Girl to Mom is definitely not an advocate of being too skinny, (I don’t want my boot-tay to deflate)—
— But I have an apple body shape as opposed to a pear or stick, and I have more than a passing familiarity with the Muffin Top. We’re pretty close, actually, me and MT.
Come fall, winter and the holiday season, I’m ho ho-ing my way to months of work in order to lose those stubborn 3-10 pounds I put on during all of the merry making and mistle toeing.
So this year, I am getting right back on track baby! I’m aiming to be healthy between the Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa parties and (hopefully) will not have such an uphill battle in 2011, when spring has sprung.
These are the 12:
Best Weight Loss Tips
I’ve ever heard in my life, they are all with heath in mind and they really do work:
1.) Keep the furnace burning.
Eating breakfast, at least a small one, and then continuing to graze all day long raises your metabolism. It works for everybody because each time you eat, your furnace has to fire up and start all over again, which expends calories.
You can’t eat non-stop because calories do count, but eating small meals or satisfying snacks (with protein when possible) is the best way to up your furnace. Think 100-300 calorie snacks and 300-400 calories mini meals every three hours, all day.
You even get a snack before bed to help you sleep better!
2.) Protein. Lean protein makes you feel fuller and protein burns 30 percent of itself. That’s right, that’s why you can have a big piece of salmon or a big lean steak and you don’t gain weight. If the salmon has 300 calories you are only clocking 200.
3.) Soy. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love tofu and I eat a lot of sliced Tofurky as a snack with cheese or guacamole or hummus. I also love soy chicken strips and soy beef tips from Gardein brand at Whole Foods, in the freezer section.
Please don’t take all of them because I need them.
The Gardein brand cooks well in the microwave in just a minute or so, is really low in calories and full of nutrition. Also you never get food poisoning with soy and it’s low fat and so good for you.
By the way, the Atkins diet (high protein and low carb veggies) really works, but for me, it’s too hard to stick to all of the time.
4.) High fiber/whole grains.
This really does work to help you feel more full all day and ultimately flatten your belly.
You can take a fiber supplement, but a big salad with colorful veggies or whole fruit is the best way to go. Or a healthy veggie soup.
Wednesday at Whole Foods the salad bar is less expensive, I think 30% off.
There are a lot of one hundred percent whole grain breads out there now that are low in calories and softer, if you don’t like the super grainy feel. At the moment, I like Orowheat soft 100% whole wheat.
Discover Quinoa. It’s high fiber and high protein and if you eat it every day instead of pasta or rice I can almost guarantee you’ll lose weight. It’s delicious.
Use lettuce leaves or kale as a sandwich or snack wrap instead of a tortilla. Fill with super yummy things and sauce/dressing so you don’t feel deprived.
Beans in moderation. Any kind, even directly from the can, drained.
Again, it’s the fiber and the protein. They digest slowly and fill you up. Sabra hummus is a terrific way to eat garbanzo beans, and it comes in tons of yummy flavors. I like the one with pine nuts—roasted pine nut flavor.
Or sprinkle a tablespoon or two of beans on your salad. Most people are not getting enough magnesium and potassium, a green salad with beans added will help with that and make your skin glow. They also contain folic acid.
5.) Good fats. My favorite two are extra virgin olive oil and avocado- hummus makes 3. Your skin needs good fats to not look like leathery crap, and more importantly, your body needs fat to properly absorb vitamins and nutrients.
Never eat a fat free salad! A teaspoon of olive oil is only about 30 calories.
A few slices of ripe avocado is about 30-50 calories. Add it to your sandwich or salad, a little avocado is almost like a free food. You can eat a whole avocado for only about 300 calories.
Put it on crackers or low fat chips, drizzle it with EVOO, sprinkle a little lemon juice and salt. Boom- a 400 calorie meal.
I like low fat ranch dressing from the refrigerated section of Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Sometimes I mix it with the olive oil and lemon- delish.
6.) Nuts, especially portion control sizes of 100-200 calories. They are so good for you and right now I really like Emerald cocoa roast almonds in 100 calorie packs. They have cocoa powder on the outside and have a sweet, roasty flavor. I got them at Target in the snack aisle.
Almost any diet you’ll ever read in a women’s magazine says to put one tablespoon of peanut butter (or almond butter) on apple slices for a healthy, filling snack. That’s not usually my thing, but I get why it works.
7.) Reduce the calories of your favorite comfort foods. Soup is so soothing in winter, make homemade veggie soup or just buy a good canned kind without MSG and with reduced sodium/sea salt.
Progresso and Chunky low-sodium and Healthy Choice are all good brands.
Minestrone with a sprinkle of parmesan is yummy and I always love chicken noodle or chicken matzo ball from a good deli.
Chicken rice soup is the best thing for an upset stomach. I’m a big believer in doctoring things up, like add cayenne pepper or Tony Chachere seasoning to minestrone to give it a fiery kick. Or have gumbo- mmmm.
Hot pepper also slightly raises your metabolism, but be careful if you’re sensitive like me.
I love mac n’ cheese and I buy the packaged organic kind from Annie’s and doctor it up. It also sells at Trader Joes in different packaging. I add I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter spray and parm and/or a big sprinkle of 2% sharp cheddar cheese and melt it in. Yum!
8.) If you eat dairy, I believe cheese is one of the best snacks. Women really need more daily calcium.
You obviously can’t eat an entire block of cheese, but a slice of Swiss, a cheddar stick, Kraft fat free or 2% American cheese slices as a snack or on a burger/veggie burger or grilled cheese sandwich, or any other kind of cheese in moderation makes everything taste better.
You may be surprised how much calcium is in regular shaky parm cheese like Kraft.
Adding blue cheese, shredded cheddar or feta to your salad generally makes it worlds more fun.
9.) Work your flavor tricks. It may not be everyone’s taste, but I do love my I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray.
I think extra virgin olive oil and lemon and parm make almost anything taste better, including simple veggies. Same goes for garlic.
Broccoli or spinach or kale stir fried in a pan with EVOO, roasted garlic, lemon and parm (add pepper if you like) is better than you usually think it will be and all that fiber fills you up, so you eat less of everything else. Mix in a dab of real butter or do half butter half olive oil for more flavor.
I also love Smart Balance Light as a butter substitute. For guests, always use real butter : )
10.) Eat fish. There’s nothing wrong with canned salmon, it’s always wild salmon.
Sushi or sashimi is great, stay away from the fried rolls, though, and anything with full fat mayo or creamy sauce will add up, calorie wise. Have the miso soup and edamame and skip the tempura.
Some restaurants will even do brown rice with your sushi instead of white.
11.) Don’t ruin a week of work with accidental calories. This is a killer, when you find out that the restaurant Chinese chicken salad you ate has 2,200 calories! And you thought you made a healthy choice. Gah!
In general, avoid cream sauces, fried foods and almost all pastas at restaurants. Mayo is a big hidden calorie condiment— it alone adds over 200 calories to some sandwiches. Right now I love Kraft Olive oil mayo, 45 calories a tablespoon. Have two!
You can almost never go wrong at a restaurant if you order lean protein with veggies on the side, don’t worry about the oil on the veggies, especially if it’s olive oil. A big salad is fine with low-fat dressing, as long as it’s not full of deep fried crunchies and other crazy diet busters.
I highly recommend looking up the nutritional info on fast food and chain restaurants online before you order. It’s always surprising and highly useable info, just Google it and you’re good to go!
Now if I can just listen to my own advice.
One last tip…studies have shown that people who enjoy their food more get more nutrition out of it. So eat healthy food that you love and makes you happy! There’s nothing wrong with the occasional cookie, chocolate or portion control ice cream bar…
Number 12 is to have small treats every single day. Deprivation leads to binging. I think a Skinny Cow bar is calling my name…
Oh and never, ever beat yourself up for an overindulgence. It’s a total waste of time and doesn’t change anything. Just get back on the horse the next day or meal. The old days are over. Next!