Tempting foods seem to call your name at every turn, especially when you are trying to lose weight. You remain virtuous and stick to rabbit food, but finally succumb to triple servings of sin ‘cos you’ve had a bad day and need some comforting.
Sounds familiar? The bad news is binge eating is only going to put you on the frustrating weight yo-yo with thousands of other self-blaming dieters. The good news is many of your favourite foods that have gotten a bad rap aren’t so terrible after all, so you don’t have to feel deprived all the time. The key is portioning and sensible food choices.
Here are some seductive treats can actually help you lose weight and keep it off long-term.
You don’t have to shy away from red meat just because you are on a diet.
A lean cut of steak has almost the same amount of saturated fat as a similar-sized skinless chicken. It is also loaded with protein which tends to keep you feeling full for longer.
Similarly, today’s cuts of pork tenderloin are 31% leaner than 2 decades ago. That makes this pork a good source of lean protein with benefits similar to those of lean beef.
To get plenty of protein with less fat, choose tenderloin, sirloin, or other extra-lean cuts. Limit portions to the size of your palm. Give calorie-laden traps like high-fat creamy sauces, mash on the side, and the alcohol or sugary drink a miss.
To eat, or not to eat? When it comes to healthy eating, few foods have sparked as much debate as eggs. Research has proven that taking one egg a day for breakfast can good be good for your waistline.
Like lean meat, eggs are packed with proteins which takes longer to digest, keeping your tummy full so you eat less overall during the rest of the day.
High in fat and calories? Peanut butter can actually be a dieter’s friend. Studies show that small amounts of this sticky rich snack can control hunger without causing weight gain.
Pasta & Bread:
Instead of banning carbs and feeling jittery the whole day, make the switch to whole grains and keep your portions small. High-quality whole grain bread and pasta are filled with fiber, minerals and vitamins, and are actually low on the glycemic index – meaning it won’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar that can lead to weight gain.
Research suggests people who eat several small servings of whole grain foods per day are more likely to slim down and maintain healthy weights. In fact, eating whole grains rather than refined grains can also help burn belly fat according to one study.
Nuts may be high in fat, but it’s the good kind (like omega fatty acids). They are also rich in vitamins, protein, and ‘filling’ fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar. So it’s wiser to graze on a handful of plain almonds, pistachios or walnuts to curb your food cravings, instead of busting your calorie budget instantly with potato chips or cookies.
Cutting out calcium-rich dairy foods may seem like a good way to cut calories. Surprisingly, some studies suggest this could be a mistake. One theory is that the body burns more fat when it gets enough calcium. However, calcium supplements don’t seem to yield the same benefits, so high-calcium diets may have other factors at work as well.
Stick to low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk to enjoy the yummy taste and health benefits, and still lose weight.
Even if you are dieting, you can still enjoy dessert from time to time. Unlike ice cream, sorbet doesn’t contain fat, but it still has a creamy taste. But remember, everything in moderation since there’s still the hip-seeking sugar to contend with.