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Battle of the bulge



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One tip is to plan your meals around high fibre foods, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains. Avoid processed foods where possible.

The Canada Food Guide recommends five to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit per day and five to 12 servings of grains. Mix it up a little, and go for whole grains – oatmeal, barley, brown rice, whole grain breads, and whole grain pasta. Dried beans and peas are also high in fibre and a good substitute for meat.

Don’t fast or skip meals. You often make up for it later, or your metabolism will slow down. Eat at the table, not in front of the television – you tend to eat more when you’re distracted.

Eat slowly and take smaller bites so you don’t overwhelm your metabolism, and start with something filling, like a piece of fruit or soup, so you don’t fill up on the main course.

The third recommendation is to cut down on fat. One gram of fat has nine calories while one gram of sugar has just four.

The easiest way to do this is to cut down your intake of butter, margarine and oils. Use half the amount, or use them half as often. Choose low-fat alternatives at the grocery store.

When you’re cooking, don’t fry your food. Try to elevate your meats from the pan when you’re baking or broiling so the fat will run off – insomniacs may already have ordered the George Foreman Grilling Machine. Use it.

Health Canada also recommends cutting back on meat, choosing lean varieties, and switching to chicken and fish. As a rule, vegetarians are slimmer than meat eaters, so don’t try to have a little meat with every meal.

Dairy is a big source of fat, so choose non- or low-fat alternatives.

The fourth Health Canada recommendation is to cut down on "empty" calories, such as sugar and alcohol. Cutting your fat intake is a good start.

Their last recommendation for weight loss is to keep a food and activity record.

Not only will this tell you what, when and how much you are eating, you can also record how active you are, what you weigh, and how you feel, both mentally and physically, which is important to consider with any program.

If you get an upset stomach every time you eat one type of food, for example, then you might have a food allergy. If you have more energy in the morning when you have a light dinner at six o’clock than when you have a large dinner at eight o’clock, that’s important, too.