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Three Ways to Fight Obesity with Fun Weight Loss Foods

Tim Boyer's picture

Weight loss in children and adults can be fun in the fight against obesity by simply choosing to prepare and eat tasty, low calorie, healthy foods. According to Intermountain Healthcare - a nonprofit health system based in Salt Lake City, Utah - making creative cubes in fun shapes, funky colors and infused with fruits, herbs and delicious flavorings is just one example out of three that will lead to better eating habits and fun weight loss in the fight against obesity.

Recent statistics list Utah as a state where one in four children are obese. "This is an issue for children, parents, and families that contributes to poor health and decreased quality of life," says Tamara Sheffield, MD, a spokesperson for Intermountain's LiVe public service campaign. "It's a complex issue, but one that can be tackled with small habits at home."

Examples of small habits that will lead to healthy eating and subsequent weight loss in the fight against obesity are provided by Intermountain Healthcare experts with three food suggestions using yogurt, ice cubes and a sense of art.

A summary of their food suggestions is listed below.

Fun Food Suggestion #1: Go with Yogurt
Yogurt is an excellent choice for a breakfast meal, especially when a family member must rush out the door in the early morning for work or school. "For one thing, yogurt's balance of carbs and protein is satisfying and helps maintain a steady flow of energy," says Dr. Sheffield. "It's high in calcium, delicious mixed with fruit, and yogurt with "live cultures" contains probiotics — helpful for digestion and immunity."

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However, when deciding to go with yogurt, you must choose your yogurt wisely to avoid brand selections that are full of sugar. The Intermountain Healthcare experts advise that you look for the following in making a good yogurt choice:

• Six or eight ounces in serving size
• 200 calories or less
• Six or more grams of protein
• Four grams of fat or less
• 15 grams of sugar or less (even plain yogurt contains about 12 grams of sugar)
• Contains enough calcium to meet 20% or more of your Recommended Daily Allowance
• Look for brands that feature "Live & Active Cultures" or the words "Lactobacillus (L. Acidophilus)" or "Bifidobacterium (B. Bifidum)" in the list of ingredients

Fun Food Suggestion #2: Eat Like an Artist
Increase your daily fruit and veggie intake with a colorful palate of bright colored fruits and vegetables with every meal. Those bold and bright colors you see in fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, and an easy way to choose a variety of foods with differing benefits toward good health. "…the compounds that color fruits and vegetables are what's known as bio-active compounds. Not only do they contain vitamins and other nutrients, but these foods also contain phytonutrients that help boost immunity and fight disease, and they're also rich in fiber," says Dr. Sheffield.

Fun Food Suggestion #3: Chill Out with Funky Ice Cubes
Limiting, or better yet, eliminating sugary sodas and artificially sweetened fruit juices from your family’s diet is the best and easiest way toward good health. Accumulating news stories about the bad effects of sugar-heavy sodas on health reinforces the message that water is truly the best beverage.

However, to add a little fun and interest to water, the Intermountain Healthcare experts suggest that mixing water with fruits, herbs or other flavorings such as chocolate, vanilla and coconut and freezing them into fun shapes offers a delightful snack or treat. Juice from pomegranates, blueberries or purple grapes can add colors to the frozen treats as well as hints of refreshing flavor.

Reference: Intermountain Healthcare