The secret to losing weight involves 10 key essentials. Here is a quick summary:
1. Healthy, satisfying eating starts with super salads, soups, whole grains, and fruit
Start every lunch and dinner with a large, delicious salad or soup. Super-sizing actually makes good sense when applied to salads. People joke that the salad bowls at Pritikin are so big they have a diving board on one end.
2. Eliminate high-calorie beverages
One in every five calories we consume comes from a beverage—and those calories don’t do much to quell hunger. Soft drinks and frappacinnos are calorie-rich, but so are fruit juices. One glass of orange juice has twice the calories (100 to 110) of a whole orange (50) – or about the same as in a regular soft drink.
3. Trim portions of calorie-dense foods
Very quickly, guests at the Pritikin Longevity Center who come for weight loss discover that they never need to go hungry. Every day they’re enjoying large portions of water-rich, fiber-rich foods so that they’re satisfied and have less room for calorie-dense foods.By switching your morning bowl of corn flakes for a bowl of hot oatmeal and fruit, you’d take in approximately 250 fewer calories each day. That one simple change to your daily diet could help you drop about 25 pounds in one year.
4. Snack smarter
Every snack counts—and choosing healthier options like yogurt and fruit will keep you satiated and energized without packing on the pounds. Eating just one less 100-calorie cookie a day can cause you to shed 10 pounds in a year. Here are more suggestions for healthy, satisfying, and non-fattening snacks.
5. Forget fast food; dine unrefined
Fast food restaurants are part feed lots and part salt licks. Two large orders of fries and two regular soft drinks provide enough calories to sustain a 135-pound person for an entire day without eating anything else. Of course, no one exists on just two orders of fries and two soft drinks in a typical day, which is exactly why 135-pound Americans are an endangered species.
6. Watch less, walk more
We were meant to chase lunch, not order it. If you walk an extra mile a day, you’ll likely lose 10 pounds in a year.
7. Go lean on meat, but catch a fish
The absolute best fats for your heart are omega-3s, found in fish and flaxseed oil. But no oil, even so-called “good” ones, should be considered a weight-loss food. Coating your salad with olive oil can tally up as many calories as two scoops of premium ice cream.
8. Shake your salt habit
Excess salt intake is a major contributor to high blood pressure, yet most Americans ingest 4,000 to 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day—far more than the recommended 1,500 milligrams. Salt has snuck into all kinds of foods. Many breads contain more salt, ounce for ounce, than potato chips. In cooking classes at the Pritikin Longevity Center, guests learn how to prepare food that sings with flavor without added salt.
9. Don’t smoke your life away
Every minute spent smoking shortens your life by a minute, not to mention the wrinkles and erectile dysfunction it causes. The good news is that you will gain back years of your life if you quit.
10. Step around stress
The link between our emotions and health can’t be overstated. One study found that people who didn’t take annual vacations were 32 percent more likely to die of heart disease. Managing stress by getting enough sleep, making time for friends and loved ones, and trying techniques like meditation will help keep your heart and waistline in shape.
Why? Because obesity, inactivity, heart disease, and emotions are intricately connected. Couch potatoes tend to be depressed; depressed people eat more; people who eat more gain weight; those who gain weight tend to sack out on the couch rather than exercise; lack of exercise contributes to heart disease and obesity; both can trigger depression… you get the picture.