Diet Rule#1: Get rid of Red Meat to cut calories
How to break this rule, smartly : Enjoy an occasional hamburger for the protein, and taste it provides. Protein takes longer to digest, so it keeps you full. Plus, studies suggest that it can help suppress your appetite. Red meat gets a bad rap because certain cuts (like those labeled “prime”) are high in artery-clogging saturated fat. So keep it lean with “round” and “loin” options (as in top round, sirloin, and tenderloin) and ground beef that’s 5% or less fat. Eat no more than 2 servings, or 5 oz., of lean meat daily (a serving is about the size of a deck of cards) and no more than 18 oz. a week. Vary your options with other protein powerhouses, like fish, poultry, and beans.
Diet Rule#2: Don’t eat after Dinner
How to break this rule, smartly : Your body doesn’t magically store more fat and calories after a certain hour, so if you work out in the evening or feel famished, there’s no need to go to bed with a grumbling tummy. You can slow your metabolism if you don’t give your body fuel when it needs it; the trick is to choose a healthy snack, such as whole wheat pita chips and hummus or 3 cups of air-popped popcorn. If you nibble at night, start each day by planning ahead for those calories; you’ll be less likely to reach for traditional late-night munchies, such as potato chips and ice cream, when you know you’ve allotted only a small number of calories for your evening snack.
Diet Rule#3: Don’t let the Cravings Win
How to break this rule, smartly : Indulge yourself, but the operative word here is “in moderation”. Sure, you can try to beat a craving by, first an apple, then a couple of graham crackers, followed by a fat-free pudding. But you’ll probably end up consuming more calories than if you had simply enjoyed a few squares of dark-rich-chocolate. Psychologically, we’re tempted by what we can’t have, which is why deprivation makes us want ‘forbidden’ foods more than usual. Researchers at the University of Toronto found that women who were deprived of chocolate for a week experienced more cravings and ate more of the sweet stuff than those who weren’t denied it. Still, it’s best not to keep temptation too close to home. This way, when a craving hits, you’ll have to go to the nearest store to get something, burning calories along the way, or you’ll decide it’s too much trouble and skip the trip altogether.
Diet Rule#4: Bread is Your Enemy
How to break this rule, smartly : Bread, the whole-grain kind of course, is a helping hand in the battle of the bulge, because the complex carbohydrates it contains provide filling fiber. It’s the easily digested refined carbohydrates, the ones in white bread, crackers, and pastries — that lead to weight gain. They don’t fill you up, so you get hungry quickly and end up consuming more calories. And there’s a good reason you crave carbs: They are your body’s preferred source of energy. A drastic cutback will lead you to gorge on a Mac&Cheese or chips later. If bread still scares you, try a lower-calorie option, such as Arnold 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins or Flatout Flatbread’s Healthy Grain Honey Wheat. With about 100 calories and 5 or more grams of fiber and protein each, they really are the best things since sliced bread.