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This article was written on 20 Nov 2008, and is filled under Advice and Thoughts.

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Eating to Lose Weight

Eating to Lose Weight

by Jane Fonda

Article original link: eating/

Jean Fonda Portrait

If you’ve said it once, you’ve said it a hundred times: You want to eat healthfully and lose weight. Why then are you on a first name basis with the folks at the fast food drive-thru?
It must be because eating well requires too much time and effort.
Not so. In fact, once you commit to a healthier way of eating and learn a few tips and tricks, food shopping and meal preparation are a snap.
But first, it helps to bone up on the basics of staying fit and trim, starting off with the process by which our bodies utilize energy we derive from food.

Why we gain pounds when we don’t eat enough?
Some scientists theorize that our “set point” plays a big role in weight gain and loss. (Set point is the weight each of our bodies naturally gravitates toward, depending on such genetic influences as metabolism and our number of fat cells.) We each have a sort of thermostat that kicks into action if our body suddenly loses too much fat; it attempts to bring us back to our set point by increasing our appetite. It may also force the body to use muscle tissue for the energy that should be coming from food, which causes our metabolism to drop and diminishes our ability to burn calories from food we eat every day.

Do you know what is the Yo-Yo effect.

Healthy Breakfast

Food ScalesSo what, then does “eating to lose weight” mean? First of all, it means eating enough food to keep you from feeling hungry and your thermostat from kicking into fat retaining mode.
Then, for energy and good health, we must eat a wide variety of healthy foods, without consuming more than our metabolism burns as energy. And with regular exercise, we can maintain the right amount of muscle mass to ensure a healthy metabolism.
Switching to a low-fat diet makes cutting calories quite a bit easier. Consider that a gram of fat has 9 calories, while a gram of protein or carbohydrate has just 4 calories. You can also eat a greater volume of low fat food without risking weight gain. But bear in mind that all calories count, whether from fatty or fat free foods. If we eat more calories that we burn, they will stored as fat no matter that their source.

How to feed your body the right foods
The foods most of us eat on a daily basis may lack sufficient vitamins and minerals to let our bodies work optimally. Often, they contain an excess of substances that drag our energy down and keep our weight up.
More than half of the calories we put in to our mouths come from sugar, animal fats, and alcohol, which have no fiber and little nutritive value. I like to call it the Standard American Diet, with the all to fitting acronym SAD. The sad diet accelerates the aging process by depriving our cells of the nutrients they need to regenerate and fight off certain diseases. Few of us think about whether what we eat on any given day does what food should do: nourish us, providing the fuel and building blocks our body needs.
Sound complicated? Actually, when you get right down to it, it’s as simple as eating three healthwise meals a day, starting with breakfast.

Healthy Muffins from Jane Fonda’s Cooking for Healthy Living Book

The number one rule: Never skip breakfast. If you do, or if you eat an inadequate breakfast, by late morning, your energy will start to lag, and you’re going to reach for more coffee or a sugary treat.
So what makes a good breakfast?
Sufficient complex carbohydrates (1/2 cup of cereal or 1/2 bagel or a low fat muffin); a small amount of protein (4 – oz glass of milk or 4 oz of yogurt or 4 oz of non fat cheese) and fruit (a 4-oz glass of fresh fruit juice or piece of fruit). Complex carbs are bulky and take a while to digest, leaving you more satisfied.
Proteins help offset fatigue. And fruit will help bolster your nutrient intake.
Lunch is the best time to fill your daily protein requirements, since you’ll need the boost to counteract afternoon slump. Chicken, seafood, legumes or yogurt will fit the bill.
Be sure to combine your protein with a complex carbohydrate so you feel full.

Because complex carbs are so satisfying, dinner should emphasize these. Some researchers believe carbohydrates also trigger the release of serotonin, a brain chemical that can promote better sleep. Chose from pastas, vegetables and legumes for your carbs. Have protein in small portions – use it like a garnish.

When it comes to dessert, realize that it does have to be waistline expanding to be delicious. (My recipe for scrumptious chocolate cheese cake, proves you can reduce fat and calories without sacrificing the taste.)

Now that you know a little more about what kinds of foods your body needs to function at its best, you can more easily plan your meals – a crucial step for those seeking to lose weight.

Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of the week to select the meals you want to prepare and the arrange your grocery list around the items you’ll need. Not only will the list make shopping more convenient and economical, but it will guard against impulse buys when you head down the chip and candy aisles. If you’re trying to lose weight, planning will also help reinforce self discipline To make sure you get a full range of vitamins and minerals, be certain to eat a varied diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Last, but not lease, find recipes that enable you to cook food to maximize taste, texture and nutritional value – without adding calories or fat. That’s one of the most important steps in adopting a healthier way of eating.

Ways to shop wisely
Experienced cooks firmly believe that knowing how to shop is essential to cooking tasty meals. A wise shopper can pick the best quality ingredients, with the best taste, texture and nutritive value – at the best cost. Here are a few tips on how to shop with health in mind:

Buy Fresh produce often.
Try not to buy too many fresh fruits and vegetables at any one time. They begin to lose vitamin C after two or three days in the refrigerator, and even more quickly when left at room temperature.

Purchase frozen produce during winter
In the winter, chose frozen fruits and vegetables (which retain much of their nutritional value) so you can still eat favorite out of season foods at a reasonable cost.

Avoid empty calories.
Shop with an eye toward getting the most nutritive bang for your buck and calories. This means avoiding processed foods, which usually cost more and are far higher in fat, sugar and salt than fresh foods.

Learn to read labels.
The label can give you all the pertinent information you’ll need about nutrition and content. A careful look at the ingredients on packaged foods can also tip you off to the presence of chemical additives that you’ll want to limit in your diet. Like monosodium glutamate.

Shop along the supermarket walls.
Concentrate on low-fat dairy, seafood, poultry and meats, and choose a variety of produce colors, since each one offers different nutritional value. Most important are dark greens, such as broccoli and cabbage; reds, such as bell peppers and tomatoes; and yellows and oranges, like cantaloupes, carrots and squash.

Low Fat Munchies
A between meal snack can help stave off hunger, provide extra energy and help you avoid overeating later on. Be careful to limit snack potions to one serving, except when it comes to fresh veggies – you can munch on them to your heart’s content. Here’s some of my favorite snack suggestions:

1. Bake an extra potato for a snack (Good quality potatoes are delicious eaten plain, at room temperature.)
2. Bake your own tortilla chips to dip into salsa. (Limit servings to no more than a handful.)
3. Keep a bowl of washed seasonal fruit always available on your counter or table.
4. Drink a glass of water when you’re hungry. A lack of water is often mistaken for hunger pains.
5. Carry salt-free rice cakes to munch on during mid-morning or late afternoon snack attacks.
6. Prepare carrot and celery sticks, raw cabbage, Belgium endive, chicory or zucchini, and have them ready to eat in the refrigerator.


  1. Kylian Powell
    December 13, 2008

    Hi, how are you?
    My name is Kylian Powell. I’m 11 years old. My parents don’t think I’m loosing any weight but other people say I am. Sometimes that makes me feel bad.So today(12/12/08) I was on the computer and I saw your diet plan.If you know another diet besides yours please let me know at 497-5171. Thank you.
    Kylian Powell
    P.S. I know the closing of this letter is messed up.

  2. allanon
    December 13, 2008

    Hi Kylian,
    Welcome to think-slim. if you answer me some questions I can point to a correct diet and provide you with some advice in order to improve things of you:
    1. Do you exercise regularly? – and if yes how much on a daily basis – little, normal, intense?
    2. How much do you weight presently?
    3. How old are you?
    4. Do you take any appetite suppressants?
    5. What is your height?
    Based on your answers I try to help you as much as I can.

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