10 Tips for a better healthier meal
When it comes to cooking a meal for the family, don’t let your diet take a back seat. Just because you’re on a diet and the rest of your family are not does not mean that you have to eat a different meal. There are times when you have to draw the line e.g. Christmas lunch, Sunday lunch and family gatherings. Take a look at some of the suggestion below for a healthier meal:
1. Try steaming or boiling your vegetables instead of frying or casseroling, also stay away from using cheese based dishes. Try to use herbs and lemon juice instead of butter or margarine.
2. Cooking with chickens can pose as a bit of a problem, although chicken is very healthy in its self, containing half the fat of red meat. Don’t go for the easy option of breaded chicken fingers or nuggets this is very unhealthy. Try roasting or steaming your chicken in a non stick pan, and eliminate the use of oil by using a cooking spray. Beware of the chicken skin as this is very fattening, try to buy a skinless chicken or remove the skin prior to cooking.
3. Watch out for different types of bread, stay away from white bread as it is full of sugar. Try to go for wholemeal bread, seeded bread and whole grain bread. Also look for brown rice, wild rice and basmati rice, the tastes are not all that different from white rice and have a much lower starch content.
4. When buying meats like pork and beef, try to buy lean and extra lean. Try some cuts like fillet and sirloin, these have less fat content than the other cuts. Roasting, grilling and dry frying are healthy methods of cooking meat. Once again try to use a cooking spray instead of cooking oil.
5. If you’re preparing turkey, why not try cooking the stuffing separate. You will reduce the fat content by preventing the turkey fat from absorbing into the dressing. Be sure to use less margarine or butter when making the stuffing. Also don’t forget to skim the fat off of the gravy. Leave the drumsticks for the kids; as with chicken, choose light meat over dark and you’ll save a lot in the calorie department.
6. Why not try serving fruit as a dessert? Serving fruit instead of pie or cake can make a massive reduction in the amount of calories you find in your meal. Instead of cake and pie, try serving a whole piece of fruit, some yogurt or a fruit cocktail. You will usually find that we don’t need a dessert and have one just because of habit. I think you will be surprised at how fruit can substitute the sweet tooth in a dessert.
7. If you must have an ice-cream try a sugar free ice-cream of low fat frozen yogurt. Instead of topping with chocolate sauce or caramel, try some mixed fruit cocktail. The taste of the ice-cream is almost identical and the sugar from the fruit stops the sweet craving. All in all it’s fewer calories than the full sugar and chocolate variety.
8. When cooking save yourself a lot of calories by using powdered milk. By doing this you will save on a lot of fat and calories. Also by using skimmed milk instead of cream in your favourite cream based recipes can also save on the calories.
9. Try some substitutions in your cooking. Use 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to replace 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate in your desserts, replace 1 egg with 2 egg whites or ¼ cup of egg substitute, replace half of the oil in dessert recipes with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce, try reduced or non-fat frozen yogurt or sugar free ice cream on pies.
10. If you still find yourself hungry after your meal and you do want to tempt your self to seconds, then go for the vegetables. Choosing steamed vegetables over meat and bread is far healthier.
10 Tips for eating out when on your Diet
1. For a starter, try and keep it light maybe a prawn cocktail or a side salad. Make an effort to stay away from creamy starters and red meats.
2. If you are a pasta lover and find it hard not to eat endless amounts. You must try and stay with a single portion. Also don’t worry if you leave a little no one will persecute you for it, especially not your body.
3. When ordering a meat dish, always go for the chicken. Stay away from fried chicken. Always go for boiled, grilled or steamed. If you must ask for red meat, be sure to ask the waiter for a nice lean piece.
4. If you don’t see anything on the menu, that is cooked to your liking. Ask the waiter if it would be possible for the chef to cook you a dish with say, boiled or grilled chicken, instead of fried. Don’t be embarrassed at this request as you will not be the first or the last to ask for it.
5. Avoid the temptation of cream sauce, butter, oil, batter and home made gravy.
6. If you do not like leaving your food, then you can always ask the waiter, to wrap it up so you can take it home afterwards.
7. If you are a take away person as I am. When you serve your take away at home, only serve half of it, and keep the other half for the next day or for another family member. Willpower is the key here!
8. If you know where you are going for your evening meal. Why not ring the restaurant and ask them to post a menu out to you, or go and pick one up. Now you can give the menu a good read and find out the best meal to suit you. When you arrive at the restaurant, your choice is already made and a healthier one it will be.
9. Buffets are the worst of all restaurant temptations. You must know your portion control. Try and have only one plate. Once again the key factor here is will power!
10. When the day comes for you to go out for your meal, try to eat smaller meals during the day, then you can keep an eye on the calories for the day and evening. However do try to remember not to starve yourself as you may just end up eating like a horse, which is never a good diet tip.