Dietitians say there's no magic pill for weight loss, but there are foods you can eat to help give your body a boost.
We're a month and a half into the New Year, and whether you've kept your resolution to eat healthy, or are falling off the wagon, dietitians say this is a great time to look for ordinary foods to provide big benefits.
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian Heather Illg says, "Making small gradual changes, I'm a big believer in baby steps making a big difference."
Illg says fruits are an obvious place to start, and berries pack a big nutritional punch. She says, "They're full of fiber and antioxidants and phytonutrients, yet low in calories."
Next, pick two dairy servings a day. Illg suggests a glass of skim milk in the morning and fat free Greek yogurt for a snack. She says, "The Greek yogurt is actually getting a lot of attention because it has twice the protein and half the sugar as regular yogurts, and it does that without adding sugar substitutes and artificial colors."
Oats are next on the list. She says the high fiber food can be stirred into your yogurt or cooked. Illg says, "There's actually a fiber in oatmeal called beta gluten, and it's been shown to help reduce cholesterol and protect our heart. So, it can help people lower cholesterol who are wanting to reduce their weight as well."
Finally, Illg says to add Chia seeds to your shopping list. She says they are high in soluble fiber and will help keep you full. You can mix the tasteless item with your cereal or yogurt or you can drink it with water. Illg says, "That's how I take it with my vitamins in the morning. I just drink it, so it's part of my morning routine like that."
Illg says there’s an easy way to get these foods into your day. She suggests a breakfast in a jar. Showing a bowl, she says, "This is actually something I mixed up and let it set overnight." The mixture of Greek yogurt, milk, Chia seeds, berries and oats can stay in the fridge for two days and provides a nutritional start to the day. She says, "Breakfast is the challenge for a lot of people. It's just having the time to eat breakfast. And, we know it's such an important meal. So, this is a great solution for that."
A few other foods to give you a better body include spinach, nuts, eggs and beans. There's even a guilty pleasure on the list. Illg says dark chocolate is a sweet treat that lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
Packed with satisfying protein and fill-you-up fiber, this make-ahead breakfast is a smart way to begin the day with a balanced breakfast.
All you need:
1 (5.3 oz) container Dannon Oikos Greek non-fat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup Hy-Vee steel-cut oats
1/2 cup Hy-Vee skim milk
1-2 tsp Dole milled chia seed
1/3 cup frozen Hy-Vee Cherry Berry Blend fruit
Hy-Vee cinnamon, as desired
All you do:
1. Combine yogurt, oats, milk and chia in a small bowl.
2. Alternately layer yogurt/oatmeal mixture with frozen fruit in a pint canning jar. Sprinkle cinnamon on top as desired. Cover with lid.
3. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Enjoy chilled.
Nutrition Facts: 380 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 57g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, 16g sugar, 24g protein
Source: Hy-Vee Dietitians