Nutrition Articles

4 Keys To A Smart Nutrition Plan


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How far do you think your car would go on watered down gas or without any oil? About 20 miles, probably. You’re no different. Deprive your body of what it needs and it’ll break down. The secret is to be conscious of the grades of "oil" and "gas" that you use. Some are more powerful than others, and help you run longer on less fuel.

To fuel your body for optimal performance while losing weight, SparkPeople strongly suggests 4 strategies to use when starting a weight loss program:
  • Control your food portions. Who really needs "Biggie" anything? Use our easy guide to portion control.
  • Make smart substitutions. Why not try mustard (11 calories) instead of mayonnaise (99 calories) on that deli sandwich? Who knows, you might even like it better. Compare calories in your favorite foods using this handy chart, and learn more ways to cut calories without deprivation.
  • Focus on "power foods." High protein, high fiber, healthy fats and good carbs give you the most punch for your lunch. Here are over 100 foods that fit the bill.
  • Watch your eating habits. Mindless munching, emotional binging, and twice-a-day trough feedings are sneaky habits that steal momentum and leave pounds. Overcome emotional eating with our 10-step action plan.
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Member Comments

  • I like tracking my foods and workouts! It sure keeps a person honest! :) I love SP ;) - 9/18/2014 4:05:42 PM
  • Yes, tracking g food here is great for finding out all of those calories, fat etc - 2/3/2013 6:47:28 PM
  • The article contains a lot of good reminders and common sense, but I was most attracted to the photo. Looks like the start of Oxtail Soup, something I've not made or had in years - with homemade noodles. Not sure I'll make oxtail soup, but I think I will make veg soup and no noodles - homemade or other.
    Thank you.
    - 2/3/2013 12:08:20 PM
  • I love the anachronim DIET - Don't Imagine Eating This. - 2/3/2013 11:04:27 AM
    I am in the process of changing my life not only my diet. Some things are easier for me than others. Sugar and sodium are my current battle.... Wish me luck - 4/25/2012 5:08:07 PM
  • Lots of interesting points to consider! - 4/25/2012 12:27:48 PM
  • Love the Don't Imagine Eating This for DIET. Definitely a much better way to think about it.

    To much of anything is not a good thing. Balance and moderation is the key! I like the 80/20 rule. Just need to make sure it is good/ splurge not splurge/good ! - 2/15/2012 12:20:51 PM
  • Lots of great information. - 1/24/2012 12:39:47 PM
  • KALE CHIPS! Chips and french fries are trigger foods for me, so I was thrilled to learn that kale chips are sooo easy to make and have that crunch that I crave. - 1/24/2012 10:27:03 AM
  • Ah, but carbs are my enemy. And while I don't have to beat my body into submission, even good carbs, and a "proper" amount of them, raise my blood sugar too much. So I stick to protein, leafy greens, good fats, and a vitamin pack. Liked the lady said, I use a variety of the Atkins induction phase, or the Dukan "cruising" phase to keep my weight down. And carbs are a major treat. - 1/24/2012 10:26:07 AM
  • I am working hard on "mindful" eating; where nothing is proscribed, but it is important to look at the portion size. This is especially important for me because I am a little woman and cannot use up all those extra calories successfully. - 1/24/2011 10:13:48 AM
    "Your body is not an enemy that needs to be beaten and starved into submission." Now doesn't THAT just turn the traditional view of diet and fitness on its head! Carefully choosing what I eat because I love my body. Challenging my body to move because I love it and I am proud of what it can accomplish. Making lifestyle changes not out of self-loathing, but because I love this body that I inhabit and want to take good care of it.
    After all, life isn't a dress rehearsal; it's the only chance we have at being the best we can be. - 1/24/2011 9:10:34 AM
  • Remembering which foods are free isn't hard, but I'm struggling with counting calories AND carbs! I made tacos for dinner, and thought I might eat two of them - until I wrote down the total carbs and calories for just the one I had already eaten - 63 carbs and 270 calories! Talk about a sudden loss of appetite! I'm beginning to see a point in writing it down! - 4/21/2010 6:45:12 PM
  • I love the Don't Image Eating This image. - 4/21/2010 7:29:12 AM
  • Alton Brown has a great "gas" analogy. If you fill up your tank and then only drive enough to use 1/4 of the tank, but go back to get another tank of gas, you will have to find a place to store it (ie fat!)

    Good mental picture for me! - 3/4/2010 5:43:33 PM

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