Weight loss and dieting are top Google search topics. Here are common-sense weight loss tips distilled from nutritionists and health experts. These diet tips will improve health; they are flexible and inexpensive.
Weight Loss Eating Habits:
-Drink enough of fresh water daily; at least half your body weight in ounces
-If you drink alcohol, cut down. Drink one drink one less each day. Alcohol is loaded with sugar and calories and stimulates the appetite. Switch from beer and liquor to red wine. 5oz of dry red wine per day is the limit for daily alcohol intake.
-Don’t eat in front of the TV, at the computer, or while reading. You will eat more because you don’t notice how much you are consuming.
-Don’t eat alone. It’s easier to eat more if no one is watching. This is how obese people and people with eating disorders hide their dysfunctional eating habits.
-Eat 6 small meals daily. Try a low-fat yogurt smoothie for breakfast, a South Beach Diet protein bar at 9:30 or 10am, a salad, bread and protein (I use a Lean Cuisine or leftover casserole and salad) for lunch, a banana at 3 or 4pm, supper at 6pm and crackers before bed.
-Keep a food journal. Track what you eat daily, every bite. Look for ways to cut out what you don’t need or really like. Choose your indulgences carefully. If there are fresh donuts in the teacher’s lounge in the morning and you really want one, have one, but find somewhere to cut.
Switch or replace these foods:
1%, ½ % or skim milk for whole or 2%. This is a simple way to cut out lots of fat and not too much taste.
Avoid hydrogenated fat and trans fat. Cook with olive oil, safflower or sunflower oil.
Switch to non-stick cooking sprays instead of oils for cooking.
Cook with olive, sunflower, or safflower oil instead of vegetable oils. Raw olive oil is best.
Use olive oil or ‘no trans fat’ margarine. I like Smart Balance or Olivio. Use a butter spray for less calorie intake.
Here are some better ‘starch’ options (higher vitamin, fiber and protein ratio and less additives): rice, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, pita pocket bread, whole grain breads, English muffins, bagels, saltines (over other crackers).
Eat raw nuts daily for essential oil. Almonds are less allergenic and lower in fat than other nuts. I love them on a spinach salad.
Switch to reduced fat (Neuchatel) cream cheese or cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is higher in protein, lower in fat and when blended can be used in place of cream cheese.
Use muenster cheese over American, Swiss, Provolone, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, or Mozzarella. It has the lowest fat content.
Parmesan cheese is a great fat and salt substitute. It is high is flavor too.
Poach eggs instead of frying them. Crack raw eggs into boiling water.
For omnivores, switch to these meats: shrimp, ground round or sirloin, chicken breasts, tuna, marlin or swordfish, salmon or trout, mussels (steamed), mahi-mahi, sole or dried meats.
Grill, broil, bake and steam rather than fry or boil your foods.
Healthy eating essentials:
Fresh is best. Choose spinach, romaine or leaf lettuce over iceberg. Aim for 4 servings of green and 2 of orange vegetables per day.
Make a vegetable blend by putting your favorite veggies in the food processor and sprinkling it on your salad. Sweet onions, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini etc.
Eat plenty of fiber. A bowl of raisin bran a day contains about 25 grams of fiber. Skip the fiber supplements; they can make your system dependent upon them and they contain artificial ingredients. Great fiber sources are:
-apples, grapefruit, oranges, raisins, sweet potatoes
oatmeal, dry oat cereals, bran cereals or muffins, beans
Serve a salad or raw vegetable appetizer with every meal. Everyone is hungry and so will get their vegetables. And those who are losing weight can fill up on vegetables and not just the main course.
Yogurt is the healthiest dairy product. Choose brands that are free of additives, dye and artificial ingredients and low in sugar. My favorite is kefir, a yogurt made from goat’s milk. Look for styles high in protein. You can buy a quart of plain yogurt and add fruit yourself.
The great thing about these ‘diet’ ideas is that they taste great and they are easy to maintain. For more food, diet and weight loss tips, visit my linked blogs.