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20 Non-Scale Victories by MyFitnessPal Users

At MyFitnessPal, we know it isn’t only about the scale.There are many amazing ways becoming fit changes our lives, and the way we feel. We love hearing from you, and wanted to celebrate some of the non-scale victories you shared with us on the MyFitnessPal Facebook page over the past month. Here are some favorites:

1. Trying new activities is a great way to stay fit

2. 100 workouts, 100 days, 100% awesome

3. Who wouldn’t want to rediscover how good their biceps look?

4. Rocking favorite summer outfits is an amazing feeling

5. Keep that momentum going

6. Making your body and the doctors really happy

7. We’ve got a push-up champ on our hands

8. Let it be known, it can be done

9. It’s always a good time to get in a dance workout

10. Proving that falling off the wagon can help us come back even stronger

11. Your friends can see all of your progress, too — and you look fabulous

12. Staying strong in the face of pizza and eating a delicious lunch

13. Dropping a size is the ultimate payoff

14. Getting strong and fit

15. SPEEDY running. Way to go

16. Now that’s quite a stair workout

17. You’re going to crush that half next weekend

18. We say you’ve earned a shopping trip

19. Early bird gets the best gym time

20. Dreaming big when it comes to goal-setting

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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Salad | Recipe

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This cool, crunchy salad features finely shredded cabbage, fresh herbs and a sweet touch of apple. For a more substantial meal, add brown rice noodles or serve with brown jasmine rice.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Salad

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 1/2 limes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (such as sambal oelek)

Salad

  • 4 cups green cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) rotisserie chicken breast, skin and bones discarded
  • 1 medium Fuji apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

Directions

Trim the bottom off of the lemongrass and peel away the tough outer layers. Trim off the tough top third and bottom 1/2-inch of the stalk and discard. Smack stalk with a meat tenderizer or small saucepan to release the aromatic oils and make it easier to slice. Slice the lemongrass and add to a blender with the remaining dressing ingredients. Blend until smooth and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, chicken, apple, snow peas, bell pepper, shallots and herbs. Add 2/3 of the dressing and toss to combine. Mound the salad on a large serving platter. Top with the almonds. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 6 |  Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups

Per serving: Calories: 135; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 34mg; Sodium: 506mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 14g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 318mg; Iron: 2%; Vitamin A: 12%; Vitamin C: 74%; Calcium: 13%

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What’s Really in Your Favorite Condiment?

Summer means a cadre of condiments waiting at the end of the hamburger and hot dog line. This array of colorful containers can be confusing with their long lists of ingredients. We’ve broken down some of the most popular summer condiments to help you out before you top off your next burger:

A crowd favorite, ketchup often receives some of the biggest criticisms of any condiment because sugar (specifically high-fructose corn syrup and corn syrup) are frequently listed as the second or third ingredient on the label. These ingredients, along with tomato concentrate and distilled vinegar, pack a 20-calorie per tablespoon punch with 4 grams of sugar. The bottom line? Conserve and use sparingly consider low-sugar or “natural” options made without high-fructose corn syrup, or make your own ketchup at home.

Classic yellow mustard gets the green light, unless you’re watching your sodium intake. The ingredients here are a little more straightforward: vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, natural flavors and garlic. Each 1 teaspoon serving of classic yellow mustard has about 55 milligrams of sodium, or about 2% of your daily value. As long as you aren’t dosing your entire plate with yellow mustard, this condiment is a pretty safe bet.

The creamy, smooth textures of mayo don’t come without a nutritional cost. Just one tablespoon of mayo packs 10 grams of fat and 100 calories. Ingredients include soybean oil, water, whole eggs, egg yolks, vinegar, salt and sugar. In moderation, mayo can be a great addition to a sandwich or wrap, as long as you stay mindful of serving size. Try using hummus or avocado to achieve the same creamy texture for a little less fat and calories per serving.

Made from pickles, cabbage and white vinegar, relish is a crowd favorite on hot dogs and hamburgers. A 1 tablespoon serving of dill relish clocks in around 230 milligrams of sodium, which is about 10 percent of your sodium intake for the day. Use relish in moderation.

A favorite hot sauce and go-to for boosting any meal with a dose of fiery flavor, sriracha clocks in at 5 calories per 1-teaspoon serving, with 80 milligrams of sodium. After chili, sugar and salt are the next ingredients in the little red bottle of Sriracha. The combination of sweet and salty can be too tasty to limit to one teaspoon, and each teaspoon has 1 gram of sugar, so if you’re the spicy type keep in mind the sugars can add up quickly.

A good barbecue sauce is a staple of any summer cookout. Two tablespoons of the stuff can range from 1020 grams of sugar and a carry a hefty load of sodium. All this added sugar comes from the sauce’s main ingredients: high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and molasses. This makes barbecue sauce even higher in added sugar than ketchup. Consider making your own homemade barbecue sauce to control the overall sugar content.

Chunky salsa made with real crushed tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, onions, garlic and other flavorings comes in at only 10 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. It’s a low-calorie condiment, but still contains 10 percent of your daily sodium in one serving, so be mindful of quantity. Not all salsa is created equal as many recipes have sugar lurking in the list of ingredients, so be sure to read the label. You can quickly craft your own homemade salsa using fresh ingredients to keep a lid on the sodium content.

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5 Reasons Why Water is Good for Weight Loss

Water is an essential nutrient that makes your body run smoothly and efficiently. Because the average adult’s body is about 65% water, it’s no wonder that we can only survive for about three to five days without it! Water transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, carries away waste products and lubricates our digestive tracts, joints and cartilage. The Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences suggests an adequate total fluid intake of about 13 cups per day for men and about 10 cups per day for women. (Keep in mind that you may need more or less, depending on activity level, body size and environment.)

As the foundation for all body functions, this zero-calorie drink is a liquid asset, especially for weight loss. Here are 5 reasons why you should make water your weight-loss pal:

1. IT CURBS HUNGER AND PROMOTES SATIETY

The body’s “thirst center” in the brain, the hypothalamus, also regulates appetite. When you’re dehydrated, your body can perceive mixed signals on hunger, causing you to believe that you need to eat when you’re actually just thirsty. One study found that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals helped subjects lose more weight. Hungry? Drink some water first. Staying hydrated can help you ward off fake hunger signals.

2. IT KEEPS YOUR MIND SHARP

In addition to being naturally calorie-free, sugar-free and caffeine-free, water helps transport oxygen to the brain to ensure it functions at optimum levels. Even mild dehydration can impact your cognitive performance, tamper with your mood and make you feel fatigued. These effects can lead to mindless stress eating, poor food choices and, ultimately, breaking the calorie bank. Next time you’re feeling spaced out, try drinking some cold water to zap the sluggishness out of you.


READ MORE > 9 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT THAT AREN’T JUST DIET & EXERCISE


3. IT POWERS YOUR WORKOUTS

In addition to boosting your metabolism, water helps prevent muscle cramping, so you can work out harder and longer. Take note that your water needs increase after working out. During long endurance workouts, drink water with carbohydrates and electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and prevent post-exercise exhaustion.

4. IT HELPS YOU STAY REGULAR

From start to finish, water keeps your digestive system running smoothly. The saliva in your mouth contains water and digestive enzymes to break down your food. In your stomach, water balances the acidic environment to prevent ulcers, indigestion and heartburn. If you’re following a high-fiber diet, be extra diligent in drinking water, as fiber depends on it. Soluble fiber absorbs water to become a gel like mass that slows down the rate at which food leaves the stomach, and insoluble fiber traps and retains water to add bulk and moisture to your stool, which prevents constipation.

5. IT HELPS YOU SAVE ON CALORIES

Liquid calories like juices and sodas don’t fill you up, and their high sugar content can cause insulin spikes that can set you up for a crash. According to this systematic review, drinking water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages resulted in less weight gain over a four-year period. If you want more pizzazz than plain water, try sparkling water, or give it a flavor makeover with berries, cucumbers, mint or grapefruit.

Make water a part of your weight-loss journey by getting enough of this essential nutrient in your daily diet. Try these 20 great life hacks to help you reach your goal, and don’t forget to log your water on the MyFitnessPal app — we make it easy to track your intake. Drink up and stay hydrated!

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