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Do This-Not That

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DO eat slowly. Take the time to savor your food. 

DO eat lightly. Don’t eat to the point of being uncomfortably full. 

DON’T skip meals. Ever. 

DON’T eat fried foods – your body will thank you. 

DO watch portion sizes. You’d be surprised how much this matters in a healthy lifestyle. 

DO organize your meals. Preparation makes a huge difference. 

DO eat breakfast every day. Your mom wasn’t lying when she said it’s the most important meal of the day!

DO chew your food thoroughly.

DO eat enough for breakfast! A cup of coffee is NOT breakfast. You’re fueling your entire day – eat accordingly. 

DO choose lean cuts of meat. Fatty cuts do you no good. 

DON’T fall victim to fad dieting. It may work for a while, but it’s not a lifestyle and WILL fail eventually. 

DO properly space out your meals to avoid bingeing, and to keep your metabolism roaring.

DO try to eat six small meals a day.

DO limit yourself to a single serving. Still hungry? Wait 20 minutes and see how hungry you are then.

DO try to eat every two to three hours.

DO try to make smart choices every time you eat.

DON’T eat foods with high fructose corn syrup.

DON’T eat foods with partially hydrogenated oil.

DO eat within 20 minutes of workout completion – your body needs to refuel.

DON’T keep food in your house that you do not want to eat. Nip temptation in the bud; if it’s not there, you can’t eat it!

DON’T beat yourself up if you give in to temptation or overeat. Tomorrow is another day. 

DO fill a small plate with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over.

DO plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead?

DO buy single-serving packages of your favorite foods for built-in portion control, or measure out single servings into baggies or containers.

DO eat your vegetables raw whenever you can. Raw vegetables are extremely filling, and contain plenty of enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins beneficial to optimal health.

DO know that it’s not about what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but rather what you eat between New Year’s Day and Christmas. 

DON’T bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.

DO skimp on butters and creamy dressings and sauces, using just enough for taste (if any at all). Try a baked potato flavored with salsa rather than butter, and forgo the "secret sauce" on your favorite burger. There are plenty of healthy alternatives. 

DO blot the fat from greasy foods, like cheese pizza or burgers, as it’s worth the effort. One napkin could easily soak up a teaspoon of grease, five grams of fat, and 40 calories from two slices of pizza alone. 

DO drink water throughout the day, before, during, and after meals to help curb your appetite. Oftentimes, people think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty or dehydrated. Dehydration can also slow the metabolism.

DO add flavor to foods without excess calories and fat using herbs, fresh or dried. An added bonus: studies show that spicy foods, flavored with red peppers or chili peppers, may boost metabolism and help you to stop eating sooner. 

DON’T stand around the snack table chatting at a party. You may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you’re eating.

DO read food labels. Labels are essential to choosing healthy portion sizes. At a quick glance, a bottle of juice (or bag of chips, candy bar, or frozen entrée) may appear to contain 100 calories, but a closer look will reveal that the package includes two or more servings, which doubles the caloric content. 

DO measure portion sizes after familiarizing yourself with them. Be exact if cooking at home, but when eating out, think about common objects. Two tablespoons of peanut butter, mayo, or dressing is about the size of a golf ball. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand. A medium piece of fruit is similar to a baseball.

DO replace high-fat and high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables. These essentials are low in calories, but high in volume, fiber and nutrients, which can give a feeling of fullness. They make great snacks and are easy to pack. 

DO stick to whole foods as much as possible. A potato is a better option than an order of fries, just as an apple is healthier than a slice of apple pie. 

DO hold the fat. It’s important to remember that not all fats are bad. Certain oils (olive, canola), and nuts are nutritious and healthy to eat. However, fat does have more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein (nine, four, and four, respectively). And generally, people consume too much of the wrong kinds of fats, which means excessive calories. 

DO drink water, not alcohol. Not only does alcohol contain seven calories per gram, but it also lowers self-control when it comes to food. Limit your alcohol intake and your body will thank you. DO save alcohol for a post-meal indulgence if you’re going to drink, rather than drinking it before or with food. Studies show that alcohol lowers inhibitions and control when it comes to eating, causing people to eat more than those who waited to drink after finishing a meal.

DO limit the amount of oil you use when cooking by using a non-stick pan. You can also use sprayable oils (avoid substitutes and go for the real olive and canola oil sprays) to coat your pans with virtually zero calories. A MISTO sprayer, available in department stores, can evenly distribute 1/2 teaspoon of oil or salad dressing, compared to the two to three teaspoons that you would usually pour on for the same purpose – saving you 100 calories. 

DO keep a daily log of foods consumed. Studies show that people tend to underestimate how much they really eat every day. In doing so, we consume too many calories without realizing it and subsequently gain weight. Research shows that keeping a log by recording exercise and food intake is one of the best predictors of successful weight loss. Keeping a written record can point out your eating patterns (eating in front of the TV or in the car, eating the same breakfast every day), triggers (stress, sadness, boredom, time of day), and areas where nutritional changes can be made. You may find that you are eating less fruit than you thought or drinking too much soda. You’re daily log will let you know where you can implement healthy changes.

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