TheFittChick Gets The Skinny On Chinese Food…

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Who doesn’t love Chinese food? It is definitely a Sunday staple in our house, and has been since I was little. However, some of us are under the wrong impression that most of the food served in Chinese restaurants are healthy, since there are generous amounts of veggies used to make them.

“Traditional Chinese food is a healthy mix of vegetables and grains. It is usually prepared and cooked with unsaturated oils, and has no use for dairy ingredients such as cream, butter, or cheese. Unfortunately, many of the foods at Chinese restaurants are cooked with dark meats and a lot of oil, so they are loaded with calories, fat, sodium and a lot of sugar.”

Don’t let your Chinese dinner sabotage your diet. Egg Foo Yung and Sweet and Sour dishes can have over 1,200 calories per serving, and that’s before you add egg rolls, rice, fortune cookies, and extra sides. The average Chinese food meal has about 3,500 calories, which is more then the average person eats in 2 days…let alone one meal!. It is possible to eat healthy at a Chinese restaurant, provided you follow a few rules to make your meal FittChick “approved.”

Save your waistline with these FittChick tips…

1. Start your meal with a soup. Chinese soups made with clear broths such as wonton soup and hot and sour soup are generally low in calories, yet very filling.
2. pick a meal off the menu that says “steamed” rather than “fried.” A Chinese restaurant is the one place you can count on to steam your food, without added oil and fat.
3. Use chopsticks! They will force you to eat slow and get full faster.
4. If rice is something you can’t live without, make sure its brown. Brown rice is full of fiber, while white rice is just empty calories.
5. Make up your own meal. Ask the cook to prepare exactly what YOU want! You could order using light oil, less salt, no MSG, and/or light sauce.

When TheFittChick goes for Chinese food, I order steamed chicken (or shrimp) and vegetables. Then I add a little salt and soy sauce to make it taste great. I sometimes bring my own sugar-free sweet n’ sour sauce to make it taste amazing! For under 300 calories and around 40 grams of protein, it’s a dinner I could eat every night!

TheFittChick Weighs In On Artificial Sweeteners…

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There is a constant debate about whether or not you should be using artificial sweeteners, and what the best sugar substitute is. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the safety of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Sweet n’ low, Equal, Stevia and Truvia.

Given the current obesity and diabetes epidemic- which are showing no signs of slowing down-the demand for low-calorie and sugar-free foods will continue to grow. Although Sugar substitutes don’t offer any nutritional value, there are definitely ones that are better than others.

“As a nutrition professional, one of my goals is to get people accustomed to lower levels of sugar in their daily life. Of course training your taste buds to get used to less sweetness would be the best choice, but for those who have a sweet tooth that can be extremely difficult.”

“Of all the sugar substitutes, SweetLeaf® is the only chemical-free, zero-calorie, zero-carb, zero-glycemic index, natural sweetener there is. The main difference between Stevia and other artificial sweeteners is that Stevia is natural, not sythetic. It’s made by taking the highest quality leaves of the stevia plant and extracting their naturally sweet taste with only cool, purified water. No chemicals. No alcohols. No additives that cover up the great taste nature created.”

TheFittChick uses SweetLeaf™ Sweet Drops in everything from oatmeal to protein shakes, and yogurt to coffee. To save calories in your coffee try the Sweetleaf Vanilla cream or English Toffee. For your oatmeal use the Sweetleaf Berry Flavor, and for just overall sweetness use the unflavored drops.

Using sugar substitutes may still be up for debate, but Sweetleaf is definitely FittChick “approved” and a product that just makes everything taste better!

Alcohol And Diets…Do They Mix?

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“The weekend is here, and the first thing you might be looking forward to is a few cocktails. The problem is, alcoholic drinks can be extremely fattening, especially mixed drinks which contain tons of empty calories which can be detrimental to a diet. Although you don’t need to completely cut out alcohol from your diet, making smart choices at happy hour can help your diet finally succeed.

The first problem with alcohol consumption is that it’s a source of empty calories. With little or no nutritional vale, calories from alcohol are mostly stored as fat. Surprisingly, alcohol has a huge effect on your body’s fat burning ability. Soon after consuming alcohol, all fat burning comes to an immediate stop. Because your body is focused on keeping you alive, as soon as a toxic substance such as alcohol is consumed, your body immediately starts to get rid of it.”

“Sometimes we tend to think liquid items are less fattening than solid foods, but the calories affect your body the same way. To keep the alcohol from adding to your waistline, consider the calories in your drink, and compensate by eating less or lower-calorie foods. Don’t skip a healthy, filling dinner, that will only lead to slowing down your metabolism and overeating later.”

Mixed drinks and specialty cocktails can often contain up to 500 calories, which can easily sabotage your fat loss plan. In addition, alcohol can impair your judgement with regards to making smart choices. Think of how many nights you end up feasting on pizza, cheese fries, and unplanned desserts after drinking one to many cocktails. On an average night out, you could easily consume an extra 3,500 calories, which is a full pound of body fat.

Even if you are careful about your alcohol consumption, all drinks are not created equal on the dieting scale and some choices are better than others. For a list of the amount of calories in your favorite cocktail, check out this link… http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/calories-in-alcohol.html

TheFittChick‘s drink of choice is most often a blended vodka lemonade made with Crystal Light. If I’m out, I usually order a vodka on the rocks. To make it taste amazing, I pour it into a tall glass of water and add some Crystal Light Pink Lemonade or MiO. Another good option is a vodka on the rocks made dirty. That’s just olive juice and vodka. Also, a light beer or glass of wine is also “approved” and won’t derail your diet.

Use these tips and make 2013 your healthiest year yet!

Cheers!

TheFittChick helps you figure out why movie theater popcorn could be one of the worst thing you could eat!

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“Would you scarf down three quarter pounders and 12 pats of butter in one sitting while watching the latest release at the movies? That’s what a new report says you’re getting in terms of fat and calories with a medium tub of movie theater popcorn, and that’s before they pour on the buttery topping.”

“I think most of us realize that movie theater popcorn is not exactly a health food, but did you realize that a medium size popcorn without added butter may contain between 650 – 900 calories and 43-60 grams of fat? You probably thought it wasn’t so bad because you didn’t add butter! Now if you add butter, the calories jump to 910-1460 calories and 71-97 grams of fat. This is more than 6 McDonald’s cheeseburgers!

“For another reference point, eating a large movie popcorn is the equivalent of scarfing three Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas, or a pound of baby back ribs topped with a scoop of Haagen Dazs ice cream.”

So because everyone loves to munch on something while watching their favorite new flick, check out some of these FittChick “approved” tips to help you enjoy the movie without packing on the pounds.

1. Bring in your own snack! Pop a 100 calorie mini bag of popcorn at home and eat that instead of the movie theater popcorn.
2. If you really have the urge for real movie popcorn, get a kid size if they have it – no butter of course!
3. If you can skip the popcorn, almonds or pistachios are just as crunchy and will satisfy your need for something salty.
4. Another good option is Quaker cheddar or popcorn flavored rice cakes, or an individual bag of Skinny Pop.

If you know your heading to the movies and can’t skip the goodies….check out this list of calories and fat for you favorite movie theater snacks

http://www.livestrong.com/article/71061-movie-theater-munchies/

Can Taking Fish Oil Help Jumpstart Your Metabolism?

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“We have all heard the headlines that fish oil is one of the most amazing nutritional supplements you can add to your vitamin routine. What many people are wondering is does fish oil help you lose weight?”

“Fish oil helps to increase your metabolism. Your body needs Omega 3 fatty acids to give the signal that your body is full. If you don’t have these essential acids, your body will constantly tell you that you are hungry. Fortunately, fish oils are full of these fatty acids and will help you to last longer between meals. Fish oils also contain EPA ad DHA which helps replace the bad fats you take out when you start eating healthy.”

“When cutting calories, taking an Omega-3 fatty acid, which are most plentiful in fish oils, is a smart idea. They not only make your skin hold moisture, but fish oil helps skin stay supple and smooths out fine line and wrinkles. In addition, using omega 3 weight loss supplements can also help prevent blood clots from forming, and they are well known to lower cholesterol and help with brain function. Fish oil also helps to improve or prevent cancer, dementia, depression, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.”

“Also, people who are overweight or don’t eat a healthy diet, often suffer tremendously with regularity. Fish oils can improve regularity within days. And as an added bonus, fish oils help improve joint pain, and can allow a person who is usually sedentary, to engage in exercise which will only help to slim the waistline!”

TheFittChick recommends adding fish oil into your daily vitamin routine. To find out which brands are best, and what is the best dosage for you, check out the link below…

http://www.intense-workout.com/fish_oil.html