- Reduce Butter and Margarine and Substitute Olive Oil – Butter and margarine are loaded with calories and fat. Often times I will substitute olive oil for these items. When I make a grilled cheese sandwich, I spray my bread with my Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer instead of slathering the bread with butter. Don’t get me wrong, olive oil has calories too, but on a whole it is better for you. A little bit of sprayed oil is way better than a couple of tablespoons of spread butter.
- Fish One Day a Week for Dinner – Fish is a great low-calorie way to get protein. Just be sure you don’t serve it deep-fried. If you do, you are trumping out any benefit that you may derive. Commit to some filets of fish once a week for dinner. You can broil, bake, or grill the fish and still get a great meal. For a great way to prepare some tuna steaks, check out are recipe Seared Yellowfin Ahi Tuna. We will do our part and post some more fish recipes on the site.
- Think Soup and Salads – If you want to lose weight, it’s very important to increase your vegetable intake. Let’s face it, winter is a hard time to find fresh vegetables. When I need to trim up, I make a big old pot of vegetable soup. Have a bowl with lunch and dinner, and you are adding well needed servings of vegetables to your diet. Just be sure to stay away from the cream based broths as these will trump the benefits. Tomato based broths make an excellent choice. When it comes to salads, use common sense. Watch out for dressings and cheese. You can ruin the health benefits by using cream based salad dressing, such as ranch or blue cheese, or by loading a pound of artery clogging cheese on the salad.
- Reduce salt, add herbs – I’ve watched so many people prepare meals and season with nothing but salt. Oh my god, it just makes me want to scream. For god’s sake people, use some basil, oregano, or rosemary. When it comes to herbs, fresh is always better. Another great way to reduce salt is to use some lemon juice or wine for cooking. These add a lot of flavor and very little sodium.
- Try to Limit Caloric Drinks – This is one that can just absolutely kill you. A can of Coca-Cola has about 150 calories. A Micro Brew Beer has around the same. Calories can really add up fast when you consume calories in your beverages. Heck, even New York City has passed laws about high-calorie drinks to discourage them. Take special note to your morning coffee. Are you putting sugar and cream in it? If you are, please stop. These calories multiply very fast and turn into muffin tops and spare tires.
- Pay Attention to Serving Sizes – This is one that really surprised me. When I started logging my daily food intake, (this will be covered in the next step) I was shocked at some foods and their serving sizes. Do you know what a serving of meat (beef, chicken, pork, etc) is? Try 3 measly ounces. That means that 16 oz steak you just had is over 5 servings of meat. Others to be careful of are pasta and rice. Look at the package. They will show you exactly what a serving size is. Plan your meals around serving sizes. Carbs aren’t bad for you, but when you have too many servings in a meal, that’s where the problems start.
- Log Your Food – Studies show that if you log your food, you are more likely to lose weight. I know it’s a pain in the buttocks, but it’s the only way to know where you stand. If you log your meals, you will know exactly how may calories you have consumed. Technology is your friend here. There are some excellent programs that can aid you. Most are available for free on your smart phone. Some examples are My Fitness Pail, Lose It, and Weight Watchers.
- Cook at Home vs Eating Out – Not many restaurants specialize in healthy eating. As a matter of fact, they could care less. Their goal is to make it taste good and be profitable. Therefore, you are going to find a lot of fats, sugars, creams, butters, etc, etc, etc added to these meals. You just can’t trust them with your health. Cook at home where you can control the ingredients, so you know what you are eating. If you must eat out, try to order whole foods (ie a piece of meat, a potato, and whole vegetables).
- Substitute, Substitute, Substitute – This is a great way to lower your caloric intake. When preparing recipes and meals, you need to make some healthy decisions. I always use 2% cheese instead of regular cheese in recipes. If a recipe calls for sour cream, why not use the low-fat version? Trust me, you won’t ever notice the difference. As a matter of fact, you won’t miss what you don’t have. So, make some substitutes and live a little longer.
- Throw Away the Junk Food – Go through the cabinets and drawers and get rid of all the cookies, candies, and potato chips. Also, get rid of the high calorie soda as well. Instead of throwing away, donate to the local food bank. If you are going to be healthy, you don’t need the temptation of these foods. Instead, stock the fridge with healthy snacks such as, yogurt, string cheese, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Recommend Products for Healthy Living:
- Triplo G Amazon Store
- Quick, Healthy Pizza
- Grandma’s Chicken Soup Recipe
- Seared Yellowfin Ahi Tuna
- Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup