Diet and Exercise Tips

Tip of the Day ARCHIVES

Last updated Jun 17, 2010
  1. Wipe the slate clean! Successful weight loss begins with forgiving yourself for past diet indiscretions and starting fresh.
  2. Start a food diary – Noting amounts, time of day, and mood while eating will help you identify sources of extra calories and emotional triggers.
  3. Set small, achievable goals… and reward yourself with non-food treats for a job well done.
  4. Grocery shopping after a meal and with a list will help eliminate compulsive purchases of fattening goodies.
  5. Don’t underestimate the importance of eating breakfast! If you don’t fuel your body after the overnight fast, it will be looking for extra calories all day long. 
  6. Stay hydrated with 2 -3 liters of water per day… thirst is sometimes disguised as hunger! 
  7. You’re less likely to reach for junk food if it’s not in your pantry. 
  8. Washed and pre-cut fresh veggies kept within easy reach help satisfy crunch cravings in a pinch.  
  9. Flavor up those healthy foods with fresh and dried herbs.  Spices can pack quite a punch without adding extra calories. 
  10. Always read labels! It only takes a few seconds to learn about the fat, fiber and calorie content of your favorite packaged foods. 
  11. Slow down! You will get more out of your eating experience and cut down on extra calories if you chew slowly and savor each bite. 
  12. Find ways to occupy your mind when cravings strike… take a five minute walk, call a friend… chances are the temptation will be long gone by the time you’re done. 
  13. Get your rest! Research ahs shown that we tend to consume many more snacks when we’re tired, in an effort to boost energy. 
  14. Trim the fat.  Be sure to remove visible fat and skin when preparing meat, poultry and fish. 
  15. Fill a decorative bowl with 7-10 pieces of fruit and make a deal with yourself to empty the bowl in one week. 
  16. Visualize your portion sizes.  A serving of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of a deck of cards; a cup of rice or pasta is the size of a baseball.
  17. Eating 5 small meals per day, rather than 3 larger meals will keep you energized and your metabolism stoked! 
  18. Applesauce is a great substitute for oil or butter in baked recipes because it holds the moisture in just as well. 
  19. When choosing breakfast cereals, aim for brands that contain more than 5 g of fiber to help stave off hunger longer (not to mention lower cholesterol!) 
  20. It’s a great idea to order a salad with your meal (or as a main course) at a restaurant, but STEER CLEAR of high fat salad dressings.  Opt instead for oil and vinegar on the side. 
  21. Protein is the most satiating nutrient.  A small, protein rich snack can stop hunger in its tracks. 
  22. Eat a healthy meal before arriving at a party.  Showing up hungry may have you noshing on high-calorie hors d’oeuvres all night. 
  23. Trying to decide on a restaurant? Don’t forget about sushi- seems so indulgent, yet it’s very clean eating. 
  24. Get used to 1% or skin milk! A cup of whole milk has 150 calories, while a cup of skim has only 85 calories 
  25. Remember that it takes your mind about 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full. 
  26. Shop the perimeter! The perimeter of the grocery store is where you’ll find fresh produce, dairy and meat/fish/poultry, while the middle aisles are reserved for processed and packaged foods. 
  27. If you cheat, put it behind you and MOVE ON! Don’t discourage yourself with negative self-talk that may result in a full-on binge. 
  28. Tell your friends and family about your nutrition goals and ask for their support and encouragement. 
  29. Make an effort to eat your meals at the kitchen or dining room table.  Eating while watching TV (or worse, driving!) will cause you to take in hundreds of mindless calories. 
  30. Purchase an insulated lunch bag and pack it with a piece of fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, carrot sticks and other healthy snacks.  Arriving at work armed and prepared will keep you away from the vending machine! 
  31. Keep a packed gym bag in your car so you’re always prepared for an impromptu workout. 
  32. Substitute iceberg lettuce with spinach in salads, wraps, and sandwiches for more calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and Folate.
  33. Sprinkling cinnamon on food can reduce blood sugar levels (Am J Clin Dietetics) 
  34. Adding ½ cup of white beans to your tomato sauce will add 96 mg of calcium (10% recommended daily intake) and 6 grams of fiber! 
  35. TONIGHT: Plan your meals for tomorrow.  Taking the guesswork out of meal –planning will make it infinitely easier to stay on track. 
  36. Replace oil and butter with a couple of quick shots of cooking spray and you’ll save 100 calories per tablespoon. 
  37. Consume the majority of your breads and starches at the beginning of the day when you are more likely to be the busiest. 
  38. Each meal should contain both lean protein and complex carbohydrates because together they keep your blood sugars steady and keep you satiated all day! 
  39. Never skip meals – a missed meal sends a signal to your brain to slow your metabolism and hold on to every calorie. 
  40. Soda is just plain BAD.  Regular soda contains 4 tablespoons of sugar per serving and diet alternatives contain fake sugar.  Instead try some sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, orange or cucumber. 
  41. Use salsa to jazz up omelets and baked potatoes for a low fat kick that adds vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and Folate! 
  42. Go for tuna packed in water rather than oil and you’ll save 70 calories per 3 ounces. 
  43. Need to sweeten up?  Honey and agave nectar provide more sweetness per calorie than white or raw sugar. 
  44. Assume responsibility for your own actions – good and bad.  Once you realize that you’re in control, you will gain the empowerment needed to achieve your goals! 
  45. Try an open-faced sandwich to shave 120 calories off of your lunch.   
  46. It’s normal to hit a plateau after steady weight-loss.  Don’t be discouraged.  This is the time to step up your exercise routine, fine-tune your diet, and get the ball rolling again. 
  47. Go ahead, take a cheat meal. This might be just what you need to keep from feeling deprived and stay focused.  Allow one per week, if you’d like. 
  48. Filling your plate with a BROAD RANGE of healthy food will deliver the message that you’re being satisfied even when you’re consuming smaller portions.
  49. Instead of raisins, go for grapes and save 65 calories per ounce.
  50. Cardio workouts boost your mood, increasing the levels of the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. 
  51. Ditch the calorie-laden granola and instead sprinkle high fiber cereal on your low-fat ice cream and yogurt. 
  52. Researchers suggest that artificial sweeteners may work counter intuitively by giving your body the go –ahead to eat more food, not less.
  53. High protein foods have been found to stave off hunger because they take longer to digest and they suppress ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone. 
  54. The burn you get from lifting weights will help protect you from weight gain and metabolic syndrome.
  55. Cutting calories and eating whole grains can help you lose belly fat.         
  56. Looking for non-meat protein sources? Try soy, legumes, nuts and whole grains. 
  57. Iron is essential for muscle growth, and will help power your workouts.  Find it in animal-based foods such as beef, chicken and turkey, as well as fortified oats, soybeans and lentils. 
  58. List your goals and stick them on your fridge or your bedroom mirror.  This will act as a constant reminder about where you want to be. 
  59. Having trouble finding time to make a nutritious breakfast? Cook 5 servings of steel-cut oatmeal in the beginning of the week, refrigerate it, and reheat a serving every morning. Top with fresh fruit for a great start! 
  60. Burn a few extra calories whenever you can- take the stairs, park at the back of the lot- every little bit counts! 
  61. Eating a small amount of carbs and protein ½ hour before and within the hour following a workout will aid performance and recovery. 
  62. Soups are a great place to hide veggies for even the most die-hard vegetable-hater.  Anything goes, from onions to pumpkin, and you can chop them small or puree them to hide them in the soup. 
  63. Take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement.  Researchers suggest that people who are deficient in various vitamins and minerals tend to overeat in an attempt to obtain the missing nutrients. 
  64. Buy a nutritional almanac to keep on hand so you can see what’s in the food you eat. 
  65. Pound for pound, muscle burns more calories than fat.  The more you have, the faster the fat will melt. 
  66. Love cream soups but hate the fat? Puree a potato to give your soup a rich, filling consistency!
  67. Be sure to stretch after your workout! Stretching will increase our range of motion, release muscle tension and soreness, reduce risk of injury and increase mental relaxation
  68. Trade in peanut butter for natural nut butters and spread a thin layer on apple slices or celery sticks for a fiber a protein-rich snack
  69. Want chocolate?  Choose a small square of dark chocolate, chock full of healthy antioxidants to quiet the craving.
  70. Bump up your cardio routine with that dance, karate or swimming class you’ve always wanted to take!
  71. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season when they are plentiful and inexpensive… or go green and grow your own!
  72. Beware of high-salt deli meats.  Opt instead for lower sodium, varieties to decrease your risk of water retention and hypertension.
  73. Cut away as much fat as possible before grilling meats to avoid fire flare-ups.  Carcinogens produced by charred meat have been linked to many forms of cancer.
  74. Find an exercise buddy!  It’s much harder to skip a workout when you have  a partner to hold you accountable.
  75. Avoid processed foods that have the word “hydrogenated” in the ingredients – if you see it, it means the food contains trans fats (even in quantities small enough to skim by labeling laws).
  76. Eat edamame! It’s brimming with plant proteins and soy isoflavones that reduce total and LDL “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
  77. If you’re looking for an excuse to miss today’s workout, remember how great you felt after completing your last workout.
  78. Walnuts contain powerful antioxidants – use a small handful on top of salads and oatmeal.
  79. Whisk together 1 Tbsp of grapefruit juice and 2 Tbsp of olive oil for a tangy salad dressing.
  80. Brown rice and quinoa maintain the manganese, magnesium and powerful antioxidant selenium that white rice loses in the milling process.
  81. Laugh your butt off!  Laughing reduces stress AND burns calories!
  82. Make special requests – when dining out, ask the chef to prepare your meal with as little oil and butter as possible to save yourself tons of calories.
  83. Make a new play list for your  MP3 – changing your music could be all the motivation you need to get through that last mile or set.
  84. Fresh fruit is nature’s perfect dessert.  Dress it up with a dollop of low-fat whipped topping or blend it up with light soy milk, a few ice cubes and a touch of honey for a thick and nutritious shake.
  85. Never SUPERSIZE anything!
  86. Put your mind to it – while lifting weights, concentrate on the muscle group you’re working to optimize each repetition.
  87. Yo-yo dieting wrecks havoc on your metabolism.  Stop the vicious cycle and commit to a healthy LIFESTYLE CHANGE.
  88. Consuming lean protein with every meal will encourage your body to burn fat as it’s primary fuel source.
  89. Keep meals small – about 300 - 400 calories each.
  90. Stimulate lazy bowels with fiber from flaxseed, wheat germ and bran.
  91. Ditch the diet soda – it has been strongly linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
  92. If the label tells you the food contains more than 20% saturated fat… quickly return it to the shelf and WALK AWAY.
  93. Try interval training.  Rather than zoning out on the TV or a book while doing cardio, incorporate 2-5 minute bursts of “all you got” intensity three times during your workout.  You may just burn double the calories!
  94. Sharing is caring… split your entrée with another guest at the table!
  95. Try setting the breakfast table the night before to remind yourself (and your family) about this VERY important meal.
  96. “Reduced Fat” foods are not good choices.  Beware of this marketing ploy.  If the product were actually low-fat, it would say that.
  97. Avoid overtraining.  Your body needs time to recover from intense workouts.  Take at least a day off each week to rest up!
  98. Plan your leftovers! Are you grilling chicken or cutting up veggies?  Make extra!  Turn that chicken into low-fat chicken salad and bag those raw veggies as tomorrow’s snacks.
  99. In the mood for something new?  Bison meat has half the calories of chicken or pork
  100. Spinach- so versatile.  Eat it raw in a salad, steamed as a side, or use it to bulk up your tomato sauce or omelet! 

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