark baked goods, minced baby prunes make for a perfect butter substitute while cutting more than half the calories and fat.

19. Cacao Nibs for chocolate chips
News flash: Those chocolate chips actually start out as cacao nibs — the roasted bits of cocoa beans that then get ground down and turned in to chocolate. Opting for these unprocessed (or at least less processed) morsels cuts out the additives and added sugar in chocolate, while also delving out a healthy dose of antioxidants.

    Stovetop

20. Brown rice for white rice
When white rice is processed, the “brown” bran layer gets stripped away, cutting out essential nutrients (like fiber). Opt for brown rice for a fuller nutritional profile.

21. Quinoa for couscous
While couscous is made from processed wheat flour, quinoa is a whole-grain superfood packed with protein and nutrients. Bonus points: They have almost the exact same texture.

22. Zucchini ribbons for pasta
Thin strips or ribbons of zucchini are a great stand in for carb-packed pastas. Plus, it’s one excuse to skip the boiling — simply sautee for a few minutes until soft.

23. Olive oil for butter
When cooking eggs, this simple switch is a great way to cut down on saturated fats while getting a healthy dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

24. Turnip mash for mashed potatoes
While one cup of mashed potatoes made with whole milk racks up about 180 calories (and that’s before the inevitable salt and butter), a cup of mashed turnip (which doesn’t need milk or butter to get that creamy consistency) has only 51 calories. Add some fresh herbs in place of the salt and it’s a much healthier stand-in for classic mash.

25. Grated steamed cauliflower for rice
Cut both calories and carbs with this simple switch. The texture is virtually the same, as is the taste.

26. Mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes
Just like the turnip mash, mashed cauliflower has only a fraction of the calories of potatoes and it’s nearly impossible to taste the difference. Got picky eaters at the table? Try mixing half potato, half cauliflower.

27. Rolled oats for breadcrumbs
While breadcrumbs can pack extra sodium, using rolled oats seasoned with herbs is a great way to sneak another whole grain into any meal.

28. Dry beans for canned beans
Canned beans are convenient, sure, but they also tend to have excess sodium and plenty of preservatives. Plus, even though the canned versions are dirt cheap, dried beans are even cheaper! It may take a little more work (just some simple soaking and boiling), but this switch is still well worth it.

29. Prosciutto or pancetta for bacon
Bacon is often the go-to for that smoky flavor in savory dishes (and even in some sweet ones). But opting for a few slices of prosciutto or pancetta can help cut both calories and fat. While bacon has about 70 calories and 6 grams of fat for two slices, prosciutto has just 30 calories and 4 grams in an equally weighted sample.

30. Two egg whites for one whole egg
One egg yolk holds more than half the recommended daily cholesterol for the average adult. Trading out the yolk for a second white will cut out the cholesterol while doubling the protein. If making a dish that requires more eggs, keep one to two yolks for their rich vitamins A, E, D, and K content, but consider swapping out the rest.

31. Whole wheat pasta for regular pasta
Just as with bread, whole wheat pasta beats regular with a higher fiber content and about 50 fewer calories per serving (depending on the brand).

32. Crushed flax or fiber cereal for bread crumbs
Crushing a fiber-rich cereal and mixing it with some herbs makes an easy lower-sodium substitution for traditional breadcrumbs.

33. White-meat, skinless poultry for dark-meat poultry
The biggest chicken debate to date: white meat vs. dark meat. And the white meat has it beat — lower in calories and fat, higher in protein and iron.

34. Olive oil spray for olive oil from the bottle
Oil glugs out of the bottle, leading to overly-greasy dishes. Using a spray bottle is a great way to cut down on oil while still getting the non-stick benefits. A little mist is all that’s needed!

35. Egg Beaters for egg yolks
A solid substitution for many egg dishes (like omelets or frittatas) — and even for something more complicated, like Hollandaise sauce.

36. Bison for beef
Higher in B vitamins and lower in fat, bison is a great substitute for the ol’ beefy standard. (When available, of course.)

37. Ground Turkey for ground beef
Ground turkey (or chicken) is a great substitute for ground beef to cut down on saturated fat and calories. Reminder: Because of the lower fat content, ground poultry often ends up drier than beef, but a few tablespoons of chicken stock can solve the problem in a snap!

38. Quinoa and ground turkey for rice and ground beef (in stuffed peppers)
More protein and antioxidants in the quinoa and less fat in the ground turkey make this an all-around healthier option for this popular side dish.

39. Coconut milk for cream
Coconut milk is a great substitute for heavy cream in soups and stews. And don’t be turned off by the word “coconut” — it doesn’t taste like the sweetened shredded kind!

40. Spaghetti squash for pasta
Roasted and pulled apart with a fork, spaghetti squash is a great low-carb and lower-calorie substitute for pasta.

   Meals

41. Greek yogurt for sour cream
Half the fat and calories, yet the taste and texture are virtually identical. Plus, nonfat Greek yogurt offers an extra dose of lean protein.

42. Arugula, romaine, spinach, and/or kale for iceberg lettuce
All greens are not created equal. Darker greens usually mean more nutrients like iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Sorry, iceberg’s just not cutting it anymore — go out and get some grown-up greens.

43. Pita for bread
One 4-inch whole-wheat pita runs around 80 calories and only 1 gram of fat (though there is some variation from brand to brand). Two slices of whole-wheat bread typically comes in at around 138 calories!

44. Greek yogurt for mayo (in tuna/chicken salad)
Add some herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice, and they’ll taste almost identical. Plus, this swap will save on calories and fat, and provide an extra dose of protein.

45. Plain yogurt with fresh fruit for flavored yogurt
Pre-flavored yogurts often come packed with extra sugar. To skip the sugar rush without sacrificing flavor, opt for plain yogurt (or better yet, plain Greek yogurt) and add fresh fruit and/or honey or agave for a hint of sweetness.

46. Nutritional yeast for cheese
The taste and texture are a little bit different, but the creamy gooiness is pretty comparable. Instead of topping that taco with cheddar, try a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavoring with much  less fat.

47. Lettuce leaves for tortilla wraps
It’s not a perfect swap, but forgoing the carbs for fresh lettuce is a fun (and easy) switch that can lighten up any wrap or taco dish.

48. Corn tortilla for flour tortilla
Half the calories and fat. ‘Nuff said.

49. Nuts for croutons (in salads)
Every salad needs that extra crunch. But rather than getting the extra carbs (and often fat and sodium) that come with croutons, try some lightly toasted slivered almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

50. Whole wheat bread for white bread
You’ve heard it all before, but it’s just that important! Whole-grain wheat beats out processed white with a complete nutrition profile and better flavor and texture.

51. Avocado mash for mayo
Half a mashed avocado is a great substitute for mayo on any sandwich. Both give some moisture, but avocado packs a big dose of vitamin E and cholesterol-checking monosaturated fat. And while a typical two-tablespoon serving of mayonnaise has about 206 calories and 24 grams of fat, half an avocado has only 114 calories and 10.5 grams of fat.

52. Sliced tomatoes for tomato sauce (on pizza)
Cut out the extra sodium, sugar, and preservatives by replacing jarred tomato sauce with fresh sliced tomatoes. The texture is a bit different, but the flavor is much more vibrant and fresh!

53. Frozen or Fresh Fruits for canned fruit
Cut down on excess sugar and preservatives by choosing fresh or flash-frozen varieties.

   Snacks

54. Veggies for pita (as a dipping tool)
Forget the pita. Fresh veggies work as killer dippers with hummus and contain both fewer carbs and more vitamins.

55. Cauliflower puree for egg yolks (in deviled eggs)
For that devilish Southern favorite — deviled eggs — try replacing half the yolks in the filling with cauliflower puree. The taste remains the same, as does the texture, but without the extra dose of cholesterol.

56. Quinoa for oatmeal
Cooked with milk (cow, almond, hemp — whatever’s on hand) and some cinnamon, quinoa makes a perfect protein-packed hot breakfast.

57. Edamame hummus for regular hummus
While hummus might look innocent from the sidelines, it’s on our list of potential dangerfoods, packed with more than 50 calories in two tablespoons. That’s why switching to an edamame-based hummus can help reduce the danger (read: fat and calories) while still providing a delicious dip.

58. Kale chips for potato chips
Who would’ve guessed that a leafy green could make such delicious chips? When lightly tossed in olive oil and some seasoning (salt and pepper, paprika, or chili powder work well) and baked, these curly greens turn into a delightfully delicate crunchy snack with less fat than the classic fried potato chip.

59. Dark chocolate for M&Ms (in trail mix)
The problem with most trail mixes? They pack in the sugar-filled, candy-coated chocolate and dried fruit. Instead, make your own trail mix with unsalted nuts and dark chocolate bits (lower in sugar), which are high in free-radical-fighting flavonoids — a benefit that completely outweighs that candy-coated sweetness.

60. Popcorn for potato chips
Lower in calories and fat, natural popcorn without pre-flavored seasonings is a great snack alternative to replace those oily, super-salty potato chips. Try made-at-home flavors by adding cinnamon, chili powder, or Parmesan.

61. Steel-cut oatmeal for instant oatmeal
Chewy and a little crunchy, these guys are nothing like their instant oatmeal cousins. While rolled oats are — literally — rolled into a flat grain, steel cut oats are diced whole grains that maintain more of their fiber-rich shell. Rich in B vitamins, calcium, and protein, steel-cut oats also lack the added sugar that often comes with instant varieties.

62. Banana ice cream for ice cream
No milk, no cream, no sugar… but the same, delicious consistency. It’s simple: freeze bananas, then puree.

63. Sweet potato fries for French fries
Opting for sweet potatoes rather than the traditional white adds an extra dose of fiber, and vitamins A, C, and B6. Plus, it cuts out roughly 20 grams of carbohydrates per one-cup serving. Just don’t overdo it!

64. Frozen Yogurt for Ice Cream
Picking frozen yogurt over ice cream can help cut down fat content!

   Seasoning

65. Low-fat cottage cheese for sour cream
They both add a creamy texture to many dishes, but sour cream is packed with fat while low-fat cottage cheese is packed with protein.

66. Pureed fruit for syrup
Both sweeten flapjacks or a nice whole-wheat waffle, but pureed fruit warmed on the stovetop with a bit of honey packs much less sugar than classic maple. Plus, it provides an extra dose of antioxidants and vitamins.

67. Herbs or citrus juice for salt
You heard it here first: Food doesn’t need to be salted to taste good! Fresh herbs and citrus juice can provide just as much flavor without the added risks of excess sodium intake.

68. Garlic powder for salt
Just like fresh herbs, garlic powder can provide a flavorful-punch without adding sodium. A word of warning, though: don’t mistake garlic powder for garlic salt.

69. Low-sodium soy sauce for standard soy sauce
The taste is virtually the same, but choosing a low- or reduced-sodium variety can cut down sodium intake by nearly half.

70. Homemade salad dressing for bottled dressing
By making dressing from scratch at home, it’s easy to cut out the added sugar, sodium, and preservatives typically found in pre-made dressings. Try mixing vinegar or lemon juice and oil in a 2:1 ratio and flavoring with spices like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and pepper!

  Drinks

71.  Seltzer water with citrus slice instead of soda
Instead of sugary sodas, opt for a glass of sparkling water with a few slices of citrus — grapefruit, lime, orange, and lemon all work well — for a little extra flavor.

72. Skim milk for whole or 2% milk
Fewer calories and fat with the same amount of protein makes this switch well worth it.

73. Cinnamon for cream and sugar (in coffee)
Cutting out the cream and sugar in favor of a sprinkle of cinnamon can cut up to 70 calories per cup. Plus, cinnamon can boost metabolism.

74. Unsweetened iced tea for juice or bottled teas
While delicious and convenient, bottled teas, juices, and sports drinks are packed with sugar and calories. When in the mood for something icy with a little flavor, opt for a home-brewed, unsweetened iced tea.

75. Americano for latte
Just by cutting the milk out of that daily latte in favor of hot water, the calorie count drops by more than 150. It’s a smart switch, especially by the fourth or fifth cup.

   Alcohol

76. Red wine for white wine
While white wine is usually lower in calories, red offers health benefits unmatched by the white stuff, including cancer-fighting compounds and natural cholesterol checks.

77. Soda water for juice (as a mixer)
Rum and coke. Cranberry and vodka. Sure, these sugary mixers take care of the inner sweet tooth. But try mixing liquor with soda water and a slice of fruit (or even just a splash of juice) and down goes the sugar (and calorie) count. Not inventive enough? Check out these 60 healthier cocktails.

78. Soda water for tonic water
Yes, it’s clear and bubbly, just like soda water, but tonic water is actually full of sugar. Adding plain soda water and a pinch of lime gives almost the same taste with 32 grams less sugar per 12 ounces.

 Cooking Methods

79. Oven or pan-frying for deep frying
Yes, those chicken tenders are deliciously greasy, but by foregoing the oil bath for just a misting of oil in a pan or oven, it’s easy to cut fat without sacrificing flavor.

80. Steaming for boiling
While both are great options for meats and veggies, steaming is king because it removes fewer nutrients from vegetables. While boiling can leech out some of the better nutrients (hence why water turns green after boiling broccoli), steaming keeps all that green goodness inside the veggies.

Source: http://greatist.com/health/healthy-recipe-substitutions/

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13 Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

We’ve all heard the familiar phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and this couldn’t be more accurate. Not only does a healthy breakfast provide you with energy to tackle your busy day, it can actually help you lose weight. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat breakfast actually weigh less.

Additionally, eating breakfast may also help you live longer. The one thing that centenarians have in common is that they all eat breakfast every day. Pretty convincing data to persuade all of us to eat a breakfast of champions!

Components of a Healthy Breakfast

The first thing to focus on when building a healthy breakfast is balance. Try to incorporate at least three different food groups into your breakfast meal. In keeping with the rule of three, also opt for three important hunger-crushing nutrients in the first meal of your day–protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.

Simple, Fast Breakfast Ideas

1. Whole-wheat English muffin or toast, topped with fat-free cream cheese and strawberry slices.

2. Omelet made with one whole egg and two egg whites, chopped veggies, reduced-fat or fat-free shredded cheese, and a piece of fruit to keep it well-balanced.

3. Whole-grain waffles topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter (or other nut butter) and sliced bananas.

4. Whole-wheat tortilla, scrambled eggs (one whole egg, two egg whites), and a handful of grapes.

5. Whole-wheat pita bread with a slice of reduced-fat cheese melted on the inside and an orange.

6. Fruit and yogurt parfaits: nonfat plain or flavored yogurt (aim for a lower-sugar version of the flavored varieties), whole-grain cereal, and sliced fruit.

7. Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese with cut-up fruit or vegetables and whole-grain crackers.

8. Oatmeal made with milk or non-dairy milk alternative, with dried fruit and nuts.

Nutritious Grab-and-Go Breakfasts

9. Low-sugar whole-grain granola bar and a piece of fruit that’s easy to eat on the go (think apples, bananas, pears or grapes).

10. Ham or turkey and cheese sandwich with some cut-up carrots.

11. Peanut butter (or other nut butter) and sliced banana sandwich.

12. Light string cheese and dried fruit.

13. Homemade trail mix (whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, etc.).

Keeping It Simple

People often make excuses for why they can’t eat breakfast. Many say they’re too busy in the morning to prepare a well-balanced meal. Others say they simply aren’t hungry in the morning. Some even say that they can’t think of anything other than the basic cereal and milk meal to start their days off right. All it takes is a little planning and you’ll be on the road to breakfast success.

Start off small by trying to at least eat something–anything–in the morning. Plan and prepare your breakfast the night before or wake up about ten minutes earlier to ensure ample time to throw together a healthy morning meal.

Also, to avoid not being hungry enough to want to eat breakfast in the morning, try eating your dinner several hours earlier the night before, and don’t snack too heavily before bedtime. This will prime your body to want to eat breakfast.

Source: www.fitday.com

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50 Tips for Changing Mindset

  |  in Blog, General, Motivational Tips, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

You know there is no magic way to shed pounds or become fit. The only way to get there is through hard work and eating right. Yet you can give yourself a leg up in the process by changing how you think about food, weight loss and eating healthy. By changing how you think, you’ll also change how you act and hopefully impact your health for the better.

Meditation can play a key role in helping you overcome food issues and create the body you want to have now. Awareness, consciousness, focus and concentration developed through yoga practice and meditation will help you to embody these key points.

Here are 50 tips to help you learn some tricks to get your mind ripe and ready for weight loss.

General
These general tips will help you learn to adapt your thoughts to healthy weight loss.

1. Be patient. Losing weight in any kind of healthy way is going to take time. Give yourself a break and relax, and the weight will come off.

2. Don’t stress. Stressing about weight loss will likely only make it harder to lose.

3. Be realistic. Setting unrealistic goals for your weight loss isn’t healthy for your body or mind. Get your mind set on more realistic accomplishments and you’ll be happier and healthier.

4. Create a routine. Success with any weight loss program requires creating a routine and sticking to it in what you eat, when you work out and how you think about your progress.

5. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you aren’t eating enough, you’re eating too much, or you’re pushing yourself too hard.

6. Use your imagination. Our imaginations are powerful things and you can use yours to picture your body and your life the way you really want it to be.

7. Take it slow. You cannot expect to change your mindset or your body overnight. Take the process slow and steady for the best results.

8. Be honest with yourself. Being honest might be more difficult or more painful, but you cannot move forward in changing your body or how you think about it without facing some hard truths about yourself.

9. Find out what you truly want. The reality is that you might not be ready to lose weight or commit yourself to the work that it takes. Find out what you truly want in your life. Knowing that you really, really want to lose weight can be a huge factor in motivating you.

Mindset
Learn how to change your mindset with these tips.

10. Always be accountable. There is no one else who is responsible for you losing weight. You have to be accountable for what you eat and how often you work out.

11. Break the cycle of excuses. We all make excuses to try to justify our behavior, but these kinds of excuses aren’t doing you any favors when it comes to weight loss. Force yourself to accept your failures and work to improve them.

12. Deal with your emotions. For many people, food is an emotional thing and a coping mechanism for other things that aren’t right in their lives. If you want to change your mindset about your body, you’ll first have to deal with these powerful emotions.

13. Make the decision to be thinner. Sometimes all it takes is a firm resolution to make a change in your life. If you want to lose weight, make the choice to do so and let your actions follow suit.

14. Take responsibility. No one is forcing food down your throat or keeping you from the gym. Once you realize that and can take responsibility for your own actions regarding your health and fitness, you’ll be one step closer to meeting your goals.

15. Think clearly. Weight loss, body image and personal health can be emotionally charged issues. When you think about these things it it important to separate them as best you can from your emotions and make logical, thoughtful decisions about what is best. For instance, our emotions might tell us we need a piece of cake after a hard day, but our logical thinking would tell us it will only make you feel worse about yourself.

16. Change your programming. Many of us have programmed our brains to think we are fat, unhealthy and will never look or feel like we want to. Thinking this way is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, but by changing your mental programming, you’ll change what you’re capable of in weight loss.

17. Stay positive. There is no upside to negative thinking when it comes to losing weight. Staying positive will help you feel better about yourself, keep you motivated and reduce stress — all of which will help you lose more weight.

18. Train your mind to think in your best interest. If you want to lose weight, focus on replacing your unhealthy thoughts with healthy ones. After a while, you will think less unhealthy thoughts and be a step ahead in reaching your goals.

Motivation
Give your mind some motivation with these ideas.

19. Pick out a motivational photograph. Whether you want to look more like you did 20 years ago or have the physique of someone else you admire, choose a photograph you can look at when you’re struggling to help keep yourself motivated.

20. Set smaller daily goals. While your larger goals are important, focusing on smaller, individual goals will give you more of a sense of accomplishment and change your mindset on a daily basis.

21. Use support from friends. There are few things that can change how you feel about yourself and your progress like motivation from friends around you.

22. Reward yourself. When you’ve worked really hard for something it’s only fair to reward yourself. Give yourself an indulgence, though not a food-related one, that you’ve really been wanting.

23. Tell yourself you can do it. Change your mindset about weight loss by constantly reminding yourself that no matter how hard it is that you can and will do it.

24. Never stop thinking about your goals. Keeping your goals in mind throughout the day will help motivate you and keep you on the right track.

25. Surround yourself with good role models. You won’t do yourself any favors when you’re trying to lose weight if you surround yourself with people who practice bad habits and influence you to do so as well. Spend time with friends who motivate you to be healthy instead.

26. Have a mantra. Finding your own personal weight loss mantra can be a great way to help keep yourself positive and focused on your goals.

27. Look at the bright side. Setbacks don’t have to ruin your motivation for weight loss. Instead, think of them as a chance to work harder and prove your commitment to your goals.

28. Create a map to your health and happiness. Spending some time laying out your goals, collecting photos that motivate you, and planning out your steps along the way can help make process easier, more real and something you’re more motivated to do every day.

Food
Change your relationship with food by changing your thoughts using this advice.

29. Think yourself out of bad habits. Bad habits with food don’t have to take down your weight loss goals. Instead, use the power of your mind to fight these bad habits. It will take some doing but you can overcome them.

30. Look at food differently. Food isn’t your enemy or your friend — it’s neutral. Learn to look at food as a source of nourishment rather than a reward or a way to deal with emotions.

31. Picture what food is doing for your body. When you look at what you’re eating, picture what that food can do for your body and how the nutrients will help you feel.

32. Allow yourself to eat when you’re hungry. Losing weight should never mean starving yourself. Listen to your body and feed yourself when your body tells you it’s hungry. Just make sure it’s actually hunger and not boredom or thirst you’re giving into. Likewise, stop eating when you are full.

33. Eat foods you crave. You can have foods you crave while you’re trying to lose weight if you can do so in moderation. Keeping things totally off limits could cause you to binge.

34. Be conscious. Always be aware of what you’re eating. Eating mindlessly while watching TV can lead to a lot of unwanted and unneeded calories.

Self-Image
How you see yourself can make a big impact in how much weight you lose. Try these solutions to feel good about yourself no matter how much you weigh.

35. Change how you think about your body. If you think you are a fat person, you’ll likely stay that way. Train your mind to see yourself as attractive at any weight and you’ll see more weight loss progress.

36. Get control over your thoughts. When your thoughts are out of control it’s easy to think cruel things about yourself and put yourself down. When you start to feel your thoughts heading in that direction, take the wheel and steer them somewhere positive.

37. Stop looking at the numbers. Weight isn’t everything when it comes to health. Some people look super skinny and feel healthy at one weight while another person might be totally different. We all have our own comfort zone, so listen to your body, not the scale.

38. Focus on how you feel. You might not have met your goal weight yet, but focusing on changes in how you feel can help keep you motivated and feeling good about yourself.

39. Stop berating yourself. Negative thoughts aren’t going to help you lose weight. If you have a misstep or aren’t progressing as fast as you’d like, never berate yourself. Simply get up the next day and start again from a positive standpoint.

40. Fill yourself with love. If you want to get the most out of your weight loss journey, make part of the process learning to truly love yourself. No one is perfect so get a handle on accepting and appreciating your faults.

41. Take pride in your appearance.It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, you can look good and feel good about yourself. Shower, put on a fragrance, style your hair, and wear your favorite clothes. It will change how you see yourself and how others see you as well.

Meditation
Learn how to turn your meditation practice into a reflection on your personal weight loss goals with these tips.

42. Imagine yourself eating like you should be. The more you imagine it, the more likely it will become reality.

43. Picture yourself thin. If you believe that you can and will be thin, then you give yourself the motivation and drive to actually make it happen.

44. Think about activities you’ll do when you’re thin. If you’re too overweight to do things you love right now, picture yourself doing those things as the new, thinner you.

45. Relax. You can’t take control over your thoughts and your mind if you’re stressed out and distracted. Simply relax and let go the problems of the day.

46. Picture yourself wearing something you’ve always wanted to wear. A big reason many people want to lose weight is to fit into the clothes and style that they love and admire. Get a mental picture of how you’ll look sporting something you’ve always wanted to wear to give you some motivation.

47. Imagine that you love to exercise. Rely on the power of imagination to help give yourself the initiative you need to get fit and in shape.

48. Don’t let negative thoughts interfere. It’s easy to think negative thoughts about yourself when you’re tackling a big and difficult obstacle like losing weight, but you have to make sure to keep these kinds of thoughts out during your meditation. Replace them with happy, supportive ones instead.

49. Kick all unhealthy habits and foods out of visualization. Don’t let your mental fantasies include unhealthy foods and behaviors. You might really crave them but the purpose is to retrain your mind to let them go.

50. Breathe deeply and calm yourself. Once you’re calm, relaxed, and in control of your mind and body, you’ll be able to start thinking clearly about who and where you want to be.

Source: www.totallyzen.com

To Happy, Healthy Living –
InCharge Fitness Team

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Feeling Full on Fewer Calories

  |  in Blog, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

One of the biggest obstacles you’ll encounter while cutting back on calories is feeling full throughout the day. Hunger will sneak up on you when you least expect it, and it’s best to be prepared to avoid overeating when you’re trying to lose weight. A few simple strategies can help you feel full throughout the day while on a reduced-calorie diet.

Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber is going to be your best asset to feeling full throughout the day. Fiber is a component of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole-grain foods. Your body can’t fully digest fiber but fiber will bulk up your meals and make you feel fuller for longer. Foods high in fiber also take longer to chew, slowing down your eating and allowing your brain to really gauge how full you are, which prevents overeating. To avoid bloating, gas and constipation, be sure to increase your fiber intake slowly and drink plenty of fluids.

Hydrate with H2O
Staying hydrated while reducing portion sizes can aid in weight loss. Drinking water, especially before meals, will fill your stomach, making you feel full and reducing the likelihood that you will overeat. Additionally, people can mistake thirst for hunger, causing them to eat when they aren’t truly hungry. This could sabotage weight-loss efforts. Carry a reusable water bottle and sip throughout the day, refilling often.

Pack Your Plate with Produce
Because fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of water but provide minimal calories, you can eat a large volume of these foods without going over your calorie budget. Cutting portions can be difficult, but you can eat large amounts of non-starchy vegetables to fill your stomach, which probably became accustomed to larger portions in the past. Produce is also packed with fiber, a weight-loss ally.


Pile on the Protein

Protein takes a long time to digest and metabolize and also burns more calories in the process. Studies have also shown that protein may satisfy your hunger better than carbohydrates or fats. Feeling satisfied throughout the day is vital for sticking to a reduced-calorie diet. To maximize protein’s fat-busting potential, be sure to consume a good dose of protein for breakfast.

It’s also essential to consume enough protein while you’re dropping pounds in order to stave off muscle loss. Up your protein intake so that your body can use the amino acids to build and maintain lean muscle mass.

Burst Your Own Bubble
It may sound silly, but research has shown that chewing gum can control your cravings and help you handle hunger, which may help you lose weight. In several studies, chewing gum helped participants resist fattening snacks, satisfy their cravings and reduce total daily caloric intake by around 40 calories. Chewing gum can be especially helpful if you chew a piece of sugar-free gum instead of a high-calorie dessert or snack.


Exercise for Thinner Thighs

Research has revealed that aerobic exercise has the ability to suppress appetite-stimulating hormones. Additionally, we know that exercise burns calories and builds lean muscle, which torches calories even while your body is at rest.

Source: www.fitday.com

We hope these tips were helpful!

To Happy, Healthy Living!
The InCharge Fitness Team

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Increase Your Metabolism: Naturally!

  |  in Blog, Exercises, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Yes, there are ways that you can increase your metabolism naturally! Start speeding up your metabolism through nutrition and fitness. Read below.

Metabolism-Boosting Foods
Food does some amazing things for our bodies, including fight disease, so it’s not a suprise that some foods naturally boost your metabolism. Try adding some of the following foods to your diet each day:

– green tea
– oatmeal
– grapefruit
– broccoli
– hot peppers
– low-fat dairy
– acai juice
– lean meats

Metabolism-Boosting Exercises
Burning calories means adding activity to our lifestyles, and exercise sessions are the real metabolism boosters. Try incorporating both cardio and strength exercises like:

– Cardiovascular: biking, brisk walking, elliptical trainers, climbing stairs, or aerobics class
– Muscle building: lifting weights, using resistance bands, push ups, squats, and chin-ups
– Circuit training: a combination of cardio exercise alternating with muscle-building exercises

Metabolism-Slowing Pitfalls

Just as there are natural ways to boost your metabolism, there are also natural ways you slow your metabolism–often without even knowing about it. Here are a few:

– Skipping meals–always eat breakfast!
– Sleeping less than 6 hours a night.
– Eating empty calorie foods–exchange them for low carb, low-fat, high nutrition foods.
– Choosing processed foods–exchange them for whole grains.

Source: www.fitday.com

To Happy, Healthy Living!
InCharge Fitness Team

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Healthy Living 101: How to Read a Nutrition Label

  |  in Blog, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Too often, purchasing food can be confusing, especially with all of the persuasive marketing tactics used by food companies. Learning how to read, understand, and compare food labels can help you maintain, manage, control, and/or reduce health issues such as weight, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Use this guide to help you make more informed choices:

1. Serving Size and Number of Servings

The serving size is the most important part of the label. It will tell you what amount of the food will provide the nutrition found below it. If you eat more or less than the serving size, you will need to adjust the rest of the label accordingly. For example, a can of soup may have a serving size of one cup with a total of two servings (two cups). If you eat all of the soup, you will have to double everything on the label.

2. Percent Daily Value

You will notice that many of the items listed on the nutrition label will have a percent next to them. It is important to understand that this is based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. Since every body is different, it is not appropriate for everyone to eat 2,000 calories every day. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on various factors, including your gender, height, weight, age, and activity.

3. Calories

Calories are the amount of energy supplied by a food.

4. Calories from Fat

Less than 30% of your total calories should come from fat.

5. Total Fat

This is the total amount of fat found in the serving size. The total is broken down by the type of fat (saturated, trans, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated) found directly underneath this.

  • Saturated fat – Limit saturated fat to 10% of total daily calories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Diets high in saturated fat have been linked to chronic disease, specifically, coronary heart disease.”
  • Trans fat – Try to avoid trans fats at all costs. Trans fats can increase your “bad” cholesterol and reduce your “good” cholesterol. Food companies can list a food as “trans fat free” if it has 0.5 g or less per serving. In addition to looking on the label, also look at the list of ingredients. If it has “hydrogenated” oil in it, it contains trans fats.
  • Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats – The majority of your fat intake should come from these sources. Examples of good sources include: nuts, canola oil, olive oil, and avocado.

6. Cholesterol

Most people should limit their cholesterol to 300 mg a day or less. For people with high cholesterol, this number is reduced to 150 mg or less a day.

7. Sodium

The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 1500 mg a day.

8. Total Carbohydrate

Similar to the total fat listed on the label, the breakdown of the total amount of carbohydrates is found directly below it (fiber and sugar).

  • Fiber – A food that has 5 g of fiber or more is a good source of fiber – aim to eat 25-35 g of fiber a day.
  • Sugar – The sugar listed can be both added and/or naturally occurring.

9. Protein

This is the amount of protein found in one serving.

10. Vitamins and Minerals

Food companies are required to list vitamin A and C content, but may voluntarily list others.

11. Footnote

Under the vitamins and minerals is a footnote that gives recommended levels of intakes based on 2,000 and 2,500 calorie diets. If your calorie intake falls within this range, this may be a helpful tool.

To happy, healthy living!
InCharge Fitness Team

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How to nicely say no to food!

  |  in General, Motivational Tips, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

During the holiday season, food temptations are everywhere. From stuffing and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving to eggnog and sugar cookies in December, the seasonal temptations are endless. It can be tough enough to navigate the turkey buffet without having your great aunt force an extra helping of potatoes on your plate or resisting Grandma Dolly’s pleas that you take a second piece of her famous apple pie.
 
Food pushers range from well-intentioned loved ones to total diet saboteurs. Regardless of their motivation, it’s important to stick to your guns. You can always be honest and say that you’re simply trying to eat healthier, but if that response gets ignored (or doesn’t come easily), the following retorts to their food-forcing ways will keep you in control of what goes on your plate and in your mouth!
 
Note: These tips work year-round at birthday parties, family get-togethers and Sunday brunches with friends alike!
 
The Push: “It’s my specialty, you have to try it!”

Your Response: “I will in a bit!”

Why It Works: Stalling is a great tactic with food pushers. Odds are the offender won’t follow you around making sure you actually try the dish. If they catch up with you by the end of the party to ask what you thought, tell them that it slipped your mind but you’ll be sure to try it next time.

 
The Push: “This [insert name of high-calorie dish] is my favorite. You’ll love it!”

Your Response: “I had some already—so delicious!”

Why It Works: A white lie in this situation isn’t going to hurt anybody. You’ll get out of eating food you don’t want or need, and the food pusher will have gotten a compliment on what probably is a delicious dish.

 
The Push: “It’s just once a year!”

Your Response: “But I’ll probably live to celebrate more holidays if I stick with my diet plan!”

Why It Works: People can sometimes see healthy eating as vain—a means to the end result of losing weight and looking better. It’s harder for a food pusher to argue with you if you bring attention to the fact that you eat right and exercise for better health and a longer life. Looking good just happens to be a side effect!

 
The Push: “Looks like someone is obsessed with dieting…”

Your Response: “I wouldn’t say obsessed, but I am conscious of what I eat.”

Why It Works: Words like “food snob” or “obsessed” are pretty harsh when they’re thrown around by food pushers. But don’t let passive-aggressive comments like this bring you down—or make you veer away from your good eating intentions. Acknowledging your willpower and healthy food choices might influence others to be more conscious of what they eat. Sometimes you just have to combat food pushers with a little straightforward kindness.

 
The Push: “If you don’t try my dish, I’m just going to have to force you to eat it!”

Your Response: “Sorry, but I don’t like (or can’t eat) [insert ingredient here].”

Why It Works: It’s hard to argue with someone’s personal food preferences. If someone doesn’t like an ingredient whether its sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butter, odds are that he or she hasn’t liked it for a very long time. If you’d like to get creative with this one, go into detail about how you got sick on the ingredient as a kid or how your mom says you always threw it across the room as a baby. Who can argue with that?

 
The Push: “You need some meat on your bones.”

Your Response: “Trust me, I’m in no danger of wasting away!”

Why It Works: This food push is definitely on the passive-aggressive side. Using humor to fight back will defuse any tension while making it clear where you stand. 

 
The Push: “One bite isn’t going to kill you.”

Your Response: “I know, but once you pop you can’t stop! And I’m sure it’s so delicious I wouldn’t be able to stop!”

Why It Works: This is another situation where humor will serve to distract the food pusher from his or her mission. It’s a way to say “thanks, but no thanks” while making it clear that you’re not interested in overindulging.

 
The Push: “But it’s your favorite!”

Your Response: “I think I’ve overdosed on it; I just can’t eat it anymore!”

Why It Works: If you have a favorite holiday dish that everyone knows you love, it can be especially tough to escape this push. If a loved one made the dish specifically for you, the guilt can be enough to push you over the edge. But people understand that food preferences change, and most have been in that situation of enjoying a dish so much that they can’t touch it for awhile.

 
The Push: [Someone puts an extra helping on your plate without you asking.]

Your Response: Push it around with your fork like you did as a kid to make it look like you tried it.

Why It Works: While putting food on someone else’s plate can be viewed as passive-aggressive, it was probably done with love. (Let’s hope!) Making it look like you ate a bite or two can be an easy way out of the situation, but you can also just leave it alone and claim that you’ve already had your fill. (After all, you didn’t add that extra helping!)

 
The Push: “Have another drink!”

Your Response: “I have to drive.”

Why It Works: No one will argue with the fact that you want to drive home sober. If they do, you should have no qualms walking away from the conversation, period. If they offer a place for you to stay, you can always get out of the situation by blaming an early morning commitment or the fact that you need to get home to let the dog out. Kids will also get you out of everything.

 
The Push: “We have so many leftovers. Take some!”

Your Response: “That’s OK! Just think, you’ll have your meals for tomorrow taken care of.”

Why It Works: Not every party guest wants to deal with the hassle of taking food with them, and this makes it clear that you’d rather the food stay. If the host is insistent, you can feign worry that they’ll go bad in the car because you’re not going straight home, or it’ll go bad in your fridge because you’ve already been given so many leftovers at other parties recently. Or be polite and take them. You’ll have more control of your food intake away from the party anyway. So whether you don’t eat the leftovers at all or whether you split a piece of pie with your spouse, you’re in control in this situation.

 

These tactics can work wonders in social situations, but honesty is sometimes the best policy. A simple “No, thank you” is hard for a food pusher to beat, especially if it’s repeated emphatically. Remember, too, that it’s okay to have treats in moderation, so don’t deprive yourself of your favorite holiday foods. Just make sure that you’re the one in control of your splurges—not a friend, family member or co-worker who doesn’t know your fitness and health goals!

-sparkpeople.com

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Desktop Dining Guide

  |  in General, Healthy Recipes, Motivational Tips, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Your workplace may be a bacterial breeding ground—germier than a public restroom! Think about how long that cheese ball sat in the conference room, the number of hands that have reached into the candy jar in the lobby, and the last time you properly washed your coffee mug. YUCK! For the safety of you and your coworkers, adopt these desktop dining guidelines as company policy.

Watch the Clock
If you pack a lunch that includes perishable food items—meat and cheese sandwiches, leftovers, salads, or dairy foods—don’t let more than two hours pass from the time you make your lunch at home to the time you put it in the office refrigerator. The same rule applies if you go out for lunch and bring back fast food, carry out, or doggy bag.

Refrigerator Review
The average office refrigerator is cleaned out only once every six weeks, even though most perishable foods spoil within three to five days! The office refrigerator should be cleaned out weekly, but no one wants to take on the responsibility, right? The solution is to assign each person who uses the refrigerator to a specific week in which they are responsible for pitching and purging. Anything left at closing time Friday is pitched. Post the weekly delegations on the refrigerator door, and if it’s a disaster come Monday morning, everyone will be able to determine who’s to blame.

Kitchen Clean Up
Splattered and scattered for all to see—the spaghetti that exploded in the microwave, the chicken soup that boiled over on the stove, the cream-filled doughnut remains on the counter—kitchen messes like these all spell DANGER. Keep anti-bacterial wipes readily available so team members can wipe up their spills and mishaps as a first line of defense.

But why not wipe up spills with the community dishrag or sponge? These are filled with germs and bacteria, which only spread around when you wipe up a mess. To keep a sponge or dishrag safe, run it through the dishwasher daily, or dampen it with water and microwave it on high for three minutes before using.

Desktop Danger
At the very least, you can keep your own beloved cubicle clean. Your desktop, keyboard, and phone are ideal for bacteria and germ contamination—especially if you eat while using any of these devices. But don’t forget all the other people who touch your desk area or sneeze on your belongings.

The best way to control the spread of germs is to clean your cubicle once daily with an anti-bacterial spray or wipes. Coffee pots are generally safe due to the high temperature, but be careful with your personal coffee mug. Clean it daily with soap and water, but if you use dairy creamers, you should wash it even more often.

The Social Scene
Nearly three out of five Americans work in an office where weekly, food is left out to be shared with others. If the food is perishable, find out how long it has been out before you dig in. If the food has been out for more than two hours, pass on the goodies. If you can’t resist the departmental pitch-in buffet, make sure you get there early, while food is still hot. Once again, foods left out for more than two hours are perfect for bacteria to set up camp.

All Washed Up
Fewer than half of all Americans wash their hands before eating lunch. The rule is to always wash your hands before, during, and after food handling. If you have no time to wash with soap and water, use a hand sanitizer stored in your desk drawer. Mom was right to always say, “Wash your hands before eating.” Now go wash up!

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=531&page=3

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5 Surprisingly High-Cal Halloween Treats

  |  in General, Healthy Recipes, Motivational Tips, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Fall is as good a time of year as any to re-evaluate your weight-loss goals and plans. But before you know it, Halloween brings the focus to candy and treats that may be tempting you to fall off the health wagon. One indulgent day of Halloween treats won’t hurt most people’s progress, but considering that Halloween is just the beginning of a two-month season packed with party foods and desserts, try not to get carried away.
 
As you’re looking for ways to enjoy the season without losing sight of your health and fitness goals, pick the smartest treats, but say “Boo!” to the biggest calorie monsters.
 
Here are five Halloween treats that should scare you!
 
1. Fun-Size Candy Bars
At an average of about 100 calories a pop, these popular trick-or-treat goodies may seem innocent—but that’s only the case if you stop at one. It’s pretty easier to eat four or five mini-bars as you take your kids trick-or-treating, and if they’re eyeing you from the reception desk at your office—forget about it! You may be eating one or more every day for weeks leading up to Halloween.

The bars that really pack the most calories are those with peanut butter, coconut, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. Plus, once they’re out of the larger packages, their nutrition facts are nowhere to be found on those individual labels.

Trick: Start reading nutrition labels of fun-size treats before throwing out the package. Figure out the best choice for you and stick with that when you’re having a Halloween treat. Peppermint patties and Twizzlers have about half of the calories than the average candy bar, but that doesn’t mean they are calorie free. Popping in a piece of sugar-free gum can help curb some cravings if you’re feeling tempted after eating just one. Read more: 11 Halloween treats under 100 calories.

 
2. Pumpkin Breads and Muffins
Pumpkin puree delivers vitamin A and fiber along in a deliciously low-calorie package that just screams of fall. But pair it with sugar, cream cheese frosting, shortening and butter, and you have a high-cal treat dressed in a healthy-looking orange costume. Restaurants and bakeries are the biggest villains: Pumpkin scones, muffins, donuts and breads range from 300 to 530 calories per serving, but most portion sizes can be double or triple in size. For a single treat, that’s a lot of damage to your calorie budget.
 

Trick: Bake your pumpkin goods at home, where you can control your recipe and make healthy baking substitutions, like subbing applesauce in place of oil and fat, choosing whole wheat flour over white, and cutting down on the sugar in a recipe. Using a mini muffin tin will help with portions as you bake perfectly-portioned pumpkin goodies. Start with these healthy pumpkin recipes from SparkRecipes for ideas.

 
3. Pumpkin-Flavored Lattes
Many coffee joints will have a special feature on their menu for the harvest season: pumpkin-flavored coffees. A medium pumpkin spice latte with whole milk from Starbucks has 410 calories, and the calories in similar drinks from other chains like Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts are pretty similar. Think before you sip: Can you really budget 400+ calories into your day for a single drink?
 

Trick: Order the smallest size and lighten the load by requesting fat-free milk and holding the whipped topping. Plain hot chai tea with some added low-fat milk can also give you the warm fuzzy feeling of the season without all the added sweeteners of a pumpkin latte.
4. Candy Corn
Yes, these ever-so-traditional candies are quite small, but for candy corn lovers who wait all year for their favorite seasonal candy, they can be devastating to your healthy eating plan. The quintessential white, orange and yellow triangles have 140 calories for 22 pieces, which is a small handful at most. Have a few, and it’s no sweat, but sit near a candy jar full of candy corn, it can be hard to track just how much you’ve eaten since there is no built-in portion control.
 

Trick: Never eat candy corn from a large jar or straight from the bag. This can lead to mindless overeating and no real sense of calories or serving size. Pre-portion yourself a small serving and stick to it. Then put the bag away and walk away from the jar: out of sight, out of mind. Also try stretching out the sugar by combining a few pieces of candy corn with a trail mix of dried fruit and nuts for an added nutrition boost and more filling power.
5. Candy Apples
Don’t fool yourself: Just because there’s a piece of fruit underneath a thick layer of caramel, and possibly nuts, cookie chunks or even chocolate does NOT mean it’s good for you—or low in calories. If you cover a healthy fruit with sugar it becomes a much less healthful choice. A single apple might only contain around 80-100 calories of nutrition, but when it’s coated in caramel, it can more than triple in calories. Designer or “gourmet” candy apples covered in sprinkles, chocolate candies, nuts and chocolate are even worse.
 

Trick: Enjoy your apples by cutting them into wedges and dipping them into low-fat caramel dip, fat free vanilla yogurt or peanut butter.

 
 
The most important thing to remember during the Halloween season is to see these seasonal treats for what they really are: treats that should be eaten in moderation and in small amounts. Put your label reading skills to work and keep your goals in mind, and you’ll have no trouble avoiding Halloween treat temptation.

— By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian

 http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1679

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How much is too much?

  |  in General, Motivational Tips, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Are you beginning to worry that you’re not getting in enough of one nutrient, and possibly too much of another? Exactly how much should you be taking in?
Based on years of research that examined the relationship between nutrient intake and disease prevention, generally-accepted ranges have been established for carbohydrates, fat and protein intake. These healthy ranges also help to ensure that a person is getting a sufficient intake of other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The recommendations are:

  • 45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates.
  • 20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat.
  • 10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein*.

Your intake of carbohydrates, fat and protein may be somewhat higher or lower than the SparkDiet recommendations, due to your taste preferences, cooking style, culture, fitness routine, health conditions and day-to-day changes in diet. Does that mean that your intake is bad or dangerous? No!

The table below converts these percentages into grams needed each day based on calorie intake:

Nutrient

Carbohydrates

Fat

Protein (Women)

Protein (Men)

Healthy Range

45%-65%

20%-35%

10%-35%

10%-35%

1200 calories

135-195 g

27-47 g

*60-105 g

N/A

1500 calories

169-244 g

33-58 g

*60-131 g

*75-131 g

1800 calories

203-293 g

40-70 g

*60-158 g

*75-158 g

2100 calories

236-341 g

47-82 g

*60-184 g

*75-184 g

2400 calories

270-390 g

53-93 g

*60-210 g

*75-210 g

Monitor your diet in these ways:

  • Eat a healthy, nutrient-packed diet.
  • Watch your calories daily and try to keep them in your recommended range.
  • Check your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake based on recommendations. As long as they fall in the healthy range listed on this chart above, you will be meeting your nutrient needs.
  • Choose whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, oats, and avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice and white bread.
  • Choose heart-healthy fats and avoid trans fats found in processed foods.
  • Choose high-quality protein sources such as lean meats and plant-based proteins instead of fattier cuts of meat.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=372

 

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