Nonas, a dietitian with the Van-Itallie Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, says dieting should not become a chore, but a pleasurable eating experience.
The reason most people think of diet foods as unpalatable is that many processed "diet food" items have had all the fat taken out of them. However, they are often loaded with calories from carbohydrates that defeat their purpose.
On the other hand, many natural foods are actually delicious, low in calories, and full of vitamins.
"There are many foods out there deemed 'diet' simply because they're good for you," Nonas explains. Most of these include fruits and vegetables.
"We negotiate everything we do all the time, so we just have to negotiate our meals," she adds.
For people who are seeking a middle ground between the "diet foods" they dread and the foods that they favor, Nonas offers three examples of meal plans:
- 12 oz. cooked steak
- A bowl of ice cream
- Sour cream and butter
- French bread
- Blue cheese dressing
- Can of tuna or portion of cottage cheese
- Ice milk
- Non-fat plain yogurt
- Rice cakes or melba toast
- Diet salad dressing
- Baked potato
- Vegetables, such as string beans or broccoli
- Italian dressing
In the diet food area, you can take out the rice cakes and melba toast, if you don't like them. Also, the ice milk and cottage cheese can be substituted.
What you want to do is reduce portion size. If you love steak, that's okay - just eat a smaller serving. Add more vegetables to your meal and you will get plenty of nutrients and feel full.
Instead of bread and butter, have a baked potato with some yogurt and some sour cream mixed together.
For dessert, instead of a big bowl of ice milk, reduce your portion of ice cream to one scoop on a cone.
- 3 oz. cooked steak
- baked potato with a topping consisting of half sour cream and half yogurt
- boiled osteamed string beans or broccoli
- For dressing, you can use a little bleu cheese mixed in with vinegar and used sparingly.
- a single scoop of ice cream on a cone
The Great American Weight Loss Tip of the Day is: Plan meals ahead of time.
Don't bother with pre-packaged and frozen diet foods. If you decide what you're going to eat, you can renegotiate old eating habits and still enjoy some of your favorite foods.
Don't be afraid of eating the foods you like - just cut down on portions, (portion size should be about the same as the palm of your hand) and exercise.
Reported by Dr. Emily Senay