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Old 04-24-2006, 05:44 PM
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Default Good dieting tips

Eating a healthy, reduced calorie doesn't mean you're shackled. You can still craft menus and make appetizing food choices. However, there's a delicate balance between virtue and vice. Here's your four-step guide to walking that line.

1. Downsize your favorites. From all the guilty pleasures you crave, choose the foods you like the very best, and take smaller portions. Use a smaller plate to reduce portion size.

2. Eat less food more often. Try spreading your meals throughout the day (instead of three regular, larger meals, eat six smaller ones). Eating more mini-meals combining protein (meat, poultry, dairy, and fish) with produce and fiber-rich complex carbohydrates (whole grains) will help satiate your hunger and boost your energy. Try eating a piece of fruit or vegetable every few hours. Eat more fiber-rich grains, such as oatmeal or whole wheat bread.

3. Create a balance. You can still eat french fries or cookies once in awhile if "once in awhile" means just that. Eat them, and feel guilt-free if you're also willing to eat a healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat animal products. You don't have to eliminate high-calorie or empty carb snacks entirely, if you're willing to balance those treats elsewhere in the day.

4. Make menu adjustments. Follow these all-day ideas for swapping smarter, palate-pleasing foods:

* Breakfast—Instead of stuffing your omelet with bacon and cheese, try using spinach, onions, or mushrooms along with half the cheese. Pour half the amount of cereal you'd normally eat, and fill the rest of the bowl with fruit.
* Lunch—Add tomatoes, dark green lettuce, cucumbers, or onions to your sandwich and choose lowfat cheese in place of regular cheese. Opt for whole grain breads instead of processed white bread.
* Dinner—Try vegetables instead of starchy pasta, rice, and potatoes. When making hash browns, go for squash instead of potatoes. For lasagna, choose zucchini slices instead of noodles. Make pizza using portabella mushrooms for pizza crust. If you like fried chicken, try breading and baking skinless chicken breasts instead.
* Snack time. Don't head for the candy machine. Keep granola bars, high-fiber cereal, and instant oatmeal around for breakfast stowed in your desk at work. Boxes of raisins, dried cranberries, trail mix, nuts, and fruit cups arebetter snack choices. Pre-sliced fruit and vegetables also make a great snack.

Research suggests that people who make simple food trade-offs have better diets and live healthier lives. Smart swaps will help you do it.
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