Strategies To Lose Weight When You Are Already Eating Right

You are doing everything right and yet when you step on the scale, the needle hasn't moved. Is there anything more discouraging? Don't let it get you down. Simple little tweaks and shifts can have you reaching your weight loss goal in no time. Here are some strategies that can help: Healthy Habit: You Count Calories. If you take in fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight, you will lose weight. Problem is, only 11% of Americans correctly estimate their caloric needs. Most of us overestimate which means extra pounds. Do It Better: Find the right number of calories you need and stick to it. Prevention suggests that you:
  • Get your max intake: Click here to determine what your ideal daily allowance of calories is.
  • Divvy it up: Set limits on your meals and snacks. If 1,800 calories is your max, split it into three 500-calorie meals and one 300-calorie snack.
  • Create a custom meal: If your favourite frozen entrée has 500 calories, that's all you get. Find one for 300, however, and you can have some fresh fruit and a small salad with it.
Healthy Habit: You're Consistently Active. You've spent all day running errands. You've hauled bags around and done what feels like a million laps of the mall. You think you've really worked hard but you've likely burned fewer calories than you think. Do It Better: Short bursts of intense activity is the best. Walking around the mall for an hour burns about 150 calories. If you pick up the pace for one minute in every 5, you'll burn a third more. Even little things count. Take the stairs, for example. Car need cleaning? Skip the automatic and do it yourself and you can burn up to 204 calories! Healthy Habit: You Choose Nutritious Food. Healthy eating isn't just about what you eat, it is about being mindful about how much you are eating. You may be giving yourself a nutrient rich meal but you may also be consuming way too many calories. Do It Better: Keep your portions in check. The best way to keep track of this is to write it all down. "Even if you note it on a napkin and then throw it away, that's okay. Just the act of writing makes you more aware," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is also helpful to swap higher calorie foods with high fiber, lower calorie options like:
  • Fruit: A ½-cup serving of strawberries has 23 calories, while a medium banana has more than 100. An orange has almost half the calories of a glass of orange juice. More low-cal picks include melon and blueberries.
  • Vegetables: Per 1 cup, raw spinach has 7 calories and a boiled eggplant contains 35 calories; mashed sweet potato, however, has 249.
  • Whole grains: Two full cups of air-popped popcorn (a whole grain) has about the same number of calories as three little whole wheat crackers.
Healthy Habit: You Order The Healthiest Sounding Item On The Menu. You might think the turkey sandwich is a better choice than the pizza but it may not be. Bread isn't good, wraps aren't much better. This is an easy way to get off track. Do It Better: Look up nutrition information in advance. Many restaurants have their nutrition facts online or available in store. You might be shocked by what you find. Healthy Habit: You Satisfy Cravings With "Diet" treats. If you are looking for sweets, a fat free, sugar free "diet" option may seem like a good choice but it isn't. Researchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose these "diet" options instead of regular treats end up consuming twice as many calories. "The terms fat-free or sugar-free can create a green light effect, triggering people to eat more," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. And keep in mind that many fat free foods contain just as much, if not more, calories than the regular option. Do It Better: Have reasonable amounts of the real deal. If ice cream is your thing, have one scoop. "You won't stick to a diet that doesn't include your favourites," says David Grotto, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. There is no point in being on a diet if it will do nothing but make you miserable. It has to be something sustainable. Life is short, eat a little ice cream if you want to.    

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