Excerpts from some great diet/health articles that I have been reading. I have 30 pounds to lose (for good) and I’m giving my self 6 months to do it. That’s roughly 5 pounds a month. I am plan on walking (at the VERY least for exercise) at least an hour a day. Even if I have to do it at midnight! There is a pretty helpful guide here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/39352-lose-pounds-months/ —This will be printed off and posted in my face somewhere! I am also taking a picture of myself in form fitting clothes and putting it as my laptop background. No one sees it but me, and it’s definitely something I need to see to keep me motivated!
(From http://www.rd.com/health/11-healthy-ways-to-load-up-on-lean-protein/ )
Eggs have been much maligned over the years, but the fact is, they are an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and the most nutritionally complete of all protein sources. One large, hard-boiled egg contains 7 grams of protein and has just 2 grams of saturated fat. To avoid the saturated fat altogether, use the egg whites and throw out the yolks. Or you can dress that egg up (and get in a serving of veggies) by making an omelet and folding in iron- and fiber-rich spinach. In studies, people who ate eggs and toast for breakfast stayed full longer and ate significantly fewer calories the rest of the day than people who ate a bagel and cream cheese. Eggs do contain a fair amount of cholesterol, but dozens of studies have shown that it’s saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol, that raises people’s cholesterol the most.
Sushi delivers protein and some fiber and is generally low in calories—one piece of a California roll has just 30 calories and less than a gram of fat. Just steer clear of the soy sauce, which is very high in sodium, or ask for the low-sodium kind.
Ground Sirloin; the leanest ground beef around. A 3-ounce serving has 196 calories and 10 grams of fat. The next leanest is ground round (for 218 calories, 13 grams of fat), then ground chuck and ground beef (both about 231 calories, 15 grams of fat). But do limit red meat intake to no more than two servings per week as it does contain saturated fats. (the BAD kind)
Pork loin is very lean meat and isn’t too expensive. Throw a couple of chops on the grill (dress them up first with a low-calorie garlic–lime juice marinade, or with chili and garlic powders) for a quick dinner—each is just 129 calories, with a healthy 16 grams of protein.
Chicken Tenderloins. Keep them in your freezer for quick meals. Each tenderloin weighs about 11⁄2 to 2 ounces, which makes portion control easy for you—two tenderloins are roughly equal to one 3-ounce serving, which is about the size of a deck of cards. Tenderloins will marinate quickly and can be used in kebabs or tossed into stir-fry dishes
Deli turkey and chicken. Lean slices of meat on whole-wheat bread topped with mustard and baby spinach leaves make a healthy, low-cholesterol lunch—that is, if you select lunch meats that are low in saturated fat. Skip the salamis and bolognas. Good second choices are lean ham and roast beef—just stick to two slices or 11⁄2 ounces of meat in your sandwich.
Seafood. (Cold water fish tends to be lower in saturated fat than say poultry or beef) Vacuum-packed sole, cod, or salmon fillets, which are flash-frozen, are the next best thing to fresh fish. Keep some in the freezer and you’ll always have ingredients for a healthy dinner on hand. You can thaw the fish in the fridge overnight or defrost it under cool running water. Cleaned frozen shrimp is another great buy. Pair it with frozen mixed veggies and you have a stir-fry dinner ready to go.
^Would you believe this is a lentil cake??^
Beans, lentils and peas. Beans, peas, and lentils are also good lean protein sources, particularly for those who follow a vegetarian diet. They provide plenty of fiber, which most of us need to increase in our diets. The protein and fiber pack a “one-two punch” that can help you feel fuller much longer than other foods and thereby prevent overeating. Try adding them to other recipes such as chili, soup, or even salads, and gradually increase your serving size or frequency to avoid gastric woes. (Adding too much fiber to your diet at once can cause gas and cramps.)
Other helpful tips (various sorces)
*Keep canned chicken broth readily available in your pantry. It contains trace amount of fat and just 10 calories per cup. It’s perfect as a substitute for butter when you stir fry. You can also use it to make tasty, reduced-fat mashed potatoes.
*Butter Buds is a fat-free granulated butter flavoring. Great on steamed veggies, popcorn, and baked potatoes.
*Don’t underestimate Mrs. Dash seasonings in a pinch.
*Try adding new herbs and spices instead of other enhancers like cheese or butter sauce. Keep in mind that dried herbs are actually more flavorful than fresh, so use less. Experiment with basil, dill, tarragon, curry, and others until you find your favorites.
Some things I have switched to/started trying:
I have kicked the soda habit! Only on occasion (and only if we are out to eat) will I have ONE-NO REFILL diet Coke or Sprite. I was noticing a lot of my calories were “empty” calories from sugary drinks. It is water water water mostly for me, although I am really getting into all types of tea! As long as you don’t go crazy with the sugar, this can be a great alternative on the days when you could just really use some caffeine or a break from water. I am still dabbling with green tea also, but haven’t found a brand I like that is not bitter. I have at least a dozen herbal teas and black tea in my cabinet currently. Usually I just sweeten with honey.
Long ago we stopped using real butter or margarine and switched to the “fake butter”, you do still have to watch your intake with the tub/stick versions of these but the spray it is really hard to go wrong. Not even sodium involved!
Speaking of that nasty “S” word!! SODIUM! I have cut out sooo much sodium in my diet, and let me tell you that is no easy feat! I have noticed an extremely high content of sodium in most of the products I would normally have purchased! I have read that your daily intake should be no more than 1500-2400 mg. (The sodium content in a teaspoon of salt is 2300mg!) So we are consuming enough salt on a daily basis to pickle ourselves! HAHA! I know we are all smart enough to know why too much sodium is bad besides the obvious health risks. The water weight alone that I have on me from it all alone is enough to make me want to limit my intake!
In all my reading lately, a diet/lifestyle that accommodates everything that I am trying to do in the healthiest way possible is Clean Eating. I am by no means a “health nut”. I love junk food! BUT it does NOT love me back. If I want to change, it’s got to be something that I won’t get bored with and fall back into old habits. This is an easier diet than you’d think. You just have to have some willpower with what you pick up at the grocery store and being a little less lazy with meals. It requires a lot more work, but let’s face it- I need something to keep me from going crazy over here!
Clean Eating Principles
- Eating a mini-meal every two to three hours (5 to 6 small meals per day total) to keep blood sugar level and prevent hunger
- Combining lean proteins and complex carbs at every meal
- Avoiding all over-processed and refined foods (especially sugar, white rice, and white flour)
- Avoiding saturated and trans fat, instead consuming healthy fats
- Avoiding soda and other sugary juices and drinks
- Avoiding high-calorie, zero nutrient foods (i.e., junk food)
- Eating proper portion sizes
- Drinking at least 8 cups of water every day
This is pretty much what a doctor would advise you to do to become healthier or lose weight anyway! No gimmicks. No counting. No beating yourself up! There are TONS of “clean eating” recipes to be found. One of my favorite sites is http://thejoyofcleaneating.com/
. Just a plethora of delicious recipes and ideas! Most are really fun to experiment with and even if you don’t go all “organic” or “natural”, you still aren’t taking in half as much of the bad stuff that’s in pre packaged foods and take out!
WISH ME LUCK!!!
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