Fitness Tips: May 30, 2013

"You get the best out of others when you get the best out of yourself." ~ Harvey Firestone 
Healthy Lifestyle Tip: The Importance of Calories
The amount of calories in must equal calories out to keep your weight steady; and to lose a few pounds, you must burn more calories than you eat. Sounds simple enough, right? Without watching how much you eat at meals – and how much you snack in between – you run the risk of overeating. The following tips can help you eat less and keep your calorie intake in check. 
Limit Nibbling on Food While You Cook
To eat less, you need to forego the grazing. When you're cooking, it's tempting to sample the foods, but it's better to wait until the meal is served. By the same token, resist eating leftovers off your child's or spouse's plate – it's easy to forget to count calories that weren't on your own plate. 
Put It on a Plate
Another great way to achieve portion control is to put your food on a plate rather than eating out of the container, bag, or serving dish. 
Choose Filling Foods
Selecting filling foods can help you eat less. Whole grains and lean protein are two excellent choices. For other meals, start with a bowl of soup to take the edge off your appetite. Eating three whole fruits a day can also fill you up without overeating. Good choices include apples, oranges, and grapefruits. 
Don't Put Extra Food on the Table
Put away any food that won't be going on your plate before you sit down to eat. You'll be less tempted by a second helping. 
Cut Your Meal in Half
Dining out is a major contributor to overeating. Next time you go out, consider sharing your meal with another person, or perhaps eating only half your meal – you'll save half the calories. You can ask your server to help by wrapping up the extra portion "to go" before you even eat. Splitting a dish with a friend is another easy way to eat less. 
Slow Down and Enjoy
When you eat quickly, you often eat too much. Extreme hunger can also lead to overeating. If you tried to eat less during the day, you may be hungrier later and end up wolfing down too much. Another mistake is to eat while doing something else; if you aren't paying attention, it's more likely you'll overeat. 
Don't Forget to Drink Water
Alcohol, soda, and even juice can contribute to unwanted weight gain. Not only should you eat less, but you should also drink fewer high-calorie beverages or, better yet, cut them out altogether. 
Listen to Your Body
It seems so obvious, yet many of us let our minds control our bodies instead of the other way around. Before grabbing a snack, ask yourself if you're truly hungry or if you're reacting to your emotions, eating out of habit or simply bored. 
Cue Your Taste Buds: The Meal Is Over
Many of us don't feel a meal is complete without dessert. Next time you eat, skip the chocolate cake and try establishing a new food cue instead. Drinking coffee or tea, or chewing a piece of gum, is a healthier way to signal the end of a meal. 
Do Your Homework 
Part of successful portion control is being able to recognize a healthy portion size. Use the "Nutrition Facts" chart found on all pre-packaged foods as a guide.