No need to eliminate entire food groups—you can lose weight without depriving yourself
If you’re trying to slim down, you might be entirely cutting out some of your favorite (perhaps not-so-healthy) foods—thinking that not eating treats will help you lose weight. But restricting foods that you enjoy can actually make you overindulge in them later, potentially undoing all your recent healthy-eating and weight-loss efforts. The lesson? You can keep your favorite foods around while slimming down. Here’s how to keep those favorite foods in your diet.
Use bacon as a garnish
For the bacon lover, the trick to enjoying bacon is to use it sparingly, as a way to add flavor to a dish. Instead of piling on pieces of bacon (or eating it on its own), add just a bit to healthy dishes—you’ll still get that salty-smoky flavor you love.
Try oven-frying foods
Deep-fried foods are notoriously unhealthy—they’re coated and breaded and then fried in oil. They typically soak up a lot of oil, which delivers a lot of calories. Instead, try this trick to serve up healthier fried foods that can fit in your diet too: use your oven! With a light bread coating, a spritz of oil and an oven, you’ll get crispy and delicious “fried” foods without the added calories and fat of traditional fried favorites.
Eat nuts—just not too many
While nuts are high in fat and calories, there’s no need to cut them out of your diet when you’re trying to lose weight. Nuts contain healthy fats and are packed with protein, which can help reduce hunger. Since nuts are high in calories, you may want to measure out a serving to eat rather than snacking straight from the jar or bowl (which might cause you to eat more).
Eat pasta in moderation
Carbs—and pasta in particular—have an undeserved bad reputation when it comes to weight loss. The problem with pasta is, most people eat more than one serving at a time. Eating too much of anything is bad for your waistline, and pasta is no exception.
Two tricks to keeping pasta in your diet while you’re also trying to lose weight: choose whole-grain pasta and pair it with nutritious ingredients. By swapping out the refined “regular” pasta in your pantry for whole-grain varieties, you’ll get more fiber (which helps keep you full) and other nutrients. Add a little lean protein and plenty of veggies to your pasta dish to make it even more satisfying.
Enjoy a little chocolate
Thinking about swearing off chocolate forever? Forget about it! For many people, chocolate is a favorite—and it’s not hard to see why. It’s creamy, smooth, and sweet. And enjoying it in small amounts may be the secret to losing weight. Trying to be “perfect” with your diet is unattainable—most dieters who attempt perfection end up failing and going right back to where they started. Instead of throwing in the towel, make room for small treats. Plus, dark chocolate actually has heart-healthy antioxidants. A double win.
© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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