Best Diet Tips Ever

Experts share their top tips for weight loss success.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD


Everyone knows the keys to losing weight: Eat less and exercise more. Sounds simple enough, but in the context of real life and its demands, it can be anything but simple. So how do successful losers do it? To find out, WebMD asked experts across the country for their best diet tips.

Here's what they said:
Best Diet Tip No. 1: Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories when an ice-cold glass of water is really what you need.

"If you don’t like plain water, try adding citrus or a splash of juice, or brew infused teas like mango or peach, which have lots of flavor but no calories," says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Best Diet Tip No. 2: Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.

Start by focusing on getting the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

"It sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it, because at the same time you are meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of food," says chef Laura Pansiero, RD.

You're also less likely to overeat because fruits and vegetables displace fat in the diet. And that's not to mention the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. More than 200 studies have documented the disease-preventing qualities of phytochemicals found in produce, says Pansiero.

Her suggestion for getting more: Work vegetables into meals instead of just serving them as sides on a plate.

"I love to take seasonal vegetables and make stir-fries, frittatas, risotto, pilafs, soups, or layer on sandwiches," Pansiero says. "It is so easy to buy a variety of vegetables and incorporate them into dishes."
Best Diet Tip No. 3: Consider whether you're really hungry.

Whenever you feel like eating, look for physical signs of hunger, suggests Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry?

"Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn’t come from hunger, eating will never satisfy it," she says.

When you're done eating, you should feel better -- not stuffed, bloated, or tired.

"Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably," says May.

Keeping your portions reasonable will help you get more in touch with your feelings of hunger and fullness.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Free Weight Loss Tips - Balanced Diet

Balanced, healthy eating is based on the "Food Pyramid" which contains six main food groups. Eating a balanced diet means eating foods from each of the six main food groups, each day and excluding fats, oils & sweets.
The Food Pyramid (6 Food Groups)

1. Fats, Oils, Sweets: Use Sparingly
2. Milk, Yogurt & Cheese: 2-3 Servings
3. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, Nuts: 2-3 Servings
4. Vegetables: 3-5 Servings
5. Fruits: 2-4 Servings
6. Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta: 6-11 Servings

If you follow the recommended servings for each of the six food groups (Fats, Milk, Vegetables, Meat/eggs, Fruit, Bread/pasta etc.) each day, and choose lower-fat, lower sugar brands, you are sure to get sufficient nutrients like: protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

By choosing the lower number of servings from each group your calorie intake should add up to about 1600 calories, per day. If you choose the highest number from each group, your calorie intake should be about 2800-2900 calories, per day.
Food Pyramid Serving Sizes
Food Group Serving Size
Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta, Noodles 1 slice bread; 1/2 hamburger bun or English muffin; 1 small roll, muffin, or biscuit; 5-6 small crackers; 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, pasta, noodles; 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal.
Vegetables 1/2 cup cooked/raw vegetables; 1 cup leafy raw vegetables; 1/2 cup cooked peas, beans, other legumes; 3/4 cup vegetable juice.
Fruit 1 medium apple, banana, orange; 1/2 grapefruit; melon wedge; 3/4 cup fruit juice; 1/2 cup chopped fresh, cooked, canned fruit (in juice); 1/4 cup dried fruit;
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese 1 cup milk; 8 ounces yogurt; 1.5 ounces natural cheese; 2 ounces processed cheese.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts In this group 2-3 servings equals 5-7 ounces of cooked lean meat, or poultry without skin, or fish. Note: 1 egg (or 2 egg whites), 1 tbsp nuts, or 1/2 cup cooked peas, beans count as 1 ounce of meat.
Fats, Oils and Sweets Use sparingly. Note: Use fats/oils low in saturated fat. Unprocessed vegetable oils are best. Avoid fats with hydrogenated fat or trans-fatty acids.

Alcohol is not included in the Food Guide Pyramid. But official advice is to limit consumption to two drinks a day (male) or one drink a day, (female). [One drink = 12oz beer; or 1.5oz spirits; or 5oz wine.]
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