If you think that losing weight the healthy way is all about deprivation, think again.
Instead of focusing on everything you should not be eating, it's important to focus on what you should be eating – that is, all the foods to add to your daily diet that will keep you feeling satisfied and will boost healthy weight loss at the same time.
Feeling satisfied will keep you feeling more in control and able to stay with the program.
Here are some tips to guide you:
1. Color your plate. Eating an array of colorful fruits and vegetables is the quickest way to give your healthy weight loss program a boost. That’s because these foods provide maximum nutritional value for relatively minimal calories. They also contain phytochemicals, which are substances that help fight conditions like heart disease and cancer. The next time you go grocery shopping, stock your cart with a rainbow of colors such as green broccoli, red peppers, orange cantaloupe or purple blueberries.
2. Don’t be fat phobic. You may be tempted to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats or trans fats but did you also know that you should be increasing your intake of foods that are high in heart healthy fats? For example, omega-3 fats that are found in fatty fish and some nuts and seeds have been shown to reduce heart disease and improve immune function. Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil or canola oil can be also be used in moderation for cooking or making salad dressings. Heart healthy fats like those found in avocados, walnuts, salmon and olive oil enhance the flavor, aroma, moisture and taste of many foods.
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3. Dish on dairy. Low fat and nonfat dairy products can round out your meals and snacks by boosting your intake of both protein and calcium. Add nonfat milk to your breakfast cereal or oatmeal, top your fruit salad with yogurt at lunchtime or melt light cheese on your veggie burger dinner meal. Low fat cottage cheese with cut up fruit makes a great snack as does light string cheese and whole wheat crackers. If you’re lactose intolerant, try Lactaid milk, which is usually much better tolerated.
4. Savor your treats. Successful weight losers typically have learned how to satisfy their cravings for sweet “treat” type foods in healthier ways. The secret is to find already portion and calorie controlled treats like Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, fat free fudgsicles, fat free pudding cups or other 100-calorie packs. A favorite sweet treat of ours is 100 calorie Thin Addictives Cranberry Almond Thins which are sold at Costco. Come out to the Diet.com message boards and ask fellow members about their favorite treat-type foods. And visit the Rate My Plate message board where our Diet.com registered dietitian can also give you new ideas.
Hopefully these four tips will give you new ideas for improving your diet and increasing your weight loss success!