Whether you're looking to balance out meals or shed a few pounds, try snacking on some of these low-carb, high-protein snacks throughout the day.
A tall frozen piña colada may taste like a tropical vacation, but this cocktail can clock in at 245 calories with a whopping 31.5 grams of sugar! Leave prepackaged mixes for the amateurs, and blend up a fresh colada-inspired smoothie that cuts out 102 calories and nearly half the sugar content.
The interesting array of tropical ingredients in this recipe create a drink with a flavor and texture even more satisfying, but still true, to the original. Whether you prefer an alcohol-free mocktail or a boozy treat, this refreshing drink is well worth the five minutes of prep time. Ready for a taste? Keep reading for this simple and fresh recipe.
For many, the key to successful weight loss is eating more throughout the day and ending with an early, light dinner. Eating late can lead to sleep issues or cause you to eat more calories than you would if you ate earlier. If you're trying to turn your dinner habits around but can't seem to shake the 9 p.m. fridge stop, here are tips on how to make your light dinner a success.
- Plan ahead: Skipping meals or cutting calories during the day can make it hard to focus on anything other than eating everything you can find later that night. Don't set yourself up for failure; focus on eating these healthy filling foods during the day and don't skip out on breakfast or lunch. If you're craving a treat, try eating it earlier in the day so that you aren't choosing sugary, high-carb foods at night since it's harder to burn off.
- Keep temptations away: If you're guilty of mindless snacking on the couch at night, keeping temptations in your kitchen will only make it that much harder to wean yourself from the habit. Keep junk food, dessert, and other unhealthy snacks out of your pantry and fridge so you don't have to test your willpower every night.
- Go for filling: A light dinner doesn't have to mean you're hungry again almost as soon as you finish. Choose lean protein, high-fiber foods to keep you satisfied without wanting to reach for seconds or thirds. A light dinner of one of these fish recipes will be flavorful and filling enough to satisfy any craving, and these vegetarian meals offering complete protein under 400 calories will help you stay full without gorging yourself.
- Signal an end: Tell yourself the kitchen is closed after a certain time so you don't keep wandering back in trying to find something to eat. Have a cup of herbal tea or hot lemon water while you watch TV on the couch to replace that normal snacking sensation. Peppermint tea is great for soothing your stomach and calming cravings.
- Keep it easy: Weekdays are already hectic, so make your dinner plans easy on yourself and your schedule by opting for quick 30-minute meals that are a cinch to whip up.
Who says raw vegetables can't pack plenty of flavor? This vegetable sushi roll, made with creamy avocado and crunchy cucumber and carrots, has two secret ingredients: gomasio and umeboshi paste. Gomasio literally means "sesame salt" in Japanese. This condiment is sprinkled onto Asian cuisine like salt and is made from crushed, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Unlike salt, which only adds one dimension of flavor to a dish, gomasio gives food a nutty, roasted quality. Just be sure to keep your bottle in the fridge, because sesame seeds go rancid quickly, and nothing is worse than ruining a dish with rancid seasoning!
Also contributing to the saltiness of the sushi is umeboshi paste, or pureed, pickled Japanese plums. What does this bright purple paste taste like, you might be wondering? Umeboshi paste is at once extremely salty and full of savory umami flavor (the Western equivalent, in terms of texture and flavor, would be concentrated bouillon paste). Even just 1/4 of a teaspoon of umeboshi paste smeared on a sushi roll will give the sushi sufficient seasoning, so much so that you probably won't be tempted to dip the roll in a dish of soy sauce.
To see how this simple vegetable sushi roll is constructed, keep reading for the recipe.
I consider brownies the perfect barbecue dessert. My standard recipe is similar to most; it contains a whole stick of butter, a couple of eggs, and a cup-and-a-half of sugar. That is until I found this recipe in Shape; compared to my go-to, the final calorie count per brownie dropped by 170 calories!
For a lightened-up recipe, these brownies were rich and tasty. To keep the flavor quality prime, be sure to use high-quality cocoa and chocolate chips. Keep reading to see this slimmed-down recipe.
It's a staple at Summer BBQs, but when you're trying to make healthy choices, many macaroni or pasta salad recipes are far too high in fat, calorie, and sodium. Swap out your old recipe for this fiber-filled salad; crisp veggies, whole wheat pasta, plus a low-fat dressing come together to create a tasty pasta dish that's less than 215 calories per serving and packed with vitamins A and C.
Between the chopped pickles and tangy dijon mustard, the flavor of this vegan Summer side is so good you won't even miss the mayo! Keep reading to learn all about your new favorite pasta salad recipe.
When she's not setting records, celebrated long-distance runner Deena Kastor can be found in her kitchen. Deena, an avid lover of food and wine, has learned over the years that the success of her runs is often determined by the food she's been eating. "Don't think of food as calories, but energy. Think about how you want to fuel yourself and the kind of energy you need to make it happen," Deena told us at a recent cooking demo hosted by Asics.
For Deena, that means combining nutritious ingredients in every meal. Healthy fats, lean proteins, and organic produce are what you'll mostly find on Deena's plate — and the fresher, the better. "The more quality ingredients you add, the less junk you eat," she said. Sounds easy enough, but Deena understands that healthy eating doesn't come easy for everyone. Her advice? Make it look good.
Surround yourself with beautiful food, and it becomes hard to resist the temptation of eating healthfully. For Deena, that means displaying pretty bowls of organic nuts throughout her house; she also keeps glass jars on her countertops filled with quinoa, whole grains, and seeds. And taking it a step further, she creates produce arrangements out of the fruits and vegetables she has on hand; it's not at all unusual to find a tall vase in the Kastor home filled with dino kale. Head to the grocery store and heed Deena's advice: "When you start out with good ingredients, you will have energy for the day. Cut your produce, make beautiful arrangements with food, use glass containers — just make it pretty."
If ice cream is what you crave in the heat, then skip the hundreds of calories and cholesterol you find in that cup or cone and make smudgies instead.
This dessert is completely dairy-free, contains no added sugar, and tastes like an ice cream sandwich. It's soon to become your new favorite healthy treat — and all for under 100 calories.
Best of all, they couldn't be easier to whip up and contain only three ingredients: organic graham crackers, ripe bananas, and crunchy all-natural peanut butter. Once the creamy filling is frozen, it takes on the consistency of ice cream.
Keep reading to learn how to make this banana and peanut butter dessert.
If you're trying to lose weight, don't let your midday meal sabotage your best intentions. Guilty of any of these mistakes? It may be time for a lunch makeover.
- You eat out all the time: Sure, you can find healthy options at many places, even fast food restaurants, but if you're trying to take control of what's in your food, bringing lunch you've made yourself is the healthiest option. Save time and make a few extra servings of dinner; these healthy recipes make great lunch leftovers!
- You always wash it down with juice or soda: There's nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but if your lunch seems incomplete without popping a can of soda to accompany it, you could be adding thousands of unwanted calories to your diet in a month. Diet soda can also lead to an expanded waistline, so wean yourself off juice and soda and opt for water or tea instead.
- You don't think about nutrition: It can be easy to opt for what's fastest or cheapest when you're ordering lunch, but that midday meal should help you hit your nutritional requirements in order to keep you energized throughout the day, especially if you've got a workout on your calendar. Instead of eating yet another greasy, carby lunch, think about your recommended daily intake of important vitamins and minerals; this RDI chart will help you make healthier choices at any meal.
- You don't eat enough: You may think that choosing a 90-calorie soup over a fast-food stop is the healthiest choice, but you've also got to make sure your meal keeps you full throughout the afternoon in order to dissuade those afternoon junk food munchies. Choose healthy lunch options that have good amounts of protein and fiber to help keep you full; if you find yourself heading to the vending machine for an afternoon snack, get in the habit of keeping healthy snacks like fruit or any of these healthy store-bought snacks at your desk when cravings strike.
- You eat mindlessly: Let's face it, we can't always step away from our desks to enjoy lunch, but wolfing down your lunch in front of your computer can make you feel hungry soon after. Help your brain register that you're full by eating slowly and if possible take at least 15 minutes away from your desk to eat.
Gently pull off the lid of a yogurt and add a topping, and you've got yourself an easy healthy breakfast. The protein in yogurt helps sustain energy throughout the morning, but if you're not careful that good-for-you bowl can turn out to be bad for your waistline. Here are some ways to save calories on this popular breakfast.
- Be a plain Jane: Flavored yogurts seem healthy since they're made with real fruit, but many also contain added sugar. Choosing plain yogurt will save you 30 calories (and at least 10 grams of sugar). It might take a little time to get used to the tangy flavor, but soon enough flavored yogurts will seem too sweet. Another tip: Greek yogurt won't necessarily save you calories, but it does offer more protein, which can help ward off mindless snacking later.
- Skip the sweeteners: Although natural, maple syrup and honey add about 65 calories per tablespoon.
- Go fresh: Always choose fresh fruit instead of dried varieties. One cup of fresh blueberries is 84 calories and 3.6 grams of fiber, while a quarter-cup of raisins is 123 calories and just 1.5 grams of fiber.
- Go nuts: Nuts increase the fiber and protein, but choose wisely. Raw cashews and pistachios have slightly fewer calories and fat than almonds, walnuts, or peanuts.
- Cereal swap: Granola and yogurt go together like PB&J, but if you read the label of your favorite bag you'll see a small serving is high in both calories and fat, and doesn't offer a ton of fiber. Instead of topping your yogurt with those sweetened oats, opt for one of these high-fiber cereals.
- Measure: Buying yogurt in large tubs will save you money, but if you just eyeball a six-ounce serving, chances are you'll end up with more. Grab the measuring cups to help you spoon out appropriate serving sizes of yogurt, and all your add-ons including fresh fruit, nuts, and cereal. Use a smaller bowl instead of a larger one to prevent you from adding a little extra to fill the space.