Diet Tips For The New Year
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Diet Tips For The New Year

Simple Tips to Help Achieve Your Diet Resolutions for 2017

Many things happened in 2016 that I think we all want to forget. Famous stars passing, a stressful election, and for some unlucky students, possibly the freshman 15. I know we all want to forget it but those pounds unfortunately carry over.

If you are like me, then you want to make some changes for the better. Here are some diet tips that can have a big impact on your health this next year and get you ready for bathing suit season!

  • Cut the soda and energy drinks. I know that early classes suck, especially if you are like me and you don't like coffee. However, replacing these with water will have a huge impact on your diet. Look at it in a numbers kind of way. Each soda bottle you drink is roughly 180 calories and approximately 50 grams of sugar. So if you had two bottles of soda a day that you cut from your diet, you lose 2,520 calories and 700 grams of sugar. It adds up real quick.
  • Watch the fruits and the fruit juice! I know what you're thinking. "I thought fruits would be a good substitute for candy bars and soda!" You aren't wrong; replacing some junk food with fruit is a great idea... when it's not done in excess. Fruits are sweet because they contain natural sugars. A couple of servings throughout the day are great, but when you eat too sugar that you don't burn off, it turns to fat.
  • Salads don't always equal healthy eating. Sure it sounds great in theory: veggies in a bowl... what could possibly be bad about that? It's got to be healthier to eat a side salad than a thing of fries right? Well not every salad is healthy. Time for more numbers! The average salad from a restaurant contains over 500 calories, most all of which comes from the fatty dressing (honey mustard, ranch, the good stuff). An average order of fries contains roughly 520 calories; they are practically the same. However, using light vinaigrette or limiting the portion of dressing down to the recommended two tablespoons can greatly increase the healthy aspect of that salad. If ya do that, then you are good to go!
  • Substitute deserts with better substitutes. For me, a meal isn't complete without something sweet to eat. Unfortunately that cake does not contain some magical healing properties. It probably contains 240 calories and 50 grams of sugar. It's the same concept as the soda; it all adds up over time.
  • Portion control! This is the single biggest tip for dieting. Any good food can turn into something unhealthy if it's eaten in excess. Websites like can give you a great look into what portion sizes you should be eating to have a healthy diet.

These tips are here to promote the healthier you this year! Let's start this New Year off right!

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Weight Loss Tips For 2017

Get ready for the slim-down!

It can't get much worse than 2016, so there's no where to go but up! Most New Year's Resolutions circle around fitness.

The New Year comes right after the holiday season where we chow down on pie and get a little too comfortable in our winter bods. Whether you want to lose 20 pounds, five pounds, or just turn some fat into muscle, I have some tips for you!

Make sure you aren't taking adderall, skipping meals, and simply hoping for the best. This will not keep the pounds off permanently! In fact, it may even pack them on later.

Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and won't give you the long term results you want. In 2017, start exercising, eating healthy, and putting in the work.

Here are some ways you can help aid the process:

At least eight glasses of eight ounces every day.

2. Cut back on alcohol.
Choose red over white and lose the sugary mixers.

3. Do a cleanse.
Tea-Toxes are my favorite!

4. Speaking of tea...
Drink more green tea on the daily!

5. Turmuric.
It supports natural weight loss, aids muscles and joints, and reduces inflammation.

6. Take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning!
It's gross, but it works.

7. Flaxseed Oil.
It supports natural weight loss and fights cellulite.

8. Eat flat tummy foods.
Almonds, asparagus, blueberries, oatmeal, salmon, spinach are all great for that.

9. Never Skip Breakfast!
Ever ever ever!

10. Eat Throughout The Day
Six little meals are better than three big meals.

11. L-Carnitine.
It regulates how the body metabolizes fats and carbs.

12. Hit the gym.
Go at least three times a week & never go three days without it.

13. Mix up your workout.
Try boxing, cycling, pole dancing, etc.

14. Add lemon to your water/tea.
It makes it taste better without any extra calories.

15. Avoid processed foods.
This should be obvious.

16. Whole grains are your friend.
Avoid white bread, white rice, and potatoes.

17. Crank up the cardio.
The more sweat, the more pounds you lose.

18. Enjoy your food.
Eat slowly!

19. Get enough sleep & reduce stress.
You'll be happier all-around, also!

You have to start now, keep your goals in mind, and remember that it won't happen overnight. It will be a happy new year indeed!

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The Healthy, Guilt-Free Ice Cream Everyone Needs to Know About

Wanna eat a whole pint at once? Same. And now, we CAN. #AMERICA.

I effing love ice cream. I could eat a pint in one sitting, no regrets. Actually that is false, there are tons of regrets, and I usually wind up calling my friends in despair. But what if I told you there is an ice cream that is only on average 240 calories per pint, and actually tastes SO GOOD?! IT IS REAL PEOPLE! IT IS REAL!!

I give you... Halo Top. I have been eating this stuff non-stop the whole summer, and have actually LOST weight.

Here I am chowin' down a pint at 2 p.m. No big.

I sat down with Halo Top's CMO, Ryan Bouton, (he's actually hot and young btw), (was not expecting that), (got nervous and started sweating), and picked his brain on what this miracle product is really all about.

Aly: Please tell me. How do you keep the calories so low?

Ryan: A big thing we do is use organic Stevia as our main sweetener. This cuts down a ton of the fat and sugar in the product which in turn brings the calorie count down.

Aly: You guys talk up the protein value. Is it actually a good source of that?

Ryan: It definitely can be, but that's a bit subjective just because each individual (and what they are looking for out of a protein source) is different. However, generally, 24g of protein per pint is a great deal!

Aly: Not bad, not bad. Is it available in all states?

Ryan: We are sold nationwide now. There may be a few random states we aren't in, but we can pretty safely assume that if you go to our store locator, there will be something nearby.

Aly: What stores should we be checking? I know I always get it at Whole Foods...

Ryan: Kroger, Whole Foods, Safeway (select), Wegmans, Giant Carlisle (select), Ralphs, Vons, and Pavilions are just some of the bigger chains. The best bet is really just to use the store locator and see what's around. We've expanded a ton this year, so we should be close!

Aly: What do you want people to know about your product?

Ryan: We'd definitely love to do more flavors one day, but right now the focus is to still get the word out. Many people still think "healthy ice cream" is an oxymoron and that it doesn't exist. It does, and it's called Halo Top!

Here's a pro tip by Aly for maximum enjoyment of said Halo Top. Get a pint of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and put a scoop of each in your bowl, then top it with whipped cream and PB2 powder. It tastes like a magical sundae. The secret key is to let the pints melt for about 7-10 minutes so the consistency gets all creamy and soft.

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Health |  Source: umuller

4 Unexpected Challenges of Becoming More Health Conscious

Changing my habits has made me feel much better.

I made the choice about a year to start eating healthier and exercising almost every day. I had constantly looked at people who nommed on their Greek yogurt and talked about their yoga classes and admired their healthy resolve and flat stomachs.

I finally made the choice, and there have been some not-so obvious challenges that I've had to deal with since making this lifestyle decision.

Challenge #1: My family worried about why I wanted to be healthy.
This is one challenge I did not see coming at all. When I started having apples every day, forgoing ice cream, or at least having smaller amounts, my mom was concerned that I was becoming obsessed with my weight.

I will admit, at the start, that absolutely would have had merit, but now I eat healthy because it's better for me. Another added bonus is that I can eat more of it because the food has less calories. Losing weight along the way has just become a bonus.

Challenge #2: I had to combat a a sugary pantry inventory.
I still live with my parents, and they are still buying for everyone in the family. I will go in to grab some whole wheat bread, and see some fudge striped cookies right next to it. Before I really cracked down on saying no to excessive sugar, that was an issue. Most of the food I have now has to be in the fridge because it needs to be refrigerated, so I try to avoid looking in the pantry.

Challenge #3: I started to judge other people and their food choices.
When I first started eating really healthy, I became arrogant. I would look at other people's plates and compare them to my own. I would think I was so much better than them because I had made the healthy choice for a meal.

I realized almost immediately how arrogant I was becoming, so I made a quick change. From that point on, I had to adapt a different mindset and remember not to compare myself to others.

Challenge #4: I had to overcome my super pickiness in regard to food.
I am a super picky person, so finding healthy foods that I actually liked was a bit of a pain, but when I did find a food that I liked, I latched onto it. The only problem I encountered in the beginning was that I didn't have a whole lot of variety, so I was eating a lot of minerals and nutrients, but I would miss out on some others because I didn't like those foods. The hunt for healthy foods was arduous, but it was worth it in the end.

Since I have made this change, some good things have come out of it. I feel better about myself for picking healthier foods. I've become less sluggish because I have been eating energy efficient foods. I have also lost a lot of extra belly fat. I've become physically stronger from exercising more often and I like the feeling.

Lastly, I've noticed that I'm now a healthy role model for people look up to. My family has started to eat a little bit healthier thanks to my new eating habits. Some people have asked me how I made the change to live healthier. To that, I say, you just have to start. Don't plan the beginning of your journey, just jump in. Make what sacrifices you can and do your best. You don't need to impress anyone else other than yourself.

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Five Good Reasons to Quit Your Low Carb Diet

You'll be miserable, trust me.

There's a lot of buzz about carbohydrates these days. Back in the 2000's, people hated the word "fat" and every food in the grocery store was labeled "non-fat" or "low-fat". Now, people have turned their attention to the carb.

You see a lot of low carb diets, no carb diets, and some diets that allow you to cycle your carb throughout the week. There's a lot of studies on the subject, and I've done my fair share of research. Personally, I went low carb for three months and I went bat shit crazy. Here are seven reasons to keep carbs in your diet.

1. Low carb means high fat.
First of all, a low carb diet basically means lots of protein, and fats to help sustain you. Without carbs, your body has no energy source so it takes from your fat stores and uses that as energy. This is called ketosis. Doesn't it sound wonderful?

The problem you run into is that basically everything has carbs in it. Things that don't have carbs are either very high fat or highly processed (aka disgusting and terrible for your insides). Foods that are high in fat are naturally higher in calories as well. Yes, you get to eat tons of cheese on a low carb diet, but you can't eat your weight in dairy products and meat while expecting to slim down.

2. Low carb foods may be giving you acne.
If you don't know anything about the animal product industry then you won't know that the animals are given hormones to grow bigger, and fatter. When you eat a lot of meat, or dairy products you're also getting a side of IGF-1. This is a hormone that causes inflammation in humans and leads to a number of problems but one of the most common is bad skin.

3. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies cause ISSUES.
Low carb diets lack micronutrients. These are vital to your health and without them shit can go wrong. Without certain vitamins we are more susceptible to diseases like cancer, dementia, and osteoporosis.

Foods that are high in micros are veggies and fruits. Two things that usually don't pair well with a low carb diet. Vegetables and fruit are also the best way to get fiber, and antioxidants.

4. Being "high protein" can be a bad thing.
One pro to being low carb is the crazy amount of protein you'll get each day. Protein is extremely important for growth in your body even your hair and nails need protein to grow. The downside is if you're getting too much, it can lead to calcium deficiencies. You also should watch where your protein is coming from. Processed meat is high in protein but it's also among the list of level one carcinogens alongside tobacco, asbestos, and arsenic. Yum.

5. Low carb life is not sustainable.
You might have lost a couple pounds on your low carb diet, but think about how hectic your life is and think about how hard it will be to keep up with low carb for life. As I noted before, low carb messes with your hormones. You might get mood swings. You'll definitely be irritable due to the lack of carbs. You'll be disappointed when you don't lose any weight. Being on a low carb diet sucks. As soon as you ditch it, you'll be happier and healthier.

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Health |  Source: @maryssa_timberlake

Meal Prep For Dummies (Or College Students)

Step. Away. From. The. Easy. Mac.

Coming from a former college athlete and overachieving nerd, I completely understand how busy college students are. If you're one of those optimistic folk who made a "healthy lifestyle" resolution and are now struggling to the point where you're contemplating buying Target's entire stock of Easy Mac or if you're just struggling to stay healthy with your busy schedule, read on.

Before you quit, you need to try meal prepping.

Meal prepping is...well...prepping meals. In this case, we're referring to healthy, balanced meals that you prep all at once and store in your fridge or freezer for lunches or dinners all week. This saves time, money, and frustration.

The main idea is that you cook a set number of day's worth of meals all at once, usually on the weekend, so that when you need a meal, you simply take it from the fridge, heat it up, and eat it.

So how do I go about starting this magical meal prep? I'm glad you asked, imaginary other half of this conversation.

One tip to start: DO NOT go online and look at the crazy photos of fitness veterans lining their countertops with perfectly portioned Tupperwares of meat and greens that looks like it could feed a small nation. You're not there yet and that will only intimidate you.

First, get a basic plan. Beginner meal-preppers, start small, with just a couple days at a time. Map out how many days you're prepping, how many meals you'll need, and most importantly, what you want to eat.

Then get a grocery list together. Remember that your food will sit in the fridge for a couple days, so it's important to prep things that will stay fresh. Some foods that will do well for meal prep purposes are chicken breasts, ground turkey/chicken/beef, any kind of rice or quinoa, whole grain pasta, and potatoes and other firm veggies. You can include fish too, but in my experience, it doesn't taste great after a couple days in the fridge. DO NOT forget your veggies,'re adults now, for crying out loud.

A good way to plan your weekly grocery run is by what I call the "rule of two's." Prep two proteins/meats, two main veggies, and two carb sources. Then you can add in your fats and other snacks for the day as you see fit (or, if you're a macro-tracker, as they fit your macros!). Once you get the hang of things, you can get more complicated and start prepping more.

When you have your plan, get cookin'!

It's best to begin by cooking the food that will take the longest to cook, which is usually any meat you're putting in the oven. Let's say your two proteins for this week are chicken breasts (which you'd bake in a big batch, of course) and beef. Get your chicken all set in the oven (425 degrees for 25-35 minutes, in case you were wondering) and start browning your beef.

The next steps will depend largely on what carbs and veggies you're making. For our fun little example here, let's say you're doing broccoli and cauliflower as your veggies, and rice and whole grain tortillas (pre-made healthy carb sources work too) for carbs. Rice is as easy as boiling water and adding the rice to the pot. You can handle that. I promise.

I'd suggest looking up fun, tasty ways to cook your vegetables in big batches (you can roast, blanch, steam, skillet-cook... the possibilities are endless). Once everything is cooked, pack it all up and portion it out as you go.

Pro tips: Invest in quality food containers (go Pyrex if you're really feeling fancy). Mix, match, and experiment with different seasonings and flavors to spice things up. Rotate your foods every week so that you're not constantly eating the same thing.

As you get more comfortable, start prepping for longer periods of time. Pretty soon you'll be just like those champs who seem to own enough food containers to make the folks at Pyrex jealous.

Congrats. You survived. Now go post your #mealprep on Instagram and do it again next week.