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    Um, Can You Drink Black Coffee While Intermittently Fasting Or No?

    There are a few agreed-upon pleasures in life: Food is definitely one of them, coffee’s a close second, followed by photos of Ryan Gosling doing literally anything. Intermittent fasting—while, yeah, can help with weight loss—takes away one of those pleasures for hours on end (if you’re doing the 16:8 diet, for example, you go 16 hours each day without food).

    So here’s my question: You can look at all the Ryan Gosling photos you want in that 16-hour fasting time frame…but that won’t satiate you (no offence, Ryan). So can you at least have coffee, or does the world continue to be a cruel and unusual place?

    What is intermittent fasting?

    Intermittent fasting is a type of eating that only allows eating in certain periods of time. The window in which you’d eat varies largely, depending on what’s best for your body and the kind of approach you’d like. This could mean having your first meal at 12pm, with your last meal at 8pm, or vice versa. There’s no evidence that intermittent fasting yields better results than any other diet, but hey, different strokes for different folks.

    Can you have coffee while fasting?

    Good news: You can have coffee in the morning—as long as your coffee doesn’t have calories, says Abbey Sharp, dietitian and blogger at Abbey’s Kitchen. That means you need to drink it black. “You cannot add sugar or dairy because that would add calories, fat, sugar, and therefore stop the fast,” she says. (FYI: Liquid calories count during fasting, too).

    If you can’t stomach black coffee (and tbh, not everyone can), no-calorie sweeteners like Stevia can help you out. They’re still allowed while fasting because they don’t impact insulin or blood-sugar levels, says Sharp.

    The caveat

    However, if you’re at risk for diabetes, steer clear of sweeteners, per the WHO, which advises against using them. That’s because there might be a mildly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

    So, coffee lovers can officially breathe a sigh of relief. But there is something you should keep in mind: Coffee on an empty stomach can irritate your gut. It can also worsen symptoms of heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome, says Sharp. Even more: “Having coffee on an empty stomach may also amplify any feeling of jitteriness and anxiety because it’s absorbed much faster,” she says. But that’s only a possibility since coffee affects everyone differently.

    And even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you don’t have to solely stick to water while intermittent fasting. Any calorie-free drinks—like sparkling water, black tea, and even sparkling flavoured water is totally fair game, says Sharp.

    So it looks like you can resume your daily routine of checking Ryan Gosling’s social media accounts over coffee. Wait…is that just me?

    This article was originally published on  More

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    How To Lose Weight If You Don’t Know Where To Start, According To A Dietician

    Weight loss. Just two words that carry so much, from the many, many (seriously, so many) diets to the multitude of mind-hacking that comes with it. A lot of work needs to go into it to try and shift kilos. But how to even begin to lose weight, if you’re not sure where to even start? As is our style, we turn to experts first. “As a registered dietician, I’m here to help you navigate a sustainable approach to achieving overall health and wellness that goes beyond short-term weight loss goals,” says dietician Gabi Meltzer. “I would love to help you shift your perspective from quick fixes and temporary results to building healthy habits that prioritise your well-being, both physically and mentally.”

    That means giving up fad diets, or quick fixes that promote a huge amount of weight loss in a short space of time. Per a dietician, here’s how to really begin your weight loss journey – and not have it end in tears of frustration.

    Meet The Expert: Gabi Meltzer is a registered dietician in Cape Town

    To lose weight, prepare for a mindset change

    That means re-looking your ideas around weight loss and what that really means to you. Do you need to look hot for a date that’s right around the corner? Or do you want to feel better, move better? Either way, turn to sustainable approaches rather than quick fixes. “To break free from the vicious cycle of fad diets, a change in mindset is necessary,” says Meltzer. “Instead of fixating on the number on the scale, shifting the focus toward cultivating healthy habits that contribute to our overall well-being is the most sustainable.”

    Focus on your eating habits first

    Per one paper that evaluated different studies on weight loss, “Healthier eating, but not physical exercise accounted for goal-setting-induced weight loss.” To help, try writing down everything you eat. Is it a lot of pizza or late-night pies and fewer than the recommended five-a-day of veggies and fruits? Writing things down can give you that distance and perspective needed to alter your eating habits.

    See a dietician

    Professional guidance can help move the needle since they’re expertly trained to give you those tips and encouragement when trying to lose weight. It’s a big feat – and you don’t have to go it alone.

    Try intuitive eating

    Here’s a popular trend that could actually help. “This is a self-care and body kindness framework that can be helpful in reconnecting to our body’s innate cues,” says Meltzer. Eat when you’re hungry and not when you’re bored or overwhelmed. It’s also a way to rebuild trust in yourself, especially if you struggle with binges. “[It’s about] learning to trust our bodies to make choices that truly nourish us, both mentally and physically,” adds Meltzer.

    Find an exercise you actually like

    Moderate exercise goes hand in hand with slimming down. But the key to sustaining your regimen lies in finding something you like to do. “Engaging in activities we genuinely enjoy can transform exercise from a chore to a pleasurable experience,” explains Meltzer. “When you find the type of movement that makes you feel energised, less stressed, happier, and more connected to your body and what it is able to do, you are likely to want to make this form of movement a regular part of your life.”

    Be gentle with yourself

    Real, sustainable weight loss takes time, so allow yourself to go slowly. That means you’ll be in this for the long haul. One way to think about it? Instead of focusing on what you’re eliminating, focus on what you’re bringing to the table. “Rather than fixating on strict rules or demonising certain foods or food groups, focus on adding more opportunity for a wide range of nutrient-dense foods,” says Meltzer. Keen to try new veg? Explore new recipes! You’ll find yourself free from restriction and less bored.

    Learn to accept your body

    Hating yourself will get you nowhere, and any problems you think will be solved through weight loss will likely still be there when it’s all gone. “Learning to appreciate and respect your unique body is essential for mental well-being and sustainable healthy habits,” says Meltzer. More

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    This 17-Day Eating Plan Will Help Get You Back In Shape

    Are you feeling a little off track with your mid-year goals? Get ready to jumpstart your fitness journey and bid farewell to those stubborn kilograms. This 17-day slim-down plan from WH’s nutritional advisor will have you zipping up your cocktail dress in record time.

    This eating plan contains mostly whole, minimally processed foods, limiting processed, high-salt foods and added sugars.

    Reduce Bloating

    To reduce the risk of bloating, typical gas-forming foods like beans, cabbage, onions, peppers, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and dried fruit have not been included. Also avoid raw apple, watermelon and chewing gum that contains sorbitol if these make you bloated.

    READ MORE: 28 Easy Food Swaps That’ll Help You Lose Weight

    How The Plan Works

    Build your own meals according to your preferences by choosing one of the five to six options provided for each meal and snack.

    You can have the snack whenever it suits you. If you prefer not to snack, you can add it to one of your three meals.

    During the 17-day period, avoid caffeine: caffeinated coffee, tea (except rooibos), chocolate and energy drinks.

    READ MORE: 5 Ways To Measure Healthy Portion Sizes Without A Scale

    Get the WH Eating Plan

    Download the meal plan and follow these tips for a new you in just 17 days!

    To maintain your new size, incorporate these eating tips into your diet going forward, or use this eating plan as a basis for creating a new, sustainably healthy way of eating.

    Extra Motivation

    Small Undated Wellness Diary

    Track your wellness and weight loss journey with one of these diaries from Typo. Inside you’ll find guides, calendars, quotes and tracking slots

    MyFitnessPal: Calorie Counter App

    Use this app to track your daily meals and activities during the 17 days. Plus, you can scan barcodes from local products and it has all the nutritional information.

    HS Motivational Water Bottle

    This 1L water bottle features motivational quotes and markers along the side, reminding you to stay focused, hydrated and determined throughout the day. More

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    Why Drinking Diet Coke Won’t Help You Lose Weight

    Picture the scene: lunch has come and gone and, in offices across the land, Tupperware once home to prepped-ahead sweet potato, chickpeas and spinach lie empty. The sweet craving-fuelled temptation to attack a brownie is oh-so-real. But rather than blow a few hundred calories on a handful, women nationwide reach instead for so-called ‘guilt-free’ cans of chemically sweetened diet Coke.

    Are they ill-advised self-saboteurs for following healthy, totally ‘grammable meals with a diet fizzy drink? Perhaps – which makes it all the more tricky to admit I am one of them. A health editor who knows her nutrition – and should know better – but can’t get enough of the stuff.

    Another is Georgia Scarr. Glance at her Instagram and you’ll see all the healthy-girl hallmarks.

    Bird’s-eye view of eggs atop kale and roasted vegetables? Check. One lithe, toned body contorted into impressive yoga positions? Check again. But one lifestyle ritual that doesn’t make the edit is her diet cola habit.

    ‘I have a sweet tooth, but I don’t make a habit of eating junk food or sugary snacks,’ she says. ‘I monitor my calories, and I want them to be filled with something more nutritious than sugar. So if I can get that sweet taste via a calorie-free fizzy drink, that is kind of a win/win.’

    The enduring appeal of calorie-free fizzy pop might jar with the current ‘it’s a lifestyle, not a diet’ healthy eating zeitgeist. But Jane Ogden, professor of health psychology at the University of Surrey and author of The Psychology of Eating, isn’t surprised.

    ‘So-called “diet” drinks still appeal because, though people may package it as “eating well” or “looking after yourself”, many of us are essentially still dieting.’ And while our goals are more rippling abs than thigh gap, she is right in that the majority of us want to keep our body fat low.

    The problem with diet drinks

    ‘The word “diet” carries powerful connotations of being lean, healthy and in control,‘ Professor Ogden adds. ‘So while we continue to aspire to those things, “diet” labelling will draw us in – even if we’d rather not admit it.’ Put in those terms our fondness for diet drinks doesn’t seem so outdated.

    But are diet drinks actually helpful when you’re trying to get – and stay – lean? Bosses at Slimming World appear to think so.

    The organisation (offering weight loss help) classifies diet colas as a ‘free’ food – along with water and green vegetables – meaning that its members don’t have to track the amount they consume.

    But when you take a look at the evidence, this permissive attitude to drinks sweetened with chemicals such as sucralose and aspartame could be unhelpful.

    In one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that participants who drank one litre of a diet fizzy drink daily gained 1.5kg after six months. The group who drank full-sugar soft drinks gained 10kg, so the diet option had less of an effect. But, if researchers were adding zero calories and zero sugar into their daily diets, why did the participants gain any?

    As it stands, there is no evidence-based answer. But Robert Lustig, professor of endocrinology at the University of California and leading anti-sugar campaigner, has a possible explanation. Essentially, that consuming artificial sweeteners can significantly alter your biochemistry and predispose you to gain fat.

    Insulin and weight gain: the link

    ‘The diet soft drink group gained weight not because they were increasing their calories, but because they increased their levels of insulin,’ he says. Made in the pancreas, insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use sugar (or glucose) from carbohydrates in the food you eat for energy – or store it for future use. ‘The more insulin you have in your blood, the more calories you will store as fat,’ adds Professor Lustig. ‘So anything that makes your insulin go up will make you gain weight.’

    Because they don’t contain any actual sugar, artificially sweetened drinks shouldn’t spike insulin. But in one study in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers split their study participants in two groups and supplied half with a diet soft drink. They then tested their glucose and insulin levels afterwards. They found 20% more insulin in the blood of those who had drunk the fake sugary drinks.

    Why? It’s all down to the fact that the body is primed to detect sweetness. So, when something sweet hits your tongue, specific receptors send messages throughout your system.

    ‘First, they send a message to the brain to say that sugar is coming. Then the brain sends a message to the pancreas telling it to expect the sugar, so it prepares to release insulin,’ explains Professor Lustig.

    But when you drink an artificially sweetened drink? The sugar never comes and the pancreas sends out the message that you need to seek out more glucose.

    Sugar vs sweeteners: What does the science say?

    Yasmin, 25, drinks several cans of diet cola weekly to help her stick to a ‘no-sugar lifestyle’.

    ‘I eat healthy fats through things like almonds and avocado – and I don’t count calories. I love having a can of diet cola because it means I can have the sweet taste without consuming any actual sugar.’

    Yasmin is confident that she will be keeping to her method. She’s down 12kg, wearing jeans for the first time in years. And she’s hitting the gym for strength and cardio sessions four times a week. ‘If these drinks help me stick to a plan that is definitely working for me, I don’t see it as a problem with it.’

    And yet, Professor Lustig warns that Yasmin may be making life hard for herself.

    ‘Drinking artificially sweetened drinks when you’re not eating actual sugar is self-defeating,’ he says. ‘The point of a “no-sugar lifestyle” is to de-sensitise yourself to sweet foods. But if you are regularly consuming sugar-free fizzy drinks then you are re-sensitising yourself daily.’

    Indeed, researchers at the University of Sydney found that adding artificial sweeteners to the diets of rats and flies resulted in an ‘imbalance in sweetness and energy’.

    After the brain realised it had the sweet taste without the dense calorie load it was expecting, it sent signals encouraging the animals to eat more – so it could reap the energy it had anticipated.

    ’What’s more, consuming the sweetener regularly actually increased the intensity of the natural sugary taste,’ says study author Dr Greg Neely. ‘So this increased the overall motivation of the animals to eat more.’ But, as before, more research – in humans – is needed.

    Beyond weight loss, are diet fizzy drinks healthy?

    There is still much we don’t know about how artificial sweeteners are linked to disease risk, too.

    While a recent study did show that people who drank diet drinks had an increased chance of developing cancer or strokes, lead author Dr Matthew Pase cautions that this is early observational research – so it is impossible to tease apart cause and effect.

    As for the claims that sweeteners such as aspartame could be cancer-causing? ‘The balance of evidence is that artificial sweeteners are safe for us to eat,’ says clinical dietitian Rick Miller.

    ‘Some small experiments on mice demonstrated a link between aspartame and the growth of cancerous tumours – but it is not clear if we can directly relate these results to humans.’

    Miller’s message for us habitual drinkers: don’t freak out, but do cut down – on all colas, be they ‘diet’ or full-sugar.

    ‘Regular and diet varieties contain phosphoric acid, which research suggests can reduce bone mineral density,’ he says.

    How to quit diet coke and other fizzy drinks

    Ready to consciously uncouple with your fizzy vice? Follow these three R’s.

    1/ Recognise

    ‘Next time you’re craving a fizzy diet drink, think about the context in which you drink it. Do you really want what is in the can or, instead, do you just want some fresh air – or some time to pause?’ says Ogden.

    Nail that, and you’ll be more able to see what you need – and one step closer to getting it.

    2/ Remember

    Think of your parting ways with artificially sweetened soft drinks like that break-up with your ex who you knew wasn’t good for you.

    ‘You’ll feel like you’re missing something, but it is not because you don’t have something that you need – you were fine before,’ says Ogden. ‘You feel like this because you created a space for something and it’s not there anymore.’

    3/ Replace

    That space needs filling will something else, but don’t expect tap water to effectively plug the gap.

    ‘Brew a herbal tea, or infuse a jug of water with chopped cucumber and mint,’ suggests Miller.

    Or, you know, have a snack. Something with essential antioxidant vitamins, fill-you-up healthy fats and sustaining fibre. which if you’re getting hungry between meals, you probably need.

    And let’s be clear – a stress fracture caused by weak bones is going to have a more detrimental impact to your aesthetic and athletic goals than a few mini chocolate brownies.

    Still, I can’t promise that I will have developed a willpower of steel and won’t have had a sneaky sip of my old poison by the time you have read this.

    But if I do choose to crack open a can, it certainly won’t be done mindlessly. Because, while a part of me may still be bought into the zero-sugar, zero-calorie promise, there is a big chance that my body is not.

    This article was first published in More

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    These Are The 20 Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss

    If you’ve ever snacked your way through a jar of peanut butter in a day, you’re probably pretty damn convinced that snacking is your worst enemy when it comes to weight loss. But yeah, no. Snacks (you know, the healthy, well-portioned kind) can help ensure you don’t get so damn hungry you just say “screw it!” and give up on your whole diet. Still, whipping up your own perfectly portioned snack is way easier said than done. (Honestly, who knew a serving of peanut butter was only two measly tablespoons?!) Make things a whole lot easier on yourself and whip up these nutritionist-approved best healthy snacks for weight-loss snacks instead.

    1. Trail mix

    “My ideal healthy snack combines a little of each of the macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates and fats,” says dietician Kath Younger. “I love to rely on the combination of nuts and fruits, either fresh fruit or dried fruit for a longer shelf life. A small handful of trail mix is one of my favourite snacks that won’t spoil my appetite for my next meal.”

    Make it: Combine equal parts unsweetened dried fruit and unsalted roasted nuts (sorry, no M&Ms this time). Reach for a quarter cup of the mixture when you need a boost.

    Per serving: 682 kilojoules, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 3 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 5 g protein.

    The Master Trail Mix

    This mix, with pumpkin seeds and cranberries, will keep you going.

    On The Go Trail Mix

    Cashews, cherries and chocolate drops add sweetness to this nourishing mix.

    Woolworths Trail Mix

    This nut-based trail mix delivers nutrients and trace minerals.

    2. Yoghurt with nuts and berries

    Younger adds a sprinkle of nuts to protein-rich fat-free yoghurt for some satiating healthy fats. A small handful of berries or another chopped fruit will add texture and sweetness, plus filling fibre. It might sound basic, but it’s a classic snack for a reason.

    Make it: Combine 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt, 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup berries in a bowl.

    Per serving: 858 kilojoules, 11 g fat (0 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 43 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 16 g protein.

    3. Sliced tomato with a sprinkle of feta and olive oil

    This savoury dish will make your taste buds happy. Tomatoes pack umami flavour, while feta adds tang and a little bit of salt.

    Make it: Slice 1 medium tomato (or slice up 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes), and top with 28g feta and 1 teaspoon olive oil.

    Per serving: 556 kilojoules, 11 g fat (5 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 265 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 5 g protein.

    4. Shrimp and cocktail sauce

    Shrimp are a great source of lean protein, and it’s easy to find them pre-cooked in any supermarket. (Plus, it makes snack time feel way fancier!)

    Make it: Combine eight cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp with 1/4 cup cocktail sauce for dipping.

    Per serving: 527 kilojoules, 1 g fat (5 g saturated), 16 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 432 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 14 g protein.

    5. Baby carrots with hummus

    Carrots and hummus are great snacks as is, but adding a sprinkle of seasoning will make your taste buds extra happy.

    Make it: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of seasoning on top of 1/4 cup of regular hummus. Eat with 1 cup of baby carrots.

    Per serving: 987 kilojoules, 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 416 mg sodium, 10 g fibre, 6 g protein.

    6. ‘Banana split’

    Dietician Robin Plotkin suggests a healthy version of the classic dessert by halving a banana, then topping it with yoghurt and nuts. It’s a delicious combo of carbs, protein, and healthy fat—more importantly, it’s super fun to eat.

    Make it: Slice a small banana in half vertically. Top the open banana face with 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts.

    Per serving: 1013 kilojoules, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 33 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 23 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 10 g protein.

    7. Egg on toast

    This healthy snack is great for breakfast lovers—it’s as satisfying as a meal, but the slightly smaller portion size won’t weigh you down. Plotkin recommends using hard-boiled eggs for convenience, which you can make ahead or buy. If you have access to a stove, you can also opt for a scrambled or fried egg.

    Make it: Toast a slice of whole-grain toast. Top with one egg, cooked to your preference.

    Per serving: 761 kilojoules, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 221 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 11 g protein.

    8. Chocolate milk

    This might seem like just something for kids, but it legit is a pretty great snack—especially for replenishing post-workout thanks to the simple carbs from the chocolate and the milk’s lactose.

    Make it: Stir 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup into 1 cup 2 per cent milk.

    Per serving: 728 kilojoules, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 25 g carbs, 21 g sugar, 134 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 8 g protein.

    9. White beans and olive tapenade

    “Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Kalamata olive tapenade,” says dietician Kendra Tolbert. “It’s a great combo of fibre, fat, protein and resistant starch that’ll keep you full and satisfied.” Tolbert eats it by the spoonful, but you can also scoop it up with a few whole-grain pita chips or cucumber slices.

    Make it: Mix 1 teaspoon tapenade with 1/2 cup canned white beans (drained and rinsed).

    Per serving: 728 kilojoules, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 121 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 6 g protein.

    10. Dates and pistachios

    “It’s the usual fruit and nuts combo, but a little more sophisticated,” says Tolbert. Dates have a honey-like sweetness, which combines with the strong flavour of pistachios into a snack that feels like dessert.

    Make it: Combine 2 pitted dates with 2 tablespoons pistachios.

    Per serving: 891 kilojoules, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 40 g carbs, 33 g sugar, 35 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 4 g protein.

    11. Edamame with sea salt

    Plotkin loves sprinkling edamame, in its shell or out, with a bit of sea salt. In addition to plant-based protein, you get fibre and a good dose of potassium.

    Make it: Drizzle 1/2 cup shelled edamame with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

    Per serving: 586 kilojoules, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 8 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 481 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 8 g protein.

    12. PB-chocolate apple ‘nachos’

    This sounds crazy-indulgent, but it’s actually a well-balanced snack, says Plotkin. You’ll get protein and lots of fibre, which will help slow the digestion of the little bit of added sugar from dark chocolate (preventing a mid-afternoon crash).

    Make it: Thinly slice a medium apple, then drizzle them with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 15g melted dark chocolate.

    Per serving: 1058 kilojoules, 13 g fat (4 g saturated), 35 g carbs, 25 g sugar, 74 mg sodium, 7 g fibre, 4 g protein.

    Buttanutt Peanut Butter

    This creamy nothing-but-nuts mix smooths over everything from oats to crackers.

    Simple Truth Smooth Peanut Butter

    This roasted peanut butter has no sugar added.

    Faithful To Nature Crunchy Peanut Butter

    This crunchy peanut butter adds texture, taste & plant-based nutrients to your meals.

    13. Microwave egg taco

    Get creative with your microwave and make a tasty snack with enough protein to carry you to your next meal.

    Make it: “Crack one egg into a microwave-safe mug and cook for 90 seconds,” says Plotkin. Immediately stir in 15g shredded cheddar, then serve inside a small whole-wheat tortilla.

    Per serving: 761 kilojoules, 10 g fat (5 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 360 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 11 g protein.

    14. Roasted chickpeas

    “If you’re craving something salty and crunchy, roasted beans are a much better option than chips thanks to their combo of protein and fibre, says dietician Jessica Levinson.

    Make it: Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, then toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spice you want. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then eat. One batch makes three servings.

    Per serving: 669 kilojoules, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 292 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 5 g protein.

    15. Almond butter crackers

    “Peanut butter crackers serve as a quick option for people on the run, but the pre-packaged snack can have many hidden ingredients and kilojoules,” says dietician Shamera Robinson. DIY it instead.

    Make it: Spread 1 tablespoon almond butter (or any nut or seed butter) between 28g whole grain crackers.

    Per serving: 974 kilojoules, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 227 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 8 g protein.

    16. Homemade popcorn

    “Popcorn is a great snack to fill up on,” says Robinson, thanks to all the fibre. And you don’t have to stick with the plain stuff, either. “Try sprinkling garlic powder and dried rosemary (or Italian seasoning) for extra flavour,” suggests Robinson.

    Make it: Pop 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in 1/2 Tbsp canola oil in a large saucepan on the stove. Top with your favourite herbs or spices.

    Per serving: 674 kilojoules, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 15 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 4 g protein.

    17. DIY tzatziki dip with veggies

    Greek yoghurt is a great high-protein snack that is usually sweet. However, you can easily turn that into a savoury snack by making tzatziki.

    Make it: Add grated cucumber, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and lemon juice to 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt. Use 1 cup carrot or cucumber sticks for dipping.

    Per serving: 594 kilojoules, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 395 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 9 g protein.

    18. Cottage cheese with almonds and honey

    “This creamy-crunchy-sweet combo is second to none,” says Robinson. The cottage cheese is rich in protein, while almonds add crunch and healthy fats. And a hint of honey makes things sweet without going overboard on added sugar.

    Make it: Top 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons slivered almonds and 1 teaspoon honey.

    Per serving: 820 kilojoules, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 363 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 17 g protein.

    19. Biltong with raisins

    “The ideal snack is portable and packed with satisfying lean protein,” says dietician Nicole Rodriguez. Biltong fits the bill, and most brands pack a good amount of protein for less kilojoules. Look for lower salt varieties. Pair with raisins for some energising carbs and filling fibre.

    Make it: Combine 28g biltong with 2 tablespoons raisins.

    Per serving: 615 kilojoules, 1 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 390 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 15 g protein.

    20. Pear and stringy cheese

    If you love fancy cheese plates for their combination of sweet, salty, and creamy flavours, you’ll love this less-fussy snack. Pears have natural sugar and lots of fibre, while stringy cheese (you can get it at Woolies) is an easy way to get some satiating fat and protein in on the go.

    Make it: Slice one medium pear. Eat with one low-fat stringy cheese.

    Per serving: 761 kilojoules, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 172 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 8 g protein.

    This article was originally published on More

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    “Here’s How I Lost Over 20 Kilos And Regained My Confidence”

    One woman, powered by research and a strong resolve, lost over 20 kilos in just two years. Here’s how Carol did it.

    When 40-year-old Carol Mgenge was young, she thought that being big was natural for her body, taking the cue from her big-boned family. “I think it was [in] high school where I realized that no, it’s not normal for me to be this size,” she recalls. During her time at school, she started becoming interested in fashion but felt left out when clothes didn’t fit the way they were supposed to. “So I tried in school to get into sports, but I couldn’t get into any sport because of my size,” she says.

    She kept struggling along, trying different forms of exercise to lose weight. “I tried weightlifting, [but] nothing worked, actually,” she says. As time went on, she started accepting her weight but wasn’t happy with it. “And then I started realizing ‘No, you know what, maybe they are right. Maybe I’m born this way and that’s that,” she says.

    The turning point

    At the age of 36, Carol finished her studies and was about to graduate. As is custom, she wanted to look her best on stage, so she sought out the perfect graduation dress. “There was this pretty dress that I wanted and it couldn’t fit me,” she recalls. “I was so broken.” Carol resorted to asking someone to custom-make the dress for her, but it wasn’t what she wanted. She resorted to going back to the gym to try and shift kilos, but it took her two years to lose only two kilograms.

    “I wanted to quit but I said to myself, ‘You know what, let me just do this and break the myth that says that in my family, we are big’,” she explains. From then on, Carol made more of an effort and started doing research. “You’ll be surprised by all the wrong information you are given online,” Carol notes. She tried different diets in an effort to really shed some weight, even opting for something called the egg diet, where she ate tiny portions, including an egg and lots of citruses. While it worked, it wasn’t sustainable and once she stopped, the kilos piled back on. “I started doing my research and going for 20-minute walks every day, then doing park runs on Saturdays. But I was not losing any weight,” she says.

    The Change

    Carol, like most of us, scrolls through Instagram and follows weight loss and wellness pages as inspiration. It was there that she came across a Women’s Health live workout. Carol joined in and was struck by something the trainer said at the end. “You don’t have to be strict on yourself; put yourself under pressure for weight loss. Just take your time,” the trainer had said, adding, “80% of weight loss is down to what you eat and the other 20% is exercise.” This stuck out to Carol. At the time, she realized that she’d been eating lots of junk food for comfort. She decided to try something new. She opted for healthier, nourishing meals and stocked up on protein sources. “It works for me. I eat lots of protein now,” she adds. “I started watching what I each and followed the recipes that are published in Women’s Health magazine, which help me a great deal and improved my cooking as well.”

    Carol opted for filling smoothies for breakfast, then a healthy snack at around 11 am, like avocado. She’d have fish for lunch and get more exercise. Dinner would be protein-packed, with veggies. She also loves weightlifting and adds in cardio and dancing.

    Carol Mgenge’s weight loss results

    Over the course of two years, Carol lost more weight than she’d ever lost before. When she started, she weighed in at 98kg. Now, she weighs 74kg and can fit into clothes she couldn’t wear before. “I now wear a size 36, and I’d never worn a size 36 in my life,” she marvels. Now, Carol is training for a marathon. She also established a positive dialogue with her body. “Another thing I discovered is that your body talks to you. If I need water, my body tells me, and I drink water, not cooldrink,” she notes.

    To her, her journey is as much about weight loss as it is about demystifying cultural norms. “When you are a big, thick woman, they give you this impression that that’s how a woman is supposed to be,” Carol says. “And then you forget about what you want, how do you feel? And then how is going to affect you in the long run especially when you are a teen, going into womanhood.” Carol says her journey has impacted her life in many ways, including boosting her confidence. She’s now able to stand up in church and speak more confidently in ways she didn’t before. “I got into leadership; I’m able to stand in the pulpit and say something and I’m more comfortable now,” she says. And what better reward is there than that, really? More

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    Um, People Are Using Sea Moss For Weight Loss But Does It Work?

    There is seemingly no end to what we’ll try to keep trim: down spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and even combine coffee with lemons. Now, enter the new It-Girl of weight loss: sea moss.

    The spiny plant, which grows abundantly in the ocean, has been used for ages as a thickening agent, because of a compound called carrageenan. Now, people are eating spoonfuls of the stuff in the hope that it’ll shift kilos, clear up skin and boost their health.

    What is sea moss?

    Sea moss is a sea vegetable that’s used commercially to thicken foods. Scientifically, it’s known by the name Chondrus crispus, and it’s a type of algae that grows along Atlantic coasts. It’s also known as Irish Moss. It grows in different colours, from purple, white and green, and each have their own benefits.

    What are the benefits of sea moss?

    “Up until recently, sea moss had not been extensively studied, but its benefits are believed to be like those of other seaweeds,” says registered dietician Cally Frost of Nutritional Solutions.

    They contain a few vitamins and minerals that have escalated their status from overlooked seaweed to certified superfood. Per the USDA, sea moss is low in calories and has a moderate amount of protein, while being high in fibre. It’s also high in calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. Because it’s a sea veg, sea moss supports thyroid health because it’s high in iodine, a micronutrient that’s clutch for healthy thyroid function. They’re also touted to be imbibed with live bacteria, which supports a healthy gut.

    “There are, however, many factors that can reduce the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of seaweed components and further randomised controlled clinical trials are required in large human cohorts.,” says Cally.

    Sea moss also supports your immune system, since they’re rich in bioactive compounds like proteins, peptides and amino acids. These “are responsible for imparting various health benefits and immune system support,” says Cally. But they’re not the Holy Grail.

    “Whilst these elements are important, it is by no means superior to supporting your immune system through a healthy lifestyle such as eating nutrient rich food sources, regular exercise, cessation of smoking and alcohol etc,” Cally cautions.

    So, does sea moss work for weight loss?

    It might. But that’s only due to a few factors, the biggest of which is its high fibre content. Fibre isn’t digested in the gut, which leads to a feeling of satiety for longer, making you eat less in the long run. But tons of foods are high in fibre, like lentils, beans and complex carbohydrates. So filling up with those could mitigate the need to add sea moss into your diet.

    Next, sea moss is full of a compound, fucoxanthin, which some studies in rats have found can help with fat metabolism and could prevent the absorption of fat. But we need more studies to understand this process more fully in humans.

    “By adding sea moss to the diet, a person may inadvertently be improving other factors of their diet at the same time, which may contribute to weight loss,” says Cally. “There are currently no scientific articles or research to support the claim that sea moss directly facilitates weight loss.”

    What are the downsides?

    Before using any product, it’s important to do your research and see if the ingredient list stacks up. Since it’s a key contributor of iodine, you’d need to make sure you don’t take too much, especially if you’re struggling with hyperthyroidism or take thyroid medication. Then there’s the issue of heavy metals. “Seaweeds possess the risk of accumulating heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead. This depends on where it has been harvested from,” Cally notes.

    “There is still so much to learn about the efficacy and safety of sea moss, and it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to not get caught up in the hype of the next trend, especially if the source of information is not coming from an accredited health care professional.” More

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    5 Easy Eating Habits That’ll Help You Lose Weight And Get Healthier

    It’s time to ditch the fad diets and embrace the power of simple, healthy eating habits. These habits may seem small, but they can have a big impact on your overall well-being. By adopting these righteous rituals, you can change your body for the better and feel your best. And the best part?

    These habits aren’t complicated or time-consuming. They can easily be integrated into your daily routine without much effort. So, whether it’s swapping out sugary drinks for water, adding more veggies to your plate, or eating mindfully, these gastronomic good deeds should be at the top of your to-do list today.

    Habit 1: Say yes to beans

    Top your salads with half a cup of black beans or kidney beans. Legume eaters have smaller waistlines and a 22% lower risk of obesity than bean shunners.

    Faithful to Nature Black Beans

    Woolworths Split Red Lentils

    Komati White Kidney Beans

    Habit 2: Squeeze in goodness

    Squeeze a lemon wedge into every glass of water you drink. One lemon provides just 63kJ, but more than 45 percent of your daily immune-boosting vitamin C (and it costs a lot less than flavoured bottled water).

    Habit 3: Garlic for the win

    Use crushed garlic when cooking vegetables. It slashes your risk of everything from food-borne illnesses to heart disease and the common cold.

    Habit 4: An apple (or two) a day…

    Eat two apples as an afternoon snack. They act as nature’s energy bar and, if you leave their skin on, two of these crunchy gems help you meet 20 percent of your daily fibre quota for just 500kJ. They also deliver loads of the antioxidant vitamin C and the mineral potassium, which reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease while soothing feelings of anxiety, irritability and stress.

    UCook Curried Chicken & Butternut Recipe

    5. Ed’s tip: UCook Meal Kits

    One of the biggest saboteurs of healthy eating? Time.

    Try the UCook meal kits or frozen dishes to take out the hassle of planning dinner tonight. They offer restaurant-quality meals planned, packed and delivered to your doorstep.

    Opt for the Veggie and Carb Conscious options.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More