For many people the prospect of reducing calories is a grim chore and is immediately associated with deprivation, hunger pangs, and general culinary boredom. However, once you start on a low calorie diet you’ll find that almost no food is truly off limits, that most healthy foods are extremely good tasting, and that the key to success is found not in deprivation and sacrifice but in changing our attitudes towards portion size, meal planning and environment, and our relationship with food in general.
Here are a few ideas that will hopefully help you along the way to successful weight loss and ultimately towards a generally healthier lifestyle in the long run.
Remember That Super Size is Not So Super
There is a seriously warped notion of portion size in America. At the risk of beating a dead horse, the comparison of a fast food cheeseburger of 1956 versus the one at present still illustrates this point well. While the burger of yore might have come up to about 300 calories, the newest offerings come in closer to 500 calories and can be many times the size of the originals. Since sizes have grown exponentially over the years, humans have succumbed to a skewed notion of what is acceptable and have frankly, become fat from it. I digress, as the point of this background is to highlight how incredibly portion control is as part of a healthy diet and especially as part of a low calorie diet for successful weight loss.
To start being actively aware of the portions of food you consume, no fancy food scale is needed nor a prepackaged diet meal plan that is supposed to tell you how much to eat. All you need to start is to wrap your head around the fact that you are in all likelihood eating way too much at each meal, and at first, keep a measuring cup handy so you can get a feel for amounts. After a while you can dump the cup as you will develop a feel for how much is right and how much will be excessive and result in unwanted extra fat and calories.
An example of how portion control can make an otherwise boring low fat diet more satisfying is this recipe comparison for a simple chicken and pasta dish:
1 Chicken Breast, cubed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Penne or other medium pasta, cooked al dente
1 Cup Jarred Marinara Sauce (like Prego)
3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
Dredge chicken in flour and brown in oil. Cook until nearly done and add marinara sauce. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, then toss with cooked pasta. Add cheese and eat up. Total Calories: 1,182 Fat: 60g
Ouch. That is nearly an entire day’s calories for one meal. Now take a look at the revised version which uses the same ingredients, except the omission of the flour, but has only been modified in terms of amounts:
1 Half Chicken Breast, cubed
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 scant 0.25 or handful of Penne or other medium pasta, cooked al dente
0.5 Cup Jarred Marinara Sauce
1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
Prepared the same as the original recipe, this version equals out to about 425 calories with 18 grams of fat. This would be an easy, healthy lunch or dinner that alongside a green salad could easily fit into a 1200-1400 calorie diet. This recipe also proves that you can eat “normal” food like pasta with a little cheese even, as long as care is taken with how much we eat, which leads into the next bit of this article.
Celebrate Food amp; Enjoy… and Still Stick to a Low Calorie Diet
Now, I know you will hear some people tell you that all fats and sweets are off limits, but in my book that is nonsense and nearly every food can still be enjoyed when on a low calorie diet to lose weight. Of course, there are obvious no-no foods that you might want to consider blocking completely, such as processed foods, white sugar, and fried foods. But at the end of the day those foods aren’t good for you anyway so you’ll be saving calories and at the same time improving your health. And what better way to spend those saved calories on good fats like olive oil, health promoting sweets like a square of quality dark chocolate, and perhaps a nice breakfast of an egg with toast… buttered toast. This might sound like a recipe for fattening up rather than slimming, but consider this sample diet and weigh out how something like it might suit you when considering a low calorie diet:
1 Large Omega 3 Egg (or egg of your choice), Poached
1 Slice Good Bread such as one that Mestermacher offers or another nice, well made bread, toasted
1 Pat of Butter
Coffee, Tea and or a glass of warm water with lemon
1 Handful of Salted Cashews or Walnut Halves
Salad of Mixed Greens, 0.5 Cup Chick Peas, 3 Small Whole Cooked Beets, 2 Tablespoons Crumbled Blue Cheese, dressed with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and 2 Teaspoons of Balsamic Vinegar.
5 Large Black Olives and 1 Medium Orange
4 Ounces Grilled or Broiled Salmon (no added fat), 1 Cup Steamed Broccoli amp; Cauliflower, 0.5 Cup Wild Rice
Total Calories: 1310
Not so bad considering you are still able to eat some pretty tasty foods, snacks included. Of course, this menu plan can be varied in many different ways depending on your needs. The point is, low calorie diets need never be plain and if you don’t like cabbage soup, you need never let it pass your lips. All you need to do is be aware of portion size, food quality, and balance, and you’ll be just fine. Using an online calorie calculator like The Daily Plate (powered by Live Strong) can also prove incredibly helpful when calculating your intake.
Aside from the mentioned healthy food and diet, you may also want to consider taking dietary and weight loss supplement so you’ll have support in your general diet. For more helpful information, you can check leptoconnect reviews.
Losing weight on a low calorie can be challenging, but can also be enjoyable, especially when you start seeing the pounds fall away and most important, start feeling better. If we ever hope to keep that weight off however, we need to start developing better attitudes towards food and start realizing that food is not the enemy. Rather, it all comes down to the amount of food we eat and what foods we allow in our diet. Life is too short to feel hungry! So go forth and eat good food, enjoy life, and at the same time cut the calories and lose weight.