Easy tips for staying slim all year long

Shrimp is a healthy diet food that won't leave you feeling deprived
photo: US Federal Government

It's February.  If that diet resolution you made amid a night of champagne, cocktails, and overzealous partying seems a distant memory, you are not alone.  Research suggests that less than half of those who make resolutions actualize them.  And so this nudge, dear reader.  You can make good on your promise to eat healthy foods.

Here are some easy tips to keep you on track this month, and through the rest of the year:

  1. Always take a healthy appetizer with you when attending a cocktail party.  There is hardly a venue where you will find more high fat, high calorie, and high sodium fare than a cocktail party.  Lighten the load for the hostess and take a healthy dish.  Shrimp cocktail couldn't be easier, and one shrimp is just 7 calories
  2. Stay well hydrated.  Researchers from the University of Virginia found that people who drank water before meals ate up to 13% less food at mealtimes, because water fills up the stomach, making you feel full.  Drink water all day long
  3. Cook simply.  Grill and bake your meats.  Steam your vegetables, or saute with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Instead of heavy sauces, experiment with herbs, which you can quickly shake onto food.  
  4. Make substitutions.  Don't say "no" to your favorite foods.  Instead, remake them.  Substitute plain yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream.  Use low-fat cheeses and milk.  Cook with olive oil instead of butter.  Make tarts instead of pies to avoid high fat crusts.  Make your own healthy pizza instead of ordering take-out.
  5. Skip the mixed drinks.  Mixed drinks (175 calories or more) are higher in calories than wine or light beer, because they contain loads of sugar.  Stick with wine (120 calories) or beer (103 calories) and work seltzer water into your drink rotation to avoid excess, unwanted calories
  6. Indulge.  Yes.  Indulge.  Healthy eating is a long-term commitment, and you will be far more successful if you allow yourself to indulge from time to time.  Whatever your vice, give into it from time to time.  It will give you strength to commit to healthy eating in the long run

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