Tag: fall

Beat Liquid Calories: Revamp Your Coffee Order to Stay on Track

Did you know a Venti white chocolate mocha from Starbucks has 580 calories and 22 grams of fat? Or that a tall espresso only has 10 calories? Your daily coffee habit can have a major impact on your overall calorie intake. But you don’t have to give up your daily pick-me-up in order to keep your weight loss goals on track. Below are some easy tips to put a healthier spin on your morning coffee.

Lower the Volume

The easiest way to drink less calories is to cut the volume. Brew your coffee stronger at home so one cup with a little plan approved dairy, rice or almond milk does the same job as three cups flavored with high-sugar creamer substitutes. Stick to the smallest option at cafés instead of the giant one that won’t fit in your car’s cup holder. Espresso has higher caffeine by volume than drip coffee so if you enjoy the flavor consider switching from multiple cups of drip to a single macchiato or Americano to kick off the day.  Starbucks is definitely on program and a tall Skinny Latte in Mocha, Caramel, Cinnamon or Vanilla can be a great exchange for your dairy.

Up the Quality

When coffee is bitter or watery many people are tempted to add sugar and high fat dairy or creamer products to improve the flavor. Just like a fresh piece of fish only needs a few herbs and lemons to be incredibly flavorful, high-quality coffee only needs a splash or dash of add-ins to make your morning brighter. Skip the pre-ground grocery store brands that are often stale by the time they hit the shelves. Instead buy fresh-roasted whole beans, store them properly and grind them right before brewing to release the best flavor.

Skip the Specials

Between seasonal promotions and rows of treats, impulse buys in a coffee shop can quickly derail your nutrition plan for the day. Before meeting a friend or stepping out with a co-worker think about what your healthiest option is for the café or eat a healthy snack or Gold Protein before you go. While a Pumpkin Spice Latte may sound incredible on cooler weather day, it is packed with sugar and fat! Opt for a flavorful hot-spiced tea instead. Diet Center’s Chocolate Pudding/Shake and Vanilla Pudding Shake mixes make great substitutes for high fat, high-sugar creamers and are packed with protein. Just add them to your coffee.

Consider Alternatives

Consider switching from coffee altogether with tea or hot water with lemon. We also recommend our flavorful Water Enhancer energy drink that combines powerful antioxidants with key vitamins and nutrients to fight fatigue with natural metabolic enhancers.

By learning to enjoy the real taste and flavor of high-quality coffee or finding an alternative to your morning routine, you give yourself freedom from empty calories. All without sacrificing the comfort and motivation you receive from your daily pick-me-up.

How Important is Working Out to Weight Loss?

We’ve all had thoughts like “If I work out really hard now, I can eat that pizza later. Right?” Well, no. Working out does not give you a free pass to eat whatever you want if you’re looking to shed those extra pounds. Consuming fresh foods in balance is the key to weight-loss success, exercise plays a much smaller role than you may think.

Now we aren’t saying that exercise isn’t important; it’s just not as important as what you are eating when it comes to losing weight. Exercise is great for over-all good health. It helps reduce the risk of stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and heart attack. It also helps to torch more calories to enhance your weight loss efforts and tones your body as you are losing inches. However, when it comes to weight loss; it can’t erase the harmful effects of unhealthy foods. Here are some reasons why exercise isn’t the ‘magic pill’ that many people believe it is.

A number of calories burnt through exercise are relatively small in the grand scheme of things. We use up most of our calories just by being alive (the resting metabolic rate). To put it in a real-life scenario, let’s say there is a 200-pound man who is at 30% body fat. He will expend 1,743 calories per day just by staying alive.

On top of that, he’ll expend more calories on top of that through what’s known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): the number of calories that he spends digesting and absorbing his nutrients from food. This accounts for about 10% of total calorie use. It’s even higher on the Diet Center Thermogenic Plan, where foods are specially selected because of their higher fat burning power.

Add another 10% on top of that through a metabolic process known as NEAT (Non-Exercise Adaptive Thermogenesis). This is the amount of calories used by doing things like fidgeting. Unfortunately, this can vary greatly from individual to individual.

This means our subject could expend 2,100 calories without even getting out of bed. Now, add another 10% for getting out of bed and going about his daily routine and he’s already burned 2,300 calories.

Adding exercise into the equation barely makes a dent in his overall caloric expenditure. Now we are not suggesting that you shouldn’t exercise, but rather, it’s important to realize where a majority of your caloric expenditure is coming from.

Not all calories are created equal. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you eat 500 calories less than you burn every day, then after a week (7×500 = 3500) you will have lost a pound of fat.

From this simple equation comes the idea that all calories are created equal, no matter what foods they come from. The fact is that different foods can have vastly different effects on our bodies and go through different metabolic pathways before they’re turned into energy. Just focusing on the calorie content of foods and disregarding the metabolic effects they have is a highly flawed way of thinking. Two hundred calories of broccoli is NOT the same as two hundred calories of potato chips.

Most people are horrible estimators of calories in vs. calories out. Yes, it’s important that you are burning more calories than you are consuming in order to lose weight. There is one problem with this method: user error. People either think they are burning more calories or consuming fewer calories than they really are. The grab-a-handfuls and the Hershey Kiss at the office all add up. A structured food plan with accountability closes this gap and provides results.

Movement is important and that should be the primary focus when looking to drop pounds and inches fast.  Save the weights for when you are closer to goal and focus on movement that helps to reset your day.  Park further in the parking lot, do a light 30 minute walk or swim.  This will help boost metabolism and blast the inches away fast in conjunction with your program.

At Diet Center, our focus is on eating quality, whole fresh foods. It is important that you learn about how to address the causes of weight gain and how to ensure your body is receiving the proper nutrients. Once you have an understanding of that and start to see the weight start to drop, you will feel so good and have so much energy that you will enjoy being more active.

What’s In Season for Fall?

Fall is official on September 22nd. We love this season! Eating with the season is a helpful way to get the freshest fruits and vegetables all year round. Fall is celebrated for its healthy harvest of crisp fruits and delicious root vegetables. These foods are perfect for creating warm comfort meals as the weather changes from hot and sticky to cool and breezy.
This fall, visit your local Farmer’s Market to grab the freshest organic fruits and vegetables of the season. Seasonal produce options sometimes tend to be cheaper during their specific time of year, so stock up and get your fill of our favorite slimming fall foods below!
Blueberries
While berries are typically a summer fruit, many varieties are still available through fall. Stock up early in fall and freeze your blueberries so you have delicious locally grown berries all winter long. Use them in oatmeal, smoothies, sauces and more!
Apples
No food quite brings together the fall season like a crisp apple. With so many varieties to choose from, you won’t tire of these tasty superfoods, which are full of antioxidants and healthy flavonoids! Take a seasonal outing to a local orchard where you can pick your own apples right from the trees!
Pears
Pears are another delicious and versatile fall fruit. They are a wonderful source of fiber and are low in calories. You can add pear slices to salads or use in baking for a sweet and juicy treat!
Cranberries
These antioxidant-packed fruits are more than just a staple on the Thanksgiving table. Cranberries can be used in salads, sauces, grain dishes like quinoa or on top of your favorite poultry!
Winter Squash
Selections of winter squash make delicious fall meals. Acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash are enjoyable in soups, sauces and desserts, and can be used in a hearty side dish or as a stand-alone entrée. Use spaghetti squash as a stand-in for pasta or mash butternut squash in place of potatoes!
Pumpkin
This notable Halloween decoration is good for more than carving. Small pumpkins are delicious in baking dishes, casseroles, soups and more. You can take the legwork out of scooping a pumpkin and purchase unsweetened pumpkin puree from the grocery store.
Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are freshest during the fall season. You can sauté them with olive oil and salt and pepper or roast them in the oven with sliced onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Add pistachios or almonds for extra flavor, protein and good fat in your side dish. Brussels sprouts are also a great source of vitamin K, iron and folate!
Parsnips
Similar in texture to a carrot, this tasty root vegetable is rich in fiber and potassium and becomes sweeter as it is exposed to cold weather. Autumn is a great time to try your hand at cooking with parsnips. Add a crunch to your salad or roast with olive oil. Combine with soups and stews for enhanced flavor!
Cauliflower
This winter vegetable has abundant health benefits including compounds that may help to prevent cancer, phytonutrients to help lower cholesterol and vitamin C. Cauliflower is delicious when steamed, but can also be used as a substitute your favorite carb-heavy foods, including mashed potatoes, rice and even pizza crust!
Turnips
These fall-favorite root vegetables are tender and mild. Use them in salads or roast with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to bring out the flavor! You can even cook the leaves, which taste similar to mustard leaves and are packed with nutrients! These root vegetables are a great source of vitamin C and vitamins A, K and folate!
Be adventurous this fall by welcoming these delicious autumnal fruits and vegetables into your weekly meal planning during this festive season. For more fall recipes and ideas, follow the Diet Center Midsouth Pinterest and Instagram pages!

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