Make 2012 the year you ditch the diets and start living in a healthy way. Try any one of these small, expert-approved tips for big (and healthy) changes.
Drink water with lemon to rev up your metabolism.
"Adding the lemon helps to detoxify the liver and metabolizes fat, so this can speed up metabolism by about 33 percent," Warner says. "That burns about 100 extra calories per day!"
Listen to your hunger.
"When you get the signal that you've had enough, sprinkle salt on the rest of your plate to avoid nibbling on the leftovers, " Smith says. "Those little bits of calories can add up quickly over the week."
Don't buy diet food.
"Before you plan a shopping trip or order out, look up the nutritional value of the foods you're considering and ask yourself if your list matches up with your needs and goals," Cohen says.
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Eat a salad for lunch every day.
"Replace your lunchtime meal with a large salad loaded with healthy greens," Ingber says. "If you are a meat-eater, add some lean protein. Load your salad with avocado, nuts, and all sorts of veggies that add color to your meal."
Eat on a schedule.
"So plan for one to two snacks a day as needed, and you'll likely eat less and avoid binges later," Nichols says.
Start juicing...drinking vegetable juice, that is!
"Cucumber, kale, carrot, ginger...it is so good for you, gives you so much energy, and actually tastes good!" Stiles says. "The coolest side effect is that I stopped craving sugar and salts! Just like that, without trying. Amazing!"
Always carry almonds with you.
"The perfect portion size of about 22 almonds, 15 cashews, or eight walnut halves will fit in one, and studies have proven that people who eat nuts weigh less and eat less overall," McGee says. "The belly-slimming monounsaturated fats are excellent, and each type of nut has great benefits-walnuts have omega-3s and almonds are high in vitamin E. Plus, a little Altoids tin can fit in a purse pocket anywhere, so there's no excuse!"
Add psyllium and flaxseed into your diet.
"Take your psyllium husks and flaxseeds, put them both into a Ziploc bag, and shake it up," Love says. "Keep this mixture in the fridge and add a tablespoon to each protein shake you drink throughout the day. This will help to keep you regular and give you those extra nutrients you need."
Add protein to every meal.
Drink alcohol sitting down.
"I found that I grab a drink because that is the expected party behavior, and I use my drink as a buffer and will just take sips to look busy, even though I'm not really enjoying it," she says. "Instead, I drink cocktails and wine during great sit-down, relaxed moments. And at the party, I stand with bubbly water or nothing in my hand so that I can give out better hugs!"
Watch out for carb serving sizes.
"Remember that a recommended carbohydrate serving-such as pasta, pizza, bread, or rice-is 1/3 to 1/2 cup. That's the size of a golf ball or mouse," she says. "Most restaurants give you three cups of pasta. That's the equivalent of six carb servings!"
Choose Greek yogurt over other types of yogurt.
"A better choice is Greek-style yogurt," they say. "They have more protein per serving and very little sugar. Try adding fresh fruit for an added treat!"
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Skip the mayo and choose mustard instead.
"To increase metabolism and curb appetite, drink a glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of hot spicy mustard just before dinner. Not only will you increase your metabolism, but mustard seeds are a good source of antioxidants and omega-3s!"
Ditch the sugary drinks for good.
"Eliminate sugary drinks and diet soda, which can trigger your craving for sweets," he says. "These beverages are loaded with unwanted calories."
Experiment with new recipes.
"Pick-up a new cookbook and experiment," Hubbard recommends. "Gear towards weight-loss types of recipes."
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