Are you the one whose motivation level starts to drop as soon as the temperatures goes down? We understand that cold weather makes it difficult to get up and workout, especially if you have to go out for a walk or run. Many people let the winter blues get down their efforts and in return they gain some weather weight. If you are looking for some simple tips to keep those extra pounds at bay and stay on track, these tips can prove to be really helpful:-
1. Set realistic goals: Don’t get excited with the thought of enjoying the winters tucked up in a blanket with a book and a mug of hot coffee rather work towards setting goals which are realistic, tangible and achievable. Setting goals which are tangible will keep you motivated towards accomplishing them. Whatever you plan and set, just ensure that it is measurable and not too far out to reach. Try to cut down the comfort foods that come with winters and focus on eating making more veggies and fruits a part of your daily routine. Evaluate your efforts each week and measure your progress which will boost you to achieve goals faster.
2. Build up your own heat: We are so scared with the fear of feeling cold in winters that we tuck ourselves in blanket and cancel the routine of workout. In order to avoid this, it is suggested to build up some inner heat before you actually head out for a run or go towards your gym. For this, you can simply start of by doing jumping jacks, burpees, squats or any other cardio exercise you like with some consistent reps to build the heat and face the cold weather.
3. Make the weather your advantage: Just because it is cold out there doesn’t mean that you can’t actually go out. Rather than traditional workouts, plan out a workout which goes well with the weather changes like snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing. Prepare yourself something warm and healthy like a soup before you go out for workout which will be an added motivation to finish your workout soon and enjoy it while you are tucked in your blanket.
4. Choose the right workout clothes: You can ensure success of your efforts in winters only if you dress up properly. Just choose the weather appropriate clothes to keep the cold away and make the most of your efforts. Choose the clothes which are comfortable and capable enough of protecting you from the chili winds. In case you go to a gym for workout, make sure you layer up before AND after leaving the gym.
5. Health is not an option, its a must-have: When the winters are around make yourself understand that health is not an option rather it a must-have and willingly or unwillingly you have to work for it. In order to make sure that your stay committed towards your goals just ensure that you pack your gym bags at night so that as soon as you get up you can go for your workouts. Rather than doing to and fro take your office stuff along with you when you leave for gym so that you directly head up towards your workout.
6. Be smarter and don’t let your excuses pull you down: You know yourself better than anyone else. You are well aware about the things which keep you going and the same is applicable for the excuses as well. Be smart and know your excuses well in advance and be prepared to work around them. So chuck the excuses and choose the activities you love, and you’ll be excited to get up each day and get going!
These tips will surely keep up your spirits and motivate you for workouts even in winters. Don’t forget to follow them so that you can meet your goal even before you actually know it.
Yogurt is one dairy product which is a part of almost everyone’s daily life. Yogurt along with being delicious is good for weight loss since it keeps you full for longer duration so that you are not starved an hour after you eat. Along with this, it also caters to the coldness and protein needs of our body. But can you believe that the way in which you are consuming this superfood can convert it into secret calorie bomb instead of making it a weight-loss weapon. Following listed are the few common mistakes which can be reason you are not able to reap in the benefits of this amazing dairy product:-
1. Not Measuring Portions
Super saver packs are really lucrative as they save money in comparison to individual portions but what is worth noticing is that it may also lead to over serving yourself. Rather than just measuring the portions with your eyes use a proper measurement spoon to actually measure them. Be careful with your portions and avoid going overboard!
2. Focusing Too Much on Calories
Counting calories is helpful when you want to lose weight but it is quite misleading in case of yogurt. There are many yogurt options out there in the market that are low in calories but along with this they have lower quantities of proteins. Rather than only looking at how many calories a container racks up, be sure to check out the protein level too, as it helps to keep you full until your next meal required to avoid overeating.
3. Adding Too Many Extras
Adding your favorite extras to a cup of plain yogurt may seem to be great idea, but in the long run it is another action which could be sabotaging your healthy-eating efforts. When you add toppings like nuts, cereal, fruits or honey you unknowingly convert you snack into a full meal. The basic rule if you want to keep yogurt as snack is to ensure that it does not have more than 200 calories. If you want to have it as a breakfast then you can add your favorite cereal, fruit or nuts but a still be careful that you don’t go too much over the top
4. Turning to Parfaits
Don’t get deceived by how pretty they look because they are simply disguising themselves since they are a unhealthy snack. They are misleading as they generally have full-fat yogurt, and they’re usually packed with granola. What else, the granola breaks into pieces and make it easy to think you’re eating less than you actually are. If you’re in a rush and jonesing for a dairy fix, go for a regular packaged yogurt. When you really want to have a parfrait the best option is to make it at home!
5. Going for Fat-Fre
Fat free products use sugar to compensate the taste of actual item. Though yogurt is naturally sweet in taste as it is a byproduct of milk, but some options may also have insane amount of sugar added to boost up the taste. Rather than going for fat free options it is recommended to go for low fat products and also check the nutrition list to ensure that you get enough protein and not too much sugar. As a tip, it is advised that you should avoid such products, which have more than 18g of sugar in one serving or have the first ingredient as sugar in the product label!
6. Seeking Out Probiotics Above All Else
Thanks to results of various advertisements, which have shown the probiotics are good for health, it has become one of the important ingredients for all weight watchers. Don’t get fooled by the products with the label of probiotics, which is no more than an added benefit. The simple thing to understand here is that its ok to hop on the probiotics train, but there’s no need to start loading your diet with yogurt to get your fill.
The flat or curly Parsley Leaves which you normally mince and use as a garnish to enhance the flavors of your food; are extremely rich in nutrients like fiber and low in calories which makes it a great intake product for people aiming for weight loss!
Low in Calories
1 cup of parsley has only 22 calories, 0.47g of total fat and 34mg of sodium, which indicates that it a low-calorie, low-fat, low-sodium way of enhancing flavor. While the serving (1 cup) may seem extremely high, it is worth noticing that it is used as a major ingredient in many cuisines, like Mediterranean. Replacing the extra tbsp of olive oil with 119 calories as a garnish with parsley can actually help you lose weight over a period of time.
High Fiber Content
Fiber, which is an essential nutrient for people aiming for weight loss, is found in abundance in these green leaves. Chopped parsley leaves contain about 2 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving. Though it is natural to assume that this is a low amount, it’s important to consider that a cup of parsley takes up just 1 percent of the calorie intake in 2,000-calorie diet. If you consume a single serving of parsley you can fulfill about 5-8% of the daily recommendation for dietary fiber, which has numerous benefits, including helping you feel fuller with less food, reducing the chances of overeating. Parsley can also help you meet your recommended daily intake of vegetables, which is between 2 and 3 cups per day.
Apart from being rich in fiber, parsley has high amount of iron ( 1 cup has 3.7 mg iron), which helps your body produce red blood cells. Parsley is also rich in vitamin K (1-cup serving has 984 mg ), which helps with blood coagulation. Further, it also contains natural antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants help protect your body’s cells from damage from environmental toxins and free radicals, which are produced as a side effect of your metabolism. While these nutrients do not directly aid in weight loss, they do help you stay healthy as you lose weight.
How To Use?
Apart from using this vegetable for garnish, there are several ways in which you can use it and let it contribute towards weight loss — add 1/2-1 cup of parsley to every serving of salad, use it is smoothies, double its quantity while using it as a garnish — are a few of the most common options.
You are what you eat! What’s interesting is that this applies to cows as well. Most of us have been forced into believing that meat is meat, regardless of the quality. However, recent research shows that grass fed beef is far superior to grain fed beef in terms of its nutrient content. The difference comes in how they are raised. Grain fed cows are force-fed grains and are kept in closely packed environments with other cows. Grass fed cows are allowed to consume grass freely on large areas – they’re much happier cows and their meat is incredibly nutritious. Recent research also indicates that red meat, whether grass-fed or grain-fed is not a source of heart disease. Phew. Keep reading to find out how grass fed meat trumps the conventional grain-fed variety:
1. Higher in good fats
Grass fed beef have 2 to 4 times the omega 3 fatty acids of regular grain fed beef. Additionally, the saturated fatty acid composition varies between both meats too. Red meat is composed of three different saturated fatty acids: stearic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid. Research shows that stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol levels and the good news is, grass-fed has higher levels of it. This also means that the potentially cholesterol-inducing palmitic and myristic acid proportions are lower in grass fed meat.
2. Higher in Vitamins and Minerals
Grass fed meat has a higher composition of the following minerals, vitamins and antioxidants:
Carotenoids give fat its yellowish hue. You’ll notice this while cooking grass-fed meat. Carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A found in green plants and orange and yellow vegetables.
b. B Vitamins
B vitamins are required for almost every function in the human body, including cognitive function, heart health, muscle health and fertility.
c. Vitamin D
Red meat is rich in bioavailable vitamin D which has a greater impact on our blood levels compared to vitamin D in dairy and synthetic varieties.
We aren’t strangers to the fact that red meat is among the highest sources of iron. Iron is especially important for pregnant women and people with iron-deficiency anemia.
4. Omega 3 and Omega 6 Balance
Most of us have become buddies with these, often labeled as good fats and better known as polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, it’s important that your diet has a balance between the two as greater levels of omega 6 fatty acids, which is a common problem among Americans, can increase your risk of chronic illnesses. The reason is that omega 6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory so the goal is to consume more of the latter. The good news for those who can’t afford grain-fed beef is that any type of red meat will have consistent omega-6 fatty acid levels. However, as mentioned earlier, grass fed has a league of its own because it is much higher in omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Conjugated linoleic acid is another type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found naturally in meat and milk products. Conjugated linoleic acid has powerful antioxidant properties, which makes it highly protective against chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Grass-fed beef, on average, possesses 2 to 3 times more conjugated linoleic acid than its grain-fed counterpart.
No one can deny the fact that sugar in any form is highly delectable. As we know the rule of life, anything which is liked by your taste buds is really bad for the health. You can’t even imagine the level of hazardous impact sugar intake is making your body and once you know it there are high chances that you will never look at it the same way. Today we have got the signs which will help you in identifying if you are eating too much of sugar. Check them out now –
1. Too much craving for sweet items
The more you eat it there are high chances that more you will crave for it. This is vicious and addictive cycle, since you eat sugar-crave sugar- eat sugar again. This is not only because your taste buds enjoy the sugary taste but also because sugar works like a drug – it gives you an instant high followed by a crash. When you eat sugar, there is a hormonal change in your body that’s like an up and down wave which ultimately triggers your body to have more of it.
2. Increase in weight
Excess sugar means extra empty calories since there is no filling nutrient in sugary items. Along with this, intake of sugar also triggers the release of insulin, a hormone that plays a big role in weight gain. When you increase the intake of sugar it leads to insulin resistance in our body which means our bodies can’t respond to normal amounts of insulin properly and therefore can’t use sugar the right way. It does not end here, when the pancreas works in overdrive for too long it can result in diabetes.
3. Skin problems
There are high chances that a spike in insulin caused due to increased sugar intake can set off a hormonal cascade that can lead to a breakout like acne or rosacea. If you are taking a lot of sugar it can start showing on your face in just few days. Rather than going in for other skin treatments for you unruly skin it is recommended to get to the bottom to know the actual cause.
4. You feel sluggish throughout the day
You body is the reflection of what you eat. After the initial spike in insulin that causes a high there is an inevitable crash. The stability of energy depends on how stable is the blood sugar level – when you consume too much sugar, the highs and lows of your blood sugar lead to highs and lows of energy. When you intake too much of sugary items your body is not getting enough protein and fiber both the nutrients which are important for sustained energy.
5. Mood fluctuations
As soon as the impact of sugar reduces in the blood you are likely to have mood swings which can leave you feeling crabby. Further, lower energy levels also contribute to a bad attitude.
6. Your brain tends to get foggy
This is a common symptom of low blood sugar levels. When you intake lot of sugar, there is rapid rise and fall in blood sugar rather than gradual. Poor blood sugar control is a major reason for cognitive issues and impairment.
7. Tooth Problems
Main reason for tooth decay is the acid that is produced when the bacteria chow down on food particles in between the teeth. Eating too much sugar can impact the pH levels and throw of the natural ecosystem which is responsible to maintain healthy balance of bacteria. This gives the bacteria a chance to grow which ultimately results in cavities.
8. There’s nothing like too sweet for you
Eating too much sugar makes a major impact on your taste buds making them weak. The sugar tolerance goes up and you need more and more sugar to satisfy that sweet craving. It becomes difficult to get back to the normal base level once your taste buds need lots of sugar to feel like something is sweet. If you cut back sugar, in the beginning you are bound to suffer but eventually it will help in lowering your tolerance again and make you content with minimal sugar.
If you are observing any of these symptoms, it is high time that you start maintaining a safe distance from sugar and sugary items.
Have a large group of friends coming over for the weekend? Don’t get tensed over what to make for dessert as we have a perfect solution for it. It won’t be time consuming, & will be quite refreshing and low on calories too (especially for those fitness junkies you’re expecting over). You can even have a fun kitchen time with your children, let them make it in your guidance. The ingredients used in this recipe are very easily available at any supermarket. You can even mix and match the flavors and get you very own version of these Healthy Berry Tarts. This is basically a great make-ahead dessert for any occasion like a cocktail buffet, weekend brunch, or a close luncheon. You can prepare the curd and whipped topping mixture in advance; refrigerate separately until you’re ready to serve.
1 cup vanilla low fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup frozen fat free whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp berry flavored curd
2 (2.1 Oz) packets mini phyllo shells
Grated lemon rind (optional)
1. Spoon the yogurt onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness.
2. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand for 5 minutes. Scrape yogurt into a bowl using a rubber spatula.
3. Combine yogurt and 1/2 tsp rind in a medium bowl. Gently fold in whipped topping.
4. Spoon 1 teaspoon Berry Curd into each phyllo shell; top each with 2 teaspoons yogurt mixture. Garnish with additional lemon rind& fresh berries, if desired. Serve immediately.
Yields 15 servings
Nutritional value per serve: Calories 65Kcal, Fat 2.5g, Carbs 8.2g, Protein 1g
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When you add protein shakes to your diet & meal you can easily boost calorie burn and curb hunger cravings without having to eat much at all. Protein helps to keep your heart, skin, hair, bones healthy & body tone. But the pre-packaged protein shakes from the store are often packed with sugar and not so healthy for you. They won’t get you any closer to that summer body you want so badly. To help you stay on track, we searched the web for the best weight loss shakes recipe out there. Below, you’ll find something to satisfy every craving without feeling guilty. Since we’ve taken care of finding the nutritional winners, all you have to do is pick a recipe, start up the blender and enjoy your Protein shake!
SPINACH FLAX PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
This is the spinach Protein smoothie for people who don’t like spinach—but want to eat it anyways. Thanks to the addition of mango, pineapple and banana, you won’t even taste the leafy green—but you’ll still get all of its health benefits. In fact, this drink serves up 33 percent of the day’s vitamin A, most of which comes from the spinach. The addition of chia seeds and flax provides four grams of satiating fiber so be sure to keep those in the mix if you’re looking to sip as much protein as possible.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any kind)
1 large handful of organic baby spinach, washed
¼ cup frozen mango chunks
¼ cup frozen pineapple
½ of a banana (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp flax meal (optional)
1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
SKINNY HIGH PROTEIN OREO SHAKE
Fat-free cottage cheese, skim milk, cookies, vanilla and a touch of Stevia team up to create a mouthwatering concoction that only tastes sinful, but is actually very healthy for you. Although the drink shouldn’t be your daily go-to, it’s there for you when you need to cub those cravings for cookies and other sugary goodness. Opting for this over a Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Blizzard of the same size will save you 20 grams of fat and 48 grams of sugar!
250 grams fat-free cottage cheese (choose the low sodium kind)
1 cup skim milk
3 oreo cookies
1 teaspoon truvia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You’ll be whisked away on a mini vacation for your mind the second you start sipping this tropical-tasting smoothie. Don’t let the high carb and sugar count scare you off; it’s coming from berries, an orange and banana—all vitamin- and fiber-rich produce that will keep you fresh and healthy.
1 cup organic frozen mixed berries
1 frozen banana
1 orange, peeled and segmented
4 – 6oz Vanilla Greek Yogurt (I used a 5.3oz container of Vanilla Oikos)
ALMOND BUTTER PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
Made with just four ingredients, this Protein smoothie will take you no time at all to whip up. The almond milk and nut butter provide a solid hit of natural protein while the chia seeds lend a boost of antioxidants and heart-protecting omega-3s. Enjoy this as a healthy breakfast on the go or an afternoon snack. To kick your shake up a notch, add a few shakes of cinnamon. It will not only heighten the drink’s taste, but also zap stubborn belly fat and help stabilize your blood sugar, which can ward off diet-derailing cravings.
1 large ripe banana peeled and frozen
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
COFFEE & BANANA PROTEIN BURST
Frozen bananas and peanut butter team up to give this smoothie a rich, milkshake-like consistency that will make you think it’s sinful. When you use unsweetened almond milk, though, it’s packed with protein without sky-high sugar counts found in other smoothies.
1 cup chilled Seattle’s Best brewed coffee
1½ bananas, cut into chunks
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp honey or agave nectar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
6 ice cubes
BLUEBERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
If you’re not big into the idea of using nutrition powders—or you’ve simply run of out your go-to—you’ll love this creative recipe. The blogger calls for a scrambled and blended egg in lieu of whey or plant protein, which is a fat-incinerating idea we totally love!
1 egg beaten, scrambled, and cooled
1 ripe banana peeled and frozen
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup frozen red grapes
3 large ice cubes
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 ground cinnamon
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To lose extra fat, you need to burn calories by exercising. Most of us go for well-defined exercise plans to lose weight. What we ignore are the activities of daily life which can also be highly contributive towards losing weight. One of such activity is climbing the stairs. Most of us go out of our way to avoid stairs, but using them as part of our exercise routine is a great way to lose weight, improve our fitness and tone and strengthen problem areas, like our legs, tummy, and buttocks. Here are some benefits of including this anaerobic activity in your daily routine:-
a) Burns more calories
In comparison to walking, climbing stairs is more strenuous and consumes more energy. You are likely to burn 3 times more calories by climbing the stairs than walking. Spending 15 minutes of your time taking stairs, going up and down, equals to 45 minutes of brisk walking in the park.
b) Strengthens core muscles
Don’t like crunches? Try taking the stairs instead. Working out on the stairs is like a standing crunch – the mere act of pulling the knee closer to your chest while climbing stairs puts pressure on the core, lower back and thighs. So it works as a dual edge sword as it is not only a great cardio workout but also the stairs also help to strengthen your core muscles at the same time.
c) Increases metabolism
Apart from working on your core muscles and contributing towards strengthening them, it increases metabolism too as it burns more calories. On an average climbing 30 steps at a time would help to burn a little more than 10 calories, which is actually great!
d) Helps in digestion
Climbing stairs burns more calories, improves circulation and puts a pressure on the core muscles, this entire process also aids digestion and relieves you from symptoms of constipation or any other related problem. This ultimately helps in boosting the weight loss process too!
e) Excellent workout for lower body
Lower body fat is the most difficult to reduce especially for females. Taking a flight of stairs will ensure that you work more on your hamstrings and gluteal muscles. This in turn will improve blood circulation in the lower body. Returning of the blood to the heart, from the lower body, is difficult and it needs a little push, working on the muscles of the lower body makes this achievable. Proper circulation in the body ensures better muscle and bone health, while keeping one safe from symptoms of muscle cramps, cold hands and feet and muscle fatigue.
The above highlighted benefits prove helpful in throwing some light on the benefits of using stairs on the daily basis. By making them an integral part of your workout you are likely to lose weight even without noticing.
Stair workout variations
If you want to workout on the stairs there are many types of variation you can include in your plan apart from the normal way of climbing stairs. Some of the simple types of stair workouts are highlighted as under –
1. Sprint It Out!
Run as fast as you can up the stairs touching each stair with one foot. Walk back down to the start. Repeat. This one works straight on your butt and thigh muscles.
2. Foot Speed Drill
This one works for your butt, thighs, and calves. Start on the ground level and step left foot onto stair. Immediately step right foot onto step while simultaneously returning left foot to start. Repeat as quickly as possible.
3. Broad Jump
This type of stair workout works on your arms, butt, thighs and glutes. Using arms to propel you, leap to jump up 2 or 3 stairs, landing with soft knees on both feet. Return to start; repeat.
4. V Up
Here’s a good one for your abs. Lie face-up on the ground with arms extended behind head, legs extended in front of you, heels placed on the second stair. Crunch up and touch fingers to toes. Return to start; repeat.
5. Decline Pushup Start
This amazing workout has something for each and every body part. This move works for the shoulder and the chest. With feet on a stair 4 or 5 up from the ground, hands on ground shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows to the lower chest to floor, keeping hips lifted and back flat, then press through palms to rise back up.
These are some of the variation you must try to have a complete body workout without any equipment or gym!
Where to find stairs
Apart from the ones in your home and office, here are a couple of typical places to find them:
1. High-rise car parks
2. Shopping centers
3. Sports grounds
5. Local monuments and lookouts
Thus, the bottom line of discussion is that stairs are a great way to shed off those extra pounds. It is totally free and does not require any type of special equipment. The above explicated benefits and types of stair workout are compelling enough to try this one out for sure!
Eating healthy is awesome but at times the food in particular gets a little too boring. With not much choices you tend to repeat your recipes. This can sometimes take you on the verge of a breakdown (and ruining your diet) because deep inside, you crave to eat food that comes in those takeout boxes and is amazingly delicious, loaded off course but yes unavoidably tasty. Whenever I am in such kind of a dilemma, I always make myself something that is loaded with herbs and flavors, it really satiates me to the next level. Chicken being my favorite dinner, this chicken breast seasoned with garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes really peps and lifts my mood. The best part of this recipe is that its loaded with proteins and very less on the calories, It’s just perfect for a hearty meal. Make a side of grilled veggies along this and you will be sorted. Try this really simple Herbed Baked Chicken Breast recipe yourself tonight and you will fall in love with its simplicity and flavor too.
1 tablespoon dried parsley, divided
1 tablespoon dried basil, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Sprinkle 1 tsp parsley and 1 tsp basil evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange chicken breast halves in the dish, and sprinkle evenly with garlic slices. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 teaspoons parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons basil, salt, and red pepper; sprinkle over the chicken.
3. Bake covered in the preheated oven 25 minutes. Remove cover, and continue baking 15 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.
Nutritional value per serve: Calories 155kcal, Fat 3g, Carbs 4g, Protein 25.5g