10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

Making simple changes that either cut out or burn off extra calories will add up to weight loss over the course of a year.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, then you already know it’s the little things that add up — the “little bit more” at the dinner buffet, the “little bit too tight” feeling of your clothes. But what if you also knew about the little things you could do every day to increase your weight- loss success? Here they are.

10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

1. Switch up your snacks. “First of all, watch mindless snacking,” says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at the Houston Northwest Medical Center in Houston, Texas. “[Those calories] really add up.” Instead of grazing on the baked goodies in the break room, have a plan for healthy snacks that combines a little bit of fat, protein, and crunch, such as apple slices smeared with peanut butter. If you are counting calories, doing the math may help: a pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so if you can cut 100 calories out of your day, you will lose a pound in just over a month.

2. Cut out high-calorie condiments and sugars. “Instead of getting a coffee with sugar, try Splenda,” says Banes. Likewise, try mustard on your burger or sandwich instead of mayonnaise, and order your salad dressing on the side so that you can control the amount you eat.

3. Hoof it. “Exercise is key,” says Banes. People who manage at least 150 minutes of activity a week are more successful with weight loss. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a bit farther from your destination so you have to walk. This will add extra exercise — and burn more calories.

4. Anticipate temptation. If you know you can’t resist freshly baked brownies, don’t keep a mix in your pantry. Also, if you are going somewhere with friends and family and know you’ll have a hard time controlling yourself, make a decision before you get there about what you will eat — and stick to it.

5. Try the veggie-loaded plate method. Banes recommends using your plate to guide your food selection and portion sizes. One half of the plate should be vegetables. The other side can be split between protein and starchy carbohydrates. If you decide to get a second plate, says Banes, it had better be all vegetables. People who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day are more successful with weight loss.

6. Skip the fast food. A study of 1,713 adults who have been successful with weight loss demonstrated that people who eat at fast-food restaurants less than twice a week have greater success with their weight loss. “If you do eat fast foods, don’t supersize it,” says Banes, and try to opt for a salad, small portions, or “get baked, not fried.”

7. Limit the calories you drink. While most people understand sugary sodas add calories, Banes sees a misconception when it comes to sweet tea and juices. Sweetened tea is no less calorie-dense than soda, and you’d be better off eating the fruit than drinking the juice, advises Banes.

8. Be accountable. Whether you have a diet buddy you check in with, a support group, or a food diary, keeping track of your daily food choices takes only a few minutes, but can double your weight-loss success.

9. Order smaller portions. Data suggests that people who order smaller portions or share a plate at restaurants are more successful with weight loss. Banes recommends ordering the lunch portion, an appetizer, or a children’s meal — or put up to half your meal into a doggy bag before you begin eating.

10. Acknowledge your success. People who believe they can succeed with weight loss actually do lose weight more successfully. How do you gain this confidence? Take a moment to pat yourself on the back when you make healthy choices and achieve your short-term goals.

These small changes, all of which can easily be made, will quickly add up to more pounds lost over time.

Source: EveryDayHealthLiving
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Recipe-Baked Zucchini with Parmesean

Baked Zucchini w/ Parm

Baked Zucchini with Parmesean

Baked Zucchini with Parmesan

Ingredients
4 small zucchini, washed and halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Arrange the zucchini, cut sides up, in an ovenproof dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Lightly brush with the olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Mix the Parmesan and garlic together, then sprinkle over the zucchini.

2. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender and the cheese is browned.

Notes
Prepare ahead: Step 1 can be prepared several hours in advance.

Aside

Some psychologists believe that our attraction to our partners is tied to early experiences and crushes from our childhood.

 

Psychologist John Money coined the term “love map” to describe one’s blueprint for the perfect mate, both sexually and otherwise. It is the unconscious outline in your mind of what love should look like. Your love map is mostly the result of early childhood preferences and experiences. Much of it was imprinted before you knew what to make of it — a delicious smell, a beautiful hair color, a great sense of humor. It is a map of what is significant to you sensually, based on what resonated with you as a child.

Your love map is pretty fluid until about age seven and then solidifies in its most fundamental form. However, love maps can be redrawn throughout your developmental years as a result of big events or relationships in your life. Your first love might set a pattern of attraction, either because it went so well or so wrong. Or your parents’ divorce and your dad’s subsequent emotional departure might cause you to seek out unavailable men.

Understanding your love map can help you have better relationships. When you and your partner fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, it’s for a variety of reasons — both good and bad. The upside of being with someone who fits the outline of our love map is that we get to experience that frenzied, euphoric lust that sparks between two people who have a unique chemistry. The downside is that we may be drawn to someone who resurrects conflicts, big or small, from our childhood. It’s why we’re able to fall madly in love, only to find ourselves in a relationship tangle that seems impossible to manage.

Since our love maps are outlined before we even reach adulthood, they are generally based on watching the model of our parents’ relationship or from childhood crushes and societal structures. If you grew up with parents who exhibited a healthy and loving relationship, you will likely draw certain positive subconscious (and conscious) conclusions about what a relationship should look like. You will also gain very personal ideas about how men and women should treat each other, including how sexual attraction should manifest in a relationship.

Of course, few people have a perfectly idyllic childhood, but this doesn’t mean that your love map is doomed from thestart. Even if your parents didn’t have an amicable marriage, you might have gained valuable insights and a clear idea of what you want and need from a partner. Perhaps your love map might lead you to choose partners who challenge you or partners who make you look deeply at yourself and become the best you can be.

To make sure that you are following a healthy love map, it’s important to first examine what qualities attract you to someone and why. Identify the major factors that have influenced your love map, learn what you need and expect in a relationship, and commit yourself to finding a relationship that meets your expectations and needs in a healthy way. Like the old saying goes, those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it… especially when it is your history!

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

What Is Your Map to Perfect Love?

Aside

We crave our partner’s touch for a variety of reasons.

 

 

Touch is the most conspicuous of the five senses when it comes to exploring sex. Unlike with the other senses, sex simply cannot happen on a physical level in the absence of touch.

However, touch is far more than intercourse alone. The bonds of intimacy are woven through many different kinds of touch — including a familiar pat on the back, a quick squeeze of the hand and the somnolent cuddling that puts us in full-body contact with a lover. Inside the bedroom and out, touch is a powerhouse for intimacy.

The Science of Touch  Biological anthropologist Helen E. Fisher, a research professor in the department of anthropology at Rutgers University, eloquently writes in her book The Anatomy of Love: “Human skin is like a field of grass, each blade a nerve ending so sensitive that the slightest graze can etch into the humanbrain a memory of the moment.” The act of touching is a physiological and hormonal phenomenon that paves the way to good sex. Physical contact releases oxytocin, appropriately nicknamed the cuddle hormone. Since oxytocin spikes in response to touching, the more you touch, the better you feel and the more you want to touch.

When Words Won’t Work, Try Touch  Touch communicates in a way that words can’t. As women, we want to talk things out when faced with a relationship hurdle (often until we’re hoarse!). Men can find this to be more than a little frustrating. Sometimes, nonverbal communication is far more powerful than anything we could say. Touch can make words superfluous. Have you ever had a truly magical kiss? Or how about the wonderful feeling of your partner’s embrace when you least expect it? Touch sends the “I love you” message to our brains and relaxation to our bodies. This is so important to remember, especially when words have been pushing you and your partner apart, rather than together.

Being wanted and desired is what most of us long for at the end of the day. When intimacy breaks down, touch can fall by the wayside. Too many couples get caught in a sexual and emotional standoff: he’s not getting the physical contact he wants and she’s not getting the emotional intimacy she wants. Touch can help end the stalemate.

Use Touch to Get What You Both Want  When you take the lead and act more affectionate, your partner is going to feel loved and noticed and, as a result, will be more responsive to you. Women tend to crave more nonsexual touching, like a little backrub on the couch or holding hands as we do a daily errand together. He’ll start to get the idea if you initiate more contact with him (not to mention give him some extra loving in the bedroom!).

Of course, touch heightens the sensory experience during sex too. Skin is the largest organ we have. Almost any body part can feel sexual if touched in the right way. Try blindfolding each other and take turns touching and being touched to soak up the sensation. Also, experiment with textures like silk sheets or a feather tickler.

Touch can open up a whole new world for your relationship: Just reach out and touch yoursomeone…

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

 

Love Is a Hands-on Experience

Aside

When it comes to food, what’s good for your health may also be good for your sex life!

The mouth is an erogenous zone. Eating is a sensual prelude to what comes next, and a kiss is a passionate sampling of each other’s taste.

The choices we make when hungry nourish the sexual appetite too. Choosing the right food (and drink) primes your body for optimal sexual function in general. Junk food makes the body feel sluggish, while too many simple carbs can deplete your energy. Eating frequent, nutritious meals is the best way to support your libido; it’ll keep your body fit and your mind lively.

Simple Solutions to Rev Up Your Sexual Engines  Three small changes can make a big difference: Choose whole grains instead of refined white-flour bread and crackers, increase your intake of good fats (such as nuts, avocados, olive oil) while reducing bad fats (like butter and fatty meats), and eat smaller quantities of food every three hours. Your tastes will adjust over time, and so will your libido.

However, eating shouldn’t be all about discipline. Food is one of the greatest sensual pleasures we have. Chocolate was recently discovered by Italian researchers to trigger the samebrain chemicals as an orgasm and is now a sexy-food mascot. Taste, like the other senses, stirs our sexual center.

It’s Not Just What You Eat, but How You Eat It  When you eat sensually, enjoying each bite, and appreciating a food’s unique texture and flavor, you transform a daily ritual into seduction at its finest. The mouth is a portal to pleasure. Try having a sensual picnic with your partner instead of your usual date-night fare. Sit on the floor, rather than at the table, and let fingers be your utensils. Foods that are colorful and sensual like strawberries, papayas, and avocados evoke the feminine mystique. Bananas, carrots, and celery evoke his. Be sure to include a variety of textures and flavors for the whole experience: salty and sweet, crunchy and soft.

Eating with your partner is a ritual of connecting and communication and can conclude with great sex after dinner. But there’s no reason to skip dessert. Bring some honey, hotfudge, or whipped cream into the bedroom. I’ll leave it to you to decide where to put it. Just remember that it can serve to guide your partner’s attention to an overlooked area!

There’s More Than One Way You Taste  Let’s face it, you can’t talk about sex without thinking of ways we taste each other as well. When things start sizzling between the sheets, many worry about flavors. You want to be a delicacy yourself and savor your partner in every way, too. But is there a recipe for this sort of deliciousness?

As it turns out, what’s good for general health is also good for sexual health. To be a tasty morsel yourself, you must make the right choices when eating. Lots of water is the main ingredient. It detoxifies and cleanses the body, helping to keep every part in peak condition. Go easy on alcohol, nicotine, and coffee, which can be taste spoilers. And finally, fruits and vegetables lend a sweetness that is anything but sour or bitter. Just stay away from the asparagus!

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Matters of the Mouth Figure Prominently in Sex

Healthy Recipes

Quick weeknight meals
Eating right can be easy! These delicious meals are low in fat and calories to help keep you slim, and they all go from fridge to table in under 30-minutes. Plus, each dish is super-satisfying, so you’ll feel full without seconds. Now there’s no excuse not to nourish your body with healthy meals, so dig in!

Curried Shrimp

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large baking potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips

1 mango, cut into thin strips

1 cup light coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon sriracha (found in grocery stores’ Asian section)

1 teaspoon sugar 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

PREPARATION

Sprinkle potato pieces with 1 tbsp water; microwave, covered, until fork-tender, 3 minutes. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Push onion to side of skillet. Add shrimp; cook 2 minutes per side. Stir in potatoes and bell pepper; cook until pepper softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mango, coconut milk, fish sauce, sriracha and sugar. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add basil.

The Skinny
367 calories per serving, 10 g fat (3.8 g saturated), 31.6 g carbs, 3.9 g fiber, 38.8 g protein

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips With Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese

 

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 large white onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoons salt

3 baking potatoes (such as Yukon gold, about 2 lb), peeled and cubed

6 parsnips (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, heated

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

3 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

PREPARATION

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat; reduce to medium. Cook onions with sugar and salt, stirring occasionally, until onions brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Add a few tbsp water as you cook to keep onions from sticking or burning. Fill a medium stockpot 3/4 full with cold water. Add potatoes and parsnips; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and parsnips are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes, then drain. Beat 1/4 of potato-parsnip mixture and 3 oz broth in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Repeat, alternating between potato-parsnip mixture and broth, until you’ve incorporated all. Fold in onions, cheese and thyme, and serve.

The Skinny
209 calories per serving, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 41 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 5 g protein

These recipes are great for those who are diabetic, weight loss surgery patients, counting calories, and are easy to prepare.  Let me know how yours turns out.  Please leave your comment below.

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Jen Martin

 

Source: SELF Magazine www.self.com/fooddiet

Daily Healthy Recipe…Almond-Crusted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

This recipe is not only easy to make, but there are no dishes to clean and it only takes 10-15 minutes to prepare.  Perfect for weight loss surgery patients, diabetics and anyone who is watching their calories.

Almond-Crusted Chicken With Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

Daily Healthy Recipe

This recipe is great for diabetics and weight loss surgery patients, so go ahead, treat yourself and induldge!

 

Strawberry- Banana Ice Cream:

Simply blend and freeze the following ingredients!!!! YUM!!!

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

(via rawfoodnation.org)

If you have a recipe for ice-cream, please share with us.  Thank you and happy eating!