This Rice Cooking Trick Cuts Calories In Half (And It Involves Coconut Oil!)
One cup of medium grain white rice has roughy 246 calories; this new cooking method will cut that number to as little as 147 calories per cup.
The method works by changing the rice’s digestible starch to indigestible starch, which prevents much of the rice from being metabolized into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion. “After your body converts carbohydrates into glucose,” James explains, “any leftover fuel gets converted into a polysaccharide carbohydrate called glycogen. Your liver and muscles store glycogen for energy and quickly turn it back into glucose as needed. The issue is that the excess glucose that doesn’t get converted to glycogen ends up turning into fat, which can lead to excessive weight or obesity.”
To make the lower-calorie rice, add a teaspoon of coconut oil to boiling water. Stir in half a cup of rice and simmer for 20 to 40 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked. Stick it in the fridge for 12 hours, and voila — rice with 10 times the resistant starch and up to 60 percent fewer calories than normal.
“The cooling is essential because amylose, the soluble part of the starch, leaves the granules during gelatinization [which happens naturally as rice cools],” James says. “Cooling for 12 hours will lead to formation of hydrogen bonds between the amylose molecules outside the rice grains, which also turns it into a resistant starch.” The process is final — reheating the rice won’t reverse any of the changes.
Those who worry that adding calorie-dense coconut oil to rice would make the food more fattening shouldn’t worry; the shift in starch type cancels out more calories than the coconut oil adds in.
The Short and Sweet Yoga Sequence You Can Do Every Morning
Regardless of how I slept the night before or what’s on my agenda for the day, I always feel more relaxed and focused after even a handful of minutes on my mat. Start your day out on a centered and strong note with this short yoga sequence that energizes your body and brain. Wake up five minutes earlier in the morning, and reap the benefits all day long.
Even after a good night’s rest, you might be surprised how shallow or hurried it feels first thing in the morning as you run through your checklists for the day. Draw your arms out long in front of you, and let your forehead rest on the floor for Child’s Pose.
Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders. Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you. Stay here for 10 long breaths.
Warming up your spine with a round of Cat Pose to Cow Pose will loosen up tightness in your upper body and relieve tension in your neck from how you slept. Pay special attention to aligning each movement with each breath to get the most out of this effective asana.
Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips and your wrists are under your shoulders. Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big, deep inhale. On the exhale, round your spine up toward the ceiling, and imagine you’re pulling your belly button up toward your spine, really engaging your abs. Tuck your chin toward your chest, and let your neck release. This is your cat-like shape. On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax, and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up toward the sky — without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck. This is the Cow portion of the pose. Continue flowing back and forth from Cat Pose to Cow Pose, and connect your breath to each movement — inhale for Cow Pose, and exhale on Cat Pose. Repeat for 10 rounds.
Downward Facing Dog
Activate your muscles, release stress in your legs and neck, and start building internal heat in Downward Facing Dog. Ten breaths might seem like a long time — but don’t bail! This pose will get the blood pumping through your whole body.
From Child’s Pose, press back on your hands, and come into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be underneath your hips. Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside-down V shape called Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for 10 breaths.
Standing Forward Bend
Standing Forward Bend is another pose that looks like it’s all relaxation, but you will feel a deep and intense stretch in your hamstrings and upper back. While the full expression of the pose calls for straight legs, if that feels like too much on your body, give a little bend to your knees to create more space. Remember to breathe deep, and come up slowly.
From Downward Facing Dog, keep your hands on the mat, and slowly step one foot at a time to the top of your mat so your feet meet your hands. Inhale with a flat back, and gaze slightly forward. As you exhale, engage your abs to fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, trying to straighten the legs as much as possible. If this feels uncomfortable, allow your knees to have a little bend so you can focus on releasing your back. Place your hands on the ground, fingertips lining up with your toes. Hold here for 10 breaths. Slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time, and step back to Downward Facing Dog.
Open up tight hips while strengthening your lower body in Warrior 1. Do your best to turn and square your hips toward the front of the room while straightening and engaging your back leg in Warrior 1. These tips will help your body get the most of the stretch, and you’ll be able to stay comfortable in this pose for the full five breaths without readjusting.
From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up. Lift your arms up, and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips, and gaze up at your hands. Stay here for five breaths. Then come back to Downward Facing Dog, and step your left foot forward to do Warrior 1 on the other side.
Warrior 3 is the final pose of this short sequence that will fire up your core and challenge your balance. Once you complete this pose on either side, you can look forward to a calmer commute and more productive morning.
From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward for a quick Warrior 1 Pose. On your exhale, lower your torso and lift your left leg, bringing your body parallel with the ground. Extend your hands out in front of you, pressing your palms together firmly. Press your hands together in a prayer, or extend your arms forward together, separating your arms so they’re shoulder-width apart. If extending your arms creates pain or pressure in your lower back, then bring your hands to your hips. Hold this position for five deep breaths, then lower your left leg returning to Warrior 1, step back to Downward Facing Dog, and step your left foot forward for Warrior 3 on the other side, then back to Downward Facing Dog. From Downward Facing Dog, drop your knees to the mat, take a few breaths in Child’s Pose, and move on with your day!
Every day should start on a high note. This strength-and-cardio routine gives you that—plus full-body toning—in just 10 minutes.
Even when you’re too busy for a full workout (or can’t resist the snooze button), you can still sneak in 10 minutes—which is all you need for this turbo routine, created by Angel Santiago, a trainer at Drill Fitness, the new high-intensity boot camp studio in New York City. “This workout revs your heart rate for a big calorie burn while it sculpts,” says Santiago, who uses moves that recruit multiple muscle groups at once to maximize efficiency. Now, go have an amazing day.
LUNGE SEQUENCE Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms down. Bend at waist and walk hands out into a plank. Raise right foot and plant it just outside right hand. Pause, then return to plank; repeat with left foot for 1 rep. Do 6 reps. Total time: 2 Minutes
Break a Sweat
RUNNING WOMAN Jog in place for 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. STAR JACK Stand with feet together, arms down. Jump feet apart wider than hips, turning toes out 45 degrees. Bend knees and lower butt to just above knee height. Driving from heels, jump back to start but raise straightened arms to shoulder height, palms backward. Continue for 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Cycle through these two moves again; try to go faster. Total time: 2 Minutes
Sculpt All Over
IN-AND-OUT Start in a plank, balanced on palms and toes with shoulders over wrists. Keeping arms stationary, jump feet forward so they land outside palms. Now, jump back into a plank. Do 10 reps. FLIER Lie facedown, arms outstretched in front of you. Lift right arm and left leg, hold a few seconds, then lower and repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Cycle through these two moves as many times as you can for 3 minutes. Total time: 3 Minutes
Up the Burn
SQUAT HOP Stand with feet just wider than hips. Squat until butt is just above knees. Now, press through heels and jump while raising arms; thrust down as you land. Continue for 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. BEAR CRAWL Start on hands and knees, with knees under hips and hands wider than shoulders. Straighten knees and lift butt into a Downward Dog. Take three small steps forward (right hand, left foot; left hand, right foot; etc.), then three steps backward. Continue for 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds. Cycle through these two moves three times, trying to go faster with each set. Total time: 3 Minutes
10 Exercises You Can Do Without Getting Out Of Bed
Don’t want to get up extra early to log a morning workout at the gym? Fine, stay in bed. You can still transform your body with exercises you can do right on your mattress. Choose a few of them, or complete every move, and perform as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. You’ll burn more calories than you would by repeatedly hitting the snooze button.
1. Marching Hip Raises: Lie on your back with your knees bent, heels near your butt, and arms along your sides with palms facing down. Press into your heels as you lift your hips up so your body forms a line between your knees and shoulders. Without extending your leg, squeeze your butt as you lift your right foot up off the bed and bring your right knee directly over your right hip. Place your right foot back on the bed and repeat on the left side. That’s one rep. Continue to alternate. Where you’ll feel it: Your butt, abs, and thighs.
2. Side Plank With Twist: Lie on your right side and place your right forearm on the bed. Keeping your hips, shoulders, and feet stacked, brace your core as you lift your hips up toward the ceiling as high as you can. Stretch your left arm straight up toward the ceiling. Without touching the bed, slowly lower your hips, then return to starting position. Keeping your core tight, twist from the waist as you bring your left arm down and underneath your body. Return to starting position to complete one rep. Continue for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. (To make this move slightly easier, stagger your feet or place your top foot on the bed in front of you.) Where you’ll feel it: Your abs, obliques, and triceps.
(Image Credit: CosmoBody)
3. Leg Lift With Knee In: Lie on your right side with your right knee bent and foot behind you. Prop your head up with your right hand and place your left hand on your left hip. Point your left toes and extend your left leg to form a straight line with your body. Keeping your hips stacked, lift your left leg straight up toward the ceiling, then bend the knee and bring it in toward your core. Extend the leg back up toward the ceiling, then lower it with control to return to starting position. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. Where you’ll feel it: Your abs, butt, and outer thighs.
(Image Credit: CosmoBody)
4. Diamond Reverse Crunches: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides, palms facing down. Bring your feet together and open your knees out to the sides so the space between your legs resembles a diamond. Press into your palms and brace your core as you raise your feet up over your hips. From this position, lift your hips up off the bed to drive your feet straight up toward the ceiling. With control, bring your hips back to the bed. (Don’t drop your feet.) That’s one rep. Where you’ll feel it: Your lower abs and thighs.
(Image Credit: CosmoBody)
5. Jack Splits: Lie on your back on the bed with your thumbs interlocked, arms and legs outstretched, and feet together. Brace your core as you lift your arms and feet off the bed, keeping knees and elbows locked. Exhale as you lift your legs up and out to form a V, and lift your entire upper body off the bed. As you come up, swing your hands straight forward through the V. With control and without touching the bed, release your arms and legs, and lower back to starting position. That’s one rep. Where you’ll feel it: Your upper and lower abs, chest, and quads.
(Image Credit: CosmoBody)
6. Scissor Legs: Lie on your back with your hands underneath your hips and your palms facing down. Bring both feet straight up into the air and point your toes. Keeping both legs as straight as possible, engage your core as you lower your right leg down toward the bed with control. Without touching down, bring your leg back up to starting position. Then repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep. Where you’ll feel it: Your lower abs and legs.
(Image Credit: Andrew Lyman-Clarke)
7. Dolphin Plank: Get into plank position with your forearms and palms on the bed, and your shoulders stacked over your elbows. Your body should form a straight line between your head and your heels. Keeping your core tight and legs straight, lift your hips straight up into the air. Pause, then release to starting position with control to complete one rep. Where you’ll feel it: Your forearms, abs, and obliques.
(Image Credit: Andrew Lyman-Clarke)
8. Arabesque Leg Lifts: Get on your hands and knees with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, and your hips directly over your knees. Point your left toes, and extend and raise your left leg out to your left side. Bend your knee and bring the leg back in, then extend the leg straight out behind you. Bend the knee and bring it back to starting position to complete one rep. Continue for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. Where you’ll feel it: Your butt.
(Image Credit: CosmoBody)
9. Around-the-World Abs: Start on your hands and knees, with your shoulders stacked above your wrists, hips above your knees, and toes tucked under. Balancing on your left palm and right knee, lift your left knee out to the side so your thigh is parallel to the bed. Keeping your ankle level with your knee, swing your knee forward as you tap it with your right hand. Then, swing your leg backward until your left ankle passes over your right leg on the bed. Simultaneously, reach your right arm back to tap your left heel. Continue alternating between left knee- and left heel-touches for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side for 30 seconds, this time swinging your right leg and touching with your left hand. Where you’ll feel it: Your abs, obliques, butt, and arms.
(Image Credit: CosmoBody)
10. Arm Extension to Shoulder Tap: Start in a plank position with your wrists under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line between the top of your head and your toes. Engage your abs and glutes as you extend your right arm straight out and hold it for one second. Then, use the right hand to tap your left shoulder. Repeat with your left arm and continue to alternate sides. Where you’ll feel it: Your core and arms.