Carrying around extra weight can lead to a number of health problems. Excess weight puts more strain on your heart. It can raise blood pressure, contribute to high blood cholesterol and makes diabetes more likely to develop. Losing excess weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Not to mention you will feel better about yourself and have more energy!
In your quest to acheive your ideal weight, avoid relying on fad diets that exclude foods from any of the four basic food groups (Grain Products, Vegetables & Fruit, Milk Products, Meat & Alternatives) or do not give you a proper balance from these groups. Such diets deprive your body of much needed nutrients and teach eating habits that are not healthy to sustain over a long period of time. You can acheive your ideal weight in such a way that is healthy and sustainable by following Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and increasing the amount of physical activity in your daily routine.
Your mental approach is a critical factor in successfully acheiving and maintaining your ideal weight. It is important to view your revised eating habits as a healthy lifestyle change, rather than a temporary means of acheiving a weight loss goal. It is also essential to view your new food choices in a positive light. Think about the great things you are doing for your body by eating more healthy foods, rather than dwelling on the foods that you are missing out on. And remember that once in a while it is okay to indulge in some of your favourite foods that may not be such healthy choices.
Here are some tips to help you put a healthier spin on some of your favourite foods:
Make lunch leaner. Replace mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps with zesty lower fat options like salsa or fruit chutney or whole grain mustard.
Cut the fat when cooking. Grilling and broiling meats allow fat to drip off. Using a non-stick skillet for frying and stir-frying will require little added fat. Baking, steaming, boiling, and roasting are other ways to prepare foods without adding fat.
Put a flavourful twist on the classics. Top your baked potato with fresh salsa and a dollop of plain low fat yogourt.
Choose lower fat versions of your favourite dairy products, such as milk, yogourt, cheese, margarine and sour cream.