9 Tips for Eating Less9 Tips for Eating Less

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Tips for Eating Less

Measure your portions.

Understanding proper food portions allows you to develop a healthier relationship with food and decrease your calorie intake. For at least a few weeks, grab the measuring cups, spoons, and kitchen scale. Measure your food so that you know what a four ounce chicken breast, a half cup of rice, and eight ounces of milk look like. Over time you will be able to eyeball a healthy portion. This will help you better control the amount you eat when you are served too much food -- like when dining out.

Leave serving dishes in the kitchen.

Serve your meals buffet style in the kitchen. Fill your plate with healthy portions and take it to the dining room table. Save family-style meals where the serving dishes sit on the table for special occasions. It makes it much easier to mindlessly scoop out a second or third helping when the food is within reach.

Eat more often.

Research results are mixed as to whether it is more beneficial to eat three larger meals a day or to incorporate smaller meals with snacks. If you find you can’t control your appetite between meals, consider spreading your calorie intake more evenly throughout the day. This makes it easier to listen to hunger signals and have a snack when you are truly hungry without consuming too many calories that could prevent weight loss. Everyone is different. Experiment a little to find what combination of healthy meals and snacks work best to keep you satisfied.

Increase your protein intake.

Protein helps to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent spikes and crashes that drain your energy. If your diet is heavy in carbohydrates, like fruit or grains, try increasing your protein intake to better control hunger. Eat a few nuts with your fruit, or try beans with rice or quinoa.

Incorporate your favorite foods.

Deprivation always leads to more cravings. When you deny yourself your favorite foods, you risk overdoing it when you finally indulge. When you know a food is not off limits and that you can have a small amount whenever you truly want it, you will be less likely to become fixated and binge on those foods.

Clear off the countertops.

Simply keeping food out of sight can do wonders for controlling your appetite. Seal up those bags of pretzels and boxes of crackers and put them in the pantry. This will prevent you from wanting to grab a quick handful every time you walk into the kitchen.

Stay busy.

Sometimes simply staying busy is enough to keep your mind off unnecessary snacking. Make a running list of things you would like to accomplish or things that will distract you from food. When you find yourself tempted to snack during down time, pull out the list. Send the email you’ve been putting off, organize your pile of magazines, or do a quick set of ab exercises.

Eliminate distracted eating.

Eating when your focus is not on the activity at hand only leads to overeating. Turn off the television, close the laptop, and set down the smartphone. Eat mindfully, enjoy your food, and stop when you begin to feel full.

Set boundaries.

Developing healthy habits and eating to lose weight takes discipline and that means setting a few boundaries. This might be closing the kitchen after dinner, only eating pre-portioned healthy snacks, or having dessert only twice a week. Identify what makes you stray from your plan and develop some healthy rules that help you stay on track.

Keep Knees Safe During ExerciseKeep Knees Safe During Exercise

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Keep Knees Safe During Exercise

The knee is a complex and resilient joint that can absorb loads more than four times your body weight. Knees are used in almost every activity, which leaves them vulnerable to injury. This doesn't mean that avoiding activity is the best way to protect knees. Research shows that exercise helps prevent knee osteoarthritis by maintaining cartilage for healthy joints. The key is to keep knees safe during exercise to stay pain and injury-free.

Set things up.

Weight machines have adjustments so you can set the seat and levers according to your your height and the weight load according to your strength. Machines like the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl can stress the knee joint if not adjusted for your individual needs. Ask for an orientation on all gym equipment before getting started, and make a note of the settings so that you can adjust the equipment correctly yourself during each workout.

Use correct form.

Squats and lunges are notorious for causing knee pain when performed incorrectly. The general rule has always been to keep the knee from moving forward beyond the toes when squatting or lunging. According to the American Council on Exercise, new recommendations state that it’s more important to hinge the hips by pushing them backward before lowering into the exercise position. The knees should align over the second toe so that the knee moves in the same direction as your ankle joint. Depending on height and limb length, for some people this may cause the knee to appear to move forward beyond the toes. For these individuals, this is considered a safe movement because keeping the knee further in can increase stress on the lower back.

Be selective about surfaces.

Hard surfaces like concrete can add stress to the knee joint during running, walking, and jumping. Move your workouts to softer surfaces to protect the knees. Tracks, dirt trails, grass, asphalt, and the treadmill all provide better shock absorption.

Know what you can handle.

Experienced athletes can perform exercises, such as deep knee bends or squats, without adding unnecessary stress to the knee joints. Problems arise when you attempt these exercises before you understand correct form and before you have built the necessary strength to handle the movement. If your goal is to perform more advanced exercises, seek the advice of a trainer to guide you through a program that will teach you proper form and gradually build your strength to meet your goals.

Wear quality shoes.

A quality pair of athletic shoes with good arch support helps with shock absorption and alignment, which protects the knees during exercise. Pay attention to the age of your shoes. Minor knee pain could be an indication that you need a new pair. It’s recommended that athletic shoes be replaced every 300 to 500 miles or every 3 to 6 months.

Chocolate Dipped Banana Bites RecipeChocolate Dipped Banana Bites

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Chocolate Dipped Banana Bites Recipe

Frozen treats make a great dessert during the hot summer, but chocolate-dipped ice cream balls and cheesecake bites can be loaded with calories and saturated fat. These banana bites provide a healthier option with the same delicious flavors as higher-calorie frozen desserts.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.5g
12%Saturated Fat 2.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.6g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 13g
Protein 1.3g
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 6 servings

Preparation time: 2 ½ hours


  • 2 medium bananas
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Optional toppings: chopped pistachios, chopped peanuts, unsweetened shredded coconut


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the bananas and cut each into ½ to ¾ inch pieces. Place the banana pieces on the parchment paper. Insert a toothpick into each piece.
  2. Freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
  3. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Stop and stir every 30 seconds to prevent burning. Once smooth, remove from the microwave.
  4. Place any chopped toppings on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
  5. Remove the bananas from the freezer. Using the toothpick to hold the banana pieces, dip each in the melted chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drain well. The banana bites should be only lightly coated. Roll in any of your desired toppings. If the chocolate begins to cool and thicken, place it back in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
  6. Return the bananas to the baking sheet and freeze about 15 more minutes before serving.

How Laughter Improves HealthHow Laughter Improves Health

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Laughter Improves Health

The physical effects of a good laugh provide instant relief for stress and anxiety. While researchers find it difficult to pinpoint exactly how laughter produces these results, there is evidence to suggest that a good chuckle improves health. Not only does laughter produce changes that are linked to a decreased risk for chronic disease, these changes also influence weight loss.

Laughter and Weight Loss

Research shows that laughter causes physical changes that are similar to those produced by a mini workout. Heart rate and blood pressure increase, which delivers oxygen to tissues throughout the body. A study conducted at Vanderbilt University estimated that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can burn 50 calories.

Laughter alone won’t replace exercise as a tool for weight loss, but there are other benefits that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. After laughter produces the effects of a mini workout, muscle relaxation and a decrease in blood pressure follow, which can result in improved sleep. Adequate sleep influences the hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin increases appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods. Leptin signals fullness. Sleep keeps these hormones in balance, helping you to better control appetite and reach weight loss goals.

Positive Attitude and Chronic Disease

Studies suggest that over time negative feelings such as stress, anger, fear, and anxiety can influence health so much that they increase risk for chronic disease. Regular laughter is related to positive thoughts that trigger the release of neuropeptides and decrease the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. As a result, laughter helps to fight stress and negative thoughts that can lead to disease. The influence of laughter on health was supported by a study from the University of Maryland Medical Center which concluded that regular laughter may help protect against heart disease.

Research shows that laughter also reduces pain. Laughing causes a release of feel-good hormones (endorphins) that act as natural painkillers. Reduced pain can lead to ease of movement and the motivation to be more physically active. Regular exercise helps to improve mood and attitude and reduces risk for chronic disease.


4 Reasons for a Shorter, More Intense Workout4 Reasons for a Shorter, More Intense Workout

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Shorter, More Intense Workout

You want a challenge.

By alternating high-intensity intervals with short recovery periods, you can get health benefits in less time while challenging your fitness. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the high intensity intervals are performed at 80 to 90 percent of your max heart rate, followed by a rest session working at 40 to 50 percent. The intervals can last anywhere from five seconds to eight minutes each and total as few as 20 minutes for a complete workout. These short workouts have been found to improve fitness, blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin sensitivity.

You are easily distracted.

An hour spent on a cardio machine can leave you bored and unmotivated. This quickly leads to little things that lower your intensity and calories burned. You might stop to change your playlist, pause to flip through television channels, or slow down so you can read or send a few text messages. Short, high-intensity interval workouts allow no time for distraction. Moving rapidly from one exercise to the next, whether you are doing cardio or strength training, will capture and hold your attention. The time will pass quickly and you will have no need to distract yourself from a long and boring workout.

You skip workouts because you don’t have time.

Lack of time is the number one barrier to exercise. If you find that you skip exercise because you can’t commit a full 30 to 60 minutes, stop using time as an excuse and take advantage of shorter workouts. A 20-minute session is much easier to fit in over the lunch hour or to squeeze in first thing in the morning. Focus on reducing time and increasing intensity to make exercise a regular part of your daily routine.

You want to lose weight.

High-intensity interval training has been found to reduce abdominal fat and total body weight while helping you to maintain muscle mass. According to the American Council on Exercise, one study analyzed men and women who performed shorter bouts of high-intensity exercise lasting fewer than 10 minutes. Results showed that each daily minute of higher intensity activity lowered the odds for obesity by five percent for women and two percent for men. This result led researchers to conclude that it may be the intensity of an activity that is more important than duration when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Not only did these shorter bouts appear to reduce risk of obesity, but exercisers were more likely to reach the recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise each week when focusing on shorter, more intense sessions.


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