How to Cut the Fat and Keep the Flavor

You probably know that cutting calories and increasing your exercise are the keys to weight loss. Reducing the fat in your diet is one way to reduce your calorie intake, as long as you don’t replace the fat calories with additional calories from carbohydrate or protein.

By adopting a dozen or so of the following eating habits, most people can continue to enjoy the foods they like and still lose pounds. Don't forget to include daily exercise in the plan. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines for Americans recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. To lose weight, you may need to increase that to 60 minutes a day.

Start your day

Try these ideas for a lower-fat breakfast:

  • Add skim milk instead of whole or 2 percent milk to your cereal bowl.

  • Have an English muffin or a piece of whole-wheat bread instead of a muffin, croissant, doughnut or pastry.

  • Top French toast, waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a little syrup instead of butter.

  • Instead of regular bacon, serve Canadian bacon.

Lighten your lunch

For the midday meal, try making these changes:

  • Make a tuna sandwich with tuna packed in water instead of oil.

  • Add lots of vegetables to your sandwich and skip the cheese.

  • Spread your bread with mustard instead of mayonnaise.

  • Lighten up a BLT by substituting a slice of ham or turkey breast for the bacon.

  • Grab a bag of baked potato or corn chips instead of regular ones.

Take a break

When you need a snack, sample these suggestions:

  • Dip baked chips in hummus or bean spread instead of sour cream or cheese dips.

  • Have salsa instead of guacamole.

  • Order a skinny latte topped with chocolate shavings instead of a chocolate shake.

  • Choose ginger snaps or fig cookies instead of chocolate chip cookies.           

Have a thinner dinner

At the end of the day, here's how to keep on cutting calories:

  • Prepare steamed instead of fried vegetables.

  • Measure the oil you cook with instead of pouring it from the bottle. You’ll use less.

  • Learn to grill chicken, fish, and red meat instead of pan-frying or breading and frying.

  • Double the vegetables and use half the meat called for in stews and casseroles.

  • Use vegetable-oil sprays instead of butter and liquid oils.