Hello, friends!  Barbara Hoffman here.  

Below is a highlight of the tips and encouragements in my book, Eat Yourself Slender.

 You will Prevail!  I’m on your side, as always.

Tips & Tricks From Your Slender Friends!

  • Spice It Up! Go to a healthy market like Trader Joe’s, Henry’s or Whole Foods.
    Get some great new spices, rubs, salsas, hot sauces, even light gravies.
    Also, get some really good mustard. YUM! Spices help burn calories & raise metabolism
  • Only eat bread in a sandwich. No toast! Toast is now “toast” in your kitchen
  • Upping your chocolate intake fast-tracks fat loss!
    It’s true: chocolate helps you slim! In a small Italian study, women who added 100 grams (about 1 bar) of 70% dark chocolate to their daily diet shed half an inch of abdominal fat in just 7 days. They also improved their ratios of “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol by 10%. Researchers credit this improvement to chocolate’s potent antioxidant compounds, which eases inflammation that promotes fat storage.
  • For salad dressing, get some good balsamic vinegar & good quality olive oil.
    Make a dressing using the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and a little Stevia if you like a sweeter dressing. I go to the store and buy a really good fresh dressing – the kind you find in a jar in the produce section. Then I dilute it with balsamic vinegar or lemon and kick it up with some spices. I make a couple of tablespoons at a time.
    ½ the calories and so DELISH!
  • Just plain old hungry? My Number One go-to food is pizza. Yes, that's right!
    Ask for whole-wheat, thin crust, light cheese (I like extra sauce) and pile
    on the veggies. (The veggies actually help fight wrinkles and the tomatoes in the sauce fight sun damage for your skin).
    Also, this is a good protein, low-fat snack without a lot of calories.
    One piece is about 200 calories and you will feel FULL!
  • No baggy clothes! Wear your thinnest clothes so you can feel that waistband. Studies show loose clothing inhibits weight loss
  • Eat early in the day, something within first 30 – 45 minutes of rising
  • Increase fiber intake. This helps the body excrete excess estrogen
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Don’t over-exercise. This depletes serotonin and stresses metabolism. The stress hormone increases and affects other hormones. If you feel hungry after exercising, you have actually “over-exercised”
  • Eat good fats daily. Low-fat eating prompts your body to hang on to any extra body fat. Good fats also help balance hormones
  • 1 Tbs. Flaxseed oil per day is a wonderful source of linolenic acid which promotes hormone balance
  • Walking & stretching can help raise serotonin levels and improve well-being
  • Avoid alcohol when starting your plan. It is a brain depressant and can perpetrate cravings. Wait until you feel balanced before you consume any alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid anti-depressants: They treat the symptoms not the cause. One of the main side effects is WEIGHT GAIN!
  • LET THERE BE LIGHT! Increase melatonin production by keeping your circadian rhythm in sync. Get 20 minutes of bright light daily.
    Try drinking you’re A.M. coffee or tea outside. People tend to lose weight in the summer because the increased light boosts their serotonin so carbohydrate cravings naturally decrease
  • Turn off most lights ½ hour before bedtime. Do not turn on lights if you get up in the middle of the night. Light interrupts melatonin production & you start from ground zero with your melatonin
  • Looking at healthy foods promotes cravings for healthy foods. Consider putting photographs, pictures, or calendars depicting healthy foods in your home or office. It works for me and my staff!
  • Drink water with lemon when eating out instead of ordering a restaurant beverage
  • If you experience cravings, eat 6 walnut halves OR 1/2 oz chocolate (not both!) These trigger your brain “I am no longer hungry” via the vagus nerve. It really works!
  • Eat hummus as a dip on fresh vegetables. There are some great varieties available. I like Spicy Hummus! Or, add hot sauce to plain hummus
  • Eat lots of spinach! Loaded with protein
  • Eat tiny grape tomatoes as a snack Yum! Dip in ranch dressing or hummus
  • Eat apples with almond butter. Almond butter at night helps keep blood sugar levels stable
  • Sniff peppermint every 2 hours. A recent study showed that people who did this were not as hungry as non-sniffers and, even better, they ate 2,800 fewer calories per week! That’s enough to lose close to a pound
  • Eating slower means fewer calories - Make dining an experience…not a race
  • Make your Restaurant meal two meals in one. Divide it the minute it comes to the table and ask for a box
  • Do not do anything except eat when you sit down for a meal. Do not read, watch TV, talk on the phone, work, etc. Be aware of the food you are eating
  • Do not keep food in any other room besides the kitchen
  • If you are in the habit of going right to the kitchen when you go home, map out an alternative “route” in your house
  • Gum works as an appetite suppressant and also appears to curb cravings for sweets
  • Always eat with a fork and spoon. This helps with food selection. You cannot eat salad or chunky soup with your hands and those are healthy choices
  • Cut down on the dressing on salads. I took a bite of my friend’s salad and could not believe how much dressing she had on it! Gloppy and over-powering! Don’t let this be you
  • Start small… one change at a time is a great strategy. Maybe just cutting back on the cream and sugar in your coffee
  • Limit anything fried to once per week
  • Replace ground beef with ground turkey
  • If you do not really love it, do not eat it!
  • Never eat out of a bag or box. Take out a measured or counted quantity of food and put it in a bowl...A no-brainer!
  • Give left-over party food to guests to take home
  • Never skip a meal to conserve calories
  • Bake yams in their skins. Mash and season with roasted garlic and herbs
  • Floss your teeth like crazy instead of eating

Need a Mental Boost?

  • Feeling slow and sluggish? Having trouble staying alert and focused? Here are some foods the experts recommend to wake up your brain!
  • Popcorn (raise alertness by 25% in 5 min) The crunchy texture and buttery flavor or popcorn prompts the brain to produce more energizing beta waves.
  • Eggs (boost wakefulness by 75% for 3 hrs)
  • The protein gems contain a blend of B vitamins and amino acids that prompts the energy engines within cells (called mitochondria) to convert stored fat into fuel.
  • Mint (fires up mental focus and energy in 3 min or less)
  • Breathing in the aroma of peppermint stimulates the hypothalamus – the brain region that governs feelings of attention and alertness.
  • Pickles (chase away mental fatigue and brain fog within 60 sec) The intense flavor combination of salt and tangy vinegar stimulates the central nervous system, which in turn increases blood flow to the brain so more energizing oxygen can reach brain cells.

Fast Food Tips

When you are in a hurry, a fast food fix can be hard to resist.
But if you're smart about your selections, you can enjoy a guilt-free meal almost anywhere.

Here are my tips:

Go with a single-patty hamburger or grilled-chicken sandwich, and always skip the mayo. Load up on fresh veggies like lettuce, tomato, onion, etc. Save on carbs and calories calories with a "lettuce bun," known as Protein Style. Who needs a dull, white bun loaded with carbs? For sides, go with a small salad (no croutons, light dressing on the side), I order a salad and then throw my burger on top of it. If you just HAVE to have fries, get the kiddie size. And eat them SLOWLY! Honestly, it will taste like more!

Broth-based soup is great -- low in calories, and so filling. You can order Won Ton soup and ask for just ½ the amount of Won Tons For the main dish, go with steamed veggies and lean protein (shrimp, chicken, or tofu). Flavor it up with a little reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce. Must eat some rice? Choose steamed brown rice and ask for ½ portion. Throw some Chinese hot sauce on top. Will satisfy and raise your metabolism. Go for the fortune cookie if you wish…only 25 calories. Going to Panda Express? Try the String Bean Chicken Breast... only 160 calories per serving! P.F. Changs? Beef with Broccoli or Spicy Green Beans with Chicken.

Go for grilled chicken or shrimp. Avoid sour cream and cheese, but load up on salsa and hot sauce. Get your guacamole on the side, and use it sparingly. I love Mexican-style salads but I ask them to hold the tortilla shell and just put it on a plate or in one of their take-out tins. Use salsa in place of dressing. Want a soft taco? Order 2 and stuff the insides of one into the other for a “big boy” stuffed taco. Hold the chips… don't even take the basket!

Minestrone soup is broth-based and a good choice. Salad with light dressing on the side, maybe throw on some chicken. I like to ask for whatever vegetables they have and put some marinara sauce on top. Or I’ll get the meatball sub and hold the bread! Pasta? Ask for wheat. Do not eat bread and pasta at the same meal. They actually do not do this in Italy….they know about too many carbs!

For more tips, order Eat Yourself Slender.
You do not have to be constantly dieting…just choosing WISELY!