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Sat, Feb. 29

Count those calories

Have you ever made a statement along these lines: "How can I eat less without having to make huge changes is my life?"

I have three things I think are worth trying when someone is concerned about calorie consumption.

Don't skip meals

Many people skip regular meals and just graze all day. While consuming smaller, more frequent meals can help boost metabolism, nibbling on high-calorie foods with few nutrients all day long can lead to weight gain. It is still important to consume balanced, nutritious meals or snacks throughout the day if you want to rev up your metabolism and lose weight.

Don't skip breakfast. Research shows how breakfast helps boost your metabolism, improve your food selections throughout the day and improve mental performance. Studies show an association between weight control, slimmer bodies and breakfast. Research also shows that those who consume breakfast tend to consume less fat and take more vitamins and minerals than those who skip the meal.

Watch what you drink

Soft drinks are very popular beverages. Maybe you've thought, "Can't I just consume fewer regular soft drinks?"

Soft drinks are high sugar beverages that lack nutrients. Soft drink consumption is so high that it accounts for about 27 percent of America's refined sugar consumption.

A 12-ounce cola contains about 150 calories. If a person adds just one 12-ounce cola a day to his/her daily intake (and not make any other changes in diet or exercise), this could amount to a 15-pound weight gain in one year!

By eliminating regular soft drinks and limiting your intake of diet soft drinks, you have more room for nutritious, low-calorie foods. This way, you'll be able to meet your body's nutritional needs while restricting calorie intake so you can lose weight.

Low-fat cooking

Convenience is key when having to prepare quick, easy, low-fat meals. Having the right equipment is essential. The best pan for low-fat cooking is one that is nonstick. This allows you to cook without adding oil, or needing very little. The best cooking techniques for healthy dishes include stir-frying, sautéing, braising or roasting.

All of these techniques can be done with one single pan! Look for a heavy 12-inch skillet with a nonstick surface, ovenproof handle and lid (double check the product use instructions). Purchasing a pan that can be put in an oven can save time with some dishes.

For example, you can brown chicken on the stove and then roast it in the oven. Or, sauté fish on the stove and finish it off by browning it under the broiler.

Investing in one multi-purpose pan can provide a lot of convenience for preparing many meals!

Thank you for reading Diet Center's tip of the week. For more information, call me [(928) 753-5066] or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman.

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