Helpful New Year’s Weight Loss Tools
If you feel most weight loss advice is a little stale and always lists things you've heard before, get ready for some refreshing weight loss facts.
We know exercising more, eating smaller portions, and eating breakfast are vitally important. But let's not stop there! There a lot more tools for weight loss that you might not have ever heard about. Some of the tools below are physical items that you can use to reach your goals, and other will help place you in the correct mindset to overcome even the biggest of temptations. Here they are:
Beat the Buffet
If you've ever heard that you should take a small taste of each thing on a buffet, you might be sabotaging yourself. Growing research shows that more variety means you'll eat more food, so try and stick to the basics. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables or salad, and the other half can hold a protein and a healthy, fiber rich carbohydrate.
Use an App to Track
Apps like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, Sparkpeople, CRON-o-Meter, and Fat Secret are all well-suited to help you monitor your dietary choices. Just like you check your email every day, make sure you log your foods each day. This is absolutely the best way to ensure you stay on target, and you'll learn the caloric contents and serving sizes of foods quite readily.
Have an "Add This" List
Most weight loss plans are focused on foods you need to remove from your diet. Instead, make a list of foods that you want to add in. This list should contain foods that you enjoy, and would like to eat more often. These added foods will displace foods that won’t help you get healthy automatically. The list could include apple slices with cheese, veggies and yogurt dip, fresh seafood, chia seeds, spinach, or any other food that you find delicious and healthy.
Bump the Thermostat Down
Try around setting your thermostat down to 61 degrees in winter. Exposing your body to the cold will boost your metabolic rate - as chilly temperatures cause your body to increase the activity of naturally-occurring brown fat in your body. Brown fat contains more mitochondria, which can burn more calories from fat to produce heat. Brown fat is recognized as a ‘healthy fat’ and if you are exposed to the cold, you activate this type of fat, which can boost your brown fat’s metabolic rate about 15-fold.
Swap Your Plates
Research has shown again and again that if your plate is large, so is your portion. Try swapping your plates. Use smaller salad plates for your entrees, and then use your large dinner plates to serve your salad. The calorie swap will go a long way to boost your efforts. At first, it may seem awkward, but once your eyes are trained, you won't notice difference.
Put on Small Clothing Before Events
The best ammunition you can have going into an event is to know where your weight stands. If you try on your skinny jeans before an upcoming event--or maybe each weekend if that's when you struggle--you will remind yourself of your weight loss goals. Make sure you don't let it discourage you, but rather, use it to reinforce your personal best.
Don't Arrive Anywhere Hungry
Most of us know we shouldn't go grocery shopping when we are hungry, because we typically end up with way more than we need. However, the same holds true at holiday parties, catered events, and New Year's Eve dinner events. A small snack in the car, such as a handful of nuts and dried berries, can really take the edge off of your appetite so prevent overindulging.
Re-purpose Your Veggie Peeler
This classic member of most kitchens, the veggie peeler, can be used for an inventive and delightful purpose. Use it to ‘peel’ or slice off 10 calorie curls of cheese, or even chocolate! When you have 7 of these curls on your plate - it will look like a feast! Make sure when you choose a cheese, that you follow this rule of thumb: The Nutrition Facts Panel should reveal that the product contains more protein than fat. For example, if the cheese you choose has 7g of protein and 2 grams of fat - go for it! But if, like full fat cheddar cheese, it contains 8g of fat and 3g of protein, skip it!
Lighten Up Your Portions
Use a scale to weight your normal food storage containers, and then zero it out. After that add your whole grain pasta. Once you know how much that container holds, you never have to measure again! Use Measuring spoons to make sure you measure out what one tablespoon of salad dressing really looks like. And to make perfect-sized break quiches, use a 12-cup muffin tin to instantly make the right-sized bite.