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Lose that holiday weight without juices, shakes or gyms

BY CARLYE WAXMAN, RD  |  Once the ball drops in Times Square and 2012 has officially been ushered in, another countdown starts — in the form of a ticking clock that tells you it’s time to drop those bad habits from 2011 and embrace that resolution to make some positive changes. For many of us, that promised change involves losing weight.

This does not mean falling victim to a weight loss pill, a kale-eating contest or a juice “cleanse” to melt your pounds away (if only it were that simple). Don’t let the fads get you this year. Achieve your goal the healthy and smart way — and save yourself some cash.

THREE WAYS TO BE FIT WITHOUT JOINING A GYM

Joining a gym is a great idea…if you’re a gym person. But if you’re the kind of person who ends up getting a gym membership just to say you have one, then save your money. There are plenty of ways to stay fit without joining a gym.

Groupon.com has “Now!” deals for fitness. Try a Yoga, Pilates or Zumba class (some end up being only $8-$10 per class). If you end up liking an activity, go with it. Research shows if you switch up your regimen and do something that you wouldn’t normally do, you’ll see results faster.

Netflix has a great $7.99/month membership for their online videos.  If you have an Apple TV, you can stream this right on your screen. They have tons of workout videos, from Pilates to high impact dancing. That sure beats the cost of a gym membership (these days, running from $80-$200 a month), and you can do it in your own home.  Start off with two or three classes a week, then build up your goal.

Interactive video games are a big hit these days. Pick one that you enjoy; one you feel others will enjoy too — then invite a friend over.

LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DRINKING YOUR MEALS, STARVING OR QUITTING SUGAR

Juice “cleanses” and fasts are pretty common around this time of year. I should know, because my best friend always chooses this as her start off to “feeling good” in the new year. But she’s usually cranky, feels sick for the first few days and removes herself from social situations. On top of this, she never loses true weight from this method — and ends up craving real foods to the point of eating like a person who’s been on a desert island for 12 months. Some cleanses are over $200 a week for the product and they try to get you to buy their supplements. Have I made my point yet?

You do not need to “cleanse” yourself with these fasts. Naturally, if you eat more fruits and vegetables (which is what 99% of these “cleanses” are made up of), then you are off to a good start. So let’s build on that.

REPLACE YOUR SNACKS:

No longer should you rely on potato chips, pretzels or cookies (sorry). Pairing is the key. Make a “Super Snack” that will help you get through the day without feeling hunger. This is what a snack is for. You need a protein (a lean one) and a carbohydrate (a grainy one). Here are three options (kept within 200-300 calories).

—Yogurt and fruit: Try Fage 0%, with one banana and 1 tbsp honey; or Chobani Blueberry 0%, with 1 cup of frozen blueberries.

—1 tbsp Peanut butter, 1 tsp jelly and one multigrain English muffin.

—1 small vanilla frozen yogurt, with 20 almonds and 1 cup of frozen strawberries, thawed.

OMIT FRIED FOODS:

You certainly don’t need them in your diet. Once you cut them out, you won’t want them as badly as you used to. Remember, one French fry leads to many.

LEAN PROTEIN, 80% OF THE WEEK:

Try 0% yogurt, 2% cottage cheese, 85-95% fat free chicken and meats, tofu, egg whites, 0% Greek yogurt, skim milk, pork loin, ham, roast beef and turkey. These are the dietitian-approved leaner protein foods. Include them daily. When you feel like having a hearty steak or an ice cream shake, save it for one day a week.

BUY MEASURING CUPS:

Do not skip this part because you think it is tedious. When you measure, you are more in tune with what a portion should look like. It also gives you a better outlook on how much you should be eating out. Since weight loss is basically 100% portion control, this is the most crucial step.

PLAN YOUR DAY:

Take a minute in the morning (or the night before) to plan out your meals. Spend your calories like you would manage your bank account.  If you have 1,600 calories to spend for the day and want to eat three big meals and one small, how will you divide those calories? When are you most hungry? If you think this way, you’ll most likely plan your meals correctly and keep yourself from hunger. This could lead to more exercise, seeing as you would have more energy. Here’s a sample one-day “thought process.”

Plan: 1,500 calories

BREAKFAST:

(my least hungry part of the day…250 calories)

1 banana (100)

1 plain yogurt, 0% (80)

1 tbsp honey (60)

Coffee with skim milk and one Splenda (20)

LUNCH:

(my hungriest part of the day…600 calories)

1 cup of lentil soup (200)

2 slices of whole grain bread (160-200)

2oz of turkey (90)

1 slice of cheese (100)

Lettuce, tomato and side salad no dressing

SNACK:

(before the gym…250 calories)

1 whole grain English muffin (I like Thomas’s hearty grains) (130)

1 tbsp peanut butter (100)

Half of a banana (50)

 

DINNER:

(usually hungry; kind of late, don’t want to eat too much…400 calories)

3oz grilled chicken (150)

2 cups of raw broccoli (60) (place in microwave with 1tbsp water and steam for 3 minutes) add parmesan cheese (30), 1 pat of butter (30) salt and pepper to taste)

Half of an acorn squash, with sugar free maple syrup and 1 pat of butter, melted (110). Roast the cut side up in the oven, at 350 degrees, for 40 minutes.

DESSERT:

(I really shouldn’t but I need SOMETHING…130 calories)

2 chocolate kisses (50), 1 cup frozen mango (or any frozen fruit) (80)

Following a balanced plan like this, along working out three times a week, should have you shedding pounds in no time!

Comments

  1. This is really informative post on weight loss, and I personally would like to appreciate your efforts. Once again thanks for your post.

    It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, 30-minute workout easily tucked under your belt.