Because it has the highest concentration of calories, cut down on fat intake, and saturated fats in particular — heavy cream, butter, sour cream, and cream cheese — which elevate LDL, the bad cholesterol, explains Barbara Schmidt, MS, RD, lifestyle specialist at Norwalk Hospital and private practice nutritionist in New Canaan, Conn.
- Fresh fruit & yogurt
- High-fiber cereal with skim milk and fruit
- Smoothie made with nonfat yogurt, frozen blueberries, and avocado
Size up portions this way:
- 3 ounces of protein = a deck of cards
- 1 cup rice or pasta, 1 medium fruit = tennis ball
- 1 ounce cheese = a pair of dice
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter = ping-pong ball
- 1 tablespoon oil, salad dressing = ½ ping-pong ball
- Golf (walk, don't use the cart!)
- TV fitness shows
Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants to keep you healthy, young, and free of cancer. The goal is "five a day," but to lose weight, keep serving sizes in mind. Many whole fruits are two servings, like a large apple or a banana. "Eat both and you've already had four servings," warns Schmidt. Sugar snap peas and baby carrots are two good snacks. Bolognese sauce on spaghetti squash is a great pasta alternative, says Apovian. But beware of what you put on your produce. Hummus adds fat; a better alternative is low-fat dip or salad dressing. Peanut butter on apple slices tastes great, but adds 100 calories per spoonful.