(first posted on 1/1/11)
Planning meals is a major help when trying to lose or maintain weight.
I recommend joining the Eating Well Interactive Meal Planner http://tools.eatingwell.com
You start by determining your BMI. *Please note that this will not be an accurate representation of your BMI because it does not take into consideration your lean mass (muscle). It may also tell you that to lose weight you need to eat 1200 calories. Do not listen to this. Ask me to help you determine how many calories you need to lose weight. ***
This tool allows you to search for recipes and add them to the meal planning calendar. It will help you keep track of calories, etc and creates a grocery list of food you will need for the week or month.
On Eating Well you can check out recipe makeovers to discover healthier recipes of your favorite meals, get tons of recipes for low calorie meals and desserts and more. I have no affiliation with this site -I just think it’s helpful.
Some Tips on how to BAKE HEALTHIER:
1. Replace white flour with healthy whole wheat flour. 100% whole wheat pastry flour has less wheat gluten than regular whole wheat flour.
2. Replace white sugar with a healthier substitute. For example, substitute honey for the sugar in the dessert recipe. For each 1 1/4 cups of sugar you would have used, use 1 cup of honey (You may also need to add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the recipe for each 3/4 cups of honey used).
3. Replace butter, shortening or margarine with applesauce in baked goods. You can also use mashed or pureed banana, pumpkin, prunes, raisins or pears to replace part or all of the unhealthy fat in your recipe. Substitute yogurt or light buttermilk for heavy cream.
**If you use applesauce, increase the baking soda and powder by 1/4tsp. Also if you are making cookies they will be very moist so you may want to use 1/2 butter and 1/2 applesauce. You will want to enhance the flavor (spices) as applesauce will make it a little bland due to the low fat content. You should always use whole wheat pastry flour when using applesauce as a replacement. I like to use a little applesauce and pureed bananas, personally.
4. Reduce the quantity of the fatty things in your recipes. For example, cut back on choc. chips – you can add some dried fruit or nuts like walnuts or almonds. Also, often recipes call for more sugar than you need. I always reduce the amt. of sugar in my recipes by at least a 1/4 cup if not more.
A great recipe to try: