Wednesday, February 18, 2009

6 Healthy Food Switches for Weight-Loss Success

Making a few small changes to your eating habits can add up to big weight-loss results. Discover the top six here. There's no better time to embark on a weight-loss plan than the beginning of the year, when you're bursting with good intentions and still reeling from a surplus of festive food. But making good food substitutions rather than going to extremes will ensure your weight-loss results last beyond the first two weeks. So forget rigid, elimination diets; here are six ways to lose weight without feeling deprived. Milk Drinking whole milk cappuccinos and lattes will use your daily POINTS® Allowance up quickly. Use fat-free or low-fat milk instead, and look for flavored coffees or sugar-free syrups to improve that cup of java. Make smoothies by blending fat-free milk with low-fat or fat-free yogurt, a banana, frozen strawberries and honey to taste. Use low-fat milk when making mashed potatoes. Rice pudding is just as nice made with low-fat milk. Add flavor with cinnamon, and sprinkle the top with nutmeg. Bread Instead of serving bread with soup, add a tablespoon of bulgar wheat or a 1/2 cup of brown rice to your homemade recipe. As a change-up from bread sandwiches, generously fill whole-wheat tortilla wraps with chunks of fresh-cooked chicken, coriander, lettuce and red pepper, adding a teaspoon of low-fat mayonnaise. Potatoes Switch to sweet potatoes or yams. Cut up the sweet potatoes and roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes, sprinkled with sea salt and a little olive oil, or lightly boil and mash with a small amount of butter. Boil some couscous to fluff up and serve with grilled fish or meat. Filling Fruits Dried fruits come into their own in the winter months and make excellent after-dinner desserts. Put dried apricots, prunes and pineapple chunks in a pan and cover with a little orange juice. Bring to a boil, then let stand for 20 minutes so the fruit can absorb the juices. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and serve with spoonful of low-fat yogurt. Poach peeled pears in a low-calorie fruity cordial with one cinnamon stick until tender. Serve with low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Cheese Get into the habit of buying low-fat varieties. Keep a tub of low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese on hand to mix in with fresh fruit or sprinkle with Splenda and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of freshly grated Parmesan over your pasta, a little of its big-hitting flavor goes a long way. Poultry and Meat Trim off fat before cooking. Always roast chicken on a rack in a roasting tin, so the saturated fat drains off. If you plan to marinate the meat, use lean strips of pork or beef. When making casseroles,cook them the day before, so as it cools you can skim any fat off the top before reheating. Article courtesy of Weight Watchers

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