I am not a doctor, nor a nutritionalist. I am however, a 45 year old woman who has struggled with my weight all my adult life. I am now totally in control due mostly to Dr. Bernstein’s diet about 2.5 year’s ago when I lost 25lbs! I have discovered some easy techniques on helping maintain my perfect weight! I love to cook and I love to eat; so there is NO SACRIFICING flavour, I’ve just modified some techniques to minimize calories and get the best bang for your buck! I will be adding to this pages as time goes on so keep dropping by. I hope my tips help.
- Consider your diet as your budget, you only have so many calories a day so spend them wisely! (for example, if you are planning to eat out for dinner, try to eat lighter on all your other meals).
- Eat mainly fish and chicken, limit fatty meats like pork and beef to once a week. Minimize your intake of processed meats (these are so bad for you!)
- When you eat out, try to share a meal so you only eat half! If that’s impossible, order something that is easily separated into two portions so you only eat half and take the other half home – you really need to make a decision NOT to eat both halves! (I read once about an actress who actually cut her meal in half and poured an enormous amount of salt on the other half to make it impossible to eat – DO what you NEED to do).
- Portion control. A normal portion of protein for a woman my age is 4-5oz.
- Eat a lot of vegetables (not potatoes, carrots, corn or peas as they are carbs!) I always keep fresh clean celery sticks in a baggy in the fridge and if I feel snacky, that is what I snack on. It’s great!
- Make sure you get a lot of fibre (literally keeps things moving!).
- Oatmeal without sugar in the morning is a fantastic start, plus it really does help minimize cholesterol!
- Vitamin supplements are good if you are limiting your intake…you really do need them.
- Exercise, exercise and exercise! Exercise helps jump start your metabolism. So eventually when you hit your goal weight, you will be able to load back in the foods you didn’t eat and it won’t make much of a difference.
- In Canada, prepared meats labeled “seasoned” really means that they are plumped (usually with salt water) this gives them a fleshier look but they are NOT good for you. So limit eating prepared foods.
- When you look at the nutritional label, calories and fat are not the only important things to note: check sugar, salt, carbs as well as these things help weight gain!
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day – this really helps with the weight loss. Eventually, the more you drink the less frequent you will have to visit the girl’s room. If you have to flavour, lemons and limes are great.
- Cut down the carbs. This is seriously a huge issue in my weight gain – carbs will actually make you hungrier and as soon as you cut them out, you will find that far less will satisfy you (to be honest, I don’t even miss them – I used to be a carboholic!)
- Avoid sweets as they really work against your metabolism and they will slow things down and make you gain weight not only from their calories, but the other calories you are eating!
- Celery sticks are a wonderful snack. They are crunchy, which helps with the psychology of snacking and they are virtually calorie free (I read somewhere that the energy it takes to eat celery cancels out the calories…who knows if that’s true – they are better than carrots!
Order an appetizer portion of the food, most high end restauants will do this for you!
Cooking Tips and Techniques
- Don’t sacrifice flavour, but be wise with it.
- Use butter only if it really enhances the flavour (for example, sautéed mushrooms need a small pat of butter, but you really don’t have to use it if you are making mushroom soup or mixing mushrooms into a stir fry). What I am really saying is pick your battles!
- Use plain fat free yogurt instead of sour cream – I actually prefer this taste as I find sour cream too rich! To thicken, let strain in your fridge through a coffee filter overnight (you will be surprised at how thick and creamy this becomes (also known as yogurt cheese!)
- Use miso paste instead of chicken or beef stock, it has more flavour so, you use less and it has far less fat (note that the sodium is quite high in miso paste, so be in control!
- A couple of squirts of Pam instead of oil helps reduce the fat.
- Sweating onions is easily done with a squirt of Pam and small quantities of water to get them translucent.
- Flavour with spices and not prepared sauces. You will find the more flavourfull your food is, the less you need to satisfy you.
- Use parchment paper when baking, you won’t need to squirt pam on the sheet!
- Thicken sauces and gravies with roasted puréed vegetables such as garlic, onion, celery root, parsnip (careful, it’s a carb) etc…these really make a great thickener and enhance the flavour immensely.