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starting a diet tomorrow (well today now actually)

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and am in search of inspiration. anyone have any great healthy low cal dishes and/or snacks they care to share? some can be hard but some easy ones for dinners post working with the kids would be great too. thanks!!!!

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  1. AMFM, we'll probably be of more help if you could tell us what you like to eat vs. not like to eat; fish okay? Tofu okay? etc.
    But to get you started, here's a link to a very good thread on weight watcher recipes:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/380557

    1. If you have any weaknesses - people can help you with that. Me? salty snacks so I make my own pita chips from lots of things, I love ww pocket bread and joseph's low pita bread and those new Arnold's sandwich rounds (each of these is only 1 point on weight watchers) so I just cut them up (sometimes triangles, sometime strips), spray with pam then season with herbs. 225 oven for mayby 10-15 min.
      If you are a sweet snacker - pizaelli's are very low (Hannaford Bros has a really great one, thicker then most and only 1 point)

      Our dinners consist mostly of vegies, with little protein and little brown rice or coucous or potato. We are back on WW and it's going very well.

      Most seasoning and herbs and condoments are good/low. I do a lot with mustards for jazzing up fish, meats. This week I'm going to try homemade raviolis with wonton wrappers (I believe they are low).

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: lexpatti

        I just purchased those Arnold's rounds. Thought they were tasty toasted and spread with a small amount of hummus.
        I followed the Curves diet plan and go there for exercise. Breakfast is one slice ww toast with 1/2 C egg beaters sort of fried and seasoned with Zatrain's or your favorite seasoning, one slice provolone cheese, two thin slices of ham. I found I really need to start of the day with protein. Snack is one apple and one piece of stick cheese. Lunch is a huge salad, mostly greens. Dressing is 2T orange juice, 1T red wine vinegar and 1T EVO and 1/2 tsp salt. I usually have a small roasted chicken drumstick and an orange with lunch. Afternoon snack is 3 Bistro multigrain crackers spread with a bit of hummus and 12 or so grapes. The diet theory is 3 meals plus 2 snacks a day to keep your energy level up. You need to eliminate starches, sugars from your diet. Go whole wheat and brown rice. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Unfortunately some of my favorite vegetables like peas, potatos and winter squash are high in carbs/sugars. Eat more zukes and green beans, carrots, etc.
        It's weird because before the diet I didn't care for apples because they made me hungrier. Now I crave fresh fruit esp my daily apple. Cooking Light magazine helps me with a lot of recipes. Nuts are also good for snacking. I don't feel hungry on this diet because of the healthy snacks and no longer feel sleepy all afternoon.
        I have a grill pan for quick chicken breast meals. I enjoy a variety of seasonings. DH doesn't. Pork tenderloins are great and okayed by DH's nutritionist for low fat meals. Good luck on your diet.

      2. I've just discovered roasted soynuts, which are crunchy and salty and satisfy the crunchy/salty need. They have protein, so they aren't empty calories, and I don't feel bad about dipping into them. Also snacking on raw sugar snap peas! Quite satisfying, because they crunch. I'm at an age where if I don't pay attention, my weight will creep up alarmingly, so I have to start paying attention. It's a drag.

        1 Reply
        1. I recently discovered Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) -- yes, the same seed those of us of a certain age remember growing as Chia pets. I add 2 level T. to my morning cereal, yogurt, or cottage cheese. They are ultra satisfying (essentially tasteless), and get me through the morning with lots of energy for only additional 45 calories. I don't know if it is the high fiber (4 grams) or the fatty acid (they are a good source of omega-3 and -6) or the fact that they swell up in my tummy 7-fold, or some combo of all the above, but I am finding them a great addition to "mindful eating" (I am don't have the patience to go on a "diet" anymore). If you add them into your diet, remember to drink an extra glass or 2 of water!

          1 Reply
          1. re: dkenworthy

            Dang, I can't imagine eating them uncooked! I eat chia cereal hot sometimes. It's some solid food in the gut. Healthy stuff, though.

          2. thanks all. the challenge i have is that i'm cooking for a 2 and 6 year old (who aren't picky for their ages at all but are still only 6 and 2 so don't do salads well) and for a husband who is INSANELY picky for his age! :)
            i'm willing to eat separately/share parts of meals. whole meals of tofu likely won't fly unless it's easy for lunch. but seafood is ok.
            the snack ideas are great so i appreciate. i love snap peas so i can't wait for them to start looking better at the market! :)

            42 Replies
            1. re: AMFM

              Are you my twin? I have a 4 year old and 2 year old and a husband who is INSANELY picky for his age! But there are ways around this.

              I have been following Weight Watchers for the past 2 months and I have some suggestions for you, but I will have to post later when I am at home (they are cracking down on internet usage at work -- oh the horror!).

              One meal that I make for my family is Fajitas and it works for all of us. It is low fat, tasty, and I load up on the peppers and onions with a small amount of chicken and 1 small tortilla, while my husband and kids have the chicken, tortillas and then add some cheese. So it works all around and I'm only cooking 1 dinner.

              I will post more tonight, but here is the Fajita recipe that I use -- it is foolproof (but I leave off the avocado -- love it, but too fattening).

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              1. re: valerie

                Fajitas are a great idea- I use colorful bell peppers and tons of onions. When the veggies are cooked with chicken or beef it takes on the flavor so you don't need to eat too much. Also, I find a few thin slices of avocado makes a delicious difference- to me it's worth it.

                Pizza is also a great idea. For yourself, use a low calorie pita split in half, and for the rest of the family, use individual crusts. Let everyone put their own toppings- that way your husband can have all cheese and you can put all veggies.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  I'm sure someone will have already mentioned this but I can't read all these posts- replacing beef with ground turkey in things like fajitas is a really simple switch

                  1. re: CoryKatherine

                    Be careful on assuming that ground turkey is leaner than ground beef. It isn't always. It's better to actually check the labels for the fat percentages. I like the extra lean (92%) ground beef or bison.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Agreed. And ground turkey (and I think to a lesser extent, chicken) is surprisingly high in cholesterol. I suspect this is because some of the skin gets ground in. That said, if you're not watching cholesterol, the super-low-fat ground turkey is a good option.

                      Also, check out the turkey and low fat smoked sausage and kielbasa options in your meat case. Many are low in fat/cholesterol and very high in flavor. Just a little added into some soup or a seasoned rice or sauteed greens dish can really be satisfying.

                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                        There :is: ground turkey BREAST, which is 99% fat free and very low in cholesterol. It's pricier than regular ground turkey, but such a good option!

                        1. re: operagirl

                          The fat content of any ground meat is heavily dependent on who is doing the grinding and how much fat (in the case of poultry, skin) they grind in. You can't assume even ground turkey breast is 99% fat free. Unless you've ground it yourself, you have to check the fat percentage.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: operagirl

                            Just in case anyone is interested, this is the produce I purchase:

                            http://www.fosterfarms.com/products/p...

                2. re: AMFM

                  Let me ask before I go into lots of recipes.

                  Tons a simple pasta recipes with easy quick sauces
                  Seafood any think you want, let me know if you would like.
                  I just roasted some chickens (well smoked) but you can just roast, I make quesadillas,
                  add veggies mushrooms or just cheese with the chopped chicken, You don't need tons
                  of sour cream, but guacamole is great for you.
                  Soups are great and simple stews to help with you and your family, veggie and chicken
                  in a crock pot can be healthy
                  Grilled steak a think skirt is great, have some chimchurri for you and dmaybe another
                  sauce for your kids and husband.
                  Turkey ground is great for meatballs, even I make a fun meatloaf in pepper rings
                  Shrimp is wonderful stir fried or just steamed or grilled on skewers with a dipping sauce
                  Spring rolls is a great way to use leftover meat, poultry or seafood. Some presliced carrots and cabbage with some fresh cucumber and a simple dipping sauce, terriyaki (low sodium is ok) Lots of sauces to choose from.
                  Fresh vegetables in a casserole can be fun, use those that the kids and family like.
                  Brown rice is great, lots of vegetables with added spinach chick peas, but there would be ways your husband would never know.
                  And some cheese is ok, all in moderation.

                  Anyways, post back if you want me to send any, be more than happy. I thought I would start with some ideas first.

                  No fried, but there are ways to get a fried texture and some of the flavor without frying, lots of grains too. I would stay away from heavy creams but nothing wrong with a cream sauce, maybe lower in fat and calories.

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    would love a few pasta recipes, seafood, or crock pot things - i'm going back to work and would like a few simple ideas.

                    1. re: AMFM

                      Seafood:
                      Shrimp in a simple marinade. Orange juice, olive oil, a few red pepper flakes and soy (low salt), garlic. Marinade and then stir fry with snap peas, some thin sliced red pepper, onion and mushrooms. Also bean sprouts and water chesnuts and carrots are also great in this. I was going easy with the picky husband. Towards the end I add a little veggie broth and a dash more soy with some ground pepper. I like this served over rice, but use what you enjoy, You can go light on the rice, white or brown, but all in moderation is the key.

                      Stuffed potatoes, have fun, beef tips, left over from a roast. Chicken left over or all vegetables. I cut mine in half and then lay out the place. You are adapt to eat more veggies and less potato. Let the kids have sour cream, beef or even some chili and you veggies.

                      I love pasta with some artichokes, black olives, some diced chicken and some pesto (store bought is ok) some grape tomatoes halved and thin sliced onions. Use some of the oil from the chokes and a simple vinaigrette and add to the pasta. Amazing simple flavor. Also add shrimp to this or scallops and dinner is served.

                      Simple garlic, fresh tomatoes or you can even use a diced good canned, some sliced mushrooms and a healthy pasta dish. Don't worry about some cheese. MODERATION

                      Also, I good whole grain pasta helps same with rice

                      I love a pasta with some sauteed mushrooms and onions with a little chicken broth and yes, some cream, just a touch is good and then toss with a spinach pasta and add some fresh spinach at the end. The heat will naturally wilt it. Add a some sprinkle of parm just for flavor, don't need much.

                      I make a chick pea sauce with fresh wilted spinach, garlic, olives and chick peas, but thought they may be out with you husband.

                      I'll do another post with crock pot and fish

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        everything is out with the hubby. seriously he eats no veggies so i have to separate stuff out. but the chick pea sauce sounds great so post - my kids and i will eat it. they love chick peas! :)

                        1. re: AMFM

                          Great, doing seafood and crock pot next.

                          He eats NO veggies?

                          I do make a stew with potatoes, carrots and onions, any hope there?

                          1. re: kchurchill5

                            i usually just cook separate - which is fine with the kids too. he eats corn and artichokes and potatoes. onions if they're so small he can't sense them. seriously, he picks green parsley flakes off things. but he'll just make frozen pizza when he hates it, sad but true.

                            1. re: AMFM

                              Wow -- you're much more patient than I would be.

                              1. re: rememberme

                                Please my husband would go hungry then, I make one meal and if he doesn't eat it he can make his own (and clean up after himself) or go hungry!

                                AMFM - Are you a saint?

                          2. re: AMFM

                            Hope about cheese quesadillas or pizzas, you guys could make your own, seafood with shrimp or chicken, goat cheese or regular cheese some spinach for you etc.

                            Make some of the pasta sauces and puree the artichoke and spinach and cheese and just mix. I bet he will never know cuz he can't see it. Same flavor

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              I hate to chime in with a contrary opinion, but I keep seeing "cheese" pop up here as a recommendation. While no food should ever be completely off-limits, if one's serious about losing weight, I have to say, it's doing to be hard to drop any pounds if cheese-based dishes like quesadillas and pizzas are your mainstays. [Also, if you're having quesadillas and pizza and pasta, try to make sure you're using whole grain tortillas, pizza dough and pasta.]

                              It's so easy to say, "Oh, I'll just have an ounce of cheese", which would be about the most I'd eat in a sitting when I'm trying to lose weight, and then let one oz turn into two or three. Of course, it depends on how much you have to lose, but as you get closer to your target weight, it's very hard to eat more than a very small amount of cheese and still see results on the scale.

                              Personally, I think a person in weight-loss mode ought to think of cheese as a "seasoning", an approach that's most effective when you use very flavorful cheeses, like parmesan or goat cheese, sparingly. Not as the foundation of a dish.

                              If your husband doesn't eat vegetables, you might be better off just serving up very simple meals of broiled, grilled, steamed or poached lean protein, a side of whole grains, a side or two of vegetables your husband can ignore (will he eat a side of fruit instead?) I like to see 1/3 to 1/2 of my plate be vegetables; don't skimp on the vegetables for yourself, even if your husband hates them. This is kind of a boring approach to meals, but it's expedient [which leaves you with time to spare for things like exercise] and everyone can have as much or as little of the foods s/he likes/dislikes without sabotaging you. You can make things interesting for yourself by experimenting with different whole grains and vegetables and proteins and such.

                              I love the frozen bananas suggestion below. I also like frozen grapes as a snack, which someone else mentioned below.

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                and to add on to the cheese discussion: we buy those lil round baby bells (light) and they are 1 pnt on ww - no joke, I'll shred it or cut it up. I like the flavor, also that low motz is not bad on stir fries (little goes a long way when it melts). As Dairy Queen says, fresh parm grated over is sooo much more flavorful then the green container of cheese.

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I do agree with less cheese, but I also think a little goes a long ways. I love 25 lbs last year and continued to use cheese. I just used it very sparingly and just a little gave it lots of flavor. To me some dishes have too much. Also some of my pizzas I hate with thin crusts, even whole wheat pitas and topped with sometimes no cheese or some times just a couple of crumbled goat cheese. I make a ricotta based white sauce I put on pizza with some fresh vegetables that is great.

                                  My second comment didn't go through (internet problems last night) It has a few good rubs and simple marinade for grilled fish, pork and some easy crock pot dishes. And agree with veggies, I also have a lot but when I dieted tried to add a little pasta, rice or some kind of grain just to even it out but all in moderation. You also have to balance it with everything else you have ate that day as well.

                                  Love the grapes, it hurts one of my teeth (sensitive to cold but still eat them)

                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                    Yep, I agree with the importance of whole grains--I mentioned that, emphasized it even, in both of my previous posts in this thread.

                                    But, when I say whole grains, I don't really mean just mean "whole wheat bread" or "whole wheat pasta" I mean actual WHOLE GRAINS. Quinoa, barley, steel cut oats, millet, wild rice, farro, bulgar, popcorn, and even polenta to a degree. I think one of the best things you can do for yourself from a healthy diet perspective is explore new whole grains. I swear, it's life changing. The nutritional impact is very high , you'll feel full and satisfied longer, and it's interesting enough to keep you from getting bored. Some you'll like, some you won't, but surely you'll end up with an expanded repertoire. I cook all of mine in a rice cooker and almost always use homemade chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to boost the flavor.

                                    Heidi Swanson's site is great for a source of recipes and inspiration if you are unfamiliar with many of the grains, as are some of the links I provided in my first post in this thread: http://www.101cookbooks.com/whole_gra...

                                    Also, I always forget to mention legumes. Very effective in keeping you full and satisfied in a healthy low-calorie way.

                                    And, yes, a little bit of parm or goat cheese can be fabulous as a flavoring. Other high-fat flavorings that are delicious in moderation and actually have some of those "healthy" fats in them are nuts (walnut, almonds, sunflower seeds especially) and the aforementioned avocado. Again, in small quantities.

                                    Oh, and lemon and lime juice. Think of all of the ways these can be used to flavor and perk up your foods. A nice window-sill herb garden is nice, too. Garlic and ginger. Red pepper flakes. Dried mushrooms of all varieties. Great high-flavor things to have around all the time.

                                    P.S. to lexpatti above. I know it's not very chowhoundly of me, but I like that laughing cow "lite" cheese, too. :). When I'm really pressed for time, I break it up and put it in some cooked, but still hot, whole wheat pasta along with some shrimp and fresh arugula or spinach and lots of freshly-ground-pepper--you can get one wedge to serve two that way.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Total agreement, love all the grains.

                                      I make shrimp, arugula, olives; pesto and some roasted red peppers in whole wheat spaghetti. The shrimp marinated in a simple vinaigrette just for a few minutes as I prepare the rest. Yes store bought pesto and red peppers and a jar of olives, but not too bad. Still pretty healthy. I make this a whole pot and then back it for leftovers for a couple of days. I love that too!! Only enough pesto to lightly coat the pasta is all you need.

                                      FYI, the COW, rocks. I like it too. I have used in many times. A quick go to

                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                        Agree--olives are a fantastic way to add flavor in a hurry. You don't need many. Also, artichoke hearts, roasted red bell pepper, marinated mushrooms, etc. as long as they are not swimming in oil. Anchovies!

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          Love all that. Love some anchovies .... a little at a time is ok.

                                          I did have an anchovy dish with pasta which was amazing. Not sure where I got this other than my friend, she got it from a friend of a friend thing. It was great.

                                          It had olive oil, anchovies which she said, currants which were great, pine nuts and tomatoes, onion, fennel, a think saffron although he didn't say that (yellow color) and the pasta, Linquini or spaghetti and some spice. I think a spicy pepper. It was decadent and very good. Just a simple dish which was perfect. It had a think bread too mixed with the pasta or bread crumbs, couldn't tell. And fresh basil of course ...

                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                            I see below that AMFM doesn't have that much to lose. In that case, I really caution to be more vigilent about the sparing use of nuts and cheeses.

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              I agree, it depends how much and how easily you loose and how much exercise you and and .... how much you eat during the day. All concerns. Nuts were a treat for me. Now and then just is small quantities. They satisfied my craving. But yep, all depends on each individual body. Me NOT carbs would kill me. No way. I could never, but I try to eat everything as many of the programs like nutrisystem and jenny craig. Still some carbs, but all in relation.

                                              Even today I ate a poached egg for breakfast and a chicken and veggie soup (broth no cream) for lunch and seared grouper with a lime cream, just low fat 2 tablespoons of cream with lime and chili powder for dinner, with fresh zuchinni, baked thin slices with cumin and chili powder and my carbs (some couscous with scallions in veggie broth and fresh sliced mushrooms.

                                            2. re: kchurchill5

                                              I love a few olive on a salad or with pasta. I also recently discovered peppadew peppers- awesome plain or with salad

                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          Whoa! Whole grains are great and really tasty BUT they ain't silver bullets!
                                          They have just as many calories as white rice and plain old pasta.
                                          And calories DO count.

                                          You still have to pay close attention to the QUANTITY you eat, especially to the little drizzles of olive oil, etc. Just becasue olive oil is considered a "healthy fat" doesn't mean you get a free pass for adding it. Healthy fats are still fats. Can you stop at 10 almonds? Really?

                                          Pull out your measuring cups, spoons, and YES, even a small digital scale, and MEASURE everything until you get an instinctive sense of exactly how much you're actually putting into your mouth.
                                          One half cup is a lot less than you are used to guessing that it is.
                                          It was a shock to me how often I was misjudging portion sizes.

                                          This is a really useful website for calories. http://www.calorieking.com/foods/
                                          Just don't forget all the little add-ons that we use to add pizzazz!
                                          A bit of olive oil, some cheese and a few olives or nuts can easily DOUBLE the calories load of the most innocent foods.

                                          1. re: MakingSense

                                            I don't think I suggested that whole grains were silver bullets, or that they were exempt from calories, just that they often have higher nutritional value. Also, that they fill you up more (because of the fiber), which is key to feeling satisfied when you're "dieting". Also, I think it's important to experiment to keep from getting bored and I personally had a lot of fun experimenting with different whole grains. Rice and pasta and potatoes day in and day out can get boring.

                                            Notice I also said that about 1/3 to 1/2 of my plate is vegetables. With 1/2 my plate being vegetables, there's hardly unlimited quantities of whole grains and proteins on my plate. I agree with you that 1/4-1/2 cup is about right. And usually 4-6 oz of lean protein, depending on what it is, is about right.

                                            I think also was quite clear in my first post below that SMALL amounts of healthy fats is key. Again, I didn't suggest drenching anything in olive oil or any other kind of fat. Also, when I suggested nuts and avocado are good to add flavor, in SMALL quantities. And a flavorful cheese, if you like to add it, is something you should do in small, in my case never more than about a 1 TBSP, is what you would use.

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              Also, I wanted to mention these fabulous "everyday" dishware that I have from Williams Sonoma. I like it because it's "normal sized" when so much dishware these days is oversized, which just makes your food look so lonely with all of that extra white space. I really think those plates help me keep my portions in control.

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                TDQ, I have the W-S everyday restaurant dishes, too (ironic that they call them that, given restaurant and most other dishes are so much bigger), and I agree that they are the perfect realistic size for dinner plates.

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  At first I thought they were too small, but now that I realize what a helpful "tool" they are, I'm very pleased with them.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                I know that your intent was clarity but your " small" or "drizzle" may not be the same volume as another person's.
                                                Subjective measurements are potential pitfalls for dieters.
                                                That's why my post emphasized using measuring tools until you get a handle on it.

                                                Yes, a lot of people - including me - have devoted half our plates to vegetables but then added just a "tiny bit" of olive oil or herb butter for flavor, maybe some parm, a bit of gremolata, a few toasted almonds, some breadcrumbs, and before you know it, the veggies are calorie-laden.
                                                A simple chicken breast from the store these days usually exceeds that 4 to 6 ounces. We're used to seeing Godzilla-sized ones that are often 12 oz. or more.
                                                Salad dressing on the side? The resto gives you a quarter cup. Then you dump it on yourself. What do you save?
                                                Many recipes for 4 people call for one pound of dried pasta. Yikes! A serving is 2 ounces making a pound suitable for 8 servings, not 4. How many of us are accustomed to eating that amount as "normal"?

                                                I'm sure that you've been able to do this, but as evidenced by the number of people struggling with weight problems, it doesn't seem to be easy.
                                                I know that it isn't for me and I've had to revert to measuring and weighing again until I can get back on track. I had slipped into some very bad habits.

                                                BTW, there are LOTS of folks who happily eat rice/pasta/potatoes each and every day, sometimes more than once a day, and never get bored.

                                                1. re: MakingSense

                                                  All excellent points. I actually seldom "drizzle" as that can get out of hand. Even if I'm just using a teaspoon or soup spoon from my flatware drawer, I "measure" it.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                    When it all comes down to it, in order to lose weight, one needs to create a calorie deficit.

                                                    I found that weighing all my food and logging the calories helped me with portion sizes. It also helped me to figure out what the difference was between a craving and actual hunger. When I reached my calorie limit for the day, I realized the 'hunger pangs' I was having were actually 'cravings' so instead of reaching for more food, I just drank some water and waited for the craving to pass.

                                                    So I'd recommend making a spreadsheet or using an online calorie logging journal to give you a better idea of how much you're actually taking in. Also, you will want to get a calculation of how many calories you actually need daily. The following website has a burn meter based on your weight, sex, age and activities alongside a calorie counter.

                                                    http://caloriecount.about.com/

                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                      i agree. as i just ate way too many samoa cookies (not sure i feel about the girl scouts right now...) :) i can't say that i'm doing it, but i agree that that's the trick.

                                                        1. re: kchurchill5

                                                          nope samoas. about 6 ( a serving is 2). yesterday though it was about half a sleeve of thin mints. curses to the girl scouts. :) :) :) :)

                                                      1. re: soypower

                                                        sooo true, hubby and I do very well when we log our intake - if you don't write it down, your not aware of how it adds up. It keeps portion control accountable and it does force you to make better decisions as the day goes on.

                                                  2. re: MakingSense

                                                    Agree agree, that is why I just use common sense and drizzle lightly and again ... my motto is everything in moderation, I don't mind pizza, cheese, pasta or grains, but one grains are very nutritional which is important, but again like you said. The amount matters and I just cut back on all amounts.

                                                    Nuts I like as a small garnish or a snack but found that some nuts is small amounts are a nice satisfying snack, but again moderation. calorieking is a good site to look at. And as Dairy queen mentioned, plates are oversized, I use a large salad plate for my portions and found I am just satisfied. I love lentils with some good vegetables as a side with a great salad and a small grilled chicken breast. A wonderful hearty dinner. Probably 1/3 the size as we would normally eat.

                                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                                      AMEN!!!

                                                      I've been on a diet since July of last year. Managed to lose 45 pounds with another 30 to go.

                                                      One of the things I've learned is that I really have to personalize things to my appetite. All of the "sensible" and "moderate" things that I've read that emphasize healthy whole grains (which I LOVE) and fruit are ticking time bombs for me. Yes, even the barley and quinoa. And, sadly, even measured out to "proper" servings. I've learned that I just can't eat them.

                                                      You can't lose weight when your appetite is raging. You can't even concentrate and function when your appetite is raging.

                                                      So I say read everything, experiment but LISTEN TO YOUR OWN BODY -- what all the "experts" say may NOT be what works for you, don't go off the deep end, and don't be impatient -- doing it for forever takes a LOT of time, take vitamin supplements and get some support. Whatever we wish were true, exercise is VITAL to keep your muscle tone and avoid the saggy skin that isn't a whole lot more attractive than bulges.

                                                      I've stopped thinking about weight loss and started working on managing my appetite and it's working better for me than all the things I've tried over a 60 year lifetime.

                                                      Good luck with your effort.