Originally Published: June 13, 2009 8:33 p.m.
Have you tried to lose weight by cutting down the amount of food you eat? Do you still feel hungry and not satisfied after eating? Or have you avoided trying to lose weight because you're afraid of feeling hungry all the time? If so, you are not alone.
Many people throw in the towel on weight loss because they feel deprived and hungry when they eat less. But there is another way. Aim for a slow, steady weight loss by decreasing calorie intake while maintaining an adequate nutrient intake and increasing physical activity. The key is to eat nutritious foods that will fill you up without eating a large amount of calories.
Research shows that people get full by the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. You can cut calories in your favorite foods by lowering the amount of fat and/or increasing the amount of fiber-rich ingredients.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses macaroni and cheese as an example. The original recipe uses whole milk, butter and full-fat cheese. This recipe has about 540 calories in one serving (1 cup). Here's how to remake this recipe with
fewer calories and less fat:
Use 2 cups non-fat milk instead of 2 cups whole milk.
Use 8 ounces light cream cheese instead of 2 1/4 cups full-fat cheddar cheese.
Use 1 tablespoon butter instead of 2 or use 2 tablespoons of soft trans-fat free margarine.
Add about 2 cups of fresh spinach and 1 cup diced tomatoes (or any other veggie you like).
Your redesigned mac and cheese now has 315 calories in one serving (1 cup). You can eat the same amount of mac and cheese with 225 fewer calories.
To be able to cut calories without eating less and feeling hungry, you need to replace some higher calorie foods with foods that are lower in calories and fat and will fill you up. In general, this means foods with lots of water and/or fiber in them, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
Remember, too, that even though most fruits and veggies start out low-calorie, the way you prepare them can change that. Breading and frying and using high-fat creams or butter add extra calories. Try steaming vegetables and using spices and low-fat sauces for flavor. And enjoy the natural sweetness of raw fruit.