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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

What's Your Nutrition IQ?

Getting the facts about food can help you lose weight.
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6. True or false? Meats described as "lean" are healthier choices.

True. According to government definitions, "lean" refers to cuts of meat (including poultry and game) with less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3.5-ounce cooked serving. The only exception is for ground beef labeled as 80%-95% lean. Ground beef that is 95% lean has 5% fat by weight -- which is equivalent to 6.4 grams of total fat per serving, and still qualifies as lean. But ground beef that contains more than 5% fat by weight is too high in fat to be considered lean.

Naturally lean cuts of meat include:

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Eye of round
  • Top round
  • Mock tender steak (often sold as a roast)
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Top sirloin
  • 95% lean ground beef
  • Flank steak
  • Bottom round steak
  • Pork loin
  • Sirloin tip
  • Beef tenderloin

Keep a list of these low-fat cuts and use them as your preferred types of meats when cooking or dining out. Your eating plan can include lean meats regularly, but should include higher-fat meats only on occasion.

. True or false? Weekly weigh-ins are optional during weight loss or maintenance.

False. It's essential that you weigh in once a week, whether you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, for a number of reasons. You can't accurately judge your weight by how your clothes fit. Checking in weekly, at the same time of day and in the same clothes, gives you a more realistic comparison from week to week. And a weekly weigh-in can be extremely motivating when you keep seeing the needle go down!

I recommend weighing in on Monday mornings, after you empty your bladder, in your night clothes. That way, if you find yourself up a few pounds, you'll know you need to pump it up a notch during the coming week.

On the other hand, those scale-obsessed folks who check their weight several times a day need to stop driving themselves crazy. Weight normally fluctuates a bit, because of things like how well-hydrated you are, or where you are in your monthly cycle.

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