Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Top 20 ways to lose those stubborn 10 pounds

Like me, you've probably been meaning to lose some weight and may have included that goal once again in your New Year's resolutions. The statistics, however, aren't in our favor: Seventy-seven percent of Black women age 20 and older are overweight or obese, and half of us in this age group are obese. But that's no reason to give up--or give in. This time can be different. You can become more fit and weigh less. To find out what really works, we tapped two health and fitness experts for proven advice on what to eat, drink and affirm, as well as how to stay motivated for the long haul.

Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian, lifestyle counselor and author of Small Changes, Big Results (Clarkson Potter), recommends these easy-to-adopt habits:

1. EAT BREAKFAST. Studies show that people who eat in the morning are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

2. EVERY MONDAY TAKE FIVE PIECES OF FRUIT TO WORK and keep them in a bowl by your desk. You'll have a healthy snack at your fingertips each day, and it looks nice, too.

3. GO FOR A SKIM LATTE instead of a regular. You can save about 100 calories.

4. INCLUDE TWO TO THREE SERVINGS OF LOW-FAT DAIRY or other calcium-rich food every day. They're good for your bones, and studies show that getting enough calcium may help you burn fat.

5. SAY GRACE. Offering thanks for the delicious food and abundance you enjoy calms you and focuses your mind on the meal. Eat slowly and savor each bite.

6. YOU DON'T HAVE TO AVOID CARBS; SWITCH to whole-grain versions. Enjoy whole wheat bread, pasta and couscous. Also select brown rice, oats and bulgur. They offer nutrients and fiber to help us feel full and satisfied. (See pasta recipe at left.)

7. IF YOU HAVE A TASTE FOR PORK, broil or grill some pork tenderloin. It's as lean as skinless chicken breast.

8. TRADE IN ONE SUGARY DRINK, like soda or sweetened tea, for a calorie-free beverage like water everyday, and lose more than a pound a month!

9. STOP EATING WHEN YOU LEAVE THE TABLE. Avoid the urge to nibble on leftovers as you clear the table and clean up.

10. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Fatigue may cause hormonal and metabolic changes that make you more likely to gain weight.

11. WRITE DOWN YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS GOALS to help you stay on track. Ask yourself: Why do I want to lose weight? How much do I want to lose? Focus on your higher motivation for losing weight--becoming healthier, feeling better--because that tends to lead to long-term success.

12. INSTEAD OF DRINKING JUICES, eat the foods they come from. For example, six ounces of apple juice provides 90 calories and only 0.2 grams of fiber, while a medium-size apple contains only 81 calories but offers 3.7 grams of fiber, which gives you a feeling of fullness. This way you won't get hungry five minutes later and head for the fridge.

13. EAT FISH TWO OR MORE TIMES A WEEK. Seafood provides lots of nutrition without many calories. Bake, broil or grill instead of deep-frying. (See recipe for Dr. Ro's Citrus Barbecued Salmon at right.)

14. COOK GREENS WITH FAT-FREE BROTH, herbs, onions, garlic and red pepper. If you add one ounce of salt pork, the fat will soar from nearly zero to a whopping 23 grams.

15. COOK CABBAGE WITH LOW-FAT SMOKED TURKEY instead of fatty meat. Season with caraway seeds and green bell pepper.

16. SWITCH FROM CANDIED SWEET POTATOES to a baked sweet potato and save more than 200 calories.

17. PREPARE BAKED MAC AND CHEESE WITH LOW-FAT CHEESE. egg whites and bread crumbs. These substitutions keep the flavor and cut the fat.

18. HAVE MINIMEALS (250 to 500 calories] instead of large ones (1,000 calories). Aim for three small meals and two snacks. Carry minimeals with you. Whole grain crackers, baby carrots, small boxes of raisins, cans of vegetable juice stash easily in your briefcase, desk drawer or car.

19. TAKE A HIKE! Walking not only reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer, but it can also flatten your tummy, tighten your thighs, lessen depression, and make you feel good about yourself. Start slowly, and over days and weeks increase your pace and distance.

20. KNOW THAT YOU WILL SUCCEED. If you backslide, just make yourself start again, because every day is a new day.


Makes 2 servings. Total time: 5 minutes.
1 cup no-sugar-added granola
1 cup of your favorite low-fat yogurt
banana, peeled, sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup orange juice

In a bowl or parfait glass, alternate granola,
yogurt and banana slices. Drizzle
with honey and orange juice.

Per serving: 418 calories, 5 grams fat, 6 milligrams cholesterol, 217 milligrams sodium, 87 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams protein.


Makes 4 servings. Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cook time: 15 minutes.

1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound),
coarse stems discarded, well rinsed
3/4 pound whole wheat penne or shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound low-fat Kielbasa or other
precooked smoked sausage, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole or halved
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Bring large pot of water to boil. Blanche
broccoli rabe about 4 minutes. Use slotted
spoon to remove and place in a bowl. In
same boiling water, cook pasta according
to package directions. In large skillet, heat
1 tablespoon oil. Cook sausage, about 6
minutes. Remove sausage from skillet; set
aside. Add remaining oil to skillet; saute
garlic, about 2 minutes. Chop broccoli rabe
coarsely; add to skillet. Stir in sausage,
tomatoes, broth and seasonings. Simmer
for several minutes. Drain pasta; stir in
broccoli-rabe mixture. Place in large bowl.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Per serving: 523 calories, 12 grams fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 871 milligrams sodium, 80 grams carbohydrate, 29 grams protein.


Makes 4 servings. Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cook time. 10 minutes.

2 tablespoons frozen orange-juice
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 pound salmon fillet, cut into 4 servings
2 tablespoons each: fresh thyme and
rosemary, combined
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray

In small bowl, mix orange-juice concentrate
and barbecue sauce; set aside. Rub
both sides of fish with herbs, salt and
pepper. Spray large nonstick skillet; heat
pan over medium-high heat. Add fish to
skillet; cook until underside is browned,
about 3 minutes. Turn fish; brown other
side, about 3 minutes. Brush tops of fish
with citrus-barbecue sauce; heat
through, about 3 minutes. Delicious with
steamed green beans.

Per sewing: 240 calories, 13 grams fat,
67 milligrams cholesterol, 236 milligrams
sodium, 7 grams carbohydrate,
23 grams protein.