Healthy Living – a few tips to get started
Here are a few tips to help you decrease your caloric intake without “dieting” or feeling deprived. These are from Sparkpeople.com
Don’t eyeball it
Studies show that people tend to underestimate how much they really eat every day. In doing so, we consume too many calories without realizing it.
Keep a log
Keeping a log by recording exercise and food intake is one of the best methods of successful weight loss. Find a easy to use website to track your calories. I use SparkPeople.com
- A written record can point out your eating patterns
- You may find that you are eating less fruits than you thought or drinking too much soda, for example.
- Then you’ll know where you can implement healthy changes.
- Reading food labels is key to healthy portion sizes
- At a quick glance, a bottle of juice (or bag of chips, candy bar, or frozen entrée) may appear to contain 100 calories. A closer look will might reveal that the package includes two or more servings, which doubles the caloric content.
- Be sure to measure.
- Be exact if cooking at home, but when eating out, think about common objects. Two tablespoons of peanut butter, mayo, or dressing is about the size of a golf ball. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. A medium piece of fruit is similar to a baseball.
- Having trouble stopping at one serving?
- Buy single-serving packages of your favorite foods for built-in portion control, or measure out single servings into baggies or containers.
Hold the fat
It’s important to remember that not all fats are bad. Certain oils (olive, canola), and nuts are nutritious and healthy to eat.
However, fat does have more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein (9, 4, and 4, respectively). And generally, people consume too much and the wrong kinds of fats, which means excessive calories.
- When cooking, limit the amount of oil you use
- Use a non-stick pan. You can also use spray-able oils (avoid substitutes and go for the real olive and canola oil sprays) to coat your pans with virtually zero calories. A MISTO sprayer, available in department stores. It can evenly distribute 1/2 teaspoon of oil or salad dressing, compared to the 2-3 teaspoons that you would usually pour on for the same purpose—a savings of 100 calories.
- Skimp on butters, dressings, and creams,
- Use just enough for taste. Try a baked potato flavored with salsa rather than butter, and forgo the “secret sauce” on your favorite burger.
- Shop for lite or reduced-fat versions of condiments, like dressings and sauces.
- One serving of lite mayo has less than half the calories (85) of regular mayo (200), but is almost identical taste and texture.
- Blot the fat from greasy foods
- With foods like cheese pizza or burgers it is worth the effort. You could easily soak up a teaspoon of grease, 5 grams of fat, and 40 calories from two slices of pizza alone.
- Use Herbs to add flavor to foods without excess calories
- Spicy foods, flavored with red peppers or chili peppers, may boost metabolism and help you to stop eating sooner.
- Replace high-fat foods with fruits and vegetables.
- These essentials are low in calories, but high in volume, fiber and nutrients, which can give a feeling of fullness. They make great snacks and are easy to pack. Stick to whole foods as much as possible. A potato is a better option than an order of fries, just as an apple is healthier than a slice of apple pie.
Water is your best friend
Drink water, not alcohol
Not only does alcohol contain 7 calories per gram, but it also lowers self-control when it comes to food.
Save alcohol for a post-meal indulgence, rather than drinking it before or with food. Studies show that alcohol lowers inhibitions and control when it comes to eating, causing people to eat more than those who waited to drink after finishing a meal.
Drink water throughout the day
Drink water before, and during meals to help curb your appetite. Oftentimes, people think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty or dehydrated. Dehydration can slow metabolism, but the process of drinking water and warming it to body temperature involves energy and burns calories. Plus, being well hydrated gives body at least 10 minutes more energy for exercise, according to a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.
1 pound – 500-calories at a time.
To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day. One pound equals 3500 calories. That can be achieved by reducing calories, exercising more, or a combination of both.
For a healthy lifestyle, not a diet, that is easy to stick with, try incorporating some or all of these easy strategies to reduce calories without giving up the pleasures of eating. – jughandle