A Love Affair with Food: Ways to Enjoy Treats While Still Maintaining Your Weight Loss Goals

6 Oct
I recently asked the question, “What is the greatest barrier to losing weight?” The answer was, “I love food way too much.”  It’s natural that we tend to love food.  We live in a culture where food is a focus, and often times, not in a healthy way.  The rise of fast food chains, quick and easy on-the-go meals, and inexpensive ways to manufacture food drives our economy.  Let’s face it, in many aspects food is vehicle for creating community.  Much of what we do is centered around food, and not participating often makes us feel left out.

How then do we change our relationship with food in order to better care for ourselves without giving up that sense of comfort and enjoyment.  The answer lies in balancing what we eat by simplifying our choices 80% of the time.

Indulgences are necessary for some people.  If you are one of these people, allow yourself the right to do that.  More importantly though, don’t focus on these occasional moments, focus on what you eat the majority of the time to determine if you are really going to be successful in your weight loss goals.  The simpler you eat during your non-cheat moments, the better off you will be.  Here are ten tips you might consider in order to help you find balance in your food choices:

1.) Sandwiches: Skip the cheese.  If you enjoy cheese save those slices and pair them with almonds and an apple for a snack later in the day.

2.) Hamburgers: Add vegetables such as lettuce, onions and tomato but skip the ketchup which can add sugar to your diet.

3.) Flavored waters: Pass on the additives you dump in your drinks.  Instead, add your own lemon or cucumber for a naturally refreshing drink.

4.) Nuts: Stay away from the bags that add salt and opt for non-salted options.  Better yet, pick non-salted nuts in their raw form rather than the dry roasted brands (which often contain added oil).

5.) Coffee: Try adding soy milk or almond milk as coffee creamer rather than half and half and flavored creamers.

6.) Pancakes and Waffles: Skip the syrups high in sugar.  Add fresh fruit to sweeten the taste.

7.) Vegetables: Veggies should be eaten in their raw form.  If you are dipping carrots in ranch dressing consider that your treat.  The same goes for adding cheese to broccoli, mayonnaise to artichokes, and butter to corn.  The more you eat it plain, the less you will crave the toppings.

8.) Oatmeal: Buy oatmeal in the form of plain oats or steel cut oats.  The prepackaged options may look healthy but they often contain additives.  This goes back to understanding and reading the ingredients carefully.

9.) Pasta: Avoid marinara sauce which can be high in sugar and add unnecessary calories.  Try adding fresh tomatoes and basil instead.  For moisture, you can spritz a bit of pure olive oil to provide you with a healthy serving of fat.

10.) Brown rice: Skip the soy sauce.  Soy sauce is off the charts when it comes to sodium.  Try mixing vegetables in for added flavor.

Ensure that you follow the “simple is better” rule 80 percent of the time when it comes to eating.    What you do EVERYDAY is more important than what you do once in a while!  So concentrate on making good decisions every day and this will allow you to a treat of your choice once in a while!


2 Responses to “A Love Affair with Food: Ways to Enjoy Treats While Still Maintaining Your Weight Loss Goals”

  1. TT2STEP October 7, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    Great tips. The hardest thing for me is going out to eat, but I like the idea of omitting some things and not sacrificing the whole meal!

  2. Kathy Reeves October 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Sitting here drinking my coffee with soy creamer. So yummy and only 1/2 the calories of
    half & half. Thanks for the tip Kim!

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