1/8/2014 12:10:00 PM Six secrets to slimming down in 2014
Catholic News Service photo
Kayden Grady, 2, eats breakfast, one of the most important meals of the day.
Every year, “lose weight” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions made, and every year, it’s one of the most commonly broken resolutions. To set the health-conscientious up for success, Janet Mann, a Providence Nutrition Services dietician, shares six secrets to slimming down.
Weigh yourself regularly. “Monitoring your weight regularly, we now know, can make a big difference," says Mann. Weigh yourself at least once a week.
Write down what you eat. “Knowing that you have to write down everything you eat and drink will make you a little bit more conscious of – and discerning with – your food choices,” Mann suggests.
Control calories. In addition to exercising, the other side of the equation is decreasing the number of calories consumed. Tracking calories can be done by creating a meal plan that aims at a targeted calorie level, or determining how many servings each day you can eat from each food group.
Eat three meals a day, even if you’re not hungry. "Eat three square meals a day, at regular times each day. Space them four or five hours apart. If you’re not hungry when mealtime rolls around, eat anyway. That may sound counterintuitive, but eating on a regular schedule keeps your metabolism and energy high and staves off hunger and binges later.”
Start every day with breakfast. Eat breakfast within an hour of getting up in the morning. “The longer you wait, the more you prolong your metabolism’s calorie-conserving sleep mode,” Mann says.
Spread out your protein. “As we get older, we start to lose lean body mass – the metabolically active muscle tissue that burns calories throughout the day,” Mann advises. “Eating protein helps restore this muscle mass. If you eat all of your day’s protein at dinner, you only get this rebuilding effect once a day. But when you spread your protein across all your meals, the research suggests, you can achieve this benefit three times a day.” The magic number is 20 to 30 grams per meal.