Healthy Shakes to Lose Weight

We all know that the route to successful weight loss program is to consume lesser calories and follow a good exercise regimen. If you are following a proper workout regimen but are still not able to see any weight loss, the culprit could be your diet. A high calorie diet with saturated fats and carbohydrate can make it difficult for you to lose the pounds even if you exercise regularly. One very effective way to cut down on your daily calorie intake and still feel satiated and full is to replace one regular meal with a healthy shake. Milkshakes with fresh fruits and nuts have got a bad reputation because people assume that they are very high in calories. But most people forget that shakes are also high in vitamins and essential minerals and can help you in fulfilling the recommended daily fruit intake. To make the shakes low calorie and healthy, you should start by making the shakes at home by using fresh seasonal produce. Shakes bought from a fast food chain is inevitably loaded with very high calories that will only make you pile on more weight.

Blueberry and Soy Milkshake

Ingredients
2 cups frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 cup soy vanilla yogurt, softened
1½ cups low-fat soy milk
Method
In a food processor, add the frozen blueberries, vanilla soy yogurt and low fat soy milk and process until you have a smooth consistency but slightly grainy texture. Serve in tall glasses. You can also use fresh blueberries to make this shake. This blueberry and soy weight loss shake recipe contains approximately 175 calories for a standard 1 ½ cups serving size. This is one of the most healthy breakfast shakes to lose weight as it contains antioxidants and dietary fiber.

Cranberry and Green Tea Shake

Ingredients
½ cup frozen cranberries
½ cup brewed green tea, cooled to room temperature
½ cup frozen blackberries
¼ cup frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana
¼ cup plain soy milk
5 frozen whole strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
Method
In a blender or food processor, add the frozen cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and banana. Next add the soy milk, brewed green tea and the honey. Blend it into a smooth mixture and serve in a tall glass.The calorie content for a 2 cups serving size of this healthy shake is around 378. The berries and the green tea in the shake makes this healthy smoothie full of antioxidants which is good for your body. It is an ideal shake to have as a mid-afternoon snack instead of having chips and croissant. It will provide you with energy and also help you to feel satiated.

Banana Peach Shake

Ingredients
½ cup fresh peach, peeled and sliced
¾ cup fat-free milk
2/3 cup sliced ripe banana
1 ½ cups vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt
Method
To make this shake, you need to blend the peach slices, ripe banana, vanilla yogurt and milk in a blender. When the mixture is smooth and of a thick consistency, serve in a glass. This shake contains 155 calorie for 1 cup serving size. This is one of the most healthy shakes to lose weight and it contains lot of potassium and calcium. It is a good shake to have after a workout as it replenishes the body and gives it energy.

Vanilla and Flaxseed Shake

Ingredients
½ cup vanilla soy milk
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2 cups vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt
⅓ cup cubed soft silken tofu
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Method
In a blender, blend together the vanilla soy milk, ground flaxseed, frozen yogurt, cubed silken tofu, honey, peanut butter and fat-free milk. Pour the mixture out into a tall glass.
It contains 270 calories for 1 cup serving. This healthy smoothie helps you in losing weight as it is very filling. You can have this in place of your regular breakfast.

Shakes and smoothies are a healthier alternative to having junk food. If you are serious about losing weight, then replace a regular meal like breakfast or lunch with a healthy homemade weight loss shake. Remember that you still need to exercise portion control when you have these shakes.

Can Tangerines Help You Lose Weight

Weight loss is desired by many and people are ready to shell out any amount just to obtain that perfect physique. There are literally ‘n’ number of fad diets that would restrict your food choices to meet the ideal weight and help in weight loss. Also there are many exercise techniques that cause weight loss. But not all of these techniques guarantee foolproof results and the weight loss results differ from one person to another. Some of the diets are also accompanied by side effects. Crash dieting also has many side effects and the weight loss in the person is often just a temporary effect. So what is the best way to burn unwanted and extra calories? According to majority of health experts, lifestyle modification is the best and safest way to lose weight. A sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity is the primary cause for weight gain; though in some people a huge physique is hereditary.

The food you eat also has a huge impact on your body shape. Consumption of fatty and fried food on a regular basis promotes the deposition of fat in the body. If you consume the right food and also exercise regularly, you will definitely experience weight loss, sooner or later. So what are the foods you should consume to supplement your weight loss regimen? Well, the food you consume should be rich in all the essential nutrients and should also be low on the fat and carbohydrate content. Fruits and green leafy vegetables are the best foods for weight loss. This is because, they almost contain zero fat, and are also very high on energy levels. So now, if you are planning to buy tangerines, it’s a good move if weight loss is what you desire, because these citrus fruits will help you in your weight loss goal and also keep you energized all throughout the day. There are many health benefits that they have, making them a nutritious food choice.

Nutritional Information

Tangerine or mandarin orange, with its fruity delicious taste is liked by all. This citrus fruit closely resembles an orange but is just a little more sour in taste than an orange. It is available in many sizes from as small as a walnut to as large as an orange. The prominent varieties are – tangelos, clementines, and satsumas. There is a minor difference between all these varieties, and the classification is on the basis of shape and cultivation. All the varieties are loaded with benefits and the fruit is especially rich in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidant content. Take a look at the nutritional information (for a medium-sized tangerine, about 80 gm in weight) for a better insight into its nutritional content…

Nutrition Content
Fat: 0.25 gm
Protein: 0.68 gm
Fiber: 1.5 gm
Sugar: 8 gm
Calcium: 31 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Iron: 0.13 mg
Vitamin: C 22 mg

Role of Tangerines in Weight Loss

As you can see from the nutritional values given above, these citrus fruits are very low on the fat and calorie content. Thus eating them wouldn’t add to the deposited fat in the body, and the calories would also burn easily with very little effort.

They are high on fiber content and contain a good amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. Pectin, which is a kind of complex carbohydrate is found in tangerines, and it will keep you full for a considerable amount of time. The fruit is also high on calcium and studies suggest that calcium apart from its benefit toward bones helps in weight loss.

The effectiveness in weight loss is also supported by science, and scientists are of the opinion that the flavonones, a kind of flavonoid, helps in the control of obesity. Flavonones are abundantly found in tangerines.

We can thus conclude that, the low fat and carbohydrates in tangerines and its richness in vitamins and fiber works positively for weight loss. Consuming them daily would keep your hunger suppressed for a long time. Tangerines with their richness are a must have food in your weight loss program. Because apart from their role in weight loss, they have a multitude of other health benefits. So consume this easy to peel and yummy fruit daily for a fit and healthy life.

Shocking Foods that Burn Belly Fat

When it comes to losing fat from the belly, there are two things that you cannot do. The first is undertaking exercises every day and the second, eating a healthy, balanced diet. But, besides these, there is one more thing that aids in fat burning from the stomach. Including foods that are known to burn belly fat in your diet.

Foods that Burn Belly Fat

Avocados
You must have read in health magazines that avocados are fattening. Then why are they here, in this list of foods that burn fat? Simple, the thing is that avocados are rich in ‘good fats’, and provide the body with a number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Mashed avocados have a very creamy feel and taste, and can be substituted for fatty milk cream in any food. On top of that, the good fats in avocado will aid in burning fat as well as keeping your hunger at bay for a long time!

Low-fat Milk
Studies have shown that drinking low-fat milk every day helps a person burn fat and lose weight faster. Besides burning fat from the body, the calcium in milk aids in making the bones and teeth strong.

Grass-fed Lean Beef
Grass-fed beef is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, lots of minerals and vitamins, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which makes it one of the best fat burning foods. Also being rich in lean proteins, it will take your body a very long time to break it, keeping you feeling fuller for a long time.

Eggs
Eggs are rich in proteins and contain vitamin B12. Researches have shown that this vitamin aids in eliminating fat cells. Not to mention the protein in eggs, which will keep you full for a very long time. So, if you are aiming for fat loss, make it a point to eat egg whites for breakfast every day.

Black Beans
Black beans are a rich source of protein. They provide the body with lots of fiber. Being rich in protein fibers, eating black beans every day will improve your digestion. Also, as is true with most high fiber foods, eating black beans will make you feel full for a very long time, thus decreasing your overall food intake and aiding in losing weight!

Apples
Apples are counted among the foods that burn fat mostly due to their high water content. High water content in apples improves the metabolism of the body, and thus aids in better digestion. The number of calories in apples is pretty low too, and the best part is that your body burns more calories digesting it than what are found in apples, making them one of the healthiest negative calorie foods.

Diet Tips to Lose Belly Fat

Eating the foods mentioned above is not enough to lose belly fat. You need to follow a healthy diet, and follow the diet tips given here to get a flat stomach.

1: The first thing to understand is that eating a low-calorie diet will in no way help you to lose fat from your belly. The key lies in making healthy food choices. So, include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet.

2: Include protein rich foods in your diet such as chicken, tuna, and salmon, as they improve the body’s metabolism.

3: Eat less carbohydrates, and that too only complex carbohydrates found in foods like brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown bread, legumes, and oatmeal. Complex carbohydrates are known to burn fat from the body as they release the glucose very slowly, and thus, the body is able to process them easily.

4: Eat healthy fats, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in olive oil, almonds, and nuts.

5: Eat five small meals spread evenly throughout the day to avoid hunger pangs and overeating. Also, keep the portion size small.

6: Drink two to three liters of water every day as it maintains the proper functioning of the liver, which is responsible for burning fat and producing energy.

In order to lose belly fat, keep these diet tips in mind, as well as include the foods given here in your diet. Combine this with cardiovascular as well as abdominal exercises, and soon you will find your belly fat melting away.

Laxatives to Lose Weight

People with chronic constipation often take laxatives to tackle the issue of difficult and infrequent bowel movement. At times, figure-conscious people start taking laxatives after meals in order to lose weight. However, they don’t consider the adverse effects associated with the use of laxatives for a prolonged period of time.

How Does a Laxative Work

A laxative could be a food substance or a chemical compound, which when consumed stimulates bowel activity. Laxatives are not harmful substances, and are definitely not toxic. In fact, laxatives are prescribed by medical practitioners to patients suffering from constipation and bloating. In such cases, laxatives help stimulate bowel movement and facilitate easy passage of fecal matter out of the body. Laxatives are also used once in a while to cleanse the colon, which in turn improves the overall health of a person. Then why are laxatives a big ‘No’ for weight loss? This is because they do not reduce or discard ingested calories. Confused! Well, let’s have a look at how laxatives actually work.

The prime role of a laxative, is to increase bowel activity. Food ingested is mostly absorbed in the small intestine and only water and mineral absorption takes place in the large intestine. What laxatives do is they target the large intestine and not the small intestine. They hasten elimination of undigested remains passed from the small intestine, before the large intestine can absorb water and minerals. This is why a person has to make several trips to the washroom, after taking laxatives, as the undigested matter is quickly flushed out of the body.

Laxatives and Weight Loss

The popular laxative, Dieter’s tea comprises various herbs which cause the bowels to become irritable and pass stool frequently, resulting in diarrhea. Diarrhea means loss of great amounts of water, which is why people feel they have lost weight; not realizing all they have lost is water weight of the body. The water lost will be made up by the body within the next 48 hours, thus nullifying the body weight effect. However, frequent intake of laxatives can result in dehydration, as the body is not allowed to retain the water required.

People with eating disorders such as anorexia are seen to depend on these laxatives to lose weight. They pop laxatives after dinner and spend the rest of the next day running to the washroom, discarding all they ate. Later during the day, when they check their weight, they weigh lighter. However, they don’t stop to think what’s actually happening inside their bodies. The truth is that by the time the food reaches the large intestine, the nutrient absorption has already taken place in the small intestine itself. The remaining minerals, water and unwanted food materials are then passed to the large intestine.

Laxatives work on the large intestine. They prevent the large intestine from absorbing essential minerals and water content. Thus, the person experiences diarrhea, where feces are accompanied with large amounts of fluids. So, the purpose for which laxatives were consumed has not been fulfilled. We want the body to discard calories, and not water and minerals. Thus, laxatives should not be taken for losing weight.

Those who take laxatives, will defend their case by saying they definitely lost weight after taking laxatives. The fact that one appears to weigh less on a weighing scale, cannot be debated upon. It is true that your weight may be lesser. However, let’s understand the nature of the weight lost. The body weight reflected on the weighing scales is mainly the water weight of our body. In fact, if one is constipated, the weight displayed on the scale will be more.

Now, when a person takes laxatives, the calorie absorption taking place in the small intestine is not hindered. What gets hindered is water and mineral absorption in the large intestine. The body discards water and minerals. Since water weight is lost from the body, it will reflect on the weighing scale. One’s face will also look thinner because of the lost water. Now, the body is designed in such a manner that it is sure to make up for the lost water weight when one begins to consume water normally, without intake of laxatives. So the joy of losing weight is short-lived.

Adverse Effects

If one is not bothered about losing the right kind of weight and still wants to go ahead with this weight loss method, let me put forth some of the adverse effects of chronic use of laxatives. The different side effects are:
Stomach cramps
Chronic diarrhea
Bloating
Nausea
Water retention
Vomiting
Dehydration
Weakening and softening of bones
Rectal bleeding
Electrolyte disorder
The low potassium and electrolyte content caused as a side effect of intake of laxatives can have an adverse effect on your heart. Frequent intake of laxatives for a long time permanently alters the way the digestive system works. It has also been observed that constant laxative use causes severe chronic constipation and pain for long periods of time. People who have used laxatives constantly will testify how after a period of time, they were unable to have bowel movements without the use of laxatives. Overdose of laxatives leads to gastrointestinal tract damage, which is difficult to repair. This damage results in loss of essential minerals and fat from the body, leading to weak bones. Long-term usage of laxatives could increase the risk of anal, colon, and stomach cancer. While the end results of laxatives may fool you into thinking they are assisting in weight loss, long-term use will cause adverse effects. Thus, people taking laxatives for weight loss should comprehend the fact that laxatives are not safe.

Having said that, people frequently taking laxatives for weight loss should not stop taking laxatives abruptly, as that could lead to several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your medical practitioner, and gradually wean off the use of laxatives. Also, beware of marketers who sell these laxatives under the name of bowel-cleansing products. There won’t be even a mention of the word laxative, thus one should be alert. Stay alert and do not fall prey to such scheming marketers. Try to lose weight in the right manner, by maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine.