Best And Worst Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast - Serge Bertasius PhotographyIf you’re someone who loves to start your day off with a bowl of cereal, it’s going to be imperative that you are making a wise decision here.

With so many different cereal varieties to choose from, it can get pretty easy to make a wrong move. And if you do, you definitely will not be seeing the results that you had hoped for from your diet plan.

Let’s go over some of the top breakfast cereal choices and some of the worst.

The Good

When it comes to a cereal, you can’t beat oatmeal. As long as you choose an unsweetened variety, this breakfast cereal will provide fiber, long lasting energy, and is quite versatile as well.

Plus, it’s very filling for a lower volume of calories, so great for those on intense diet plans.

Another good cereal is bran buts or all-bran. Keep in mind that you do want to check the sodium content of these varieties as at times it can get high, but as long as it’s kept low, you’re good to go with this one.

Finally, shredded wheat squares are the last good breakfast cereal to consider and will help to pack in a serious fiber punch while keeping your blood glucose level steady.

The Bad

On to the bad.  One of the top cereals that tends to fly under the radar with most people is granola based cereals. Not only are these often high in sugar, but they can be very high in calories as well, which will really move you away from your goals.

Also be very careful about any of the flavored flake-like cereals you choose. While often they will seem healthy because they contain whole grains and come with added nuts or dried fruits, check the sugar content to be sure.

You may be getting in far more sugar than you think.

Finally, it should go without saying but any clearly obvious sweetened cereal – Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Pebbles, or Honey Rice Crispies for example should be avoided.

If it seems more marketed toward your child, it’s definitely not going to be a wise choice for your diet plan.

So keep these quick tips in mind.  Cereal can be a good way to start your day as long as you choose that cereal wisely and make sure to read the full nutritional label before bringing it home with you.

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Awesome Low Carb Breakfast Options

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, and for a very good reason. Once you are up and about, eating a healthy breakfast can kick-start your metabolism and keep you going until lunchtime. Your body needs energy to function and a decent breakfast will give you this in spades. But what can you eat for breakfast if carbs are off the menu? Read on to find out.

Eggs

Eggs in all their forms are a fabulous source of protein and a tasty breakfast ingredient. You can do lots of things with an egg or two, and as long as you don’t fry them in lots of oil, eggs are a healthy alternative to cereal or toast. Scrambled eggs, poached eggs, Eggs Florentine or an omelette with grated cheese or spinach—the possibilities are endless and you’ll never get bored if you have eggs for breakfast!

Yoghurt

Fruit yoghurts are great if you are in a rush, but for some extra added flavour, mix natural yogurt with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of flax meal. Alternatively, make a yoghurt and milk smoothie with fresh fruit and protein powder.

Cereal

At first glance, breakfast cereal is a serious no-no if you are on a low carb diet, but if you can’t bear the thought of missing out on your daily bowl of cereal, fear not because there are a few low carb options to choose from. Special K cereal comes in a low carb version, as does All Bran, but do check the label before you buy.

Meat

Ok, so a large steak might not be terribly appetising at the breakfast table, but bacon and eggs is a good option if you fancy a substantial meal to see you through until lunchtime. Crispy bacon or sausage and eggs go well together and are very filling thanks to the high levels of protein. For a healthier option, go for lean turkey bacon or sausage.

Smoked Salmon

For the ultimate in posh breakfast treats, buy some smoked salmon and serve it up with goats cheese, cucumber and some freshly ground black pepper. If smoked salmon doesn’t appeal, try some grilled kippers instead.

Melon Or Grapefruit

Fresh juicy melon or grapefruit makes for a light and refreshing start to the day, and if you combine it with low fat cottage cheese, you can enjoy a delicious healthy breakfast. Grapefruit also goes particularly well with smoked salmon.

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How To Incorporate Chilli Into Your Diet & Boost Your Metabolism

Boosting your metabolism is a great way of maximising weight loss. Exercise is the most obvious way of doing this. Doing some hard intervals on the treadmill is pretty much guaranteed to give your metabolism a jump-start, but another, less obvious way is to eat spicy foods that raise your core body temperature. Chilli is a good example of such a food, so here’s how eating chilli can boost your metabolism and help you lose a few pounds.

Why Is A Higher Metabolism Good For Weight Loss?

Everyone needs a certain amount of calories (energy) to help them get through the day and the more active you are, the more calories you need, which is why exercise is an essential part of any weight loss plan.

The Link Between Spicy Chilli & Metabolic Rate

Chilli peppers contain a colourless compound called Capsaicin. It is this compound that gives chilli peppers their characteristic heat. The hotter the chilli, the more Capsaicin it contains. Scientific studies indicate that eating spicy chills raises the metabolic rate for up to three hours. The figures quoted vary, but it is somewhere between 20% and 50%.

The reason for this happy event is that eating hot chilli peppers raises your heart rate, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. So the next time you accidentally consume a scotch bonnet, think of the calories you are burning. And if you can stomach a red savina habanero chilli pepper, you will be sweating off the excess pounds for hours.

Spicy Food & Weight Loss

Another advantage of eating spicy food containing chilli is that it suppresses your appetite (probably because your mouth is burning). It also helps you to feel fuller at the end of the meal, which is a bonus if you are struggling to control your cravings for carbohydrate-laden comfort foods.

Make Chilli A Regular Part Of Your Diet

Eating chilli is clearly good for your weight loss plan, but nobody wants to eat chill con carne for dinner every night. So you need to find other ways to incorporate chilli into your diet. Adding chilli flakes to regular dishes is a great way of doing this. Chilli can give a flavoursome boost to soups, stews, and stir fries. You can even add chilli flakes to salad dressings. And if you want to enjoy a tasty dessert, add chilli flakes to a rich chocolate mousse for a guilt free pudding.

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Acai Berries – Are They As Beneficial As You’ve Heard?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you can’t fail to have heard of the humble Acai berry. Nutritional experts have described the Acai berry as a ‘super fruit’, or in other words a food with an extremely high nutritional value. But are Acai berries really that good for you or is it all a lot of hype?

Acai berries are available in many different forms. You can’t buy them as a whole fruit because they don’t survive the trip from South America, but you can buy them as a pulp, powder, in capsules or in a health juice.

The Myths About Acai Berries

Whilst Acai berries undeniably have a lot of health benefits, it is important that you don’t believe everything you read about this reddish-purple berry found growing in the rainforests of Brazil. Unfortunately, there are lot of myths and untruths out there relating to Acai berries.

  • Appetite suppressant – When you want to believe in something badly enough, often it comes true, but in this instance, taking an Acai berry weight loss supplement won’t curb your hunger pangs, no matter how many you take.
  • Metabolism booster – There is no scientific evidence that eating Acai berry in any form will boost your metabolism. The best way to do that is to try doing some intensive exercise.

The Facts About Acai Berries

One benefit of adding Acai berry products to your diet is that they do contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are good for us because they help to keep our immune systems in good health. They fight the ‘free radical’ cells that cause damage and are thought to increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. But it isn’t just Acai berries that contain high levels of antioxidants. All colourful fruits contain them—and cost a lot less to buy!

One extra benefit Acai berries have that other fruits don’t is monounsaturated fats. These help us to feel full at the end of a meal, but although Acai berries do contain this useful ingredient, you would need to eat a lot of them to enjoy any real benefit.

Lose Weight The Healthy Way

There is no one single food that will magically help you to lose weight. Acai berries are just as healthy as any other berry fruit, so instead of splashing out on expensive Acai weight loss supplements, buy some blueberries or raspberries instead.

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Swap Your Regular Cheese For Goats Cheese

Dairy, including cheese, is essential for a healthy diet. Cheese is a popular dairy food—it tastes great, there are dozens of different varieties, and it can be used in many different types of dishes. There are alternatives to milk and dairy, soya for example, but dairy products are great sources of calcium, phosphorous, and of course protein. Sadly, cheese is usually a forbidden food for dieters, so if you can’t stand the thought of ‘no cheese’, is goat’s cheese a healthy alternative?

The Benefits Of Cheese

Our bodies need protein and calcium to grow properly, which is why kids benefit from drinking milk and eating dairy, but what about adults?

Adults need protein and calcium, too. Both are the building blocks of life and the calcium in dairy products such as cheese is easily absorbed by the body. Cheese is also known to promote healthy teeth by protecting us against tooth decay.

The Problem With Cheese

We all love cheese, which is why it is used in so many recipes and processed food products. The trouble is that even low-fat hard cheese contains lots of calories and way too much fat. A small piece of cheese grated into a salad can play havoc with your weight loss campaign and therefore you could be sabotaging your diet without even realising it.

Try Goat’s Cheese

Although cheese in general is not very good for dieters, there are some cheesy alternatives you can use as a substitute. One of these is goat’s cheese. A white, creamy textured cheese with a slightly salty flavour, goat’s cheese is readily available in supermarkets. If kept in a refrigerator, it will stay fresh for several weeks. Eat it plain, or add it to cooked dishes.

Weight Loss Benefits Of Goat’s Cheese

Along with feta, goat’s cheese is naturally low in fat and contains far fewer calories per ounce than a hard cheese such as cheddar. One ounce of goat’s cheese contains approximately 75 calories and 6 grams of fat. By contrast, an ounce of cheddar contains 115 calories and 9.5 grams of fat. Fresh goat’s cheese also has another important quality that can help you lose weight: it contains a special fatty acid that will help you to feel fuller at the end of the meal.

How To Make The Most Of Goat’s Cheese

  • Add goat’s cheese to a green salad
  • Spread soft goat’s cheese on to apple slices
  • Use goat’s cheese to add extra flavour to a white sauce

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The Best Sources Of Protein To Eat Daily

Looking to boost your protein intake? It’s a must that you take in enough protein on your diet plan, with most people requiring about one gram per pound of body weight each and every day – if not slightly more.

Yet, most people fall short.

If you’re currently not getting what you need, it’s time that you start seeking out the best sources of protein to be eating regularly.

Let’s look at the main ones to know.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are a highly versatile food and are very cost effective, so great for those on a budget.  In addition to that, they’re a high volume food, meaning you can eat quite a few of them for the calories to really add up to a significant amount.

Generally, the more volume you can eat while dieting, the less hungry you’ll be. Try them with salsa first thing in the morning.

Chicken

Chicken is the next good protein source to make sure that you’re eating regularly.  Chicken is a high quality source of protein that’s low in fat and will work great for muscle building and repair.

Chicken can also be cooked and prepared a number of different ways, so it’s hard to get bored of it on your diet plan.

Salmon

Don’t forget about salmon. Salmon is a great source of protein as well as a good source of omega fatty acids, making it an especially terrific option for those trying to diet.

While it is higher in calories than the two former options due to the increase in fat content, it’s still a must to be eating. Just control your serving size so that you don’t over-consume when it comes to your calorie intake.

Cottage Cheese

Finally, don’t overlook cottage cheese as part of your diet plan. Cottage cheese is great as it’ll promote faster weight loss in the belly region especially and it breaks down very slowly in the body.

Plus, it’ll also supply a good dose of calcium as well, which is important for promoting strong bones and good muscular contractions as you go about the diet plan.

So make sure that you aren’t overlooking these sources of protein on your own diet plan. If you aren’t getting them in, now is definitely the time to start incorporating them into your diet more often.

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Great Low-Fat Breakfast Choices

Looking for a fast way to start your day on track? Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, as the saying goes, because it’s what will jump-start your metabolism and give you energy to get your day off to a good start.

Those who skip breakfast often end up turning to ‘quick fix’ foods mid-morning such as donuts or chocolate bars to get their blood sugar levels up. If you eat a well-balanced breakfast however, it’ll be smooth sailing until lunch.

Let’s look at a few of the top breakfast choices to help you get your day off to a good start.

Oatmeal With Protein & Peanut Butter

One fast and very easy option to start your day off well is to go for a cooked bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder stirred in.  Mix in some peanut butter, natural almond butter, or some chopped nuts for your healthy fats and add a few berries on top for flavor.

It’ll be a very well balanced meal that takes about three minutes to prepare.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Consider whipping up a Greek yogurt parfait. Since most people aren’t getting their three servings of dairy products in, this is definitely a good choice.  Place some Greek yogurt into a bowl and then top with fresh berries along with flaxseeds or slivered almonds for your healthy fats.

This breakfast will come in around 250-300 calories, so is an easy add regardless of what your calorie intake is.

Scrambled Egg And Fruit

Another good breakfast meal is scrambled egg whites with diced vegetables, prepared in a bit of olive oil.  Top that with salsa, which also adds extra fiber to the meal and then serve some fruit on the side for carbs and antioxidants.

Scrambled eggs are a very high quality source of protein and one that you should consider adding on a daily basis.

Protein Pancake

Finally, if you have a bit more time, consider whipping up a protein pancake. Mix together some raw oats, egg whites, along with a half scoop of protein powder and then pour onto a skillet like you would a regular pancake.

Flip at halftime and then top with some natural peanut butter and half a sliced banana.

So consider any of these breakfast dishes to help you reach your nutritional goals and start the day with energy to spare.

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Meal Plan Ideas – Video Blog

The amateur video below gives you some great ideas for meal plans that you can follow to kick start you weight loss journey. Sometimes the hardest thing for new dieters is working out what they can eat throughout the week so that they don’t eat the same thing every day and end up getting bored with their food choices – and this video will help you avoid this dieting pitfall.

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Diet Friendly Snacks

Looking for something to cure your mid-afternoon munchies? Snacking can be a part of an overall healthy diet plan as long as you are choosing wisely.

Far too many people let themselves snack on carb-laden foods that are overly processed and contain far too much sugar to be part of any good diet plan.

If you select wisely though, snacks can help manage hunger, provide extra nutrients, and help power you through your day.

Let’s look at some great snack examples. For most people, keeping your snacks around 200-300 calories will be best so that they don’t put you over your target calorie intake for the day.

Tuna Salad

A pop top can of tuna tossed over some lettuce greens and drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil based salad dressing is a great snack to tide over hunger, boost your protein intake, and control blood sugar levels optimally.

Tuna’s nice since you can easily keep it in your desk at work, so it makes for a go-to snack any time you need it.

Even if you just eat it alone, it’s far better than anything you’d find in the vending machine.

Cheese And Whole Grain Crackers

Next, if you’re  fan of cheese, pick up some reduced fat cheese, which is higher in protein and a great source of calcium and have a slice or two along with some whole grain crackers for carbs.

Choose crackers that are low in sodium and as high in fiber as possible to make this a healthy, well-balanced snack.

Protein Shake And Banana

Next, if you’re in a hurry and have all of two minutes to have your snack, a protein shake with a banana is a good route to go.  The protein powder will help ensure that you meet your daily protein needs and the banana will provide you with some fast burning energy to keep you going throughout the afternoon.

If you like, add a bit of peanut butter to the banana if you have calories to spare, which will further slow-down the digestion process.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Finally, a hard-boiled egg can make for a great snack to take to work or wherever you’re going.  These can be prepared and stored in the fridge for a few days at a time, so are quick and convenient option for those on the go.

Hard boiled eggs are a good source of protein and will contain some fat, so will tide hunger over very quickly.

So keep these top snacks in mind. Snacking can help your progress if you choose wisely.

Looking for more diet friendly tips and advice? Here are some more articles you may be interested in:

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7 Day Healthy Daily Meal Plan – Video Blog

The short video below by holistic nutritionist Heather Nauta below gives you some suggestions of the healthy food you can buy during this week’s grocery shop to help you prepare a week’s worth of healthy and nutritious meals that will ensure you stick to your diet. This 7 day plan will help you to watch your waistline, eat healthy and stick to your diet. Heather has based this 7 Day Meal Plan on her own daily diet and has laid out breakfast, lunch and dinner meal ideas for a whole week for you to try.

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