Since many of us have resolved to get back in shape for the New Year, it might be necessary to create a checklist to help keep our diets and ourselves on the right track. Yes, willpower is required, but there are ways that we can reinforce and adhere to weight loss goals to make the process easier.
Cooking at home is in large part one of those ways. Practicing portion control is another. Of course, we cannot forget to factor in an exercise plan as well.
Lucky for us, technology has made it fairly simple for us to calculate calories, record our intake and measure our output. Be sure to take advantage of this!
Here’s a breakdown of my quick “Get Fit” Checklist:
1. Set a weight loss goal. This number will be used to determine your daily caloric intake. Think gradual; about one to two pounds a week is ideal.
Note: If you are up for the challenge of calculating your energy balance for weight loss (that is, your energy input and your energy output), here’s what you need to know: burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. In other words, to lose one pound a week, you will need a diet and exercise plan that creates a deficit of 500 calories per day. Still following? Seek a dietitian if you are in need of a health plan that fits your lifestyle.
2. Eat clean. Prepare foods with little added fat, refined sugar and preservatives. Focus on whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.
3. Know your portion sizes. Rather than buying a scale, practice using this hand guide to get familiar with portion sizes.
4. Exercise. The recommendation for an adequate exercise regimen is five 30-minute workout sessions per week. Include intervals of aerobic and weight resistant activity to achieve the best results.
5. Keep a food and exercise diary. Not only is journaling helpful when calculating your energy input and output, but it is also an effective tool for reinforcing portion control.
6. Start small. Reaching your weight loss goal is a process that will occur over time and with persistent dedication. Stay focused on small goals each week. A smooth transition into your healthy lifestyle is better for long-term weight management. Stay motivated and stick to your plan!
Grilled Tilapia with Mustard Greens and Brown Rice
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
- 1½ pounds tilapia fillets
- 1½ cups brown rice, cooked
- 3 cups mustard greens, chopped (or one-16 oz bag)
- 1 cup yellow onion, sliced
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup fat free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Marinate tilapia filets with lemon juice in a Ziploc bag. Keep in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
2. In a medium skillet, pour in one tablespoon of broth. Cook onions and minced garlic in the broth over low heat for about five minutes.
3. Pour in the remaining broth and add mustard greens. Sauté until wilted.
4. Toss in tomatoes. Continue to cook for another minute. Place in a bowl, cover and set aside.
5. Heat a grill pan to a medium-hot temperature. Remove the tilapia from the marinade and discard the Ziploc bag. Lightly grease the pan and grill tilapia filets for about three to four minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
6. Top the fish with the mustard greens and serve with brown rice.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 371 Calories, 50 g Protein, 8.6 g Fat (2.3 Sat), 24 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 1015 mg Potassium, 464 mg Sodium, 97 mg Cholesterol
Hand Guide for Portion Control Image: Lilly Diabetes
This article was previously posted on the Pathmark Nutrition Tip Blog