Tag Archives: weight loss

Part II: Tips for Making 2013 Healthier

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Could this be the year you keep your New Year’s resolutions all year long? It most certainly can be, even if you’ve already fallen back into old habits.

Take the pledge to follow through and achieve your goals this year. Following are tips for ensuring your healthy New Year’s resolutions last through 2013 and beyond.

Dine in – Make an effort to cook regularly at home. It will make you feel more connected to your food and allow you to take more control over your meals – the key to healthy eating. Cook easy, 5-ingredient recipes and plan on making enough so that you can enjoy extra healthy eats for leftovers throughout the week. Check out these resources for recipe suggestions – http://www.cooksmarts.com/cs-blog, www.heart.org, http://www.allrecipes.com/HowTo/Dinner-in-an-Instant/Detail.aspx, www.cookinglight.com and  www.eatingwell.com.

Allocate space – Set aside your own shelf in your pantry or refrigerator for your healthy snacks. Fill it with yogurt, hummus, cottage cheese, fruits, cut up veggies, popcorn, nuts and seeds so you know exactly where to go and where you should be reaching when hunger sets in. Making room in your pantry or fridge can make maintaining a healthy diet easier and will allow you to see when you are in need of re-stocking on healthy options.

Keep hydrated – Drink ample water. It’s important for skin, weight and overall health. Strive to drink half of your weight in ounces of water each day. To reach this goal, carry water wherever you go, all day long and keep sipping! A straw, pretty bottle or glass helps. Before mealtime, have a glass or two of water to cut your appetite and consider drinking hot water with lemon or lime slices before, with, after or between meals.

Rest up – Don’t underestimate how important sleep is to your overall health. It’s vital for mental, physical and emotional health and weight loss and maintenance, too. Try to get 6-8 hours a night and be aware that your diet can have a big influence on how well you sleep. Eating healthy foods will allow you to sleep better and through the night and more sleep means more energy to stay active and healthy throughout the day.

Get movin’ – Find ways to fit in 30 minutes daily of activity. Even if you don’t have time to hit the gym, come up with creative ways to stay active. Consider walking when talking on the phone and take the stairs as often as possible. Do squats while waiting for water to boil or when the microwave is heating food. Buy a jump rope and get your heart racing with jumping jacks to keep your heart and bones strong. Wear a pedometer daily, to track activity and strive for 10,000 steps a day. Remember, every bit counts.

For more ideas on healthy eating, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating more enjoyable and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit:http://www.georgiakostas.com.

This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.

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Small Changes, Big Results

People often ask for my viewpoint on nutrition, weight loss, and success – making changes “stick”. In simple terms, here’s my philosophy:

  1. Small changes…taken one at a time.
  2. Accountability…to one’s self and someone else.
  3. Target dates…to accomplish each new beneficial step.

Recently, I met with a young woman, ecstatic because she lost 4 lbs in one week, “without dieting”.   Based on her eating patterns, she chose to follow through with the following three steps from a list we compiled:

  1. Drink 80 oz of water daily; obtained by 16 oz at 3 meals and 16 oz upon waking and in the afternoon.
  2. Larger, baseball-sized portions of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that she was already eating and enjoying.
  3. More “activity” in the evenings, rather than sitting.

These few steps resulted in weight loss because the “fill-up value” of water, fruits and vegetables   enabled smaller portions of other calorie-rich foods. In addition, an evening project of fixing up her patio kept her engaged in a fun, rewarding activity after a full day of work.  No “reward” food in front of the TV was needed!

Small changes, big results. This is the note she wrote me:  “I love that I don’t feel like I am dieting, but I am still losing weight.  I am starting to see how taking care of myself can happen by making small, positive changes daily.  This is a significant shift for me, so I am grateful!”

What small changes can help you trim 50 calories off breakfast, 100 off lunch, 100 off dinner, and 50 off a snack?  Think about it, because here are the potential results:  a loss of approximately 8 pounds in 90 days!  Add 60 min of additional physical activity weekly (if appropriate) for a loss of approximately 10 lbs in 90 days! That is success!

I am a big believer that it is the little things that count the most! Do YOU have tips for small changes that help you achieve your best health, weight, fitness, energy?  I would love to hear them. Please share your ideas in the comments below.

For more resources and tips, visit www.georgiakostas.com. Also, follow me on Twitter @georgiakostas or like my professional Facebook page, Georgia Kostas Nutrition.

Tips for Better Health and More Energy in the New Year

Ready to get a fresh start in January and begin your action plan for better health and more energy? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Cut 100 calories from your daily eating. You’ll lose 10 lbs in a year. Cut 200 calories. Lose 20 lbs. Begin with achievable goals – skip a slice of bread, use less dressing or mayonnaise, etc. We can all find those little extras we can live without, painlessly. Take one step at a time.

2. Manage portions. Know that a deck of cards = 3 oz meat/fish/poultry protein; a golf ball holds 2 tablespoons dressing. These amounts are appropriate for weight loss or management. Consider what other portion adjustments could help you most.

3. Include protein at each meal. Protein sustains energy and keeps appetite in check. Include a 3 oz protein portion at lunch and dinner. At breakfast, try 2 egg whites (or 1 egg ), 1 cup milk or yogurt, and one of the following: 1 tablespoon peanut butter or 1 cup Kashi cereal or a slice of lean ham or 1 slice 2%-fat cheese. Each of these meals contains 25-35 protein grams…..very satisfying!

4. Eat breakfast. Many studies show breakfast eaters eat better the rest of the day, as well as fewer calories and less fat, compared to breakfast skippers. Breakfast also jumpstarts morning energy and brain-power.

5. Eat slowly. You feel full and eat less….automatically.

6. Chew gum in place of a snack. You can save a typical snack’s 200-300 calories.

7. Burn 200 calories from 30 minutes of aerobic activity you enjoy daily. You’ll lose 20 lbs a year.

8. Drink 64 oz water a day – 24 oz when you wake up, 24 oz mid-day, 24 oz before and after workouts…and even more later. The more, the better.

9. Pick one habit to change. Healthier snacks. One less soda. Less TV noshing. Begin meals with an appetite suppressant: salad, fresh fruit, cup of soup, hot tea.

10. Surround yourself with support. Get your family, friends and colleagues involved with like goals. A work-force is a powerful source of all-day-long support.

Begin with the steps above. If you would like a more specific food plan tailored to meet your eating preferences, exercise needs, and lifestyle, email me at georgia@georgiakostas.com. A consult can change your January and your year!

Visit my website at www.georgiakostas.com or like my Facebook Fan Page at Georgia Kostas Nutrition. Here’s to a healthy, fit year!