WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The desire to lose weight ranks among the top resolutions of the year. Here, tips from Sally Gabriel, PhD, a certified health coach who runs a program called Second Act Weight Loss with offices in White Plains and Sarasota, FL.
- Get adequate sleep: Lack of sleep (ideally you need seven to eight hours a night) disturbs our appetite regulation.
- Eat mindfully: Sit down and really enjoy your meal. Eating with awareness saves a lot of calories. Avoid reading, texting, watching TV or doing anything that pulls your attention away from the tastes in your mouth.
- Trade protein and healthy fat for carbs: Protein and fat keep us fuller longer than carbohydrates. In addition they keep our blood sugar steady, thereby decreasing cravings.
- Portion size control counts: Eat your meals on small plates.
- Switch from three large meals a day to five to six small meals of fiber, protein and fat: This is key to keeping our blood sugar stable and optimizing our metabolism.
- Try the three bite rule: When you want something sweet or not-so-healthy, eat just three bites mindfully, and then stop. Usually the first three bites are the ones we savor the most.
- When you eat at a restaurant, divide the plate in half, and ask for a take-out container immediately: Restaurant portions in are often two to three times larger than we need or eat at home.
- Refuse the bread at a restaurant: No exceptions!
- Aim for 64 ounces of water a day. Water clears out the wastes in our system and helps immensely with weight loss.
- Switch to whole grain products instead of white, including rice, pasta, breads, and potatoes (switch to sweet potatoes): Eat less of these foods than you did in 2014. White carbs are the primary culprits in weight gain and in the inability to lose weight.
- Keep healthy snacks handy, both in your fridge and with you during your workday: Examples include cut up veggies, nuts (small handful), hard-boiled eggs, apples with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, yogurt, and cheese sticks.
- Eat at least one green salad every day: Include dark greens and whatever cut-up raw veggies you enjoy. Raw veggies provide necessary vitamins and minerals and the enzymes we need to digest our food properly. And go light on the salad dressing.
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