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Easy tips to slim down

Here are a few tips to help you slim down and stay healthy! All of these are easy to do and don't involve any crazy diets. Just eating healthy and knowing a little bit more about nutrition will over all help you to make good food choices and you prepare your meals each day!
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Easy tips to slim down
Here are a few tips to help you slim down and stay healthy! All of these are easy to do and don't involve any crazy diets. Just eating healthy and knowing a little bit more about nutrition will over all help you to make good food choices and you prepare your meals each day!
One of the most important keys to slimming down is knowing your portion sizes.

1. Carbs should be the size of your fist.
2. Protein should be the size of your palm.
3. Veggies are unlimited, so enjoy!

4. Fats should be the size of your thumb.

Try to make sure that your meals only incorporate one carb serving. For example for lunch instead of a sandwich and chips which has two carbs try a sandwich and cottage cheese instead. (Cottage cheese has one of the best proteins in it called casein protein which keeps your metabolism running for a long time). Another example is instead of eating chicken with sweet potatoes wedges and rice (which is two carbs) for dinner try chicken, sweet potato wedges and asparagus.

With all of these try to incorporate healthier alternatives for carbs as well and fats such as whole grains and healthy fats like that in coconut oil, olive oil, avocados and many more!

Another easy way to slim down is to only buy healthy foods when grocery shopping. That way the only time you consume less healthy or processed foods are when you are at a friends house or eating out. When at the grocery store here are a few tips to follow when trying to decide what to get when you are grocery shopping.

1. Check the ingredients list

-The shorter the better. When buying dairy one great brand is Daisy since its ingredient lists are by far shorter than other comparable products. Also watch out for added sugars such as words like sugar, cane sugar, cane juice, sugar alcohol and many others.

2. Check the Nutrition Label for no trans fats as well as lower saturated fats.

3. Shop the perimeter of the store.

-This is generally where whole foods (not processed) are kept.

4. When shopping for grains try to get brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, or sweet potatoes (for a less starching carb alternative to regular potatoes).

Fats do not make you fat. Our bodies need fat to function properly however they need the right kind of fats such as those in avacados, coconut oil, olive oil, and fish to name a few. 

Save this chart and use it as an easy reference for what kinds of fats to incorporate in your meals! At the top are the healthiest fats and move towards the bottom as it lists less healthy fats. 

One fat to always avoid no matter what are trans fats. These are man made fats that our bodies do not know how to break down therefore making us gain weight. One big culprit of trans fat is margarine so for a healthier alternative switch to unsalted butter! As well when checking nutrition labels keep an eye out for oils that start with hydrogenated since those are trans fats and don't have to be listed on the package as long as the serving size has less than .5 grams of trans fat.

Olive oil is full of healthy fats as well as antioxidants. This is a great fat to pour over salads with some vinigrette or lemon juice. However it has the possibility of turning into trans fats (evil fats) if they are heated too high or reheated too much so to be on the safe side I recommend cooking with coconut oil instead!

Photographers: Cosmo

Another culprit of weight gain is sugar. Our bodies need so little sugar and of that sugar they need natural sugars such as those found in fruit, agave, honey, or coconut sugar. This is because our bodies process white table sugars different than they process natural sugars making those less likely to make us gain weight. (Note: when buying agave read the nutrition label since the majority of agave is comprised of 80% high fructose corn syrup and only 20% agave.)

It is okay to enjoy sugar here and there but as for the rest of the week try to avoid incorporating added sugars into your daily diet.

Common foods that contain added sugar:

1. Bread
        -white and wheat so double check the ingredients list before buying!
2. Processed foods
3. Prepackaged Meats
       -Try getting meat from the deli at  your local store that has the words "all natural" on the label or check prepackaged meat to see if the ingredients lists sugar or cane juice.

When trying to avoid added sugar the best way to find healthy foods at the grocery store is by taking the time to check each and every label for sugar, and or cane juice. Avoided sugar is one of the easiest ways to slim down however if you are used to a lot of sugar in your diet you may get a couple headaches for about a week after limiting added sugar intake.

While fruit is healthy for you, eating too much fruit in one day can lead to weight gain. This is because fruits have carbs due to the natural sugars that they have. So stick to one serving of fruit a day whether thats a banana, an apple, half a cup of blueberries or any other fruit and you should be good!
It can be difficult to avoid added sugars when we are so used to eating food that is sweeter. One way around this is using stevia which is a zero calorie sweetener. This is an all natural zero calorie sweetener that is extracted from a stevia plant. Avoid no calorie sweeteners such as splenda or sucralose since those are both very unhealthy for your body. 

As well as a substitute for white table sugar try sweetening foods with organic honey or 100% Agave, or coconut sugar. All of these are better alternatives to white sugar and can help curve unruly sugar cravings that just won't go away!

Note: Sucralose is commonly found in diet foods as well as gum so always read the nutrition label when buying foods from the store especially if they have a label that says fat free or half the calories!

Drinks can contain a lot of hidden calories. This is a super easy way to cut excess calories from a your daily intake especially if they are sugary calories. However, I can not go a day with out coffee so one way I drink coffee is by adding stevia (or honey) and pumpkin spice seasoning to my coffee brew at home or by ordering a sugar free hazel nut americano if I am at my favorite coffee house!