1. Never Leave Home Hungry
• Eat a healthy meal or snack before you leave the house so you aren’t tempted to buy high-fat snacks.
2. BYOF — Bring Your Own Food
• Be prepared with healthy snacks so you’re not tempted to indulge, such as when you are at the movies.
3. Put Down the Fork
• Swallow what is in your mouth before preparing the next bite.
• Your stomach sends the hormone CCK to your brain, telling it that you are full. This hormone can take a while to arrive. By putting down your fork in between each bite the CCK has more time to make the journey to the brain.
4. Use Chopsticks
• People eat slower and less per bite.
• In one study, 120 normal-weight diners and 120 obese diners were observed at Chinese buffets. Out of the 37 people eating with chopsticks, 32 were normal weight and five were obese.While only 27 percent of the normal-weight diners used chopsticks, it was far more than the 4 percent of the obese diners.
5. Use the Little Fork
• By using the smaller utensils, you will eat slower and get more bites.
6. Turn Down the Lights
• High wattage lighting can raise stress levels, stimulating your appetite and causing you to eat faster than usual.
• When it’s time to eat, use no more than 240 total watts, or about four 60-watt bulbs in an over-the-table fixture.
7. Remove Temptation
• You are less likely to go back for seconds if the food is not sitting right in front of you. By having to get up for seconds instead of having extras on the table, you will be more aware of how much you are eating.
• If you prepare more food than you will eat, store the extra portions right away.
8. Swap it Out
• Small changes to recipes you eat every day can help you drop pounds.
9. Eat 400 Calorie Meals
• That amount of calories allows for a healthy variety in your diet and keeps you satisfied.
10. Eat Four Meals Per Day
• Consuming 1,600 calories allows a woman of average size and activity level to achieve and stay at an ideal body weight.
11. Learn to Estimate Calories and Portion Sizes
• When researchers asked study participants to estimate calories in restaurant entrees, they were off by as much as 100 percent.
• Thumb tip or 1 small marble = 1 teaspoon (i.e. oil or jam)
• Thumb tip to first knuckle or 1 large marble = 1 tablespoon (i.e. peanut butter)
• Thumb or 2 large marbles = 2 tablespoon of solid food (i.e. nuts) or 1 ounce of liquid (i.e. salad dressing)
• Golf ball or cupped handful = 1/4 cup (i.e. beans)
• Hockey puck or palm = 3 ounces (i.e. cooked meat, poultry or fish)
• Tennis ball = 1/2 cup (i.e. fruit)
• Your fist or a baseball = 1 cup (i.e. vegetables or pasta)
12. Get Wise to Hidden Fats and Sugars
• Swap in low-fat ingredients, such as reduced-fat salad dressings, cheese and milk.
• When dining out, watch for signs your food is soaked in fat:
1. Pools of oil on the plate
2. High-gloss shine or white coating on foods that aren’t naturally white
3. Dark stain or oil ring on paper bag or plate
• Know that sugar is plentiful in soft drinks, desserts and candy, and also in foods you might not expect, such as ketchup and crackers.
• Read labels to spot hidden sugar sources.
13. Use the Six-Section “Meal Wheel”
• To stay satisfied longer and eat healthier, you need to consume the right mix of vegetables, fruits, proteins and grains. Divide your plate into six sections:
1. One should be filled with protein
2. Two with grain
3. The remaining three with fruits and vegetables
• This won’t apply to every meal, but it is a good guide.
14. Eat Fruits and Vegetables First
• They are low in calories and will fill you up.
• Fruits and vegetables have high water and fiber content so they are low in calories, but high in stomach-filling volume.
15. Don’t Eliminate Entire Food Groups
• The American College of Preventative Medicine recommends that you get:
1. 55 percent of your calories from carbohydrates
2. 25 percent from fat
3. 20 percent from protein
• It is not safe to eliminate any one of these groups, as your body requires all of them for optimal health.
• Those who restrict their intake to only one or two food groups are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. They can also get bored and sabotage their weight loss efforts.
16. Keep a Food Journal Six Days a Week
• If you mindlessly munch on a bag of potato chips and you could easily polish off the whole thing without holding yourself accountable.
• Write down how much you’ve eaten and you’re more likely to practice portion control.
• Keeping a food log helps control extra calories in two ways:
The combination of a reality check and awareness that what you’re putting in your mouth will soon be recorded for posterity.
• In a recent study, people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight, compared with those who didn’t.
• Combined with a moderate diet and exercise plan, they lost an average of 13 pounds in six months.
17. Sip 15 Ounces of Water Two Hours Before Working Out
• “Nearly every cell in the body is composed of water. Without it, cells don’t function efficiently during exercise,” says Dr. Dan Judelson, an assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University Fullerton.
• You will fatigue faster and your workout will feel tougher than it should if you aren’t hydrated.
• In recent studies, Dr. Judelson discovered that dehydrated exercisers completed three to five fewer repetitions per set while strength-training.
• Part of the problem is that dehydration decreases the body’s levels of anabolic hormones that are necessary for strong muscles.
• On workout days, drink an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight (i.e., 15 ounces if you weigh 150) one to two hours prior to exercise.Then keep sipping during and after your session to replenish what you lose through sweat.
18. Drink Green Tea
• Research in the Journal of Nutrition found study participants who drank up to 5 cups of green tea daily had greater exercise-induced declines in abdominal flab than non-tea drinkers.
• The study’s authors think that green tea catechins may stimulate the body’s fight-or-flight response, altering fat storage.
19. Do an Hour-Long Workout Once a Week
• Going longer gives you a big metabolic boost. Your body has to reach into its reserves and expend a lot of energy replenishing its fuel stores and repairing broken-down muscle fibers when you’re finished.
• Researchers at the University of Victoria in British Columbia found that exercisers who chugged along for 60 minutes burned nearly five times as many calories post-workout as those who did only 30 minutes of activity.
20. Grab the Heavy Weights
• Even when exercisers lifted identical volumes (such as 10 pounds 10 times or 20 pounds five times), those using the heavier dumbbells burned about 25 percent more calories when they were finished.
• Heavy weights create more protein breakdown in the muscle, so your body has to use more energy to repair and recover, and the boost can last even longer.
• Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that working outwith heavy weights for as few as three to six repetitions increased exercisers’sleeping metabolic rate, the number of calories burned overnight, by nearly 8 percent.
• That’s enough to lose about 5 pounds a year, even if you did nothing else.
21. Lift Weights While Standing on One Leg
• Lifting weights is one of the best ways to stave off weight gain in middle age.
• When you incorporate lifting weights while standing on one leg, you increase your strength-training and the ability to burn fat and keep it off.
22. Commit to Intervals
• Studies show that workouts with high-intensity bursts can boost your calorie burn more than steady-paced training.
• Interval training increases your cells’ fat-burning capacity
• Because intervals are harder than one-speed workouts, it takes more time for your body to return to normal afterward, so your calorie burn stays elevated longer.
• In a College of New Jersey study, researchers found that those who rode stationary bikes at varying intensities burned about 15 percent more calories for about 30 minutes after their sessions than their peers who stuck to one moderate pace the entire time.
23. Drink Milk After Your Workout
• Research shows it’s great for post-workout recovery, plus it can help you build metabolism-stoking muscle.
• Dairy drinkers, in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, gained up to 63 percent more lean muscle after 12 weeks of weight-training, compared with exercisers given a sports drink of equal calories.
• Provides an ideal mix of nutrients for repairing tiny muscle tears and replenishes electrolytes so you feel rejuvenated faster.
24. Climb Three Extra Flights of Stairs Daily
• Including two to three minutes of stair climbing per day – covering approximately three to five floors – can burn enough calories to eliminate the average American’s annual weight gain of 1 to 2 pounds a year.
• One Harvard study found that men who climbed more than 70 flights of stairs a week had 18 percent lower mortality rates than those who climbed fewer than 20 flights a week.
25. Follow the One-Mile Rule
• Americans drive their cars for two-thirds of all trips that are under one mile.
• Each additional hour you spend driving is associated with a 6 percent increase in obesity.
• If your errands are less than a mile away, vow to walk them at a brisk pace instead of driving.
• Park where you can run several errands within a mile without moving your car.
• Walk every day and you’ll be 13 to 17 pounds lighter next year.
26. Eat Eggs
• Men and women who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight and had 61 percent greater reduction in body-mass index than those who had an equal-calorie bagel.
• Eggs keep people more satisfied until their next meal.
• Eat one egg yolk with two egg whites to keep cholesterol intake down.
27. Take a Pedometer Wherever You Go
• Pedometer users walk nearly 2,500 more steps a day (more than one mile,about 100 calories) than non-users.
• Over a year, that’s enough to burn off more than 10 pounds.
28. Watch No More Than Two Hours of TV a Day
• You miss out on calorie-burning activities.
• Those who watched more than two hours of TV per day took in 7 percent more calories and consumed more sugary snacks than those who watched less than one hour.
29. Don’t Work Late
• Those who’d packed on the pounds in the previous year were more likely to have logged overtime hours (University of Helsinki).
• It is also possible that work stress causes changes in hormones like cortisol, which can affect weight gain.
30. Snack on Nuts
• After lunch, your blood sugar, energy levels and metabolism can dip.
• About 20 nuts have a high amount of fiber and protein, staving off hunger and keeping you energized until dinnertime.
• Nuts also contain monounsaturated fats, found to stimulate fat burning.
31. Stand an Extra Hour a Day
• Obese women stand for two hours less than lean women, which can be a difference of 300 calories a day (Iowa State University).
• Standing for an hour more a day, such as at your desk or in the waiting room, will burn 100 more calories than if you were sitting.
32. Make TV a Snack-Free Activity
• Harvard researchers found that kids ate an extra 167 calories for every hour of TV watched.
• Make a no-food-in-front-of-the-TV rule so you are not swayed by commercials.
33. Post Inspiration
• Place quotes in strategic places where you might need motivation: on the fridge, on the TV or on the computer
34. Go the Distance
• Stop using the closest restroom, parking space or vending machine.
• Use the longest routes and take stairs if possible.
35. Boost Your Calcium Intake
• When calcium-deficient women took a supplement, they lost four times more weight than those who didn’t (British Journal of Nutrition).
• Consume fat-free or low-fat yogurt and milk, beans and dark leafy greens throughout the day.
36. Do Crunches in Bed
• Draw your knees toward your chest 25 to 50 times to rev your energy, tone your belly and burn 15 to 20 calories. Add a set at night to double your burn.
• Burns up to 20 calories in less than five minutes.
37. Flavor Your Coffee with Cinnamon
• Flavor your coffee with cinnamon or nutmeg instead of flavored syrup to save yourself 100 calories.
38. Sign Up for Healthy E-Newsletters
• A recent study from Kaiser Permanent found that people who received weekly e-mail reminders about diet and fitness for 16 weeks substantially increased their levels of physical activity and intake of healthy foods like fruit sand vegetables. They also cut back on trans and saturated fats. We can help:
Go to http://thedoctorstv.com/signup and www.prevention.com/newsletters and sign up for weekly newsletters, such as Prevention’s “Eat Up, Slim Down” and”Walk Off the Weight.”
39. Take a Comedy Break
• Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can burn about 40 calories.
• A daily chuckle could add up to a loss of about 4 pounds over a year.
• Laughing eases stress and boosts calorie burn up to 20 percent.
40. Learn to Swim
• Keeps your body toned without adding weight and stress to your joints.Swimming raises your heart rate, is a safe, joint-friendly cardio workout, offers full-body toning and can burn more than 600 calories an hour.
• South Carolina researchers discovered that swimmers were about 50 percent less likely to die during the study than sofa sitters, walkers and runners.
41. Take Up Meditation
• An Oregon Health & Sciences University study found that overweight women who took up relaxation techniques such as meditation lost an average of 10 pounds after 18 months, without ever consciously trying to diet.
• To tap into your weight loss Zen, sit quietly on the floor with your legs crossed, inhale, then gradually exhale for a count of 10 and repeat.
42. Eat 4 Grams of Fiber with Each Snack or Meal
• A high-fiber diet can lower your caloric intake without making you feel deprived.
• In a recent Tufts University study, women who ate 13 grams of fiber or less per day were five times as likely to be overweight as those who ate more fiber.
• Experts see a number of mechanisms through which fiber promotes weight loss:
It may slow down eating because it requires more chewing, speed the passage of food through the digestive tract and boost satiety hormones.
• To get 25 grams of fiber a day, make sure you eat six meals or snacks, each of which contains about 4 grams of fiber. For instance, start your day with grapes (1 cup = 1.4 grams of fiber) and cracked wheat toast (two slices = 6 grams) or oatmeal (1 cup = 4 grams).• Try a cup of black bean soup for lunch (4.4 grams) with a slice of cracked wheat bread.
• For to-go snacks, buy fruit; it’s handier than vegetables, so it’s an easy way to up your fiber intake. For instance, one large apple has just as much fiber (5 grams) as a cup of raw broccoli.
43. Become a Part-Time Vegetarian
• Research shows that vegetarians weigh an average of 20 percent less than non-vegetarians.
• George Washington School of Medicine researchers found that women who followed a vegan diet for 14 weeks lost two-and-one-half times as much weight as those who limited fat intake.
• In a Brigham Young University study of 284 women, 53 percent of those who typically averaged about 10 ounces of meat a day were overweight,compared with 16 percent of those who ate less than 6 ounces.
• Plant-based foods are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients and satiating fiber, so you feel full without overdoing it.
• A cup of lentil soup, a small handful of nuts or 1/4 cup of chickpeas tossed with whole wheat pasta and veggies are all good protein-rich swaps.
• Not ready to nix meat altogether? Start by trying three vegetarian dinners a week for a month to allow your taste buds to adjust.
44. Cut Out Sweet Drinks
• Eliminating one serving of sugary drinks a day can account for nearly 2 “pounds of lost weight over 18 months.
• About 20 percent of the total calories in the typical American diet are from“added sugars,” such as those found in sweetened drinks, candy and baked goods. The largest source is soft drinks.
• Drinking one 20-ounce soda a day is enough to keep an extra 16 pounds on your frame.
45. Brown Bag it Once a Week
• You’ll save thousands of calories, not to mention hundreds of dollars, over the course of a year.
• Consider this:
A premade chicken Caesar wrap from a chain restaurant has 610 calories, more than 40 percent of which come from fat, as well as 1,440 mg of sodium, more than half the recommended daily amount.
• Make your own with pre-sliced deli chicken breast on whole wheat bread with light mayo and romaine lettuce, which clocks in at about 230 calories. You will cut back almost 400 calories and about 520 mg of sodium, which leaves room for a side salad and still adds up to a 28-pound loss after a year.
46. Vary Your Workout
• In a University of Florida study, those who alternated their workouts with a variety of exercises maintained their fitness regimen and enjoyed it more than those who did the same thing every session.
• 114 members were divided into three groups:
1. Those who varied the type of exercise between workouts
2. Those who performed the same exercise at each workout
3. Those who had no set schedule or regulations
• The study found that members in the first group enjoyed their workout sessions 20 percent more than the second group and 45 percent more than the third
• Of those who stayed the entire study, those in the first group were 15 percent more likely than the second group, and 63 percent more likely than the third to adhere to exercise on a regular basis.
47. Work Out with Others
• In one study, a group of women who met to discuss exercise challenges and successes got 90 minutes more activity a week by the end of a six-month program, and about 70 percent of them lost weight.
48. Drink Before You Eat
• If you feel hungry, you might just be dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of water instead of eating.
• It’s hard to distinguish between being thirsty and being hungry, so try drinking water and waiting 20 to 30 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.
• It can also help you cut calories because you’re not drinking as many sodas, coffee, etc.
49. Wash Your Mouth Out
• Brush your teeth and gargle with mouthwash after you eat.
• Part of wanting to eat is the taste. Gargling or brushing your teeth will greatly affect how your food tastes, making it not as desirable.
• The mint flavor is a natural craving reducer.
50. Don’t Set the Bar Too High
• “A lot of people set themselves up for failure when they pick as their weight loss goal a very ‘thin’ weight that may be attainable but isn’t sustainable,” says Dr. Holly Wyatt, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
• She recommends trying to lose no more than 10 percent of your total weight at a time.
• After you’ve achieved your initial goal, you can build on your success and aim to lose 10 percent more.
51. Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
• 95 percent of diets fail.
• The key to weight loss is a total lifestyle approach.
• A slow-and-steady approach is easier to maintain. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is recommended
• A study showed that people who lost 10 percent of their body weight and kept the weight off for more than one year followed these simple, slow rules:
1. Exercising for at least one hour a day
2. Eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet
3. Eating breakfast every day
• Another study compared women on a diet and women who had adopted small lifestyle changes.1. Women on the diet were 40 percent more likely to lose control over what they ate.