Fitness & Wellness

Can Yoga Aid Digestion?

It’s not a secret that a walk after a big meal can aid digestion. It’s the mild exercise and movement that prevents gas build up and helps food pass through the digestive system. It’s one reason certain yoga poses can help. The gentle movements of yoga has been used for thousands of years to bring health benefits and connect the mind and body. It stimulates the rest-and-digest system known as the parasympathetic nervous system.

Digestion is the actual breakdown of food, sending nutrients to the body and expelling waste.

Even though that’s the true meaning of the term digestion, most people often think of something that aids digestion as something that helps prevent gas and bloating, eliminates discomfort and helps elimination. There are a lot of things that affect how you digest food, which include the microbes in your digestive system and how the gut communicates with the brain via nerves and biological signals. Stress can affect both, and yoga can help reduce stress.

Several serious conditions are improved with yoga.

Irritable bowel syndrome—IBS—can occur from over activity of your stress system—the sympathetic nervous system. That can cause many symptoms like gas, diarrhea, constipation and bloating. Studies have shown that yoga can help relieve symptoms as well as a low FODMAP diet—a diet low in certain types of sugar that can set off IBS symptoms. While studies showed yoga helped relieve symptoms after 16 weeks, similar studies showed that walking also helped.

Some yoga poses help stretch the body and abdominal muscles.

The seated side bend or Parsva Sukhasana is a gentle stretch that can help relieve bloating and gas, while supporting digestion. It’s done like a seated side bend, with one arm in the air, leaning toward the opposite side, then lowering that arm and raising the other arm and leaning to the other side. The Apanasana—also known as knees to the chest—may be a natural position for many who have severe abdominal pain. It’s a gentle massage for the intestines. Lie on your back with legs straight, then slowly bend at the knee. Bring your knees toward your chest, wrapping your arms around them to hold them closer and hold through five deep breaths.

  • The gentle movement of yoga is similar to other mild forms of exercise, such as stretching or walking. It stimulates the movement of food, reduces stress, improves circulation and Improves the body and mind connection.
  • The wind relieving pose helps relieve constipation, gas, strengthens abdominals and improves metabolism. You lay on your back, like the apanasana, but bring one leg up at a time and hold.
  • The cobra pose and cat-cow pose are better known poses that not only help massage your inner organs, they relax you and improve abdominal circulation.
  • If you’re pregnant, had back problems or injuries, abdominal surgery or a hernia, some of the yoga poses shouldn’t be done. Always discuss doing any exercise with your health care professional before beginning.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Do We Still Need To Look Out For Trans Fats?

Do We Still Need To Look Out For Trans Fats?

What are trans fats? They’re partially hydrogenated oil and at one time were touted as healthy. Crisco is probably one of the best known hydrogenated vegetable oils. It came to market in 1911 and was touted as healthy, since it was made of vegetable oil. Even up to the 1980s, people promoting healthy living promoted the oils containing trans fats. Burger King’s switch to partially hydrogenated oils—trans fats—was described by the Center for Science in Public Interest as a “great boon to Americans’ arteries,” but by 2018 the FDA banned the fats in the USA. Crisco has changed its formula to remove most trans fats.

Trans fats are still in foods.

Even though it may be banned, small amounts of manmade trans fats still are in foods, primarily because of processing methods. It may be in food before the ban that’s still on the shelves. Remember some snack foods seem last forever on the shelf. One reason is that manmade trans fats is created to extend shelf life. Natural trans fats found in animal products may actually be good for you, but manmade may cause insulin resistance and other physical problems.

Think microwave popcorn and fast foods.

If it’s fried, it may contain trans fats. Fried chicken, French fries, donuts and other stop and chomp foods may contain trans fats. When oil is heated to high temperatures, the amount of trans fats it contains increases. Each time it’s reused and heated the amount continues to increase. Butter substitutes produced before 2018 may have trans fats. The high melting point of trans fats makes it a good option for microwave popcorn, too.

Bakery good, like cakes, pies, muffins and pastries are made with margarine or vegetable shortening.

If you want a flakier pie crust or softer pastry, margarine or vegetable shortening is good to use. It also is cheaper and has a longer shelf life, making it ideal for manufacturers. Partially hydrogenated oils are no longer part of vegetable shortening or margarine, so the amount of trans fats they contain is diminished. Fried donuts and other fried sweets may still contain it.

  • Nondairy creamers contain mostly sugar and oil. Traditionally it was partially hydrogenated oil for a longer shelf life. While the liquid form has changed to fully hydrogenated oil, there are still some powdered non-dairy creamers you may have in your cupboard, since they last longer.
  • Trans fats can also be found in smaller amounts in a range of other foods manufactured before the FDA ban went into full effect.
  • Trans fats cause inflammation and inflammation can lead to heart disease, arthritis, some types of cancer and diabetes. Both butter and margarine contain trans fats, but butter’s is natural and margarine’s is manmade. Studies show inflammatory markers increase with margarine, not butter.
  • Read the labels for ingredients and serving size, particularly potato and corn chips, canned frosting, crackers and pizza and avoid those with partially hydrogenated oil. Companies are allowed to say they have 0 trans fats if the content is as high as 0.5 grams per serving.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Should You Try A Juice Cleanse?

Should You Try A Juice Cleanse?

There are a lot of different fads people in Irvine, CA, try for their health and to lose weight. A juice cleanse is one of those. People who swear by juice cleanses for health say it detoxes the body, removing harmful chemicals. It also gives your digestive system a rest. Others who are trying to lose weight consider a juice cleanse a good way to start a diet.

What is a juice cleanse?

Some juice cleanses are done for a day or two and then regular eating is resumed. However, they aren’t necessarily just performed that way, but may be ongoing, following a schedule of three days a week for several weeks. They involve drinking only water, fruit juice and vegetable juice on those days. The juice is fresh pressed, not canned or bottled, and made from organic fruits and vegetables.

Some proponents say that juice cleanses help clean organs and provide a reset.

One thing that the body does quite well is cleanse itself. The liver, kidneys and colon remove waste and toxins. While proponents of juice cleanses say it detoxes the body, the National Institute of Health—NIH—says there is little evidence that it’s true. While it would be nice to believe that juice cleanses do provide some benefits. The juices of fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, so it can provide extra vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetable juice is also rich in enzymes that can aid digestion.

If you’re using a juice cleanse for weight loss, what you do when not cleansing is more important.

If you spend a few days doing a juice cleanse and expect to see miracles, you’ll be disappointed, especially once you start eating normally. Most of the time the weight you lost reappears when you start eating normally again, unless you focus on healthy eating. One study found that people who used a juice cleanse to start a healthy diet, found it easier to keep the weight off permanently. Other studies show that it might be beneficial for the micro biome in your gut. Scientists believe whether it was because of eliminating sugary junk food that disrupts a healthy balance.

  • Juicing isn’t the same as making a smoothie. Smoothies have fiber, which is also important for gut health by feeding beneficial bacteria. The fiber in smoothies also slows the absorption of natural sugar stabilizing blood sugar levels. The fiber provides a true cleanse in the colon.
  • Juice cleanses should be kept short and only last a few days. Prolonged juice cleansing increases the potential of damaging the kitchen. The low calorie, high fruit sugar spikes from the cleanse may also leave you feeling bad.
  • Creating smoothies, instead of juicing, is healthier. You get the whole fruit or vegetable, feel fuller, control blood sugar better and still get all the benefits juice cleanses provide.
  • Rather than doing a juice cleanse, consider intermittent fasting with healthy meal options. You fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. Studies show it provides many benefits, including weight loss.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

How To Count Macros

How To Count Macros

If you aren’t sure what macros are, how are you going to count macros? The term macros is an abbreviated way of saying macronutrients. It’s a way of categorizing protein, fat and carbohydrates. Micronutrients, on the other hand, are minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. While there’s still debate whether counting macros and focusing on how much you eat of each is the best way to lose weight, it does work and helps you lose fat and build muscles in the process.

First, learn why counting macros can help.

It’s important to get the right balance of macronutrients, since all three are important for your health. How much of each that you eat also determines your body composition, energy level, appetite and mood. Carbs give energy to move about and a source of fuel for the brain. Fat is a longer lasting fuel source, but also helps build hormones and plays a role in storing nutrients. Protein is part of every part of your body and almost every cell. It’s a building block that’s necessary for muscle tissue. If you count calories, you may lose weight, but the right balance of macronutrients can help you lose fat and build muscle tissue.

Counting macros actually counts calories automatically.

If you’ve spent most of your life counting calories, you might think counting macros is completely foreign. However, when you count macros, you’re actually counting calories at the same time. All macronutrients contain calories. Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram of carbs, protein contains 4 calories per gram of protein. Fat contains 9 calories of fat. No matter how nutrient rich they are, the calorie value is the same, since micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, don’t have any calories.

Determine the amount of each macro you need based on your personal goal.

While each person is different with different needs and goals, a very generalized rule notes you should get 45-60% of your calories from carbs, 20-35% from fats and 30-45% from protein. Multiply calories necessary of each by the percentage. If you’re on a 2000 calorie diet with 40% of calories from protein, that means 800 calories from protein. Divide that by 4 (4 calories per gram) and you need 200 grams of protein in your diet. If you’re using food that comes with a label, you’ll find how many grams of each macro per serving on the label. Just multiply that times the calories per gram. Have a scale to measure food that’s not labeled.

  • Some people consider alcohol as the fourth macronutrient. With 7 calories in each gram, it has higher calories per gram than both protein and carbohydrates, but less than fat. Most people class it with fat or carbs.
  • If you want to lose weight, opt for a lower carb ratio. A macro diet that focuses on fat loss and/or weight loss would contain 40-50% of calories from protein, 10-30% from carbs and 30-40% from fat.
  • There are macros calculators available online that can determine the number of macronutrients quickly if you want to do it on your own. All you have to do is enter the food and the amount you’re consuming. It makes it easier to track.
  • At Next Level Fitness we make it easier with nutrition experts that can plan your menus for you. They do consulting and meal planning to ensure you have a personalize program.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Health Benefits Of Kale

Health Benefits Of Kale

Did you know there are many different varieties of kale used in Irvine, CA? That ornamental kale you see in planters and on salad bars are different varieties than the ones you eat, but still edible. Even within the edible varieties, there are huge differences in flavor and appearance. For instance, red kale tastes milder than curly kale, and they both look and taste different than walking stick kale. What do they all have in common? It’s the health benefits of kale.

Add kale to your salads to boost flavor and nutrients.

This versatile veggie can be cooked or eaten raw. It’s becoming more and more popular in salads, especially when you consider how many more nutrients it offers compared to other leafy greens, like iceberg lettuce. It had a high amount of vitamin K, C, A and a large amount of copper and manganese. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and E, folate, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and Omega3 fatty acids. Kale is one of the most nutrient packed plants you can find.

Fill up on kale salad if you want to lose weight and stay healthy.

Kale is a low calorie option that tastes amazing. Create a big salad with kale, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a vinaigrette dressing. It’s delicious and filling, but extremely low in calories. It offers plenty of protein and fiber, which is important for weight loss. You can use it as a side dish, too. The green you see in the Zuppa Toscana at the Olive Garden is kale. You can sauté kale with mushrooms and tomatoes as a side dish. There are many ways to include it in your diet to help you blast off the pounds, while enjoying every minute of eating.

There’s no better time than now to boost your immune system.

Kale is filled with potent antioxidants in the form of beta carotene and vitamin C. It also has flavonoids and polyphenols that help your immune system. These antioxidants help protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to aging, serious conditions and even death. The flavonoids in kale, kaempferol and quercetin offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer benefits.

  • Eating kale also helps you lower your blood pressure and protect your heart. It also has bile acid sequestrants that lower cholesterol levels.
  • Kale reduces the potential for Alzheimer’s and dementia by providing nutrients that slow mental decline as you age.
  • Kale contains high amounts of vitamin K and goitrogen that increase the blood clotting ability of the blood. If you’re on blood thinners or have hypothyroidism, always check with your health care professional before including kale in your diet.
  • Spinach is almost as laden with nutrients as kale, including high amounts of calcium. However, spinach is also high in oxalate, while kale isn’t. Oxalate not only prevents absorption of calcium and other nutrients and may cause kidney stones.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Does Lack Of Sleep Cause Dehydration?

Does Lack Of Sleep Cause Dehydration?

Do you burn the candle at both ends and wind up feeling fatigued or have a headache in the morning? Most people would blame that on lack of sleep, but the answer might be a bit more complicated. Maybe lacking sleep isn’t the exact problem, but dehydration is. What causes the dehydration? According to research published in the November 5, 2018, journal, Sleep, these symptoms occur because of dehydration, but the dehydration may occur because of the lack of sleep.

The study followed the hydration of almost 20,000 Chinese and American Adults.

It didn’t matter whether you were from the US or China, sleeping fewer than six hours on a regular basis increased your risk of dehydration up to 59% when compared to people who slept from seven to eight hours normally. While studies have shown that lack of sleep not only impairs your judgement and focus, but when done consistently, can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Newer studies show it can even lead to kidney disease and even early death.

New studies show it may be because of a hormone created at night as part of the circadian rhythm.

When scientists discovered the link between lack of sleep and dehydration, they had to look further. The study was observational, but it linked the dehydration to the creation of a hormone called vasopressin. The body creates vasopressin, which is a hormone that has antidiuretic qualities. It helps maintain the body’s water balance both during the day and night. Vasopressin is released more quickly deeper into the sleep cycle. Going to bed and therefore getting up before the most hormone is released can disrupt the body’s hydration.

What to do if you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep a night.

Getting adequate sleep should be your first line of defense. Lack of sleep affects so many areas of your health that it’s extremely important. However, sometimes getting enough sleep isn’t possible. For those times when you’re tired, feeling groggy or out of sorts, don’t reach for coffee. Instead, reach for a bottle of water and drink water liberally throughout the day.

  • The kidneys play a vital role in hydration due to the hormone vasopressin secreted by the pituitary gland. Drinking more water actually improves kidneys health.
  • The studies showed that people who regularly slept 6 hours or less had urine that was more concentrated than those who slept at least 8 hours a night. However, sleeping 9 hours made no significant difference.
  • The quality of your sleep makes a difference. Quality sleep is more than just getting to bed on time. It’s going to sleep and sleeping through the night to let the sleep cycle complete.
  • You can get better quality sleep by creating a sleep schedule and sticking with it, refrain from eating too much at bedtime, but don’t go to bed hungry and make your area conducive to sleep, dark, slightly cool and quiet.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Vegetarian Foods Loaded With Iron

Vegetarian Foods Loaded With Iron

There are a lot of foods that are high in iron, such as shellfish, liver and other organ meats, beef, turkey and fish. That’s normally where many people get iron in their diet. What about a vegetarian? What foods should they eat to get their daily supply of iron? Iron is important for the body. It is necessary in the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. A deficiency leads to anemia and fatigue. Most at risk are menstruating women and people with certain conditions. There are some rich sources of iron in the plant world, however.

Plant sources are non-heme iron sources that make it harder to absorb.

Popeye loved his spinach and the iron in it made him strong. It does have a significant amount of iron, about 15% of the DV in just 3.5 ounces of spinach. It also contains vitamin C. Even though spinach is non-heme, the vitamin C helps boost the iron absorption. Spinach also has other nutrients, such as carotenoids. Just like spinach, other leafy greens, like kale, Swiss chard, beet and collard greens, tend to be higher in iron. 100 grams of spinach has 1.1 times more iron as 100 grams of red meat. The difference comes in the volume and how well the body can use the iron. Uncooked, 100 grams of spinach is about 3 ½ cups, while 100 grams of red meat is the size of a deck of cards.

Beans, lentils and peas are higher in iron.

Soybeans and the foods like tofu, tempeh and natto made from soybeans are higher in iron. They are also a good source of protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Lentils, another staple on the vegetarian table, also contain iron, fiber, folate, manganese and protein. Whether you’re talking about black-eyed peas, chickpeas, Lima, red or navy beans, they’re higher in iron. In fact, chickpeas are an excellent source, with a cup providing over 1/4th the daily required amount. Think hummus and dip your veggies as you get your iron.

Your trail mix could be the key to getting adequate iron.

Both nuts and seeds are high in iron. Just two tablespoons of pumpkin, sesame, flax or hemp seed, you’ll get between 7 and 23% of your required daily amount of iron. Again, think about hummus. It’s not only made from chickpeas, but it also contains tahini, a product made from sesame seeds. A half cup of hummus provides 17% of the RDI. Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts and pine nuts also provide about 8% of the daily recommended intake per ounce.

While raw tomatoes don’t contain a lot of iron, their concentrate does. Just a half cup of tomato paste offers 22% of the RDI. While they do contain vitamin C that helps absorption, it’s lost during the cooking process.

Mash those potatoes with the skin on it. Unpeeled potatoes have a significant amount of iron, approximately 18% of the RDI. Most of that iron is in the skins.

Prune juice and mulberries also have iron. Prunes juice offers about 17% of the RDI per cup, while mulberries provide 14% RDI with a high amount of vitamin C to help absorption.

Whole grains like the ancient grains amaranth, quinoa and spelt, as well as oats, contain a high amount of iron. Let’s not forget one of the more popular foods with iron, dark chocolate. It offers 18% RDI per ounce.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Spicing Up Your Meals Can Benefit Your Health

Do you really think that healthy food has to taste bland and boring? You’ll be surprised at how spicing up your meals not only makes it taste better, but also can benefit your health. Holy Basil, for instance, is used in Asian cooking, but is more often used for its health benefits. It helps you feel more relaxed and reduces the hormone of stress, cortisol. Sage is another herb that helps the body. In fact, it’s genus name, salvia, means to heal in Latin. The chemicals sage contains, such as luteolin, quercetin and rosmarinic, also improve memory and alertness.

Sour cream and chives make a good topping for potatoes, but chives also have a health benefit.

If you top your baked potato with chives, you’ll be adding a powerful cancer fighter. It contains choline, too. Choline aids brain functions, sleep, bone building with its vitamin K and muscle movements. They also contain calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium, yet only have one calorie per tablespoon.

Turmeric is a yellow spice that’s often used in Indian dishes.

However, it’s also a potent anti-inflammatory. It’s used for arthritis, digestive issues, anti-cancer benefits and even Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that if you flavor with turmeric, you’ll reduce the risk of cancer and may even help slow the progression if you already have it. It’s been used to treat dementia as well as Alzheimer’s because of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and ability to dissolve fats. Studies indicate abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and the curcumin in turmeric help prevent it.

Marjoram and oregano are also good for your health.

Marjoram helps balance abnormal hormone levels that can cause PCOS—polycystic ovarian syndrome. Marjoram also has antiseptic qualities and is often used to treat signs of flu, headaches and coughs. It’s also used as a pain reliever. Oregano is also used for those same things, since it’s rich in antioxidants and is antiseptic. In fact, making a tea and using it to wash your face can be an effective acne treatment or use it on the hair for dandruff.

  • Boost your brain power with peppermint. In fact, just sniffing peppermint can boost your energy, alertness or improve your mood. Put a drop of peppermint oil on a handkerchief and sniff it when you need a boost. Putting a drop on the neck, sinuses, or temples can help relieve headaches.
  • Cilantro and coriander both come from the same plant. Cilantro is the leaves and coriander the seeds. Both are high in vitamins A, K and E, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, copper, calcium and magnesium.
  • Garlic is one of the favorites when it comes to good health. It can combat even the common cold. Garlic can also lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, fight against Alzheimer’s, and help you live longer.
  • Fennel can be an herb or the bulb can be a vegetable. It has a licorice smell and contains many nutrients, including vitamins A, C, B6, E and K. A tea from the leaves or chewing on a seed is good to help settle the stomach.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Unique Health Benefits Of Honey

Unique Health Benefits Of Honey

In Irvine, CA, there are many boutiques and health stores where you can purchase both raw and processed honey. Don’t be fooled by the grocery store honey that is often watered down and degraded with fructose additives, making it nothing but honey sugar syrup with none of the health benefits of honey. There is medical-grade honey, food-grade, raw honey, organic honey and pasteurized honey. To get the benefits, avoid the pasteurized or processed honey. The heating and treating kills the good bacteria and eliminates many of the health benefits. Buy from local beekeepers if possible.

Clear honey looks better, but is it better for you?

The more processed honey is, the clearer it is. Raw honey is one of the best choices. It often contains far more pollen and beneficial enzymes. Even though the pollen in honey makes it look hazier, it also provides extra benefits. Raw honey contains antioxidants, enzymes, minerals and has many health benefits. If you’ve ever taken a teaspoon of honey mixed with lemon juice for a cough, you’ll understand how helpful and healing it can be. It’s even endorsed by many medical groups as a natural cough treatment.

Honey has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

The benefits of honey can also help rid the body of inflammation that can cause a number of health issues, which include heart disease, autoimmune disorders and cancer. There are different benefits based on the type of nectar used to make the honey. For instance, buckwheat honey is exceptionally high in antioxidants and probably the best choices for treatment of coughs and the sore scratchy throat. It’s also good to lower cholesterol levels and aid in healing wounds. Acacia honey, which actually comes from black locust trees sometimes called false acacia, is also effective in treating resistant bacteria and some forms of cancer.

You may have heard of manuka honey.

This type of honey is rare and comes from New Zealand. It’s made from the nectar of the tea tree bush. It has a more medicine style taste than regular honey, but it’s extremely good to help the body heal. Diabetic ulcers and burns are often treated with manuka honey, since it keeps the area moist, reduces inflammation, maintains the proper pH conditions for healing and is antibacterial. It also is good for oral health.

  • If you’ve ever seen wildflower honey, you know it’s light in color. It’s one of the best as a cough suppressant and helps fight seasonal allergies, just as sourwood honey does.
  • One of the sweetest and mildest types of honey is tupelo honey. It’s sweet and almost buttery with antioxidant and antibacterial benefits. Orange blossom honey supports the immune system.
  • Linden or basswood honey also is delicate in taste and flavor. It’s used to detox the body and for colds and bronchitis by naturopaths. Sage honey is good for digestion. Blueberry honey is used for chronic illness.
  • Beware of giving infants under 12 months raw honey. It can contain botulism bacteria. Also be aware that honey is quite high in calories and is pure sugar. Use it sparingly as you would any other type of sugar.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Food That Have Almost ZERO Calories

Food That Have Almost ZERO Calories

Are you searching for food that fills you up, but that has almost ZERO calories? Lots of people in Irvine, CA are doing the same thing. Finding foods with low or no calories isn’t as hard as you think. You start with food that normally is lower calorie, contains fiber and burns more calories to digest as it contains. These are called negative-calorie foods, which is a hot topic today.

Is there such a thing as a negative calorie food?

You hear celery tossed around frequently when this effect is mentioned. Digestion requires energy. In fact, it takes between 5 and 10 percent of your daily energy expenditure. Even though celery contains few calories, it still takes energy to digest the food. The net calorie intake for these foods are minimal, but not necessarily negative. Other vegetables, like leafy greens, alfalfa sprouts and even fruit like cantaloupe and watermelon are almost zero calories because of thermogenesis and the cost of calories it takes to digest the food.

Adding more flavor doesn’t mean adding calories.

Adding a tablespoon of butter or mayonnaise to add flavor will definitely increase the calorie count, so why not add almost zero calorie herbs and spices, like ginger, garlic or cayenne pepper. Spicy cayenne pepper or other hot foods actually can boost the calorie burning. It causes the heat to build in your body and increase its temperature. That increases your metabolism, burning even more calories and lowering the calorie count for the food that’s spiced. Cinnamon, cumin and turmeric also have weight loss benefits.

There’s a reason why salads are often the center of diets.

The best diet foods are actually quite popular. Not only are the leafy lettuce and sprouts excellent as zero calorie foods, so are some of the toppers, like radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and mushrooms. Slice up some summer squash like zucchini or make zoodles. You’ll have almost no calories per serving. Even nicer as a side dish are fresh asparagus. Steam baby asparagus and top with a little lemon and salt. It’s the perfect “almost no calorie” side dish.

  • Cauliflower is another low calorie food that has almost no net calories when you consider those you burn during digestion. Fennel bulb is another dish that has almost no calories, depending on how it’s prepared.
  • One popular green for salads in bags is cabbage, since it stays crispy longer. One cup of chopped cabbage is just 29 calories. Mix it with other veggies or grate it with apples and carrots and you have a super low calorie satisfying salad.
  • Bell peppers are also low in calories and high in vitamin C, especially the red ones. You can eat them raw or stuff them with brown rice, beans or lean ground beef and tomatoes for a delicious lower calorie dinner.
  • Broccoli is another veggie you can eat raw or cooked with just 31 calories for every cup of chopped broccoli. For a few calories more, 7 to be exact, you can have a cup of cooked green beans.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness