Instructions to change your password should arrive in your inbox in a few moments.
Keri Glassman is a nutritionist and author of the new book "Slim Calm Sexy Diet." She dropped by THE TALK to teach us how to "lighten up" in our kitchens. Below are her tips to for cleaning out the clutter in our pantry and fridge which may be responsible for those extra pounds we're packing on!
1. Can the canned fruits and veggies.
I give a pat on the back to families who are trying to get their kids to eat their fruits and veggies, but let's kick it up a notch and make the health benefits go even further. Canned fruits and veggies tend to have large amounts of both added sugar and sodium, so beware of these on your next grocery shopping trip! Sugar and salt are usually added to these products to improve their taste and shelf life. You don't need those extra ingredients!
Half a can of peaches in syrup, for example, has 200 calories and 46 grams of sugar. Two small fresh peaches gives you the same number of peach slices, for only 63 calories, and only 13 grams of sugar. You do the math-the canned peaches have 33 grams of added sugar.
Sodium is sneakier. Half a can of green beans (about 1 cup) has 40 calories and 680 grams of sodium. The same amount of fresh green beans has 17 calories and no sodium, not to mention so much more crunch and flavor.
Instead, pick up some frozen produce! Frozen foods used to get a bad rap, but it's just not true anymore. Flash-frozen produce is picked and immediately frozen to extremely low temperatures (think zero degrees, much colder than your home freezer), which means it retains exactly the same nutrients, vitamins, and minerals of perfect ripeness. Because fresh fruits and veggies deteriorate when they sit out for days in the produce section, flash-frozen produce is often not just as good as fresh, it's often better.
Many companies make wonderfully healthy frozen options, and they're usually more affordable. Frozen fruit works really well in smoothies. Don't turn up your nose at frozen fruits and vegetables-they're often well-priced, just as nutritious, and very convenient!
2. Ditch the artificial sweeteners.
We all crave sugar sometimes, but sugar tends add lots of calories without any real nutritional value. Some people think artificial sweeteners are the solution--that sweet taste without the extra calories. But I say throw them out of your diet altogether!
I know it seems hard to swallow, but many studies, going back to the 1980s, have shown that no-calorie sweeteners don't prevent weight gain-they promote it. Artificial sweeteners are more of a problem than a solution. When you eat something which tastes sweet, your body expects calories to follow the sweetness. But when we use artificial sweeteners, the calories never arrive, and then the sweet craving persists and you indulge in treat that is high in fat and calories.
Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar. But unlike sugar they have no aftertaste. In other words, these sweeteners rev our appetites even more than sugar, but don't signal our bodies to stop when we've had enough. Plus, avoiding natural sweeteners means you'll avoid the chemical cocktail in artificial food products. Many "diet" foods contain countless non-natural substances in order to mimic the taste and texture of real, natural foods.
Instead, don't add any substitutes! My diet, the "Slim Calm Sexy Diet," wakes up your taste buds to the natural sweetness of things like cantaloupe, figs, and pears. Too much of anything is never a good idea, but a juicy piece of fruit should do wonders for your late afternoon cravings. But if you absolutely have to a fix of the sweetest thing, try just a tiny dab of real sugar. Instead of white sugar, try a less refined option with more flavor like honey, molasses, agave, or turbinado sugar. Even a spice like cinnamon or nutmeg, or vanilla extract, may take care of the sweetness that you crave.
3. Stay away from sugary condiments.
Did you realize that condiments like barbecue sauce and ketchup are actually full of both sugar and sodium? Ketchup is loaded with sugar and about 190 mg of sodium per tablespoon. Barbecue sauce is no better; it's high in corn syrup, adding plenty of sugars and calories. Most Americans are already getting a lot of hidden sugars and salts in their diet. Don't let your condiments trip you up!
Instead, add some herbs and spices to your diet. I love the way they can transform a meal. Most people don't realize that herbs and spices contain a crazy level of nutrition too! Cloves, oregano, basil, thyme, and cinnamon are among the most antioxidant-rich foods. In my book, I recommend sprinkling cinnamon over yogurt or fruit for breakfast or a snacks, and oregano adds incredible flavor to eggs (like my breakfast scramble with one egg and 3 whites) and lean protein (like chicken or salmon) at lunch and dinner.
Still looking for other ways to switch out your usual condiments? Go with vinaigrette-eating vinegar before a high-carb meal will help control your blood sugar levels, according to a study from Arizona State University. Researchers think the acetic acid in vinegar may inactivate certain starch-digesting enzymes, slowing carbohydrate digestion. Mustard is another great choice. Use either of these to dress salads or make marinades.
4. Pass up the pretzels.
You may think that with only 1 gram of fat per serving, pretzels are a virtuous snack choice. However, most pretzels are essentially refined carbohydrates that offer NO nutritional benefits. Many pretzel varieties are also sprinkled with salt for flavor but just 1 ounce of pretzels (about 5 twists) contains about 400 milligrams of sodium. Who stops at 5 twists? One snack bag has about 20 twists and 1600 mg of sodium, over half the Daily Recommendation of 2300 mg...in one snack! Pretzels will not keep you full and aren't too different from eating jelly beans.
Instead, pop some popcorn! Popcorn is a healthier alternative to pretzels. This snack food isn't just delicious-it's also filling. Popcorn is a whole grain, contains around 100 calories in 3 cups and has about 4 grams of fiber per serving. This makes it a great snack for someone trying to lose weight. A recent study also found that popcorn is high in polyphenols, antioxidant compounds shown to have potent cancer-fighting effects. Avoid the unnecessary fat and calories in buttery and sugar-coated varieties, and stick with natural, air-popped popcorn. Add a sprinkle of pepper and parmesan for a savory snack, or cinnamon for a low-cal sweet treat.
5. Skip the bag of chips and make your own.
It's hard to resist eating a whole bag of chips if you have them in your pantry. But it should be no surprise to anyone at this point that potato chips are loaded with calories and saturated fat.
Instead, make your own chips, and try using this super easy shortcut - a microwave chip maker! It turns thinly sliced fruits and veggies into crispy chips in less than 4 minutes in the microwave!