Health conscious people are always concerned with how to reduce fat, whether through the latest celebrity diet or other means. If you want the look of the lean, hard bodies seen in those ubiquitous tabloid magazines, then in addition to lifting weights and working out, you’ll need to change your diet. And cutting fat from your meals is one of the best ways to tone your body, trim your waist and impress the ladies.
There are a number of ways to avoid fat intake, if you know what to look for. Sometimes, what you are eating may be full of fat, but you may be unaware of it. Here are the top ways to cut fat out of your diet:
Ditch the butter. This isn’t really news to anyone who is health-conscious in the slightest, but you would be surprised at how many people continue to douse their food in butter. Reducing or eliminating your butter intake will significantly reduce the number of fat grams you intake each week, and the more fat you cut, the more noticeable your body sculpting work will become. Before you know if, women at the beach will be eyeing your six-pack!
Trim the fat. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Well, you would be surprised at the number of people that don’t realize how much of a difference trimming the fat off of your steak and other fatty meats can make. When you are preparing any meat, be sure to trim the fat off of it before cooking.
This includes steak, pork and chicken. For example, you can remove the skin from chicken breasts before eating them, and when preparing them, consider broiling them rather than frying them. Other meats, such as bacon, should be consumed in limited amounts because they are extremely fatty and are difficult, if not impossible to trim.
Oil please! When cooking in frying pan or baking dish, it is common to use lots of butter for a base, so that your food doesn’t burn on the dish. However, you can cut vast amounts of fat out of your diet simply by choosing vegetable oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, over butter.
An even healthier option is to choose a cooking spray over oil because it is lighter and you will use less of it to grease your pan. Another way to consume less butter and oil while cooking is to purchase high quality non-stick frying pans and baking dishes because it will nearly eliminate the need for fat in cooking preparation.
Choose low-fat dairy products. Healthy eating food guides encourage people to consume dairy products because of their high protein and high calcium contents. However, dairy products such as cheese and milk, in particular, can have very high fat contents that people overlook in their search for high calcium foods. To gain the benefits of dairy products without the high fat, choose low-fat cheeses and skim milk.
Choose low-fat snacks and desserts. When you think of dessert, you probably envision a nice piece of cheesecake or pie, topped with ice cream. Too often, desserts are high-calorie, high-sugar, high-fat dishes that can throw your daily calorie intake over the edge. When people start to diet, they think that they won’t be able to soothe their sweet tooth, but this is a myth! You can eat low-fat desserts that are delicious and healthy, simply by being aware of dessert content before you eat them!
Don’t skip breakfast! Skipping breakfast is a common thing to do for most people who are rushing to get to work every morning. However, this can often result in choosing high fat items such as donuts or muffins, over healthier items such as high-fiber cereals and breads. Similarly, choosing jam instead of butter as a spread on your toast is an effective way to cut down on your daily fat intake.
Choose surf over turf. The low-carb diet craze has resulted in many people believing that the more red meat they consume, the better off they are. Protein helps to build muscle mass. If you reduce your carb intake dramatically and rely on protein for sustenance each day, you will, with exercise, notice a real difference in your body’s make-up. However, this shouldn’t be a license for only eating steaks wrapped in bacon; if protein is what you seek, choose fish over other meats because of its nutritional value. It is low in “bad” fat and high in protein and “good” fat.
Visualize what you are eating
What if the dinner host offered you a slab of fat, the size of a deck of cards, rather than a delicious piece of the chocolate cake you presumed you were getting? Chances are, you wouldn’t think it was very appealing and would choose not to eat it.
Visualizing what you eat is a good way to keep track of the amount of fat you consume daily. For example, did you know that one croissant is equal to about 12 grams or 3 teaspoons of fat? Worse yet, a simple hot dog can mean you are consuming a whopping 28 grams of fat—the equivalent of 7 teaspoons!
With these tips for reducing fat from your diet, you will be able to think about what you eat before you eat it. The body is very good at storing fat for later use, so unless you plan on going on a hunger strike in the near future, it isn’t a good idea to store fat or carbohydrates, since unused carbs turn right into fat. Plus, the older you get, the more your metabolism slows and the likelier it is that you will keep on the fat that you have stored in your body.
So, before you pick up that pint of beer or that order of fish & chips, consider the price you are paying for that tasty snack and you may choose some crisp vegetables instead!