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No more counting calories

By: proctor - August 31, 2008
I love this no-nonsense, quick-to-read article by the Self Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger:

I've never been a big fan of counting calories. In fact, in the past year, I have lost about 30 pounds without counting a single dietary digit. Sure, I know recording everything you put in your mouth can help peel off pounds, but I also know that obsessing over calories makes you more likely to eat lowfat, low-fiber foods that wouldn't satiate a starling.

Instead of crunching numbers, I munched on healthy food to become a weight loss success. If a food lover like me can do it, you can, too! Try these tips:

• Pick up produce. Have at least one fruit and veggie at every meal. On busy days when I know my lunch won't have a smidge of green in it, I have two fruits at breakfast; I toss berries or peaches into my nonfat Greek yogurt and sprinkle it with granola. I love asparagus, green pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, sprouts, endive and more. Fruits and veggies are high in fiber, which staves off hunger. Shoot for nine servings daily. It sounds like a lot, but if you don't have to be a rabbit to reach that goal. Eat a salad at lunch or dinner, and you're there.

• Snack smart. Add protein (such as a stick of lowfat string cheese or Parmesan) to your between-meal bites. Research suggests protein may enhance the effect of leptin, a hormone that reins in appetite. I love hummus and dip veggies into it instead of pita bread or crackers. Protein is also filling and can help curb cravings for chips, cookies and the like.

• Sip more water. Dieters who swapped sugary drinks for water lose weight, but those who gulped the most H20 peeled off the most pounds, according to a study at the meeting of Obesity Society in Boston. Don’t love agua? Try the flavored kind but check the label for sugar content (it should be below 8 grams per serving).

• Map out your meals. A little attention to portions can help you eat less and still stay satisfied. Start by using a salad dish (8 inches in diameter) and divide it into quarters to help keep helpings healthy. Half the plate should get veggies, top another quarter with lean protein (3 to 6 ounces of fish, chicken or tofu) and the last quarter with whole grains (1/2 to 1 cup of brown rice, sweet potatoes or whole wheat pasta).

• Eat every meal. When you wait longer than five hours between bites, your body may release extra cortisol, a hormone that can increase appetite. I call it "hangry." I get hungry and angry: My stomach starts to burn and my brain gets annoyed at every little thing. Then I eat whatever is in front of me, usually a cookie or other sweet, empty-calorie treat. I realize I'm putting out the "hangry" fires, but it is better not to get there in the first place!

About the Submitter

proctor

I have been an ACE certified personal trainer since 2000 who has trained over 3000 hours. I specialize in pre- and post-natal fitness, stretching, running, and weight loss. Yoga is also a passion for me and a way of life. I received my Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification in India and love to share the calmness, strength, and openness that yoga offers to people of all ages and abilities.



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