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December 2016

Top 10 Tips to Lose Weight—and Never Diet Again!

By Tanya Zuckerbrot

1.     Set Realistic Diet Goals

Write down where you would like to be with your weight in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and then 1 year. You gained the weight over months or even years, so always remember that you’re in this for the long haul. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. With this mindset, you will be able to create healthy habits that ultimately turn your “diet” into a truly healthy lifestyle.

2.     Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Eating breakfast every day is essential for jump-starting your metabolism and allowing you to burn calories more efficiently throughout the day. Breakfast eaters tend to lose weight and keep it off more effectively than people who skip breakfast. Tip: Start your day with foods rich in fiber and protein. Try a breakfast parfait with plain, fat-free Greek yogurt, berries, and high-fiber cereal (5 grams of fiber or more) sprinkled on top.

3.     Fill up on Fiber and Protein

Fiber and protein are the two nutrients that take the longest to digest. They’re perfect to keep your serum glucose levels consistent, and you’ll have improved energy throughout the day. And since fiber has no calories, and protein has only 4 calories per gram, you are guaranteed the least caloric intake with the most food intake. Tip: Women should aim for 25–35 grams of fiber per day; men should aim for 35–38 grams of fiber per day. Bulk up your salad with fiber from nonstarchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, beets, peppers, and tomatoes.

4.     Eat Small Meals Frequently

Eating small meals every 3–4 hours helps to stabilize blood sugar and keep energy levels consistent. And you won’t be ravenous at night, make poor food choices, or overeat. For lunch, have a big salad with vegetables and lean protein, and as a snack, have an apple with a piece of string cheese or peanut butter. These meals will keep you full throughout the day.

5.     Dine Out the Smart Way!

The old adage, “Don’t spoil your appetite,” is wrong! Spoil your appetite before a party or dining out. Have a small pre-dinner snack rich in fiber and protein. Filling up before going out to eat is one of the best ways to help you lose or maintain your weight. Going out on a full belly will allow you to make smart choices and eat less.

6.     Go Out Dressed for Success

When scouring your closet for the perfect dinner outfit, go for tailored, even a bit snug. It’s easier to overeat when wearing loose clothing such as sweats. Stick to fitted pants or a tight skirt to discourage you from eating too much. And when it comes to handbags, forgo any purse with a strap. Instead, grab a clutch. When you are holding a clutch in one hand and a cocktail in your other, there are no hands free to hold a plateful of pigs-in-a-blanket.

7.     Stay Hydrated

As the weather cools down, we typically sweat less and tend to forget to keep drinking. This is detrimental not only to our health and energy levels but to our waistlines and appearance. Water helps to rid the body of toxins and chemicals that may slow down your metabolism, decrease your energy levels, and lead to dull, dry skin and hair. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to promote healthy digestion, increase your metabolism, boost energy levels, and add radiance to your overall appearance.

8.     Snack on Pistachios

Pistachios help fight weight gain by slowing down rises in blood sugar levels and curbing hunger. Nut consumption in general is associated with a lower body mass index, but not with weight gain. Pistachios have a significant amount of protein and are among the highest-fiber nuts, so they slow digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer than low-protein, low-fiber snacks. You also get a lot of nuts in a 1-ounce serving, which helps psychologically: 49 pistachios, versus only 23 almonds or 18 cashews.

9. Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important factors in determining physical and mental health. Exercise plus a proper diet are the perfect combination for maintaining your ideal body weight. Not only will you burn energy, which will make room for glycogen, you will also increase your metabolism by gaining muscle. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue; it burns energy all day long, even after you’ve stopped working out.

10.  Eat Foods that Boost Metabolism

Many foods help increase metabolism, so make sure to incorporate them into your diet. The best metabolism-boosting foods include low-fat dairy, berries, high-fiber cereals, green tea, hot peppers, soy beans, citrus fruits, and cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. Spicy foods are also a great way to add flavor to your foods without adding salt. They increase heart rate and body temperature, both of which raise the number of calories your body is burning. Also, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, which will prevent cravings.  Add extra spice to your favorite homemade dishes!

Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor
Tanya Zuckerbrot is a Manhattan-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she founded in 1999. The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) debuted in hardcover in January 2007. This common-sense plan, used successfully by hundreds of Tanya’s clients, provides tools for improved health . . . Read more of Tanya’s tips

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