5 Reasons Smoothies Are the Best Breakfast For Weight Loss

Believe the hype: smoothies are one of your best breakfast bets if you want to lose weight. Here’s why.

They’re filling: You can throw just about anything in your blender, even foods you’d never think to eat for breakfast, and as long as they’re mixed in with some fruits or protein powder you won’t even be able to taste them. Choose fiber-rich ingredients like greens, broccoli, beans, flaxmeal, avocados, cucumbers, nut butters, and chia seeds, and they’ll fill you up for hours, crushing hunger. And since smoothies are also high in water content, that adds to the filling effect.

Consider your sweet tooth satisfied: If sugary pastries, doughnuts, and pancakes doused in syrup are what you crave, there’s a fruit-filled smoothie out there to satisfy your needs, from banana bread, to carrot cake, to chocolate cashew. Naturally sweet and without added sugars, these smoothies clock in at a fraction of the calories of the baked stuff.

You choose the calorie count: Everyone’s daily calorie needs are different depending on height, weight, amount of exercise, and lifestyle. Since you choose the ingredients to put in your smoothies, you can make that first meal of the day as many calories as you want. Specifically for weight loss, nutritionists recommend aiming between 300 and 400 calories, which makes for a large, satisfying smoothie. Just make sure to measure out your ingredients ¡ª it’s easy to make a 600-calorie smoothie without realizing it.

They’re protein-packed: There’s more to a smoothie than banana and blueberries! Fill up on satiating protein by choosing high-protein ingredients. We’re talking the usuals like Greek yogurt and protein powder, but don’t be shy about adding cannellinni beans, lentils, silken tofu, and hemp seeds. And instead of water, increase the protein with unsweetened soy milk ¡ª it has way more protein than almond milk.

They’re crazy quick: Breakfast done in minutes ¡ª you can’t beat that. Plus you can make this fast meal even quicker by storing pre-cut fruit in the fridge, using frozen kale and spinach, or by pre-making smoothie freezer packs.

Related: Nutritionists Reveal the Perfect Weight-Loss Smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

5 Reasons Smoothies Are the Best Breakfast For Weight Loss

Believe the hype: smoothies are one of your best breakfast bets if you want to lose weight. Here’s why.

They’re filling: You can throw just about anything in your blender| even foods you’d never think to eat for breakfast| and as long as they’re mixed in with some fruits or protein powder you won’t even be able to taste them. Choose fiber-rich ingredients like greens| broccoli| beans| flaxmeal| avocados| cucumbers| nut butters| and chia seeds| and they’ll fill you up for hours| crushing hunger. And since smoothies are also high in water content| that adds to the filling effect.

Consider your sweet tooth satisfied: If sugary pastries| doughnuts| and pancakes doused in syrup are what you crave| there’s a fruit-filled smoothie out there to satisfy your needs| from banana bread| to carrot cake| to chocolate cashew. Naturally sweet and without added sugars| these smoothies clock in at a fraction of the calories of the baked stuff.

You choose the calorie count: Everyone’s daily calorie needs are different depending on height| weight| amount of exercise| and lifestyle. Since you choose the ingredients to put in your smoothies| you can make that first meal of the day as many calories as you want. Specifically for weight loss| nutritionists recommend aiming between 300 and 400 calories| which makes for a large| satisfying smoothie. Just make sure to measure out your ingredients ¡ª it’s easy to make a 600-calorie smoothie without realizing it.

They’re protein-packed: There’s more to a smoothie than banana and blueberries! Fill up on satiating protein by choosing high-protein ingredients. We’re talking the usuals like Greek yogurt and protein powder| but don’t be shy about adding cannellinni beans| lentils| silken tofu| and hemp seeds. And instead of water| increase the protein with unsweetened soy milk ¡ª it has way more protein than almond milk.

They’re crazy quick: Breakfast done in minutes ¡ª you can’t beat that. Plus you can make this fast meal even quicker by storing pre-cut fruit in the fridge| using frozen kale and spinach| or by pre-making smoothie freezer packs.

Related: Nutritionists Reveal the Perfect Weight-Loss Smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Oprah Joins Weight Watchers and Buys Part of the Company in the Process

Oprah Winfrey has always been a poster child for living your best life and has publicly shared her own path to living healthier and losing weight. So it’s no surprise that she’d team up with Weight Watchers. In fact, the billionaire believes so much in the company’s mission that she is now the proud owner of 10 percent of Weight Watchers International, the company announced today.

“Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for. I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution,” Oprah explained. She joins other celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson who have become proud spokespeople for the brand often rated as one of the most effective diets around. Weight Watchers also announced that it’s expanding its brand to not only be about weight loss but to emphasize living a healthier and happier life ¡ª that’s like the definition of Oprah!

Oprah bought her shares at $6.79 for a total investment of $43.2 million and is also joining the board and becoming an advisor to the company as well; CEO Jim Chambers believes it’s clear that her mission resonates well with people. Her ability to connect and inspire will complement the company’s “powerful community, extraordinary coaches, and proven approach,” he said. We’re sure that Oprah’s stamp of approval will help encourage more people to find success on their weight-loss journeys.

Image Source: Getty / Bruce Glikas

Oprah Joins Weight Watchers and Buys Part of the Company in the Process

Oprah Winfrey has always been a poster child for living your best life and has publicly shared her own path to living healthier and losing weight. So it’s no surprise that she’d team up with Weight Watchers. In fact| the billionaire believes so much in the company’s mission that she is now the proud owner of 10 percent of Weight Watchers International| the company announced today.

“Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for. I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution|” Oprah explained. She joins other celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson who have become proud spokespeople for the brand often rated as one of the most effective diets around. Weight Watchers also announced that it’s expanding its brand to not only be about weight loss but to emphasize living a healthier and happier life ¡ª that’s like the definition of Oprah!

Oprah bought her shares at $6.79 for a total investment of $43.2 million and is also joining the board and becoming an advisor to the company as well; CEO Jim Chambers believes it’s clear that her mission resonates well with people. Her ability to connect and inspire will complement the company’s “powerful community| extraordinary coaches| and proven approach|” he said. We’re sure that Oprah’s stamp of approval will help encourage more people to find success on their weight-loss journeys.

Image Source: Getty / Bruce Glikas

How Hills, Sleep, and Your Attitude Can Diminish Cellulite

How Hills, Sleep, and Your Attitude Can Diminish Cellulite

Just about all women have it, and whether genetics has blessed you with a little more than you’d like, cellulite is just one of those things we have to embrace. What causes that dimply, orange-peel-looking flesh? When fat cells push up against our skin and the fibrous tissue that connects our skin to our muscle pulls down, we’re left with that signature bumpy skin. Although you can’t get rid of cellulite completely, here are some simple things you can do to reduce its appearance.

| Melt Away Fat With Cardio

Cellulite is a type of fat, and the tried-and-true way to get rid of fat is to burn it off. Intense cardio workouts such as running, cycling, hiking up hills, or taking cardio classes are your greatest weapon. Note that it may take several months to decrease your overall percentage of body fat and notice a difference in your skin’s appearance.

| Tone Up

Once you decrease the fat on your body, tone strong, lean muscle by doing strength-training moves that target trouble spots. Try this video that tones the hamstrings and glutes, or grab your mat and move through this leg- and core-strengthening yoga sequence to improve the tone of your muscles, which will help make your legs, tush, and abs appear smoother. This 30-minute video workout combines cardio with strength training for an effective and fun workout.

| Eat Right

Of course, eating a healthy diet goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight. The less fat you have on your body, the less cellulite appears. Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains.

| Stay Hydrated

Reducing the appearance of dimply skin is as simple as drinking a glass of nature’s beverage. Staying hydrated improves the texture of your skin because it helps your body release excess fluid it may be holding on to.

| Get Your ZZZ’s

Getting enough rest every night is good for your heart, prevents you from getting sick, lowers your risk of high blood pressure, and helps with weight loss. That’s not all shut-eye is good for u2014 getting regular quality sleep also helps with cellulite. Aim for at least seven to eight hours a night.

| Embrace It!

Although you can take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest, nothing is going to make cellulite completely disappear. So here’s an idea u2014 embrace it! Don’t spend your time obsessing over what you wish your tush and thighs looked like. Just slip on that bathing suit and enjoy that beautiful day. Keep in mind that 80 percent of women have cellulite (thanks to genes and the fact that you’re a woman), so if you feel nervous, just close your eyes and summon the power of all women, and you’ll feel much more confident slipping off your cover-up.

How Hills, Sleep, and Your Attitude Can Diminish Cellulite

How Hills| Sleep| and Your Attitude Can Diminish Cellulite

Just about all women have it| and whether genetics has blessed you with a little more than you’d like| cellulite is just one of those things we have to embrace. What causes that dimply| orange-peel-looking flesh? When fat cells push up against our skin and the fibrous tissue that connects our skin to our muscle pulls down| we’re left with that signature bumpy skin. Although you can’t get rid of cellulite completely| here are some simple things you can do to reduce its appearance.

| Melt Away Fat With Cardio

Cellulite is a type of fat| and the tried-and-true way to get rid of fat is to burn it off. Intense cardio workouts such as running| cycling| hiking up hills| or taking cardio classes are your greatest weapon. Note that it may take several months to decrease your overall percentage of body fat and notice a difference in your skin’s appearance.

| Tone Up

Once you decrease the fat on your body| tone strong| lean muscle by doing strength-training moves that target trouble spots. Try this video that tones the hamstrings and glutes| or grab your mat and move through this leg- and core-strengthening yoga sequence to improve the tone of your muscles| which will help make your legs| tush| and abs appear smoother. This 30-minute video workout combines cardio with strength training for an effective and fun workout.

| Eat Right

Of course| eating a healthy diet goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight. The less fat you have on your body| the less cellulite appears. Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies| lean proteins| healthy fats| and whole grains.

| Stay Hydrated

Reducing the appearance of dimply skin is as simple as drinking a glass of nature’s beverage. Staying hydrated improves the texture of your skin because it helps your body release excess fluid it may be holding on to.

| Get Your ZZZ’s

Getting enough rest every night is good for your heart| prevents you from getting sick| lowers your risk of high blood pressure| and helps with weight loss. That’s not all shut-eye is good for u2014 getting regular quality sleep also helps with cellulite. Aim for at least seven to eight hours a night.

| Embrace It!

Although you can take care of yourself by eating right| exercising| and getting enough rest| nothing is going to make cellulite completely disappear. So here’s an idea u2014 embrace it! Don’t spend your time obsessing over what you wish your tush and thighs looked like. Just slip on that bathing suit and enjoy that beautiful day. Keep in mind that 80 percent of women have cellulite (thanks to genes and the fact that you’re a woman)| so if you feel nervous| just close your eyes and summon the power of all women| and you’ll feel much more confident slipping off your cover-up.

3 Ways Hummus Can Help You Lose Weight

Hummus is a must-have appetizer for any healthy spread, but you might not know that this dip supports healthy weight loss. If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, here’s why you should always keep some hummus handy.

It can suppress your appetite: There’s good reason nutritionist Julie Upton is such a big fan of legumes like chickpeas when it comes to weight loss. In one study, people who ate about one cup (5.5 ounces) of legumes felt 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t eat them. Adding chickpea-filled hummus to your diet can help curb cravings and keep you satisfied for longer.

It’s high in protein and fiber: Hummus is an solid source of protein and fiber, and it’s an amazing weight-loss snack for that reason. One-fourth cup of hummus is just over 100 calories and offers three grams of protein and 10 percent of your daily recommended fiber. Amping up your protein and fiber intake supports healthy weight loss and keeps your digestion regular.

It’s a smarter sandwich spread: If you crave the creaminess of mayo but want to cut back on calories and fat, sub in a spread of hummus. It will offer the texture you love with a serious nutritional punch. Even better, try this veggie sandwich that stars the spread.

You can easily buy a tub at the store or whip up one of these creative hummus variations at home:

Sweet Potato HummusCoconut Curry HummusSpicy Black Bean HummusImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

3 Ways Hummus Can Help You Lose Weight

Hummus is a must-have appetizer for any healthy spread| but you might not know that this dip supports healthy weight loss. If you’re trying to shed a few pounds| here’s why you should always keep some hummus handy.

It can suppress your appetite: There’s good reason nutritionist Julie Upton is such a big fan of legumes like chickpeas when it comes to weight loss. In one study| people who ate about one cup (5.5 ounces) of legumes felt 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t eat them. Adding chickpea-filled hummus to your diet can help curb cravings and keep you satisfied for longer.

It’s high in protein and fiber: Hummus is an solid source of protein and fiber| and it’s an amazing weight-loss snack for that reason. One-fourth cup of hummus is just over 100 calories and offers three grams of protein and 10 percent of your daily recommended fiber. Amping up your protein and fiber intake supports healthy weight loss and keeps your digestion regular.

It’s a smarter sandwich spread: If you crave the creaminess of mayo but want to cut back on calories and fat| sub in a spread of hummus. It will offer the texture you love with a serious nutritional punch. Even better| try this veggie sandwich that stars the spread.

You can easily buy a tub at the store or whip up one of these creative hummus variations at home:

Sweet Potato HummusCoconut Curry HummusSpicy Black Bean HummusImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

27 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Torch Fat Today

27 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Torch Fat Today

If you’re looking for a way to burn more calories with little effort| you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got over 25 simple ways you can boost your body’s fat-burning potential| all day| the easy way.

u2014 Additional reporting by Michele Foley| Lizzie Fuhr| and Jenny Sugar

| Do Cardio

Cardio is crucial for keeping your metabolism running smoothly. In one study| researchers found that after a tough 45-minute cycling workout the subjects slashed 190 calories above their resting metabolic rate for 14 hours after their workout! According to the study author Dr. David Nieman| a professor of exercise science at Appalachian State University| “”If you do just two to three vigorous bouts of exercise per week for 45 minutes| you could lose a pound of fat every two weeks from the combination of calories expended during exercise plus what you burn afterward.””

| Eat Breakfast

After a long night of fasting| your body needs fuel to rev up its metabolism. Skipping breakfast can slow down your body’s ability to burn fat as it tries to conserve energy| so make sure you eat a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up in order to help keep your metabolism running on high. These healthy breakfast recipes can be made the night before if you find you are skipping breakfast because you are too rushed to prep in the morning.

| Schedule in Exercise

Exercise doesn’t just melt away fat because of the amount of energy you’re expending u2014 it actually changes your DNA to boost your metabolism immediately. Experts recommend up to an hour to see the DNA-changing benefits| so keep it up by scheduling your workout throughout the week to ensure you don’t miss it.

| Don’t Skip Meals

You might think that passing on dinner would translate to a slimmer waistline| but it’s doing just the opposite. Skipping meals can trick the body into thinking it’s not getting enough food| which causes it to hold on to extra calories once it’s fed. Keeping blood-sugar levels consistent will keep metabolism functionally properly| so be sure to eat six small meals a day to keep hunger at bay.

| De-Stress

Stress can do more than make you feel crazy u2014u00a0it can actually slow down your metabolism. The stress hormone cortisol is the culprit: when levels are too high| it inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat. Take a few moments to breathe deeply or flow through a calming yoga sequence to keep your metabolism in check.

| Get an Afterburn

Short on time? You can still fit in enough exercise to burn 200 calories. A recent study showed that a very short burst of intense exercise (2.5 minutes worth) can lead to an afterburn of 200 calories throughout the day. So even if you don’t have time for a full workout| working up a sweat for a just few minutes is a lot better than nothing!

| Snack Before Bed

This isn’t a joke. Having a light bite before bed can actually boost your metabolism. Low blood sugar leaves you with less muscle| which makes your metabolism drag| so keep your metabolism cranking with a 100- to 200-calorie bedtime snack| so you can burn calories while you sleep!

| Eat Whole Grains

Packed with fiber| whole grains take up more room in your belly (compared to other foods with the same number of calories) and leave less room for second helpings. They also take more work to chew| literally making your mouth work harder (ramping up calorie burn by 10 percent!). This increases the thermic effect of food u2014 the calorie-burn bump we get from eating and digesting any given type of food. So be sure to include brown rice| barley| quinoa| oats| and millet in your diet.

| Add Intervals

If you’re just logging in cardio at the same pace every day| you’re not using your time as well as you could. Adding high-intensity intervals into your cardio will help burn more calories during each sweat session| so make the most of your 45 minutes on the treadmill and ramp up your workout. This pyramid treadmill interval workout is a great place to start.

| Sprinkle Cayenne

Cayenne pepper is known for its pungent flavor and healthy healing powers| but the spice can also boost your metabolism by kicking up your body’s temperature. Don’t worry about covering your food in this spicy stuff! Just a small amount goes a long way.

| Strength Train

Muscle is a fat-burning powerhouse| so make sure you don’t neglect your strength-training routine. Aim for 120 minutes of strength sessions a week: try our total-body workout circuit with weights to build muscle or do this TRX workout the next time you are at the gym.

| Indulge With Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate makes for a healthy dessert for many reasons| and its metabolism-boosting potential is one of them. Dark chocolate includes two ingredients that are known to boost metabolism: caffeine and the antioxidant catechin. Just make sure you stick to a small square a day so the sugar and calories don’t outweigh dark chocolate’s fat-burning potential.

| Sprinkle Cinnamon

This warming spice is easy to add to foods and a delicious way to pep up your metabolism. Sprinkle some on a slice of whole wheat toast| on your bowl of oatmeal| and even in your soup.

| Drink More Water

Not drinking enough water can leave you feeling fatigued and unwell| which is reason enough to make sure you get in those ounces. A study also showed that people who drank eight to 12 glasses of water a day burned more fat than those who only drank four| so make sure you gulp in order to burn.

| Sleep Soundly

There seems to be an unending list of benefits that come from getting a good night’s sleep| and boosting metabolism is no exception: multiple studies have linked weight gain to a lack of quality sleep. If you’re not already getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night| be sure to follow these tips for getting quality z’s.

Quick tip: make sure to power down electronic devices at least 30 minutes before hitting the hay. The light these gadgets emit make it hard for the body to get into a restful state of mind.

| Go Nuts

While salty chips may be off the table| not all crunchy snacks should be seen as off-limits. Nuts like almonds| cashews| and walnuts are excellent sources of magnesium: the nutrient is not only good for a healthy heart| but it also belly-blasting nut recipes.

| Slurp This Soup

This creamy vegan broccoli soup will detoxify and satisfy. The high-fiber content helps moves things along| while the spices cayenne and nutmeg add flavor and a calorie-burning boost. Get the recipe for vegan nutmeg broccoli soup here.

| Limit Processed Carbs

We know that there’s something so alluring about salty chips| crusty French bread| and candy bars| but they’re doing nothing for your weight-loss aspirations. Besides adding empty calories to your diet| all the sugar in processed carbs can cause the body to hold on to extra calories as fat. Keep your metabolism moving by eating healthy meals and snacks that always include protein since it triggers the body to burn more calories.

| Use Ginger

Ginger is another warming food that can add heat to your meals| temporarily revving up your metabolism. Add fresh minced ginger to stir-fries| soups| grains| and dips| or try these fresh ideas.

| Eat Yogurt

Calcium along with other substances in dairy may actually raise your metabolism| telling your body to burn excess fat faster. The best results come from dairy products such as low-fat cheese| yogurt| and milk instead of calcium-fortified products like orange juice and supplements. Get the fat-burning benefits by eating three servings of dairy and 1|000 milligrams of calcium a day.

| Choose Lean Proteins

What’s a little extra effort if it means a few more calories get burned in the process? You’ve probably noticed that it takes a bit longer to eat a chicken breast than to wolf down a bowl of ice cream or bag of chips u2014u00a0all that extra chewing can translate to a 30 percent higher calorie burn! Lean proteins also require more energy to digest while still keeping you feeling full and satisfied. The harder the body works| the more calories you burn.

| Make a Metabolism-Boosting Smoothie

Eating breakfast is one way to get your metabolism fires burning strong| but what you eat can boost your metabolism even more. Give your blender a quick whir and try this smoothie recipe loaded with metabolism-boosting ingredients including Greek yogurt| green tea| and cinnamon.

| Snack on Sweet Potatoes

Portable and nutritious| sweet potatoes are a good healthy snack option. Not only are they high in many nutrients| like vitamin A| and anti-inflammatory antioxidants| but they also contain blood-sugar-regulating hormone adiponectin that can help rev up your metabolism. Remember to boil or steam your sweet potato to retain the most nutrients.

| Take a Walk

Getting up and moving around not only can help you digest after a big meal| but it also may boost your fat burn. Studies have shown that sitting for an hour or more reduces the fat-burning enzymes in your body by as much as 90 percent. Keep your metabolism revved up by making sure you get up from your desk chair and get into a habit of taking a walk before or after your lunch to up your fat-burning levels.

| Drink Green Tea

According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition| drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks. Green tea contains catechins| an antioxidant that raises resting metabolism by four percent (about 80 calories a day).

| Make This Salad Dressing

Vinegar may be just the secret your diet needs: not only does the condiment help you feel fuller longer| but apple cider vinegar has also been shown in some research to have a small effect on fat burn. This apple cider vinegar honey salad dressing is the perfect way to reap vinegar’s benefits.

| Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Chewing foods takes energy| which is why eating fruits and veggies is one way to boost your metabolism. To maximize their metabolism-boosting benefits| enjoy produce in its whole| natural state u2014 munch on an apple instead of applesauce and make a salad with big chunks instead of smaller| diced pieces. Taking more time to chew means your brain has more time to register that it’s full| so you consume fewer calories. Aside from raw fruits and veggies| these filing veggie meals will boost your metabolism.

Make These 5 Changes to Boost Your Metabolism All Day

Have a sluggish metabolism? Fight back by doing these things throughout your day to boost your metabolism from morning till night.

    Choose these every time you eat: Sounds crazy| but the chewiness of fruits| veggies| and whole grains makes your mouth work harder| and the high-fiber content also takes more energy to digest| which combined adds up to a 10 percent increase in calorie burn. Choose these foods in their whole| natural state to reap more of the metabolism-boosting benefits.Lean protein| too: Protein also requires more energy to digest while keeping you feeling full and satisfied| so be sure to include this essential nutrient in every meal and snack.Drop and give me 20: Right before every meal and snack| get on the floor and do 20 to 50 push-ups (choose the amount for your strength level). Short bursts of exercise can lead to an afterburn of 200 calories throughout the day| and lean muscle also burns more fat. Sip green tea or water: Green tea contains catechins| an antioxidant that raises resting metabolism by four percent (about 80 calories a day). If you’re not into this beverage| sip plain old water throughout the day to avoid dehydration| which can slow down metabolism.Take five: Stress not only leads to high-calorie snacking ¡ª it can actually slow your metabolism down. So it’s important to take regular breaks from your busy day. If you have a desk job| meditating may not be the best choice as studies have shown that sitting for an hour or more reduces the fat-burning enzymes in your body by as much as 90 percent. Get up and dance to your favorite song| go for a quick five-minute brisk walk| or move through this de-stressing yoga sequence.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography