Lots of people have, for their entire lives, used food as a reward. To restrict their own reward, and then not be allowed to have their reward after they succeed is tough. It’s like going into an apathetic void of brain fog and sadness. And sure, you can rewire your habits over time and eventually your body will self-regulate so hunger won’t be an issue anymore, but it takes time. This period is a trial by fire where many people fail.
While there are probably plenty of pre-made bean and veggie soup options that just need a few minutes to heat through on the stovetop, making your own soup is really easy—and a great idea for your health. Homemade soups are much lower in sodium – about 100 milligrams or less per 2-cup serving. By contrast, 2 cups of many canned soups contain a blood-pressure-busting 1,200 milligrams or more, a worrisome amount considering that health experts recommend consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium for the entire day. This is also a great way to use up all those leftover vegetables in your crisper—pretty much anything works in this soup.
Controlling your portions during meals and snacks requires no special skills, no financial commitment, no special food preparation, and you can always eat what everyone else is eating. It does require a little bit of research to find out proper food portion sizes for weight loss, but that investigation can take ten minutes or less. Many organizations, like the National Institutes of Health, provide a printable card that you can carry with you for reference.
Jonathan Valdez, registered dietitian and owner of Genki Nutrition, agrees. "The catechins in green tea promote fat loss by increasing energy expenditure, fat oxidation, and decreased lipid absorption by the intestine. Valdez believes that even though tea can be used as a fat burner, this shouldn’t promote excess caloric intake. "In the end, over-consumption will trump this process and lead to weight gain. Drinking these teas should be used as more of a complement to weight loss with current habits of decreasing calories and physical activity. Bottom line, tea shouldn’t be relied on as a source of burning calories versus cutting calories and physical activity."
Whether salty soup or beer is to blame for your bulging belly, lemon tea can help fight the bloat thanks to its D-limonene content. The antioxidant compound, which is found in citrus rind oil, has been used for its diuretic effects since ancient times. But until recently, there were no scientific findings to back the claims. An animal study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology confirmed D-Limonene has a therapeutic effect on metabolic disorders in mice with high-fat-diet-induced obesity
Consumption of protein-rich food is vital in many weight-loss programs because protein fills you up faster; thus, you need less food to be satisfied. According to Stephanie Goldfinger of vegetarian website Cooking for Luv, proteins are available in many forms, which makes them convenient to incorporate into meals because they can be eaten raw or cooked quickly. Protein powders are ideal for a grab-and-go breakfast or mid-day smoothie, while other plant-based proteins such as tempeh, beans, lentils, quinoa, and oats are versatile and can serve as the main component of a veggie burrito, salad, or stir-fry.
Consuming bilberries, a northern European cousin to the blueberry, may help reduce bloat-inducing inflammation, according to a study published in the journal *Molecular Nutrition & Food Research*. To come to these findings, researchers divided participants into two groups; one group was given a diet that included an equivalent of 1.5 cups of blueberries, while the other group followed a control diet that didn’t include the fruit. At the end of the experiment, the bilberry-eating group had significantly less inflammation than their counterparts who didn’t munch on the berry. Since the fruit is native to Northern Europe, it isn’t widely available in the US. To reap the benefits, enjoy a few cups of bilberry tea.
Burdock is also a popular ingredient. It’s a plant root that promotes healthy liver cells and purifies the blood. Yerba mate is made from dried leaves of an evergreen holly and has the benefits of tea and coffee. It boosts energy and increases alertness without causing jitters like coffee, and is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B2, iron, and flavonoids and amino acids.
Studies found that people who keep food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t. Watch out for weekends: A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat. Then cut out or down calories from spreads, dressings, sauces, condiments, drinks, and snacks; they could make the difference between weight gain and loss. Here are 50 easy ways to lose weight naturally.
Conversely, the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat—regardless of how hungry you are. So instead of using regular dinner plates that range these days from 10 to 14 inches (making them look empty if they’re not heaped with food), serve your main course on salad plates (about 7 to 9 inches wide). Instead of 16-ounce glasses and oversized coffee mugs, return to the old days of 8-ounce glasses and 6-ounce coffee cups.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 65 percent of American adults age 20 and up are overweight or obese, but the prevalence of obesity among vegetarians and vegans is below 10 percent. On average, the body weights of both male and female vegetarians are three percent to 20 percent lower than omnivores. Research has also found that switching to a healthy vegan diet leads to weight loss, even without changes to exercise or limits on portion size, calories, or carbohydrates. And, studies have found an increase in calorie burn after vegan meals, meaning plant-based foods may be used more efficiently as fuel for the body, as opposed to being stored as fat—pretty powerful support for a plant-based diet. But in my years of private practice I’ve also seen people gain weight by going vegetarian, when they don’t get the right balance. Here are some veggie dos and don’t’s:
Big salad of baby greens with Pritikin-Style Thousand Island Dressing, which has less than one-quarter the calories and sodium of regular Thousand Island Dressing. What a gift for your heart and waistline! To make dressing, combine thoroughly the following: ¾ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, ½ cup fat-free sour cream, ¾ cup unsweetened, low-sodium ketchup (good brand is Westbrae), ½ teaspoon oregano, and ½ teaspoon granulated garlic.
Chamomile-and-lavender tea wards off fatigue and depression by reducing the stress that comes with insomnia. And reduced stress prevents increased levels of inflammation, which have been directly tied to weight and blood sugar disorders like obesity and diabetes. One German study found that chamomile tea significantly improved the physical symptoms related to a lack of sleep, and even helped reduced levels of depression in the chronically sleep-deprived. Another study found that it improved daytime wakefulness in people who suffered from a lack of sleep. Here’s the funny thing about chamomile: Although it’s the most popular tea for bedtime, there’s actually no evidence that it improves the length or quality of sleep.
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