When someone wants to lose weight the first thing that often comes to mind is deprivation. The word diet has so many negative connotations: Restriction, abstaining, blandness, hunger, deny, deny, deny. They often associate losing weight with counting calories, hitting the gym, and giving up all the foods they enjoy.
What if you could lose weight and still enjoy delicious meals? This is definitely possible when you practice a whole food eating strategy.
When you focus on natural foods such as healthy proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats you can create delicious meals that satiate and nourish your body. These are the foods that our bodies have evolved to eat. They fill up your body, sending a strong sense of fullness when you have consumed enough calories. By listening to your bodies signals, you can lose weight while not feeling deprived. Adding with herbs and spices is one of the keys to making whole foods palatable.
My husband and I were on a road trip last weekend and stopped to have lunch. We went to a burger place called Euerka. I ordered a bison burger (no bun) with a slice of cheese and grilled bell peppers on a bed of arugula and a side salad with spring mix. The burger didn’t even need condiments because it was so juicy and the bell peppers made it taste so much more delicious. When I was eating it all I could think was this is what a healthy eating style is all about: Whole foods with lots of flavor.
Here are tips I give to my coaching clients on how to lose weight and still enjoy food.
1. Change the Way You Think About Food
The food you eat should be nourishing fuel to your body. Food should give you energy to make it through a busy day, a workout, and help you get high quality sleep at night. Good, nourishing food should also be enjoyable and keep you satiated until your next meal.
2. Learn How to Cook
You don’t have to become Julia Child or Gordon Ramsey to cook tasty food. Start with basic cooking methods such as steaming or sautéing vegetables (both are quick and easy ways to prepare vegetables). When your vegetables are done, drizzle them with olive oil or put about half a tablespoon of butter or ghee on them. Then season them with salt and pepper to taste. There are a lot of tasty seasoning blends at the grocery store that are delicious on vegetables. We love Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute; It’s great on vegetables and mixed in meatloaf.
Investing in multi-use kitchen equipment can help. My Instant Pot is hands down the best investment in kitchen equipment I’ve made in the last few years. There are so many ways to cook with an Instant Pot. You can sauté, pressure cook, or slow cook your meals. You can cook an entire chicken in about 20 minutes; Just season the chicken with herbs and spices you enjoy and follow the directions in the cookbook that comes with it, it is that easy. You can make your own homemade bone broth in your Instant Pot that is delicious, nutritious, and satiating.
3. Start with Foods That You Already Enjoy
What vegetables do you enjoy eating? Start with the ones you like and prepare them in a way that’s simple and delicious. After a while, introduce one new vegetable a week into your meal rotation. If you feel the new vegetable was just ok, try a different way to prepare it. I prefer some vegetables roasted rather than steamed or sautéed. If you really don’t like your new vegetable, don’t make it anymore and move on to the next one you want to try.
4. Choose Healthy Proteins
Choose healthy proteins and season them with herbs and spices that enhances the flavor of the meat. I like adding dill weed and garlic powder to salmon filets before I bake them in the oven. I also enjoy putting mustard on my salmon as well. The combination of the dill weed, garlic powder, and mustard is delicious. I learned this from experimenting in the kitchen and I encourage you to do the same.
5. Focus Your Attention on What You Adding, Not What You Are Reducing
Instead of focusing on the foods you don’t want to eat, focus your attention on the healthy, nutrient dense foods that you want to try out and add to your diet. You don’t have to quit all the foods you enjoy cold turkey. Look for opportunities to add whole nutrient dense food to the mix and to replace foods you enjoy with healthier versions.
When you learn how to get creative in the kitchen it opens up a whole new world of possibilities of food combinations that are healthy for you. You can use recipes you find online to inspire your creativity in the kitchen. Or simply find recipes online that you enjoy and add those into your meal rotation. It is entirely possible to lose weight and still enjoy food when you change the way you think about food.
Join us at www.bluebirdweightloss.com for Weight Loss and Wellness Coaching. Isn’t It Time to Look and Feel Your Best?