How to Mindfully Eat to Lose Weight: A Step by Step Guide

How to Mindfully Eat to Lose Weight: A Step by Step Guide

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Instead of focusing on restricting foods, when you mindfully eat, you focus on having high quality, relaxed and pleasurable eating experiences. With Mindful eating, you learn to eat only when you are hungry and only when you are truly enjoying your food. This means you would avoid grabbing a chip from a serving bowl at a party or while cooking dinner. When I am not focusing on mindful eating I sometimes grab food from my toddler’s unfinished plate. Afterwards I think why did I even do that? Cold chicken nuggets are not even tasty! Whenever I do this mindLESS grabbing, I am never really enjoying my food.

I had a client once tell me that the last bite on her plate always tastes the best because that is the only bite she notices. She then always wants a second helping because she didn’t pay attention while she was eating the first serving. So how do you know if you are mindlessly eating? If you are grabbing bits of food here and there and eating from the serving bag or bowl, you are probably mindlessly eating. Are you are scooping up your next bite while you are still chewing your first bite? If so, you are probably mindLESSly eating. If you are a fast eater, then you are probably mindLESSly eating? So what are the steps to mindfully eating?

(Remember, for every step of the eating process, from preparing, plating, and tasting your food, you should focus on being aware of the moment you are in.)

Step 1: Preparing your food

cooking photo

When preparing, don’t taste and nibble while you are cooking. You should always sit down and eat from a plate.

Step 2: Plating your Food

When plating your food, be conscious of how much you are plating. PAUSE and ask yourself is this a reasonable amount of food? Do not starve yourself. Don’t eat so little at one meal or throughout the day that you binge the next day. Just look and ask yourself is this a reasonable amount of food. Think about a healthy plate vs. an over-the-top plate. How does your plate compare? If you want to see examples of a healthy plate check out myplate.gov plate below.

One technique that may help in combination with Mindful eating is to plate your food on a smaller salad plate. If you use a smaller plate but have issues with piling your food too high; grab another plate, turn it over, and use it as a lid. If the rims of both plates do not touch, you may have piled the food on too high.

Or you may want to mindfully plate your food using a portion control plate which includes a lid. You can use the lid to make sure you are not piling the food on to high. One type of preportioned plate is the Precise Portions 2-Go Healthy Portion Control Plates, Pack of 2, BPA-Free, 3-Section Plate with Leak-Proof Lids, Dishwasher & Microwave Safe, Helps Manage & Lose Weight, Metabolism & Blood Sugar. This plate includes the lid so that you can be sure you are not piling the food on to high.  (If you would like more of these tips to use in combination with Mindful Eating, click here.) Before sitting down, PAUSE to make sure you were not mindlessly piling on the food. You will notice pausing is crucial to the Mindful eating process.

myplate photo
Photo by USDAgov

Step 3: Eating your Food

Remember to sit down and eat from a plate. Before putting a bite in your mouth, PAUSE. Really notice the food. Thank God for this time to enjoy your food. Notice the color, textures, and smells before your first bite. Continue to do this for every bite. Put your fork down between each bite. DO NOT PREPARE the next bite until you have swallowed and taken a sip of drink. Take a sip of drink between each bite. During the meal, PAUSE occasionally to notice if you are full and ask yourself questions. Ask questions like “Am I full?”; “How does this bite taste?”; “Am I enjoying my food?” “Am I hungry or emotionally eating?” Asking these questions helps you stay mindfully aware throughout the meal. You will be surprised at how full and satisfied you will be on less food. The key is pausing before you put food into your mouth.

Step 4: Snacking on Food:

Just like with a meal, PAUSE before and during the snack to ask yourself if you are mindfully snacking. Before putting a bite in your mouth, ask yourself “Is this mindLESS eating?” If the answer is ‘yes’, then don’t do it. Save your food for when you can truly enjoy your food. No sense in wasting your allotted calories on food you are not enjoying.

Examples of mindLESS snacking are during cooking, store samples, social nibbling, dinner clean up, and (my issue) cold toddler leftovers. If the answer is ‘yes, I am mindlessly eating’, then ask youself why? Are you bored, stressed, or tired and wanting to eat even when you are not physically hungry? If you are not hungry, tell youself you can wait until the next meal, which is only BLANK hours away. Usually you only have 30 minutes to 2 hours before the next meal. If you would like more of these tips to use in combination with Mindful Eating, click here.) If you ask yourslef the question, “Are you hungry?” and you are hungry, get a plate, sit down, and follow steps 1 through 3.

Step 5: Eating at Restaurants

Ask the waitress for a box as soon as your food arrives. Mindfully, fill the box with food from your plate until your plate looks like an appropriate meal. Remember mindfulness is being aware of what you are doing at each moment. Be aware of what you are leaving on your plate. Then, follow step 3 to eat your food.

restaurant photo

Why does Mindfully Eating Work?

By eating this way, you will notice that you are full on less calories and are even craving more high quality foods.

Still not convinced that mindful eating can drastically change your calorie intake? Let me put it to you this way. Let’s say you are eating a meal with a big athletic young football player. Of course he will need AND eat much more than most so he scarfs down 3 plates full of food in 45 minutes. You use the Mindful eating techniques and only eat one appropriate plate but it also took you 45 minutes. You chewed slowly and really tasted each and every bite while he gulped down his food.

If you think about it, you had your food in your mouth and were tasting your food the same amount of time as the football player who ate 3 times as much as you. He ate more, but you had food in your mouth and tasted your food the same amount of time as he did. So you were able to enjoy it for as long as if you had quickly eaten 3 plates full.

Develop Your Own Weight Loss Plan

In another blog post, I discuss that we all have reasons for our gain weight. If we don’t understand our reasons, then we won’t be able to develop solutions. Mindful eating can often be used exclusively to help with many of your weight loss barriers or in combination with other techniques.

If you would like to learn more about mindful eating, you may want to read The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health by Ruth Q Wolever, P.h.D and Beth Reardon, MS, RD, LDN with Tania Hannan.

Have you had success with Mindful Eating? When do you mindlessly eat? What are your barriers to weight loss? Were you able to find solutions to those barriers?

*If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.

 

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The ONE Thing I Did to Lose Weight AND Strengthen My Walk with God

The ONE Thing I Did to Lose weight AND Strengthen My Walk with God:

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The Weight Loss Journey

Middle school is tough, especially when you are on the heavier side. Fortunately by 8th grade I had lost all of my excess weight. In fact, my weight struggle is what inspired me to major in nutrition in college. I managed to keep off all the weight all way through high school, college, and grad school; and learned the best practices for weight loss and nutrition in college and grad school. When I practiced what I preached, I was able to keep the weight off, and I kept the weight off until I got married….

After I was happily married, the weight began to creep back on. For the first time since middle school I was overweight again. Using my training and dietetic counseling skills on myself, I was able to muster enough will power to lose the weight again. (You can read more about my weight journey and training here). Four years later, I had a baby and managed to muster up the motivation and willpower to lose the baby weight again.

break room photo

 

Mindfulness was Life Changing

As I began getting older, the weight was harder and harder to keep off. I noticed cheat days had much more of an impact. When I became pregnant again, I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I did with my first child. However, I didn’t want to diet while pregnant. I decided to use only one weight loss technique. I decided to simply mindfully eat. For the first time, I did not need willpower. After the birth of my daughter, I continued with the mindful eating, and the weight just dropped off. The. Easiest. Weight. Loss. Ever!

yoga outside photo
Photo by StevenSimWorld

I didn’t deprive myself and didn’t even feel the need to have cheat days. I discovered the most important component of mindfully eating, for me, was to PAUSE before eating. That pause or lack of the pause was the determining factor for whether I would mindfully eat or not at that particular meal. So why is this pause so crucial?

When I pause, I remind myself to take my time, notice my food, notice if I am eating an appropriate amount, and most importantly, I thank God for the food. During this pause, I remind myself to eat God’s gift of food for enjoyment and nourishment. I remind myself to take the time to pay attention to my food instead of over consuming without even noticing that I am eating.

Mindfulness Did so Much More than Help with Weight Loss

This one pause before the meal was crucial for my nutritional health, but I also began to notice how crucial the pause was in every aspect of my life. The Bible talks about praying continuously. In a way, the pause in life helps me pray more continuously.

prayer photo

I began to notice the impact of pausing and praying before entering any new environment whether the new environment is a park, a friend’s home, or the grocery store. Pausing and praying, was life changing. I began to notice the importance of pausing and praying when I felt angry, or before saying something difficult, or before even talking with my children. I noticed the importance of not only pausing and praying before meals and snacks, but also before bed and before getting up in the morning.

When I forget to do this, I notice the difference in MY actions and my strength to endure life. On the days that I do a better job of pausing, I notice God’s presence and God’s guidance more. When I pause more, I feel like I am truly letting God lead me, and I am reminded that no matter what happens, God is right there. I can feel God’s presence in the very room with me, and I feel I have the strength to focus on God’s will instead of my emotions. We don’t have to rush into every situation, and we don’t have to rush to speak. We can and should PAUSE and take our time in life.

Want to Learn More About Mindfulness?

To learn more details about how to incorporate mindful eating into your life click here. If you would like to do your own nutrition assessment and develop your own weight loss plan, click here.

You can also get some great mindful eating for weight loss techniques by reading The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health.

Have you ever tried pausing more often in life? Or before meals? Did you notice and appreciate how amazing God is more often?

*If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.

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Emotional Eating and Weight Loss

Tips to Avoid Emotional Eating

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    1. Identify the emotions that make you eat, and do something else to cope instead.
    2. Picture your goal weight the next time a trigger strikes to help you resist temptation.
    3. Find another joy/hobby to do that can help you when you are feeling emotional. Before eating a meal remind yourself of something you really enjoy doing and tell yourself you will do that after you finish eating. That way you won’t feel like your favorite hobby (eating) is over after you eat. You will have something else to look forward to instead of eating more food.

      stress eating photo
      Photo by ginnerobot
    4. If sadness is an emotional trigger, do something else that makes you happy. For example watch a funny movie, when you feel sad, and don’t eat while you watch it. Or pray or call a friend when you are sad.
    5. When a trigger or craving hits, reward yourself or comfort yourself right away with something else you enjoy. Ex: dance, read, other hobbies, shop, call a friend, see a movie, Take deep breaths or baths, go to spas, get messages, read a devotional, pray etc. These are great ways to reward yourself for not caving into the emotion.
    6. Visualize success.
    7. Pause and pray every time you are experiencing a strong emotion.
    8. Watch a movie when you are snacking due to boredom. This works better than TV, because you may want to eat while watching the movie at first, but soon you will be so into the movie you will forget about food. TV doesn’t work as well because you will start thinking about food during commercials.
    9. When stressed, exercise instead of eating. Exercising is one of the greatest ways to ease stress. Remember exercise suppresses appetites. Exercise also generates energy, relieves stress, and improves moods.

      exercise photo
      Photo by Sole Treadmill
    10. If you like to snack when you are busy, stressed, or studying, have healthy raw veggies on hand.
    11. You can even have your snacks already portioned out ahead of time in snack size containers like Steelware Snap Seal Leak-proof Stainless Steel Snack Size Lunch Box Containers for Adults and Kids (12 oz. each).
    12. If food is your only source of pleasure, make sure to reconnect with other things you enjoy like sports, music, volunteering, or movies.
    13. Take up a hobby so that you can enjoy another activity in your leisure time besides eating. People who succeed at weight control tend to develop new hobbies, interests, and friendships.
    14. Accept your feelings.
    15. Don’t keep tempting comfort foods in the house. If you know you will eat a high calorie food when you are upset, don’t keep that food in the house.
    16. If you tend to eat when you are tired, try doing something relaxing instead like closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and praying.

*If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.

Copyright © 2017 Mindfulness in Faith and Food.

You are free to retain any and all content here for personal use, but need permission to use it anywhere else on the internet.

Photo by hang_in_there

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Weight Loss Tips for Parties and Social Gatherings

How To Stick with Your Healthy Lifestyle Goals Even at Social Gatherings

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  1. Drink a glass of water before you leave your house; then drink a glass of water before taking your first bite of food. You could use a water bottle that helps you keep track of your water intake like 30oz Inspirational Water Bottle With Time Marker and Measurements (Think Positive Aqua)
  2. Instead of stressing about calories, focus on slowing down and enjoying your food. Make sure you put your fork down, slowly chew your food, and finally  take a sip of your drink before picking up your fork to prepare your next bite.
  3. Eat a healthy snack before you go to a party so that you are not starving when you get to there.
  4. Don’t try everything at the party. Select small samples of the best at the table. Look at everything and rate the food before deciding what to get. If food isn’t a 10 then pass.buffet photo
  5. When people are bringing food, bring your own healthy food option for everyone to enjoy, and eat only your healthy food.
  6. If the party is at your house, prepare only delicious healthy foods by using lower fat versions for ingredients or using a healthy cookbook.
  7. Volunteer to help so that you can do something else besides eating (Ex: blow up balloons)
  8. Practice saying, “No thank you.” before hand.
  9. Don’t stand near the food.
  10. Pay attention to other joys around you, such as family and friends and the decor or environment.
  11. Keep your hands busy by holding and sipping on a glass of water; sometimes we eat at parties just to be doing something or we feel like we want something in our hands.water photo
  12. Limit the alcohol; again hold a glass of water, diet soda, or diet lemonade.
  13. Eat slowly from a plate. That way you won’t run out of food on your plate and go back for seconds. Just very slowly nibble food from your plate while you enjoy the party.
  14. Sometimes you will eat more at a social gathering. Often times the problem is not how much we ate at the party, but more that we give up and overindulge as soon as we have eaten just a little bit more than usual. Sometimes we have an all or nothing approach. If a social gathering throws a kink into your routine, don’t just throw in the towel. Instead, focus on mindfully eating and enjoying your food slowly. You can be proud that you ate healthier than usual at a party even if you eat more than you usually do on a daily basis. For more information about mindful eating click here.

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How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight

  1. When you need some encouragement, check out success stories on Pinterest. I am always rejuvenated whenever I watch others making healthier lifestyle changes.
  2. Pray before you eat and pray when you are experiencing emotions like stress that are tempting you to emotionally eat.
  3. Join a weight loss message board or challenge group. Nothing helps re-motivate like hearing other success stories. Alli and Beachbody have a great message boards. With Beachboy, you can even have an online coach available for encouragement and motivations. If I am craving something I like to go to a weight loss message board. Before I know it, my cravings are gone and my motivation is sky high. You may get discouraged.
  4. Place motivational quotes around your kitchen or make a motivational playlist of songs, and listen to inspiring music whenever you need a motivational boost.

    diet quote photo
    Photo by Conny Sandland
  5. Use meditation to help you cope with chronic stress.
  6. Tell a family member or friend you goals and your plan on how to reach them. Have your friend check up on you, hold you accountable, and encourage you. One idea is have a sticker chart. Every time your family member sees you do something well, they put a sticker on your chart. Every time they see you slip up, they take a sticker away. When you fill up one sticker chart, you get to get a reward or prize.
  7. Partner up with a family or friend who want to lose weight as well. Make it a competition and have a fun prize for each other when you reach your goals. Be sure to tell each other your goals and plans. Have regular check-ins with each other, hold each other accountable, and encourage each other.
  8. Take a photo of yourself throughout your weight loss journey to see the changes.
  9. Place reminders around your kitchen. Place a reminder on your cabinet like, “Eat fruits and vegetables for your snack,” or “Remember to pause before you eat.” (See Mindful Eating).
  10. Weigh yourself only once a week on the same time and day each week, no more and no less. Weighing in helps keep you accountable. However, weighing in too much can distress you because weight can fluctuate on its own throughout the week due to water and hormones. People who regularly weigh themselves are more likely to lose weight.
  11. When you lose weight, donate your bigger clothes to help you stay motivated.
  12. Focus on the process, not the end result. Be proud of your actions and don’t agonize over the weight. If you followed your plan, ate healthy, and exercised that day or that week, then rejoice. You did it. You are doing what you need to do to lose weight and that is all that you can do. Just think of it like this, if you were fit and healthy that day, then tell yourself, “I was fit and healthy today!” The past is the past. You did it today!
  13. Celebrate success by treating yourself to a favorite activity or outfit or a small trinket. Try not to use food as a reward. You can celebrate reaching a weight goal, but also be sure to celebrate just for following your diet plans regardless of weight.
  14. Expect setbacks and forgive yourself. Setbacks are part of the process.
  15. Be realistic. Slow, moderate weight loss is the best way to lose weight.
  16. Every cheat you have to add 10 minutes of activity.
  17. Put a smiley face sticker on every day of your calendar that you did well. You will be so proud of yourself when you can see all those stickers on your calendar.
  18. For a quick motivational boost, whenever you are feeling like you are tempted to eat something you shouldn’t, pump your fist and say to yourself, “I can conquer this!”   This may be just enough to pump you up.
determination photo
Photo by Dana Lookadoo – Yo! Yo! SEO
  1. Use go-to phrases. The minute we start to feel weak and want to cave, we start finding ways to talk ourselves into eating.   We want to rationalize and find a way to give ourselves permission to fail. You might say, “I’m really stressed today and just need to splurge this once”, “I deserve this because I had a hard day,” or “I will just eat less tomorrow.”   If you start this kind of self-talk, you are probably going to give into your temptations. The minute you hear yourself starting this kind of self talk, immediately change what you are saying to yourself. Instead of saying, “This one time won’t hurt,” say “I only have to wait (BLANK) days until my free day,” or ask yourself “Am I hungry or is this something else?” (See the step-by- step guide to mindful eating.) A lot of mindful eating is about eating slowly and taking the time to ask yourself questions like “Am I hungry?” Other positive self-talk you could say are, “I only have two weeks until that wedding, beach, weigh in or until I can buy that dress as a reward for eating healthy.” When you know a difficult moment is about to occur, plan how you are going to talk to yourself ahead of time. Think of how you might rationalize to convince yourself to overeat, and then plan how you are going to talk yourself out of it. One of my favorite go-to phrases is “be mindful of God’s presence while I eat”. Eating becomes an act of worship for me. I remind myself I am taking care of God’s creation (me). I want to glorify God by eating slowly and nourishing the body God made. I remind myself of 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, “so whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Wow! What a great reminder!  1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 reminds me that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and that I should glorify God in my body. When I mindLESSly eat, I miss the opportunity to be in awareness of God’s presence.
no one ever got to the top photo
Photo by symphony of love
  1. Set up two-week increments as your mini-goals. Think of it as you only have two weeks until you can give yourself a small break. However, when you get to the end of the two weeks, have one free day; then, immediately start another 2-week mini-goal for the consecutive 2 weeks.
  2. When you are wanting to graze or can tell you are giving into unhealthy snacking temptations tell yourself “I can’t wait to relax and enjoy a healthy meal.” Learn to see your healthy meals positively. Eat slowly so that you can enjoy your food for the same amount of time as when you were eating a larger portion. Sometimes, especially when we are emotional eating, we want to eat large portions because we don’t want the meal to end. (see the step by step guide to Mindful eating).
  3. Share your goals with someone for moral support and accountability.
  4. For maintenance, establish a weight threshold. In other words, continue to weight yourself regularly and decide your weight limit. Tell yourself, “I will gain no mire than five to ten pound.” Have a set plan of action for if you hit your upper limit. Your plan could include re-doing your Diet Self Assessment from this blog. When you reach your upper limit of your weight threshold, reevaluate your diet or add another tip. Make sure you haven’t loosened up your lifestyle changes or not letting yourself eat larger portions.
  5. Find a daily routine that works for you. We are less likely to error if our days follow a similar routine. Eat the same time and way every day. Write down specifics for your routine like, “I will only eat out two days a week and those days will be Friday and Saturday.” Add something fun to your routine everyday. That way you will have something to look forward to besides eating food. Also, your routine will not get too monotonous or boring.

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Weight Loss Tips for Vacations and Frequent Travelers

How do I still lose weight even on Vacation?

Vacations can be hard. Once I gained 12 pounds on a week and a half vacation. It took me 6 months to get those 12 pounds back off. Now I try to follow some of these tips whenever I vacation.

  1. Walk the beach instead of sunbathing.
  2. When traveling, bring healthy snacks instead of stopping at fast food places.
  3. Do the eating out tricks found in the “Eating Out for Weight Loss” post during your vacation.travel photo
  4. Splurge for one meal every other day.
  5. Eat healthy for breakfast and lunch and splurge a little at dinner.
  6. Take a walk around the terminal while you are waiting for your flight
  7. Do crunches, push-ups, and stretches everyday in your hotel room.
  8. Plan fun physical activities for your vacation like hiking, swimming, canoeing, skiing, walking while sightseeing, etc.
  9. Stay at a hotel with a fitness room.
  10. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.

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How to Reduce the Fat and Calories in Foods You Already Eat

Can You Eat the Same Foods You Love and Still Lose Weight?

Well, yes and no. Substituting foods in recipes can greatly reduce calories. For example, 1 cup of regular mac-n-cheese has about 540 calories. If you substitute the following: skim milk for whole milk, light cream cheese for full-fat cheddar cheese, and add more vegetables like broccoli, then you can reduce 1 cup of mac-n-cheese from 540 to 315. Another example would be a can of Tuna in water instead of oil saves you around 80 calories. Check out other ways you can reduce the calories in your everyday recipes below.

cooking photo

  1. Instead of Pizza, eat Pizza on pita with less cheese and more veggies.
  2. Instead of Sugar use less sugar.
  3. Instead of Potato chips,  eat nuts, “Baked Lays,” veggie straws, pretzels,  or low fat popcorn.
  4. Instead of Whole milk, use skim milk.
  5.  Instead of Toast with margarine, eat Toast with jam.
  6. Instead of Fried eggs, eat Cereal, egg whites, or egg substitute.
  7. Instead of Coffee with half and half, drink Coffee with light creamer.
  8. Instead of Regular margarine, use Low fat margarine.
  9. Instead of potatoes with sour cream, eat Potatoes with low fat sour cream or salsa.
  10. Instead of Ice cream, eat Yogurt.
  11. Instead of Fried chicken breast, eat Grilled, roasted, or baked chicken breast.
  12. Instead of Doughnuts for a snack, eat Fruit or vegetable for a snack.
  13. Instead of Bologna sandwich, eat Lean turkey sandwich.
  14. Instead of Regular cheese, eat Low fat cheese.
  15. Instead of Fried fish, eat Baked fish.
  16. Instead of Homemade gravy Gravy from a mix, just add water
  17. Instead of Green beans with bacon, eat green beans with nonfat broth, or a dash or lemon juice, pepper, and garlic powder.
  18. Instead of Salad with dressing, use Salad with low fat dressing.
  19. Instead of 1/2 cup butter or oil, use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter or oil (great in sweets or dessert recipes).
  20. Instead of a Sandwich made with 1 tbsp mayo, eat a Sandwich made with 1/2 tsp mayo or light mayo.
  21. Instead of sour cream, use Low fat yogurt or light sour cream.
  22. Instead of Pastry pie crust, use Graham crust or phyllo crust.
  23. Instead of Pound cake, eat Angel food cake.
  24. Instead of pie filling, use low fat pudding.
  25. Instead of Fudge sauce, use Chocolate syrup.
  26. Instead of Light cream, use Equal amounts of 1% milk and evaporated skim milk.
  27. Instead of 1 oz baking chocolate, use 3 tablespoons cocoa and 2 tablespoon vegetable oil.
  28. Instead of Nuts, Reduce the amount of nuts and toast the nuts to enhance the flavor.
  29. Instead of Whipped cream, use Light cool whip or dream whip made with skim milk.
  30. Instead of Whole eggs, use Egg whites or egg substitute.
  31. Instead of using Butter or oil to cook in skillet or flavor foods, use Margarine spray.

    beans photo
    Photo by Ross Catrow
  32. Instead of Meat in casseroles, add Beans.
  33. Instead of dipping your foods in ranch or other condiments and sauces, limit or avoid them all together.
  34. Instead of Cream or oil based sauces, use Red/tomato based sauces.
  35. Instead of Cakes and pastry deserts, use Fruit with low fat pudding/ yogurt
  36. Instead of Regular pasta noodles, use Whole-wheat pasta noodles.
  37. Instead of Tuna or chicken salad made with mayo, eat Tuna or chicken salad made with mustard.
  38. Instead of Fried tortillas, eat Baked tortillas.
  39. Instead of Ground Beef , use Ground Turkey or low fat ground beef.
  40. Instead of Flour Tortillas, use Corn Tortillas.
  41. Instead of Tuna in oil, use Tuna in water.

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How to Reduce Calories in the Foods You Already Eat

Can I Eat Fewer Calories and Still Eat the Foods I Love? Check out these tips for lowerig the calories in your favorite foods.

  1. Try low free yogurt as a dip for fruits and veggies and a topper for baked potatoes.
  2. Use healthy cookbooks that include the calories per serving or when cooking using a recipe, half the recipe so you and your family will have less available to eat. Your whole family can get healthier.
  3. Use a pressure cooker to cook flavorful meals with little to no fat.
  4. Saute 1/4 cup of wine or defatted broth instead of butter or oil. Your meals will have a great flavor without using butter.
  5. Eat fruit for desert instead of cake, cookies or pies.
  6. Instead of frying foods, cook foods by roasting, steaming, poaching, baking, braising, broiling, grilling, or BBQing.
  7. Make stir-fry with lots of veggies. Heat a pan to high heat. Add no more than 1 tsp oil or use vegetable spray or defatted broth. Add thinly sliced meat. Have more vegetables than meat.

cooking photo

  1. Always remove skin from chicken or turkey.
  2. Instead of frying eggs, poach, broil, or scramble eggs (or 2 egg whites) in vegetable cooking spray.
  3. Choose white meat instead of dark meat.
  4. Always drain off fat after cooking. Blot food with a paper towel before eating. For ground beef, drain meat in a colander after cooking.
  5. Flavor meats with low fat flavorings like low fat versions of BBQ, “Tabasco”, catsup, lemon juice, or Worcestershire.
  6. Use an ingredient below for flavoring potatoes, chicken, and vegetables:

Nonfat sour cream

Defatted broth

Low fat margarine

Yogurt

Salsa

Herbs, garlic

Mustard

Lemon juice

  1. Use the ingredients below for flavoring bread or sandwiches:

Low fat mayo

Reduced fat cream cheese

All fruit jams: no added sugar

Garlic and herbs

  1. Use the Ingredient below to add flavor pancakes:

Light syrup

Unsweetened applesauce

Crushed berries and Splenda

Splenda

Fruit

Low fat margarine/spray

All fruit jams: no added sugar

  1. Use the ingredients below to add flavor salads.

Light salad dressing

Lemon juice

Vinegar

  1. Use the Ingredients below to add flavor to pasta or rice

Spaghetti sauce

food photo

Chopped vegetables

Herbs, garlic

White sauce made with skim milk

  1. If you have a cheat day, only eat fried foods on your cheat day.
  2. Use a vegetable bean dip such as hummus instead of ranch dressing or other high calorie dips.
  3. Microwave, steam or boil vegetables in a small amount of water or stir fry vegetables in cooking spray.
  4. Limit or even better, eliminate condiments.
  5. Cook foods and prepare recipes using the lowest calorie version of all foods. An example would be light mayo.
  6. Use less cheese or no cheese, when recipes call for cheese.
  7. Using mustard instead of mayo on sandwiches or in tuna and chicken salad can save over 100 calories.
  8. Add more vegetables to recipes; then the same amount of food will have fewer calories per serving. For example, one cup of mac-n-cheese without vegetables will be more calories than 1 cup of mac-n-cheese with vegetables, or 1 cup of noodle soup with added vegetables is going to have fewer calories than a cup of noodle soup without vegetables.
  9. Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal. Even better, fill half your plate with a fruit or vegetable. You will decrease calories by merely replacing half your plate with vegetables and leaving half your plate for your normal recipes.
  10. Always eat the whole-wheat version of rice, pasta, or bread in your recipes.

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When Your Work Environment Causes Weight Gain

My Work Makes It Hard for Me to Lose Weight! Here are a few tips that can help you lose weight in a difficult work environment.

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  1. Walk during your lunch break and eat a bag lunch at your desk. You can avoid the tempting break room and still get to socialize with your co-workers by inviting them to join you on your walk.

Break room photo

  1. Take sugar free gum to work. Chew sugarless chewing gum at work instead of munching. Have sugar-free gum in the candy bowl at work instead of candy.
  2. Bring your food to work instead of getting fast food, take out, or vending.
  3. Bring a pre-portioned low calorie frozen meal to work every day.
  4. Make your own pre-portioned frzen meals ahead of time using frezzer friendly containers like the [15 Pack] FreshPREP Meal Prep Containers – Reusable, Stackable, BPA Free, Microwave, Freezer & Dishwasher Safe Fitness Meal Containers – Food Prepping Portion Control Container – 3 Compartment – 33oz/.
  5. Have a fruit bowl instead of a candy bowl at work.
  6. Pre-portion healthy snacks to take to work like fruits or sliced vegetables to help you avoid unhealthy temptations.
  7. Keep healthy options like carrot sticks closer to you or on your desk at work for when you are craving candy or when you forget your lunch.
  8. Turn dinner from the night before into a healthy lunch, by putting a serving of your dinner into a light whole wheat wrap and take that to work.

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Top 5 Tips for Reducing Liquid Calories

Are You Drinking Your Calories? 

You could lose weight by simple decreasing your liquid calories. During one of my private nutrition counseling sessions, I learned that one of my clients was drinking 4, 12 oz bottles of soda a day, which was 620 calories total a day. When he switched to diet sodas he took out 620 calories from his diet a day!!! By just making this one change and changing nothing else about his diet, he lost almost 25 pounds in just 4 months!!! So if liquid calories is one of your issues, check out these top 5 tips for reducing liquid calories.

drink photo

  1. Use fat free milk instead whole milk.
  2. Drink diet soda instead of regular soda.
  3. Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all.
  4. Order your coffee or hot chocolate with skim milk.
  5. Drink water or club soda with lemon or lime for added flavor.

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