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30 Super-Easy Healthy Dinners That’ll Help You Lose Weight

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You’ll be counting down the minutes ’til you can make these healthy dinner recipes!

When you get home after a long day at work, it can be so tempting to grab takeout or heat up a frozen meal—but don’t even think about it. Instead of sacrificing your health for the sake of convenience, enjoy any one of these super-easy dinners that will be ready in no time and help you shed weight all month long. These healthy dinner recipes are quick, simple, and tasty!

Dinners
2/31 ,
LOADED SPAGHETTI

1 cup sliced bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
2/3 cup cooked edamame

Sauté peppers and onions in oil until onions are translucent. Toss with pasta and edamame.

Total: 420 calories

Soybeans are brimming with hunger-satiating protein and fiber, making them a great pasta topper.

(For even more great healthy-eating ideas that will help you lose weight, check out The Women’s Health Diet.)

3/31 ,
COOKOUT FOR ONE

1 organic beef hot dog
1/2 cup organic baked beans
1 whole-wheat hot dog bun
1/2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
1/2 Tbsp sweet relish
1 cup sliced honeydew melon

Cook hot dog, and heat baked beans in a saucepan. Serve hot dog in the bun, topped with mustard and relish, with beans and melon on the side.

Total: 490 calories

Your hot dog doesn’t have to be a diet-breaker, so long as you load up on healthy toppings instead of chili and cheese, which can beef up your dog with saturated fat, excess calories, and tons of sodium.

These fun (and healthy!) pita pizza recipes will give you even more healthy-dinner options

4/31 ,
SUMMER FARROTTO

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 oz)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup dry farro
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Pan-sear chicken in 1 Tbsp oil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then dice. Sauté onion and squash with remaining oil. Stir in farro until coated in oil. Add 2/3 cup water, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until soft. Stir in chicken, parsley, and cheese, and serve.

TOTAL: 490 calories

Haven’t tried farro? It’s an Italian grain with a nutty flavor that is packed full of essential nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, niacin, zinc, protein, and fiber.

5/31 ,
BEEF AND VEGGIE SALAD BOWL

2 Tbsp dry red quinoa
2 cups mesclun greens
3 oz cooked lean beef, cubed
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Cook quinoa as directed. Toss with greens, beef, broccoli, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar for dressing.

Total: 320 calories

Who needs Mexican fast food with this healthy alterative?

6/31 ,
BOW TIES WITH SPRING VEGETABLES

2 oz dry whole-grain farfalle pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup peas
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Cook pasta as directed and toss with oil, vegetables, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

TOTAL: 370 calories

Full of fiber, those artichoke hearts will help you fill up faster—and stay full. Bye, midnight snacking!

7/31 ,
HALF-HOMEMADE SOUP WITH ASPARAGUS

4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup Amy’s Organic Chunky Vegetable soup
2 Tbsp dry quinoa
1 cup chopped kale
10 small asparagus spears
2 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp grated fresh ginger

Bake chicken at 350°F for 25 minutes, then shred with a fork. Meanwhile, combine soup, quinoa, and kale in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer until quinoa is done, about 15 minutes. Add chicken. Steam asparagus, then toss with soy sauce and ginger. Serve asparagus on the side.

TOTAL: 330 calories

A proven anti-inflammatory, fresh ginger is full of antioxidants that boost your immunity, so this soup is perfect for a warm meal when you’re feeling under the weather.

8/31 ,
PORK WITH VEGGIES

1 pork tenderloin (4 oz)
1 cup steamed green beans
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
1 baked sweet potato

Season pork with salt and pepper, sear in an ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray, and transfer to a 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with green beans topped with almonds, and a sweet potato.

Total: 370 calories

Did you know that sweet potatoes pack 438 percent of your daily value of infection-fighting vitamin A? Not bad for a delicious side dish.

9/31 ,
PIZZA PARTY

1 Amy’s Light ‘N Lean Italian Vegetable Pizza
3 oz broccoli slaw
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 tsp olive oil
1 oz lemon juice

Bake pizza. Blend slaw, beans, scallions, oil, and lemon juice, and serve on the side.

Total: 400 calories

This pizza only costs you 280 calories. A fast-food personal pie? Double that.

 

10/31 ,
BAKED CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS AND SWEET POTATO

1/2 skinless chicken breast
1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp chives
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet potato

In a 350°F oven, bake chicken, topped with mushrooms, chives, and oil, for 15 minutes. Microwave sweet potato for five to seven minutes.

Total: 382 calories

Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white spuds do, so they’re gentler on your blood sugar—and potentially your waistline.

11/31 ,
SHRIMP CEVICHE

1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped jicama
1/3 cup chopped mango
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1/4 cup sliced avocado
1 tomato, sliced
1 cup cooked shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp red pepper

Toss together, and dress with lemon juice.

Total: 430 calories

Avocado‘s monounsaturated fats may play a role in warding off belly fat.

12/31 ,
LIGHT LASAGNA

1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta
1/3 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1 Coleman Natural Mild Italian Chicken Sausage link, cooked
2 cups spinach

Combine pasta, ricotta, sauce, and chili flakes, then crumble sausage on top. Add spinach, and let wilt.

Total: 350 calories

Whole-wheat pastas have more fiber than their empty-calorie, white-flour counterparts.

13/31 ,
CHICKEN WITH CHEESY BROCCOLI SOUP

1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped parsnips
3/4 cup nonfat chicken stock
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
4 oz chicken breast
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam broccoli and parsnips, then puree with stock and cheddar; sprinkle with nuts. Bake chicken, top with lemon juice, and season.

Total: 360 calories

Clear soups can help fill you up, but pureed ones taste richer, which can be more satiating.

 

14/31 ,
CILANTRO SHRIMP WITH SQUASH, CHARD, AND WILD RICE

8 large shrimp
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh cilantro
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 cup Swiss chard
1/4 cup dry wild rice blend

Sear shrimp in olive oil over medium heat for three to four minutes, seasoning with cilantro and lime juice. Steam squash and chard for five to seven minutes, and cook rice according to package directions.

Total: 370 calories

With fewer calories per ounce than most fish, shrimp are the ideal seafood if you’re trying to slim down.

15/31 ,
LEMON CHICKEN WITH GAZPACHO

3 1/2 oz chicken breast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 tsp fresh rosemary

Gazpacho
1 cup stewed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Coat chicken with olive oil. Cover with lemon slices and rosemary, and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Combine gazpacho ingredients in a blender, then serve at room temperature with chicken.

Total: 414 calories

Garlic does more than add flavor: It may help boost weight loss and reduce body fat.

16/31 ,
ZESTY TOFU AND QUINOA

1 cup cooked quinoa
2 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed
3 Tbsp diced red pepper
3 Tbsp diced green pepper
1 tsp cilantro
2 Tbsp diced avocado
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients.

Total: 320 calories

Lime juice not only adds zing to this dish—it also adds antioxidants that can wipe out stress, fight the signs of aging, and rejuvenate your body and mind.

17/31 ,
CONFETTI PESTO PASTA

1/4 pint cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup cooked green beans
1/3 cup diced chicken breast
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 cup cooked linguine
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Combine tomatoes, cooked green beans, diced chicken breast, pesto sauce, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add cooked linguine. Garnish with shredded Parmesan.

Total: 417 calories

This easy dish can be made in under five minutes!

18/31 ,
ASIAN TURKEY LETTUCE CUPS

4 oz ground lean turkey
1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup shelled and cooked edamame
2 Boston lettuce leaves
2 Tbsp sliced scallion

Sauce
1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Asian Slaw
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage and green cabbage
1/4 cup sliced jicama
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté first three ingredients for five minutes. Add edamame, scoop mix onto lettuce, top with scallion, and wrap up. Drizzle with sauce, and serve slaw on the side.

Total: 329 calories

Substituting mushrooms for some of the meat in the dish saves fat and calories. Plus, you won’t compensate by eating more later, a 2008 study reported.

19/31 ,
PORK WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

3 oz pork tenderloin
1 cup baked cubed butternut squash
2 cups brussels sprouts cooked in 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Roast pork tenderloin at 375°F, then serve with vegetables.

Total: 405 calories

Brussels sprouts contain quercetin, a flavonol that may reduce belly fat and help you fend off extra pounds.

20/31 ,
MUSHROOM BISON BURGER

4 oz grass-fed bison burger
1 portobello mushroom, grilled
1 slice red onion
2 slices tomato
2 lettuce leaves
1 Arnold Artisan Ovens Multi-Grain Flatbreat

Grill mushroom and burger, and top with onion, tomato, and lettuce on flatbread.

Total: 374 calories

Grass-fed bison meat contains less fat than both ground chicken and grass-fed beef—plus it has more protein.

21/31 ,
SALMON WITH LEMON AND DILL

5 oz wild Atlantic salmon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dill
2/3 cup parsnips
1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli, steamed

Sprinkle salmon with lemon juice and dill and bake for 15 minutes at 225°F.

Total: 261 calories

Chow down—broccoli contains quercetin, which inhibits the maturation of fat cells.

22/31 ,
SHRIMP PASTA WITH SALAD

1/2 cup dry rigatoni, cooked
3 oz shrimp, poached
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and pureed
3 large black olives, sliced
1/2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 tsp grated Parmesan

Salad
1 cup romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Toss pasta with shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pine nuts. Top with Parmesan. Serve alongside the salad.

Total: 465 calories

Pine nuts increase your body’s secretion of satiety hormones and may short-circuit your appetite.

23/31 ,
SEARED SCALLOPS WITH LEMON JUICE AND SAGE

2 tsp canola oil
3 oz sea scallops
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground sage
1 1/2 cups cubed roasted acorn squash
2 cups kale sautéed in 2 tsp olive oil

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and cook without stirring until well browned, around two minutes. Flip scallops and cook until the sides are firm and centers opaque, 30 to 90 seconds. Drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle sage on top. Serve with squash and kale.

Total: 496 calories

These mollusks are high in satisfying protein and can help you lose weight: In a University of Washington School of Medicine study, people who increased their protein intake from 15 percent to 30 percent of their daily calories lost eight pounds of fat in 12 weeks.

24/31 ,
CHEESY VEGGIE PASTA

1/2 cup whole-wheat macaroni
1 cup crushed whole, peeled canned tomatoes
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup chopped spinach
1 cup zucchini wedges
2 tsp olive oil

Cook vegetables over medium-high heat, then combine with cooked macaroni and cheese.

Total: 439 calories

Go meatless once a week! According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating less meat may help keep your weight in check.

25/31 ,
TERIYAKI BEEF WITH VEGGIES

3 oz grass-fed beef tenderloin, cubed
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
1 Tbsp light honey-mustard dressing
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup sliced peppers
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Marinate beef in teriyaki and dressing for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a pan, and cook beef one to two minutes. Add veggies, and cook for another five to seven minutes until beef is browned. Serve over rice.

Total: 506 calories

Beef from cows that graze on grass has higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, which can help fight body fat.

26/31 ,
SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI PASTA SALAD

4 oz cooked shrimp
1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 steamed broccoli
4 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
1 tsp capers
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano

Toss all ingredients, and serve cold.

Total: 312 calories

Shrimp is high in omega-3’s, and according to a study in the journal Appetite, people who ate omega-3-rich diets were most likely to feel satiated.

27/31 ,
CHICKEN PARMIGIANA WITH PENNE

4 oz grilled chicken, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup whole-wheat penne
1 1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Sauté spinach in one teaspoon olive oil, and toss with chicken, penne, and tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.

Total: 437 calories

Spinach contains lipoic acid, which plays a role in energy production and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

28/31 ,
BEEF STIR-FRY WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

3 oz steak tenderloin fillet, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup cooked bulgur

Butternut Squash Soup
1/2 cup Pacific Natural Foods organic light-sodium butternut squash soup

Stir-fry beef, onion, and mushroom, and serve over bulgur.

Total: 450 calories

Bulgur is a quick-cooking, nutty-tasting whole grain that’s lower in calories and fat than brown rice.

29/31 ,
ASIAN SNAPPER

1/4 cup raw pistachios
1/2 cup cooked millet
1/2 cup bok choy
6 oz cooked snapper
4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cooked

Mix pistachios into millet. Top millet with bok choy and then snapper. Drizzle snapper with soy sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve sugar snap peas on the side.

Total: 561 calories

In a study, those who added pistachios to their diet lowered their body-mass indexes more than those who ate pretzels instead.

30/31 ,
JAMBALAYA BLEND WITH VEGGIES

1 veggie burger
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp corn
2 Tbsp salsa
1/2 cup chopped red, green, or yellow bell peppers
3/4 cup diced squash
3/4 cup diced zucchini
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tsp olive oil
Salt, to taste

Cook burger in pan spritzed with cooking spray, then chop burger and combine with rice, corn, and salsa. Toss veggies with oil and salt, roast for 15 to 20 minutes, and serve on the side.

Total: 360 calories

Fill up with brown rice. It has more than five times the fiber of the white stuff.

31/31 ,
COD WITH ROSEMARY POLENTA AND BEANS

3 oz cod
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup dry polenta
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup cooked green beans

Season cod with parsley, salt, and pepper, then steam for eight minutes. Cook polenta with milk, per package instructions, then top with pine nuts and rosemary. Serve with green beans.

Total: 352 calories

Fight flab with flavor: Rosemary‘s carnosic acid appears to help reduce weight gain.

Source: www.womenshealthmag.com

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Healty and tips

33 Simple Diet and Fitness Tips

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1 of 34 Glow Images

Diet and workout tips that work

We all want to be our fittest selves, but with so much advice floating around out there, it can be hard to hone in on what healthcare tips actually work. To make your life a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a number of our go-to healthy strategies, to help you reach your most ambitious fitness goals even quicker.

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Say hello to H20

Whether you’re heading off to spin class, boot camp, or any other exercise, it’s always important to hydrate so you can stay energized and have your best workout. Electrolyte-loaded athletic drinks, though, can be a source of unnecessary calories, so « drinking water is usually fine until you’re exercising for more than one hour, » says Newgent. At that point, feel free to go for regular Gatorade-type drinks (and their calories), which can give you a beneficial replenishment boost. But worry not if you like a little flavor during your fitness: There are now lower- cal sports drinks available, adds Newgent, so look out for ’em in your grocery aisles.

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Find the best fitness friend

A workout buddy is hugely helpful for keeping motivated, but it’s important to find someone who will inspire—not discourage. So make a list of all your exercise-loving friends, then see who fits this criteria, says Andrew Kastor, an ASICS running coach: Can your pal meet to exercise on a regular basis? Is she supportive (not disparaging) of your goals? And last, will your bud be able to keep up with you or even push your limits in key workouts? If you’ve got someone that fits all three, make that phone call.
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Stock up on these

While there are heaps of good-for-you foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to meet your weight-loss goals. Next grocery store run, be sure to place Newgent’s top three diet-friendly items in your cart: balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-cal flavor to veggies and salads), in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated), and fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein). « Plus, Greek yogurt also works wonders as a natural low-calorie base for dressings and dips—or as a tangier alternative to sour cream, » says Newgent. Talk about a multitasker!
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Relieve those achy muscles

After a grueling workout, there’s a good chance you’re going to be feeling it (we’re talking sore thighs, tight calves). Relieve post-fitness aches by submerging your lower body in a cold bath (50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit; you may have to throw some ice cubes in to get it cold enough) for 10 to 15 minutes. « Many top athletes use this trick to help reduce soreness after training sessions, » says Andrew Kastor. And advice we love: « An athlete training for an important race should consider getting one to two massages per month to help aid in training recovery, » adds Kastor. Now that’s speaking our language!
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Curb your sweet tooth

Got a late-night sugar craving that just won’t quit? « To satisfy your sweet tooth without pushing yourself over the calorie edge, even in the late night hours, think ‘fruit first,' » says Jackie Newgent, RD, author of The Big Green Cookbook. So resist that chocolate cake siren, and instead enjoy a sliced apple with a tablespoon of nut butter (like peanut or almond) or fresh fig halves spread with ricotta. Then sleep sweet, knowing you’re still on the right, healthy track.
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Buy comfy sneaks

You shouldn’t buy kicks that hurt, bottom line! « Your shoes should feel comfortable from the first step, » says Andrew Kastor. So shop in the evening—your feet swell during the day and stop in the late afternoon, so you want to shop when they’re at their biggest. Also make sure the sneaks are a little roomy—enough so that you can wiggle your toes, but no more than that. They should be comfy from the get-go, but Kastor says they’ll be even more so once you have a good 20 to 40 miles on ’em.
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Pick your perfect tunes

Running with music is a great way to get in a groove (just make sure it’s not blasting too loudly, or you won’t hear those cars!). To pick the ultimate iPod playlist, think about what gets you going. « I know several elite athletes that listen to what we’d consider ‘relaxing’ music, such as symphony music, while they do a hard workout, » says Andrew Kastor. So don’t feel like you have to download Lady Gaga because her tunes are supposed to pump you up—go with any music that you find uplifting.
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When to weigh

You’ve been following your diet for a whole week. Weigh to go! Now it’s time to start tracking your progress (and make sure pesky pounds don’t find their way back on). « It’s best to step on the scale in the morning before eating or drinking—and prior to plunging into your daily activities, » says Newgent. For the most reliable number, be sure to check your poundage at a consistent time, whether daily or weekly.
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Police your portions

Does your steak take up more than half your plate? Think about cutting your serving of beef in half. That’s because it’s best to try and fill half your plate with veggies or a mixture of veggies and fresh fruit, says Newgent, so that it’s harder to overdo it on the more caloric dishes (like cheesy potatoes or barbecue sauce–slathered ribs—yum!).
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Combat cocktail hour

Is it ladies’ night? If you know you’ll be imbibing more than one drink, feel (and sip!) right by always ordering water between cocktails, says Newgent. That way, you won’t rack up sneaky liquid calories (and ruin your inhibition to resist those mozzarella sticks!). But your H20 doesn’t have to be ho-hum. « Make it festive by ordering the sparkling variety with plenty of fruit, like a lime, lemon, and orange wedge in a martini or highball glass, » adds Newgent.
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Eat this, run that

When you have a 5- or 10K (you get to eat more with a half or full marathon) on your calendar, it’s important to plan out what you’re going to eat the morning of the big day—something that will keep you fueled and also go down easy. While everyone is different, « We always have good luck with a high-carbohydrate breakfast such as a small bowl of oatmeal with fruit or a couple of pieces of toast with peanut butter or cream cheese, » says Andrew Kastor, who also advises eating around 200 to 250 (primarily carb) calories about 90 minutes before you warm up for your run . And don’t worry about nixing your a.m. caffeine fix on race day. « Coffee is great for athletic performances, » Kastor adds, because it makes you sharper and may even give you extended energy. Talk about buzz-worthy!
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Turn your cheat day around

Feeling guilty about that giant ice cream sundae you enjoyed at your niece’s birthday party? Don’t beat yourself up! It takes a lot of calories—3,500—to gain a pound of body fat. « So really, that one off day doesn’t usually result in any significant weight gain, » says Newgent. It’s about what you do the next day and the day after that’s really important—so don’t stay off-track. So be sure to whittle away at those extra calories over the next day or two, preferably by boosting exercise rather than eating too little. Starvation is not the healthy answer!
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Run with this

Before you hit the road, make sure you’re packing these key staples: a watch to log your total time (or a fancy GPS to track your mileage), an iPod with great amp-you-up music, a cell phone if you don’t mind holding onto it, and a RoadID (a bracelet that includes all your vital info, $20; roadid.com). And on a sunny day, wear sunglasses. « They reduce glare, which can decrease squinting, ultimately releasing the tension in your shoulders, » says Andrew Kastor. And that’s a performance bonus, because relaxing them helps conserve energy on your runs. Hey, we’ll take a boost where we can get it!
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Be a weekend warrior

You’ve been following your diet plan to the letter, but enter: the weekend. To deal with three nights of eating temptations (think: birthdays, weddings, dinner parties), up your activity level for the week. For instance, try taking an extra 15-minute walk around your office each day, suggests Newgent. Then, go on and indulge a bit at the soiree, guilt free. Another party trick? Enjoy a 100-calorie snack before a celebration, which can help you eat fewer munchies at the event.
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Fun up your food

It’s easy to get in a diet rut, even if you’re loading up on flavorful fruits and veggies. The solution? Have plenty of spices, fresh herbs, and lemons at your cooking beck and call. « It’s amazing what a little dash of spice, sprinkle of herbs, pinch of lemon zest, or squirt of lime juice can do to liven up a dish—and your diet, » says Newgent. The best part: They contain almost no calories. Experiment with your dinner, tonight!
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Up your exercise

How do you know when to increase your exercise? « The general rule of thumb is to up the amount of miles run, for races half-marathon length and longer, by 5 to 10 percent each week, » advises Andrew Kastor. See our training schedule at Health.com/yes-you-can, which guides you on how to increase your mileage.
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Have a fruity ice cream sundae

Next time your family or friends decide to make an ice-cream run, don’t worry about being left out of the fun! Order a fresh (and super-refreshing) ice cream sundae, piled high with diced kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries. You’ll get a serving of delish fruit—no hefty calorie-laden toppings required.
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Swap out your shoes

While we’ve all heard that running shoes break down after logging lots of miles (about 300 to 350), you may still be holding on to your fave pair. (They fit just right! They’re so cushy!) Not a good idea. « Glue has a tendency to break down under ultraviolet light, as do the other materials that make up the shoe, » says Andrew Kastor. So even if your sneaks have only 150 miles on them but are more than two years old, recycle them (try oneworldrunning.com or recycledrunners.com), because chances are they’ve already started deteriorating. And as a rule of thumb, always keep tabs on how many miles you’ve logged on them—tedious, but hey, you’ll be proud of how far you’ve gone.
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Snag the right support

Sure, your yoga sports bras works great for downward dog—but when it comes to running, you’ll need one that’s designed to lock them in for all that pavement pounding. So what should you look for? « The best sports bras are loose around the chest so you can expand your ribs and diaphragm more effectively. But they should also be form-fitting, » says Deena Kastor, an American marathon record holder and 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist. Just make sure the cup is made of comfy material (like a soft compression fabric; look for descriptions that include the terms « breathability » and « compression »)—you don’t want to be itching at mile two!
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Relieve those side stitches

You know it: a sharp pain just below the rib cage that always seems to pop up when you’re working out your hardest. It’s called the side stitch, and it can be a major nuisance—especially when it keeps you from completing a workout. To ease the ache (so you can get on with your run), take your fist and press it beneath your rib cage while taking deep breaths from your belly for about 10 steps. In about 30 seconds, the pain should subside, so you can get on back to (fitness) work.
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Shake your way slim

Sick of that elliptical or bike or workout DVD? That means it’s time to mix up your routine! Our favorite way: Break a sweat by moving and shaking. Simply make a playlist with your favorite « cut a rug » tunes (« Girls Just Want to Have Fun »? « Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) »?), then turn up the volume, and start breaking it down. For even more fun, invite some gal pals over and get grooving (and laughing). The best part is that you’ll each burn about 200 to 600 calories per hour. Now that’s something to shimmy about!
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Fuel for fitness

Planning on picking up the pace tomorrow? Eat food that will help keep you going strong. For breakfast, opt for a high-carbohydrate meal—one similar to what you’ll be eating on race day, so you can find out what foods digest best (for you!). Try a whole-grain English muffin or a bagel with peanut butter or a low-fat cream cheese. Then, have a well-rounded meal post-workout to help with recovery. Andrew Kastor’s favorite? One to two slices French toast with a side of fruit. « The protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is perfect for enhancing my recovery, » he says. We like that it’s super-yummy, too.
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Say goodbye to peer pressure

Even if you’ve been eating right on track, it may be tough to stay on track if your partner, coworkers, or friends don’t share your healthy-eating habits. What to do? If your partner loves pizza, try ordering a pie that’s heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese—then supplement it with a side salad. Or, if your friends are having a girls’ night out, suggest a restaurant that’s got healthy appetizer options, instead of the typical fare of onion rings and cheese dip. And at work, instead of Friday baked-goods day, suggest a Friday « make it healthy » day, and swap in baked pears with cinnamon or mini fruit-and-nut muffins for brownies and blondies.
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Savor your carbs

When trying to slim and trim, you may be tempted to take drastic measures like cutting out your carbs. But before you go and add dinner rolls and chips to your « no » list, remember that yummy foods like brown rice, pumpernickel bread, and even potato chips contain Resistant Starch, a metabolism-boosting carb that keeps you full for longer. And that’s great for maintaining a fit you because you won’t have to eat as much to feel satiated. So go on, rip open that (single-serve) bag of Lay’s!
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Ditch your working lunch

Munching on your lunch while at the computer could lead to mindless grazing, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who ate their midday meals while playing a computer game ended up eating more cookies 30 minutes later than those who hadn’t been gaming. So carve out 20 minutes a day (we know, you’ve got a million things to do, but … ), and eat in your conference room (or outdoors!). Your whittled waistline with thank you.
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Slather up!

There’s no denying it: Getting the fresh air from exercising outdoors is great! But along with it, you also get the harmful UV rays. To keep yourself shielded while still having fun in the sun, opt for a sweat-proof screen with SPF 30 or higher (look out for types that say « water-resistant » or « waterproof » on the bottle, terms regulated by the FDA), a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher, a lightweight hat, and sports shades. Also consider trading in your white tee and instead going for a shirt with built-in UV protection (a rating of 30 UVP is necessary to be awarded the Skin Cancer Foundation’s « Seal of Recommendation »; a white T-shirt has a rating of 10). And remember, the rays are at their brightest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so try to plan a before-or post-work sweat-session.
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Slim up your snack

It’s hard to avoid that 3 p.m. stomach rumble, when nothing can stand between you and the office vending machine. And while it’s fine to eat something to hold you over until dinner (in fact, we encourage it!), some choices will help you keep on your weight-loss track—while others can surely derail you. So at the vending machine, instead of choosing that ever-so-tempting pack of Twizzlers, try a 100-calorie cookie pack or a Nature Valley granola bar. Better yet, bring a snack from home! We’re fans of sliced veggies dipped in hummus. Delish!
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Run chafe-free

There’s nothing fun about chafing. You can get the rash (caused by moisture and constant friction) on your thighs, around your sports bra, and even under your arms, to name a few hot spots! To prevent the next occurrence, try rubbing on an anti-chafe stick like Bodyglide For Her Anti-Chafing Stick ($9; amazon.com)in any spots that have the potential to chafe. Moisture-wicking fabrics help, too, so if you have a few quick-dry shirts (Nike, Asics, and Under Armour all make ’em), save those for your long runs or tough workouts, when chafing is most likely to occur.

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Find healthy fast food

Have to work late tonight and need dinner—in a hurry? Not to worry. If you find fast food is your only option, pull up the restaurant’s nutrition facts online before you go; you can make an informed decision ahead of time about what to order. « Nearly every quick-service restaurant has a relatively healthful option or two, » says Newgent. We’re thinking salads, chili, or grilled chicken. Some low-cal, healthy, on-the-run dishes: the vegetarian burrito bowl at Chipotle, the Bangkok curry at Noodles and Company, and the tomato basil bisque at Au Bon Pain.
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Be a mighty maintainer

The end is here! Three cheers for all your hard work. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to put on the brakes. To maintain your weight, you still have to make those smart choices at restaurants, work, and home. Look into getting a diet confidante, who you can chat with once a week about your eating highs and oh-no’s. And stick to using that scale so you can be proactive if a few extra pounds creep back on. Don’t let your exercise routine change, either, because even if you don’t have any more pounds to lose, you’ll still be working out your ticker. And we heart that!
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Up your fiber intake

Along with protein and good-for-you fat, fiber is one of those nutrition elements that keeps you full and fueled all day long. And if you’re trying to get fit and shed pounds, fiber is your best friend. In fact, in one an American Heart Association study, participants who consuming 30 grams of fiber a day ended up losing weight and improving their heart health. So when it comes to staying healthy and slim, aim for that 30 gram fiber goal!
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Work out in the morning

Sure, it can be a pain to drag yourself out of bed for a morning workout. But according to a study from Appalachian State University, opting for a 45-minute a.m. sweat sesh could cause a metabolic spike, helping your body continue to burn an additional 190 calories throughout the day.
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Have a hearty breakfast

By now you’re probably tired of hearing how breakfast is the most important meal of the day—but this tired piece of advice couldn’t be more true! In one study completed at the Imperial College of London, participants who skipped breakfast were more tempted to reach for unhealthy, high-calorie foods later in the day. And in case you need more evidence to eat that a.m. meal, further research found that women had a larger drop in ghrelin (the hunger hormone) when they ate a hearty breakfast versus a small one.

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Healty and tips

Nutrition for kids: 5 tips

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Nutrition for kids: 5 tips

1) Stick to concrete ideas

Avoid abstract concepts. Children only start to understand abstract concepts once they reach about 11 or 12 years old. For example some concrete ideas are:

  • Eat lots of different foods every day
  • Eat fruit and vegetables of all colours of the rainbow every day
  • Talking about whole food items
  • Classifying foods by where they come from
  • “Sometimes” and “everyday” foods
  • Note: the classification of foods into everyday or sometimes is an abstract concept, but how often foods are recommended to be eaten is a concrete idea.

Some abstract concepts are:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Other nutrients that can’t be seen (e.g. protein, calcium, saturated fat)
  • Classification of foods by nutrients
  • Recommended serve size; daily recommended serves
  • Digestion
  • Chronic disease risk
  • Processes by which food affects health

2) Avoid complicated phrases

Kids can often recite facts and phrases without really understanding them. For example, younger children probably don’t understand what ‘variety’ means and many kids might only know the word ‘diet’ to be a special way of eating (for example to lose weight or for diabetes) rather than a person’s everyday food consumption. Other terms kids might not understand are healthy weight, low fat or low sugar. When talking with your child, keep checking in with them and ask them to explain back to you what they know – that way you’ll get an idea for how much they’ve grasped.

3) Use props!

When referring to a particular food, use the real food item or a picture of the food so your child knows what you’re talking about. Chat about the food you’re preparing and eating for dinner. Ask them how the food grows or where you can find it; discuss seasonal produce and the kinds of environments foods need to grow.

4) Be meaningful

Kids live in the present, so focus on the immediate benefits rather than long term ones. Being strong, growing well and having enough energy to climb the monkey bars are important concepts to kids. They’re less concerned about their longterm disease risk or heart health!

5) Be a role model

Research shows what you eat and do influences children’s habits more than what you say. Studies also show that an authoritative parenting style is also associated with positive dietary results in children. Authoritative parenting doesn’t necessarily need to be overly restrictive nor lax, but it sets some boundaries around the consumption of “sometimes” foods. Families that eat meals together are also associated with children who eat more fruit and vegetables.

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Diet During Pregnancy

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Dieting During Your Pregnancy

What does diet during pregnancy mean? When we refer to diet during pregnancy, we are not speaking about restricting calories or trying to lose weight. Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can be hazardous to you and your baby, especially since a weight loss regimen may restrict important nutrients such as iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, we recommend avoiding popular diets such as Atkins, South Beach, The Zone, Raw Food Diet, and so on.

The type of diet we encourage during pregnancy refers to fine-tuning your eating habits to ensure you are receiving adequate nutrition for the health of you and your baby. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby’s growth and development. In order to get the nutrients you need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products.

Typically, you will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day.

Food Groups

It is always important to eat a variety of foods throughout the day making certain you get the nutrients both you and your baby need. Here is a look at the food groups and some suggested sources for creating a healthy diet during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy: Food Groups

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain many important nutrients for pregnancy especially, Vitamin C and Folic Acid. Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily, which is contained in fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and honeydew, and vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, and brussel sprouts.

In order to prevent neural tube defects, 0.4 mg of folic acid per day is recommended. A good source of folic acid can be found in dark green leafy vegetables (other sources of folic acid include legumes, such as black or lima beans, black-eyed peas, and veal). You should have at least 2-4 servings of fruit and 4 or more servings of vegetables daily.

Diet During Pregnancy: Fruits and Vegetables

Breads and Grains: The body’s main source of energy for pregnancy comes from the essential carbohydrates found in breads and grains. Whole grain and enriched products provide important nutrients such as iron, B Vitamins, fiber and some protein, even. You can get the required amount of folic acid from fortified bread and cereal.

Depending on your weight and dietary needs, you should consume anywhere between 6-11 servings (6-11 oz) of breads/grains daily.

Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and beans contain the protein, B vitamins and iron needed in pregnancy. Your developing baby needs plenty of protein, especially in the second and third trimesters. Iron helps to carry oxygen to your growing baby, and also carries oxygen to your muscles to help avoid symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression.

The U.S. RDA recommends about 27 mg per day. Lean beef, chicken, lamb, liver, turkey, and veal are good options. Fish and some other seafood can be a good nutritional choice for pregnancy, within guidelines. Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. (Read more about Fish and Mercury Levels). You should consume at least 3 servings of proteindaily.

Dairy Products: At least 1000 mg of calcium is needed daily to support a pregnancy. Calcium is essential for building strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function. Since your developing baby requires a considerable amount of calcium, your body will take calcium from your bones, if you do not consume enough through your diet (which can lead to future problems, such as osteoporosis).

Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, cream soups, and puddings. Some calcium is also found in green vegetables, seafood, beans and dried peas. You should consume at least 4 servings of dairy productsdaily.

A Complement to Nutrition

Prenatal Vitamins: Although the main source of vitamins and nutrients needed during pregnancy should come from your diet, a daily prenatal vitamin can help fill small gaps—just in case you unintentionally do not get enough key nutrients. Prenatal vitamins should be taken up to three months before conception, if possible.

Consult your healthcare provider about which supplement is best for you.

REMEMBER – a prenatal vitamin, or any other supplement can only complement a healthy diet during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy: A Complement to Nutrition

Sample Daily Menu

The following sample menu will give you some idea of what a pregnant woman should typically consume in a day for a healthy diet during pregnancy. Three small, but balanced, meals and three light snacks throughout the day are a good rule of thumb to ensure you and your baby’s nutritional needs are met.

Breakfast: Oatmeal cereal, banana, 1 slice whole wheat toast, 2 tsp jam, 1 cup skim milk

Snack: 1 cup yogurt, grapes

Lunch: Turkey (if deli meat, do not eat cold – heat to steaming to avoid Listeria) and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, small bag potato chips, pear, and 1 cup skim milk

Snack: Raw veggies and low-calorie dip

Dinner: 4 oz chicken, 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup veggies, 1 cup skim milk

Snack: fresh fruit or low-fat frozen yogurt

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