Celebrity nutritionist and weight loss expert Alejandro Chaban is the man behind Chiquis Rivera’s 30-pound weight drop, and counts Sofia Vergara as a fan. Yes, you read that right. So obviously we wanted to get the scoop on how to get down to your dream weight and get healthy – the easiest way (read: little effort) possible.
Here are his best tips for slimming down, fast:
1. Categorize your food
Categorize your food into the colors of the Yes You Can!™ Diet Plan Traffic Light Guide
"I realized that food can be more or less healthy depending on how you cook it, the time of the day you have it and your portion sizes. I didn't have to stop eating the flavors that I love; I just made sure I ate them the right way. For example you CAN eat empanadas, if you make a chia and oatmeal dough and fill it with chicken. That's in the green column so it’s ok for breakfast, but if you add cheese it becomes yellow so you have to be careful, and if you add cheese, some sauce and then fry it instead of baking it, it’ll become red so you have to STOP and think about the effect it’s going to have on your diet. Another example is tacos, if you have tacos in a whole wheat tortilla with steak, peppers, lettuce and avocados you have a delicious green lunch. If you add salsa blanca it becomes yellow, and if you use flour tortillas, add cheese, sour cream and refried beans they become RED."
2. Dance the weight away
Dance the weight away
"I was never a big fan of the gym but one thing that I grew up with and love is dancing. This is a great part of our culture as Latinos and we don’t even realize that it’s one of the best cardio exercises there is. Dancing salsa or merengue for just one hour you can burn up to 500 calories; this is about 100 more than you burn off jogging at gym. If you go for a faster paced rhythm like reggaeton or samba you could even burn off 600 calories in just 60 minutes. You don’t need to become a “gym rat”, but rather get your body moving and have fun!"
3. Cut the unnecessary fat
Cut the unnecessary fat
"A great way to eat all the things you want as the holiday season approaches, but cheat on some calories, is by cutting some of the extra fat that you don’t really need. When cooking your protein (ham, turkey, steak or chicken) use low sodium chicken broth instead of butter and vegetable oil. Switch the mayonnaise and heavy cream for low fat Greek yogurt in your potato salad and dipping sauces. If you’re making Gravy, put it in the fridge for a few hours before serving it; this makes all of the fat rise up to the top and you can just scrape it away and avoid artery-clogging excesses."
4. Spice things up
Spice things up
"To keep all the Latin flavors that I love, I found a way to cut calories from heavy sauces and dressings and change them for flavorful ingredients that took flavors to another level. Jalapeño or Serrano peppers are a great way to give your food flavor and they also help you speed up your metabolism because of the extra work your body has to do to “fight back” the spice. Guacamole and pico de gallo are also two great ways to give your food that great Latin touch without loading up on empty calories. While a creamy dressing like ranch has over 140 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving, guacamole only has 35 calories and 3 grams of good fat."
5. Keep positive reminders
Keep positive reminders
"In our culture, eating well and having seconds is celebrated and rewarded. It’s even expected, so we tend to look for approval and affection through food. Latinos tend to look for comfort in their abuela’s recipes and most of the times these are packed with carbs, fried carbs and sugary carbs. I realized that together with the physical diet I needed to do an emotional diet and loose all the “mental weight” too. For this, I use a red heart-shaped band around my left wrist to remind me of my goals prevent me from sabotaging myself. It’s important to stay focused and know that you have the power to make all your dreams come true."
Ready to get healthy and get cookin’? Try these recipes:
• 3 oz mixed seafood cooked
• 1 cup of brown rice cooked
• 1/2 red pepper sliced
• 1/4 onion
• 1 garlic clove
• 1/2 tomato
• Cooking spray
• Pinch of salt
Spray a thin layer of cooking spray on a skillet and add the tomato diced with the mashed garlic clove. Cook until golden and then add the red pepper.
Add the mixed seafood, brown rice, a pinch of salt, onion and mix it all together.
Let it cook in low heat for about 5 to 10 min
7. Arroz con Pollo
ARROZ CON POLLO:
• 4 Chicken Breasts
• 1 1/2 cup Brown Rice
• 3 cups Water
• 2 tsp Minced Garlic
• 1 pinch Pepper
• 2 pinches Salt
• 1 Onion cut into small pieces
• 1 Green pepper cut into small pieces
• 1 Red pepper cut into small pieces
• 1 leaf Minced coriander
• 1/2 tsp Oregano
• 3 Medium Tomatoes
• 4 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Season the chicken breasts using a pinch of salt, pepper and a little bit of the minced garlic. Cut them into strips and set them aside.
2. Cut the tomatoes in 4 and, using a food processor or blender, liquefy them until they have the consistency of a sauce. Set them aside.
3. In a medium-large pot, pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set the temperature to medium-high. Once it starts to boil a little, add the chicken and let it cook until it is a bit golden.
4. Add the onion and the green pepper and let it cook for 1 minute. Then, very carefully, pour the water in and cover the pot.
5. Once the water begins to boil, add the tomato sauce, the red pepper, the coriander and the oregano.
6. Let the water boil for 5 minutes and add the 3 remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rice.
7. With a large spoon, stir the rice until it is well mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Cover the pot and set the temperature to medium-low.
8. Let it cook until the rice is tender.
9. Serve with a nice green salad and enjoy!