American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Author | Professor of Nutrition


My secret skinny weapons

Due to my recent love affair with Trader Joe’s Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips I find myself needing to lose a few pounds. Swimsuit season is coming fast, and here in Southern California there is no escape. I don’t like to think of a “diet” as much as a balance adjustment. I am too short to tip that scale (haha) towards fried corn chips doused in salt. So, sadly, they will have to go away for a while. Here is what will take their place and bring skinny back.

  1. Lentil soup: this is my go-to lunch for those times when I don’t have time, energy, or patience to cut a salad. Add a squeeze of lemon juice (a great Greek trick for making things taste fresh), and a handful of baby spinach (tons of nutrients for about 10 calories), and I have a satisfying lunch that won’t add to my thighs.
  2. Pepperidge Farm 100 Calorie Milano packs: these are smaller versions of the real deal. They taste good and satisfy my sweet tooth without doing any real damage.
  3. Diamond Almonds 100 Calorie Cocoa Almonds: healthy almonds in a cocoa coating – chocolate and nuts without guilt. And they keep me full for a while.
  4. Salad with beans: lots of greens, veggies, and beans for protein means I stay full for a small amount of calories. Just rinse canned beans, add about 1/3 – 1/2 cup to the salad, and put the rest in the fridge for the next day. Kidney or black beans for a Mexican salad, canellini beans for an Italian salad, Garbanzo beans for a Greek salad, you get the idea. As many veggies as you can get into the bowl, with beans, and some healthy fat like a vinegarette, a little avocado or feta cheese, and you are good to go.
  5. Flax meal: add a tablespoon to your cereal or yogurt in the morning and the fiber will keep you full for an extra hour or two. Keep it in the fridge for freshness. The taste and texture are neutral, you won’t even really know its there until you realize you missed your usual snack time because you forgot.
  6. Apple and peanut butter: this seems high-calorie, but it keeps me full for such a long time that it ends up being a bargain. Just 1 Tbs. of peanut butter takes care of a whole apple, and the creaminess makes me feel indulgent.
  7. Iced tea: I make the Paradise tea (in the yellow triangle box) and get good flavor without any of the sweeteners or junk that’s in diet soda. Along with a little shot of caffeine to keep me going. Not after 3pm, though – getting enough sleep is essential to taking weight off.

Well, there you go. Some of my tried-and-true secrets for staying out of my fat pants. I’ll fill you in on even more as we get closer to summer. Oh, and my lazy sauce technique is also a secret (well, not anymore) weapon – a satisfying meal made mostly of veggies. See the post for details.

What are your secret weapons? Want more of this? Let me know and I am happy to divulge more tricks of the trade.

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