Just opened my Web MD newsletter and their first article was, “Best Diet Tips Ever - 22 Ways to Stay on Track”. So what great tips do they offer?
Water and Low Cal Beverages– fill up with water or a low calorie beverage. During the summer we enjoy Crystal Light lemonade with some real lemon slices or Peach Ice Tea with a slice of a real peach. Very refreshing. Now that fall is coming, switching to a cup of hot herbal tea would hit the spot.
Snacking – especially night time snacking can get the better of us. So choose a snack that won’t pile on the pounds. Buy the individual bags of 100 calorie popcorn and enjoy a healthy snack. Or have some low fat ice cream or a 100 calorie bag of cookies. We buy the miniature chocolate bars – Snickers, Butterfingers and enjoy one or two as a snack. One can still enjoy fun foods like chocolate, cookies, just buy smaller sizes or portion control individual bags.
4-5 mini meals vs. 3 meals a day – some people find eating 6 small, “mini” meals easier to do than trying to limit their eating to 3 meals a day with an occasional snack. By having “mini” meals people say they are able to control their hunger and find it easier to control their weight. So take what you would normally eat in 3 meals and divide it up during the day to 4-5 meals with dinner still being your last meal of the day.
Focus on Protein – protein has “staying power” so when you eat protein with a meal the meal will help you fill full for a longer time. My husband noted he would fill hungry by 10 AM even though he ate breakfast of cereal, milk and toast. I suggested he add more protein to his breakfast and he added a low-fat yogurt. That did the trick as he wasn’t’ hungry until lunch time. When adding protein to your meals, choose lean and healthy proteins like low-fat yogurt, lean meats, egg whites (very few calories in egg whites, low fat cheeses like cheese sticks, nuts, hummus.
Spice up your life – add spices to your foods. This helps your meal seem more satisfying. For years out diet was pretty bland, then my daughter started cooking. Not only was it a treat to come home to a fully prepared meal, her meals were delicious. She loves to cook with spices and herbs, garlic always, but she doesn’t hesitate to spice up meats, sauces, any main dish recipe. And it is true, the meals felt more satisfying and especially tasty.
Snacks Ready to Go – how many times do we wander around the kitchen looking for something to eat? Well, have a snack plan in mind and keep easy to find and eat snacks ready. Low fat cheese sticks, whole grain crackers, the 100 calorie popcorn bags, pretzels, whole grain chips. My daughters like to snack on carrot slices and hummus. I like whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Children’s Portions – Many adults are now ordering from the children’s menu at restaurants to cut back on portion sizes and calories. Or share an entree at a meal to cut back on portion sizes.
Breakfast – yes, break the fast and eat breakfast. I always stress in the nutrition class I teach, how every important it is to eat break fast every day. When I ask someone if they eat breakfast and they say no, I ask what they eat for a mid morning snack. More often than not, it is a donut, cup cakes, a candy bar from the vending machine, or some other very high calorie item of low nutritional value. So take the time to eat a healthy breakfast, to help stave off
Focus on fiber – fiber helps fill us help and helps our digestive system. Most Americans are eating low fiber diets when women need 25 grams and day and men need about 38 grams a day. It isn’t easy getting in this much fiber. One really has to read food labels and buy higher fiber foods. It also is a goal to work towards gradually to give your body a chance to get used to the extra fiber. We focused on fiber a few years ago and it wasn’t easy getting to the 25/38 gram goal. We now buy whole grain bread with higher fiber content. My husband buys the instant oatmeal with more fiber. Try adding up your fiber intake for a day and two and you would be surprised how much below the 25/38 gram goal you might be.
Well not all 22 tips in today’s blog, but I will add more next week. These tips are certainly some to get started on this week.