Sunday, 22 April 2012

The No-diet Plan: The Easiest Way to Lose Weight Without Feeling Deprived

Let's face it, dieting is not fun. Eating is fun and moreover, necessary. However, if you, like many of us, have padded out with a few extra pounds this winter, you might be considering a slim-down plan for summer. 

Here's a secret: losing five to ten pounds doesn't have to be torture. Unless your eating habits have truly gone off the rails (in which case you should speak with your doctor who may refer you to a registered dietician or nutritionist), you don't need to, and shouldn't, drastically alter your regular routine. 

Crash diets are unhealthy. They cause unpleasant side effects such as dehydration, kidney stones, bad breath, and dizziness. Dramatically cutting back on calories can also lead to weight cycling—when you gain back more than you initially lost. In fact, the majority of dieters regain all those hard lost pounds plus more within a couple of years. 
The no-diet plan 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says the safest and most realistic weight loss goal is about one pound a week. Losing one pound means cutting back on about 3,500 calories. By eliminating 500 calories a day you will shed a pound a week at a healthy rate without feeling deprived. 

Rather than thinking of this strategy as a diet, look at it as a budget. If you are broke, you make a tasty, cheap cup of coffee at home rather than ordering a grande at Starbucks (or at least you should). How can you make the daily swaps in your eating and activity patterns that will be the least painful? 

Here are ways to cut or burn 50, 100, and 200 calories. Mix and match what works for you as long as the items you choose add up to 500 calories a day. You will soon be on the way to a sleeker physique, just in time for beach weather. Another benefit of swapping, trimming, and adding doable exercise is that your smart new habits will help you keep the weight off over the long run. 

50 calories 

Eat one piece of toast in instead of two, or have an open-faced sandwich 
Mix juice with half water 
Swap one cup of skim milk for one cup of whole milk 
Eat one small handful of nuts rather than one large handful 
Leave the cheese off your sandwich 
Swap mustard for mayo 
Leave the butter or oil off your vegetable 
Swap a turkey burger for a beef burger 
Swap vinaigrette for creamy salad dressing 
Skip one cookie 
Stand or pace when you are on the telephone instead of sitting 
Push a baby in a stroller for 15 minutes 
Cook a simple meal instead of ordering take out 
Mow the lawn 
Take the stairs (ten minutes per day) 
Do a quick stretch and free weight routine while watching TV 
Give a 15-minute massage .

100 calories 

Eat one medium apple or orange instead of drinking a glass of juice 
Skip eight ounces of juice 
Eat a small sandwich instead of a regular sandwich
Eat one rather than two eggs 
Eat one tablespoon of peanut butter instead of two 
Eat plain cheese or vegetable pizza instead of pepperoni or sausage pizza 
Eat broth-based soup instead of cream-based soup 
Eat a half-cup less rice or pasta 
Eat a baked potato instead of French fries 
Eat baked chips instead of fried chips 
Choose a skinless portion of chicken 
Cut a six ounce steak in half and save the rest 
Swap one cup of frozen yogurt for one cup of ice cream 
Eat a half a piece of cake or pie instead of a full serving 
Eat a cup of fruit instead of candy 
Skip a glass of beer or wine 
Choose light beer or wine instead of a cocktail 
Downsize your plates, bowls, and glasses 
Play with kids at the park for 30 minutes 
Walk a dog for 30 minutes 
Take an easy 45-minute bike ride 
Go shopping for an hour 

200 calories 
Swap one cup of Kellogg's All Bran or Corn Flakes with a teaspoon of sugar for one cup of granola 
Eat an English muffin with fruit only jam instead of a bagel with cream cheese 
Eat carrots and hummus instead of chips and guacamole 
Skip the bread and butter when dining out 
Skip dessert 
Skip a cocktail 
Skip a can of soda 
Bring air popped or light microwave popcorn to the movies 
Drink an espresso instead of a latte with sugar 
Order a salad and an appetizer instead of a starter and main course 
Skip seconds 
Eat sorbet instead of ice cream 
Dance for 30 minutes 
Go bowling for an hour 
Clean your house or garden for an hour 
Rearrange your living room 
Jog for 30 minutes 
Go to a yoga class 
Hand wash your car 
Park ¾ of a mile away from work and walk the rest (both ways) 

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