3 Hormones to Keep in Mind for Weight Loss

Food & Nutrition
3 Hormones to Keep in Mind for Weight Loss

If hormones were people, they’d be pretty boring. See, hormones prefer the status quo, and they’re always trying to maintain homeostasis and keep your body the same.

But, like the friend who you can always manage to coax into trying a new restaurant, you can work with hormones and use them to help you lose weight.

Here are three hormones that play a role in weight regulation and how you can get them to work with you.

LEPTIN

Produced by fat cells, leptin signals to the brain how much fat is in the body, explains Dr. Scott Isaacs, medical director of Atlanta Endocrine Associates. When leptin levels are low, you tend to feel hungry, and when leptin levels are high, you tend to feel full.

But it’s more complicated than that, Isaacs adds. “As you start to develop obesity, you start to become resistant to leptin,” he explains. “So you may have high levels of leptin, but the brain isn’t registering that.” This can put you at risk for heart problems and diabetes, adds Susan Carnell, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Hormone hack: Some research suggests physical activity can help manage leptin levels. Although any exercise may help, resistance training appears to be more efficient at reducing leptin levels, according to a recent review of studies on overweight and obese middle-aged adults published in PLOS One. As a bonus, being more active can also help you lose weight.

Sleep is also key. “Leptin is made in your sleep. That’s one reason people with sleep deprivation are hungrier,” Isaacs explains. Research has demonstrated both acute and chronic sleep deprivation decrease leptin levels, so make good sleep habits a priority.

GHRELIN

The ying to leptin’s yang, ghrelin is produced by the stomach and often referred to as the hunger hormone. It’s highest when your stomach is empty and decreases after you eat. “It does many useful things in the body, like getting the stomach ready to process food,” Carnell explains. “We also know that if ghrelin increases, people are spurred to seek out food, and that stress can produce an increase in ghrelin.”

The combination of stress and increased ghrelin can be especially hard later in the day, according to a small recent study by Carnell and other researchers. “The evening may be a biological ‘high-risk period’ for overeating, particularly when paired with the experience of stress and if you’re prone to binge eating,” she says.

Hormone hack: Again, managing stress is key, as is making sleep a priority since deprivation can increase ghrelin levels. Additionally, Isaacs recommends eating high-fiber, high-protein foods, which will help keep you fuller longer.

CORTISOL

Although it’s thought of as a stress hormone because it’s secreted to help us decide whether to fight or flight, cortisol also promotes insulin secretion. “This makes us store fat on our bodies, particularly around our waists, which is not good for our health,” Carnell explains. “And it can increase our appetite.”

Hormone hack: Managing stress and how you cope with it is key to losing weight, Carnell says. Find what works for you, whether that’s making a cup of tea when you reach your mental boiling point, going for a daily jog or enjoying some time in nature. If you tend to stress eat, it may help to keep your go-to foods out of the house, Carnell adds.

 

Source:

BY BRITTANY RISHER

12 Slow-Cooked Meat-Lover Meals Under 450 Calories

Fitness on a Budget, Food & Nutrition, recipes, Uncategorized
    12 Slow-Cooked Meat-Lover Meals Under 450 Calories

Coming home after a tiring workday? Waking up late on a lazy Sunday morning? Some days you want nothing more than a hot, nourishing meal waiting for you at the table. That’s why we’ve gathered 12 meaty slow-cooker meals, bursting with flavor and protein, that let you just set it and forget it!

1. CROCK-POT BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS | SKINNYTASTE

All the flavors of Buffalo wings without all the added fat and calories? Sign us up! Try these at your next tailgating party. They’re so tasty, your guests won’t even miss the real deal. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1/2 cup chicken and veggies each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 148; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 56mg; Sodium: 879mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 25g

2. SLOW COOKER COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN | BOYS AHOY

One taste of this spiced coconut curry chicken will leave your mouth craving more. Onions, carrots and bell peppers bulk up this easy recipe. To soak up the creamy curry sauce, serve with whole-grain rice, naan or noodles. If you’re a fan of heat, kick it up a notch with diced chili peppers or hot sauce. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 366; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 12g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 769mg; Carbohydrate: 24g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 38g

3. SLOW-COOKER LATIN CHICKEN WITH BLACK BEANS AND SWEET POTATOES | DELISH

Got 15 minutes in the morning? Prep this quick Latin chicken, and come home to spicy and smoky aromas wafting from your kitchen. This dish contains sweet potatoes and black beans, which provide a substantial amount of your daily fiber needs, at 7 grams per serving. Recipe makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 449; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 369mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 43g

4. SLOW COOKER IRISH BEEF STEW | COOK SMARTS

Simmer budget-friendly beef stew meats to tender, fall-apart perfection using your slow cooker. The trick is to tenderize the beef before cooking, then let it stew slowly using the gentle heat from your slow cooker. It’s hard to be patient when your home smells so delicious, but, trust us, it’s worth the wait. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 363; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 9mg; Sodium: 582mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 27g

5. SLOW-COOKER PORK SLIDERS | MYFITNESSPAL’S ORIGINAL RECIPES

Slide these comforting Cuban sliders into your lunch box! This recipe uses lean pork shoulder simmered in a sweet, citrusy broth made from fresh orange and lime. Serve the meat on one whole-grain slider bun with a slice of Swiss cheese and some pickles for a complete meal. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 slider each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 415; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 133mg; Sodium: 890mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 43g

6. SLOW COOKER BARBACOA SHORT BEEF RIB TACOS | CAFE DELITES

Tender, juicy meat falling off the bone, rich in barbacoa flavors, is a surefire sign of a satisfying meal. Once you’re ready to eat, set up a taco station with bowls of cilantro, onion and avocado because — let’s be honest — garnishes make tacos extra delectable. Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 taco each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 363; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 88mg; Sodium: 559mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 30g

7. SLOW COOKER TURKEY CHILI | SKINNYTASTE

This mild, kid-friendly chili is made with lean ground turkey, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and spices. Top with with crunchy baked tortilla chips, and watch your little ones gobble it up. This chili can also be made in large batches for freezing and reheating. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 222; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 74mg; Sodium: 719mg; Total Carbohydrates: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 32g

8. CROCK POT CHICKEN TACOS | THE COZY COOK

Cumin-and-garlic-infused chicken gently simmers with black beans and corn for a nutritious, no-fuss Mexican-inspired dinner the whole family will enjoy. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 flour tortilla + 1/8 filling each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 376; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 69mg; Sodium: 656mg; Carbohydrate: 42g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 25g

9. SLOW COOKER TACO MEAT | COUPON CLIPPING COOK

Slow-cooked and saucy, this taco meat is brimming with seasonings — from oregano and cumin to garlic and chili powder — for maximum taste bud satisfaction. This is a recipe that’ll have you wanting to lick your fingers clean! Recipe makes 8 servings at 2 crispy taco shells + 1/8 filling each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 406; Total Fat: 22g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 71mg; Sodium: 255mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 24g

10. EASY SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHILI | HEALTHY NIBBLES & BITS

Come home to a warm, nourishing bowl of stew that soothes the soul — without needing to actually cook. This easy chicken chili takes only 10 minutes of prep time — your slow cooker handles the rest. By the time you get home, you’ll have a chunky chili packed with chicken, beans and veggies in addition to an entire house filled with inviting, savory aromas! Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 248; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 52mg; Sodium: 390mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 24g

11. SLOW COOKER JERK CHICKEN | THE HEALTHY MAVEN

This recipe for jerk chicken bathes chicken drumsticks in a flavorful jerk spice, slow-cooks it for four hours and quick-broils it for added crispiness. Imagine coming home to that meal! This dish pairs well with rice, beans and/or a side salad for a complete meal. Recipe makes 5 servings at 2 drumsticks each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 253 ; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Sodium: 376 mg; Carbohydrate: 6 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 4 g; Protein 34 g

12. SLOW COOKER ASIAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS | COOKING CLASSY

Sweet and salty, these Asian chicken lettuce wraps make an easy lunch or dinner with only 15 minutes of prep! Crisp iceberg lettuce makes this dish all the more refreshing and lower in carbs — a double win! Not a fan of lettuce? Serve over a bed of shredded cabbage or mixed greens instead. Recipe makes 6 servings at 2 wraps each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 338; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 723mg; Carbohydrate: 32g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 34g

 BY MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

8 Food Myths You Need To Stop Believing

Fitness on a Budget, Food & Nutrition, Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, recipes, Uncategorized
8 Food Myths You Need To Stop Believing

You can find healthy eating advice on every corner. That doesn’t mean it’s good advice, though. Nutrition research can be confusing, and it’s always changing. Throw in the sensationalistic headlines and the rate at which information is spread, and it’s no wonder the nutrition tips or suggestions you get from your friend are unsound. Best-case scenario, following bad advice means you unnecessarily avoid your favorite foods. Worst-case, you end up choosing the unhealthier option all while thinking you’re making a better choice.

We zeroed in on eight myths about healthy eating that especially need to die.

MYTH #1: EGG YOLKS ARE BAD FOR YOU

Dietary cholesterol has been wrongly accused of raising our blood cholesterol levels for years. It’s become clearer that saturated fats and trans fats are more influential in raising blood cholesterol levels. And while eggs—the yolks included—are high in cholesterol, they are relatively low in saturated fats. Lots of research has been done in recent years, and the verdict is that the entire egg can actually be a part of a healthy diet and in most people, do not significantly impact cholesterol levels or heart disease risk.

MYTH #2: COFFEE IS DEHYDRATING

Yes, coffee is a diuretic (aka, promotes urine production), but it’s an extremely mild one. It also has a lot of water in it and therefore actually counts toward your daily fluid intake. The amount it would take to dehydrate you is more than anyone should be consuming in a day—if you have two or three cups daily, your fluid levels will be completely fine.

MYTH #3: NATURAL SUGAR IS DIFFERENT FROM ADDED SUGAR

Sugar is sugar is sugar. On a molecular level, the sugar in an apple is the same as the sugar you spoon into your coffee cup. There can be a difference in how our bodies break down the sugar when it’s combined with other nutrients like fiber and protein, but simply being natural doesn’t cut it. Sugar in a whole fruit comes with fiber and helps slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes. That’s better than sugar that comes void of other nutrients. But when you squeeze out the juice and drink it, or eat maple syrup, agave syrup, or honey, your body reacts the same way it would to table sugar or the sugar in a Coke.

 

MYTH #4: ORGANIC FOOD IS AUTOMATICALLY HEALTHY

The word “organic” comes with a big health halo around it, like everything with the label is automatically good for you. The truth is that organic snacks are still snacks. Eating them in excess isn’t suddenly OK because they meet the requirements for an organic label. “Organic chocolate syrup is still chocolate syrup,” Caroline Kaufman, R.D., tells SELF. Organic cookies, crackers, chips, and candies have the same amount of sugar, fat, and empty calories as non-organic versions. When it comes to produce, choosing organic versions of the “dirty dozen”—the foods that typically have the highest amount of pesticides on them—is a good way to cut back on chemical exposure. But Kaufman adds that conventionally grown produce is still safe to eat, since it’s monitored to ensure pesticide residue stays below a certain limit.

MYTH #5: MARGARINE IS AUTOMATICALLY BETTER THAN BUTTER

Margarine become popular in the fat-is-bad era, but many actually contain trans fats, which are worse for you than the naturally occurring saturated fat in butter. Butter’s ingredient list is short and sweet and doesn’t contain extra ingredients to make up for lack of taste. Not all fake butter is bad, but you have to be cautious about what you’re buying. “I always look at the ingredient list first,” Lori Zanini, R.D., spokesperson for the Association of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF. “Stick margarines are not recommended due to the fact that they contain hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats). Spreads that are in tubs can be considered, just make sure the ingredients are beneficial,” she adds. Look for ones with olive oil to get a good dose of healthy plant-based fat.

MYTH #6: SALADS ARE ALWAYS THE HEALTHIEST OPTION ON THE MENU

You’d think that choosing the salad is safe. But all the add-ons piled atop a bed of lettuce can make the sugar, fat, and calorie count just as high as the mouthwatering burger you’re trying to resist. “Watch out for tricky salad toppings that add up quickly: creamy, bottled dressings; cheese; bacon; croutons; or sweetened, dried fruit,” Zanini says. Other ingredients, like avocado and nuts, are healthy in small amounts but are usually served in too-large portion sizes, Kaufman says. To make sure your salad is as healthy as possible, look for one with leafy greens, lean protein (fried chicken doesn’t count), a small serving of healthy fat, and an oil-based dressing on the side. The oil helps you absorb all the fat-soluble nutrients you’re eating, and keeps you away from caloric creamy dressing.

MYTH #7: LOW-FAT VERSIONS ARE BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS

If you’re still buying low-fat varieties of naturally fatty foods (I’m looking at you, coffee creamer), you might be doing yourself a disservice. “Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. You need fat in your diet. Fat is not bad. Fat does not go directly to your hips,” Kaufman reassures. Any extra calories you eat that your body can’t use can be converted into body fat, not just dietary fat. Fat is more densely caloric, though, which is both a blessing and a curse. “Because fat is so rich in calories, it is also very satisfying. That’s good because ideally it means you could mindfully eator use a small amount to feel full,” says Kaufman. It also means you need to watch your portion sizes. When fat is removed from foods, it’s usually replaced by sugar or salt, so it’s important to read the ingredients list before choosing the adulterated version. Usually, you’re better off eating a small serving of the full-fat kind so you actually enjoy it and feel satiated, Kaufman says.

MYTH #8: EVERYONE WILL BENEFIT FROM GIVING UP GLUTEN

“Eating gluten free is not necessarily healthier if you do not have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance/sensitivity,” Zanini says. It’s also important to note that not all gluten-free foods are created equally, or healthfully. “Gluten-free breads and baked goods may still use nutrient-poor, refined flours,” she explains. They can also be high in sugar. If you think you might be sensitive to gluten, or have any of the symptoms of Celiac disease, see an R.D. to ask about being tested. If wheat products don’t make you feel crummy, swearing them off isn’t going to make you a healthier person.

Source: by Self

6 Ways to Blast Belly Fat in 14 Days — Complete PT Solutions

Fitness on a Budget, Food & Nutrition, Uncategorized

Start with these simple day-by-day changes to your daily routine to lose belly fat in just 2 weeks!

via 6 Ways to Blast Belly Fat in 14 Days — Complete PT Solutions

5 Healthy, Kid-Approved Halloween Snacks—No Tricks, Just Treats

Uncategorized

    

5 Healthy, Kid-Approved Halloween Snacks—No Tricks, Just Treats

Remember what Halloween used to be like? Plastic, jack-o-lantern buckets filled with candy, candy, and still more candy. Today, with nutrition experts warning against too much added sugar, all those fun-sized treats are now frowned upon. What are kids to do? What are parents supposed to do? Bring back the fun—and still keep things healthy—with these homemade Halloween snack ideas.

1. MAKE JACK-O-LANTERN SNACKS AND MEALS

To make every day foods more festive, think like a pumpkin and start carving. Try cutting spooky faces into oranges for a fun lunch box snack. Or carve orange peppers before stuffing them with Mexican-spiced beans and rice, and bake them for dinner. A great party trick: Arrange carrots in the shape of a jack-o-lantern, with olives or cucumbers for a smile, and small cups of hummus dip for eyes.

2. SERVE CANDY CORN FRUIT PARFAITS

Candy corn is delicious, but it’s not healthy—and it certainly doesn’t help kids learn about healthy foods. Make a candy corn-themed parfait instead. Fill a glass with a layer of tangerines, then a layer of pineapple, and top it with a dollop of whipped cream or coconut cream. Finish it off with an actual piece of candy corn for effect.

3. SCARE UP SOME TRAIL MIX

Combine chopped chocolate chips, raw coconut flakes, and almonds, and portion the mixture out into small containers for your kids. It’s a decadent treat without excess sugar or preservatives—I promise, your kids won’t miss those mini candy bars.

4. ENJOY FROZEN BOO-NANAS

Cut bananas in half and add a popsicle stick at the bottom. Take a few chocolate chips and pop them into the banana halves to create eyes and mouths. Then, freeze them for a delicious, spooky dessert.

5. TRY SPOOKY MONSTER GRILLS

My favorite Halloween snack? These Monster Grills, pictured above. They’re healthy, silly, and perfect for kids. I love munching on them after a run for a boost of healthy protein and carbs. Here’s the recipe:

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my Healthy Halloween Pinterest Board. And follow MyFitnessPal on Pinterest while you’re at it.

6 Easy Egg Recipes Under 250 Calories

Food & Nutrition, recipes, Uncategorized

Eggs are a top-logged food for a reason. High in protein and supremely versatile, eggs aren’t just for breakfast. These simple, quick egg dishes are ready in minutes and a great way to start, or end, your day.

1. SOY SAUCE AND GREEN ONION SCRAMBLED EGGS | BOWL OF DELICIOUS

With a total preparation time of 5 minutes, this recipe is a no-brainer. Using low-sodium soy sauce adds flavor without unnecessary additional sodium. Recipe makes 2 servings at 2 eggs each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 218; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 372mg; Sodium: 374mg; Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 14g

2. BREAKFAST EGG CUP | HELLO GLOW

Eggs, bacon and vegetables offer everything you want in a meal without the hassle. Add the ingredients together in an oven-safe container, then bake while you get ready. Recipe makes 2 servings at 2 eggs each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 244; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 377mg; Sodium: 374mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 15g

3. CHEESY ZUCCHINI QUINOA EGG MUFFINS | SPOONFUL OF FLAVOR

This simple recipe can be prepped in advance and frozen for those moments when you don’t have time to cook. Recipe makes 10 servings at 1 muffin each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 70; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 76mg; Sodium: 174mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 6g

4. 5-MINUTE SALTY-SWEET BREAKFAST | IOWA GIRL EATS

Use the last of your summer peaches in this sweet-and-savory egg dish. Ready in 5 minutes and providing 6 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein, this is an ideal post-workout meal. Recipe makes 1 serving at 1 egg each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 225; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 179mg; Sodium: 287mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 12g

5. SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH MATCHA AND LIME | A COUPLE COOKS

Matcha is making headlines as an energy-boosting superfood, so why not add it to your eggs? Its subtle flavor is brightened by a splash of lime for an easy scramble featuring 13 grams of protein. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2 eggs each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 168; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 377mg; Sodium: 443mg; Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 13g

6. EGG WHITE SCRAMBLE | I FOOD REAL

Egg whites are a good way to increase your protein since more than half of the protein comes from the white. This scramble comes in at less than 150 calories per serving and packs a generous 17 grams of protein. Recipe makes 2 servings at 3 egg whites each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 127; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 300mg; Carbohydrate: 11g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 17g

Source: My Fitness Pal

Workout With No Shirt- F IT!

Before & After Photos, Built Like A Brick, fitness, Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, Uncategorized

WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ME!!! 😠😠😠😠 That working out with no shirt on was so liberating! Like, Why didn’t you skinny heffas tell me!! I mean I see you flaunting your midsection but I was never told how freeing it is!

Yeah, my little fat pouch be bouncing around but I DGAF! I’ve worked hard to get here and I’ll continue to work to get to where I want to be. I’ve also noticed when I take off my shirt, whoever I’m working with does the same thing. Fat or skinny!! Be free, be proud of how far you’ve come and keep working on getting better! You were born 2 Be Epic! 💯

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