January 16, 2012

7 Weight Loss Tips

Diet for a New America

It's no secret that more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Add to that our indulgences over the holidays, and it's quite likely that most of us need to shed a few pounds. (Ouch!)

The USDA's dietary guidelines (2010) puts the spotlight on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity. Here are a few of the helpful hightlights.

Focus on fruits and vegetables, filling half to two-thirds of your plate with healthy dark green, red and orange options. Beans and legumes are a good choice too.

2. Be sure you're eating a healthy diversity of proteins. Replace a beef, chicken or pork entre with eight ounces of fish at least once each week.

3. Choose fat-free and low-fat (1-percent) dairy products.

4. Stay hydrated with water (or unsweetend tea) instead of sugary sodas and sweetened fruit juices. Add a dash of citrus for flavor. I use zero-carb Stevia to sweeten my beverages.

5. Cut back on salt. The experts say that taste buds adjust to less salt in just six weeks. Scrutinze food labels, and add salt at the table, after tasting your food.

6. Buy unprocessed foods; eat an apple instead of apple juice, baked sweet potato instead of chips, regular oatmeal instead of instant.

7. Remember, size matters. It's easy to memorize visual cues for healthy portions. For meat (a deck of cards); potato (computer mouse); cheese (four dice); and one tablespoon of butter (the tip of your thumb).

Source: "Diet for a New America" published in Sprouts Magazine (July/August 2011).

Photos: Betty Crocker Recipes (Flickr) & megabeth.net

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