Nutrition Expert’s Weight Loss Secrets Finally Revealed

Nutrition experts dedicate their lives to helping others learn how to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle. Do you ever wonder how they do it themselves? What tips and tricks do registered dietitians actually use to maintain a healthy weight? You wanted to know, and we found out! Here are the top diet and weight loss tips from some of the world’s leading nutrition experts.

Easy Ways to Eat More Produce

Most Americans have a difficult time eating their fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Fruits and vegetables are chock full of fiber and phytonutrients that can help you maintain your weight and fend off disease. We turned to the experts to learn their strategies for including more produce in their diets. Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, keeps fresh fruit in her refrigerator at her children’s eye level, so it is the easiest option when reaching for a snack. She also prepares an after-school platter of vegetables with ranch or hummus dip for a healthy and satisfying snack. She knows kids are hungriest when they come home from school and takes full advantage of this opportunity for healthy eating. Another favorite snack she serves is colorful fruit skewers with yogurt dip. It tastes like a sweet treat, so kids love it! Erica Julson, MS, RDN, a private practice dietitian, is always experimenting with new ways to add fresh fruits and vegetables to her meals. If she is having eggs for breakfast, she tops them with fresh salsa, chopped veggies, and minced herbs, and serves some fruit on the side! If it’s cereal or oatmeal, she tops it with fresh berries or diced apple. When she is enjoying a sandwich for lunch, she loads it up with all the fresh vegetables she can find. If she’s grilling some protein for dinner, she’ll sauté seasonal veggies on the side, mix them into a whole grain pilaf, or toss up a quick and easy salad. If it’s pasta night, she’ll toss in some frozen peas and a variety of fresh herbs to kick it up a notch. “Focus on what is in season for optimal taste and the biggest bang for your buck,” Julson says. . Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, adds fruit to her day by cutting and serving it to her family each morning with yogurt. She will often cut extra fruit in the morning so that she then has it available for easy snacks throughout the day. To get in her veggies, she prepares “salad accessories”, or plastic containers of vegetables, to throw onto her salads. This makes it very quick and easy to throw together a salad for lunch. “A base of greens, a couple handfuls of salad accessories, a few nuts, raisins, slices of avocado, beans, and/or bits of cheese…and voila, I’ve got a salad in no time.” Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN, author of TheDash Diet for Dummies® and Calorie Counter Journal For Dummies® reminds us that the DASH diet encourages eating lots of fruits and vegetables. “Even as a dietitian, this can be a challenge. The pressures of writing deadlines often make me want to hunt down some M&Ms (peanut ones of course) but I work on being mindful of "fruit first" and slice myself an apple.” By choosing fruit for snack time, she increases her intake. She also packs fruit and raw veggies with her each day, and by using this strategy, she consumes more of them! It’s important to note the way fruits and vegetables are sliced or diced, and the impact that can have on how much you eat. She likes to chop a variety of vegetables into salads as opposed to keeping it "leafy" and she may add a bit of dried fruit. She always considers fruit as a potential side dish too - watermelon slices, or grilled peaches pair well with poultry or fish.

Keys For Weight Maintenance

Weight loss and weight maintenance are always a hot topic, so we asked the dietitians what their secrets are to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Amidor shares, “I make sure that I eat when I am hungry, in moderate portions. I have a regular schedule for meals and snacks and my body knows when it is time to eat. I make sure I eat on time and stick with my schedule. When I end up skipping meals and becoming too hungry, I forgo my planned meals and snacks for any junk food I can find, which is something that I do not like to do.” Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN author of Younger Next Week, shares 3 of her favorite secrets for weight loss and maintenance.

1)    Avoid all or nothing thinking and the idea that foods are "good" or "bad."  Even a so-called "good" food can be bad for you if you overdo it, while so-called "bad" foods, in small portions, can fit in an otherwise nutrient-rich diet. If you eat somewhere in the middle, you'll probably feel better about your diet, feel less deprived, and eat better overall.

2)    Pare portions. Rather than avoiding certain foods, or sticking to just a few “safe” foods, try cutting portion sizes instead. This is especially helpful for foods that are high in fat or sugar, like candy, cookies, ice cream, and french fries. This is the key for weight management. It also helps you leave room in your tummy for plenty of nutrient-rich foods.

3)    Monitor yourself. Weighing yourself once a day or once a week, using a pair of pants or a belt, or a tape measure to monitor your progress, helps maintain weight loss, or prevent weight gain by keeping you accountable. “Personally, weighing myself daily has helped me maintain a 30+ pound weight loss (and stay within a 3-pound range) for more than a decade.” Amidor shares her best tips for dealing with unhealthy food temptations.“If you are craving something sweet, then have a little taste. Sometimes having fresh fruit or honey Greek yogurt instead of a sweet junk food does the trick. You can also bulk up your treat with healthier sides. For example, ½ cup vanilla ice cream topped with fresh berries.” Toby also recommends having healthy snacks on hand like fresh fruit, kashi bars, and nuts.

Take these time-tested tips from America’s trusted nutrition experts and see which ones you can apply to your own life. Identify at least one change you can make in your diet or lifestyle that would help you reach your health and wellness goals, and make a point to implement it this week. Now you, too, can start eating healthy and feeling fabulous!

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