- Diet & Weight Loss
A List of Good Foods to Eat on a Diet
Fight Weight Gain with Lower Calorie Foods that Satisfy
When I was young (teenage to thirties), I never encountered a weight problem. I ate whatever I wanted and burned all those calories effectively.Somewhere around the age of 42, I had to face the fact, calories just were not being burned like before..
That was the beginning my low calorie food search. The ideal amount of calories for weight maintenance is about 1500 calories for me. That meant, once I lost my weight, eating only 1500 calories a day kept me from gaining again.
It is actually a lot of food...if you choose your food wisely.
Following is my food list for creating good satisfying meals. These are foods I use and enjoy. They are tasty and filling. These foods are the "staples" I use when I am maintaining weight. I find dieting is actually useless. Eating balanced meals, watching portions and activity work for me.
If I sit around, I have to lower the food consumption. So get active, whether it is gardening, walking , exercising, even doing housework...ugh! It is common sense. After all, it is for your overall health and well-being, so it is very much worth the effort!
Please note: Your diet may have to exclude some of my list of foods because of health conditions (ie diabetes or for instance, nut allergies!)...so, as always, consult with your physician or a health care professional for "your" proper diet!... in my case, I have no health concerns that require a special diet!
Hints for Preparing Poultry for Weight Loss
Skinless Chicken or Turkey
Chicken or turkey is a good meat to use in salads. It is tasty in sandwiches and of course is always enjoyed as a main course. The skin is the culprit, as is deep frying or frying chicken in fats, but with non-stick skillets and cooking spray chicken does not have to be laden with calories. Baking in the oven with a lid on also retains the moisture.
The trick to avoiding unnecessary calories is to shun heavy breading and rich sauces. It may seem like an acquired taste at first, but I prefer to have my meats cooked with minimum amounts of fat.
Removing the skin from poultry is a good way to decrease the calories.
To save costs, you can skin your own...just grab the piece of chicken with one hand and pull off the skin with the other, it comes off easily. Note: always wash hands and surfaces thoroughly when handling raw poultry,meat and fish.
I often buy a bulk package of chicken; slow cook it in the oven with a cover to retain juiciness and then individually freeze portions.
I thaw individual portions quickly in the microwave for the main entree while I cook pasta, rice and vegetables to go with the cooked meat.Do not forget to eat your veggies, they fill and do not have many extra calories... and skip the sauces.
Beef and Pork in small quantities
Eating too much red meat isn't healthy; while a good steak, once in awhile, is delightful, smaller quantities of beef can be enjoyed in stir fries.
My version of stir fry is "Canadian"...everything but the kitchen sink...usually with leftovers from a previous meal. Some combinations are quite accidental and delicious. Use your own combination of vegetables and meats. Just remember to use spray oils to keep the fat content down and serve with a leafy salad! All the meat leftovers can be used for stir-fry. Watch how you add the ingredients, balance is the key to create a low fat, low calorie meal.
One of the best ways to lose weight is to fill yourself up with vegetable soups. Autumn and winter are great times to enjoy the flavor of harvest vegetable soup recipes in hearty home-made soups.
Make your own from scratch, to avoid the high salt content of ready made boullion. Try to avoid the creamy soups, which are delicious, but too high in calories to be called diet food!
For my homemade soups, I save the base from cooking meats; ( the tasty residue with spices and meat flavour from the bottom of the skillet or baking dish by adding a liquid to the cooking pot either during or after cooking , depending on the recipe.
I save this instant stock in the fridge and then use it to create my soup (after any fat has been skimmed off). The stock will be for a small soup, perhaps a dinner meal. Add water or boullion to flavour with more spices to add taste and add frozen vegetables (I prefer a variety package) add a pasta noodle, potato or rice. I add cooked meat to this. I prefer to make my soups chunky and full of vegetables so they are a main course. With the low fat broth, this is a very filling meal.
I forgot to mention these items as a great way to make food flavorful and very "gourmet" with no effort and few additional calories! (buy them ready-made!)
One of my favorite ways is to add them to baked potatoes or just plain cooked potatoes whatever way I cook them. Yum.
Alternately the salsas and bruschettas are great on toasted bread. I like to use them sparingly because they pack such a flavor punch, but tastes vary and because the calorie load is less than with many other "spreads" this is a real diet treat!
More than one way to make a salad
Salads have always been the cornerstone of dieting, but there is much more to salads than just a plain lettuce and tomato salad with dressing. There are recipes with pasta and meat to make a complete meal in one course...something all the busy people out there will enjoy.
The base of the dinner salad is one serving of pasta or rice (1/2 cup cooked) or one cooked potato (regular or sweet), Three quarter cup of cooked chicken (or meat of choice), 1/4 cup of the garnishes and a home made salad dressinglike balsamic with limited oil or at least a healthy one like grape seed or olive oil. The remainder of the bulk of the salad is raw vegetables, perhaps apple slices and finally greens of your choice to bulk up and fill. This type of salad is sure to please and fill you! Remember to add your favorite spices...just go easy on the salad dressing, the flavor comes from the combinations and spices!
Garnishes (to be used sparingly)
Raw sunflower seeds
One quarter cup of these contains 190 calories, but I use them in salads and they provide a great mild nutty taste so I don't ever use a quarter cup, rather a tablespoon sprinkled over salad
While nuts are high in calories, I like to use them in salads for a surprise flavor boost. Both salted and unsalted taste equally great. Remember to use less than a quarter cup of nuts per serving.
These dried berries are very versatile. In salads they add a sweet flavour and are good for you.
Make dessert low calorie
Desserts that are low calorie contain mostly fresh fruits and no syrupy or overly sweet sauces.
My favorite dessert is simple...angel food cake (store bought) fresh berries or fruit and just a tiny bit of ice cream...I know ice cream is not diet, but when the whole meal was calorie smart; it is a nice way to finish and you feel like you have indulged...and you haven't. Just remember...a little bit only.
Snacks are the saboteurs of most failed diets!
Snacks are the bane of my existence. Keeping good healthy snacks on hand is difficult, but here are a few I enjoy:
- Blue Menu Wheat snack crackers are 90 calories for 9 crackers. It is hard to eat only 9; but if it takes me to supper, that is a good thing!
- Cheez Whiz ...because you can spread it very thin on the crackers or have it on celery which is also low calorie provided you don't glob it on
- Apples...filling and definitely something I recommend.
Water the best beverage
Something that we all overlook is to keep hydrated.
Drinking a glass of water when hungry helps with losing weight. Often we are mistaking hunger for thirst! Not only that; drinking water is essential for good health and appearance since our bodies are composed of 55% to 78% water according to "Wikpedia". The numbers vary according to sources but it is at least 50% of body weight....so just imagine how much water that is in your system ( half of your weight) just to keep everything functioning normally!
Just think of water as the way to flush out the extra fat you are losing by eating the right foods!
Canada's Food Guide
This is a great site to get good nutritional advice as well as a PDF copy of Canada's food guide for your convenience!
All good diets require you to keep eating healthy foods and a balanced diet!