Remember, always talk to a doctor and a registered dietitian before starting or making drastic changes to your diet. For more information, read Know the Experts.
When I started my diet, I was equally concerned about reducing hunger and reducing calories. At first, this was easily accomplished by reducing proportion sizes and increasing meal frequency. But before I could go from 2,600 calories per day to 1,200, I had to make some other adjustments.
Below are a few ways I was able to cut calories without increasing hunger. I call this process “Transferring the Calories.”
First, I replaced cheese with more vegetables. This was a huge psychological challenge at first, because when I was on Atkins, cheese was my friend, cheese was my buddy. I never left the house without cheese. Cheese knew how to make me feel good.
And it made me fat.
Cheese is calorically dense. A small serving adds up to a lot of calories. However, It’s good for those looking at macronutrients because cheese has protein, carbs and fat. Dr. Atkins referred to cream cheese as a near perfect food and spoke of cream cheese fasts where all you would eat was cream cheese. But cheese is deficient in micronutrients and does not give you the return on investment you might be looking for.
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Second, I replaced whole wheat bread with low-calorie, sugar-free, whole wheat bread. At half the calories and the same flavor, it was a win-win for me.
Third, I replaced other meats with tuna and low-fat chicken. Not only was I able to cut back on calories from fat, I gleaned the Omega-3 from the tuna.
Fourth, I replaced milk with almonds. I still eat 5-grain Cheerios almost every day, but I eat it dry with almonds instead of milk. The crunch and chewiness of the meal helps satisfy my hunger better than drinking calories from milk.
Fifth, I replaced ice cream with a banana. The sweetness at the end of the day was an addiction. But the banana has much-needed potassium plus it adds sweetness to yogurt, or a peanut butter sandwich, or a smoothie. Bananas are always good just by themselves. It is a challenge to get enough potassium in any diet, but the banana offers a special sweetness reward after a successful day of healthy eating. And the banana has remarkably few calories for the sweetening power.
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