Weight No More! We’ve Got The Best Doctor-Approved Diet Tips

January 14, 2012  |  
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We’ve all heard about celebrity crash diets such as the cabbage soup diet and fruit juice-only diets, but what are some diet tips that don’t only show instant results, but last too? Well “weight” no more, we’ve found  8 doctor-approved tips that not only show results, but are healthy too!

1. Snack, but smartly!

Grazing between meals used to be a weight-loss no-no, but nutritionists now know that it’s better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, or a medium-size bowl of edamame.  It’s very important not to deprive your body when you are trying to lose weight.  Sure you might be able to spend most of the day gulping water and drinking coffee, but by the end of the day you will start craving food, any food, and probably make a terrible choice! (ie: a trip to McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or any of your favorite fast-food joints.)

2. Turn off the TV

Dining while viewing can make you take in 40 percent more calories than usual, reports a new study. And texting, driving, or any other distracting activity during a meal can also result in your eating too much. Instead, make each meal something you put on a plate and sit down to, even if you’re eating solo.

3. Step on the scale daily

If your regular weight increases several days in a row, it’s a red flag letting you know you need to cut back a little or beef up your workouts slightly.  That being said, your weight will fluxuate in the day, usually weighing the most in the evening.  This is a normal occurance so don’t worry.  Just keep a mental note of what your last number was and in a couple days try again.  If you do this more than 3 times and see a gradual increase, you might need to start adjusting your diet and increase physical activity.

4. Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away

Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  “It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food,” says chef Laura Pansiero, RD.  You’re also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that’s not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. More than 200 studies have documented the disease-preventing qualities of phytochemicals found in produce, says Pansiero. Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate.

5. Listen to your body

Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger, suggests Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry?  “Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it,” she says.  When you’re done eating, you should feel better, not stuffed, bloated, or tired.  “Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably,” says May.Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.

6. Be choosy about nighttime snacks

Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax.  “Sitting down with a bag of chips or cookies in front of the television is an example of eating amnesia, where you mindlessly eat without being hungry, but out of habit,” says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Malena Perdomo, RD. Either close down the kitchen after a certain hour, or allow yourself a low-calorie snack, like a 100-calorie pack of cookies or a half-cup scoop of low-fat ice cream. Once you find that you’re usually satisfied with the low-cal snack, try a cup of zero-calorie tea, suggests Perdomo.

7. Enjoy your favorite foods

Putting your favorite foods off limits leads to weight gain because it triggers ‘rebound’ overeating.  Instead of cutting out your favorite foods altogether, be a slim shopper. Buy one fresh bakery cookie instead of a box, or a small portion of candy from the bulk bins instead of a whole bag.  “You can enjoy your favorite foods, but you must do so in moderation.

8. Enjoy your treats away from home

When you need a treat, Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, suggests taking a walk to your local ice cream parlor or planning a family outing.  “By making it into an adventure, you don’t have to worry about the temptation of having treats in the house, and it is a fun and pleasurable way to make it work when you are trying to lose weight,” says Krieger.  And for those times you just can’t get out? Krieger stocks her kitchen with fresh fruit, which she thinks can be every bit as delicious as any other dessert.

9. Eat several mini-meals during the day

If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you’re hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging.  “Studies show people who eat 4-5 meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight,” says obesity researcher Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD.  She recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying as many of them as you can early in the day. Dinner is therefore the last time you should eat.


10. Eat protein at every meal

Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and thus may be the new secret weapon in weight control.  “Diets higher in protein [and] moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss,” says University of Illinois protein researcher Donald Layman, PhD.  Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.

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