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Best Low Calorie Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

One of the challenging aspects of losing weight is cutting back on calories. Many low-calorie foods can leave you feeling hungry, making it more tempting to overeat and indulge. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy foods out there that are filling, yet low in calories. Want to know what they are? Read this article to discover 10 of the best low calorie foods that can help you lose weight.

Best Low Calorie Foods

1. Berries

Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are good for your health. In addition, their high fiber content reduces hunger and boosts weight loss.

For example, one cup of blueberries (148 grams) supplies just 84 calories, but packs 3.6 grams of fiber. Berries are also an excellent source of pectin, a type of fiber that can slow stomach emptying and increase satiety. One study showed that a 65-calorie afternoon snack consisting of berries decreased calorie intake in the evening compared to a 65-calorie confectionery.

2. Oats

OatsOats are a great choice if you want to lose weight. Not only are they low in calories, but they’re also high in fiber and protein that can help you feel full. A one-half cup serving of dry oats (40 grams) contains only 148 calories, but packs 3.8 grams of fiber and 5.5 grams of protein — both of which can have an impact on hunger and appetite.

Besides increasing satiety, oats are loaded with beta-glucans, which have been shown to improve metabolic health.

3. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens, and swiss chard, among others. They have properties that make them perfect for weight loss, such as being low in calories, low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber.

Eating leafy greens is one way to increase the volume of your meals without increasing calories too much. Leafy greens are incredibly nutritious and contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, (including calcium, which can aid fat burning), and antioxidants.

4. Potatoes

PotatoesPotatoes are often considered unhealthy, due to their association with potato chips and French fries. But the truth is, potatoes can be both filling and nutritious. One medium baked potato contains 161 calories and provides 4 grams of protein and fiber.

One study evaluating the effect of certain foods on satiety ranked boiled potatoes as the most filling, garnering a score of 323 on the satiety index (nearly 7 times higher than croissants). The filling effect of potatoes is believed to be due to protease inhibitors — compounds that can reduce appetite, boost fullness, and decrease food intake.

5. Legumes

Because of their high fiber and protein content, legumes such as peas, lentils, and beans are incredibly filling. One cup of cooked lentils (198 grams) provides about 230 calories, 15.6 grams of fiber, and 18 grams of protein.

Numerous studies prove that legumes can reduce hunger and appetite. For instance, one study conducted on 43 young men reported that a high-protein meal with peas and beans reduced appetite and increased feelings of fullness more than a high-protein meal with pork and veal.

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and can help curb cravings and support weight loss. Although the exact numbers may vary between brands, a two-thirds cup serving of Greek yogurt (150 grams) typically provides 130 calories and 11 grams of protein.

One study conducted on 20 women examined how high-protein yogurt affected appetite when compared to unhealthy high-fat snacks like crackers and chocolate. The women who ate yogurt experienced less hunger and consumed 100 fewer calories at dinner than those who ate the high-fat snacks.

7. Soup

SoupThough soup is considered a simple side dish, it can be very satisfying. In fact, research suggests that soup may be more filling than solid foods — even if they have the same ingredients.

One study conducted on 12 people reported that a smooth soup slowed emptying of the stomach and promoted satiety (feeling of fullness) more than a chunky soup or solid meal. Just be sure not to add too much fat to the soup (such as coconut milk or cream), as this can significantly increase calorie content. To maximize fullness, opt for a light broth or stock-based soup.

8. Chia Seeds

Often hailed as a superfood, chia seeds are low in calories, but are rich in protein and fiber. A one-ounce serving of chia seeds (28 grams) provides 137 calories, 4.4 grams of protein and an impressive 10.6 grams of fiber.

Chia seeds are particularly high in soluble fiber, a type of fiber which swells and absorbs liquid to promote feelings of fullness. In fact, chia seeds can absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water. Adding a serving or two of chia seeds can curb cravings and reduce appetite.

9. Watermelon

WatermelonWatermelon has high water content that can help keep you hydrated and full, while supplying a minimal amount of calories. One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains just 46 calories, but is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C.

Eating foods with a low-caloric density (such as watermelon) has been found to have similar effects on feelings of fullness when compared to high-caloric density foods. Additionally, foods with low-caloric density have been linked to lower body weight. One study conducted on 49 women reported that replacing oat cookies with an equal amount of calories from fruits significantly reduced calorie intake and body weight.

10. Eggs

Eggs are low in calories, but rich in many important nutrients. They are packed with protein and are a great low-calorie breakfast choice. A large egg has about 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, and a broad array of vitamins and minerals.

Interestingly, most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. Studies show that a high-protein breakfast could decrease snacking and reduce levels of ghrelin, a hormone responsible for hunger.

Conclusion

Cutting back on calories does not mean that you have to feel constantly hungry or unsatisfied between meals. These best low calorie foods have plenty of protein and fiber that can reduce hunger, fight cravings, and make weight loss easier than ever. To get even better results, eat a balanced diet and lead an active lifestyle.

If you want to know how to lose weight, get fit, and be healthier, sign up to FITin56!

10 Outstanding Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

What is Earl Grey tea? Earl Grey tea is a tea that is infused with bergamot. To produce Earl Grey tea, the rind of bergamot orange is usually cold pressed to produce bergamot oil extract. This fragrant oil is then added to the tea leaves. Another method of producing Earl Grey tea is to dry the rind of bergamot orange and then add it to the tea leaves.

Black tea leaves are usually used for Earl Grey, but sometimes, green tea leaves or oolong tea leaves are also used. The resulting floral and citrus flavors make Earl Grey tea a delight to drink in the morning and at night. Read below to discover 10 outstanding health benefits of Earl Grey tea.

History of Earl Grey Tea

History of Earl Grey TeaEarl Grey tea is associated with royalty and is a staple at high profile events such as meetings between heads of state. Named after Earl Charles Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s, Earl Grey tea is a blend of exquisite Chinese teas. There are many stories surrounding the origin of this flavored tea.

One of the most popular stories comes from the archives of the Grey family itself. It is believed that the tea was blended by a Chinese envoy for Lord Grey using a fruit called bergamot to counterbalance the taste of lime in the local water. The beverage became so popular that he was asked if the tea could be sold on the market and that’s probably how Earl Grey tea came into being.

Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

1. Prevention of Heart Disease

One of the most outstanding health benefits of Earl Grey tea is heart health. Drinking three cups of Earl Grey daily may help reduce your risk for heart disease. A 2012 study published in Preventative Medicine found that individuals who drank three cups of black tea daily significantly lowered their blood triglyceride levels and increased their HDL (good cholesterol) after three months. Participants also had increased levels of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and their damaging effects.

2. Boosts Energy

Earl Grey tea can help boost energyEarl Grey made with a black tea base contains moderate amounts of caffeine. The energy boost that it provides is more subtle and stable compared to coffee. Additionally, the caffeine content is low enough that it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar, nor make you feel jittery.

3. Enhances Digestion

This type of tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate gastric problems such as constipation and bloating. It also soothes stomach muscles and reduces cramps. Furthermore, it minimizes nausea when consumed before boarding a plane or boat.

4. Detoxification

Do you want to detoxify your body? Then, Earl Grey tea is for you. This tea has antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals. These free radicals cause everything from premature aging to cancer. They result from an unhealthy diet, smoking, and pollution. Earl Grey tea helps detoxify the body of these free radicals.

5. Good for Oral Health

Tea contains high levels of catechins, an antioxidant which fights oral infections. Another component of Earl Grey tea is naturally occurring fluoride. Fluoride is good for dental health because it helps protect teeth from cavities. So if you’re water supply doesn’t contain enough of it, drinking Earl Grey tea is another way to get your daily dose of fluoride.

6. Cancer Prevention

Like most teas, Earl Grey contains high amounts of antioxidants which help your body to fight off free radicals that may cause cancer. Drinking this tasty beverage may reduce your chance of developing such diseases.

7. Boosts the Immune System

IEarl Grey tea can help boost the immune systemt’s no secret that citrus fruits help fight off colds and flu. Bergamot orange is no different. That is why Earl Grey is popular in the United States and Europe during winter months when colds are rampant. It helps boost the immune system, thanks to the presence of vitamin C.

8. Fights Anxiety and Depression

The bergamot in Earl Grey tea has a calming effect and can boost a person’s mood. This is due to its natural aromatherapy qualities. As such, Earl Grey is a good option for people suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.

9. Weight Loss

One of the most popular uses of Earl Grey tea is for weight loss. While there’s no alternative to regular exercise and a healthy diet to shed those extra pounds, drinking Earl Grey tea improves metabolism and can help you lose weight more quickly. The citrus extract in the tea is believed to increase energy consumption and regulate metabolic processes that both contribute to weight loss.

10. Keeps You Hydrated

Unlike the dehydrating properties of coffee, Earl Grey tea can help keep you hydrated as well as maintain your body’s fluid balance, thanks to its high potassium content. It is also a great alternative to plain drinking water. Its citrusy and malty flavors can also satisfy people with a sweet tooth.

Tips for Brewing Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey teas vary widely, so you may have to adjust temperatures and steeping times accordingly to achieve the best flavor. But in general, you can follow these tips to brew the perfect Earl Grey tea.

Use High-Quality Water

Use pure spring or filtered water in brewing Earl Grey tea. Spring water usually delivers the best taste results. If possible, avoid using distilled or tap water as herbs and tea don’t develop flavors well in these mediums.

Brew at the Right Temperature

For Earl Grey teas with a black tea base, you should brew at higher temperatures. As a rule of thumb, brew at 200 to 212 degrees F. On the other hand, for Earl green teas, brew between 150 and 180 degrees F.

The best way to control the temperature is to use a tea kettle with a built in thermometer. If you don’t have one, use the bubbles to gauge the temperature. Water simmers at around 190 degrees F and boils at 212 degrees F. If you’re going to use Earl Grey black tea, brew with water before it reaches a rolling boil. For Earl green tea, remove the water from the heat when tiny bubbles start forming on the bottom of the pan.

Use the Right Amount of Tea

You can skip this tip if you are brewing with tea bags. Otherwise, use about two grams of loose leaf tea for every eight ounces of water. Add a little extra or a little less to tweak the flavor.

Steeping Techniques

To enhance the flavor of your Earl Grey tea, use a lid to keep the heat in your cup. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavors will be. Keep in mind that teas that are brewed too long develop bitter flavors. Steep Earl Grey tea for 2 – 4 minutes. After two minutes, taste every 30 seconds to achieve the best flavor.

Flavoring

You can enjoy Earl Grey tea as is or with the addition of honey, and/or lemon. If it’s your first time to taste this type of tea, try it without additives. It’s the best way to enjoy its nuanced flavor profile. But if you want, you can add honey or lemon to Earl Grey tea to suit your taste.

Conclusion

The health benefits of Earl Grey tea range from improved heart health to improved digestive health. Classic Earl Grey features lemony and malty notes. These contrasting, yet delightful flavors make this tea a distinctive beverage that is beloved by many.

To learn more about nutrition, as well as how to be fit and healthy, sign up to FITin56!

10 Ways to Boost Your Energy

When you always feel tired, you may find it harder to concentrate on tasks, your level of frustration may rise, and you may not be as productive as you used to be. Sometimes the cause of persistent fatigue is obvious; other times, not so. Being energetic is important, especially if you have a busy schedule. Do you want to get out of your lethargic state and transform into a more active individual? Read this article to discover 10 ways to boost your energy.

Ways to Boost Your Energy

1. Get More Sleep

SleepIt is estimated that 20 to 30% of the general population experience poor sleep, thus missing out on vital rest time. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired, grumpy, and lethargic. If you often feel this way, you may not be getting enough sleep.

Most people need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. That said, sleep requirements vary from person to person; some require a little more, while others need a little less.

If you don’t get as much sleep as you need to, try winding down with relaxing behaviors before bed such as taking a bath, reading a book, or getting into bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Also, try to avoid using your phone around bedtime. It has been linked to poor sleep quality and increased sleepiness throughout the day.

2. Reduce Stress

High levels of stress can make a person feel tired and drained. When you’re stressed, you’ll find it hard to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, or have difficulty switching off. This can take a toll on both your physical and mental health.

In some cases, it may not be possible to completely remove the sources of stress from your life. However, if you are able to minimize lifestyle-related stress, it could increase your energy levels. Some of the things you can do to reduce stress include going for a walk and trying mindfulness or meditation techniques.

3. Exercise

ExerciseOne of the best ways to boost your energy is to move more. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Exercise is a natural energy booster. Whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges to your muscles, brain, and heart. Squeezing a workout into your day will help keep your energy levels at their peak. So move around every chance you get. For example, you could go for a walk on your lunch break or walk to and from your place of work.

4. Avoid Smoking

Smoking is harmful to your health. The smoke from cigarettes increases the risk of various health conditions such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. The tar and toxins in the smoke reduce the efficiency of the lungs. Over time, this can reduce the amount of oxygen transported throughout the body, making you feel tired.

If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do to boost your energy levels and improve health is to quit smoking. If you’re finding it hard to quit, reach out to a doctor who can help you get the support services that you need.

5. Limit Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is another habit that can make you feel tired. Alcohol acts as a sedative and makes a person feel drowsy. Some people believe that drinking an alcoholic drink at night can help them sleep more soundly. However, drinking alcohol before going to bed can interfere with the quality of sleep. It could make you feel more tired than you otherwise would.

Furthermore, alcohol acts as a diuretic. If you drink it before bed, it can make you wake up at night to urinate, disturbing your sleep. If you want to consume alcoholic beverages, be sure to drink within recommended limits, and if possible, avoid drinking alcohol close to your bedtime.

In the United States, the recommended alcohol guidelines are: maximum of one drink/day for women and two/day for men. A standard drink equals to one beer (12 oz) or a glass of wine (5 oz). But keep in mind that this is the maximum recommendation. When it comes to your health, it is advised to limit alcohol as much as possible.

6. Eat a Nutritious Diet

Fruits and VegetablesIf you always feel tired, sluggish, and low in energy, it might be a good idea to analyze your eating habits. Good dietary habits lower your risk of developing chronic diseases and can also boost your energy levels.

Your body needs fuel to keep going. Eating nutritious foods will provide your body with most of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. On the contrary, if you are eating mostly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat, you will realize that they affect not only your energy levels, but also your health.

If you have an erratic meal pattern or regularly skip meals, you may be missing out on essential nutrients, making you feel tired. One study reported that students who skipped breakfast or had an irregular eating pattern were much more likely to experience fatigue.

7. Avoid Added Sugar

When you feel tired, you might crave for a sweet, sugar-filled snack. Although sugar can give you a short term energy boost, it tends to wear off quickly. This is because high-sugar foods cause blood sugar to rise quickly. This prompts the body to release large amounts of insulin to bring the blood sugar level back down.

It’s believed that this rise and fall in blood sugar causes a rush of energy followed by a slump. Consuming large amounts of added sugar can also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

8. Stay Hydrated

Glass of WaterThe body is made of 55 to 75% water. Throughout the day, you’ll lose water via sweat and urine. In order to stay hydrated, one has to drink enough water. If not, dehydration may affect brain function, mood, and energy levels. Remember that if you sweat a lot due to physical activity or hot weather, you may need a little more water.

9. Be Social

Social connections are also important for maintaining good health. To prove this point, one of the common factors in areas of the world where there are unusually low rates of disease and high number of centenarians (people over 100 years old) is a strong social support network.

Social isolation can cause sad mood and tiredness, especially as one gets older. If you feel tired or in low spirits most of the time, it can be helpful to socialize with friends, join a club, or start a new hobby that involves social activities. Socializing virtually via video conferencing or phone can be just as beneficial as socializing in person.

10. Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Eating a balanced diet can help ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. But if you still always feel tired, you could have a magnesium deficiency. This mineral is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy. When magnesium levels are low, energy can drop.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 310-320 mg for adult women, and 400-420 mg for adult men. To make sure you’re getting enough, include almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and whole grains (particularly bran cereal) in your daily diet.

Conclusion

Many people feel tired and lack energy to perform daily tasks. Stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits contribute to the problem. Hopefully, these 10 ways to boost your energy can help you transform yourself from lethargic to energetic.

Do you want a great exercise and nutrition program you can follow from the comfort of your home? Sign up to FITin56 now!

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FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

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