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How to Get Leaner with Simple Changes

By Sandy Schroeder

Summer raises the bar as we all resolve to eat less and run more, while a few simple changes could be the better choice. Plunging into an all-or-nothing fitness/diet push can be hard to do and doomed to failure, according to Real Simple.

Lesley Lutes, PhD, Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, suggests, “Find the one small change that works for you.”

Lutes asks her patients to record everything they eat for a week and track their steps. Then they review the data and make three to five small 100-calorie changes in their diet. When that works, they often move on to bigger changes.

Here are some more tips.

Only eat when you are hungry - Mindless eating in front of the TV or computer, and eating just because it's meal time, can add a lot of unnecessary calories to your day. Let your appetite dictate when you eat and enjoy your meal.

Change the calorie picture - Load up the fridge with green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, green onions, and broccoli, along with apples, pears, grapes and oranges. Then add yogurt, nuts and fish or chicken. Portion control drops back as the healthy food calorie count easily wins over junk food chips, burgers, fries and processed meats.

Watch the scale - Checking in daily has proven to be a way to impose a 24-hour reminder on food choices. Keep a running record and look for weekly trends.

Keep the protein coming - Eat 24 to 35 grams of protein at each meal to keep the body satisfied throughout the day to reduce food cravings and late night snacking.

Eat the vegetables first - Starting with a single vegetable or a salad when you are the hungriest can help you eat fewer calories during the meal.

Start with water - Researchers found participants who drank two cups of water before meals lost almost three more pounds than the control group.

Avoid eating on the run - Grabbing a bagel on the way out the door for breakfast and munching a burger while you power through a deadline at work can easily sabotage your diet. Focus on regular meals. Then sit down to eat them without other distractions. Eating while moving leads to mindless eating with lots of extra calories.

Get some sleep - Researchers say losing 30 minutes of sleep on weeknights can lead to ongoing weight gain. Shoot for the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and come as close as you can most of the time. If you can manage it, set your alarm for 30 minutes later.

If these strategies work, hang onto them even when you have reached your goal to make it easy to maintain a good weight.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Missouri City, Tex.

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