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7 Healthy Comfort Foods To Help You De-Stress Without Gaining Extra Pounds

7 Healthy Comfort Foods To Help You De-Stress Without Gaining Extra Pounds

Now that summer is here, we’ll be at tons of cookouts. Saying no to our sweet tooth and the little devil on our shoulder is never easy, and eating our favorite junk foods is a quick way to help us de-stress. We would never want to cut out our favorite foods so we’ve formulated a list of healthy comfort foods that’ll keep you looking great in your swimsuit this year. If you want to be able to indulge without overdosing on your calorie intake, you’ve found yourself at the right place.

1. Simple Oatmeal

Oatmeal_shutterstock_173846588_RT

    via Shutterstock

    Oatmeal is one of the simplest breakfast foods out there. It’s low in calories and high in fiber. It’s quick to make and so simple for on the go. It’s easy to “dress it up” with some of your favorite fruits for some added color and flavor. By adding some strawberries and/or blueberries you’re able to address your sweet tooth, and they are certainly a healthy substitution for a doughnut or a mouth drooling cinnamon bun.

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    2. The Healthy (Salmon) Burger

    salmon-burger-2

      via Ezra Pound Cake

      It’s always hard to say no to a mouth watering burger. Most of us could eat them every day, but would surely feel the remorse after we notice the extra pounds we’d gain as a result. So for all of you burger lovers out there, we’ve found that the salmon burger is a healthy substitution. For all of you who are prone to stress, you’ll be relieved to know that salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which will help protect your cells against inflammation caused by stress. Just add your favorite toppings and you’re set!

      3. Delicious, Healthy Yogurt

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      Yogurt-Parfait

        via Her Campus

        Walk away from the ice cream lane, and stay in the correct one. Replace your ice cream with yogurt. A study at UCLA discovered that women who ate yogurt that had probiotics noticed a reduction in activity in the area of the brain that handles stress and emotion. Don’t forget to top it off with some tasty fruits for some added health benefits and antioxidants, it makes for a great healthy comfort food!

        4. Citrusy Lemonade

        mango-lemonade3

          via Overtime Cook

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          When we stress, we crave sugars such as soda and other unhealthy drinks. Thankfully there’s a healthy alternative and you can finally kick soda to the side for good. Packed with Vitamin C which has been linked to the reduction of stress and can improve blood pressure and cortisol levels. Be careful when purchasing store bought lemonade’s because these can be packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. It’s best to make your own fresh batch and add a few drops of honey and/or a few packets of stevia.

          5. Simply Popcorn

          shutterstock_296395484-popcorn-oxana-denezhkina_0

            via Shuttershock

            Chips are something that you just can’t have a handful of. Have you ever noticed that you open the bag and think to yourself, “I’m only going to have a few” and the next thing you know you’ve managed to house down more than half the bag? Well, we have found that popcorn is a healthy comfort food. It’s high in fiber and can help level out your blood sugar. To add some flavor, top it off with some cinnamon which is known to stabilize blood sugar as well. This carb-rich snack will absolutely spark those serotonin neurotransmitters which help regulate your mood.

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            6. Green (Veggie) Pizza

            shutterstock_204618826-pizza-alena-haurylik

              via Shuttershock

              Who would we be if we sat here and told you that you can’t enjoy pizza still? But here’s the thing, some toppings are healthier than others, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that most of them are green. Swap out your pepperoni for something healthier such as spinach or arugula. Both of these are filled with vitamin B which helps fight off depression. To boost your mood a little more, throw some lemon zest on top!

              7. Delicious Dark Chocolate (Healthy Comfort Food)

              shutterstock_229969108

                via Shuttershock

                No one can deprive anyone of chocolate and no one would even want to! But just like with most things in life, there are certainly healthier alternatives in the world of chocolate. For example, swap out your M&M’s for a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate will give you that dopamine rush we all want and quite frankly need every once in awhile. It also has something called cocoa polyphenols, which happens to be more prominent in dark chocolate than milk chocolate which can reduce stress – especially in women. But just like anything else, don’t overdo it, a little goes a long way!

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                Erica Wagner

                Freelance Writer

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                Last Updated on December 13, 2018

                12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

                A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

                1. Eat Before Heading Out

                First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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                2. Select The Treats

                Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

                3. Avoid Skipping Meals

                Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

                4. Drink With Moderation

                It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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                5. Be Active

                You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

                6. Get Out Of The House

                Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

                7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

                Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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                8. Set Realistic Goals

                You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

                9. Enjoy Yourself

                Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

                10. Drink A Lot Of Water

                This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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                11. Eat Less And More Often

                Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

                12. Prioritize Your Workouts

                Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

                So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

                Happy Holidays everyone!

                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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