I recently joined Weight Watchers and their plan has made me see where I was going wrong in my diet. Each day I learn new ways of cooking and eating that trim calories from the foods that I eat so that they will fit into the plan. I'm one who loves all the fattening foods and a lot of the non-fat things don't work for me. . . like non-fat sour cream, non-fat cheese, non-fat mayonnaise or non-fat salad dressing. . . yuck! I have found a lot of things that work though, so there's hope! Here's some tips I've learned along the way:
1. Trim some calories from fried chicken by taking the skin off first. Yes, it's still fried chicken, but at least you've taken off some calories. Also be sure to drain the chicken well on a paper towel when finished frying; this will also help with the calories. Lastly, eat just one piece. Portion control can be a powerful way to control how much you eat, resulting in calorie reduction. If you eat it slowly and savor it, it will be a much more satisfying and enjoyable experience than gulping down multiple pieces. This applies to any food.
2. If you're an ice cream junky like me, you can still have it! Just buy ice cream bars instead of ice cream that you can dish up yourself. This way you limit how much you have. For me, it's impossible to dish up only a little ice cream, but an ice cream bar treat is great and I know it's only 1 serving. A word of warning: be sure to look at the calories of the bars before buying. . . some premium bars have more calories than your big dish of ice cream.
3. Another tip for ice cream junkies is to switch to popsicles, juice bars, sherbet or Italian ice. These all have a lot less calories than ice cream but are delicious alternatives.
4. One last tip for ice cream junkies. A delicious treat that is very similar to an ice cream sandwich, but has VERY LITTLE calories: Take 2 chocolate graham crackers and sandwich 2-3 Tbsp. fat-free whipped topping between them. . . these are so good, you won't believe there's hardly any calories! By the way, I mentioned earlier that a lof of the fat-free stuff I don't like. . . well, fat-free whipped topping is one that I do like.
Can you tell my biggest downfall was ice cream?
5. Here's a recipe for a delicious salad dressing that's almost fat-free:
Chinese Salad Dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice, canned or bottled
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix all ingredients together unitl sugar dissolves. Delicious!
6. Think of all the healthy things you like and play up on them. For me, I love Sushi, Shrimp, Stir-Fries, Salsas, Fruit, Soups, Roasted Vegetables, Salads and Smoothies. You can also get your family members’ opinions on the healthy foods they like so there's more options. I made a list of these items to keep my memory fresh, and when I make meals, I try to focus on these types of meals.
7. If you like French Fries, I have found a delicious alternative! Simply slice potatoes, put them on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, spray the potatoes with the spray, season and cook at 400F for 40-60 minutes, until lightly browned & crisp. These are better than the ones drenched in oil. . . honestly! I tried this same method with sweet potatoes and they are even better, in my opinion; my family prefers the regular potatoes.
8. If you like chips, switch to pretzels. To me, pretzels are just okay, but when I dip them in mustard or salsa, they are much better!
9. Of course there are times when we want to splurge and have an indulgent meal or treat. A great way to do this is to cut back, exercise and eat well for a week or so, then have your indulgence, but still try not to go way overboard. Eat slowly and savor it, this way you will know when you are satisfied, rather than eating through it.
A huge factor in eating well and losing weight is planning, regardless of what plan you are on. If you take time each day to plan out a strategy to keep your eating within limits and create more activity in your life, you will be much more successful than if you don't take time to think about it. If you don't plan, it is too easy to fall into the ‘I'll-Start-Tommorrow’ trap and eat too much.
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