Dieting Tips

I’m no expert on the specifics of dieting, but I’ve figured out a few things that have worked out nicely for me. 

  • Control your portions and count your calories and nutritional facts until you are used to eating healthy.
  • Eat things you know are healthy– fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, etc.
  • Cut out things you know are unhealthy– soft drinks, sugar, excess carbs, fried foods, etc.
  • When you eat at home, use a smaller plate so that you don’t get as much food. Don’t go back for seconds.
  • Eating out is hard because they give you so much food. Cut it in half and take it home for leftovers (they aren’t that bad).
  • Ask for sauce or dressing on the side at restaurants.
  • Try to only eat when you’re hungry and eat healthy snacks. For me, I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a morning snack around 10 and sometimes an afternoon snack around 3:30.
  • I also try to eat fish and a vegetarian meal at least once a week.
  • If you’re on a budget and find an ingredient to be too expensive, see if you can find a cheaper substitute or look for recipes that use the ingredient to get more out of your money.
  • Don’t buy unhealthy things or, you will eat them.
  • Watch out for things that you think are healthy but aren’t. For example, when you eat a salad, be mindful of the calories, fat, and sugar that are in the dressing.
  • Use your resources. The internet is now home to millions of sites where you can find healthy, easy and inexpensive recipes.

What if you’re super busy and don’t have time to cook elaborate meals or you’re only cooking for one?

I’ve been using Cooking Light Magazine as a guide for simple recipes that are healthy and light. You can subscribe to online recipes for free or to their paper subscription like a normal magazine. I also keep things around that are easy to fix for those days when I’m lazy and don’t want to do anything but go out for fast food. The Freezer is your Friend:

  • Buy a couple of pieces of fresh fish and freeze them until you need them. I’ve used cod, flounder and salmon. The easiest thing to to is bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes with olive oil and a lemon herb seasoning sprinkled on top.
  • Do the same thing with chicken or hamburger meat and cook it however you like, except fried.
  • Frozen vegetables make great sides to dishes that you are using a recipe for or on nights when you pull your frozen piece of fish out to make.
  • Frozen fruit makes a great dessert that is healthy, as long as you don’t eat the whole bag on top of 10 scoops of ice cream (one scoop should be okay).
  • Making a casserole or soup when you have time and freezing it is a great option too.
  • A few Lean Cuisines aren’t bad to keep around either.
What if you have a sweet tooth?
Try not to eat more than one desert a day. When you absolutely have to have something sweet, do so in moderation. Frozen fruit is great on a small scoop of ice cream. Eating a couple snack size candy bars is fine as long as you don’t eat the whole bag within 2 days. Having a few bites of ice cream and not a whole pint is okay. The main thing is to watch how much sugar something has in it. I try not to go over 5-10 grams.

Here’s an example of my daily diet:

  • Breakfast- the appropriately measured serving size of Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oats Cereal or half a bagel with low fat cream cheese, a small glass of orange juice and coffee.
  • Morning Snack- Fiber One 90 Calorie Bar or an apple or banana.
  • Lunch- Salad with plane tuna, a little parmesan cheese, and Ken’s Steakhouse Northern Italian Dressing or a Salad with walnuts, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and Ken’s Steakhouse Creamy Balsamic Dressing. Sometimes I have an apple or a 100 calorie pack of Cheez Its to go along.
  • Afternoon Snack- 100 calorie pack of Cheez Its, a handful of walnuts or almonds (no salt), or a couple saltines with some peanut butter.
  • Dinner- Baked fish with bagged veggies that steam in the microwave and a salad.
  • Dessert- Depends on what I have in the house. Sometimes a few bites of ice cream or a cookie, or sometimes just a piece of fruit.
  • Drinks- I try to only drink water throughout the day. I really like La Croix sparkling water, which has zero calories, sweetener, or artificial flavoring, but I still try to limit those to one per day.

 

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