Most of us make resolutions to somehow change ourselves for the better in the upcoming year. More often than not, these resolutions involve promising ourselves to get into better shape, improve our diet, or quit some habit we think is hurting our health or well-being.
While the practice of making health-related resolutions tends to be great for business at Beachbody® (or any health and fitness company), these resolutions really only matter to you if they're helpful to you. Unfortunately, the statistics show that most of us won't see our resolutions through to the end of the coming year. Of course, you're an individual, not a statistic. Whether or not you succeed is entirely up to you.
Our job is to make your path to health and fitness easier. So here are some tips to help you succeed with your New Year's makeover.
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I've always had a hearty appetite. When I sit down to eat, I want a big plate of food that takes some time to get through, not a tiny portion that's gulped down in a bite or two. Unfortunately, big appetites can lead to big thighs. Rather than restrict myself to a life of deprivation, I learned how to eat a lot and still lose weight.
In the past, I'd lose a few pounds by eating 250-calorie "meals" every few hours. But I was never fully satisfied and always a bit hungry. And the stricter the diet, the more likely I was to dive headlong into a binge and derail any progress. There had to be a better way.
By paying attention to my natural hunger and appetite cues, I discovered that I'm happiest eating larger meals fewer times a day. The idea is to select the highest volume of food with the least amount of calories, which basically means lots of vegetables and some fruit. Weight-loss experts have been recommending this for years. In fact, the February 2011 issue of the Journal of Nutrition reported that people who eat low-energy-density foods (high volume, low calories) not only lose weight, but are more likely to keep that weight off in the long term.
What the experts don't always tell you is that in order for your meals to be truly satisfying, they should also include some protein and healthy fats. The protein takes longer to digest than vegetables, and fat slows down the rate of digestion, so you'll feel full longer. The result? You'll naturally eat less over time and lose weight without being hungry.
Here are a few simple recipes that I make often to indulge my inner glutton without adding heft to my hips. They're tasty, filling, and very versatile.
Sure, salads are the best way to fill up on fewer calories. The key is to make them hearty, and not so low in calories that you’re starving an hour later.
*NOTE: Don’t be afraid of fat! It’s an important part of a healthy diet, and can actually help you lose more weight. Not convinced? Read my earlier newsletter article, “The 5 Best Fats to Get Lean.”
Never tried quinoa? It’s a rich source of protein that’s delicious in salads like this.
Brothy soups take a long time to eat, are perfect when you’re craving something warm, and are low in calories when you make them yourself. On weekends, I take whatever vegetables are left in my fridge from the previous week and turn them into a soup that feeds me for days. There’s no real recipe here, but this is how it usually goes:
Want a thicker soup? Puree it in batches in a blender until it’s smooth. Then add your protein or beans. You can divide this into individual servings (my batches usually yield 4 to 5 portions) and refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to eat.
These are my go-to recipes that allow me to eat a lot, stay full, and lose weight. Once you get the idea, start to experiment with your own recipes until you hit on the flavors that make you happy.
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Heat oil in a large, heavy soup pot. Add onions, garlic, and carrots and cook over moderate heat until onions are limp. Add lentils, broth, and water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are very soft. Stir in more warm water if soup becomes too thick. Pour soup through colander, catching liquid that drains off in a large bowl. Return liquid to soup pot. Puree 1/3 of lentil mixture in food processor or blender or through food mill; return to pot. Stir in remaining whole-lentil mixture. If desired, season with salt and pepper. Makes 12 servings.
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Nutritional Information: (per serving)
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