This may come as a surprise, but the first thing we're going to do on the Patch weight loss challenge is shop for food.
It's time to stock up on filling, low-calorie foods that will keep you going and not let hunger rear its growling head.
Please join me and Patch writer George Castle on the Patch Three Pound Weight Loss Challenge. It's not that hard--really!
We're going to cut calories and increase exercise in this weight loss challenge, because that works. We're also going to look at how to address bad food habits and weak moments. For example, one of my weak food moments is right after lunch, when I crave something sweet.
And we'll work out, too.
But now, about what food to buy:
1) Go to a produce store and pick out the freshest, most appealing vegetables that you like the most. Select at least four or five, and if you like salad, include lettuce and tomatoes.
2) Then pick out some of the most appealing fruits, at least four or five.
3) Now it's on to fish--any kind you like including imitation crabmeat, which is good in salads. Also buy lean meats, including chicken breast, turkey and lean cuts of beef and pork.
4) Whole grains, like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole grain breads, will fill you up more than their refined counterparts. Select accordingly.
5) One egg weighs in at only 80 calories, earning a place in the Patch Weight Loss Challenge. Get a dozen or two.
6) We need something to jazz up our food and give it flavor. Select some of these: goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles, bacon crumbles (yes, they are high in calories, but a tablespoon or so carries a lot of flavor), fancy vinegars (balsamic, red wine, orange), dijon mustard, teriyaki sauce, kalamata olives, sliced green onions.
7) If you've been neglecting your spice cabinet, now's the time to renew your relationship. We'll be eating dishes that have smaller portions, so we'll make sure the foods we do eat are fresh and high quality and are well seasoned.
8) Buy some low-calorie, low fat salad dressings. Besides being good on salad, they can really zing up chicken breast or fish as a marinade or sauce.
9) If you don't like to cook or don't have time, buy a few low-calorie frozen dinners.
Learn how many calories you need to eat in a day to lose weight.
Familiarize yourself with the calories in some popular foods.
Put a small amount (a tablespoon, maybe) of extra virgin olive oil into a nonstick frying pan and add vegetables cut in small pieces. Broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and red, yellor or green peppers are good choices. Gently move the veggies in the pan until they're tender. Break anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen eggs into a bowl, mix gently and pour over the veggies in the skillet. Please heat on medium low and cover the skillet with a lid. You can also add bacon crumbles; allow to cook and firm a few minutes before adding goat cheese or feta crumbles. Allow to cook, checking for doneness, for four to eight minutes (cooking times vary; it could be 10 minutes or longer). The frittata is done when it's somewhat browned, firm and you can slide a spatula under it and it moves easily. To remove from pan, loosen the frittata on the bottom with a spatula. Then turn off the flame, put on heatproof gloves, take care not to burn yourself, hold a platter over the frying pan and carefully turn the skillet upside down so the frittata falls onto the platter. If you've carefully loosened the frittata, this actually works pretty well. Cut the frittata into appropriate-sized portions and serve. You may also sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top for extra oomph; go sparingly so as not to add too many calories. You may also sprinkle snipped herbs, such as basil, flat parsley or cilantro, on top. They have negligible calories. To determine the calorie count, add up the calories of everything you've put into the pan (example, 6 eggs = 480 calories, 1 tablespoon oil = 120 calories, one cup broccoli= 30 calories, spices and herbs, negligible. That comes out to 630. If you eat 1/6 of it, that's 105 calories. If you eat 1/3, that's 210 calories. Tip: adding more vegetables gives you more food to eat at a lower calorie cost.