This is the first issue of Eating Well I have received, and I found their Ultimate Get-Slim Guide intriguing. For those of you who do not read/receive this magazine, I thought I would share their tips with you…
1. Define Your Goal. They provide a math problem to determine your caloric intake:
[Your weight X 12] – 500 = Your daily calorie goal to lose 1 pound a week
*Subtract 1000 if you would like to lose 2 pounds a week. Also be sure not to dip below 1200 calories per day total.
2. Use Little Plates. This, apparently, causes you to eat less because you just think of it as “I ate an entire plate of food.” I already do this, by the way.
3. Set A Date. Setting a specific goal (“I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months”) increases the likelihood of success. Be as specific as possible to give yourself less “wiggle” room in your goals.
4. Make Your Dinner Plate Like This: 1/2 colorful mix of veggies; 1/4 whole grains; 1/4 lean protein. I will admit I struggle with this…I am getting better, but I am not great still. This is part of the reason I will be meeting with a nutritionist on Feb 3.
5. Visual Portion Sizes: 1 tsp = tip of your thumb (to the middle joint); 1 Tbsp = your whole thumb; 1 cup = your fist; 3 ounces of meat = palm of your hand
6. Breakfast Is Vital! Those who eat breakfast are far more likely to acheive weight loss goals…never skip breakfast! According to the magazine, repeating the same meal can help shed pounds (I thought the idea was to mix it up, but I’m no expert).
7. Eat Soup. A study published in Physiology & Behavior showed people who ate soup consumed fewer calories during those days. I should eat more soup. Got any great recipes to share?
8. Snacks = Protein and Fiber. They suggest carrots and hummus, nonfat cottage cheese and orange slices, and an apple with almond butter.
9. Ditch Top Buns. Open-face sandwiches reduce calories by at least 100 calories instantly. So, do not eat the top bun next time.
10. Allow Small Treats Each Day. Apparently, according to Journal of the American Dietetic Association, eating a treat under 150 calories is okay and will not wreck your diet. They suggest a 16-oz skim latte, two squares of dark chocolate, or 1/2 cup (non-premium) ice cream. I personally find this insane, especially for anyone with a food addiction. Opening that gate every day could be dangerous, so think about how you *really* feel about food before deciding to do this one. I know I will not be even considering it…
11. Count Calories. Here is a chart I created based on the information they provide in this article: Calorie Tracker Options
12. Post A Picture. Use pictures for motivation and post them anywhere you can (on your fridge, as your phone wallpaper, on your desktop/laptop wallpaper, etc.). The pictures can be of yourself at your healthiest, your children, motivational quotes, etc.
13. Get Eight Hours of Sleep. Studies show people who sleep fewer than eight hours of sleep often weigh more than those who get eight or more. Sleeping less can alter hormones levels that control hunger.
14. Use a BIG Fork. A study at the University of Utah showed bigger bites leads to eating less. Also try holding the fork in your nondominant hand. Eating slower allows your body to feel full faster, thus making you eat less.
15. Pick A Prize. Reward yourself as you meet incremental goals. I have discussed this topic previously, and I am also an occasional “rewarder” (my rewards are *always* non-food items, by the way).
16. Portion-Control Your Lunch. A Cornell study revealed those who consumed a packaged lunch of 200 calories (such as a nutrition bar) consumed 250 fewer calories for the day. The participants reported they still felt completely satisfied, too.
17. Weigh In and Log Progress. Weighing in at least once weekly helps to keep you accountable, motivated, and on track.
18. 30 Minutes Per Day. Running, swimming, or biking should consume at least 30 minutes of your day…every day. That will equal about 250 calories burned, which is about a 1/2 pound in weight loss each week.
19. Make A Bet. At stickK.com you can set a goal, appoint a friend to keep you accountable, and wager money (optional) for charity to meet that goal. If you do not meet the goal by the set date, stickK will automatically charge your card and send the money to your charity. Apparently, putting up the money will cause an increase in the likelihood of success, too.
20. Drink Water. In a 2010 study, people who drank two cups of water before meals lost more weight than those who did not.
21. Back On Track, Stat. Repeat this mantra if you slip up. The mindset of “waiting till Monday” to get back on track really adds on the pounds over the weekend.
22. Eat Yogurt. A recent Harvard study linked yogurt closely to weight loss. So, have some.
23. Move, Move, Move. Incidental exercise significantly increases calorie burn. (Unpacking the car: 3.0 calories/min; Straightening the house: 3.1 calories/min; Take the stairs: 10.7 calories/min; Shovel snow: 7.6 calories/min)
24. Take EatingWell’s 28-Day Challenge.
25. Make A Plan. They provide a 1,500 calorie/day meal plan and others can be found here.
How many of these tips do you already utilize in your journey? Will you be adding anymore of these strategies to your journey? Do you have any of your own tips to share?