We often make the mistake of viewing our weight loss plan in terms of “things we can’t eat”. That’s actually a bad habit for several reasons: Making foods “off limits” can trigger more cravings for them, it teaches you to view healthy foods as a punishment, and it trains your brain to resent your weight loss plan.
But beyond those reasons, you shouldn’t be so quick to throw so many foods into the “can’t eat” category, anyway. Many dieters are making the mistake of removing these foods from their eating plans, when they could actually be part of a balanced, healthy diet.
Nut butters. There’s no need to completely avoid peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter and the like. Nut butters actually contain plenty of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. And we have even more good news: You can skip the low-fat versions, because they’re actually higher in sugar. Just watch your portions, and pair your nut butters with fruits, veggies, or whole grains.
Eggs. Years ago, eggs earned an undeserved bad reputation for containing cholesterol. Now we know that they’re actually high in “good” cholesterol, which helps to lower “bad” cholesterol in the body. Plus, eggs are a terrific source of protein.
Dark-meat poultry. Contrary to popular belief, the “dark meat” of a chicken isn’t much higher in calories. Just skip the skin and you’ll keep your caloric counts about the same as white meat. Plus, the dark part of the bird actually contains more iron and zinc. Since dark meat is more flavorful and juicy, you might find that you feel more satisfied after meals.
Pasta. You’re really going to love this one. Pasta is actually relatively low on the glycemic index, at least compared to many obviously unhealthy choices like white bread. Whole grain pasta is a little better, of course, but you can indulge in the regular variety as well. Just avoid heavy cream sauces, go easy on the portions, and include lots of veggies with the meal.
Chocolate. Research has shown that chocolate can actually be good for your heart and brain. There’s a catch, though: You have to avoid the sugary, milk chocolate varieties. Not only are they higher in sugar and calories, but they contain much less actual chocolate. Switch to dark chocolate, and within a few weeks we promise you won’t notice the difference. And of course, mind your portions. An ounce of dark chocolate is a great, healthy after-meal treat.
Remember, if you are on a medical restrictive diet, the “rules” for you may be different so if you have any questions, make sure you check with us before making any dietary changes.