From the healthiest snacks to the most nutritious breakfast, how to eat for weight loss, more energy, and more.
Which is Healthier: Learn to Spot the Best Foods for Weight Loss
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From the minute you roll out of bed, there are nutritional decisions to be made: Smoothie or cereal? Bagel or doughnut? They're not always no-brainers—the better pick may surprise you. See if you can spot the best foods for weight loss.
The Winner: Glazed Doughnut, 260 Calories
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Grab the doughnut! "While both are made with white flour, which offers little in the nutrient department, bagels are much bigger. One bagel can be the calorie equivalent of five servings of bread (320 calories)," says Kristine Clark, Ph.D., R.D., director of sports nutrition at Penn State University. Learn the scary truth about comfort carbs.
The Winner: French Toast, 150 Calories
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A slice of French toast has 150 calories and 7 grams of fat, while a pancake has 175 calories and 7 grams of fat. "But French toast's egg coating adds protein," says Gidus, "and gives it more flavor and moisture than a pancake." That means you're less likely to drench the bread in syrup. Try this healthy banana French toast recipe.
The Winner: Potato Skins (Usually), 140 Calories
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If those cheesy spuds are loaded with bacon, opt for the chicken fingers (100 calories each). If they're topped with broccoli, indulge in moderation. "The potato skin and vegetables provide fiber and potassium, and cheese adds calcium and protein," says Lisa Dorfman, R.D., director of sports medicine nutrition and performance at the University of Miami. Got leftovers? Try these five leftover chicken recipes.
The Winner: Nuts, 168 Calories
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Although nuts are higher in fat and calories (168 calories and 14 grams of fat per ounce versus dried fruit's 69 calories and no fat), they're also packed with vitamin E, fiber, and protein. Plus, most of the fat is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind (these five nuts are your healthiest bet). A sweet compromise? Mix both.
The Winner: Cereal with Fruit
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Although both options are filled with antioxidants and other nutrients, cereal is the better option. Cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals that women fall short on, such as iron, calcium, and folic acid. Choose one with whole grains as the first ingredient and less than 9 grams of sugar per serving—like these healthy options.
The Winner: Bloody Mary, 125 Calories
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Toast to the Bloody Mary for better health. The juice in both of these cocktails gives you a nutrient boost (vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin A), but the tomato juice in the Bloody Mary contains less sugar than a mimosa's OJ—and 25 fewer calories than a mimosa's 150. Post-breakfast, try these other low-cal drinks.
The Winner: Grilled Chicken Sandwich, 340 Calories
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Add the word "Caesar" to a salad, and you've got a diet disaster. With cheese,
croutons, and a creamy dressing, this seemingly healthy staple has four times the amount of fat and 150 more calories than the sandwich (490 in the salad compared to just 340 in the sandwich). Plus, three more healthy—and tasty—ways to cook chicken.
The Winner: Pork Chop, 100 Calories
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While chicken has a reputation for being the leanest meat choice, that only holds true for skinless breasts. A lean cut of pork—like this garlic herb pork chop recipe—is about 100 calories and 2 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving. The same size serving of dark-meat chicken thighs weighs in with 177 calories and 9 grams of fat.