Graze. Eat something every 2 to 3 hours: Keep your metabolism revved and your blood sugar level in check. This will help with cravings and energy as well. These don’t have to be full course meals, but enough to make you get to the next meal without being starved. Think about 300 to 500 calories of healthy, balanced, filling whole foods. I’ve found that when you graze throughout the day, it keeps your sugar levels even.
Lean Green Machine. We need to see something Green on your plate everyday. Have a salad for lunch instead of fries. Double up on your dinner vegetables. Eat 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. This is as simple as having 1-2 servings with every meal you eat. Make vegetables the Superstars of your plate.
Lean Pro-TEEN -Have a lean protein at every meal. Basic rule -- feed your muscles and stave off hunger. This is important for satiety (feeling of fullness). Eat a source of complete, high quality protein with each meal. Keep your proteins lean which include turkey, chicken, lean beef, pork, eggs, egg whites or any type of fish. Eat only 3-4 ounces per meal.
H2O to go. We encourage you to drink a large glass of water at every meal and between every meal. Here’s a helpful tip: Drink a full glass of water or a broth based soup before your main meal arrives. This stimulates your fullness cues, and will keep you from wanting to overeat in the first place.
Limit EC’s (empty calories) Limit refined, simple carbs that contain white flour or white sugar. Replace white, processed grains like white bread and white rice, with more nutritious whole grains such as oatmeal, 100% whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice. Highly processed carbs lack the fiber found in whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Your body metabolizes refined carbs and sugary foods so quickly that you'll find yourself feeling hungry more often. This may make you more likely to overeat and have cravings for sugary and fatty foods.
Sweet retreat. Eliminate any huge doses of sugar you may be eating or drinking throughout the day. This includes sugar in your coffee or tea in the morning, sweetened soft drinks, and sugar foods like donuts, cakes, cookies, and sugared cereals and snacks, especially first thing in the morning. Eliminate one “Empty Calorie “ food choice per day. Replacing these super high-content sugary items will make a drastic difference in how you feel throughout the entire day. If you have a sugar craving today ---nosh on frozen blueberries, cherries or dried cranberries for a healthier choice.
Avoid diet sodas, sweeteners and read fat-free labels closely.
Fat is not the enemy — artificial sweeteners and fake additives are. Your body cannot process fake foods.
If you overeat at one meal go light on the next: It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!
Include Lots of Fiber -Fiber is a huge part of eating healthy and being lean. Fibrous foods will fill you up while delivering vitamins and nutrient in low-calorie packages. Fill at least two thirds of your plate with fibrous vegetables.
Try these forms of fiber:
- Seasonal vegetables
Cut back on carbs. Notice I didn't say to cut out all carbs, but rather to cut back on carbs. These diet tweaks are meant as lifestyle changes that you stick with long term. Cutting back on carbs is a realistic and very effective way to lose weight.
- Always choose whole grain bread and pasta over white. Whole grains are less likely to be stored as fat than processed grains.
- Eat half of the carbs you normally do. Eat your sandwich open-faced and reduce the size of your pasta serving.
- Avoid carb-filled snacks between meals. Instead of crackers or chips, have fresh fruit and veggies.
Eat more Fiber -Most people simply do not get enough fiber in their diets. Fiber is essential when it comes to getting lean since it is low calorie while filling you up.
- Instead of seeing salad just as a side item, make salads into meals. Add protein to a large pile of greens for a guiltless meal. *Try the recipe for Grilled Salmon and Peach Salad below.
- Make veggies a part of every meal. The benefits of eating more vegetables are too numerous to list, just know that your body will become healthier and leaner with each fibrous bite.
- Fruits are a delicious source of fiber. Incorporate fresh, seasonal fruits into your daily diet.
Enjoy Natural Sweets-Traditional sugar-filled sweets will quickly add up around your waistline. Instead of going for sugary sweets, enjoy natural sweets.
- Fruit is nature's candy. Reach for sweet, seasonal fruit for dessert.
- Avoid foods that contain white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Consider these items 'anti-flat-abs'.
Eat Healthy Fats. Some dietary fat is necessary for good health. The fats to avoid are saturated fats, especially trans fats. Good fats are olive oil, fish oil,
flaxseeds and oil, avocado, nuts, nut butters and seeds of all types.
Eat Only Good Carbs. Use wholesome sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup or dates in your recipes instead of white sugar. Eliminate white sugar from your kitchen. Avoid refined starches and sugars - these are not "good" carbohydrates. The best carbs are: Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh or dried beans and other legumes, and whole grains. Sprouted grain breads are
touted as being healthy and easily metabolized.
Control Your Cravings. Eating is sometimes an emotional experience. One of the
best ways to control your food urges is to never let yourself get really hungry. Don't skip meals, in fact, eat a small meal or healthy snack every few hours. Have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables readily available for hunger abatement
Ditch the processed foods. You know, the ones in the boxes, cans, bottles
and frozen food section of the supermarket. A check of the labels of most, if not all of these time-saving products will show a number of ingredients that sabotage your
attempts to lose that belly fat. Many processed foods are unhealthy, containing
high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and are high
in "bad" carbohydrates and have little nutritional value.
No Portion Distortion - There’s no good or bad foods—there’s just good portions!
We overeat on a daily basis. Your fork and spoon are one of your best pieces of fitness equipment.Controlling portion sizes may be the single most effective thing you can do to promote lasting Leanness! Once you get a sense of proper serving sizes, you’ll be delighted with the changes you see in your body and the satisfaction you feel in your health.
Here is a quick portion reference list of popular foods:
1 cup of cereal = a baseball or your fist. 1 cup Cheerios has about a 110 calories.
3 Oz Beef = a bar of soap There are roughly 200 calories in a Serving of Steak, and most restaurants are serving a much larger portion than a "bar of soap". Also be sure to ask if the steak has been marinated in oils or ingredients that add unwanted calories, or has other hidden additives that may cause food sensitivities.
1 tsp. of Butter = a Scrabble tile. Usually a Tablespoon of butter is used at about 100 calories. It's virtually all fat. Better alternatives to butter are olive oil or avocado.
1 serving of a small apple = a baseball. A Granny Smith apple has 80 calories.
1 Potato = a computer mouse. A potato only has 100 calories. It's the stuff you put on the potato that skyrockets the calories.
2 Tbsp. peanut butter = golf ball. Most peanut butter labels have 2 Tbsp. as a serving, which is 200 calories. You can make a delicious sandwich with just 1 Tablespoon.
1/2 Cup Cooked Pasta = a golf ball. There are roughly 200 calories in a full cup of pasta (2 golf balls).
2 Tbsp. of salad dressing = a shot glass. Most salads in restaurants have 2 LADLES of dressing on them; 2 Tbsp. is a relatively small amount and will average about 240 calories. Adding lemon, mustard, or something like balsamic vinegar can make your salad "moist" without adding extra fat and calories.
1 oz. Nuts = a cupped palm. For example, an ounce of Cashews has 163 calories. But be careful, they're so good it's hard to stop at a "cupped palm", so remember to put them away after you take out your proper portion.
1 oz. Cheese = a ping-pong ball. An ounce of Cheddar has about 110 calories.
Bread ( 1 oz) = CD case
3 oz. Hamburger Patty = a mayonnaise jar lid. To get a good idea of how big that lid is, move your fingers into a "grab and open a lid" position. It's a full one ounce smaller than a quarter pounder. Some higher-end restaurants serve 1/2 pound hamburgers.
1 serving Popcorn = 1 baseball.
1/2 Cup Rice = an ice cream scoop. A 1/2 cup of white rice has about 205 calories, and if you're in a restaurant it's easy to have at least 3 servings. Just put one "ice cream scoop" on your plate.
1 Dinner Roll = a yo-yo. A dinner roll has about 66 calories. Unfortunately, it's hard to stop at one when a basket of 6 arrives at your table.
3 oz. Fish = a checkbook. A serving of cooked salmon has about 175 calories.
My Lean Living ways:
Spread your whole grain waffles with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter. Save 110 calories!
Top your whole grain bagel with 1.5 oz of fat-free cream cheese in lieu of regular. Save 108 calories!
Try 1 oz. of maple turkey bacon instead of maple (pork) bacon. Save 118 calories!
Ditch the glazed donut and eat a bagel instead. Save 93 calories!
Eat 3/4 cup oatmeal instead of 1-1/2 cups of oatmeal. Save 97 calories!
Substitute 3 oz. of turkey sausage for a serving of pork sausage. Save 120 calories!
Grab a small bagel instead of a medium bagel. Save 99 calories!
Lean Lunch and Dinner
Cut a 6 oz. steak in half and take the other portion home for another meal. Save 111 calories!
Order a skinless chicken breast instead of chicken with skin. Save 102 calories!
Substitute a fat-free beef hot dog for a regular beef hot dog. Save 104 calories!
Build a sandwich with1.5 oz. of deli turkey breast instead of 1.5 oz. hard salami. Save 119 calories!
Instead of 6 oz. of crispy fried chicken with skin, eat 6 oz. baked chicken with skin. Save 102 calories!
Choose a slice of thin crust pizza over thick crust pizza. Save 106 calories! Add vegetable toppings to your pizza order and say no to pepperoni. Save 100 calories!
Forget broccoli cheddar soup. A 7-oz portion of vegetable soup is better. Save 119 calories!
Enjoy 12 oz of steamed rice (choose brown rice when possible) as an alternative to fried rice. Save 96 calories!
Unwrap your 13-inch tortilla wrap and make a sandwich on a 3-oz. whole grain bagel instead. Save 96 calories!
Eat only half of your hamburger or sandwich bun. Save 100 calories!
Lean Snacks and Sides
Dip 1 cup celery into your favorite salsa or hummus instead of 1 oz. of tortilla chips. Save 125 calories!
Eat an entire medium apple instead of a small (5 oz.) candy apple. Save 118 calories!
Snack on 1 oz. of baked potato chips instead of regular chips. Save 90 calories!
Better yet, eat 2 oz. pretzels instead of the same size portion of potato chips. Save 94 calories!
Bake 2 oz of oven fries in lieu of 2 oz. of fast food fries. Save 88 calories!
Forgo a 6-oz portion of potato chips and nosh on 6 oz. of tortilla chips instead. Save 96 calories!
Say no to 1 oz of deep-fried onion rings and instead enjoy 1 oz. of grilled onions with your meal. Save 92 calories!
Try 1.5 oz. of fresh grapes instead of 1.5 oz. of raisins. Save 98 calories!
Enjoy a healthy 8-oz. baked potato instead of 8 oz. of French fries. Save 104 calories!
Choose 3 oz of mozzarella cheese for your sandwich instead of Swiss cheese. Save 108 calories!
Swap 1 cup of canned pineapple in heavy syrup for crushed pineapple in water. Save 119 calories!
Lean Sweets and Desserts
Serve ice cream in a dish instead of a waffle cone. Save 121 calories!
Try a healthier peanut granola bar instead of a peanut candy bar. Save 94 calories!
Finish dinner with 1 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt instead of regular ice cream. Save 121 calories!
Substitute 5 oz. of apple pie, with 5 oz. of baked apple crisp. Save 85 calories!
Instead of 4 oz. of regular chocolate pudding, enjoy a sugar-free portion. Save 92 calories!
Leave that 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream in the freezer. Enjoy 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries topped with 2 Tbsp of fat-free whipped cream as an alternative. Save 102 calories!
Split a 20 oz. bottle of regular soda with a friend. Save 120 calories!
Drink 1 cup of diet soda instead of 1 cup of regular soda. Save 97 calories!
Swap a 12-oz. glass of skim milk for whole milk. Save 96 calories!
Drink two 12-oz. light beers this weekend instead of two regular beers. Save 100 calories!
Instead of 1 cup of prepared lemonade, try 1 cup of a sugar free variety. Save 103 calories!
Eat a medium orange instead of drinking 12 oz. of fresh orange juice. Save 106 calories!
Prepare your coffee with 4 oz. of fat-free half and half instead of regular half and half. Save 88 calories!
Enjoy 5 oz. of chocolate milk instead of 5 oz. of a chocolate milkshake Save 110 calories!
Lean Condiments and Sauces
Dip your salad in a side of ranch dressing (2 tsp.) instead of pouring 2 Tbsp of dressing on the salad. Save 97 calories!
Skip the 5 oz. of Alfredo sauce and eat a whopping 7 oz. of marinara sauce. Save 129 calories!
Add flavor to vegetables with 3 oz. of hot sauce—not 1 oz of bleu cheese dressing. Save 117 calories!
Top your salad with 1.5 oz. reduced-fat Italian dressing instead of regular. Save 96 calories!
Try either cheese or croutons on your salad—not both Save 72-116 calories!
Instead of 3 oz. of regular sour cream, use a fat-free variety. Save 120 calories!
Use 2 Tbsp reduced-fat light mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise. Save 102 calories!
Eat Clean Cart – these are the foods that are your Lean “must haves” each week:
Lean Red Meat
Chicken (preferably skinless and boneless—why pay for parts you're not going to eat)
Wild Caught Salmon (not farm-raised)
Eggs. (Cage-free, with omega 3s, if you can afford to splurge)
Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
Low fat Cottage Cheese
Skim or 1% Milk
Protein Powder (whey, milk or plant protein sources)
Romaine, or other Lettuce
Root carrots (not bags of baby carrots)
Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radishes, arugula, watercress
Fresh or Frozen strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries,
Edamame (frozen shelled)
Whole oats (large flake)
Raw, unsalted mixed nuts—not roasted or salted
Or separately, raw almonds, raw walnuts, raw cashews, and raw pecans
100% First cold-pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Greens blend concentrate
Fresh lemons and limes
Raw Pumpkin seeds
Vacuum-Packed Ground Flaxseed
100% whole grain wraps
Beans sold dry in bags have approximately 25 mg. of sodium, versus cans that can have over 500 mg. of sodium.
If your lifestyle doesn't permit the time required to reconstitute dry beans, rinse your canned beans thoroughly to remove some of the added salt.
Secondary list to fill up your cart.
Extra Lean Ground Beef
Complex Carbs/Whole Grain Starches:
Cream of Wheat
100% bran cereal--look for cereals with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.
Kashi brand cereal
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole Wheat Bagels
Whole-wheat English Muffins
Whole Wheat PitasWhole Wheat Wraps
Whole Wheat Pasta
Long grain brown rice
Red skin Potatoes
Other Staples to have on hand:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Red Hot Sauce
Red hot pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Low sodium beef or chicken broth
Low sodium soy Sauce
Pure cocoa powder
Natural Peanut Butter
Natural Almond Butter
Pumpkin seeds -unsalted
Sunflower seeds -unsalted