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The (ever-so-cliche) New Years Diet

12 Jan

There are few things in this world that I loathe quite as much as diets; Few things that I will fight quite as much as I will fight the idea of going on a diet.
I find that it’s fairly common that whatever type of diet I attempt, I crave, need, MUST HAVE the item that the diet forbids. South Beach is supposed to be a great way to lose weight fast. I can promise, though, that the moment I make the decision to go on the South Beach diet, I will want nothing more than rice & baked potatoes.
I think that most people are a lot like me. I think that’s why Weight Watchers has done well with it’s “point” system – you can eat what you want as long as you count the points and balance it out with whatever else you eat that day. There are quite a few similar diets out there.
While I believe that generally, dieting is a terrible plan and a waste of effort because of my lack of fortitude, I have decided that this year I will be one of the millions who engages in a “New Years Resolution” diet. I am of the very firm belief that a diet has to be flexible in terms of what you’re allowed to eat. I am also pretty determined that any type of weight loss regime has to be completely healthy (no Atkins for me – I don’t care how many bunless cheeseburgers I’m allowed to have). Also, I can’t focus on what I am/am not eating all day so there has to be some level of simplicity for me to stick with it.
With all of these factors, I’ve decided to do a diet based on calories/fat. I’m using as my main “diet guru”. They have a great calorie-counting application called MyPlate. I just entered my weight, height, age, normal activity level, and amount of weight that I wanted to lose per week. It provided me with a reasonable daily calorie goal to work towards. What I like about this is that if I do decide to have a cheeseburger (with the bun) tonight, I can balance it by eating really, really low calorie food for the rest of the day (I haven’t checked the cheeseburger’s calories – I might just have to have water for the rest of the day which wouldn’t really work out). Additionally, I can earn extra calories by working out. If I go for an hour-long run, for example, then I get an additional 614 calories for that day (I checked, that’s just about enough for the cheeseburger).
The MyPlate application is free to use, unless you want to upgrade to “gold” status. It tracks my calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, protein, and sugars every day. As an added bonus, there is an app for my blackberry. I can use that to track foods that I eat while away from my computer, look up foods that I’m wanting to eat (to decide if it’s worth the calories), and check my current calories for the day.
Since I’m working on this diet, you should expect to see some recipes/tips for fellow dieters coming up soon. For now, here’s a list of foods that I’ve been enjoying while cutting back on calories (nothing ridiculously innovative here, just some thought starters):
– Skinny Cow Ice Cream sandwiches

– Morning Star Farms sausage links (

– Baby carrots (skip the hummus or ranch dressing – too high in fat)

– Laughing cow cheese

– Rice crackers (I’ve been eating some from “sesmark” that are pretty low cal/fat- watch out for normal crackers – they are much fattier than you think!)

– Cucumber/tomato salad (chop up cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and squeeze one lemon, and a little bit of balsamic vinegar over it)

– Yogurt

– Fruit, fruit, fruit

– Soup – I like the Campbell’s soup at hand, personally

Also, here are a few things that I’ve learned that have more calories than you think, though they’re generally considered “healthy”:

– nigiri sushi – while overall a pretty healthy choice, says that one piece of salmon nigiri has 68 calories- if you have a bunch of pieces for a meal, it actually becomes a pretty calorie-heavy meal

– olive oil – one table spoon is 120 calories and a whopping 14g of fat. Even if it’s “the good fat”, that’s still a lot

– Avocado – one large avocado is between 200 – 300 calories and about 30g of fat. I’m still munching on them (because you do need SOME fat) but watch out!.

As you all probably already know, it’s about moderation. I’ve had a few little “indulgence” snacks and managed to stay under my calorie goals mostly by making them REALLY LITTLE amounts of the snack.
Keep your eyes peeled for diet-friendly recipes to come soon.