The Checkup: The 50/25/25 Plate Rule That Makes Weight Loss Way Easier 

• Figuring out what your plate should look like when you’re trying to shed pounds can be confusing. But the dietitian-backed 50/25/25 rule — which gives 50 percent of your plate to veggies or salad, 25 percent to lean protein and 25 percent to starchy vegetables or carbs — makes figuring it out a whole lot easier. [Self]

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The Checkup: The Case for Drinking Ice-Cold Water (Hint: Your Waistline Will Thank You)

• The argument for filling your work water cup up with ice cubes? Sipping on cold water forces your body to work harder to warm it up once you swallow. Your body working harder means you’re burning more calories (by literally doing nothing), and those calories add up — to nearly 500 more calories burned per week, to be exact. [Women’s Health]

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The Weight-Related Comment We All Need to Quit Casually Throwing Around

When I was 19 years old, I took a year off of school and worked the graveyard shift at a diner. One night, around 3 a.m., I discovered mayonnaise while eating an order of mid-shift fries. It was news to me: Mayonnaise was — and always will be — DELICIOUS. Thousand Island? Even better. I refer to this year of my life as the Year of Mayonnaise. Naturally, this year of consuming mayonnaise with reckless abandon — and often pairing it with cheese fries — was not my leanest year, but it was a lovely year. Until, that is, when one day, when I just so happened to be wearing an empire-waisted top, I was serving a group of very tipsy women during happy hour and one of the bunch pointed to my stomach and slurred, sincerely, “When are you due?”

I am now 26 years old and there is no seven-year-old child in my life — and to be clear, there was no baby in my life (or in my body) then, either.

I took her comment as a clear cue that empire-waisted clothing is probably not something I should wear until there is a baby growing inside of me. But I also — after staring at her like I would stare at someone who’d just said, “Can you pass me the cat milk for my coffee?” — wondered to myself, Why on earth would you ever comment on a stranger’s body in that way? Say I were expecting a kid — you, a stranger, do not know the circumstances. After all, not every pregnancy is an easy, happy, gush-to-strangers-about-it situation.

I bring this story up because this thought — why would you comment on someone’s body in that way? — is the same thought I had when my friend alerted me to the fact that someone she barely knows had recently rushed up to her and screeched, “You look so SKINNY! TELL ME: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

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The Checkup: How to Trick Yourself Into Working Out More 

• Fact: mind games are not just for Tinder. Sometimes, you’ve got to play them with yourself. Case in point: This science-backed trick to convince yourself to work out more. Simply put, it’s all about telling yourself before your workouts that working out leaves you feeling great — even if it really leaves you feeling like a soggy dishtowel. Fake it ’til you make it, you know? [Science of Us]

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The Checkup: The Seemingly Healthy Foods to Boot From Your Pantry, Stat

• If you load up on dried cranberries in your salads — because how bad can dried cranberries be? They’re berries! — you’re going to want to stop. A quarter-cup serving boasts a whopping 30 grams (!!) of sugar. And don’t even get us started on big-brand green juices, which can be loaded with sugar and completely lacking fiber. Here, all the seemingly healthy foods that actually don’t deserve a spot in your pantry. [Prevention]

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6 Dos and Don’ts of New Year Dieting, According to a Philly Dietitian

It’s true: When it comes to the new year, there is new opportunity to make changes, large or small. But guess what? Every day can actually be a new day to make a change. The notion that the new year means a new you doesn’t have to be something you live by. In fact, some of us are set up for failure if we handle challenges and new goals this way. Plus, when it comes to diet, making small changes is really what creates huge rewards.

Oftentimes people think dietitians hold this magic potion to weight loss, locked in a safe place far, far away – only giving this secret potion to very few people, so they may be skinny, confident, and happy. But that is far from the truth – we don’t want to hide ANYTHING from you! We want to teach you! And we especially want to teach you that you don’t have to be skinny to be confident and happy. What you should be is healthy, both mentally and physically, so you can enjoy the moments in your life.

So today, I’m here to share some dieting knowledge with you. Here are my tips for the diet mistakes NOT to make this new year, plus a few tips for what you should do.

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2017’s Best Diets for Weight Loss, According to U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report just released its annual Best Diets Rankings, in which they rank the 38 most popular diets out there right now. The victor in the Best Diets Overall category is no surprise: the DASH Diet, which aims to lower blood pressure but can double as a weight-loss diet, took first place for the seventh year in a row. Yes: The seventh.

But given it’s the first week of January, we’re guessing many folks reading this aren’t just looking for the best diets, but the best — key words — weight-loss diets. (’Tis the seasons, after all.) Well, not to fear, they ranked those, too. And no, Paleo did not take the lead, so you can keep the gluten in your pantry. Check out the best diets for weight loss, according to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, below.

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