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Naturally Get Rid of Cellulite on the Back of Your Thighs

One of the biggest problems you deal with as a woman who may be carrying around a little extra fat is cellulite.  And it’s because of that problem that one of the most common questions asked by females is, “How do you naturally get rid of cellulite on the back of your thighs?”
Is that a question you’ve raised before?
Well, I’ve got answers for you, and the good news is…getting rid of cellulite is totally possible.  And I’m going to share with you the way you can do that.
Before getting into answers about how to get rid of cellulite on the back of your thighs, first, we must address what cellulite is and what causes it the first place.  That will help you to understand better the remedies for getting rid of it.
So to start with, what is cellulite?   Well, cellulite is just stored fat deposits.  And your body is predisposed to the locations where that fat is stored.  For many women like yourself, myself included, a very common area for that stored fat is on the back of your thighs.
The “dimple effect” that is caused by cellulite is a result of the structure of the fat cells.  Female fat cells have a vertical design while men’s cells have more of a criss-cross pattern.  That criss-cross pattern essentially minimizes the fatty deposits’ visibility whereas the vertical design doesn’t to that same degree.
Also, the hormone estrogen commonly found in a higher amount in women has a tendency to build up fluid.  Mix that with the thinner skin you have as a female and have the perfect recipe to cause the more clear visibility of fat, being cellulite.
The next step is to take the action that will naturally get rid of the cellulite on the back of your thighs.  There are three issues involved with that process.  They are:

Fluid intake

When it comes to cellulite and your diet, of course how much food you eat plays a factor.  But did you know that the type of food you eat makes a difference as well.  The ingredients in processed foods especially, wreak havoc on your body and actually promote the development of cellulite.

To naturally get rid of the cellulite on the back of your thighs, start by limiting your caloric intake to not consume more calories than you burn and eat more whole foods.  Stay away from processed foods that are full of chemicals and preservatives.

Fluid intake and the hydration level in your body have an impact on the look of your skin as well.  When there is excess water under the skin, it helps reveal the unsightly cellulite lurking on your thighs.  However, when you keep the water under the skin at minimum levels, it helps to reduce cellulite…or at least the appearance of it.  The best way to achieve this goal is to drink plenty of water and avoid taking in sodium, aka salt, in excess.

The final act in the trilogy of cellulite reduction is…(as I’m sure you have guessed), exercise.  And we’re not talking about just any exercise.  We’re talking about specific “anti-cellulite” moves.  To get rid of the stubborn fat pockets that we affectionately…or maybe not so, call “saddle bags,” you need to build lean muscle.  To add that muscle, you must incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine.
But that isn’t the only type of exercise that is needed to get rid of cellulite from the back of your thighs.
Another action that needs to be achieved in exercise is to mobilize the fat from your fat cells and then use that fat as energy or fuel to be burned during exercise.  The best training for that…high intensity interval training.  This is where your blood is pumping and the fat is moving and getting ready to be burned.
But that high intensity interval training, (or HIIT for short), only preps the fat to be burned.  After a bout of HIIT training, a second phase of exercise is the workout that is performed at a low or moderate intensity.  This intensity level is commonly referred to the “fat burning zone.”
And that’s it…well, that’s it in a nutshell.  Of course there is a plan for how to do all of this.
But address these three issues and you’ll be well on your way to reducing ugly cellulite and getting rid of those nasty saddle bags.
If you’re interested in finding a program that puts all of these items in their place and identifies the exact process you can follow to be cellulite free, click here to naturally get rid of cellulite on the back of your thighs.

Keys to a Successful Fat Loss Plan for Women

fat loss plan for women

photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

The main key components to a successful fat loss plan for women often get lost in the minutia.  By that I simply mean that we get so caught up in all the little details that we lose sight of the fundamentals or shall we say basic scientifically proven principles to successful fat loss.

Now that’s not to say that the details aren’t important.  They definitely are, because with them you can accelerate your results and even hone in on some pretty specific goals.  But if you are simply looking to reduce fat in your body, then there are only a few basic ideas you need to know and practices you’ll want to put into play.

Diet – Okay, so the concept of nutrition is not new news to you I’m sure.  But hopefully some of the details shared here will either be a great reminder or cause the light bulb to turn on for a tremendous “ah-ha” moment.

The bottom-line with fat loss is…calories in vs. calories out.  Period.  End of story.  Barring some medical reason that would that contradict that science, the irrefutable method of losing fat starts by taking in fewer calories than your body burns.

Having said that, it’s not to say that certain tweaks here and there couldn’t accelerate results.  For example, while still monitoring your total number of consumed calories, eat protein with every meal.  Protein helps to increase insulin sensitivity.  (Insulin resistance is a contributor to fat gain.)  Plus, protein has been found to be more satisfying than fat and carbs thus there is a tendency to not want to eat as much due to having the feeling of being full.

Exercise – Once again, another topic that is not new.  However hopefully, this will cause an additional flip of the light bulb switch.  The big secret being to simply…move.  Adding activity via exercise helps burn calories and help use up some of the calories consumed through the course of the day.  And the fat loss exercise itself that you can do is simply walk for 30 minutes a day.  Whether it is outside, in a gym, or a treadmill at home it doesn’t matter.  Just get your body moving.

(Here is a fat loss plan that implements all 3 keys to fat loss.)

The finer details of exercising to lose weight are that the way you exercise can accelerate results.  For example, a high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workout can burn twice as many calories as as walking does…and in half the time.

Track your progress – There are a number of benefits in tracking your progress.  One is simply the motivational boost you get when you see results.  Another is the benefit of analysis.  That is because by tracking your progress you can see what is working and what is not.  In addition, with what you see through your tracking, you’ll be able to tell whether it’s time to go to the next phase in your training.

With your tracking, be sure to document all facets that impact the changes in your body as a result of the fat loss.  For example, keep track of waist and hip and any skinfold measurement.  Note also the information that pertains to body fat percentage, BMI, heart rate, and training intensities.  As your efforts reduce fat in your body, you’ll have to adapt your fat loss plan to continue working in the most effective manner.

(I used a fat loss plan for women that really gave me the results I was looking for.  If you’re ready to get results in your fat loss efforts, check this out!)

Fat Burning Foods in Your Weight Loss Diet

I came across an article that reveals some surprising truths about the fat burning foods in your weight loss diet and your health. Unless you’ve been taking nutrition classes or reading up on the science journals, these are things that will likely shock you about what kind of fats you should be consuming in your efforts to lose weight, and what kind you should be staying away from.

I am posting the article here, courtesy of my friend Mike Geary. You may have heard of him. He created the site, the Truth about Abs. From his credentials, you can see he’s got some background in this stuff to back up what he is saying…but if you ask me, his picture speaks even louder. J

Read what he says about fats in your diet…find out what’s okay to eat…and what’s not!!! Oh, and if you’re interested in learning more about how he built an incredible body, check out his program here. It’s another F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C method of fat loss for women.

Here’s the article from:   http://www.truthaboutabs.com/dietary-fat-article.html

The Shocking Truth about Dietary Fats and Saturated Fats

You’ve been deceived into thinking that saturated fats are bad for you, but let’s look at some facts below…

by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

I’ll preface this article by saying that it will help if you have an open mind and accept that some of these facts are a slap in the face to politically correct nutrition in this day and age where fats are admonished by many doctors, health “experts”, and the mass media.

To start, eating an adequate supply of healthy dietary fats is vitally important to your overall health. Fats are one of the main components in all of the cell membranes throughout your entire body. If you eat enough healthy natural fats, your cellular processes will proceed normally.

On the other hand, if you eat man-made, heavily processed, chemically altered fats (damaged fats) that are found in most processed foods, your cellular function will be impaired as these damaged fats become part of your cell membranes, the body will have to work harder to operate correctly, and degenerative diseases can develop.

In addition, healthy dietary fats are necessary for optimal hormone production and balance within the body and are therefore essential for the muscle building and fat burning processes. Other important functions that dietary fats play in a healthy body are aiding vitamin and mineral utilization, enzyme regulation, energy, etc.

I cringe every time I hear so called “health experts” recommend restriction of dietary fat, claiming that a low-fat diet is the key to good health, weight loss, and prevention of degenerative diseases. Restriction of any one macronutrient (protein, carbs, or fat) in your diet works against what your body needs and can only lead to problems.

All three basic macronutrients serve important functions for a lean, healthy, and disease-free body. As Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D, and one of the leading fats researchers in the world, notes in several of her books and articles, there is very little true scientific evidence supporting the assertion that a high fat diet is bad for us.

For example, if these so called “health experts” that admonish fat are correct, and a low-fat diet is the solution to good health, then why did traditional Pacific Islanders who typically obtained 2/3 to 3/4 of their total daily calories from fat (mostly from coconut fat), remain virtually free from heart disease, obesity, and other modern degenerative diseases (that is, until Western dietary influences invaded)?

Also, why did traditional Eskimo populations, consuming up to 75% of their total caloric intake from fat (mostly from whale blubber, seal fat, organ meats, and cold water fish), display superior health and longevity without heart disease or obesity?

Why did members of the Masai tribe in Africa remain free from degenerative diseases and maintain low body fat percentages on diets consisting of large quantities of raw whole milk, blood, and meat? What about the Samburu tribe of Africa, which eats an average of 5 times the quantity of dietary fat (mostly from raw whole milk and meat) as overweight, disease-ridden Americans, yet Samburu members are lean, healthy, and free of degenerative diseases?

What about traditional Mediterranean diets, which are known to be very high in fat in some cases (sometimes up to 50-70% fat), and are also well known to be very healthy?

These examples of high fat diets and the associated excellent health of traditional populations around the world go on and on, yet it seems that many doctors, nutritionists, and media outlets still ignore these facts and continue to promote a diet that restricts dietary fat intake.

Well, the problem is that the good fats (the natural unprocessed health promoting fats) have gotten mistakenly lumped together in nutritional advice with the deadly processed fats and oils that make up a large percentage of almost all processed food that is sold at your local grocery store, restaurant, deli, fast food joint, etc. These deadly processed fats are literally everywhere and almost impossible to avoid unless you know what to look for and make smart choices in what you feed your body with.

Take note that I’m not recommending following a super high fat diet (although technically this can be more healthy than a high carb diet as long as you choose healthy fats).

However, in most cases, active individuals that exercise on a regular basis certainly also need adequate supplies of healthy carbohydrates for energy and muscle glycogen replenishment as well as good sources of protein for muscle repair. The above examples of the high fat diets of traditional populations and their corresponding excellent health were simply to prove the point that you don’t need to be afraid of dietary fats as long as you make healthy natural choices and stay within your daily caloric range to maintain or lose body fat (depending on your goals).

Following is a list of some of the healthiest fatty foods (some will surprise you!) as well as some of the deadliest fatty foods to try to avoid at all costs:

The Healthy Fatty Food Choices:

  • Coconut fat: Coconut fat is approximately 92% saturated fat, yet surprisingly to most people, is considered a very healthy natural fat. The health benefits of coconut fat lie in its composition of approximately 65% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Specifically, about 50% of coconut fat is a MCT called lauric acid, which has very potent anti-microbial properties helping to enhance the immune system. Also, MCTs are more easily utilized for immediate energy instead of being stored as body fat. Coconut oil is also an excellent cooking oil for stir-frying, etc. since saturated fats are much more stable and do not oxidize like polyunsaturated oils when exposed to heat and light, which creates damaging free radicals. The best sources of healthy coconut fat are organic coconut milk, virgin coconut oil (available at http://coconut-info.com), or fresh coconut.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil is approximately 71% monounsaturated, 16% saturated, and 13% polyunsaturated. Choose “extra virgin” olive oil, which comes from the first pressing of the olives and has higher quantities of antioxidants. Unlike most other oils on supermarket shelves, extra virgin olive oil is not extracted with the use of harmful industrial solvents and is one of your healthiest choices for liquid oils. Try making your own salad dressing by mixing a small amount of olive oil with vinegar. This is healthier than most store bought salad dressings, which are usually made with highly processed and refined (chemically damaged) soybean oil extracted with industrial solvents.
  • Dark, bittersweet chocolate (>70% cocoa): The cocoa bean is a very concentrated source of antioxidants and responsible for part of the health benefit of dark chocolate. The fat portion of the cocoa bean (cocoa butter) is a healthy natural fat, composed of approximately 59% saturated fat (mostly healthy stearic acid), 38% monounsaturated fat, and 3% polyunsaturated fat. I’ll limit the description of healthy chocolate to ONLY dark bittersweet chocolate with >70% cocoa content. Most milk chocolates are only about 30% cocoa, and even most dark chocolates are only about 55% cocoa, leaving the remainder of those products composed of high amounts of sugar, milk fat, corn sweeteners, etc. Look for a quality dark chocolate that lists its cocoa content like Chocolove Extra Dark (77%) or Dagoba New Moon (74%), which contain mostly cocoa and very little sugar. Keep in mind that although dark chocolate can be a healthy treat, it is still calorie dense, so keeping it to just a square or two is a good idea.
  • Avocados or guacamole: The fat in avocados (depending on where they’re grown) is approximately 60% monounsaturated, 25% saturated, and 15% polyunsaturated. Avocados are a very healthy natural food that provides many nutrients, fiber, and healthful fats, while adding a rich flavor to any meal. Try sliced avocado on sandwiches or in salads or use guacamole in wraps, sandwiches, or quesadillas.
  • High fat fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, etc.: Just about any fish or seafood are good sources of natural omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, but the higher fat fish listed above are the best sources of omega-3’s. Due to the radical switch to a higher proportion of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, etc. in our food supply during the middle of the 20th century, the average western diet is currently way too high in omega-6’s compared to omega-3’s, which wreaks havoc in your body. This is where good omega-3 sources like high fat fish, walnuts, and flax seeds can help bring you back to a better ratio of omega-6/omega-3. I also recommend Krill Oil, which has been shown to possibly have even more health benefits than standard fish oil
  • Nuts (any and all – walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamias, etc.): Nuts are great sources of healthy unprocessed fats as well as minerals and other trace nutrients. Macadamias, almonds, and cashews are great sources of monounsaturated fats, while walnuts are a good source of unprocessed polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3’s). Try to avoid nuts that are cooked in oil. Instead, choose raw or dry roasted nuts.
  • Seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds): All of these seeds are great sources of natural unprocessed healthy fats. In particular, flax seeds have received a lot of attention lately due to their high omega-3 content. However, keep in mind that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are highly reactive to heat and light, and prone to oxidation and free radical production. Therefore, freshly ground flax seed is the only way to go. Instead of using the store bought ground flax seed, you can buy whole flax seed and use one of those miniature coffee grinders to grind your own flax seed. Try grinding fresh flax seed into your yogurt, cereal, or even your salad. If you’re using a flax oil, make sure it’s a cold-pressed oil in a light-proof refrigerated container, and use it up within a few weeks to prevent it from going rancid. NEVER cook with flax oil!
  • The fat in organically raised, free-range animals: This is where most people have been misinformed by the mass media. Animal fat is inherently good for us, that is, if it came from a healthy animal. Human beings have thrived on animal fats for thousands of years. The problem is, most mass produced animal products today do not come from healthy animals. They come from animals given loads of antibiotics and fattened up with hormones and fed un-natural feed. The solution is to choose organically raised, free-range meats, eggs, and dairy. At this time, the price is still a little higher, but as demand grows, the prices will come down. I’ve found an incredible website that actually offers free-range grass-fed meats delivered right to your doorstep at very reasonable prices. Believe me, it’s very hard to find grass fed meats at any grocery stores, so I was pleased to find this site.

The Deadly Fatty Foods:

  • Hydrogenated oils (trans fats): These are industrially produced chemically altered oils subjected to extremely high pressure and temperature, with added industrial solvents such as hexane for extraction, and have a metal catalyst added to promote the artificial hydrogenation, followed by bleaching and deodorizing agents…..and somehow the FDA still allows this crap to pass as food. These oils aren’t even worthy of your lawnmower, much less your body! They’ve been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Even small quantities have been shown in studies to be dangerous. If you care about your health, check the ingredients of everything you buy, and if you see partially hydrogenated oils of any kind, margarine, or shortening, protect yourself and your family by choosing something else.
  • Refined oils: Even if the oils are not hydrogenated, most oils on your supermarket shelves are refined, even most of the so called “healthy” canola oils. Most refined oils still undergo the high temperature, high pressure, solvent extraction, bleaching, and deodorizing processes. Anything labeled vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, and even many canola oils have been damaged by this refining process (unless they say “virgin” or “cold expeller pressed”). This damages the natural structure of the fats, destroys natural antioxidants, creates free radicals, and produces a generally unhealthy product. Take note that the explosion of heart disease in the middle of the 20th century coincides quite nicely with the rapid increase in the use of hydrogenated and refined oils in the food supply.
  • Anything deep fried: including tortilla chips, potato chips, French fries, donuts, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, etc. All of this crap shouldn’t even pass as real food in my opinion!
  • Homogenized milk fat – Milk fat is a very healthy fat in its natural raw state. Milk and beef from grass fed organically raised cows is known to have higher quantities of healthy fats like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids compared with grain fed cows. Traditional populations around the world have thrived in perfect health while consuming huge quantities of raw, non-pasteurized, non-homogenized, full fat dairy products. Once again, food processing ruins a good thing by pasteurizing and homogenizing milk fat, rendering it potentially dangerous inside the human body. Unfortunately, you will find it almost impossible to find raw milk in the US unless you personally know a farmer. Check out http://www.realmilk.com for more info on the benefits of raw milk and to find out if it’s available near you. As an alternative, cultured dairy products like yogurt have at least had beneficial microorganisms added back to them making them better for you. Realistically, since you probably won’t find raw milk, sticking to skim milk is the best option to avoid the homogenized milk fat. If you use butter for cooking, your best option is grass-fed butter.

I hope this article has shed some light on the truth about dietary fats and made you realize their importance in a healthy diet.

A fully comprehensive analysis on dietary protein, carbohydrates, and fat, and how to compile all of this information into a diet that promotes a lean healthy body with a low body fat percentage is provided in my book “The Truth About Six Pack Abs”. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed!


The Best Exercise for Fat Loss

What’s the best exercise for fat loss?  Have you asked this question?  With so many magazines, gurus, and programs out there that say you have to do this or do that, it can be really hard to tell which exercises or routines you should do.

Well, I’m going to make life easy for all of us ladies by letting you know what the best exercise for fat loss and tell you why…(There is so much science to the why part though, so I’ll try to keep it short. ;0) )  To answer the question though, I have to ask you a question.

What is YOUR goal?  Why?  Because the exercise option you choose is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish fitness and health wise.

So let’s break it down here…

First, I will list some of the most common goals women have regarding health and fitness as it relates to weight loss.  Then next to that, I will give an exercise method that will help to accomplish that goal.

  • Steady, easy fat loss with no set time frame to meet your goal – The best exercise is simply one that let’s you move.  That can be walking, riding your bike, light resistance training, playing in the pool, etc.  You’re not trying to elevate your heart rate in these examples.  You’re simply trying to burn a few extra calories.  Maintain the same consumption of calories or reduce them slightly and you will see the excess weight steadily decrease over the course of time.
  • Consistent fat loss that occurs over a shorter course of time – Incorporate any form of cardio training at a moderate intensity level along with a weight training program that will you have to put some effort into.  (In this instance for example, you’ll want your heart rate moderately elevated during both your cardio and resistance training.)  This intensity level will increase the number of calories burned in a workout as compared to that training listed in the first goal.  Plus, the weight training will likely add a small amount of muscle to your body which will contribute to a more active metabolism and again, as a result burn more calories…even at rest.  Gotta love that huh?  Cut down on the number of calories consumed and even better results can be achieved!
  • Fast fat loss in the shortest period of time –  (You asked for it, you got it!)  This goal requires high intensity cardio work and training with weights.  This goal means you’re are pushing yourself consistently during your workouts.  Your heart rate would be at max or near max in the majority of your training sessions including both the cardio and weight training portions.  The benefit here is that with this intensity, the extra calories continue burning for 24 to 48 hours after your workout.  In addition, the weight lifting builds muscle which as said before, increases metabolism and means you body burns more calories just to sustain itself.

Now, before you decide to avoid the later two goals because you’re really concerned about adding big bulky muscle, let me put your mind at ease.  Your muscles WILL NOT get that big.  As females, we don’t produce the hormones necessary to build big muscle.

What I can assure you of though is that there will likely be some muscle gain.  Fortunately, that only contributes to a firm, shapely looking figure with the curves and definition you want!

The good news about the exercises above though is that you can mix them up as well.  If you don’t have a specific goal set yet, then change it up.  If you’re feeling strong and full of energy, do the high intensity work.  If you’re feeling a bit run down, stick to the lower intensity exercise.  Either way, the good news is that fat burn WILL happen!!!

To help you get started here is a sample treadmill fat burning workout for you to try!

In a nutshell ladies, that is it.  As I said before, there is a whole lot of science behind this stuff and my explanations were extremely abbreviated.  If you have questions, leave a comment below or contact me at fatlossforwomen26@gmail.com and I will get you the answers.

Best wishes to your health and fitness success,


Dieting for Fat Loss – The Rules Have Changed

dieting for fat lossDieting for fat loss…is that not one of the biggest mysteries when it comes to losing weight?  I sure know it’s a struggle for me.  Even with my background in nutrition, I still question what to eat. But, it’s not because I don’t know or understand the science.  Oh no, it’s something much bigger than that.

If dieting were as easy as following the “scientific” rules to losing weight, heck we all would be our ideal weight, wouldn’t we?  Wouldn’t you?

No, success in dieting for fat loss for many women who want to lose weight is often more dependent on filling the need to satisfy the taste buds, calm the mental battle that deals with the thought of deprivation, boredom, habits, and so many other little things.

It’s because of this truth that I had to share the following article with you.  It is such a great read.  And you know, I think I actually let out a sigh of relief after reading it because I felt like my constant battle with my weight diet…had just come to an end.

Once you read this, I think you’ll find you’ll have a little less stress and worry too.  See if these new rules regarding dieting for fat loss will make your road to losing fat a less difficult now as well.

Quit playing hunger games. The new rules of dieting will surprise you — and keep you slim and satisfied.

By Melissa Daly

Quality Versus Quantity

If you’re anything like me, I’m betting this will sound familiar: You try to eat right. And you exercise regularly. But still those last five pounds don’t want to budge. So what’s up with that? Turns out, much of the conventional weight-loss wisdom is just plain wrong, many experts say. It’s not about deprivation or getting more veggies or eliminating certain food groups from your diet. Instead it’s about a smarter and more enjoyable way of eating every day that will give you energy, boost your mood, and help you reach your happy weight and stay there. Here top nutritionists spill the new diet dos they swear by.

Find your balance.

Calories in, calories out. We’ve been told that dropping pounds or maintaining our weight rests solely on this simple equation. Wrong! “In reality, not all calories are created equal,” says dietitian Ashley Koff, RD, a coauthor of Mom Energy and a FITNESS advisory board member. “Quality is just as important as quantity.” Here’s why: Munching two 100-calorie packs of cookies for your midmorning snack gives you a total of two to three servings, or about 36 grams of carbs, and very little protein. Your body uses just 15 to 20 of those grams of carbs for energy, and unless you’re highly active, it will probably store the rest, Koff explains. As a result, you end up gaining weight rather than losing it.

Stop the calorie obsession and focus more on balancing your nutrients. “Every time you eat, aim for ­unlimited amounts of nonstarchy vegetables and one serving each of carbs — whole grains, fruits, or starchy vegetables, like carrots and corn — protein, and healthy fat,” Koff says. Consuming foods in every category gives your body a steady supply of energy all day with no fattening side effects. So instead of cookies for your prelunch snack, nosh on an apple and some nuts or vegetables and a little dip made from low-fat Greek yogurt.

Stop the endless grazing.

Some of us have done away with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in favor of the six small meals many experts tout as the key to staving off hunger and losing weight. But this strategy can easily backfire if small meals creep into traditional-size ones or turn into all-day snacking. The trouble is, when you’re nibbling a little bit here and there, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re putting away. “Plus if you’re not getting full at any given time, it sets you up to consume even more overall. There’s something psychologically and physically satisfying about eating a complete meal and having that truly full feeling rather than just taking the edge off your appetite every hour or two,” says Marjorie Nolan, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. At meals, it’s typical to have several different dishes, but grazers may munch on just one thing, like pretzels. That means you can down a whole bag and still walk away unsatisfied, Nolan explains.

Instead of picking at food all day, shoot for three meals and two snacks or five mini meals. Be sure to combine a few tastes and textures at each sitting, like carrot sticks and whole wheat crackers dipped in hummus, or half a sandwich. Plan small meals in advance so you aren’t tempted by — or stuck with — whatever open bag happens to be within reach. And write down what you eat so you keep tabs on just how much you’re consuming.

Give yourself an afternoon treat.

Good news: It’s healthier to hit the vending machine than to go hungry. The typical stretch between lunch and dinner is too long for blood ­sugar levels to remain stable without a calorie infusion, says nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member. Your best bet: “If you tend to get famished at 3 p.m., don’t fight it, plan for it,” she says. Keep healthy snacks like apples, almonds, string cheese, and pears at the office and you won’t have to scramble for something to eat.

If you didn’t bring your own, no biggie, just choose wisely at the machine. “Sunflower seeds and peanuts are superhealthy, a chocolate chip granola bar is a smarter cocoa fix than a candy bar, and baked chips or popcorn is better than regular chips for a salty crunch,” Blatner says. Pass up fruit snacks in favor of the real thing from the corner deli. Absolutely gotta have chocolate candy? Opt for a plain Hershey’s bar or peanut M&M’S which are slightly lower in calories and saturated fat and sugar and have slightly more fiber and protein than other bars.

What to Eat

Stock your kitchen for success.

You can buy all the veggies you want, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to eat them, especially if they’re hidden away in the produce drawer. “Healthy eating is about having the right foods ready and waiting for you,” says nutritionist David Grotto, RD, the author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life and a FITNESS advisory board member. “Bust fruits and veggies out of crisper prison, wash them, cut them up, and put them at the front of the center shelf in your fridge. You’re more likely to eat whatever is directly in your line of sight.” Keep the following foods on hand to make whipping up a healthy meal or snack easier than ordering takeout.

Research has shown that two glasses of nonfat milk after exercise helps you gain more muscle and lose more fat.

Full-fat cheese
Go for a little bit of the good stuff instead of too much of the skinnier version. “You’ll end up eating more of the low-fat cheese if you’re not fully satisfied by it,” Grotto says.

Greek yogurt
“It has more protein than regular yogurt, and it’s extra creamy. Use it in place of sour cream or crème fraîche in chilis, ­sauces, potatoes, and dips,” Grotto says.

Frozen vegetables
Just three minutes in the microwave and they’re ready for you to add them to salads, soups, or stir-fries or to munch on them for a snack with a little hummus or salsa.

Healthy frozen meals
Look for entrees of less than 400 calories, with at least three grams of fiber and less than 500 milligrams of sodium.

Low-sodium lunch meat
Eat it in sandwiches made from whole-grain bread, or roll it up with veggies and hummus in the middle.

Cleaned and portioned frozen fish fillets
“Once it’s defrosted, salmon takes just minutes to prepare,” Grotto says.

Canned beans
“Rinse and then put a handful into soups, stews, and salads for protein and fiber galore,” Grotto suggests.

Whole-grain cereal, crackers, and pasta
Chose ones with at least five grams of protein and three grams of fiber. The protein will keep you feeling satisfied, and the fiber delivers long-lasting fullness.

Peanut butter
“It’s packed with protein and antioxidants, especially resveratrol, which has been found to help fight cancer and heart disease,” Grotto says.

Canola oil
This heart-healthy monounsaturated fat is the perfect choice for sautéing because it has a high smoking point. “Store it in the fridge, because oils become rancid when exposed to heat and air,” Grotto advises.

Eat more potatoes.

Sounds like diet blasphemy, right? During the low-carb craze, it was drummed into our heads that spuds packed on pounds, so we avoided them at all costs. But now the thinking has changed — and how! Potatoes are actually a nutrient powerhouse, says Elisa Zied, RD, the author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. “They’re loaded with vitamin C and potassium, and they’re a good source of fiber, which fills us up and helps keep cholesterol levels healthy,” she explains. “Potatoes with red or purple skins also contain carotenoids and other antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals that can cause disease.” In recent research, purple potatoes have also been shown to reduce blood pressure without causing weight gain.

Stop shunning spuds and start adding them to your plate. One ­medium potato (or a cup of diced or mashed) counts as one serving of vegetables. Because potatoes are starchy, round out your meal with a colorful second veggie, like broccoli or tomatoes.

How to Stay on Track

Be a restaurant snob.

You already know to pick grilled over fried; ask for less cream, butter, or oil in your food; and request that half your meal be wrapped in a doggie bag. But there are other smart ways to prevent dining out from blowing your good intentions, says Katherine Tallmadge, RD, the author of Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations. Try her strategies:

Keep an open mind. Italian food is heavy, Asian is light — right? Not so fast. “With Thai or Chinese, there’s a lot of deep frying and also tons of oil in stir-fries,” Tallmadge explains. Italian dishes like grilled fish or pasta primavera, though, tend to use less. Open to something new? “Try Vietnamese, which is full of grilled meats and vegetables, soups, and salads,” Tallmadge says.

Go out to lunch. “If you’re going to indulge, do it midday rather than in the evening,” Tallmadge advises. “That way, you can cut back at dinner to even out your calories for the day. Bonus: Lunch is usually cheaper, so you can afford a nicer place. Speaking of which…

Spend smarter. With any cuisine, fancier often means healthier. “Higher-end places use good-quality ingredients in smaller amounts, while midlevel and lower-end places frequently overuse lower-quality meats and cheeses in huge portions,” Tallmadge says. Save your cash for one outing a week to a swanky spot instead of three stops at a chain.

Split up your order. Ask to start with a salad or vegetable soup — and eat it — before choosing your main course. “Doing this will help you make a better decision,” Tallmadge says. In all likelihood, you may only be hungry enough for an appetizer rather than a full entrée.

Weigh in weekly.

Some experts claim that the scale keeps dieters accountable; others believe it makes them frustrated, demoralized, and focused on pounds instead of wellness. The bottom line: How often you should take a reading comes down to knowing yourself, says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, the founding director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center’s Weight Management Center and a FITNESS advisory board member. “Research indicates that once a week is good and once a day is probably even better for some people. But if seeing a number that’s even slightly off makes you want to throw up your hands — especially toward a box of Girl Scout cookies — use a different gauge, like the fit of your favorite jeans.

To benefit from weighing in, pick one day and time each week to do it, like first thing in the morning, when you’re naked and after you’ve hit the bathroom, when most people typically weigh the least. If you don’t like the readout, consider the reasons it might be up: Got your period? Had salty food for dinner last night? If none of those applies, look at where you stand for the month. “Plus or minus less than two pounds during the course of a month is essentially weight-neutral. You’re doing great; you’ve discovered how to maintain,” Fernstrom says.

Pull out of a diet tailspin.

Many women are prone to all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to food. You know, you do great all week, then one big cupcake at the office birthday party and, well, the day is shot, so you may as well order greasy takeout for dinner. “People don’t gain weight from one diet lapse, but rather from how they respond to it,” says FITNESS advisory board member Kathy McManus, RD, director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Instead of feeling like a failure and giving up on the rest of the day, shake it off and move on.” The way to do that is not by punishing yourself with celery for dinner. “Just set one specific, positive goal for the next day, like eating two pieces of fruit,” McManus says, then carry on as usual. “You’ll be surprised how accomplishing one simple thing can restore your courage and put you back on track for success.”

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2012.


And so now I’m curious.  What do you think?  Will these tips help you with your dieting for fat loss.  Leave a comment and let me know.  :0)