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You Can Actually Lose Weight by Eating Fast Food – If You Choose It Carefully Slideshow

You Can Actually Lose Weight by Eating Fast Food – If You Choose It Carefully Slideshow


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All you need is discipline, exercise, and a love of Egg McMuffins

Chipotle Mexican Grill: via Yelp

Always Eat Breakfast, But Choose it Wisely

Despite recent research suggesting that breakfast isn’t really the most important meal of the day, studies show that eating breakfast leads to less overall daily calorie consumption. But fast-food breakfasts can be deceivingly caloric and high in saturated fat. Avoid the meat and cheese in the morning and stick with egg white wraps (like Starbuck’s Spinach, Roasted Tomato, Feta, and Egg wrap), oatmeal, or even plain egg sandwiches (like McDonald’s Egg McMuffin), which often clock in at fewer than 300 calories.

Click here for America’s healthiest fast food breakfasts.

“Bowls” Are Your Best Friend

Chipotle Mexican Grill: via Yelp

A burrito bowl can be a nutritious dinner — if it’s loaded with the right ingredients. As a rule of thumb, skip the sour cream, cheese, and guacamole, and pile on the vegetables, legumes, and salsas. Chipotle Mexican Grill’s vegetarian sofritas bowl with white rice, fajita vegetables, and tomatillo salsa is only 365 calories with 14.5 grams of fat, 1.36 grams of sodium, and 12.5 grams of protein.

Click here to see the healthiest things to eat at Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Embrace the Salad for Lunch

Fast-food salads have always been the outcasts of the menu board, but they’re the best options when it comes to losing weight. McDonald’s bacon-ranch grilled chicken salad, for instance, isn’t short on delectable fast-food flavor, but swapping in salad greens for a bun or tortilla drastically reduces the meal’s number of calories and carbohydrates. The salad has 42 grams of protein, and is only 320 calories with 9 grams of carbohydrates. Subway’s chopped turkey breast salad and Burger King’s chicken, apple, and cranberry salad are other tasty options with fewer than 350 calories.

Click here for the unhealthiest salad bar ingredients.

Expand Your Definition of “Fast Food”

Thinkstock

Fast food is more than just quickly cooked hamburgers, deep-fried chicken nuggets, and salt-drenched French fries. At its core, fast food is about time, convenience, and value, so why shouldn’t a container of sushi (an average roll is less than 300 calories) or even a banana-peanut butter smoothie qualify? Don’t be afraid to venture out beyond the traditional fast-food joints.

Click here for the 50 best sushi bars in America.

Go Against the Grains

Go Grilled

Grilling nuggets, steaks, or wraps adds extra flavor without the calories. Taco Bell’s A.M. Grilled Taco for example, is only 230 calories, 14 grams of fat, 590 milligrams of sodium, and 12 grams of protein, making it a much better alternative than a greasy breakfast sandwich. Chick-fil-A’s eight-piece grilled chicken nuggets contain 140 calories and only 3 grams of total fat; compared to eight pieces of McDonald’s deep-fried nuggets, which have 360 calories and 22 grams of total fat.

Click here for 10 grilling tips for beginners.

Shift Focus to Falafel

Recently, a slew of Mediterranean-inspired fast-casual restaurant chains have opened around the country. The foundation of their menu is falafel— a spiced, fried chickpea ball— a fiber-rich vegetarian protein source that pairs perfectly with salad greens (a hamburger salad just doesn’t sound that appetizing). A falafel salad is filling and offers a diverse assortment of vitamins and mineral for less than 400 calories.

Click here for the best baked falafel burgers recipe.

Wash Down Your Meal With Water or Coffee

If you want to lose weight there’s simply no room in your diet for sugar-sweetened beverages. Besides containing zero calories, water and coffee provide a number of other health benefits. Drinking water, especially before meals, is a way to boost metabolism and feel fuller. One study showed that people who drank 17 ounces of water before a meal ate fewer calories and lost 44 percent more weight than those who did not drink water before a meal. There’s also a growing body of research suggesting that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and dementia.

Click here for 11 diseases that coffee can prevent.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.


How to Lose Weight While Eating More Food

One of the most common pitfalls to weight loss is an all-or-nothing approach aimed at dropping pounds in a hurry. When you start an unrealistic diet plan, you quickly learn that such diets lead to nagging hunger and cravings for forbidden foods. After a few weeks of this, most people return to their old eating habits, complaining that "diets don't work." But what if you could actually lose weight by eating more food -- simply by making a few changes to your everyday food choices?

The truth is that smart weight loss is not about starving yourself or restricting yourself to a few foods. It's about consistently making better food choices, and slowly changing bad eating and exercise habits into more healthful ones.

Here are seven choices that will help you lose weight while eating more food -- and will satisfy your taste buds at the same time:

  • Whole-grain foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, whole-grain breads, cereals, and waffles are a much better choice than refined white foods because they're generally higher in fiber, more nutritious, and more filling. Eat 3 cups of air-popped popcorn instead of 1 ounce of potato chips (about 15 chips) and you'll cut 65 calories and get a lot more food to crunch. Instead of having one refined-flour pancake with butter and syrup, you can enjoy two whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes topped with mixed berries for the same 270 calories.
  • Foods high in water are naturally low in calories because of their fluid content. Fruits, vegetables, soups, gelatins, and hot cereal are 80%-95% water, while foods like yogurt, puddings, eggs, pasta, beans, and seafood are 60%-75% water. Eating 1 3/4 cup of grapes takes longer and is much more satisfying than eating 1/4 cup of raisins, although both portions have 110 calories. A cup of minestrone soup (125 calories) and a tossed salad with light dressing (100 calories) is a satisfying lunch for 225 calories. Compare that to a chicken salad croissant weighing in at 550 calories, or a 6-inch tuna sub at 530 calories.
  • Lower-fat foods can really add up to calorie savings because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. And when you take out some -- but not necessarily all -- of the fat, foods still taste great. Eight ounces of skim milk has 86 calories, while the same amount of whole milk has 150 calories. A 2-ounce serving of tuna packed in water has 66 calories but when it's packed in oil, the calories jump to 110. Light mayonnaise, light salad dressings, and lower-fat dairy are all easy ways to cut calories while satisfying your taste buds.
  • Treats that satisfy your sweet tooth don't have to bust the calorie bank. Sorbet, fat-free frozen yogurt, light or slow-churned ice creams, simple cookies, and fruit-based desserts have a fraction of the calories of super-premium ice cream, rich cookies and other decadent desserts. If you polish off a pint of super-premium ice cream, you can easily pack on 1,000 calories. Instead of eating out of the container (always a no-no), stock your freezer with portion-controlled novelty bars such as Breyer's Double Churned light ice cream bars, Skinny Cow ice cream cones, Fudgsicles, or Edy's Slow Churned ice cream bars, which satisfy with only 100-150 calories. Cookie lovers can enjoy two Fig Newtons, Pirouettes, or Nutter Butters for less than 130 calories instead of a single Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie for 210 calories.
  • Fast food is considered a sure route to weight gain because many of our favorites are over-the-top in fat and calories (as well as sodium). Enjoying an occasional burger and fries won't do in your diet, but many people frequent fast-food outlets regularly. Next time you go to your favorite fast-food place, choose one of the better bets, such as a grilled chicken sandwich side or entree salad with light dressings chili or a baked potato topped with chili or yogurt and fruit parfaits. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato and a side fruit salad for 320 calories instead of a Big Mac and medium fries for 920 calories, and you'll save 600 calories! A bacon cheeseburger can set you back 1,000 calories, but an entree Southwest salad with grilled chicken and light dressing has only 360 calories. Also, skip the bacon, special creamy sauces, and fried foods.
  • Muffins, scones, doughnuts, and bagels can be deceptively high in calories. A cinnamon chip scone (490 calories), large bran muffin (370 calories), bagel with cream cheese (500 calories), or doughnut (250 calories) go down fast -- and usually leave you hungry again in a few hours because they're high in sugar and/or refined flour. Instead start your day with whole-grain cereal, skim milk and fruit (230 calories) an egg and two slices of whole-grain toast with a teaspoon of butter or margarine (300 calories) or oatmeal made with skim milk and topped with a few nuts (250 calories). And don't try to save calories by giving up breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast control calories throughout the day better than breakfast skippers.
  • Dips and spreads can do serious damage. They can be addictive, and when you add in the calories from the chips or other dippers, they add up quickly. Two tablespoons of French onion dip or Cheez Whiz have 60-90 calories. But if you switch to salsa, hummus, or fat-free bean dip, you can enjoy more satisfying dips for 15-50 calories per 2 tablespoons and are more likely to eat a reasonable portion. Slice a whole-wheat pita pocket (130 calories) into 8 wedges for healthy 16-calorie dippers -- about the same as a single, much less satisfying cracker from a box.

Continued

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD and the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.



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