The American Dietetic Association recently released a master list of the top 100 Smartest Diet Tips. Ever. Created by a team of their expert dietitians in response to some of the toughest diet dilemmas that calorie-counting Americans face, this list covers it all. From sneaky ways to get in your fruit and veggies to helpful hints on portion control, the list is exhaustive.
What is refreshing about this list is that it is not just about food per se. Many items on the list focus on the emotionality of eating, particularly in women and how stress and anxiety play into our urge to overeat.
Many items on list were common sense: Start eating breakfast, don’t supersize anything, and switch from whole-milk dairy to reduced fat or 1 percent.
But many of them were quite original. Here are five of my favorite diet tips from the list that I try to apply to day-to-day eating routine:
1) Make the most caloric item on your plate the smallest in size and make the vegetable item your plate the largest. (As long as the veggies aren’t swimming in butter, cream, cheese or oil.)
2) Spend the extra dollar or two and buy your veggies pre-washed and pre-cut in bags. Same goes for lettuce. It makes mixing together a healthy salad a much faster alternative to wandering around the kitchen munching on a bag of pretzels mulling over what I’m going to have for dinner. Four-hundred empty carb calories later, I’m no longer hungry and not satisfied.
3) If you’re having a dinner or holiday party, send your guests home with leftovers, especially the ooey-gooey ones. Maybe you’re the host who is too busy tending to your party guests to take a moment and eat. What happens is that once they leave and you settle into the kitchen to clean up, the plate of brownies, cheese platter and cupcakes are quicker to land in your mouth than in a piece of sealed tupperware. I love this tip and live the holiday season by it!
4) Think yoga‘s too serene to burn calories? Think again. You can burn 250 to 350 calories during an hour-long class (that’s as much as you’d burn from an hour of walking)! Plus, you’ll improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. My favorite kind of yoga is Ashtanga yoga. It combines cardiovascular work with strength and flexibility training that uses your own body weight for resistance.
5) Get calories from foods you chew, not beverages. Peeling and eating an orange is so much more satisfying than guzzling down 200 calories worth of OJ. Same goes for crunching on an apple versus sipping apple juice. Plus, you get the benefits of the fruit’s fiber when you eat it whole.
Here is the complete list of the 100 smartest diet tips. It’s thorough, simple and truly smart! Live by this 100-thick credo and you’ll never have to worry about your weight again.