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Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to Socialize and Lose Weight


You might feel that you can control most aspects of your weight loss plan, until you wind up in a social situation. Parties, work events or simple family get togethers can turn in to diet nightmares - but only for those who are unprepared. Feel free to go out and show-off your recent weight loss with confidence, armed with a smart eating plan.

Whether it’s a BBQ, wedding, or other event, you’re bound to attend a celebration during weight loss. If this causes stress or anxiety for you, the feeling is natural. Instead, try a solution that allows you to be social without blowing your diet, like these four realistic tips:

1. Eat prior to the event. You don’t want to get really hungry early on at the party. So have a healthy meal two hours before, like salad greens with 3 oz. of salmon and a tablespoon of dressing. Or, a 200-calorie snack an hour before, like one cup of watermelon and one cup of fresh vegetables with a glass of water.

2. Wait to eat until hunger strikes. If there's no scheduled eating time at the party, delay eating until you actually feel hungry. Skip the appetizers and cocktails. Make a pass at the food table to see what looks good and plan the foods that will nourish and satisfy you.

3. Take only one serving. When it’s time to eat, make only one plate and one trip the buffet and choose foods that come close to those on your eating plan. Be sure to grab fresh vegetables or salad greens to off-set other high calorie foods.

4. Choose either desserts or drinks. As you know by now, desserts and alcohol are sources of empty calories. If you skip appetizers and fill only one plate, you'll have a calorie budget to enjoy one or two drinks or a dessert, but not both.

Comfort Foods for Dieters

For anyone who has started a diet, been on a diet, or just trying to eat healthier, there’s nothing harder than saying goodbye to your favorite comfort foods. They’re like good friends- always there when you need them. Unfortunately, unlike a good friend, these unhealthy food friends are sabotaging your weight.

If you cringe at the thought of giving up pizza, burgers and ice cream, then you'll enjoy these simple diet-friendly replacements and the fact that you can still savor your favorite comfort foods.

Pizza

Just two slices at a restaurant can have nearly a full day’s worth of calories. Instead, make your own at home using a whole grain crust or pita, fresh vegetables, grilled chicken and low-fat mozzarella cheese.

Ice Cream

A pint of some popular brands has more than 1,000 calories. Look for lighter options that pack just as much irresistible flavor. Or, opt for frozen yogurt and mix-in fresh berries.

Chips

Yes, you can still satisfy the crunchy-salty munchies without the calories and fat of potato chips. Soy or rice crisps, baked corn tortilla chips, air-popped popcorn, or whole grain pita chips are all ideal choices.

Bread

Don't give-up toast and sandwiches, instead choose whole grain english muffins, wraps or ultra-thin sliced bread.

Mexican Food

The restaurant version of this favorite food genre can cost you an entire day's worth of calories. When you prepare it at home, you control the ingredients. Use grilled chicken or shrimp, grilled peppers and onions and wrap in a whole grain tortilla with fresh salsa for a super satisfying and guiltless fajita.

Burgers

There are a few ways to still enjoy this backyard favorite. First, don't order from a restaurant. Instead, Grill lean ground beef, lean ground turkey or even a portobello mushroom and top with your favorite veggies and spices.

French Fries

Along side a burger, nothing is better, or worse for you. Save calories and gain nutrients by roasting sweet potato fries, seasoned with black pepper and parmesan cheese.

Chicken Wings

This greasy finger food helps pass the time during a football game. And so will the alternative. Remove the skin from chicken wings, toss in olive oil and your favorite spices and bake.

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