No matter where I go or who I meet, I’ve noticed one thing — people really do love to learn about food and want to know more about health.
But unraveling complex diets, understanding the intricacies of nutrition, and exploring the ever-changing world of food and medicine can be complicated.
Yet I’ve learned that making small changes in your diet and lifestyle can be incredibly manageable and easy, even for people with the busiest schedules. Some of the small changes that I made in my own diet — including the way I view food — have brought about drastic changes in my weight, health, and overall happiness in life.
SkinnyChef.com has always been my way of sharing personal health solutions for busy people. Coming from my own experiences growing up in a family who still struggles with obesity and overeating, I know that living healthy may seem like a difficult path.
The Ask Skinny Chef forum is a place to ask all those questions you’ve had about health and food, gain support, and increase readers’ excitement about healthy eating. Ever wonder about those food myths and if they are really true? Have a healthy cooking question? Now’s your chance to find out.
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- I eat healthy, why can’t I lose weight? What am I doing wrong?
- I thought I’m supposed to count calories?
- I love eating out, how do I stay healthy?
- I don’t know how to cook, how can I start eating healthy?
- Didn’t see the answer to your question? Ask the Skinny Chef!
I’m not a diet doctor or a nutritionist, but I get this question all the time. It’s a tough one to answer since everyone is unique. We all have different dispositions, body shapes and dietary needs.
But one most common mistakes people make is eating the the wrong portion size. Check out labels and find out how much a serving is – usually a package contains 2 or more servings and each serving is about 1 cup that’s roughly a small coffee mug-full. As you stroll the aisle of your local grocery store, provide yourself with some excellent reading material. Glance at the labels of the products and items you buy every week. After 10 minutes, you’ll know if you are eating more than a serving size according to the package. Find out more about the perfect portion.
Portion size becomes even more important when you eat out. For example, most restaurants and fast food places serve high calories dishes that are also 4 to 8-times the portion size you should be having. So if you normally have a cup and a half of plain cooked pasta with fresh veggies that restaurant pasta dish packs on 4 times the pasta plus loads more calories and fat with the sauce.
So that means that one meal might be half calories and 75% of the fat you should have in an entire day. Sot .
You should have an idea of how many calories you are taking in. The more you eat out the more difficult that becomes. Eating at home is the easiest way to control what you eat and how much.
It’s time consuming to count calories, that’s where portion control becomes key. You can think of your body as a suitcase and clothes as calories. Everyone has a different size suitcase but we all know that if you back too many clothes, you suitcase is bound to bust. Wanna to find out how many calories you should be eating a day to maintain or loose weight. Try out the USDA’s super easy calorie calculator.
Over 50% of all American eat out everyday, several meals a day. I love eating out too! Restaurants can be a fun way to catch up with friends and experience new foods and flavors. Since I view it as a treat, I limit my trips to local pubs, delis, and fine dining restaurants to twice a week. It’s hard to know exactly what is going into your meals. After working behind the scenes myself, I can tell you that most restaurant meals use 3 to 4 times the amount of fat, salt, and cheese than a home cook would use to prepare the same dish. The portion sizes tend to be 3 to 4 times the amount you should eat at one sitting. I know I always feel tempting to keep eating long after my stomach is full.
If you must eat out more than twice a week, try sharing your plate and order a plain salad on the side to add some veggie power to your meal and help to fill you up with much needed fiber. Skip items that are breaded or deep fried, items listed as crispy or au gratin are usually high in fat. Feel free to ask the waiter about the preparation. I almost always pass on desserts – or sneak a bite from my husband’s plate. If you have to have dessert opt for fresh berries or a cappuccino with skim milk and cocoa powder if you want a sweet, light ending to your meal.
Simple, healthy cooking is easy and fun – believe me, you can learn! If you don’t know how to cook fish or meat, start simple by preparing salads and healthy dips at home. If you can use a blender you can make a healthy dressing, dip, or casseroles or make smoothies for starters.
Everyone can boil water — so make some whole grain pasta and top it with low-cal, store bought tomato sauce and stir in steamed broccoli or spinach. If you must hit the take-out window, add a handful of raw veggies to every take-out meal and drink water instead of high calorie sodas and gourmet coffee drinks.
Take care with the portion and check-out the nutritional information on-line. Most popular take-out chains list the nutritional info for each item on their menu. If it’s your favorite mom and pop place, order one dish, split it or eat half, and half some veggies or a low-fat yogurt on the side.