7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ

7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ

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.

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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

Win BIG with Our September Social Giveaways

Win BIG with Our September Social Giveaways

Summer may be coming to an end but our social giveaways are just getting started! Win big this September with fun contests by Nutrisystem. We’re giving back to our amazing community by doing two separate giveaways in the month of September. Be sure to follow us on social media for a chance to win!

Win big with our end of summer social media giveaways! Check out our September schedule below to participate:
1. Nutrisystem Slim Down Superlatives Giveaway

social giveaways

When is it? This giveaway will kick off on September 4, 2020. All entries must be submitted by September 27, 2020.

Where do I go to enter? You can participate on the Nutrisystem Facebook page. Be sure to like our page so that you can stay updated!

How do I enter?

This giveaway will consist of three separate Facebook posts with three different opportunities to win.
Each post will ask you to comment with the Nutrisystem menu item that you feel best matches the post description (Most likely to succeed at curbing a sweet craving, etc.).
We will randomly select one comment on each post to win.
All entries must be submitted by September 27, 2020.

What can I win? Each winner will receive a $50 gift card. Winners will be contacted through Facebook messenger by September 28, 2020. We will also update this article with the list of winners on or about October 5, 2020.

Click here to like our page on Facebook! >

Check out the official giveaway rules here! >

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2. Nutrisystem Healthy Hydration Giveaway

social giveaways

When is it? This giveaway will kick off on September 4, 2020. All entries must be submitted by September 11, 2020.

Where do I go to enter? You can participate on the Nutrisystem Instagram page.

How do I enter? To participate in the giveaway, you must complete these four tasks:

Follow us on Instagram (@Nutrisystem).
“Like” our giveaway post on Instagram.
Comment with your best tip for drinking enough water.
Tag three friends.

What can I win? You’ll have the chance to win an ergonomic water bottle! The winner will be selected by September 14, 2020 and will be contacted through direct message on Instagram. We will also update this article with the winner by September 16, 2020.

Click here to follow us on Instagram! >

Check out the official giveaway rules here! >

The post Win BIG with Our September Social Giveaways appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

September is all about new beginnings. It’s a new season and many people begin new routines that will carry them through the rest of the year. Plus, September has been officially designated as Self-Improvement Month. We can’t think of a better time to start anew and better yourself! It’s time to think of every day as an opportunity to take simple steps that will help you look, feel and live better. To get you started, we”;ve gathered this list of hints that you can use to build a happier and healthier you this September.

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Here are 15 self-improvement tips for a successful September:
1. Reset your habits.

September

We make lots of choices every day. However, we also do many things without thinking, simply because they”;ve become habits. The good news is that not all habits are harmful. There are many healthy habits that can turn your September into a successful start to a new season. Even better, research shows that it can take as little as 66 days to build a new habit that”;s good for you, says University College London. This can include drinking more water, starting a new exercise routine, getting more sleep or even cutting down on screen time.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 workday habits of healthy people! >

2. Practice positivity.

September

You have more control of your inner dialogue than you realize. By making a concentrated effort to think positive thoughts, you can improve your mood and your health. “;People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook,”; says Johns Hopkins Medicine. They also explain that smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations, even if it’s a fake smile. You really can fake it ’til you make it!

3. Give yourself goals.

September

Every achievement, big or small, starts with a goal. The goals you are most likely to reach are specific and attainable. Simply saying you want to lose weight or stay in touch with old friends, for example, makes it easy to keep putting those things off. Instead, define your goals as “;fitting into my favorite dress for a wedding”; or “;calling one friend every week.”; Click the link below for tips on writing your own goals!

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4. Accept setbacks.

September

No matter how motivated and focused we are, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from reaching our goals. Too often, that makes us feel like giving up, as if we”;ll never succeed. However, progress rarely goes in a straight line. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that even when we go two steps forward and one step back, we have moved closer to our goal.

5. Try mentoring.

September

People with experience in careers, parenting and life skills have invaluable knowledge to share with those just starting out. Mentoring can be rewarding for both sides–;mature people get to pass along their well-earned wisdom and younger folks get help in overcoming obstacles. Plus, when one teaches, two learn! Check out The National Mentoring Partnership: They have a “;connector”; database that matches mentors with people who want to be mentored.

6. Widen your circle.

September

If you have a few close friends, you are fortunate. However, regular contact with a broader range of people is also good for your mental health as you get older. According to research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “;The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly,”; says ScienceDaily.

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7. Make time to read.

reading

We all spend more time than ever looking at the screens of electronics. It’s time to put down your smart phone and pick up a good old book! Taking time to read books helps both our bodies and our minds: Research shows that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent, says the University of Minnesota. Whether you enjoy inspirational self-help, biographies or fantasy fiction, there’s a book out there for everyone. Audio books are also a great option when you”;re on the go! Listen to them on your commute, your daily jog or while you’re cooking up a healthy meal.

8. Try new apps.

new apps

Our phones and tablets bring the world to our fingertips and can make our lives easier. You can try apps that help you work on your memory skills, learn new vocabulary, pursue creative ideas, manage your finances, try new workouts and so much more. Want to lose weight this September? Check out the FREE NuMi app from Nutrisystem, available for both Apple and Android devices! It’s the ultimate app for weight loss because it makes it easy for you to track your progress and provides daily information and inspiration. Learn more here! >

9. Learn a second language.

September

Being able to speak two languages not only allows us to communicate with a wider variety of people but it”;s also good for our brains. According to Annual Review of Linguistics, “research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” You can learn a new language using one of the many online courses or apps. Solidify your skills by practicing with native speakers whenever possible.

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10. Fix your posture.

September

Sitting all day and staring at a screen can cause poor posture. This can damage your spine, cause neck and back pain, decrease flexibility and impact breathing, says MedlinePlus. You can avoid these problems by bearing in mind the basics of good posture throughout the day: Harvard Health Publishing recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders even. You should have a “neutral spine” with your arms at your sides. Be sure to keep your hips level, knees and feet pointing forward and your body weight distributed evenly. Run down that list when you”;re sitting and standing to re-balance yourself and prevent the slumping that pushes us out of alignment.

11. Meditate daily.

September

Taking a little time each day to clear your mind of your daily cares and concerns can help you enjoy a stress-free September. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to decrease the symptoms of high-blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, sleep problems and more. You can find many apps and online videos to help you get started. However, the basics are simple: sit in a comfortable position in a location that”;s free from distractions. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing and let any thoughts or worries that enter your mind drift away. All you need is 10 minutes to get the benefits of this little break from the rush of daily life.

12. Cook often.

healthy cooking

When you prepare your own food, you pay attention to the ingredients and can avoid unhealthy additives like salt and sweeteners. If you don”;t have much experience cooking, start off simple and practice your skills before you take on more elaborate dishes. Don”;t know where to begin? Check out The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for thousands of easy and delicious recipes that fit into your healthy diet! You can also pick up a copy of the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It covers all the basics and shares the little tips and secrets that great home cooks learn after years in the kitchen.

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13. Sleep more.

sleep

You might not think of sleeping as a way to improve your life. However, so many of us are chronically tired that it actually harms our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep even increases our chances of overeating and makes it harder for us to lose excess weight, says Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Try your best to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you find yourself tired in the middle of the day, taking a 20-minute nap can refresh you without disrupting your night-time sleep.

Learn more about the importance of getting good sleep! >

14. Lose weight.

weight loss

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese can lead to a wide range of health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. Losing the excess weight can reduce your risk of these problems, as well as promote positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment and better self-image. To help you reach a healthy weight, consider trying a convenient meal delivery service that fits into your new September schedule. The all-new Nutrisystem program provides you with a personalized weight loss experience and perfectly portioned meals delivered to your door. You take a quiz and we provide you with a plan that’s tailored to you. Click here to learn more! >

15. Be grateful, be happy.

September

Simply being thankful for the most basic things that we have in our lives–;food and shelter, health and safety, family and friends–;improves our sense of well-being. Practicing gratitude is associated with “greater life satisfaction,” according to research, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. What better way to improve ourselves this September than to be happier about all the good things we have? Try starting a gratitude journal and reflect on what you’re thankful for throughout the month. It’s a great way to start your day with a positive mind.

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The post 15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

It’s Simple: Eat These 5 Foods, Lose Weight

It’s Simple: Eat These 5 Foods, Lose Weight

You probably think it”;s what you don”;t eat that helps you lose weight. And for the most part, that”;s true. You do have to scale back the amount you eat, but simple weight loss is mainly achieved by adding certain foods to your diet. There are, in fact, a variety of foods to lose weight with.

Their secret? In scientific speak, it”;s satiety. In layman”;s terms, these foods promote a feeling of fullness, which can prevent you from having seconds (and sometimes even finishing firsts, never mind reaching for dessert). This is the key to losing weight fast.

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Simple weight loss starts with adding these secret ingredients to your daily diet plan:
1. Protein

Eggs for breakfast, beans at lunch, lean meat for dinner equals less hunger. Studies have found that adding more protein to the weight loss diet makes people feel fuller and less likely to overindulge. And now we know why. Researchers at several university centers in England and Australia, who published their findings in the journal Cell Biology in 2014, found that increasing protein in the diet food you eat can increase the amount of a hunger-fighting protein called peptide YY (PYY) in the body. When people were given an injection of PYY, they automatically reduced their food intake by a third. Your body takes a longer time to process protein than it does to absorb carbohydrates, which may account for some of its appetite-suppressing effects. Also, a 2015 study in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that l-cysteine, an amino acid found in protein, may be driving appetite control by suppressing ghrelin, the so-called “;hunger hormone,”; In the body.

So how do you work more protein into your weight loss diet plan? If you’re on the Nutrisystem weight loss program, make sure you’re not skimping on your PowerFuels each day. Sure, lean fish and poultry are great sources of protein, but they aren’t the only options (Don’t believe us? Click here for a list of 7 High Protein Foods That Aren’t Chicken >).

Eggs are a great option for PowerFuels since they’re packed with protein and other nutrients, but they won’t break the calorie bank. Click here for 8 Easy Egg Recipes You’re Sure to Love >

Greek yogurt is another great protein option. Click here for our popular Berry Delight Yogurt Parfait recipe >

For additional help incorporating more protein into your diet plan, click here for an entire article on the topic > And, for more surprising sources of this important nutrient, click here >

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2. Soup

Studies done at Penn State University have found that having a low-calorie soup course before the main event can help reduce your subsequent calorie intake by as much as 20 percent! In these studies, the soups, which were broth-based with plenty of vegetables, only added about 100 to 150 calories but plenty of belly-filling fiber. Other studies by Penn State researchers found that a pre-meal salad is also a good choice, as long as it”;s not loaded with fatty ingredients like cheese and meat and drenched in high-fat dressing. While the fatty additions should slow you down-fat promotes fullness, too–;the Penn State studies found that people who chose them didn”;t compensate for the extra calories at their meals.

Click here for 16 plan-friendly soup recipes the whole family will love >

3. Nuts

Because they”;re high in fat and calorie-dense, nuts used to be on every diet food no-no list. Not anymore. They”;re high in protein and dietary fiber, two key appetite-tamping ingredients. They also contain healthy monounsaturated fat. Penn State researchers found that dieters who were allowed to eat nuts while losing weight stayed on their eating plan longer because they didn”;t feel like they were dieting. A study from Harvard recommended nuts as a healthful replacement for other snacks because in their studies, people who ate them regularly weighed less, lost weight faster, and had a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes than people who ate them infrequently or not at all.

Or, check out some of our nut-filled favorites, like the Sweet and Salty Snack Mix > or the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Nut Bar >

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4. Beans

A meta-analysis of all the clinical studies done on eating beans published in 2014 in the journal Obesity found that just one serving of beans, peas, lentils or chickpeas left people feeling 31 percent fuller that those who didn”;t eat these high-fiber foods. As a bonus, regularly eating beans can lower cholesterol by about five percent.

Click here for our bean-packed Chunky Veggie Chili Recipe > Or, click here to check out our Black Bean & Quinoa Pumpkin Soup > Sick of soup? Try this Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad recipe > Or these Veggie & Rice Stuffed Peppers >

5. Spinach

The thick stems of spinach and other similar leafy greens contains class of chemicals called thylakoids, which are being studied for their appetite-curbing effects. In one multi-center study, 60 overweight or obese people who were given an extract of this spinach ingredient experienced reduced appetite and hunger for more than two hours. It may work by slowing the digestion of fat in the diet and by suppressing ghrelin in the stomach. So if you”;re having a pre-meal salad, it”;s a good idea to make it spinach.

Ready to pump up the spinach in your weight loss diet plan? We’ve got plenty of healthy recipes for you, including:

Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad >
Easy, Cheesy Spinach Cups >
Skinny Spinach Dip >
Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Chicken >
Spinach Stuffed Mussels and Shrimp >

And don’t forget to try our healthy salad dressing recipes >

The post It”;s Simple: Eat These 5 Foods, Lose Weight appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Pear Shape

Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Pear Shape

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.

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What Does Pear-Shaped Mean?

body type

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

pear

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

pear

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.

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Dressing for Your Pear Shape

pear

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

pear

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.

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The post Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Pear Shape appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com