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Physician, nutritional expert and author of "The Calendar Diet," Dr. Melina Jampolis shares tips to shake up your weight loss routine and develop healthier habits.
Tackle food, exercise and behavior.
Usually life is the thing that gets in the way of you reaching your goals. So you need a plan to conquer the things that get you off track like long weekends, summer barbecues and family events. For successful weight loss, you really need to tackle three critical components: food, exercise and behavior. You can't achieve success without addressing all of those areas.
Eat seasonally to save money and calories.
When it comes to eating, everyone knows two of the most important components of a healthy diet are fruits and vegetables. But say you are not a fan of fruits and vegetables or you are bored with what you have eaten to date. The best thing I can suggest is find out what's in season and then incorporate it into the foods you already eat or should be eating. This will save you calories and add nutrition to your diet while still saving you money. Vegetables are hands down the best diet food. Packed with water and fiber, they are low in calories and high in nutrients. And summer is the time to load up on seasonal fruit and back off on starch to balance things out.
Get motivated with new exercises.
Building a more active lifestyle is the key to weight loss success and summer is a great time to start. Exercise isn't just about hitting the gym. You can actually burn more calories leading an active lifestyle. Now that the weather is better, challenge yourself to try something new and active. Have you always dreamed of surfing? Take a few lessons! Never picked up a racket, rent or buy a tennis racket and hit the ball around with the family. Haven't jumped on a trampoline since you were a kid? It's a great way to exercise. Twenty minutes of jumping on a trampoline burns more calories than an hour of walking on a flat surface.
Use smaller bowls for portion control.
We eat with our eyes, not with our stomachs. And to add to that portion sizes at restaurants and at home have increased almost as rapidly as our weight in this country. To control portion size some of you might have tried eating off a salad plate instead of a regular sized plate. But why not shrink your bowls too? My husband started eating everything out of our toddler's bowls and lost 10 pounds. If you eat things like cereal, ice cream or frozen yogurt out of smaller bowls, you could lose up to 3 to 5 pounds effortlessly. You can also pre-package your meals in small storage bags so you know your portions ahead of time so you don't overeat.
Serve on a monochromatic place setting.
If you eat off a plate and tablecloth that are the same color but a different color than your food, you will actually eat less. The best example of this is a white plate and tablecloth with red food like pasta with red sauce. There is a sort of optical illusion created that triggers your brain to serve less so therefore you eat less.
Makeover your barbecue plate.
I have created what I call a barbecue plate "makeover." On one side I have a burger with a regular bun, potato salad, lemonade and a brownie for dessert, which is pretty typical barbecue faire. The new version gets rid of the bun and uses thin sandwich bread instead. In addition if you add ground mushrooms to ground beef you can save up to 200 calories. Also toss out the potato salad because of the mayonnaise and other ingredients and opt for a pasta salad with light dressing and veggies. Next swap lemonade which is full of sugar for iced tea with fresh lemon. And lastly that brownie will pack on the pounds so instead choose some strawberries dipped in chocolate. You get the chocolate kick and the sweetness of a summer fruit, strawberries.