I am a firm believer that making small changes to what you eat and how you prepare foods can help improve your health.
That’s because small diet changes are easier to incorporate into your life and can be easier for your family to adapt.
In my weight management counseling, I always start with where the patient is at in terms of food likes, dislikes, cooking styles, and personal goals.
Here are some common scenarios patients tell me about along with some nutritional nudges I often recommend:
1-I Love Fried Foods
For those who love the taste of fried foods but don’t love their excess calories and fat, you may want to consider using an air fryer.
Air Fryers are small countertop ovens designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil.
We recently started cooking with an air fryer and agree that foods come out quite crispy without being greasy.
We use an air fryer in our kitchen for making fish, seafood, chicken, tofu and all kinds of vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, eggplant and cauliflower.
Foods cook quite quickly using an air fryer as compared to other healthy cooking methods you may also want to try, such as roasting or searing.
2-I Struggle with Snacking
Snacks can be part of a healthy diet as long as you plan for them.
This means finding some healthy convenience-type foods that you enjoy and adding them to your weekly shopping list.
Not everything in a package is unhealthy.
You can look for single serving snacks that are grab-and-go like calorie-controlled nut packs, snack bars or popcorn.
Or make your own protein and produce snacks, such as hummus and cucumber slices, Greek yogurt and berries or peanut butter and apple slices.
3-My Portions are Too Big
Instead of eating less of everything which will leave you feeling hungry and not satisfied, I recommend resetting your plate.
Fill half your plate with higher fiber vegetables and fruits, ¼ of your plate with protein and ¼ of your plate with starches.
Vegetables and fruits have lots of water and fiber which helps to lower the calorie density of your meal.
This helps you feel full on fewer calories.
If you would like more ideas on how to feel full on fewer calories and build your own healthy eating meal plan in your quest to get healthier and better manage weight, check out my self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!
Robert Kushner, MD