Last week I noted that WebMD had some 22 great diet tips. I reviewed a number of them last week and promised to continue the Great Diet Tips this week. So what are the rest of the Best Diet Tips Ever 22 Ways to Stay on Track?
Keep it Out of the House – yes, if it isn’t in the fridge, in the pantry or on top of the fridge, it isn’t there to eat. You can reduce temptation by not stocking fattening foods or foods you know you just “can’t stop at one”. If you still want that treat then let it be something you have to go out and get. My husband and I enjoy Dairy Queen ice cream. So every now and then after dinner we will go to Dairy Queen and treat ourselves to one of their Dairy Queen cupcakes. Even if one “eats the whole thing” it isn’t that many calories and it is a nice treat. Then when we get home there are not leftovers to tempt us for a second helping.
Take Weight Off Slowly – ever see those ads for weight loss? Lose 10 pounds in a week. You may lose a lot of weight in a short time only to put it back on again rapidly. Losing 1-2 pounds a week is a much more realistic goal. Take the time to learn how to eat healthy foods, what to eat and to increase your daily exercise. Fad diets are just that, a fad, not a new way of life. Even small weight loss goals can result in better health benefits. WebMD notes losing just 5-10% of your weight can result in health benefits. Thus a 220 pound man who loses 11 pounds will have benefits to his health.
When you should weigh yourself? Some people weigh themselves every day and some say never – they just don’t want to know. WebMD recommends once a week. But they also note the people who weight themselves more regularly have better success at their weight loss goals. Tips for weighing yourself? Same time every day, same day of week, same type of clothes, same scale. I like to weigh myself every morning. There is a few pound range I allow myself to be in. When I approach the upper end of the range, I cut back on my extra calories – Cutting back on the treats I allow myself and I increase my exercise. Then in a day or two, I usually drop back into my goal range.
Sleep – one wouldn’t think sleep has much to do with weight but studies have shown it does. Deprive yourself of sleep and your body produces more of the hunger hormone called ghrelin. So your body says you are hungrier and you eat more. Getting enough sleep helps keep the hunger hormone in check.
Portion sizes – many studies have shown that by just using a smaller plate, people tend to eat less. Americans have gotten so used to super sizing everything. Growing up the sodas we had were 7 ounces. Now a 20 ounce soda is the norm. Take time to read the label to note what really is a serving? For example, a serving of Triscuits is 7 crackers, a serving of SunChips is 16 chips. Portion out 7 crackers or 16 chips and at least get familiar with what a serving should look like.
Fill up on Fruits and Vegetables – when I tell my students they should eat a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables a day, they look at me like I am crazy. One student said, “5, you really mean 5 in one day?” When I tell them French fries really don’t count because they are so high in fat, they then are really surprised. Unfortunately, for many young people, French fries are the one and only vegetable and they eat no fruits at all. Then I tell them Sunny D, Capri Sun and other sugary drinks don’t count as a fruit and they really are hard pressed to find some fruit in their diet. One student had so few fruits and vegetables in her diet, she asked me if she could count the lemon slice in her ice tea as a fruit serving and was disappointed when I said no. Another student took on the challenge and began trying to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. He said he not only began feeling better, he started to drop off a few extra pounds because he was filling up with healthy fruits and vegetables and not all the junk food he used to eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and help make you fill full longer. Hungry for a snack? Choose a serving of fresh fruit.
Alcohol – drink alcohol in moderation or limit alcohol to weekends. A 5 ounce glass of wine has about 125 calories and a bottle of beer has about 153 calories. If you do drink, drink in moderation which means one drink for women, and 2 drinks for men.
Gum – yes, gum is a diet tip, sugarless gum that is. It seems chewing sugarless gum can help you manage your hunger.
Keep a food diary – a number of studies have shown that just by writing down what you eat, you become more aware of the types and amounts of food you eat and can increase ones weigh loss. Or download an App like Lose It! and record your food directly into your smart phone. Lose It! makes it easy because it can scan bar codes on foods and directly enter the food, calories, etc. into the food tracking App. WebMD notes that one study found that those who kept a food diary at least 6 days a week, lost twice as much as those who didn’t write down what they ate or only wrote down what they ate once a week.
Yes, Celebrate – lose some weight, yes, CELEBRATE! But not with food, with some other treat like going to a movie, calling a friend, anything that has no calories.
Don’t Go it Alone – having some type of partner, family member, friend, group, can help you meet your exercise or weight loss goals. There are even many Apps now that include a friend, or coach to encourage you along your healthy journey. Maybe have an exercise date with a friend. Go for a morning walk with a neighbor. Join a team or a group – volleyball, bicycle club – there are many ways to exercise with a group that can make exercise seem more fun and less like a chore.