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For most people, popcorn is and has always been a movie snack. That was until the popcorn diet came along. According to this diet, you can lose weight naturally by switching one meal with a serving of air-popped popcorn.
How Does the Popcorn Diet Work?
The idea behind this diet is to cut calories by replacing a meal with popcorn. You can have air-popped popcorn for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but not as a snack. Oil-popped popcorn is not recommended because it contains more fat.
Instead of adding butter and salt, you can buy special seasoning from vendors online. Seasoning is apparently made with Superfoods like mushrooms and pomegranate juice. The seasoning comes in a variety of healthy flavors to provide nutrients.
You are required to eat three full meals a day. Your other two meals should consist mainly of vegetables, lean protein and fruit. Beverages should be limited to low-calorie options too. Water, herbal teas and unsweetened juices are encouraged.
Pros of the Popcorn Diet
As far as cutting calories goes, the popcorn diet can work. One cup of popcorn can contain 23-50 calories depending on the seasoning. If you follow the diet’s plan for the other two meals in the day, there’s a good chance you will lose weight steadily.
As a meal, popcorn is quite filling. It has a decent amount of fiber to keep hunger at bay until your next meal. Special seasoning also adds disease-fighting antioxidants, energy-boosting vitamins and health-restoring minerals.
Cons of the Popcorn Diet
Followers of the popcorn diet might find controlling quantities challenging. Because many people are used to cinema servings, it is easy to mistake portions. Regular-sized popcorn at the movies ranges from 9-20 cups. The diet recommends much less.
Another disadvantage is that the diet does not give clear guidelines on what to eat for your other two meals. Vegetables, fruit and lean protein are naturally low in calories. However, it is still possible to overeat if you don’t know how to measure portions.
Eating too much popcorn has the potential to block the absorption of other nutrients as well. Some people may suffer digestion problems as a result of eating too much fiber.
How to Make Air-Popped Popcorn at Home
Air-popped means that popcorn is cooked using hot air instead of oil or butter. You can make a bag of your own using a microwave in just minutes. All you need to do is add ¼ cup of kernels in a lunch bag, fold it down twice at the top and place the bag upright in the microwave.
Set the heat on high and microwave for a couple of minutes. Listen carefully for pops. Popping should be consistent with very short pauses in between. If there is a long pause between pops, remove the bag from the microwave and let it cool.
If you don’t have seasoning, try some healthy alternatives like olive oil, salt and pepper. You can also sprinkle cinnamon, nutritional yeast and chili powder for extra flavor.