Soy products can be the easiest and most convenient “go-to” items when transitioning to a vegan diet. Soy isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but it is imperative that attention be paid to the amount of processed products in a meal plan. For instance, a tofu scramble for breakfast, soy veggie burger for lunch, and pad Thai with tofu for dinner is excessive. Instead, choose vegan cheese made with nuts, a black bean burger, or a pad Thai with vegetables and tempeh for whole-food versions of your favorite foods.
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.
As serving sizes have increased, so have plate sizes—and seeing appropriately sized portions swimming on a giant plate can make you feel like you're not getting much food. Put your main meal on a 7-inch plate, which is about the size of a salad plate or child-size plate. Choose a 1-cup dessert or cereal bowl instead of a soup bowl, a 6-ounce wineglass rather than a goblet. When you’re eating out, ask for an extra salad plate and transfer the proper-size portions of your food onto it when you’re served your entree. Then ask the waiter to take away and wrap up the rest.
"Anytime you’re stressed, you probably go for food," Dr. Seltzer says. (Have we met?!) That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, stokes your appetite for sugary, fatty foods. No wonder it’s associated with higher body weight, according to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure by looking at cortisol concentrations in more than 2,000 adults’ hair.
Here’s a great example: For the same number of calories that are in a handful of peanuts (about two ounces), you can eat 2½ pounds of strawberries (about five of those green boxes that strawberries come in.) Eating “big” foods like strawberries, salads, and other fruits and vegetables can prevent hunger from taking over and taking you places you don’t want to go
You don’t need to make the switch overnight, either. To lose weight or reap the benefits of a vegetarian diet, there’s no set number of meatless meals you need to eat each week, says Haynes. “But choosing more plant-based options more often has been shown to promote a wide variety of health benefits,” she says. “There’s a movement called Meatless Mondays that has brought this idea to the attention of a wider audience. Starting with one day a week, one meal a day, then expanding as you feel comfortable can benefit anyone!”
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