Simple Food Swaps for a Healthier You

If you want to lose weight in 2018, you are not alone. Research shows that weight loss is the most common New Year's resolution. Yet few people succeed in meeting their weight loss goals.

“I applaud those who resolve to lose weight. Individuals who are overweight are at higher risk for developing many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and numerous other conditions,” explains Adline Ghazi, MD, director of the Diabetes Care Program at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital.

“But people need to understand that healthy weight loss isn’t just about a ‘diet.’ It’s an ongoing journey that includes long-term changes in daily eating habits,” Dr. Ghazi says.

She stresses focusing on small simple changes that can make healthy eating more manageable and sustainable over the long term. “There are many ways to cut calories and eat healthier without feeling deprived,” she adds, offering up the following suggestions:

  • Replace your morning bagel with two slices of whole-wheat toast. Skip the butter and flavored cream cheese and spread on fat-free cream cheese instead. Your calorie count is lower, and you still get lots of great flavor.
  • Instead of warming up a cup of cream of broccoli or cream of mushroom soup for lunch, both of which are calorie-laden, stick with broth-based soups with chunks of vegetables you can sink your teeth into.

  • Watch what you put on your salads. Ranch and other creamy dressings are loaded with calories, which defeats the purpose of eating a salad. Instead, use a light vinaigrette dressing.

  • Opt for mustard on your ham or turkey sandwich instead of mayo whenever you get the chance. Mustard is much lighter on the calories and you have a variety to choose from such as Dijon, spicy, and yellow.

  • For a healthy snack, trade potato chips for air-popped popcorn. To add flavor, top popcorn with a zero-calorie, butter-flavored spray.

For dessert, replace a cup of strawberry ice cream with a cup of strawberries. Add a little bit of light whipped cream and you’re still consuming a lot less calories.

“Losing weight becomes easier when you invest in making positive, healthy changes and continue to remind yourself of all the reasons you chose this healthy path in the first place,” Dr. Ghazi says. “You can lose five pounds over the course of one year just by eating 50 calories less than you normally do every day. The goal is to make a habit out of choosing foods that taste good and are good for you.”

For more information or to request a free Healthy Recipes guide, call 855-212-8202.

This article appeared in the winter 2018 issue of Destination: Good HealthRead more articles from this issue.

Location Information

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21239

Adline Ghazi, MD