eat with abandon … that’s right, ABANDON

Maybe it’s because this article I recently read has the word “snack” near the phrase “eat with abandon.” Maybe it’s because I like to see the meager little artichoke get some love. Whatever the real reason, I think this is a pretty decent list that includes a few snack foods you can GO CRAZY on and not sabotage yourself when it comes to eating right.

*NOTE* I have to be honest, if I had not tried a kale chip a friend of mine recently made I would be more suspect. I was surprised how good they were. The recipe is simple. I won’t pretend they tasted like the good old classic chip, but the flavor was good and I fully snacked on them.

Healthy Snacks: 6 Foods You Can’t Overdo

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It really doesn’t have to be all or nothing

ImageUgh! Trying to change to eating habits is hard. I really like the convenience of fast food and, you know what, some of that junk DOES taste good. There, I said it. I’ve found that trying to integrate small, subtle adjustments is much easier than some grand sweeping change to my diet. Let’s face it, I’m pretty certain most of us are not going to “Firm as I File.

Pause from your papers with a few wall push-ups. Place hands wide at shoulder height against the wall. Take a couple of steps back so your body is at a slight angle and your weight is on your toes, and do three sets of 10 push-ups. Strengthens chest and triceps. Burns 10 calories

Oh, that’s a real thing. However helpful, most of us are not going to take advantage of these great tips – they are invasive to our normal work environment. not that I wouldn’t enjoy turning a corner and seeing the accounting department all gathered together for a fit and file session, file your way to fitness … whatever.

But, something like, blotting a slice of pizza with a napkin to cut out anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of grease — and 50-100 calories? THAT I can do.

Forget CHANGE. I don’t like change; change is hard especially when it comes to the way we eat, shop and live. People are set in their ways and disrupting the delicate balance will certainly anger the hungry bear inside of all of us. I like to think of it as a little “adjustment.” Something simple, just a tweak. Here are a few minor adjustments you can try on your road to a healthier 2013.

ImageSandwich switch: Hold the mayo or anything else for that matter. One tablespoon adds about 100cal and 10g of fat to your sandwich. If you love it so and must use mayo, switch to the light stuff and get about half the fat and calories. Mustard is the better, only 10-20 cal per tablespoon.

ImageGet Nuts: Studies have proven that people who eat nuts weigh less and eat less overall. One article I read suggested using an Altoids container. The perfect portion size of about 22 almonds, 15 cashews, or eight walnut halves will fit in one. I’m trying it.

ImageForget About Working out: If the word “exercise” inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out. Once you start your not-calling-it-exercise plan, you may discover you dig it. Find a fun way to burn calories – riding bikes, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee or chasing the dog around the yard.

Something about the word “change” feels hard but, a little tweak here and there, that I can do.

“We find that people who make small changes will often lose a few pounds,” said James O. Hill, Ph.D., director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado at Denver. “Those who start with small changes often end up able to make more and bigger changes and lose more weight.”

Right on … I hear that.

Happy New Year: Three Cheers for a Healthier You in 2013

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Happy 2013! The start of a new year is the perfect time to begin a healthy lifestyle change.

In the U.S., the majority of resolutions every year revolve around health improvement – be it exercising more, eating less or finally smoking that last cigarette. Unfortunately, these are also the most often broken resolutions.

Statistics show that in the U.S., more than 1/3 of people are obese and therefore at an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, just to name a few. But obesity doesn’t only negatively impact one’s personal health, it represents a major economic burden, with estimates of obesity related costs exceeding $110 billion annually.

To increase your odds of success, here are some medically proven ways to boost your metabolism.

#1 : STAY AWAY FROM DIETS | Fad diets which require dramatic changes in behavior often fail to provide long-term solutions. Experts suggest, instead of eating less, eat more nutritionally dense food to keep you full longer. Restricting food will actually make you feel hungrier thereby causing your metabolic rate to decrease.

#2 : MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES | Choose healthy lean proteins like fish, chicken or turkey. Also avoid adding extra fat when you cook. For example, frying a 3.5-ounce portion of chicken verses grilling it adds an extra 120 calories to the meal. Over the course of a year, making this change with dinner every night could result in over 12 pounds of weight loss!

#3 : EAT BREAKFAST | Countless studies have also touted the importance of eating breakfast, advertising the meal’s ability to jump start your metabolism and increase your energy levels all day. One study found that those who skipped breakfast are more than four times as likely to be obese.

#4 : AVOID PROCESSED REFINED CARBOHYDRATES | By decreasing your carbs and increasing your fiber intake; you’ll feel fuller longer. Fiber can also increase your ability to burn fat by as much as 30%. Don’t forget protein. It’s recommended you eat approximately one gram of protein per pound of your body weight. Protein is needed to maintain lean muscle, which in turn increases your metabolic rate.

#5 : DRINK WATER | What you drink is also important in determining your metabolic rate. Increasing your water consumption to six cups a day can raise your resting metabolism by approximately 50 calories a day. Also drinking two caffeinated beverages a day can raise your metabolism 5-8% a day. Choose low calorie beverages such as coffee or tea and avoid sodas, which are high in sugar and calories.

#6 : DON’T GO IT ALONE | A study, recently published in New England Journal of Medicine, found that people who were held accountable to a weight loss plan did better than those who tried to lose weight alone. Find someone to partner with, because with the support of a family member or friend, patients tend to be more successful at achieving their weight loss goals.

[From an article by Dr. David B. Samadi, published Dec. 30, 2011]