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10 Foods That Can Make You Happy

From the foods we eat, we derive carbohydrates, proteins, and fats our bodies need for fuel and other essential functions. We also get vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. You may be familiar with different types of food, but did you know that there are specific foods that can make you happy? If you need a mood booster, read this article to know what they are.

Foods That Can Make You Happy

Chocolate can make you feel happy1. Chocolate – Cocoa, which chocolates are made of, contain flavonoids – plant-based antioxidants that have been shown to improve mood. A 2016 study conducted on 80,000 women in midlife and older with a history of depression reported that eating foods with flavonoids is associated with a lower risk of experiencing it. Also, chocolate is rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps calm muscles and reduce anxiety. FYI: dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate.

2. Eggs – If you want your mood to be sunny, eating eggs every now and then can help. The yolk is the tastiest part of an egg and is rich in L-tryptophan that helps to increase happy hormones.

Oranges can lift your mood3. Oranges – Aside from vitamin C, oranges also contain vitamin B and flavonoids, both of which can help keep cells healthy, reducing tiredness levels and increasing energy and happiness levels.

4. Bananas – Rich in potassium, bananas provide an energy boost and can make you feel full for longer. This yellow fruit also helps battle depression, thanks to its high levels of tryptophan that is converted to serotonin to produce a happy mood.

Avocados can help you feel full5. Avocado – You can add avocado to salads, breakfasts, and more. It is a high-fat food that will leave you feeling full. It also contains high amounts of essential nutrients such as vitamins C, E and K.

6. Yogurt – The perfect addition to granola and fruit, eating yogurt is a healthy start to your day. In particular, Greek yogurt contains vitamin B12, is rich in potassium, and low in sodium – ideal for increasing energy levels and preventing that slumping feeling.

7. Walnuts – Like other nuts, walnuts contain compounds that protect the brain such as melatonin, Omega-3 fats, and vitamin E. Not only do they support brain health, they can also reduce stress, leading to a longer, happier life.

Eat more Asparagus to be happy8. Asparagus – Did you know that this crunchy vegetable is among the top 20 foods when it comes to vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content? Besides giving you the nutrients that you need, it also helps fight off excess homocysteine which can interfere with serotonin production.

9. Tofu – Often placed in the vegetarian section of the menu, tofu can be used as a meat substitute. Regardless of whether you eat meats or are a vegetarian or vegan, the high levels of protein and low fat and cholesterol content of tofu can help lift your mood.

Mushrooms can help alleviate depression10. Mushrooms – Mushrooms are often underrated as a superfood, but in reality, they contain loads of nutrients, some of which can help regulate your mood. They are rich in a mineral called selenium. Research has found out that a deficiency of selenium can lead to a higher risk of anxiety, tiredness, and depression.

Conclusion

Science has discovered the reason behind foods that can make you happy. Some foods are made of compounds that can have an effect on your mood. Likewise, not eating certain foods can have an opposite effect, putting you at a higher risk for depression. So if you want to be happier, consider incorporating the foods listed in this article to get that much-needed mood boost.

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See Also: 10 Ways to Boost Your Energy

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!

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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!

FITin56® is a registered trademark of CREATIVE PRODUCTS, LLC.

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