You eat in a variety of places – your home, work, restaurants, maybe even in your car. For some of these places, you have more control over what choices are available than others. Since high calorie foods are everywhere, its important to take the time to plan ahead to make sure you have healthy options available.
Meals At Home
Whether you are cooking just for yourself, one to two people, or a larger group, planning meals is a good place to start improving your food choices. Taking the time to plan a healthy evening meal can help you avoid a less healthful ‘drive-through’ dinner.
You might want to use the Nutrilinks. The app will show you your daily food group targets – what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. There will be an assigned Certified Nutritionist to advice you on your upcoming males to meet your weight goal and suggest ways to improve choices. Download Nutrilinks to help you track your meal too!
Here are some ideas that may help:
- Many casserole and near sauces use cream soup as a base. Use a low fat cream soup instead.
- Substitute a low fat cheese in casserole and vegetable sauces. When using sharply flavoured cheese, such as cheddar and parmesan, you can usually reduce the amount in the recipe to save calories without sacrificing flavours.
- Try a non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of cooking oil for sautéing instead of frying with solid fat.
- If you’re using ground beed or meat sauce for spaghetti, look for a lower-fat variety such as ground round or ground sirloin or try using skinless ground turkey breast. Once you’ve browned the meat, drain to remove excess fat.
- Instead of full-fat versions of mayonnaises, butter and salad dressings, try those that are lower in calories, total fat, saturated fat and trans fat.
- Check our the frozen aisles for quick, low calorie vegetables side dishes. You can find out green beans, sliced carrots and other chopped vegetables in the frozen food section. Avoid the ones with cream, butter or cheese sauces as these ingredients can add calories. You can steam these vegetables quickly in the microwave.
- In some soup and entrees, you may also be able to add dry beans to extend the recipe and improve the nutritional value. This is easy to do in vegetable-based soups and chills.
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 favourite foods by lowering the amount of fat and/or increasing the amount of finer-rich ingredients, such as vegetables or fruits. Eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean eating less food.
At first, you may find you only get a lower calorie meal plan for one or two nights a week. Don’t criticise yourself; you’re making steps in the right direction. Over time, you’ll figure out meal preparation short cuts and it will become easier to make healthier family meals a regular occurrence.
Meals On the Go
For the plans where you might grab a snack or have a meal on the go (such as the car or at your desk), make sure you have nutritious snacks available at home that you can take with you.
Here are some ideas that may help:
- ‘Grab-and-go’ fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, canned fruits without added sugars and raisins
- Washed and chopped fresh vegetables: celery, carrots, cucumbers
- Low-fat and fat-free milk products: yogurt without added sugar, milk and low-fat cheese
- Whole-grains crackers and breads
- Protein choices such as low-fat deli turkey or almonds and other nuts and seeds