Diet planning tips for weight loss
A good way to change to the DASH eating plan is to keep a diary of your current eating habits. Write down what you eat, how much, when, and why. Note whether you snack on high-fat foods while watching television or if you skip breakfast and eat a big lunch. Do this for several days. You’ll be able to see where you can start making changes.
The DASH eating plan was not designed to promote weight loss. But it is rich in low-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables. You can make it lower in calories by replacing high-calorie foods with more fruits and vegetables—and that also will make it easier for you to reach your DASH eating plan goals. Here are some examples:
To increase fruits:
• Eat a medium apple instead of four shortbread cookies. You’ll save 80 calories
. • Eat 1/4 cup of dried apricots instead of a 2-ounce bag of pork rinds. You’ll save 230 calories
To increase vegetables:
• Have a hamburger that’s 3 ounces instead of 6 ounces. Add a 1/2 cup serving of carrots and a 1/2 cup serving of spinach. You’ll save more than 200 calories.
• Instead of 5 ounces of chicken, have a stir fry with 2 ounces of chicken and 1 1/2 cups of raw vegetables. Use a small amount of vegetable oil. You’ll save 50 calories.
To increase lowfat or fat free dairy products:
• Have a 1/2 cup serving of lowfat frozen yogurt instead of a 1 1/2-ounce milk chocolate bar. You’ll save about 110 calories
Don’t forget these calorie-saving tips:
• Use lowfat or fat free condiments, such as fat free salad dressings.
• Eat smaller portions—cut back gradually.
• Choose lowfat or fat free dairy products to reduce total fat intake.
• Use food labels to compare fat content in packaged foods. Items marked lowfat or fat free are not always lower in calories than their regular versions. See box 11 on how to read and compare food labels.
• Limit foods with lots of added sugar, such as pies, flavored yogurts, candy bars, ice cream, sherbet, regular soft drinks, and fruit drinks.
• Eat fruits canned in their own juice.
• Snack on fruit, vegetable sticks, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn, or bread sticks.
• Drink water or club soda.