Many people who want to lose weight get caught in the trap of thinking they must ban all fat and sugar from their diet. This very common mistake is in fact one of the most frequent reasons why people fail to lose weight. The reason: A No-Fat-No-Sugar-Diet deprives us of too many foods and dishes we love. This opens the way for craving and at the end of the day cheating and eventually dropping your diet.
So, be clever and don’t fall into this trap! You need to understand one thing: If you want to lose weight, it doesn’t mean you have to ban all fats and sugars. If you simply reduce them and are more physically active, you will burn more calories than you eat and thus you will lose weight. It’s as simple as that.
Some little changes in the ingredient list of a recipe can make it much healthier and make your favorite dishes a valuable part of your weight loss diet. Here is what you need to do to reduce your calories:
- replace dairy products with lower-fat foods
- replace unhealthy fats with healthy ones
- replace table sugar with healthier sugars
Trick #1: Replace dairy products with lower-fat foods
- use sour cream instead of crème fraîche (at least 16% less fat)
- replace cream (30% fat) with buttermilk (1% fat) or coconut milk (14-16% fat, cholesterol free)
- buy low-fat or fat-free milk (2 resp. 3,2% less fat than full cream milk) or cheese
- use ricotta (4-10% fat) instead of mascarpone (47-75% fat)
- replace cream cheese with cottage cheese (5-9% fat) or low-fat cottage cheese (2% fat), also suitable for use in desserts and cakes.
Trick #2: Replace unhealthy fats with healthy ones
- use vegetable fats instead of animal fats (e.g. margarine instead of butter)
- olive oil is great for use in salad or frying many vegetables in pan or oven
- canola or rapeseed oil have a less outstanding taste and are suited better for baking and sweet dishes
- prefer products made from vegetable fats, especially canola and olive
Trick #3: Replace table sugar with healthier sugars
- natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and fructose contain less sugar or healthier sugar than table sugar
- artificial sweeteners (e.g. Sunett, NutraSweet, Splenda) contain very little to no sugar at all
- naturally sweet foods (e.g. most fruits) provide not only sweetness but also important nutrients
The amount of weight you want to lose will determine how big your adjustments need to be. If you just want to lose a few kilos after the festive season, you might be fine with a moderate fat and sugar reduction like low-fat products and natural sweeteners, whereas losing 30 kilo may require more drastic measures in the sense of artificial sweeteners and fat-free foods.
It is always good to ask your GP or other health professional for advice if you are uncertain about what dietary adjustments to make. But if you adapt your recipes applying the three simple tricks explained above and increase your physical activity, you will be able to lose weight, enjoy yourself whilst doing so, and even keep it off successfully.