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The 25 Most Popular Diets of 2015: 18 Shake Tops List While Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem Take a Tumble

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to reveal our annual most popular diets list! We use your searches* to determine which diets, programs, books, and supplements are the most talked about, researched, and used for the year and we have to say, there were a few surprises!

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Low Calorie Holiday Recipes to Bring to Any Party

Christmas mulled wineThe holiday season is all about giving, and you never want to show up to a party empty handed. The benefits are two fold: your host will love you, and you know you’ll have some lower calorie options you can stick to no matter what’s on the menu. Bring one of the following quick and easy, low calorie holiday recipes to your next get together and enjoy yourself, guilt-free.

Noshes and Nibbles

Appe-teasers are simple to prepare and simple to eat, making them great for informal cocktail parties. Look for recipes high in protein to keep you full for hours, like our gal Oprah’s favorite meatballs and stick to lower calorie variations of your favorite traditionally high fat, high calorie dips.

A Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip 

Oprah’s Turkey Meatballs

Cottage Cheese Dip with Veggies

Steamed Artichokes with Red Pepper Dip

Black Eyed Pea Hummus

Perfect Party Salmon Bites

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Celebrity Trainer Jorge Cruise’s Tiny and Full Promises Results with One Simple Change

tiny and full

Celebrity trainer Jorge Cruise‘s new book Tiny and Full will be released just in time for the holidays and promises you a smaller waist by only changing one meal a day.

The premise is simple: follow a vegan diet for breakfast. Then, go back to incorporating animal-based foods for lunch and dinner, while still keeping a heavy emphasis on plant-based foods.

“When I say vegan,” Cruise told Diets In Review exclusively, “I mean in the truest, most natural form of vegan. A whole food (minimally processed), plant-based diet. Potato chips and Coke are technically vegan, but I encourage the healthiest, most natural form of vegan possible with whole, plant-based foods.”

Why just breakfast? you may be asking. There are two main reasons.

“There are numerous studies showing that determination and drive are almost always strongest in the morning hours when you are fresh,” explains Cruise. “This is because willpower is like a muscle — it’s strongest when it has been given good rest and restoration.” Focusing on breakfast, when your resolve is highest, gives you the best odds for success.

Just one meal is all it takes, though. Cruise makes it clear he is not an advocate for becoming a full time vegan.

“For most of us, it’s a lifestyle change that is just too hard to maintain,” said Cruise. “There are more people who have quit being vegan than there are those who are actual vegans. I intentionally created Tiny and Full as a part-time vegan program to help you get the benefits of the vegan diet but avoid the negatives.”

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KIND Snacks Petitions FDA to Redefine the Term “Healthy”

kind-bar

KIND Snacks, with support from nutrition and public health experts, has filed a Citizen Petition urging the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to update its regulations around using the term “healthy” in food labeling.

Currently, the FDA mandates that the term “healthy” only be used as a nutrient content claim reserved for foods with 3 grams or less total fat and 1 gram or less of saturated fat per serving. Fish and meat must have 5g or less total fat and 3g or less saturated fat per serving in order to use healthy as a nutrition content claim. This guideline was established over 20 years ago and KIND Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky claims that it’s outdated, excluding whole, nutrient-rich foods we know to have numerous health benefits like almonds, salmon, olive oil and avocados because of their naturally occurring higher fat content.

The policy effort, which cites evidence from multiple nutrition studies in addition to current federal Dietary Guidelines, is supported by a number of leading health and wellness experts including Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts and Connie Diekman, Registered Dietitian and former President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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The Biggest Loser Returns for Season 17 with Big Changes

Biggest Loser cast 17

The Biggest Loser is back January 4, 2016 for its 17th season, but with a new host, a new gym and even a brand new logo, this season will be anything but business as usual.

America’s favorite trainers Dolvett Quince and Jen Widerstrom return this season to train eight teams of two contestants, all competing to shed the most weight for the $250,000 grand prize. Seven of the teams know each other well, with couplings including spouses, parents and adult children, siblings, and best friends, all looking to improve their lives and heal old wounds through losing weight and getting their health under control.

The members of the eighth team are strangers to each other, but you may know them quite well:  former “Survivor” winner and “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Richard Hatch, 54, and “The Voice” season two semi-finalist Erin Willett, 26.  While they may be used to the bright lights and cameras, this team will still have to work  just as hard as the other contestants to lose their excess weight while figuring out how to work together and support each other in making lasting lifestyle changes.

While this season will have all the calorie-burning, sweat-dripping excitement you’ve come to know and love from The Biggest Loser, season 17 brings with it a lot of changes, too.

The new host is a friendly, familiar face: beloved former The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper. The newly renovated “Biggest Loser” gym features a brand new look, logo and modernized state-of-the-art equipment, including eight individual high-tech wall monitors that track each contestant’s stats in real time, including calorie burn and heart rate. The gym will be split, with one half dedicated to Team Dolvett and the other half dedicated to Team Jen. Weigh-ins are also getting a revamp, featuring double scales so teams can weigh in and face off side by side.

The theme for this season is ‘Temptation,’ and will focus on real world situations and roadblocks that everyone faces in their pursuit to live a healthy lifestyle. Players will spend more time off-campus this season than ever before to better prepare them for what they will face when they return home, and offer viewers helpful take aways they can implement immediately in their own fitness journeys.

The Biggest Loser season 17 premieres Monday, January 4 (9-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.

Sugar Previously Used to Treat Eye

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Sugar, in every kitchen and corner store, hasn’t always been so accessible. Before we were trying to avoid it from our diets, physicians were actually dreaming up medical applications by the numbers. A few of the more interesting uses:

For ailments of the eye:

  • “Take two drams of fine sugar-candy, one-half dram pearl, one grain of leaf gold; made into a very fine and impalpable powder, and when dry, blow a convenient quantity into the eye.”
    • From Experiments and Observations Upon Oriental and Other Bezoar-stones, etc. etc… A Vindication of Sugars Against the Charge of Dr. Willis, Other Physicians, and Common Prejudices, by Dr. Frederick Slare (1715)From The London Practice of Physic, for the Use of Physicians and Younger Practitioners (1769 edition)

For diarrhea:

  • “Take two or three lumps of treble refined sugar, the white of a new-laid egg; beat them well up together into a fine froth; mix it with a gill-glass full of the Tilbury-water, and half a gill of fresh cows-milk made warm. Drink this twice or thrice a day”
    • From Discourses on Tea, Sugar, Milk, Made-Wines, Spirits, Punch, Tobacco, &c: With Plain and Useful Rules for Gouty People, by Thomas Short (1750)

“To cure Spitting of Blood, if a Vein is broken”:

  • “Take mice-dung beaten to powder, as much as will lie on a six-pence; and put it in a quarter of a pint of the juice of plantane, with a little sugar: Give it in the morning fasting, and at night going to bed. Continue this some time, and it will make whole, and cure”

“Stuffing in the Lungs”:

  • “Take white sugar-candy powder’d and sifted two ounces, China roots powder’d and sifted one ounce; flour of brimstone one ounce. Mix these with conserve of roses, or the pap of an apple; and take the bigness of a walnut in the morning, fasting an hour after it; and the last at night, an hour after you have eaten or drank”
    • From The Gentlewoman’s Companion, by Hannah Woolley (1670)

A dressing for a bad wound:

  • “Step 1: Clean the wound well using soap and warm water. Pat dry until you’re sure there is no moisture left. If debris or foreign objects are observed within the wound, extract everything and clean again. Step 2: Pour sugar directly on the wound, making sure it gets into the wound and doesn’t stick only to the surface. If the wound is large, cover it with honey first and then sprinkle sugar on top. The honey will help the sugar stay in place and provide its full healing benefits. Step 3: Cover with a bandage immediately and secure the bandage with tape. The bandage will prevent bacteria and debris from getting into the wound. Step 4: Change the bandage and repeat the cleaning and sugar application once a day. Rip off the bandage rather than pulling it softly. The hard motion will remove dead tissue and clear the wound. Step 5: Be consistent. Sugar healing is a slow process, and it can take several months for serious wounds to heal. However, you should start seeing positive results right away, as the sugar will reduce pain and throbbing in the wound and the surrounding tissues.”

Throwdown: Pumpkin Spice Latte vs Toasted Graham Latte

Pumpkin Spice vs Toasted Graham Latte

The fall classics are back, but something new is brewing at your local Starbucks. If you haven’t picked up it’s scent yet, you will soon notice that for the first time in years a new drink is on the fall menu. The Toasted Graham Latte. Sounds delicious but how does it stack up against the king of cool weather drinks? Starbucks claims a less sweet drink (only slightly though, with 40 grams of sugar for their 16oz version – see our “how much sugar” slideshow for reference).

According to starbucks.com “Graham and sweet cream meet steamed milk and our signature espresso, then are finished off with a sprinkling of cinnamon graham crumbles for a less sweet perfect treat”

It’s clear that fans of the Pumpkin Spice Latte won’t find a drastically healthier fall drink option in the Toasted Graham Latte. But starting with less sugar and no whip cream you eliminate some of the unnecessary sugar from the Pumpkin Spice. If you want to further reduce sugars, try swapping in skim milk.

Pumpkin Spice vs Toasted Graham (16 fl oz)

Calories 380 Calories 300
50 grams Sugar 40 grams Sugar
Total Fat 14g Total Fat 9g
Sodium 240mg Sodium 210mg
**2% Milk used 

 

*** Our advice is to skip the sugar rush and go with something else. If you are looking for a lightweight but still tasty breakfast option, try the Medifast Mocha Shake. Easily made ***

 

PS – If you opt for the Venti – you are in for 380 Calories and 51G of sugar. Here for full details.

Abs are Made in the Kitchen: Clean Eating vs. Strength Training

Clean Eating Strength Training

People are finally starting to understand that strength training – not cardio – is the best way to build the shape and definition you want. Hurray! So many hours on the elliptical, saved!

Well, now we’re here to tell you that nutrition is even more important than strength training when it comes to seeing results. How can that be?

You may have heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Or, perhaps, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.” These rules of thumb survive the test of time because they’re true. But what exactly do they mean?

Your food won’t magically build muscle without you having to lift a finger; only resistance training can do that. But in order to see that hard work you’re putting in at the gym, you need to focus on what you’re putting in your mouth. Continue reading

11 Total Pinterest Food Fails

We’ve all been there, but Redbook has compiled some of the spectacular fails of pinterest foodies.

Tweet us with your fails @DietsInReview!

Fabulous Adventure Vacations with Just Enough R&R

hike

There are three kinds of people in the world: those who take a vacation to totally relax. They go to place like Hawaii and Mexico to stay at an all inclusive resort to golf or spend time in the spa. A vacation is a way to get away from the world.

Then there are those who see a vacation as an adventure. It’s a chance to hike a mountain pass, to camp on the ridge and see the sunrise. A vacation is a chance to breath deep as they plunge into new experiences and to see what their bodies can do.

Then there are people like me who want a little bit of both. I want a good hike in the morning, followed by an amazing meal of local cuisine. I don’t mind getting up for sunrise as long as there is a cup of tea and a comfortable bed waiting for me at the end of the day. I want to get away from my every day, but I still want to experience what the world has to offer.  If that describes you too, I’ve got some great ideas for a fit adventure followed by a little R&R.

RUN

Hood to Coast Relay: Here’s your chance to see that amazing sunrise! This 198-mile relay race takes you from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. It’s the longest relay foot race in the world, starting early on Friday morning and lasting well into Saturday. Stay the night at the Shilo Inn in Seaside after the race to rest up, have a good meal, and catch the shuttle service back to Portland on Sunday. Continue reading