Tag Archives: counting calories

Food diary made easy!

My "breakfast" is to the left. Still have lots of choices for the day!

My “breakfast” is to the left. Still have lots of choices for the day!

 

 

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Our First Place 4 Health Celebration Dinner

Foods fit for First Place

Healthy food can be delicious and satisfying!

Recently, we concluded our inaugural session of First Place 4 Health with a Celebration Dinner. The program materials suggest having this special time to give participants the opportunity to bring some healthy dishes they’ve prepared, to be enjoyed as each shares what he or she has gleaned from the previous 11 weeks.

What a wonderful variety was available! Mike brought a massive bowl of fresh fruit pieces, Theresa provided a chef salad with the usual ingredients plus chopped dried and fresh fruits, which she served with a light, sweet dressing. Ruthie made salmon patties and a dish of marinated fresh veggies from First Place recipes she had found. Belinda made a big pot of turkey chili with various types of beans. Sue wowed us with her dessert concoction: an angel food cake split into two layers, which she filled and topped with a yogurt and light cream cheese icing with crushed pineapple stirred in. Anita roasted a variety of veggies, seasoned to perfection. I brought sliced lean ham and whole grain bread, along with another light dessert.

Even as several of those present finished off their plates and went back for seconds, there was no need to feel guilty, as all the dishes were either low-fat, low-sugar, reduced-calorie and/or lean. It was a good lesson for us all, that we can enjoy get-togethers that involve food, be perfectly satisfied, and yet observe a healthy meal.

No deprivation was seen around these tables. Now, if just a few family members would make these kind of changes at holiday or other celebration events, or church members would follow suit at the monthly pot-luck luncheon, perhaps we could change the status-quo, and also the size of our waistlines!

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September 18, 2012 · 7:30 pm

Choosing your calories wisely

It’s not as necessary to eat less to lose weight as it is to eat better. Consider the decadent and delicious treats available at your local Krispy Kreme shop,  and a healthier meal option.

Suppose you are planning tomorrow’s breakfast. Let’s say you want to have a meal of about 350 calories. Here are two choices:  the first option – one Krispy Kreme Chocolate Iced Custard Filled donut and a half cup of skim milk; option two –  a scrambled egg, slice of whole-wheat toast with a light coating of margarine-type spread and your favorite jelly, a small piece of fruit and a cup of skim milk.

Option one would satisfy your sweet tooth as it sends your blood-sugar level skyrocketing, only to plummet soon after, possibly leaving you fuzzy-headed, cranky, and craving another fix in about an hour. Option two gives you a tasty, healthy, and filling meal with offerings from all the food groups, providing sustainable energy and keeping you satisfied for most or all of the morning.

I consider my daily calorie-quota as a bank of sorts, with the foods I eat as “purchases”. I can “spend” my calories in ways  that’ll nourish me throughout the day, or I can dole them out carelessly, and find, before bedtime, I’ve run out and am hungry. In that case, I’ll have to face the music: try to sleep with a growling tummy, or eat more calories than I wanted to.

This is just one comparison. Favorite fast-food restaurant meals can easily pack 1,000 calories or more, and often the fat and sodium content are through the roof!  We can definitely benefit by reading the nutritional info of our favorite less-than-healthy foods, and consider better trade-offs. For me, it’s a fun challenge to see how much bang I can get for my calorie buck, and to feed my body with fuel that’s good for it as well!

If you’d like to receive articles from Slimvictory when they post, you can sign up on my home page. Comments are welcome and appreciated! 

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Filed under breakfast, calorie reduction, counting calories, decision-making, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, meal preparation, mindset

An inexpensive weight-loss “tool”

To lose weight, we have to eat less of unhealthy food choices and/or not eat too much of healthy ones. A no-brainer, right? But telling our brain (where overeating sometimes starts) that we’ve had enough, or that we really shouldn’t eat that sugary, fatty item that’s calling our name is often a tough battle.

However, I’ve discovered a helpful item that’s quite inexpensive; and you most-likely have one right at hand…in your bathroom. Ready to face the battle? Grab your toothbrush!

I’ve noticed that there’s something about brushing my pearly-whites that helps dissipate my desire to keep eating. Today, after lunch, I wanted a chocolate bar. I’d had plenty to eat, but the sweet sensation tug kept nagging me as I cleaned up the lunch dishes. But instead of salivating over it, I decided to instead “foam at the mouth” with a good dose of Colgate toothpaste. Followed that with a big glass of water, and the desire for something that wasn’t on my meal plan quickly vanished. Maybe it’s psychological, letting the mind and body know that the meal is done, but whatever the reason, the result kept me on track.

Do you have any special “tricks of the trade” to steer you toward making the right choices? I’d love to hear them!

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Filed under calorie reduction, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, Uncategorized

Eating at MacGreasy King with friends

 A contributor on Sparkpeople.com mentioned it was hard going to eat out with friends; she either felt intimidated by their comments when she made healthy choices, or she ended up over-indulging. As I mulled over her thoughts, I began to write down these responses one can make. We know our friends and family, so we realize which ones we can get by with, but if said with a smile and a twinkle in the eye, I think they’d be well-accepted!

  •  “I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf, a lettuce leaf.”
  • “I’ve made a plan to only eat fried or fatty food on days of the week that don’t have a ‘Y’ in them.”
  • “As an American citizen, I’ve decided it’s my patriotic duty to do my part to help stave off the burgeoning health-care crisis.”
  • After hearing a comment on your choices, pretend to look around. When others ask what you’re looking for, say, “Oh, I was searching for your Food Police badge; it must have slipped off.”
  • “Well, I recently noticed a tag on my birthday suit; it said: Limit of one per customer, no exchanges permitted, so I thought I’d better engage in some quality control measures.”
  • “My lily-white cellulite has become quite a fright.”
  • And for those who follow biblical principles: “Scripture says that my body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’, and as such, I’m choosing to treat it with the respect and care God desires.”

 Do you have any favorite responses?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning a healthier Easter basket

Great news…you can assist the Easter Bunny this year! Just a little creative planning  can change a traditionally sugar-charged holiday into a healthier one.  Check my blog (written for my Sparkpeople.com page) below for some ideas, and then add your own.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=JUSFOLK.

Smiles from Slimvictory:)

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When does 100 equal 10? (small changes matter)

You never know when you’re going to hear a brief tidbit of info that can be of significant importance. Recently, our local YMCA offered a program on healthy lifestyles with a focus on weight loss. As the dietician shared, I wrote down her info, much of which I already knew. One thing, however, stood out.

If we are overweight, most of us want to lose it quickly without much being required in the way of change, right? But if we’re honest, we could probably look back and see that our weight gain didn’t happen over a three-month period, or even a year’s time. You might notice that you added ten pounds every year or two, which didn’t make a noticeable change because it was so gradual (“Hmmm, these old pants are out of style anyway, I’ll go find some new ones that fit better”). Years ago, I came across a couple of my maternity outfits, and decided to try them on. To my chagrin, I couldn’t even zip up the back of the dress, and the pants wouldn’t fit over my thighs!

Ten pounds annually over a four to  five-year period…the simple math shows that to be a noticeable weight gain. But the truth is (as the dietician pointed out), we can easily lose ten pounds a year without any significant lifestyle change. How is that possible? Two ways: Cut 100 calories a day out of your food consumption or burn 100 extra calories daily through exercise (depending on your current weight that could be as little as a 15-minute walk at a decent pace).

100 calories is just about nothing! Serving sizes and calorie counts vary by brand, but here’s a rough estimate of items that are about 100 calories each: a piece of toast with spread, eight ounces of regular soft drink, ¾ ounce of a chocolate candy bar, two hot wings, ¼ cup ice cream, or (gasp!) ⅓ of a slice of pepperoni pizza.

So, since 3,500 calories equals a pound, if we do the math, subtracting this amount from our daily calorie intake will allow us to lose around 10 pounds in a year, or…adding these extra calories daily will make the scale show a 10 pound increase this time next year (and the next…). Just a little bit of time learning about calorie counts of your favorite foods can help you make wise decisions that’ll whittle the waistline; an easy-to-navigate site I often use is www.calorieking.com.  What choices will you choose to implement this week?

Note from Slimvictory: if you’d like to receive new articles as they post, you can subscribe on my homepage. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, decisions, exercise, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, label-reading, making changes, menu planning, nutrition data, physical fitness, snacks