Thought I’d brag a little about my weight loss. First I lost a lot of weight, then I got sloppy in the summer/fall, suffered a sugar relapse and gained some back, and now I’ve lost it all again. And then some. This has to be the easiest weight loss ever. No calorie-counting, no weighing of food, no hunger or self-starvation. A lot of energy, and I’m stronger than ever. I’ve broken personal records in ALL exercises at the gym, in the running track, in fact everything I’ve tried. This despite the fact that I used to exercise double the amount when I ate a high-carbohydrate diet, but didn’t come close to where I am now in strength and good shape.

"Kibbeh" describes dishes made with bulgur, onions and spices. That mixture is combined with everything from tomatoes to goat. It's layered and baked, shaped into balls or footballs, stuffed, deep-fried or eaten raw. This vegetarian kibbeh recipe is made with pumpkin and stuffed with seasoned greens. Sorrel adds a lemony flavor, but you can use chard or kale and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the filling. Use fine bulgur or the texture of the dough will be gritty.

Get spicy! According to recent research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can boost metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own. Not to mention that for those who don't regularly eat spicy meals, adding cayenne pepper cuts an average of 60 calories from their next meal. Do that at two meals a day for a month and you'll lose 4 pounds without even trying!

Keep in mind that the first time that you sit down and plan meals to lose weight the process will take a little longer. But once you have a system in place, you'll breeze through the ritual—you might even start to enjoy it. Getting organized feels good and reaching your weight loss goals feels even better. So take enough time to follow through with the prep steps to get used to your diet plan and stay on track. 
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