Smart Strategies to Lose Weight, One Meal at a Time

Thursday, July 6, 2017

By Julie DesGroseilliers, Registered Dietitian

When it comes to losing weight, there’s no miracle recipe or magic food that melts fat. So, to reach and maintain a healthy weight, you have to change your daily habits…for life! It takes a little effort, time, and perseverance. Simply by moving a little more every day and by trying some of the meal ideas below, you may not only slim your waistline, but you’ll improve your health and daily vitality.

Ideas to lighten up your meals

  1. Replace the ground beef in your spaghetti sauce with lentils. It’s a great trick to reduce fat content and calories, while increasing fibre, a natural appetite suppressant.
  2. On pizza and for other dishes using melted cheese, mix full-fat cheese with low-fat cheese, or mix it with firm shredded tofu instead. No one will be able to tell the difference! And to make the meal even more low-fat and nutritious, double the quantity of vegetables.
  3. Substitute pasta by using spaghetti squash, or “spiralize” vegetables such as zucchini or beets. A delicious and refreshing alternative! Do you like cream sauces, such as Alfredo pasta sauce? Try a 5% cream blend for cooking, or use soy plant-based cooking cream for a lower fat version.
  4. Replace quiches with omelettes and frittatas. Without crusts, these dishes contain less fat. Containing only 70 calories each, eggs are an excellent weight-loss ally. Two eggs make up a portion. Think about adding them to your salad meals. Note that a healthy adult can have seven eggs weekly.
  5. Add edamame beans to your menu more often. Rich in fibre and protein, they prolong the feeling of fullness, reducing cravings. Boil these frozen beans for four to five minutes and they are ready to be added to your salad meals, Asian dishes, soups, and pasta dishes.

Nutritious snacks

Since fruits and vegetables, as well as milk and milk-substitutes, are among the foods most under-consumed by Canadians,[1] make them a priority at snack-time.

  1. Containing twice as much protein as traditional yogurt, 0 or 2% fat Greek yogurt is a perfect snack. Ideally, choose the plain option and flavour it to taste with fruit and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
  2. Instead of a granola bar, muffin or other commercially prepared bakery product, choose ripe fresh fruit and a few nuts. A much more nourishing and filling combo.
  3. Low in calories, try raw vegetables more often. And for a dip, go with plain Greek yogurt with a little pesto.
  4. Snack on oven-baked edamame. A great alternative to chips!
  5. Need a more filling snack? Go for a hard-boiled egg and some raw vegetables, or make a homemade smoothie with milk or a soy beverage, fresh fruit, and Greek yogurt.

No matter what or when you eat, it is important to respect your hunger signals and your satiety. Eat only when your body needs to fuel up. And remember that fruits and vegetables should be the focus of your meals. They are very nutritious, so they should make up half of your plate. Meat should be the side dish to your vegetables, not the other way around!

 

This article has been sponsored by BOOST®, but all comments and opinions are my own.

Julie DesGroseilliers Registered Dietitian Registered Dietitian and nutritionist Julie DesGroseilliers holds a Bachelor of Nutrition and a Minor in Physical Activity Science from the Université de Montréal. She specializes in food communications and consumer education, and she regularly leads conferences on these topics. She is also a published author of three books , including the bestseller “Bébé a faim.” A member of l’Union des artistes, she also occasionally appears across media such as radio, print, and television.

 

[1] Statistics Canada. (2004). Canadian Community Health Survey Results. Overview of Canadians' Eating Habits. Retrieved from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-620-m/82-620-m2006002-eng.htm (Accessed June 2, 2017)