Monday, October 8, 2007

Enjoy Your Diet

I firmly believe that one of the most essential things we can do to succeed in weight loss is to enjoy your diet. By "diet," I do not mean a short-term wacky way of eating. I just mean, the food you eat, your daily diet. If you are not enjoying your food, you will not keep eating healthy stuff. You will long for the tasty fatty stuff, and go all bonkers binging on it and gain back all the weight you lost. So make sure you eat things you ENJOY!

I remember a little catch phrase from Rosemary Green, who wrote "Diary of a Fat Housewife." She said, "If it's not worth the calories, I won't take a second bite." She is so right! Haven't you ever seen something that looked SO delicious, so mouth-watering, but when you had that first taste it was really disappointing? It was blah, mediocre, not nearly as wonderful as it looked? Well, why waste a ton of calories on food you don't really like? In the past, I would eat it anyway. After all, it was a cupcake, or macaroni salad or whatever, so even if it was blah I "wanted" it. More accurately, I wanted to LIKE it, even if I didn't. So I would keep eating it, hoping that I would like it more on the fifth or tenth bite, or that it would magically start tasting better as I ate it. I wasted a lot of calories doing that. Now, I put it down, throw it away, go get something that tastes better for the calories.

So, part of enjoying your diet is NOT eating stuff that isn't good. "But what about vegetables?" you say. It applies there, too. If it is yucky to you, skip it. If you look hard enough, and keep trying, you will find vegetables that you really enjoy. I hate turnips. But I just love brussels sprouts. Maybe you think you hate a certain vegetable. Say, asparagus for example. You say, "I hate asparagus." Have you tried it raw? Have you ever taken raw tender spears and just blanched them in boiling water for 10 seconds and then chilled them and eaten them cold, with dip? YUM! Have you tried them lightly steamed with salt? Have you tried them with lowfat egg salad on top of them? Have you tried them oven roasted with garlic and olive oil, or stir fried? There are so many ways to try a vegetable. If you really do hate asparagus, though, go ahead and try something else. Find which veggies taste good to you. I hate raw broccoli, unless it is in broccoli salad, yum! Go to and look at all the different ways to prepare any given vegetable. Or just google it, and find ideas that way.

But it isn't all about veggies. It is about meals. Eat meals that are tasty! For example, last night I had fresh baked salmon with herbs, wild rice, steamed veggies, and a romaine salad. It was delicious! I love that meal and it takes very little time to make it. Some of my favorite breakfasts are pretty healthy, too. Why have bowls of sugary cereal when you can have any of these healthy ideas:

1. A slice of whole wheat toast with 1T peanut butter, and a whole sweet red grapefruit. YUM! This is a really great combo. Something about the grapefruit and the PB... try it!
2. A bowl of real oatmeal with cooked chopped apples, cinnamon, and a dash of brown sugar or real maple syrup, with skim milk. Great with peaches, also!
3. An egg and an egg white (or egg beaters) scrambled with grated zucchini, onion, and mushrooms.
4. A whole grain waffle with peanut butter and fresh fruit on it, and a glass of skim milk.
5. A smoothie made from fat free vanilla yogurt, a fresh ripe mango, orange juice and ice.

Don't those sound yummy? If not, think about what you would like! Skip the junk and eat something yummy. Tonight, I am making baked chicken (which I love and adore) with steamed veggies and salad, and a baked winter squash. Someone has asked me how I make my acorn squash. I cut it in half, take out the seeds, and bake it on a cookie sheet (cut side down) at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Then I turn the halves over, and I put a little butter and brown sugar in the centers and bake it until it is tender (maybe 30 more minutes). And I also like salad... but only a certain way. I like it with a ton of petite peas in it, a little grated 2% sharp cheddar, some bacon bits, and Maries Reduced Fat Blue Cheese Dressing. Yummy!!! I will be thoroughly enjoying my dinner. Enjoy yours, too! (And by the way, I am down another pound to 257!)


Teale said...

You are so dead on with this! This is exactly why I've been experimenting w/so many recipes, because I do NOT want to get bored & sick of the healthier food. Sometimes I make something, and it's a flop, so I throw it out... yes, it was a waste of money, but it would be a waste of calories to eat something I didn't enjoy!

Heather said...

those are some delicious suggestions! I think you hit the nail on the head though when you mentioned eating something and being disapointed, and still eating! I have done that so many times. its not worth it and usually I know that. I think it is important to enjoy every meal you eat and then it never seems like you are on a diet. last week I made a dinner that kind of sucked and I ate it...and all I wanted was something else. I should have thrown it out and eaten what would have tasted better.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the refresher on acorn squash!!
great entry...


Lauren said...

great post, I really enjoyed it and will search for new ways to cook my veggies as opposed to steamed. And I will search to see if any places around here have asparagus.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog and I really like your healthy approach to losing weight.

I have a bit to lose myself and I'm keen to be healthier by cutting all sugar and refined carbs, but it can be really hard! last night i was craving carbs SO MUCH (I never have before I started this diet) and I kept eating and eating but stayed hungry at the end. I just don't know what to think... but I'm not giving up :)

Twix said...

Exactly! Enjoy your diet! And hey if it isn't worth it, just push it away. As I was reading I got an image in my head. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr.Seuss and Sam and all his efforts, lol. Eat them, eat them, I say, you might like them, Yes you may! Hee!! Personally I like vegatables, all sorts. That acorn squash sounds real yummy! :)

Chubby Chick said...

What a great post! I totally agree. But yet part of me feels guilty when I am eating yummy food while on my "diet." Isn't that nuts??? Somehow part of me still has that mindset that "diet" food has to taste yucky in order for your body to lose weight. But I am slowly realizing that that is a bunch of bunk!

Congrats on having another pound off! You go, girl! :)

hanlie said...

I wholeheartedly agree! I used to binge eat and even now I sometimes get the urge, but I've found that the food doesn't taste as nice as I remember. Just goes to show that bingeing is not about the food!

My husband and I love the way we eat now... and we laugh about the fact that there are people who think that we are "depriving" ourselves from the good things in life!

Pursuing tasty food also goes for "off plan" eating. If you're going to have a "cheat" (and we will obviously sometime in the rest of our lives), go for the absolute best you can find. If it's chocolate, have some expensive Belgian chocolate, not a cheap rubbish you grabbed in the check-out queue at the supermarket. If it's cheesecake, find out which restaurant or coffee shop makes the absolute best cheesecake in the NEXT town (not your own)and go there once in a blue moon.

I've been craving really good pasta, but haven't found the "right" place yet. So last night, in desperation, I decided to make my own. It was just not nearly good enough, but we had a little bit and threw the rest out... As you say, wasted calories!

I can clearly see now that I used to treat my body like a garbage disposal. Fortunately I'm learning respect and that goes a long way in assuring success.

Rae said...

I really enjoyed your post it never dawned on me to try & enjoy any of this not thinking that if you enjoy something you are more prone to sticking with it I have thought about trying brussel sprouts I picked up some when I went shopping can't wait to try them

honib1 said...

oh my god I was so tickeled when I read your post.. you and I must be related or long lost twins or something .. I did the exact same thing.. I mean to the tee LOL that was so funny... your ideas for snack choices and meal choices are yummy .. think I will do the scrambled egg thing tonite or we might do turkey meat loaf with asparagus not sure.. anyhow.. great great post..

MB said...

You are so right. Most food I binge on is not worth it.

I read Diary of a Fat Housewife years ago. Maybe I should read it again.

Great post.

alexis said...

Just wanted to point you to one of my fav photo blogs (if u haven't heard of it alread that is!)

I love the simple breakfasts :) they all look so healthy, simple, and yummy!

Anonymous said...

I like reading your blog and this post is great. That's what I've been doing this time to lose weight, eat food that I enjoy. However, I still continue to eat if the food that looked absolutely wonderful does not taste the same. I have to work on learning to stop and throw away :)