Top 10 Stay Slim Secrets
Use these top 10 tips to shave a few pounds and help improve your health.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Most New Year resolutions include weight loss and with most Americans overweight, who doesn’t want to shed a few pounds? After all, weight creeps up year after year and it becomes harder and harder to keep those youthful figures as you get older. Why? We tend to eat the same, sometimes more especially around the holidays, and exercise less. Compound that with a slower metabolism that decelerates about two percent each decade after the age of 25 and it is no wonder the numbers on the scale gradually go up.
Staying slim is not just about eating more broccoli. Finding the right combination of a nutritious diet, regular physical activity and simple lifestyle changes may help you find your stay-slim trifecta for weight loss.
It’s a journey, not a race and the slow and steady approach is ideal. Typically, losing about 1-2 pounds per week is the recommended rate of weight loss that can be sustained long term.
You can lose it quicker but the fast and furious weight loss approaches are often based on fad diets and the lost weight usually returns with vengeance.
Weight loss of any kind should be appreciated. You may not achieve your dream weight but losing as little as 5-10 percent of your body weight may come with a multitude of health benefits that my help to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugars and more.
Waist Slimming Basics
Consider these tips to help whittle your waistline while still enjoying the pleasures of delicious food and decadent indulgences.
- Don’t try to be perfect, it is a recipe for disaster. People who usually have the most success managing their weight aim to eat healthy and exercise 80 percent of the time, while allowing reasonable indulgences 20 percent of the time.
- Eat healthy food that fills you up but won’t fill you out. Enjoy an abundance of naturally healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, eggs and plenty of good old-fashioned water.
- Eat every few hours and never skip breakfast. When you eat frequently, and control how much you eat each time, you can speed up metabolism, feel full, balance blood sugar levels and get long-lasting energy. A handful of nuts and dried fruit, veggies and hummus, Greek yogurt with fruit are a few examples of healthy mini meals.
- No excuses. Don’t let busy schedules derail your fitness efforts. Try to do something physical for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Walking counts.
- Use free trackers or your own diary to log your food and physical activity. These tools may help make you aware of your eating and activity patterns and help motivate you to stay on track.
- Make fitness fun. Playing tennis, riding your bike, swimming, dancing are just a few examples of physical activities that feel more like fun than exercise. Enjoying a sport, activity or playing on a team combines competition and camaraderie with stay-healthy exercise and may make it easier to be a part of your daily life.
- Think of food like a budget and save room for your favorites. If you have a sweet tooth or love a glass of wine with dinner, you can enjoy these foods. Eat an open-faced sandwich and use those saved calories for that special treat. Making trade-offs will allow you to squeeze in 100-200 discretionary calories.
- Weigh in regularly to keep your weight in check. Don’t rely on how your pants fit. Weigh yourself at least once a week to avoid weight creep.
- Eat mindfully. Make every bite count by being mindful of what you eat. Eat slowly, mindfully, and try not to multi task so you can concentrate on your meal and never eat anything that doesn’t taste good.
- Protein at every meal. Include 1-2 servings of protein at each meal to help reduce hunger and avoid between meal snacking. Nut butters, nuts, beans, low-fat cheese, lean meats, edamame, tofu and eggs are just a few protein-rich options that you can pair with whole grains, fruits or vegetables.