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Posted by SusySedano | February 12, 2012 | 0 Comments
By Dr. Larry Deutsch and Dr. Jeff Schweitzer
Just like love, losing weight can feel like a complex equation. But that doesn’t mean success is a lost cause. That’s because dieting—or the process of choosing what to eat—isn’t as complicated as it seems.
In fact, any good fat loss plan really consists of three simple rules:
If you forget everything else and do these three things, you will see results. If you eat just a little bit less each day – for example, by cutting a half a piece of toast off of your breakfast plate, or taking a small handful of cereal out of your usual morning bowl – you will take the steps needed towards making change.
What won’t work? Self-deprivation. People who cut out every treat for the sake of a diet usually fall off track sooner or later, and sometimes wind up bingeing. So the key to long-term, sustained weight loss is to satisfy your needs without completely sacrificing what you enjoy.
On this Valentine’s Day, you can keep your relationship on track without derailing your weight loss plan. Here are five small changes you can make to indulge intelligently on the holiday of love, so you can get all of those traditional pleasures in a healthier way.
1. Instead of: A box of chocolates
Try: An edible fruit arrangement
Still a thoughtful gift for your loved one, most fruits are low in calories per gram because they have high water and fiber content. Chocolate is empty nutrition, a high energy density food, meaning the calories are more densely packed into the sweet than a piece of fruit. Timing may be everything on this one, so give your sweetie a fruit arrangement in the morning, when they’re more used to having those types of foods, rather than after dinner when they might be craving something richer.
2. Instead of: Chocolate covered strawberries
Try: Strawberries with light whipped cream
When you eat whipped cream, most of what you are eating is air. One or two tablespoons of light whipped cream typically have less than 30 calories and little to no fat. A little dollop on strawberries is a delicious alternative to dipping them in high-calorie, high-fat chocolate.
3. Instead of: Eating out at a restaurant
Try: Cooking dinner at home
At home you can control your portion sizes and what goes into your meals. At a restaurant, most people have more difficulty avoiding high-caloric food and giant sized portions. Plus, dining at home can be much more intimate and personal than eating out. Your perfect night in can offer just the right food, hassle-free parking, and no rude waiters.
4. Instead of: A cocktail
Try: Red wine
Alcohol may seem innocent but it’s loaded with calories. When you add in mixers, juice, sugar, and other ingredients, the calories can really add up. A glass of red wine, in moderation, is lower in calories and has been shown to increase levels of "good" cholesterol and protect against artery damage.
5. Instead of: Cookies or cupcakes for the little valentine in your life
Try: A smaller portion of their favorite treat
Putting your little one on the road to healthy eating can never start too early. When you enjoy a delicious dessert with your kids, cut down their portion size by about 10 percent. This little change will keep calories in control – and it’s unlikely that they’ll notice that an extra spoonful of icing is missing.
Follow these guidelines, and you and your loved ones can have a Valentine’s Day that’s just as delicious, but a little healthier. And over time, small changes yield big results.
Dr. Larry Deutsch and Dr. Jeff Schweitzer are the authors of the new book “Calorie Wars: Fat, Fact and Fiction.” Deutsch is a family physician and hypnotherapist with over 35 years of experience, while Schweitzer is a biologist and consultant who served at the White House during the Clinton Administration as Assistant Director for International Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology. For more information, please visit www.DrLarry.com or www.JeffSchweitzer.com.