The Best Diet Tips You’ve Never Heard

You’ve probably heard them all: put your fork down in between bites, snack on fruit when you want something sweet, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Diet tips can start to sound monotonous after a while, and maybe even obvious. But if they were so obvious, wouldn’t we be more apt to follow them? We went in search of some of the best diet tips you’ve never heard before, and a few notable dietitians gave us some great material that we know will help you kick-off your healthy new year’s habits!

Tips for Hunger Pangs

  • “At your first hint of feeling full, place your napkin over your plate.” – Mary Hartley, RD, MPH and director of nutrition for Calorie Count
  • Wait for hunger to eat… hunger is the sign the body needs food. If you feel tempted to snack, but aren’t hungry, set a 20 minute timer and distract yourself.” Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM

Tips for Portioning and Serving Sizes

  • Cut your sandwich into four pieces, it makes it easier to leave the last piece.” – Hartley
  • Use small serving spoons. Even four spoonfuls will still be a little.” – Hartley

Tips for Breakfast

  • “If you switch from half-and-half and 3 sugar packets to skim milk and 1 sugar, you’ll save over 27,700 calories (and potentially lose up to 8 pounds) in the course of a year!” – JOY BAUER, TODAY Show nutritionist and bestselling author
  • “Choose foods that do double duty. Make the most of your calories by opting for fortified foods, such as orange juice with calcium and vitamin D, Eggland’s Best eggs (with DHA and vitamin D), and fortified breakfast cereals that offer iron and folic acid.” – Ward
  • “Don’t skip it! In addition to providing brain and muscle energy to get your day off to a great start, a healthy breakfast (vs no breakfast) promotes weight loss. Yes that’s correct. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, causes us to lose sight of our body’s natural hunger cues. By the time we do eat, we’re starving  – which causes us to eat too much, too fast and choose the wrong things.” – Cheryl Forberg, RD is the Biggest Loser nutritionist

Tips for Lunch

  • “During the work week, commit to brown-bagging your lunch every day instead of ordering out. When you prepare meals at home, you’re in control not only of what you’re serving, but also of portion size. Save calories by using slimming ingredients like low-fat mayo, reduced calorie salad dressing, low-cal bread options (like 100-calorie sandwich thins), and reduced-fat cheese, and by bulking up your meal with plenty of vegetables. By making lunch at home, you can easily shave 200 to 400 calories off your daily total.” – Bauer
  • “Lose the top slice of bread and eat sandwiches open-faced: Each and every sandwich you devour will be 100 calories lighter! That means, if you’re a daily sandwich eater, at the end of the month you’ll save your waistline 30 slices of bread and a whopping 3000 calories!” – Bauer

Tips for Dinner

  • Make one-third of all your plates fruits and vegetables. They are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients that will give you long-lasting energy.”  – Scritchfield
  • Swap your regular spaghetti noodles or other pasta (which is calorie-dense) for spaghetti squash, which has a similar texture and appearance but a fraction of the calories (thanks to its high water content). Toss with your favorite low-cal sauce, like marinara. You can save up to 500 calories per pasta dinner every time you make this slimming substitution.” – Bauer

Tips for Snacking

  • “If you really want something like popcorn at a movie, or a special dessert, have it instead of a meal. Prevent going completely overboard by ordering smalls. Don’t do this often–maybe once or twice a month, because you need healthful foods and the nutrients they provide that you get from meals. But if you save up and really savor these special treats, you’re likely to not feel deprived or overly restricted and you’ll have something to look forward to.” – Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN and author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips
  • Fight Cravings With Nail Polish?! “When you get a case of the munchies, distract yourself by giving your nails a manicure (even if it’s just a fresh coat of clear polish). Once they’re perfectly painted, you won’t want to smudge wet nails by reaching for a handful of chips or cookies. By the time the polish has dried, chances are your urge to snack will have subsided.” – Bauer
  • “Snack after dinner. Most dieters struggle with nighttime eating, but there’s no reason not to eat after dinner, as long as you can control yourself. Budget 100 calories for your before-bed snack and stick to your calorie allowance during the day to make weight loss work.” – Ward

Tips for Healthy Habits

  • “Be the one at the table to jump up to fetch whatever was forgotten in the kitchen.” – Hartley
  • “You workout, but you need to stay active for the rest of the day for weight loss. Adding moderate activity, such as walking, burns calories without stimulating your appetite. Use a pedometer and strive to take 10,000 steps each day. Pace while you talk on the phone, take the stairs at work, and park further away from stores to work in extra activity.” – Ward
  • Organize your life. Healthy eating takes energy; clutter and disorganization, especially in the kitchen, can sap your motivation to lose weight and keep it off. Start by cleaning out your fridge and cabinets, then plan your meals and snacks for the upcoming week, and shop regularly for healthy ingredients.” – Ward
  • Chew your food for longer. Most people take five chews before they swallow, but for food to be ready for digestion it can take up to 30 chews. When you chew your food thoroughly you release the nutrients, make digestion easier and get fuller longer.” – Scritchfield
  • Food journaling is the number one key to weight loss success. People who journal tend to lose twice the weight of those who don’t. We all tend to my mindless eaters and it’s way too easy to lose track of a bite here or a sip there if we don’t write it all down. If you’re in a time squeeze and don’t have time to write everything down throughout the day – grab your cell phone and take pictures! At the end of the day, review your pix while you’re completing that day’s journal.” – Forberg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *