8 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds

Getty Images That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here’s how. Cookies. Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a … Continue reading “8 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds”

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That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here’s how.

Cookies. Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch, bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in, pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.

Juice. Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons, limes, or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer—it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.

Herbs. Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store, stuff washed and chopped
herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro into each section and fill with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups, sauces, and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.

Smoothies. Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze, then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and super quick low-calorie breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Fruit. Puree fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple, or mango and freeze. Pop out a cube or two and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt—it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.

Veggies. Freeze pureed veggies such as peas, spinach, sweet potato, squash, and carrot to add extra fiber to soups, baked goods like these oatmeal cookies, mashed potatoes, dips, smoothies, cooked whole grains, pancake batter, and pasta dishes, or use as a sandwich spread. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.

Quick snack maker. Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese, and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag.

Leftover vino. No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

Remember, be sure to use BPA-free ice cube trays. These Click Lock Trays made by Munchkin are meant for freezing homemade baby food, so you know they’re safe. Plus they have a cover that locks so you can stack a few trays without worrying about the contents spilling or getting contaminated.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com

Source: Health bests

Cut Brunch Calories Without Feeling Deprived

Jenny Sugar

Who can resist cutting into a stack of fluffy pancakes dripping with melted butter and syrup, or biting into a savory egg and sausage bagel sandwich? Weekends just don’t seem the same without indulging in one of these decadent brunch favorites, except when you start to realize it’s working against your best healthy efforts. You can still enjoy brunch without busting your waistline; here are some ways to save calories without feeling like you’re missing out.

What you crave: French toast with maple syrup (two pieces): 498 calories
Eat this instead: Mixed berry pancakes with maple Greek yogurt (three pancakes): 288 calories
Calories saved: 210

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What you crave: Eggs Benedict with hash browns: 810 calories
Eat this instead: Vegan eggs Benedict with sweet potato hash: 621
Calories saved: 189

Lizzie Fuhr

What you crave: Egg and sausage on a bagel: 551 calories
Eat this instead: Egg and sausage on an English muffin: 392 calories
Calories saved: 159

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What you crave: Cheese omelet (three eggs) with hash browns: 536 calories
Eat this instead: Scrambled eggs (two eggs) with hash browns: 350 calories
Calories saved: 186

What you crave: Scrambled eggs (two eggs), bacon (three strips), hash browns, and whole-wheat toast: 588 calories
Eat this instead: Scrambled eggs (two eggs), bacon (two strips), and hash browns: 442 calories
Calories saved: 146

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What you crave: Belgium waffle with whipped cream and syrup: 647 calories
Eat this instead: Belgium waffle with fresh fruit: 474 calories
Calories saved: 173

What you crave: Blueberry scone: 460 calories
Eat this instead: Chia seed blueberry muffins (two): 212 calories
Calories saved: 248

Jaime Young

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com

Source: Health bests

7 Ways to Curb Junk-Food Cravings

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Decadent hot-fudge brownie sundaes, greasy chili cheese fries, and ooey-gooey pizza—sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation of these delicious, high-calorie, sodium- and sugar-laden foods. If your junk-food cravings are taking over and it’s affecting your mood or your weight-loss goals, here are some ways to control your desire for not-so-healthy foods.

Set some limits. Going cold turkey and restricting yourself from every single type of crave-worthy junk food may be asking a bit too much (translation: you’re bound to go crazy from want and overindulge). Start off with small limitations such as no artificial sweeteners or no soda, and then add to your list of no-nos as you feel ready.

Indulge on the good stuff. Allow yourself one small indulgence each day to avoid feeling deprived, which can heighten cravings even more. Forget low-quality, cheapo junk when cravings strike. Choose treats made with real, rich ingredients like a dark-chocolate-covered strawberry or full-fat ice cream—you’re more likely to feel satisfied after a few bites of the good stuff, which means consuming less calories, fat, and sugar.

Find healthier alternatives. If you know yourself well enough that it’s not possible to eat just a little without wanting more and more, whip up some healthier options of your faves, minus the guilt. You’ll feel much better devouring these low-calorie desserts—all delicious and under 150 calories. If pizza is your thrill, try these healthier slices. And instead of french fries or potato chips, these baked tofu squares are a lower-fat way to satisfy your salty cravings.

Use the power of a goal. Got a big trip or wedding coming up? Or maybe having to sport short skirts in a couple months is incentive enough. Use the power of a goal to keep cravings at bay. Every time you want to reach for a bag of chips, think about how delicious a healthier you will feel in that bikini or strapless number.

Change bad habits. Sometimes there are certain events or places that kick cravings into gear, so identify what sets you off so you can avoid it or start a new habit. If you can’t pick up your morning coffee at the local café without grabbing an icing-covered scone as well, make your cup of joe at home. If you always reach for a pint of ice cream when you sit down for some late-night TV, make yourself a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit instead. After some time, these new habits will take over, miraculously diminishing your old ones.

Limit the booze. Alcohol impairs your judgment, making you more apt to say yes to anything
edible. Stick to a one-drink-a-day policy to not only curb your junk-food cravings but to also reduce your risk for certain types of cancers.

Get enough z’s. When we’re tired and don’t have time for a nap, we tend to reach for a high-calorie pick-me-up. Get to sleep early enough so you feel so energized that you don’t need a soda or cookie to pep you up.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com
Source: Health bests