Calories and fat go hand in hand, like two newly weds walking to the honeymoon suite after the marriage ceremony. Of the three sources of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Fat contains more than twice as many calories per gram than both carbohydrates and protein. Perhaps this explains why low-fat diets are one of the most effective weight-loss methods that dieters have utilized. No matter the source, excess amounts of calories add to waistlines, and fat grams are calorie-loaded.
Low Fat Diets
This is why low-fat diets work. Not only do low-fat diets promote less calorie intake, the health benefits that come from avoiding fatty foods are numerous. Simply check out any health magazine, and its almost guaranteed that some article or professional will proclaim the heart, kidney, liver, etc. benefits that low-fat provides.
So how does a person achieve this healthy eating goal? By cutting out fat, of course! How you may ask.
How To Lower The Amount Of Fat You Consume
Here are a few simple guidelines I have found that effectively help in lowering the amount of fat you consume throughout the day.
Buy Low Fat And Fat Free Dairy Products
Dairy products are culprits when fat is involved. Just look at the nutrition label on a regular gallon of 2% or whole milk. Whole milk contains about 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are the artery clogging saturated fats, and 150 calories per cup. Then compare that to skim milk. Skim milk is fat free and contains a mere 80 calories per cup. That’s nearly half the calories for the same amount of liquid! Similar situations transpire with yogurt, cheese, and even ice cream. More for less!
Eat Less Red Meat And More Fish And Poultry
Once again, just like dairy, red meats contain high amounts of fat, especially when compared to healthier alternatives such as salmon and skinless fat trimmed chicken. Red meats, such as hamburger, beef, and pork contain lots of fat, particularly saturated fats. Fish, on the other hand, are low in fat, high in protein, and have high amounts of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The fat in fish is also mostly monounsaturated, another healthy fat. Poultry also owns many similar properties as fish. Once again, more for less!
Remove The Butter
Butter is perhaps the most notorious source of fat out there. Compromised of almost straight oil fats, butter and margarine contain a whopping 80-100 calories per tablespoon, 12 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated and up to 1.5 grams are trans fats. Removing butter from recipes, if possible, will save you a ton in extra fat grams and calories. Instead of butter on bread, opt for jelly. Skip the extra butter on popcorn, don’t baste your meats in the fatty substance, and opt for cooking sprays or non-stick cooking surfaces over lining your cooking pans with butter.
Cut The Dressing
Ranch, Caesar, and other oil-based salad dressings add large amounts of fat and calories in a minimal amount of space. Mayonnaise, too, adds a lot to your calorie/fat consumption. 2 tablespoons of ranch contains around 12 grams of fat and 120 calories. Not quite as calorie dense as butter, but still a diet killer. Avoid the full blown versions of these foods. Instead, opt for the lite versions, choose miracle whip instead of mayo, and, if you find you it palatable, use vinegar on salads. Better yet, learn to enjoy foods without these dressings altogether!
Read The Nutrition Label
A food may claim “low-fat” or “reduced calorie!” right on the label, but the only way to be sure about the amount of fat and calories you’re actually consuming is to read the label. I have often found myself surprised. Chicken is supposed to be a safe, low fat and high protein meat, correct? Beware! Perhaps you’re picking up the pack of chicken that also still has the skin intact. A 4 oz piece of chicken thigh has over 20 grams of fat and 270 calories. Compare that to the half gram of fat and 100 calories a 4 oz serving of chicken tenderloins has, a major calorie rift is noticed. Make sure, when you buy foods, you buy the healthier, lower calorie versions. Read the nutrition labels just to be sure, too.
5 Guilt Free Foods to Make Your Dieting Easier
Everyone hates dieting – that dreaded cycle of counting calories, boring meals, and lying awake hungry at night. To make things easier on us fellow-dieters, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite guilt-free foods.
Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges – 35 Calories
These little slices of heaven come in several different flavors: Creamy Swiss, Garlic amp; Herb, French Onion, Blue Cheese, Queso Fresco amp; Chipotle amp; Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil. They spread well on crackers or fruit, but I prefer them just they are – right out of the box.
Propel Zero Powdered Mix – 0 Calories
While dieting, it is essential to stay hydrated. If your body does not get enough water, the functions of your organs are slowed, your skin dries out, and you become tired more easily. Unfortunately for some of us, water is just, well, plain. I dress my water up with Propel Zero powdered mix. Empty one packet of Propel mix into a bottle of water, and Voila! You have a flavored drink, full of nutrition, and empty of calories.
Kosher Dill Pickles – 5 Calories
If you like pickles, as I do, you might be surprised to know that an entire Kosher Dill Pickle is only 5 calories. Great snack!
Coffee – 5 Calories
Thank goodness coffee is good for you! If you like yours black, it’s a mere 5 calories per mug. I prefer mine with, oh, about 4 lumps of sugar and a tablespoon of milk or creamer. That’s about 90 calories, which still isn’t too bad for getting your morning started off right. Just be careful when ordering coffee drinks from cafe’s – mochas, frappuchinos and cappuchinos all have hefty calories hidden inside.
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cups – 150 Calories
By the end of a guilt-free day, what’s wrong with sitting back to your favorite TV show with a cup of Skinny Cow Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream? Absolutely nothing! True indulgence. You’re getting your well-deserved ice cream while still being good to your body.
You can always eat all the raw greens you want. Raw celery and broccoli are great as well – just forgo the ranch dressing – it has 120 calories per tablespoon! In place of creamy dressings on your salad, try mixing up balsamic vinegar with olive oil (1 tbsp each) and sprinkling in black pepper or Italian seasoning.
There are many other ways to reduce your fat consumption, but those listed above are the tips I have found most effectively cut down on fat consumption and calorie intake. Combine these tips with some of your own calorie reducing strategies for maximum results.
On an ending note, remember that it is not healthy to cut fat completely out of your diet. Small amounts of fat are necessary for the human body to function properly. Also, fat is more satisfying than carbohydrates. Eat more unsaturated fats and fatty acids than saturated fats and trans fats, and you will feel your best. If you get confused as to what a healthy diet is, talk to a registered dietitian. They can often be found at a hospital in your area.