Healthy eating is really a balancing act between caloric intake and energy output. As you select foods, it’s important to get the proper nutrients, but you don’t want to deprive yourself of the special treats you love. However you can lighten things up a bit. Here are some great ways to reduce the number of calories you consume.
- Purchase lean cuts of meat.
- Beef – the best choices include beef tenderloin, top round, top loin, sirloin tip, eye of round, sirloin, and 90 to 95% lean ground beef.
- Pork – choose cuts with “loin” in the name, such as pork tenderloin, loin chops or center-cut ham and Canadian bacon.
- Poultry – chicken and turkey are already lean meats, with white meat being the leanest choice. Reduce fat and calories by avoiding eating the skin.
- Fish and Seafood – the leanest choices are orange roughy, haddock, halibut, flounder, sole and red snapper.
- Purchase dairy products that have reduced fat or are labeled “light.” You will still get great taste, but with reduced fat and calories.
- Select fresh or frozen vegetables for side dishes. Add your own herbs or seasonings and light butter. Lemon juice, flavored vinegar and low-fat salad dressings are also great ways to add flavor to vegetables and greens.
- Choose high-fiber cereals and breads because they’ll leave you feeling more satisfied than those with no or low amounts of fiber.
- Eat smaller portions. A serving of meat is 3 ounces, about the size of a small fist; a serving of vegetables is ½ cup. You don’t have to skip dessert either. Instead, eat one small cookie or brownie instead of the supersized versions often sold at coffee shops or bakeries.
If becoming healthier is part of your plan, make sure you combine smart food choices with daily exercise. This is the best way to consume fewer calories and burn enough of them to support weight management.