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.
While manufacturers of weight loss pills continue to promote the convenience and rapid results associated with their products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other health authorities warn against their use. Some of the main reasons that appetite-suppressing weight loss pills are considered to be at least somewhat dangerous include medication interactions, tainted or unlisted ingredients, high amounts of caffeine, and fillers or synthetic additives that cause negative reactions, just to name few.
You’ve heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you keep focusing on things you can’t do, like resisting junk food or getting out the door for a daily walk, chances are you won’t do them. Instead (whether you believe it or not) repeat positive thoughts to yourself. “I can lose weight.” “I will get out for my walk today.” “I know I can resist the pastry cart after dinner.” Repeat these phrases and before too long, they will become true for you.
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.
Eating dessert every day can be good for you, as long as you don’t overdo it. Make a spoonful of ice cream the jewel and a bowl of fruit the crown. Cut down on the chips by pairing each bite with lots of chunky, filling fresh salsa, suggests Jeff Novick, director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Florida. Balance a little cheese with a lot of fruit or salad.
Goji tea cranks up calorie burn by 10%. Lycium barbarum, the plant from which gojis are harvested, is a traditional Asian medicinal therapy for diabetes, but it also boasts a slimming effect. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants were either given a single dose of L. barbarum or a placebo after a meal. The researchers found that one hour after the dose, the goji group was burning calories at a rate 10 percent higher than the placebo group. The effects lasted up to four hours! Most goji teas are mixed with green tea, further boosting your calorie burn.
Apple cider vinegar aids weight loss by mobilizing fat. Have a substantial breakfast containing fruits, chia seeds, milk, and a carrot muffin. You can skip the carrot muffin if you are full. Drink green tea if you start feeling a little hungry after 2-3 hours. It will help keep your hunger pangs at bay. Apple is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Quinoa salad and full-fat yogurt will provide your body with dietary fiber, protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Drink green tea and have half a cup of popcorn 2-3 hours post lunch. Kidney beans are a great source of protein, and carrot, cucumber, and beetroot will help balance the dinner by providing enough good carbs, minerals, and vitamins. Warm milk with turmeric will help you sleep better.
Ah, quinoa. This healthy, rich-tasting whole grain/seed has so many nutritional riches that it puts refined grains like white rice to shame. Tofu is the perfect sidekick because it’s both waistline-friendly (per bite, tofu tends to have about one-third the calories of meat and poultry) and heart-friendly (tofu has no artery-damaging saturated fat or cholesterol).
Born from leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant, this South American weight-loss tea is rife with stimulating chemicals like caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. In a study in animals that ate a high-fat diet, those that consumed yerba mate had lower blood sugar levels and didn’t gain as much weight as those that didn’t consume the drink. Plus, obese people taking an yerba mate supplement for 12 weeks lost more fat compared to a placebo group, in a 2015 study in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Yerba mate is considered a substitute for coffee—without the bitterness—so try it in place of your morning Joe tomorrow. (Consider these fat-releasing habits to help you slim down.)
Mate tea is known for its powerful thermogenic effects—meaning it turns up your body’s calorie burning mechanism—and can also promote weight loss by improving insulin sensitivity. In a recent study, participants were divided into two groups. One group took a placebo 60 minutes prior to exercising, while the other group ingested 1000 mg capsule of yerba maté. Researchers found that those who consumed the herb increased the beneficial effects their workout had on their metabolism without the workout. Plus, this brew is like green tea on steroids, with up to 90 percent more powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, a cache of B vitamins, and plenty of chromium, which helps stabilize blood-sugar levels.
Mansour, M. S., Ni, Y.-M., Roberts, A. L., Kelleman, M., RoyChoudhury, A., & St-Onge, M.-P. (2013, October 1). Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study. Metabolism, 61(10), 1347–1352. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408800/