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The Roadmap To Weight Loss
It is time; you have made the decision. Yes that decision to lose weight once and for all. This time, you want to lose weight for real, not gain it back a few months from now, but keep it off permanently. Can it be done? After all, isn't the fact that over 50% of America is overweight kind of disenchanting when thinking of your success? We like to believe and do believe strongly that with the proper knowledge, planning and strategic eating, achieving your goals should be no harder than tying your jogging sneakers.

In the Beginning

No, we are not going to preach to you about the Heavens and the Earth, but rather discuss the importance of understanding how much and what types of food you choose (keyword). Many people believe the word "diet" to be synomonous with deprivation. In other words, we believe that diet is a four letter word that contains a negative connotation. A positive thinker like you welcomes the challenge of retooling your body with good nutrition in order to achieve the success that you have always dreamed possible. This success is as easy as understanding food labels and what carbohydrates, proteins and fats are. Please keep in mind that one key to a healthier you, is planning. Plan for your success and it will happen.

The Food Label
Every food that is sold in the United States must have a nutritional profile. All foods except for some must have the nutritional makeup on the packaging of which the food is sold. Take for example, a bag of popcorn. One can easily see on the back of the bag how many calories are in a serving along with how much carbohydrate, protein, fat and smattering of other micronutrients.

  The Food Label Can Be Used For:
  • nutrition information about almost every food in the grocery store
  • distinctive, easy-to-read formats that enable consumers to more quickly find the information they need to make healthful food choices
  • information on the amount per serving of saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients of major health concern
  • nutrient reference values, expressed as % Daily Values, that help you to see how a food fits into an overall daily diet
  • uniform definitions for terms that describe a food's nutrient content--such as "light," "low-fat," and "high-fiber"--to ensure that such terms mean the same for any product on which they appear
  • claims about the relationship between a nutrient or food and a disease or health-related condition, such as calcium and osteoporosis, and fat and cancer. These are helpful for people who are concerned about eating foods that may help keep them healthier longer.
  • standardized serving sizes that make nutritional comparisons of similar products easier
  • declaration of total percentage of juice in juice drinks. This enables consumers to know exactly how much juice is in a product.
Nutrient Content Claims
The regulations also spell out what terms may be used to describe the level of a nutrient in a food and how they can be used. These are the core terms:
  • Free. This term means that a product contains no amount of, or only trivial or "physiologically inconsequential" amounts of, one or more of these components: fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, and calories. For example, "calorie-free" means fewer than 5 calories per serving, and "sugar-free" and "fat-free" both mean less than 0.5 g per serving. Synonyms for "free" include "without," "no" and "zero." A synonym for fat-free milk is "skim".
  • Low. This term can be used on foods that can be eaten frequently without exceeding dietary guidelines for one or more of these components: fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories. Thus, descriptors are defined as follows:
    • low-fat: 3 g or less per serving
    • low-saturated fat: 1 g or less per serving
    • low-sodium: 140 mg or less per serving
    • very low sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
    • low-cholesterol: 20 mg or less and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving
    • low-calorie: 40 calories or less per serving.

  • Lean and extra lean. These terms can be used to describe the fat content of meat, poultry, seafood, and game meats.
    • lean: less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g or less saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving and per 100 g.
    • extra lean: less than 5 g fat, less than 2 g saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving and per 100 g.

  • Reduced. This term means that a nutritionally altered product contains at least 25 percent less of a nutrient or of calories than the regular, or reference, product. However, a reduced claim can't be made on a product if its reference food already meets the requirement for a "low" claim.
  • Less. This term means that a food, whether altered or not, contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or of calories than the reference food. For example, pretzels that have 25 percent less fat than potato chips could carry a "less" claim. "Fewer" is an acceptable synonym.
  • Light. This descriptor can mean two things:
    • First, that a nutritionally altered product contains one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the reference food. If the food derives 50 percent or more of its calories from fat, the reduction must be 50 percent of the fat.
    • Second, which the sodium content of a low-calorie, low-fat food has been reduced by 50 percent. In addition, "light in sodium" may be used on food in which the sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent.
The shortened version of analyzing the food label is to look at the following:
  • Calories from fat: aim for this number to be about 1/3 of the total calories.
  • Protein: Always choose a food that has some protein. Protein is essential for life and can be one key to a new you.
  • Sugar: sugars are a subsection of carbohydrate. The goal here is to avoid foods that have more than 7 grams of free sugar per serving.
  • Fiber: fiber is also a subsection of carbohydrate. Fiber helps slow digestion and allows you to feel fuller, longer while also aiding in regularity. We also want some fiber in each meal, thus look for foods that have some fiber, rather than none per serving.
Okay, enough with the detailed Food Label descriptive information. It is very important though if you are one to want to log (as in keep a food diary and to calorie count) to know when viewing foods that you eat.

Keeping a Food Diary
Many people keep a food diary in order to track the foods that they eat. Food diaries are great in that they allow you to record the time that you eat a meal, snack or drink a calorie-laden beverage, what your mood was at the time that you ate and to note what time of the day that you are eating. At the end of the day, you can review how many hours between meals, the content of the diet, your mood and what foods you ate (to see if you have certain moods when feeling certain ways, i.e., depressed and eating chocolates). A great website that has a free program where you can log in what foods you are eating and in return get the calorie and macronutrient analysis is Buying most nutrition software can cost $500 or more, so take advantage of the internet in your new lifestyle of healthy eating!

An example of a food diary:

Meal Time of the Day Calories
2 scrambled eggs with 1 oz. cheese 7 am 235 calories
2 cups of coffee w/ milk and sugar substitute 10 (splash milk)
1/2 orange 30
10 oz. water
Breakfast ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Snack ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Lunch ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Snack ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Dinner ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Snack ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
It is important that you write down everything that you eat and drink. Keeping a food diary often helps identify triggers that you may have. Please note the time of day and whether you are truly hungry when you eat. Besides being able to calculate how many calories and from which macronutrients those calories come from, the food diary also helps us identify associations that you may not be aware of. Associations from a food perspective can be a social gathering and overeating, having a bad day and eating, etc.

How to choose foods when dining out:


1. Try to have breakfast within one hour after waking.

2. Try to eat something every 3-4 hours (approximately 5-6 times a day). This helps you to feel less hungry at meals, preventing cravings and over-eating the wrong foods!

3. Stick to recommended portions sizes. As a general rule, keep proteins the size of your palm, starches the size of your fist and make vegetables the bulk of your meal. If you cut your typical portions in half, you will be on the right track.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less starchy foods -- the fruits and vegetables are low in calories, so you can eat more! Starchy foods are high in calories, so keep your portions small.

5. Hey, watch out for fried foods! They are very high in calories and fat. Even small portions rack up the calories quick!

6. Stay away from beverages with calories -- drink 8-10 glasses of water a day! Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go so you don't forget.

7. If you make a mistake at one meal, don't worry about it. Just get on track at the next meal or the next day. Remember, one day doesn't make or break it, it's the big picture that counts!

Breakfast Within 1 hour of waking 7am
Snack, small Within 3-4 hours of breakfast 10 - 11am
Lunch Within 2 hours of snack or 3-4 hours of breakfast 12 - 1pm
Afternoon snack Within 3-4 hours of lunch 3 - 4pm
Dinner Within 3-4 hours of afternoon snack 6 - 7pm
Evening snack Approximately 1-2 hours before bed 9pm

Rules of thumb:
1. Eat ahead of time. If you are eating every 3-4 hours, you should not be setting yourself up to be ravenous at meals. If you are hungry as you are walking out the door to have dinner, have a snack! It typically takes at least an hour before you actually get your food when dining out.

2. Skip the bread. This ties into #1. If you arrive to the restaurant hungry, you will dig into the bread! If you can, request no bread. If you must have bread, have ONE piece and skip the carbohydrates in your meal.

3. Ask for substitutions. Don't be afraid to ask the waiter for vegetables or salad instead of French fries, potato or other carbohydrates. When having a potato, order the baked potato, cut it in half and eat the skin. Order condiments on the side and add portion-controlled amounts.

4. Portion control!! If you don't do anything else, at least monitor your portions. If you figure on cutting everything in half, you are close to the appropriate portions you need. You can also ask the waiter for ounces of meat in the dishes. Don't worry about the hungry children in Africa. They can't eat the food anyway! Also, don't be embarrassed to take a doggie bag. You can eat it for lunch the next day -- and you don't have to feel bad about the poor, starving children!

5. Be smart about dessert. Order one dessert and share with everyone at the table. If no one else wants dessert and you are really craving something sweet, order fresh fruit with some whipped topping. Also, cappuccino with skim milk tends to curb that sweet tooth.

6. Be kind to yourself. No one is perfect (you are human, remember?). Allow yourself to enjoy foods you like on special occasions. Remember, one meal or even one day won't make a difference -- it's what you do the subsequent days that matter. If you want to splurge, make the conscious decision to do so, eat it SLOWLY, enjoy it and then get back on track the next day!
Making your food choices work when dining out:
  • Appetizers Salads, vegetables, shrimp, seafood dishes (i.e., ceviche), oysters, steamed clams or mussels, edamame. Soups Vegetable, Miso, Hot and Sour, Onion, French onion, broth based soups, Lentil, minestrone, pasta fagioli, black bean, split pea - soups with beans.
  • Salads Tossed green, mixed green, spinach salad, Cobb salad (eat half the cheese), cottage cheese fruit salad.
  • Salad Dressings Olive oil & vinegar based dressings (vinaigrette), sugar-free dressings, reduced fat dressings, fat-free dressings, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar. Vegetables All are perfectly acceptable! Avoid fried vegetables. Red meat Sirloin, flank, tenderloin, round, 96% fat free or higher (96/4 ground lean meat), filet mignon. Keep serving sizes to the size of your palm!
  • Poultry and Pork Chicken or turkey breast (preferable without the skin - broiled, baked, roasted: just not fried!). Pork tenderloin or chops (prepared the same as poultry).
  • Fish All types of fish are acceptable. Specify that the fish be broiled, pan-seared, blackened, etc., not fried and not breaded - stay away from scampi-style).
  • Beverages Water, seltzer, diet soda, sugar-free iced tea, sugar-free lemonade, drinks sweetened with either Sweet and Low, Equal or Splenda, coffee or tea in moderation, reduced fat milk, occasionally, juice.
  • Grains Whole wheat bread, rye bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, spelt, couscous, pastini. If these options are not available, eat 1/3 portion of the rice or pasta served.
  • Starchy vegetables Corn, yams, sweet potato, potato (eat 1/2 of the potatoes, order condiments on the side and eat the skin).
  • Desserts Fruit plates, sugar-free ice cream or yogurt, sorbet OR have 1-2 bites of a dessert - share!
  • Eating out in an Ethnic Restaurant: Chinese, Thai, Japanese Order items that have vegetables, ie: beef and broccoli, chicken with mixed vegetables, etc. You can always make your own by ordering a vegetable side dish and adding protein of your choice. Be sure to limit the rice (remember your portions). Order brown rice if it's available. Stay away from anything fried, crunchy, crispy, breaded, etc. Have soup and/or salad before the meal to help you from over eating the meal. Don't be afraid to take leftovers for lunch the next day!
  • Sushi Order the soup and/or salad to start Optional -- share edamame or order one for yourself and skip the roll. Order the sashimi appetizer and/or a roll without rice Order ONE regular roll (with rice) This will give you one soup and/or one salad, sashimi and roll without rice OR sashimi and ONE regular roll OR roll without rice and roll with rice.
  • Italian Try to go to a restaurant where entrees with chicken, seafood and beef are served. Start with a side salad (dressing on the side) or soup with broth or vegetables. Order an entree with lean protein and vegetables (don't forget to ask for substitutions, if necessary). Stay away from anything with creamy sauces or ask for marinara. If you want wine, skip the pasta. If you want pasta, skip the wine and order a side of pasta with marinara.
  • Mexican If you don't arrive hungry, you won't be too tempted by the chips and salsa. If you must have them, count out 15 chips and don't eat any more! Ask for corn rather than flour tortillas. Skip items that are fried, such as enchiladas, flautas, etc. Also avoid items that are drenched in cheese and sour cream. Ask if you can get the dish without these things. Remember the half rule -- cut everything in half to get a "normal" portion. You can have guacamole, which is a source of healthy fat. Limit it to 2 Tbsp. If you MUST have a margarita or sangria, have only ONE small and skip any rice (one of these drinks can be ~350-600 calories!).
  • Pizza Yes, you can have pizza. However, you should have no more than 2 slices! Stay away from the meats, except for Canadian bacon. Get as many veggies as you like. Also, avoid extra cheese! Start the meal with a salad and/or soup and two slices will be just enough to satisfy! You see, it is wholly possible to dine out, make tasty and healthy food choices while losing weight. Meal timing and portion control along with planning your meals ahead of time are the keys to success!
Learning how to food shop
Let's face it, most people eat 50% or more of their meals outside of the home. However, this is not a license to food-shop haphazardly. For this reason, we have prepared for you a Food Shopping Guide. Use this guide to better understand what types of foods to buy in the supermarket and the kinds of foods that you should be eating daily.

Shopping List
Meats and Protein Sources:
Lean red meat (90/10 cut, sirloin, flank, tenderloin) Fish (all varieties) Shellfish (all varieties) Only One ground turkey Non-fat or 1% cottage cheese (with or without fruit pieces) Non-fat or 1% cheese slices (i.e., Kraft 1% singles) Fat-free, no sugar added yogurt (i.e., Dannon light, Publix light) Cold cuts (roast beef, sliced turkey, sliced ham) Pre-prepared Tyson or Perdue chicken strips Morningstar Farms, meat-free Buffalo Wings Tofu, extra firm, firm, soft or silken Kidney beans Lima beans Barbeque beans Chili beans Any kind of bean, without added fat, is acceptable Eggs Skinless chicken/turkey breast Pork tenderloin Skim or skim plus milk Canned Sardines Tuna in water Seitan Veggie burgers Black beans Garbanzo beans Fava beans Pinto beans Lentils
Alfalfa sprouts Avocado Bok Choy Broccoli Cabbage Green beans Celery Mushrooms Onions Peas Spinach Snow peas Parsley Tomato Radicchio Green leaf lettuce Carrots Turnips Beets Turnip greens Potatoes, white and sweet, with skin Asparagus Bean sprouts Brussel sprouts Eggplant Corn Cauliflower Endive Peppers Garlic Romaine Lettuce Radishes Squash Scallions Zucchini Bibb lettuce Red leaf lettuce Baby greens Fennel Broccoli Rabe Collard greens Cucumber, with skin for fiber
*Any vegetable is acceptable; **Remember to eat the skin, when possible
Pears Apples Oranges Cherries Cantaloupe Nectarines Kiwi Grapefruit Strawberries Raspberries Blackberries Pineapple Limes Bananas Tangerines Honeydew Plums Papaya Grapes Blueberries Peaches Mango Lemons Kumquats
*Any fruit except dried fruit is acceptable
Cereals, Breads and Grains
Branola bread Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Whole wheat pita Corn tortillas Whole wheat matzo Raisin Bran Go Lean or Go Lean Crunch cereal Complete bran cereal Quaker Oat Bran All Bran cereal Couscous (wheat preferred) Quinoa Brown rice Rye bread Whole grain bread (> 3g fiber/slice) Whole wheat tortillas Triscuit, reduced fat crackers Fiber One cereal Oatmeal, plain Shredded wheat Grape Nuts Kashi Good Friends Cereals with > 5g fiber/serving Whole wheat/high fiber pasta Tabouli
Lentil Pasta Fagioli Split pea Progresso Turkey Noodle Bean with ham Black Bean Minestrone Chili (vegetarian or lean meat) Miso French onion
Fats, Oils, Nuts and Seeds:
Olive oil Canola oil Flaxseed oil Sesame oil Peanut oil Heart Smart Margarine (no trans-fatty acids) Benecol Margarine Tub Margarine Light or fat-free cream cheese Roasted (not in oil) or raw nuts Sunflower Seeds Almonds Brazil nuts Peanuts Walnuts Pecans Light or fat free sour cream
Acceptable Water Seltzer, unsweetened Pure fruit juice (limited quantities, per dietitian) Sugar-free beverages (i.e., diet soda, Crystal Light) Coffee (regular and decaffeinated, in limited amounts) Tea (regular and decaffeinated, in limited amounts) Herbal teas (most are decaffeinated) Red and white wine (in limited quantities, a 6oz glass contains ~110 calories) Light beer (in limited quantities, 12oz regular beer contains 150 calories) Hard alcohol (in limited quantities, 1oz contains ~150 calories) Unacceptable Regular sodas "Fruit drinks" (i.e., Snapple) Sweetened drinks Excessive alcohol
Convenience Foods (Guidelines - Less than 800mg sodium, 30% or less of fat)
Healthy Choice --Chicken Teriyaki Bowl --Grilled Chicken Breast & Pasta --Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo --Mesquite Beef with Barbecue Sauce --Country Glazed Chicken --Mandarin Chicken --Cheesy Rice and Chicken Smart Ones --Chicken Mirabella (very low calorie -- need to add soup or salad to complete a meal) --Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata --Ravioli Florentine Lean Cuisine --Herb Roasted Chicken --Chicken & Vegetables --Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce --Glazed Chicken - Hearty Portions Meal --Shrimp & Angel Hair Pasta --Chicken Chow Mein --Cheese Lasagna with Chicken Breast Scallopini

Reminder Guidelines for shopping:
1. Don't go hungry! Have a snack before shopping to avoid buying junk!

2. Always go with a list. This will help prevent buying foods you don't need.

3. Stay in the periphery of the store. This is where all WHOLE foods are located. The middle of the store is where all processed foods are located. The only aisles you will visit regularly are the cereal/cracker aisle, breads, canned vegetables, fruits and soups, dairy, frozen foods and toiletry/paper goods. Avoid the temptation on the other aisles! Of course, stay away from the bakery!

4. Take time to discover new items. Get out of the food rut and try something new! Most people have difficulty sticking to a new meal plan because they get tired of eating the same foods. If you need new ideas, ask your dietitian! In the meantime, take some time to browse and be adventurous!

5. Take advantage of convenience items. They may not be as fresh and free of preservatives as whole foods, but they can come in handy when time is an issue in putting a meal together. Take advantage of pre-cut, pre-washed veggies and fruits. Cooked, cut and seasoned meats, such as Tyson or Perdue chicken strips also help in a pinch. Please note that the use of a name branded product is NOT an endorsement of that product. Merely, we are calling your attention to types of product that fit a certain description or category.
Putting it all together
Below is a seven-day (with 21 possible combinations) example of a healthy weight loss meal plan. Please note that the below menu plan may be considered moderate to high in carbohydrates. We want you to use the plan in such a fashion that you choose one item (line) from each breakfast, lunch and dinner along with one snack per day (two on the days that you exercise) in order to make your diet. Feel free to substitute SIMILAR foods for those that you may not enjoy on the sample menu plan.

Breakfast Choices:
1) One cup Total cereal (or any cereal-variety, your choice), 1/2 sliced banana, 1% milk, one piece of fruit.

2) Toasted bagel with 1 tablespoon reduced fat cream cheese, one piece of fruit and 8 ounces of low fat milk (can be chocolate), 12 ounces water.

3) 1 serving of the Cottage cheese with fruit (made as on, available in the supermarket), 12 ounces water.

4) 2 scrambled eggs with 1/2 cup mushrooms and 1 ounce (1 slice) 1% cheese, 2 slices of 40-calorie wheat toast, 12 ounces water.

5) 2 toasted Go-Lean waffles, 6 ounces juice, 12 ounces water, 2 slices 1% cheese.

6) One reduced fat yogurt (i.e., Dannon blended), 1 piece of fruit (i.e., apple or banana), 1 slice of whole wheat toast, 12 ounces water. If having Danimals drinkable yogurt, skip the juice.

7) One Publix or bakery low fat muffin, one 8 to 12 ounce low fat chocolate milk
Lunch Choices:
1) Two slices of whole wheat bread (40 calorie variety), 3 slices of roast beef (buy the Healthy Choice type), 1 slice of Alpine Lace Swiss cheese (or any reduced fat cheese), 2 teaspoon Dijonnaise 1/2 1 tsp. each slice of bread. Put slice tomato and lettuce on the sandwich. One piece of fruit (i.e., apple) and 12 ounces water.

2) One cup of cooked whole wheat pasta (the one cup measurement is after cooking), 1/2 cup pasta sauce, 3 ounces grilled ground turkey (mix into the sauce when cooking and mix all into the pasta for the meal). Also mix vegetables (1/2 cup) into the pasta sauce, i.e., diced mushrooms or broccoli), One tablespoon parmesan cheese, 12 ounces water.

3) One grilled chicken breast (cooked and spiced to your taste, preferred without the skin), one piece of fruit (i.e., orange, apple, pear), 1/2 cup cooked wild rice (or brown), 12 ounces water or diet, caffeine-free soda.

4) 1 cup of cooked shrimp (boiled), 1/2 cup cocktail sauce, 1 cup sliced pineapple, 1/2 cup pistachios, 12 ounces water or caffeine-free diet soda.

5) One whole wheat bagel, 2 teaspoons of mustard (1 tsp per 1/2 of bagel), 2 slices Swiss cheese (can be Jarlsberg), 3 slices turkey (can be smoked or honey), sliced tomato to taste, 1 bag (small) of Baked Lay's potato chips, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.

6) One slice of pizza, one small side salad, one piece of fruit, 12 ounces of water or diet caffeine-free soda.

7) Four ounces cooked ham, sliced and spiced to taste, 1/2 cup mashed potato (cooked with low fat milk NOT whole milk), one teaspoon of butter (or olive oil) for the potatoes, 1 cup mixed Japanese vegetables (sold in the frozen section of the supermarket), 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
Dinner Choices:
1) One cup miso soup, one salmon crunch roll, one fruit cup, green tea, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.

2) Six ounces grilled steak, one cup sweet potato (can be a medium potato or mashed/whipped), three spears of asparagus (steamed), one teaspoon of butter for the asparagus (or olive oil), 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (dessert) 12 ounces water, diet caffeine-free soda.

3) One sliced tomato with 3 ounces buffalo mozzarella cheese and one teaspoon olive oil (spiced to taste), six ounces grilled fish (your preference), 1/2 cantaloupe or honeydew, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.

4) One small Caesar salad (one cup), one tablespoon salad dressing, one chicken breast (grilled BBQ style), one cup of baby carrots with one tablespoon of Light Ranch dressing (or one tablespoon of hummus (for dipping), 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.

5) One whole grain bun, one 1/2 pound lean hamburger (try 90/10 cut or higher), one boiled or grilled corn on the cob, one teaspoon of butter (for the corn on the cob), 1/2 cup steamed broccoli or Italian style vegetables (found in the frozen section of the supermarket), 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.

6) One cup of mixed fruit (can be diced variety or from a can - in it's own juice), four ounces turkey (cooked and spiced to your taste preference), 1/2 cup string beans, 1/2 cup couscous or brown rice, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.

7) One cup salad greens with 1/2 cup nuts and 1/2 cup diced pineapple mixed in (you can use one tablespoon of whatever dressing you prefer), six ounces grilled pork tenderloin, 1/2 cup natural applesauce, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
Alternative Snack Choices:
Low fat or reduced fat microwave popcorn -- 1-2 cups (yes, measure it out after it is popped)
Fruit (no dried fruit) Light or fat-free yogurt (fruited is acceptable)
7 reduced-fat Triscuits with 1-2 oz. reduced fat cheese
1 small bag of Baked Lay's
1 small protein bar (i.e., Supreme Protein bar )
Light shakes (i.e., NytroWhey Extreme)
1 medium apple (sliced) with 1-tablespoon natural peanut butter
2 Polly-O string cheeses
1 piece of fruit with 1-2 oz. reduced fat cheese
1 oz. mixed nuts (almonds, unsalted peanuts, pecans, etc.)
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese with 1/2 cup mixed fruit
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese with 1 slice of whole wheat or rye toast
1 hard boiled egg with 7 triscuits
1/2 cup cereal with skim milk
 1 cup steamed or microwaved vegetables dipped into low-fat dressing (i.e., ranch or French -- limit amount)
1-cup baby carrots dipped into Hummus
1 cup of sugar free Jell-O (pre-made or mix)
1 cup of sugar-free Jell-O pudding (instant powder or pre-made)
1 slice of wheat toast with 1 oz. melted cheese
1/2 cup cereal (any cereal) with 1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup 1% cottage cheese (can be fruited)
15 grapes with or without 1 oz. cheese
15 frozen grapes
1 sliced and frozen banana
 2 pieces of Baby Bell (it is a type of cheese)
 3 slices of turkey, roast beef or lean ham (deli thin slices) with a piece of fruit
1 glass of reduced fat milk
 Sliced celery with peanut butter
Baby carrots with hummus or light ranch dressing
1/2 PBJ using natural peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread
1 small box of raisins
1 serving of Nature Valley Granola bars
Two tablespoons of nuts
Now, we also have an example of a low-carbohydrate diet/menu plan that incorporates dining out foods. Read on and see if this fits your lifestyle.

6 ounces OJ Coffee (Cuban) 1 Protein Meal Replacement Shake (try NutriPure Supreme) mix with 12 to 16 ounces of chilled water, if you want it thicker, add a few ice cubes and blend) 1 piece of fruit

Lunch -- eaten out
Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad, use only 1/2 dressing and no nuts, seeds or chips Diet Soda or water

1 Polly-O string cheese OR 1 piece of fruit OR 1/2 cup 1-% cottage cheese OR 1 cup Publix/Dannon Light yogurt.

1 cup of soup (i.e., chicken broth, tomato soup, low sodium is ok too) 10 ounces grilled fish (always cook the fish or meat with 1-tblsp Olive or Canola oil) 1 cup cooked vegetables (microwaved or steamed; spiced to taste) 1/2 fruit cup Water * Alternatively -- you can have a large salad instead of the soup and a piece of steak, chicken, turkey, or veal 1/2 serving size equal to your palm

If you believe that you need to drop weight at a slightly faster pace than one to two pounds a week, the following stringent meal guideline and plan may be of service.

Breakfast 6 ounce of juice (flavor of your choice) Coffee or tea (with Equal/Sweet-n-Low/Splenda and/or low-fat milk) 12 ounce water CHOOSE ONE
  • 2 packets instant unflavored oatmeal cooked in water. Mix into the oatmeal 1 tablespoon protein powder, sweeten with Equal or the like.
  • 1 scooped out bagel with 2 tablespoons lite cream cheese
  • 1 bowl of cereal (choose one - Raisin bran, Fiber One, Shredded Wheat spoonfuls, or Go-Lean by Kashi) with skim milk plus
  • 4 eggs (made with 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, cooked to your liking) 1 piece of whole wheat toast and any vegetables that you may want in the omelet
Snack 8-12 ounces of water 1 no or low carbohydrate Protein Drink.

12 ounces water CHOOSE ONE
  • Sliced turkey (6 ounces) on light wheat bread with lettuce, tomato and mustard. 1 piece of fruit
  • 1 hamburger, no bun, but with a plate of vegetables (cooked however you like it) and a fruit cup
  • Grilled chicken Caesar salad with light on the dressing and a piece of fruit
  • 1 slice of pizza and a side salad, light salad dressing
  • 6 ounces o sliced roast beef or meat over a bed of lettuce and tomatoes with 1 tablespoon dressing, 1 piece of fruit
  • 1 can of tuna (water packed) mixed into 1 can of drained sweet potato (smashed and microwaved) and a piece of fruit
Dinner 12 ounces or more of water or non-caffeinated fluid CHOOSE ONE
  • 6 oz. chicken/turkey breasts, 1 cup steamed vegetables, 1 small tossed salad and 1 tablespoon lite dressing
  • 8 ounce broiled steak, 1 small baked potato, 1 cup steamed (microwaved is ok) vegetables
  • 10 ounce salmon, 2 cups mixed steamed/microwaved vegetables, 1 small side salad
  • 1 cup vegetarian lasagna, small side salad with lite salad dressing
  • 1 hamburger (can be turkey, ground 96/4 cut or vegetarian), 1 small sweet potato, 1 cup steamed vegetables
Snack 12 ounces water 1 protein shake 1 piece of fruit if still hungry

If you find that you are a "nighttime eater" or one that eats when stressed, read on and try some of the following time-tested successful techniques for overcoming the barrier to your success.

Exercises for Developing Alternatives to Nighttime Eating and Trigger Foods
a) Realize that for you, typically one small byte of any food at night (after 4p.m.) leads to the slippery slope of the whole bag and thus 100 to 1000 extra calories ingested.

b) Practice the art of stopping to think out what you are doing before you do it. This can be, if at night, you start heading down to the kitchen from another room- stop before entering the kitchen and ask yourself, am I actually hungry? If the answer is no, then turn around! Do not enter the house of temptation.

c) Start utilizing the art of drinking non-caloric fluid (seltzer, club soda, sugar-free iced tea, and diet soda, water) everytime that you think you are hungry. Drink one tall glass (16 ounces) and wait 10 minutes, reassess if you are truly hungry. Many people mistaken thirst for hunger, thus drink first, and then decide if you are hungry.

d) Make a deal with yourself-- whenever you want to snack and you don't reward yourself with a non-food item to keep you on track with your goals.

e) Simple tricks such as brushing and flossing your teeth the minute after you finish dinner may help avoid wanting to have to do it all over again because you ate more food.

f) Do not be embarrassed to use daily affirmations to help you stay on track. These can be repeated whenever you are afraid that you may deviate from your goal. Also keep a daily food and emotions diary. The key here is to recognize through the art of writing your triggers, what sets you off to eat more than you would like. Daily affirmations include: "One day at a time", "Think before you eat", "Is it worth it?", "I will feel better tomorrow if I don't eat this today", etc.

g) If you eat at home or bring home leftovers from a restaurant, pack them away and leave them off limits for the rest of the night.

h) Remember, make the kitchen off-limits after dinner, even if you eat out. The only reason to enter the kitchen is to turn around and leave once you set one foot in it!

i) Every night open your diary (yes, you should keep a journal) and re-write ten reasons why you started this program. Goal set daily and weekly. Re-read these goals again before you go to sleep.

j) Tell all of your close friends and family of what you are trying to achieve. Having supportive people close to you aware of your goals and who when are with you can remind you or ask you how you are doing may help you feel more committed to "stick with the program".
There you have it. Simple, but yet effective strategies for mean planning, dealing with stress, understanding how to food shop and the importance of meal timing is relative to your hunger and success.

Douglas S. Kalman MS, RD is a Director in the Nutrition and Endocrinology Department of Miami Research Associates ( and contributes to the ProSource Forum.