5 Favorite Intermittent Fasting Methods Explained

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As I’ve shared in earlier posts, Intermittent Fasting (IM) is so great for your health.

Not only can it help you lose weight and belly fat (1), but it also helps with:

  • cellular repair
  • hormone regulation (2)
  • lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes (3)
  • preventing Alzheimer’s (4)
  • preventing cancer (5)
  • reducing cholesterol (6)
  • reducing oxidative stress and inflammation (7)
  • increased longevity (8)

For a fast review of IF you might like to refer to The Quick Guide To Intermittent Fasting.

There are a few different ways to do IF. And I love this, because we’re all unique. We don’t need a “one size fits all approach”.

If you’re like me, you want a plan that fits your personality, style and life. So here they are.

The Most Popular Intermittent Fasting Methods

1. The 5:2 Diet

This one was developed by a British journalist and doctor, Michael Mosley. It involves eating normally 5 days of the week and greatly limiting caloric intake the other 2 days.

During the fasting days it’s recommended that women restrict their calories to 500 per day, and men to 600 per day.

So, for example, you might choose Tuesday and Thursday as your fasting days. You could enjoy 2 small meals of 250 to 300 calories each of those days. Or your eat all of your calories all in one meal. Then the other 5 days you would eat normally.

2. 24-Hour Fast (Eat-Stop-Eat)

Fitness expert Brad Pilon made this method popular. It’s recommended to do it only once or twice a week since you’re completely fasting for 24 hours straight.

It’s fine to have calorie-free beverages, such as black coffee, green and herbal teas and plenty of water.

If you’re not sure you can go a full 24 hours that’s fine. Start with 14 or 18, then work your way up.

Many people begin their fast after dinner one night, then break the fast the following night at the same time.

3. 16/8 Fast (LeanGains)

This is my favorite way to IM because (for me) it’s easy and fits my schedule. And this keeps me motivated. Also, I don’t feel like eating when I wake up, so the 16/8 allows me to simply grab my coffee and go.

With this method you’re fasting each day for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. This is also known as the LeanGains method, which was started by fitness guru, Martin Berkhan.

The easiest way to do 16/8 is not to eat after dinner, then skip breakfast. For example, if you finish dinner at 7 pm, and don’t eat your next meal until 1 pm the following day, you’ve fasted for 16 hours.

Some recommend women only fast 14 to 15 hours at a time, but listen to your body. If you are able to go the full 16 and still be healthy about it, then go for it.

4. 20-Hour Fast (The Warrior Diet)

The Warrior Diet was started by Ori Hofmekler. The plan here is to fast for 20 hours, then eat one large meal in the evening.

Something that makes this plan unique is that during the 20-hour fast, you’re allowed to eat small snacks of Paleo-friendly foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables, juice and protein.

Some fasting purists say that because of this The Warrior Diet isn’t a fast at all.

Either way, many people have had great success with it.

5. Meal Skipping 

intermittent fasting methods
You may want to try some different IF methods to find the one that’s right for you.

This is a less structured way to fast that some people enjoy. If you don’t feel hungry for breakfast one morning, simply skip breakfast (or lunch, or dinner).

And don’t worry about what you may have heard about meal skipping. You will not lose muscle or go into starving mode.

This is all a myth. Our bodies are actually quite adept at going without food for long periods of time, so skipping a meal or two here and there is fine.

So if you’re not hungry, or you’re too busy to stop and eat, just skip a meal and eat later.

Special Considerations

If you have an eating disorder, IM is not recommended.

And please keep in mind that it’s not for everyone. Some people love it, but others don’t, and that’s okay.

The Takeaway

IM has some pretty great health benefits including weight loss, increased longevity, and decreased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s. It can also simplify your life because you spend less time prepping meals and shopping for groceries.

We’ve covered 5 of the most popular Intermittent Fasting methods here today. There is no right or wrong way to do IM. You might want to try a couple of different methods before you find the one you like the best.

Have you tried any of these IF methods? Do you have a favorite? Please share in the comments below!

Finally, if you’d like to learn more about IF you might like to check out:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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Intermittent Fasting: The Effortless Way To Lose Weight

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Okay, so tell me the truth. Do you think I went too far?

With the title of this article, I mean.

Now before I start getting hate mail (which would never come from you, because you guys are great!) please hear me out.

Yes, I realize using the words “fasting” and “effortless”  in the same sentence may sound like an oxymoron, if not tasteless.

But I do have an explanation for this.

Weight Loss Yo-Yo

First, let me share a little background. I’m no longer the “skinny minny” I was in high school, and I’m thankful for that. Now I’m focused on growing healthier and stronger each day.

As a teenager, and like other young, impressionable girls, I was keenly aware, observing the world around me. Though I heard, “pretty is as pretty does” and “beauty comes from the inside”, I also observed a preoccupation with appearances, diets and physical attractiveness.

This combined with societal pressures that girls act and look a certain way places a world of confusion in young minds. As a result, my relationship with food was not always healthy. (Look for a future post on this as it’s a topic of great importance to me.)

But now, thankfully, I enjoy food as much as the next girl. And I’m no stranger to weight loss programs. As a mama to four beautiful, and now grown, babies my body has morphed from thin and frail from Lyme disease to round and 9 months pregnant, and everywhere in between more times than I can count.

fasting lose weightWith each pregnancy I was extremely nauseated, throwing up, unable to keep food down, the first several months. Needless to say I always lost weight and did not gain in the first half of the pregnancies.

And each time this would alarm my doctor, to which he would prescribe that I eat more and start putting on weight. This sounded like an impossible task until the nausea let up towards the latter half of the pregnancies. Then I would proceed full speed ahead by following my doctor’s orders.

You can probably see where this is going….With Drew, our first child, I ended up gaining 43 pounds in 4 months. For someone who’s only 5’6″ I’m pretty sure that set some sort of record?

After he was born I was so busy nursing and caring for a newborn that I was able to lose all the weight before we found out we were expecting his little brother, Cooper, 15 months later.

And, on it went. The weight went up and down with each little bundle of joy. And as our family grew, at times, so did my waistline. And may I just say, that our children have been the most amazing blessings.

So, thanks for indulging my little trip down memory lane, all to say this….

I understand the frustrations and difficulties of wanting to lose weight and putting it off because… I’m too busy with my job, or my family needs me, or there aren’t enough hours in the day, or I don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, or (fill in the blank with an excuse).

If you’re at all like me, we can come up with a million excuses, can’t we?

I truly understand.

The struggle is real.

If I could go back in time, I would approach my weight loss efforts with intermittent fasting (IF).

Why? Because (for me):

  • losing weight is easier with IF
  • it makes life simpler–less meal prepping
  • doesn’t require you to record what you eat (even though I like to do this anyway)
  • I can eat the healthy foods I want and not have to cut out entire food groups
  • it helps my concentration
  • has helped reduce my body pain (symptom of Chronic Lyme disease)
  • it’s improved my short-term memory (another symptom of Lyme)
  • fewer sugar cravings

Intermittent Fasting, Lose Weight The Easy Way

When you are fasting your body has to use its stored fat for energy. This is a good thing and much more effective than just cutting calories. If you want to lose any excess fat you’re carrying around IF is a great way to do it.

So forget what you’ve heard about eating 6 meals a day and read on.

Sciencey Stuff

When you’re fasting your body releases 2 essential fat burning hormones:

  • human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Norepinephrine (noradrenaline)

HGH can aid in both fat loss and muscle gains (1).

When Norepinephrine is released it breaks down body fat into fatty acids which are burned for energy (2).

Also, during fasting periods, insulin decreases significantly (3). This leads to fat burning.

Fat burning!

And more fat burning!

Simplify Your Life

When you eat less often you have fewer meals to plan for. You have less grocery shopping to do. Not to mention, you spend less money on groceries because you’re eating less food.

Yes, you do need to make healthful choices. But, because you’re making healthy choices when you do eat, there’s no need for calorie counting or point tracking. And attending meetings with weigh-ins and complicated point systems is not necessary.

And that hour-long aerobic workout you’ve done every day for as long as you can remember? Feel free to cut back to 2 or 3 days a week for 30 minutes instead. And you might even replace the aerobics with weight training, such as kettlebells. Stay active, but do something fun.

fasting lose weightI’m not saying counting points or working out every day is bad or that you shouldn’t do it.

I still keep a food diary because it makes me aware of what I’m putting into my body.

Whatever works best for you is what you should do.

I just want to share the success I’ve had with IM and encourage you to try it for yourself and see what you think.

Simply look at this as a chance to try something new.

The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn excess body fat and lose weight. It’s easy to do compared to many other weight loss plans and has several health benefits.

Have you tried intermittent fasting for weight loss? Please share your thoughts and experiences below in the comment section. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as I possibly can.

To learn more about intermittent fasting you may want to read:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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9 Essential Questions About Intermittent Fasting Answered

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Since I started 16/8 Intermittent Fasting last year I’ve enjoyed some pretty awesome benefits including:

  • better balanced blood sugars
  • fewer sugar cravings
  • weight loss
  • increased concentration during fasting periods
  • less time spent prepping food
  • less body pain

In the mean time I’ve received a bunch of questions about how this whole thing works. I’ve answered some of the most common ones here. I hope this helps you guys!

Intermittent Fasting Q & A

  1. What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)? It’s an eating pattern. It is not a diet. It’s eating, or not eating, in a strategic way.
  2. If I’m fasting in the morning can I still have my coffee or tea? The short answer is yes! Generally speaking, you’re free to have water, black coffee, tea, and greens powder and you should be fine. Also, if you drink one cup of coffee each morning and like to add a splash of cream you’ll most likely be okay. But, if you’re one of those people who drinks it all morning long and adds the fixins each time…then probably not. Most people can get away with consuming 50 to 100 calories during the fast, but any more than this is too much and is considered breaking the fast.
  3. How hard is it…..really?? I love this question! Ha Ha! I certainly hope that didn’t sound insensitive because I had the same question when I started. This one just tickles my funny bone. So, depending on how often you’re fasting it may take a few days to get used to. But it’s been my experience that once I adjusted I wish I’d known about IF sooner. The benefits definitely outweigh any negatives felt in the first couple of days.
  4. How much weight will I lose? This depends on several factors such as how long and often you fast, what you eat between fasts, whether you work out, age, muscle mass, metabolism and other elements.
  5. Can I work out while I’m fasting or will I pass out? Yes, you can work out while fasting. In fact many athletes (and non-athletes) plan their workouts an hour or so before they break their fast so they can eat as soon as they’re finished training. For example they might plan to work out from 12 pm to 1 pm, then eat breakfast/lunch at 1 pm.

    questions about intermittent fasting
    Intermittent fasting is a simple way to lose weight and be healthier.
  6. Do I have to do it every day? No, you can IM as much or as little as you choose. It’s totally up to you.
  7. What’s the difference between a diet and Intermittent Fasting? Dr. Michael Eades does a great job explaining the answer to this question here:
    Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty-gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low–carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low–fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. — all of which sound appealing. But were I to embark on such a low–fat diet I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long–term execution.Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. “You go without food for 24 hours?” people would ask, incredulously when we explained what we were doing. “I could never do that.” But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not particularly hungry. … Although it’s tough to overcome the idea of going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.Dr. Michael Eades
  8. Won’t I have trouble concentrating and feel super tired while I’m fasting? You’d think so, but most people report having more energy and better concentration! Count me in!
  9. Can anyone try Intermittent Fasting? IM is not recommended for people who have eating disorders. Also if you’re pregnant or nursing, if you have diabetes, other blood sugar problems, heart disease or other chronic disease it is best to speak with you doctor before doing an intermittent fast. *Please note that I have been diagnosed with several chronic diseases as well as reactive hypoglycemia that was causing me a lot of problems. Intermittent fasting has helped even out my blood sugar and benefited me in several other ways.

The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting has recently gained notoriety even though it’s been around for ages. More and more studies are showing the benefits of IM on the body. As a flexible eating plan it’s a great way to lose weight and increase concentration and energy.

Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? What did you think? 

Please leave your comments and questions in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will respond to your messages as soon as possible. Thanks!

If you’d like to learn more about IM you might want to check out:

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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5 Good Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day For Better Health

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By contributing author– Rudy Caretti (biography below)

“So, you love coffee? You are not the only one. Fortunately, an everyday dose of coffee in the right quantity is attributed to various health benefits.

5 Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day

1. Coffee helps you perform better during workouts.

You may already know, but most supplements taken by athletes contain coffee extracts such as caffeine. There is a scientific reason behind this. Caffeine has several effects on the human system that causes one to do better during physical activity. When taken 30 minutes before any physical activity, black coffee promotes the release of endorphins. These hormones are responsible for our happy moods and adrenaline. These two hormones cause the body to respond positively to any training, leading to better results.

Besides, caffeine alters the way the nervous system responds to pain. This causes the body to endure more strenuous reasons to drink coffeesituations. In this case, your muscles will tolerate longer sessions of intensive endurance- and strength-building exercises.

In a nutshell, caffeine can propel one to train harder, thus improving their results. No wonder scientific research has found coffee can improve athletic performance by about 11-12%.

2. It is loaded with minerals and antioxidants.

The red berry is one food substance packed with many essential nutrients. If you prepare your cup rightly, you are sure to ingest these into your body.

Also, some of the nutrients obtained by drinking coffee include:

  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • niacin
  • riboflavin
  • pantothenic acid

Coffee also contains more antioxidants than a single serving of fruits and vegetables combined.

3. Coffee can keep diseases at bay.

Research shows coffee can help keep dangerous diseases away. Some of these diseases have claimed the lives of many people. Others do not have any known cure. Luckily, one can lower their chances of contracting such ailments by drinking coffee. Some of the said ailments are listed below.

  • Parkinson’s disease: According to Mayo Clinic, “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually.” A 2002 report published in the Annals of Neurology showed those who drank java daily lowered their chances of suffering from Parkinson’s by 32% and 60%. This finding was unique to those who enjoyed caffeinated coffee only.
  • Diabetes II: A study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers looked at information collected over 4 years on people with diabetes II and some without. The study was divided into 3 sections. The researchers were interested in finding the relationship between type 2 diabetes and the kind of diet the study subjects were eating. The results showed that among the 7,269 subjects, the people who took at least one cup of coffee each day for those 4 years decreased their chances of developing diabetes II by 11%.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: Contrary to the popular belief that caffeine in coffee can lead to high blood pressure and consequently endanger your heart, research has shown the effect is dismal. Regular intake will not only cause the blood pressure risk to disappear, but also lower your chance of developing heart disease by 20%. This finding was upheld by a Korean study published in 2014. The study found that taking coffee in moderate amounts reduces one’s disposition to coronary artery calcium (CAC). CAC is a key indicator of possible cardiovascular disease.

With the burden of such ailments off your shoulders, you are likely to lead a long, healthy and happier life. No wonder, another benefit you could be enjoying by simply sipping your cup of Joe is the possibility to live longer.

4. It makes your skin and hair blossom.

As mentioned earlier, coffee is packed with many antioxidants and minerals which could help keep your skin healthier and glowing. When the body is getting rid of various toxins successfully, one part that is likely to blemish is your skin. Also, the vitamins and minerals cause your hair to grow faster. Also, did you know you can treat your hair with a cool brew of a strong pot of coffee to make it shiny, stronger and healthier?

reasons to drink coffee5. Coffee improves your mental health.

Good mental health is a result of a combination of several factors. However, the most important one is happiness. Most benefits of coffee discussed above work together to make you a happier person. In this regard, you are likely to enjoy better mental health. There are other ways, however, coffee could be good for your mental well-being.

Based on a 2011 Harvard study, people who enjoyed at least 4 cups of coffee daily lowered the risk of falling into depression by 20%. Depression is one of the many mental disorders that can deprive one the joy of leading a fulfilling life.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, coffee is a delicious beverage many of us enjoy each and every day. There are many reasons to drink coffee including health benefits for our skin, hair, mental health and disease prevention.

For more about coffee, you might like you check out: reasons to drink coffee


Author, Rudy Caretti, has more than 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, a passion that started in Italy within the family business and brought him to found Gimoka Coffee UK and G Coffee Pod with a group of friends, who share the same passion.

Since he roasted his first batch of coffee seeds as a teenager, he was fascinated by the many ways it can be processed to get the many distinctive flavors we all love.

As a coffee connoisseur, Rudy has always been aware of the vital role coffee plays in people’s social life. And he is especially active through the company’s social media and blog. He loves sharing his knowledge with readers around the world, writing and posting articles that range from the coffee brewing techniques to raising awareness of the importance of responsible production to help protect the rights of farmers and protect the environment.

Facebook | Twitter | Google+

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks

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Who can deny that snacking is an American tradition (at least in my family it is)? What we graze on during the day has a big impact on our health.

Do you have a favorite snack food? Chips, Oreos, Cheetos or Twinkies perhaps? No judgement here. My snack choices haven’t always been perfect either.

Just some food for thought….

As you probably guessed, the best snacks are those packed with nutrients and protein, which fuels the body until the next meal. These snacks are full of flavor, and dare I say, even fun to eat!

I used to teach preschoolers, what can I say? 🙂

20 Healthy Snacks

  1. Nut Butter

    Peanut butter, peanut butter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….but, I digress.

    Seriously, who can resist the creamy, nutty confection that is peanut butter?! And don’t forget the lesser known nut butters: hazelnut, cashew, almond and walnut.

    According to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, several large studies over the past few years “have shown a consistent 30 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week.”

    Plus, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein and 180 mg of potassium. Just make sure to check out the ingredient list and avoid added sweeteners and trans fats, especially “partially hydrogenated oil”. Also, don’t bother buying the “low-fat” nut butters. Manufactures of these products simply replace the fat with sugar.

  2. Cottage Cheese

    Once considered a “diet food”,  cottage cheese is now a fan favorite of weight lifters, other athletes, and health foodies alike. This is no surprise considering the whopping 28 grams of casein protein in each cup of cottage cheese.

    A summer favorite of mine is eating a sliced tomato, straight from the garden, topped with cottage cheese and plenty of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Sounds weird, tastes great! You also might like to try cottage cheese with fresh pineapple. Delish!

  3. Berries

    healthy snacks
    Berries are a low-sugar, antioxidant-rich snack.

    Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries and elderberries just to name a few…They are colorful, juicy, sometimes sweet, and full of vitamins and antioxidants (1).

    Enjoy a cup of berries with a splash of cream for a decadent treat.

  4. Whey Protein Shake

    Whey protein can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and increase strength (2). I sometimes drink one as a meal replacement and I’m amazed how long it satisfies my hunger. You might like to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake.

    Most people tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, but if you have digestive symptoms you might find that isolate or hydrolysate is better suited for you.

  5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

    Eggs are incredibly nutritious (3). Like, the perfect food. They are high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids.

    They’re also high in cholesterol, but despite what you may have heard in the past, eating high-cholesterol foods does not increase cholesterol for the majority of people (4).

  6. Plain Greek Yogurt

    It’s creamy and rich in protein and probiotics. It can also cut the appetite and help with weight loss (5).

    You may want to add berries, other chopped fruit or nuts to raise the vitamin and fiber content.

  7. Cheese

    Cheese has many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc and vitamin K2. Eating it can help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (6). And the fat in cheese can help you feel full longer, preventing cravings and helping you make it to the next meal.

  8. Jerky

    Jerky is meat, such as veal, beef, turkey or venison which is dried and cut into strips. It is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

    The healthiest kind is made at home. But the kind you see at the grocery store has all sorts of added preservatives and sugar so please keep this in mind.

  9. Dark Chocolate

    healthy snacks
    Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and makes the perfect snack.

    Are you surprised chocolate made it to this list of healthy snacks? Pretty cool, huh?

    Studies have shown that dark chocolate eaters have a lower risk of heart disease (7). Eating chocolate can also improve brain function.

    Choose dark chocolate with a 70-85% cocoa content (minimum). Any less and you’re looking at a lot of sugar.

  10. Deli Rollups

    Simply take a slice of meat, such as turkey and a slice of cheese. Roll it up, and voila! Another favorite is spreading cream cheese on the turkey and wrap it around a dill pickle. You can slice it first, or simply eat it like this.

  11. Canned Tuna

    Another high-protein snack, tuna is a great choice if you’re on the go. Just be sure your office buddies are cool with the smell if you decide to pop open a can in the afternoon.

  12. Veggies And Hummus

    If you’ve never tried hummus I encourage you to give it a try. Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but I’ve loved it from my first taste and make my own from home.

    I throw some white beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil in the blender and it makes the most delicious hummus in no time.

    Here’s a similar recipe you might like to try:  Super Easy Hummus

  13. Protein Bar

    Homemade ones are the best, in my humble opinion. But if you like to have prepackaged ones on hand I recommend you try the Luna, Kind and Quest ones.

  14. Kefir Smoothie

    Kefir (pronounced like “Kiefer Sutherland” the actor in 24, love that show) is full of tummy-loving probiotics and protein.

    On its own, kefir is tart (and perhaps a little “gloppy”), and many prefer to drink it in a smoothie.

    I love this handy Mix-And-Match Kefir Smoothie Chart for creating tasty smoothies, chock full of delicious flavor and nutrition.

    (You can read more on probiotics in What Are Probiotics And Where Can I Find Them? and 7 Reasons To Take Probiotics)

  15. Seeds

    Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax and chia seeds give you quick, long-lasting energy and satiety. They can be eaten by themselves or in smoothies, oatmeal or granola. One serving of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) has 7 grams of protein.

  16. Bean And Cheese Mini Quesadilla

    Smash 1/3 cup of black beans and spread it on a small tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of salsa. Warm in a skillet or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds just until the cheese melts.

    This is a tasty mini-meal/snack that stays with you.

  17. Milk (2% Or Whole)

    Milk is a great source of high-quality protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium and B12. It is linked to higher bone density in humans (8).

    Do not, I repeat, do not worry about the fat in whole milk. As long as you drink a serving size you’ll be fine. The fat keeps you satisfied longer. More importantly, growing research shows a myriad of health benefits of consuming full-fat food versus low-fat (10).

    According to Dr. Mercola, “Accumulating research is showing, however, that this switch to low-fat has not only caused rates of chronic disease to skyrocket; it’s also been making people fat.”

    Please keep in mind, some people are allergic to the sugar in milk, lactose. If you’re lactose-intolerant you’ll want to stay away from milk and other dairy products. There are dairy-free milks on the market, such a coconut, soy and cashew milk which should be fine for you to drink.

  18. 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites

    Liv over at Healthy-Liv.com posted this easy recipe for these incredibly yummy energy bites.

    I just made them for my family to enjoy. But let me warn you, it’s hard to eat just one!

  19. Frozen Grapes

    The perfect sweet treat!

    The anthocyanins and resveratrol in grapes reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease (9)

  20. Homemade Guacamole And Tortilla Chips

    My personal favorite. 😉 I can eat an entire bowl of freshly made guacamole all by myself…it’s that’s good! (Not that I’m recommending you do this, just keepin’ it real.)

    Here’s my favorite recipe:

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium avocados
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 firm tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados open lengthwise. Remove the pit with a large knife. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork, to your liking.
  3. Chop and stir the other ingredients.
  4. Enjoy the guacamole right away.
  5. Store in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap to help prevent browning (if you have any leftover)
http://www.lorigeurin.com/top-20-best-healthy-snacks/

The Takeaway

There are so many delicious snacks to choose from. And the best ones are those that help you become the healthiest, strongest version of yourself.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Please share below in the comments.

Also, you may want to check out this video below for more great healthy snacking ideas.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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22 Essential Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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Many people experience weight gain during the holidays.

With colder weather, comfy sweaters and family gatherings it’s easy to pack on a few pounds.

Please tell me I’m not alone here.

But you can still enjoy the holidays and avoid holiday weight gain by following these essential tips.

22 Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

1. Eat a protein-rich snack before you go out.

If you arrive at a holiday party famished you’re likely to overeat. Avoid mindless snacking by choosing a healthy snack, such as the one of the following:

  • Greek yogurt and berries
  • a handful of healthy fat-rich nuts, such as almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts
  • an apple with peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • a protein shake, like My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • string cheese
  • jerky
  • hummus and veggies

2. Stay active.

Many families enjoy sitting around and watching parades, Christmas music specials or ballgames during the holidays.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these traditions, all this inactivity can lead to weight gain. This is especially true if we’re also eating too much rich food (1)

Rather than lounging around all day, consider:

  • taking a family walk, either outside or inside a mall
  • going ice skating
  • building a snowman with your kids
  • going sledding

These activities will burn calories while giving you the opportunity to bond with loved ones.

3. Pay attention to portion sizes

With all the delicious foods prepared during the holidays, it can be tempting to overeat.

But, people who eat larger portion sizes tend to gain weight more than those who don’t (2).

Makes sense, right?

Read food labels to discern correct portion sizes. Use measuring cups and spoons to measure your food.

4. Get adequate sleep.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain and a slowed metabolism (3, 4)?

When we don’t sleep enough we tend to eat more and exercise less. Our hunger hormone levels increase and this raises calorie intake.

5. Don’t hang out by the food at a party.

If you linger by the delicious dishes and desserts, the temptation to indulge is greater.

But if you step away from the food and focus more on talking to people you’ll save calories, and you just might have more fun. 😉

I’m reminded of the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind”.

The same thought applies to your pantry at home. Throw out the junk food so it’s not there tempting you to eat it.

avoid holiday weight gain
Shake it off! Reduce holiday stress.

6. Keep stress under control.

The holidays are stressful sometimes.

There are people to see, presents to buy and wrap and recipes to make.

But it’s important to keep our stress levels under control.

When we are chronically stressed, our levels of cortisone go up. This can cause us to eat more and gain weight (5).

Focus on activities that reduce stress, such as exercise and deep breathing techniques.

I found an app that helps you focus on reducing stress. It’s called Calm.

7.  Prep a healthy dish to share.

Bringing a healthy dish to holiday gatherings can give you something healthy to eat even if everything else is rich or sugar-laden. This can help you keep your healthy eating goals in check.

It also gives others the opportunity to try a delicious and healthful recipe!

8. Use a smaller plate.

Using large plates often leads us to consume more calories. If not kept in check, this can lead to weight gain (6).

Using a small plate helps you control portion sizes and reduce overeating.

9. Avoid processed food.

This includes most foods packages, boxes or bags of food.

Processed foods are often stripped of nutrients. And most have added unhealthy fats, sugar and preservatives.

10. Keep a food diary.

Write down everything you eat, or use an app to help you.

If you’re like me, I often underestimate how much I eat in a day.  Keeping a food diary helps me stay on track with my goals and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth.

My favorite app is MyFitnessPal. You might like to try it.

11. Weigh yourself weekly.

Okay, so there are conflicting viewpoints when it comes to weighing yourself. Some people weigh a few times a week. Some never.

It’s good to keep in mind that weight fluctuations are normal day-to-day.

But, many people find it helps them stay accountable and makes them more aware of their progress if they weigh weekly (7).

12. Watch your beverage and alcohol intake.

Soda, juice, alcohol and other beverages are full of empty calories and sugar. These factors contribute to weight gain (8).

The best thing to drink?

You guessed it….water!

13. Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly.

Eliminate distractions, such as electronics, and eat mindfully, savoring each delicious bite (9).

14. Keep a consistent workout routine.

Stick to your regular fitness routine as much as possible. Consistent training produces better results.

And that leads me to tip, #15.

15. Stay positive even if you get off track.

Don’t beat yourself up or stress about it. Simply restart your commitment a healthy life and get back on track.

Simply focus on your health and fitness goals and keep moving forward with your plan.

It might help to use Motivational Quotes And Power Phrases.

16. Drink a glass of water before meals and snacks.

Sometimes we think we’re hungry when our body just needs water. Drinking water fills us up and helps prevent overeating (10).

17. Leave a few bites of food on your plate.

Are you a member of the “clean plate club”?

It’s okay to admit it, I used to think I had to clean my plate too.

Try leaving a few bites of food on your plate. You probably won’t even miss them and the calories you’ve saved add up and can help prevent weight gain.

18. Eat loads of veggies.

Filling up on plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits can help prevent obesity (11). They’re filled with vital nutrients and vitamins as well as healthy fiber.

19. Lift weights.

Building muscle is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.

A great way to build muscle is by doing a kettlebell workout.

You may want to check out 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout to learn more.

20. Fill up on fiber.

Eating more fiber fills you up faster which can prevent you from eating as much and gaining weight (12).

Fiber-rich foods include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • whole grains.

21. Buddy up.

Find a friend who has similar health goals and give each other accountability.

Having someone to work out or swap health recipes can help you stay on track.

22. Avoid sugar and simple carbs.

Eating too much sugar is a common cause of weight gain and obesity (13).

When you come face to face with the desserts this holiday season, focus on selecting only your favorites and leaving the rest.

This will save you from sugar overload and help keep your blood sugar in a manageable range.

The Takeaway

What are ways you try to stay healthy during the holidays?

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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