Feel great with these healthy eating tips:
1. Take a tip from weight loss spas: Eat off smaller plates and your portion size will appear larger.
2. When eating out, choose your entrée from the appetizer menu, or split an entrée with a friend.
3. Load up your pizza with plenty of veggies like mushrooms, onions, green pepper, red pepper, extra tomatoes, black or green olives, or spinach. Skip the fatty meat (you’ll never notice.)
4. Tired? Get up from your desk, walk around a bit, and pour yourself a tall glass of water. Chances are, you’ll feel better.
5. Eat your calories, don’t drink them. Steer clear of beverages with added sugars, including sweetened coffee drinks and fruit beverages. Research suggests that beverage calories add to weight gain.
6. Worried about eating frozen entrees from time to time? They’re OK, but check the labels and select those with whole grains and lower sodium levels.
7. What’s better to start your morning: coffee, tea or diet cola? Both coffee and tea contain healthful antioxidants, so enjoy either (in moderation.)
8. Choose whole grains by looking for the term “whole” as the first ingredient. Some examples include
brown rice, barley, oatmeal, whole wheat couscous, Rye Krisp, Triscuits, whole wheat pasta and bulgur (cracked wheat).
9. Are your pants getting snug, but you don’t know why? Track your eating habits by writing down everything you put in your mouth. You may be surprised at how the calories add up.
10. Another reason to cut trans fats is weight gain. Research suggests that trans fats put on more weight at the same calorie level as other fats. That fat typically lands on your belly.
11. Brush your teeth after dinner if evening snacking is a problem.
12. Eating a large salad of mixed greens before or with a meal helps fill you up. Ditto for a cup of broth-based vegetable soup.
13. Need a snack? Reach for baked corn chips with salsa or 100 calorie mini-bags of low fat popcorn. Salsa “counts” as a vegetable and popcorn is a whole grain.
14. Include a source of protein at every meal, including breakfast, to keep you going until the next meal.
15. Get more sleep if you are trying to manage your weight. Sleep deprivation can increase the hormone that makes us hungry, and decrease the hormone that makes us feel full.
16. Chewing gum, when you want a snack, can work wonders. Preliminary research suggests gum chewing also helps you think better.
17. Stay hydrated in both cold AND warm weather. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and even weight gain. How do you know if you’re drinking enough water? Your urine should be the color of straw or lemon juice.
18. Beware of energy bars and drinks. Here, the term “energy” means calories. Energy bars and drinks can be a source of unnecessary calories.
19. Chances are your weight gain happened gradually. Most people gain so slowly they can’t figure out how it happened. Lose weight the same way: Make small changes, like eating smaller portions that, over time, add up to looser clothes. The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.
20. Steer clear of buffets. They are trouble. We are programmed to eat more when there is an attractive variety. Stick to ordering off a menu.
21. Realize it takes 21 days to make a new habit. Keep reminding yourself of your original motivation when you are trying to change. It’s all about progress, not perfection.
22. Practice “hara hachi bu.” That’s what Okinawan for “stop eating when you are 80% full.” Your stomach stretch receptors take about 20 minutes to tell you you’re full after a meal. If you stop at 80%, you’ll likely be satisfied 20 minutes later. (This is another reason to eat slowly.)
23. Choose more whole, unprocessed foods (think produce department) while at the grocery store. You’ll eat healthier while also saving money.
24. If weight loss is your goal, hang a picture of yourself looking the way you’d like to look (or someone you want to look like) on your refrigerator. You’ll have motivation to make a healthy choice each time you have a meal or snack.
25. The next time the urge to snack hits, allow yourself that snack AFTER you’ve first eaten a piece of fresh fruit.
Was it something you ate? Summer food safety tips:
1. Food safety rules have changed in recent years. Under-cooked meats and other protein foods used to be the culprits, but now fresh produce is causing more and more outbreaks of foodborne illness.
2. Most people think of grilled meats as a healthier option because the food is not fried and the fat drips into the grill (instead of staying in the food.) Yet studies have linked frequent consumption of grilled meats with a higher rate of cancer. Simple cooking and preparation strategies can dramatically lower the risks. Microwave foods for about a minute before grilling. Precooking shortens the time they’re out on the grill. And use marinades. They set up a barrier against heat that lowers the creation of heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, thought to trigger tumors. And flip your meats often, which lowers the temperature.
3. The type of grill can impact how healthful foods are. A gas grill is a better option for reducing the production of carcinogens because it’s easier to control the temperature and the flame height. High flames can create charred and blackened spots that should NOT be eaten.
4. The danger zone for holding foods is between 40º F and 140º F. During cooler months, limit the amount of time perishables are within that temperature zone to two hours. But in warmer or humid weather, that changes. Keep foods within that temperature range only ONE hour.
5. Kitchen sponges and dish cloths can harbor foodborne pathogens, yeasts and molds. You can keep yours clean by microwaving it while wet for one minute. Or run it through your dishwasher along with the glasses. (Make sure you use the germ-busting drying cycle.) Either way, 99.9% of the harmful bacteria are destroyed.
6. Rules for leftovers: 2 hours – 2 inches – 4 days
• 2 hours from oven to refrigerator
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of cooking. Otherwise, throw them away.
• 2 inches thick to cool it quick
Store food at a shallow depth – about 2 inches – to speed chilling
• 4 days in the refrigerator – otherwise freeze it.
Use leftovers from the refrigerator within 4 days. Reheat solid leftovers to 165ºF and
liquid leftovers to a rolling boil.
7. Did you know that handwashing has been shown to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness by half?
8. The safest way to grocery shop? Save your meat and dairy purchases until last, and place meats in the air-conditioned front seat of the car (or use a cooler in the back). Make your food shopping the last of your errands, then head straight home!
9. Interestingly, organic produce may not be any safer than conventionally grown produce.
Link to the latest Food and Drug Administration update on the Salmonella outbreak in tomatoes:
How long can you leave picnic food out? Take my summer food safety quiz and learn how to keep healthy: