A. When you're not cooking for yourself (or even ordering for yourself, like in a restaurant), you have to accept that you won't be able to eat "perfectly"-but that's OK. You never want to show up completely hungry, so try eating a salad or broth-based soup, like my Skinny Veggie Soup, before you leave home. If you've already lost some weight, wearing something that's a little fitted can also help4 Dieting Traps—and How to Avoid Them you show off your new figure and remind you not to overdo it. And when in doubt, just follow the rule of one: That means one small plate of hors d'oeuvres, one reasonably full (but not overloaded!) plate of food and one sliver of dessert. Even if you do end up eating too much, remember that it's just one night. Start off the next morning on the right foot with an invigorating cardio workout and a healthy breakfast to get yourself back on track!
Q. The weather's cooling down and I'm craving "comfort" foods, but these tend to be heavy. Any lighter suggestions?
A. The biggest problems happen when people don't preplan. If you don't have comforting (but healthy!) foods on hand, you're more likely to dig into whatever you're craving at the moment, even if it isn't the smartest choice. Think about reaching for things that provide you with a sense of warmth and coziness, but not a lot of calories. That might be a cup of low-sodium broth, an interesting flavor of herbal tea or a latte made with fat-free milk. You can also make a low-cal (but luxuriously creamy) soup by chopping broccoli or cauliflower, simmering it in low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, then puréeing it in a blender.
For something more substantial, check out my guilt-free comfort food recipes. I also think that spaghetti squash is a great comfort food: I cook it until it's stringy and spaghetti-like, then sauté it in a little chicken broth with tons of chopped garlic. Top it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and it's delicious! Or, make a healthy eggplant Parmesan, like Johannah (the director of research at Joy Bauer Nutrition) does: She slices eggplant lengthwise into thin planks, mists the slices with olive oil spray, then lightly seasons them with salt and pepper. Then she roasts the eggplant in the oven at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes per side. When it's done, she layers on a small amount of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce and sprinkles some dried oregano and crushed red pepper on top. Sometimes she brings leftovers into work for lunch, and the whole office is jealous!
Q. Some days I don't have time to eat lunch. Is there anything relatively healthy that I can eat on the go?
A. Lunch doesn't have to be complicated. A fat-free yogurt (I like plain or flavored Greek yogurt because it's especially high in protein) with a low-cal granola or nutrition bar, like Kashi GOLEAN Crunch! or a LUNA Bar-they're both around 180 calories-is a perfectly acceptable choice. If you're still hungry, you can finish off your meal with an apple.
Q. I've lost some weight but I still see a "fat" girl when I look in the mirror. What can I do to feel better about myself?
A. This might sound silly, but take five to 10 minutes to really look at yourself in the mirror and find at least three things that you like about your looks. Maybe it's your hair, eyes and smile, but everyone (at any weight) can find some aspect of their body that they truly appreciate. Then tell yourself out loud (or jot down in a journal) why you love those things about yourself. Another idea is to go shopping-either at a store or in your closet-and find at least one outfit that fits you really well and flatters your new figure. If you're not yet at your goal weight, you might not be able to spend money on new stuff, but you'll probably find something at home that used to be too snug that now looks fabulous on you. That's sure to give you an instant confidence boost!
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com
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