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MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES TO FUEL YOUR BODY:

Nov 9, 2009

The number of calories in a particular amount or weight of food is called "calorie density" or "energy density." Low-calorie-dense foods are ones that don't pack a lot of calories into each bite.
Foods that have a lot of water or fiber and little fat are usually low in calorie density. They will help you feel full without an unnecessary amount of calories.

Here are some more ideas for cutting back on calories without eating less and being hungry:
Instead of

Fried chicken sandwich
with 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
= 599 calories

Cream-based soup
1 cup mushroom bisque
= 400 calories

Chips or pretzels
1.5 oz. pretzels
= 162 calories

Try

Grilled chicken salad
with low-fat dressing
2 cups lettuce, 2 oz. grilled
chicken breast, 2 tbsp. light
balsamic vinaigrette dressing
= 178 calories

Broth-based soup
1 cup minestrone
= 112 calories

Baby carrots with hummus
16 baby carrots with 1 tbsp. hummus
= 75 calories

Good things can come in big packages!
People eat more than they realize when faced with large portion sizes. This usually means eating too many calories. But, not all large portions are created equal. Larger portions of water- and fiber-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, and broth-based soups, can fill you up with less calories. Start with an appetizer. Research shows that if you eat a low-calorie appetizer before a meal, you will eat fewer total calories during the meal. Start your meals with a broth-based soup or a green salad without a large amount of cheese, or croutons.

Fruits and veggies: keep it simple!
Most fruits and veggies are low-calorie and will fill you up, but the way you prepare them can change that. Breading and frying, and using high-fat creams or butter with vegetables and fruit will add extra calories. Try steaming vegetables and using spices and low-fat sauces for flavor. And enjoy the natural sweetness of raw fruit.

What about beverages?
While drinking beverages is important to good health, they don't help you feel full and satisfied the way food does. Choose drinks without calories, like water, sparkling water, or unsweetened iced tea. Drink fat-free or low-fat milk instead of 2% or whole milk.


CAUTION:
Along with cutting calories another factor is to make sure you are eating enough calories.  You do have to eat to lose weight not starve to lose fat weight.  Often the pendulum gets swung from not eating too much  (watch for portion control next week) to eating not enough.  It is the quality of calories and the right amount that will fuel your body and allow it to let go of the extra fat weight and run sufficiently. 
The key is small portions 5-6 times a day with a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat at each meal.  Just like keeping your log of when and how often you fill you tank with gas, your cost, and how many miles to the gallon you get--- take that same approach and care with your body and its needs.  So often we neglect to plan and take care of ourselves regarding fuel.

 

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