A few minor changes can sometimes improve our diet and help us maintain a healthy weight or lose those few extra pounds. For example, cutting approximately 50 calories per day represents a loss of about 2.5 kg (5 lbs) by the end of the year. Here are some tips:
- Don’t sweeten your coffee or tea. Instead, try to flavour it with a bit of vanilla or cinnamon. Skip the cream and opt for milk. If you already use milk, switch to lower-fat milk (e.g. go from 3.25% to 2% milk).
- Don’t butter your toast if you plan to also add jam, peanut butter or cheese.
At the restaurant:
- If you order a salad, choose a vinegar-based dressing, rather than a creamy one. Ask for it to be “on the side” and use only half the amount provided, since it is typically double the recommended portion.
- Is a chicken sandwich a healthier option? It may be, as long as it’s made with grilled chicken, not breaded or fried!
- Keep an eye on portions – restaurant portions are almost always more generous than the recommended quantities. Stop when you’re no longer hungry – you don’t have to eat everything!
Preparing lunches and meals:
- Use low-fat mayonnaise in your sandwiches.
- Ditch the fruit juice (even if it’s 100% natural), and instead drink water and eat a fresh fruit. If you don’t like to drink water, add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or fruit to your water.
- Do you use olive oil because of its health benefits? That’s good, but keep in mind that a single tablespoon contains 120 calories, so don’t overuse it! Don’t pour it right into the pan; instead, use a teaspoon or an oil atomizer.
- Alcoholised beverages contain a lot of calories, especially cocktails that combine alcohol, juice and a syrup! Reduce your portions, or dilute your beverage with some carbonated water.
- Do you drink wine with dinner? Reduce your portion a bit (e.g. from 5 to 3 ounces – 150 to 90 ml).
You need to take medicine? Always check with your pharmacist to see if there are any food-related instructions (eg, eating or fasting) that you must follow.