Backyard barbecues are a real minefield when you”;re trying to lose weight and stay healthy. First, most of them are a carnivore”;s delight–;lots of steak, burgers and bratwurst sizzling irresistibly on the grill. Second, cookouts redefine salad as “;something soaking in high-fat mayonnaise.”; And the desserts? Fuggedaboutit, even if you do have room after that outdoor feast.
But if you choose to step away from your diet plan to take in the festivities, you can till successfully stay on track at the BBQ by making good choices and doing a little prep. First, know which foods to stay away from (or at least to keep to a teeny tiny portion size). Click here to get our list of the 5 Worst Calorie Bombs at the BBQ. Then, be smart about the food choices you make while there. Here’s how to keep winning at weight loss without missing out on the fun:
1. Volunteer to Bring the Apps
If you don”;t want your only choice to be chips and high-calorie onion dip or a cheese and sausage tray, offer to bring a gorgeous cut veggie plate with low-fat dip, or baked chips with salsa or hummus.
How to Get Your Grill BBQ-Ready
2. BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat)
Easy enough to do when you”;re hosting and much appreciated by your hosts when you”;re not, since meat is the most expensive part of the meal. Check first that your host is okay with it. If he or she is planning a gourmet feast of kobe beef or individual quail, you may just want to exercise portion control. But it”;s just as easy to throw a turkey or veggie burger or hot dog on the grill when the grillmaster is cooking regular burgers and brats. Friends are usually happy to accommodate you.
If you have the choice, go for grilled chicken, fish or lean beef. Even a regular hot dog is less fatty and calorie-laden than other kinds of sausage. Save a load of calories and carbs by saying no to the bun and cheese. Avoid mayo. Stick to mustard, dill relish or a little ketchup (just a little since it”;s full of sugar which can stimulate your appetite).
3. Take a Small Scoop of Coleslaw
Even if it”;s made with high-fat mayonnaise, one serving (around three ounces) is only about 172 calories and has two grams of fiber (thank you cabbage!), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Better yet, make your own–;just substitute low-cal mayo for the regular or do a vinegar-based dressing and you can cut the calories by as much a two-thirds.
4. Have Some Baked Beans
Stick to half a cup or less because they”;re high in calories. One cup has more than 300 of them, depending on the brand. But they”;re high in satisfying fiber–;half a cup of Bush”;s Original, for example, has five grams of fiber for only 150 calories.* Be sure to opt for low-sodium varieties if you’re the bean-bringer.
5. Load Up on Green Salad
This time of year, produce is abundant. Bring your own green salad (add lots of low-cal veggies) to share as well as bottle of low-cal dressing. Or, opt for grilled veggie kebabs, which are full of fiber and go light on calories.
6. Have Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
The chances of someone making this? Pretty slim. But you don”;t have to be much of a cook to throw together an awesome pasta salad. Pick a fun shape, like corkscrew (fusilli), wagon wheels, bowties or gemelli. Add some veggies, like halved cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, snapbeans (blanched a little to soften them), grated carrots, edamame (soybeans), corn, scallions, peppers, onions or whatever you have fresh. Punch up the flavor with fresh herbs, like basil, oregano or mint or even shavings of ginger with a light dressing of olive oil and balsamic or flavored vinegar with a touch of Dijon mustard to bind it. A sprinkling of fat-free feta adds some protein with very few calories.
7. For Dessert, Think Fresh or Frozen
End your meal with a slice of watermelon, a scoop of fruit salad or fruity sorbet, or a healthier frozen fruit bar like Outshine brand*, which has 60-80 calories, depending on the flavor, and contains no high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener research suggests may put you at risk for obesity and diabetes.
The post 7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
People are living longer. Those in their 60s and 70s are enjoying a late “;middle age”; rather than settling in as senior citizens. They want to look and feel good as they take advantage of the increase in free time and decrease in family and work responsibilities that come with retirement. That”;s why so many people in their 60s and 70s are trying to lose weight. But as our bodies change with age, so does weight loss. That’s why our nutrition experts have put together a list of weight loss tips for those living in their golden years.
Achieving a healthy weight is very important for older adults because there are many risks associated with belly fat, says Current Obesity Reports. However, they explain, “approaches to weight loss must be considered critically given the dangers of sarcopenia (a condition that occurs when muscle mass and quality is lost), the increase risk of hip fracture with weight loss, and the association between reduced mortality and increased BMI in older adults.” Always speak with your doctor before starting a new diet, exercise routine or weight loss plan.
10 Ways to Boost a Slowing Metabolism
Here are 10 tips for losing weight in your 60s and 70s:
1. Go to sleep.
If you”;ve been rising early for work or staying up late watching TV for most of your adult life, you might find it hard to spend more time in bed. However, don’t underestimate the power of sleep. According to Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, lack of sleep disrupts your metabolism and interferes with the natural production of the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Plus, it increases the body”;s production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Many studies have demonstrated that chronic lack of sleep significantly increases your risk of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
2. Stay hydrated.
As you get older, you might move less and perspire less throughout the day. However, your need for hydration doesn”;t go away. According to Cleveland Clinic, sense of thirst “diminishes” with age. That means that you can be dehydrated without even feeling thirsty.
Dehydration can slow down your metabolism so that you burn fewer calories. “Staying hydrated also helps your body eliminate waste more efficiently, keeps your temperature in a normal range, lubricates and cushions your joints and protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues in your body,” says Carilion Clinic.
On Nutrisystem, we recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. A good rule of thumb is to try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water spread out throughout the day. If you get bored of plain water, you can enjoy sodium-free seltzer with fresh lemon or lime juice for the same benefits.
3. Limit your coffee.
Plain black coffee is calorie-free, so it can be a fine choice when you”;re trying to lose weight. Just make sure to avoid added sugar, sweet syrups and high-fat creamers, which load you up with extra calories.
We also recommend sticking with decaffeinated coffee varieties. According to AmericanBoneHealth.org, “Some studies link caffeine consumption with negative effects on calcium metabolism, possibly related to caffeine increasing loss of calcium in the urine, and decreasing calcium absorption in the body.” This could eventually lead to bone loss. Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining bone strength as you get older and it plays a key role in regulating your metabolism.
10 Simple Hacks to Help You Drink More Water
4. Choose nutrient-dense foods.
With your metabolism naturally slowing with age, you may need fewer calories than you did in your younger years. But don’t be fooled: Less calories doesn’t mean less nutrition. You still need to get the vitamins and minerals your body relies on to stay healthy.
The solution is to focus on eating nutrient-dense ingredients: Foods that are packed with nutrition, not calories. The Nutrisystem Grocery Guide is filled with healthy options to choose from. Stock up on lean sources of protein (PowerFuels), such as chicken breast and fish. Fill up your pantry with high-fiber carbohydrates (SmartCarbs), which include whole grain rice, pasta and cereals. Make sure to also grab some fresh, frozen or canned produce to get in your fruits and veggies. Nutrient dense foods like these deliver more benefit per bite as you age.
5. Eat more often.
It may seem counter-intuitive but skipping meals can actually hamper your efforts at weight loss, says Women’s Health. That”;s because when your body is deprived of food, your metabolism slows down, something you’re already dealing with as you age. Instead of skipping meals, try eating healthy between-meal snacks every three hours. The best snacks contain lean protein for energy and fiber to help you feel full long after you finish eating.
How to Cut 700+ Calories without Skipping Meals
6. Beware of empty carbs.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 25 percent of Americans over 65 years old have diabetes. Your lifestyle and diet can play a major role in the prevention of this disease. In addition to physical activity and weight loss, Mayo Clinic recommends filling up on fiber and sticking with whole grain products.
Many of the most popular snack foods are simple carbohydrates that are full of calories yet low in fiber and other valuable nutrients. We”;re talking about chips, crackers and other salty snacks, as well as baked goods, candies and sweets. Nutrisystem offers a wide selection of delicious and perfectly balanced snacks that are healthier alternatives. You’ll love our Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Puffs and Butter Popcorn. Not only are they delicious but they’re absolutely packed with fiber and protein. Yum!
7. Dine out wisely.
People in their 60s and 70s often have free time and the financial resources to socialize while eating at restaurants. Meeting up with friends is healthy at any age, but restaurant meals tend to be high in fat and salt. Not to mention the oversized portions!
To stay on track with your healthy diet, consider sharing an entrée with a friend or family member. You can also ask to substitute an extra serving of vegetables in place of the greasy French fries or other unhealthy sides. And do yourself a favor and skip dessert! (Grab a Nutrisystem dessert instead!) Get some tips and tricks for dining out while on a diet in The Nutrisystem Dining Out Guide! >
10 Tips for Dining Out on Nutrisystem
8. Go outside.
According to the Central European Journal of Immunology, vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity. Low vitamin D levels may also lead to higher amounts of belly fat, says Medical News Today. If that’s not enough reason to get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin, remember that it’s essential for proper bone health.
“Vitamin D is provided by skin synthesis by UVB-irradiation from summer sunshine and to a small extent by absorption from food. However, these processes become less efficient with age,” says the peer-reviewed journal Aging and Disease. Stock up on ingredients that contain the nutrient, such as wild oily fish, egg yolk and fortified foods like orange juice, milk and some breakfast cereals. You should also make a habit of spending a little time outdoors during midday to soak up some sun.
If you think you may be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, you should consult your physician, who may order a blood test to check your levels or may recommend supplementation.
Are you getting enough vitamin D? Click here to learn more! >
9. Build muscle.
As we get older, we gradually lose some of our muscle mass and gain fat mass, says Current Obesity Reports. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “;Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging.” After age 30, people can lose three to five percent of their muscle mass for every decade of life. Less lean muscle means fewer calories burned.
Walking is a healthy, low-impact form of exercise that you can do every day to keep your metabolism active. You also want to do some strength-building exercise to help maintain as much of your muscle mass as possible. If you don”;t belong to a gym where you can lift small weights, you can pick up basic ankle and hand weights at a sporting goods store or online. You can even use cans of food or water bottles!
“To build muscle, the exercises must be challenging, but they shouldn’t be stressful,” says Harvard Health Publishing. “The idea is to lift a weight you can comfortably manage for eight repetitions and try to keep going until you reach 15 repetitions.” Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
10. Get personalized.
You can lose weight and look your best even when you”;re past your 60th birthday. However, your body and its needs are very different than those of younger people. All-new personalized weight loss plans from Nutrisystem create a diet tailored to you and your unique metabolism. We take your age, body type, gender and other factors into account to give you a surefire path to the healthiest, happiest version of you.
How We Create Your Personalized Diet Plan
The post Weight Loss and Age: 10 Tips for Losing Weight in Your 60s and 70s appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
We’re all different. From our head to our toes and everything in-between, humans are all individuals with unique qualities that make us who we are. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. How and where you carry your weight is an important factor to consider when trying to drop pounds and reach your goals. That’s why Nutrisystem has created personalized plans that consider your personal body type. “Pear shape” and “apple shape” are two of the most common body types. Keep reading to learn more about the pear body shape and what it means for the weight loss journey.
What Does Your Body Type Mean?
What Does Pear-Shaped Mean?
If you”;re the classic pear shape, most of your weight is below your waist in your hips, buttocks and thighs. Your waist may be more defined and narrower than your hips and thighs. While body type depends on many factors, women are more likely to be pear-shaped then men, says ScienceDaily. Men tend to more apple-shaped, storing excess fat around the middle in the abdomen.
Your pear-shaped body may be beneficial for your overall health. One study found that postmenopausal women with a pear body shape may have a lower risk of heart disease than apple shapes, even with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI). “Women who stored fat around their middle were three times more likely to suffer from heart disease than women with the opposite body type,” says Patient.info.
Researchers theorize that a pear shape may be protective because of where body fat is being stored. Apple shapes tend to store fat around the belly where many organs reside. According to Patient.info, belly fat around the organs is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Genetics and Hormones
According to a study, published in Nature Genetics, body shape and how someone carries extra weight is determined by genetics. The study found 24 genetic variations which helped separate apple-shaped people from pear-shaped people, says Medical Xpress.
You may have inherited your pear shape; However, the other culprit for your hourglass figure may be estrogen. “The pear body type is more common in pre-menopausal women and some men and is associated with estrogen dominance,” says the American Council on Exercise (ACE). According to HuffPost Canada, pre-menopausal women with excess estrogen tend to have this shape. In both genders, extra estrogen is considered a risk factor for obesity.
Exercising for Your Shape
Regular cardio and toning exercises are key to managing a pear shape. Cardio will help you burn fat all over. You can also add regular resistance training–;the kind where you”;re moving your body against the resistance of your own body weight, gravity, bands or weights. That will help you firm up your muscles. You may always have a pear shape but you”;ll look and feel better by incorporating regular exercise into your routine.
How to Get Toned Legs (No Running Required!)
Dressing for Your Pear Shape
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for your pear shape. Nordstrom Trunk Club recommends tops and jackets that accentuate your top half and defined waist. Choose bright colors and prints that balance your silhouette. When it comes to pants, select darker colors and “slightly roomier” styles that aren’t too tight. A pointed shoe can elongate your legs.
Eating for Your Pear Shape
You can enjoy a diet slightly higher in carbohydrates than other body types. However, be sure to focus on those that are rich in dietary fiber. Protein will help you to feel full and satisfied but be mindful of the amount of dietary fat you consume. Check out the list below for some smart choices for each gender:
Smart choices for women:
Low fat, high-quality proteins, such as salmon, egg whites, chicken breast and cottage cheese will keep you feeling full and satisfied long after you finish a meal.
Choose high fiber carbohydrates like quinoa, barley and hummus.
Blueberries are an ideal fruit choice for your body type.
Eat vegetables such as cauliflower, kale and spinach for loads of nutrients and few calories.
Smart choices for men:
Salmon, chicken breast, eggs and cottage cheese will provide you with high-quality protein to fuel your day.
Fill your plate with high fiber carbs like brown rice and corn.
Fruit like blackberries and apples (with the skin on) fit well into your meal plan.
Make your salads and sides with broccoli, spinach, asparagus and cherry tomatoes.
Personalized plans from Nutrisystem take your personal body shape into account, creating a weight loss program designed for you. Our menu is filled with delicious, high fiber and low fat options that are lower on the glycemic index. This helps to simultaneously curb your appetite while helping your body lose weight, according to a June 2013 study, published in Obesity. Study participants who followed a low glycemic diet lost more body mass than volunteers eating a high glycemic diet, including the dangerous fat that”;s tucked in and around the abdominal organs.
If your pear-shape is at least partly caused by estrogen, limiting foods that boost blood estrogen may help you lose weight, says ACE. They recommend avoiding high-fat dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, trans-fats, unfermented soy products and non-organic meats. Instead, opt for low-fat dairy, organic protein and healthy fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds, avocado and olives.
You should also stick to high-fiber options. “Fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, slows insulin release and aids in the removal of estrogen from the body,” says ACE. Always speak to your doctor before making any dietary changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your estrogen levels.
5 Reasons Nutrisystem is the Best Diet Plan to Become Your Best You
The post Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Pear Shape appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Since bodies come in all shapes and sizes, we here at Nutrisystem understand that there is not exactly a one-size-fits-all approach to healthy living. One of the things that often comes into play during the weight loss journey is one”;s body shape. Where you tend to gain weight–;and where it”;s most difficult to lose–;are definitely related to your body shape and cannot be ignored. Of the recognized shapes, most people seem to fall into the “;apple body”; or the “;pear body”; category. The new personalized plans from Nutrisystem take your personal body shape into account, so that you get a meal plan that works best for you.
Let”;s take a look at the apple body shape and what it means for your weight loss journey.
What Does Your Body Type Mean?
What Does Apple-Shaped Mean?
Those who fall into the “;apple shape”; category have shoulders that are broader than their hips. This body type is also typically associated with being “;top heavy”; (bigger on top and smaller on bottom). Oftentimes apple-bodied people have thin limbs, larger waists and tend to carry weight around their abdomens. When apple bodies gain weight, it”;s usually around their midsection.
The apple shape is more likely to develop–;or worsen–;as one ages. Men who are apple shaped are commonly described as looking as though they have a “;beer belly.”;
The Body You”;re Born With
Of course, our body shape is impacted by more than just our lifestyle. Body shape has also been shown to be strongly affected by genetics. In a study, published in Nature Genetics, researchers found that the shape of a person”;s body–;more specifically, how they carry weight around their abdomen–;is determined by one”;s genes. In fact, researchers found 24 genetic variations which helped separate apple-shaped people from pear-shaped people, says Medical Xpress.
Still, researchers also conceded that lifestyle habits can have an important impact and that genes are not our final destiny. That means that healthy habits, like a well-rounded diet and regular exercise, can help prevent fat accumulation regardless of body type.
Exercising Your Apple Shape
Overall, we believe in a well-rounded exercise program that hits all areas of the body–;no matter what body shape you have. However, those with apple shape might be interested in exercises that address their trouble zones.
For apple shapes, that”;s usually the belly and the waistline, so core-focused exercises combined with plenty of cardio may help. Of course, even though your arms and legs might not be “;trouble spots,”; we still think strength training and full body work-outs have value. Keeping muscles strong as we age is so important for all of us. Always speak to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
5 Yoga Moves for a Flatter Belly
Dressing for Your Apple Body Shape
Even with weight loss, to some degree, you will always maintain an overall appearance in line with your body shape. In other words, you can lose fat, become leaner and most importantly, get healthy–;but you can”;t completely alter the body shape you were born with.
For that reason, knowing and understanding how to dress for your body type can be valuable information that helps you feel your best.
Since the legs are often one of the best assets of apple-shaped bodies, show them off! Choose clothes that play up those thin limbs. And if you”;re someone who usually gains weight around the middle, opt for clothing that does not fit overly tight in that area. Clothing that is ruched or loose-fitting around the belly might make you most comfortable.
Eating for Your Apple Body Shape
The biggest health concern with the apple-shaped body type is the fact that the risk of diabetes and heart disease can accompany that extra visceral fat that may be accumulating around your midsection. For that reason, the ideal apple-body shape diet is focused on reducing refined carbs and unhealthy fats which can contribute to this type of weight gain.
Protein is the foundation of your diet. Be smart about the types of carbohydrates you choose, focusing on vegetables and good-quality, complex carbs that are high in fiber. Limit added sugars and simple carbs. Check out the lists below for grocery additions that may work best for you:
Smart choices for women:
Lean proteins, such as chicken breast, turkey breast and tuna should be the cornerstone of your meal plan.
Get your carbohydrates from legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas and whole grains like quinoa.
If you”;d like to indulge in fruit, choose lower sugar options like raspberries.
Fulfill your veggie servings with spinach, zucchini, cauliflower and artichokes.
Smart choices for men:
Choose salmon, crab and lean beef as the protein portion of your meals. When you want to go meatless, edamame is another great protein choice for you.
White beans and quinoa are high in fiber, making them perfect carbs for your plan.
When you want to enjoy fruit, blueberries and apples (with the skin on) are the way to go.
Load up on fiber with vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and spinach.
Of course, getting rid of fast food–;and heavily processed foods–;is going to help anyone, regardless of body type. It”;s a healthy lifestyle change that can not only help you to lose weight but also live longer.
And at the end of the day, that”;s really what we care about most–;helping people make lifestyle changes that will improve their quality and longevity of life. No matter what body type you were born with, we believe that”;s what you deserve.
Check out Nutrisystem Personalized Plans for a diet designed for your body shape! Click here to learn more. >
5 Reasons Nutrisystem is the Best Diet Plan to Become Your Best You
The post Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Apple Shape appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Losing weight can change your whole self-image, helping you feel better about yourself and your appearance. But even when you stick to your weight loss plan and steadily shed excess pounds, belly bloat can spoil your results. How can you get the flat belly you want? Battle the bloat and shrink that belly by avoiding these common causes:
1. Eating Fast
When you’re feeling very hungry, you may be so eager to satisfy your appetite that you wolf down your food. But when you eat fast, you tend to swallow a lot of air along with the food. Air in your stomach can noticeably bloat your belly. The excess air will pass or dissipate eventually, but for a few hours it can leave you with a swollen gut.
Bonus: Taking time to chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly lets you enjoy the food more and, studies show, discourages overeating.
Count your bites, lose weight?
2. Chewing Gum
There are lots of reasons for chewing gum. It can refresh your breath, relieve dry mouth and even help stave off hunger. But when you chew gum–;or suck on hard candy–;you swallow more often than you would otherwise. And because there is no food to swallow, you take in even more air than when you eat.
3. Drinking Soda
Carbonation makes fizzy drinks fun, but the bubbles can cause belly bloating. Even diet soda or low-calorie flavored seltzer can produce a paunch. Try drinking peppermint tea–;hot or cold–;because it aids digestion, further reducing the risk of bloat. Want some help cutting back on soda? We can help!
10 Reasons to Battle Belly Fat –; and How to Do It!
4. Consuming Artificial Sweeteners
Sorbitol, xylitol and other sweeteners found in sugar-free foods are carbohydrates that some complain can generate gas in your digestive tract, leaving you with a bloated belly. If sweets are what you’re after but you want to lose weight, opt for foods that are naturally sweet, like fruit. If you’re looking to add a little sweetness to your morning cup of joe, sprinkle in some Stevia, a natural sweetener with no calories.
5. Eating Wheat and Dairy
Even people who don’t have allergies or food intolerances can experience excess gas and belly bloat from consuming common foods containing flour or milk. As your body ages, its capacity to digest wheat and dairy products can change significantly, so food you have enjoyed in the past may cause you discomfort now. If you find that your belly blows up a bit after consuming either of these foods, try minimizing their role in your diet to see if doing so has a positive impact on your midsection.
The Show-Down of the Sugars: Added vs. Natural
Salt is essential to your health, but too much can cause your body to retain water and make your belly look bigger. The salt shaker on your table isn’t the only source of sodium in your diet–;processed foods can contribute lots of sodium to your diet as well. When grocery shopping, check product labels to be sure that they are, like the Nutrisystem program, aligned with the United States Department of Agriculture”;s (USDA”;s) recommendation for the general adult population–;2,300 milligrams or less of sodium daily. Get the skinny on the sodium content in Nutrisystem diet foods right here.
Craving more belly-blasting tips? Read this article to find out six foods that will help you battle belly fat, get some belly-friendly recipes here, or try these five yoga moves for a whittled middle. Still not enough? Enter the word “belly” into the search bar in the top right-hand corner of this page, and get a full arsenal of flat belly and weight loss tips!
The post Want to Shrink Your Belly? Stop Doing These 6 Things appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com