5 Low Calorie Condiments to Use at the BBQ

5 Low Calorie Condiments to Use at the BBQ

You can still enjoy the delicious fun of summertime cookouts and stay on track with your weight loss goal. We have lots of lower-calorie ideas to help you do that, such as 5 Better for You Burger Recipes You”;ll Love > and Healthier Potato Salad> But while you are choosing healthy dishes like those, be aware that sneaky excess calories are lurking in places where you might not expect them. Condiments may seem like just little dabs of flavor, but, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a single tablespoon of ketchup can have four grams of sugar and an equal amount of mayonnaise can come with 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. That”;s why they”;re counted as “;Extras”; in your Nutrisystem weight loss plan (Not on Nutrisystem yet? Click here to get started >). Good news: These five low calorie condiments are loaded with flavor. Better news: They are all “;Free”; foods you can enjoy to your heart”;s content.

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Here”;s what you need to know about choosing and using low calorie condiments :
1. Mustard

honey mustard

The seeds from the mustard plant, a leafy green with a spicy flavor, are ground up and blended with vinegar and other ingredients to make the familiar yellow condiment. The color actually comes from turmeric, another flavorful spice. The mustard shelf at the grocery store is filled with lots of choices, from mild, smooth-textured bright yellow types to browner, grainier and very hot varieties. Dijon mustard is blended with white wine to add a tart flavor to balance the moderately spicy taste of the mustard. Beware of honey mustard, which has added sugar, and “;dijonnaise,”; which has all the excess calories and fats of mayonnaise.

TRY: Mustard is most commonly used to add zest to burgers and hot dogs, but it makes a tasty glaze for grilled chicken, fish or vegetables. You can also use it to make a low calorie flavorful salad dressing, such as our Creamy Honey Mustard topping >

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2. Lemon/Lime Juice

low-calorie lemon lime juice

Your food gets a spark of bright, acidic flavor from the juice of these two citrus fruits. Both are nearly calorie-free and loaded with vitamin C. Generally, lemons are slightly more sour than limes, while for many people the latter has a lightly bitter taste. Fresh lemons and limes have the best flavor and they”;re easy to slice up and squeeze for juice by hand. You can also find packaged lemon and lime juice in supermarkets–;just be sure before you buy that they are pure juice and contain no added sweeteners.

TRY: Fresh lemon or lime juice adds a refreshing splash of flavor to calorie-free seltzer. These juices also brighten the taste of grilled fish or chicken, and they add a spark of acid to mixed and fruit salads. Briefly grill lemon or lime halves to infuse them with a smoky taste that gives many dishes a flame-cooked flavor.

3. Hot Sauce

low calorie condiments

Also known as chili sauce or pepper sauce, this spicy condiment is made from hot peppers blended with a little vinegar. Hot sauce comes in a wide range of heat options, from mildly tongue tingling to five-alarm fire. Those made with habanero or ghost peppers tend to be the spiciest. Sriracha (sometimes call “;rooster sauce”; because of the image on its label) is a popular Vietnamese-style hot sauce that”;s moderately spicy. According to BioMed Central, all hot sauces are loaded with capsaicin, the heat-bearing compound that research shows speeds metabolism and can help burn fat.

TRY: Unless you”;re an experienced hot-sauce lover, start with just a few drops on your food and add more once you”;ve tasted it. Mix a little hot sauce into ground turkey to punch up the flavor of your burgers with one of the most flavorful low calorie condiments. Sprinkle a little on grilled vegetables or seafood, such a shrimp or clams. Use hot sauce to make a zesty (and sugar-free) marinade for meats by whisking it with a little olive oil, fresh lime juice, minced garlic and chopped scallions.

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4. Salsa

low calorie condiments

When we think of salsa, we typically picture a chunky sauce made with tomatoes, chile peppers and onions that comes in various levels of spiciness. You can also find salsas that are based on tomatillos (green or “;salsa verde”;) or fruit such as mangoes or pineapple. When shopping for bottled salsa, be sure to check the label for added sugar, which will load on extra calories. To get all the goodness and nothing more, you can use our recipe to whip up your own fresh salsa in minutes.

TRY: Skip the cream-based dips and instead slip your veggies into a bowl of one of our favorite low calorie condiments: Salsa. Make quick and healthy guacamole for dipping by blending salsa and lemon or lime juice with mashed avocado. Hold the ketchup and top your burger with a spoonful of salsa. Fruit-based salsas turn plain grilled fish into tropical treat.

5. Vinegar

low calorie condiments

According to the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, vinegar is made, like wine, by fermentation, which in this case produces acetic acid rather than alcohol. While vinegar generally has a tangy flavor, you”;ll see a variety of types made with such ingredients as apple cider, red wine, and even champagne, each with slightly different tastes. Balsamic vinegar, made from grapes leftover from wine-making, is dark-colored and tends to be thicker and more flavor-intense than other types. Vinegar has long been used in cooking as well as a folk remedy for many conditions. One recent study even found that vinegar may prevent spikes in blood sugar, which can be very beneficial for people with diabetes.

TRY: Vinegar infused with herbs such as tarragon or basil make a flavorful (and calorie-free) salad dressing. A trick many chefs use is to splash roasted or grilled meats or vegetables with a little vinegar while they”;re still warm, which brings out the full flavor of the ingredients. Use apple cider vinegar in place of the creamy dressing in coleslaw or potato to reduce their fat content.

Interested in learning more about low-calorie options? Check out more recipes here >

The post 5 Low Calorie Condiments to Use at the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

20 More Recipes for the BBQ

20 More Recipes for the BBQ

Summer is party time, when we gather with friends and family to celebrate the warm weather, long days and a slower pace of life. And it”;s the best season for enjoying good food outdoors, where everything seems to taste better. There’s no better time to get creative in the kitchen and whip up delicious recipes for the BBQ.

You can join the fun and stay on track toward your weight loss goals with delicious dishes you make yourself.

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Here are 20 healthy recipes for the BBQ you”;ll be proud to share at home or bring to a party:
1. Patriotic Booze-Free Sangria >

sangria

Raise a toast to our great country, summer days, or whatever inspires you with this sweet and fruity drink. It has just 53 calories per serving and counts as only half of a SmartCarb, which makes it one of our favorite recipes for the BBQ.

2. 7-Layer Southwest Dip >

7-layerdip

Turn your party into a fiesta when you and the rest of the gang dig into the zesty flavors of beans, avocado, salsa, onions and more. The creamy texture is the perfect complement to crunchy carrots, cucumbers and other veggies.

3. BBQ Chicken Nachos >

BBQ

You can make a classic appetizer in minutes that is sure to be a hit with everyone. Start with Nutrisystem”;s BBQ Seasoned Chicken atop baked whole wheat tortilla chips, then add cheese, diced peppers and onions, and fresh cilantro. It”;s meaty, cheesy and so, so satisfying.

4. Crab-Stuffed Cucumber Cups >

crab

These crunchy bites bring sophisticated flavors to any gathering, but they”;re ready to eat in just three simple steps–;no cooking necessary. The crab provides you with lean protein (one PowerFuel), plus you get two servings of non-starchy vegetables and the summery taste of fresh seafood.

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5. Heirloom Tomato Salad >

Heirloom-Tomato-Salad

Tomatoes are at their peak during BBQ season, so it”;s the perfect time to savor the extraordinary flavors and vivid colors of old-fashioned varieties. Chickpeas bump up this salad”;s protein and fiber content, while fat-free feta cheese adds a delightful bit of creaminess and tang. Whip up this fresh salad and enjoy one of our favorite recipes for the BBQ.

6. Broccoli Slaw With Cranberries and Lime >

coleslaw

The classic slaw gets a flavorful and nutritious makeover with crunchy broccoli and jicama (aka the “;Mexican potato”;), tangy cranberries and lime, and a hint of sweetness from honey. Eat it as a side salad or add it to a sandwich or wrap.

7. Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad >

Southwestern-Sweet-Potato-Salad

This dish is sure to become the new favorite at your BBQ. Start with sweet potato noodles (you can make or buy) and blend in corn, tomatoes, peppers and onions. The zingy flavor comes from the sauce of Greek yogurt seasoned with Southwest spices.

8. Gluten-Free Maple Cornbread >

Gluten-free-Maple-Cornbread

Everyone can enjoy this sweet and savory cornbread, the perfect companion to barbecued meats. It”;s lower in calories, fats and sugar compared to standard recipes, but still has that homemade taste and crumbly good texture. Each serving is just one SmartCarb.

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9. Mega Beet Burger >

 beet burger

When you”;re craving a hearty burger with cheese, whip up a batch of these moist and meaty veggie patties. The lentils, walnuts and beets fill you up with healthy fats and fiber while the cheesy dressing hits your happy spot. The easy recipe makes eight servings, so they”;re ready to share.

10. Marinated Greek Chicken Skewers >

marinated-greek-chicken-skewers

Simple yet sophisticated chicken skewers give you that fresh-from-the-grill flavor, and fill you up with plenty of lean protein and fiber from the seasoned meat and veggies. The skewers come together in minutes and pair perfectly with a serving of brown rice to make a complete meal.

11. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich >

BBQ-Jackfruit-Sandwich

One bite of this sweet and savory sandwich and you”;ll see how satisfying meatless barbecue can be. When shredded, the tropical jackfruit (available fresh or in cans) has a consistency similar to pork or chicken. Sauce it up with a blend of sweet and tangy ingredients, top with slaw and dig in.

12. Chicken Sausage and Peppers Sandwich >

Sausage and Pepper

Skip the same-old hot dog and instead go for savory chicken sausage with grilled peppers and onions on a high-fiber, whole wheat bun. You get two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb and one serving of vegetables, but only 300 lip-smacking calories.

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13. Old Bay Salmon Cakes >

Old-Bay-Salmon-Cake

Fish such as salmon are naturally low in fats and high in protein. Add breadcrumbs, egg whites, Greek yogurt and veggies to form these salmon cakes seasoned with Old Bay, the traditional seafood flavoring. Make them in advance of the party and they”;ll be ready to serve in just 20 minutes.

14. Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Drumsticks >

Air-Fryer-Honey-Garlic-Drumsticks

With the honey-garlic marinade, these drumsticks really are finger-licking good. Cook them in the air fryer and they”;ll be crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Be sure to make plenty–;everyone will be clamoring for more.

15. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kebabs >

lemon-garlic-shrimp-kabobs

No matter where you are, eating grilled seafood outside feels almost like a day at the beach. These shrimp are brushed with a blend of butter, lemon and herbs that brings out the seafood”;s natural sweetness. While your family and friends rave about the flavor, you”;ll love that two kebabs count as just one PowerFuel and one Extra.

16. Skinny Brownies With Cream Cheese Filling >

black-bottom-brownies

Yes, you can bring a plate of brownies to the party and enjoy one yourself. With cream cheese filling and chocolate-y cake, these seem way too indulgent when you”;re trying to lose weight. But they”;re made with smooth mashed sweet potato, whole wheat flour and unsweetened cocoa powder, so they”;re totally Nutrisystem-approved.

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17. 5-Ingredient Watermelon “;Cake”; >

Watermelon-Cake

Forget baking on a hot day and turn a sweet watermelon into an instant cake instead. All you do is slice up the melon, decorate it with whipped topping and berries, and look for happy faces to break out around the table.

18. Cannoli Stuffed Strawberries >

Cannoli-Stuffed-Strawberries

If you think a cannoli is the perfect dessert, wait until you try this easy-to-make version to add to your recipes for the BBQ. The filling has real ricotta cheese, vanilla and chocolate chips, but it comes inside of a juicy, sweet strawberry. You get six strawberries and only 165 calories in a serving.

19. 2-Ingredient Fresh Fruit Popsicles >

Homemade popsicles

Kids and adults alike will smile as they cool off with these sweet and fruity treats. They”;re so simple to make and easy to customize–;just choose a couple of fruits to include or make a variety so everyone gets their favorite. Best of all, they”;re naturally sweet and have just 85 calories so you can treat yourself and stay on track toward your weight loss goals.

20. Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing >

recipes for the bbq

Take ordinary fruit salad to the next level with a sweet and tangy dressing that brings out the flavors of melon, peaches and berries. Add a few snips of fresh basil or mint, and wait for the questions about what your secret ingredients are!

Check out 23 more delicious recipes for the BBQ >
Also, check out the rules to our awesome summer giveaway >

The post 20 More Recipes for the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic

5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic

Planning on a staycation this year because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Join the crowd in not joining the crowd. Not going to the beach, the lake, the mountain or the water park puts a lot of pressure on your backyard to be the place you want to be, especially for fun summertime activities. Now is the time to plan for a summer picnic… and to have a plan to keep it healthy and diet-friendly!

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Here are five fun ways to enjoy backyard summer picnic food and still lose weight:
1. Load some veggies on that grill.

grilled vegetables

Even veggie haters find grilled vegetables to be irresistible. That’s probably because this particular cooking method brings out their inherent sweetness. Slice up some onions, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and even cabbage “steaks,” then grill them up as a healthy side.

To keep your meal diet-friendly, load up half of your plate with veggies. Trending now: the carrot “hot dog.” Cook whole carrots on the grill and serve them on a whole wheat frankfurter bun with all the fixings. You can also use veggies in another way: in some grilled vegetable recipes, vegetables are layered between cubes of chicken, a firm fish like tuna or swordfish, shellfish such as shrimp or even lean beef. Vegetable kebabs can help you keep your meal balanced between higher calorie protein and lower calorie veggies with a fiber-friendly twist.

Check out these seven foods that taste better on the grill! >

2. Make sides that are the star of the meal.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

Forget the mayonnaise-laden potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw that crowd every summer picnic table across the land. They’re as ho-hum as they are fattening. Instead, focus on some of the farm fresh produce that’s readily available this time of year.

Consider replacing slaw with a Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad that takes minutes to prepare and can sit in the fridge for hours, just getting more and more savory the longer it marinates! You also don’t have to nix slaw completely from the menu—just liven up a cabbage-carrot mix with a dressing of low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar and peanut butter. This Spicy Peanut Slaw recipe supplies one PowerFuel and two Vegetables to your daily count.

Love pasta salad? Broccoli, bell pepper strips and cherry tomatoes turn a simple Creamy Pasta Salad (mixed with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise) into a work of art. Plus, it clocks in at only 228 calories per serving, even with the chopped turkey bacon added for crunch and protein. One serving counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Vegetable. Click here for the recipe! >

You also don’t have to banish potato salad if you make it the Nutrisystem way, using reduced fat mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt or even a piquant vinaigrette. Think outside the summer picnic basket too: Eliminate half of the potatoes from the recipe and mix in turnips, cauliflower or parsnips. Add fun and flavorful ingredients like dill, green onions, chives or capers. Then throw in some of your favorite vegetables, like fresh peas, bell peppers or radishes for a flavorful bite. Make a healthier potato salad for your summer picnic with these five tips. > 

3. Add Nutrisystem foods to the mix.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

How good would your Nutrisystem Hamburger or Grilled Chicken Sandwich taste if you made it on the grill? What about the Chicken and BBQ Beans? Yes. THAT good. End your picnic meal with a Nutrisystem Ice Cream Sandwich or, as just about everyone does, with s’mores. Well, with our own S’mores Pie made with a graham cracker crust, ooey gooey marshmallow and real melted chocolate tucked inside. Mmmmm—and it’s only 140 calories!

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4. Plan active backyard fun and games.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

Exercise off any excess calories from your summer picnic by planning outdoor activities for young and old. If you have enough yard, set up a volleyball or badminton net. Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy backyard games like tag, freeze tag or dodge ball, particularly if you incorporate water balloons into the fun. You can even do a riff on the egg-and-spoon relay race with filled water balloons and a wooden spoon. Throw Frisbees back and forth or set up a game of cornhole or horseshoes. Organize a post-picnic walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park.

5. Hydrate wisely.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

While you can always turn to light beer and wine coolers to save some calories, don’t forget that studies have shown that alcohol can stimulate the appetite center of your brain and make you eat more, says the United Kingdom National Health Service.

Both wine and beer come in non-alcoholic versions. You can also whip up some delicious and satisfying “mocktails” that will wow your guests. Try a non-alcoholic Strawberry Daiquiri that combines fresh and frozen strawberries with water and lime juice in the blender. It’s only 55 calories per serving and counts as one SmartCarb on Nutrisystem. Find this mouthwatering non-alcoholic drink recipe and four more mocktails right here! >

Avoiding alcohol at your backyard picnic can help you avoid unnecessary calories. However, you can still enjoy alcohol in moderation on your Nutrisystem program. If you’d like to have a drink, check out this article on 10 Low Calorie Beers That Actually Taste Good! > You can also brush up on your Nutrisystem knowledge and learn more about alcohol on our program right here. >

Be sure to explore The Leaf for more tips to enjoy this summer season with family and friends, including expert fitness and nutrition tips as well as delicious seasonal recipes for your weight loss journey!

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The post 5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Summer Picnic appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

7 Sneaky Ingredients to Avoid for Weight Loss

7 Sneaky Ingredients to Avoid for Weight Loss

Sometimes, it can feel like you”;re doing everything right on your weight loss plan–;you’re eating your four servings of non-starchy vegetables each day, calming junk food cravings the right way and practicing your weekly meal prep and planning. However, you still aren”;t seeing the scale budge! You”;re eating foods you think are healthy but you”;re not getting the diet results you want. It’s possible that some of those “;healthy”; foods could be not so healthy after all–;either because you”;re preparing larger portions of them than you think you are, or there”;s a secret, sneaky, calorie-heavy component hiding inside. Either way, the result is the same: Your weight loss is sabotaged!

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Don”;t let sneaky foods fool you any longer! Watch out for these seven ingredients that could be adding unwanted calories to your day:
1. Nuts and Nut Butters

Sneaky ingredients to avoid during weight loss

Adding more nuts to your diet can help your heart and reduce belly fat, according to research, conducted by Penn State University. They”;re part of the “;Mediterranean Diet,”; and scientists have found that the healthy fats in this diet can help you slim down and live longer. (Click here to learn more about the potential health benefits of nuts! >) Despite having healthy qualities, both nuts and nut butters can sneak up on you if you eyeball your portion sizes instead of measuring. By guessing, you run the risk of overestimating the portions you are having and adding sneaky calories to your snack or meal.

The solution: First, count out your nut servings: For example, you can eat 25 pistachios in a single PowerFuel serving. For nut butters, you can”;t exactly count but you can use your thumb: A one tablespoon serving of nut butters–;the amount equal to one PowerFuel–;is about as big as your thumb or a poker chip. Keep the portions in check to keep these creamy, chunky, smooth or crunchy friends from becoming sneaky diet-detonating ingredients! Click here to learn how many nuts are in a PowerFuel serving. >

2. Avocado

avocado

Here”;s another “;healthy”; food that we love that can add up quick: One cup of avocado has polyunsaturated fats that your body needs, but it also packs in 384 calories–;almost 20 percent of what many Americans need in their daily diets, says the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you smear that much on a slice of toast, you”;re getting nutrients you need but it”;s also a “;healthy”; snack that”;s turned into a meal. Too much of a good thing is possible, especially when it comes to avocado! Even if the source is a healthy whole food, every calorie you eat is one your body has to burn or store.

The solution: Use your kitchen”;s ultimate tool for weight loss: A measuring spoon! One tablespoon of mashed avocado is equal to one Extra–;Nutrisystem members are limited to three Extras per day. Don”;t let extra Extras sneak up on you and sabotage your progress! Click here to learn more about harnessing the power and perks of avocados without losing control of portion sizes!

3. Coffee “;Pumps”;

Sneaky ingredients to avoid during weight loss

According to Reuters.com, Americans have been drinking less soda over the last decade. However, we”;re still consuming almost half of our daily added sugars from beverages, says Health.gov. Some dietitians blame our sweet morning pick-me-ups: One pump of flavored syrup from a popular chain coffee shop can add about five grams of sugar and 20 calories to your day. That might not seem like much, but do this everyday for a whole year and you”;ve added 7,300 sneaky calories to your annual intake.

The solution: If your pumps are a must-have, track them! Using the NuMi app can make sure this sneaky ingredient doesn”;t sneak up on you. If you”;d rather save those 7,300 calories for the year, try using powdered stevia, a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolatey kick or some cinnamon for a warming flavor. Be sure to check out these helpful diet tips from our experts at The Leaf and keep your calories on track when you visit your local coffee shop!

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4. Salad Toppers and Dressings

salad

It doesn”;t get more healthy-sounding than a salad. It also doesn”;t get much fancier than crowning that heaping bowl of veggies with some tasty toppers: Slivered almonds, dried cranberries, crunchy chia seeds and glops of creamy dressing.

What harm can some dried fruit and almonds do? We”;ve already seen how quickly nuts add up. However, those dried cranberries aren”;t just cranberries–;they”;re pumped up with added sugar! A quarter-cup of dried cranberries from a popular brand contains almost 30 grams of sugar, adding about 130 calories to your salad. Chia seeds also add up quickly: According to the USDA, an eighth of a cup will add 90 calories to your veggies. Creamy salad dressings can present a problem, too: Forget to measure your favorite ranch dressing and an extra two tablespoons will top your salad with 120 extra calories, says the USDA.

The solution: As with almost all the ingredients on this list, measuring and serving size control makes a major impact–;just sprinkle a spoonful of those crunchy seeds instead of pouring from the bag. But there”;s more you can do: Try swapping store-bought dressing for one of these simple, homemade versions that you”;ll love. Use fresh berries instead of dried: According to the USDA, a half-cup of fresh blueberries has just 35 calories, compared to 260 for the dried kind.

5. “;Nectar”; and “;Syrup”;

Sneaky ingredients to avoid during weight loss

Added sugars are literally killing us: According to research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, study subjects who consumed 17 to 21 percent of calories from added sugar experienced a 38% increase in risk of death from heart disease. This was in comparison to participants who consumed about eight percent of calories from added sugar. And with added sugar in more than 75 percent of packaged foods, it”;s not hard to top that killer number, says the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In 2021, nutrition labels will be required by law to list “;Added Sugars”; on their own line. But until then, these ingredients and their extra calories can sneak into our diets… because they aren”;t just called “;sugar”; on the label. They”;re all those words ending in “;ose”;–;glucose, dextrose, sucrose–;but also sneakier, healthier-sounding ingredients like “;nectars”; and “;syrups.”; An ingredient like “;agave nectar”; might sound natural and healthy, but make no mistake: It”;s just sugar trying to sneak its way into your waistline.

The solution: Flip your food over. Words like “;natural”; and “;healthy”; on the front of a label are unregulated terms–;they”;re meaningless marketing! Check the ingredients list for nectars and syrups. They could be adding sneaky calories to your foods that you don”;t need. Choose unsweetened products and add your own sweetness with a little stevia or monk fruit.

Take a peek at these four ingredients you should never eat again! >

6. Mayonnaise

Sneaky ingredients to avoid during weight loss

This sandwich recipe staple is easy enough to measure and still enjoy on your healthy diet. But when adding mayonnaise to chicken, potato, egg or tuna salads, things can easily get out of hand. If you”;re like most people, you forget about measuring and keep adding mayo until you”;ve achieved the consistency you like. Going overboard by just two tablespoons can add 180 extra sneaky calories to that bowl. But if you don”;t add enough, the salad won”;t be creamy enough!

The solution: Supplement with Greek yogurt. One teaspoon of mayo is equal to one Extra on Nutrisystem. Use up your three Extras in your favorite chicken or tuna salad recipe, then fill in the rest with high-protein, nonfat Greek yogurt. It won”;t change the flavor but will add filling protein that your body needs. Plus, it”;s a PowerFuel, not an Extra–;so you can stay on track with your daily meal prep and weight loss goals while enjoying a sandwich or salad that”;s as creamy as you want.

7. Shredded Cheese

Sneaky ingredients to avoid during weight loss

Since you”;re just sprinkling some on the top of a taco or a bowl of salad, measuring out your shredded cheese is probably the last thing on your mind–;it”;s finally time to chow down! But an over-serve on the cheesy goodness is all-too-easy, and can turn your portion-controlled taco into a sneaky weight loss saboteur. An extra eighth-cup of shredded cheese from a popular brand–;basically an extra heavy sprinkle–;can add over 50 calories to your dish if you’re not careful. Repeat that heavy hand a few times and the sneaky calories can really add up.

The solution: First, start with reduced fat versions of your favorite shredded cheese –; they”;re also lower in calories. Then, think of other low calorie ways to give your tacos and meals what you”;re getting from the cheese: Maybe you can accomplish some of the creaminess with a dollop of light sour cream, instead. At just 20 calories per tablespoon, according to the USDA, it”;s a calorie-saving miracle addition to your next burrito bowl.

Take your pick at an unlimited list of healthy recipes with nutritious and wellness-promoting ingredients! Visit our recipe portal on The Leaf here! >

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The post 7 Sneaky Ingredients to Avoid for Weight Loss appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

20 Easy Summer Salad Recipes for Weight Loss

20 Easy Summer Salad Recipes for Weight Loss

When it comes to eating fresh and healthy for summer weight loss, nothing beats a simple-to-assemble salad. But simple doesn”;t have to mean boring. After all, you can only eat so many plain jane lettuce salads before they start to lose their luster.

That”;s why we”;ve rounded up 20 of our best summer salad recipes that can boost your weight loss success. These delicious summer salads are an easy meal prep option that can be whipped up in no time. They are sure to keep you nourished and living life to the fullest this beach season!

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Here are 20 summer salad recipes that are perfect for your weight loss menu:
1. Green Goddess Summer Salad >

The Leaf Green Goddess Summer Salad Recipe

Calories per Serving: 235

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

This bright green salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. Its name comes from its lovely green veggies like shredded Brussel sprouts, kale and edamame. It also features quinoa, almonds and parmesan cheese, all mixed with a tangy Dijon dressing. Thanks to all of these healthy ingredients, this salad packs in fiber, protein and antioxidant power.

2. Fig Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette >

The Leaf Fig Salad Healthy Summer Salads

Calories per Serving: 325

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 3 Extras and 3 Vegetables

This crunchy salad features kale, arugula and quinoa. However, it is the salad”;s namesake, figs, that are at the heart of this recipe. Dried figs are chewy, sweet and add something special to this tasty assembly. Figs also happen to be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. Figs pair well with goat cheese, which also makes an appearance in this yummy dish that’s perfect for your Nutrisystem plan.

3. Cacao Citrus Summer Salad >

The Leaf Cacao Citrus Summer Salad Ideas

Calories per Serving: 128

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 Extras

This citrus-based fruit salad brings together the unique flavor combination of grapefruits, oranges and pomegranate seeds. We top it all off with some chopped pistachios, cacao nibs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon. The tangy sourness of the grapefruit is offset by plenty of sweetness. It”;s like a dessert treat but it”;s packed with antioxidants, fiber and other nutritional benefits that you”;ll love this summer! In fact, some research even indicates grapefruits have weight loss benefits and can even help reduce heart disease.

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4. Asian Cashew and Farro Salad >

Easy Summer Salads Recipe

Calories per Serving: 259

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

If you”;re looking for something beyond a leafy green salad, you”;ll want to give this edamame, cabbage and carrot-based salad a whirl. It also features green onions, cucumbers, farro, cashews and sesame seeds. Dressed with an Asian-inspired vinaigrette, this summer salad idea has plenty of tang to make your lunch or dinner enjoyable while providing you with a nutritionally balanced and diet-friendly meal.

5. Watermelon Chicken Salad >

Chicken Salad Recipe

Calories per Serving: 148

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

You wouldn”;t think that the ingredients in this summer salad recipe could possibly work together. But they just do. This Watermelon Chicken Salad combines a refreshing cup of cubed watermelon, chicken, celery and red onion. Dressed in a yogurt- and mayonnaise-based dressing–;with just the right amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper–;this salad is packed full of flavor and protein. It”;s a refreshing summer salad recipe you”;ll want to make again and again this beach season! Plus, a serving is just 148 calories and counts as 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras.

6. Summer Corn Salad >

Healthy Summer Corn Salad Recipe

Calories per Serving: 210

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

While corn might show up in your meals most often as a side dish, it is the star of this delicious and nutritious summer corn salad that also features tomatoes, onions and avocado. It”;s all dressed with a lime and olive oil dressing and then sprinkled with feta cheese for a showstopper dish.

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7. Asparagus Caprese Salad >

Asparagus caprese salad

Calories per Serving: 138

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

This unique and yummy twist on a traditional Caprese salad gives asparagus the spotlight while also featuring cherry tomatoes, red onions, some basil and mozzarella cheese. Like the original, it”;s all blended with a tasty vinaigrette, making it one of the best summer salad recipes you and your family will love!

8. Watermelon Berry Summer Salad >

Watermelon Berry Fruit Salad

Calories per Serving: 92

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel

This salad is another great way to get more watermelon into your day–;a juicy fruit known for being soaked with nutrients. In this summer fruit salad, cubed watermelon is combined with blackberries, feta cheese and some mint for a truly refreshing dish. Feel free to get creative and swap in another berry like blueberries. You could even throw in a non-starchy veggie like sliced cucumbers to help you get in your four required servings!

9. Grilled Asparagus Caesar Salad >

Grilled Asparagus

Calories per Serving: 151

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 2 Extras

Here”;s a fun way to switch up a classic Caesar salad! Let grilled asparagus take the centerstage. Asparagus is a nutrient-packed vegetable known to be a good source of fiber, folate and vitamins A, C, E and K. In this easy summer salad recipe, grilled asparagus is dressed in a healthy Caesar dressing that features nonfat yogurt at its base. Mix in some croutons and parmesan cheese for that true Caesar flavor.

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10. Blueberry Quinoa Summer Salad >

Summer Quinoa Salad with Blueberries

Calories per Serving: 143

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 Extras

The yum factor in this refreshing summer salad recipe is off the charts. Fresh blueberries, yellow corn, quinoa and goat cheese are added atop a bed of arugula and drizzled with a simple-but-delicious lemon vinaigrette. It”;s the type of summer quinoa salad you”;ll want to make again and again. With only 143 calories per serving, it”;s also the type of salad that will keep your healthy eating regimen on track this summer season.

11. Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad >

Southwestern Summer Potato Salad

Calories per Serving: 144.5

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, ½ Vegetable and 1 Extra

Veggie noodles are all the rage and this recipe makes good use of sweet potato spirals made from a spiralizer. This colorful salad brings the rainbow to your plate with veggies like corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion, all tossed in a zesty, homemade southwestern dressing.

12. Mason Jar Cobb Salad >

Healthy Salad in a Jar Recipe

Calories per Serving: 314

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 ½ Vegetables and 2 Extras

Mason jars are a fun and easy way to meal prep for the week ahead. This delicious mason jar salad is definitely a healthy summer recipe you”;re going to want to try. Although a traditional cobb salad has bacon and blue cheese, this healthier version features grilled chicken, chickpeas, avocado and more. A fat-free ranch dressing keeps the calorie count low on this mason jar salad recipe.

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13. Pomegranate Chicken Salad Wraps >

The Leaf Summer Chicken Salad with Pomegranate

Calories per Serving: 207

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and ½ Vegetable

Summer chicken salad is such a versatile dish that can be created in so many delicious ways. This version features pomegranate seeds and a chopped apple for a sweet addition. Served in a lettuce wrap instead of bread, you can have three whole wraps for a single serving that clocks in at just 207 calories.

14. Pomegranate Arugula Salad >

Fresh Summer Salad with Pomegranate and Arugula

Calories per Serving: 128

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 Vegetable, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

If you love pomegranates, you”;re going to love this simple, cold summer salad. It uses pomegranate juice as a key ingredient in its delicious pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. The salad itself features a bag of arugula, a Bartlett pear, pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios and goat cheese for a flavorful blend of ingredients. It”;s a lot of flavor for a mere 128 calories per serving.

15. Mediterranean Panzanella Salad >

Mediterranean panzanella

Calories per Serving: 315

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 2 Vegetables and 2 Extras

This light-but-filling Mediterranean-inspired salad features nutritious ingredients like chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts and chicken, all tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. A serving of this delicious and easy salad is the perfect lunch for those hot summer days.

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16. 3-Step Curried Rotisserie Chicken Salad >

Rotisserie Chicken

Calories per Serving: 187

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels

Here”;s another great way to get creative with your summer chicken salad in a recipe that is still healthy and flavorful. Plus, it doesn”;t get easier than using a rotisserie chicken for your shredded meat! Instead of mayo, this healthy chicken salad uses nonfat plain Greek yogurt. We also add some curry for a unique flavor addition.

17. Mason Jar Greek Salad >

mason jar meal prep

Calories per Serving: 243

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Vegetables and 2 Extras

If you”;re into mason jar recipes, this meal prep recipe is for you! This easy-to-make mason jar salad recipe has all the Greek salad favorites like cucumbers, black olives and feta cheese tossed in a homemade Greek dressing that couldn”;t be simpler to whip up. Make a bunch ahead of time and grab-and-go for convenient mason jar lunches.

18. Creamy Summer Pasta Salad >

creamy pasta recipe

Calories per Serving: 228

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Vegetable

Healthy summer pasta salad can be hard to come by, as most use full-fat dressings or mayonnaise as their base. However, this lightened-up version packs in plenty of fresh veggies and uses a dressing with light mayo and Greek yogurt. It will fulfill your pasta salad craving without sending your diet on a detour.

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19. Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad >

cucumber noodle recipe

Calories per Serving: 49

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

Turn an ordinary cucumber into a spiraled noodle for the base of this refreshing summer cucumber salad. It also contains other refreshing and flavorful non-starchy veggies like red bell pepper and green onion. It”;s all tossed in a homemade dressing with soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

20. Creamy Cauliflower “;Potato Salad”; >

low carb cauliflower recipe

Calories per Serving: 107.8

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Vegetables

Get your summer potato salad fix with this healthy alternative that packs serious diet food benefits! This healthy summer salad recipe uses lightly steamed cauliflower instead of potatoes. It tastes so much like the “;real deal”; that you”;ll trick your taste buds while consuming only 108 calories per serving!

Lose weight this summer with delicious meals delivered directly to your door! Learn more about Nutrisystem programs >

The post 20 Easy Summer Salad Recipes for Weight Loss appeared first on The Leaf.

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