You can run on the treadmill until the soles of your sneakers are flat, but that's not going to help much if you're still snacking on drinks and fast-food (yes, even the salads). Get smart about your diet by eliminating these foods from your regular rotation and saving them only for special occassions. You might be surprised: After a while, you won't even miss 'em!
Juices and Fruit Punches
You probably drink several servings at a time without realizing it (25 calories here and there add up). Buy 100 percent fruit juice and drink a serving of only three-quarters to one cup. Or mix even less juice with seltzer for a fun fizz. Better yet, go for the whole fruit: An eight-ounce glass of OJ has 120 calories, while one whole orange has only 60 to 70 calories, plus fiber.
They're packed with more sugar and calories than juice, and there are usually at least three servings in a bottle (we bet you treat one bottle as one serving -- wrong!). If you need a pick-me-up, have a glass of plain cold water. Sometimes you feel slow because you're dehydrated.
Fancy Flavored Coffees
Whole milk and added flavorings turn a benign coffee into a decadent indulgence. Cut the fat from your coffees by ordering the smallest serving with skim milk; skip the flavored sugary syrups. Instead, sprinkle some cocoa, vanilla, or cinnamon powder on the frothy milk. It's cute and much better for you.
Soda -- Even Diet Drinks
The jury is still out on whether or not diet soda may actually cause you to eat more calories or if people simply use it as an excuse to indulge in other foods. Either way, there's no nutritional value to any soda, and regular soft drinks are how many people get their extra calories. Instead, go with unsweetened iced tea with a squeeze of lemon, 100 percent fruit juice or vegetable juice (just 1 cup = 2 fruit servings for the day), or plain water.
That made-to-order sub you get each Saturday is probably prepared on a six-inch hero -- all that bread is about four servings (you only need about 7 to 10 servings of bread each day; having four at lunch will likely cause you to go over 10 by the end of the day). Skip the chips and cookie or get a smaller sandwich on whole-wheat bread. Leave off the cheese and choose leaner deli meats like roast turkey and roast beef instead of tuna or chicken salad. Load on the veggies and avoid mayo and honey mustard (which is often made with mayo).
They're healthy in theory, right? But when your greens are topped with crispy chicken, cheese, bacon bits, croutons, and dressing, you're looking at 30 grams of fat and 500 calories. That's more than a regular-size hamburger, a garden salad with vinaigrette, and low-fat milk! Stick with the grilled chicken but leave off the bacon, use half the cheese, and pour on only half of the dressing packet.
Check out our Activity Calculator and see how many calories you're burning.
Get more diet and fitness tips from the experts at The Nest.
[Nestpert] Lona Sandon, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
See More: Diet & Fitness , Dinner , Fitness Tips , Healthy Eating , So Random