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Can You Really Lose Weight Without Cutting Calories?

What if you could lose weight and improve your health without feeling deprived and always hungry?


Good news, you can!



And one great way to do this is with often do you include legumes in your routine?

In a recent study, researchers conducted a test:  caloric restriction vs. consuming legumes.  One group was asked to eat 500 calories LESS per day, and another group was required to eat MORE calories by adding five cups of legumes (such as lentils, chickpeas, split peas or navy beans) each week without changing their diet in any other way.  After eight weeks, can you guess what happened?

The “more-food” group won!

Actually, both groups had about the same drop in weight, waist circumference and blood pressure, but the legume-rich diet led to additional health benefits.  WOW!  We don’t know about you, but given the two choices, we would much rather eat MORE than LESS and achieve better health!


So, what exactly are legumes?

Legumes are edible seeds that come from a group of powerhouse plants.  There is a great variety of legumes including...

  • Beans...the magical fruit! This is the most common type of legume and includes a wide variety such as black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and lima beans.


  • Peas...and not just the typical green pea, but also sugar snap peas, snow peas, split peas, edamame, and black-eyed peas.


  • Lentils!  Because they are harvested for their seeds, lentils are considered a legume.


  • But wait, there's more!  Some legumes are "nuts!" For example, because peanuts are grown underground, unlike other nuts such as walnuts and almonds that grow on trees, they are considered legumes.  But peanuts are not alone, soy nuts and carob nuts are also considered legumes.


Why legumes?

As with all REAL food, legumes are packed with nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron, and potassium...and provide huge health benefits:

  • Legumes have a great deal of fiber to help you feel full.  They are ideal to replace meat in a meal -- which is a double whammy of calorie savings and added health defenders!  Mountains of research support a “plant-based” diet, and trading meat for beans is a great way to get your share of plant-based nutrients.


  • They are also high in potassium (in fact higher than a banana!) …so legumes are truly magnificent at dropping blood pressure.


  • Reduce your risk of heart disease!  Other studies have shown eating beans 4 times a week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 19%.  Why?  Because of their amazing ability to sop up nasty cholesterol -- just think of beans as little cholesterol sponges!


  • Additionally, legumes work wonders to help manage and fight diabetes by improving blood sugar levels.  (Even though beans are starchy, the fiber they contain slows the release of sugars into the blood stream.)


  • And, last but certainly not least, legumes are excellent cancer fighters.  They contain numerous plant compounds that are known to help our bodies defend themselves from carcinogens…essentially, neutralizing them from our bodies.


How often should we eat legumes?

In his book “How Not to Die” (which we highly suggest reading), Dr. Greger presents scientific support to his adamant recommendation to eat beans three times a day.

WHAT?!  THREE times A DAY?

The problem is, most Americans only consume beans in their sugar-laden baked beans in the summer or their chili in the winter!

So, let's be realistic...what if we shoot for eating 1/2 cup of beans (or other legumes) at least 4 times per week?  Here are some great ways to do it!

  1. Add beans to your salads.  This tip alone can help you enjoy beans several times a week!
  2. Trade in ranch dip for hummus!  Eat like the Mediterraneans -- hummus is perfect to snack on with raw veggies any time of the day!
  3. Keep dinnertime quick and easy with Buddha bowls -- including legumes!  Try the Roasted Veggie Bowl with Secret Sauce -- it's a member favorite!
  4. Add beans to tacos, nachos, or Loaded Mexican Sweet Potato Fries!
  5. Include legumes in your soups, such as the Tomato Soup with Barley and White Beans.
  6. Enjoy bean salads for summer picnics and potlucks - try the Healthified Three Bean Salad -- it's sure to be a hit!
  7. Baked beans can be made healthy and delicious -- the Stove Top Baked Beans are perfect for your summer get togethers!
  8. No one needs to know, but you can even put black beans in your chocolate cupcakes!
  9. Start the day off with beans for breakfast -- try the Mexican Breakfast Pizza or the Chipotle Huevos Rancheros with Corn and Black Beans.



We hope this single message of “eat more legumes” gets you rethinking about a very simple (and cost saving!) single step that can help you slim down and beat disease.  And, Eat REAL America will help you do it deliciously!

What are your favorite ways to enjoy legumes or beans in your routine?

Please share with us so we can all enjoy legumes at least 4 times a week!


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