Whether you have a number of pounds to lose or you’re just looking to stay on track, here are a few suggestions to increase the healthy food you eat without it feeling as if you are suddenly becoming a rabbit.
Why should you ease into weight loss? Because diets don’t work. The very word “diet” brings with it a whole slew of adverse feelings about trying to lose weight. The worst of which is the sense of being deprived. The instant we feel deprived, we want whatever it is we say we can’t have.
The first step to losing weight is to set some realistic goals. To say, “I’m going to lose five pounds a week until the wedding which is four months away means you intend to lose twenty pounds a month for four months. That’s an eighty pound weight loss. Unless you’re on a doctor prescribed fast, that isn’t going to happen.
A better goal is to shoot for about a pound a week in weight loss by making small changes in both your eating habits and your activity level. Small changes are much easier to incorporate into a lifestyle change than an all-out fast.
One of my favorite tips is to look at your vegetable choices and see what can be cut, chopped, even pulverized and then added to something else in order to eat more veggies without making a huge deal out of it. One of my favorites is to make what I call a “super-food” meatloaf. I make meatloaf much the way I usually do, but I will also finely chop carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers in addition to the celery and onion that I usually add to my meatloaf. I do the same when making meatballs, or spaghetti sauce. Trade mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash for spaghetti. Sure, you’ll notice a little bit because you’re expecting it. But by paying close attention to flavor and texture you will find an amount that satisfies your desire to eat more vegetables and still eat food that you enjoy.
Hummus is one of my favorite foods. It can be used as a dip instead of high calorie high fat dips made from sour cream or mayonnaise. No, it won’t taste like those dips, but it is a delicious sip on its own. Serve with pita chips, but make sure to have a tray of veggies alongside and try hummus with crudites. Hummus is not necessarily low calorie, a cup can contain 400 calories. But it is better to eat 400 calories of hummus than it is to eat 400 calories of sour cream or mayonnaise. And if you’re really stuck on the creamy dips, try substituting Greek yogurt for the other white bases. It does taste different, but I made a phenomenal jalepeno onion dip out of Greek yogurt that easily rivals a mayonnaise based dip. Very healthy.
Check the cheese. It is so easy to add cheese to a sandwich, hamburger, inside scrambled eggs, etc. But a single slice of cheese can have between 75 and 125 calories in it. When you want to have cheese, feature it rather than hide it in your food. Grate it and put it on top of your scrambled eggs. You’ll actually taste it that way. When it is hidden inside the scrambled eggs, you consume calories you’re not even tasting.
Just these few tips can make a world of difference in your waistline without you feeling deprived. This spells for continued success as it becomes a lifestyle change you can live with.