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Eat more to weigh less: increase the volume of nutrient-rich, lower-calorie foods in your diet to feel more satisfied without feeling deprived.

If you have vowed that this is the year you will be successful at taking off--and keeping off--those extra pounds, here's a strategy that may help: Eat more. Eating a larger amount of foods that are rich in nutrients and lower in calories can be part of a winning strategy for successful weight loss. Losing weight is about more than cutting back on calories; it's also about eating foods that will quell hunger pangs and keep them at bay longer.

"When you eat a larger amount of food, you tend to feel full for a longer period of time," says Alissa Rumsey, RD, CDN, CNSC, supervisor of clinical nutrition at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "If you choose higher-calorie processed foods, such as chips, candy, and cookies, you will be consuming a large number of calories, and the foods will digest more quickly and leave you hungry for more. Instead, choose lower-calorie foods that are high in nutrients, such as carrot sticks and hummus; you can eat a larger amount of these foods, rake in fewer calories, and feel full longer."

Sometimes, more is less ... of calories and fat

The foods you choose for snacks are a good place to start.

A brownie that weighs 2 ounces has more than 200 calories, while a whole cup of red or green grapes has about 100 calories and weighs about two-and-a-half times as much as the brownie. Even though the brownie provides a smaller volume of food, it gives you more calories than the grapes and will leave you wanting more to eat much sooner than if you ate the grapes. Also, the grapes will take longer to eat and require more chewing than the brownie, and the more you chew, the more your appetite decreases.

If you enjoy a crunchy snack in the afternoon, bypass the chips (including potato, tortilla, and the colorful "veggie" chips that may look healthy but are made with vegetable powders, not whole vegetables) and choose air-popped popcorn instead. You can eat three or four cups of the popcorn and still get fewer calories, more fiber, and less fat than a big handful of chips. As for baked snacks, such as pita chips and pretzels, you'll be getting less fat, but, if they're made from white flour, they will provide little in the way of nutrition.

When you eat lunch and dinner, include two servings of non-starchy vegetables in every meal. Start with a small bowl of vegetable soup or a salad made with leafy greens, and make sure you have at least the same amount of vegetables on your plate--carrots, broccoli, greens beans--as you do starchy foods (potatoes, pasta, rice).

Keep an eye on calories

Rumsey stresses, however, that lower-calorie does not mean no-calorie. "It's important to stick to moderate portion sizes and watch how much you are eating," she says. "Overeating any type of food can lead to weight gain, so be mindful of how much you are consuming."

She also notes that low-calorie foods don't necessarily equate to healthy foods. "Many foods labeled low-calorie may not offer any nutritional value, such as a low-calorie cookie or reduced-fat potato chips," Rumsey explains. "The best low-calorie Foods to choose are those that offer a big nutritional bang for your buck, such as fruits, vegetables, low-far dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese, and lentils and beans.

Change your environment

One of the easiest, but most overlooked, ways to alter your eating style is to change your eating environment.

"Sort through your pantry," Ramsey advises. "Don't keep any 'trigger foods' in your house--foods that you can't resist eating if they're around. Remove any empty-calorie or highly processed foods, such as potato chips, white bread or crackers, sugary cereals, ice cream, and cookies."

Likewise, keep healthy foods within arm's reach; you'll be more inclined to eat lower-calorie foods if they are easily accessible.

Rumsey suggests filling a bowl with Fresh fruit and putting it on the kitchen table or counter. When you buy fresh Cru its or vegetables, wash and cut them Lip right away so they are ready to eat when you want them. "Wash and separate grapes into smaller, easy-to-grab bunches, and cut up melons into slices or cubes: she suggests. Wash and slice cucumbers, carrots, celery, and bell peppers and score them in plastic containers or bags.

If you follow these recommendations, you will be consuming fewer calories while eating more food, which will help you lose weight and avoid feeling deprived while doing it.

RELATED ARTICLE: SMART CHOICES

EAT THIS...

1 cup grapes, berries, or melon Apple, pear, or banana
4.5 cups air-popped popcorn
1 cup leafy greens, 1 cup broccoli or green beans,
and 1/2 cups rice or pasta

Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cucumber slices
and two table-spoons hummus or fat-free bean dip

INSTEAD OF THIS...

Brownie

Doughnut or pastry
1 cup tortilla chips or pretzels
1 1/2 cups rice or pasta

Full-fat cheese and crackers, potato chips and dip
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Publication:Women's Health Advisor
Date:Jan 1, 2015
Words:831
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