Overhaulin’ Your Diet: Simple Ways to Save Calories and Boost Nutrition

by Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD

With all the extreme makeover shows, it’s easy to think that only drastic changes yield positive results. However, when it comes to your diet, it’s the little changes you make over time that result in reaching a healthy weight. Setting small, realistic and achievable goals is the key to success. Remember, everyone’s calorie needs differ. Your individual needs depend on a variety of factors, including gender, age, activity level and medical conditions. It is recommended to consult with both a physician and Registered Dietitian to determine your own needs. The example below illustrates a “Typical Day’s Intake” and the same day’s intake after a “Nutritional Makeover” to save calories and boost nutrition!

MONDAY’S INTAKE (PRE-MAKEOVER)

Breakfast:
1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
1 cup 2% reduced fat milk 1 cup cranberry apple juice drink
1 egg, scrambled in 1 Tbsp oil

Mid-morning snack:
1/2 cup trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate pieces)
1 cup water

Lunch:
1 cup cooked pasta
1 cup cooked vegetables
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Fruit on the Bottom lowfat yogurt
2 cups water

Mid-afternoon snack:
1 and 1/2 oz bag potato chips
16 oz Snapple Mango Madness fruit drink

Dinner:
1/3 cup whipped white potatoes
2 oz gravy
4 and 1/2 oz meatloaf
2 cups water

Bedtime snack:
1/2 cup premium chocolate ice cream

ANALYSIS: ~2630 calories
Nutritional Downfalls:
High in concentrated sweets (sugary cereal, fruit drinks, fruited yogurt with added sugar, ice cream)
Few fruits and vegetables (Aim for 5-9 servings daily of fruits and vegetables combined, or more!)
Little calcium (Aim for 3 servings of dairy or calcium-rich or calcium-fortified foods/beverages daily)
Low in Fiber (Aim for 25-35 gm fiber daily–fruits, vegetables, beans, peas and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber)

MONDAY’S INTAKE (POST-MAKEOVER)

Breakfast:
1/2 cup Fiber One cereal
1 cup skim milk
1 cup blueberries
1 scrambled egg (substituted non-stick canola spray for oil)
1 cup herbal tea

Mid-morning snack:
1 medium apple
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter (or almond, cashew, walnut, or macadamia nut butter)
1 cup water

Lunch:
1 cup cooked pasta
2 cups cooked vegetables
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt
2 cups water

Mid-afternoon snack:
2 handfuls baby carrots
4 Tbsp Hummus
16 oz Diet Snapple (or club soda)

Dinner:
1 sweet potato, baked
2 oz melted lowfat cheese
1 cup steamed broccoli
4 oz skinless chicken breast
2 cups water

Bedtime snack:
1 Jell-O Sundae Toppers pudding cup
1 cup fresh strawberries

ANALYSIS: ~1785 calories
Benefits:
Plenty of fruits and vegetables!
Adequate calcium
High in Fiber
Calorie savings: A Whopping 845!

  • Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD is a Cornell University graduate and Registered Dietitian with expertise in a variety of medical issues, from diabetes and cardiac care, to renal health and GI issues. She has a strong interest and background in weight management, emotional eating, sports nutrition and corporate wellness. She maintains a private practice, working with clients of all ages, from pediatric to geriatric, and has done freelance writing for DrWeil.com. Call 619-206-8022 to schedule an appointment.
  • 1 Comment »

    admin on December 8th 2007 in Uncategorized