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12 Easy Ways To Eat Slimmer All Day Long

It’s so easy to come up with a million excuses about why you can’t eat better, especially when you’re a mom. But it’s also easy to get slimming foods and habits into your diet, if you know how. Now you do! Two top nutritionists share mom-friendly tips that take off pounds, but won’t make you feel like you’re missing out.

  • Start the day with oatmeal 1 of 12
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    "Cold cereals pack about three times the calories of hot cereal," says Danine Fruge, M.D., associate medical director of the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami. An excellent a.m. choice: oatmeal with fresh berries and a glass of nonfat milk or soy milk. "The oatmeal and berries are high in water and fiber, which makes them very low in calorie density," she says. Basically, this means you can eat good-size portions without using up many calories. And the milk adds protein, to help keep you satisfied till lunch.

     

    Image source: Thinkstock

  • Use a different dish 2 of 12
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    "Your eyes make the decision for your stomach on how much to eat — so when we use bigger plates and bowls, we serve ourselves a larger amount to fill the space on the dish," says Deborah Orlick Levy, M.S., R.D., a nutritionist in New York City who works with Carrington Farms. "You can save hundreds of calories at each meal by using smaller dishes. And if you go for the smaller size fork and spoon, too, it'll take longer to eat." The more you stretch out a meal, the more time your stomach has to register that it's full.

     

    Image source: Thinkstock

  • Snack smarter 3 of 12
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    "A lot of clients at Pritikin tell me they eat energy bars for snacks," says Fruge. "Thing is, many pack the same amount of calories as a candy bar." Her favorite healthy, low-fat, super-satisfying snacks: 1 cup of sugar-snap peas; popcorn, air-popped or fat-free microwaved (2 quarts of air-popped is about 200 calories — the equivalent of 20 potato chips); baby carrots with a couple tablespoons of hummus.

     

    Image source: Flickr/J MacPherson

  • Drink this! 4 of 12
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    Mindless guzzling can pack on pounds: A can of Coke has 138 calories, as do cans of sugary iced tea. A 12-ounce glass of lemonade has about 150 calories. Get zero calories and great taste by squeezing several wedges of lemon into a tall glass of ice water, suggests Fruge. Pour in a packet of Splenda, stir, enjoy.

     

    Image source: Flickr/RedBull Trinker

  • Eat your H20, too 5 of 12
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    "Numerous studies have found that eating foods rich in water like fruits, vegetables, hot cereals and soups helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories," notes Fruge. "One of my favorites: fruit salsa. Use whatever fruits you already have. Melons, mangos and berries are great choices. Chop them up and toss into a big bowl. Then add chopped onions, chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime, to taste. Enjoy as a snack or use as a fat-free salad dressing. It's also fantastic spooned over grilled fish."

     

    Image source: Flickr/You + Mi

  • Have lean protein and fiber at every meal 6 of 12
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    "Protein foods increase satiety and decrease appetite, resulting in fewer calories consumed — especially if you go for lean choices like turkey or chicken," explains Levy. "And fiber-rich foods are digested more slowly than other foods so you stay fuller longer. But be aware, if you increase protein and fiber, you should also increase water intake or you could get constipated. So have your egg whites with whole-wheat toast and your whole wheat pita, vegetables and grilled chicken sandwich, but don't forget the extra glass of water."

     

    Image source: Thinkstock

  • Skip fat-free foods (except dairy ones) 7 of 12
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    Avoiding fat-free foods may seem like the opposite of what you should do. Thing is, you're not doing your shape any favors by going for the fat-free mayo or salad dressing or reduced-fat baked goods, notes Levy: "Since fat in a food helps keep you satisfied, the removal of fat will likely result in over-consumption — especially with treats like cookies." Fat-free and reduced-fat dairy products including plain yogurt, milk, cheese and cottage cheese are the exception: Even though fat is removed, they also pack protein so you still feel full for longer.

     

    Image source: Thinkstock

  • Try the three-bite rule 8 of 12
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    "Research shows that people have a heightened awareness of the first and last tastes of creamy, rich, high-calorie desserts," says Levy. "So if you occasionally take three bites of a tempting dessert, you will truly enjoy it while limiting the number of calories. It's that simple: three bites."

     

    Image source: Flickr/leyla.a

  • Go for veggie burgers over beef 9 of 12
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    Vegetable-packed patties have about half the calories of red meat patties, and none of the artery-clogging saturated fat — the kind that raises bad cholesterol levels, says Fruge. "Consuming too much fat of any kind can lead to weight gain, since fats are a highly concentrated source of calories, typically 120 calories per tablespoon," she says. 

     

    Image source: SweetOnVeg

  • Sub in Greek yogurt whenever 10 of 12
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    "Use fat-free Greek yogurt as a baked potato topping and you get one-quarter the calories and one-tenth the fat of sour cream — but still great, creamy taste," says Fruge. A dollop is also yummy on cut-up fruit, or swirled into black bean soup. And it's excellent in salad dressing, too. The recipe for Pritikin's popular Thousand Island dressing (10 calories and 0 fat per tablespoon): In a small bowl blend ¾ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, ½ cup fat-free sour cream, ½ teaspoon dry oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ¾ cup low-sugar, low-sodium ketchup. Store in your fridge for about four days.

     

    Image: Thinkstock

  • Make friends with sweet potatoes 11 of 12
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    "They are one of the most overlooked slimming foods and snacks," says Fruge. "They're great choices because they rank high in satiety scales—which measure how much foods fill you up and curb hunger — yet they're very low in calories, just 115 per potato, with zero grams of fat. They're very high in nutrients, too. You can prepare a bunch ahead of time, then pop into the microwave at work. Top with cinnamon or nutmeg for extra flavor. If you want a little zest, plop on a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard or a quarter cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt."

     

    Image source: Flickr/Natalie Maynor

  • Fill up on chia seeds 12 of 12
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    "Chia seeds are even higher in fiber than flax seeds, which can help promote fullness and ward off cravings for fattening snacks," says Levy. "They're also an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3s." Aim for about two tablespoons a day. Sprinkle into smoothies, cereal, yogurt, salads, soups or wherever you please.

    Image source: Thinkstock

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