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Fat Loss Keto Nutrition Weight Loss

How Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss are Linked?

Apple cider vinegar has been connected to weight loss for many years when taken alongside a healthy diet. But how can you incorporate it into your ketogenic diet plan?

It’s not sufficient to cut out virtually every last carb from your diet and fill up on fats. Hence, people are consuming apple cider vinegar to boost their fat-burning potential.

The analysis shows that apple cider vinegar boosts ketosis. It is a metabolic state your body experiences when it burns fat for fuel in the loss of glucose from carbs.

Various studies have revealed that the Keto diet can lower blood sugar and insulin levels, boost metabolism, and burn fat. All of these contribute to weight loss.

Boosting your metabolism not only helps you burn more calories throughout the day. It can also assist you to burn more calories at rest.

Meanwhile, ACV can be fused into your diet by using it as an ingredient or adding a small amount to water daily. You should not consume it in concentrated form as it is a strong acid and can harm the tooth enamel.

It is so widespread because around 15ml of apple cider vinegar holds about three calories and virtually no carbs. This makes ACV ideal for those who are following the keto diet.

So should you begin supplementing your keto fat bombs with a shot of ACV?

First: Why is this even a thing?

Both the keto diet and ACV trends profess to affect fat-burning. The keto diet does because you’re deemed to cut carbs and load up on fats to go into a ketosis state.

Apple cider vinegar’s connection to fat-burning, however, isn’t entirely so reliable. A 2009 Agricultural and Food Chemistry study revealed that vinegar did turn on fat-burning genes on a cellular level. However, this is only evident in mice.

Another study published in the Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry journal revealed that taking 15 milliliters of apple cider vinegar per day for three months moderately lessened body weight and belly fat in 175 obese Japanese adults.

Still, those outcomes were not absolute, and more research needs to be done. It’s also kind of skeptical to swallow ACV on the keto diet. That’s because it is made of apples, which aren’t permitted in the Keto diet.

How is apple cider vinegar different from other vinegar?

One of the essential qualities of vinegar is its acetic acid content, and of all vinegar, apple cider vinegar carries the most.

Ordinary white vinegar is simply a diluted form of acetic acid. It is often measured up about 5%. This explains why different kinds of vinegar (with lower amounts of acetic acid) are not nutritionally effective.

The magic of acetic acid occurs when it is distilled during the vinegar fermentation method.

In apple cider vinegar, this is a rather long phase in which sugars are also processed. Apple cider vinegar is nutritionally potent because it carries little sugar and few carbs due to fermentation.

What does Acetic Acid do to your body?

Acetic acid is known to aid with numerous bodily functions. It promotes healthy cholesterol levels, cardiovascular rhythms, develops memory, detox the body, and boosts physical recovery.

One research found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by up to 6 percent the next morning.

Acetic Acid and the Ketogenic diet

Researchers going back as far as the 1940s show that acetic acid possesses ketogenic qualities in fasting lab animals. Now, new research associates acetic acid and ketosis with mitochondrial (cellular) health.

The conjecture here is that when you’ve achieved ketosis, apple cider vinegar raises the number of mitochondria in your cells. This is made possible by stimulating a particular metabolic pathway named PGC-1 alpha.

This indicates that by adding apple cider vinegar to your diet after you’ve reached ketosis, you can develop your mitochondrial efficiency. This means your body creates more cellular energy, improving energy levels, and promoting keto clarity.

Apple cider vinegar boosts ketosis, which is ultra-important for all you keto fans out there, who intake tons of fat in your diet.

Go for the best ACV on the shelf

So, how do you get your hands on the most desirable bottle of apple cider vinegar? Look for the cloudiest, murkiest mixture you can find.

There’s a nutritional name for these cobweb-like substances floating in your vinegar – the “mother.” It is made of protein strands of healthy enzymes and probiotic bacteria produced during the fermentation process.

Get your daily dose of ACV

Some evidence recommends that drinking a small amount in the evening before bed can help lower morning blood sugars.

This can help you lose some weight, but if you want to boost weight loss results, it is recommended to drink it before meals throughout the day.

Usually, it is said that when taken before a carb-heavy meal, the vinegar can help to slow the rate of the stomach emptying. It can also prevent significant sugar spikes.

The shot-glass approach isn’t approved because it can damage the enamel on teeth. It is also bad for your throat and stomach.

Luckily, there are other means to up to apple cider vinegar intake.

Add apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water (2-10 oz) and swallow it like a tonic or tea. Feel free to add lemon, ginger, cinnamon, or turmeric to give your drink a little flavor.

You can also mix around 15ml of the condiment into the water and drinking it about 15 minutes before every meal. This will help to subdue appetite.

5 Apple Cider Recipes You Need in Your Life

Apple Cider Vinegar And Cinnamon

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup of water

How to Prepare

  1. Add the cinnamon powder to water and boil it.
  2. Let it cool. Add apple cider vinegar.
  3. Stir well and drink.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar cannot be drunk raw because of its strong and unpleasant taste. Cinnamon adds a nice and sweet flavor to the drink.

It also lowers blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of heart disease, and has many other powerful benefits that make it an irreplaceable part of anyone’s diet.

Apple Cider Vinegar And Fenugreek Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup of water

How to Prepare

  1. Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight in a cup of water.
  2. In the morning, add apple cider vinegar to the fenugreek water.
  3. Stir well and drink.

Why This Works

Fenugreek seeds raised metabolism and enhanced insulin sensitivity in rat studies.

Apple cider vinegar and fenugreek seeds present a great combination when it comes to losing weight. Moreover, the sweet-bitter taste of fenugreek seeds helps produce the ACV’s acidic taste a notch down.

Apple Cider Vinegar And Green Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon green tea leaves
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup of water

How to Prepare

  1. Heat the cup of water until it just starts to boil.
  2. Remove the pot from the flame and add the green tea leaves. Close the lid and let it steep for 3 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea into a cup and add the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Add a teaspoon of honey.
  5. Stir well and drink.

Why This Works

Green tea is rich in antioxidants that help lowers the toxin levels in the body. It also enables you to relax and promotes digestion and immunity.

Apple cider vinegar with green tea and honey is the perfect recipe to subdue your appetite and lose weight.

Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
  • Salt to taste

How to Prepare

  1. Toss all the ingredients into a glass jar. Shake it well.
  2. Drizzle it all over a healthy and crunchy salad.

Why This Works

Salad dressing holds a lot of invisible calories in the form of sugar, salt, and mayonnaise. Try this light dressing, which is pleasant, heart-friendly, and promotes fat loss.

You can add it to chicken, vegetables, mushrooms, tuna, or egg salad. You can also use it as a marinade.

Apple Cider Vinegar Healthy Snack Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate
  • 1 teaspoon chopped apricot
  • A bunch of baby spinach

How to Prepare

  1. Whiz all the ingredients.
  2. Pour into a glass and drink it.

Why This Works

Fruits and veggies are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and good carbs. They can also help reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and improve bowel movement.

If you want to snack, snack healthy. Add ACV to your smoothie to accelerate weight loss.

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Taste?

Because of its acid content, ACV tastes sour and vinegary. It has a rancid odor, and one of the major stumbling obstacles for people, initially, is the strong flavor of ACV.

However, slowly, it will become a portion of your healthy lifestyle, and you will drink it without blinking your eyes.

Apart from consuming apple cider vinegar as a concentrated liquid, there are apple cider (ACV) pills accessible on the market. Should you take them? Find out in the next section.

Should You Take Apple Cider Vinegar Pills For Weight Loss?

Always ask a doctor or dietitian before ingesting any pills or supplements.

Apple cider vinegar is an acquired taste, with many people shunning it and even giving it up altogether because they can’t take its intense flavor. Capsules give an alternative as you get all the benefits of the vinegar without the pungent taste.

However, they can be quite tricky with the amount of vinegar included in them. Always guarantee that you check the composition listed on the label.

Tips and Precautions

  • Organic, natural ACV is the best choice available. Always go for it over the processed varieties.
  • If you are taking ACV capsules or pills, check the consistency. Some medications are adjusted and have microscopic traces of ACV, which lessen its benefits.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of apple cider vinegar can contribute to hypokalemia. This implies your body is low in potassium, and this can lead to osteoporosis. It also impairs bone health by decreasing bone density. If you have osteoporosis, stay away from ACV.
  • Always ask your doctor before starting any new diet regimen. If your doctor has guided diuretics or medications for diabetes or heart disease, make sure to check if ACV will interact with any of them.
  • Drink ACV only after diluting with water. It has high acidic content, and mixing it with other liquids could damage the enamel on your teeth.
  • The recommended dosages will range from person to person. Make sure to check with your doctor or dietitian to see what runs for you.
  • Aerobic exercises supplement the weight loss outcomes of ACV and help improve your overall health.
  • If you drink the vinegar raw, i.e., undiluted, it can lead to an upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, and heartburn. The same employs consuming it in pill form, with additional symptoms of vomiting and a sore throat.

Can Drinking ACV on Keto Help Lose More Weight?

To be honest, the science isn’t there. But even if it were, ACV’s impacts on fat-burning would likely be pretty frustrating.

The overall impact is seemingly minimal, and it’s not the best focus. You can probably have the same result 50 times over if you go on a brisk walk.

Still, it’s not certainly a bad thing to add some apple cider vinegar to your diet. What’s important is that you match it with food instead of taking straight shots or diluting it in water.

Raw, unpasteurized ACV is fermented and carries probiotics, which we know has benefits, like developed gut health.

Final Thoughts

Following a Keto diet implies that your carbohydrate consumption is usually reduced to 50 grams a day.

Fats should substitute most of the cut carbs and deliver approximately 70 percent of your total calorie consumption.

This makes apple cider vinegar the ideal addition to a ketogenic diet. That’s because it carries virtually no calories or carbohydrates, so you will not have to track it.

Keto-friendly food covers eggs, poultry, fatty fish, meat, full-fat dairy, full-fat cheese, nuts, and avocados. These foods are all high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

You can also add apple cider vinegar onto meals, and around one to two tablespoons goes a long way on meats and vegetables, and it won’t have a powerful flavor.

It can create an excellent marinade base while also giving your body weight loss benefits.

ACV has no equal tool to combat weight loss, enhance your immunity, and enhance your overall health. Pair it with the 8-hour diet or intermittent fasting, and you may begin seeing results soon.

Make sure to make ACV a part of your diet after discussing it with your doctor and dietitian.

Categories
Fat Loss Weight Loss

19 Science-based Weight Loss Tips That You Need to Know

Nowadays, irrational weight-loss reports are circulating in various weight management communities.

New scientific investigations that shed light on how metabolism works are excellent and valuable in their own right. But when conclusions get morphed into magical new “tips” for losing weight, something becomes amiss.

Some new evidence, which attempts to dispel weight loss myths, makes the medical community weary. That’s because there is a growing hype on unfounded opinions.

When it gets down to it, the information we perceive to be right about weight loss is simple and few. They’re also instrumental when carried out.

So, from the researchers who have examined this stuff for decades, here’s pretty much everything we understand about weight loss today:

Eat eggs for breakfast

Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of advantages, including helping you drop weight.

Studies reveal that substituting a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you consume fewer calories for the next 36 hours. As a result, you get to lose weight and body fat.

If you don’t prefer to eat eggs, that’s fine. Any source of high-quality protein for breakfast will do the trick.

Consume fewer calories

It’s a popular notion that exercise is a solution to weight loss. However, Samuel Klein, M.D., believes that consuming fewer calories is a better solution.

Which is easier to do: Running in the park for three miles or refraining yourself from eating two ounces of potato chips?

Studies are showing that dieting is more effective in losing weight.

But that does not mean that exercising won’t do you any good. In fact, it would be better to pair diet and exercise.

The issue with relying on exercise alone is that it’s prone to rebound. That’s because it is common to feel starved after working out.

Stop fearing fat

No, this doesn’t supply you free rein to satisfy in a carton of ice cream. But “good” fats, like those obtained in nuts, fish, olive oil, and avocado, play a vital function in a healthy diet.

Study shows that these unsaturated fats can control your appetite, sending information to your brain to stop eating when you’re full. 

What’s more, “fat-free” or “low-fat” snacks are often packed with sugar, refined grains, or starches to substitute the flavor lost from fat.

Your body immediately absorbs these refined carbs, increasing your blood sugar and insulin levels. This can result in weight gain.

Fix your metabolism with exercise

While exercise may not be as essential for weight loss as calorie confinement, it’s crucial in fixing a faulty metabolism.

Your metabolism may not ever move back to “normal” (more on this below), but the data shows that it can pick up again. This is due to the actions you make daily.

This is a massive part of why exercise is essential in the maintenance phase, which is well recognized to be more complicated than the weight loss phase.

Basically, it buys us some wiggle room.

This explains why exercise still plays a role in weight loss. This is because physical activities can help burn extra calories you consumed.

Sleep on it

Getting enough sleep is nearly as critical as exercise or nutrition if you’re looking to lose weight.

Studies connect a lack of sleep to feeling hungrier and increasing weight. When you sacrifice shut-eye, you’re more likely to consume bigger portions, desire high-carb foods, and choose fatty bites.

Plus, odds are you’ll be too tired to work out. Hence, strive for 7 to 8 hours per night.

Check your kitchen counter

Whatever’s on it, you’re presumably going to eat it. So store a bowl with fresh fruit or veggies there, and put the sweet treats out of view.

In research from Cornell University, women who keep a fresh fruit bowl out in the open weigh 13 pounds less than those who don’t.

The opposite is also correct: The same study found that women who store cereal boxes or soft drinks visible on their counters lead to weight more. 

Rethink your smoothie

You may notice a lot of delicious-looking green smoothies on your Instagram feed, but don’t be deceived. Juices and smoothies aren’t a dieter’s aspiration.

Researches show that our bodies don’t manifest calories from liquid foods and those from solid foods. So, you may slurp down way more than you realize through that straw.

Plus, if you fill them with coconut milk and almond butter, you’ll want to have the serving size small. Otherwise, you’ll get a lot more extra calories than you bargained for.

Go for whole foods that need a fork or spoon, instead. 

Put away your big bowls

Eating from larger dinnerware not only dupes you into eating more. It can also lead you to believe you ate less.

Individuals who ate from larger cereal bowls ate 16% more cereal than those who had smaller bowls — although they thought they ate 7% less!

Exchange your large plates and bowls for smaller versions (about 9 inches wide for dishes), and you may see it more comfortable to eat less.

Savor each bite

Research has revealed that mindful eating can help people evade unhealthy food choices. But that doesn’t mean you have to become a Zen master. Eating mindfully is easy: 

• Mention the smell, flavor, color, and character of your food.

• Evade distractions like watching TV while eating.

• Take your time (20 minutes per meal is a good gauge). 

• You can also try eating with the opposite hand that you usually use, or try chopsticks to slow yourself down while eating. 

You’ll always have to work harder

Though exercise can help change a metabolism that’s been out of whack for a long time. The terrible reality is that it may not ever go back to what it was before you gained weight.

If you’ve been overweight or obese and lose weight, maintaining your weight means you’ll have to work harder.

It’s not a pleasant truth to face, but coming to grips with it is essential. That way, you won’t get frustrated when you realize that you have to do more work over a long time than your friend who was never overweight.

There’s no magical blend of foods

We usually think that if we can discover the “right” mixture of foods, we’ll magically lose weight or keep what we’ve lost. 

There are low-fat diets, low-carb diets, low glycemic diets, Paleo diets, and many redundancies of all of these. However, there is no “correct” diet for weight loss. And there doesn’t seem to be any proof that one particular diet will work better with an individual’s distinct metabolism.

We know pretty much that several diets will help you lose weight if you follow it. There’s no miraculous diet. The fact is that all diets will work if you grasp them.

A calorie is a calorie

And for energy stability, it’s the number of calories that involves. Weight loss using the Twinkie Diet shows this principle.

Last year, Mark Haub at Kansas State University dropped 27 pounds consuming junk food. And this is pretty good evidence of the concept.

It’s true – at least in hypothesis and sometimes in tradition – that all calories are formed equal. A calorie is a calorie no matter where it came from.

You can increase weight by consuming too much healthy or unhealthy food. From the standpoint of health, however, it’s more beneficial to eat your veggies.

But the source of calories matters for other causes. The nature of calories is a significant determinant of the amount we ingest under real-world situations.

First of all, no one gorges veggies, so on a reasonable level, that’s a non-issue. But where the calories come from does matter in that they affect satisfaction. This is psychology and somewhat biology.

The food industry has formed a whole new field of food science to investigate the “bliss point.” This refers to which foods are created to enhance the amount it necessitates to feel satiated and full.

The varieties of foods you eat may alter your metabolic profile over time. But it all boils down to sticking to any reduced-calorie diet to produce the energy deficit required to lose weight. So the point is not to ask what a calorie is, but rather to recognize that we need to “trade up” our foods.

That said, replace calorie-dense foods with something that has fewer calories and nutritiously compact.

It’s all about the brain 

When it comes down to it, it’s not the body or the metabolism that produces overweight or obesity. It’s the brain.

We all know intuitively those poor choices make you attain weight, and better ones make you lose it. Over time, the dilemma is that poor decisions drive significant shifts in how the brain reacts to hunger and satiety.

Years of any behavior guide lay down neural tracks, and overeating is no different.

The good news is that there’s growing evidence that the brain can, in great part, “fix” itself once new behavior patterns surface. New behavior patterns can include calorie confinement, healthy food options, and exercise).

While there may be some level of “harm” to the brain, especially in how hunger and satiety hormones function, it can eventually repair itself. The solution is that the method does take time, and like any other behavior modification, is ultimately a practice. 

Drink black coffee

Coffee has been unfairly demeaned. Quality coffee is filled with antioxidants and can have numerous health advantages.

Studies reveal that caffeine in coffee can increase metabolism by 3–11% and increase fat burning by up to 10–29%.

Just make sure not to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie components to your coffee. That will ultimately negate any benefits.

You can purchase coffee at your local grocery store, as well as online.

Drink green tea

Like coffee, green tea also has many advantages, one of them being weight loss.

Though green tea holds small amounts of caffeine, it has powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are believed to boost the body’s fat-burning mechanism.

Although the proof is mixed, many research types show that green tea (either as a drink or a green tea extract supplement) can help you drop weight.

Green tea is accessible at most pharmacies, health stores, grocery stores, and online.

Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern in which people cycle within periods of fasting and eating.

Short-term researches suggest that intermittent fasting is as effective for weight loss as continuous calorie restriction.

Additionally, it may lessen the loss of muscle mass typically connected with low-calorie diets. However, higher-quality investigations are needed before any more substantial claims can be made.

Take a Glucomannan supplement

A fiber called glucomannan has been linked to weight loss in numerous researches.

This sort of fiber absorbs water and sits in your gut for a while, making you feel full and helping you consume fewer calories.

Studies reveal that people who supplement with glucomannan drop a bit more weight than those who don’t.

You can buy glucomannan supplements not only at vitamin shops and pharmacies but also online.

Final Thoughts

Numerous techniques can support your weight loss goals.

Some of the above tips are dietary, suggesting eating more protein or cutting back on added sugar.

Other factors, like sleep quality or workout routine, are more lifestyle-based. For example, eating slower is one step you can take to establish mindful eating.

This all boils down to a decrease in caloric consumption, eating better, and exercising. Keep in mind that it is a practice that has to be repeated for months or years.

You’ll also have to work harder at ensuring that you won’t regain the weight you lost. More importantly, your brain will react to the changes you make.

If you perform a handful of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to your weight loss purposes.

Categories
Exercise Fat Loss Weight Loss

Weight Loss Workout Plan That You can Do at Home

If you’re aiming to lose weight, a weight loss workout plan can be precious. Getting regular exercise can help you reach your goals in a healthy, sustainable way.

But there is more to it than that. You have to consider many things, like the workout you do and how often you do it.

Moreover, weight loss is not for everyone. People who suffer from an eating disorder or recovering from illness need to consult a doctor first. It would also help to seek the advice of professionals like nutritionists and a personal trainer.

For one, you need someone who can guide you with your weight loss journey. Second, you need people who can motivate you. That’s because weight loss doesn’t happen overnight.

That’s said, we’re here to bring some of the guesswork out of the equation.

Weight Loss Requires Strategy

We won’t discuss working out for weight loss without talking about a crucial element: Your eating habit.

To produce a calorie shortage that leads to weight loss, you have to consume fewer calories than you’re burning. You also need to be mindful about what you’re eating, making sure to eat quality calories and watch serving sizes.

And when it gets to working out, it would be best to create a program you can grow with.

Benefits of Working Out at Home

Those under the idea that the only means you can get a good workout are by running to the gym, you are mistaken.

That being said, since you are reading this, you presumably see merit in working out at home. It’s also likely that you have no option but to work out at home.

In any circumstance, if you are trying to figure out how to workout from home in the most efficient way, we have you covered. Do not worry; you will get in great shape if you follow this guide.

Whether you aim to lose fat or gain muscle, or both, we are going to show you everything you need to know about working out at home so you can accomplish that. 

But first, let’s review the benefits of working out at home:

1. Time-Saving and Convenient

There is no alternative more convenient than working out at home. You have 24/7 admittance to getting a workout in. Moreover, you won’t have to spend time and energy packing your stuff and getting yourself to the gym and back.

One of the most incredible things about the convenience of working out at home is you will stay constant. There will be no reason for you to “skip the gym” because you “don’t have time.”

Besides, you can apply that to do another workout with the time you save going back and forth to the gym.

Perform a cardio-based workout in the morning and a functional resistance training workout in the evening. Commit 30 minutes to each activity for a total of an hour each day.

The big understanding gym-goers don’t do this is that it needs a lot of time to go to the gym twice a day. That time to drive to the gym and back home is your extra workout!

All in all, you won’t get quicker results than by doing two effective workouts a day, with a day or two off every week to rest.

2. Free From Distraction

Although sometimes a good conversation at the gym can be fun, it frequently affects your workout. Without distractions, you can keep yourself zoned into your training. This is how you get an efficient workout in.

The purpose is to get in shape, so reducing distractions is advantageous.

What’s more, many times, people want to attempt new exercises and push themselves in different ways. But with people “watching” at the gym, insecurities emerge.

You will not have to think about this at home. You can test yourself with new ideas and not worry about someone seeing you fail. As much as we’d all like to say we are confident with ourselves, I bet every one of us can relate to feeling insecure about doing something at the gym before.

If you don’t fancy getting stares, home workouts are for you.

3. Cost-Efficient

If you perform bodyweight-only training, home workouts will cost you zero. That being said, most of us prefer to mix in some weights or other training devices.

So, you have a few choices for this. Kettlebells, steel maces, resistance bands, and dumbbells are affordable. They also do not take too much space. They are all you require unless you are trying to become a strongman or Arnold.

Even with the above tools’ costs, you will get that back with just a few months of gym fees, depending on what gym. 

Nevertheless, these tools can serve you forever, so regardless, it will be significant savings. It’s just a matter of time.

Want squat racks, barbells, benches, etc.? Even these significant investments will eventually be made up for with the cost of gym memberships. And, as with the other tools, they will last for a very long time.

4. Health and Safety

At the modern time of writing this, germs are top of everyone’s mind with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) closing down the world, gyms included.

However, this is something that we should consider for the future.

If you are concerned about bacteria, viruses, and good old “germs,” working out at home is your safest choice. The only germs you will be dealing with at home are solely yours and your family’s.

Here’s the breakdown of what you should be doing:

  • Strength training three days a week, one hour per session
  • High-intensity interval training one day a week, 20 minutes per session
  • Steady-state cardio one day a week, 35 to 45 minutes per session
  • Two days of active recovery

Every workout should start with at least five to 10 minutes of warming up. Rosante likes to begin with foam rolling, which supports mobility. Then transfer into a dynamic warm-up to get the blood flow moving.

After your workout, make sure you take time to cool down to ease your nervous system. After a couple of minutes, stretch out your major muscle groups as flexibility is developed when muscles are warm. And make sure to stretch each muscle for at least three breaths.

5 Warm-Up Stretches That Will Maximize Your Workout

1. Leg Cradle to Side Lunge

Stand on your left leg and raise your right leg off the ground opening your right knee to the right. Grasp below your right knee with your right hand and over your right shoe with your left hand.

Elevate your right leg toward your chest, parallel to the ground. Release your right leg and step it out to the right, reducing it into a side lunge on your right leg before recovering to standing tall. Do five repetitions on each side, alternating sides with each repetition.

Why it works: This stretch develops mobility and flexibility of your hips, ankles, thighs, and knees. This comes in handy throughout lower body exercises like squats, where you need your hips and ankles to be loosened up to get the full range of motion.

2. Back Lunge to Groiner

Start standing and step your right foot back into a backward lunge.

Bend both knees to drop your butt toward the ground while keeping your spine long. Put both hands on the floor inside your left foot and straighten your right leg behind you.

Lower your left elbow and gently push it against the instep of your left leg. Pause, then recover to standing. Do fives reps on each side, alternating sides with every rep.

Why it works: You’ll develop mobility in your knees, hips, ankles, and lower back and improve flexibility in your groin and hip flexors. This dynamic stretch comes in particularly handy if you’re making any lunges with weights during your workout.

3. Quad Pull With Tilt

Begin with the standing position. With your right hand, grasp your right foot behind you just above your right shoe.

Standing on your left leg, start to lean forward slightly while pulling your right knee up in the air. Hold for five seconds, then free your foot and return to standing. Perform fives reps on each side, alternating sides with each rep.

Why it works: You’ll receive mobility benefits in your knees, hips, and ankles, as well as added flexibility in your quads and hamstrings. Plus, this stretch tests your balance, too.

4. Hip Bridge With Reach

Lie flat on your back with your legs bent, feet level on the floor, and arms at your sides. Push through your heels and elevate your hips.

Once you’re at the peak of your bridge, move your right hand across your body toward the left shoulder, trying to touch the ground with your hand.

Be sure to hold your hips still and stable throughout the movement. Then, turn your arm to your side and lower your hips to the ground. Perform fives reps on each side, alternating sides with each rep.

Why it works: This controls mobility in your knees, hips, shoulders, and upper back. It also helps improve flexibility in your lats, oblique muscles, and hip flexors. The bridge helps stimulate the glutes for lower-body exercises, and the reach enhances mobility.

5. Three-Point T-Spine

Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and knees below your hips.

Put your right hand behind your head with your right elbow opening wide to the right. Next, take your right elbow down to point toward the ground while keeping the rest of your body still.

Now stretch it back up through the starting position and beyond, turning your upper body to the right as you try to get your right elbow to face the ceiling. Perform this five times, then switch sides.

Why it works: Your movement in your elbows, shoulders, and upper back should develop with this stretch, and so should the flexibility of your chest.

At-Home Workout Plans for Fat Loss

Now, to lose fat, we require to take a different strategy. We are going to adhere to full body workouts with moderate rest time.

The exercises will involve dynamic compound movements. This will keep your heart rate up, enabling you to burn more calories. 

We will employ circuit training, ascending and descending ladders, block training, and supersets for the resistance exercises. We won’t be bothering too much about progressive loading in the same way as developing muscle.

For fat loss, we just want to aim to consume a lot of calories in the workout. So that implies as we progress through a workout plan, we want to keep reducing rest time and developing intensity.

We can also raise the reps and volume of the workout if things begin to get too comfortable. All in all, what we want is to sweat bullets each exercise.

HIIT workouts will be quick, 15-20 minutes, and cardio will be about 30-40 mins at a maintainable speed. Our aim for cardio is to burn fat and develop cardiovascular health, increasing our resistance training capacity.

The following workout plans can be supported for as little as four weeks and as long as eight weeks. Stick to the program and eat a decent high protein diet, and the results will follow.

Bodyweight-only Home Workout Plan #1 (Fat Loss):

4-8 weeks

Day 1: HIIT (15 mins) 

Day 2: Resistance Training (A & B exercises are supersets)

Details:

  • Aim for high reps. Ideally, each superset should have you working 60-120 seconds.
  • Keep rest time to a minimum.

Day 3: Cardio (30-40 mins)

Day 4: Resistance Training

Details:

  • Do as many reps as you can each block. Rest only when you have to. An excellent way to attack this is in sets (i.e., five chin-ups, quick rest, five chin-ups, brief rest, and so on until the 6 mins is up).
  • Take 2-3 mins rest between blocks.

Day 5: HIIT (15 mins) 

Day 6: Resistance Training 

Circuit 1:

Circuit 2:

Circuit 3:

Details:

  • Aim for high reps on each exercise
  • Complete the three exercises in each circuit without resting, rest for a minute and move to the next circuit. Once you finish circuit 3, go back to circuit 1 and repeat. Do each course three times. 

Day 7: Active Recovery

Body Weight-Only Workout Plan #2 (Fat Loss):

4-8 weeks

Day 1: Resistance Training

Traditional:

Details

  • High rep count
  • Rest ratio 1 to 1 each set.
  • Complete each exercise for all three sets, then move to the next exercise.

Circuit:

Details

  • Do circuit 3 times
  • Use a challenging rep count; don’t go easy on yourself!

Ascending or Descending Ladder:

NOTE: Top exercise goes down one rep each set, and the bottom goes up 1 set each set. Continue until Burpees are at one rep and Squats are at ten reps

Day 2: HIIT (15 mins)

Day 3: Cardio (30-40 mins)

Day 4: Resistance Training

Circuit x 4 rounds:

Day 4: HIIT (15 mins)

Day 5: Cardio (30-40 mins) 

Day 6: Resistance Training

Descending Ladder:

Details

  • Minimal rest
  • Try to complete workout as quickly as possible

Another Option

DETAIL:  Finish as quickly as possible

Day 7: Active Recovery

At-Home Workout Plans With Body Weight, Kettlebells, Steel Maces, and Bands

The following two workout plan alternatives take the same ideas from the above. However, it incorporates the use of resistance bands, steel maces, and kettlebells. 

In these workouts, you’ll find the most reliable fat burning exercises for each training tool. They are dynamic, ballistic, multiplanar compound moves. Your heart will be pumping fast through these workouts, and your body will be dropping fat. 

Home Workout Plan #1: (Fat Loss)

6 weeks

Kettlebells, Steel Maces, Resistance Bands, Bodyweight

Day 1: Resistance Training

Circuit 1:

Circuit 2:

Circuit 3:

Details:

  • Aim for high reps on each exercise
  • Complete the three exercises in each circuit without resting, rest for 1 min and move to the next circuit. Once you finish circuit 3, go back to circuit 1 and repeat. Do each circuit three times. 

Day 2: HIIT (15 mins)

Day 3: Cardio (30-40 mins)

Day 4: Resistance Training 

Details:

  • Do as many reps as you can each block. Only rest when you have to. An excellent way to attack this is in sets (i.e., five pull-ups, quick rest, five pull-ups, brief rest, and so on until the 6 mins is up)
  • Take 2 mins rest between blocks

Day 5: HIIT (15 mins)

Day 6: Cardio (30-40 mins) 

Day 7: Active Recovery

Home Workout Plan #2 (Fat Loss):

6 weeks

Kettlebells, Steel Maces, Resistance Bands, Bodyweight

Day 1: Resistance Training 

Traditional:

Details

  • High rep count
  • Rest ratio 1 to 1 each set.
  • Complete the exercise for all three sets, then move to the next exercise. 

Circuit – 3 Rounds:

NOTE: Use a challenging rep count; don’t go easy on yourself! 

Ascending/Descending Ladder:

NOTE: Top exercise goes down one rep each set, and the bottom goes up 1 set each set. Continue until Burpees are at one rep and Squats are at ten reps 

Day 2: HIIT (15 mins)

Day 3: Cardio (30-40 mins) 

Day 4: Resistance Training

Circuit x 5 rounds:

Details:

  • High reps, relative to your strength
  • 1-2 min rest between rounds 

Every Minute On The Minute for 5 mins: Steel Mace Joust x 20 (fast thrusts)

Finisher:

10 Turkish Get Ups (each side and finish as quick as you can)

Day 4: HIIT (15 mins)

Day 5: Cardio (30-40 mins)

Day 6: Resistance Training 

Day 7: Active Recovery

Active Recovery

One day out of your week will be an active recovery day. This is when your body has an opportunity to rest up and rebuild muscle fibers that you’ve been tearing during your workouts.

You would want to lay off those strenuous workouts in favor of just some gentle movement. Keywords: gentle movement. An active recovery day isn’t a free pass to rest on the couch and do nothing.

Movement helps enhance blood flow, pushing more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles to speed recovery. Faster recovery could reach more immediate results.

4 Cool-Down Stretches For After Your Workout

1. Figure 4 Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds on each side

Figure 4 opens up the hips and loosening the glutes.

  • Begin lying on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Raise your left leg and cross your left ankle over the right knee.
  • Touch hands around the right leg to meet under the thigh. Bring the right thigh toward you while keeping your torso pressed against the floor.
  • Utilize your left elbow to gently press your left knee away from you as you draw your right thigh in closer.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, increasing the stretch with every exhale, then switch sides.

2. Reclining Twist: Hold for 10 seconds on each side, repeat 3-5 times

This stretch is excellent for releasing the lower back.

  • Lie on your back and bring your left leg into your chest and keep your right leg straight.
  • Exhale and turn the bent knee across the center of the body. Then press the opposite hand onto the bent knee and extend the other arm.
  • Continue for 10 seconds on each side, repeating three to five times.

3. Cat/Cow Stretch: Continue for 30 seconds

This stretch helps in breathing and slows down the heart rate. Inhale in the cow pose when your back is arched and while looking upwards, then exhale as you draw your chin to your chest and round your spine.

  • Start on your hands and knees. Straighten your shoulders over wrists and your hips over knees.
  • Take a slow inhale, and on the exhale, arch your spine and lower your head towards the floor (this is the “cat” pose).
  • Inhale and raise your head, chest, and tailbone towards the ceiling as you bend your back for “cow.”
  • Move through this order for 30 seconds.

4. Child’s Pose: Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

This stretch is grounding because it joins you to the floor at your shins, knees, ankles, feet, chest, and head. Try to extend your spine by extending through the crown of your head and your tailbone. Then, let everything fall into place.

  • Sit back on heels with your knees out widely separated.
  • Bend forward at hips and lower your chest between your thighs with your forehead leaning on the ground.
  • Stretch your arms long and place your palms on the ground.
  • Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Consistency is Key

However you choose to structure your workout, make sure you stay consistent with the routine.

Don’t change it up too frequently. Adhering to a routine allows you to progress, and more importantly, track your journey. You will get far better outcomes if you stick to a plan.

The old saying “you need to keep shifting things up to keep your body guessing” is just plain incorrect. If you do that, you can’t develop in any one area.

The only time you need to switch things up is when you reach a plateau. And the only way you should be shifting things up until then is by progressively overloading.

Here are some tips for building a routine and sticking to it:

  • Stick to basic movements. They are all you need to become fit and grow.
  • Simpler the routine, the better the outcomes. Don’t over complicate things. Just add the most functional, compound movements, and stick to them. They are tried and true over intricate and new.
  • Don’t “shift things up.” Instead, double the difficulty by adding more reps, time under tension, or weight load. Don’t just jump into kill-yourself-mode. Increase toughness and intensity slowly but certainly. If you jump right into 5 or 10 miles your first run, you probably won’t go repeatedly running for a while as you will think, “that was horrific.”
  • Minimum of 4 weeks for your routine, and a maximum of 12 weeks. Then you can shift to a new routine.

As long as you’re moving around a bit, you’re good to go. If there’s something you love to do, don’t hesitate to do so. It doesn’t matter if you’d want to walk or run for 30 minutes. What’s important is that you move and enjoy your life while reaching for your goal.

Categories
Fat Loss Keto Nutrition Weight Loss

Easy Spinach Recipes to Support Your Weight Loss Journey

People tend to have a love-hate relationship with spinach. Spinach is a mild-flavored and healthy vegetable that makes for a great ingredient in salads, pasta, sandwiches, and more.

This probably explains why Popeye the Sailor Man loves spinach.

Whether you wrinkle up your nose at the very mention of it or buy a large bag every week, the recipes below will transform your view on spinach forever. 

Lentil Salad with Beets and Spinach

Precooked lentils make this hearty lunch come together in 10 minutes (or less). You can also roast the beets ahead of time—look for the golden quality in grocery stores. They’re much less rumpled than red beets, which can stain your hands and your cutting board.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup precooked lentils (such as Melissas)
  • 1 Roasted Golden Beet, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled Cotija cheese 

Preparation

Combine the vinegar, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir together the lentils, beets, and spinach in a bowl.

Toss with the dressing. Top with the walnuts and cheese.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is a simple side dish that is also the ideal way to use up any dying spinach. The creaminess will make you forget you’re eating spinach and convert anyone into a fan of leafy greens. It seems like a lot of spinach, but it will boil down to almost zero, so don’t skimp on it. 

Ingredients 

  • 20 oz. baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan 

Preparation

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spinach for 30 seconds. Drain and place in a bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, drain and squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add and onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. 
  3. Add milk, heavy cream, and cream cheese to the skillet. Simmer until cream cheese is melted. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. 
  4. Add spinach and Parmesan and stir to combine. 

One-Pot Pasta With Spinach and Tomatoes

This one-pot pasta dinner is simple, fresh, and healthful.

Preparing the pasta right in the sauce saves time and cleanup while soaking the noodles with more flavor. This quick recipe is also endlessly versatile and lends itself to plenty of easy ingredient swaps.

You can also add other healthy ingredients like sliced zucchini, mushrooms, leftover diced cooked chicken thighs, or crumbled sausage. You can also opt for whole wheat paste for a healthier option.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti or linguine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10-ounce fresh spinach
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup) 

Preparation

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat.
  2. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion starts to brown.
  3. Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, and pasta, in that order. Bring to a boil. Add noodles; stir to submerge in liquid.
  4. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 7 minutes or until pasta is almost done.
  5. Uncover; stir in salt. Add spinach in batches, stirring until it wilts. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before sprinkling cheese on top.

Note:

  • Trade out spaghetti for any short pasta shape, such as elbow macaroni, rotini, or shells.
  • Use fresh grape tomatoes instead, and attach fresh herbs.
  • Combine chopped skinless, boneless chicken thighs, ground beef, or ground turkey for a healthfuller dish.

Spinach Artichoke Zucchini Bites

These little chaps are scary addictive. Just as the zucchini becomes delicate, the cheese is getting melty and delicious.

If you want a little added color on your bites, turn the oven to broil on medium and cook them a couple of minutes more. Just keep an eye on them.

For a smart party trick, try making these in the air fryer! They come out flawlessly. 

Ingredient 

  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 2/3 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 c. canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ rounds 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, artichokes, spinach, sour cream, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Spread about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture on top of each zucchini coin.
  3. Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melty, 15 minutes. For more color, broil on high, 1 to 2 minutes.

For Air Fryer

  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, artichokes, spinach, sour cream, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cook zucchini slices in an air fryer at 375° for 8 minutes, then top each piece with one tablespoon cream cheese mixture. 
  3. Return to the air fryer and continue cooking in batches until the cheese is profoundly golden and zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes more. 

Creamed Curried Spinach

Curry powder attaches warmth and earthiness to this speedy version of creamed spinach. Whole milk yogurt gives the side a tasty mouthfeel and plenty of body. Serve with steak or with seared planks of spice-rubbed tofu.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

Preparation

Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute crushed red pepper and thinly sliced garlic clove for about 2 minutes.

Add thinly sliced shallots and curry powder; cook for 2 minutes. Add fresh baby spinach to pan in batches, stirring until wilted before adding more. Stir in yogurt and kosher salt.

Spinach Artichoke Orzo

The flavors of your desired dip are now in an orzo dish.

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sliced green onions, whites, and light greens separated from the dark
  • 3/4 lb. orzo
  • 3 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 (12-oz.) package frozen artichoke hearts, quartered 
  • 3 c. baby spinach
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 

Preparation

  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium.
  2. Add garlic and white and light green parts of green onion, cook, occasionally stirring, until just beginning to brown.
  3. Add orzo and broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cook, frequently stirring until orzo is just al dente, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cream cheese and Parmesan until melted and combined. Add artichoke and cook until warmed through. Add spinach and stir until wilted.
  5. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper, stir to combine. Sprinkle with green parts of green onion and more Parmesan.

Feta-Quinoa Cakes with Spinach

Precooked whole grains are possibly the best possible addition to the convenience food lineup. It helps you save time and comes in serving-friendly containers.

Look for unseasoned grains for a product that’s more adaptable and lower in sodium.

While most precooked bits call for some cooking to reheat and finish hydrating, we leap that step here. The quinoa will plump in the fluid from the cake batter and finish cooking in the skillet.

Watch for feta cheese crumbles to save even more time, but hop the reduced-fat kind; these can taste rubbery.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup grated yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces feta cheese crumbles (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 (8-oz.) pkg. pre-cooked plain quinoa (such as Simply Balanced)
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach or watercress
  • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 

Preparation

  1. Combine the first ten ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divide and shape mixture into 8 (1-inch-thick) patties (about 1/2 cup each).
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add patties to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned and crisp. Remove from heat.
  3. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and spinach in a medium bowl; toss gently to combine.
  4. Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mayonnaise, sour cream, and paprika in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Divide spinach among four plates; top evenly with patties and mayonnaise mixture. Serve immediately.

Creamed Spinach Stuffed Salmon

If you’re doubtful about the combination of cheese and salmon, don’t be. We assure you, it’s AMAZING.

Ingredients 

  • 4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preparation

  1. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, mozzarella, spinach, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. 
  2. Using a paring knife, slice a slit in each salmon to create a pocket. Stuff pockets with cream cheese mixture. 
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add salmon skin side down and cook until seared, about 6 minutes, then flip salmon.
  4. Add butter and squeeze lemon juice all over. Cook until the skin is crispy, another 6 minutes. Serve warm.

Spinach, Hummus, and Bell Pepper Wraps

Fresh, flavorful, veggie-packed, and set in 10-minute ease—now that’s a meal we can stand behind!

Hummus gives a winning combo of protein and healthy fat for staying power, while fresh bell peppers and spinach provide a satisfying crunch. Tomato-and-basil feta cheese supplements a kick of salty tang and Mediterranean flair.

Make this wrap the night before and place it in the fridge—just grab it in the morning on your way out the door. Use Flatout Light whole-grain flatbreads to retain calories in check; you can find them at most supermarkets.

Match this tasty wrap with whole-wheat crackers or a piece of fruit to turn out a nutritious, delicious lunch.

Ingredients 

  • 2 (1.9-oz.) whole-grain flatbreads (such as Flatout Light)
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic hummus
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup firmly packed baby spinach
  • 1 ounce crumbled tomato-and-basil feta cheese (about 1/4 cup) 

Preparation

  1. Spread each flatbread with 1/4 cup hummus, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.
  2. Divide the bell pepper evenly between the flatbreads; top each with 1/2 cup spinach and two tablespoons of cheese.
  3. Starting from one short side, roll up the wraps. Cut each wrap in half, and secure with wooden picks.

Creamed Spinach Chicken

Be prepared to lick your plate clean because you’ll be eating straight out of the pan. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional) 

Preparation

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat one tablespoon oil. Season chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper and cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. 
  2. Heat remaining tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add spinach in batches until wilted. 
  3. Pour over heavy cream and chicken broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Add mozzarella and Parmesan and stir until melted, then return chicken to skillet and simmer 5 minutes. 
  4. Serve creamed spinach spooned over chicken with bread, if using.

Zucchini and Spinach Chilaquiles

This Verde version of a Mexican brunch masterpiece is the perfect introduction to summer.

If you have time, try turning out canned tomatillos for something fresh. Take out the papery husks from 8 ounces fresh tomatillos, toss with one tablespoon oil on a baking sheet, and broil for 6 minutes or until lightly charred. Cool before processing.

Queso fresco has the texture of strained ricotta. It won’t melt under the broiler, but its mild flavor will be a welcome contrast to the heat in the tomatillo mixture.

Add scrambled eggs to each portion for a little extra protein.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (12-oz.) can tomatillos, drained
  • 4 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces multigrain tortilla chips (about 4 cups)
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, optional 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Place 3/4 cup cilantro, peppers, and tomatillos in a food processor; process 20 seconds. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until sauce reaches desired consistency. Stir in juice.
  3. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini, onion, and jalapeño; cook for 6 minutes. Add spinach, stirring to wilt. Place zucchini mixture in a bowl. Wipeout pan.
  4. Arrange tortilla chips in pan; top with tomatillo mixture, zucchini mixture, and cheese. Broil 2 minutes. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and hot sauce, if desired.

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Pesto is a prominent big-batch sauce for using up a mix of herbs and greens, but it tends to go army green if prepared ahead.

You should quickly blanch spinach and basil to preserve the color without diluting flavor, then bump up the green with fresh parsley. A little chopped tomato can add moisture and mild acidity.

Be sure to press the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto to prevent it from browning. A simple shrimp and asparagus pasta toss let the pesto shine; you could also use chicken breast, broccoli florets, or haricots verts.

Ingredient 

Pesto:

  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup seeded chopped plum tomato
  • 6 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pasta:

  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup halved multicolored grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

Preparation

  1. To prepare pesto, bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil.
  2. Add spinach and basil; cook for 20 seconds. Remove spinach mixture to a bowl filled with ice water (reserve water in the pan).
  3. Let it stand for 30 seconds. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Place parsley and next seven ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until finely chopped.
  5. Add spinach mixture and two tablespoons oil; process to combine.
  6. Place 3/4 cup pesto in a small bowl; place plastic wrap directly on pesto.
  7. Reserve for Pesto Chicken with Blistered Tomatoes and Vegetable Soup au Pistou.
  1. To prepare pasta, return water in the pan to a boil.
  2. Add pasta; cook according to package directions, adding asparagus during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  3. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high until butter melts. Sprinkle shrimp with red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  5. Add shrimp to pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from the pan.
  6. Add pasta mixture and reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid to pan; cook for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the remaining six tablespoons pesto, shrimp, grape tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Final Thoughts

Spinach is a nutritious, leafy green. No wonder it offers a handful of health benefits.

Spinach may reduce oxidative stress, enhance eye health, and help prevent heart disease and cancer.

If you’re curious about its health-boosting potential, spinach is an accessible food to add to your diet.

Categories
Exercise Fat Loss Weight Loss

Walking for Weight Loss: Is it Enough?

If you want to stay fit and healthy, it’s essential to exercise regularly.

That’s because being physically active lowers your risk of developing health conditions. This includes heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Besides helping you live a longer and healthier life, exercise can also aid weight loss and maintenance. Fortunately, walking is also a great form of free, low-risk physical activity and accessible to most people.

It’s good for you and one of the most accessible forms of exercise to include in your day-to-day life.

The Benefits of Walking

Walking Burns Calories

Your body demands energy (in the form of calories) for all the complex chemical reactions that allow you to move, breathe, and think.

However, regular calorie needs vary from person to person and are affected by things like your weight, sex, genes, and activity level.

It’s well known that you need to burn more calories than you absorb to lose weight.

Furthermore, people who are more physically active can burn more calories.

However, modern living and work environments show that you spend large parts of your day sitting, especially if you have an office job.

Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle makes you susceptible to weight gain and health risks.

Trying to get more exercise by walking more often can help you burn more calories and subdue these risks.

Walking a mile (1.6 km) burns roughly 100 calories, depending on your gender and weight.

One research measured the number of calories burned by non-athletes who walked at a brisk pace of 3.2 miles (5 km) per hour or ran at a speed of 6 mph for about a mile. It discovered those who walked at a brisk pace burned an average of 90 calories per mile.

And although running burned significantly more calories, it only burned around 23 more calories per mile, on average. This indicates that both forms of exercise contributed substantially to the number of calories burned.

To enhance your walk’s intensity and burn even more calories, try walking on routes with hills or slight inclines.

It Helps Preserve Lean Muscle

When people burn calories and lose weight, they often lose some muscle in addition to body fat.

This can be counterproductive, as muscle is more metabolically dynamic than fat. This implies it helps you burn more calories each day.

Exercise, including walking, can help counter this outcome by preserving lean muscle when you lose weight.

This can help lessen the drop in metabolic rate that often occurs with weight loss, making your results easier to maintain.

What’s more, it can also decrease age-related muscle loss, helping you retain more of your muscle strength and function.

Walking Burns Belly Fat

Storing many fats around your midsection has been connected to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Men with a waist circumference larger than 40 inches (102 cm) and women with a waist circumference larger than 35 inches (88 cm) have abdominal obesity.

One of the most efficient ways to reduce belly fat is to participate in aerobic exercises, such as walking regularly.

In one small research, obese women who walked for 50–70 minutes three times per week for 12 weeks decreased their waist circumference by 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) and lost 1.5% of their body fat.

Another research found that people on a calorie-controlled diet who walked for one hour, five times per week for 12 weeks, lost an extra 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) off their waistlines and 1.3% more body fat.

Other studies have observed similar results.

It Improves Your Mood

Exercise is known to develop your mood.

Physical activity has been shown to develop your mood and decrease stress, depression, and anxiety.

It does this by creating your brain more sensitive to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. These hormones reduce feelings of depression and stimulate the release of endorphins, which make you feel happy.

This is a great advantage in itself. However, experiencing enhancement in the mood when you walk regularly might also make the habit easier to keep up with.

What’s more, some researchers have found that if you enjoy physical activity, it can increase the likelihood that you will continue to do it.

People tend to exercise less if they don’t enjoy it, which can be the effect of the exercise being too physically demanding.

This makes walking a great choice, as it’s a moderate-intensity exercise. That’s likely to drive you to walk more rather than give up.

Walking Can Help You Keep Weight Off

Several people who lose weight end up gaining it all back.

However, regular exercise plays an essential role in helping you.

Daily exercise, like walking, does not only help boost the amount of energy you burn day-to-day. It also enables you to develop more lean muscle to burn more calories, even at rest.

Furthermore, engaging in a regular, moderate-intensity exercise can enhance your mood. It makes you more likely to stay active in the long term.

A recent study estimated that you should walk at least 150 minutes per week to maintain a stable weight.

However, if you’ve lost a lot of weight, you may still need to exercise more than 200 minutes per week to restrict yourself from regaining it.

Researchers have found that people who exercise are usually the most successful at keeping their weight loss. Meanwhile, people who exercise the least are likely to regain the weight.

Incorporating more walking into your day can help you build the amount of exercise you do and add towards your daily activity goals.

How Long Should My Daily Walk be for Weight Loss

Aim for a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes for most of the days of your week for weight loss. You can do walking exercises for more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours).

You should walk fast enough to be in the moderate-intensity activity zone at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing harder than usual and speak in full sentences, but not sing. You can use your heart rate and practice zone reading from a fitness band, app, or heart rate monitor. This is to ensure you are exercising at moderate intensity.

While you can split up your walking time into periods of 10 minutes or longer, you get an added advantage of burning fat when you walk at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes.

If you’re new to walking, get started with a shorter walking duration, and steadily build up your walking time. You might want to take long walks every other day in the beginning.

Try not to skip two consecutive days. Consistency is good for burning calories and enhancing your metabolism, as well as for creating new habits. On your non-walking days, try to do some strength training exercises. If you’re exhausted, take a rest for today and get back to walking tomorrow.

If you’re working on keeping your weight, the CDC suggests that you spend 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity while limiting your calorie intake.

What If You Can’t Walk for 30 Minutes at a Time?

Life can be busy. If your schedule doesn’t allow walking continuously for 30 minutes, split it into brisk walking two or three times a day for at least 10 minutes.

Always warm-up for five minutes at a slow pace no matter what duration you will be walking. You can use higher-intensity periods, stairs, and brisk walking to get the most out of shorter walking workouts.

According to 2017 research, high-intensity intervals are as good as constant moderate-intensity workouts. And it can be an excellent way to fit exercise into your day.

Calories and Fat Burned in 30 Minutes

At a brisk walking speed, you would burn 100 to 300 calories in 30 minutes (depending on the person’s weight) or 200 to 600 calories in an hour. By walking for 30 minutes or more at a time, some of those calories will come from stored fat.

During the first 30 minutes of your exercise, your body is burning sugars stored as fuel. These are used up after about 30 minutes. To get your body going, your body delivers fat from your fat cells and burns it for energy.

This stored fat is exactly what you want to lose, and it’s an excellent basis to build up your walking stamina so you can walk for more than 30 minutes at a time.

Weight Loss Workout Plan

You can use this sample schedule and adjust the days as needed. This workout plan is best for those who don’t want to accelerate their speed and enjoy long walks. The time listed is at your objective heart rate and pace after warming up.

You can break up the long walks into multiple shorter walks if your schedule won’t permit you.

  • Sunday: Long walking exercise with 60 minutes at a brisk pace
  • Monday: Day off with no walking workout, but you can still enjoy strolls.
  • Tuesday: Short walking exercise with 30 minutes at a fast pace, plus a strength training workout
  • Wednesday: Short walking exercise with 30 minutes at a rapid pace
  • Thursday: A prolonged walking exercise of 60 minutes at a brisk pace
  • Friday: Short walking exercise with 30 minutes at a brisk pace, plus a strength training workout.
  • Saturday: A long easy walking day with 30 minutes at a fast pace, then 30 to 90 more minutes at a leisurely pace.

While the number of calories you burn relies on your weight and the distance you walk, this plan can burn 2000 calories per week for an average walker.

Walking Workouts for Weight Loss

A brisk pace is a state where you breathe harder than usual, and your heart rate is at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can monitor your heart rate by taking your pulse.

Short Walking Workout

  • Warm-up at a leisurely pace for three to five minutes.
  • Speed up to a brisk walk at the objective pace for 30 minutes.
  • Walk at a slow to a comfortable pace for three to five minutes.
  • You may want to do a mild stretching routine after your warm-up or after you finish your walk.

Very​ Short Walking Workout

If you don’t have enough time for a sustained walk, find the time to take two to four 15-minute walks. Your time at a brisk pace for the day should continue to at least 30 minutes.

  • Warm-up at a leisurely pace within one to three minutes.
  • Accelerate to a brisk pace for at least 10 minutes.
  • Walk at a slow to a comfortable pace for one to three minutes.

Long Walking Workout

  • Warm-up within five minutes at a leisurely pace.
  • Do a brisk walking pace for 60 minutes.
  • Walk at a slow to a comfortable pace for five minutes.

Long Easy Walking Workout

You can spice up this workout by engaging in a local charity walk or joining a walking group or club for their workouts.

  • Do a warm-up for five minutes at a leisurely pace.
  • Start walking at the target brisk walking pace for 30 minutes.
  • Walk at a slow to a comfortable pace for an additional 30 to 90 minutes.

Days Off

When you are walking for weight loss, you should take no more than two days off weekly. You can still enjoy strolls on your day off, and you would want to ensure you aren’t sitting for long periods.

Tips before you start your walking exercise

Choose the right shoes

The only “equipment” necessary for walking are decent pairs of shoes. Unless you’re walking on the beach, chances are you have a pair suitable for the job already.

“Walking shoes” have flexible soles and stiff heel counters to limit side-to-side motion. Normal flat surfaces only need low-heeled shoes that are comfortable, cushioned, and lightweight.

Devise a great walking playlist

Before you even think about tying up your sneakers, think of the songs you want to hear as you make strides towards a fitter you.

Having a great soundtrack to your walk will drive you to push harder and go farther. And the best part is that you probably won’t even notice the extra effort that you end up putting in.

Look for songs that are between 75 to 130 BPM. These tempos will help you synchronize your strut to the beat.

Know your route

It’s good to have a clear knowledge of where you’ll be walking on any given day.

You’ll feel comfortable and confident knowing what to expect. It also prevents you from wasting any walking time, figuring out a route on the fly.

Try and devise a handful of routes that range in length, grade, and terrain. Just a couple of route choices can prevent your new belly blasting habit from getting repetitive.

Find a walking buddy

Numerous studies prove that having a strong support group is vital to achieving and maintaining weight loss success.

Be prepared for weather conditions

We don’t all live in San Diego, which means that we have to deal with a changing climate.

Don’t let a run of hot, cold, wet, windy, or icy weather stop you from walking off your belly. Get yourself kitted out with the proper clothing for the sorts of weather your area can get in a given year.

During a heatwave, walk before the sun gets too high in the sky. During a cold snap, do the opposite. A fair-weather walker in Seattle or Fargo will miss out on a lot of belly blasting moments.

Keep a walking journal

Keeping a journal has been shown to increase the effectiveness of a walking program by 47 percent.

Here are some of the things you should track:

  • Days that you did your walking routine
  • Time of day or night that you performed your walking routine
  • Distance and time you finished each walking routine
  • Your walking course
  • Your weekly weight

Walk in daylight to eat less

Get some of that sunshine or even daylight on your walk. Why?

A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology explained that sleep-deprived adults who were exposed to dim light after waking had lower concentrations of leptin. It is a hormone that tells you are full.

By letting some light in, you’ll get your desired weight loss results.

Walk briskly

Walk like you’re at the airport, and you’ve cut it close for your flight.

If you’re 150 pounds walking briskly (around 3.5 miles per hour) will burn about 300 calories every 60 minutes. If you can fit in 30 minutes of brisk walking on a flat surface each day, you’ll have burned off 1,050 calories by the end of the week.

Studies reveal that this sort of weekly calorie expenditure helps protect against heart disease. And you’ll probably notice that you look and feel different soon.

But also vary your walking pace

Engineering researchers have found that walking at alternating speeds can burn up to 20 percent more calories than keeping a steady pace.

The 2015 study from Ohio State University is one of the first to measure the metabolic cost, calories burned, and varying walking speeds. While walking briskly for 30 minutes is a great idea to try and work in a few minutes to accelerate and decelerate your brisk walk.

Vary the terrain

As well as changing your speed, a great way to burn more belly fat is to switch up the surface you’re walking on.

Walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than walking on a track. Meanwhile, walking on soft sand raises caloric expenditure by almost 50 percent, given that you can keep your pace the same.

Final Thoughts

You might be able to lose weight through walking, depending on its range and intensity and your diet.

A blend of physical activity and dietary changes seems to improve weight loss more effectively than exercise alone. Physical activity, such as walking, is also essential for weight control because it helps you burn calories.

If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn.

However, balance is still important. Overdoing it can raise your risk of soreness, injury, and burnout. If you’re new to daily exercise and physical activity, you may need to start with short walks or walking at a light intensity. And then build your pace to longer walks with moderate or vigorous intensity.

Once you’ve lost weight, exercise is even more critical for maintenance. So keep walking, but make sure you also eat a healthy diet.

Categories
Fat Loss Weight Loss

Clever Ways to Stop Binge Eating

Are you one of those people that “eat well all day” and then desire snacks after dinner and wind up snacking on whatever you want?

Don’t fret; you are not alone.

Believe it or not, several people trying to diet or eat healthier fall into this routine. The question is whether this habit is a consequence of something physiological or psychological?

Unless your blood sugar is low, the odds are it is psychological and has become a practice.

You deprive yourself or skip meals throughout the day, which drives you to think about food always. You take unplanned snacks here and try to satiate yourself, but you do not think about what your body needs or wants.

You’re busy, and skipping breakfast might direct to weight loss, right?

You haven’t done any pre-dinner plan because you’ve never been good at meal preparation. So you pick up take-out from your preferred Thai place on the ride home.

You seem guilty about what you ate, though, knowing you’ve done this many times this week already.

Shrugging it off, figuring, “I’ve already eaten this much, what’s a little more?” you keep on snacking all evening.

The habit of eating at night can be harmful to blood sugar restriction and can even stall your weight loss. Researches have shown that eating most of your calories late at night can prevent you from losing weight.

Why People Snack at Night

You have a post-dinner routine that’s all about overeating and zoning out.

You change into loose, comfy clothes, plop onto the couch with your e-reader, book, or laptop nearby. The next thing you know, you’re staring at the TV for hours while waiting for the stress of the workday to fade away.

As soon as an ad break hits, you’re off to the kitchen for snacks. Your shifting between sweet and salty (what’s one without the other, really?), so once you’re tired with one flavor, you switch to the next.

You don’t pay much consideration to what you’re eating or how loaded you’re feeling. You’re just savoring the taste as you veg out.

Does this sound like your routine?

Your problem might not be that you lack the self-control or willpower to stay away from the foods you love (or, at the very least, have grown habitual to).

You might be dealing with something more particular (and treatable): night eating syndrome.

Also known as “midnight hunger,” night eating syndrome is the persistent late-night binge eating pattern. While night eating syndrome is not the same as binge eating disorder, there are absolutely some similarities.

According to the DSM-5, night eating syndrome can fall into the feeding and eating disorder classification. It can cause eating after waking up in the middle of the night, overeating after you’ve already had dinner, or feeling guilt or shame about these habits.

And you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1.5% of the population in the US alone deals with this.

Impact of Overeating Before Bed 

Nightly habits like these are a cause of weight gain for many folks – which is why we usually start thinking about these habits in the first place.

Of course, weight gain in and of itself isn’t uncertain. But if we know that we’re consuming food in a way that isn’t in line with our intuition, we also realize that we could be toying with our set aim weight.

The problem isn’t merely the food that’s being consumed – although you can check out other recipes if you’re looking for new snack options!

But the more significant issue is that overeating at night can disrupt your sleep. This can lead to imbalances of hunger and satiety hormones, making it more difficult for you to recognize when you’re truly hungry or satisfied.

That is to say, night eating in this way can take your body’s natural rhythm way off balance and cause several health issues as a result!

So what can you do if nighttime eating seems out of control and you want to regain some balance? The answer is a lot simpler than it may appear: classify the reasons you overeat at night, and then improve that trigger.

The truth of the subject is: there is a reason why you’re encountering what feels like a loss of control at night when it comes to food. 

Sleep Disruption

Eating or drinking too much before bed can result in potential heartburn or bathroom visits, thus interrupting sleep. Studies have explained that lack of sleep can negatively affect blood sugars and result in elevated hemoglobin A1C’s.

Lack of sleep can also affect hormones, which control feelings of fullness and hunger. Inadequate sleep has been shown to reduce the satiety hormone called leptin and increase the hunger hormone called ghrelin.

If you are not getting enough sleep, you may feel more hungry throughout the day and take in extra calories, resulting in weight gain. 

Elevated Blood Sugars

Excess carbohydrates in the evening can produce raised morning blood sugars. It isn’t easy to manage your blood sugar when you start the day with it being above goal.

The American Diabetes Association suggests that fasting blood sugar (mornings) for most people with type 2 diabetes should vary between 80-130mg/dL. If you wake up with numbers beyond 130mg/dL, it may be necessary to lessen your carbohydrate intake at dinner, especially before bed.

Clever Ways to Stop Eating Late at Night

Several people find themselves eating late at night, even when they aren’t hungry.

Nighttime eating can make you eat more calories than you need and lead to weight gain.

Here are the things you can do to stop eating late in the evening or at night:

Identify the Cause

Several people eat most of their food late in the evening or during the night.

To break this attitude, you need to distinguish the cause of the problem.

Nighttime eating may be the effect of overly limited daytime food intake, leading to ravenous hunger at night. It may also be caused by habit or dullness.

However, nighttime eating has also been connected to some eating disorders. This includes binge eating disorder and night eating syndrome.

Intricate eating patterns and behaviors characterize these two dysfunctions. And it can have the same adverse effects on your health.

In both, people use food to restrain emotions such as sadness, anger, or frustration, and they often eat even when they are not hungry.

Binge eaters also tend to eat huge amounts of food in one sitting and appear out of control while eating.

On the other hand, people having nighttime eating syndrome tend to nibble throughout the evening and wake up during the night to eat. Thus, they eat more than 25% of their daily calories at night.

Both conditions have been connected to obesity, depression, and trouble sleeping.

Identify Your Triggers

Much like recognizing what causes your overeating, you may find it useful to look for triggers as well.

People relinquish food for many reasons. If you’re not hungry but see yourself eating at night, think about what drove up to it.

Usually, you will find you are using food to satisfy a need that isn’t hunger.

With nighttime eating syndrome, your entire eating pattern may be stalled due to your loss of daytime hunger.

One effective way to distinguish the cause of your nighttime eating and the things that trigger it is to keep a “food and mood” diary.

Tracking your eating and exercise habits and how you feel can help you distinguish patterns. Doing so allows you to work on breaking any negative cycles of behavior.

Use a Routine

If you’re overeating because you aren’t eating adequately during the day, then getting yourself into a routine can help.

Structured eating and sleeping times will help you spread your food consumption over the day so that you’re less hungry at night.

Getting adequate sleep is essential when it comes to managing your food intake and weight.

Lack of sleep and short sleep span has been linked to higher calorie intake and poor-quality diets. Over an extended period, poor sleep can raise your risk of obesity and related diseases.

Having established times for eating and sleeping can assist you to separate the two activities. More so, if you are prone to waking in the night to eat.

Plan Your Meals

As part of your routine, you may also profit from using a meal plan.

Planning your meals and having healthy snacks can decrease your chances of eating on impulse and making poor food choices.

Having a meal plan can also reduce anxiety about how much you are eating and help you spread your food throughout the day, holding hunger at bay.

Seek Emotional Support

If you think you may have a nighttime eating syndrome or binge eating disorder, then you may want to seek professional help.

A professional can help you distinguish your triggers and implement a treatment plan.

These plans frequently use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), shown to help with many eating disorders.

Creating an emotional aid network will also help you find ways to manage negative emotions, which otherwise might lead you to the fridge.

De-Stress

Anxiety and stress are two of the most obvious reasons why people eat when they aren’t hungry. However, using food to subdue your emotions is a bad idea.

If you realized that you eat when you are anxious or stressed, try to look for another way to let go of negative emotions and relax.

A study has shown that relaxation techniques can help manage eating disorders. Some relaxation techniques you can do are breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga.

Add more fun to your life. This is excellent advice. 

Being told to develop more joy in your daily routine is a serious win.

Here’s the thing: Eating at night can turn into a preferred way to relax and wind down.

Hence, knowing that you have that pint of ice cream expecting for you in the freezer can get you through a tough day. It can even transform into your day’s highlight or even your prime source of joy, entertainment, and fun.

This is when it could become an issue.

Ask yourself: What are you missing in your life?

Are you craving joy? Self-nurturing? Comfort? So add more of it – and then you may find that you’re less likely to fulfill that need with food.

Eat Regularly Throughout the Day

Overeating at night has been linked to irregular eating patterns that can often be categorized as disordered eating.

Eating at planned periods throughout the day in line with “normal” eating patterns can help keep your blood sugar stable.

It can also help stop feelings of ravenous hunger, tiredness, irritability, or a perceived lack of food, which can lead to indulgence.

When you’re starving, you are more likely to make poor food choices and approach for high-fat, high-sugar junk foods.

Researchers find that those with regular meal times (eating three or more times per day) have better appetite control and lower weight.

Generally speaking, eating less than three times per day is considered to decrease your ability to control your appetite and food choices.

However, it’s essential to note that results in this area have been mixed.

The best eating frequency for controlling hunger and the amount of food eaten is likely to vary among people.

Not eating plenty throughout the day “sets the table,” so to speak, for overeating at night. It makes sense, right?

If you’ve been stripping your body of the nutrients and energy that it needs, you’re going to get frustrated and go searching for food!

When we limit our intake, we’re forced to head into a bout of bingeing or overeating because our bodies have a lot of lost time to make up for!

Allow yourself to eat more regularly and understand that skipping meals won’t do you any good. Make sure to eat well-balanced meals over the day to stop excessive intake at night.

Include Protein at Every Meal

Different foods can have different impacts on your appetite.

If you eat due to hunger, adding protein at every meal may help curb your appetite.

It could also help you feel more satiated throughout the day, stop you from being preoccupied with food, and help prevent snacking at night.

One study found that eating many high-protein meals reduced cravings by 60% and cut the desire to eat at night by half.

Don’t Keep Junk Food in the House

If you are inclined to eating high-fat, high-sugar junk food at night, take it out from your house.

If unhealthy bites aren’t within easy reach, you are much less likely to eat them.

Instead, fill your house with healthy food that you appreciate. Then when you have the urge to eat, you won’t indulge in junk foods.

Good snack-friendly meals to have available if you get hungry include fruits, berries, plain yogurt, and cottage cheese.

These are very filling and apparently won’t cause you to overeat if you do end up becoming ravenously hungry late at night.

Distract Yourself

If you find yourself preoccupied with thoughts of food because you’re bored, then find something else you fancy doing in the evening.

This will help keep your mind occupied.

Finding a new hobby or planning evening exercises can help prevent mindless late-night snacking.

We all have habits – for almost every part of our day. What is the system in which you get ready in the morning? What is the direction that you drive to work? What are the lines that you follow every time your best friend calls you with a problem?

But we all have routines around eating, too – whether it’s a time of day, location, or activity. Think about how frequently you order pizza when you watch a movie.

We all fall into these routines and connections. So, switching those routines can help break the habit of eating at night.

For instance, if you’re used to eating while working, move to your office. If TV is your signal to begin snacking, consider whether it’s necessary to watch TV at night.

Maybe you could start to play a board game or go for a walk instead.

But if the TV is crucial to you, that’s okay, too. Maybe pair it with a new activity so that food becomes less incorporated with those murder mysteries you’re so addicted to.

Just remember that it’ll take practice before the new routine feels comfortable and comforting. So don’t give up if it doesn’t feel great at first!

More Strategies

If you need (or want) to eat something right before bed, you can lessen the impact on your weight and wellbeing. All you need to do is consume a healthy snack and limit your portion sizes.

Make Your Snack Count

Perhaps you’ve worked all these things, and you still want a snack or dessert. Make your dessert worth your while and think of it as a treat.

If you’re having dessert regularly at night, the probabilities are you do not have it as much as you would if you had it on occasion.

Make an event out of it—go out for small ice cream once per week. If you find yourself that would rather have a little treat before bed, aim to keep it to about 150 calories.11

  • 1 container of low-fat Greek yogurt (you can freeze it, so it’s ice cream texture)
  • 1 low-fat pudding cup
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (frozen fruit takes a long time to eat and is refreshing)
  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup of ice cream
  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread with a teaspoon of nut butter (cashew, peanut, almond)
  • 1 piece of fresh fruit (size of a tennis ball), 1 cup of berries, or 1 cup melon

Final Thoughts

Depending upon your diet and health issues, you can opt for whole fruit or small dark chocolate quantities when you want something sweet.

Things that give a pleasing “crunch” during the day, like chopped celery on your salad, carrots, cabbage, etc., can also help amazingly. 

We are meant to taste and crunch, and the stress of most of our regular work lives adds to this urge. If we don’t unload it during the day, then we have more of a desire to do so in the evening. 

You might also try adding dehydrated vegetables as flavor enhancers. For example, adding a few sundried tomatoes (without oil) to your salad can make all the difference in comfort and satiation. They also blend very well in soups. 

And remember, adding a few planned extra calories to your dinner meal is much better than a significant amount of spontaneous, unplanned snacking. 

Sources

Categories
Fat Loss Keto Nutrition Keto Reviews

The Best and Worst Alcohol on Keto

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet followed by people who intend to lose weight and improve their well being.

This diet requires careful planning so that you can stick within your allowed daily carb intake and keep your body in ketosis. This can mean not consuming sweets, snacks, and other high-carb beverages like soft drinks and alcohol.

Luckily, there are many low-carb alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy in moderation.

It’s “in moderation” since alcohol doesn’t help with weight loss. The more alcohol you drink, the more challenging it will be for your body to burn fat. That’s because your enzymes will prioritize burning the alcohol.

Another effect of alcohol drinking is that you tend to eat more. Plus, alcoholic beverages vary in terms of how many net carbs they contain. Some won’t affect your weight loss journey, while some can kick you out of ketosis.

It’s common for people who do keto diet to drink since it has lower carbs than beer. Moreover, spirits like whiskey and vodka have zero carbs.

Watch out for sweet mixed drinks – they may have massive amounts of sugar. For more detail, check out the visual guide below.

Will Drinking Kick You Out of Ketosis?

Getting into ketosis and staying there is primarily driven by following a very low carb diet. So as long as you don’t go over your recommended daily net carb intake, the occasional drink likely won’t cause concern. 

Additionally, alcohol itself doesn’t mess with your body’s ability to produce ketones. The opposite may be true. Alcohol consumption has been associated with a decrease in blood sugar and an increase in ketone production.

However, this does not mean you should drink a lot on keto to increase ketone levels. 

Excessive alcohol consumption can not only lead to serious health concerns. It can also be deadly for people with diabetes because it can lead to alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA).

It is also thought that being in ketosis can decrease alcohol tolerance. However, there is not much research to support this theory. 

According to medical professionals, if you do choose to drink, do so in moderation. Keep your intake below one drink each day for women and two drinks per day for men.

The bottom line, you are better off avoiding alcohol altogether. But If you choose to drink occasionally, here are the best and worst types of liquor for keto. 

What to Buy?

Wine

Even on a keto diet (below 20 grams per day), you can probably have a glass of wine reasonably regularly. And on a moderately low carb diet, wine is not a problem.

Dry wines usually contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per glass.

Fermentation byproducts in wine, like glycerol, should have a minimal effect on blood sugar or insulin levels.

Using 2 grams as an estimate of carbs per glass of dry wine is conservative. Fortunately, all dry wines fit nicely within a keto diet.

Sweet dessert wines, however, contain a lot more sugar.

White WinesServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Sparkling White5 fl oz961.512
Brut Cava5 fl oz1282.512
Brut Champagne5 fl oz1472.812
Pinot Blanc5 fl oz1192.8512.5
Pinot Grigio5 fl oz122310.7
Chardonnay5 fl oz1233.113
Albarino5 fl oz1433.513
Riesling5 fl oz1285.59.5
Muscat (Muscato)5 fl oz1287.914.5
Red WinesServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Pinot Noir5 fl oz1213.410.4
Merlot5 fl oz1223.710.6
Cabernet5 fl oz1223.810.3
Syrah5 fl oz1223.810.5
Zinfandel5 fl oz1294.211.1

Beer

Beer is a problem on keto. There’s a reason people talk about “beer bellies.” Beer is made from grains, which provide a lot of rapidly digestible carbs. It’s even been called “liquid bread.”

For this reason, most beers are bad for weight control and should be avoided on keto. Note that the amount of carbs in beer varies depending on the brand. There are a few possible low-carb options for keto.

Low-carb BeersCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Greens Trailblazer1190.54.7
Budweiser Select 55551.92.4
Miller 64642.42.8
Rolling Rock Green Light832.43.7
Michelob Ultra952.64.2
Budweiser Select993.14.3
Beck’s Premier Light643.22.3
Miller Lite963.24.2
Busch Light953.24.1
Natural Light953.24.2
Michelob Ultra Amber1143.74
Miller Chill10044.2
Coors Light10254.2
Amstel Light9553.5
Keystone Light10454.1
Budweiser Light1106.64.2
Heineken Light996.83.3
Yuengling Light998.53.6

Vodka

Vodka is usually made from a grain base such as potatoes, rye, or wheat, and runs around 35 – 50% alcohol by volume. When you’re grabbing a bottle from the liquor store or ordering at a bar, try to take a straight vodka – nothing flavored.

If you must have flavored, there are a number of them that are zero carbs, but do your research online first! Many of the flavored vodkas have syrups and sugars added to them.

Popular Vodka BrandsServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Burnett’s1.5 oz96040
Smirnoff1.5 oz97040
Absolut1.5 oz100040
Svedka1.5 oz103040
Grey Goose1.5 oz103040
Stolichnaya1.5 oz103040
Ciroc1.5 oz103040
Skyy1.5 oz105040

Whiskey, Scotch, and Bourbon

Whiskey is made from fermented grain, usually combining rye, wheat, corn, or barley, and comes in around 35 – 50% alcohol by volume.

Even though it’s a dark liquor, all whiskeys do not have any carbs (or sugars) added – making it an excellent drink for someone on a ketogenic diet. Barrel-aged whiskey has higher phenols and ellagic acid (combats free radicals) than red wine.

Depending on where the whiskey is from is where the name is derived. Scotch, whiskey, and bourbon have the same form of alcohol. Some don’t like the taste of whiskey for the pure harshness.

If that’s the case, it may be better to use milder alcohol like vodka.

Some popular brands of whiskey are Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, Jim Beam, and Seagram’s.

Popular Whiskey BrandsServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Crown Royal1.5 oz96040
Jack Daniels1.5 oz98040
Jim Beam1.5 oz104040
Seagram’s1.5 oz104040
Dewar’s1.5 oz104040
Wild Turkey1.5 oz104050
Chivas Regal1.5 oz105040
Johnnie Walker1.5 oz105040

Tequila

Most tequila is made from the agave plant and is commonly made at 40% alcohol per volume. There are not too many flavored tequilas on the market, so you don’t have to worry too much about added sugars or carbs. 

Note that some tequila producers do mix the drink with some other alcohols. So try to getting tequila that is derived wholly from the agave plant.

The agave plant is grown in many places. But depending on where it is grown will affect how the tequila tastes. In highland areas, you may have a sweeter and more aromatic form of this alcohol.

Popular Tequila BrandsServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Don Julio1.5 oz96040
Tres Agaves1.5 oz102040
El Jimador1.5 oz102040
Patron1.5 oz103040
1800 Tequila1.5 oz103040
Milagro1.5 oz103040
Cazadores1.5 oz103040
Sauza1.5 oz104040

Rum

Rum is generally made from sugarcane or molasses and comes in a variety of styles. It’s also zero carbs and zero sugar, but you need to watch out for flavored rums and rums with additives.

Usually, the darker the rum, the richer the flavor is, and the older it is. Usually, rum comes in at about 35% alcohol by volume.

When rum is first distilled, it comes out as a clear liquid. It’s then typically placed in bourbon barrels to pick up the oaky flavor and dark color you’re used to seeing.

The flavor and color from the barrels do not add carbohydrates.

Popular Tequila BrandsServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Malibu Island Spiced1.5 oz72030
Captain Morgan Spiced1.5 oz860.435
Bacardi Superior1.5 oz96040
Myer’s Original Dark1.5 oz97040
Castillo1.5 oz97040
Sailor Jerry1.5 oz103040
The Kraken1.5 oz1051.540

Gin

Gin is made from a grain base and typically covers about 35% alcohol by volume. It is usually made with citruses such as lemon, orange, or lime – but be aware of flavored or sweetened versions.

Sloe gin is a commonly flavored gin that’s made in England and flavored with sloe drupes. These have added sugars, and therefore added carbs in them.

Most people think of a gin and tonic when they hear gin, but tonic and most common mixers do have carbs, so you need to be careful.

Popular Gin BrandsServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Gordon’s1.5 oz96040
Seagram’s1.5 oz103040
Bombay1.5 oz114047
Beefeater1.5 oz115047
Tanqueray1.5 oz116047.3

Brandy

Brandy is made from the mash, juice, or wine or grapes.

There are many types of brandy, but the most common is Cognac – a brandy that’s made in the Cognac region of France.

Brandy typically varies from 35-60% alcohol per volume, and is sometimes aged in barrels.

Some companies add caramel colorings to their brandy instead of letting it age in the barrel. So be careful of added food dyes, as they can add extra carbs.

Popular Brandy BrandsServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Honey Bee1.5 oz103040
Courvoisier1.5 oz104040
McDowell’s1.5 oz1040.140
Martell1.5 oz1260.440
Hennessy1.5 oz103140
Remy Martin1.5 oz103340

Low-carb Cider

Cider is the result of fermenting fruit juices like apple juices into apple cider.

After the fermentation and filtration process, most manufacturers will add ingredients in the cider. They would usually add juice or sugar to give the cider a distinct flavor.

While there are no low-carb ciders, there are many brands that are delivering flavored seltzer water mixed with alcohol. These are typically as close as you’ll get to cider.

But if you’re a true cider fan, then it may not be a great alternative. Instead, think of it as a crisp and refreshing drink.

Low-carb Sparkling AlcoholServing SizeCaloriesNet CarbsAverage ABV
Truly Spiked12 oz10025
White Claw12 oz11045
SpikedSeltzer12 oz14056
Nauti Seltzer12 oz11055

What to Avoid?

Most of us on a low-carb, ketogenic diet know that sugar is in just about everything you can find. This applies to mixers and chasers for alcohol, as well.

  • Port/Sherry. These are also known as dessert wines and include all types of port, sherry, and sauternes. They have very high sugar alcohol, usually over 13g carbs for just a 3 oz serving. Avoid these where possible.
  • Sweet Wines. Much sweeter than dry wines, these are typically enjoyed with dessert and are a bit lighter than port or sherry. These include Moscato, auslese riesling, tokaji, and Malvasia wines. They usually have around 11-18g carbs per glass, so you should avoid these.
  • Sangria/Margarita Mix. Typically sangria mixes and margarita mixes have over 10g carbs per 1.5 oz serving (a shot worth). Avoid these as much as possible.
  • Wine Coolers/Alcopops. The most common of these are Smirnoff ice – they’re essentially sugar-laden soda with alcohol in them. You should avoid these.
  • Liqueurs. Usually, a combination of alcohol and simple syrup (made from sugar) is too high in carbohydrates.

Some other things to watch out for when ordering drinks are the extra flavors that bartenders will commonly add.

Keep in mind that if you’re ordering from a bar, you can typically request your drink to be made or specially request a no-sugar drink from the bartender.

Some examples of things to avoid that are commonly added to cocktails include:

  • Fruit Juice. It’s very common for bartenders to make drinks with cranberry, orange, pineapple, tomato, and melon juices. Be very careful and try to stay away from cocktails as they commonly add these.
  • Syrups. Like the syrups at coffee shops, these are typically made with a lot of sugar content. If your drink has any sweet syrup added (fudge, whipped cream, fruit “flavoring”), try to choose something else.
  • Fruit toppings. Many drinks are topped with berries or have wedges of orange or pineapple in them. These aren’t too bad because you can pick them off – just make sure that the drink underneath the fruit does not have any added sugars.

A Word of Caution

When eating a keto diet, some people get intoxicated from significantly less alcohol. So be cautious the first time you drink alcohol on keto.

You may only need half as many drinks as usual to dig yourself. So keto may save you money at the bar. 

The reasons for this shared experience aren’t fully known. Possibly the liver is busy providing ketones or glucose and thus has less capacity to burn alcohol.

This is great if you’re looking to maximize alcohol’s intoxicating impact. On the other hand, your hangover could be worse.

Be very careful doing anything where impairment could increase the risk of accidents or injury. Never drink and drive.

Furthermore, if you’re using a keto diet to treat metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease, be aware that alcohol can hurt liver health.

Excessive alcohol acts as a liver toxin. Finally, it appears that alcohol intake might somewhat reduce ketone production, even in the absence of sugar or carbs.

Note: If you are on a ketogenic diet for weight loss, you may want to consider avoiding alcohol altogether.

While you can consume low-carb alcohol and stay in ketosis, the body will burn the ethyl in the drink instead of your stored fats. In other words, alcohol will slow down the fat loss process because a smaller amount of the free fatty acids will be converted into ketones.

Besides this, alcohol does affect hormone levels that are linked to belly fat and weight loss. So if you’re a heavy drinker, you can expect very slow or no weight loss at all.

There is also a condition called alcohol ketoacidosis, which can be deadly. It usually happens to people who haven’t eaten any food in an extended period and are drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period.

Moderation is Key

Although plenty of keto-friendly alcoholic beverages are available, that doesn’t mean that they should be part of your routine.

Even low-carb varieties of alcohol are still rich in empty calories, which means that they supply many calories with little to no essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

Not only can overindulging in booze increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies over time, but it may also contribute to gradual weight gain.

In fact, in one eight-year study in 49,324 women, consuming at least two drinks per day was associated with an increased risk of significant weight gain.

Alcohol can also suppress fat burning and increase body fat by storing extra calories as fat tissue in your body.

Excessive drinking may also contribute to other severe health conditions. This includes diabetes, heart disease, liver problems, and cancer.

For this reason, it’s best to keep alcohol intake moderate. One drink per day for women and two per day for men would suffice.

Final Thoughts

Even on a keto diet, there are lots of low-carb alcoholic beverages to choose from.

Wine, light beer, and pure forms of alcohol offer few or zero carbs per serving. You can also pair them with low-carb mixers like seltzer, diet soda, or sugar-free tonic water.

But regardless of your diet, it’s best to keep alcohol consumption in check to avoid adverse health effects.

As a rule of thumb, women should stick to a maximum of one drink per day, while men should stick to two or fewer.

Sources

Categories
Fat Loss Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Weight Loss

Diet Soda On Keto: Everything You Need To Know!

Dieting comes with its share of challenges, and right from the start, irresistible cravings kick in. If you’re reading this, you’re probably sick and tired of drinking water on keto, and wondering if diet soda on keto is the right way to go.

Diet soda is sweet like any other carbonated soft drinks, contains zero carbs, and doesn’t have any added sugar. From a nutritional point of view, diet soda sparks debate because it contains artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame which could have adverse effects on your health.

In this article, we shall be discussing everything you should know about diet soda on a keto diet.

What is Diet Soda?

What is diet soda?

Diet soda is a beverage that mimics the taste of regular soda but has no sugar. It combines artificial sweeteners, carbonated water, natural flavors, caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and preservatives. Let’s have a detailed look at each ingredient.

  • Phosphoric acid– is found in bubbles of diet soda and can ruin your bone health. A study on the NCBI website revealed that high contents of phosphoric acid could lower bone mineral density.
  • Carbonated water– its water infused with carbon dioxide (CO2). It’s also known as fizzy water or sparkling water. People prefer carbonated water because it more refreshing than plain water.
  • Preservatives– some of the chemicals found in diet soda include potassium sorbate and potassium benzoate, which help prevent fungi and mold growth hence preventing food spoilage.
  • Natural flavorings- The FDA defines natural flavorings as any product containing flavors obtained from fruits, vegetables, eggs or similar material. Its purpose is to provide flavor.
  • Artificial sweeteners- Sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and saccharin are zero-calorie sweeteners that are 100 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Caramel color- is responsible for the brownish color of diet soda. An article posted on the NCBI website revealed that caramel color isn’t genotoxic, meaning it doesn’t cause cancer.
  • Caffeine- when consumed in doses above 400mg, it can cause anxiety, nervousness, and jitteriness. (Source).

Can You Drink Diet Soda on Keto?

We’ve seen users on different online communities asking, can I drink diet soda on keto?

The answer is YES. While diet coke is not healthy, a few drinks once in a blue moon won’t ruin your keto lifestyle. Just watch for the addiction.

Additionally, diet sodas can’t be justified as healthy from a nutritional standpoint. They aren’t healthy and shouldn’t be a regular feature in your diet menu.

Nutritional facts of diet coke:

  • 0g sugars
  • 0 calories
  • 0g carbohydrates
  • 0g proteins

Because ketogenic diet purposely aims to cutting carbs in your diet, from keto standpoint diet coke is allowed.

Replacing regular soda with diet soda will help you significantly cut carbohydrate consumption and at the same time satisfying your cravings. Remember, you shouldn’t consume diet coke regularly.

Additionally, diet soda has zero nutritional value but linked to some health problems when in excess. The artificial sweeteners can also disrupt your body’s metabolism and spike up your sugar cravings.

Benefits of Diet Soda on Keto

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of diet soda in your ketogenic lifestyle.

Zero carbs and calories

The rule of thumb in your ketogenic lifestyle is that; carbohydrates should never exceed 50grams per day. Cutting your carbs intake significantly helps in weight loss.

Additionally, to shed off those extra pounds, you need to burn more calories than you eat. To lose 1 pound of your body weight, you’ll need to burn 3500kcal. Typically, you should cut 500kcal daily (Source).

Drinking diet coke is an excellent way of satisfying your “sugary glands” while at the same time reducing calorie intake.

Satisfies your cravings

The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are 100 times sweeter than regular sugar. If you’re craving for something sweet but hate to gain extra pounds, a can of diet coke once in a will quench your sugar cravings.

How Diet Drinks Can Ruin Your Ketogenic Lifestyle

While diet soft drinks are sugar-free, they contain artificial sweeteners that allow you to get that sweet taste without worrying about carbs or calories.

Artificial sweeteners may indirectly ruin your ketogenic lifestyle in ways you never thought possible. Let’s see how?

On weight gain

You may argue that there’s no way you’ll weight from light drinks since they don’t have any calories or carbohydrates. That’s true, but the fact is that you’ll be promoting weight gain in other ways.

A 2019 study published in Pediatric Obesity found out that people who drink artificially sweetened drinks consume up to 450 more calories per day than those who only drink water. The reason being the sweet taste will make you feel hungrier than you would have without it.

According to a 2017 report, researchers found a correlation between artificial sweeteners and obesity. These sweeteners can affect the bacteria in your gut, resulting in decreased satiety hence prompting you to consume more calories.

On Sugar Cravings

One way to quench your sugar cravings when on a keto diet is to drink diet light drinks. You get to satisfy your sugar buds without any of the calories or carbohydrates.

Anything sweet you eat activates different pathways in your brain. However, the sweetness of artificial sweeteners without calories will only partially activate these pathways, and this leaves your brain “yearning” for more. Because artificial sweeteners don’t fully satisfy your brain, it’ll continually seek what it wants until it gets it – in this case sweet flavor with some calories (Source). If you give in to your cravings, you’ll only end up developing tolerance and preference for all things sweet making you utterly dependent on artificial sweeteners.

On metabolic Dysregulation

One of the primary purposes of ketosis is to regulate insulin and glucose levels, the two of the significant factors that help you to keep tabs on your weight.

A 2013 study by Diabetes Care found out that diet beverages work directly against the keto mechanism by disrupting glucose and insulin levels in the body. This results in increased risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity, that’s according to Reviews of Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.

Avoid Diet Soda If you’re On Keto Diet

Although diet drinks won’t directly kick you out of ketosis, it’ll affect you in other ways and make it almost impossible for you to lose weight.

The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas are linked to other health problems like:

  • Fatigue
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Short term memory loss
  • ADHD

How to Cut Down Diet Soda on Keto

To get rid of diet soda from your menu, you need to understand the reason why you drink soda and find a good alternative.

Some people drink diet soda to satisfy their sugar cravings while others want a quick caffeine jolt. For people not on keto diet, switching to tea and coffee may be a good alternative. However for people living keto lifestyle, they’ll need to find a sugar-free option and calories free.

You can replace diet soda with another keto-friendly drink and smoothies that provide same sweetness as soda.

Recommended Keto Friendly Drinks:  Best Diet Soda Alternatives

As more medical publications are made available to the general public about the health risks of diet soda and possible artificial sweetener addiction, manufacturers have responded by offering light drinks made with stevia, which is an all-natural no-carbohydrate, no-calorie sweetener.

However, there isn’t sufficient information whether stevia has the same effects as artificial sweeteners.

Below are keto-friendly sodas that have been crafted to satisfy your taste buds without knocking you out of fat-burning ketosis:

  • Homemade sodas
  • LaCroix, a sweetener-free drink that uses a combination of natural flavors.
  • Homemade recipes (discussed below)

6 Ketosis Friendly Homemade Diet Soda Recipes

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Humans can’t survive without water. It’s the best drink for everyone on the planet that not only quenches your thirst but also keeps you hydrated and cures headaches.

While water is a must, not everyone appreciates its taste. Sometimes we want to quench our thirst with something that tasty and sweet. Below are different keto-friendly recipes that you should try.

1. Zingy Salted Lime Soda

Generally, you can use sparkling mineral water, club soda, and seltzer water interchangeably unless you’re specific. The minerals in these three only change the taste slightly. It’s important always to check the ingredients since some have artificial flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 lime
  • 1 ¼  cups of club soda, sparkling mineral water o seltzer water (adjust amount to taste)
  • 1/8 to 1/4  teaspoon salt (adjust the amount to liking)

Preparation:

Juice 1 lime and then mix with club soda, mineral water, or seltzer water and salt. Stir the mixture gently until all the salt dissolves and serve chilled.

This is the perfect homemade diet soda to keep in the refrigerator for those hot days as it’s quite refreshing, and the small salt added can help with rehydration. You can dip a slice of the lime to the rim of the glass to make it look like some fancy summer cocktail.

diet soda on keto
Zingy Salted Lime Soda

2. Cucumber Lime Water

Cucumber waters are served in spas, probably to help you relax during the session. This recipe only requires three ingredients and can be prepared in less than five minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lime
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1.5 liters of water

Preparation:

Gently peel the cucumber and slice it into small slices. Add the slices to jug. Extract juice from 1 lime and add it to the jug. Add water to the mix and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Cucumber is an excellent cooling vegetable that adds flavor to water. The lime adds some zingy freshness to make the drink even more refreshing. Alternatively, you can use a water bottle with infuser in the middle to help you drink comfortably without the cucumber slices coming your way.

3. Sparkling Pomegranate

You’ll only need about 5 ingredients to make this refreshing pomegranate drink. It’s important to note that it does contain some caffeine to spice up your mood on those boring afternoons and boost your energy.

Ingredients:

  • 20 drops of stevia
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ cup of cold green tea
  • ½ cup of pomegranate juice
  • ½ of sparkling water

Preparation:

It takes less than 5 mins to have the sparkling pomegranate drink ready. Combine the five ingredients in a jug and serve over ice.

This recipe contains 18 calories and is sugar-free making it perfect for people living ketosis lifestyle.

4. Ginger Ale

Ginger has been attributed to many health benefits. This ginger-flavored keto drink will not only quench your thirst but also help you balance blood sugar, relieve cough symptoms, and digestive problems.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of sparkling water
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons of erythritol
  • Ice cubs
  • Mint
  • 22-inc pieces of ginger

Preparation:

Wash your ginger, peel and grate it. Place the grated ginger in a cheesecloth or muslin and squeeze it until you have 2 tablespoons of ginger juice.  Mix the ginger juice in a jug with other ingredients and serve immediately.

5. Easy Flavored Water

In the past few years, it’s been discovered that store-bought flavored water can have hidden additives. Here’s how you can turn your “plain” water into ketogenic friendly flavored water using ingredients such as raspberries, lime, blueberries, and blackberries.

Preparation:

Slice the lemon into small slices and wash all other ingredients. Then dip a lemon slice and small pieces of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries into a glass of water. Serve over ice.

6. Pink Grapefruit Soda

This is one of the best diet soda alternatives that give the same fizzy feeling as diet soda without artificial sweeteners. It contains real juices from lemon and grapefruit and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family.

Ingredients

  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 cups of sparkling water
  • 1 pink grapefruit, juiced
  • 20 drops of stevia
  • ½ lime juiced

Mix lemon juice, grapefruit juice, 20 drops of liquid stevia, and salt. Divide this mixture into four different serving glasses. Add ice cubes to each glass and fill with sparkling water.

Pink Grapefruit Soda
Pink Grapefruit Soda

Ketosis Smoothies and Other Beverages

Many keto friendly smoothie recipes can help you satisfy your sugar cravings without impacting negatively on your health or affecting your keto lifestyle. The best way to make low carb smoothie or keto smoothies is by using fats like coconut oil, nut butters, or coconut oil and some low carb vegetables like cucumbers, leafy greens, beets or celery and smaller portions of fruits like apples, pears or berries.

Other keto-friendly beverages include unsweetened almond milk, which sugar-free and contain about 30 calories per 8 ounces serving.

Final thoughts on Diet Soda on Keto

Although diet soda may seem like the best way to satisfy your thirst without worrying about calorie intake, its damages to your health exceed the benefits. It doesn’t matter whether it’s calorie-free or carb-free, you should avoid it as long as you want to enjoy the full benefits of a ketogenic diet. Consider our six alternatives; they are all low carb, sweet and good for your health.

Categories
Fat Loss Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Weight Loss

Carbs in Cucumbers: Nutrition Facts, Carbs, Calories and Health Benefits

Cucumbers are keto-friendly veggies thanks to their low carbohydrates content. A half-cup of sliced cucumbers with the peel contains around 1.9 grams net carbs.

There are two types; slicing and pickling cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are mainly used for pickling or processing. They have thin skins, short and their color gradient vary from dark green at the stem to light green at the blossom end. On the other hand, Slicing cucumbers are sold for immediate consumption. They have thick uniform dark green skin and are longer than pickling cucumbers.

Cucumbers can be nutritious low carbs, and low-calorie addition to your keto diet.

How Many Carbs and Calories Are In Cucumbers?

Carbs in Cucumbers:  Nutrition Facts, Carbs, Calories and Health Benefits
How many carbs are in cucumbers?

Below is a table showing cucumber nutrition information according to the data on the USDA website for ½ cucumbers (weight 52 grams).

Cucumber Nutrition Facts

Nutrients Amounts
Carbohydrates 1.89 grams
Calories 7.8
Fat 0.057 grams
Protein 0.338 grams
Sugars 0.868 grams
Sodium 1.04 mg
Fiber 0.26 grams

As earlier indicated, a ½ cup of sliced cucumbers contains or 1.89 grams total carbohydrates. Ketogenic lifestyle advocates for low carbs intake and this fact alone makes cucumbers one of the best keto-friendly fruit.

Additionally, the same half cup of sliced cucumbers contains 7.8 calories. Most of these calories come from the 1.89grams carbs, but some also come from its omega-3 fatty acids and proteins.

Cucumbers also contain tiny traces of minerals magnesium calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron, all which play an essential job on your body’s overall health.

Can You Eat Cucumbers on Keto?

Yes, definitely. Cucumbers are low in carbs and calories but rich in minerals, vitamins, and other important nutrients making them perfect for low-carb diets. Below are the reasons why you should eat cucumbers on keto diet.

Carbs in Cucumbers:  Nutrition Facts, Carbs, Calories and Health Benefits
Consuming cucumbers on a keto diet.
  • Low carb and low calories in cucumbers make it easier to for you to stick to daily carbon limits.
  • Cucumbers have high water content and other electrolytes. Eating cucumbers will help you stick to daily water requirements, and the electrolytes help you fight keto flu.
  • Cucumbers easily satisfy hunger. It’ll make you fuller, reducing cravings for high carb foods.
  • They are versatile and can be included in hundreds of keto-friendly recipes

Incorporating Cucumbers in Your Keto Diet,

There are different types of cucumbers, but they are all keto-friendly fruits. Your taste and preferences will determine the best one for you.

Cucumbers can be eaten raw, cooked, or you can add them to smoothies, salads, low carb sandwiches, and sauces. You can also prepare cucumbers by making soups or preparing cucumber water, which keto-friendly diet soda.

Health Benefits of Cucumbers.

Cucumbers have many different health benefits on our body. They contain Vitamin K, and a single serving provides you with 9% of your daily Vitamin K needs.

1. Facilitates weight loss

If your goal is to lose weight, cucumber is one of the many fruits that will help you achieve weight loss goals. As earlier mentioned, these fruits are low in carbs and calories; therefore you can eat tons of cucumbers without worrying about adding extra pounds.

Cucumbers as a part of your keto diet macros.
Cucumbers as a part of your keto diet macros.

Additionally, cucumbers are refreshing, and they are great for almost every side dish and salad. Because a great percentage is water, cucumbers help facilitate weight loss because proper water intake is one of the requirements in any weight loss diet.

2. Diabetes

According to research, cucumbers can help control and prevent diabetes. They contain Cucurbita ficifolia which can help reduce fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Additionally, studies have shown that cucumber skin can help with symptoms of diabetes. One theory suggests that cucurbitacins compound found in cucumber helps stimulate insulin release and helps in regulating hepatic glycogen, which is a key hormone in blood sugar processing.

3. Hydration

Cucumbers are mostly water and contain important electrolytes. These two factors can help prevent dehydration during those hot summer months or after intensive body workouts.

You can add mint and cucumber to water to increase water consumption by making it tastier to drink.

Maintaining proper hydration levels is very important because it contributes to health intestines, prevents kidney stones, and helps prevent constipation.

Final thoughts

A half-cup of sliced cucumbers contains 1.5g of net carbs, which makes the ketogenic friendly. Additionally, cucumbers contain micronutrients, including Vitamin B5, Vitamin A, C, K, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese that play a crucial role in improving our health. Cucumbers also improve insulin metabolism and may help with pain relief. You can enjoy these green veggies in different ways- you can eat them raw or use them as an ingredient in your recipes.

Categories
Fat Loss Keto Facts Keto Nutrition Weight Loss

Carbs in Broccoli: Is This Veggie Keto Friendly?

Broccoli is a cruciferous edible vegetable in the cabbage family. It’s a low carb veggie a 1 cup (76grams) containing approximately 4.78 grams carbohydrates. Broccoli is rich in dietary fiber, which is good for digestive health. Additionally, this veggie is loaded with lots of minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, tocopherols, and tocotrienols which all play an important role in maintaining overall body health. (Source)

It’s important to note that the amounts of carbs and calories in broccoli highly depends on serving size and preparation methods. Let’s see if Broccoli is a keto-friendly vegetable.

How Many Carbs in Broccoli?

As earlier indicated, carbs and calorie concentration will highly vary depending on the serving sizes. However, the veggies in the cabbage family are generally low-carbs, and broccoli is no exception.

How many carbs in broccoli?

A cup of chopped broccoli (76g) contains around 68.4 grams of water. The total carbohydrate content in the same serving size is 4.78grams.

Net carbs in Broccoli is calculated as follows:

Total carbs minus insoluble fiber =net carbs

In this case,

4.78-1.82= 2.96 grams

The portion (serving size) Amount of Carbs
1 cup (76 grams 4.78
100 grams 6.29

Broccoli contains two types of carbohydrates, which are sugars and fiber. Because fibers are indigestible, they won’t contribute to your overall daily carb intake. They help in enhancing digestive health. The sugars in broccoli include fructose, glucose, and sucrose. These are simple sugars, and because their concentration in broccoli is minimal, they won’t contribute to overall blood glucose fluctuations.

How Many Calories are in Broccoli?

Broccoli is low in carbs, fats, and proteins resulting in lesser calories. A cup of 76 grams raw broccoli contains 24 calories. And because of the low-calorie content, broccoli is considered a valuable addition in any weight loss diet menu.

How many calories are in broccoli?

Can You Eat Broccoli on the Keto Diet

Yes, you can eat broccoli on the keto diet. It’s one of the many and most recommended low carbohydrates veggies for a ketogenic diet. You can eat large, serving daily without worrying about getting kicked out of ketosis. Additionally, this keto-friendly veggie is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which are hard to find on a keto diet.

However, you should keep tabs on your carb intake when adding broccoli to your keto meal plan. It’s very easy to go overboard even with low carb veggie and fruits like cucumbers and strawberries if you don’t calculate your macros. It’s important to keep track of your nutrients intake.

Broccoli Nutritional Facts      

The USDA.GOV provides the following nutrients information for 1 cup of 71g raw sliced broccoli. It’s is considered one of the best foods in terms of nutrients density (Source)

  • Fat 0.3g
  • Calories 31
  • Carbs 6g
  • Sodium 30mg
  • Protein 2.5g
  • Sugars 1.5g
  • Fiber 2.6g

A cup of raw broccoli will give you above your daily requirements for vitamin K and vitamin C. Additionally, broccoli is one of the best sources of folate with a cup serving to provide you with 14% of your daily value (DV). Foliate is an important nutrient during pregnancy.

Other important nutrients in broccoli include potassium (8% DV), manganese (10% DV), and vitamin A and B6 11% DV and 8%DV, respectively. This keto-friendly vegetable is also loaded with almost all other vitamins and minerals but in very minute amounts.

Additionally, a cup of raw chopped broccoli gives 9% daily value of dietary fiber, which is excellent for digestive health.

Health Benefits of Eating Broccoli

Adding broccoli in your weekly keto diet meal plan not only helps you in your overall weight loss journey but also comes with other health benefits. Several studies support the fact that broccoli can help in disease prevention and boosting your overall body health.

Diabetes and Autism

For people with type 2 diabetes, broccoli extracts may be what you need to stay healthy. Sulforaphane in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cabbage could inhibit the activity or expression of the different genes associated with type 2 diabetes.

Scientists gave the extract to 97 people with type 2 diabetes in three months. While non-obese participants in the research never saw any effects, the obese saw the glucose levels decrease by 10% compared with the control group. However the doses administered to these individuals is 100 times that found naturally in broccoli.

Additionally, sulforaphane was also found to relieve symptoms related to autism. Participants who took this extract showed significant improvement in social interactions and verbal communications. (Source)

Anti-inflammation

Broccoli may be what your doctor ordered for osteoarthritis treatment. It’s also an excellent anti-inflammatory remedy which can significantly reduce joint damages associated with osteoarthritis.

According to a 2013 research by University of East Anglia, broccoli’s sulforaphane can help relieve the arthritis symptoms. This chemical compound blocks the enzymes responsible for joint destruction by stopping the main molecule that causes inflammation.

Additionally, broccoli is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and isothiocyanates that help regulate inflammation. A 2010 study suggested that flavonoid kaempferol found in broccoli help reduce the impacts of allergens in the intestinal tract, which can prevent chronic inflammation.

Cancer prevention

Many of the keto-friendly vegetables and fruits have anti-cancer benefits. Eating cruciferous vegetables has been linked with lower risks of cancer particularly colon and lung cancer. This can be attributed to sulforaphane, a chemical extract containing sulfur, which gives cruciferous veggies their bitter taste.

Studies have found out that this chemical compound can hinder the enzyme histone deacetylast (HDAC) known to facilitate the growth of cancer cells.

Additionally, broccoli contains an important vitamin (folate), which has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer. Sufficient amounts of this vitamin have also shown to help prevent against stomach, colon, cervical and pancreatic cancers. (Source) While the mechanism behind cancer protection isn’t fully understood, scientists believe that it may be something to do with folate’s role in RNA and DNA production and mutations prevention.

Glowing Tight Skin

Broccoli contains antioxidant vitamin C., And when eaten raw it can help prevent skin damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun and pollution. It also helps prevent wrinkles and improves skin texture.

One cup of broccoli provides 81 milligrams, which is more than recommended daily value. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen formation which is the primary support system for the skin. Additionally, vitamin A and E in broccoli are also vital for healthy-looking skin.

Enhance the immune system

Vitamin C in broccoli plays a vital role in both innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, studies have confirmed that the chemical compound sulforaphane in broccoli helps in enhancing immune system functioning. (Source)

Raw, Steamed or Boiled: Which Is the Best for Ketogenic Diet?

Because broccoli is a low carb veggie, you can eat it raw, steamed, or boiled. However you should note that the way you prepare it can affect the nutrients you get.

If your aim is lose weight and also get anti-cancer benefits, be sure not to cook the veggie too long.

A 2007 research by the University of Warwick found out that boiling broccoli can affect its effectiveness in fighting cancer. Boiling results in losses in vital cancer-fighting nutrients and steaming, microwaving, or stir-frying doesn’t result in significant decline in cancer-fighting nutrients. Raw broccoli is excellent for ketogenic diet as it retains all of its nutrients.

Eating Broccoli on Keto Diet

Because broccoli is a keto-friendly vegetable, you should eat it regularly more than three times a week. To get the full benefits, including anti-cancer benefits, you should avoid boiling it and instead steam or eat it raw. Below are best ways to prepare broccoli:

Buy it fresh

Freezing broccoli affects its nutritional value, especially with water-soluble vitamins such as B vitamins and Vitamin C and some minerals. When buying fresh avoid broccoli with signs of discoloration (browning or yellowing) and choose ones with vibrant green color.

Eat stems and leaves

Don’t throw away the leaves and stems because they contain vital health-enhancing compounds. The stems take longer to cook, so make sure you cook them first. The leaves are high when eat raw or used as ingredients in soups, smoothies, and salads.

Final Thoughts on Broccoli on Ketosis

Eating broccoli won’t kick you out of ketosis. While it’s a ketogenic friendly vegetable, broccoli should be eaten in moderation. Besides being a great addition to a ketogenic lifestyle, this veggie is also rich in other important nutrients that have immense benefits in disease prevention and boosting the immune system. To get the best out of your piece of broccoli, eat it raw, steamed, or cooked in the microwave.