When you're trying to lose weight, you want to make sure your refrigerator is stocked with healthy foods that will help you shed pounds. Here are some weight loss home remedies that will support your diet goals.
Home Remedies from the Freezer
Frozen yogurt. Want some ice cream but don't want the fat? Try some frozen yogurt. You can indulge your sweet tooth without worrying about the bulge.
Low-fat frozen dinners. There are loads of healthy frozen dinners on the market these days. Stock your freezer with some in-a-hurry healthy choices, and you won't be as tempted to zip through the fast-food drive-through.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Applesauce. When you're baking muffins or cakes, substitute applesauce for half of the oil, margarine, or butter. If your recipe calls for 1/2 cup vegetable oil, use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup oil.
Evaporated skim milk. This is a great cream substitute. You can use it in everything from recipes that call for cream to your coffee.
Extra-lean ground beef. You can shave off some fat by choosing leaner varieties of ground beef. Look for beef that says 85 percent lean or higher on the package.
Fruit. Fruit gives you a natural sweet fix and is loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Some good choices for your fruit basket include apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, and strawberries.
Low-fat salad dressing. There are many flavorful, low-fat salad dressings available. And a low-fat version can save you fat and calories.
Sharp cheddar cheese. Using a little of flavorful cheeses such as sharp cheddar in your recipes will help you lose fat without losing taste.
Skim milk. Whole milk has 8 grams of fat per cup, skim milk has none. And you get just as much calcium and vitamin D. If you've been drinking the heavier stuff, it may take a while to get used to the different texture (skim milk is more watery). Try going from whole milk to two percent milk and slowly making your way to skim.
Vegetables. These are near-miracle foods for losing weight and staying healthy. The American Dietetic Association recommends getting at least five servings of vegetables a day. Some smart choices: broccoli, carrots, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes.
Do's and Don'ts
- DON'T try to be Cindy Crawford. Only a very small portion of the population is meant to look like a supermodel. Be sure that you are realistic when you think about weight loss. Aim for a weight that is healthy for you.
- DO be patient. Though you wish with all your might that those ten pounds would slough off overnight, it just won't happen. A healthy weight-loss goal for a week is about 1/2 pound. And give yourself time to adjust your habits. It takes time to make a change.
- DO be kind. Don't belittle yourself if you indulge in a dessert once in a while. Treat yourself every now and then and those "forbidden" foods won't be so tempting.
- DON'T count calories. You'll drive yourself crazy if you keep tabs on every morsel that enters your mouth. Just learn how to make healthy choices and watch your portion sizes.
- DO give up the alcohol. The average American gets ten percent of his or her calories from alcohol. Think of the savings if you didn't have a cocktail.
- DO eat every meal. Skipping a meal will not help you lose weight. In fact, it may slow down your metabolism and set you up for scarfing down a plate of brownies in a moment of weakness.
- DO keep an eye out for fat. Eating less fat is crucial for a healthier diet. It helps keep your weight down and keeps your body healthier, reducing your risk of heart disease and some cancers. Why is fat such a problem for people trying to lose weight? Fat packs in nine calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein have only four calories per gram. That means the more fat you eat, the more calories you pile on, and the greater chance you have for putting on a few pounds. The American Dietetic Association recommends getting around 30 percent of your calories from fat.
- DO seek support. A group of friends or an organized outfit such as Weight Watchers can be vital to meeting your weight-loss goals. They can provide accountability and caring, and they can help you learn how to make healthier choices.
- DON'T be fooled by magic cures. There is only one proven way to lose weight -- eating a healthy, low-fat diet, and exercising. If anyone promises that you'll lose a pound a day, that a "miracle" food will help you lose pounds, that you need an artificial food or pill to lose weight, that a diet or gadget can get rid of fat from one part of the body, or says that you have to eat their organization's food to lose weight, don't buy into it.
Keep these home remedies in mind to help keep your diet on track. Remember, there are no magic bullets when it comes to dieting. Stay active, eat a sensible diet, and seek out the help and support you need to stick to your diet goals.
Dieting can be tricky business -- seek out all the information and support you can when embarking on a weight-loss program. Visit the links below to learn more.
- For the help you need to get that diet off to the right start, visit How to Start a Weight-Loss Program.
- In How to Lose Weight in Support Groups, learn about shedding pounds with the help of a weight-loss group.
- Visit How to Plan a Weight-Loss Diet for some tips on choosing and implementing a weight-loss plan.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Timothy Gower is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Reader's Digest, Prevention, Men's Health, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. The author of four books, Gower is also a contributing editor for Health magazine.
Alice Lesch Kelly is a health writer based in Boston. Her work has been published in magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Eating Well, and Health. She is the co-author of three books on women's health.
Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.
Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.
ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:
Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist. He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide, and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.