Replace bad habits with better routines
Getting to and staying at a healthy weight needn’t be a daily battle. Put your diet on autopilot by adopting healthier routines that fit your tastes and lifestyle.
Smart, easy swaps
Having your sandwich on tasty whole wheat bread makes it more filling, and just opting for mustard instead of mayo trims your lunch by about 50 calories! At dinner replace those starchy sides (like potatoes, which set you back 258 calories) and have a double helping of veggies. Broccoli, spinach and artichokes are only a few delicious, low calorie choices that offer a big fiber boost. Next time you are out for drinks you can save upwards of 300 calories per round by nixing those sugary mixed cocktails and going for wine or straight spirits on the rocks or with a splash of juice or soda.
Take the guesswork out of healthy eating by re-stocking your pantry with waist-friendly versions of foods you normally use. If you’ve been topping your morning yogurt with store-bought granola, replace it with something lighter, such as Fiber One Twigs. Nuts can be a healthy snack, so why not go with a nut that gives you more per serving? Pistachios give you the most - 49 nuts - compared to almonds with 23 pieces or cashews with about 18 nuts. Find a mobile app that will help you keep a food journal, track your weight and physical activity, manage your grocery list, and more. For great ideas and simple weight loss tricks sign up for my weekly newsletter.
Focus on how much weight you need to lose and success can feel a long way off. Instead, re-imagine your diet as a journey and set interim goals. Then reward yourself as you achieve them. Lose 10 pounds and you’ll drop about two dress sizes – what better reason to give away your old clothes and get something new? Select a “before” photo and start collecting “after” photos on your phone and watch your progress! Every week you stick to your diet deserves a treat, so go get a manicure, pedicure, or a relaxing massage.
Eat right, workout less
When it comes to losing weight diet trumps exercise, no doubt about it. Change your morning bagel to a bowl of fiber cereal and you’ll save 500 calories – the same as if you had jogged for 45 minutes. While cardio exercise is great for your heart and head, if your aim is to lose weight you’ll accomplish much more in less time by lifting weights to build lean muscle, which burns calories all day long.
For more recipes, plus great tips, delicious meal plans, and proven ways to lose weight and look great, be sure to check out my books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber (Hyperion), and The F-Factor Diet (Putnam).
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in private practice in New York City and the author of two bestselling books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber (Hyperion), and The F-Factor Diet (Putnam). Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com. For nutrition news you can use, product tips, restaurant reviews and delicious recipes sign up for Tanya’s weekly newsletter!