This is the year we will get a six pack, become certified Zumba instructors, and never eat dessert again. Sound familiar? We all make lofty New Year's resolutions, and then work, kids, stress, Valentine's Day chocolates, etc. all get the better of us. So much so, in fact, that 92 percent of our resolutions fail. This year, set yourself up for success with these easy nutrition and lifestyle tweaks from Thinner in 30: Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss in Just 30 Days, the new book by former Today Show diet and fitness correspondent Jenna Wolfe:
1. Try to munch only when you're mellow.
If you're racing to eat because you have no time, your body's already under stress — not a good place to be in, because stress shuts down digestion. Instead, try to schedule more time for your meals and snacks so that everything you eat gets broken down more efficiently."
2. Make your dentist proud.
Who really brushes after every meal? Well, now you do! Having fresh minty breath makes it a little easier to resist snacking so soon between meals, and peppermint is also a natural appetite suppressant. I didn't believe this worked until I tried it for a week. As soon as I ate my last bite of dinner, I brushed my teeth. It immediately curbed my appetite for dessert and for a late night snack. Call me lazy, but the thought of having to brush my teeth again (along with the fresh minty taste in my mouth) kept me in check."
3. "If it's an effort to spread, skip it. If you can't live without your butter or cream cheese, stick with whipped or softer versions rather than the solid or hard variety. Hard-packed butter can have 20-plus more calories per tablespoon (and hard-packed cream cheese has about 30 more calories per ounce)."
4. Chill, skim, reheat, then eat.
You can reduce the fat from many foods (from anything fried to stews and soups) by not eating them on the same day that you cook them. Instead, let them cool in the fridge overnight after cooking them. The next day, just skim off the fat, heat the food back up, and the same meal now has fewer calories."
5. Choose the next healthiest cut.
For beef and pork, opt for less fatty cuts. Anything with the word rib in it (rib eye or prime rib, for example) is generally higher in fat. Instead, switch to a cut of meat that either ends in -loin (such as top loin, tenderloin, or sirloin) or has the word round in it (round steak, top or bottom round, for example)."