DietsInReview.com has your bum covered when it comes to having 2010 be the year you meet your health and weight loss goals. So just to make sure you have no excuse not to lose those 10, 20 or 50 pounds, or banish all trans-fats from your diet, here are 101 of our best diet tips to help you finally achieve the health of your dreams.
1. Notice the internal obstacles that keep you from meeting your health goals and work to overcome them. Reach for the Oreos whenever you have a fight with your partner? Work out your emotional stress constructively rather than through food.
2. Investigate what external obstacles are keeping you from achieving your health goals and work around them. Always work late? Get up early to exercise.
3. Add more fiber to your diet and eat your sushi with fiber-packed brown rice rather than plain white.
4. Add slices of fresh cucumber and fresh mint springs to regular water for a clean and refreshing twist on plain old H20.
5. Don’t wait for May to get in shape. Make small health goals all year-round so that you’re always striving to look, be and feel your best, 365 days a year.
6. Use chopped mushrooms in place of ground meat or poultry to save calories, reduce your carbon footprint and give your nutrition a healthy boost.
7. Reduce your environmental impact: Skip the treadmill and hit the trails for your cardio workout.
8. If you don’t already have a strength-training workout routine, commit to one this New Year. If you one already, amp it up and make new muscle-defining goals. Jennifer Aniston’s arms anyone?
9. Side-lined by an injury? Ask your physical therapist about testing out a new low-impact workout like yoga or Pilates to maintain your shape and your mood.
10. Use caution with diet supplements, as many of them have been linked to side effects and potentially dangerous ingredients.
11. Cut your risk for depression in half by eating two or more servings of cold-water fish a week. Try wild-caught salmon or mackerel.
12. Protect your gut by adding fermented foods like miso, tempeh and sauerkraut to your diet.
13. When the weather is warm enough, do your errands on foot or bike. It’s an easy way to stay slim, fit and organized.
14. Consume plenty of dark leafy greens to slash your risk of colon cancer.
15. Need an easy way to eat more greens? Toss spinach, kale or mustard greens in your salad for a flavor and nutrition punch.
16. To bump your happiness, spend money on an experience like a trip or concert that will leave you with memories rather than towards a material item or fancy meal.
17. Add green or red chilies, which contain capsaicin, a natural metabolism booster, to your next batch of chili.
18. Indulge in a serving of low-fat and calcium-rich Greek yogurt to boost your body’s ability to metabolize fat.
19. Load up on iron-rich foods like fortified cereals and dark leafy greens to keep your fitness level in tip-top shape.
20. Make breakfast a regular priority and reduce your risk of obesity. Oatmeal, fruit smoothies and eggs are great ways to start the day right.
21. Use a high fiber cereal for a healthy crunchy coating to chicken strips or string cheese for a low-fat version of fried cheese sticks.
22. Blend in flax seeds with your berry smoothie to bump up fiber, healthy fats and texture.
23. Organic potato chips are still junk food even though they may contain less processed ingredients. Just because the label says “organic” doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
24. Keep frozen wild blueberries in your freezer all year round. They are super nutritious and easy to use in smoothies, muffin batter or stirred into oatmeal.
25. Think that egg-white omelet at your favorite brunch hang-out is fat-free? Think again. Ask for it prepared dry or with cooking spray rather than oil or butter.
26. Savor 30-calories of dark chocolate a day to lower blood pressure, recommends medical researchers in Germany. One dark Hershey Kiss or a small square of your favorite dark chocolate bar should do the trick.
27. Use jars of baby food like squash, sweet potatoes and bananas in recipes for an easy and inexpensive healthy replacement to oil.
28. Spend one weekend afternoon cooking up healthy eats for the week so you can grab and go Monday through Friday. Think veggie-packed soups and protein-rich frittatas.
29. If you are nutty for nuts, control portion size and calories by buying 100-calorie snack packs of almonds and walnuts.
30. Eat your carbs like the Italians do: Either eat the bread and skip the pasta or nosh on the fettuccine and nix the focaccia.
31. Going out for an extravagant meal? Plan for it early by eating light throughout the day. Think fruit, salads and green tea.
32. A 3-ounce portion of buffalo meat is lower in calories than the same size amount of chicken, beef or turkey.
33. Adding healthy spices like turmeric, cumin and cinnamon to your cooking may reduce inflammation and improve health.
34. Women of child-bearing age and children should drastically limit the amount of mercury-containing tuna they consume. Opt for wild-caught salmon and small shellfish instead.
35. Tired of the same salad? Chop up your veggies and grilled chicken breast in bite-sized pieces for a new twist on your healthy lunch.
36. Think of housework as exercise and mop your kitchen floor and dust your window ledges with more vigor.
37. Go vegetarian for two or more main meals a week. Support the planet, your health and your bank account.
38. Learn from kid’s eating habits: Think small and frequent mini-meals comprised of whole foods. Think grapes, cheese and crackers or peanut butter on a celery stalk.
39. Protect your wallet (and your waist) – don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
40. For a lower glycemic sweet punch, try agave nectar. It’s minimally processed and won’t send your blood sugars into a whirlwind.
41. No time for exercise? Lift weights, do jumping jacks and do lunges while you watch your favorite television show.
42. Eating more plant-based foods is better for your waist and the planet.
43. Eating your leafy greens, nuts and fish may reduce your risk for eye problems later in life.
44. Don’t overestimate the number of calories exercise burns – one 20-minute walk burns a mere 100 calories.
45. Scientists speculate that each of us have a genetically-determined weight that spans about 30 pounds.
46. Love carbs? Try and eat them in the morning so that your body has all day to burn them off.
47. Our taste buds get bored after just three bites – Something to consider as you put another forkful of mashed potatoes into your mouth.
48. Use ice cube trays to freeze leftover pasta sauces rather than throwing away an almost-full jar.
49. Sticking to a Mediterranean Diet may help prevent heart disease, cancer and even ward off depression.
50. To keep snacking calories in check, count out 10-15 nuts rather than dipping handful after handful into the jar.
51. To monitor portions and eat less, dish up your food in the kitchen rather than taking serving bowls to the table.
52. Cold-weather got you down? Purchase a rebounder or a mini-trampoline to ward off winter blues and keep your metabolism on fire.
53. Get creative with fiber: Add black beans to brownie batter and whole oats to meatloaf or burgers.
54. Bored with your usual morning oatmeal? Try other whole grains like quinoa, millet or bulgur. Add your favorite toppings for a flavorful and healthy breakfast change.
55. Avoid late-night snacking: Shut off the kitchen lights and hang a sign on the refrigerator that reads that the kitchen is closed until morning.
56. Stand up as much as you can, even if it’s just when you’re on the phone. You burn more calories standing on two feet rather than sitting down on two cheeks.
57. Make date-night active by taking a dance class, playing a game of doubles tennis or lacing up your skates and hitting a rink.
58. Invest in a set of blue dinner plates to suppress your appetite. Theory has it that since few foods in nature are blue except blueberries or blue potatoes, our brains turn off the signal to eat.
59. Watching sodium? Add salt just as you’re ready to eat your meal rather than during the cooking process.
60. Eat strawberries for a bright and whiter smile. The berries’ malic acid removes stains and whitens teeth.
61. Does the smell of food make you eat more? Burn a perfumed candle while you dine to distract your snifter.
62. Forget about low-carb or low-fat. The best way to lose weight is to simply cut calories and move more.
63. Need a tea change? Try white tea, which actually boasts more antioxidants than its sister, green tea, even though they come from the same plant.
64. Choose wild-caught salmon over farm-raised, which has far less heart-healthy benefits.
65. Be social without food as the main attraction – take a hike with a friend, join a book club or take a sewing class together.
66. Schedule meals and workouts in your daily planner just as you would an office meeting or lunch date in order to stick to them.
67. Eat a protein-packed meal an hour after you workout to refuel muscles and help them recover.
68. Skip creamy salad dressings. Add fresh chunky salsa or pico de gallo on top of your greens for an extra flavor and veggie boost.
69. Make your favorite green or herbal teas and then chill for a cool take on your antioxidant-rich beverage.
70. Think outside the traditional barbeque box and grill up bananas, peaches, chunks of lettuce, mushrooms, mangoes and pineapple.
71. Starting in her 30s, a woman’s metabolism slows down by about 5 percent each decade. Curb the consequences by exercising more and eating more vegetables.
72. Prevent age-related weight gain by exercising regularly, adding a strength-training program to your workout and eating a whole-foods diet.
73. In addition to sunscreen, don other sun-protective gear when you exercise outside like a visor and UV-protected sunglasses to reduce risk of sunburn.
74. When choosing a vitamin D supplement, look for those with D3, not D2, which is a less absorbable form.
75. Love crispy noodles in your salads? Swap out these fried calorie bombs for a high fiber cereal like Fiber One to retain the crunch but not the fat.
76. Grab an afternoon siesta whenever you can to boost energy and keep fat-producing hormones at bay.
77. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep at night to keep hunger and appetite hormones in balance.
78. Keep a set of workout clothes in your car at all times so you never have an excuse to not hit the gym after work.
79. Dip your fork tongs into your dressing lightly rather than forking your salad and then dipping into the dressing. You’ll save heaps of calories.
80. Make breakfast or lunch your biggest meal of the day and eat lightly for dinner. Metabolism tends to slow as the day goes on.
81. If you think you’re over-pouring your cereal, use a measuring cup and follow the nutrition facts for the per-serving information. You might be surprised by how many calories your bowl of Cheerios has.
82. For quality over quantity, shave thin slices of strong-flavored cheeses like Parmesan or Asiago on your salad or in your pasta.
83. Can’t live without your occasional sausage fix? Opt for a vegetarian-style of sausage patties or links. They taste eerily similar to the non-veg ones and contain far less calories and fat. Morningstar gets gold stars from meat naysayers.
84. Reducing your calorie intake by 20 to 25 percent may result in a longer lifespan and ward off age-related diseases.
85. If you only have 20 minutes to exercise, combine bouts of moderate intensity minutes with high intensity ones on your favorite cardio machine.
86. If you’re not a breakfast person, opt for a quick fruit smoothie or a low-sugar, high-fiber cereal bar to start your day.
87. After losing those first five pounds, reward yourself with a new workout tank top or yoga mat rather than a slice of turtle cheesecake.
88. When a sweet craving hits, pop a piece of sugarless gum in your mouth or suck on a lollipop to satiate a sugar need.
89. Try a sugar fast for one week: Omit all processed sugar from your diet and rely only on fruits to quell your sweet tooth.
90. Order a child-sized ice cream cone rather than an adult size. You’ll save a few quarters and more than a few calories but still quench your craving for the cold treat.
91. Try a whole foods meal for a change: Slice an apple and pair with a slice of good quality cheese, a quarter of an avocado and a small handful of walnuts and almonds.
92. Squash your burger craving with a vegetarian alternative. Season or marinate a Portobello mushroom cap and grill. You’ll save hundreds of calories and saturated fat grams and get a nutrition boost.
93. If you’re a fan of the scale, weigh yourself just once a week under the same conditions – same clothes, same time of day, etc.
94. If won’t allow a scale in your home, use a form-fitting pair of jeans as your “scale.” If they feel snug, eat light for a few days.
95. Start your day with a glass of room temperature water with a slice of lemon in it to stoke your digestion and rehydrate after a night’s sleep.
96. Eat too much? Take a few laps around the neighborhood. The bit of exercise will fuel your metabolic fire and make you feel infinitely better.
97. Look around eBay for cookbooks that are a few decades old. Serving sizes for recipes are smaller, which means instant portion control for you.
98. Experts recommend holding off on stretching before a workout and saving it for after when muscles are warmed up.
99. While citrus like grapefruit and pomelos are excellent sources of vitamin C, they can also interrupt with the potency of certain medications. Talk to your pharmacist for your safe pill-popping instructions.
100. Focus on one or two health goals you want to tackle rather than overhauling your entire lifestyle.
101. Remember, it takes a solid three weeks before a change becomes a habit. Keep this in mind when motivation turns soft around January 10th.
January 1st, 2010