Snacks can keep your diet on track by preventing your hunger from getting out of control. But if you don’t pick the right ones, in healthy amounts, they can derail your diet instead. Foods with protein and fiber make especially satisfying snacks—they help keep you full on few calories. Try carrots and hummus, nonfat cottage cheese and orange slices, plain nonfat yogurt and diced pear, almonds and raisins, or an apple with almond butter.
Pictured Recipe: Chocolate-Cherry Snack Bars
Today’s Editor’s Tip:
Forget embarking on a dramatic diet shake-up (read: cutting out all carbs or having cabbage soup every day). You’re better off making tiny adjustments that you can permanently adopt, research reveals. Volunteers in an online healthy-eating challenge were given easy-to-implement tips (“Drink 8 cups of water a day” or “Only snack at the kitchen table”). Those who followed the tips for more than 25 days each month had more success dropping pounds than those who complied less often. “Making small, consistent changes fits more easily into people’s routines [than radically altering your diet],” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., EatingWell advisor and professor of marketing at Cornell University. Remember that healthy eating is a long-term way of life, not a limited-time crash diet.
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Having a plan helps you reach for healthy foods when you arrive home ravenous or need a snack in a pinch when you’re on the go, instead of relying on convenience foods or vending machines. When you make a plan and stock your fridge with cut-up fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks, these nutritious choices become “convenience” food because they’re ready when you need them. If you are following our meal plan, you’re in luck—all the meals and snacks are planned for you. And, if you’re not, check it out here—you might like to try it.
Pictured Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice
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There are certain tricks you can use to change your food environment (think: your kitchen, pantry and desk) and set yourself up for weight-loss success. Research shows our behavior is directly influenced by what our eyes perceive, even when we know better. Using smaller plates can help you eat less without even realizing it. So, for example, you’ll serve—and eat—less of your meal on a 7-inch plate than a 9-inch plate because it looks more satisfying. Choosing a 1-cup dessert or cereal bowl instead of a soup bowl, and a 6-ounce wineglass rather than a goblet, should also help you feel more satisfied. It may seem counterintuitive, but big silverware may help too. A University of Utah study found that when people took bigger bites (using a fork that was 20 percent larger than a regular restaurant fork) they ate less overall.
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You’re reaching for healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, but that doesn’t give you license to eat as much as you want. The calories can really add up, so watch your portions. A 1-teaspoon pour of olive oil is 40 calories, while 1 tablespoon is 120 calories. 3 ounces of chicken breast is 100 calories, but most breasts at the store are upwards of 8-10 ounces, so you could easily be consuming an extra 150-250 calories. One-third cup of oatmeal has 100 calories, but a half cup has 150. One ounce of almonds has 165 calories; 2 ounces, 330 calories. Those differences may be small individually, but together can add up quickly. And while putting everything into measuring cups can get old, it will get easier to eyeball portion sizes as you go along....read full post »