On A Weight Loss Plan -- Lose Even More!

Plan to eat two to three hours and pack health snacks to go. People who skip meals, especially breakfast, are more likely to be obese. Eating small, frequent meals helps keep blood glucose levels consistent and minimizes the impulse to overeat. "To-go snack options include a mix of dried fruits and nuts, fresh fruits, cut-up veggies or yogurt.

Add flax seed. Most supermarkets sell milled flax seed. I put two tablespoons of milled flax seed in a glass of orange juice and it makes me feel full all day. It has fat, but it's a good fat.

Substitute with whole-grain foods. Foods that are rich in whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals, are better alternatives than their starchy counterparts, including white rice, white bread and sugared cereals. Not only will you cut fat and calories, but whole grains have been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Are you a fast-food junkie? If you love French fries, you don't have to give them up, just order a smaller size -a large fries is 520 calories, but a small fries is only 230 calories. Swap a Big Mac (560 calories) for a plain hamburger (260 calories).

Try having just a little bit less. If you decrease the amount of peanut butter you use from 3 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon, you'll save 200 calories. Then play a game of tennis and burn 328 calories in an hour.

Revise your afternoon snack attach. Swap 10 small rice cakes for a snack bag of potato chips and save 400 calories. Or swap an apple (80 calories) for a large chocolate chip cookie (220 calories.) Trade your 12-ounce can of soda (150 calories) for diet cola or iced tea with sugar substitute (0 calories) or water. Reducing soda intake may be a good long-term change as well: 2 cans at 300 calories a day for 365 days is 100,800 calories a year. Wow!

Plan a healthy meal and lose. Sauté vegetables, meat or chicken in broth (1 calorie per tablespoon) or use non-stick cooking spray instead of oil, margarine, or butter and save 120 calories. Top a baked potato with 2 tablespoons of salsa (30 calories) or non-fat sour cream (30 calories) instead of butter (100 calories) or regular sour cream (120 calories), and avoid 70 to 90 calories. Steam veggies with some flavored vinegar instead of sautéing in fat, and save 100 calories.

Dump the dressing. Instead of a Caesar salad, substitute salad with lots of veggies and 2 tablespoons of non-fat salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, flavored vinegar or lemon juice, and you'll knock off at least 220 calories.

Have a craving for pasta? Don't ignore it, indulge! But have fettuccine pomodoro (with tomato sauce), not Alfredo (with cream sauce), and save 500 calories. Cut your portion size in half and save even more.

Skip the red meat occasionally. For dinner, have shrimp instead of steak: 20 boiled shrimp equal 106 calories versus a 5-ounce steak at 470 -- 364 fewer calories. After eating, walk the dog for a half hour and burn 82 calories.

Beware of prepared or microwave meats. They often have high calorie and sodium levels, so read labels carefully. Instead of choosing a breaded sole-fillet dinner (430 calories), opt for a frozen yellowfin tuna steak (168 calories) and save 262 calories. Take the kids out for a game of miniature golf and burn 285 calories.

Don't give up dessert. Just swap your Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia Low Fat Yogurt Pop (260 calories) for a half cup of Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt (170 calories) and save 90 calories.

Author: Susan Rutter -- Publisher, Nutritionist, and Instructor who assists patients and the public make healthy choices and changes in their lives. Web Site: Healthy YOUbbies http://www.geocities.com/healthyoubbies/

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