These aren’t just tricks of skinny chicks; they are tricks of Smart & Skinny chicks. They might be little things, but it’s the little things that add up and can make all the difference.
Think about it this way: You might do your 1hr workout that burns 350 calories, but then you eat a few bites here (150 calories), slurp a soda there (another 150 calories), and have one extra slice of pizza during your dinner, why not?… (that’s 400 calories- that’s why not). Yes, it’s the little things that count.
Here are the healthy “little things” that you can do to fight off fat:
Stop 3 Bites Short
By leaving 3 bites on your plate during every meal, you are saving yourself an average of 100 calories. Subtracting 100 unnecessary calories per day per meal from your daily count will keep those pounds from creeping up.
Eat 8 Bites of Protein
Portion control is one of the key components to weight loss and weight management. But it’s so hard to remember what 1 portion size of protein, carbs, veggies, etc… is. Here’s the general rule: 1 Serving Size of Protein = 8 Bites. While there are those diets that lean on protein as the main component to a dish, if you want to drop pounds and keep them off, your key ingredient needs to be veggies- especially greens. That doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Low fat sauces, some prep work , and a little salt to punch up the flavor can go a long way when it comes to green veggies- and you can eat LOTS of them! Protein though, an extra serving adds up (and will fatten you up). I’m not talking Atkins- obviously- I’m talking your daily, ongoing, sustainable healthy diet.
Love to Bake? Chew Gum While You’re Doing It
When I bake, I chew gum. Why? Because I happen to be a huge fan of cookie dough and, more often than not, the formed raw cookies don’t make it into the oven… Just a “little” hunk of cookie dough actually has a lot more fat and calories than you give it credit for. Think about that little hunk and its ability to expand into a gigantic cookie in the oven. Yes, a hunk here, and a hunk there, and suddenly you have devoured 5 cookies before the baking has even begun! Chew a piece of fresh flavor-bursting gum while baking to help you resist the urge to lick the spoon.
Not Every Day is a “Special Occasion”
Whether you eat a bit too many bites of cake on your birthday, your boyfriend’s birthday, or your best friend’s birthday; you indulge in an extra serving of turkey, pie, mashed potatoes, or tamales on one of the many annual holidays; or even if you just can’t help but dig into the ice cream carton on a rainy day- it’s okay… on occasion. Just remember that not every day is a holiday. That type of justification is how you get yourself into trouble. Oh, and remember that you don’t need to splurge just because it’s a “special occasion.” Do you really think that you will miss that slice of cake or that your sister will be pissed off (or even notice) if you don’t eat any? No.
Drink 8 glasses of Cold Water Daily
Here’s a trick: When you’re “hungry,” drink a glass of water first. Oftentimes we mistake hunger for thirst. Happens all the time actually. You guzzle a glass of water and suddenly realize that those hunger pangs… gone. Lots of us simply “forget” to drink enough water to stay adequately hydrated. In fact, the rule of thumb tends to be that “if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” Beyond hydration, water aids weight loss, makes you feel full, and the cold temperature causes your body to burn a few more calories to warm it up. Can’t stand the cold or the lack of flavor? Add a green tea bag to room temp water. The bag will infuse the water and give you a pleasantly flavored, antioxidant-boosted, energizing boost of hydration. Bottoms up!
Splurge, Don’t Gorge
If you splurge, don’t let that one setback end your healthy attitude. I know how easy it is to go into “well, I have already screwed up this healthy day, I may as well go all the way and really ruin it” mentality. NO! You have not ruined everything. Everyone caves every so often. One carton of ice cream is better than one carton of ice cream plus a bag of chips plus a pizza, and may as well add a cheeseburger while you’re at it… That’s called a binge. Think rationally and get back on track. If it makes you feel better, eat a little healthier the next day or workout for an extra hour that week. You have not completely sabotaged your program; you’ve just thrown a very easily remedied wrench into it. Get back on that healthy wagon and keep pushing forward.
Consider the Cause
If you find that you are in the above self-sabotaging situation often, maybe it’s time to start thinking about the cause. What is propelling you to over eat in the first place? If it was a holiday or special occasion- fine. But if it was because you were depressed, happy, bored or anxious, it’s time to address the issue. What was the cause of the splurge? How did you feel after? What can you do differently next time? If you come up with a list of healthy alternatives now, you won’t have to wrack your brain for one when in a moment of desperation later. Believe me…
Eat Off of a Smaller Plate
Instead of a big "dinner” plate, serve up your meal on a smaller "salad” plate. It’s probably the easiest way to trick your brain into thinking that you are consuming lots of food, while really eating only a little… or at least less. But here are 2 essential secrets to remember:
- -Don't make up for a lack of circumference by adding inches to the top and piling on the food like a pyramid!
- -Don't go back for seconds to make up for the decrease on size.
Go To Bed (just slightly) Hungry
Now, I'm not saying that Smart & Skinny chicks go to bed starving! Just a little hungry that’s all. You see, if you are a tad overweight, your body is used to consuming a specific amount of calories to support your current state of weight. If you cut your calorie count, you will likely feel it at first. It takes a few days for your body to readjust to the new norm. Again, not saying not to eat, or that you should go to bed starving, or that you should be on the verge of passing-out-hungry, or be awaken from your sleep because you’re stomach is rumbling… be smart chickadees.
That whole “5 small meals” thing actually works. If you eat several small meals instead of 3 big meals, you are keeping your metabolism stoked and continuously burning a higher rate of calories throughout the day. Therefore you will likely burn more fat and lose more weight even if you are eating slightly more food. The idea is to never feel full, but also never feel famished. Try to stay pretty even throughout the day. Yes- graze! Just make sure you are grazing on healthy food and not junk.
Start your Meal with an Orange or Soup
Why? Peel the orange before eating it and you stimulate your senses, making you more aware of what you’re eating. Then you’re more likely to eat mindfully. You are also eating a lot of liquid- oranges are filled with liquid which is filling and makes you feel fuller faster so that you eat less food during the rest of your meal. Same goes for soup. Not cream soups, but broth-based veggie soups. You might also find that, after the orange or soup you’re not very hungry at all. Why? Dehydration can cause you to think that you’re hungry when really you’re just thirsty.
Keep a Scooper in your Cereal Box
Trying to guess if you’re eating the correct serving size amount of cereal is generally a recipe for overeating. Stop eyeballing and get real by scooping out the correct serving size (ranging from ½ cup to 1 cup depending on the cereal) every time. At least then you’ll know exactly how many calories and grams of fat you’re consuming.
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