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10 Tips To Maximize Your Meals And Lose Weight — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 24, 2008 at 2:20 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

10 Tips To Maximize Your Meals And Lose Weight

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It's easy to make simple changes to your regular food routine in order to pack your meals full of good stuff and skip the bad. Some quick changes can help you learn new food habits and get you started on your weight loss journey.

Tip 1: Combine It

A bowl of macaroni and cheese is not a meal; it's a bowl of empty calories and fat. If you crave pasta, opt for a tomato sauce loaded with veggies over a smaller portion of whole wheat noodles. The veggies will fill you up with fiber and nutrients, wheat noodles are always better than white, and then all you need is a source of protein. It's easy to have what you're craving, you just need to change the way you make it.

Tip 2: Hide The Veggies

This is the easiest way to eat more veggies. Whatever dish you are making, add in at least 3 to 5 different vegetables. If you make a soup or stir-fry you can add in virtually any vegetable you like. Make a pasta dish and hide extra veggies in the sauce. If you're a picky eater, cook the vegetables until soft, puree them, and sauté them with canned pasta sauce. You won't even notice the difference.

Tip 3: Choose A Rainbow Of Foods

Make the most out of the fruits and vegetables you eat by choosing produce from every color category. This way, you'll maximize the nutritional benefits of each food group. Citrus fruits have vitamin C, carrots have beta-carotene, spinach has B vitamins; you get the idea.

Tip 4: Eat Lean Protein

This is especially important if you are working out. Go easy on the cholesterol-rich red meat and opt for turkey, chicken, beans and tofu instead. Lean protein is essential in building muscle and burning fat, so when you're exercising you'll need plenty of lean protein in your diet. Get used to new foods and add them in.

Tip 5: Choose Complex Carbohydrates

Pick whole grain items over refined grains wherever you can. Refined, bleached and processed white flour has virtually no nutritional benefits; whole grains offer fiber, protein and healthy fats to sustain your body and keep your appetite at bay.

Tip 6: Get Creative

Grab some new cookbooks and get going. There are so many low fat cookbooks out there; it's easy to find one that suits you. Opt for one that focuses on the glycemic index for maximum diet and workout potential.

Tip 7: Get Ethnic

Ethnic foods are often the way to go. The Mediterranean diet is receiving praise all over the place for its nutritional benefits, plus it has great flavors. Asian diets are another great source of balanced nutrition. Check out cookbooks focusing on these foods and experiment with new cuisines.

Tip 8: Take The Time

Cooking at home takes some dedication, as does experimenting with new foods and recipes. It takes commitment and determination, but so does losing weight and exercising; consider your time as an investment in your future.

Tip 9: Keep It On Hand

Work to stock up on items you frequently use so that they're always on hand. If you have healthy meals right there when you need them, you'll be less inclined to stop for fast food and chow down potato chips. Take healthy leftovers with you the next day and keep fruits and veggies at work to munch on. If you don't have chips around, you won't eat chips.

Tip 10: Eat Good Fats

Fat can be good for you. Focus on healthy fats found in fish, avocados, whole grains, and olive oil. Healthy fats can actually lower levels of bad cholesterol while raising levels of good, allowing you to make the most of the calories you eat. It's so easy to maximize your meals for the most efficient calorie intake and the most productive weight loss. Simple tips and changes will help you develop a routine that will last the rest of your life.

Sources: http://www.mypyramid.gov/

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