We all know we should cut down on food with high calories if we want to lose weight. To do this we need to know what these foods are. While some foods can easily be recognised as having high calories, others may not be so obvious. There are the obvious foods like ice cream, cakes, cream buns, cookies, fries and others. We all know we should stay away from these foods or have them only occasionally. But it is the day-to-day food we eat that can be the problem.
There are foods we think are healthy and all right to eat but can be high in calories, which are working against our efforts to lose weight. The trouble is it can be quite an effort to change suddenly from these foods if they form an important part of our diet, but we can do it gradually.
Here are some common foods that we can replace with low-calorie versions or limit the amount we have.
Dairy – choose low-fat alternatives of milk, yoghurt, sour cream, cream, cheese
Butter – there are some versions with lower fat but margarine has less fat
Meat – lean beef, buffalo, lamb, chicken and turkey without the skin
Fish – low in calories and has essential oils – tartar sauce and mayonnaise will increase the calories
Nuts – most nuts are healthy but can be high in calories. Eat small quantities or replace them with fresh fruit
Pasta – stay away from the white cream sauces
Salad dressings and mayonnaise – choose low-fat versions
Fruit and vegetables – most fruit and vegetables are low in calories. Replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Bananas are high in calories, but have other important elements
Bread – not low in calories so we need to be careful what we put on it
From what I can see, it is hard to find low-calorie bread unless you make it yourself, which is not practical for most of us. If you check the calories on bread in the supermarket, some breads are lower than others but you have to wonder if that is because the slices are thinner. The best we can do is to cut down on bread and to avoid loading it up with lashings of butter and spreads. Bread is such a staple it is very hard to give it up entirely.
There is a lot more food with low calories available now, as so many people are watching their weight or their health. Many foods, like most fruit and vegetables, are naturally low in calories, so it is a good idea to choose these when you can. One of the problems is our tendency to use rich sauces for dishes like pasta and seafood. While the food itself is low-calorie and healthy the sauces increase the calories count significantly.
With a little bit of thought it is not too hard to gradually change to food with low calories. The main thing is to be aware of what we are eating and where possible, choose the low-calorie, low-fat alternatives. This is one of the best ways to lose weight and one of the best ways to be healthy.