What Is HCG Diet And What Do You Need To Know About It?

When it comes to diet most people think about weight loss. However, not all the diets that you choose will give you favorable results. Most people when starting a diet religiously follow everything for the first few days and soon after they lose the motivation and they come back to the old routine. Most people think that the moment they start the diet, they have to get favorable results that they can easily boost about. This might be common when you have an event coming up or you have a deadline that you need to follow. However, not all diets are good for weight loss. Some have a long-term effect only and if you lose motivation within just a few weeks, you will not have any results. For people who are very hasty and need instant results, there is no diet better than HCG. HCG diet offers instant results, you will lose weight within just a few weeks. In fact, following this diet, you will lose a few pounds in a day.

With the help of this article, we will mainly talk about the HCG diet and why it is becoming very popular. We will also talk about some pros and cons that are linked with this diet. We will further talk about the things that you can add to your diet if you are following the HCG diet or what age group is ideal for this kind of diet.

What Is A HCG Diet?

Within the HCG diet, your calorie count per day needs to remain within just a 500 calorie limit. Although you are permitted to eat anything you want, you still need to think about the calorie count for each food item. You can either eat healthily or increase the portion by adding greens or raw food or you can have a slice of pizza per day.

Is It Healthy To Follow HCG Diet?

HCG diet is healthy and you can follow it without any long-term side effects. HCG diet is ideal for people who have a high-fat level in their body or have bad cholesterol. Another very important thing to keep in mind is that HCG does not affect your hormones or your blood composition. However, by limiting the number of calories you consume you might feel hungry all the time. People also report that they have faced depression, extreme hunger pangs, headaches, or dizziness as well.

Are There Long-Term Side Effects Of HCG Diet?

There are no long-term side effects that you can face as a result of the HCG diet. However, it is better to plan and execute this diet very carefully. Most people think that no matter your size or your gender every diet can be ideal for everyone but this is not true. Kids at a growing age or women who are at child-bearing age need to be very conscious about the food that they eat. Apart from this, the HCG diet is not a long-term diet so you can start it for a few weeks and after a few weeks, you can switch to a balanced diet.

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, unlike other diets where you are restricted to having just a few food items, the HCG diet doesn’t restrict you. It offers you an open window and lets you choose things. However, it just helps you restrict the number of calories so you can eat a pizza every day as long as it is within the desired calorie limit. This diet is very good for people who want instant results, however, if you think that you can keep practicing this diet for a few months, this might be challenging for you. This diet will help you lose at least one pound every day if you are active , so by the end of just one week, you will lose 7 pounds easily. However, if you stretch it to one month, this will have a huge impact so experts recommend that you can keep going with the HCG diet for at least one week, and then by the end of the week, you can take a break and have a cheat day. Then you can start with the diet again and then take a break. HCG diet helps in weight loss but it doesn’t reduce the appetite which means you will keep feeling hungry every day. It is better to know what food you are choosing because it will become the only calorie source for the day. The best way to reduce calories is by switching to fiber-based food.

Top diet tips for BJJ grapplers

I regularly get inquiries concerning a healthy diet and sustenance from grapplers. Individuals need to consume a diet accurately because they figure it will make them more powerful in BJJ class and permit them to recover more quickly after an intense workout. changing your eating regimen at the same time is a major endeavor. If you improve your eating habits by incorporating a healthy diet plan then, you will see a positive change in your overall health.

Other than that, if you want to start off grappling or any other workout then, keep in mind that you must be wearing suitable gym outfits. Your workout clothes should be sweat absorbent and stretchable also. Elite sports gym outfits are comfortable and are also available at cheap prices.

Food which grappler must avoid

The quantity of food, time of eating, and amount of calories intake are different for every grappler. There is a certain food that must be avoided and they include sugar, caffeine, and beverages. As we can see, sugar is covered up all over and is one of the main ingredients for salads, desserts, fruit sauces, and other food items. Before purchasing the food items from the market must read their labels so that you must know what you are consuming.

Importance of food for a grappler

Healthy food is essential to provide you with sufficient energy from your presentation in your training and fighting session. Except if you’re a world-class or significant level competitor, you most likely don’t give a ton of consideration to your nutrition, which is not a wise approach. By and large in the wellness industry with competitors and world-class competitors, they sort of realize what they’re intended to do in wording that they must be familiar with the proper nutrients about the adequate intake of carbs, protein, and other macronutrients. Sustenance is significant in jiu-jitsu because it’s great for weight maintenance, and it will assist you with getting more out of jiu-jitsu fighting and training sessions.

Intake of meat

Most of the athlete’s diet plan is stuck around only at meat, chicken, and fish. Meat is very burdening on the stomach, requiring a great deal of energy to process. This is energy that could be utilized in your training sessions and in your recovery period also. Additionally, the meat which we consume nowadays does not contain much purity. Because It is gotten from those animals that have been abused and infused with different medications, including the growth-promoting hormones, which will cause adverse effects when we eat it. Assuming you eat meat, attempt to restrict the sums and be sure that it’s of good quality.

Consumption of large portions of meals

It has been revealed by one of the jiu Jitsu academies that the greatest exercise your body does consistently is the digestion of food. It is consistent to expect that the bigger the piece of food you devour, the more prominent the expense on your stomach to digest it. That is the main reason we become lethargic after a major supper. So means the less food you have in your stomach, the greater amount of your nutrients will get engaged in your fighting and training sessions. Besides that, if you are an athlete in search of workout clothes make sure your gym attire is durable and lightweight. Elite sports gym garments are designed appropriately for your workout and are manufactured with high-quality material.

Fruits and veggies

Softly cooked vegetables and fruits are rapidly digested, give an enormous measure of energy and contain high amounts of bio-accessible supplements. The more you will incorporate the raw and plant-based food into your eating regimen, the better you will feel, and the quicker you will recuperate. Other than that, you can get immense health benefits if you incorporate the lush green and leafy vegetables in your diet including spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, watercress, and lettuce as well.

Staying hydrated

Assuming you will drink anything but water, attempt to make it a fresh drink. The containers of juice that we purchase from the markets are not a hundred percent squeezed juices. I prefer to have homemade smoothies and juices, instead of having artificially flavored tin and market juices. So, you must invest in the juicer and always have a glass of fresh juice before and after your workout. You can also invest in blenders because you can prepare smoothies of veggies and fruits that contain a high amount of nutrients and fibers which helps to maintain your blood sugar level and also keep your body hydrated.

Does A Vegan Diet Offer All The Essential Nutrients For Growth?

The world of food is shifting because of multiple things. As the food prices are soaring, post-pandemic, people are now thinking a vegan diet is a luxury. However, there is still a high demand for a vegan alternative in all walks of life. Patients are being treated by using the vegan alternative of food, athletes are switching to a vegan diet and people who love to eat meat are shifting to impossible meat options now. Where the majority was thinking vegan diets will never be able to fulfill their hunger and satisfy their palate, more people are switching to vegan options because there are recipes that can give you exactly what you want. With so many food choices, more people are thinking of becoming a vegan not because they find it hard to have access to sustainable meat options but just because they feel vegan food is much lighter offering them a better flavor. The best part of a vegan diet is that you do not have to feel bloated which is pretty much obvious and inevitable in the case of dairy-based products.

With the help of this article, we will talk about the vegan diet and why it is becoming common now. We will further talk about some of its benefits and why the vegan diet is not praised by so many people. We will further talk about if a vegan diet is enough to cover all the essential nutrients that are required for the body.

What Are The Benefits Of a Vegan Diet?

Since more and more people are shifting to a vegan diet, people who are still following traditional ways are pondering about the benefits of a vegan diet. There is no doubt there are so many different benefits of a vegan diet. Some of the best options include:

● A vegan diet is healthier because it has more nutrients that you might not have in other kinds of diets.

● A vegan diet is very good for weight loss and acquiring your ideal BMI because it helps in shedding fat.

● A vegan diet is very good for kidney, heart, and liver function because it helps in reducing the toxins and has a detox effect.

● A vegan diet is very good for people who have a family history of cancer because it helps you reduce the chance of cancer.

● A vegan diet is very good for arthritis because of the nutrients and vitamins that it offers.

● A vegan diet helps in staying agile throughout the day and reduces the lethargic effect that you might feel after consuming fatty food.

Does A Vegan Diet Offer All The Essential Nutrients For Growth?

It is a common misconception that being vegan you will have certain deficiencies in your body. There is no doubt that we need a lot of nutrients and these nutrients are distributed in both plants and animals. From human history, we have seen that men were more committed to hunting which involved animals. However, this doesn’t mean we cannot survive without animal-based food. Instead, a poorly planned and executed vegan diet can cause deficiencies in our bodies. It is best to look at the food that you are eating and then see how you can improve it. Some people like to add supplements which is a good option, however, if you plan your diet in a good way you will not need supplements. Instead, you will be able to get everything that you need from your vegan diet alone.

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, a vegan diet is not just all about a few plant-based options. Now that the vegan industry is on the boom, it is becoming much cheaper than traditional dairy-based items as well. For the people thinking mainly about the alternatives of meat, there is a whole industry making lab-grown meat that will be pivotal for the food industry. It is not only good to satisfy the food palate but also good for hunger satisfaction. The best thing about vegan food is that it is low in calories as compared to dairy-based food. You can eat to your heart content and you will still be able to move without feeling bloated. Most people mix salads with meat-based items so that they can feel full without consuming too many calories. As a vegan, most people struggle with quitting dairy altogether and they feel this might affect their growth. However, there is a vegan alternative for everything however most people take extra vitamins for helping their body feel better and heal easily.

Keep These Basics in Mind When Going for Weight Loss

You are not the only one sorting through the information to select and get the best for your weight loss journey. Getting what is important for you and what suits you can be daunting with an excess of information. Hell, even I sometimes get frustrated withit and leave it as is. don’t let the information bombardment be a cause delay towards health. Time to put your workout clothes on. Just keep these basics in mind and boost off the weight-loss trip.

 

Go for the real stuff

Fashion diets seem trendy and useful but their effectiveness is short-lived. Weight loss and fat burning are not just about losing some pounds. You would have to gain and maintain a leaner physique. Also, crash dieting and salad diets help lose fat but make you weak. Adjust the diet to gain nutrition needed.

Learn and follow the equation

Weight loss is quite simple, it does not have to be a torture. Just burn more calories than you eat every day. This way your body will be forced to burn the fat reserves which will make the fat vanish. On the other hand, if you eat more than you burn the body will be forced to make fat. A healthy balance between these will keep you fresh, powerful and lost the fat too. 

Don’t make fat loss a punishment

During the winter the belly is hidden under hoodies or jacket. It is when the summers are up and the bulged belly makes you look odd in a T-shirt. Then you decide to put on the workout clothes and punish the body, meaning punishing yourself. Fat loss does not have to be a punishment. In fact, if you treat it like that, chances are you will quit soon.

Keeping yourself hungry throughout the day is actually doing the opposite. It is making you weak and deforming the muscles instead of fat. Low carb and lower-fat diet free of unhealthy food is the right way to go. This way the body will get nutrients it needs and the workout will help you burn the fat. Please refer to the previous point for how questions. You can even have a cheat day once in a while where you eat unhealthy food. 

Exercise often

Diet alone cannot help you with fat loss. Even if it does the results will not be long-lasting. Thus, the exercise comes in. Diet and workout together make the complete fat-loss equation. Working out now and then will not give the best results. So, you have to keep on following the diet plan and do exercise regularly to achieve your goals faster.

Keeping yourself hungry throughout the day is actually doing the opposite. It is making you weak and deforming the muscles instead of fat. Low carb and lower-fat diet free of unhealthy food is the right way to go. This way the body will get nutrients it needs and the workout will help you burn the fat. Please refer to the previous point for how questions. You can even have a cheat day once in a while where you eat unhealthy food. 

 

It is not that difficult, just tweak your routine a little and you are working out enough. Like, walk more, go for a morning jog or run, cycle to the work, prefer stairs, play with your children more, etc. Or you can try HIIT, weight exercises or even martial arts. 

Obsession with weight is wrong

Health and fitness are not just weighing less. The weight is just a number and different for every one of us. People with different body types, ages, height, and routines will weight differently. They all could be healthy despite weighing different and over a certain number. The point is, you should focus less on the weighing scale and more on your routine and diet. 

Don’t miss the breakfast

The most important meal of the day is breakfast. I suggest you never leave home without having breakfast. But any breakfast won’t do. Eat a complete nutritious diet include fiber, carbs, and proteins as well to get the energy you need.

Keep the goals achievable and try again with more realistic and do able timeline again if there was a problem. Rest is also important even if you are just working out to lose weight.

Elite Sports & Born Tough Review

I received my Warrior Black Medium Duffel Boxing Gear Gym Bag and let me say I am so impressed. 😍 There is so much room and so many compartments I can use. I am very big on good quality, and needless to say I was not disappointed. I’m in love with this bag. ❤️ If you haven’t done so, please check them out at https://www.borntough.com/ and https://www.elitesports.com for great quality products.

Signing off,

Ray Marks ™️ #putyourmarksonfitness

Noodles For The Win!!!

50 Carbs, 7 Protein, 1 Fat

This past week, I have been craving noodles so I put my own twist on them. ☺️ I didn’t want the pre-made package. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Ingredients:

2 ounces of spaghetti noodles

1 tablespoon of lipton onion & mushroom soup mix

1/4 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth (what I use) or broth of choice

Add salt & pepper for taste (as needed)

Handful of tri-color peppers & mushrooms (optional)

Instructions:

Boil your spaghetti noodles in a boiling pot with water and mushrooms, & peppers for 15-20 minutes or until soft texture. Pour most of the water off noodles and add in the soup mix and broth. Mix up thoroughly. Enjoy your meal. ☺️

Noodles 🍜

Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness✨

Air Fryer Popcorn Fail 😩 But Made It Work The Old Fashion Way

So I ran across a recipe showing how to pop my popcorn in an air fryer…🙄🙄🙄 So simple, right?!?! I figured I would try it for success. ☺️

Olive Oil & Kernels

So I placed them in the air fryer and turned it on for the appropriate temperature and time. Once the time ran out, I cut the air fryer back on for the same amount of time and temperature AGAIN! 🙄 Let’s say it was an epic fail.

Air fryer at 390 for 15 minutes….excuse the grease on glass. 😉

After no kernels popped, I did the next best thing…..I popped them the old fashion way!

Popped the same kernels on top of the stove ❤️

They turned out perfect and just enough!!! I have a new way of popping my popcorn. I usually just buy the ones already popped but we know how that can go, I like to control my oil and sodium intake. 🙃

Organic Popcorn 😍 Limited oil & salt

If you decide to try it, let me know if it works for you! Instagram: www.Instagram.com/marksonfitness or Facebook: www.Facebook.com/marksonfitness. For me and the air fryer, NOT SO MUCH! 😆🤷🏽‍♀️

Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness 💫 #marksonfitness 🔥

#FitspirationFriday Moves

Here is an example of a regiment I do to get my heart rate up after my weight lifting routine (especially after upper body). These exercises will work the full body and you will definitely feel it. Since I’m starting my maintenance mode, I keep my cardio to a minimum at the moment. I do use minimum cardio to warm my body up when I first start though.

Try 5 rounds of 30 reps of each exercise (3 exercises before stopping) with 30 second rest in between each circuit.

Afterwards is a mini stretch session. ❤️ Try it and let me know what you think. ☺️ If 30 reps each exercise are not enough for you, challenge yourself. DO MORE REPS!!! 🙌 Let’s push ourselves. 🙃 Please feel free to post in the Facebook group too.

Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/marksonfitness

Facebook Group: Put Your Marks On Fitness


Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness 💫 #marksonfitness

Workout Wednesday

By: Ethan Bowman

Let’s Get Inspired To Workout Today! 

Slim and Slender


Hi, Marker Babe!
Today is WORKOUT WEDNESDAY!!! Here is a cardio-based option I will be using today; sent by Ethan Bowman ( Fitbody Bootcamp). Every Wednesday, I receive these workouts that I can use and give little thought to what movements I will be doing. Try this out and let me know what you think. ☺️

Work for 45 seconds at a time with 15 seconds of rest/transition. Use www.fitlb.com and click “Tabata This.” For “Number of Tabatas” enter 5, for “Rest Between Tabatas” leave it at 1:00, for “Rounds Per Tabata” enter 5, for “Time On” enter 45 seconds, and for “Time Off” enter 15 seconds.

Your total workout time is 28:45.

  • Lunge + Front Kick
  • Skater Jumps
  • Wall Sit
  • Glute Bridge Pulse (R)
  • Glute Bridge Pulse (L)

Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness 💫

Did Someone Say Dinner?!?!

Let’s just say it’s so worth it! ❤️ Try the healthy recipe below.

Baked Salmon with fried cauliflower rice

Salmon (flavor your meat with spices to your liking) 🤤

Salmon marinade ingredients:
Sesame Oil
Organic Granulated Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
Liquid Aminos

Cauliflower ingredients:
Bag of frozen cauliflower
Liquid Aminos
Sesame Oil
Eggs
Peppers
Chopped Carrots & Mushrooms

Directions:
Pour eggs into heated pan with sesame oil. Remove from heat and set aside. Add the cauliflower rice, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, and a splash of water. Once tender, add a drizzle of sesame oil in pan along with dashes of liquid aminos. Add in your eggs and stir to your liking. Combine sesame oil, sugar, cinnamon, liquid aminos, and pour over the salmon inside a baking dish. Bake on 400 for about 15-20 minutes then broil for no longer than 5 minutes. Enjoy your meal!

Inspired by @kissmywheatgrass_



Signing Off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness ✨

12 Foods That Don’t Cause Weight Gain

One piece of advice often given to dieters is to eat until you reach satiety — that is, until you feel full.

The problem is that different foods can have vastly different effects on hunger and satiety.

For example, 200 calories of chicken breast may make you feel full, but it could take 500 calories of cake to have the same effect.

Thus, weight loss isn’t just about eating until you feel full. It’s about choosing the right foods that make you feel full for the least amount of calories.

What Makes a Food Filling?

Many factors determine a food’s satiety value, or how filling it is relative to its calorie content. The calorie/satiety ratio is measured on a scale called the satiety index (1Trusted Source).

The satiety index also measures a food’s ability to make you feel full, reduce your hunger and lower your calorie intake over the course of the day.

Some foods simply do a better job at satisfying hunger and preventing overeating than others.

Filling foods tend to have the following qualities: 

  • High volume: Studies indicate that the volume of food consumed strongly influences satiety. When foods contain a lot of water or air, the volume is increased without adding calories (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).
  • High protein: Studies show protein is more filling than carbs and fat. Diets higher in protein increase satiety and lead to lower overall calorie intake than lower-protein diets do (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source). 
  • High fiber: Fiber provides bulk and helps you feel full. It also slows the movement of food through your digestive tract, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer (6Trusted Source).
  • Low energy density: This means that a food is low in calories for its weight. Foods with low energy density can help you feel full for fewer calories (7Trusted Source).

So if you eat foods with the above characteristics, then you can usually eat them until fullness without getting in too many calories.

Here are 12 filling foods you can eat a lot of without getting fat.

1. Boiled Potatoes

Due to their higher carb content, many people avoid potatoes when trying to lose weight, but they shouldn’t. 

Whole potatoes are loaded with vitamins, fiber and other important nutrients. They also contain a certain type of starch called resistant starch (89Trusted Source). 

Resistant starch contains half the calories of regular starch (2 instead of 4 calories per gram). In your digestive system, it acts a lot like soluble fiber, helping you feel full.

Because adding resistant starch to meals helps satisfy hunger, it causes people to eat fewer calories (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

Interestingly, cooling potatoes after they’re cooked increases their resistant starch content. In fact, studies show that cooling and reheating potatoes multiple times continues to increase their hunger-suppressing effect (12Trusted Source).

In a study that measured the ability of 38 foods to satisfy hunger, boiled potatoes ranked the highest (1Trusted Source).

While boiled potatoes were the most satisfying food tested, fried potato chips were found to be three times less filling.

BOTTOM LINE:

Boiled potatoes, which are highly nutritious, are number one on the satiety index. Fried potato chips are three times less filling and not considered weight loss friendly.

2. Whole Eggs

Eggs are another food that has been unfairly demonized in the past. The truth is, eggs are incredibly healthy and high in several important nutrients.

Most of the nutrients, including about half of an egg’s protein, are found in the yolk.

Eggs are a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids.

In addition, they’re very filling.

Several studies found that people who ate eggs for breakfast were more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day than those who had a bagel for breakfast (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source15Trusted Source). 

In particular, one study found that people who ate eggs for breakfast lowered their body mass index (BMI) and lost more weight than those who ate a bagel (16Trusted Source). 

BOTTOM LINE:

Eggs are a great source of nutrients, including high-quality protein. They may help you eat less for up to 36 hours after a meal.

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a type of porridge, or hot cereal, that is often consumed for breakfast.

It’s incredibly filling and ranks third on the satiety index (1Trusted Source). 

This is mainly due to its high fiber content and ability to soak up water. 

Oats are a good source of a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which helps slow down digestion and the absorption of carbs (17Trusted Source). 

When compared to ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, oatmeal was better at suppressing appetite, increasing satiety and reducing calorie intake throughout the day (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:

Oatmeal is high in fiber and soaks up water, which makes it incredibly filling. It is more filling than traditional breakfast cereals and may help you eat less throughout the day.

4. Broth-Based Soups

Liquids are often considered to be less filling than solid foods.

However, research shows soups may be more filling than solid meals with the same ingredients (20Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

When soup was eaten at the start of a meal in one study, subjects consumed 20% fewer calories at that meal (22Trusted Source). 

Several studies found that routinely eating soup can reduce calorie intake, enhance satiety and promote weight loss over time (23Trusted Source24Trusted Source25Trusted Source). 

Stick to broth-based soups, as they tend to be lower in calories than cream-based varieties.

BOTTOM LINE:

Soups are very filling foods. Eating soup at the start of a meal may increase satiety, reduce calorie intake and lead to weight loss over time.

5. Legumes

Legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils, are well known for being good sources of fiber and protein.

This, combined with a relatively low energy density, makes them a filling food that may even promote weight loss (26Trusted Source). 

A review of several studies indicates that beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are 31% more filling than pasta and bread (27Trusted Source). 

BOTTOM LINE:

Legumes are high in protein and fiber, which make them very filling. They are also relatively low in calories, which makes them a weight loss friendly food.

6. Apples

Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet.

Several studies indicate eating fruit is associated with lower calorie intake and can contribute to weight loss over time (28Trusted Source29Trusted Source30Trusted Source31Trusted Source). 

In particular, apples score very high on the satiety index (1Trusted Source). 

Because apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that naturally slows digestion, they help you feel full (32Trusted Source). 

They are also over 85% water, which provides volume and improves satiety without adding calories. 

It’s important to note that whole, solid fruit increases satiety more than puréed fruit or juice, both of which are not particularly filling (33Trusted Source).

One study looked at the effects of eating solid apple segments, applesauce or drinking apple juice at the beginning of a meal. 

It found that those who ate solid apple segments consumed 91 fewer calories than those eating apple sauce and 150 fewer calories than those drinking apple juice (34Trusted Source). 

Eating apple segments also resulted in higher fullness ratings and lower hunger ratings than other forms of fruit. 

BOTTOM LINE:

Apples are high in water and soluble fiber but low in calories. Eating whole, solid apples may help you consume fewer calories and contribute to weight loss over time.

7. Citrus Fruits

Similarly to apples, citrus fruits are high in pectin, which can slow digestion and increase satiety.

They also have a high water content. Both oranges and grapefruit contain over 87% water, which means they’re able to fill you up for very few calories. 

It has often been suggested that eating grapefruit can promote weight loss.

In one study, obese participants eating grapefruit lost significantly more weight than those given a placebo (35Trusted Source).

In another study, eating half a grapefruit three times daily at mealtimes for six weeks was associated with modest weight loss and a significant reduction in waist circumference (36Trusted Source).

When combined with calorie restriction, consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice before meals resulted in a 7.1% weight loss, a significant reduction in body fat and weight circumference (37Trusted Source). 

However, these results may not be exclusive to grapefruit, as drinking water before meals had similar effects. 

BOTTOM LINE:

Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit are also weight loss friendly foods. They’re high in fiber and water, which can help you feel full and consume fewer calories.

8. Fish

Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may increase satiety in people who are overweight or obese (38Trusted Source).

They’re also loaded with high-quality protein, which is known to be very filling.

In fact, fish scores higher than all other protein-rich foods on the satiety index and ranks second of all foods tested (1Trusted Source).

One study found the effect of fish on satiety was significantly greater than that of chicken and beef (39Trusted Source).

Another study found participants who ate fish consumed 11% fewer calories at their next meal than those who ate beef (40Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:

Fish is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which may increase satiety. Fish may also be more filling than other types of protein such as chicken and beef.

9. Lean Meats

Lean meats are high in protein and very filling.

In fact, higher-protein diets lead to lower overall calorie intake than lower-protein diets (5Trusted Source).

One study found that people ate 12% less at dinner after eating high-protein meat at lunch, compared to those who had a high-carb lunch (41Trusted Source).

Beef scored second highest of all protein-rich foods on the satiety index, but other lean meats such as chicken and pork are also weight loss friendly (1Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:

Meat is high in protein and very filling. Eating high-protein lean meat may help you consume fewer calories at subsequent meals.

10. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is low in calories but very high in protein.

It is also packed with healthy nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and selenium.

These characteristics make cottage cheese a weight loss friendly food. 

One study found that its effect on fullness is similar to that of eggs (42Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:

Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories. Its effect on satiety may be comparable to that of eggs.

11. Vegetables

Vegetables are low in calories and high in volume.

They’re also packed with all kinds of beneficial nutrients and plant compounds that make them an important part of a healthy diet. 

Furthermore, they’re high in water and fiber, both of which help fill you up.

Research shows that salads, in particular, help satisfy hunger, especially when consumed before a meal.

In one study, participants who ate a salad at the start of a meal consumed 7–12% fewer calories at the meal (43Trusted Source).

Another study showed that eating a salad at the start of a meal increased vegetable consumption by 23%, compared to eating it with the main course (44Trusted Source). 

In order to keep your salad low in calories, avoid adding high-calorie ingredients and dressings.

BOTTOM LINE:

Vegetables are high in water and fiber, which may keep you full for longer. Eating low-calorie salads can help increase your vegetable consumption and decrease your calorie intake.

12. Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain and contains more fiber than many other popular snack foods.

It is also high in volume, so it takes up a lot of space in your stomach, despite being relatively low in calories.

Studies have found that popcorn will fill you up more than other popular snacks such as potato chips (45Trusted Source).

Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest. Commercially-prepared or microwave popcorn can be extremely high in calories and contain unhealthy ingredients.

To keep your popcorn low in calories, avoid adding a lot of fat to it.

BOTTOM LINE:

Popcorn is a whole grain that is high in fiber and volume, both of which help you feel full. Studies have found that popcorn is more filling than potato chips.

Take Home Message

Filling foods have certain characteristics. They’re high in volume, protein or fiber and low in energy density.

Including more of these foods in your meals may help you lose weight in the long run.


Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness ✨

How to Make A Healthy Blueberry Smoothie

By: Well Plated (Erin)

Blueberry smoothies are good for you, and this one also includes the perk of being completely and totally delicious.

It’s bursting with fresh blueberry taste, yes, but what really sets this Greek yogurt blueberry banana smoothie apart is that its flavor is reminiscent of a slice of fresh blueberry pie with a creamy scoop of ice cream. Yum and YUM!

This smoothie is thick, luxurious, and craving-worthy, as any self-respecting pie imitator should be.

It also offers protein and healthy fats, so you can count on it keeping you full all morning.


The Ingredients

  • Frozen Blueberries. The star of the show!
  • Frozen Banana. Banana is good in smoothies because it adds natural sweetness and makes the smoothie thick and creamy. For a blueberry smoothie (no banana), check out Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie.
  • Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt. Protein-packed Greek yogurt gives this smoothie the boost it needs to be extra satisfying.
  • Rolled Oats. Oats give the smoothie body, make it more filling, and add a subtle “crust” vibe. (For another oat-packed option, check out Oatmeal Smoothie!)
  • Almond Butter. Helps make the smoothie more satisfying and gives it rich flavor. If you prefer peanut butter, you can try this as a blueberry banana peanut butter smoothie instead.
  • Vanilla + Cinnamon. The key ingredients that take this from being a basic blueberry smoothie to one that tastes like a blueberry pie in a glass.
  • Almond Milk. I chose to make this a vanilla almond milk blueberry smoothie, but you can use any milk you have on hand. Making this a blueberry smoothie with milk helps us reach the ideal consistency.

DIETARY SWAPS

To make this blueberry smoothie vegan, make sure to use a non-dairy milk and non-dairy yogurt. You can also make this a blueberry smoothie without yogurt, but you may want to swap in some extra ice cubes to thicken it up. 

The Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender. 
  2. Puree until smooth. ENJOY!

OPTIONAL MIX-INS

  • Protein Powder. For an extra protein boost, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. I like vanilla here.
  • Maple Syrup. If you prefer a sweeter smoothie, add a teaspoon or two of pure maple syrup or honey.
  • Spinach. Make this into a blueberry banana spinach smoothie by adding a handful of spinach to the blender. Spinach will alter the color of the smoothie a bit, but you won’t be able to taste it.

Serving Idea

Make this into a blueberry smoothie bowl by adding a few ice cubes and additional frozen blueberries to make it as thick as possible. Pour it into a bowl and add favorite toppings. Fresh blueberries, banana slices, or granola would be tasty! Grab a spoon and enjoy.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 day. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze smoothies in an airtight freezer-safe storage jar for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving. 

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MAKE-AHEAD TIP

You can also make your smoothie in advance, then pour it into an ice cube try and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve, add your desired number of smoothie cubes to a blender and puree.


Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness ✨

My Reason Behind A Healthy Slate

It’s been a year since I started my blog! I’ve learned to celebrate the small victories and appreciate everything in life. I always try to look at all situations in a positive light. As some may know, I wrote about the time I had brain surgery back in 2016 and I’m here to share more about the experience. I am an acoustic neuroma survivor!!!! If you don’t know what acoustic neuroma is, let me give you the details. 

Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuroma, also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a noncancerous and usually slow-growing tumor that develops on the main (vestibular) nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain. Branches of this nerve directly influence your balance and hearing, and pressure from an acoustic neuroma can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear and unsteadiness. Treatments for acoustic neuroma include regular monitoring, radiation and surgical removal. Common signs and symptoms of acoustic neuroma include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing (tinnitus) in the affected ear
  • Unsteadiness, loss of balance
  • Dizziness (vertigo)
  • Facial numbness and very rarely
  • Weakness or loss of muscle movement
  • Headaches

I only had one of the symptoms before surgery, headaches. This was a challenging time in my life and made me look at things very differently. Once I learned that I had this rare tumor and the only option was to proceed with brain surgery, I didn’t realize my life would totally change afterwards. I was under the impression that I would recover within 6 weeks. Oh, how I thought WRONG but I still believe God knows best. Had I known what I would endure, I probably would have prolonged the surgery which could have cost me traumatizing damage or even my life!

Let’s talk about the issues I had to face after surgery:

  • Lost an entire week of memory post-op
  • Learned to rebalance so I could walk without the entire world spinning
  • Learned to swallow properly (the doctor had me on food thickener)
  • Wore a patch over my eye to focus correctly (and had to wait patiently until my double vision went away)
  • Suffered loss of hearing and facial paralysis on left side

Once I was able to comprehend the reality of the challenges ahead, I thought my world had crashed. I was devastated and nervous I would never be normal again. Boy, I had my work cut out for me to become the normal RAYAN again! After a week in the hospital, it was time for me to start physical therapy. This terrified me because I didn’t know what to expect.

I will never forget day two of my physical therapy; I totally shut down and would not finish my sessions. The nurses just let me have my moment and the next day was so much better. I needed the time to gather myself from this horrifying experience and come to terms with the challenges I was facing. This was the start of my “NEW NORMAL LIFE.”On the third day, my entire mindset changed. My goal was to complete all my sessions to the nurses’ satisfaction so I could get home to my own bed. I had to perform walking, speech, and mind challenging exercises. I was determined to overcome my issues and get back on the road to normal.

After a few weeks of therapy, I was ready to go home. The work didn’t stop there! I had to attend outpatient physical therapy until my nurses felt I was ready to receive my completion certificate.

Needless to say, I mastered my sessions within a month. The nurses told me I was doing great at everything and there was nothing left to do but let the rest heal with time. I felt so accomplished and was ready to continue my somewhat normal life. After two and a half months post-operation, I returned to CrossFit class. This was so exciting and important to me. The night before, I laid out my workout clothes and never looked back!

CrossFit helped me so much with my stability. It was so challenging to get back to myself but the small victories were rewarding! It’s been five years since my surgery, and I am still conquering my new norm. With God, we will not fail! I am a living witness.



Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness 〽️✨

Want permanent weight loss?

By Ethan Bowman

Short-term weight loss is easy. Long-term weight loss is much harder to achieve.

However, you know people who are permanently in beach-ready shape, so it is possible to be lean for life.

This begs the question: how can you lose the weight for good?

The answer is not found in a single habit or action, but rather in the following 5 Lean for Life Habits…

Habit #1: Reimagine Yourself

Up until now you’ve accepted the shape that you are in, and even if you hate it, you’re comfortable with it. Read that again to make sure it sinks in. You are comfortable with the body that you have right now, and until you decide it’s no longer comfortable then you’ll be stuck in the shape that you currently have. 

Now spend time reimagining yourself leaner. Really let that new image sink in until you’re more comfortable with it than you are with the image of your current body. Rinse and repeat. The clearer you can see and feel and imagine yourself in a lean body, the more urgency and desire you will create to achieve and maintain it. 

Habit #2: Break-Up With Sugar

Look, Sugar, we have to break up. It’s not you; it’s me. Sure, we’ve had some good times. You’ve tickled my sweet tooth and pleased my taste buds, but loving you is a double-edged sword that leaves me heavy and out of shape. So this is it, we are through! 

As silly as that sounded, your relationship with sugar is holding you back from living in a lean for life body. It’s not only refined sugar that is messing with your body composition; in order to be lean for life you’ll also need to manage your intake of natural sugars. 

The good news is that every day spent without sugar will make the next day that much easier and your cravings will become that much weaker. Stay strong and soon you’ll be more than happy with the occasional sweet treat rather than the all-day sugar drip that’s sabotaging your swimsuit dreams. 

Habit #3: Forget Dieting

Going on a “diet” implies a start and end date, but if you really want to change your body composition for good then there is no end to your healthy lifestyle. It’s a marathon of adapting to healthier (and healthier!) habits to maintain for the rest of your life. The day that you stop trying is the day that your body reverts to its old (less svelte) shape. 

Don’t worry, the more time that you get under your belt with healthy living, the easier it becomes. Soon your lean for life habits will feel like a normal day – just as your current habits feel like a normal day now. The key is to stick with it until the habits fully stick, and to vigorously fight the urge to give up.

Habit #4: Plan Your Cheats

Being lean for life doesn’t mean swearing off pizza and ice cream for the rest of your days. (Thank goodness!) On the contrary, you’ll find that planned cheat meals of your favorite foods are more enjoyable than ever before. The key is that you will be planning your cheat meals in advance and containing the excitement to one sitting each week. 

The fun thing about enjoying a cheat meal while living a lean lifestyle is that there is absolutely zero guilt associated with the pleasure. Most of us experience twinges of guilt associated with most of our meals, because in the back of our mind is the thought that we should really be eating healthier in order to lose the weight that we have yet to lose. Once you’ve lost the fat and are actively living a lean life those cheat meals will be 100% pleasure!

Habit #5: Be Part of a Fitness Family 

Belonging to a group of fellow fitness enthusiasts is key to making and maintaining your body transformation. Being fit is easier achieved in a supportive and encouraging group, rather than alone. The accountability provided from your fitness peers will save you from missing workouts and will get you to push yourself to try harder.

One of the most gratifying parts of being in a fitness family is the day when your support makes an impact on a new member. To give the encouragement that was given to you is a special moment that will stick with you and will recommit you to your fitness lifestyle. 


Feels Good, Doesn’t It?

A challenging exercise routine is a quick and simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate. 

However, before you turn to chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run. 

Do you choose what you want NOW or what you want MOST OF ALL? 


Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

​Here’s a flavorful, nutritious meal that comes together quickly. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner that takes chicken breast and infuses it with a sweet and spicy poaching liquid of chipotle, pineapple, fresh cilantro, savory Worcestershire and tangy lime. These flavors are robust and delicious! 

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Servings: 4

4 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil OR Butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons minced canned ​chipotle chile in adobo sauce (or MORE if you like it spicy!)
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, sliced into wedges

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes. Pat dry with a paper towel and pierce several times with a fork or knife. Place on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until tender when poked.

3. Melt the coconut oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, bell peppers, onion and chipotle and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the orange juice to the skillet along with 1/2 cup cilantro and the Worcestershire and bring to a simmer.

5. Add the chicken to the skillet, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the chicken registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and veggies to a plate and cover.

6. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the liquid left in the skillet until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in the mustard. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and return it and the veggies to the skillet. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Slice each baked sweet potato down the middle and fill with a heaping spoon of the chipotle chicken. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals: 372 calories, 8g fat, 34g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 9g sugar and 39g protein.


Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness

Air Fryer Egg Rolls

BY MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Air Fryer Egg Rolls

If you’ve been disappointed by baked egg rolls before, be prepared to be delighted by air-fried ones. The dry, constantly circulating air gives the wrapper a shatteringly crisp texture. If you can, aim for vegan egg roll wrappers (Nasoya is an easy-to-find brand), which get particularly crispy.

Active time: 19 minutes Total time: 35 minutes

Air Fryer Egg Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (170g) green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup (20g) green onions, chopped
  • 8 ounces (227g) ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 8 (24-gram) egg roll wrappers

Directions

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add cabbage and carrot, saute 2 minutes. Add the green onions and turkey, and saute until turkey is cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and pepper.

Place an egg roll wrapper on a dry work surface with the corners set vertically (pointing up and down like a diamond shape). Moisten all edges of the wrapper with water. Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling horizontally across the center of the wrapper. Fold in the left and right corners of the wrapper, and roll up. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the air fryer, if necessary, to 400°F (200ºC). Coat an air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange 4 egg rolls in a basket in a single layer, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Air-fry until browned and crisp, 7–8 minutes, turning over after 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining egg rolls.

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: 1 egg roll

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 144; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 277mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein 9g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 128mg; Iron: 7%; Vitamin A: 30%; Vitamin C: 14%; Calcium: 8%


We all want ideas on recipes made from the air fryer themselves. This is definitely an interesting one to try! I’ve been hooked on my air fryer for over 3 years now , and it’s the best investment for me. I don’t have to stand over a stove cooking for long periods of time which gives me time to get other chores done around the house. And it’s also QUICK! 😍


Signing off,

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness ✨

Two Fat-Burning HIIT Workouts For Beginners

BY KEVIN GRAY

Two Fat-Burning HIIT Workouts For Beginners

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular form of exercise that alternates short periods of intense exercise with periods of recovery. It offers many benefits, from improving your cardiovascular health, endurance and overall fitness level to burning more fat and calories per minute than steady-state exercises like jogging or cycling. This means you can get maximum fat-burning results in less time, making HIIT a great option for fitting quick workouts into your busy schedule.

“HIIT is good for burning fat because it burns a lot of calories in a short period of time and increases the amount of calories you burn post workout to repair and restore your body,” says Nate Feliciano, owner and head of training at Studio 16 in New York City. That post-workout afterburn is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (or EPOC) and refers to the amount of oxygen needed to restore your body back to normal. That level increases after a HIIT workout, so your body keeps burning calories in the hours after you’ve finished exercising.

HIIT FOR BEGINNERS

“For beginners, HIIT may be intimidating,” says Feliciano, “but HIIT does not need to be one size fits all. There are many ways to modify the exercises used in your HIIT routine to accommodate your fitness level.” So, even if you’re new to fitness, interval training offers enough variety and adaptability that you’ll be able to find something that works for your body.

Because interval training is so effective at burning calories, it’s common to see quicker results when doing HIIT than many other disciplines. You still need to exercise regularly (and eat a healthy diet) for long-term results, but dropping a few pounds or noticing cardio improvements are great incentives to keep working toward your goals.https://84520580321eec8b0acdfbdd66d15d11.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Beginners should be especially vigilant when it comes to warming up and cooling down. Warming up before your workout is essential to prepare your body for movement and prevent injury. Similarly, cooling down after your workout can help to lower your heart rate and loosen tight muscles.

TWO FAT-BURNING HIIT WORKOUTS TO TRY

Feliciano provides two beginner-friendly workouts below, one featuring equipment (kettlebells and battle ropes) and one that requires nothing more than your own body weight. Mix one or both workouts into your exercise routine twice a week, and see how HIIT can help you achieve the results you want.


Signing off,

You all know I love HIIT workouts. It allows me the heart rate boost I love to feel in very little time. Lately I’ve been concentrating on lifting vs more HIIT workouts. I must say, it’s a great balance for me. ☺️

Ray Marks #putyourmarksonfitness ✨