10 Tips for Safe Dieting

1) Exercise by doing something you love. Walk with your dog or a friend; garden; swim (great for aching joints; low impact sport); ride a bike; golf. Doing it is better than watching it. Park a little farther away from your destination and walk. Don’t use the elevator for the whole 10 floors; walk up one or two flights.

2) The mind-body-spirit connection is real (according to Drs. Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra). When it’s in balance, you feel better and are less likely to overeat, over-medicate, and over-indulge in negative “comfort habits.” Meditate, de-stress, read for enjoyment, find things that make you laugh.

3) Exert yourself while doing household chores: fold the laundry with exaggerated movements; move your legs while you’re on the computer; dance from room to room; exercise while watching TV. Movers” tend to burn more calories, which add up to pounds.

4) Don’t keep junk food like potato chips, cookies, salty canned soups, high calorie snacks and drinks within sight. They shouldn’t be in your food pantry to begin with, but if your family won’t give them up, hide them. Avoid temptation.

5) Eat the good stuff! Read food labels until you know which products you can trust. Buy healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ve got to eat some carbs to feel full. Avoid “empty calories” in non nutritious white breads, rice and potatoes; go for brown rice, whole wheat breads, and sweet potatoes or yams. If you’re a meat eater, a 3-oz. portion is what is recommended.

The most colorful fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious: dark green broccoli, peas, and green beans; red beets, strawberries and tomatoes; orange carrots and cantaloupe; yellow beans and squash; white cauliflower. Mix them up in salads and home-made soups. (For more help, check out the new food pyramid at http://www.mypyramid.gov/ and let it help you create a personalized diet plan.) Flash-frozen, low calorie, healthy dinners can also help control calories with controlled portions that you can heat and eat. Research Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” and Lean Cuisine frozen meals.

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6) Plan ahead. Serve smaller portions on smaller plates. It looks like more. It’s a psychological trick that works.

7) Drink more liquids, and don’t undervalue pure water. You’ll feel fuller and it will help keep your bowels regular. Beware of foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners. They are associated with overweight people. Maybe chubby people resort to them to avoid calories, but new evidence suggests that, because they aren’t getting the sweetness they crave, people overindulge in real sugar products when temptation becomes too strong. Natural herbal teas, black tea, and green tea and moderate amounts of black coffee can give you the liquids you need without the calories.

Don’t count on most fruit juices to give you what you need. An 8-oz. glass of juice holds 100 to 140 calories and too much of the “potent natural compounds” is lost. Eat the whole fruit with skin and peels – fresh or frozen – and it’ll curb your appetitie with natural sugars while giving you more food value for the calories. (Nurition Action Healthletter)

But a glass or two of cranberry juice cocktail (with about 27% cranberry juice) may help prevent urinary tract infections. And a daily glass of 100% pomegranate juice over several months seems to help men with prostate problems. (Healthletter)

8) Ask your family and friends for support. Avoid saboteurs.

9) Substitute lower calorie foods for commonly eaten higher calorie foods: 1% or non fat milk for whole milk; fat-free margarine instead of butter (5 calories vs. 100 per tablespoon); low-cal desserts (some are great AND satisfying).

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10) Reward yourself with non-food items. Instead of overindulging on chocolate, buy something nice for yourself. It will last longer, and it will remind you of your great progress in a new, healthier life style.


http://www.mypyramid.gov. The food pyramid with government-recommended daily food values, diet suggestions, and information on how to create a personalized diet plan.

Deepak Chopra, M.D, director of the Institute for Mind-Body Medicine in CA and Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., motvational speaker, “Living Beyond Miracles,” CD, 1993.

“Whole Fruit vs. Juice,” Nutrition Action Healthletter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, June 2009.

Rooting for Fruit,” by David Schardt, Nutrition Action Healthletter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, June 2009.