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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
This blog is dedicated to the low-carb menu challenge presented by Jimmy Moore. I'm living the Louisiana low carb lifestyle, where low-carb is the new way to go ! I live southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana....have three awesome kids. We are deep down in the heart of sweet Cajun Country, where we kick back and relax, go hunting, fishing, or make groceries! My doctor told me that my blood pressure numbers were getting too high, so I had to loose weight. She challenged me with ten pounds in three months. That was October 7, 2008. I lost 26 pounds !!! In February of 2011, I found that I had gained a few pounds more than I would have liked, weighing in at 170 pounds. I had to get back into the swing of living the low carb life again !! I am loving the 'low-carb' style and wish to contiue it . I exercise three times a week at the gym, and off the 'off' days, I learn to RELAX !! November 2011, finds me in different circumstances -- a new lifestyle, great community of friends and a challenge to keep that 45 pounds that I lost OFF. Feel free to read my blog, browse around, or just sit a spell!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Eating Right.. N OT-SO-FAT Tuesday

One of my favorite people to follow on the internet is a local columnist. Her name is Molly Kimball. She works for Times Picayune, out of New Orleans, LA. Her latest column covers 7 little diet changes that can get you back into that slinky costume in time for Mardi Gras.


Mardi Gras comes late this year, and you know what that means: There's more time for king cake. But there's also more time to tighten up your fitness regime and diet to shed some weight before the big day.

Love king cake? Well, it's okay if you eat it in moderation, but only in moderation, according to Nutrition columnist Molly Kimball.

With three weeks until parades kick into high gear, there is just enough time to incorporate a few healthier habits into your routines. And these small changes can make a big difference in your weight, not to mention overall health and energy level. Plus, you'll feel lighter, less bloated, and your clothes can fit better by the time the Krewe of Barkus strolls through the Quarter.

Here are some numbers to remember. To shed one pound of body fat, you need to burn about 3,500 calories more than you take in. So a daily deficit of 500 calories translates to a loss of about one pound per week; slashing 1,000 calories a day results in about two pounds weekly.

Though metabolic rates vary widely by person, a general estimate of the appropriate number of calories to consume is about 10 calories per pound of goal body weight. (If you want to weigh 130, consume 1,300 calories per day.) Plan for 12 calories per pound of goal weight if you exercise at a moderate intensity three or four days a week, and 14 calories per pound of goal weight if you exercise intensely five to six days a week.

Crunch the numbers to see how your diet and exercise measure up, and decide what changes are realistic. If your target calorie range seems pitifully low, ramp up your exercise to earn a little wiggle room, calorically speaking. And keep in mind that little trade-offs can add up quickly. Here are seven simple steps to help streamline your diet and maintain your focus.

1. Eat often, eat smaller:

You don't need to eat more, just more often. The idea is that you'll never let yourself get too hungry between meals.

Try to eat something within the first two hours that you're awake (after exercise is fine), and add a small snack if you'll be going longer than four hours between meals. But don't feel obligated to work in those six "mini meals" that we always hear about if you don't need them.

2. Cocktails count:

You can have your cocktails and lose weight, too. But while the recommended "moderate intake" of alcohol is one drink daily for women and two for men, what you drink can be as important as how much you drink. Factor in 120 to 150 calories for a standard serving of wine, beer or liquor (on the rocks or with a no-calorie mixer like club soda, water or a diet soft drink). And skip the sugary drinks: Daiquiris, margaritas and hurricanes can easily add 500 to 1,000 calories.

3. Focus on fullness: Try to incorporate fiber, protein and a little fat with every meal and snack. Swap your pretzels and 100-calorie cracker packs (both are essentially the equivalent of a couple of slices of white bread) for Greek yogurt with berries or a slice of whole-grain toast topped with peanut butter. You might be adding a few more calories to your snack, but that bit of protein and fat will keep you satisfied longer, helping to minimize mindless snacking later in the day.

4. Downsize carbs: Starchy carbs provide a quick energy boost, but they're also calorie-dense, so don't double up. If you have oatmeal, skip the side of toast and save 200 calories. Grilled chicken sandwich? Hold the fries (of course) -- and even the baked potato -- and you can save 400 calories or more. And think twice before ordering a wrap: Those large burrito-style ones are often the carb equivalent of four to six slices of bread.

Save hundreds of calories by paring down your dinner starches, keeping the focus on protein and nonstarchy veggies. One cup of a starchy side such as rice or pasta, even the whole-grain versions, has up to 240 calories; a cup of veggies has just 25 to 50 calories. Turn to frozen veggies in a pinch. They're flash-frozen at their peak of ripeness, so they are just as nutrient-dense as fresh.

5. Lean your protein: Trading out a high-fat protein (fried food, sausage or ribs) for a leaner option (grilled seafood, pork tenderloin or extra-lean ground beef) can trim up to 250 calories -- and loads of saturated fat -- per 4-ounce serving.

6. Slim your salads: Full-fat dressing is an obvious culprit, adding 80 calories or more per tablespoon. But you don't necessarily save calories by switching to olive oil. With 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, a few generous pours can turn a seemingly innocent salad into the calorie equivalent of personal-size pizza.

The solution: Save as much as 100 calories per spoonful by switching to a low-calorie dressing. Note that the nutrition information for salad dressing is often for a 2-tablespoon serving. I typically recommend a light vinaigrette with 40 to 50 calories per serving. Or use an olive-oil spritzer to get a fine mist of your favorite oil, adding extra taste with a splash of flavored vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.

If you don't want to give up your favorite fully loaded dressing, just keep it in check -- along with portions of other high-calorie salad toppings. Add-ins such as avocado, nuts, tortilla strips, cheese and dried cranberries can easily add hundreds of calories each. Lower-calorie alternatives to add flavor and interest without piling on the calories: artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, water chestnuts, grilled vegetables and fresh berries.

7. Be accountable daily: Stay focused by tracking progress. Some people benefit from daily weigh-ins, one of the common themes of the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than 5,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained their new weight for at least a year. But you know yourself best, and if stepping on the scale daily is a sure-fire strategy for self-sabotage, find another way to monitor your progress, such as taking note of positive behavioral changes, or keeping a food log.

Individually, these modifications may not seem like they would make much difference. But combined, they can make a significant impact, resulting in a healthier you to celebrate a not-so-Fat Tuesday.

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Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans. Her column appears on Fridays in Living and her nutrition videos appear every Tuesday on nola.com/health. She can be reached at eatingright@timespicayune.com.

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