Top Late Night Snacks (our picks for weight loss)

Although we’re twin sister registered dietitians and personal trainers who nowadays absolutely love veggies, we admittedly didn’t always adore them.  In fact, we were very picky kids and the moment our mom would turn her back from the dinner table, we’d sneak our salads off to our best friend, Mary and her black lab, Buddy, who liked veggies! 🙂 Luckily, our veggie-snubbing ways have changed, thanks to many reasons —(you can read more about that here)– and you may know that we also reset our taste buds, which definitely was partially responsible for the love affair we now have with veggies.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we each have a killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Although, resetting our taste buds has been very helpful in taming the beast 😉 (aka our killer sweet tooth), it doesn’t mean that we don’t adore sweets, because believe us, we do—especially when the evening comes around!

And when our clients tell us that on nights when they stay up late and they get a little bit hungry or want to nibble, we can relate, as this is when our sweet tooth calls our name, ah!

Thankfully, we’ve learned to make some pretty delicious, waistline-friendly frozen desserts that we can eat and prepare in the very comfort of our own home—and that we love but don’t overeat! Plus, they are a lot less processed and have much less sugar—in fact, ours are actually pretty good for you! Remember our Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream, Skinny Banana Ice Cream SandwichesDark Chocolate Banana Ice Creamand this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream?

As you settle in to watch your favorite television show after dinner, you may find yourself craving a late-night nosh. Do you cave in to chips or cookies and regret it later? Or maybe in your attempt to avoid junk food, you end up nibbling your way through the other food in your cupboard instead. If the late night munchies have gotten the best of you and your waistline, here are our top snacks to try.

 

They’ve all got less than 150 calories and really hit the spot.

 

Vanilla “Milkshake”

Two options:

  • Mix one scoop of vanilla or chocolate flavored protein with ¾ cup cold water, ice and 1/4 frozen banana and blend. (We’ve been using Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder lately)

OR

  • Mix a cup of almond milk (or skim milk) with one scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder.

 

Why our clients love it: This light version of a milkshake feels like a real treat, satisfies sweet cravings, but won’t weigh you down.  The protein keeps your blood sugar stable. Bonus: The calcium in the protein powder (make sure yours is calcium-fortified, many are) may help your muscles and body to relax before bedtime. To learn more about our tips for choosing a good protein powder, check out our 3-Ingredient Weight Loss Pancakes (scroll down to find out about protein powder).

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Frozen Cherry Poppers

OK, we admit it, we have many favorite summertime (well, anytime) treats, but this one really is one of our new all-time faves! Plus, it’s so healthy, easy and just two steps! And there is something about the chewy texture of frozen cherries that really hits the spot—super-satisfying! And all for a measly 6 calories per popper! Woohoo! 5 Cherry Poppers are just 30 calories! Find out how they’re easy to make here.

Why our clients love it: A guilt-free, refreshing way to satisfy a sweet tooth? Sign them (and us! 🙂 ) up!

Frozen Yogurt Covered cherry poppers

 

 

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait

Use six ounces of a plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt and one-half cup of halved strawberries or any of your fave berries. Layer yogurt in the bottom of the parfait cup, and then add a layer of berries. Alternate layers until you’ve finished ingredients.

Why our clients love it: It’s rich, creamy, and feels decadent. Plus it contains plenty of protein and fiber, so even if you didn’t eat enough dinner, you’ll go to bed feeling satisfied.

parfait_cropped

Popcorn

Four cups of seasoned air-popped popcorn

Why our clients love it: You get a huge portion (4 cups = 130 calories!) that will last until at least the first commercial of your favorite show. Eat it one piece at a time, and it may even last you through the entire program. The fiber will fill you up, and you can use it to quench a sweet or savory craving by flavoring it with cinnamon, chili powder, smoked paprika, or grated parmesan.

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Baked Apple Crunch

Made with one small apple, 1- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon and one graham cracker. Cut the apple into half-inch slices and coat them with cinnamon on all sides. Microwave the slices on high for three to four minutes or until the apple is soft and juicy. Serve it on a graham cracker. Check it out here.

Why our clients love it: You can sink your teeth into this snack, and it’s sweet like the inside of an apple pie. Not to mention, the graham cracker adds a satisfying crunch (and it will make the house smell delicious!).

Apple-y-yogurt-Middle-prep

 

Figs and Cheese

Three small figs (or dates!) and one small, light 30- to 35-calorie cheese round (which will bring your total to 125 calories).

Why our clients love it: The figs are sweet, and since they’re fibrous, you’ve gotta chew ‘em and can’t devour them in a split second. Paired with protein-rich, savory cheese, it makes for a filling but indulgent treat.  If you use dates, they may be slightly higher in calories.

Date surprise pic

 

 

Whole Grain Crackers with Hummus

Serve five whole-grain crackers with 2 tbsp hummus.

Why our clients love it: The crackers satisfy your need to crunch and the hummus adds the perfect creamy balance.

 

What are some of your favorite healthy late-night snacks?  Please share them!

 

Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water

If you’re looking to immediately get your mind and body back on the straight and slim after an overindulgence, this lil’ drink is your ticket!

We always giggle when we think that as kids we were unknowingly making “detox” drinks, similar to the ones we make now, only we were making them for a very different purpose.  When we were growing up, we spent most of our days at our best friend, Mary’s house, and often when we couldn’t think of anything to do, we’d make concoctions in her kitchen.  Although most of our experiments included making new snacks or meals, surprisingly, one of our favorite creations started out as our attempt to make a floral scented perfume out of apples, pears and mint, yet ended up smelling so delicious that we drank it!  We loved the taste and the smell and it was so refreshing that we decided to sell it at the end of Mary’s driveway in lieu of our typical lemonade stand–only we marketed it as both a yummy drink and fruity perfume, so that people could choose which they wanted to do with it.  If they were thirsty, they could drink it–and if they were sweaty and wanted to smell better they could splash it on their body– just like we did! 🙂

Ironically, now as registered dietitians, we actually know that those very same foods contain potent antioxidants that help to keep the body healthy–and we’re all over them. 🙂  This delish Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water was inspired by our early experimentations.  And although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself on its own, naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, assist it in its process. The ingredients in this spa water assists the body in its’ detox process by mopping up damaging free radicals and fighting inflammation, so the body can focus on detoxing and cleansing itself the best it can!  Drinking these beneficial nutrients helps lessen the burden on the body’s system caused by poor diet, pollution and stress. Plus, it helps you to lose the bloat and puff–and helps to prevent sugar cravings! (Read below). 🙂

 

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Psst… looking for more “Detox” drinks?  Please feel free to search this site—and here are a few to try:

 

Cool Citrus Cucumber Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime “Detox” Drink

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush

Lemon Ginger Detox Drink

Mixed Citrus Ginger Flush

 

How does this drink help you?

This drink not only tastes awesome so it encourages you to drink, it helps to flush bloat and puffiness by helping to fight constipation (hello, flat belly!) and by keeping irritants moving out of your intestinal tract along with the wastes and toxins. And if  you’ve overdone it with a salty meal or had Chinese food the night before, it quickly restores normal hydration status by flushing excess salt (goodbye bloat!).  Plus, it’s a good source of potassium to help counteract sodium.

Drink this dehydration buster to keep your joints well lubricated and your skin glowing (hydrated skin looks youthful, supple and healthy!).

It helps to prevent sweet cravings: For starters, simply drinking this healthy drink takes up space in your stomach, preventing you from feeling overly hungry. When you’re hungry, it’s hard to make a rationale decision about what to eat and it’s easy to give into sweet cravings (or that candy on your co-workers desk). And although you may not realize it, as you hydrate your body with this slightly sweet and tangy elixir, it helps to carry blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, energizing you so that your brain doesn’t crave a quick pick-me-up (i.e. sugar). If you often wake up craving sugar, try drinking a large glass of this first and see how you feel, if you’re like us and our clients, you’ll be pretty excited about what it does to set you back on the healthy train!

 

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Here are the other superstars in this drink:

 

Apples. Yeees! You probably know by now that we’ve both had one every day since high school, when our love affair with them began. 😉  An apple a day may just keep the doctor away! The powerful flavonoids in apples mop up damage caused by toxins, pollution, smoke and stress so the body can heal more quickly.  The flavonoids also keep your heart healthy.  Plus, apples have a good dose of vitamin C, to help mop up damage caused by free radicals and boost immunity.

 

Pears. Pears and apples have a lot in common, they both are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients to keep your body healthy and to fend off harmful invaders. Like apples, pears are rich in vitamin C, a rock star when it comes to healthy skin and boosting immunity. Pears also contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects you against free radical damage and heart disease. Plus, they’re a good source of potassium, so they counteract sodium and the bloat that comes along with it.

 

Spearmint. (can sub any mint) We like to think of mint as a peace maker in the body 😉 It eases indigestion and calms the stomach, likely by improving the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. Thanks in part to it’s anti-inflammatory antioxidant rosmarinic acid, it “calms your insides” to ease the havoc inside your body!

 

Apple cider vinegar (ACV). We like to splash this health boosting elixir in whenever we can! As we’ve mentioned in some of our other recipes that include ACV (remember our Apple Cider Vinegar Lime “Detox” Drink?) it might be the little kick you need to help with controlling weight. A small amount may help control blood sugar levels when you drink it before eating. There may be a link between acetic acid, found in ACV and it’s starch blocking properties, making your body unable to digest starches consumed during a meal. Less starch being digested over time could mean a little less fat on your body.

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Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water

1 serving (12oz)

 

Ingredients

¼ apple of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on

¼ pear type of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on

1 sprig of spearmint or mint of your choice

12 ounces of water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Ice to chill

 

Directions

  1. After washing fruit thoroughly, slice apple and pear into thin slices and add to a large glass.  Use a wooden spoon (or regular spoon) to slightly mash and breakdown the fruit.
  2. Add the mint to the glass. Lightly bruise the leaves of the mint by very gently mashing it to release the natural extracts and oils which will make for a relaxing and cooling experience.
  3. Add water and ice. Splash in apple cider vinegar..
  4. Add water and ice as needed. Discard and replace fruit and spearmint when no longer flavorful or by the end of the day.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (1 serving is 12 oz): 4 Calories, 0 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 7 mg Sodium, 1 g Carbohydrate, 0 g Fiber, 1 g Sugar, 0 g Protein

Note: You’re simply infusing the water with flavors and all natural nutrients from the fruits and mint, so the calories are negligible.Apple-pear-mint-detox-waterCOLLAGE 

Apple Pear “Detox” Spa Water
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • ¼ apple of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on
  • ¼ pear type of your choice, sliced into thin slivers, skin on
  • 1 sprig of spearmint or mint of your choice
  • 12 ounces of water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Ice to chill
Instructions
  1. After washing fruit thoroughly, slice apple and pear into thin slices and add to a large glass. Use a wooden spoon (or regular spoon) to slightly mash and breakdown the fruit.
  2. Add the mint to the glass. Lightly bruise the leaves of the mint by very gently mashing it to release the natural extracts and oils which will make for a relaxing and cooling experience.
  3. Add water and ice. Splash in apple cider vinegar..
  4. Add water and ice as needed. Discard and replace fruit and spearmint when no longer flavorful or by the end of the day.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 oz Calories: 4 Fat: 0 Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 1 g Sugar: 1 g Sodium: 7 mg Fiber: 0 Protein: 0 Cholesterol: 1 g

 

A Cranberry, White & Blue 4th of July

You know how they say that twins have the same mannerisms and matching responses and reactions to questions and in conversations?  For us, this is mostly true, but it’s not always the case. However, there are particular situations where it’s a given that we’ll respond in identical ways.  For instance, mention our elementary school, summer vacations in Ocean City, Maryland and in Duck, North Carolina and the 4th of July– and it’s a guarantee that we’ll both instantly smile and get starry, dreamy-looking eyes, as we’re flooded with fun-filled memories of our innocent childhood days.  And when it comes to the 4th of July, this day was always one of our favorite days of the year, filled with sun, fun, and lots of red, white and blue—everything from our star-spangled bathing suits to the foods that we ate.  And to this day, the 4th of July is a guarantee that we’ll both be making sure it’s every bit as fabulous as it always was!

As registered dietitian nutritionists, it’s so much fun to make this holiday all that we remember it to be by using red, white and blue foods.  Here you’ll find our twin tendencies kicking in and even though we try not to make the same thing as each other, there’s a 99% certainty that we’ll both use the same foods. We can’t help it. First, we both love the opportunity to celebrate our holiday in-style, and second we know that anyone who eats our food is expecting to be getting some nutritional bang for their star-spangled bite!

So, check out what we’ll be whipping up, and why!

Cranberry BBQ Sauce!  And Cranberry Juice Cubes!

Betcha didn’t know that cranberries, the all-American superfruit, are one of three commercially cultivated fruits native to North America, and this is just one reason they are ideal at your 4th of July celebration (as well as in all of your summer BBQs!).

And with their gorgeous bursting red color, comes quite the nutrition bang. Check out these awesome cranberry health facts:

  • All cranberry products, including fresh and frozen cranberries, cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and sauces, contain unique, health-promoting flavonoids called PACs. PACs help reduce the incidence of certain infections, maintain a healthy urinary tract, improve heart health and reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease and aging.

 

  • A new study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking 8-ounces of cranberry juice a day reduced the number of symptomatic UTIs by nearly 40 percent in women with recurrent UTIs.

 

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Cranberry Juice Cubes

These little magical delights are simply cranberry juice frozen in ice cube trays.  They jazz up water or seltzer with great flavor and nutrients—and make the holiday glasses look even more festive.

Cranberry Cubes empty glass - logo Cranberry Cubes in Water LOGO

 

 

CRANBERRY-BBQ-SAUCE

Cranberry BBQ Sauce

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup minced yellow onions

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. chili powder

1 ½ Tbsp. tomato paste

1 ½ cups cranberry sauce

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. dark molasses

¼-½ cup water, if needed

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in garlic, mustard and chili powder and continue cooking 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute.
  2. Add cranberry sauce, vinegar and molasses and bring to a simmer, whisking often until mixture becomes smooth. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens. Add water to mixture if it gets too thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Place in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat before using.

Serving suggestion: Use as a condiment or on grilled vegetables, lean meats or poultry.

Nutrition Information Per 2 Tbsp. Serving: Calories 120, Calories from Fat 20, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 2g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 25mg, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Sugars 19g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 0g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 2%, Iron 4%

“Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee”

Note: Cranberry products, including cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries and sauces, offer the same health benefits of fresh cranberries, but may be sweetened to satisfy a variety of taste preferences

For more health information or research, please visit CranberryInstitute.com

Cranberry_Cube_Collage

Chickpea Blondies (Gluten-free, grain-free)

We often describe our parents, who raised us in a loving, healthy, cook-it-from-scratch, granola-making, wholesome home, as being basically hippies, minus the drugs. 😉 Long before it was considered cool to eat and buy locally grown food or to belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), our mom was all over it.  Before people were avoiding pesticides, our mom was on the case.  And when the current plant-based movement didn’t even exist and before it was considered cool to worry about sustainability, and saving the planet, our mom was serving us yummy spaghetti and lentil-“meatballs”– and bean “burgers” and vegetarian split pea soup had a regular spot on the weekly dinner menu too.  Our mom was simply out to keep us—and the planet healthy.  And you could see it all over her granola and chickpea covered apron.  🙂

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Our mom was eating conscientiously before it was chic.  She didn’t realize that she was savvy and ahead of her time, creating most of our family meals out pulses–the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods you know as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas—unaware that years later, 2016 would be named International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations.

Now, as registered dietitian nutritionists, the coolest thing for us is that everything is coming full circle since we grew up with pulses and already love them and toot their horn (couldn’t resist! 😉) and our mom had taught us what the UN is currently acknowledging about pulses.  We get to deliver the amazing message about pulses and encourage you to enjoy them more often and take the pulse pledge.

To take the pledge you’ll simply commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and join a global food movement!

Here’s why you’ll love it! Eating dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas helps reduce your carbon footprint – and it’s great for your health. Every 1/2 cup of cooked pulses delivers 9 grams of protein.

Pulses are:

  • nutritious (packed with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, antioxidants, and more!)
  • versatile and tasty (ummm… our yummy spaghetti and “meat”balls were made of lentils! our succulent “burgers” we made from beans—and just wait ‘till you check out the delectable sweet recipe below)
  • affordable (ah, yes….our mom didn’t let us forget that dad was a phD student with 3 kids to feed, so we were taught at an early age that pulses are one of the most cost effective proteins in the world)
  • sustainable (growing up, as proud owners of a “compost heap” in the wooded section of our suburban back yard, we were taught a thing or two about how pulses enrich the soil where they grow, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Plus, they can grow in harsh environments and have a low carbon footprint and hardly require any irrigation (they’re water-efficient).

 

And just in case you we’re wondering what pulses do for our crazy sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check—we’ve got this scrumptious golden nugget below.  It’s a throwback to the Blondies our mom used to bake. Only these are even healthier and tastier, if you can believe it! We can’t!  And the protein and the fiber in the pulses help to keep you satiated.  Regardless, it’s hard not to eat the whole batch…they’re that good!

 

chickpea_blondies_horizontal_logoChickpea Blondies

Makes 16 servings

Chickpea_blondies_ingredients_logoIngredients

1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top

1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling

Chickpea_blondies_tray_vertical_logo

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. Spritz an 8×8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  1. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  1. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  1. Fold in 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.
  1. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  1. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  1. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  1. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

 

Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein

 

The Nutrition Twins work with the Pulse Councils to help people to eat more healthfully and encourage them to take the Pulse Pledge.

Chickpea_Blondies_Collage

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)
 
Nutrition Facts Per 1 Serving: 123 Calories, 6 g Fat, 2 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 35 mg Sodium, 15 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1, 15-oz can chickpeas, also may be found as garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup all natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus 1 Tbsp, reserve for top
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, reserve for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spritz an 8x8 pan with oil in a spray container.
  3. Rinse chickpeas and place in food processor. If using a blender, after rinsing chickpeas, remove their skin before placing in the blender by pinching the chick pea between your fingers. The skin will easily fall off and will take about five extra minutes and will ensure a very smooth blended product.
  4. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until completely mixed.
  5. Fold in ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips.
  6. Spread batter evenly in pan, top with reserved 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips
  7. Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. You do not want to overcook these so check on them to see if they are ready sooner in your oven. They should be moist and a little brown around the edges. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done. Cool pan on a wire rack until pan is cool to touch, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.
  8. Cut into squares. Makes 16 blondies
  9. Delicious immediately or cool in refrigerator for a delicious cold treat. If you prefer them to be more firm, simply allowing them to cool in the fridge.

3 Pieces of Nutrition Advice You Should IGNORE

When we were growing up, our wholesome, granola baking, cook-it-from-scratch mom taught us many healthy habits that we still practice today, including-

1) Satisfying our sweet tooth with her healthy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (we now make them in 5 minutes in the microwave!) & strengthening our arms by scrubbing the dishes clean using what she would call “elbow grease”.

2) Creating nourishing meals from protein, a fiber-filled carb & veggies. Open Faced Mediterranean Veggie & Tuna Sandwich, anyone?

3) Never skipping breakfast (or any meal for that matter!)- This was even a key piece in one of our weight loss books.

BUT times have changed—check out the video below to find out why we no longer recommend breakfast for everyone.  And you’ll see 3 Pieces of Nutrition Advice You Should Ignore!

11 Ways to Cut Calories Without Eating Less

Yes, you can slash calories without starving! This article that we contributed to, originally on Fitbie.com shows you how to do it from sipping healthful broths to loading up on veggies.  We kept the tips from other experts too since all of these tips can play a critical part in your weight loss success!

There’s no way around it: To lose weight, you need to cut calories. But eating less is a surefire way to feel dissatisfied after every meal. Instead of shrinking your portions, bulk up meals with foods that will fill you up without weighing you down, like fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, suggests Barbara Rolls, author of “The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet” and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State University. These healthy eats pack fewer calories per bite than higher-fat fare.

Add veggies to everything

Load your meals with vegetables so there’s less room for higher-calorie meat and grains. At lunch, you can stuff your chicken or bean wrap with lettuce, tomato, grated carrots, sprouts, bell peppers and sliced cucumber, suggest registered dietitians Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, authors of “Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.” At dinner, you can still enjoy carb-heavy favorites like casseroles and pasta by bulking them up with more veggies.

Fill up on fruit

Select fruits that contain the most water, and make plenty of room for them on your plate. Opt for watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, peaches, oranges, raspberries, apples and blueberries over higher-calorie bananas and plantains, advises Rolls. A cup of sliced banana contains 133 calories, but you’d have to eat more than two cups of strawberries or peaches to take in the same number of calories.

Start with soup or salad

Starting your meal with a broth-based soup or a salad with light dressing can help you eat less over the course of a meal, according to researchers at Penn State University. “It fills you up with fluid (or veggies) without giving you a ton of calories, and helps you feel more satisfied,” explains registered dietitian Andrea Giancoli, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Opt for egg whites

Science also suggests that eating eggs can help you keep your weight in check. Overweight adults who ate two eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-calorie diet) consumed fewer calories later in the day, compared with those who ate the same calories’ worth of bagels, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Cut calories — and cholesterol — using egg whites or egg substitute in place of whole eggs, adds Rolls. A large egg is about 80 calories, the whites from two large eggs contain 34 calories.

Switch to low-fat dairy

When you make the switch from whole milk to fat-free milk, you can drink almost twice as much for the same number of calories, says Rolls. A 5.3-ounce glass of whole milk weighs in at 100 calories, while 9.3 ounces of fat-free milk equals 100 calories.

Look for leaner sources of protein

Shrimp, tilapia, light tuna in water and roasted turkey breast are packed with protein but not fat and calories, says Rolls. For 150 calories, you can eat 44 grams of sausage, 68 grams of 80 percent lean ground beef, 77 grams of London Broil, 91 grams of chicken breast or 119 grams of snapper.

Select less-dense desserts

A half-cup of frozen yogurt contains about 110 calories, while a half-cup of premium ice cream weighs in at 290 calories. Or pick fruit instead of cake or cookies to fill up on water and fiber, suggest Lakatos and Shames.

Buy it whipped

Whipped cream cheese and butter come with added air and contain fewer calories than regular spreads. For example, 28 grams of Philadelphia Original cream cheese contain 100 calories, while the whipped variety contains 80 calories. Just don’t think that buying the lighter item gives you license to eat more.

Pick a puffy snack

If you want a salty snack that you can eat more than one handful of, opt for popcorn. “That way you get to indulge in the whole bag,” said Giancoli. She recommends popping kernels on the stove with a small amount of oil or buying 94 percent fat-free 100-calorie bags.

Go raw

You don’t get much food for your calories when you munch on crackers, cookies and cereal bars — even ones with dried fruit and whole grains, says Rolls. That’s because they contain very little water. A quarter-cup of raisins contains 54 calories, but you can enjoy an entire cup of grapes for 62 calories.

Dilute dressings and dips

Topping your salad with a creamy dressing can add hundreds of calories. You can cut calories and fat by “extending” the dressing, says registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of “Read It Before You Eat It.” “Try mixing your dressing with lemon juice, a mashed avocado or plain, no-fat Greek yogurt,” she suggested.