A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prepare A Filling Healthy Meal Plan

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Meal Plan Image Design 1 - A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prepare A Filling Healthy Meal PlanThere are many diets and food lifestyles out there. While many people look for a quick fix, there are now many people looking for a sustainable lifestyle that helps them lose weight and keep it off in the long term. They want more than just a way to get rid of the flab and want a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re on a diet.

Therefore many dieters and healthy eating plans focus on filling and healthy foods. If you followed one of the old Weight Watchers diets, you’ve likely heard of the “filling and healthy” plan. This was full of food that was designed to make you feel fuller quicker and keep you feeling full for longer. The food was also healthy, offering a range of nutrients rather than empty calories.

Whatever type of diet you follow, you want to create a filling and healthy meal plan. In fact, you can do this without following a specific type of diet. Focusing on foods that are good for you and will make you feel satisfied sooner and for longer will help you eat fewer calories and lose more weight.

But how do you create a filling and healthy meal plan? Just where do you start and what do you need? This is your step-by-step guide to prepare and create your filling and healthy meal plan. We’ll start from the very beginning.

What Is a Filling and Healthy Meal?

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Before we look at planning, let’s take a look at the idea of filling and healthy meals. What makes a meal both filling and healthy?

Think about your current meals. Do you find that after a few hours you feel hungry, or you don’t have much energy? This is likely because you’re eating the wrong mixture of nutrients—or you’re not getting any nutrients at all.

You could end up with too many carbs and not enough fiber or protein. Sure, carbs are important, but your meal shouldn’t be completely made up of them. You’ll need to make sure you get a good mixture of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. And you’ll want to get the right types of carbs; the ones with the fiber.

Proteins, fiber, and healthy fats break down slowly in the body. They help to avoid sugars metabolizing quickly, so the energy is released throughout the space of the day. You’ll feel more satisfied throughout the day because of this. This can mean you eat fewer calories throughout the day, although you will have to think about your portion sizes.

It is possible to lose weight without calorie counting. You focus more on the type of food you’re eating, naturally making you eat less.

Filling and healthy foods include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meals
  • Olive and coconut oil
  • Whole grains
  • Whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Now that you know more about the filling and healthy foods, it’s time to create your filling and healthy meal plan.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have a Book or Planner

Let’s start with something to create your meal plan. It can be in a notebook or a planner for the wall. You just need somewhere that you can look at to know what you will be making on the day or the meal that you’ll pull out of the freezer. We’ll move on the freezer element later!

There are meal planners available in most craft stores now. You can also get a white board that you put up in the kitchen. You simply mark out a table for the week with sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Make sure you have enough space to write in each section. Your snack section can be smaller than other sections.

You may want to have a wall planner just for dinners, as they may be the only meals that your family will eat together. The other meals can be planned separately in a book. It’s also possible to use different colored pens for individual people in the house. This can be a good way to manage certain types of meals, such as gluten-free or dairy free diets.

Some people have taken to bullet journaling for meal planning. They have a small notebook that they use for all types of planning and organizing.

Step 2: Plan Out All Meals and Snacks

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Some people will only plan out one meal a day. They forget about the other two meals. Those that plan out all three meals will often forget about the snacks. It’s important to plan out all your meals.

You will also want to plan out the timings of your meals. This is important to help keep your energy leveled throughout the day.

When your main meals are four hours apart, you’ll find you need fewer snacks and can cut down to just one. Alternatively, you can opt for smaller meals spaced out three hours throughout the day. You get a constant stream of energy that breaks down and is used up slowly throughout the day.

Any more than four hours between meals and you will start feeling hungry. This is because your body will use up the energy that you’ve provided it. If you eat the wrong types of foods, you’ll feel hungrier at earlier points in the day. Feeling hungry can make your body going into a panic mode. While it seems silly, your body doesn’t exactly know when you’re going to get your next meal. It starts making you crave the instant rushes of energy to sustain it.

You want to focus on the smaller meals throughout the day, rather than two big meals and a couple of snacks. This helps you stick to your filling and healthy meal plan.

Step 3: Have a List of Low GI Foods

Remember when I said you needed to focus on the right carbs? Well, you want to focus more on the low GI carbs. These are those that don’t release as many sugars directly into the bloodstream. They don’t cause a large insulin response and are healthier for you, especially if you have diabetes.

That doesn’t mean all high GI foods are off limits. Surprisingly some fruits are considered high GI foods. You just must be aware that these foods aren’t as good for your health or your hunger levels. They can metabolize quicker than other foods, leaving you feeling hungry throughout the day.

Make a list of all the low GI foods that you can eat. This will help you decide whether a recipe is good for your filling and healthy diet. Consult the list for any new recipe that you find, especially if it claims to be filling and healthy. One or two ingredients on the recipe list can be high GI, but you want most them to be low.

Step 4: Spend Time Looking for Recipe Ideas

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While you will have some staples for your meal plan, you’ll want to add some new recipes to your weekly plan. This helps to avoid getting bored. You’ll find it much easier to stick to this healthy lifestyle.

Spend time each week looking for some new recipes to try. Don’t just pick up cookbooks. You can check out blogs, websites, and even Pinterest for some ideas. Speaking of Pinterest, set up a board for all your recipes. Quickly repin all the ones that look interesting to you and then you have them for easier grabbing.

You don’t need to add a new recipe to every single day of the week. Opt for a new and fun recipe once or twice. Get the kids involved in this process and find out what they would like. You can offer a couple of choices to choose from, so they feel like they have total control, but you’ve still made sure the meals are filling and healthy.

Plan strategic places for putting them into your meal plan. Think about the days that you have more time to cook and those when you’re not going to resent spending time at the stove. This means it will be less likely that you will switch the plan and opt for something that isn’t filling and healthy.

Don’t forget to plan in some desserts. These will become part of your meals. Dessert with your evening meal is the most common.

Step 5: Make Sure You Have Some Family Friendly Staples

You won’t want to spend all your time cooking something new. There will be times that you just want to grab ingredients and create a meal. Therefore you’ll need some staple meals that your whole family will love. These could also be meals that your guests are guaranteed to love, instead of risking trying something new.

Set up a recipe folder or a Pinterest board full of the family-friendly recipes. This will make it easier to pull them out when you want to make them.

You may not have the recipes. After a while, the staples will be ones that you make off the top of your head.

Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Bulk Cook

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I mentioned that you could grab some meals from the freezer. I wasn’t talking about processed meals that you can get from the grocery store. This comment was about bulk cooking one day of the week.

This can be an excellent way to stick to your filling and healthy meal plan during a busy week. Opt for a day off work when you make a range of meals throughout the week. You can have Bolognese sauces, marinades, and soups. You can even pre-prepare some of your vegetables and salads to make it easier to grab and go.

You don’t have to prepare every single element of your meal. Simply have the elements that usually take the longest to make, so you can reheat while your pasta or meat is cooking. You’ll find it is much easier to grab a meal after a long day at work. You won’t think about the takeaways that just aren’t filling and healthy.

Step 7: Try Out Themed Nights

“Meatless Monday” is a popular hashtag on Twitter. You could opt for Soup Saturday or Pizza Friday. There are all sorts of themes that you can have.

Yes, they will help with creating the meal plan for your filling and healthy lifestyle. Each day of the week has a designated theme. This is your theme throughout a month or a few months; then you can always change them up if you want to try something else.

Each meal of the day will work with your designated theme. You will find that coming up with ideas is much easier. You just must search for recipes that work with the theme or adapt your favorite meals to work with the theme.

All you have to do is make sure that the recipes are still filling and healthy.

Step 8: Create a Shopping List of Necessary Foods

Once you’ve created your weekly meal plan, create a list of foods that you will need to buy. Some meals will use the same ingredients, so you’ll need to make sure you stock up on plenty for your needs.

Don’t worry if you do run out. You can always go to the shop on the way home. However, having everything ready will help to limit the frustration of running out of a particular ingredient.

When you are out of a staple ingredient, make sure you put it on the shopping list. This will avoid forgetting about it when it comes to creating your next shopping list.

Step 9: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Relaxed

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It will be tempting to stick with your filling and healthy meal plan strictly. This isn’t necessary. Your meal plan needs to be fun. Eating with your friends and family should be enjoyable, as well as healthy and good for your energy levels.

It’s important to create a meal plan that is relaxed and works for you. If you decide you want to switch the meals for Friday and Saturday around, don’t be afraid to do it. If your kids decide that they want Wednesday’s planned dinner for Monday, go with the flow. A simple swap is not going to affect your diet or your meal plan!

However, you only really want to do swaps. If you are going to opt for alternatives, make sure they are still filling and healthy recipes. You don’t want to swap out the Friday filling and healthy fish dish for a takeaway pizza!

Are You Ready for a Filling and Healthy Meal Plan?

It’s time to stock up on filling and healthy ingredients. Look out for foods that work great for recipes but also for good snacks throughout the day.

A filling and healthy meal plan will be fun to create. There is lots of inspiration on the likes of Pinterest or in cookbooks. Just make sure you have your calendar or planner and create a meal plan that works for everyone in the house. You’ll soon have a list of staples and wonder what the panic or confusion was all about.

14 Filling Toast Toppings Under 100 Calories

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Let me tell you in this article why missing 100 cal breakfast is a really bad thing to do. Having some good 100 cal breakfast in the morning means keeping your energy level under control for the rest of the day. And if you ever avoided having 100 cal breakfast in the morning thinking that this is a great idea to lose weight you are totally mistaken, because it will only lead to exactly opposite consequences.

You might have been probably wondering that this is a good idea because you are skipping one 100 cal breakfast meal a day, but the effect is completely opposite because it would only affect your mood and energy level what is not very favorable for your health.

You have to understand that these first 100 cal breakfast morning meal sets the rhythm of your mood for the whole day and if you won’t fill your organism with the essential nutrients of 100 cal breakfast in the morning it will only result in feeling bad, irritating and stressed out. And it is not only bad for your health, but it can also affect your relationships with other people at work or at home, and it will not only harm you and your health but those people who are around you.

So let me tell you why avoiding 100 cal breakfast is a really bad idea.

Avoiding 100 cal breakfast in the morning slows down your digestion process and as the result slows down your energy level that can make you feel tired, depressed and it can also make you less productive and efficient at your workplace.

Some dietitians also claim that avoiding eating 100 cal breakfast will result in putting on weight even faster, so if you want to lose some weight using this method it won’t help you but it will give you the exactly opposite effect.

It will be interesting for you to know, that avoiding 100 cal breakfast can result in muscle loss, simply because your organism start eating your muscles just to gain this missing energy and as the result missing 100 cal breakfast won’t make you lose weight and look better, but it will only do the worse.

Avoiding 100 cal breakfast also means that you are simply denying yourself all the nutrients. That is why if you want to feel great for the rest of the day all you need to do is to eat a healthy 100 cal breakfast without much sugar and fat.

However, if you eat 100 cal breakfast every morning it actually gives you a lot of benefits such as: First of all it boosts your digestion and fill you with this essential energy that will load you for the whole day. Also, it acts as alert for your mood and concentration for the rest of the day. Just remember, it will keep you energetic throughout the whole day and it will also let you focus on those things which are important for you.

It is strange, but people are not using the powers that are given right into their hands. It is obvious that today we are living in the world where knowledge makes life easier. And this comes down to the vitamins as well.

6 Healthy (and Filling!) Snack Recipes to Try at Home

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We hear all the time that to lose weight you need to cut out the snacks. You need to reduce some calories that you eat during the day. But this can leave us hungry and crave all the wrong foods.

Some of the snacks that we do have aren’t exactly healthy for us. They leave us with energy highs and then sugar crashes. We’re left feeling unsatisfied and crave more food. On top of that, these snacks are usually high in calories, so you end up eating far more calories than you really need to on throughout the day.

What does this leave us with? Stored calories and fats. We’re left gaining weight with an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s no wonder that we’re recommended to avoid eating snacks completely.

But what if you could opt for healthier snacks? What if you could end up finding snacks that aren’t just good for your weight loss and your lifestyle, but will keep you feeling full and satisfied until the next meal? Yes, it really is possible to find healthy and filling snacks.

They’re not boring or hard to make either. Many of them are easily transportable, giving you and your family something to eat on car journeys, while at school or work, or just when you want something in the house.

Here are six deliciously healthy (and filling) snack recipes to try while you’re at home. Get your kids involved and teach them how to follow a great diet that will keep them feeling full but help them stay at a healthy weight. Many of these are also fun to make, so the kids see past the healthy element.

Nutty Power Boats


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This is an excellent snack if there are no nut allergies. If you do have to deal with allergies, there are alternatives and we’ll discuss them very soon.

Let’s start with the main Nutty Power Boat first.

All you need is some celery, peanut butter, and some nuts and raisins. Choose the nuts that you and your children love the most. You can opt for walnuts, peanuts (okay, not nuts but they’re often lumped in with the nut family), and even Brazil nuts.

Chop your celery sticks into halves or thirds. You want them long enough to hold but not too long that they struggle with the weight of the peanut butter and nuts. Thirds are usually the preferred amount for kids since they don’t need as much in the way of snacks as adults.

Fill the middle of the celery with some peanut butter. Pack it in so it completely fills it. With the celery cut into thirds, you’ll usually only need a tablespoon or two to get the middle of the celery full. Top it off with your nuts and raisins; two or three will be enough.

Lay out your snacks on a plate and enjoy. These are portable, but they are much better eaten at home.

If there are nut allergies, substitute the peanut butter for some seed butter instead. There are various options that will suit your preferences. You can then just opt for raisins or other dried fruit in place of the nuts on the top.

Makeup a Trail Mix


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Trail mixes are excellent for snacks. They’re packed with protein to keep you feeling full throughout the day. You can also make these in bulk since they will last for a few weeks when stored in an airtight container or packet. Trail mixes are one of the most portable friendly filling snacks you can have.

The best part is you get to choose the types of ingredients you throw in. Have a mixture of nuts, dried fruits, and seeds. Walnuts, pecans, and cashew nuts tend to be the most popular options when it comes to making these with nuts. If there is a nut allergy in the family, you’ll want to add more dried fruits and seeds to the mix. You could also add some granola to the mix to create something with a little more fibre.

Raisins do tend to be the most popular option when it comes to the dried fruits but don’t forget dried pineapple, dried apple, dried cranberries, and even dried papaya is available. All of these will add some fibre to your trail mix and will be able to offer some extra nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K.

Chop your nuts and some of the dried fruit up into smaller pieces if you’d like. Pop everything into a small, sealable bag and take it on the go with you. You’ll only need a handful or two of this for each snack to feel full.

Do watch out for eating too much trail mix. It’s very easy to gorge without actually realising. Listen to your stomach and eat slowly to avoid excess calories.

Berries and Cream Cheese on Toast


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Who said that healthy snacks had to be fancy? A slice or two of toast with the perfect toppings is just what you need. And yes you can pull out the cream cheese for this healthy snack.

When it comes to the bread, brown or rye is going to be your best option. Brown bread is full of fibre, unlike the white versions. You may be able to get half and a half, which is a mixture of brown and white flour. It’s not as good as brown bread, but it will offer some of the fibre lost from just choosing white.

Cream cheese is full of protein to keep you full between meals. You can then top with a mixture of berries of your choice. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are great options. You can also top with some basil to some extra flavouring.

When you make this for the kids, lay out the fruit and basil into shapes of faces or animals. They will love this sort of presentation, and it doesn’t take that long to do.

Peanut Butter Granola Balls



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Peanut butter and granola are two highly recommended ingredients for healthy snacks. The granola offers the fibre, while the peanut butter offers the protein and healthy fats. Put all these three food groups together, and you have a snack that breaks down slowly and keeps you feeling full.

The balls are easy to take on trips or pop in lunch boxes. They can also be made quickly to enjoy something at home when needed. In fact, once the ingredients are mixed, the baking only takes 8 minutes. Kids will love to help make these, too, since it means getting the hands messy.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of granola

Method

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • 2. Mix all the ingredients except the granola together in a bowl
  • 3. Now mix the granola
  • 4. Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray
  • 5. Bake for 8 minutes

Allow the balls to cool before serving, especially for little mouths.

If there are peanut allergies, you can use seed butter instead. If you do use the peanut butter, it’s completely up to you whether to opt for smooth or crunchy. Crunch peanut butter is great when mixed with the granola.

Who would have thought that peanut butter could work with fruit for a healthy snack? Peanut butter gets a bad reputation for being fatty and bad for you, but we’ve already seen with a few of these snacks that it can be excellent for something filling between meals. In fact, it’s better to have it on your snacks than to use too much during a meal.

Yes, there is a fatty element to peanut butter. When you only have a tablespoon or two in a day, though, you’re going to find that your calorie count isn’t going to go too high.

Fruit also sometimes gets a bad reputation. Sure, it’s great for nutrients, but it also has a lot of natural sugars and acids. In small portions, the fruit is going to be one of the best things for you when it comes to snacks. Fruit is full of fibre, which breaks down slowly and leaves you feeling fuller for much longer.

Slice apples up in edges and layer a bit of smooth peanut butter on one side. You can then top with some grapes that are sliced in half.

If you’re not a fan of apples, you can also chop a banana into chunks and layer one side with peanut butter.

There’s something about peanut butter covered fruit that makes it seem naughty, even though the snack is going to be good for you. Kids also forget about the healthy fruit, because they’re so focused on enjoying the peanut butter.

If you are allergic to peanuts, there are seed butter available so you can still try out this snack if you would like.

Tomato and Feta Crispbreads


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Children and adults love this snack. It is portable, but it tends to be better travelling with it in separate bags. Make up your crispbread snacks when you get to your location. The problem with transporting the crispbreads as a whole is that the tomato juice will soak into the crispbreads and make them soggy.

There are various flavours of crispbread available. Some are topped with seeds for extra nutrients and others include nuts. Look for the ones that you prefer the most. You’ll also be able to find plenty of crispbread options in your budget range.

Top your crispbread with some sliced tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese. Feta is one of the healthiest cheese options out there for this sort of snack, as it’s full of protein with less fat. The cheese will also help to balance out the acidic levels in the tomato to keep your teeth protected from enamel erosion.

If you want a little bit more of a Mediterranean feel, then sprinkle it with some dried oregano or basil.

You can put your ingredients on the crispbread to make a face for the kids. These also make great snacks for serving when you have company.

Snack as Part of a Healthy Diet


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Now that you have six delicious recipes to try, it’s important to get your overall diet and lifestyle in order. If you want to lose weight, the healthy snacks will only help when you follow a healthy and balanced diet. Think about the meals you’re serving and don’t forget about the portion sizes. Even the healthiest meals won’t be good for you in large portions—you’ll still end up eating far too many calories.

You’ll also want to think about the fluid that you get. Being fully hydrated is a great way to keep yourself feeling full and boosting your weight loss efforts. Drinking ice cold water will help to burn more calories, and drinking before meals and snacks will help to keep a number of calories you consume down.

Exercise and an overall lifestyle change will also be important. Food is just 80% of the journey to lose weight.

Which Healthy and Filling Snack Will You Try First?

Now it’s time to create your snacks at home. Which one will you try first? Why not find out more about your kids’ favourite foods and find ways to incorporate them into healthy snacks? You’ll be surprised at the type of food that sounds bad for you but is actually really good.

If you just want to start with something simple and quick to make, any of the six above are excellent choices. My favourite is the toast with the berries and cream cheese. There’s just something about this mixture that feels naughty and bad for me but is actually really good. That is when I use the right ingredients! Brown bread has the fibre to help work with the protein in the cream cheese to make me feel full until lunch or dinner.

So, which one will you and your kids try out first?

10 Filling Snacks Under 100 Calories

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Watermelon

Watermelons contain high levels of lycopene which protect your cells from damage. It may also reduce the risk of heart diseases. The fruit’s concentration of citrulline and arginine are good for your heart.

Lycopene neutralizes free radicals and is an inhibitor for various inflammatory processes. The water content of the watermelon helps you stay hydrated, and its juice is full of useful electrolytes. A cup of watermelon contains one-quarter of your daily RDA. The Vitamin A present in watermelon keeps your skin and hair moisturized. Watermelon prevents muscle soreness, reduces cancer risk and helps improve blood circulation.

Spinach

Spinach contains alpha-linoleic acid which helps in diabetes management. It also reduces peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. Spinach contains chlorophyll which is effective at blocking heterocyclic amines and prevents cancer.

Spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene which helps to prevent asthma. It has high levels of potassium which helps to lower high blood pressure. Spinach promotes bone health and prevents constipation. It is rich in vitamin A and is necessary for all body tissues including skin and hair. Spinach is rich in iron and helps to prevent hair loss.

Balsamic vinegar

The balsamic vinegar which is made from grapes has a rich taste. It is low in calories and gives you the flavor punch with less fat, than if you’d have used an oil based salad dressing. Researchers found that balsamic vinegar reduced the hardening of arteries because it lowers and stabilizes blood pressure levels. The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar limit the ability of LDL cholesterol to oxidize and boosts your heart health.

7 Healthy Cereals for a Filling Breakfast

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Cereals Image Design 1 1024x562 - 7 Healthy Cereals for a Filling BreakfastBreakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s that meal you have after an 8 or so hour fast while you sleep. When you eat breakfast after waking, you help to boost your metabolism and get yourself in the right state of mind for a long day.

While you can eat anything, you want to make sure your breakfast is healthy. The problem is most of us don’t have the time to cook something every single morning. Sure eggs and oats can only take minutes to make, but we sometimes don’t even have that.

We have lives, right? We have to get the kids ready, help other members of the family get their breakfasts, and get ourselves for work. And many of us just aren’t morning people!

Cereal tends to be the easiest option. It’s quick to grab, and you can eat it around doing everything else. You can even take it to work with you—just have the milk separately to avoid soggy cereal.

Cereal Isn’t Healthy?

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I know what you’re thinking. You hear all the time that cereal isn’t healthy. You need to avoid it if you want to lose weight and support your whole body.

Well, what ‘experts’ tell you isn’t quite the truth. Sure, some cereals out there aren’t healthy, but others are excellent for you. They can fill you up with fibre and don’t have the sugars that leave you craving more later on in the day.

It’s all about finding the right types of cereals to start your day. They can be extremely healthy for you! Some of them offer you better starts to the day than eggs, bacon, and other options.

But where do you start in your hunt for healthy breakfast cereals? What do you need to avoid and what do you need to look out for?

The main focus is to look for cereals that are high in fibre and low in sugar. Don’t judge by looking at the packet and a guess at the ingredients in them. You may be surprised to hear that some of those dried fruit muesli and granola are actually relatively high in sugar and bad for you.

So, rather than guess and hope, why not have a select few bowls of cereal and tips to find the healthiest breakfast cereals for the best start to your day? Here’s seven that you can try.

Crunchy Coconut Granola

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Not all granolas are good for you, but a crunchy coconut granola will be. You could even make this yourself by getting some shredded coconut, sesame seeds, and granola pieces (without the fruit!). You just throw it all into a bowl, and you get something sweet, crunchy, and delicious.

The sweetness from the coconut isn’t going to be too bad for you. It’s large amounts of refined sugar that you want to avoid, as well as sugars from most dried fruits. Coconut is naturally sweet but on the lower side.

There are branded products available if you don’t fancy making your own. Do watch out for the amount of sugar in the branded options, because they do tend to have added sugar. You want to find something that has 10g or lower of sugar in a normal serving. Less than 5g of sugar would be better, but this can be difficult with coconut.

Why coconut over all the other fruits? Well, it’s not just the natural sugar levels. Coconuts are also full of various minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin E and vitamin C. They’re full of antioxidants to help boost your immunity while boosting your metabolism.

Multi-Grain Squares

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Why not look at some multi-grain squares? They tend to be pockets of goodness, full of fibre and protein. The majority of them are also low in sugar. You end up feeling fuller for longer while getting all the nutrients from whole grain rice and oats.

Do watch out with these multi-grain squares. The branded products can add sugar to their products, which will counter some of the goodness that they provide. You want to look at the full list of ingredients and assess just how much sugar is in them. You should find that the sugar count doesn’t go over the 10g per serving mark.

One of the best things about the multi-grain squares is that they can be eaten dry. They are also delicious with milk alternatives. If you really want to add some natural sugars to them, chop up some fresh banana to enjoy with your breakfast cereal. You’ll get more fibre and nutrients!

Try to avoid the branded options that come with dried fruits. They have more sugar because of the dried fruits options. If you really want to add some to your day, raisins are going to be your best options.

Instead of dried fruit, why not add some nuts and seeds to your cereal? Nuts are full of healthy fats and protein. They also have selenium to help boost your energy levels and metabolism.

Raisin Bran

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Some raisin brans can be good as a start to the day. You will need to check the labeling for the sugars, as added sugar can be included to ruin the health benefits of the actual bran flakes.

If you don’t want raisins in your cereal, bran flakes are going to be the best option. It’s actually the bran flakes that do all the good. They’re full of fibre, helping to boost your digestive system and get your body ready for the start of the day. The fibre will digest slowly, so you feel fuller for longer and eat fewer calories throughout the day.

Raisins in the bran flakes aren’t too bad. They’re not the best start to the day, but they do offer some extra vitamins, including vitamin C. However, the dehydration process to get the raisins will lead to some of the nutrients being damaged. Top your bran flakes with some fresh fruit instead. Defrost some frozen berries in the microwave and pour them over the top. Allow the juices to soak into the bran flakes for a naturally sweeter and healthier start to your morning.

Cheerios

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There’s a reason why this is a staple in cupboards around the world. The multiple oats used in the cereal are full of fibre. You get a whole 3g of fibre per serving, which is far more than the majority of other cereals. At the same time, you get 3g of protein.

Protein is an essential start to the day. It helps to build and strengthen the muscles and tissues in the body, improving your overall health.

Let’s not also forget the low sugar count in Cheerios. One serving will give you just 1g of sugar! That’s it! You’ll get a little sweet taste but know that they are perfectly fine for you.

Cheerios don’t need milk to make them yummy. They are one of the best snack foods for kids. Just pop a handful in a small tub for lunch, and your kids will think you’re the best.

You can also mix some yoghurt in with your Cheerios and even some nut butter. This will help to boost up the protein levels.

Wheaties

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Do you have a box of Wheaties in the cupboard? Worried that they will need to be thrown out? Well, don’t jump to the trash just yet!

Wheaties are known as the “breakfast of champions”, and there is a very good reason for that. You see the grains that make up the cereal are actually very good for you. And there aren’t many sugars added unless you add them yourself. In fact, some people claim that they taste a little bland because they don’t have sugar and then pile up on the sugar themselves.

Like with the Cheerios, Wheaties will give you 3g of fibre per serving. They don’t give you as much protein, but the fat count is also lower. The sugars are unfortunately higher than Cheerios, but lower than many others already on our list, sitting at 4g per serving.

This is a good thing. You get all the fibre to help you feel fuller for longer, without any type of sugar rush.

If you feel like you do need some sugars added to get a sweeter start to your morning, why not add some fruit instead? Bananas, strawberries, and coconut all make excellent choices.

Weetabix

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It’s time to look at other wheat cereals to start your morning. Weetabix is a brand found mostly in the United Kingdom, but there will be other non-branded versions elsewhere. They have shredded oats packed together into bowl-sized bites. There are even smaller versions if you’d prefer to feel like you have more in your bowl.

Weetabix can be eaten in a variety of ways. While many will put sugar on top, they are delicious when served with chopped banana, strawberries, or mixed berries. You can defrost your frozen berries in the microwave and pour over the top of your cereal and mix in with some yoghurt.

This is one of those cereals that has no added sugar (depending on the brand, of course) and plenty of fibre. They’re made from 100% wholegrain, which means they will fuel your body and aid your digestive system. You will barely need to eat a snack throughout the day.

One of the downsides to Weetabix is that they can end up going soggy. When you leave the milk or yoghurt on them too long, the oats expand and soak them up. If you don’t have enough milk, they end up soggy but still a little dry to taste. You need to get the balance just right for your tastes.

Overnight Oats

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While you may not have time to make oats in the morning, you don’t need to rules them out completely. It is possible to make them up the night before and have them ready for you the next morning.

The success in this is all about layers. And there are diet programs lie Weight Watchers that praise the idea to make breakfast simple and healthy!

Start with a layer of oats and then a layer of fruit. Add a layer of yoghurt on the top. Do not mix! Overnight the yoghurt will seep down into the layers of fruit and oats to soften them gradually. On a morning you can then mix everything together and enjoy. If you mix the night before, you end up with a soggy mess on a morning!

The amount of sugar you end up with will depend on the ingredients that you use. While the oats are full of fibre, the yoghurts can end up being bad for you. Look out for natural Greek yoghurt to avoid as much added sugar as possible. You really don’t need the fruity options considering the fruits that you will include instead.

As for fruits, you have complete control. Why not try some bananas and berries? You could also opt for some mangoes or pineapples if you want a tropical start to the morning. The choice really is up to you.

It’s Time to Start Your Day Right

Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast. You will need it if you want to lose weight and live a healthy life. While it seems like you’re not eating that much, those who skip breakfast are more likely to eat more throughout the day. You start snacking more because you’re not full enough.

One thing that you want to do is make sure that your breakfast is healthy. You want to fill up on fibre and proteins, avoiding the sugars as much as possible. It’s the sugars that will cause you to eat more and gain weight. They break down quickly and leave you far hungrier later on.

Cereal can be healthy. Look out for those that offer you the high fibre and low sugar counts. The seven above are perfect for stocking up on for both you and your family. It’s time to start your day just right.

8 Filling Midnight Snacks Under 100 Calories

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Midnight Snacks Image Design 1 - 8 Filling Midnight Snacks Under 100 CaloriesDon’t you just hate waking up in the middle of the night hungry? You don’t want to spend the calories on something that will tide you over until your next meal, but you just can’t get back to sleep.

Sometimes, you need to stay up for a few hours waiting for friends or because you have some coursework to do. The last thing you want is to snack throughout the night and end up gaining weight. After all, you don’t change your food choices throughout the next day to make up for the midnight snack.

It’s time to find a midnight snack that will be good for your waistline. Here are eight extremely filling options that will only cost you up to 100 calories.

Opt for Vegetables of Any Kind

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Vegetables are your friend when it comes to midnight snacks. Yes, you’ll hear this a lot about vegetables, but you want to choose them before any other snack. They are the best for your overall health, as well as your waistline.

It doesn’t matter which vegetable you eat either. A cup of the majority of vegetables contains less than 100 calories. It’s fruiting that is slightly higher.

But are vegetables that filling? After all, they are siding options when it comes to a meal.

Well, yes, vegetables are filling. They’re full of fiber and water.

The water will help to trick your stomach into thinking you’re full. It fills it up without adding any extra calories. It’s the fiber that gives you the energy and the sustained feeling of being full. It takes time for the body to break down the fiber in your digestive system. You can usually tide yourself over until your next meal with the help of one portion of vegetables.

The next time you’re pulling an all-nighter, stock up on some carrot sticks, chopped broccoli, and some cauliflower. You can also choose some peppers and cherry tomatoes. Everything mixed will help to curb some sweet cravings, make you feel satisfied, and add plenty of nutrients to your body.

Baby carrots are certainly among the best. There are just 35 calories in nine carrots. You won’t feel the need to consume anymore.

Watch out if you’re going to add dip to your vegetables. This will take your calorie count up, so you’ll want to find out exactly just how many calories are in your dip of choice. Hummus or salsa can be your best options.

Opt Specifically for Radishes

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Technically radishes are a vegetable, but they deserve a mention of their own. They are the perfect low-calorie midnight snack. Each radish is just one calorie. That means you can have 100 radishes for 100 calories.

Chances are you’re not going to want 100 radishes. The slightly spicier taste will stop you wanting to eat too many. You’ll also get plenty of fiber to help you feel fuller sooner than with other snacks in your kitchen cupboard.

Opt for a little sea salt with your radishes. This can take away some of the bites that radishes have. Sea salt is a healthier option without being too dehydrating compared to other salts.

You’ll get plenty of other health benefits of radishes. One of them is within the spicy taste. The heat of the radishes will increase your body temperature, which helps to increase your metabolism rate.

Grave a Cheese String

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Think that cheese is a no-go as a midnight snack? Well, you can get some without spending more than 100 calories. Just one cheese string is perfect and worth just 85 calories!

While getting those calories, you’re stocking up on plenty of protein. In fact, there are 7 grams of protein in one cheese string. It takes the body time to break down protein and convert it into energy for the muscles. This means you feel fuller for longer.

Of course, there are other health benefits to the cheese string, such as the calcium. You’ll have healthier bones and teeth by opting for this over chocolate or crisps. In fact, you get 20% of your daily recommended amount from a cheese string!

Other types of cheese can be good (depending on the amount you get), but there is a special benefit in cheese strings. You just can’t help but pull it to pieces. The child in you knows that you can pull it apart string by string to eat it. This helps you eat the cheese string much slower than you would with a block of normal cheese, so you give your stomach a chance to tell your brain that you’re full. There’s less chance of consuming too many calories.

Make a Bowl of Popcorn

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When you want to grab a handful of crisps, vegetables and cheese strings aren’t exactly going to hit the spot. Rather than wasting the empty calories, why not opt for some popcorn? It’s best to make your own or get a plain bag, rather than getting the sweet, salty, or buttery options.

Air-popped popcorn is quick to make and full of air! Three cups of it will give you less than 100 calories. You’ll also get plenty of fiber and protein in your snack, especially if you opt for whole grain kernels.

The popcorn is the perfect option when you need something to satisfy you while watching a movie. Just make a promise to yourself (and stick to it) that you’ll only have the one helping of popcorn. It is very easy to consume more than you should because of mindless eating.

If you’re not too sure about plain popcorn, add a few seasonings from your cupboard. Italian seasoning and cumin are among the top choices. Experiment with a few to create a delicious flavoring without all the calories that the butter, salt, and sugar have.

Choose Greek or Natural Yogurt

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Yogurt can make an excellent snack, but you need to choose the right type. You want one that is either Greek or all natural, and make sure there’s no added sugar. There will be some natural sugars in yogurt due to the dairy used to create it.

Greek yogurt is by far the best option. Avoid those with fruit flavorings, as they tend to have extra sugars and extra calories. Six ounces of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt has less than 100 calories.

Like with the cheese string, you’re not just benefiting from the low calories. Yogurts are extremely filling thanks to the protein. That 6 ounces of yogurt is made up of 6 grams of protein. The protein fuels the muscles and breaks down slowly in the body.

You can use a little yogurt as a dip for your vegetable sticks if you’d like! If you want some flavorings, look out for seasonings and herbs for something a little more savory.

Make Up Some Oatmeal

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It’s time to pull out the oats and make some porridge out of them. To help keep the calories to a minimum, make them with some water.

If you want something extremely quick, you can choose a packet of instant plain oatmeal. You will get around 100 calories in a bowl, and the portion size is all worked out for you. However, you can end up with fewer calories by pouring your oats. Just make sure you measure them to avoid going over around 30g.

Oats are packed with fiber. As we mentioned with the vegetables, the fiber will help to make the oats one of the most filling snacks. There’s a reason oatsare used as a breakfast ingredient.

Another benefit is that the oatmeal is hot. This can make it more satisfying and filling, especially in the middle of the winter when you have most of your project deadlines!

Oats on their own can taste a little bland. You’ll need to find another way to brighten up the taste. Opt for some nutmeg or cinnamon for zero extra calories but a lot of extra taste!

Grab a Couple of Turkey Slices

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Turkey is the best bird to eat when you want something filling. You know that feeling you get at Thanksgiving or Christmas after your turkey dinner? There’s this sleepy state. It’s the turkey that’s doing this to you.

Turkey is full of tryptophan, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. The tryptophan tells your body that you’re completely satisfied and that you couldn’t possibly eat another bite.

At the same time, turkey is low in calories but high in protein. When you get the white part of the meat, you also avoid the fat—the skin holds the majority of the fat! With the protein, you also get the macronutrient that tells your body that you’re full for hours to come.

When you’re struggling for a filling midnight snack, pull out a couple of slices of turkey. You’ll get more than enough with a couple of slices, which gives you around 100 calories.

Turkey is an excellent option when you’re struggling to get back to sleep. The tryptophan will help you fall right back asleep after your midnight snack.

Try to get the white turkey slices. Avoid the processed options that are used for sandwiches and found in packets. While they are low in calories, they don’t have all the health benefits. They also aren’t as filling as real turkey slices. The best way to have turkey slices is to cook your turkey and rip it up. Turkey slices on a plate covered in the fridge will last a week or so in the fridge.

Grab the Jar of Olives

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It’s time to pull out the olives from your cupboard. If you don’t buy olives yet, you want to make sure you always have a jar ready for your midnight snacking. You get just 40 calories from 10 small olives. So if you want to eat the whole 100 calories, you can enjoy 25 olives.

There are high chances that you won’t need all 25 olives. Just 10 will be filling enough, especially if you consume them slowly. Due to the low calories, you can also enjoy some vegetables with your olives.

Why are olives so filling? It’s all in the fat. Many people view fat as bad—the reason for gaining weight. Your body needs some fat to help support the metabolism, but it needs the right fats. The great news is that olives are full of healthy, monounsaturated fats. They’re the same fats that you’ll get in olive oil!

Healthy fats are like proteins and fiber. They take much longer to break down in the body than carbs, making you feel fuller for longer. There are many other health benefits to eating olives, such as the antioxidants. There’s a reason the Mediterranean diet recommends olives on a regular basis. The antioxidants are excellent for cancer-fighting, age-fighting, and inflammation-fighting benefits.

Grab a toothpick to eat your olives. Enjoy one at a time and savor the taste.

You can enjoy both green and black olives for the health benefits. Just watch out for those that are stuffed!

Snacking Isn’t Off Limits

The great thing about eating healthily is that snacking isn’t completely off limits. You just need to make sure you eat the right type of snacks. You need to find ones that are low in calories but high in nutrients. The above options are certainly the ones that you want to enjoy.

You can eat all the snacks on their own if you’d like. This is the best way to keep your snacks to less than 100 calories. However, you can also mix them. You’ll need to know the exact amount of calories in your servings when it comes to mixing and matching.

It’s time to stock your cupboards up with the right ingredients. Get your vegetables, olives, and cheese strings right now. You will not regret them when you have your midnight snacks that are excellent for your waistline and health.

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Feng-Shui-Approved Tips For Filling Your Home With Loving Energy

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We all could use some more love in our lives, whether we’re looking for a new romantic love or amplifying an existing one. But love and romance are multifaceted, and they’re about more than creating a Tinder profile or buying some new lingerie.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the energy you bring. My mother taught me about manifesting at an early age, and I’ve been using the practice ever since. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that when I clear my mind and focus on what I want, things happen at lightning-fast speed. There are lots of tricks, but one thing that most people don’t talk about is that you can—and should!—set up your home to support your manifestation efforts.

Here are some tips for designing a home that welcomes some of that loving energy we’re all after. As you bring them to life in your space, remember to focus your mind on the results you want to create. Go slow, and enjoy the process!

To find love:

1. Clear the entry.

Every part of your home tells a story, but when it comes to opportunities and beginnings, your front door is the center of the universe according to feng shui. If you think about love as an energy that you want to invite in, first you need to ask yourself how easy it is for that energy to find you. Clean the numbers attached to your letterbox, make sure your doorbell works, and sweep your front step. You can even wipe your door down with an essential oil: Try rose for love, sweet orange for happiness, or lavender for calm.

2. Treat yourself to the things you love.

Don’t wait for someone else to spoil you. You can live a delicious, full life right now. Buy fresh flowers as often as you can, cook for yourself, and spritz some of your favorite fragrance on your linens. Staying self-contained and self-sufficient completely changes your energy. You’re no longer searching for a lover to be whole. You’re already radiant, and you’re simply looking for someone to share the joy with.

3. Keep your space tidy.

On a purely practical note, you’re not going to want to bring that hot babe back to your abode if it looks like an episode of Hoarders. If you’re going out on a date and you think getting frisky might be on the menu, give your home a good once-over first. I can’t be the only person who is slightly turned on by the fresh scent of eucalyptus in a diffuser (although perhaps that’s my Virgo Sun talking).

To keep love:

1. Make space.

Is there room in your life for love—literally? So many of us are operating at full capacity, meaning our drawers are stuffed, and we never seem to have enough coat hangers in the closet. Let’s get real: If there’s barely room for you and your stuff, there definitely isn’t room for your lover and theirs. This principle is true on both a physical and metaphysical level. If there’s nowhere for them to keep a spare sweater or pair of socks, they’re going to feel unwelcome in your home. If you can’t create that tiny amount of space in your life, that tells us a lot about what’s going on for you emotionally. What are you still holding on to from your past? Are you really ready for love, or do you still have some opening up to do?

2. Light the flame.

Kiss the ghosts of relationships past goodbye by burning a bit of Palo Santo in your space. Imagine that you’re cleaning up the energy in your life so you can fully commit to your partner. After all, you can’t dance into your future if you still have one foot in the past.

3. Make your bedroom a beautiful, relaxing place to be.

For both of you! One of my favorite tips is from Amanda Gibby Peters of Simple Shui. She says that the best feng shui practice is surrounding yourself with objects you love. It really is that simple! Arrange your bedroom so that there’s something gorgeous in front of you when you wake up, whether that’s art, flowers, or a beautiful-colored wall.

To spice up love:

1. Get aromatic.

Fragrance can completely change the vibe of a room. Add an oil with sexy properties, like ylang-ylang, jasmine, fennel, or neroli, to your diffuser and let it permeate your bedroom. Give it a couple of hours before you lead your beloved by the hand!

2. Embrace the power of crystals.

Charge your favorite stones under the light of the moon by setting them on a windowsill overnight and then place them near—or even underneath—your bed!

3. Grow a small chili plant in your kitchen.

This one may seem a little odd, but taking care of something green symbolizes persistence, and chilies are traditionally known as an aphrodisiac. Add some of your homegrown chilies into your cooking to keep your romance fresh and exciting.

Looking for some more love inspo? Read 11 real people spilling the moment they knew their partner was the one.

7 Nutritious and Filling Foods to Help Your Trim Down

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more filling foods - 7 Nutritious and Filling Foods to Help Your Trim Down

Let’s not gloss over anything. Healthily and permanently losing weight is not nearly as easy as so many books, blog posts and diets make it out to be.

If there is one change in your outlook that will help you to shed pounds and keep them off, it is that there is no one single tip, trick, diet, exercise or anything else that will, by itself, automatically get you to lose weight.

Healthy weight loss results from a combination of a number of factors that includes eating a balanced diet, getting the proper nutrition and engaging in as much activity as you feel comfortable doing.

In other words, it takes a variety of well-planned steps to achieve the weight loss you want, and to maintain it.

Why Some People Are Overweight

The simplistic explanation is that overweight people consume more calories of energy than they burn. While that statement is true, the underlying causes of both sides of the equation are far from simple.

There are many physiological and psychological reasons for eating more food than we need. From eating as a way to reduce stress, to succumbing to the billions of dollars in advertising focused on getting you to eat high-calorie processed foods, when we consider having to eat less and/or changing our diets, the overall process of losing weight becomes very daunting. And that stops many people from even trying.

Weight Loss One Step at a Time

If you break down the overall process of weight loss, the smaller steps become easier to accomplish than the larger, intimidating process. So if it’s a simple equation of eating more calories than you burn, but you like to eat for a variety of underlying reasons, then why not eat foods that make you feel fuller, while not delivering too many, or any, more calories?

1. Pistachios

Many nuts deliver lots of healthy protein and help to fill you up, but pistachios are among the best. 48 pistachios deliver the same number of calories as 28 peanuts and 22 almonds. Pistachios are also high in heart-healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats.

 

2. Colourful, Non-Starchy Vegetables

Veggies like cucumbers, asparagus, broccoli and carrots are mainly made up of water and fibre, both of which are filling and have few calories.

 

3. Cheese

Yes, cheese is not on many weight-loss diets, and its saturated fat gives it a bad name. But cheese is very filling and, when eaten in proper proportions, delivers a boost of calcium that helps increase your body’s metabolic rate. Look for reduced fat, partly skimmed varieties.

 

4. Raspberries

One of the things dieters miss most is sweet foods. But raspberries deliver all the sweetness you could want in a delicious, low-calorie, high-fibre package that you can take with and enjoy anywhere.

 

5. Greek Yogurt

You probably know about the benefits of Greek yogurt, including it being high in protein and calcium. But you’ve also probably tried it and come away unimpressed. So here’s how to take advantage of all the healthy weight loss benefits that Greek yogurt delivers in a tastier way. Add some of the foods we’ve listed above, including raspberries and nuts. Not only will you enjoy the yogurt more, but it will fill you up more too.

 

6. Breakfast Cereal

Long the subject of questions about nutrition and high sugar, a number of high-fibre, low-sugar breakfast cereals are now available to help you enjoy that “eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner” convenience in a way that won’t pack on the pounds. Look for wholegrain varieties and check the nutrition label for sugar content – even if the cereal looks like one that wouldn’t have too much sugar.

 

7. Hummus

Hummus is the snack food that keeps on giving. Not only are the chick peas from which it is made chock full of protein and fibre, but it goes great with many of the filling vegetables listed above, including carrots, broccoli and cucumbers. Even low calorie, high-fibre celery gets a flavour boost from hummus.

There are two things to remember when you read about foods that are good for weight loss:

  1. Just because they are healthier and less fattening than some of the other foods, that doesn’t mean you can eat endless quantities. Overeating is overeating, regardless of how good the food is for you.
  2. You could start eating healthier foods in healthier quantities, but that’s just one step towards reaching your goal of a healthier weight.

The nutrition consultants at your local Herbal One Centre can help you learn more about which foods are best for losing weight and how to make them a part of your diet.