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7 small changes with big results for your health

March 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
When we want our body to be thinner or healthier, we often make some monumental moves that may result in us eating worse in the long-run. We'll show you seven small changes that can yield big results.

Each month the magazines are loaded with little tips that help your weight and health, but we often forget what we read when we feed.

Quit the clean-the-plate club. Leave 10 percent of your calories on the plate - about three small bites and an average of 75 calories. It you eat three squares a day for a year, that's about 82,000 calories - the equivalent of 23 pounds of fat.

Don't eat unless you are sitting down. Many think calories don't count when they're standing, making dinner or sneaking food off someone's plate. Have a seat. Sit and savor each bite.

Be mindful of all the senses. Enjoy the aroma, taste, and texture. This will also help your body to recognize fullness, so you'll stop. A clean plate isn't the guideline you want.

And make some greasy swaps. Avocado for butter is a good one. Per tablespoon, the green stuff saves you 75 calories and the fat is heart-healthy. Mushrooms for meat can whack calories and fat while enjoying a meaty texture. Use the mushrooms in tacos, burgers, meat sauces and more.

Get sneaky with produce. Every time you eat, even a snack, see how you can add fruit and/or vegetable into that eating occasion. You'll have more water and nutrients, which results in less calories at each setting.

Spray, don't saturate. It's easy to get a couple hundred fat calories by eyeballing a portion of cooking oil, whereas a spray of oil coats the pan judiciously. Save the "good for you" olive oil for your salad dressing.

Finally, every time you finish a meal, move! If you took a 10-minute walk after breakfast, lunch and dinner, that's 30 minutes to burn calories, increase metabolism and digest that meal that you just ate.

See these calorie-cutting tips through photos.