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(Source: health-heaven)

8 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

Celery, cucumbers and iceberg lettuce have negative calories.

The concept goes something like this: some veggies are so low in calories that they require more energy to digest than they contain. The result? Eating celery, cucumbers or iceberg lettuce can give you a “negative calorie balance.” Sounds great in theory, but “the calories you need for digestion won’t ever exceed the number of calories any type of food contains,” says Los Angeles-based nutritionist LeeAnn Smith Weintraub, RD. However, these non-starchy, low-calorie veggies can still help you lose weight since their fiber and water content will keep you feeling full for longer. So go ahead and pile them on generously when you hit the salad bar for lunch.


Doing cardio on an empty stomach burns more total fat for the day.

It sounds like it makes sense: Your body needs energy for a morning run, so not eating beforehand forces your body to dip into its fat stores for fuel, allowing you to burn more fat. Exercise physiologist Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS, author of Women’s Home Workout Bible, spent years researching the theory, hoping to confirm it as fact. Instead, he found that while you do burn more calories from fat if you exercise sans snack, ultimately it doesn’t matter because, as he notes in the Strength and Conditioning Journal, “if you burn more fat during a workout, your body physiologically adjusts to burn less fat post-exercise—and vice versa. So it all evens out.” Sports nutritionist Cassie Dimmick, RD, adds, to eat or not to eat before a workout is a personal preference, but “most experts advocate pre-gym noshing because it provides the fuel you need to exercise longer and harder and therefore burn more calories.” She recommends opting for a filling, nutrient-rich snack, such as a piece of fruit, applesauce or a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

 

All calories are created equal.

You’ve heard “a calorie is a calorie,” meaning your body processes them all the same way regardless of where they come from. But not so fast: 100 calories of chocolate cake are not the same as 100 calories of carrots. As it turns out, your body burns nearly 50% more calories after eating a meal packed with whole foods versus an equivalent meal made of processed fare, according to a 2010 study published in the health journal Food & Nutrition Research. During manufacturing, processed foods are broken down and stripped of many nutrients, making it easier for the body to digest them. On the other hand, whole foods, such as multigrain bread, apples or zucchini, contain good-for-you nutrients like fiber that the body has to work overtime to break down, temporarily boosting metabolism. Plus, “eating smarter calories via foods packed with filling fiber or satisfying protein, like a chicken breast instead of potato chips, will help you naturally eat less over time,” explains Weintraub. 

Always work out in the fat burning zone.

The “fat burning zone” has a nice ring to it, right? Using this function on cardio machines keeps you working out at a slow, steady pace—around 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate—and this low-intensity form of exercise is thought to help your body burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. (So if you burn 100 total calories, 60 of those may come from fat and 40 from carbohydrates in your body.) The problem? The total number of calories burned is the only thing that matters—not what type of calories—and working out at a low intensity ultimately burns fewer calories since you’re not pushing yourself as hard as you should be. In order to maximize calorie burn (and, ultimately, fat loss) in less time, do high intensity interval training instead, says Schoenfeld. To try it, alternate one or two minutes of easy running (or pedaling) with a quick one-minute burst of speed (you should be breathing heavily at the end of the interval.) Repeat intervals for a total of 20 minutes, and do two to three interval workouts per week for the best results. Bonus: Studies show intense workout sessions stoke metabolism for up to 24 hours after you’ve left the gym, burning at least 100 extra calories throughout the day, Schoenfeld says. 

To lose weight, you should only focus on cardio.

When it comes to dropping pounds, the first thing many of us think about is sweating it out by running or cycling. However, “strength training actually has more of an effect on helping you lose weight than cardio,” says Schoenfeld. Charleene O’Connor, a Florida-based personal trainer, agrees: “There’s a reason that if you go into a gym, you’ll see lean people lifting weights,” she says. “Building lean muscle raises your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories when you’re doing anything, whether that’s running or just sitting at your desk.” But that doesn’t mean that you should abandon your cardio routine. Cardio workouts keep your heart-health in check and burn lots of calories in little time, so continue to hit up your favorite Spin class—just keep in mind that a routine that mixes cardio and one or two strength workouts a week is the best way to maximize results.

Eating six small meals a day boosts your metabolism.

While most of us were raised with the notion that we should eat three square (read: large) meals a day, many people now believe that it’s better to eat smaller portions more frequently in order to help keep your metabolism stoked all day. But does grazing on six mini meals really burn more calories? While conflicting evidence does exist, a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found no differences in weight loss among dieters who ate three or six times a day (total daily calories was the same for both groups). And, after reviewing 18 studies on the topic, the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that meal frequency doesn’t boost metabolism or encourage weight loss. However, researchers did note that eating frequently may help keep between-meal hunger at bay. Bottom line? Settle on an eating plan that keeps you satisfied and full so you’re less likely to binge due to hunger. “I find that many of my clients do well with three regular meals and one or two small snacks,” notes Weintraub. 

Working out in cold weather burns more calories.

OK – we’ll admit that this one’s half true. Because shivering from cold temperatures revs up calorie burn, you will torch more as your body works to heat itself up. However, the difference is negligible at best, says O’Connor. “Trying to shiver away calories is not a smart—or effective—strategy,” says Schoenfeld. So when the mercury plummets, be smart and bundle up—the miniscule bump in calorie burn isn’t worth increasing your risk of frostbite or hypothermia.

You have to burn 250 calories every time you work out in order to lose weight.

To lose a pound a week, you have to cut 500 calories a day, and some health experts suggest achieving that by eating 250 fewer calories while burning 250 more daily. However, losing weight isn’t about what you burn day-to-day, but rather what you do over the course of a week—or even a month—allowing you the flexibility to make up for days when your diet gets derailed. That means if you’re not feeling well one day and skip a workout, it won’t make a big difference in the long run, says Schoenfeld. The next day, just stay at the gym 10 minutes longer or try a higher-intensity yoga class. “As long as you’re burning more calories in the long term, you’ll lose weight,” he says.

(Source: health-heaven)

Calculate Your Caloric Intake and Use it to Lose Weight

Step one is to calculate your BMR with the following formula:

Women:

655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

Men:

66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

Please note that this formula applies only to adults.

Calculate Activity

Step two: In order to incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, do the following calculation:

If you are sedentary : BMR x 20 percent

If you are lightly active: BMR x 30 percent

If you are moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent

If you are very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent

If you are extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent

Add this number to your BMR.

The result of this formula will be the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight. In order to lose weight, you’ll need to take in fewer calories than this result.

As you lose weight, you can re-calculate the formula to assess your new BMR.

Create a Calorie Deficit

In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. It is easier and healthier to cut back your calorie intake a little bit at a time. Every 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound.

So, if you cut back 500 calories a day, you should lose about one pound per week. That said, If you exercise to burn off 500 calories a day you should lose approximately one pound per week. Do both, and … you get the picture. Ideally, you should do a combination of both, (such as cut back 250 calories; burn an extra 250 calories).

Your weight loss will vary from week to week and at times you may even gain a little weight — if you’re working out you could be developing muscle, which weighs more than fat.

The long-term results are what matters.

Never cut back to fewer than 1,200 daily calories without medical supervision.

(Source: health-heaven)

Frozen low fat strawberry swirl terrine. 
Per serving 202 calories :) 
 larger image

Frozen low fat strawberry swirl terrine. 

Per serving 202 calories :) 

 larger image

Green Tea, Blueberry & Banana Smoothie

Green Tea, Blueberry & Banana Smoothie

TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING TEA 

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum  paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants  protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of  pollution.
2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually  has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of  Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts  like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around  135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking  coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or  interferes with sleep — switch to tea.
3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.  Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause  heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth  and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A  5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of  fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of  black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.
4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk  added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea  drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or  more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body  weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest  that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.
5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the  grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good  for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s  likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually  contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add  unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and  flossing for healthier teeth and gums.
6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea  may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21  volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four  weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the  tea drinkers.
7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the  polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their  cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive,  there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of  drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages.
8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and  makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t  contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research  has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea  and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid  needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is  concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated  beverage at one time.
9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any  calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer  calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re  looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.
10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people  complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight.  Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that  you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of  green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just  by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will  also burn calories.

TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING TEA 


1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages.

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time.

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

Healthy Low Calorie Snack Foods - Crystal Light Popsicles

Popsicles are always a sweet little treat during the day but the one thing you need to watch out for is the amount of sugar in them. Most of the popular popsicles on the market are basically sugar water and if you’re following a healthy diet, you want to avoid excess sugar. The healthy and easy way to make sugar free popsicles is to use Crystal Light.
 
Instructions:

Make a batch of your favorite flavor
Pour Crystal Light  into popsicle molds
Put them into your freezer
Wait until they are frozen
 It’s that simple and you will have a nice, cool treat that is sugar free and virtually calorie free also!
Serving: 1 PopsicleCalories: 5Fat: 0 gramsCarbs: 0 gramsProtein: 0 grams

Healthy Low Calorie Snack Foods - Crystal Light Popsicles

Popsicles are always a sweet little treat during the day but the one thing you need to watch out for is the amount of sugar in them. Most of the popular popsicles on the market are basically sugar water and if you’re following a healthy diet, you want to avoid excess sugar. The healthy and easy way to make sugar free popsicles is to use Crystal Light.

 

Instructions:

  • Make a batch of your favorite flavor
  • Pour Crystal Light  into popsicle molds
  • Put them into your freezer
  • Wait until they are frozen

 It’s that simple and you will have a nice, cool treat that is sugar free and virtually calorie free also!

Serving: 1 Popsicle
Calories: 5
Fat: 0 grams
Carbs: 0 grams
Protein: 0 grams

 
4 Breakfast Ideas under 200 Calories

1. Veggie Egg White Omelet
You can never go wrong will an egg white omelet, especially one that’s loaded with nutritious veggies. An egg white contains around 17 calories, which means you can add 5 to your omelet for only 85 calories. Put in some low calories veggies like spinach and mushrooms and you’ll still have room for a piece of dry whole wheat toast, which clocks in at around 60 calories. Depending on the brand of bread you use, you may even have room for a small piece of fruit, like a plum, which is about 30 calories.
2. Cereal
Yes, you can eat cereal for under 200 calories, but you’re going to have to do some measuring here. A low calorie cereal, like Fiber One, contains 60 calories for a half cup. You can add ¾ cup to your bowl, along with a cup of non-fat milk (90 calories), and only come in at 180 calories. You even have room to cut up a few strawberries (around 5 calories each) to top it off. Make sure you choose a cereal that is low in sugar and high in nutrition.
3. Yogurt Parfait
For this one, you’re going to have to make your own yogurt parfait. Stay away from the store bought ones, as the sugary granola and syrupy fruit can make this breakfast option a bad one! Instead, grab a container of non-fat yogurt, which contains around 100 calories. Remember the low calorie cereal from before? Add a half cup to the parfait for 60 calories. You still have room to add some fruit, but don’t overdo it here. Cut up some strawberries and add a handful of blueberries.
4. Hard Boiled Egg and Banana
A hard boiled egg and banana is a nutritious combination that should hold you over until your mid-morning snack. The egg is around 75 calories and the banana is 105, so it doesn’t leave room for much else…except maybe a few strawberries. Notice that the banana, while highly nutritious, is one of the higher-calorie fruits. Keep this in mind when adding one to your breakfast.

Here are 4 ideas to show you what you can get out of breakfast for under 200 calories. Make sure you always measure your food and be mindful of any condiments, like butter or jam, that you may use. Also, make sure you don’t add excessive cream or sugar to your coffee—and if you do, these calories need to be taken into account. When you consume a healthy and nutritious breakfast, you are properly fueling your body for the day to come.

4 Breakfast Ideas under 200 Calories


1. Veggie Egg White Omelet

You can never go wrong will an egg white omelet, especially one that’s loaded with nutritious veggies. An egg white contains around 17 calories, which means you can add 5 to your omelet for only 85 calories. Put in some low calories veggies like spinach and mushrooms and you’ll still have room for a piece of dry whole wheat toast, which clocks in at around 60 calories. Depending on the brand of bread you use, you may even have room for a small piece of fruit, like a plum, which is about 30 calories.

2. Cereal

Yes, you can eat cereal for under 200 calories, but you’re going to have to do some measuring here. A low calorie cereal, like Fiber One, contains 60 calories for a half cup. You can add ¾ cup to your bowl, along with a cup of non-fat milk (90 calories), and only come in at 180 calories. You even have room to cut up a few strawberries (around 5 calories each) to top it off. Make sure you choose a cereal that is low in sugar and high in nutrition.

3. Yogurt Parfait

For this one, you’re going to have to make your own yogurt parfait. Stay away from the store bought ones, as the sugary granola and syrupy fruit can make this breakfast option a bad one! Instead, grab a container of non-fat yogurt, which contains around 100 calories. Remember the low calorie cereal from before? Add a half cup to the parfait for 60 calories. You still have room to add some fruit, but don’t overdo it here. Cut up some strawberries and add a handful of blueberries.

4. Hard Boiled Egg and Banana

A hard boiled egg and banana is a nutritious combination that should hold you over until your mid-morning snack. The egg is around 75 calories and the banana is 105, so it doesn’t leave room for much else…except maybe a few strawberries. Notice that the banana, while highly nutritious, is one of the higher-calorie fruits. Keep this in mind when adding one to your breakfast.

Here are 4 ideas to show you what you can get out of breakfast for under 200 calories. Make sure you always measure your food and be mindful of any condiments, like butter or jam, that you may use. Also, make sure you don’t add excessive cream or sugar to your coffee—and if you do, these calories need to be taken into account. When you consume a healthy and nutritious breakfast, you are properly fueling your body for the day to come.

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