Want to stay skinny this year? If you want to get something done, you listen to people who got it done, right? So, we searched for ideas for staying fit from people who really do it like Padma Lakshmi, Shaun T, and Maria Menounos. We discovered the 50 best kept secrets and tips that you won’t get from your doctor or weight-loss guru.
1It’s better to be healthy than thin
Maria Menounos’ first tip is to stay healthy. According to her, health is the most important thing in your life and if you want to be thin, too, that’s a big plus for you. Many thin people can be unhealthy, living on energy drinks and soda and starving themselves. They don’t have a quality life and most of them are unhappy, too.
2Drink tea in the morning
Padma Lakshmi, the Top Chef host reveals that she always starts the day with ginger tea, which consists of black tea, milk, honey, ginger, and cardamom. Her breakfast ritual includes also a green juice with mint, beets, kale, carrots, apple, and ginger or a three-egg-white, one-yolk scramble.
3Have your coffee with heavy cream
Cassie Bjork, RD, LD, always order a plain cup of coffee, but she has it with heavy cream. Heavy cream is a healthy fat that gives you energy and brain power since it is a healthy fat. A benefit plus is that it makes your coffee taste more decadent.
4Crack the color code
You can get nutritional information through the pigment of the produce. Here are five different color categories of fruits and vegetables and their benefits to your health.
Whites– pears, bananas, onions, cauliflower, garlic. Health benefits- lower the risk of heart disease and reduce the LDL cholesterol levels
Greens– kiwi, spinach, broccoli, Brussels, honeydew, cabbage, sprouts. Health benefits- protect eyesight, teeth, and bones.
Blues and purples– blackberries, plums, blueberries, purple grapes, raisins, eggplant. Health benefits- reduce the risk of several types of cancer and keep your memory sharp.
Yellows and oranges– grapefruit, peaches, oranges, mangoes, cantaloupe, pineapple, carrots, squash. Health benefits- prevent eye diseases and improve the immune system.
Reds– strawberries, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, red apples, radishes, tomatoes. Health benefits- boost the blood flow to the heart and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
5Run a marathon, not a sprint
A long-term, gradual approach will provide better results when trying to lose weight. According to Maria, slow and steady is the most realistic and the smartest way to get slimmer. Such gradual changes in your lifestyle will prevent you from gaining back weight and will get you where you want to go.
6Pour a glass of Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is rich in resveratrol, which has been established like a blast fat. It contains five times more than the amount in California cabernet sauvignon.
7Treat yourself with a glass of Guinness
Sam Adam Light was recognized for its discernable nutty flavor and full body at the Light Beer Taste Test. Most of the beers have fewer than 175 calories, but even the extra-heady brew contains 250. It’s the extra heft of carbohydrates that make the beer different than other alcoholic beverages.
8Avoid THIS type of soda
It’s commonly known that all sodas are bad for your health. But, fruity ones carry more sugar and contain more artificial colors- chemicals that can be associated with concentration and behavioral problems in children.
9Make PB + JS
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the perfect post-workout snack. It contains approximately 400 calories, 20-30 grams of protein and 50-65 grams of carbohydrates. A small bowl of pasta or lean meat can do the trick, too.
10Don’t buy bottled spices
Spices’ essential oils fade with time, so instead of buying bottled spice that you would use only twice a year, buy them on markets or specialized stores where you can choose an amount that fits your needs. It’s cheaper and you’ll get fresh and potent spices.
11Choose the right cut
Skirt or flank steaks are lean cuts that contain rich deep and beefy flavor. And it will cost you half the price that you would buy for a tenderloin steak.
12Power up your pasta
Pasta meals are often considered bad because of a lack of substantive nutrition. However, you can improve your pasta dish by adding 8 ounces of grilled rotisserie chicken, 8 ounces of sliced cremini or button mushrooms prepared with onion and garlic, or 8 cups of spinach stirred with the pasta.
Meats like bison, venison, and ostrich contain the same amount of protein and iron as pork but have fewer calories and fat. A buffalo burger has approximately two grams of fat and 24 grams of protein as opposed to 10 grams of fat contained in an average hamburger.
14No fancy crackers
Your body runs on chemical energy and it’s fueled by the oxidation of carbohydrates, fats, and protein that occur in our cells’ mitochondria. So, you need to track fats, protein, and carbohydrates in addition to calories when evaluating your foods.
15Divide and dine
Here is a golden rule: divide your meal in and eat half. Wait for 10 minutes before you dig in the second half. That way your stomach will have enough time to digest it and decide whether you have had enough.
16Go for 100
Cornell University food and brand lab conducted an experiment giving the participants a single bag containing 100 Wheat Thins or smaller bags with 25 Thins each. Those given the big bag ate around 20% more. Bottom line- stick with the small 100- calorie packs.
17Work the perimeter
In supermarkets essential products like bread, milk, and eggs replaced in the back and along the perimeter of the supermarket so that the costumes travel to each part of the store and expose themselves to multiple temptations on the way. So, next time, just go straight forward to your product.
18Check yourself out
Approximately 80% of candy and 61% of the salty-snack purchases are impulsive buys. But, that number tends to drop significantly when using the self-checkout aisle.
19Organic is not healthy
Organic doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Some of the companies use ‘organic’ just for marketing and still fill up the yogurt or crackers with high amounts of unhealthy organic high-fructose corn syrup.
20Play with squash
Spaghetti squash is an excellent alternative to pasta. You’ll feel that you’re eating noodles, but you’ll get a vegetable dose.
21Scan for new brands
Bear in mind that lesser-known brands are often more affordable and healthier than the big-name products.
Packagers want to look nutritionally appealing, so they are likely to make an error concerning the nutritional value. Tufts University conducted a research which showed that frozen supermarket meals’ calorie count averaged 8% less than the nutritional analyses.
23Drink away your heart attack
Replacing the sodas, bottled teas, energy and sports drinks, juices and vitamin waters with lean beverages will get you the healthy benefits of the visceral fat. Drink more water, unsweetened tea and coffee and milk.
24Shop on Wednesday
Midweek late night shopping will enable you to get in and out quickly, thus resisting any temptation.
The prepared food bought in groceries is a quick and low-cost choice that has been highly demanded in the recent years. However, nutrition of these products can be concerning because supermarkets are usually just looking to maximize profits. So, next time go for a rotisserie chicken- it is versatile, healthy and really affordable.
26Push a cart
People using a pushing shopping cart instead of carrying a basket are more likely to resist the quick-grab impulse. If you carry a heavy basket around you won’t take time to make smart choices.
27Read between lines
Don’t reach always for the item that sounds healthy. Here’s a strategy: find the unhealthiest word on any item and let it guide you. When you’re reading a nutritional value of a fish fry is not about the fish, it is about the fry.
The healthiest choice is to eat for balance. Any product ‘low’ in one thing is normally high in something else.
29Don’t call snacks ‘meals’
A dinner is not a snack. If you do snack, do it healthy. A good snack is in 100-250 calorie range and will help you lose weight.
30Stay on top of the toppings
Even a healthy avocado grilled chicken sandwich can become a calorie monster if you eat it with a bacon, swiss and mayonnaise topping.
31Make sure ‘grilled’ means grilled
Most restaurants use a grill that is actually a flame grill, using a generous amount of oil. If that’s the situation, ask for the broiled meat which will give you the similar effect, only healthier.
32Recognize salad decoys
‘Decoy marketing’ is part of the restaurant trade as a way to make you order cheaper, more caloric food. You’ll choose a ‘healthy option’ like salad and feel on track with your diet goals. The reality is that you will eat larger and more caloric meal with calorie count similar to that of a burger.
34Be wary of a natural
The word ‘natural’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘organic’ or ‘ no additives’. Products like ‘Wendy’s Natural-Cut Fries’ still contain added sugars and additives and are far from a healthy choice.
35Skip the vegetables sometimes
Many restaurants put veggie sandwiches in the menus in order to offer nutritious-sounding menus. But, remember that it’s all about the toppings. Even a healthy meal can be drowned in a sea of bad calories.
The French phrase ‘mise en place’ means ‘have all ingredients ready before start cooking’. This is essential with stir-frying. Dice and chop everything you’ll need and measure out the sauces and condiments. Also, make sure you have salt and pepper at arm’s length.
Umami is intense savory flavor found in tomatoes, Parmesan, and mushrooms. Bottom line: the more umami, the tastier food.
Curcumin is an antioxidant known to fight bacteria, inflammation, cancer, cholesterol and a number of other maladies. And it resides in turmeric, giving the currie the characteristic hue. The culinary choices with curry are endless.
39Become wrap artist
Eating a wrap made of large lettuce leaves is like eating a burrito for a quarter of the calories.
40Harissa should be your secret weapon
The hot red pasta sauce made from chilies, garlic, and variety of spices is great for boosting your metabolism. Mix it with yogurt and use it as a dip, marinade or spread- the choice is yours.
41Blend Plant Protein Smoothie
Protein smoothies are delicious and high in nutrition. But, many of the commercial drinks are filled with chemicals that can lead to inflammation and bloat. Make sure you try vegan protein which will give you all the benefits, without the bloat.
42Take a walk before breakfast
Exposure to sunlight in between the hour of 8 a.m and noon will reduce the risk of weight gain since it synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes.
43Don’t get thirsty
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Make sure you carry a bottle of water everywhere you go.
44You need the cheese
According to Fabio Viviani, chef and Top Chef alum state that cooking should be fun. Make sure you add your own personality to it and enjoy everything in moderation.
45And champagne also
Balance is the key. It’s ok to indulge sometimes in something that is bad for your health, but good for your soul!
46Have a carb curfew
Axing carbs at night pitch the fat burning switch by increasing the amount of fat burning hormones released while asleep. That is why participants in Extreme Weight Loss always consume high-protein and high-fat meals for dinner, instead of starchy and sugary carbs like potatoes and quinoa.
47Be ready for anything
Chris Powell’s number one diet tip is to prepare your meals in advance and always have a healthy snack like almonds with you.
48Keep it clean
To succeed in your dietary plan remove all temptation from your kitchen and restock it with healthy groceries- fruits and veggies, almonds, turkey, chicken, fish, lean proteins, and eggs.
49Put down the smartphone
Diners who are distracted during mealtime are more likely to consume more foods since your brain can’t register the experience.
50Learn to take a joke
15 minutes of laughing can help you burn 10-40 calories. Also, happy people have an all-around healthier lifestyle.