Trish Zecca, M.S
It's that time of the year again…when a lot of us take stock of our lifestyles and plan some New Year's resolutions. If you are seeking to shed some pounds (like most of us), simply wanting to "lose weight" is too broad of a resolution. This year make a successful resolution, one that is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. A SMART resolution could be "Lose 5 pounds in the next two months by drinking water instead of sugar sweetened beverages."
It's also important to choose a weight loss strategy that you can maintain and fits your lifestyle. One strategy I recommend is to select more low energy dense foods in place of high energy dense foods. Energy density refers to the amount of calories in a given weight of food. Here are some tips to achieve a diet lower in energy density:
Add Soup to Your Weight Loss Plan
Research suggests that when people eat soup, a low energy dense food, before a meal, they consume fewer calories at that meal. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state there is some evidence that "soup, particularly broth or water-based soups, may lead to decreased calorie intake and body weight over time." SMART resolution: Eat soup three days a week in place of my regular lunch and pair with low fat yogurt, fresh veggies or whole grain crackers.
Trim Calories with Fruits and Vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables have high water content and few calories so you can eat a larger volume of food and feel fuller on fewer calories. For example, ½ cup of cooked spinach contains only 20 calories (low energy dense) verses 110 calories in ½ cup of cooked pasta (high energy dense). SMART resolution: At dinner make ½ of my plate vegetables and fruit.
No matter what your strategy for weight loss, remember to drink lots of water, exercise regularly and keep a daily journal to track your progress. Put your resolution into action by selecting one of these healthy meal plans featuring your favorite Campbell and Pepperidge Farm products.
For more information and tips, visit our Weight Management section .
Happy New Year,