Small Changes For Big Results

The temperature says that summer is officially here. Have you hit a mid-year weight loss slump?  Or maybe the big changes you started on January 1 are now a bit more challenging to keep up with.

Check out this write up from Health magazine for some realistic lifestyle tips in the battle of the bulge.

A note from Francie: Many of our patients gets stuck in a food rut and eat the same things over and over.  Even if these choices are healthy, you should consider changing up your food choices regularly to trick the body. You’ll be amazed at how much weight you can lose by adding variety!

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Excerpted from Health magazine.

Swap the all-or-nothing approach for one or two healthy switch-ups in your daily routine. “Doing this can lead to more weight loss than you ever imagined,” says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet.

…borrow these slim-down secrets to transform your body the real-world way.

1. Swap your go-to order

Brown-Bag“I used to eat out at restaurants up to nine times a week! By cutting back to just once a week and ordering a grilled chicken salad instead of a large bowl of pasta, I’ve lost 20 pounds in one month.” —Kerri Butler, Joplin, MO

2. Skip the salty aisle

chips“I reached my goal weight after I stopped routinely buying snacks at the grocery store. If I wanted a bag of chips or a candy bar, I had to walk to the store to get it. That inconvenience usually made me ignore my cravings.” —Heather Del Baso, Worcester, MA

3. Have a 300-calorie breakfast

avegg“I used to skip breakfast, but now I never go without. I always eat about 300 calories* of a healthy mix of protein and whole grains. My go-to meal: a sandwich with natural peanut butter and apple butter. It keeps my hunger down so I snack less throughout the day. In a little over a year, I’ve shed 65 pounds.” —Bo Hale, Tulsa, OK

* From Leaves of Life: Rather than guessing at the number of calories that are appropriate for you at breakfast or any meal, schedule time with Francie to create a customized food plan so you know you’re on track!

4. Get fit in five

thighmaster-new“I try to fit in small bouts of exercise whenever possible, like doing jumping jacks or crunches during television commercials or dancing while washing dishes. This burns extra calories and keeps me from mindlessly munching in front of the TV. Now my clothes fit way better, and I’m more toned than ever.” —Megan Tiscareno, Hammond, IN

5. Kick the habit

stop-smoking“I quit smoking, and right away joined a gym and started working out with a personal trainer. There was no way I could exercise and feel healthy if I kept lighting up. I’ve already dropped 37 pounds in three months!” —Leila Fathi, Memphis, TN

6. Do a purge

trash-the-junk-food“I totally cleaned out my pantry. Once I replaced the foods I used to overindulge in, like ice cream, with lower-cal snacks, such as roasted sunflower seeds or Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal, I began making better choices automatically. Now, I’m slimmer than I was before I had my two kids!” —Lori Feldman, Coconut Creek, FL

7. Healthy up your happy hour

walk“After work, my colleagues and I always grabbed dinner—and it was usually deep-fried. Then we changed things up. Instead of nights out, we started walking and running around a local track. A year later, I’m down 40 pounds.” —Ellen Setzer, Cleveland, OH

8. Get fired up

playlist“I loaded my iPod with jams that make me look forward to going to the gym. They energize me, allowing me to pick up speed on the elliptical—and because I want to hear my entire playlist, my workouts are longer now. Two months later, I’m down 13 pounds and have killer legs.” —Kara Marshall, York, ME

9. Pile on the veggies

vegpizz“By adding vegetables to the foods I love—like eating pizza topped with arugula and green peppers instead of pepperoni—I became so full so quickly that I no longer had room to eat things like chips or super-rich desserts. I said good-bye to four dress sizes!” —Janessa Mondestin, New York City, NY

10. Run your butt off

“When I wanted to fit into my skinny jeans 262 stickeragain, I started running 20 minutes a day during my lunch hour. In two months, I’ve lost 20 pounds, have tons of energy, and just finished my first 5K. Those jeans? They’re too big now!” —Lauren Castor, Anniston, AL

11. Downward dog it

yoga“Yoga has become the best thing for my relationship with food and my body. From practicing it several times a week, I’m now more in touch with my hunger cues—so I eat intuitively and stop when I’m full. I’ve gone down a jeans size, and my cellulite has disappeared!” —Jessica Nicklos, Morgantown, WV

12. Don’t supersize it

Fries_small1“When going out for fast food*, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I’ve shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I’m on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year.” —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL

* From Leaves of Life: Obviously the better choice it to skip fast food all together, but this is a good tip if you know that’s not realistic for you yet.

13. Save room for your dessert

wine“I budget for the treats I love. By eating healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, I have calories to splurge on a piece of chocolate* and glass of wine each night. And I’ve still managed to lose 20 pounds in three months.” —Elaine Higginbotham, Fort Worth, TX

* From Leaves of Life: How many have heard Patty say “become an ingredients snob”? Great advice here – if you’re going to splurge, plan ahead and make it worth it!

14. Brave a new class

RichardSimmonsedit2“Two months ago, I started going to Zumba twice a week. The crazy dance routines really tone your muscles—especially legs and abs—and give you a heart-pounding cardio workout. Eleven pounds later, I’ve almost reached my goal weight.” —Morgan Howe, Rochester, NY

15. Nix night time eating

12-00-hi“Each time I needed to lose the baby weight, I stopped eating after 6:30 p.m. five nights a week. The other two evenings were reserved for nights out. Most of what I’d eat at night was junk food anyway, so it took only two months to get my pre-baby body back.” —Deborah Gilboa, Pittsburgh, PA

16. Walk with Spot

doglead“My dog and I go for a walk every day, even if it’s for just 10 minutes around the block. When the weather is horrible, her enthusiasm gives me the incentive to get out when I wouldn’t dare lace up my sneakers otherwise. All the walking adds up: I’ve lost more than 50 pounds this past year.” —Jamie Altholz, Denver, CO