At Lucas James Personal Training we focus on promoting healthy lifestyle planning through comprehensive fitness, nutrition and wellness programs. Since there are multiple components involved in creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to have ample medical and health history information to most accurately assess an individuals’ personal strengths, weaknesses and goals for fitness and health.
While a basic diet and fitness program can help you set general guidelines for proper nutrition and healthy physical activity, it is more beneficial to have in-depth medical history information, anthropometric data and even diagnostic testing to create a truly customized and effective training program.
Our programs focus on altering daily health behaviors by incorporating one-on-one personal training and nutrition consulting along with customized nutrition and exercise plans. When creating our individualized programs there are a few health and medical diagnostic tests that will enable us to provide you with the most accurate and effective program for accomplishing your unique health and fitness goals.
For all our clients we determine: Body Fat Percentage, Total Body Weight, BMI and Body Weight Composition, Body Measurements, Blood Pressure Resting Heart Rate & Appropriate Heart Rate Exercise Zones, General Caloric Intake, Strength & Conditioning levels, and Flexibility – Range of Motion.
Each piece of data helps us to paint a more detailed picture of your current health status and in turn design a more comprehensive exercise and diet program that is safe, effective and easy to adhere to. Much of this data will help us to create an effective personalized nutrition plan and determine what type of exercise, at what intensity level is most efficient for helping you burn fat and carbohydrates.
Comprehensive Health Diagnostic Testing:
- For Endurance Athletes & Individuals with Respiratory Problems: VO2Max Testing & Oxygen Saturation Tests can provide information about the maximum oxygen capacity of an individual and their ability to transport and use oxygen during varied exercise intensities. This ultimately reflects their level of physical fitness, which is related to the efficiency of one’s body. Similarly, oxygen saturation tells us how well your blood cells are able to transport oxygen to your body tissues, and therefore your ability to fuel your body tissues with the necessary amount of oxygen to stay alive.
- For Individuals with Cardiovascular Disease or Circulation Problems: Stress Tests and Full Lipid Profile | Cholesterol Testing (HDL, LDL , TC) can provide information about the heart’s ability to respond to external stress induced by exercise or drug stimulation. Cardiac stress tests compare coronary circulation at rest with circulation during maximum physical exertion. This ultimately helps identify any abnormal blood flow to the heart’s muscle tissue. Lipid & Cholesterol testing is important for determining an individual’s risk factor for cardiovascular disease. These measures include LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, referred to as “bad” cholesterol), HDL (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, referred to as “good” cholesterol) Triglycerides (fat molecules from the foods we consume that are found in blood ).
- For individuals pre-diabetic conditions or diabetes: Glucose testing and Insulin sensitivity testing can provide information on how well your body can use the sugar or carbohydrates you eat to fuel your muscle tissues and cells. Insulin resistance is a physiological condition that occurs with diabetes where the insulin hormone is less effective at lowering blood sugar levels due to a decrease in function or a decrease in insulin production. The resulting rise in blood glucose levels outside the normal range can cause adverse health effects.
- With Competitive Athletes or Individuals with Compromised health: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) consisting of a panel of tests and gives your physician or team of healthcare professionals important information in regards to an individuals’ current kidney function, liver function, electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of blood sugar and blood protein levels. Each of these tests and biomarkers helps to provide a comprehensive evaluation of how well your body is functioning internally, in terms of metabolism and growth, and in response to any disease state.
Choosing between McDonalds, Starbucks or Subway might be the toughest dietary choice you’ve had to make recently. But for the rest of us who struggle with interpreting the nutrition information and data on a nutrition facts label at the super market, it often feels like we’re reading an ancient manuscript. That’s why our expert nutritionist Jason Apfel, at Lucas James Personal Training, has broken down food labeling into a few simple steps so you can easily understand all that nutrition mumbo-jumbo!
If you’re concerned with maintaining a healthy body weight, the most important nutrition fact to note is proper serving size and portioning for each food or meal. With this in mind, the first place to look on the nutrition facts label is the serving size and the number of servings per package. Why is this so important? Well, while you may be eating healthy foods, it’s just as important to eat the right amount of food to ensure healthy weight maintenance, weight-loss or growth, all of which depend on your total daily calorie intake.
Remember, when you take in more calories than your burn throughout the day, even when engaging in exercise, you’ll gain weight. Vis-versa, if you eat less than you burn, you’ll loose weight. When weight-loss is concerned, you need to reduce your calories by a total of 3,500 calories per week, or 500 each day, to loose one pound of body weight. You can keep track of calories through noting the proper serving size on any food product package. Serving sizes are now standardized for similar foods to make it easy to compare like-products. The measure for serving size is even provided in the same units, such as cups or pieces per serving, to make items easier to compare. *American Heart Association Image
Aside from the obvious reasons, why is serving size important? It ultimately influences the listed amounts of everything else on the nutrition label such as carbohydrates, fat, protein etc. This is because the amount of each listed nutrient is based on the portion size. For example: the larger the portion, the more grams of each nutrient listed. Often foods that are unhealthy, such as butter or processed chips, have relatively small serving sizes to make them appear healthier than they are! Ask yourself “How many servings do I consume”? To help you keep track of calories.
When you hear the term ‘calories’ you may think amount weight. However, calories actually provide a measure of how much energy you receive from eating a given amount of a specific food. Calories come from the three main macronutrients Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins, not from micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Each of the main macronutrients contains a different amount of energy or calories per gram. For example, carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram while fats contain 9 calories per gram, making them more calorically dense. Aside from the biochemical structure of fats and the way they are metabolized, fats are ‘worse’ for us when weight-loss is concerned, because they contain more calories –making it harder to loose weight.
Some foods are also higher in calories than others. For example, fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in calories, especially fat, and are devoid of saturated fats found in animal products. Plant foods also typically contain more minerals and vitamins than animal products do. On the flip side, animal products such as milk and meat tend to be higher in protein content and important minerals such as iron and calcium.
Since calories are really a measure of energy, the calorie section of the label can help you manage your weight through energy balance as previously described. It’s crucial to remember that the number of servings and portion size you consume determines the actual number of calories you take in.
Nowadays, when deciding on your favorite restaurant and fast-food items the calorie content and even nutritional information is available on the menu depending on where you live. This may be startling, but recent legislation had required every large restaurant chain in the nation, including fast food chains, to provide caloric information on their menus and drive-throughs. This new federal law passed in 2011 by the Obama administration requires restaurant chains that are comprised of twenty or more locations to disclose the caloric content of their food items, as well as a description of the daily recommended calorie intake for a healthy person (~2000 calories per day. The legislation takes this one step further, requiring that vending machines also list the amount of calories in the food items they’re selling.
So next time you’re considering a Big-Mac at McDonalds, Frappucino from Starbucks, or tuna sub from Subway, you might just be staring down at a sign, reminding you how bad some of these food choices are.
Just how bad are some of these items & what should you eat instead? Well, just for fun we’ll fill you in!
AVOID- Their 6″ version of a Tuna Sammy has 530 calories and 31 grams of fat, and over 1000 mg of sodium (more than half your recommended daily intake).
The Healthiest Subway Options:
-6″ Ham Sub has 261 Calories, 4.5g fat, 17g protein and 39g carbs
-6″ Roast Beef has 264 Calories, 4.5g fat, 18 g protein and 39g carbs
-6″ Roasted Chicken Breast has 311 Calories, 6g fat, 25g protein and 40g carbs
-6″ Subway Club has 294 Calories, 5g fat, 22g protein and 40g carbs
-6″ Veggie Delight w/o cheese has 200 Calories, 2.5g fat, 7g protein and 37g carbs
-6″ Honey Mustard Turkey w/ Cucumber has 275 Calories, 3.5 g fat, 22g protein, 42g carbs.
AVOID – A Peppermint White Hot Chocolate has 730 calories, A Mint Chocolate-chip Frappucino has 680 calories, and a Tazzo Green Tea Frappucino even has 650 calories!
AVOID the Blueberry Scone with 460 calories and 22 grams of fat.
The Best coffee: Drip coffee has only 5 calories! A little extra if you decide to add a splash of dairy.
The Best breakfast selection: Starbuck’s ‘Perfect Oatmeal’ is fiber-packed with heart healthy oats and only has 140 calories. If you add their ‘Perfect Nut Medley’ containing almonds, pecans and walnuts add an additional 100 calories to the total.
AVOID – The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese contains 740 Calories, 42g of fat (19g saturated fat) and 1380mg of sodium. Even their Grilled Chicken Club has 570 Calories, 21g of fat (7g saturated fat) and 1720mg sodium (almost a total day’s worth of sodium!!!)
The Healthiest McDonald Options are:
-The English Muffin with only 140 Calories, 2g Fat, 4g Protein and 25g Carbs
-The Chicken McGrill w/o mayo has 340 Calories, 7g Fat, 26g Protein and 45 g Carbs
-Their Hamburger has 280 Calories, 10g Fat, 12g Protein and 35g Carbs.
At Lucas James Personal Training, we know finding ab exercises and the right abs workout for a sick six pack and perfect lower abs can be tough. We also know that an abs diet can help you achieve the most shredded physique because nutrition is seventy-five to eighty percent of accomplishing any fitness goal, 6 pack abs included.
Here we’ll make it easy and give you the break down of the different muscles that form your abdominals, the best exercises for each group, the best ways to work-out your abs, as well as nutrition tips for cutting down the ‘ab-flab’ and burning that pesky belly fat.
- The Abdominal Muscles: Form & Function
When you hear the term ‘6-pack’ abs come to mind. But just like a case of beer, your abdominals are comprised of multiple muscle groups, each varying in function. The muscles that form your abdomen include:
1- The rectus abdominis, which we know as the 6-pack, includes both your upper and lower abdominals. The rectus abdominis is the most prominent and visible portion of the abdominals. It travels the full length of the abdominal region, from your pubic bone to right under your lower chest. When we contract this muscle, as in a traditional crunch, we’re flexing our torsos.
2- The external obliques, commonly referred to as your obliques are the visible side abdominal muscles that run downwards diagonally from your lower ribs and attach to the top portion of your hips and your ‘6-pack region’ or rectus abdominis. Similar to your external obliques, your internal obliques travel diagonally across your torso, but in the opposite direction from the external obliques. Together, they work to help rotate your upper body at the core. Both sets of oblique muscles also work to compress your torso when they contract simultaneously along with your rectus abdominis. The obliques primarily serve as rotators that help our bodies twist at the waist and straighten when bent over sideways.
3- The transverse abdominis, is the internal portion of your abdominals that is located within the abdomen. It lies underneath the oblique muscles and acts as a structural support for our organs. It also helps us with our respiratory functions, similar to the diaphragm. Instead of helping with core rotation, it pulls the abdominal wall inward when we ‘suck-in’ our belly.
Together, each of these muscle groups provides structural support, aiding our movement as well as assisting with lung function and breathing. Aside from the obvious functions, our abs are a critical component of our ‘core’ working along with our back muscles to provide proper posture and physique.
- Specific exercises for each abdominal muscle group
When working out, its important to work smarter not necessarily harder to see the results you’re looking for and that perfect six-pack. When weight training for better abdominal muscles and improved core strength, its crucial to note that high repetition exercises will help burn abdominal fat, but you must also include resistance exercises to increase abdominal bulk and muscle size. Here are some exercises specific to each goal, in order by each abdominal muscle group.
Upper & Lower Abs (Rectus Abdominis)
*Fat burning: Swiss Ball Crunches, Bench Supported Crunch, Bosu ball chop, ab deck crunches, un-weighted ab-master machine crunches.
*Muscle bulking: Weighted Crunches, Lying Cable Crunch, Roman Chair Weighted Sit-Ups, Standing cable crunch, decline cable sit-up, resistance ab-machine crunches.
*Fat burning: Reverse Crunch, Hip Thrust, Reverse Crunch on Decline, Hanging Bicycle Crunches, Scissor Kick, Swiss Ball Roll In, Hanging Leg Raise, Hanging Knee Raises
*Muscle bulking: Weighted hanging Leg Raises with dumbbell, weighted hanging knee raises with dumbbell.
Obliques (External Obliques)
*Fat burning: Side Oblique Crunch, Bicycle Crunches, Lying Resistance Ball Windshield Wiper, Cross-over Crunch, Side Planks
*Muscle bulking: Russian Twists w/ medicine ball, Windshield Wiper with medicine ball or dumbbell, Side Planks with weight-belt or dumbbell, Dumbbell Oblique Crunch, Standing Oblique Cable Crunch
Core Specific Work (Total Abdominals)
*Fat burning: Planks, Hanging Knee Raise w/ Twist, Double Crunch, Toe-Touches, Jackknife Crunch, Exercise Ball Transfer
*Muscle bulking: Cable Wood-Chop, Decline Medicine Ball Throw, Exercise Ball Transfer.
- Core Circuit Workouts
Due to the fact that both your abdominals and back muscles compose your ‘core’ and affect overall core strength, it’s important to build each muscle group gradually to ensure proper muscle growth and reduce the likelihood of injury. When engaging in an exercise routine to increase core strength and muscle definition, try incorporating lower back exercises as well in your ab circuit. Aim for one exercise for each abdominal and core muscle group i.e. One Upper Ab, One Lower Ab, One Oblique and One Lower Back exercise. Here’s an example for a complete core circuit workout.
- Swiss Ball Crunches
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Bicycle Crunches
- Roman Chair Back Extension
Your fitness level and progression will depend on the amount of reps and sets you perform, along with the types of exercises incorporated in your circuit and applied resistance. Remember, as you progress from beginner workouts to intermediate and advanced programs the type of core exercises may change as well.
- Abdominal Workout Equipment
As your Ab routine changes you may choose to incorporate various pieces of equipment such as an ab roller, bosu ball, swiss ball, medicine ball, cable machine, resistance bands, weight-plates or dumbbells. Different equipment will help you with different goals as well as aid with flexibility, comfort, body positioning and the way you are training your abdominals. For example, Bosu Balls and Swiss Balls help reduce hot-spots, pressure points and unnecessary strain on your back when performing core exercises, by adding a cushioned support. They also increase core strength due to proprioception training that requires balance to challenge an individual’s normal range of motion. Ab rollers, resistance bands and added weight can be used to keep constant tension on your abdominals to train for a more well rounded physique and increase overall core strength. You can find any of the above mentioned pieces of equipment at your local Scottsdale, Arizona fitness equipment store.
- Ab-Training for specific goals and body type
You should also choose exercises that support your personal goals and promote growth specific to your physique, body-type and frame.
For example, if you are lean, but lack definition focus on lower rep exercises with increased resistance using either weight-plates, dumbbells, medicine balls or resistance ab-machines. If you are overweight, start with simple movements and core exercises to build strength before attempting to increase muscle size and bulk. This can be accomplished through timed intervals and high-repetitions such as a minute of scissor kicks, flutter kicks, bicycle crunches, standard crunches etc. Remember no matter what your body type and training goals are, consistent fluid breathing is important to provide the high levels of oxygen your muscles need to perform at their optimal level, burn fat most efficiently and promote increased blood-flow and nutrient transport for energy.
- The Ultimate 6 Pack Ab Diet
“Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym” – Lucas James
When trying to achieve the perfect 6-pack abs, diet is key. Since people tend to store fat on our torso, men especially, the only way you’ll see your awesome abs is to eat a high-protein, low-fat diet. A lower body-fat percentage will increase your chances of noticing the abs hidden underneath your belly fat. The weight we store above our abs is primarily fat and water weight, so it’s important to eat the right amount of calories and the right types of foods to shed excess fat.
When shedding extra pounds to see those abs try incorporating more veggies and high-fiber foods in your diet. Here’s a few suggestions of ab-busting foods:
Turkey has one of the highest amounts of protein pound-for-pound of any lean animal meat. It also has less fat calories than red meat and is even leaner than chicken!
Quinoa is a high protein, high-fiber and low fat grain. All properties of a fat-burning diet!
Like broccoli, this leafy vegetable has a crunch—and less than half the calories and carbohydrates of its cruciferous cousin.
This sweet Asian fruit is a better source of vitamin C than your average apple.
This Dutch cheese is semi-firm, unlike the semisoft Muenster, and has more protein, fewer calories, and a richer, nuttier flavor.
In terms of preventative health measures, here are a few tips from celebrity personal trainer Lucas James and nutrition expert Jason Apfel that may help augment your lifestyle and current quality of life!
For a start, if you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow by causing thickening and loss of elasticity in our arteries. Aside from the obvious health detriments of smoking, it can actually reduce ones penis size by up to one centimeter in the long term.
Second, if you’re inactive, exercise. Incorporating regular physical activity can help increase flood flow, but also help with weight loss. Being overweight can cause, or worsen, erectile dysfunction. Exercise can help with the underlying problems that play a part in promoting erectile dysfunction by. Aside form the physical benefits, exercise will help reduce stress and mitigate the emotional ties associated with E.D.
Third, eat healthy foods that promote better blood flow. Some specific foods to avoid are foods high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and cause problems with circulation. Also stay away from foods that contain trans-fats, which clog arteries and cause heart disease. These cardiovascular generally translate to insufficient or diminished blood flow, which contribute to erectile dysfunction. Foods that are high in cholesterol also cause clogged arteries and heart disease, similar to trans-fats. As discussed previously, cardiovascular disease can lead to insufficient flood flow, a primary cause of erectile dysfunction. Watch out for foods that are high in sugar. A diet high in sugar can lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Weight gain puts pressure on the heart and vital organs making it more difficult to function properly and ultimately increases one’s blood pressure. The added physiological stress due to diet can significantly decrease blood flow to the penis.
Some specific foods that can help reduce the severity of E.D. are fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon which help to both reduce body fat and overall weight. The Lycopene from tomatoes also helps to relax blood vessels and increase flow. Dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale are a good source of zinc, which has been proven to improve blood flow to the major organs, as well as the penis.
Pistachio nuts are relatively high in the non-essential amino acid arginine, which helps to maintain elasticity in arteries. It also is believed to enhance blood flow by boosting endogenous nitric oxide levels, a compound that relaxes blood vessels. One recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research: The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed improvements in men for erectile function, sexual intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function, overall satisfaction and sexual desire in men who ate a diet high in pistachios. It also reported increased blood flow to the penis by 22 percent, as measured by ultrasound.
Eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids is essential to controlling heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more. Since heart disease and hypertension are leading causes of sexual dysfunction, foods high in Omega-3 such as fish, flaxseed, walnuts, and eggs can help mitigate these factors in a preventative manner.
If you’re looking to a diet for weight-loss solutions you may have recently stumbled across the ‘Eat Right for Your Type’ diet, otherwise known as the ‘Blood-type’ diet which encourages people to eat certain foods and avoid others based on their A, B, AB, or O blood type. Scottsdale, AZ based celebrity trainer Lucas James shed some light on the ‘Blood-type’ diet plan.
The ‘blood-type’ diet was created by naturopathic doctor Peter J. D’Adamo the author of Eat Right for Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight. D’Adamo proposed the diet under the notion that an individual’s blood type affects digestive function, where some foods are good for people of one blood type, and bad for others.
D’Adamo’s diet is based on the idea that lectins, or sugar binding proteins, react differently each different human blood-type. Lectins in general have a role in the biological recognition of cells. For example, some viruses use lectin proteins to attach themselves to host cells during infection. Dr. D’Adamo believes if you eat foods containing lectins incompatible with your blood type, you may experience inflammation, bloating, a slower metabolism, even diseases such as cancer. However, such health claims have yet to be substantiated by the scientific and medical communities. The established biochemical research available, has yet to have found any difference in how the lectins react with a given human ABO blood type. On the contrary, research shows that blood-type specific lectins are not found in foods (aside from two rare cases but occur more frequently in non-food plants or animals.
In term of nutrition, the ‘blood-type’ diet may suit enthusiastic dieters who don’t want to be involved in tracking calories or fat, but may restrict others looking for variety in their diets. This challenge can be made greater if there are more than one person in the same household with different blood types trying to follow the diet. While aside from the science, there is nothing inherently wrong with the dietary recommendations for the diet, it can be difficult to maintain due to the strict guidelines.
Type O-People with type O blood fare best on intense physical exercise and animal proteins and less well on dairy products and grains, says Dr. D’Adamo. The leading reason for weight gain among Type O’s is the gluten found in wheat products and, to a lesser extent, lentils, corn, kidney beans, and cabbage, Dr. D’Adamo explains. Ideal exercises for Type O’s include aerobics, martial arts, contact sports, and running.
Type A-Those with blood type A, however, are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet and foods that are fresh, pure, and organic. As Type A’s are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, “I can’t emphasize how critical this dietary adjustment can be to the sensitive immune system of Type A,” says Dr. D’Adamo. Type A’s prefer calming, centering exercise, such as yoga and tai chi.
Type B-Type B’s have a strong immune system and a tolerant digestive system and tend to resist many of the severe chronic degenerative illnesses, or at least survive them better than the other blood types. Type B’s do best with moderate physical exercise requiring mental balance, such as hiking, cycling, tennis, and swimming.
Type AB-Blood type AB, the most recent, in terms of evolution, of the four groups and an amalgam of types A and B, is the most biologically complex. For this group, a combination of the exercises for types A and B works best, says Dr. D’Adamo.
All dietary recommendations and related views of the blood-type diet have been adapted directly from Dr. D’Adamo’s website: http://www.dadamo.com/program.htm
- Here are some tricks and tips on how to reduce calories on your meals and snacks during the day. It’s a great guide to live by and will keep you looking thing! Lucas James a personal trainer in Scottsdale, AZ.
• Ditch the Pop-Tart for a slice of high-fiber toast with strawberry jam.
• Split a bagel with a coworker or spouse.
• Drink your two cups of joe black. Or order a single espresso instead of your usual latte.
• Swap OJ for the real deal—one fresh orange.
• Trade a side of regular sausage for turkey.
• Top your waffles with Reddi-Whip instead of syrup or use sugar-free.
• Skip the whip on any Caribou Coffee 16-ounce drink.
• Eat your granola from a 4-ounce mug, not an 8-ounce bowl.
• Lose the Yoplait Thick & Creamy and have a Yoplait Fiber 1.
• Order pancakes, but hold the butter.
• Scramble together 4 egg whites instead of 2 whole eggs.
• Leave the Swiss cheese out of your sandwich.
• Slather your bread with mustard rather than mayo and save 80 calories per tablespoon.
• Pass up croutons at the salad bar.
• Use up to 10 pumps of ranch dressing spray instead of pouring 2 tablespoons from a bottle.
• Devour a slice of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza instead of the meat lover’s variety.
• Take your iced tea unsweetened.
• Reach for a Snapple raspberry white tea instead of a Snapple raspberry iced tea.
• Stuff chicken salad into a whole-wheat pita instead of between slices of multigrain bread.
• Make your burger turkey, not beef.
• Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
• Go bunless—shed your hamburger roll.
• Use south-of-the-border savvy: Have a quesadilla made with two 6-inch corn, not flour, tortillas.
• Drink Crystal Light Water instead of soda.
• Move your stash of Hershey’s Kisses at least 6 feet away from your desk—you’ll dip in half as often.
• Drain the heavy syrup from your can of fruit cocktail and then rinse the fruit with water before digging in.
• Have 1/2 cup of fresh grapes instead of that little snack box of raisins.
• Lay off the Lay’s Classic potato chips and have a handful of Rold Gold pretzels.
• Munch on a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Kettle Korn, not Movie Theater Butter.
• Chase down the ice-cream truck for a Good Humor vanilla sandwich, not a King Cone.
• Sip a single glass of wine instead of downing 2 beers.
• Ask for your rum and cokes in a highball glass. Bartenders pour an average of 20 percent less liquid into taller tumblers, so you’ll swig less per round.
• Drizzle extra hot sauce, not blue cheese or ranch dressing, on your wings.
• Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
• Blending your own? Have a daiquiri, not a piña colada.
• Pop the cap off of an MGD 64 instead of a bottle of Killian’s Irish Red.
• Sip a glass of water between drinks—pacing yourself can help you cut back by a glass or more.
• Dip your nachos in salsa rather than guacamole.
• For automatic portion control, sip wine from a Champagne flute, not an oversize goblet.
• Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
• Fill your bowl with sorbet instead of ice cream—you can have an extra 1/2 cup of the former and still slash calories.
• Next time a cocoa craving hits, ditch the dish of chocolate ice cream (about 3/4 cup) for a Fudgsicle.
• Have sugar-free Jell-O instead of pudding. Better your nighttime treat jiggle than your thighs.
• Go ahead and have that piece of birthday cake—just scrape off the chocolate frosting first.
• Eat 5 meringue cookies instead of 2 chocolate chip ones.
• Pass on the à la mode and savor that brownie au naturel.
• Can the cone. Have your ice cream in a bowl.
• Top your dessert with 1/2 cup of fresh berries instead of 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup.
• Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream.
• Use chicken broth low-sodium instead of oil to sauté meat and veggies.
• Making homemade mac ‘n cheese? Cut 2 tablespoons of butter from the recipe.
• Replace the oil or butter in cakes with Sunsweet Lighter Bake prune-and-apple mixture or any brand of unsweetened applesauce.
• Next time you make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, go half-and-half with ground beef and turkey.
• When preparing packaged foods that call for butter or oil, like rice and stuffing, use a broth instead.
• Swap low-fat cottage cheese for whole-milk ricotta when you make lasagna or stuffed shells.
Fast Food Drive-Thru
• Pass up a Wendy’s baked potato with sour cream and chives and chow down on value fries instead.
Amazing but true.
• Have a McDonald’s cheeseburger instead of a Quarter Pounder with cheese.
• Downsize your drink: Trade a large fountain soda (with ice) for a medium.
• Go for grill marks. Order a flame-broiled chicken sandwich rather than one that’s breaded (and usually fried in oil).
• Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone at McDonald’s instead of Dairy Queen.
• Crunch on one Taco Bell regular taco instead of a Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco. And all the hot sauce you want.
• Slurp a cup of Panera Bread’s low-fat chicken noodle soup instead of the cream of chicken with wild rice.
• Make your daily pick-me-up at Starbucks a skinny vanilla latte, not a regular.
• Request the grilled lemon chicken with brown rice, not fried.
• Skip the crunchy noodles with your bowl of wonton soup.
• Ask for an order of Szechuan Shrimp instead of your usual General Tso’s.
• Choose the pasta with 1/2 cup of marinara instead of 1/2 cup of Alfredo sauce.
• Indulge your inner carnivore with beef stroganoff, not meat lasagna.
• Go with the sweet potato, not the mashed, as your side of choice.
• Dip your dinner roll in marinara sauce instead of olive oil.
• Avoid anything breaded. Flour and bread crumbs not only add calories but also absorb more cooking oil.