Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tips and Tricks to Cutting Fat and Calories Out of Your Diet without Starving

            Turbo Fit has been in a sad state of neglect and I apologize! It’s time to rectify that with tips and tricks to cutting out fat and calories without starving yourself! I’m constantly looking for ways to cut back but still allow myself to fill up. It seems near impossible to do at times but I promise it isn’t that bad and as long as you can make healthy eating habits you’ll be cutting back all the time and you won’t even know it.

1. Buy snack foods that come individually packaged. No extra money to buy prepackaged food? No problem! As soon as you get home, divvy out the goods into plastic bags you can grab so you only eat one serving at a time. I’m a sucker for chips. And munchies in general. If I get the whole bag out I’m a goner. One serving turns into two… two turns into three… and before you know if I’m so upset at myself for having less self control I lose ALL of my self control and eat until the bag is nearly gone! If I’ve already divvied out the bag into one serving bags, I ensure that I eat only one serving and find I’m satisfied enough to not go back and get a second bag.

2. Add fruits and veggies to every meal. A lot of people say that you shouldn’t eat too much fruit because there’s lots of sugar in it. Well, newsflash, fruits have a natural sugar in them which is SO much different than the processed stuff we add to our foods and is not bad for us! Eat all the fruit you want! (Just remember a lot of fruits do have a lot of fiber so if you’re not use to eating a lot of fiber you may be spending a lot of time in the bathroom.) Fruits and veggies are very low in calories and have no fat. The perfect snack! I like to eat fruits and vegetables throughout the day to curb my hunger and I like to add them to my meals so I don’t eat too much of my higher fat, higher calorie main dish. Not only does eating more fruits and vegetables help you eat less other fatty, high calorie foods, you’re also getting some very important nutrients your body needs to keep you strong and healthy.

3. Don’t skip breakfast! There’s a reason they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For our purposes we’re going to apply this to ourselves nutritionally. Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast (even if you’re skipping it to lose weight) end up eating more calories later in the day than those who eat breakfast and therefore gain more weight. I know it sounds backwards, but if you don’t eat breakfast your body demands more in the later hours of your day and causes you to overeat and you end up eating more calories than you would have if you’d just eaten breakfast in the morning.

4. Cut out coffee! Besides having strange chemicals, coffee tends to be very high calorie with all of the things you add to it. I’m not a coffee drinker myself and I know those of you who are think I’m totally crazy for suggesting such a thing, but I promise you that cutting out coffee cuts out a lot of calories that you are taking in on a daily basis and getting rid of those chemicals is going to make you feel a lot better. You may have to fight off some withdrawal issues but in the long run it’s going to make you healthier, feel better, and lose more weight.

5. Don’t be afraid of low-fat or fat-free versions of your favorite foods. I once made a cheesecake with fat free sour cream and 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it was delicious! It may have been better with full fat ingredients but with my fat-free and low-fat options my cheesecake still turned out amazing and I didn’t indulge in extra fat and calories. I always drink fat free milk too. If you’re a big milk drinker and just can’t stand to drink anything less than 1 or 2%, use fat free in your cooking, baking, and on your cereal. Mixed with other things you’ll never know its fat free. Another favorite of mine is reduced fat cheese. I’ve used fat free cheese before and it’s good but it doesn’t melt very well because there’s no fat in it. I still use fat free cheese as long as I don’t need it melted. But for my cooking I love the reduced fat cheese because it melts well and it’s got so much less fat and calories. There are low-fat and fat free options all around you. Don’t be afraid to try them! I’ve been amazed at the calories and fat I can cut without sacrificing flavor.

6. Stop the mindless eating! I like to graze throughout the day and that is NOT a good thing. If it’s out and I’m passing it while doing my housework, I eat it. When I bake cookies and I leave them out on the cooling rack rather than using my cookie jar, I snag one every chance I get. If I put them away I’m much less likely to overeat. Don’t leave your food out where you can mindlessly graze on it. If you want to leave out fruit and veggies to graze on, go for it! Anything else should be kept out of sight to prevent grazing.

7. Tempted to have seconds at the dinner table? Dish up your meal and then put the food away! By dishing up a normal portion size and then putting the food away you avoid the temptation to dish up more food that is sitting right in front of you. If it’s already put away it’s much easier to resist the temptation to have seconds. Most of us are too lazy to dig it back out of the fridge and reheat one more spoonful of mashed potatoes.

            I hope you’ve found this to be helpful in your journey to be healthier and happier. It takes time to build habits out of these tips so don’t give up! If you have a few bad days, put it behind you and focus on the now. It gets easier, I promise. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!