RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- With the holidays over and New Year's resolutions in full swing, many people are looking to leave behind any unwanted weight they may have gained over the festive months.
“As we look forward to the fresh start that a new year brings, many of us will also be struggling with the addition of the unwanted pounds we’ve gained during the holidays” explained Meredith Urban, a registered dietitian at The Valley Hospital's Center for Metabolic Surgery and Weight-Loss Management. “In my role as a bariatric nutritionist, I have acquired a few tips and tools that can help you get back on track—and, hopefully, back to your goal weight!”
- Drink water. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like noshing, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you to feel full.
- Count to 10. Studies suggest that the average craving lasts only about ten minutes. So, before caving into your urge, set your mental timer for a ten minute time-out.
- Use low-calorie condiments. Condiments can stand in for mayo to deliver plenty of flavors without the fat. Mustard, vinegar, yogurt, ketchup, soy sauce, salsa, spices and rubs are very low in calories and can be spread on chicken or fish.
- Cut your portions. When you eat out, reduce the temptation to clean your plate by setting aside one-third of your meal. Ask the server for a doggie bag, and take it home for lunch the next day.
- Consume your protein. Protein prolongs the feeling of fullness better than carbohydrates or fats do. Stick to low-fat protein sources like low-fat yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced turkey breast or chicken breast.
- Make smart substitutions. Look for nutritious, low-calorie alternatives to sugary, high-fat treats. Try frozen grapes or a frozen banana instead of ice cream or cake. Use air-popped popcorn instead of oil-popped. Bake an apple or a pear with cinnamon and Splenda.
- Be active. Start your day with physical activity. Take a walk at lunch. Try a kick-boxing or yoga class.
- Give yourself a break and relax. No one says you have to reach your goal without making mistakes along the way. Tell yourself you can succeed in losing weight by taking things one step at a time and starting fresh whenever you slip up.
To learn more, visit the Center for Metabolic Surgery and Weight-Loss Management website . Register for a free weight-loss seminar, led by a bariatric specialist, by calling 201-251-3480.