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10 strategies to lose weight and live great

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Lose weight & live better

The Pritikin Diet has been around for decades, initially being introduced as a new approach to decrease heart disease. Unlike other diets that quickly fall out of favor, the Pritikin has withstood scientific study and has evolved into a healthy lifestyle program that is not only heart-healthy, but also reverses metabolic syndrome, controls diabetes, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cancer, and promotes weight loss. What makes the Pritikin plan, also called the Pritikin Edge, so effective? Read on to find out.

3. Portion control

It isn't news that Americans eat ridiculously large servings of food and are not aware of recommended serving sizes. Instead of simply eating whatever is put on your plate, judiciously adjust your portion sizes of high-calorie foods.

Easy ways to cut your consumption? Half your meals and get the second half out of your sight, use smaller plates and arrange the foods on your plate attractively before serving, and avoid "all you can eat" buffets. (Here are few more tips for healthy eating when eating out.)

4. Snack smarter

Dr Vogel and Lehr say that snacking is driven by habit, availability of food, and not eating satisfying foods at mealtime. Snacking has become a popular pastime and over the past 20 years, the increase in junk food snacking has been responsible for about 75 percent of the calories Americans have added to their diet.

The Pritikin plan suggests that eating two or three reasonable meals per day with an occasional healthy snack is an ideal way to stay satisfied and lose weight. Avoid frequent snacking throughout the day that is based on habit or consisting of sugary, salty, fattening snacks.

If you are following the first three Pritikin strategies, chances are you won't feel the need to graze on food all day. However, if you do find yourself hungry in-between meals, consider these healthy snacks: fresh fruit and veggies, bean-rich soups, yogurt, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes (not laden with butter and sour cream), corn on the cob, corn tortillas topped with bean dip and salsa, oatmeal, healthy frozen meals, and tuna on whole grain crackers.

Click to the next page to find out what foods are in the optimal diet

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