The Flip Side of Portion Control
Most of us can follow a restrictive eating regimen for a short time but long-term success in building healthy eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight is all about food you can enjoy for the long-haul and meal plans that fit into your schedule. Portion control is a great strategy to restrict calories, carbs and fat, but on the flip side there are great ideas for foods that you can basically eat with reckless abandon until you are full. How is this possible? Because they are so low-in calories and carbs and high in fiber that you are full before you go over your quota.
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Homemade smoothies can be a great way to satisfy those evening sweets cravings that are the undoing of many dieters. For example, a cup of low-fat milk or nut milk, a small banana, a tablespoon of carob or 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder. Combine to make a delicious chocolaty smoothie.
Gourmet versions abound: Freeze the banana for a thicker shake. The carb- watchers may cut their carbs even more by choosing a low-sugar fruit such as strawberries and adding ¼ tsp. of banana extract instead.
Adding a tablespoon of grit-free, smooth-blending fiber, available at most grocery stores and pharmacies, is a great way to add more tummy-filling fiber. Enjoying a filling smoothie like this before a dinner party or social gathering and you can resist those calorie-laden confections and hors d’oeuvres with savoir faire.
Open faced Sandwich Brimming With Raw Veggies
A huge, delicious open-faced sandwich, made from 1 slice of grain-free “bread” and brimming with raw veggies is one of the best fill-you-up choices you can make. It wins for ease of preparation and taste. Try one of the grain-free, super-low-carb breads, made with nut flour and egg white as the foundation of your sandwich – only 60 calories and 1g impact carbohydrate (total carbs – fiber) per slice. Include lean meat (of if you are vegetarian, low-fat cheese or baked, herbed tofu). Now add the magnificent raw vegetables: Sliced tomato, green, red bell and yellow bell pepper, grated carrot, thinly sliced cucumber, sweet onions, with baby spinach leaves or Romaine lettuce. Add a touch of low-fat mayonnaise and/or spicy mustard. You can enjoy this delicious fill-you-up open-faced sandwich for under 100 calories!
Very Berry and Greek Yogurt Desserts
Berries such as strawberries and blueberries are hard to beat when it comes to cancer-fighting, phytonutrient-rich desserts. When you have a sweet-tooth and want something fruity and creamy, try bowl of berries topped with 2 Tablespoons of Greek yogurt, sweetened with a touch of stevia.
Endlessly Interesting Salads
Everyone knows that starting your meal with a salad is a great fill-you-up strategy. Keep them interesting and easy by starting with a bag of pre-washed greens, blend and add two to three different veggies. Try cucumber, red onion and tomato. Enjoy radishes, green onion and a few green peas. Add chopped red cabbage and yellow bell pepper to a spring mix. Make your own salad dressings or select low-fat salad dressings that contain no MSG, which often hides as natural flavors. MSG increase makes you hungrier and retain fluid.
Steamed and Stir-fried Veggies – Go International
If mineral-rich, high-fiber vegetables, steamed or stir-fried, are the mainstays at your table, you will smile with satisfaction after a meal, rather than comb the cabinets for sweets. Tap into meal satisfaction by filling half your plate with low-calorie steamed vegetables, such as steamed yellow crookneck squash, garlic and onions. Or, enjoy a touch of Italy with stir-fried green beans with garlic and a light sprinkle of shredded Parmesan.
Steamed broccoli is transformed with a spray of garlic oil. Stir-fry a medley of vegetables for endless combinations of colors and flavors. Consider cauliflower, broccoli, kale, sliced sweet onions, scallions or shallots, red, yellow and green bell peppers, green beans, wax beans, shredded carrots, tomato chunks, zucchini, summer squash or yellow crookneck squash, parsley or Chinese pea pods.
Include fresh herbs or spices as seasonings. Vegetables can be sautéed in a very small amount of oil, such as virgin olive oil or almond oil (also rich in monounsaturated fats). Lean, low-fat protein fills a fourth of your plate, or chop and add protein to your stir-fry. Choose from skinned chicken, turkey or tofu. For a heartier, meatier texture, freeze tofu, thaw in the refrigerator; slice; boil ten minutes and drain before adding to your stir-fry. Think of your stir-fry meals as a trip around the world.
Add a few pinches (or more) of spice blends and you will never tire of stir-fry as a great fill-you-up option. Take inspiration from the Mediterranean with cumin and coriander. Add paprika to cumin and coriander for a Turkish flavor. Hear the music of the Caribbean with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and thyme. Remember to limit those starches like breads, potatoes and rice and pile the veggies high!
For 10 more ‘eat as much as you want’ food options, check this out!