The choices we make, and why do we make them?

Join Me On My Journey

This is my Journey on how I lost 50+ lbs of weight loss and found my True self in the process. I’ll tell you what worked for me, and maybe it might be helpful to your Diet or Health plan, that you might already have in place, or if not I have a few suggestions that can get you started on your healthcare regimen. I started when I’d just been sick of having complication due to my weight, and restrictions I’d never had before growing up being very pro-active, playing different sports and then chasing after my kids once I became an older adult.

I didn’t really put the weight on until I had my third Daughter, Five years after I had my Twins. Then I went back and forth struggling to loose it just to put the weight back on with some extra. I was unhappy and disappointed in myself telling myself I had no control over it because that was the “Easy” way out, rather than face the “real” Truth, that I was just avoiding what was basically the main cause of most of my health issues. So I finally faced my fear of failure and told myself, You GOT This!

  1. Slowly but surely it started to become a daily routine, NO SUGAR Is The most Important thing. Then NO Bread (unless it’s whole wheat grain), & last NO Pasta, and of coarse a regular workout exercise routine (Nothing CRAZY) that you can actually stick to a few times a week, That you can fit reasonably into your weekly schedule every week. Don’t set unreal expectations for yourself, you have to take Baby-steps or your just setting yourself up for failure if you don’t, so start out Small with your weight limit goals and then build from there slowly.
  2. Your gonna feel sore for the first couple of days after your fitness workout weather it be at a Gym with a trainer helping you one on one, or an at home workout on a laptop/iPad or mobile device, or home gyms/Fitness equipment, It doesn’t matter, Rest & some Alieve/Motrin will help alleviate some of that discomfort, it’s from using muscles you haven’t used in years, some people might not have the money for a gym membership which is ok they have tons of apps out there now for at home workouts.
    I suggest a good cardio, just type Workouts into your search in the App/play Store and download it to your device.

Read more »

20 Mexican Recipes That Won’t Destroy Your Diet

Feel like a fajita? Sure! Craving a quesadilla? Go for it. Yup, you can even have fish tacos and crispy nachos. And nope, we’re not going loco.

Some Mexican dishes may not be very diet-friendly (full-fat cheese and sour cream, we’re looking at you!). But with some simple tweaks and substitutions, you can still enjoy those unique and inspired south-of-the-border flavors without derailing your health goals. Check out these figure-friendly, mucho yummy recipes for quick mid-week meals, tasty snacks and crowd-pleasing apps. They’re also all perfect for Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

Helpful hint: Just click on the name of the dish, its image or the link in the caption to access the full recipe.

Here are 20 Mexican recipes that get the food fiesta started:

10-Minute Shrimp Fajitas

 

You get shrimp that’s crisped and coated in cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika, along with brightly colored bell pepper slices and sweet onions—all roasted to perfection in 10 tiny, little minutes. Wrap all that deliciousness up in a warm whole wheat tortilla for the perfect high-protein, high-flavor meal on a night when you’re short on time. Click here for the full recipe >

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Looks like the quesadilla of your dreams. It’s got shredded cheddar and chunks of chicken, like a quesadilla should. And most importantly: It tastes like the quintessential kind you know and love. However, with low-fat cheese and lots of vegetables to plump up the filling, this healthier version can be worked into the perfect flex dinner for your Nutrisystem plan. Click here for the full recipe >

Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Lime Yogurt Sauce

 

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with tasty tacos?! This Mexican classic can easily go from a diet-friendly option to diet destruction if you aren’t careful. Stay on track this holiday while enjoying these healthy Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Lime Yogurt Sauce. Your favorite Mexican restaurant can’t compete with the nutritional profile of this delicious dish.

Cheesy cauliflower nachos

 

Dig into this delicious, healthy sheet pan nacho recipe with a unique twist. Instead of fried tortilla chips as the base for our delicious toppings, we used a tasty low-carb swap for our nachos: cheesy cauliflower!

Party-Perfect Pico de Gallo

 

A fiesta isn’t a fiesta without salsa on the spread. Made with fresh veggies, herbs and a few squirts of lime juice, Pico de Gallo is the perfect healthy dip for your favorite whole grain chip or cracker. For a little heat, add a splash of hot sauce. Click here for the full recipe >

Loaded Mexican Baked Sweet Potato

 

Uno potato, dos potatoes, tres potatoes, cuatro! The sweet spuds take center stage in this dish, as a great source of vitamins A and C, plus fiber. Not to mention, these sweet potatoes are loaded with chicken, cheese, salsa and avocado, so they’re muy delicioso. Side it with a salad, and dinner is served. Click here for the full recipe >

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Add this dish to your weekday rotation for three very good reasons: It takes minimal effort to make, it tastes like a Mexican party in your mouth and it provides wide-ranging nourishment. On Nutrisystem, it counts as one SmartCarb, two PowerFuels, one Vegetable and three Extras. Need more convincing? You can sub in your favorite veggies, tweak seasonings and experiment with spices for a different flavor every time you make it. Click here for the full recipe >

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Go citrus with your salsa! This tropical fruit packs a healthy dose of vitamin C and folate, and helps provide the perfect blend of sweet and tangy that you can use on top of grilled chicken or shrimp, or alongside a serving of baked whole wheat tortilla chips. And before you say you hate peeling mangoes, we make it easy with these simple tips. Click here for the full recipe >

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It looks like regular rice. It’s got the same texture and soaks up sauces and marinades, like regular rice would. But “rice” made from cauliflower is super healthy, super easy to make and when mixed with fresh lime juice and cilantro—super delicious to eat! Consider this alternative the next time your recipe calls for rice. On Nutrisystem, cauliflower is an unlimited vegetable—you can have as much of it as you like! Click here for the full recipe >

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Fajitas

 

Toss a few basic fajita ingredients—chicken, salsa, onions, garlic and beans—into the slow cooker and let it work its magic. This set-it-and-forget-it recipe makes several servings, perfect to feed the whole family. Or, freeze the leftovers for when you’re hankering for your next fajita. Click here for the full recipe >

Shrimp Taco Bites

 

They’re cute, they crunch and they taste delicious—perfect appetizers to take the “hostess with the mostess” title at your next fiesta! Click here for the full recipe >

The Best Guacamole Ever

 

Next up, the gold star of Mexican fare—the one, the only, the smooth, the creamy… guacamole! Guacamole provides lots of vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and fiber. However, high in calories, it’s easy to overeat. Thankfully, this lighter version is made with nonfat Greek yogurt and extra veggies, so you can enjoy a little more without worrying about diet destruction. If you’re feeling adventurous, add pineapples for a touch of sweetness. Click here for the full recipe >

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Rubbed with taco seasoning, tossed with tomatoes and black beans and then drenched with cilantro lime crema and pico de gallo, these tiny taco delights are just 190 calories per serving. Get the recipe here >

fish tacos

 

Give your tacos a tasty twist with these delicious fish tacos. Featuring tender halibut, a variety of veggies and a homemade tomatillo sauce, they’re a creative and colorful take on the classic taco. Get the recipe here >

tofu taco bowl

 

Don’t worry plant-based dieters! We didn’t forget about you in this round-up of healthy Mexican recipes. Our Tofu Taco Bowl will satisfy your fiesta cravings without sabotaging your healthy diet. It features a delicious trio of tofu, basmati rice and peppers. Add your favorite toppings! Get the vegetarian recipe here >

Crunchy Turkey Taco Wrap

 

Another creative twist on tacos, our crunchy taco wraps are packed with turkey, sour cream, iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese. They’re a much healthier alternative to a popular fast food option! Get the healthy recipe here >

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This is “nacho” average nacho recipe! Our Bell Pepper Nachos are low-carb and packed with flavor. We stuff mini peppers with classic nacho toppings, including black beans, Pico de Gallo and avocado. Covered in melted cheese and fresh cilantro, it’s the perfect simple starter for your weight loss menu. Get the recipe here >

Mexican zucchini boats

 

Call all low-carb lovers! These Mexican Zucchini Boats are the perfect dish to enjoy when you’re craving Mexican food but want to stick to your diet. Stuffed with peppers, kale, black beans and shredded cheese, it’s a vegetarian meal that everyone will love. Get the full recipe here >

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

 

Using some shredded chicken and cheese, a few dried herbs and some canned goods, you can create a delicious family style meal for Cinco de Mayo. This healthy spin on a Mexican classic is sure to become a top pick on your healthy household menu. Get the recipe here >

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Heading to a Cinco de Mayo party? Whip up this Mexican Street Corn Dip to ensure you stay on track with your weight loss meal plan. It features charred corn, jalapeno, red onion, avocado and cheese tossed in a homemade mayo-based dressing. Click here to get the easy recipe >

Bonus: Ready for a drink? Try our Virgin Jalapeno Lemon Margarita >

 

Virgin Jalapeno Lemon MargaritaRefreshingly spicy and deliciously diet-friendly, it’s the ultimate Cinco de Mayo sip. Even after the fiesta  is over, you’ll want this sweet and spicy drink “jalapeno” cup all season long! While the classic margarita is filled with sugary simple syrup, we lighten up this classic cocktail by swapping in light lemonade, plus some fresh jalapeno slices.

Simple Everyday Exercises at Home

The benefits of regular exercise are no secret: Working up a sweat can reduce your risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and even early death. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone strive for 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, plus two muscle-strengthening sessions.

But starting an exercise regimen can be daunting! There are so many exercises, classes and gym types to choose from, and each one can be intimidating. Plus, 150 minutes and two other workouts can seem like a lot of time.

Getting moving doesn’t need to be complicated, daunting or intimidating. Keep it simple and get started with this schedule: It’s two exercises to do almost every day of the week, plus some walking. You’ll build strength, endurance, support your weight loss goals, and reduce your risks of chronic disease. Just be sure to speak with your doctor before trying any new exercise routine to ensure it is safe for you.

How to Do These Simple Workouts

Each day, start your session with 10 minutes of walking. This will warm your body up, get your heart pumping, and you’ll rack up 70 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week—almost half of the 150 weekly minutes recommended by the CDC.

After your warmup walk, you’ll do two strength or stretching exercises on most days. Perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. So for Tuesday’s workout, that looks like this:

  1. Step-up: 15 seconds
  2. Rest: 30 seconds
  3. Negative Pushup: 15 seconds
  4. Rest: 30 seconds

That’s a block of 90 seconds. Start with two blocks—just three minutes. See how many 90-second blocks you can complete each day. Try to increase the number of blocks you do by one each week.

Over time, you can increase the amount of time you do each exercise to 20 seconds, and reduce the rest time to 20 seconds.

On to the daily moves!

Monday: Get mobile and greet the new week!

Room full of people in a stretching class

 

Don’t believe the anti-Monday hype: Each week, you’ve got a new chance to kickstart an incredible week of success and joy. Plus, you’re another day closer to your goal! These two moves will help increase your mobility and help you greet all the possibilities Monday brings.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Reach overhead with waiter’s bow

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Reach your arms straight up and give yourself a big, full-body stretch. Hold for one second.
  2. Now place one hand on your stomach just below your belly button, and the other hand behind you so that your knuckles are against the small of your back. Make your chest proud.
  3. In this position, imagine you’re holding a bag of groceries in your arms, and you need to close the car door by bumping it with your butt. Pretend to do that bump. This starts a hip hinge.
  4. Keeping your chest proud and back naturally arched, keep pushing your hips back to bow forward at the hips (not the waist). Keep descending until your back starts to curl forward—stop there.
  5. Squeeze your butt to stand back up. That’s one repetition. Repeat from step one, starting with the overhead stretch.

Exercise 2: Seated thoracic spine rotation

  1. Scoot forward towards the edge of your chair. Sit tall with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent 90 degrees.
  2. Place your hands behind your head in a “prisoner” position.
  3. Pretend your left elbow is the spout of a coffee pot. Keeping your torso upright, tilt your upper body to the left to pour out a little bit of coffee, then straighten back up.
  4. Now gently twist to the left until you feel a bit of resistance in your twist. Stop, and tilt out some more coffee.
  5. Straighten back up, and you’ll be able to twist a little further to the left. Continue for a few more cycles: Twist until there’s a stop, tilt out some coffee, sit straight, and twist a little more.
  6. Return to the start and repeat, this time tilting and twisting to the right. Do this a few times per day.

Tuesday: Step-up, pushup

Two people doing step-ups and pushups

 

Simple, but powerful: These two moves will strengthen your upper and lower body as you switch back and forth.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Bodyweight step-up

  1. Place your left foot up on a step, bench or box so that your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
  2. Pull your shoulders back and down as if you were trying to tuck your shoulder blades into the back pocket of a pair of jeans. Fill your chest with air to set your core, and maintain a tight, rigid core throughout the movement.
  3. Lean your torso forward just a bit. This will keep the weight in your front, working leg.
  4. Press through the heel of your raised, left foot and push your body up until your left leg is straight. Do not bring your right foot onto the bench until it is even with your left foot.
  5. Control your body as you lower your right foot back to the floor and return to the starting position. Complete all your repetitions on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Exercise 2: Incline negative push-up

  1. Assume the classic pushup position, but with your hands on a bench, a stair or a sturdy table that won’t slide: Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders, your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Maintaining this straight body line, slowly bend your elbows to lower your chest until it touches the bench—don’t reach with your head! Since this is a negative pushup, the work is in lowering your body, not pressing it back up.
  3. Stand back up, and return to position one. Repeat. As you get stronger, try to press back up from the bottom position.

Wednesday: Make your 10-minute walk into a 30-minute session

Two women walking together

 

Recover from your strength workouts on Monday and Tuesday with a simple cardio session that will get you even closer to your 150 weekly minutes: Turn your 10-minute walk into a 30-minute session. Or, if you prefer, do three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day.

Thursday: Squats and shoulders

A man doing squats

 

Want to live to 100? Do squats. Being able to stand up out of a chair without using your hands has been found to be an indicator of longer lifespans. You’ll pair practicing that with some simple shoulder moves in this workout.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Squat to chair

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out from parallel, a chair behind you.
  2. Push your hips back to initiate the squat. Bend your knees to descend, keeping your chest up and your weight on your heels, until you are seated in the chair.
  3. Keep the weight of your body in your heels and try to press back to standing without using your hands. If you can’t, just do the lowering part of the squat slowly, then stand back up and repeat.

Exercise 2: Lying I-Y-T

  1. Lie face down on a floor or mat with your arms and legs straight so you’re fully stretched out. Make fists and put your thumbs up towards the ceiling.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, raise just your arms and shoulders so your thumbs go closer to the ceiling. This is the letter “I” raise. Bring your hands back down to the floor.
  3. Now move your thumbs and arms out so your body forms a “Y.” Raise your thumbs up again. This is the “Y” raise. Bring your hands back down to the floor.
  4. Now move your thumbs and arms out to your sides so your body forms a “T.” Raise your thumbs up again. This is the “T” raise. Bring your hands back down to the floor.
  5. Repeat this sequence for the prescribed time: I raise, Y raise, T raise.

Friday: Gun show, glute bridge

A woman working out

 

It’s Friday, so build some fun muscles—tone your arms and backside with these two exercises.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Diamond wall push-up

  1. Stand in front of a bare wall and lift your arms up to shoulder level. Place your palms against the wall directly in front of the center of your chest, with your index fingers and thumbs touching each other. In this position, your hands will form a diamond shape.
  2. Now back a few feet away from the wall so that your elbows are bent just slightly as you lean at an angle into the wall. Make your chest proud.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the diamond created by your hands, maintaining a rigid body line from head to heels.
  4. Press your hands into the wall, maintaining your rigid body line as you press back to the starting position. Repeat.

Exercise 2: Glute bridge

  1. Lie faceup on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at your sides.
  2. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  3. Pause for a second at the top of the exercise, and then slowly return to the start position.

Saturday: Move it any way you can for 30 minutes

A couple working out together

 

Dance, clean, walk with a friend or family member: Turn your 10-minute walk into a 30-minute session of any kind of movement. Or, if you prefer, do three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day.

Sunday: Restore before the new week

A woman working out

Don’t stress about Monday. Help yourself relax before bed with these two simple, restorative moves.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Cat-cow

  1. Get in a hands-and-knees position on the floor, your hands directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Make your spine neutral—no sagging or arching.
  2. Breathe out and contract your core muscles, pushing your back up towards the ceiling and rounding your spine. Your back should look like a cat in a Halloween picture. Let your head fall towards your chest, keeping it in line with your spine. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  3. Now breathe back in, letting your stomach fall towards the floor as you arch your back into the “cow” position. Your shoulder blades should come together, and your head should face forward. Hold this position for a few seconds, then breathe out and transition back to the “cat” position.
  4. Keep alternating between these two positions for the prescribed time.

Exercise 2: Single-leg knee to chest (alternating)

  1. Lie on a mat or on your bed with your legs extended.
  2. Bring your right knee up towards your chest, and gently hug it towards your torso and chest by holding your knee or shin. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  3. On the next round through your block, bring your left knee towards your chest and do a 15-second hold. Continue alternating in this way.

Pair these simple everyday exercises with a convenient meal delivery service! Nutrisystem sends you perfectly portioned, healthier versions of your favorite foods right to your door. Learn more about Nutrisystem here! >

*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

COVID SCIENCE-Omicron infection induces limited immune response in unvaccinated; COVID hospital deaths rise on weekends

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25 Healthy Easter Brunch Recipe Ideas

The concept of “brunch”—a name that obviously comes from the combination of breakfast and lunch—dates all the way back to 1895. According to Smithsonian Magazine, this is when the term first appeared in print. Today, it’s more popular than ever, not only for its delightful combination of foods but also for the social interaction that it encourages. Brunch is about gathering around the table and enjoying a meal, making it the perfect option for holidays like Easter.

If you’re planning on Easter Brunch this year, we’ve rounded up 25 of our best brunch recipes that are both healthy and delicious.

Cauliflower Breakfast Hash Skillet

 

This hash recipe substitutes carb-laden potatoes for lighter cauliflower rice to create a more weight loss-friendly choice. With other breakfast staples like eggs, turkey bacon, onions and peppers, it’s packed with flavor but only contains a mere 164 calories per serving. It’s also a great recipe to add your own twist! Incorporating everything from some reduced fat cheese to some beans or perhaps different vegetables can switch up the flavor and make it your own.

Vegetable Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

 

Serve up a savory “breakfast pie” this Easter Sunday! Where quiche typically goes off track in terms of health is in the buttery crust and cheesy filling. However, our version uses a healthy sweet potato crust and is absolutely packed with veggies. It’s both delicious and full of nutrients!

Mini Pancake Bites

 

While traditional pancakes are made with white flour, offering no nutritional benefit, our version uses heart-healthy whole wheat flour as the base for a healthier option. This recipe also uses a mini muffin tin to create pancake “bites,” helping you with simplified portion control (something Nutrisystem knows a little bit about!). Mixing in some antioxidant-rich blueberries boosts their health factor even more, though you can get creative and use your favorite ingredients instead.

Easy Cheddar Scones with Spinach

 

Fancy up your Easter Brunch with these simple-but-delicious cheddar scones with spinach. This recipe starts with whole wheat flour—already making it healthier than the typical scone recipe—and uses only a small amount of light butter. Filled with cheddar cheese, spinach and green onion, these yummy scones are big on flavor while being light on calories. It’s a great alternative to a bread basket or other baked goods that you might typically serve.

3-Ingredient Crepes

 

While crepes sound like a difficult dish to prepare, the truth is, they are much simpler to make than you may imagine. This particular recipe uses only three simple ingredients—egg whites, whole wheat flour and low-fat cream cheese—to whip up some light and airy crepes. Top with some fresh fruit to add some antioxidant power, too.

Air Fryer Frittata

 

Are you an air fryer fan like we are? We love that the air fryer helps to de-greasify many food favorites. If you’ve got an air fryer, then you’re going to want to give this delicious brunch recipe a whirl. This light, protein-packed frittata is made from egg whites and skim milk and filled with tomatoes, mushrooms and chives. It’s so delicious and satisfying that you’ll be shocked it’s a mere 75 calories per serving.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

 

Though they sound indulgent and luxurious, you can eat as many as six of these pancakes for a mere 267 calories per serving. The secret is that these pancakes are made from a banana! One banana combined with two eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder and poppy seeds is all it takes to mix up this delicious and healthy pancake batter. Your brunch guests will be wowed by the delectability and the surprising twist of flavors.

Churro French Toast Rollups

 

Just the name of this brunch item sounds rich and indulgent. But made using ingredients like whole wheat bread, light butter and Truvia Cane Sugar Blend, it’s a dish you can enjoy without detouring your diet at all. One churro is just 127 calories but oh-so-delicious.

4-Ingredient Breakfast Mushroom Caps

 

Stuffed mushrooms are often thought of in terms of an appetizer, but this recipe takes vitamin D-packed baby bella mushroom caps and stuffs them with a breakfast blend of scrambled eggs with spinach and cheddar cheese. It’s a nutrient-rich and entirely delicious addition to your brunch table that everyone will enjoy.

Avocado Egg Toast

 

With this delish toast recipe, you’ll get the protein-rich goodness of eggs combined with the healthy fats of a yummy avocado. Some thin slices of cucumber, plum tomato, dried dill and black pepper add a flavorful finish. Serve it all atop a piece of whole grain bread for added fiber.

Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

 

Broccoli and cheddar cheese go together deliciously in this healthy muffin recipe. This is a great make-ahead option that will look lovely in a basket as part of your Easter Brunch spread. These muffins will help fill you up in a healthy way. Two muffins count as a serving and have a mere 247 calories total.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

 

While they may sound—and taste—like a store-bought bakery item, these muffins make some healthy substitutions that help keep them waistline-friendly. Healthful ingredients like chopped dates, unsweetened applesauce and vanilla almond milk help make up the heart of these soft and warm muffins. Covered in a buttery brown sugar and streusel topping, they are sure to be devoured.

Air Fryer Sausage, Potatoes and Veggies

 

This is another great air fryer dish that has less calories and fat thanks to a more healthful way of cooking. It features baby potatoes, zucchini and chicken sausage for a very hearty and filling meal. We recommend sprinkling it with garlic powder and black pepper, but you can switch up the spices to your liking.

Mushroom and Spinach Egg Bake

 

If you’re looking for a delicious-but-healthy casserole to add to your Brunch table, then this may just be your perfect choice. This is a much lighter version of a traditional egg casserole and it’s packed with veggies, including vitamin-packed spinach and mushrooms as well as rich and creamy cottage and cheddar cheeses. It’s big on flavor while remaining a diet-friendly choice on your menu lineup.

Cherry Cheese Danish

 

Traditionally, baked goods have not been a healthy way to start your day. But our Cheery Cheese Danish is made much more healthful using whole wheat pastry flour, stevia and light butter. The incorporation of antioxidant-rich real cherries even boosts the nutrient power of this delightful pastry. Your brunch guests will be so busy enjoying the deliciousness, they’ll never know it’s a lighter option.

One-Pan Chickpea Shakshuka

 

Anything that starts with sautéed onions and peppers is sure to be delicious! That’s exactly how this savory dish begins. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any other time of the day, this vegetarian dish is filled with fragrant spices and fiber. Spice up your Easter menu with our One-Pan Chickpea Shakshuka recipe!

Spinach Banana Pancakes

 

Start your Easter the healthy way with these lean, green pancakes that are packed with nutrition and delicious flavor. Featuring fiber-rich ingredients like whole wheat flour, banana and fresh spinach, it’s the perfect spring meal for your holiday menu.

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

 

Your two favorite sweet treats come together in one tasty dish. Enjoy the fresh flavors of apple pie rolled up into a delicious cinnamon roll recipe that’s perfect for your Easter brunch menu. We love it topped with chopped walnuts or almonds for extra crunch and protein.

Raspberry Lemon Scones

 

You don’t need to stop at the local bakery for Easter Sunday when you have this healthy scones recipe. Raspberry and lemon are the perfect pair and are sure to add some brightness to your healthy Easter lineup.

Homemade Carrot Cake

 

Dessert, anyone? This carrot cake is the perfect classic Easter dessert recipe that also fits into your weight loss plan. Featuring freshly grated carrots, crunchy walnuts and a creamy, dreamy maple-flavored icing, you’ll want to make this one every year.

Hawaiian Honey Ham and Quinoa Salad

 

Honey-glazed ham is a must-have on your Easter recipe menu. Served with a sweet, savory and crunchy quinoa salad, this Easter brunch main course is sure to be a hit.

Not So Devilish Deviled Eggs

 

It wouldn’t be Easter brunch without this classic appetizer! Deviled eggs are made healthier in a Nutrisystem-approved recipe that still provides the flavors you know and love. The secret ingredient? Plain fat-free Greek yogurt. Your guests will love it.

Orange Ginger Roasted Carrots

 

We all need colorful, crunchy carrots on the Easter table. These sweet and savory slices are simple to make but pack in the flavor with freshly grated ginger, honey and orange juice.

Roasted Turnip Salad

 

Serve up a spring salad that’s filled with nutritious and delicious ingredients. Roasted turnips are the star of the show in this recipe. We pair them with seasonal arugula, radishes, farro and creamy goat cheese, then cover it all in a simple 3-ingredient dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper.

Baked Scotch Eggs

 

Try our spin on an English classic! Scotch Eggs are turned light and healthy in this Nutrisystem-approved recipe you’ll love. Lean ground beef surrounds a perfectly cooked hardboiled egg and is seasoned with black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce. It’s a simple recipe that’s perfect for Easter. 

5 Spring Weight Loss Tips Guaranteed to Work

Spring has sprung and if you’ve always suspected that weight loss is easier in warmer weather, you might be on to something. In a study of nearly 600 adults, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, daily calorie consumption was higher by almost 90 calories per day during the fall compared to the spring. These findings echo those from a 1991 University of Georgia study, which found that participants ate about 200 more calories per day in autumn.

According to the Institute of Medicine, researchers hypothesize that because bodily functions like digestion generate heat, the body must work extra hard in warm weather to cool down from these activities. In order to reduce the body’s workload, biological responses that suppress appetite are triggered in higher temps, causing us to consume fewer calories.

This is a nice little bonus if you’re considering kicking off your weight loss journey this season. Follow these five spring weight loss tips to ensure you maximize your weight loss results.

Here are five weight loss tips to get you ready for spring and summer weather:

spring weight loss

 

Read on for all the details on spring weight loss:

1. Fill up on fresh, seasonal produce.

Springtime weight loss tips & diet foods

 

Diet study after diet study confirms it: Increased fruit and vegetable intake is associated with increased weight loss and fat loss success, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. That’s because most of these foods are high in fiber yet low in calories and fat. This helps keep you feeling full despite their small caloric load. Plus, they’re perfect weight loss foods packed with nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and active.

While we love our fruits and veggies all year round, prepping can be a bit time consuming during the winter months. Much of the cold weather produce tastes best cooked and requires peeling, tossing, spicing and roasting. The great thing about spring produce is that much of it can be eaten as is, making it easier to find quick and delicious diet foods and snacks that are low in calories and chock-full of nutrition for weight loss.

Hit the local farmers market to snag some fresh produce for a big, colorful salad or stir fry, or chop up and portion out for individual snack servings. Slice up some cucumbers, carrots, celery and bell peppers to enjoy with hummus. Chop some apples and bananas to dip in a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter. We also love dunking fresh strawberries in yogurt.

And do yourself a favor: Leave your fresh finds out on the counter or front and center in your fridge. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Health Education & Behavior, the presence of fruit in plain sight was linked to lower Body Mass Index (BMI) in study participants.

While what’s in season will depend upon your location and climate, here’s a general list of spring produce, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Fruit:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries

Vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Spinach

2. Take advantage of the spring temps.

Springtime weight loss tips & diet foods

Winter, with its frigid temps and long, dark days, doesn’t exactly lend itself to outdoor activities. When summer hits and the temps start to soar, getting outside can be a bit problematic as well.

Spring days contain beautiful sunshine and refreshing, light winds, making it the perfect time to get outside. Take advantage of the warmth and go for a long stroll at the local park or around your neighborhood. Get going on that garden or chase those cute kids (or grandkids!) around in a game of tag. Enjoy some fun, outdoor home workouts and keep yourself outside and moving in the beautiful weather. You’ll burn calories and soak up some of that much-needed vitamin D that’s been so hard to get all winter.

3. Step up your spring cleaning.

Springtime weight loss tips & diet foods

There’s a reason you’re exhausted after you clean the house. All that movement means you’re expending lots of energy and burning calories. That’s right, according to the Calorie Control Council, a 150-pound person can burn more than 130 calories doing the following cleaning tasks for an hour:

  • Laundry/folding clothes
  • Sweeping
  • Vacuuming
  • Washing the car

Looking to boost your burn? Tackle one of the to-dos below this spring. The same sized person can burn more than 270 calories doing an hour of any of them:

  • Mopping/scrubbing floors
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Washing the windows

If you really want to set yourself up for weight loss success, make sure to give your fridge and pantry a deep clean, too. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Health Education & Behavior, leaving candy, cereal and soft drinks visible on kitchen counters is linked to weight gain. Study subjects were found to weigh as much as 30 pounds more than those who kept those foods out of their sight line. If that’s not motivation to chase away those dust bunnies and purge that pantry, we don’t know what is!

4. Give your wardrobe a refresh.

Springtime weight loss tips & diet foods

We all have them: Those extra baggy clothes we keep way in the back corner of our closet “just in case we need them some day.” However, holding on to clothes that are two sizes too big is telling yourself that there is a chance you will regain the weight you’re working so hard to lose. Why set yourself up for weight loss failure?

Take a few hours to do a full closet cleanout, removing any clothes you haven’t worn in the past year. Consider bagging them up and donating them—many organizations will send a driver to your house to pick up any gently used clothing you’d like to donate.

Once you’ve finished streamlining your closet, consider treating yourself to a new top or spring dress that makes you feel great no matter where you’re at in your weight loss journey. Springtime blooms in retail stores almost as much as it does in gardens. There’s nothing like a new piece of clothing in a bright spring color to motivate you to keep working toward your weight loss diet goal.

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

hydrate

Research suggests that drinking water before a meal may result in fewer calories consumed at that meal, says Medical News Today. This is great news considering that the warmer it gets outside, the more fluids we lose through our sweat. Perspiration typically leads to thirst and dehydration. Use this thirst to your weight loss advantage this spring. Load up on water a few minutes before you start eating and make sure to drink up throughout the day. On Nutrisystem, we recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day.

Homemade smoothies are a delicious and healthy way to up your fluid intake. We like blending Nutrisystem Protein Shake mix with water or low-fat milk, frozen fruit and fresh greens for a deliciously creamy smoothie that quenches thirst while delivering lots of nutritional value.

Need some recipe inspiration to get you started? Check out the Smoothies & Drink section right here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for tons of healthy smoothie recipes our customers love.

Looking to try one of Nutrisystem’s proven weight loss programs? Check out our meal plans today! >

The Nutrisystem Spring Weight Loss Guide

Spring is prime time for weight loss. First, we all are ready to shed heavy winter clothes and the extra pounds they’ve been covering up. The return of warm, sunny days gets us excited to go outside and be active. And many favorite healthy foods come back into season in grocery stores and local farmers markets, so we have lots of choices to put delicious variety into our meals and snacks. If you’re eager to make the most of the season, check out this guide to the best tips, hints and tempting food for losing weight this spring.

Seasonal

We get a head start on weight loss in spring because we naturally tend to eat fewer calories at this time of year. Researchers theorize that we tend to stockpile calories in winter because our ancestors did when food was scarce during the cold months. Check out this story to find out about five more reasons why spring is the best season for healthy weight loss:

Get Organized

Box full of canned and bagged food

 

Your home and routine could use a refresh in spring and it can help you speed progress to your weight loss goal. Start by going through your pantry and pulling out items that don’t fit your healthy eating plan. Gather up boxes of mac-and-cheese mix, sugary cereals, bags of candy and other high-calorie, low-nutrition foods and take them to your local food pantry.

Learn how to organize your pantry and clean out your fridge to support your weight loss success with the articles below:

Spring Clean

A woman mopping the floor

 

When the weather outside grows bright again, we like our homes to sparkle, too. A thorough cleaning also helps with weight loss. That’s because our metabolism heats up while we’re doing housework. An hour of mopping floors, washing windows, or mowing the lawn burns 270 calories (150-pound person).

Get tips on how to spring clean your way to weight loss and find out the best chores and activities to burn calories below:

Wardrobe Purge

Stack of shirts and sweaters on a wooden table

 

Treating yourself to flattering new clothes for the warm season is one of the best rewards of losing weight. On the other hand, experts say that holding on to clothes that have become too big for your new shape allows you to consider the possibility that you will regain the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose.

Strengthen your commitment to the new and improved you by taking all of the old clothes out of your closet this spring and donating them to a group that will distribute them to the needy. That’s just one of the spring weight loss tips guaranteed to work that we’ve compiled for you here:

Warm Weather Fun

A woman stretching outside while wearing headphones

 

Beautiful spring weather entices us to get outdoors and enjoy the bright sunshine and balmy breezes. This season is the perfect time to try out new ways to exercise and be active outside. There are so many warm weather activities that torch calories!

Walks in the park become more pleasant as we listen to the birds singing and see the flowers emerging. Hiking local trails makes walking more challenging and gets us feeling fit faster.

Riding a bicycle tones muscles and burns calories, and it can be a fun way to spend time together as a family. Golf, tennis, and the popular new game of pickleball give you the thrill of competition along with the benefits of healthy activity. In many areas, you can find yoga, Zumba, and other fitness classes held outside in spring.

Seasonal Eating

strawberries and asparagus at the farmers market

 

Spring brings an abundance of fresh choices to the produce section of the supermarket and local farm stands. When fruit and veggies are grown near where you buy them, you can be sure they’re at the peak of ripeness, flavor and nutrition.

Asparagus, lettuce, spinach and strawberries are among the popular items that peak in spring. These seasonal spring foods are at their best this time of year and can be incorporated into many healthy meals and recipes.

Want to learn how to grow your own healthy spring produce? Gardening is a great warm weather activity that can help you burn calories! Get started with these home gardening tips for beginners:

Grill Prep

Man cooking on the grill while holding a plate with mushrooms

 

When you’re ready to start cooking over an open flame again, take time to get your grill prepared for the season. We’ve got everything you need to know in our Guide to Getting Your Grill BBQ Ready. Among the many helpful hints, you’ll find advice on replacing drip pans and emptying the grill’s grease tray so your food doesn’t get torched by a fire.

Top Tastes

Nutrisystem Hearty Inspirations Lemon Caper Chicken on a white plate

 

The Nutrisystem menu is full of irresistible items that are sure to light up your taste buds this season. From seasonal veggies and warm weather flavors to fruity favorites that taste like spring, you’ll love our large menu filled with variety.

 

Lemon Caper Chicken

Seasonal green peas and mushrooms adorn our Hearty Inspirations Lemon Caper Chicken, which comes together in a sizzling skillet in just eight minutes. It features linguine pasta and tender strips of char-grilled chicken breast in a decadent and bright lemon caper sauce. With 32 grams of protein in each serving, you’ll feel full and sustain your energy with this spring-inspired dish.

 

BBQ Chicken BurritoThe BBQ Chicken Burrito satisfies your appetite for a hot meal that’s loaded with the flavors of warm-weather cookouts. White meat chicken is paired with black beans, brown rice and mozzarella cheese and finished with our signature barbecue sauce. Perfectly portioned and stuffed inside a whole wheat tortilla, it’s a good source of protein that reminds us of sunny days ahead!

 

Hearty Inspirations Cajun Style Chicken and Shrimp SautéOur Hearty Inspirations Cajun Style Chicken and Shrimp Sauté lets you celebrate Mardi Gras, the joyous spring festival in New Orleans, at your kitchen table. Bite into tender chicken and shrimp paired with long grain rice and fire-roasted vegetables. With 24 grams of protein, this surf-and-turf skillet is ready to enjoy in just nine minutes. Just toss in a skillet, heat and eat!

 

Strawberry Shortcake CupcakeEnjoy the sweet taste of spring in every bite of our Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake. If warm weather and sunshine has you craving ripe, red strawberries, this is the dessert for you. It’s a good source of fiber and will satisfy your spring dessert cravings in a perfectly portioned, 130-calorie snack.

 

Lemon Zest Cake

(Love strawberries? Eat them for lunch with our Strawberry Yogurt Flavored Bar! >)

Celebrate sunshine and longer days with this sweet, citrus delight. Our Lemon Zest Cake is a good source of protein and packed with light lemon flavor. Finished with a drizzle of icing and specially crafted for lemon lovers, it can brighten up even the rainiest days of spring.

 

Carrot Cake Cupcake

Nothing says spring like carrot cake! This classic Easter dessert can now be a part of your weight loss plan. Our perfectly portioned and portable Carrot Cake Cupcake features a sweetly spiced carrot cake, real carrots and our sweet cream cheese glaze for 130 calories. Enjoy bakery-fresh flavor from this smart-sized snack that has three grams of fiber and five grams of protein.

Stock up on seasonal favorites and add these delicious meals and snacks to your spring weight loss menu!

Filling Flexes

lemons and tasty treats

 

When choosing flex meals for spring, you want food that’s full of flavor but doesn’t weigh you down. Air Fryer Shrimp Cakes treat you to the lean protein of seafood with a crispy, seasoned coating. They save you calories and are simple to make, thanks to the wonders of the air fryer.

Spring Sausage and Herb Pasta is a seasonal supper that’s smart and satisfying! It features hearty sausage, green peas, fresh herbs and a bright lemony sauce.

Our Simple Spring Green Pasta Salad recipe is a great option for picnics and parties when the weather gets warmer. It has asparagus, peas and watercress with a bright lemony flavor.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps bring together fresh seasonal produce, tender chunks of chicken breast and a flavorful peanut sauce, bundled up in easy-to-eat wraps.

For a taste of sunshine, try our Lightened-up Lemon Bars. They are sure to brighten up any day this spring. Skinny Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble is perfect for picnic season.

For more spring-inspired dessert recipes and meal ideas, check out the links below!:

7 Simple Ways to Make a Healthy Sandwich

Did someone say sandwich? It’s the classic, go-to lunch item that checks off all the boxes; filling, delicious and easy to make. From ham and cheese to a BLT, the possibilities for sandwich recipe creations are truly endless. However, with so many options to choose from, you also run the risk of turning this lunchtime novelty into a not-so-healthy meal that can derail your diet plan. To avoid overdoing it, we’ve created a guide of tips and tricks for making a healthy sandwich so you can still enjoy your favorite lunch with zero guilt during your weight loss journey!

Ready to become a sandwich pro? Check out these seven easy tips for making healthy sandwiches:

Artisanal Grilled Cheese

1)Make it open Faced

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Lessen the calorie and carb load with this simple trick—make the sandwich open-faced. Simply remove the top piece of the bread or bun for a sandwich on the lighter side. You are cutting the calorie count for the bread in half by enjoying your healthy sandwich in this unique way. And what makes this simple trick even better? You can make an even healthier sandwich by piling on the protein and veggies to stack this open-faced sandwich with nutritious add-ons.

2. Pack on the Veggies

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

This one is a no-brainer. On your Nutrisystem meal plan, we suggest having a minimum of four servings of non-starchy veggies each day. This means you can fill up your sandwich with an array of fiber-packed veggies to pack in the nutrition, crunch, flavor and color! We love adding on sliced bell peppers, leafy greens, mushrooms and a sandwich classic, tomatoes. The options are truly endless, and the veggies will leave you feeling full for longer thanks to the high fiber content. So, pack on the veggies for a hearty, veggie-filled meal! Check out these 10 fresh veggies that can be added onto your sandwich for a unique, healthy and delicious twist!

3. Be Cautious with Condiments

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Condiments are tricky—while you often use what you think is a small amount, the calorie content can be higher than expected. Just be sure to stick to your Nutrisystem program portion guidelines when choosing your condiments.

sandwichNeed a refresh on what condiments get the greenlight on your Nutrisystem plan? Click here to check out our Grocery Guide! >

The Leaf Pro Tip: Be weary of creamy condiments, as these are often high in fat and unnecessary calories. Mayo lover? You can still enjoy this classic condiment on your sandwich—just be sure to stick to a one-teaspoon serving size and count it as an Extra on your meal plan. Mustard, vinegar, salsa and hot sauce are all Free Foods on your meal plan, which makes these mouthwatering picks unlimited and the perfect addition for making a healthier sandwich. For more tips and a quick crash course in healthy diet food condiment selection, check out this Condiment 101 guide from our wellness experts at The Leaf!

4. Watch the Salt

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Who doesn’t love a good cold cut on their sammy? We sure do! However, it’s important to pay attention to labels and to be aware of the nutritional value of any of the foods we consume—including those foods we are piling on our healthy sandwich.

sandwichOur nutrition experts at Nutrisystem recommend sticking to about two ounces of no-salt-added or low-sodium lunch meat. Learn more from our health and wellness experts at the Leaf and read this ultimate guide to the Deli Counter! >

As you know, most Deli meats can pack in the sodium content. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), two slices of ham can have almost 800 milligrams of sodium. Opt for lean proteins to keep it even healthier and be sure to stick to the allotted serving size to optimize weight loss results on your Nutrisystem diet program.

5. Get Creative

sweet potato toast

The great thing about sandwiches is the fact that we can make them exactly what we want them to be. There are no rules for sandwich making, so get creative! Don’t like cheese? Don’t add it. Sick of boring bread? Switch up the traditional sandwich host with a low carb diet alternative or whole wheat wrap. Sweet potato toast (thinly sliced and toasted sweet potatoes) is a great swap and nutritious alternative. Want to lessen the carb load even more? You can make your sandwich in a lettuce wrap for a nutritious yet delicious take on a classic wrap.

6. Stick to Heart-Healthy Grains

 

whole grain bread

According to Healthline, incorporating whole grains into your everyday diet can help improve heart health. Whole wheat and rye breads are great sources of fiber and a delicious, hearty way to make a healthier sandwich. Ditch the white bread products and jump on the heart-healthy bandwagon to add some complex, good carbs into your diet—and what better way than a delicious, hearty sandwich?! Learn more about the six super-grains you should be eating. >

7. Make it Breakfast

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

While sandwiches are seemingly a lunchtime favorite, you can also kick off your day with this classic breakfast idea. Grab a whole wheat English muffin, some turkey bacon and an egg. Eggs are PowerFuels on the Nutrisystem program because they are a source of high-quality protein with only about 80 calories per serving. Pack these onto a breakfast sandwich (or even whip up an egg salad sandwich) for some added protein that will fill you up the healthy way. Start you day with a healthier sandwich that will give you the energy you need to power through your morning.

Hungry yet? Now check out some of our favorite recipes for healthy Nutrisystem-approved sandwiches and wraps:

1. Blackened Fish Sandwich >

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Calories: 302

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

2. Pancake Breakfast Sandwich >

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Calories: 304

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels and 2 Extras

3. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich >

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Calories: 195

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

4. BBQ Chicken Sandwich >

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Calories: 417

Counts As: 2 SmartCarbs, 2 PowerFuels, ½ Vegetable and 3 Extras

5. Chicken Sausage and Pepper Sandwich >

 

healthy sausage and peppers

Calories: 310

Counts As: 2 PowerFuels, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Vegetable

6. Turkey, Apple & Swiss Waffle Sandwich >

 

The Leaf Healthy Sandwich Tips for Weight Loss

Calories: 358

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels ½ Vegetable and 3 Extras

7. Artisanal Grilled Cheese >

 

Artisanal Grilled Cheese

Calories: 158

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

8. Roasted Red Pepper & Turkey Pinwheel Wraps >

pinwheel wraps healthy recipe

 

Calories: 294

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

9. Chicken Ranch Wrap >

chicken ranch wrap

 

Calories: 267

Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

10. Skinny Cheese Steak Sandwich >

cheesesteak

 

Calories: 292

Counts As: 2 PowerFuels, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Vegetable

Cardio vs. Strength Training: What’s Better?

If you could only choose one, should you do strength training or cardio? Trick question! You don’t have to choose, and you shouldn’t. Both types of exercise are important not just for maintaining a healthy weight, but for your overall health. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio each week, plus two strength-training sessions.

Here’s a rundown of why both strength training and cardio work benefit your health and your weight loss goals, with easy ways to fit both into your busy life.

Why you need cardio:

cardio

Almost 80 percent of Americans don’t achieve the CDC’s 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week, meaning they miss out on a ton of benefits: Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, of course, but also decreased risks for diabetes, osteoporosis and premature death.

If you vary the pace of your cardio work, it can be supercharged: Interval training, where short bursts of harder work are alternated with easier work or total rest have been found in multiple studies, according to Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, to burn more fat and increase cardiovascular function better than steady-state, medium-paced work.

Why cardio alone isn’t good enough:

Some studies seem to suggest that cardiovascular exercise, by itself, is better for weight loss than combining it with strength training. In an eight-month study of 234 overweight people conducted by Duke University Medical Center, researchers found that those who did cardio alone lost 1.76 kilograms, while those who did a combination of cardio and strength lost slightly less, 1.63 kilograms. Members of a third group, who did just strength training, actually gained about 2 pounds during the study.

strength training

But if you look a little deeper, the cardio-only group lost weight, but they didn’t lose lean body mass—meaning they lost muscle, not fat. The combo group gained .81 kilograms of muscle, and the strength-only group tacked on more than two pounds of muscle—meaning they lost fat overall. And a body with less fat and more muscle not only looks good, but burns more calories at rest and can help protect against disease, reduce fall risk and lower your overall risk of death.

An easy way to do it:

Walk! You may think you have to sprint or jog to get all these benefits, but walking does a lot of good. While your watch may be telling you that 10,000 steps is somehow magical, you don’t need that many to get benefits: For every 1,000 steps you take each day, you can reduce your risk of “functional limitation” in the future due to arthritis by 16 to 18 percent, says ScienceDaily.

And walking can help keep weight off: One study conducted by Hopkins Medicine found that “moderately active” people lowered their levels of dangerous visceral fat by 7.4 percent compared with inactive subjects . And you can even get the fat-burning benefits of interval training while walking: Try changing your pace by as little as five inches per second for bursts of one minute, followed by one minute of slower walking. According to Biology Letters, when study participants did this, they burned 20 percent more calories than when they walked the same pace throughout their walk.

Why you need strength:

Having muscular strength means you can do more than just pick up a barbell. The American Heart Association recommends strength training because it improves cardiovascular function, lowers your heart disease risk, Walking

increases resting metabolism and improves your “psychosocial well-being.” But that’s not all! Strength training improves cognitive function, according to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and even works productivity.

And, of course, it can help stave off weight gain: In a Harvard study, researchers found that men who did 20 minutes of daily weight training had less age-related belly fat gains than those who did the same amount of cardio work.

Why strength training alone isn’t enough:

It’s possible to increase your heart rate while performing strength work so that you’re “doing cardio” while lifting weights, but for many of us, it’s unlikely that we’ll elevate our heart rate enough during strength training to match the 150 cumulative weekly minutes needed to realize the cardio benefits described above. And if you do, it’s possible you’re sacrificing strength work—that is, your strength training isn’t challenging your strength enough, and has “turned into” cardio. You need both!

An easy way to do it:

People using dumbbells

If you’re going to the gym, lift light weights. Studies have found that lifting weights to failure—continuing the movement until you can’t do another repetition—is the most important factor in building muscle strength and size, whether the load is heavy or light. One study of this kind showed that men who lifted 30 to 50 percent of their maximum weight for sets of 20 to 25 repetitions gained as much strength and size as others who lifted 75 to 80 percent of their maximum for eight repetitions per set. So if big, heavy weights make you nervous, stick to the smaller stuff. And if training to failure, be safe: Consider using a machine or a really light dumbbell so that if you truly fail, the weight isn’t putting you in danger.

No gym membership? No problem! Your body weight provides plenty of resistance. The act of getting in and out of a chair without using your hands for assistance is a strength training exercise—and it helps build muscle power, which can increase your ability to avoid a fall as you age. Try these five simple power-building exercises to start.

OK, which should I do first?:

If you’re going to perform cardio and strength work in the same day, studies vary on which you should do first. One study published by Ace Fitness found that if you perform weight training first, your cardio workout can be harder than it would normally—resulting in an increase in pulse of 12 beats per minute compared to when the cardio’s done first. In that case, it would seem that the answer is cardio first is better.

But other studies have shown the opposite: Performing cardio first can use up the fuel you’ll need for strength training so you won’t get the same benefits. Doing weight training first can also mean you burn more fat while doing cardio, since weight training can use up the carbohydrates in your body in advance of your aerobic work.

So the real answer is: It depends on your goals, and more importantly, your preferences. If you find you prefer cardio work first and it’s the only way you have enough energy to also do your strength work—stick with that. If when you do strength training first, you feel like you have more zip to finish your aerobic session, do that. If all things are equal and weight loss is your goal, do your strength work first.

Can Nutrisystem Save You Money? The Answer May Surprise You

How much do you dine out? If you’re like most people, going to your favorite restaurants is likely a weekly occurrence. According to Business Insider, American’s eat out an average of 5.9 times per week.

You know that restaurant meals taste good. But are they good for your wallet? It doesn’t look promising.

The Cost of Dining Out

 

person paying expensive restaurant bill

In 2019, Americans spent an average of $3,526 on food away from home. This dropped significantly in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average expenditure falling to $2,375. This is likely because of the closure of many restaurants and the decrease in visits during this time. However, as of 2021, many restaurants reopened their doors, allowing diners to start returning to their favorite establishments in greater numbers.

Regardless of the anomaly in 2020, this amount of money is still shocking when you consider just how much food you actually get for the price you pay at restaurants. Most restaurant meals have a markup of around 300% or three times the wholesale cost.

“This means that any time you spend $15 on an entree, the food you’re eating only costs $5 to make,” explains Fox Business. So if the average American family spends around $3,000 a year on restaurant meals, they would be “cheating” themselves out of about $2,000.

Increased Food Costs

 

piggy bank with food on a table

As we already mentioned, American’s eat out an average of 5.9 times per week. The average restaurant menu price ranges from $8.82 in Michigan to $13 in Hawaii. That means that if someone eats out or orders takeout from a restaurant five times a week, they could be spending up to $65 on just five meals. That’s about $260 a month, and doesn’t even cover every day or every meal occasion!

And that’s not even considering the recent increases in food costs. Your favorite restaurants are feeling the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and increased labor costs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the index for food away from home has jumped 6.4% over the last year between January 2021 and January 2022. This is the largest 12-month increase seen since 1982. In fact, according to Business Insider, some of the most popular restaurant chains have admitted to increasing menu prices by up to 10% in 2021 to compensate for these higher costs.

The Convenience Factor

 

Woman ordering food online on her electronic device

It’s no secret that one of the main reasons people dine out or order restaurant takeout is convenience. With busy schedules and little time to regularly cook full meals, it’s common to take the easy route by having restaurants and fast food joints do the work for you. While this can be a great time saver, it’s clear that it’s definitely not great for your wallet OR your waistline.

Restaurants don’t typically take your health into consideration when preparing their convenient options. They will load them up with fat, sugar and salt to satisfy your taste buds and cravings so you keep coming back for more. This is especially true at fast food joints. While it’s a cheaper option, it may come at a cost: Your health. The ingredients and calories aren’t always listed for consumers to make informed decisions. If you’re not careful on your restaurant dining endeavors, they can quickly lead to unhealthy weight gain.

A Simple Solution

 

Nutrisystem Toasted Ravioli is a Restaurant Fave

Instead of relying on restaurants to provide you with quick, easy and delicious meals, consider an alternative that can help you save money while also keeping your health front of mind. A meal delivery service like Nutrisystem is designed to help you lose weight with healthier, perfectly portioned versions of all of your favorite foods.

The cost of Nutrisystem auto-delivery programs are just $9.99 a day to $14.64 a day, depending on your gender and the program you select. Our four-week programs provide you with breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. You also get a simple meal plan to follow and an amazing support system to help you reach your goals. Considering that the average restaurant menu item ranges from $8.82 to $13 for just one meal, this is a definite savings!

You’ll also get to add in some of your favorite healthy grocery add-ins for added flexibility. We have lots of tips and tricks to help you save money at the grocery store and there are many budget-friendly PowerFuels and SmartCarbs that fit into your plan.

Not only can you save big bucks with Nutrisystem, but you’ll also lose weight while enjoying your favorite foods. Eat burgers, chicken sandwiches and pizza while you drop pounds and get healthy! We even launched a NEW line of meals called Restaurant Faves, so you can still eat your favorite restaurant menu items without the guilt. They are inspired by famous meals from popular restaurants and are portioned with half the calories.

Stop wasting your money on high-priced restaurant meals! Instead of ordering delivery from your local eatery, pick up the phone or head to our website to order delivery from Nutrisystem. Eat great, lose weight and save BIG! Get started today >

More than just a pretty face? The relationship between immune function and perceived facial attractiveness: Results revealed multiple, sometimes sex-differentiated, relationships between targets’ immune function and others’ perceptions of their attractiveness.

More than just a pretty face? The relationship between immune function and perceived facial attractiveness: Results revealed multiple, sometimes sex-differentiated, relationships between targets' immune function and others’ perceptions of their attractiveness. submitted by /u/stankmanly
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