Enjoy the holiday feast without the guilt — or the weight gain.

Nutritionists estimate that the average Thanksgiving meal ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 calories. If our daily needs should not exceed between 1,200 to 1,800 calories, it is not surprising that people complain about weight gain during the holidays.  Year after year, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holidays — and keep the extra weight permanently.

But Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight, experts say. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!

Get Active

Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods, suggests Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

“‘Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays,” Diekman says. “Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.”

Make fitness a family adventure, recommends Susan Finn, PhD, RD, chair of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition: “Take a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It is a wonderful way for families to get physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.”

Eat Breakfast

While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

“Eating a nutritious meal with protein and fiber before you arrive takes the edge off your appetite and allows you to be more discriminating in your food and beverage choices,” says Diekman.

Lighten Up

Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.

“There is more sugar and fat in most recipes than is needed, and no one will notice the difference if you skim calories by using lower calorie ingredients,” says Diekman.

Her suggestions:

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

Police Your Portions

  • Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without.

“Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long,” suggests Diekman. “Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.”

  • Skip the Seconds.Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings.”Leftovers are much better the next day, and if you limit yourself to one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have more room for a delectable dessert,” Diekman says.
  • Choose the Best Bets on the Buffet.While each of us has our own favorites, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.”White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories,” says Diekman. But she adds that, “if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like.”

Slowly Savor

Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber add to the feeling of fullness.

Spread out the food and fun all day long. At the Finn family Thanksgiving gathering, they schedule dessert after a walk, while watching a movie together.

“We eat midday, and instead of another meal at dinnertime, we continue the feast with dessert a few hours after the main meal,” Finn explains.

Go Easy on Alcohol

Don’t forget those alcohol calories that can add up quickly.

“Have a glass of wine or a wine spritzer and between alcoholic drinks, (or) enjoy sparkling water,” says Diekman. “this way you stay hydrated, limit alcohol calories, and stay sober.”

Be Realistic

The holiday season is a time for celebration. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, this is a good time to strive for weight maintenance instead of weight loss.

“Shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance,” says Finn. “You will be ahead of the game if you can avoid gaining any weight over the holidays.”

Focus on Family and Friends

Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.

“The main event should be family and friends socializing, spending quality time together, not just what is on the buffet,” says Finn.

 

Article Source: http://www.webmd.com/


Getting rid of your belly bulge is important for more than just vanity’s sake. Excess abdominal fat—particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a “beer gut”—is a predictor of heart disease,type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and some cancers. Fat can accumulate in your body due to many factors including leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating large amount of high fat and sugary foods. Genetics, age and structure of your body may determine the pattern of accumulation of fat in your body. The most usual and common cause of developing a lower belly pooch is the accumulation of belly fat. Let us discuss some measures, which help in getting rid of this problem.

Regular Exercise to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat

When it comes to getting rid of lower belly rid, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstressed. You should include regular exercise as part of your daily routine so that you start burning more calories during the day.

1. Interval Training. While exercising, it is recommended to alternate short bursts of increased activity with small periods of slow activity. For example, intersperse brief episodes of sprinting in between your walking sessions. According to researches, by including interval training in your exercise routine you will be able to burn more calories.

2. Cardio Exercises. Increase your time of cardio or aerobic exercises as doing cardio raises your heart rate and burns calories quickly. Aerobic exercises are known to cause overall fat loss and in the process you will lose your lower belly fat too.

3. Resisting Training. It is suggested by a study conducted in the year 2006 and published in the International Journal and Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism that you get rid of abdominal fat more effectively by combining resistance training with cardiovascular or aerobic exercise in comparison to only doing cardiovascular exercises. Exercise machines, free weights or resistance bands can be used to do resistance training.

4. Lower Ab Exercises: There are certain exercises described below that focus especially on the lower belly region.

    • Roll Up. With your legs straight, lie on your back. Start by extending your arms and taking them behind your head to the maximum point of extension (this is the starting position). Inhale, move your arms towards the ceiling and roll your upper torso off the floor; when you are halfway up, exhale, roll forward and reach your toes. Inhale, reverse the movement; when you are halfway, exhale and return to the position from where you started.

 

    • Straight Leg Raise. Keeping your legs straight, lie on the floor with your toes pointing towards the wall and put your hands under your buttock (this is the starting position). Inhale and raise both the legs up to form a right angle. Exhale and with a slow movement lower your legs to just slightly above the floor (around 4 inches). Do 10 repetitions.

 

    • Hip Lift. Start by raising both your legs up at right angle and extending both your arms to your side. Inhale and pull your belly button towards the spine. While exhaling, lift your hips a couple of inches off the ground and roll them towards your belly. Inhale and lower your hips slowly. Do 10 repetitions.

 

    • Reverse Crunches. Start with lying on your back and knees curled at 90 degrees and arms on your sides. Contract your abs, lift your knees and curl them towards your chest while exhaling. While you inhale, lower your legs slowly and keep them on the ground.

 

    • Scissors. Lie down on your back and lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor. Put your hands behind for support. Keeping your both legs extended, lift your right leg to make it perpendicular to your upper body; simultaneously your left leg should be raised by just a couple of inches off the floor. Swap leg positions quickly. Do alternate movements, without taking a pause. Do 6-8 repetitions (movement of both legs is counted as one repetition).

 

Proper Diet to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat

  • Breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped to lose weight. According to studies, if you eat your breakfast within an hour of your waking up, then your insulin levels remains steady and your LDL cholesterol remains low.
  • Whole Grains. Switch to whole grains. According to researches eating whole grains is associated with more belly fat loss than eating refined grains.
  • Lots of Water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to speed up your metabolism and to flush out the toxins from your body.
  • Good Fats. Eat more good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) instead of trans fats and saturated fats. Eat more of avocados, soybeans, nuts, seeds and chocolate.
  • More Fiber. Increase your fiber intake as fiber helps in reducing the insulin levels, thereby boosting the removal of belly fat. Eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin C. Take adequate amounts of Vitamin C as it helps in counteracting the spikes of cortisol that occur when you are under extreme stress. Moreover, it is also essential for producing carnitine, which is a compound used by the body to burn fat for energy. Eat more of orange, lime, lemon, kale, bell peppers and kiwi fruits.

More Measures to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat

  • Get Enough Sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep for at least 7-8 hours is essential for getting rid of lower belly fat. Sleeping less is associated with the production of hormone ghrelin that cause food cravings and you end up eating more. Cortisol levels are also altered due to losing sleep leading to insulin sensitivity and accumulation of belly fat.
  • Find a Partner. Find a partner who is also trying to lose weight. This way there are less chances of your missing an exercise appointment and you will also stay motivated.
  • Limit Alcohol Intake. Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol add up calories. Moreover, the liver is overworked to remove the toxins. Hence, think twice before grabbing a drink if you want to lose your lower belly fat.
  • Stay Motivated. Stay motivated by taking your measurements every two weeks. Accurate tracking of your progress will help you not only to stay motivated but also to keep your focus on the final goal.

 

Article Source: Med-Health.Net


Not all diet snacks are boring. You can start burning fat today just by swapping out your regular snacks for these approved OWC snacks.

Americans love to snack almost as much as we want to lose weight. But according to recent research by the USDA, our snacking habits are adding too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. “When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs.”

by Amanda MacMillan

What snacks burn fat?

Eating snacks with the right ratio of nutrients, with the right calories, will help keep you body energized and help you lose weight. Protein (plus exercise) fuels the growth of lean muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie burn. Fiber, meanwhile, helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars. So while there’s no food that will literally “burn fat” while you eat it, smart choices with these ingredients will help your body operate at maximum efficiency. Bowerman suggests snacks under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. Here are 20 of our favorite fat-burning snacks.

An apple and skim milk


 “Almost any fruit is going to make a great snack, but you usually want to pair it with a bit of protein to make it more satisfying,” says Bowerman; “unlike carbohydrates, which get used up relatively quickly, protein will help sustain your energy and hunger levels for a couple of hours.”

Our pick for a protein-fruit pairing: one large apple and one cup of skim milk. This duo will give you 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for just over 200 calories.

Cottage cheese-filled avocado

Cottage cheese-filled avocado


Here’s another fruit and diary combo, this one for when you’re craving something rich, creamy, and a bit savory. Remove the pit from one half of an avocado and fill the space with 2 ounces of 1% cottage cheese. For 200 calories, you’ll get 9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber—and no dirty dishes!

Canned tuna on whole-wheat crackers

Canned tuna on whole-wheat crackers


If you don’t want to incorporate dairy into every snack, a can of tuna (packaged in water) is another great source of lean protein plus healthy Omega-3s. For about 200 calories, you can enjoy 3 ounces of light tuna and 6 whole-wheat crackers—complete with 3 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein.

Sunflower lentil spread with pita bread


Lentils are a good source of iron, a metabolism-boosting nutrient that 20% of us don’t get enough of. This savory recipe makes four 180-calorie servings, with 10 grams each of protein and fiber.

Shrimp stack


You may not think of shellfish as a grab-and-go snack food, but you can put this tasty treat together in a flash if you keep pre-cooked shrimp on hand. With Greek yogurt and avocado, it’s a protein powerhouse with 9 grams per serving (and 4 g fiber), for only 129 calories.

Power berry smoothie


This recipe, which calls for soy protein powder and low-fat plain yogurt, contains 9 grams of protein; swap in Greek yogurt to add even more. Frozen berries add fiber (4 grams total), and honey provides sweetness. All this for only 139 calories!

Warm pear with cinnamon ricotta

Warm pear with cinnamon ricotta


Ricotta cheese is rich in protein, and pears are a good source of fiber. Together with a teaspoon of cinnamon, they make a delicious snack for any time of day. Each serving contains 8 g protein, 5 g fiber, and 170 calories.

 

Miso-glazed tofu


This recipe is touted as a main course, but it’s so light on calories (only 164) that it can stand in as a mid-day snack, as well. It also packs plenty of protein (12 g) thanks to the tofu, as well as 3 grams of fiber.

Edamame


One cup of edamame, or boiled soybeans, contains 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 189 calories. A perfect snack all by itself! Serve hot or cold, season with garlic/salt, and enjoy.

Chicken pita sandwich (half)


There’s no reason you can’t have smaller portions of “real” food as snacks, says Bowerman. “Oftentimes, the healthiest and most balanced snacks are the ones that start as full meals—like a half a sandwich, or a plate of leftovers put together from dinner the night before,” she adds.

Whip up this chicken and veggie pita in the morning, and split it in half for two snacks throughout the day. Each half contains 200 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and more than 20 grams of protein.

Cauliflower with white bean dip

 

Make a batch of white bean and roasted garlic dip at the beginning of the week to spread on crackers and eat with veggies when hunger strikes. Pair a quarter-cup serving with 2 cups of raw, chopped cauliflower, for example, for a total of 11 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, and 199 calories.

Toast with walnut & pear breakfast spread


Split this breakfast recipe in half to make a healthy mid-day snack with 200 calories, 11 grams protein, and 3.5 grams fiber. Not only will it help prep your body for fat burn, but it may also boost your energy levels (so you’re more likely to get to the gym, perhaps?): Walnuts are rich in serotonin, a hormone that produces feel-good chemicals in the brain.

Lentil salad with tomatoes and watercress


Salads aren’t just for mealtime—when they’re about 200 calories, they make a great afternoon snack, as well. This one has 11 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, thanks to superfood lentils and plenty of veggies. (The recipe makes six servings, so hold off on adding the vinaigrette if you’re not eating the whole thing at once.)

Luna protein bar


When choosing an energy bar as a snack, the rules are the same: Look for bars with 200 calories or less, 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. The Luna Protein bar certainly comes close (190 calories, 12 g protein, 3 g fiber), and tastes “almost like candy,” Health.comtesters said.

Veggie tostata


In the mood for Mexican? You can’t go wrong with black beans and veggies: These tostatas cook up quickly and easily for a fast and healthy mini-meal between lunch and dinner. At just over 200 calories, you get 13 grams of protein and 10.5 grams of fiber. Top with tomato salsa for added flavor without fat.

Roast garlic and edamame dip

 

Edamame is a great snack by itself, but it also makes a great ingredient in this creamy dip for raw veggies or whole-wheat pita bread. You can enjoy up to three servings in one snack session, for a total of 162 calories, 9 grams protein and 6 grams fiber.

Asparagus and hard-boiled egg


It’s no wonder this classic combo goes so well together: Fiber-rich asparagus balances out eggs’ natural protein. (Plus, asparagus is known as an aphrodisiac, thanks to its folate and vitamins B6 and E levels. Talk about fun ways to burn fat!)

Pair 15 asparagus spears (cooked or raw) with one hard-boiled egg for a 126-calorie snack, complete with 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

Minty iced green tea


A calorie-free beverage doesn’t qualify as a real snack, but if you find yourself scouting the kitchen just because you’re bored, rather than hungry, this tasty drink may just hit the spot. Plus, green tea has been shown to help dieters lose more weight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, thanks to its metabolism-boosting antioxidant compound called EGCG.

Bowerman says that most research on green tea for weight loss has been inconclusive, but that either way it’s a healthy, tasty way to stay hydrated throughout the day. “Drinking water and tea is a good way to keep all of your body’s processes, including your metabolism, running smoothly and efficiently,” she adds.

Spiced green tea smoothie


Here’s another way to sip healthy green tea: as a smoothie! Pair this sweet and spicy drink with a few ounces of lean protein—some sliced turkey, for example—for a complete afternoon snack.

One serving will get you 3 grams of fiber (thanks to its secret ingredient, pear!). Plus, it contains cayenne pepper, which may help curb appetite and give your metabolism a boost.

Calories: 82 calories per half-cup serving

Prep time: 5 minutes

Source: www.health.com


 

Did you hit a weight plateau? and feeling discouraged  that for weeks your weight loss program was taking the pounds off. Then, suddenly, the scales won’t budge another pounce.

Before you delve into some solutions, establish whether what you are experience is an actual plateau. Here are other possible explanations for why your scale is not budging:

Your body composition is changing. In other words, you may be losing fat but not overall weight. Although you may long to see the numbers go down, the scale is not the best way to track weight loss.

Instead, you should be tracking your body composition, especially if you are exercising. If you feel you look leaner in the mirror but the weight is the same, you are likely building muscle while losing fat. Tracking your weight loss using a body composition analyzer on a monthly basis is a great approach. Even how your jeans fit can give you a better assessment of how you are doing than your scale.

Consider trying one of these tips:

Assess your food and activity records (keep your daily food journal). It is common to loosen the rules with time, letting yourself get away with larger meal portions or less activity. The solution is to record every food morsel you eat and activity you undertake. At the end of the week, review your journal and maintain or look for a more healthier alternatives.

Focus on three- to four-week trends in weight loss instead of daily fluctuations. You may find that, although progress is not evident immediately, you’re losing weight.

Consistency is key. It might be tempting to stop working out if you aren’t continuing to see results, but focus of continuing to exercise and eat healthfully. Resist the urge to give up.

If you’ve hit a plateau, reassess your program. Is it possible that you’ve accomplished about as much as you can with the goals you’ve set. If so, you may need to adjust or modify your program if you want to achieve more.

Whatever you do, do not give up. If you get discouraged or have a bad weekend of eating or you missed your spin class two days in a row, get right back on track. Remember that plateaus are always surrounded by progress and your progress is on it’s way.

Remember, even with a good weight loss program and the best of intentions, you’ll run into roadblocks now and then. How you respond to these obstacles can be the difference between success and failure. – Diet, The Mayo Clinic

 


While there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss, the following guidelines are a great place to start:

Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet. Permanent weight loss is not something that a “quick-fix” diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to replace high-calorie foods with healthier, lower-calorie alternatives, reduce your portion sizes, and become more active. Various popular diets can help jumpstart your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work in the long run.
Find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Seek out support—whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group—to get the encouragement you need.
Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.
Set goals to keep you motivated. Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident, boost your mood, or become healthier for your children’s sakes. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you will reap from being healthier and leaner.
Use tools that help you track your progress. Keep a food journal and weigh yourself regularly, keeping track of each pound and inch you lose. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you’ll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated.
Where you carry your fat matters
The health risks are greater if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen, as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat is stored deep below the skin surrounding the abdominal organs and liver, and is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, and candy) are more likely to add to this dangerous fat around your belly. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline and lower risk of disease.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #1: Avoid common pitfalls
It’s always tempting to look for short cuts but fad diets or “quick-fix” pills and plans only set you up for failure because:

You feel deprived. Diets that cut out entire groups of food, such as carbs or fat, are simply impractical, not to mention unhealthy. The key is moderation.
You lose weight, but can’t keep it off. Diets that severely cut calories, restrict certain foods, or rely on ready-made meals might work in the short term but don’t include a plan for maintaining your weight, so the pounds quickly come back.

After your diet, you seem to put on weight more quickly. When you drastically restrict your food intake, your metabolism will temporarily slow down. Once you start eating normally, you’ll gain weight until your metabolism bounces back.

You break your diet and feel too discouraged to try again. When diets make you feel deprived, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. Healthy eating is about the big picture. An occasional splurge won’t kill your efforts.
You feel lost when dining out. If the food served isn’t on your specific diet plan, what can you do?
The person on the commercial lost 30 lbs. in two months—and you haven’t. Diet companies make a lot of grandiose promises, and most are simply unrealistic.

Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #2: Put a stop to emotional eating

We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. If we did, no one would be overweight. All too often, we turn to food for comfort and stress relief. When this happens, we frequently pack on pounds.

Do you reach for a snack while watching TV? Do you eat when you’re stressed or bored? When you’re lonely? Or to reward yourself? Recognizing your emotional eating triggers can make all the difference in your weight-loss efforts:

If you eat when you’re stressed, find healthier ways to calm yourself. Try exercise, yoga, meditation, or soaking in a hot bath.

If you eat when you’re feeling low on energy, find other mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. Try walking around the block, listening to energizing music, or taking a short nap.

If you eat when you’re lonely or bored, reach out to others instead of reaching for the refrigerator. Call a friend who makes you laugh, take your dog for a walk, or go out in public (to the library, mall, or park—anywhere there’s people).

Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #3: Tune in when you eat
We live in a fast-paced world where eating has become mindless. We eat on the run, at our desk while we’re working, and in front of the TV screen. The result is that we consume much more than we need, often without realizing it.

Counter this tendency by practicing “mindful” eating: pay attention to what you eat, savor each bite, and choose foods that are both nourishing and enjoyable.

Mindful eating weight loss tips
Pay attention while you’re eating. Instead of chowing down mindlessly, savor the experience. Eat slowly, savoring the smells and textures of your food. If your mind wanders, gently return your attention to your food and how it tastes and feels in your mouth.
Avoid distractions while eating. Try not to eat while working, watching TV, or driving. It’s too easy to mindlessly overeat.

Try mixing things up to force yourself to focus on the experience of eating. Try using chopsticks rather than a fork, or use your utensils with your non-dominant hand.
Stop eating before you are full. It takes time for the signal to reach your brain that you’ve had enough. Avoid the temptation to clean your plate. Yes, there are children starving in Africa, but your weight gain won’t help them.

Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #4: Fill up with fruit, veggies, and fiber
To lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat less food. You can fill up while on a diet, as long as you choose your foods wisely.

Fiber: the secret to feeling satisfied while losing weight
High-fiber foods are higher in volume and take longer to digest, which makes them filling. There’s nothing magic about it, but the weight-loss results may seem like it.

High-fiber heavyweights include:

Fruits and vegetables – Enjoy whole fruits across the rainbow (strawberries, apples, oranges, berries, nectarines, plums), leafy salads, and green veggies of all kinds.
Beans – Select beans of any kind (black beans, lentils, split peas, pinto beans, chickpeas). Add them to soups, salads, and entrees, or enjoy them as a hearty dish on their own.
Whole grains – Try high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, and air-popped popcorn.
Focus on fresh fruits and veggies
Counting calories and measuring portion sizes can quickly become tedious, but you don’t need an accounting degree to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s generally safe to eat as much as you want, whenever you want.

The high water and fiber content in most fresh fruits and vegetables makes them hard to overeat. You’ll feel full long before you’ve overdone it on the calories.

Eat vegetables raw or steamed, not fried or breaded, and dress them with herbs and spices or a little olive oil or cheese for flavor.
Add nuts and cheese to salads but don’t overdo it. Use low-fat salad dressings, such as a vinaigrette made with olive oil.

Pour a little less cereal into your morning bowl to make room for some blueberries, strawberries, or sliced bananas. You’ll still enjoy a full bowl, but with a lower calorie count.

Swap out some of the meat and cheese in your sandwich with healthier veggie choices like lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado.

Instead of a high-calorie snack, like chips and dip, try baby carrots or celery with hummus.

Add more veggies to your favorite main courses to make your dish “go” further. Even dishes such as pasta and stir-fries can be diet-friendly if you use less noodles and more vegetables.

Try starting your meal with a salad or soup to help fill you up, so you eat less of your entrée.

Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #5: Indulge without overindulging
Try not to think of certain foods as “off limits”
When you ban certain foods, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Instead of denying yourself the unhealthy foods you love, simply eat them less often.

If you’ve ever found yourself polishing off a pint of ice cream or stuffing yourself with cookies or chips after spending a whole day virtuously eating salads, you know how restrictive diet plans usually end. Deprivation diets set you up for failure: you starve yourself until you snap, and then you overdo it, cancelling out all your previous efforts.

In order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, you need to learn how to enjoy the foods you love without going overboard. A diet that places all your favorite foods off limits won’t work in the long run. Eventually, you’ll feel deprived and will cave. And when you do, you probably won’t stop at a sensible-sized portion.

Tips for enjoying treats without overeating
Combine your treat with other healthy foods. You can still enjoy your favorite high-calorie treat, whether it’s ice cream, chips, cake, or chocolate. The key is to eat a smaller serving along with a lower-calorie option. For example, add strawberries to your ice cream or munch on carrot and celery sticks along with your chips and dip. By piling on the low-cal option, you can eat a diet-friendly portion of your favorite treat without feeling deprived.

Schedule your treats. Establish regular times when you get to indulge in your favorite food. For example, maybe you enjoy a small square of chocolate every day after lunch, or a slice of cheesecake every Friday evening. Once you’re conditioned to eat your treat at those times—and those times only—you’ll stop obsessing about them at other times.

Make your indulgence less indulgent. Find ways to reduce fat, sugar, or calories in your favorite treats and snacks. If you do your own baking, cut back on sugar, making up for it with extra cinnamon or vanilla extract. You can also eliminate or reduce high-calorie sides, like whipped cream, cheese, dip, and frosting.

Engage all your senses—not just your taste sense. You can make snack time more special by lighting candles, playing soothing music, or eating outdoors in a beautiful setting. Get the most pleasure—and the most relaxation—out of your treat by cutting it into small pieces and taking your time.

Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #6: Take charge of your food environment
Set yourself up for success by taking charge of your food environment: when you eat, how much you eat, and what foods you make easily available.

Eat early, weigh less. Early studies suggest that consuming more of your daily calories at breakfast and fewer at dinner can help you drop more pounds. Eating a larger, healthy breakfast can jump start your metabolism, stop you feeling hungry during the day, and give you more time to burn off the calories.

Fast for 14 hours a day. Try to eat your last meal earlier in the day and then fast until breakfast the next morning. Studies suggest that this simple dietary adjustment—eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day—may aid weight loss.

Serve yourself smaller portions. One easy way to control portion size is by using small plates, bowls, and cups. This will make your portions appear larger. Don’t eat out of large bowls or directly from the food container or package, which makes it difficult to assess how much you’ve eaten. Using smaller utensils, like a teaspoon instead of tablespoon, can slow eating and help you feel full sooner.

Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. You will be more inclined to eat in moderation if you have thought out healthy meals and snacks in advance. You can buy or create your own small portion snacks in plastic bags or containers. Eating on a schedule will also help you avoid eating when you aren’t truly hungry.

Cook your own meals. Cooking meals at home allows you to control both portion size and what goes in to the food. Restaurant and packaged foods generally contain a lot more sodium, fat, and calories than food cooked at home—plus the portion sizes tend to be larger.

Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry. Create a shopping list and stick to it. Be especially careful to avoid high-calorie snack and convenience foods.

Out of sight, out of mind. Limit the amount of tempting foods you have at home. If you share a kitchen with non-dieters, store snack foods and other high-calorie indulgences in cabinets or drawers out of your sight.

Sugar: The secret diet saboteur
Most of us consume more sugar than is healthy, but reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution. Sugar is also hidden in foods as diverse as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, and ketchup. It’s also in a lot of foods labelled as “low fat” or “reduced fat.” Manufacturers often replace the fat in their products with sugar to improve the taste. But all this hidden sugar amounts to nothing but a lot of empty calories. Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods.

Soft drinks (including soda, energy drinks, and coffee drinks) are one of the biggest sources of hidden sugar. One can of soda contains between 10-12 teaspoons of sugar and around 150 calories, so a few soft drinks can quickly add up to a good portion of your daily calorie intake.

Switching to diet soda isn’t the answer, as studies suggest that it triggers sugar cravings and contributes to weight gain. Instead, try switching to water with lemon, unsweetened iced tea, or carbonated water with a splash of juice.
If you have a sweet tooth, the thought of cutting back on sugar may sound daunting. But by slowly reducing the sugar in your diet a little at a time, you’ll give your taste buds time to adjust and you’ll be able to wean yourself off the craving for sweets.

Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #7: Make healthy lifestyle changes
You can support your dieting efforts by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Get plenty of exercise. Exercise is a dieter’s best friend. It not only burns calories, but also can improve your resting metabolism. No time for a long workout? Research shows that three 10-minute spurts of exercise per day are just as good as one 30-minute workout.

Turn off the TV. You actually burn less calories watching television than you do sleeping! If you simply can’t miss your favorite shows, get a little workout in while watching. Do easy exercises like squats, sit-ups, jogging in place, or using resistance bands or hand weights.

Drink more water. Reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, alcohol, or coffee with water. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories.

How lack of sleep can wreck your diet
Lack of sleep has been shown to have a direct link to hunger, overeating, and weight gain. Two hormones in your body—ghrelin and leptin—regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you are full. However, when you’re short on sleep, your ghrelin levels go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal, and your leptin levels go down, meaning you don’t feel satisfied and want to keep eating. This can lead to overeating and, ultimately, weight gain.

To keep your diet on track, try to get about eight hours of quality sleep a night.

 

Article Source: http://www.helpguide.org/


Optimal Weight Control

8585 Knott Avenue, SUITE 200 Buena Park, CA 90620

Telephone: (714) 220-1515

2015 Support Group Meetings

(Horario del grupo de ayuda)

El PRIMER  MIERCOLES de cada mes en ESPAÑOL a las 5:45 pm

The FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month in ENGLISH at 5:45 pm

Consultants: Denny Ajere & Cindy Apostol

Drinks and healthy snacks will be served

(Bebidas y Bocados servidos)

support

The support group is free and registration is required. Feel free to bring a friend or a family member.

(El grupo de apoyo es gratis y se require registro, se puede traer a un familiar o amigo)