Diet Tips from Dietitians (cont.)

So try limiting your liquor to Friday and Saturday nights -- and keep it to a drink or two each night.

Diet Tip No. 8: Have an After-Dinner Drink

Following dinner with a nice, hot cup of tea or a decaf latte can help satisfy your dessert cravings and keep your hand out of the cookie jar, says Zelman. About an hour or two after dinner, many of us get the munchies -- and enjoying a no-calorie or low-calorie beverage can keep your hands and mouth busy during those times.

Diet Tip No. 9: Pre-Dinner Produce Munchies

"Before I start cooking dinner, I cut up veggies or fruit for everyone to snack on while I'm cooking," notes Bonnie Liebman, MS, director of nutrition for the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

This keeps her family from reaching for less healthy snack foods while they're waiting for dinner and encourages healthy eating in two other ways, Liebman says in an email interview: It gets a serving or two of produce into everyone before there's competition from other foods at dinner -- and people are more apt to like foods when they are really hungry.

Diet Tip No. 10: Count 4 Colors in Each Meal

Jennifer Reilly, RD, senior nutritionist for The Cancer Project in Washington, D.C., makes sure each meal her family eats naturally contains at least four different colors. "Skittles don't count!" Reilly jokes in an email interview.

"For example, dinner could be veggie chicken nuggets (GOLD), sweet potato fries (ORANGE), cucumber slices (GREEN) and cranberry juice (RED)," Reilly says.

Published January 8, 2008.

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

SOURCES: Marcia Yamashiro, RD, nutrition consultant, Concord, Calif. Barbara Quinn, MS, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Monterey, Calif. Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Carol Ann Brannon, MS, RD, LD, nutrition therapist, food coach, Georgia. Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, director of nutrition, WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, Atlanta. Bonnie Liebman, MS, director of nutrition, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, D.C. Jennifer Reilly, RD, senior nutritionist, The Cancer Project, Washington, D.C. Duffey K.J. et al., Obesity 2007, 15: 2739-2747.

©2008 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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