Healthy Meals- Baked Parm Tomatoes

I have a tomato obsession. I love their sweet juiciness and how they can be added to pretty much any dish….or those little baby cherry guys can be eaten as a snack. 
This version can be used as a side dish with (I think) pretty much any meal of the day or as a snack!! This totally reminds me of brushetta without the bread!
 

What you need….
4 tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


What you need to do…
Preheat your oven 450° F.
On a baking sheet, place tomatoes cut side up
Top those babies with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. 

Drizzle with oil & bake until the tomatoes are nice & tender

This should only take about 15 minutes.

As always, if you make this…I wanna hear what you think! Lemme know!

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Healthy Snack Idea- Strawberry Greek Yogurt Balls

dip strawberries in plain greek yogurt & freeze for a healthy snack
Don’t these look so good?!?! I want to lick them!! lol 

You can make them by dipping strawberries (halved or whole) in vanilla greek yogurt. Simply place on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and freezing. Voila: Yogurt-covered strawberries!

You can get adventurousness and try other fruit as well! Perfect as an afternoon snack!

Rachel’s Meal Plan Bikini Season!

Not many people can say that they have an awesome friend who sends them delicious meal plans, but I can!!! My awesome (and gorgeous) friend sent me this amazing meal plan. You HAVE to check out her blog! http://rachelcbrooke.blogspot.com/  

Are you getting ready for bikini season?

Monday

   *********************************
Breakfast 1/4 cup High Fiber Cereal
(oatmeal is a good option) sprinkled with 
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed and cinnamon  with
1 cup fat-free milk
1 small sliced banana
Morning Snack A few Tbsp Hummus (I like spinach artichoke)
Carrot sticks to dip into Hummus

Lunch Chopped Chef’s Salad
Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, 
2 egg whites, 3 oz turkey, and 1 oz cheddar
cheese tossed with balsamic vinagerette or 
olive oil and vinegar
Afternoon Snack 2 slices of turkey on whole wheat wrap 
with 1/4 avocado
Dinner  4 oz Beef Tenderloin
Steamed red potato, 2 tbsp parmesan on top
1 cup Steamed green beans
 ****************************
Tuesday
Breakfast 3 scrambled egg white
topped with
1 oz reduced-fat Cheddar cheese 
wrapped in small whole wheat torilla
small fat-free latte or green tea
Morning Snack 1 hard-boiled egg
1 cup sugar snap peas 


Lunch 1 (4 oz) can tuna in water, with Romaine  
lettuce and tomatoes in 1/2 a whole 
wheat pita
Add hummus for taste (roasted red 0
pepper would be good with this)
Afternoon Snack Make a trail mix- 18 pistachios
1 Tbsp dried cherries 
1/4 cup oat brank flakes
Dinner  3 oz salmon, brushed with olive oil and
bake, skin side down, for about 10 min
at 425 deg
Steamed artichoke
Mixed green salad
1 Tbsp Raspberry vinaigrette
1/2 cup quinoa

**************************************
Wednesday
Breakfast Omellete- 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, 
spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms
1 slice of whole wheat toast
1 cup fat-free milk
Morning Snack 1 oz of cheddar cheese or string cheese
1 cup of sliced red and yellow bell 
pepper, hummus for dip
Lunch 4 oz sliced grilled chicken in large 
lettuce leaf. Top with chopped bell 
pepper, artichoke hearts, and 1 oz part-
skim mozarella cheese, and honey 
mustard
1 cup of raspberries
Afternoon Snack 100- calorie pack of microwave 
popcorn sprinkled with 2 Tbsp of 
parmesan cheese
Dinner  4 oz Pork Tenderloin seasoned with salt
and pepper and roasted at 350 deg for 
15 min (add some type of spices that you 
like)
Steamed green beans
Spinach salad with sliced cherry 
tomatoes and red onions         ******************************

**************************
Thursday
Breakfast 1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
with 1 Tbsp chopped almonds, 2 Tbsp 
wheat germ, and 1 cup diced mango

Morning Snack 1/2 nonfat cottage cheese
1/2 cup sliced zucchini (onion powder)

Lunch 1 cup black bean soup
mixed green salad with 
1 Tbsp vinaigrette and 2 high-fiber 
crackers (2 Tbsp guacamole or hummus)

Afternoon Snack 2 Fiber crackers
2 tsp almond butter (honey)

Dinner  5 medium shrimp (sauteed, baked, or 
grilled0, tossed with 1/2 cup whole-
wheat pasta, and 2 tsp olive oil
Steamed broccoli
 ************************
**************************
Friday
Breakfast 1 whole grain frozen waffle
spread with 2 tsp all natural peanut
butter
1 cup fat free milk
1 cup papaya
Morning Snack 1/2 avocado (lemon juice)

Lunch 2 Tbsp hummus, 3 oz turkey, 
2 Tbsp guacamole, and 1 tomato
slice layered on 1 slice of whole 
wheat bread
Afternoon Snack Sweet shake- 1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup ice, 1/2 banana,
2 tsp peanut butter, 1 tsp cocoa 
powder, 1/2 tsp nutmeg & cin
Dinner  4 oz boneless, skinless chicken 
breast
Steamed asparagus
mixed green salad with 1 Tbsp of
vinaigrette

************************

Saturday  Sunday
Breakfast 1 whole wheat English Muf 1 packet plain instant oatmeal 
topped with 2 scrambled egg prepared with fat-free milk, 
whites, 2 slices tomato, 1 slice topped with 7 chopped 
red onion, and 1 oz low-fat  walnut halves, and 1 finely 
cheese chopped apple (cinnamon)
8 oz green tea
Morning Snack 1/2 cup steamed edamame  18 pistachios
(add pepper) 1 cup sliced cucumber
Lunch 2 high-fiber crackers, 6 large 4 oz grilled salmon over 
olives, 4 Tbsp hummus, sliced romaine lettuce with 1 oz 
cucumber, and red and yellow reduced fat feta cheese, cherry
peppers combined on plate  tomatoes, and 1 Tbsp 
1 cup of tomato soup vinaigrette
Afternoon Snack 1 cup fat free chocolat milk Small whole-wheat wrap with 
sliced tomato and 1 Tbsp
hummus
Dinner  1 breast of chicken on salad of 4 oz cod cooked 2 to 3 min per
baby spinach, 1 oz reduced-fat side, add spanish spice mix 
feta cheese, and balsamic  mango salsa to put on top
vinegar Roasted brussel sprouts
Mixed green salad with 2 tsp 
vinaigrette
Small Baked Sweet Potato


Bikini Meal Plan

With only 3 weeks until the Bahamas, I’m tightening the reigns on my diet and really focusing on leaning out. 

sooo whats on the menu this week?

Monday
Meal 1
1 (6 oz) container Greek yogurt 0%
1/4 cup wheat bran
cinnamon
Truvia or Stevia Extract
(make a pudding! mix ingredients with a lil water)

Meal 2

Meal 3
2 cups asparagus
3 oz pink salmon 

Meal 4
2 cup broccoli
1/2 container Greek Yogurt 0% 

Meal 5
1/2 container Greek Yogurt 0%
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Truvia or Stevia Extract
1/2 chocolate protein powder
(mix all ingredients, add a lil bit of water)

Meal 6
8, yes 8 cups of broccoli
3 oz pink salmon
spice up with mustard 

********************

Tuesday
Meal 1
1 Cup Wheat Bran
3 tbsp whole flax seed
cinnamon
Truvia or Stevia Extract
1 scoop protein powder
1 cup Almond milk
12 Almonds

Meal 2
3 cups Green beans
5 large egg whites

Meal 3

Meal 4
5 cups green beans
5 egg whites

Meal 5 
8 cups veggies
7 egg whites

Meal 6 
(1) 6oz container of 0% greek yogurt
1 packet truvia
cinnamon

********************

Wednesday
Meal 1
1 Cup Wheat Bran
3 tbsp whole flax seed
cinnamon
Truvia or Stevia Extract
1 Scoop Protein Powder
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese

Meal 2
3 oz chicken breast
1 tbsp mustard 
3 cups of cucumbers

Meal 3
3 cups of Mushrooms
2 cups carrots (I like baby carrots!)
3 oz chicken breast

Meal 4
Shakeology with 2 cups Almond milk
handful of ice
espresso or coffee, sweetener to taste

Meal 5
3 oz Chicken Breast 
5 cups shredded cabbage
mustard
shirataki noodles (unlimited! these can be found in the refrigerated section near the tofu!)

Meal 6
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
3 cups cucumbers

********************

Thursday

Meal 1
1 Container 0% Greek Yogurt 6oz
1/4 Cup Wheat Bran
cinnamon
Truvia or Stevia Extract
10 Almonds
Mix into a pudding, add water if necessary

Meal 2

Meal 3
3 cups asparagus
4 oz pink salmon
season

Meal 4
2 cups broccoli
1/2 container 0% greek yogurt, 6oz
Curry powder

Meal 5 
1/2 container Greek Yogurt 0%
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Truvia or Stevia Extract
1/2 chocolate protein powder
(mix all ingredients, add a lil bit of water)

Meal 6
10 cups broccoli
3 oz pink salmon

********************

Friday 
Meal 1
1 Cup Wheat Bran
3 tbsp whole flax seed
cinnamon
stevia extract
1 scoop protein powder
12 Almonds

Meal 2

Meal 3
3 cups mushrooms
2 cups carrots
3 oz chicken

Meal 4
5 oz cooked shrimp
2 cups veggies

Meal 5
4oz tilapia
1 cup veggies

Meal 6
11 cups veggies
5 oz shrimp

How to Get back on Track!

Hi everyone!!!
Sometimes you just have to overindulge in your favorite foods with friends & family  on the  weekends.   It’s okay though. That’s what quality time is all about!  
Don’t live with regret… slipping up is good sometimes-   It makes you want to get back on track that much more!  It gives you more motivation and drive 🙂
We’re thinking there might be some of you that feel the same way as us!  Bouncing back is KEY. Here’s how to do it…
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1.  Drink UP!!!

After tons of activity and possibly your healthy cocktails, you’re very dehydrated.  Today & tomorrow, focus oniStock_000015239014XSmall drinking half your body weight in water throughout the day.  ex.. 150lbs = 75 ounces of water.  This will help with the spiraling cravings for sugary food from the weekend. Remember- love mixing our water with natural things to flavor it. Try cucumber and mint- this will also help with you pH levels- read below 🙂

2.  RAW BABY!

This word can scare a lot of people.  RAW food diets can be intimidating, but focus on this for today and tomorrow.  Your digestive system has been in overdrive all weekend.  Give it a break- JUST LIKE YOUR BODY!!  Eat mostly raw today and tomorrow because your body will easily absorb the nutrients, it will cleanse your system for a day or two and you’ll feel lighter.  Don’t cook your raw food either- unless you sneak some lean meat in there. (tempeh, tofu and fish is best to have at 2 meals if you’re going to have some lean protein over the next couple days.) 
Raw foods for YOU!
  • Fruits – apples, bananas, papaya (has break digestive enzymes), grapefruit, watermelon, kiwi, berries, mangos etc…
  • Vegetables – KALE (a great source of fiber), broccoli, spinach, green beans, zuccini, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, ONIONS – (cleanse the liver) peppers etc…
  • Avocado
  • Wheat grass & psyllium husk!! – psyllium husk is an AMAZING source of fiber!  Mix 1 tbs with almond milk twice a day for the next 2 days to help cleanse your system. i buy the natural flavor at whole foods, but here’s a link to their flavored.
  • Some nuts & seeds- keep these on the low side for the next day.
  • Raw black beans or garbanzo beans – loaded with fiber & nutrients
  • Herbs & Spices – cinnamon, parsley, basil, cilantro, cayenne, ginger, onion powder, garlic, mint etc…
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favorite RAW smoothie to help bounce back…
BOUNCE BACK SMOOTHIE
– 1 cup kale, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cucumber, 3 strawberries, 4 fresh mint sprigs (leaves), pinch of ginger, 1 tbs psyllium husk, 1 tbs wheatgrass, 1/2 cup fresh pineapple or apple juice.  (depending on the size of  your fruit & veggies, add a little water if you need to help it blend.)


3.  Bring your ACID LEVELS down

Having the right Alkaline Balance is important for many reasons including improved energy levels, decreased inflammation, disease prevention and many more.  After a big weekend, you’re probably very acidic.  If you consumed any processed foods, crackers, chips, sugary treats, any meat, fish, bread, dairy, bad fats and or alcohol or wine, then you need to balance your pH girl!

Focus on eating the foods above that are more alkaline foods. Vegetables – especially green leafy vegetables, your herbs listed above, cucumber, avocado and wheat grass.  

4.  Cardio & weights

You have some extra glycogen stored in your muscles from possibly overeating. The best way to burn through it before it’s stored as fat is to increase your cardio and hit the weights for a full body routine.  A HIIT- a 20-30 minute routine is perfect to burn up the extra sugar stored in your body and to combine it with a full body toning routine.    Get burning and remember #1… hydrate 🙂
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5.  Walk & Rest

Tonight, walk after dinner for a good 30 minutes.  Get out and enjoy some solitude after a busy weekend of entertaining.  When you hit the hay, drink a full glass of water before you fall asleep, take a multi vitamin and try to dream for at least 7.5 hours.
Okay- ready?  Now apply 🙂   love you guys!!

Brazil Butt Lift!



25 days until the Bahamas!

It’s that time again, the start to another Bombshell Challenge! Get your new mindset that THIS IS IT!!! This is the challenge that will get your bum into gear. I am HERE to HELP you achieve all the goals you have ever set for yourself and I want you to succeed! In order to set you up for success, we want to be sure you are armed with all the right tools so that you can NOT fail.



If you are fully committed to this challenge you MUST:


1. Check-in! Check-in with on our private Facebook group and each other every day!! We’re here to support you and get you to your goals! We’re holding you accountable!! Accountability ~ will keep you on track: 


First – share your workouts with other challengers AND some close friends/family! Having them on your side will make sticking to your efforts much easier! You help others get to the top, and they will thank you by providing you with motivation in return! It’s a 100% Win/Win.. 

Second – use the entire Team Beachbody/Bombshell community to your advantage! Check-in each day with a breakdown of your Healthy Meals, Check-in after each workout and Check-in with any motivational success stories or thoughts you have. If your experiences help even one person get over that ‘hump’ wouldn’t it be worth it?! 
Check-in on FacebookTwitter and especially the Bombshells on facebook!! Get inspired 🙂 
Once you’re in the Challenge group, I’ll add ya to our very own secret group! 


2. Daily Challenges ~ You’ll be reminded each day that there is something new you are going to try! Being sure to set time aside for you is just as important as brushing your teeth and hydrating enough each day 🙂


3. Bombshell Calendar ~ Print it out and stick it on your computer, your fridge or even your Dashboard… anywhere you are sure to see it multiple times throughout the day. This will help you make sure never to miss out on what you need to do each day!


4. Shakeology- We are going to be replacing one meal a day with Shakeology! 


5. Proper Nutrition ~ Proper nutrition is a MUST!! I’m going to help get you there! With the Challenge packs, you get the Team Beachbody membership for FREE for 30 days. That gets you meal plans, grocery lists and a custom plan just for you! By sticking to the meal plan, you will be sure that you aren’t taking in the wrong foods, or even the right foods at the wrong times! Follow it to get the best shot at holding on to those results for the long-term!


6. Motivation from your coach! ~ Remember that I’m here to help you get to where you have always dreamed of being! Expect daily motivation & challenges to really show you how much you are capable of 🙂 





Stick to the plan and don’t worry if you fall off a bit here & there. Bounce back as soon & as strong as you can, and pick up where you left off! Your body will learn to adapt to the new pace faster than you ever imagined 🙂


Your nutrition rules throughout the challenge…


  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water… at least. Ex: 150 lbs = 75 ounces throughout the day.
  • Eat a LEAN, GREEN & CLEAN dinner!!! No heavy starches (breads), cheeses or fried food at dinner. Yes… you can have the occasional drink, but keep it minimal. We prefer you to have a glass of red wine a couple times a week or a vodka soda with fresh lime or crushed raspberries.
  • Say bye-bye to all chemicals in your diet that causes you to hold onto stubborn fat cells & cause hunger and cellulite, and you can say hello to abs, a healthy brain, healthy joints, a functioning liver, beautiful skin and a higher metabolism. Chemicals in artificial sweeteners can also cause cancer, so we’re going to get rid of them for 6 weeks… at least! Stay all natural and be clear of aspartame, ‘skinny lattes’ & diet sodas and stick to the real stuff. We like organic sugar, almond milk instead of creamers, soda waters with fruit instead of soda, stevia packets instead of aspartame, agave instead of splenda etc… if you EVER have any questions about this, please ask!

Where are the harsh chemicals hidden? Diet coke and most diet sodas, most flavored waters (unless all natural), splenda packets when you get your coffee, boxed ‘diet’ foods, non-organic yogurt (which is loaded, by the way), sugar-free coffee creamers, some ‘protein bars’ and some protein powders that aren’t organic. 


You should be able to pronounce all ingredients on the side of your packaging. This is SO important. You’re now asking, well what do I eat!? Ask me anytime, but stick to real food that is LEAN & CLEAN.


What do we drink instead of soda? A nice glass of water will do. Try adding crushed fresh fruit to your water. Instead of splenda in your coffee, add some all natural honey or 1 natural sugar packet. YES, I’m saying to have calories instead of chemicals. You’re abs and body will thank us later. What about yogurt? Instead of the non-organic yogurts, grab an all natural kind, like 0%-1% Chobani, Fage, or Stonyfield Greek yogurt~ they’re loaded with protein too!


And speaking of protein… protein never upset anyone’s stomach. If you’re eating lean, clean protein, you will not get gassy or bloated. Why do some protein powders cause this? It’s not the protein, but the chemicals that are in them to mask the taste. We like organic, sprouted brown rice protein. We’ve fallen victim to the protein powders before, so check your labels and don’t make our mistake too. Okay, we could go on for hours…


What to avoid… Ingredients that you can’t pronounce and splenda, aspartame & sweet ‘N low. Also, watch for high fructose corn syrup and hidden sugars in ‘low fat foods’. We know this seems like a lot, but when you think about it, just eat what mother nature gave you!!! You’ll end up with a lean, toned body when you eat natural. It doesn’t need to be organic either. Just natural.



2012!!!


The focus is on continuing to make fitness fun!!! You’ve got to keep it exciting! Instead of doing the same thing ever day, or even going to the same place, mix it up! 

Open up your options to include new activities or classes you’ve never tried before! When was the last time you did something for the first time?! Whatever the answer is, it probably wasn’t recent enough 🙂 


How to make 2012 YOUR year!


Push Yourself! ~ When was the last time you played in an organized sports league? Join a soccer program, or a flag football, or even a Water Polo league! You’d be surprised at how many your town offers. You may even start making friends that are there for the same reason 🙂 Bonus!


Get your Friends Involved! ~ How many of your friends can you think of who are looking for the same excitement and fun in their lives… we know of a few, so we grab them by the hand & introduce them to to the workouts you love! Invite them to join the group! Have them introduce you to new things that they love! I’ve gone to jazzercise classes, zumba…you name it- Ive tried it! Whichever way it works out, get your friends involved!


Create a Goal together! ~ Plan a beach trip with your friends! This way you all have a common goal to work towards, and a specific time frame to get it done it! You want to glow in those cute bikinis, and look fierce out at night in those loose fitting sun-dresses! Get to work.


Sign up for something you’ve NEVER Done! ~ Tough Mudder? 10k race? Triathalon?! Do something you never thought you’d be able to do, and give yourself time to train. You’ll be AMAZED at how focused you become when you have a deadline approaching! Remember what we’ve said in the past, The only difference between a Dream and a Goal is the Deadline 🙂


Have FUN with it! ~ It’s sooo important to remember to enjoy the challenges, enjoy the effort, and enjoy the journey! We all know the saying ‘A Watched pot never Boils’.. same is true for fitness.. ‘A Watched Scale NEVER MOVES!’ Don’t get discouraged if you don’t lose that 12 lbs overnight, or if you don’t see your abs come through the day after a great core workout.. enjoy the exercise, enjoy the sweat, enjoy the challenge! You’ll go a lot further with your results than you can imagine! Especially since those that don’t work for the result end up crash dieting, seeing a small, superficial result and quit! Then they are back to where they were, and just as unhappy as before. Stick to the plan, and have FUN with the journey!




Your first challenge? Share this with a friend or family member & commit to do the challenge together 🙂

Your Coach, 

Kati 
xoxoox

Healthy Eating Tips!

Eat Regularly – Make sure you eat nutritious-clean food at regular intervals throughout the day. This speeds up your metabolism and craving those naughty foods!
Drink Plenty of Water – Drinking 60 oz. of water a day is essential for everyday life. It assists with weight loss by flushing any toxins out and provides energy and recovery for your workouts!
Be Prepared – This is one of the most important tips! Planning your days eating regime ahead of time can make a world of difference! Pack your lunch with healthy snacks, fruit, veg and protein.
Exercise in the Morning – Whether its a 10min walk on the way to work or a 1 hour proper workout, any form of exercise will get blood pumping, brain working and start those natural endorphins for a positive happy day ahead.
Green Tea – Not only is it a great Antioxidant but will assist with weight loss too.
Coconut Oil – The list of benefits for eating and cooking with coconut oil are endless…. It has been described as the “Healthiest Oil on Earth”. Include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, cancer, HIV and dental care, and bone strength. (to0 name a few….)
Supplementation – Pre-Workout with Whey, Post-Workout with whey + Flaxseed oil. I also recommend taking a good Multi-vitamin, Vitamin C and Omega Oil. To support Muscle recovery Magnesium spray is a fantastic option, straight on the legs which is the best place to absorb.
Few more reasons why you should take supplements:
  • Environmental pollution – Supplements detoxify the body against pollution & boost the immune system
  • Soil depletion – Aggressive farming, use or artificial fertilizers and synthetic pesticides have caused soil depletion. As a result, nutritional values of fruits and vegetables are greatly reduced.
  • Lifestyle/Stress – Depending on lifestyle Excessive alcohol consumption & smoking can impair the body’s ability to absorb many nutrients and inhibits the production of digestive enzymes. Stress can deplete your energy, lead to acceleration of aging process and degenerative diseases.

Cleanse – I am a big believer in cleansing. This detoxifies the system allowing the body to ‘let go’ of its stored fat.  

Tone It Up Girls

I love love love sharing my favorite websites with you guys! I cannot get enough of the Tone It Up girls! they are so cute, fun and always have advice to offer! Check out this scrumptious breakfast recipe! and peruse the rest of their site while youre at it! toneitup.com

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Low carb, low fat & delicious! (This recipe is part of the Tone It Up Nutrition System! & 7 Day Slim Down)
A lot of you have been asking about our secret weapon in the morning and how we get our day started. We make our Tone It Up Protein Pancakes!!
They are easy to make and all you need is about 5 minutes..
Ingredients:
1/4 cup egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (organic brown rice protein or whey)- visit your local nutrition store or wholefoods!
2 tbs vanilla almond milk or skim
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs ground flaxseed
After above ingredients are mixed together add 1/2 banana (mashed)- mash first, then add!!
Add a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
Pour into a pan that has been sprayed with olive oil cooking spray ~ heat on medium. Cook one side until you see the little bubbles.. just like cooking any pancake! Flip over (careful!) and cook on the other size until the middle is done (peek inside with a fork).
Top with two sliced strawberries and optional powdered stevia. ENJOY your protein pancakes 🙂

A Low Calorie Snack Survival Guide

Dieting can be a struggle for even the most disciplined. Going against your cravings, turning down tasty desserts, and making wise restaurant choices is difficult for even those of us who give advice about it. And although recent studies show that caloric restriction has wide-ranging health benefits and may offer protection against age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease*, feeling hunger pains can make it a Herculean task. Anyone that was sent to bed as a child without dinner can attest to how uncomfortable falling asleep can be when your stomach is empty. Thanks a lot, Mom.


We’re all well aware that in order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories in a day than you consume. And for most people, consuming small meals several times a day is much more effective than consuming one or two giant ones, but what happens if you have followed your eating plan to the letter, and that grumbling in your tummy is still there? Fear not! There are a plethora of low-calorie foods out there that can fill up your stomach without affecting your calorie count for the day too adversely.

Vegetables
Most of us don’t crave vegetables in our time of dieting need, but because of their low calorie count and high fiber count, they can push away hunger very quickly. If you’re craving salt, a touch of fat-free dressing can spruce up even the most boring produce. For the purpose of low-calorie snacking, aim for the non-starch variety (avoid potatoes, corn, peas, carrots). And, remember, the more water in the vegetable, the better. Some great choices include:


1. Celery. This super crunchy friend has 6 calories, 1.5 grams of carbohydrates, 0.7 grams of fiber, no fat, and 0.3 grams of protein per stalk.


2. Cucumbers. Previous to pickling, cucumbers have 14 calories, 2.8 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, no fat, and 0.4 grams of protein per 1-cup sliced serving.


3. Bell peppers. Colorful and slightly sweet, bell peppers have 20 calories, 4.8 grams of carbohydrates, 1.5 grams of fiber, no fat, and 0.7 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving.

Fruits
Fruit is a bit tricky, as the calorie counts vary per item, and there is a lot of sugar in fruit. Remember the water rule, and you will be in fairly good shape. Also, really watch your portion size. A cup of watermelon is a great choice, while an entire watermelon will not serve you well. If you’re looking at the frozen varieties, make sure that there’s no sugar added to your choices. And avoid the gallon-size smoothies sold in every mini-mall in this great country. Calorically, they should replace a meal, and the amount of sugar they contain can send your insulin through the roof. Some fantastic choices, in 1/2-cup servings, include:


4.Melons. Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are all between 25 and 30 calories, 5 to 7 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 to 0.7 grams of fiber, no fat, 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving.


5.Berries. When in season, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries can satisfy a sweet tooth and your hunger. They each have between 20 to 40 calories, 5 to 10 grams of carbs, 2 to 3 grams of fiber, no fat, and 0.5 grams of protein.


6. Apples. Always in season, apples each contain about 82 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 3.8 grams of fiber, no fat, and 0.2 grams of protein.



Protein sources


Protein is known to rebuild muscle; however, for the dieter, the best part about protein is that it is filling and has some substance to it. In this instance, dealing with low-calorie snacking, your protein choices will have to be small in size and low in fat. In other words, do not eat 2 pounds of bacon and consider it a snack. It’s also wise to combine these small protein portions with a choice from the vegetable category. It will add flavor and fiber, which with add to your satiation. Some low-cal favorites include:


7. Egg whites. Sometimes, they take a bit to get used to, but scrambled egg whites pack a high-protein punch. Egg whites contain 29 calories, 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber and fat, and 6 grams of protein per 1/4-cup serving, before cooking.


8. Light cheese. There are tons of light cheese options out there, but to make it simple, we are leaning toward the pre-portioned variety. Light string cheese and Laughing Cow® wedges have 35 to 50 calories, 1 gram of carbs, no fiber, 2 grams of fat, and 3 to 6 grams of protein.


Starchy and sweet snacks


With the advent of the 100-calorie pack, one would assume starchy carbohydrate snacking would be completely figured out. The problem is that most people don’t stop at one pack, and three packs later, you could have had a sandwich or a sundae. In this particular situation, we suggest snacks that don’t add more than 50 or 60 calories to your daily intake, so unless you can only eat half of that SnackWells® pack, perhaps look at these more filling options:


9.Whole-grain brown rice cakes. Rice expands in your stomach, and makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. One whole-grain brown rice cake contains 30 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, no fat, and 1 gram of protein.


10. Air-popped popcorn. Air-popped popcorn is very filling, and unlike its movie-theater cousin, it’s not a caloric nightmare. Air-popped popcorn contains 31 calories, 6.2 grams of carbohydrates, 1.2 grams of fiber, 0.4 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein per 1-cup serving.


11. Sugar-free Fudgesicle®. I think this is one of humankind’s greatest creations. Each sugar-free Fudgesicle contains 35 calories, 16 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 1.5 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein.


Liquids


OK, so it’s not actually food, but beverages and broths can have a very filling effect on a very empty belly. Warm liquids, in particular, expand in your stomach and make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Some choices include:


12. No-sugar-added hot chocolate. On a chilly night, hot chocolate can be filling and comforting. No-sugar-added hot chocolate contains 50 calories, 10 grams of carbs, no fiber or fat, and 2 grams of protein.


13. Low-sodium chicken broth. This diet wonder can be spiced up a bit, or even added to, with choices from the vegetable category. Chicken broth contains 15 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates, no fiber or fat, and 2 grams of protein.


14. Beachbody’s Shakeology. The most filling and nutritionally dense product on the market. For snacking purposes, try a 1/2-scoop serving size (24 grams). That’s 70 calories, 8.5 grams of carbs, 1.5 grams of fiber, 0.5 grams of fat, and 8.5 grams of protein.
Remember, these suggestions are not replacements for high-quality meals, but just a way to chase hunger away when those meals have already been consumed. Many people on calorie-restricted diets stop feeling excess hunger after several days, so be patient with yourself. 


Eventually, the amazing machine that is your body will become acclimated to what you are doing, and will thrive on the fuel you are giving it. In the interim, utilize these low-calorie snacks and avoid the growling in your tummy. It may not be as filling as some slices of Domino’s® Pizza, but you will feel much better about yourself in the morning.