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Spokane's Nutrition Hacks to Get Through the Holidays

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Spokane's Nutrition Hacks to Get Through the Holidays

We are fast approaching the worst time of the year for nutritional competence. We seem to forget what's good and what's bad as we go to holiday parties and family gatherings. But one thing we all love is a life hack. No matter your goal, hacking your way to success can help you hit the marker you've set for yourself, especially in a weight-loss plan. To get started, just use these easy-to-follow steps to achieve, and maintain, a healthy eating plan.  

1. Keep that caffeine habit

Sip about 270 milligrams of caffeine—roughly the amount in a tall Starbucks coffee—before your workout to help raise the number of calories you torch afterward. When cyclists sipped espresso an hour before a ride, their resting metabolism—the number of calories they burned while not working out—leaped by 15 percent post-ride. 

2. Pack on the protein
When you drop pounds, some of what you shed is calorie-burning muscle—a loss that can slow your metabolism. One fix: Double your protein. Study participants who downed twice the recommended daily allowance lost the same amount of weight—but much less muscle—as those who ate the RDA. Aim for 1.5 grams per 2 pounds of body weight per day to reap the results. 

3. Stack your day
A study in the journal Obesity found that women who ate a 700-calorie breakfast and a 200-calorie dinner shed more than twice as much weight over 12 weeks as those whose meal sizes were reversed. Your body clock is linked to hormone dips that rev metabolism in the morning and leave it feeling sluggish at night, say study authors. 

4. Drop the guilt
Twenty-seven percent of people associated chocolate cake with guilt. In a study from the University of Canterbury, those who felt bad about eating it were less likely to maintain their weight over a year and a half compared with the 73 percent of people who associate the dessert with celebration. 

5. Be wary of white bread
Limit your intake of white bread to less than 120 grams (four or five slices) a week. People are 40 percent more likely to be overweight if white bread is the only bread they eat, according to Spanish researchers. 

6. Power up with protein
Start your day with eggs and ham. Having a larger serving of protein at breakfast makes you less likely to overeat for the rest of the day, say researchers. Shoot for at least 20 grams. 

7. Cut back on carbs
It's one of the most reliable strategies for short-term weight loss. Dutch researchers found that eating one carb-free meal a day over a 2-week period can increase your metabolic rate by 81 calories per day. The key is making the meal about 70 percent protein and, of course, zero carbs. Watch for sneaky carb sources like milk, sausages, and barbecue sauce, just to name a few.

8. Replace don't remove
Cutting calories too drastically can feel taxing, mentally and physically. Instead, make one tweak during each meal to get more nutrients like healthy fats, fiber, and protein into your diet. It's as simple as sprinkling your yogurt with flaxseed instead of granola at breakfast or adding a handful of fresh spinach to your pasta sauce at dinner. 

9. Dine in
It should come as no surprise that weekends are the most popular days for dining out, according to the National Restaurant Association. But research has also found that eating dinner out adds 144 calories to your daily intake (but here's how you can stay lean while dining out). It may not seem like a lot, but if you also ate out for lunch, that's another 158 calories—plus, any away-from-home snacks tack on about 107 calories each.




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