10 Tips On How To Make Your Diet Work

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1. Beware of "non-fattening" foods. Because unfortunately there's really no such thing — with the possible exception of celery, at seven calories per stalk. Every other food contributes to your calorie balance. Too many people believe that there is one big category of food that is non-fattening, another that is fattening, and as long as you don't eat the "forbidden" foods you'll naturally lose weight. Thus, the dieter relieves himself of worrying about arithmetic or the size of the portions so long as he sticks to the first group — for instance, roast beef, yogurt, orange juice — while scrupulously avoiding foods in group two: bread, potatoes, bananas.
This utterly disregards the plain facts: a three-ounce slice of roast beef (barely enough to decently cover a slice of rye bread) contains 260 calories, plain yogurt (made with whole milk), 150 calories a cup, and unsweetened orange juice, 110 calories a cup, while white bread is a mere 60 calories a slice, and a medium-size baked potato or a banana only 100. Calories do count. Those three little words should be recited prayerfully morning, noon and night by anyone who seriously wants to reduce.

2. Be prudent about portion size. Few people train themselves to distinguish between a three-ounce and a five-ounce hamburger patty. Yet the larger one contains about 200 more calories. Just eating one large-size hamburger a day — but counting it as a small one — will make a difference of nearly two pounds of fat a month. A full eight-ounce glass of orange juice, instead of a small juice glass, changes the figure from 55 calories to 110. This hidden surtax on the larger portion can, destroy a calorie budget as completely as an obvious food splurge. So keep your eyes on portion size.
Count every calorie. That means every calorie. Many people forget to take into account "small snacks," especially if they are nibbled over a long period instead of gobbled down in one handful. A cupful of cashew nuts, unconsciously devoured while watching a football game, doesn't seem worth thinking about. Yet it represents 785 calories! (Peanuts? 805 calories for a mere two fistfuls.)

3. Cook lean. It's surprising how much the fattening ability of food changes with different methods of preparing it. A potato contains only about 100 calories, baked or boiled. With salt and pepper, lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce, it still contains 100 calories. But add one tablespoon of butter or margarine and you double the count. French-fry the potato or mash it with butter and cream and you've pushed the total to about 250. And with hash-brown potatoes, you're absorbing 470 calories per cup.

4. You can similarly double or triple the calorie content of your 80-calorie egg by frying it in generous amounts of butter or fat, or of your 60-calorie slice of bread by loading it with butter or jam. (Incidentally, toasting simply drives out the water and changes the bread's color and texture; it does nothing to calories.) You can cut the calories in hamburgers or steaks by cooking them in a Teflon pan, which does not require any lubricating fat; or, better still, by using a grill that allows fat (and calories) to .drip out of the meat.

5. Beware of "wet" calories. Calories in drinks are as easily overlooked as those in the nut dish. There are 320 calories in two small (two-ounce) martinis or old-fashioneds. One ounce of after-dinner liqueur may add 100 calories. And the two beers you drink with the cashew nuts add another 300 calories to their 785 — so you gained almost a third of a pound of fat between lunch and dinner and never once had a mouthful of real food. It's hardly worth it!

6. Stop leaning on protein. Millions of sensible people have been inadvertently misled into thinking that protein contains few calories, or that protein somehow "burns" fat. Actually, protein contains about 120 calories per ounce, the same as carbohydrates. (Fats are more costly, about 270 calories an ounce.) The idea that protein burns fat started out as a misunderstanding of an old laboratory experiment; it showed that if a person ate only pure protein (egg white is the only thing that comes close to that), about 30 percent of the energy eaten would be dissipated as heat shortly after the meal. The problem is is if the meal contains any fat or carbohydrates — as all meals do.— the "burning" effect is canceled.
It's also widely believed that meat is pure protein, and that therefore you can eat steak ad infinitum and emerge as slinky as a cougar. In fact, all meat contains fat. A three-ounce hamburger contains, on the average, 19 grams of protein (80 calories) and 26 grams of fat (about 230 calories). Three ounces of sirloin or deboned rib roast contains 20 grams of protein (80 calories) and 20 grams of fat (180 calories). Ham contains even more fat calories in proportion to protein.

7. Cut down on sugar. Sugar contains four calories per gram, just like other carbohydrates. It is absorbed by the body fairly rapidly, but this makes no difference in its contribution to weight gain. The average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar per year, the equivalent of 174,600 calories, or 50 pounds of body fat, which has to be burned up somehow if it isn't going to be accumulated as extra weight.

8. Clear up the cholesterol confusion. Somehow, people have the idea that any margarine or oil that is high in polyunsaturated fat (or low in cholesterol) is therefore low in calories. It is certainly desirable to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat in order to keep down cholesterol. But margarine and butter have almost exactly the same calorie content.

9. Don't worry about water or salt. Attempts to cut down weight by cutting down on salt or water are futile. If you are overweight, it's a good idea to go easy on salt to guard against high blood pressure. And for some people, particularly middleaged women, decreasing salt may allow a more regular weight loss by preventing temporary water accumulation. But cutting down on salt, however desirable for other health reasons, will not by itself reduce your weight. As for water, it is the world's only calorie-free fluid, and a generous consumption or-it is healthful.

10. Balance both sides of your calorie expense account.
The final widespread fallacy that stands in the way of successful dieting is the belief that food intake alone determines how much you gain or lose. In fact, like your bank balance, your weight depends on how much you take out as well as how much you put in. It is far more difficult to reduce if the only muscles you ever move are the chewing muscles. It is considerably easier and far more healthful to lose weight by a combination of calorie reduction and exercise than it is by calorie cutting alone.

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1 Comment

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