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Playing with food

Foods for weight loss

by Ano Puchalski, staff writer

 

After the holiday season each year, many of us come back a little soft around the midsection, thanks to mama’s good old, homestyle cooking. It’s probably also because without having to worry about fitting into that cute outfit for school the next day, we drink like sailors, eat like pigs, and lay in bed well into the afternoon. Whatever the case may be, it’s now April, and most of us are still carrying around the extra weight we gained in December.

 

If your reason for still being overweight is the eating habit, don’t try going on a diet. You’ll end up quitting in a week. Instead, pick up your spoon and start digging in to some food that will help you get healthy.

Lisa Sasson, a New York University nutritionist, said the key to weight loss is watching your food portions. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will fill you up and contain fewer calories. “Eat slowly and stop when you start to feel full,” said Sasson, “Drink plenty of water with meals and allow yourself an occasional treat.” Unhealthy methods of losing weight, such as starving yourself, cause you to lose more water than fat, and lowers your metabolism levels, which makes you feel lethargic, weak, and tired.

Personally, I found it easier to lose weight after the birth of my two children (Waimea and North Shore) when I ate good foods 90 percent of the time and junk foods only 10 percent of the time. (One fast food meal plus two chocolate candy bars equals 10 percent bad food). Since my cravings from pregnancy continued post partum, God was kind enough to put me in contact with a Slim Fast (rich chocolate flavored) shake, which I happened to buy in a convenience store one day. It tastes so good when it’s cold, you’d never guess it was a health drink.

Here are 11 foods that taste like anything but the traditional, chalky, nutritious stuff.

Scrambled eggs, toast, and strawberries
This breakfast combination boosts your metabolism and energizes your tired body. Scrambled eggs are a good source of protein, phosphorus, and iron and contains vitamins A, B2, and B12. Whole wheat toast and strawberries add fiber and Vitamin C. A touch of margarine on your toast or when cooking the eggs helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. (Recommended Serving Size: 1-2 eggs, 2 slices toast, 1 pat butter/margarine, and 1 cup strawberries.)

Nectarines and almonds
Necatarines and almonds make the perfect midmorning snack. Itkeeps your metabolism and energy levels up, helps curb your appetite, and gives you necessary amounts of fiber, protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals. (Recommended Serving Size: 1 nectarine and 6-8 almonds.)

Spinach, veggie, and chicken salad
Create your own spinach salad with cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and some cooked chicken breast. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box, and Subway, offer salads that are made with these same ingredients and are just as delicious. (Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup spinach, ½ cup sliced cucumber, ¼ cup grated carrots, ½ cup red peppers, 6-8 cherry tomatoes, 2 oz. chicken strips, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing (w/ olive or canola oil.)

Yogurt and grape snack
Yogurt and grape snacks contain calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamin C. Grapes add cancer fighting antioxidants. (Recommended Serving Size: 6 oz. low-fat yogurt and 10 grapes.)

Tuna steak and broccoli
Having this dish for dinner will satisfy your taste buds, according to Sasson. Fresh tuna contains heart-healthy fat and omega-3 fatty acid which helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Broccoli contains disease-fighting phytochemicals and certain amounts of vitamin C that help add to the 30 percent calcium your body needs daily. (Recommended Serving Size: 3 oz. cooked, broiled, or grilled tuna steak and 1 cup broccoli.)

Low-fat vanilla ice cream w/ fruit topping
“ Don’t deprive yourself of that tasty treat you crave,” said Sasson. “Just watch your portions.” This yummy treat is a good source of calcium, as well as vitamins and minerals. (Recommended Serving Size: ½ cup low-fat vanilla ice cream and ½ cup mixed fruit.)

 
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