Archive for March, 2011

One of the tricks to losing weight while still enjoying your favorite foods is to get rid of the extra calories in your favorite foods while still keeping the “comfort food” aspect. If you give it some thought, you will most likely find many ways to do this with your favorite recipes and cultural comfort foods – or even your favorite fast foods.

1. One big calorie savings for me was to buy an air popper for pop corn. You can, if you want, sprinkle it with something flavorful spice like chili powder or another favorite spice, or even a product like Molly McButter if you miss that buttery flavor. This switch is good when you want something savory and crunchy.

2. At Papa John’s Pizza, you can save 50 calories a slice by ordering the Thin Crust Pizza with Pepperoni (260 calories a slice) instead of the Original Crust Pizza with Pepperoni (310 calories a slice). Every little bit helps!

3. Chili’s Restaurants make a wonderful onion dish called the Awesome Blossom and serve it with an great sauce. But, even if you share it with three friends, the calorie count is very high. You would be better off getting an order of onion rings at a fast food joint to get that “onion” craving out of your system.

4. At Wendy’s if you want to save calories and are getting tired of always having to chose Chicken, you will be happy to know that you will save 300 calories if you order a Junior Cheeseburger instead of a Chicken Club Sandwich. That will be a big help when you’re looking’ for the beef!

5. At Quizno’s Subs, their Baja Chicken small sub with cheese and dressing weighs in at 490 calories whereas their Chicken Carbonara small sub gives you a calorie boost to 570 calories! A saving of 80 calories!

6. Craving cheese but think you must always give it up? Not so at Applebee’s. You can save 805 calories by eating their Tortilla Chicken Melt (from their Appetizer menu) instead of their Fiesta Lime Chicken.

7. At Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, if you go for an Original Pretzel at 370 calories you will save 80 calories over the Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel.

8. Back to Wendy’s! An easy way to save 250 calories is to have their Garden Sensations Caesar Chicken Salad instead of the Southwest Taco Salad.

9. At the world-famous White Castle, you can save 131 calories by swapping Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (169 calories) for their French Fries (300 calories). And, if you substitute the Double Bacon Cheeseburger (360 calories) with the Double White Castle burger (290 calories) you will save another 70 calories.

10. I love Del Taco, and there are wise choices that can be made here, too. For example, if you chose to have a 1/2 Pound Green Burrito (430 calories) you will save 620 calories over the Macho Combination Burrito (1030 calories)! Also, their fantastic Chicken Taco Del Carbon (170 calories) is a better choice than their Steak Taco Del Carbon (220 calories).

Don’t be afraid to eat out at your favorite food establishments, just order intelligently.

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You can cut down an enormous amount of calories over time if you just make some intelligent switches between the choices you have when you eat out. Here are some good suggestions and you won’t even notice the difference:

1. At Chipotle’s leave off the sour cream from your burrito and substitute the green tomatilla and red tomatilla salsas and the guacamole to save 120 calories

2. You can save 710 calories at the Olive Garden if you chose linguine al maranara instead of spaghetti and meatballs

3. At Wienerschnitzel’s substitute a Biscuit with Sausage Bacon sandwich for their Breakfast Burritto and save 260 calories!

4. Love pizza? At Pizza Hut, you will save 360 calories if you substitute a piece of Fit n’ Delicious pizza (with ham, red onions mushrooms) for a slice the Stuffed Crust Meat Lover’s pizza

5. Also at Wienerschnitzel’s, swap out their All Beef Chili Cheese Dog for their Delux Dog and save 160 calories.

6. You can shave 250 calories off of your morning coffee at Starbucks by switching to a Grande Caffe Mocha (no whipped cream)instead of a Grande Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream for a to save 250 calories

7. At In-n-Out burgers, swap their Cheeseburger with Onion at 480 calories each with their Cheese Burger Protein Style at 330 calories. These really great meals substitute lettuce leaves for the buns and are not only healthier, but are great for diabetics and for saving calories

8. Half of a cup of chocolate soft-serve at Dairy Queen will save you 720 calories over a medium chocolate malt.

9. WOW! At Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Shop, you can save a whopping 360 calories by choosing a 20-ounce Mocha Dutch Latte (530 calories) instead of a 20-ounce Coffee Dutch Shake (890 calories!!)!

10. If you like to eat a hearty breakfast at Denny’s, order their Buttermilk Pancakes instead of their Fabulous French Toast and save 850 calories.

So, it’s just a matter of paying attention to what you are ordering and ordering “smart” choices and you will save hundreds of calories over time.

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The first rule when you decide you want to lose weight is to go have a talk with your doctor. Let him or her decide if you need to lose weight, how much, what plan you should follow, what supplements – if any – you should take, and when you should come back for follow-up visits to make sure everything is proceeding as planned.

It will also be helpful if you bring a list of any medications you are taking, as well as any over-the-counter supplements, herbal products, Ayurvedic products, spices for health purposes, and a brief summary of your medical history. It will be important for your doctor to know if you have had any surgery, or if you have heart problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc. Your doctor will probably know all – or most – of this, but it won’t hurt to put everything done on one piece of paper. Remember to date it and keep a copy for yourself.

It’s especially important to list ALL medications you are taking because sometimes they can contribute to weight gain. Especially if your weight gain is recent, and coincides with the commencement of some new medications.

One test your doctor may want to take is a thyroid test to make sure your thyroid is functioning properly. Have you also become more tired than normal? Note anything in your life that may have changed about the time the weight gain started.

Emotional factors can be a big factor in weight gain. Have elements of your lifestyle changed drastically? Have you moved to a new city, changed jobs, got married, got divorced, and had a child? All of these factors can contribute to a change in your health and weight.

Weight gain does usually come down to “calories in versus calories out”, but sometimes there are other medically related factors that can cause you to put on extra weight.

Another important list to take with you is a list of any questions you may have for your doctor. You may want to ask the following things:

* What is my ideal weight for my bone structure and height?
* Do I really need to lose weight, or shift my weight from fat to muscle mass?
* Could my health problems be causing my weight gain?
* What other problems might I have due to my increased weight?
* Explain the different weight loss medication options to me?
* What about weight loss surgery?

Another good item to take with you is a food journal. Keep a food journal for the two weeks before your appointment, writing down everything you eat, when you eat it, if you were really hungry or succumbing to a craving, was it an emotional hunger or real hunger, did you eat sitting down at a table or cramming the food in your mouth straight from the refrigerator? Don’t worry about what you write, just be brutally honest because it’s for your health that you need to address these issues.

What are your cultural comfort foods? Do you eat at fast food restaurants often? Do you always feel that you have to “clean your plate because there are children starving in Africa”? What kind of programming and triggers lead to your eating?

If you already have a certain diet in mind, such as the Atkins Program, or the Mediterranean Diet, bring the details with you so you doctor can check it out. It’s amazing how many different diet programs there are and it’s even more amazing how uninformed a lot of doctors are about what’s available.

Good luck! Keep your goal in mind, work with your doctor, and remember to include some exercise each day.

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