Oprah's 100 Calories-a-Day Elimination Tricks
Oprah Winfrey is the Queen of Dieting, known for both her previous attempts at crazy crash diets and for now finally eating healthfully and exercising to lose and maintain weight. Oprah knows that we are all in search of a diet and exercise plan that allows us to feel like we are living a normal life, instead of one of deprivation and sacrifice, so she is offering her readers tips on how to shave 100 calories a day without feeling the burn.
Oprah has always preached empowerment to women. Do not let anyone say you can’t do something, and that pertains to weight loss as well. Sure, 100 calories a day will not cause you to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, as some other weight loss programs profess. But by either decreasing your daily food intake by 100 calories or doing something to burn an extra 100 calories can potentially lead to a weight loss of 10 pounds in a year, which will still benefit your health tremendously.
And trust Oprah – you’ll never miss those 100 little calories.
Tip #1 – Treat Monday Lunch Like Friday Happy Hour.
No, we aren’t suggesting that you imbide alcohol during your lunch break from work. But you should get out from your office and have lunch with a friend. People who eat lunch while working in front of the computer consume more calories, feel less full, and are therefore hungry again sooner than usual.
And eating with friends has wonderful benefits as well. Women tend to eat more healthfully when they are with partners who eat healthy meals as well. So choose your dining partner wisely!
You may also want to try eating while standing up. Standing burns 40 percent more calories than sitting. Try this with morning coffee as well! It gets you up and out of your seat for a portion of the day. Remember also at work to take a few extra steps by taking the stairs, visiting a co-worker instead of calling them on the phone or emailing, and taking a brisk walk around your building when you feel a dip in productivity.
Tip #2 – Spice Up Your Lunch
You know that a healthier alternative to mayonnaise is mustard, as it has less fat and fewer calories. But if you eat the same plain condiment on your foods day after day, they are sure to get boring. Try spicing things up a bit. Spicy mustard on a sandwich or a little wasabi as a protein garnish could rev up the metabolism by as much as 25%. Other spices to try include black pepper, dill seeds, and parsley. They contain vanadium which may help control blood sugar spikes and boost muscle mass to burn extra calories during the day.
Remember also, when it comes to condiments and spreads, avoid those heavy in sugar, such as ketchup and barbeque sauce. And although oil and vinegar is a better salad topping than a creamy dressing, use the oil sparingly as it contains 120 calories per tablespoon.
Tip #3 – Have You Tried Greek Yogurt Yet?
As US News stated last fall – “Move over, regular yogurt. Going Greek is in!” Greek yogurt, although it may contain the same number of calories as a regular plain nonfat version, contains less sugar and more protein, which could help keep you satisfied longer. And yogurt-eaters tend to lose more weight than those who don’t. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that people tended to lose about a quarter of a pound more a year when they added a daily serving of yogurt to the diet. Again, a fourth of a pound doesn’t sound like a lot – but when you add this small addition to our other tips, they all add together to bring about steady weight loss.
Try mixing plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with seasonings such as garlic, dill, and parsley for a vegetable dip. Use it in place of cheese by drizzling it with a teaspoon of oil, sprinkling with Mediterranean herbs and adding it to a sandwich. Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream on tacos or for the eggs and oil in a baked recipe. You can also try it as an alternative to mayonnaise on a sandwich or in a potato or pasta salad.
Tip #4 – Are You Over-served at Breakfast?
Do you eat cereal for breakfast? While a high-fiber cereal is a great way to start your day, have you ever really stopped to examine your cereal bowl? Most hold around 2 cups, so you may be over-pouring in the morning. Measuring your cereal carefully to the recommended serving size of a cup to a cup and a half can save 100 calories. Remember to measure your milk too!
If you are concerned that limiting your morning meal may cause you to be hungry later in the day, nullifying the efforts of cutting out those calories, be sure to pack a healthy snack to eat mid morning. Try a fruit such as a banana that is filling, or a handful of nuts.
Tip #5 – Choose Snack Foods with Shells
Speaking of nuts….Just one ounce per day can help reduce obesity, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. But choosing those in shells can add an extra benefit. Consider two bowls – a quarter of a cup in size. Fill one with shelled pistachios and one with those with the shells removed. The stack with the nuts already shelled will be about 182 calories versus 82 with the shells still on. You also eat more slowly because of the extra time it takes to shell the nut, so you will feel satisfied longer.
Tip #6 – Never Leave Home Without A Water Bottle
When I worked for a bariatric (weight loss) surgeon, this was his number one rule for his patients. Always have water available to drink. It can help keep you feeling full so you snack less, plus it helps regulate your ability to burn calories. Staying hydrated can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 30%. Use a stainless steel version or be sure to include a lot of ice so the water is cold. 40% of the calories you burn by drinking 2 liters of water a day will be because your body is using extra to warm up the liquid to body temperature.
Tip #7 – Step Up to Lean Ground Beef
If you are reaching for 70/30 (70% lean meat and 30% fat) ground beef because it is cheaper, you might want to fork over a few extra pennies and give 80/20 a try. The ground beef is still very flavorful, but you can save 65 calories per burger. And remember that extra fat in the diet over time will contribute more toward heart disease, so the money you save now on cheap ground beef may one day go toward medical bills for statin drugs or heart surgery!
To further cut a burger's calories, try a whole-wheat sandwich thin instead of a regular bun and you could save another 50 or so calories. Remember to add plenty of lettuce, tomato and onion (and spicy mustard) to fill you up with very few extra calories.
Tip #8 – Take an Afternoon Green Tea Break
Green tea has been shown to slightly raise metabolism due to antioxidants known as catechins that have the ability to metabolize fat. Green tea is also a healthful diet addition as it may reduce the risk of many types of cancers in both men and women and may even help with memory and learning.