Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and I'd venture to bet that just about everyone out there is either personally trying to lose some weight, or knows someone who is. Our lifestyles are increasingly more sedentary, especially as more and more people transition to desk jobs, and the prevalence of convenient - but terribly unhealthy - junk foods has caused obesity to become an epidemic.
If you want to lose weight, there is no quick fix. Sure, you could get lipo or a tummy tuck surgery, but if you don't change your lifestyle, all that weight is just gonna come right back with a vengeance. At the top of the list is a healthy diet. Ask any fitness expert and they'll tell you that fit bodies start in the kitchen, not the gym. You could work out for hours every week but if you're eating a whole pizza and Mountain Dew afterwards, you're out of luck. Conversely, if you eat the right foods, even a very moderate exercise program will yield fabulous results over time.
One of my absolute favorite things to do to stay healthy and incorporate some good, raw produce into my diet is starting my day off with a breakfast smoothie made of various fruits and vegetables. It's filling, it's yummy, it's so good for you, and the variations you can put on it are endless. You'll find some of my favorite smoothie recipes below, but let's take a quick second to talk about some of my favorite ingredients.
Grapefruit helps lower insulin levels and triggers hormones responsible for fat storage. That means that just having half a grapefruit before your meals can help you lose a whole pound in just one week.
Ginger has a multitude of health benefits, including for weight loss. It is an appetite suppressant (meaning you'll eat less) and also raises body temperature, which stimulates the metabolism to burn more fat!
Hazelnuts aren't just delicious, they're also incredibly high in fiber, which helps keep you full. I probably shouldn't even have to say this, but no, Nutella does not count.
Ground Flax Seed
Ground flax seed helps keep you full due to its high fiber content, and also help detoxify your body.
Now that we've covered how some of these ingredients are going to help you melt away that excess flab, it's time to get to the fun stuff: Recipes! You could cycle the seven smoothies below on a weekly basis for eight weeks, or you can feel free to switch 'em up. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.
1. Green Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 green apples, 4 celery stalks, 2 cups water, 4 teaspoons flax seed, a pinch of ginger.
2. Cucumber Apple Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 apples, 2 cucumbers, 4 celery stalks, 2 cups water, 10 mint leaves, 1/2 cup hazelnuts, a pinch of ginger, 2-3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice.
3. Pear Banana Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 pears, 2 bananas, 2 cups of berries, 12 ounces of plain yogurt, 4 tablespoons of ground flax seed, 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, a pinch of cinnamon.
4. Apple Banana Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 bananas, 2 oranges, 2 lemons, 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of almonds, a pinch of ginger, a pinch of cinnamon.
5. Peach Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 cups frozen peaches (unsweetened), 2 cups of skim milk, 4 teaspoons flax seed oil.
6. Grapefruit Orange Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 grapefruits, 2 oranges, 2 mangoes, 2 bananas, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup of almonds.
7. Blueberry Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 cups blueberries, 2 oranges, 2 bananas, 1 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup of almonds, 12 ounces of non-fat Greek yogurt.
As we stated above, healthy bodies start in the kitchen. That's not to say they stop there, however. While these smoothies are a great way to kickstart your metabolism and get started on your weight loss journey, if you really want to see the best results, you need to incorporate some exercise into your daily routine as well. We recommend the following:
Cycling can burn up to 600 calories in a single hour and engages a lot of the same muscles you use when running. While the real thing is best since it also activates the core for greater balance/stability, stationary bikes are also a great way to work up a sweat.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. The idea here is to have short bursts of an exercise performed with high intensity interspersed with periods of lower activity. For example, doing an all-out sprint for 15 seconds, followed by walking/jogging for about a minute, followed by another quick sprint, and so on for several repetitions. HIIT works wonders for blasting fat, but can be difficult for beginners as it's quite intense.
Invisible Jump Rope
If you have a real jump rope and a place, that's even better, but if you don't, you can still get a great workout by pretending to jump an invisible rope. Just be sure to stay on the balls of your feet as you would with a real rope to get the most of out this exercise.
Rowing is awesome! I used to live on the rowing machines back in college. Rowing engages the entire body, and can burn up to a whopping 840 calories per hour!
Start with your feet together, the lunge forward with your right foot, getting a 90-degree bend on your knees. Now, jump up and switch out your legs mid-air so that you land with your left foot in a forward lunge instead of the right. Do 10-12 reps, rest for 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat.
Swimming is a total body workout, but is relatively low impact and is a great place to start for anyone who may have joint pains (particularly if caused by excess weight). Considering it can burn up to 600 calories an hour, this is a great option regardless of what your fitness level might be.
Keep your feet on the floor with your knees bent. Next, raise your shoulders and head off the ground until your upper back is raised. Hold this for a second before lowering back down slowly. Repeat for four minutes.
Don't forget to SHARE these healthy tips with your family and friends.
H/T: Healthy Food House