BJ bought some dried apricots at the store. They're so sweet, they taste like candy! They have lots of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber and are very filling, and a serving is 6 pieces coming in at just a hair over 100 calories. WIN!
Check your condiments. Now that I look back on the way I used to eat, I think I was taking in 1000 calories a day (literally!) in condiments. From the 4 or 5 cups of coffee (with Coffee Mate fat free vanilla creamer) a day (2 tbsp is 50 calories... so 200-300 calories a day), to the ranch dressing that I put on EVERYTHING (2 tbsp is about 150 calories), to the cheese that I put on everything (one ounce of cheese = about 100 calories), to the butter that I put on everything (100 calories per tablespoon), to the jelly I put on sandwiches and toast (full sugar is about 50 calories for one tbsp, depending on the flavor, we like strawberry), to the syrup that I had on pancakes about twice a week (1/4 cup of regular syrup is about 200 calories!!), I was consuming an ENTIRE DAY'S WORTH of calories just in "extras"!!!
So if condiments are your nemesis too, what do you do? Well, you limit yourself to a cup or two of coffee per day (or try to learn to love it black... I'm working on it). You find lower calorie alternatives to ranch (mustard has 0 calories and is just as good on a chicken sandwich). Light salad dressings are a lot easier on the calories, and they taste ok. Light cheese (either 2% or fat free) can be subbed in for its full fat cousin. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray is no-cal, and tastes great on cooked vegetables and toast. Light sugar jelly tastes just as good and has about half the calories (25 for a tablespoon of strawberry). And sugar free syrup (made with Splenda) is only 20 calories for a 1/4 cup, instead of 200!!!
I don't like a lot of "diet food" either - it's all chemicals - so I use these things sparingly.
Let's compare a few "old way" meals to a few "new way" meals...
2 eggs, scrambled - 140 calories
1 piece of high calorie wheat toast with 1 tbsp butter - 75 + 100 - 175 calories
3 pork sausage links - 260 calories
4 cups of coffee with 2 tbsp of full fat Coffee Mate Creamer in each - 320 calories
TOTAL: 895 calories
1 egg and 1 egg white, scrambled - 86 calories (usually with some frozen chopped peppers and onions blended in, might as well get an extra serving of veggies out of breakfast, right?)
1 piece of low cal bread with ICBINB Spray - 35 calories
3 turkey sausage links (Jimmy Dean) - 120 calories
2 cups of coffee with 2 tbsp fat free Coffee Mate Creamer in each - 100 calories
TOTAL: 341 calories
3 Aunt Jemima Pancakes - 160 calories
1/4 cup regular syrup - 200 calories
1 tablespoon butter - 100 calories
3 pieces of bacon - 150 calories
1 cup 2% milk - 130 calories
TOTAL: 740 calories
3 Aunt Jemima Pancakes - 160 calories
1/4 cup sugar free syrup (Log Cabin) - 20 calories
ICBINB Spray - 0 calories
1 apple - 80 calories
1 cup skim milk - 80 calories
TOTAL: 340 calories
Am I hungrier? No. Do I feel deprived? No. Jeez! Why did it take me 33 years to figure this out??!!!?
Let's do lunch...
Big Mac - 500 calories
Large Fries - 540 calories
Medium Mocha Frappe - 560 calories
TOTAL: IS A WHOLE DAY!!! That is 1600 calories!!!!! My calorie goal right now is 1465. There is no room in my life for Big Macs anymore! And if I'd eaten two tablespoons of ranch on those fries, which I totally did all the time, that's another 150 calories. 1750! In one meal! And I thought I was fairly healthy because we ate veggies every day.... *snort*
Progresso Light Soup - 50 - 100 calories per cup, pick your favorite
Grilled cheese with 2 pieces of light bread and a piece of Fat Free Kraft Singles - 95 calories
Fruit or cooked vegetables with ICBINB Spray - 50-100 calories depending on what it is
I'm every bit as full, and I don't get that mid-afternoon crash, and I've only eaten 200 - 300 calories! PEOPLE! This is not rocket science!
Do you see how easy it is? You don't have to stop eating. You just have to stop wasting calories on stupid foods that don't make you feel healthy or full.
If you do nothing else, give up soda. It is killing you. A 12 ounce can of Coke has 140 empty calories. And have you seen the news about the rat study, where they fed rats an equal number of calories, but group 1 got sugar and group 2 got High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? The group 2 rats got FATTER on the same number of calories! Madness!! It does something crazy to your metabolism. Get rid of it as much as possible. Don't mainline it by drinking Coke!
And now they're saying that artificial sweeteners do stupid things to your metabolism too (Hail Purdue!), so use them as sparingly as possible.
Switch to thin crust pizza. Give up Starbucks (it's bad for your waist and your wallet). Find a bread that you love that has fewer calories than the usual (and while you're at it, find one that's got more grain and less refined flour, and no HFCS!). Eat more fruit. Buy the 100 calorie "mini" bagels instead of the 300 calorie huge ones. Stop eating before you feel "full" - if you feel "full" at the table, you've overeaten, and you're going to feel gross in about 20 minutes.
Look, I know I'm turning into one of those obnoxious people who is constantly going on and on and on about diet and food... But it's important to me to share this information with all of you. Maybe it's my purpose in life to give you the tools I've found so that you can be healthy too! It's NOT about looking like a coat hanger. It IS about feeling good and being healthy. Period! If you eat more "New Breakfasts" and "New Lunches" and fewer of the old, you WILL lose weight, just like I have.
You can do it!