I just now had a memory that my grandpa used to cut out comic strips and send them to my mom. Sometimes that's all that would be in the envelope - or maybe it would come with a little note that would say something like, "We got 4 inches of rain on Monday."
My grandpa didn't say very much, but he smiled with his eyes like you've never seen.
I can give you the 10 best tips for better sleep. Or the 25 best tips for how to eat apples. Or the 100 best tips for how to dress at work. You want tips on how to write tips? I got 'em.
Whenever I put together one of these oh-so-popular "tips" stories, I come across some real stinkers and a few good pieces of advice. I decided to round up all of the best nutrition tips I've heard, given, and read over the last year - just for you! I hope you like them!
Tip #1) Instead of thinking about the next bite you'll take, focus on the bite that is in your mouth right now. Slow down and savor it. You'll enjoy your meal more and your brain will be better able to recognize how much you've eaten.
~ from Better Homes & Gardens magazine
Tip #2) Splurge only one day a week (and really make it special - say, a pasta dish with bread AND wine AND dessert), then get back on track tomorrow.
~ from a Brooke Burke interview
Tip #3) For the best impact on your health, digestion, and waistline, take a walk within the first 30 minutes after you eat a meal.
~ from an R.D. freelancer
Tip #4) When it comes to the produce aisle, don't think twice about splurging. Buy yummy fruits and veggies that you and your family will enjoy and don't feel bad about spending here.
~ from my sister-in-law
Tip #5) Choose red meat for special occasions only, and not very much otherwise.
~ from a blog post
Tip #6) If you eat unhealthfully for a meal, don't beat yourself up and continue down that path. Every meal is a chance to start over with nutritious choices.
~ from the Today Show
Tip #7) If you're facing a high-risk eating/drinking situation, such as Thanksgiving or a dinner party, wear a tight, non-elastic belt. And don't loosen it.
~ from Diabetic Living magazine
Tip #8) Fill half your plate with fruit and/or veggies, a quarter with meat, a quarter with bread or starch, and add a side of low-fat dairy.
~ from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Tip #9) Whenever possible, choose thin crust, thin buns, and thin bread.
~ from Fitness magazine
Tip #10) Don't buy Oreos
~ from me
If you can recognize when you're in a High-Risk Eating Situation (HRES), you can be prepared to counteract those strong cravings and arm yourself with some coping strategies. Here are the top 15 HRESs. I've highlighted some that I especially need to work on.
1. A stressful day
2. Craving favorite comfort food
3. Feeling lonely
4. The day after blowing your diet
5. When angry and frustrated
6. Birthday and other celebrations
7. On vacation and traveling
8. Special occasions and eating out
10. When you're hungry, and only high fat/sugar food is available
11. When drinking alcohol
12. Holiday meals or dining with relatives or friends who only serve high calorie/fat
13. While watching TV and at home in the evening
14. Eating oversized portions
15. Eating too fast (mindless eating)
Now, when you find yourself in an HRES, you can arm yourself with one of these coping situations. I've highlighted some of my favorite suggestions.
1. Imagine yourself healthy and the way you want to be (positive visualization)
2. Forgive yourself but take responsibility for your actions
3. Always be prepared with healthy snacks
4. Exercise – Release the "feel good" endorphins
5. Talk to your support person for encouragement
6. Leave the room, go back to work or another place away from the food
7. Read a book, listen to music, dance, do a crossword puzzle
8. Keep your hands busy, draw, carve, make jewelry, etc.
9. Drink lots of water, eat slowly, and divide your meal
10. Use something other than food as a reward system: new clothes, new video, new book, trip, perfume, spa-day, etc.
11. Bring food with you whenever you go to another person's house to eat. You will be a thoughtful guest and you know you will have something healthy to eat.
12. Adopt a dog and walk him often
13. Use meditation to help you relax and control stress
14. Celebrate in places where you know there will be healthy food choices
15. Love yourself more than the situation or the food presented
Adapted from The U 90-Day Fitness Challenge daily email written by Leah Newman
Seriously, I should get commission from MyFitnessPal, a website and smartphone app that helps track calories in and calories out. I can't stop talking about how great of a tool it is for providing an at-a-glance view of your food intake. IMO, there is no better or realistic way to lose weight than to set a goal for your calorie intake and to stick to it by recording the foods (and drinks) you eat. Just two rules accompany that: move your body, and don't eat fewer than 1,200 calories in a day.
When I started LittleCalorie.com way back in 2008, I tracked my calorie intake by looking up the calorie content of foods using the CalorieKing reference books and website. Then, I would record my daily intake in a pocketsize notebook. (Check out this now-ancient form of a food diary from my archives by clicking here.)
It's crazy how calorie resources have changed since I started writing this blog. But I'm quite pleased that calorie tracking has become more efficient and attainable for everyone. In fact, I now have my husband, sister, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and a few co-workers hooked on my fav calorie-counting app. And I believe Chris has turned a few firefighters onto it, as well. Does that mean we get more commission?
These are the best features of the MyFitnessPal smartphone app
- It has a ridiculously huge food and beverage database, including thousands of restaurant foods. It's a rare occasion when you can't find the exact food you ate or at least something quite similar that will give you a good estimate of calories (because all calorie counts are estimates anyway).
- The Droid version has a sweet barcode scanner to scan packaged foods you eat, which is great for newer foods that aren't yet in the database. Note: sorry, iphone users, last I checked the barcode scanner was not part of the iphone version of this app.
- It's simple to adjust for the portion you eat.
- You can view a recap of your day or week, including where you land on intake of important nutrients to watch.
- It also includes a "calories out" function, which essentially increases your calorie allowance based on activities you do. Note: I don't use this function, and I would suggest you don't either if weight loss is your goal and you are not running a marathon.
- Start by creating a realistic goal for weight loss (no more than 1-2 pounds/week), and it will spit out your calorie intake goal based on how much weight you want to lose by when. Note: If you want to lose 10 pounds by next week, you are crazy. Your calorie intake goal will be too low and you will not be able to stick to your plan. Life will not be fun. You will end up yelling at your husband and then you'll go on a crazy Oreo binge.
Have fun my fitness pals!
Dear Little Calorie,
First of all, my wife and I are big fans.
We recently bought a meat bundle from our local grocer which included a sizable amount of cube steak. As I basically know two things to do with cube steak (country fried steak and minute steak), we were hoping you had some additional recipes that featured this wonderful piece of beef.
We look forward to hearing from you and await your reply anxiously.
Dear Cube Steak Lovers,
Congratulations on your tasty purchase. You came to the right place. I not only have a delicious recipe for you, but it's also quite practical for these tough economic times. This healthful dinner rings in at about $1.90 per serving. You mentioned you already know how to make Country-Fried Steak, but I encourage you to try the Little Calorie version of this classic. Thanks for reading and enjoy!