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10 surprising weight loss tips from health experts

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10 surprising weight loss tips from health experts

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10 surprising weight loss tips from health experts

You can choose any 8-hour window to consume calories. Some people opt to skip breakfast and fast from noon to 8 p.m., while others avoid eating late and stick to a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Limiting the number of hours that you can eat during the day may help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

10 surprising weight loss tips from health experts

You can choose any 8-hour window to consume calories. Some people opt to skip breakfast and fast from noon to 8 p.m., while others avoid eating late and stick to a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Limiting the number of hours that you can eat during the day may help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

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10 surprising weight loss tips from health experts

  1. 1. 10 Surprising Weight Loss Tips from Health Experts
  2. 2. 1. Never eat a meal without vegetables. Dietitian Mandi Knowles says she fills at least half of every plate with vegetables—at every meal. “Chicken and brown rice on a plate is boring and unappetizing,” she says. “But throw in some beautiful roasted vegetables, and your plate looks like something out of Top Chef. When prepared and seasoned correctly, vegetables are a delicious, flavorful and colorful way to eat a meal.” And for weight loss purposes, it’s a filling, calorie-saving way to eat: A cup of green roasted vegetables like broccoli, can have fewer than 50 calories and provide you with 20 percent or more of your daily fiber needs. And fiber can help you lose weight—it makes you feel full faster, and then controls the speed of your digestion so that you stay feeling full, longer. But… even for breakfast? Yes! Adding veggies to your eggs, like in these easy-to-make egg muffins, can help increase the volume of food you eat without adding calories. Or think of a fancy buffet restaurant at a hotel—there’s always fresh cucumbers and tomatoes included in the breakfast spread. Give yourself a taste of that fancy hotel at home, and help yourself lose more weight all day.
  3. 3. 2. Don’t trust yourself to eyeball portion sizes. The super-sized portions at restaurants have given us a skewed view of portion sizes, says dietitian Courtney McCormick. “Who hasn’t filled at least half—or even more—of their plate with spaghetti for dinner?” she says. “But a serving of pasta or other whole grains should be no more than a quarter of your plate.” Even if you’re tracking your food intake with an app or food journal, overestimating your portion sizes can sabotage your diet progress and results—so when the jar of peanut butter says a serving of two tablespoons is 180 calories, over-serving yourself by half a tablespoon can increase the calories you’re eating by 25 percent. McCormick’s solution: Measure your portions—not forever, but for a few days at the start. Doing so will help you “get a better understanding of what those portion sizes look like,” she says. “Once you have these visuals, it will be easier to judge actual portion sizes without having to measure everything.”
  4. 4. 3. You’re OK eating after 7 p.m. (or 9 p.m.! or 10 p.m.!) Eating in front of the TV can be a real culprit of overeating, because we aren’t concentrating on what we’re consuming, says McCormick. “The more we can be mindful of what we are eating—enjoying the taste, texture, smells of our foods, the more joyful the eating experience will be and the more satisfying the meal will be,” she says. And science backs it up: Mindful eaters in a British study not only ate less during a distraction-free meal, but ate fewer calories the rest of the day. So if you can, don’t eat in front of the tube. But if you really want to snack while you watch your favorite show, Knowles says to change what you snack on: Choose vegetables to satisfy crunchy cravings instead of salty snacks, and consider fruit instead of sweet snack foods.
  5. 5. 4. If you are really, really craving a specific food—you should eat it. “If I am craving something, I am eventually going to eat it,” McCormick says. When you want a chocolate chip cookie, all the pretzels in the world won’t fix the craving—and can result in eating more calories than satisfying the real craving would. “Rather than double up on calories by trying to find alternatives, I just eat what I’m craving but make sure to eat it in a mindful way.” And that’s mindful both in attention—as mentioned above—and in attention to portion size. “I’d measure out a half-cup of my favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream, rather than fill my largest cereal bowl to the top,” she says. “And I enjoy every moment, taking my time as I eat to savor the smell, texture, and taste of the food.”
  6. 6. 5. Skipping meals hurts your weight loss progress. Eating every three to four hours can help keep your blood sugar steady, McCormick says, “which can help prevent hunger and cravings. Plus, the longer we go without eating, the hungrier we are by the time we get to our next meal—which may lead to us stuffing our faces,” which could undo the negative calorie balance you set by suffering through a skipped lunch. Instead, get back on track; one bad meal will not ruin your weight loss meal plan. Every choice you make is another chance to make a good choice that progresses you towards your weight loss goals.
  7. 7. 6. 100-calorie packs may be sabotaging your results. Those 100-calorie packs may seem like a convenient way to snack—and enjoy something sweet—while eating fewer calories. But most are low on protein and fiber, says McCormick, two nutrients that help fill you up and keep you full. “So while your 100-calorie pack may satisfy that sweet craving in the moment, you may find that you will be reaching for more food—and calories—an hour later,” she says. Save snacks like these for dedicated, craving-crushing snack times. For regular snacks, she says, “opt for nutrient-dense, portable snacks that deliver protein and fiber… peanut butter with apple slices or celery sticks, a banana with a handful of nuts, or hummus with your favorite vegetables.”
  8. 8. 7. “Diet” sodas are OK … if you were already using them. “The jury is still out on this one,” says McCormick. Her advice: “If you used artificial sweeteners prior to starting your weight loss journey, it is probably still OK to enjoy the occasional diet beverage or snack,” she says. But if you didn’t use them before you started trying to lose weight, “I wouldn’t recommend starting to consume a lot of artificial sweeteners now solely to help with weight loss.”
  9. 9. 8. Smaller plates can help you eat less. Choosing the right sized plate can make all the difference in the amount you eat. Studies suggest that when people are given larger plates, cups or bags of food, they tend to eat more. So stick with smaller plates and take a break after you eat to give your stomach some time to tell your brain whether it’s full or not. “I only have salad plates in my house because those are the perfect way to keep portions in check,” says Knowles. “Portions sizes have increased over the years and plate sizes have, too. And when eating out, be mindful of the plate size and eyeball what that food would look like on a salad plate. It takes practice, but you can train your eye very easily to judge healthy portion sizes.”
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  12. 12. Thank You

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