Small diet changes. Big weight loss.

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Most people consider losing weight a difficult proposition. Few folks have the time or interest to count calories or fat grams. Others have no patience for restrictive diets or complex dietary regimens. And even fewer are interested in the other part of losing weight, regular exercise. But you can lose a significant amount of weight by making small changes in your eating habits that don't require record keeping or a food scale. Use the following tips to help you shed unwanted pounds.

 

Healthy habits.

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, including a glass immediately before mealtime. Water helps you feel full faster and longer and also helps your body digest food.

  • When dining out, request sauces and low-calorie dressings be served on the side so you can use as much or as little as you want.

  • Don't eat while watching TV. Watching the tube instead of your plate can lull you into overeating; so will the food and snack commercials.

  • Choose healthy items if you eat fast food. To do so, avoid fried foods and "super-sized" portions.

  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is packed with calories, but no nutrients. Also, it increases appetite and weakens your willpower to avoid the wrong food choices.

 

Cooking light.

  • Sauté foods in chicken stock, low-sodium soy sauce, wine, or water instead of fat.

  • Broil, bake, roast, boil or stir-fry instead of frying, deep-frying or breading and frying.

  • Use nonstick pans and a nonstick oil spray to eliminate the oil or butter for sautéing.

  • Substitute mashed bananas, prunes, or applesauce for oil when baking.

  • Add spices to your meals instead of fat. Fresh herbs perk up any dish without adding calories. Experiment with different ethnic foods and seasonings; they're often full of flavor, not fat.