Do you need a simple diet that will help you lose weight and keep it off? You may have had success with Weight Watchers, Dr. Adkins, Jenny Craig and even a gluten-free diet but the weight has crept back on because it is too rigid and structured. As any one knows in health care, the hard part is not in losing weight; it is maintaining the weight loss. What if your strategy was not focused on losing weight by counting points. calories and reading all kinds of labels for carbs, fat, and fiber? What if the plan was to simply take away the chips, cookies or candy that might accompany your lunch, snack or dinner and replace it with something crunchy, colorful and low-calorie like vegetables. Not a temporary diet, but a whole new way of eating. Ok, so you laugh. But really, what if those veggies were really tasty and actually satisfied your taste buds? What if you actually found some recipes that were simple and delicious? Isn’t this the real barrier to adding the color to your plate aside from mustard and ketchup? I know not everyone is like Popeye, ready to pop a can of spinach down their esophagus, but this is a simple diet plan that never has to end and will help you to keep the weight off for good.
Veggies Are Hot
Yes, veggies are really sexy. Lather them in a bit of olive oil and a smattering of oregano, salt, garlic powder and they are roasting hot. Let them dance in your chili and your meal will have an extra eye-stimulating allure. Braise your fish or cook your eggs in them and you will be hopping all night – and I don’t mean to the bathroom. Veggies leave you full but not stuffed, they satisfy the mouth and the waist. They leave you feeling happy and not guilty. What other food does all that? If that is not sex appeal, then you must think that candy bar, those chips or cookies are completely guilt free – and notice these are plural, most overweight people are not eating just one serving of these.
Your Simple Diet Plan
Be aware that not all vegetables are created equally. There are some vegetables that are starchy and naturally high in carbohydrates which will raise your blood sugar. Adding too many of these with other carbs that might be on your plate can lead to a spike in blood sugar and insulin, making your weight loss plan stall. Starchy vegetables look starchy or taste sweet, and have less water. They include potatoes, corn, peas, winter squashes, pumpkin, parsnips and even beets and carrots if eaten in large amounts (greater than one cup). When I eat these I combine them with large amounts of non-starchy veggies. Here are some ways you can add more sex appeal to your simple weight loss plan. The highlighted words will connect you to some delicious recipes.
1. Four or five days a week try making a smoothie for breakfast. My recipe takes 5 minutes and it is naturally high in protein and fiber and low in carbs and calories.
2. Try roasting an assortment of veggies. I like to toss them in some olive oil and season them. I am mindful of the oil I use – one tablespoon of oil has 120 calories. You can use whatever veggies you like but I love roasting cauliflower and Brussels sprouts together. If you want some extra color you could add some beets and carrots. I cut the vegetables into similar size pieces and roast them on a cookie sheet at 400 for about 30 minutes. I make a bunch of these and have them for leftovers or you could even have them as a snack for that mid-afternoon hunger.
3. Try cooking your fish or eggs in a simmering pot of tomatoes with veggies. I serve this on a bed of brown rice or bulgar. As a step saver, when I make rice or bulgar I make several cups to have for several meals or freeze the extra for a later time. This is a one pan meal with easy clean up and little preparation
4. Add a couple of bags of frozen chopped veggies like broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower to your chili or any kind of soup. It’s a great way to stretch a meal and to get everything you need in one pot, one bowl.
5. Make a chicken/slaw wrap. I take leftover chicken breast and shred it. I take a large whole grain tortilla wrap and top it with a large amount of prepared slaw mix, you can even use broccoli slaw. Then I add the chicken, 1/2 can of black means, salsa and low fat grated cheddar cheese. The whole meal is in your hands, ummm. Now that is sexy.
6. Make a frittata. Frittatas are like crust-less quiches but much more flamboyant and sexy baking in a well-seasoned cast iron pan, coming out of the oven all in a huff and a puff! I like to slice a leftover piece and put it in a whole wheat tortilla on a bed of arugula.
6. Cut up enough celery, carrots, cucumbers and cauliflower for the whole week to have with some hummus. You could even package them into individual bags to have them ready to grab when you know you are going to be out of the house during a meal time.
Why not look at getting healthy as a permanent lifestyle change. Going on a “diet” implies rigid structure and a lot of time. By just cutting out the cookies, chips, candy and desserts on a regular basis, and adding more colorful, fun veggies in a variety of ways you will get your sexy back and keep it!