If you’re my age, you know Paul Simon’s song, “50 Ways to Leave Your lover.” In case you don’t know it, the chorus goes….
“…..You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free….”
It’s catchy, although I’m glad no man has used one of these ways to “leave” me yet in my life. The song was my inspiration for the title of the post. I hope you find it “catchy.”
Weight loss experts agree that the only way to win the war against fat is to develop simple changes in how we eat and upping the activity in our daily lives. Together, these help us consumer fewer calories and burn more calories. When we do this, we lose weight. Most of us gain a pound or two every year after age 30 so these steps are designed to halt that weight “creepage” that happens to so many of us.
Each of these tips will shave approximately 100 calories from your diet. This is part one of a two-part article. The second 25 tips will be posted on Wednesday, May 2.
1-25 Ways to Lose Your Blubber
- Eat two to three bites less at each meal. Surprisingly, just a few bites from three meals will spare you significant calories. Because our portions are almost always more than we need, you won’t even notice. Have just three bites less of a typical breakfast, lunch or dinner main course and you’ll save yourself 100 calories.
- Walk or job an extra mile. Whether your walk, run or sprint, a mile burns about 100 calories. It just takes a lot longer when you’re strolling along.
- Eat your calories, don’t drink ‘em. Because the body doesn’t compensate for calories from liquids as well as it does from foods you chew, make a mental note of how much calorie-laden drinks you’re downing. Replace just eight-ounces of soda a day with water or a calorie-free beverage and you’ll be several pounds lighter a year from now.
- When eating out, downsize your order. Always order the smallest size beverage, burger and enjoy appetizer sized dinners instead of the regular size on menus.
- Keep TV watching to less than two hours a day. Think of your TV and computer screens as double-fudge brownies…you must limit exposure to them.
- Invest in nonstick pans for cooking and look at oil misters like Gourme Mist, which provides a small amount of misted oil that you can use when cooking or on salads. You’ll save 100 calories for every tablespoon of oil or butter you don’t use.
- Turn your back to the buffet table at parties, so you can’t see or be tempted by all the food choices. When our eyes can’t see treats, we eat a lot less.
- Make simple subs when cooking and backing. Cut sugar by 1/3 in all recipes; use applesauce or prune puree to replace half the fat in baked goods. You can replace 100% of the fat with applesauce in brownies or a moist cake and they’ll still come out great.
- Substituting a piece of candy for fruit or veggies once daily will save you over 100 calories. Plus, the fiber in the produce will help keep you fuller longer.
- Drink from tall, thin glasses. Research from the University of Illinois found that consumers drink, on average, 77 percent more when they drink out of short, squat glasses compared to tall, thin glasses. The amount of liquid calories is perceived as less when served in a short, wide glass.
- Why sit when you can stand and why stand when you can walk. Standing for 50 minutes daily equals 100 calories and 15 minutes of walking equals 100 calories.
- Downsize your plates and bowls. Seriously. If you eat out of large containers or from large plates, you’re going to eat more calories-probably much more than 100 calories. Dinner plates should not be larger than 9 inches in diameter.
- Eat breakfast. No matter what it is, people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories in total during the day. However, a protein-rich breakfast is best because it provides a better appetite control than carbohydrate-rich breakfasts. For a lunch or dinner, make your meal from a salad. Add lean protein to it to keep you satisfied.
- Eat three squares and two snacks a day. For most people, that eating pattern helps keep energy levels up and keeps you from getting ravenous from not eating for long periods of time.
- Sleep More. There’s a reason it’s called “beauty” sleep. Research shows that getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night can help you stick with healthier eating and helps control hunger-related hormones that trigger food cravings.
- Move during TV commercials. If you walk around, march in place or do simple calisthenics during TV commercials, you’ll burn at least 100 calories during your two-hour TV limit (tip number 5).
- Eat during daylight not when it’s dark. Our bodies are built to burn calories by day not by night. That’s one of the reasons shift workers have a harder time controlling their appetite and weight. Research found that those who eat more calories after 8 pm are more likely to be overweight or obese.
- Instead of drinking a 20-ounce bottle of soda, fruit juice or other sweetened beverage at one time, make it last for 2 1/2 servings (as the label states). Dilute 100% juices with seltzer or plain water if you need to drink more.
- Strong is the new skinny. Adding two pounds of muscle means that your body will burn an extra 100 calories a day (at rest). Muscle is many times more metabolically active than fat, which is why muscular people can eat more than a comparable-sized person with less muscle.
- Clean your house. Just 30 minutes of tidying up equals 100 calories to help lighten you up, adds Smith. (Soon you’ll be tossing out the clothes that are too big for you.)
- Plain is best for your waistline. When it comes to chips, ice cream, frozen desserts or yogurt and pretty much all foods, the more plain the flavor, the lower the calories. Stick with original or plain as much as you can to shave significant calories.
- Eat your fruit fresh, not dried. Snack on 10 grapes instead of a mini box of raisins and you’ll save yourself 100 calories.
- When you eat, eat. Don’t read, watch TV or do anything else. Being mindful of what you’re eating and how full you fill will help teach you better hunger management skills.
- Find a healthy social network. If your friends, colleagues or family sabotage your weight loss efforts, seek out healthy communities online like this website and our Facebook page. Look for social media outlets where you can connect with dietitians who specialize in weight loss.
- Find your “thinspiration.” I’m always motivated by sports and athletic goals and I keep “boards” on Pinterest with fit, healthy women’s bodies that provide me the inspiration I need to kick my butt in the gym most days of the week.
Reflect on why you want to lose excess body fat and the payoffs you’ll get from the process of making healthier choices over unhealthy options. Do you have a significant anniversary coming up, a major birthday? Whatever it is, find something to help kick-start your healthier habits.