If you're trying to lose weight, you may be confused by conflicting information about how diet and exercise affect dropping pounds. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to create a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits. Put these six habits of successful dieters into practice and watch the pounds begin to melt away.
A quick and easy breakfast, cereal can be an excellent source of protein and fiber. It can also be loaded with sugar, making your bowl not as healthy as you thought. I'm not talking about Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms either — seemingly healthy cereals have sugar, cane juice, or the like as one of the first few ingredients. Check the label on your box and if it's high in sugar, choose one of the low-sugar options below. If these don't seem flavorful enough, jazz up your bowl with some naturally sweet fresh fruit.
|Cereal||Serving Size||Calories||Sugar (g)||Fiber (g)||Protein (g)|
|Barbara's Bakery Brown Rice Crisps||1 cup||120||1||less than 1||2|
|Barbara's Bakery Corn Flakes||1 cup||110||3||less than 1||2|
|Barbara's Bakery Hole 'n Oats: Fruit Juice Sweetened||1 cup||120||1||3||4|
|Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original||3/4 cup||90||5||5||2|
|Barbara's Bakery Shredded Wheat||2 biscuits||140||0||5||4|
|Cascadian Farm Multi Grain Squares||3/4 cup||110||4||2||3|
|Cascadian Farm Purely O's||1 cup||110||1||3||3|
|General Mills Cheerios||1 cup||100||1||3||3|
Keep reading for more cereals that are low in sugar.
Easter is almost here, and for some of us, that means a big brunch followed by a helping of candy — who can resist Cadbury Creme Eggs and marshmallow Peeps? While there's nothing wrong with enjoying a few Easter treats, weighing your basket down with chocolate, caramel eggs, and jelly beans can be the gateway to mindlessly snacking on candy for the rest of the week. Whether you're making a basket for a friend or the little one in your life, keep reading for some healthy ideas to sneak in among the candy.
- Less-processed treats like these healthier homemade desserts:
Vegan chocolate-dipped peanut butter crisp balls
Vegan peanut butter patties
Paleo dark chocolate nut clusters
Vegan carrot cake cupcakes
- Decorated hard-boiled eggs to use later in one of these healthy hard-boiled-egg recipes
- Spring flowers like tulips, dahlias, or lilies
- If you're going to put a little chocolate in your basket, choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate that's organic or fair trade
- Health and fitness magazines, small gadgets, or DVDs
- Carrots — they're the Easter Bunny's favorite snack, after all
- Pastel-colored fitness gear like headbands, socks, or workout tanks
- Especially for kids: books, puzzles, small toys, stuffed bunnies, stickers, coloring books and watercolor paints, magnets, disposable cameras, packets of seeds and gardening tools, plastic eggs filled with glow sticks (to be used later for a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt), Play-Doh or Silly Putty (it even comes in its own egg), or pastel-colored socks
- Need a healthier alternative to jelly beans? Try energizing sports chews like Clif Shot Bloks or homemade fruit leather
Throwing some leafy greens into your smoothie is a great way to trick your taste buds into getting added fiber and calcium — it purees so well with the sweeter ingredients that you can't even taste it. I usually add whatever I have in the fridge — like baby spinach leaves or chopped kale — but does one offer bigger nutrition bang for your buck? Check out the chart below to see how these two veggies compare.
As you can see, they both offer the same amount of fiber and protein, but for fewer calories, spinach offers more folate, which is necessary for pregnant or nursing moms. Spinach is also higher in iron, which your body needs to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It offers more magnesium — a mineral that if you're deficient in can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and chronic fatigue. You'll also appreciate the higher levels of manganese needed to keep your blood sugar levels and thyroid functions normal. And who couldn't use a little extra potassium? This valuable mineral helps with bone growth and may reduce high blood pressure.
| 28 grams Spinach
(1 loosely packed cup) (%RDI)
| 28 grams Kale
(1 loosely packed cup) (%RDI)
|Total fat (g)||0||0|
|Sodium (mg)||22 (1%)||12 (1%)|
|Calcium (g)||27.7 (3%)||37.8 (4%)|
|Folate (mcg)||54.3 (14%)||8.1 (2%)|
|Iron (mg)||.8 (4%)||.5 (3 %)|
|Magnesium (mg)||22.1 (6%)||9.5 (2%)|
|Manganese (mg)||.3 (13%)||.2 (11%)|
|Potassium (g)||156 (4%)||125 (4%)|
|Vitamin A (g)||2,625 (53%)||4,305 (86%)|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||.1 (3%)||.1 (3%)|
|Vitamin C (mg)||7.9 (13%)||33.6 (56%)|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||135 (169%)||229 (286%)|
Keep reading to find out why you might want to choose kale.
Carne y queso are definitely not vegan-approved, but it seems as if they're in every dish at most Mexican restaurants. But that doesn't mean vegans have to skip out on South of the border hot spots — check out our cheat sheet for ordering vegan when the mood for Mexican strikes. Remember that it's always a good idea to let your server know that you're vegan ahead of time, in case there are menu items containing hidden animal ingredients.
- Black bean soup: hold the sour cream and shredded cheese topping
- Tortillas with salsa and fresh guacamole
- Nachos: load up on the veggies, beans, and guacamole, but hold the sour cream and cheese; make sure the refried beans are made without lard
- Fajita salad: ask for sautéed peppers, mushrooms, and onions instead of beef or chicken; hold the cheese and ask for avocado instead
- Tortilla salad: ask for extra beans, corn, black olives, and peppers, and skip the cheese; ask for a side of fresh guacamole and pico de gallo
- Rice and beans: go ahead and order both black and pinto beans, but make sure they're not cooked in lard or chicken broth
- Fajitas: opt for portobello mushrooms, green peppers, and onions instead of meat; hold the cheese
- Veggie quesadilla: ask for corn, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and broccoli to go inside the quesadilla using vegan refried beans to hold everything together instead of melted cheese
- Burrito: some places offer tofu as vegetarian choice, but if yours doesn't, then go for sautéed veggies, beans, rice, and salsa with a side of quac
- Soft or hard tacos: go for tofu or sautéed veggies and beans, rice, salsa, and guacamole
Source: Flickr user Tavallai