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10 Avocado Recipes to Help You Slim Down for Summer

10 Avocado Recipes to Help You Slim Down for Summer

Avocados may be one of the most universally loved health foods. These creamy, green berries (yep, avocados are single-seed berries, not vegetables) is perfect for making salads more filling, for adding creaminess to green smoothies, as a better-for-you substitute for butter in baking, and as an essential component for guacamole. Smashed avocados make a great spread for sandwiches and burgers and have become one of the most-talked about toast toppers of the past year. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; low in sugar; and high in fiber and good fats, avocados may just be the perfect health food.

Click here to see the 10 Avocado Recipes to Help You Slim Down for Summer (Slideshow)

Although avocados are high in fat and calories (and, like all high-fat, high-calorie foods, should be eaten in moderation), adding them to your diet can actually help you lose weight. More than 75 percent of the fat in avocados is “good fat”: fat that your body needs to stay healthy. Eating the right fats (in the right amounts) can help you feel fuller longer, which means you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods between meals. And the calories in avocados provide our bodies with the energy needed to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Pairing avocados with other healthy ingredients to make a delicious meal can be a great strategy for eating better throughout the course of the day. Use avocados to make low-calories or low-carbohydrate meals, like salad, more filling. You can also pair avocados with sources of healthy protein like eggs, chicken, or fish for a meal that will keep you full for twice as long.

You can simply slice or dice an avocado and add it to just about any dish, or toss it into the blender with your green shake, but if you’re in need of some inspiration, we have a few avocado recipes that are sure to have you eating healthier (and slimming down) in no time.

Avocado and Apple Chicken Salad

This delicious avocado salad is loaded with texture: crunchy red apples, celery, and toasted pecans stand out among the buttery greens, herbs, and avocado. Dress the salad with a simple mix of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil for a meal that’s as delicious as it is good for you.

This tasty topping is perfect for grilled chicken or fish. It will add tons of flavor — without the use of unhealthy ingredients — for a healthy and delicious meal.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

What Foods to Eat if You’re Trying to Slim Down for Summer

The countdown to summer has begun, and so has the realization that it’s time for your beach body to make a debut. We’ve all experienced the winter weight gain and we know how challenging it can be to shed those pounds in time for summer. By eating these foods you’ll speed up your metabolism and burn that belly fat in no time.

Despite being high in fat, avocados are actually one of the most nutritious foods to feed your body. They contain what is known as “good fat.” Avocados have omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do these acids provide anti-inflammatory benefits (goodbye belly fat), but they also support cardiovascular health, blood sugar regulation and offer anti-cancer benefits. So slice one up, throw it in a big salad or simply eat it plain. Either way, avocados are a delicious and healthy option.

These scrumptious little berries pack quite the punch. They contain catechins, which can help you get the belly you want by activating fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells. Another bonus? They’re one of the richest sources of proanthocyanidins, which are known to decrease free radical levels in your body and reduce the wrinkling of skin.

Not only is Greek yogurt loaded with vitamins, but it also helps maintain weight loss. The fat in your body produces the hormone cortisol, which causes your body to retain fat. By eating yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to produce less cortisol, thus allowing less fat to accumulate.

The breakfast food we all know and love is actually a great belly fat burner. Oats, which are very high in dietary fiber, make you feel full for longer periods of time. Breakfast foods that are high in fat and sugar taste great, but leave you hungry after an hour or so. By starting off your day with a bowl of oatmeal you can give your body all the strength and energy it needs to carry you through the day.

Besides the anti-inflammatory benefits, lemons can help your digestive system, clear up your skin, maintain your pH levels, and cleanse your body of toxins. Put lemon slices in your water bottle, or squeeze some into a cup of hot water before bed. It may not sound the most appetizing, but it’s a quick step to get your summer body back.

  • Youɽ like to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet.
  • You have moral or ethical objections to eating animal products.
  • You never met a vegetable you didn't like.
  • You're worried about your cancer risk.
  • You can't imagine life without (real) cheese.
  • You feel better on a high-protein diet.
  • Beans and legumes make you unfit for polite company.
  • You're looking for a flexible, low-maintenance diet.

Blueberry Smoothie

1 c skim milk
1 c frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 Tbsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)

COMBINE milk and blueberries in blender, and blend for 1 minute. Transfer to glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 273 cal, 9 g pro, 29 g carb, 4 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 14.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 103 mg sodium

25 Foods That Will Help You Slim Down

These nutrient, fiber and protein-packed snacks will keep you feeling full longer.

With the New Year around the corner, you're probably thinking about how to shed an extra pound or two. Luckily, there's a way to lose some weight with the help of food (and, okay, some exercise). To make your meals work for you, opt for the following 20 bites recommended by various nutritionists, dietitians and experts, who offer tips and tricks for good measure, too.

"Loaded with a fiber called pectin that slows digestion, apples keep you fuller longer," says Joy Bauer, RDN, TODAY show nutrition expert and founder of Nourish Snacks. "In one study, women who ate three apples a day lost more weight than those who consumed the same number of calories in oatmeal cookies. The apple eaters' blood sugar dropped, too!"

"It's time to give this vegetable a second&mdashor third&mdashchance," says Joy. "One cup has just 38 calories and packs 3.8 g of fiber, and nonstarchy sprouts have the satisfying texture of a heartier starchy veggie. Plus, they deliver immune- boosting vitamin C, which makes them a smart pick for cold-and-flu season."

"These edible seeds contain satiating protein and fiber, plus they absorb liquid and expand to take up room in your stomach. Sprinkle them on oatmeal, cereal or yogurt, or mix into dips, salad dressings and smoothie," recommends Joy.

"Several studies found a connection between spicy foods and weight loss. (The heat may help to slightly rev metabolism and suppress appetite.) You can drizzle hot sauce on eggs, soups, stews, hummus, and more. Frank's Red Hot Sauce, Cholula and Tabasco are great brand options because they have no added sugar," says Joy.

"Let's face it, a big ol' bowl of greens can get a little boring after a while, but you can add some crunch to salads by tossing in water chestnuts," says Joy. One study suggests that people associate the sound of crunchy foods with freshness the louder the crunch, the better the product was perceived to be. So skip the croutons and perk up your greens with water chestnuts instead, for about 40 calories per 1&frasl2 cup. You'll find canned versions in the Asian-foods aisle at most grocery stores.

The high fiber content of pulses, the dried seeds of legumes, such as lentils "help you stay full longer," says registered dietitian Michelle Dudash.

Higher fiber foods like chickpeas, "result in fewer calories absorbed," Dudash explains. Jessica Fishman Levinson, RDN, founder of Nutritioulicious, agrees, adding that the amount of fiber and protein in chickpeas "increases feelings of fullness and satiety."

Karen Ansel, RDN, recommends black beans as the "ultimate weight loss multi-taskers." Replacing meat with beans, like in tacos or burritos, helps reduce calories while making you feel full at the same time because of the fiber content.

Pistachios are considered the "skinny nut," says Erin Palinski, LDN, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. It's the "perfect snack" for those looking to shed some pounds: the unshelled nuts force the eater to slow down and the remnants "serve as a visual reminder of how much you have eaten," Palinski explains.

Another good nut option is the almond, according to Levinson, because of the good unsaturated fats and vitamin E, the latter of which acts as an antioxidant. Opt for raw and unsalted nuts for the best health value.

Freshly brewed green tea works wonders for weight loss, says Dudash, referring to studies that have shown the beverage to slightly increase metabolism and facilitate the burning of calories. She recommends drinking three cups a day without sugar, which she says will allow you to "burn 90 more calories" every day.

Low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt is great because it's packed full of protein and calcium, with less sugar and carbs than the regular version. Marlene Koch, RDN, author of Eat What You Love, points out that it works well in the mornings, mixed with fruit or nuts, in smoothies, or even as a partial substitute for mayonnaise.

Cottage cheese is a lean protein, which is great for "regulating blood sugar levels throughout the day," explains Palinski, adding that it "helps prevent spikes in hunger." Koch further suggests creaming the cottage cheese to use as an alternative for sour cream, mayonnaise and cream cheese.

Using eggs as a replacement for starchy foods can cut calories. Koch's foolproof egg tip: put one-fourth cup of liquid egg substitute to your smoothie for protein, instead of costly and tasteless protein powders. Both hard-boiled eggs and deviled eggs work as healthier snacks, too.

"Mushrooms are magical when it comes to weight loss," Koch says, explaining that the vegetable makes for an ideal meat substitute. If you can't completely forgo flesh, she suggests swapping half the required ground beef in recipes like meatloaf or burgers with minced mushrooms.

Not only does spinach contain tons of iron (which makes it great for working out because it brings more oxygen into your body), it's highly flexible and can be used in almost any recipe. Koch recommends using tender leaves, which have a milder taste.

"Foods that are naturally rich in water," like romaine lettuce, bolster weight loss by "diluting the calories of your meal and keeping you full at the same time," says Koch. She also favors beginning each meal with a salad, which leaves you less hungry.

Dudash endorses all other non-starchy vegetables, which contain less carbs and calories, but a lot of fiber. This includes zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, bok choy, and the list goes on. For taste, she suggests roasting the vegetables, which adds flavor by way of caramelizing.

This food's benefit, as you probably guessed, is fiber. It leaves you feeling full and helps lower the bad kind of cholesterol (both total and LDL), explains Levinson. Koch prefers plain rolled oats, which are "minimally processed and have no added sugar," making them "far more satisfying than sugar-spiked instant packets."

For whey protein, which helps burn fat, try eating part-skim ricotta. It has "just enough creaminess" to satisfy your tastebuds, but none of the downfalls from the full-fat rendition, says Ansel.

Tuna keeps your metabolism up while shedding weight because it's "super lean yet packed with protein," explains Ansel. One tin can contains approximately 32 grams of protein, which is around the recommended amount for every meal to encourage weight loss.

The "fad diet" fruit does actually work. Ansel suggests having half a grapefruit before every meal. Doing this for three months has helped others lose about 3.5 pounds&mdashand hey, fruit is always good for you!

The movie theater snack could be seen as an empty bite, but popcorn is better than the other junk food options out there. "Thanks to its volume, it can fill you up with fewer calories," says Palinski, "while still providing the same great crunch."

The textured "creamy mouthfeel" of avocados is something people crave, and it doesn't hurt that the fruit is already full of fiber and monounsaturated fats. By adding the produce to lunch, says Levinson, you won't feel like you want to eat again anytime soon. Palinski counts a whopping 21 nutrients in avocados and suggests using it in recipes requiring butter.

Water really does a body good. Palinski recommends drinking at least 64 ounces of "very cold" water every day, including one cup before every meal, which can "help curb appetite." Ice-cold water is better because "your body has to use extra energy" to warm up, which leads to "a slight metabolism boost," Palinski explains.

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Vegan Weight Loss Dessert Recipes

Mixed Berry Compote and Creamy Chia Pudding

Olives For Dinner

Chia seeds are ideal for desserts as they contain natural properties to make wonderfully light puddings. This is one of the best.

The recipe is divided into 3 sections, the pudding, the compote and the optional toppings.

The ingredients are affordable, and you’ll end up with a fancy dish suitable for just you, your family and even a dinner party!

Mango Gelato

Nutrition Refined

Gelato (pronounced ‘jellarto’) is the Italian word for ice-cream.

This plant-based dessert is perfect for a weight-loss program as you seriously won’t feel as though you’re missing out on anything.

Just 3 ingredients is all you need and you’re good to go.

Once made you can freeze in an air-tight container so it’s ready and waiting for you, day and night!

Chocolate Torte with Pecan Crust

The Tofu Diaries

You never have to go without on a weight-loss program and this recipe proves it!

Nothing but whole ingredients, everything from pecans, dates and more.

Once made you simply refrigerate or freeze to store. That’s right, no baking!

Mango Bourbon Smash Popsicles

Heart of a Baker

Yes, that’s right, real bourbon inside these puppies!

Fresh fruit, mint leaves and just a couple of other ingredients blended together and frozen.

Leave out the alcohol to make this family friendly. Perfect!

Apple Pie Chia Pudding

Vegan Yack Attack

I can never get enough of puddings made with chia seeds, they are nature’s answer to the perfect dessert.

You need about half a dozen ingredients and just 5 minute prep time to make these beauties.

Once prepared, chill in the refrigerator and you’re good to go. Full of nothing but goodness!

Healthy Mocha-Hazelnut Shake

Coconut And Berries

A chocolate and coffee shake, on a weight-loss program? You bet!

Using nothing but whole foods this sets you up for the rest of the day.

You’ll need to soak the hazelnuts the night before to achieve that smooth consistency. Blend together and voila!

Chocolate Avocado Gelato

Pretty Pies

If you’ve never had a dessert made with avocado, you’re seriously missing out. If you’re not sure whether this works, trust me, it does!

The recipe is divided into two sections, the Gelato (which means ice cream in Italian) and the nut-free brownie balls.

Just 10 minutes prep time with a little chillin’, while you’re chillin’! See what I did there!

Healthy Candy Corn

Neurotic Mommy

If you want to keep things really simple, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Fresh fruit topped with coconut whipped cream and maybe an optional extra as a topping. Use your favorite fruit!

6 Salad Ingredients That Help You Drop Pounds Faster

Boost flavor and slim down at the same time with these surprising salad add-ins.

Ever wonder why loading up on salad doesn't always help you slim down? Despite their rep as a diet standby, salads aren't synonymous with weight loss. In fact, many of the usual add-ins don't actually offer much in the way of the lean protein, complex carbs, and monounsaturated fats you need to slim down while maintaining energy and keeping cravings at bay (croutons, we've got your number).

With the right fixings, though, salads can be a super filling and flavor-packed way to get all the nutrients you need while dropping pounds. Check out these six tasty, healthy, and diet-friendly topping ideas from nutritionist Brittany Kohn, R.D., of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City:

Hemp Seeds
"These trendy seeds are a great source of satiating protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber," says Kohn. Also, because they're slightly sweet, they satisfy your sweet tooth without added sugar. You can add a tablespoon to your salad for a reasonable 40 calories.

Half an avocado (160 calories) is loaded with heart-healthy vitamins, minerals, and fats, says Kohn. Plus, the fruit is so creamy and smooth, it can also function as dressing&mdashso you can subtract the 100 or so calories you'd normally take in from ranch, Italian, or even oil and vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Using just two tablespoons as part of your salad dressing could contribute to weight loss. "The vinegar may suppress appetite, stimulate the metabolism, and reduce water retention and bloating," says Kohn. And at five calories a tablespoon, it definitely can't do any damage.

Hot Peppers
You've heard that the capsaicin in cayenne, jalapeno, and other varieties of spicy peppers can boost metabolism and make you feel more satisfied. They're not typically thought of as a salad staple, but if you like the hot stuff, Kohn suggests adding a small amount to kick up your bowl of greens.

This bulbous veggie has a strong licorice-like taste, which helps satisfy your palate, says Kohn. Plus, fennel has antimicrobial properties that may even reduce bloating.

They don't call almonds a superfood for nothing. These nuts offer both protein and healthy fat, so you stay energized and satisfied and will be less tempted by snack attacks. If you're prepping your salad at home, toast them in the oven for a few minutes to boost their flavor. A handful (about 20 nuts) packs about 130 calories.

9 Slimming Smoothie Recipes

S ip up and slim down. Quick and easy to prepare, these smoothie recipes are packed with refreshing fruits and MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids)&mdashthe Flat Belly Diet powerhouse ingredient that specifically targets belly fat. These 10 filling, creamy smoothies are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a snack.

Get more recipes and weight loss tips when you join the Flat Belly Diet online!

Mango Smoothie Surprise

¼ c mashed ripe avocado (MUFA)

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

COMBINE all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Garnish with sliced mango or strawberry, if desired, and serve.

NUTRITION (per serving) 298 cal, 5 g pro, 55 g carb, 5 g fiber, 47 g sugar, 9 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 54 mg sodium

Blueberry Smoothie

1 c frozen unsweetened blueberries

1 Tbsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)

COMBINE milk and blueberries in blender, and blend for 1 minute. Transfer to glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 273 cal, 9 g pro, 29 g carb, 4 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 14.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 103 mg sodium

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

2 Tbsp creamy natural unsalted peanut butter (MUFA)

COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve.

NUTRITION (per serving) 366 cal, 18 g pro, 40 g carb, 3 g fiber, 32 g sugar, 16.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 151 mg sodium

Vanilla Yogurt and Blueberry Smoothie

6 oz (80-calorie) vanilla yogurt

Handful of ice OR 1 cup frozen blueberries

COMBINE milk, yogurt, and fresh blueberries plus ice (or frozen blueberries) in a blender. Blend for 1 minute, transfer to a glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 443 cal, 18 g pro, 63 g carb, 4 g fiber, 57 g sugar, 14.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 221 mg sodium

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

6 oz (80-calorie) vanilla yogurt

Handful of ice OR 1 cup frozen raspberries

COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Blend for 1 minute, transfer to a glass, and eat with a spoon.

NUTRITION (per serving) 462 cal, 16 g pro, 77 g carb, 10 g fiber, 64 g sugar, 13.5 g fat, 7.5 g sat fat, 174 mg sodium

Peach Smoothie

1 c frozen unsweetened peaches

2 tsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)

PLACE milk and frozen, unsweetened peaches in blender and blend for 1 minute. Transfer to glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 213 cal, 9 g pro, 26 g carb, 2 g fiber, 22 g sugar, 9 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 103 mg sodium

Lemon-Orange Citrus Smoothie

6 oz (80-calorie) lemon yogurt

1 med orange peeled, cleaned, and sliced into sections

COMBINE milk, yogurt, orange, and ice in a blender. Blend for 1 minute, transfer to a glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 420 cal, 18 g pro, 57 g carb, 3 g fiber, 54 g sugar, 14 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 219 mg sodium

Pineapple Smoothie

4 oz canned pineapple tidbits in juice

1 Tbsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)

PLACE milk, canned pineapple in blender, add of ice, and whip for 1 minute. Transfer to glass and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 271 cal, 9 g pro, 30 g carb, 1 g fiber, 29 g sugar, 14 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 104 mg sodium

Strawberry Smoothie

1 c frozen, unsweetened strawberries

2 tsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil (MUFA)

COMBINE skim milk and strawberries in blender. Blend, transfer to glass, and stir in flaxseed oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 216 cal, 9 g pro, 26 g carb, 3 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 9.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 106 mg sodium

Lean meats take a lot of energy to break down, meaning your body burns calories as it digests it. Try these lean steak fajitas.

This lean steak with herbed tomato avocado salad gets the job done, too.

Whole grains are packed with protein, fiber, and slow-to-digest complex carbs, which help keep your metabolism burning. This kale butternut squash farro salad is a yummy way to get them.

Asparagus farro risotto with sweet peas is another great source of whole grains.

This tomato barley salad will slow your digestion and speed up your metabolism.

Salmon contains oils that may help lower certain hormones in your body (such as leptin) that have been linked to weight gain. Try these lemon and dill barbecue salmon kabobs to help your body process food more efficiently.

If you're in the mood for something a tad more exotic—but just as good for you—grill up some pineapple and pepper Caribbean salmon kabobs.

Smoked salmon sandwiches are a summery way to get that metabolism-boosting fish.

Almonds are full of fatty acids that may help rev up your metabolism. Snack on them or add them to salads, such as this almond, berry, and chicken spinach salad.

To get almonds into savory meals, cook up a dish like this almond crusted chicken with lemon zucchini noodles.

Fiber- and antioxidant-rich blueberries keep your body clean and its digestive system running smoothly (read: a faster metabolism). One yummy way to get them: this blueberry chicken chopped salad.

Consider this dish a two-for-one: Blueberry balsamic glazed salmon has two of the major metabolism-boosters.

4 Ways to Use Leftover Avocado

If you have some leftover avocados from your Cinco de Mayo fiesta, time is ticking and the ethylene gas* is in overdrive. Here are some easy ways to use up those leftover avocados:

  • Use leftover guacamole as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise. You can also mash plain avocado and add garlic, cumin, and lemon or lime juice to suit your taste. Avocado goes especially well with chicken and turkey. Combine with your favorite veggies in a whole grain wrap.
  • Chunk it and add to mixed greens for a satisfying salad. Tomatoes, fresh corn, and shrimp or crab are other good complements.
  • Puree it with lime juice and spices for a creamy yet heart-healthy salad dressing. Try this easy Spicy Avocado Dressing version.
  • Mash it and use instead of mayo in chicken or tuna salad. Be sure to add lime juice for fresh flavor and to help reduce browning. Serve the salad on whole grain crackers or enjoy on a bed of spinach or arugula.

As I was writing this post, I came across this recipe for Avocado Eggs Benedict. I look forward to trying it using whole grain English muffins with a spinach side salad. How do you use leftover avocados in a hurry?

Here are a few easy recipes using leftover avocado (added May 2017):

* Ethylene is a natural gas produced by fruit. It helps fruit ripen. To prolong the life of your avocados, store them in a cool, dry place. Do not store in a bag or with other fruits like apples and bananas which would hasten the ripening process and lead to faster spoilage.

Watch the video: Καλλιεργούμε αβοκάντο από κουκούτσι - Grow Avocado Tree From Seed TURN ON English Subtitles (December 2021).