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How to get slimmer and healthier? The answer is always the same. by Bob Rossilli, Certified Fitness Trainer, Specialist Fitness Nutrition.

The steps toward losing weight and getting fit are well known. Here's a re-repeat of ten of them to help you get on the healthy path.

Like us on Facebook @ Fitness Over Fifty Inc.

If you want to lose weight and get fit you will find the same advice given over and over.  Sometimes the advice is from a most reliable source like Dr. Oz and other times it’s a local Joe or Jane trying to communicate via a community blog. If you see the same advice on healthy living repeated, often from great and credible sources, you have to finally get the point.

Here are some of those “you gotta believe” principles that should be registering with you by now. If you can follow 7 or more of these 10 points my guess is you will be on your way to a healthier, leaner and fitter body.

1. If you keep up with the Kardashians you can do this. Exercise.

     One needs to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week which includes at least 2 days of strength training. Don’t make excuses. This 30 minutes (or more) set aside to take care of yourself each day is more important than any client meeting or household chore. If you find time to get a haircut, an oil change, sit down and have a Starbucks, watch Two and a Half Men or to keep up with the Kardashians you can find time to exercise.

2. Don’t wait for Bloomberg to do it for you. Cut out the added sugar that you have in soda, fruit juices, lemonade, ice teas and many other beverages.

     In fact cut down on added sugar from all sources. A 12 ounce can of soda contains about 140 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar. Many fruit juices are similar. Drink water or, for a caffeine boost, black coffee.  If you want  the vitamins of fruit juice eat the fruit itself which is full of fiber and natural vitamins. You will reduce your calories and in the case of eating fruit you will be more satiated.

3. Stop whining. Eat a real breakfast.

    From “Eat This-Not That”:
   
    “A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found    that people who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothin’—eating a nutritious morning meal jumpstarts your metabolism and prevents you from overindulging throughout the day. For optimal weight-loss results, choose a breakfast dish with a healthy balance of protein and fiber, like eggs with fruit and whole-wheat toast.”

Choose from or combine oatmeal, greek yogurt, eggs, whole wheat toast, fruits and berries, whole grain low sugar cereals.

4. Popeye did not eat spinach alone. Eat protein and lots of fiber and/or whole grains with every meal.

    A study in Nutrition Metabolism found that dieting participants who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their overall diet ate roughly 450 fewer calories throughout the day and lost about 11 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. Eating protein increases lean muscle mass, which keeps your metabolism running on high—even when you’re resting. Protein also keeps you full, making you less likely to overeat. For maximum health and weight-loss benefits, aim to include protein in all of your meals and snacks. The best options? Lean protein sources like fish, eggs, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and legumes.

    Choosing nutrient-rich whole grains over processed, white flour-based products can play a major role in keeping you lean. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that obese participants who added whole grains to their diets lost more belly fat than those who did not. One of the key weight-loss benefits of whole grains: Their healthy dose of fiber helps slow digestion, keeping you fuller longer. But don’t be fooled by “made with whole grain” labels. True whole grain products will list whole grains first on their ingredients list (think "whole wheat" flour instead of "enriched" or "bleached" flour).

5. Four portions of healthy food does not make you four times healthier. Learn about portion control. Stop guessing your calories per meal.

    Ask anyone who has achieved long-term weight loss how they did it and they're sure to mention portion control. In fact, it can make or break your weight loss efforts.

Learn how to size up servings and avoid overeating with these  ways to control portions.

Serving Size
Perhaps the hardest thing to do is eat the proper portion sizes at you dinner or restaurant meals. In my opinion you must learn what 3-4 ounces of chicken, beef and fish look like. Weigh these things at least at first. Many restaurants will serve 8 - 12 ounces of a good food such as chicken, steak or salmon. Eating those double or triple portion sizes will screw up a solid diet. Once you recognize it’s too much, you can split your meal in half or even thirds. Take the balance home and make it your next meal.

Learn to "eyeball" standard portion sizes and stick to them when dining out or dishing up meals. Keep these tips in mind: 3 oz. of meat is the size of a deck of cards or an audio tape; 1 oz. of meat is the size of a matchbook; 1 cup of potatoes, rice or pasta looks like a tennis ball.

Eat 5-8 small “meals” each day.
You can make sure your blood sugar stays at an even keel and keep hunger at bay by eating healthful small meals throughout the day. I frequently start the day with a portion of oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter (240 calories). Later in the morning I will have a piece of 100% whole wheat toast an egg and two egg whites (about 200 calories depending on the bread.) Still later I may have a Van’s waffle with a tablespoon of sugar free jelly and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese ( about 140 calories.)  Get the idea?

Keep away from seconds. Or picking. Or finishing your partners leftovers.
If you partner stays slim by eating 1/2 of their meal learn to do the same. Don’t finish their meal as well as yours.

6. Popeye did eat a lot of spinach. Find vegetables you can learn to like and eat plenty of the non starchy kind like broccoli, spinach and kale.

    A great way to ensure you make nutritious food choices: surround yourself with healthy options. Don’t use convenience as an excuse for a shameful diet. Keep fresh fruit on your kitchen counter, store healthy snacks like nuts (or anything from this must-have list of the 50 Best Snack Foods in America) in your desk at work, keep pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables in your fridge—whatever you have to do to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice, do it! You won't feel deprived or hungry as the pounds are dropping away.)

7. Hey fast food nation. Cut out refined flours and grains, processed food and added sugars.

    Forget white rice and potatoes, fast food and fried food. Dr. Oz says the one unhealthy food to avoid is “Anything white that’s not a fruit or vegetable”. “it’s a sign that the food has been processed down to a very simple carbohydrate that probably doesn’t have many nutrients”. *

8. Read more, not necessarily Shades of Grey. Learn to read food labels.

    The nutrition facts label on your favorite breakfast cereal tells you it's full of vitamins and minerals. So it must be healthy, right? Just because a food is high in vitamins doesn't mean it's healthy overall. Sure, it's great that your favorite cereal gives you a shot of vitamins and minerals. But what if it's also loaded with sugar? Eating healthy means choosing lots of different types of food throughout the day to get all the nutrients you need, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fiber, and even fat.

So how do you figure all this out?  Food labels!
Notice how many calories are in a single serving, how many grams of sugar, how much protein, is it whole grain or enriched flour, etc.


9. Smart snacks? I’d rather snack smartly.

    Start developing a list of smart snacks that enrich your body and fill you up such as berries, the proper portion of nuts, hardboiled eggs, celery or carrots with some peanut butter, kale baked at 250 degrees for 45 minutes. A 100 calorie bag of chocolate chip cookies is not a smart snack.

    A recent study released by the Nutrition Journal found that consuming low-sugar, high-protein snacks promotes weight loss. The reason: Healthy snacking keeps your blood-sugar from spiking, preventing hunger pangs, cravings, and body fat storage. An ideal snack choice? Nuts. The balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats is sure to keep you satisfied between meals.

 10. How do I keep fit by eating more meals. Eat 5-8 smaller, healthy meals throughout the day.

     This will help keep your blood glucose stable and put your body mechanics on your side in controlling hunger. An apple and a piece of cheese in the afternoon or evening counts as a meal and should amount to only 140-180 calories. A portion of oatmeal and a tablespoon of peanut butter would be about 240 calories or how about a piece of wholewheat toast (Martins for example) with one egg and two egg whites at about 180 calories.

Okay, so you can’t follow every one of the principles. Can you follow seven? If you do I bet you can lose weight and get healthier.

If you would like one on one, individualized, weight loss and fitness help, contact us at fitnessoverfiftyinc@gmail.com. Or call Bob Rossilli at 781-910-3279.  Like us on Facebook @ Fitness Over Fifty Inc.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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