“Going on a diet” is code for changing what you typically eat and drink, and adopting someone else’s diet. For example, going on a “low carb” diet means ditching bread and pasta, and restricting to only carb-free protein plus fat, usually sourced from animal foods.

But on the opposite end of the spectrum are “low fat” diets – just as stringently staying away from cheese and nuts and other foods that are oh, so satisfying that after a while you’re likely to fall off the bandwagon. Which leads to abandoning “the diet” or “cheating”…all these negative words lead up to diet failure!

So my philosophy is…don’t diet, live it! Make modifications to your usual way of eating, and never go “on a diet” again!

Top 5 Calorie-Cutters

kid cooking healthy

  1. Preparation: Instead of making your food fat-sponges, use cooking techniques that minimize fat but keep the flavor. Instead of deep-frying, broil, bake, grill, sauté – in a little oil, but not too much. Cut the Fat: For each tablespoon of fat you don’t add to your food, you save 100 calories.
  2. Choose Lean: From hamburger to steak, lamb to pork, red meat can be a dieter’s friend – as long as it’s lean. Lean meats are satiating and provide lots of iron and other important nutrients. Don’t forget poultry – some of the leanest meat is only lean if eaten without the skin – remove the skin from poultry and save hundreds of calories – automatically! Cut the fat: By buying 95% lean hamburger, reduce 100 calories compared to 80% lean.
  3. Hold The Sauce – My mantra for keeping the calories in control is “on the side” – each tablespoon of gravy, salad dressing, or oil adds about 100 calories – certain sauces are full of fat and calories – and just making a substitute can cut calories significantly – for example, substitute a tomato-based marinara sauce for creamy Alfredo and reduce at least 100 calories without sacrificing flavor.
  4. Keep it Whole – fruit juice can ruin a weight loss diet – a glass a juice shoots your blood sugar up and then down just as fast, leaving you hungry for more. But whole fruit has fiber, and fills you up. Ditch the fruit juice, and eat your fruit whole. Cut hundreds of calories, and feel fuller.
  5. Sweet ‘n Smart: There’s no reason that diets should mean deprivation. The quickest way to fail on a “diet” is to make it so Spartan that you quit. Make a sweet treat part of your day – choose a sugar-free hot chocolate instead of regular. When you dine out, share a small dessert, or savor two bites. Cut the portion size and save 100 calories.