January 24, 2017

7 Dieting Mistakes For Losing Weight

It’s a common problem. You’ve been on a diet for weeks and aren’t losing weight like you thought you would.

It may be because you’re consuming more calories than you think.

Keep reading to discover seven sneaky habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Mistake #1: Forgetting Liquid Calories 

It’s easy to forget that the things you drink have calories – some more than you’d think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food.

It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine at dinner, think about the calories you’re adding.

For calories’ sake, it’s best to avoid all sweetened sodas, sweetened or flavored coffee drinks, sweetened tea, and smoothies. Replace these high-calorie drinks with water, skim milk, and unsweetened herbal tea. Because while they taste great, liquids generally don’t satisfy hunger, so they are just empty calories.

Mistake #2 Meal Skipping 

Many dieters think they’ll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, usually breakfast.

But this is a mistake.

Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day because you will end up eating even more food later in the day because you’re so hungry.

So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day. A healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full all morning contains protein and fiber. An example would be whole-wheat toast and an egg.

Mistake #3: Oversized Portions

Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn’t mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal.

Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don’t think you could fit much food into your fist? You’re right. And contrary to what mama taught you as a child, you don’t have to eat all the food in front of you.

To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower so you know when you’re full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, as they, too, contain calories.

Mistake #4: Too Many Extras

A salad is a healthy, low calorie option. At least until you add dressing, bacon, cheese, and croutons.

These add extra calories fast.

One tablespoon of dressing contains 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it’s no wonder grilled-chicken salads at a fast-food restaurant can have more calories than a hamburger.

Mistake #5: Blaming Your Genes

Many people give up on dieting or think there’s no hope when it comes to meeting their goal weight because of their genes.

Just like you may share your father’s hair color or your mother’s eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent’s body type. However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight.

Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.

Mistake #6: Eating Without Thinking

It happens to everyone. You’re tired after a long day and you just want to veg in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved. You may think that since it’s not on a plate it doesn’t matter, but every bite you take counts.

When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don’t always feel the need to eat when relaxing. Try sipping on water or tea, chewing gum, or simply don’t put anything in your mouth.

Mistake #7: Eliminating All Treats

Dieters often become overzealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, snacks, or any high calorie food.

This commitment may last a few days until you can’t tolerate it any longer and you overindulge on what you deprived yourself of.

A better plan is to allow yourself a healthy treat every once in a while.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but be smart and don’t let these common pitfalls keep your from meeting your weight loss goal!



Nordine Zouareg is a former Mr. Universe, an International Fitness Coach, Speaker and Author of the book Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss is All in Your Head! He offers world-class advice on health and fitness, inner balance and stress management, and achieving one’s full potential the inner keys to extraordinary performance. An inspiring message of hope and achievement, based on his own extraordinary story. For more information, visit: www.NordineZ.com


Healthy Holiday Eating

During this Holiday season we decided to put together some eating tips for alternating recipes and ways to avoid the calorie laden dishes served at every holiday party or meal. These tips should not only get you through the rest of the Holiday season, but they will also serve you well at any social event or dinner party into next year.

Gratefully, there are some very easy ways to revamp your recipes and dinner party strategies so you can make better eating habits.

Healthy Holiday Eating Recipe Tips

  1. Use the lower, healthier fat versions of cream cheese and sour cream.
  2. Instead of half-and-half, use 1% or skim milk and plain, fat-free yogurt can take the place of a whipped topping on a dessert.
    Note about yogurt: some fat-free versions have more added sugar to make up the taste, so read labels.
  3. A tip for baking: Use puréed fruits instead of oil for cakes, muffins or cookies. For example, if a cake recipe requires ½ cup of vegetable oil, use ½ cup of applesauce instead.  You’d be surprised that you get the same flavor, moisture and texture.  For those watching their cholesterol, two egg whites or ¼ cup of egg substitute can replace one whole egg.

Healthy Eating Tips for Holiday Cooking

It’s estimated that the average holiday “meal” contains 3,000 calories – more than most people should eat in an entire day. So, how can you enjoy a tasty tradition without ending up in a calorie coma?

Follow these guidelines:

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Holiday Eating Tips

It’s that time of year again – holiday season! Here’s something to look forward to: between Turkey day and the New Year the average person will gain between 7 and 10 pounds. The good news is that you can avoid these additional pounds with a little know how.

For most of us the holiday pounds start with Thanksgiving dinner. Did you know that the average person consumes around 3,500 calories on this day alone? Yikes. That equals one pound in extra calories – not to mention the leftovers you will be eating days afterward. Take these tips and make Thanksgiving a guilt free day this year:

Tip #1: Take 2 steps to start your day right.

Step One: Eat breakfast. You see, most people skip breakfast on Turkey day in order to ‘save room’ for the feast – maybe you have done this yourself. When you eat a healthy breakfast that is high in both fiber and protein two great things happen.

Your metabolism is started early in the day, thus catapulting you into full fledged calorie burning mode. This will come in handy later in the day.

You won’t be famished when you sit down for dinner, so you will have less room to binge. (This means fewer calories land on your waist.)

Step Two: Exercise for 30-60 minutes. I know exercise is the last thing on your mind on a busy holiday, however it is worth your effort. You will negate some of the extra holiday calories and your metabolism will climb even higher.

Tip #2: Lighten the menu.

If you’re in charge of the menu this year then you are in luck. As chef you can make a few modifications to the meal that will drastically reduce the fat and calorie intake of each guest. Do the following to lighten your feast:

  • Instead of cream-based dip for your veggie platter, use dip made from nonfat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.
  • Replace traditional stuffing with an assortment of chopped vegetables. Fill your turkey with mushrooms, eggplant, onions and celery. Or, replace half of your traditional stuffing with chopped vegetables.
  • Flavor your mashed potatoes with roasted garlic instead of butter. Or serve baked sweet potatoes instead of butter laden mashed potatoes.
  • Roast vegetables without oil – use cooking spray instead and toss them with dill.
  • Use unsweetened apple sauce or pureed plums instead of butter or oil in dessert recipes.
  • Put out an assortment of fruit for dessert instead of pies.
  • Make the recipe for Low Fat Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole below.

Tip #3: Use strategy.

Traditional Thanksgiving food items weren’t all created equal – nutritionally that is. Roasted white turkey meat (without skin) is a great source of lean protein. Vegetable dishes (without added fats) are also very healthy.

On the other hand, buttery mashed potatoes, white bread rolls, cream based dishes, and heavy gravy are all packed with fat and calories.

Fill your stomach with the healthy items first – white turkey meat and plenty of vegetables. Then simply ‘sample’ the less healthy items in small portions. This simple strategy will save you tons of extra calories and it won’t leave you feeling cheated.

Tip #4: Pace yourself.

Most people get into trouble at Thanksgiving dinner by eating full speed ahead until they finally realize that they are full (after their second and third helping). The trouble with this method is the lag time in communication between your stomach and brain.

You see, you may have satiated your hunger with the first helping, but it takes a little while for your stomach to communicate that message to your brain. And during that lag time you took the opportunity to your second and third plate of food.

This year sit calmly in your chair after that first plate and wait at least 20 minutes before getting seconds. You will be surprised to find that the thought of more food doesn’t sound good anymore – and you will have saved yourself unnecessary weight gain.

Well, there you have it: four tips that will get you off to a fit and healthy holiday season.  From breakfast to dessert recipes you can lighten your Thanksgiving feast with turkey protein and vegetables dishes to limit your calories.

Low Fat Green Bean Casserole Recipe


One can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1-1/4 pounds green beans, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces, cooked until crisp-tender
1/2 cup canned French-fried onions

Mix soup, sour cream, and milk in 2-quart casserole; stir in beans. Bake, uncovered, at 350-degrees until mixture is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle onions on top during last five minutes of baking time. Recipe makes six servings.

Nutrients per serving:
Calories: 81
Total fat: 2.9g
Cholesterol: 1.3mg
Sodium: 172mg
Carbohydrate: 11.6g
Protein: 3g
Diabetic Exchanges:  2 Vegetable, 1/2 Fat

Nordine Zouareg is a former Mr. Universe, an International Fitness Coach, Speaker and Author of the book Mind Over Body: The Key to Lasting Weight Loss is All in Your Head! He offers world-class advice on health and fitness, inner balance and stress management, and achieving one’s full potential the inner keys to extraordinary performance. An inspiring message of hope and achievement, based on his own extraordinary story. For more information, visit: www.NordineZ.com.

9 Tricks for Eating Less

Restaurant tips, calorie exchange and taste bud fulfillment.

Our fast food, food-everywhere, consumer society wants us to pig-out as much as possible.

We are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, billboard, newspaper and magazine advertisements depicting slim and happy people eating mostly bad food or drinking sodas and beer. You can’t drive down a major street in any city without seeing dozens of fast food restaurants. Many popular restaurants serve gigantic portions of food. Food everywhere has been super-sized.

The first step to eating less is to say “No” to the industrial food complex that is trying to fatten you up for the kill. Just say “No” to McDonald’s and every other fast food restaurant. Say “No” to canned food and pre-packaged meals, “No” to soda pop and “sports” drinks, “No” to trans-fat and “No” to high fructose corn syrup. You’ll consume fewer calories and extend your life. The next step is to practice these 9 little tricks for eating less:

1. Learn that you are full before you stop eating.

We all have a human survival gene left over from a more primitive day called the “thrifty gene,” which encourages us to keep on eating even when we are full. Stop eating before those last few bites of mashed potatoes. Wait, and the desire to eat will go away.

2. Cut back on fat.

Fat has 9 calories per gram as compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. You can eat the same amount of food while automatically cutting back on calories.

3. When you eat out, order two appetizers instead of one appetizer and a main dish. Or, simply order the main dish and no appetizers. Or, share an appetizer.

Skip the desert or if you must, or share it. If you aren’t too embarrassed, ask for a “doggy bag” before you start eating, and put a portion of your meal into the bag ahead of time. Don’t eat the roll or bread and butter before the meal begins. If the waiter asks you if you want bread, stand up, throw your arms in the air and yell, “Hell, no!” (Just kidding).

4. Have a light soup before your main meal. Better yet, have soup as the main meal.

Soup makes you feel full on fewer calories.

5. Drink a large glass of water before you eat.

You’ll be less hungry.

6. For heaven’s sake, slow down.

Enjoy every single bite, chew it, and savor it. To slow things down even more, set your fork down between bites. Twenty minutes after your first bite of food there will be sugar in your blood stream; you’ll feel full regardless of how much you’ve eaten.

7. Don’t ever let yourself get extremely hungry.

Another primitive instinct is to overeat when we are really hungry. Don’t skip meals and learn to eat healthy, low calories snacks between meals.

8. Eat by Yourself!

After 30 years of overeating and obesity research, psychologists at the University of Toronto have concluded that regardless of how hungry, social clues can dictate how much you eat–usually too much. In groups as small as two people, you will tend to eat 30% to 50% more than if you were alone. So, eat alone or be more aware of how much you are eating when you are with others.

9. Notice when the flavor is gone and stop eating.

You’ll be amazed that after a bite or two of ice cream or fast food you really can’t taste it anymore. Your taste buds are numb but your stomach is on autopilot. Stop eating for a moment. Your desire will go numb as well.


Contributed by David Bunnell to Maximum Life Foundation

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