Weight Loss Plans
If you are researching weight loss plans, begin with something simple and easy to implement. Weight loss plans can include diet drugs like phentermine, behavioral counseling or other weight loss plans such as The Atkins Diet, Fit for Life, Natural Weight Loss, The Best Life Diet Plan by Bob Greene,The 17 Day Diet Plan, and The Biggest Loser Club from NBC TV’s The Biggest Loser. Since choosing a weight loss plan may require lots of research and time, the first thing to do is to avoid foods high in saturated fat and to just plain avoid trans fat altogether.
Weight Loss Plans Avoid Foods High in Trans Fats*
1. Spreads. Margarine is composed of trans fats and saturated fats, both of which can lead to heart disease. Other non-butter spreads and shortening also contain large amounts of trans fat and saturated fat:
- Stick margarine has 2.8 grams of trans fat per tablespoon, and 2.1 grams of saturated fat.
- Tub margarine has 0.6 grams of trans fat per tablespoon, and 1.2 grams of saturated fat.
- Shortening has 4.2 grams of trans fat per tablespoon, and 3.4 grams of saturated fat.
- Butter has 0.3 grams of trans fat per tablespoon, and 7.2 grams of saturated fat.
Tip: Look for soft-tub margarine to include in your weight loss plan because it is less likely to have trans fat. Some margarines will have it listed on its packaging.
[Important note: When you cook with margarine or shortening, you will not increase the amount of trans fat in food. Cooking is not the same as the hydrogenation process. Margarine and shortening are already bad, but you won’t make them any worse.
2. Packaged foods. Cake mixes, Bisquick, and other mixes all have several grams of trans fat per serving.
Tip: Add flour and baking powder to your grocery list; do-it-yourself baking is about your only option right now. Or watch for reduced-fat mixes.
3. Soups. Ramen noodles and soup cups contain very high levels of trans fat.
Tip: Get out the crock-pot and recipe book. Or try the fat-free and reduced-fat canned soups.
4. Fast Food. If your weight loss plan includes french fries, fried chicken, or other deep-fried foods cooked in partially hydrogenated oil, think twice before eating them. Even if the chains use liquid oil, fries are sometimes partially fried in trans fat before they’re shipped to the restaurant. Pancakes and grilled sandwiches also have some trans fat, from margarine slathered on the grill.
- Fries (a medium order) contain 14.5 grams.
- A KFC Original Recipe chicken dinner has 7 grams, mostly from the chicken and biscuit.
- Burger King Dutch Apple Pie has 2 grams.
Tip: Order your meat broiled or baked. Skip the pie. Forget the biscuit. Skip the fries — or share them with many friends.
5. Frozen Food. Those yummy frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, even breaded fish sticks contain trans fat. Even if the label says it’s low-fat, it still has trans fat.
- Mrs. Smith’s Apple Pie has 4 grams trans fat in every delicious slice.
- Swanson Potato Topped Chicken Pot Pie has 1 gram trans fat.
- Banquet Chicken Pot Pie has no trans fat.
Tip: In frozen foods, baked is always heart-healthier than breaded. Even vegetable pizzas aren’t flawless; they likely have trans fat in the dough. Pot pies are often loaded with too much saturated fat, even if they have no trans fat, so forget about it.
6. Baked Goods. Surprising fact: more trans fats are used in commercially baked products than in any other foods. Doughnuts contain shortening in the dough and are cooked in trans fat.
- Cookies and cakes (with shortening-based frostings) from supermarket bakeries contain good amounts of trans fat.
- Some higher-quality baked goods use butter instead of margarine so contain less trans fat yet more saturated fat.
- Doughnuts contain about 5 grams of trans fat apiece and nearly 5 grams of saturated fat.
- Cream-filled cookies have 1.9 grams of trans fat and 1.2 grams of saturated fat.
- Pound cake contains 4.3 grams of trans fat per slice and 3.4 grams of saturated fat.
Tip: Get back to old-fashioned home cooking again, especially if you begin a new weight loss plan. If you bake, use fat-substitute baking products, or just cut back on the bad ingredients. Don’t use the two sticks of butter or margarine if the recipe indicates that two should be used. Try using one stick followed by a fat-free baking product.
7. Chips and Crackers. Anything fried (like potato chips and corn chips) or buttery crackers have trans fat. Even “reduced fat” brands have trans fat.
- A small bag of potato chips contains 3.2 grams of trans fat.
- Nabisco Original Wheat Thins Baked Crackers have 2 grams in a 16-cracker serving.
- Sunshine Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers have 1.5 grams per 27 crackers.
Tip: Think pretzels, toast, pita bread. Actually, pita bread with a little tomato sauce and low-fat cheese tastes pretty good after a few minutes in the toaster oven.
8. Breakfast food. Breakfast cereal and energy bars – even those claiming to be healthy – are quick-fix, highly processed products that contain trans fats.
- Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal has 1.5 grams per 3/4 cup serving.
- Post Selects Great Grains has 1 gram trans fat per 1/2 cup serving.
- General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal has .5 grams per 3/4 cup serving.
- Quaker Chewy Low Fat Granola Bars Chocolate Chunk has .5 grams trans fat.
Tip: Whole-wheat toast, bagels, and many cereals don’t have much fat. Cereals with nuts do contain fat, but it’s healthy fat.
9. Cookies and Candy. Some cookies and candy contain higher fat content than others so always read the nutritional labels. A chocolate bar with nuts — or a cookie — is likely to have more trans fat than gummy bears.
- Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate Chip Cookies have 1.5 grams per 3 cookies.
Tip: Gummy bears or jelly beans win, hands down. If you must have chocolate, get dark chocolate — since it’s been shown to have redeeming heart-healthy virtues.
10. Toppings and Dips. Nondairy creamers and flavored coffees, whipped toppings, bean dips, gravy mixes, and salad dressings contain alot of trans fat.
Tip: Use skim milk or powdered nonfat dry milk in coffee. Keep an eye out for fat-free products of all types. As for salad dressings, choose fat-free there, too — or opt for old-fashioned oil-and-vinegar dressing. Natural oils such as olive oil and canola oil don’t contain trans fat.
Can you eliminate trans fats entirely your diet? Probably not. Even the esteemed National Academy of Sciences stated last year that such a laudable goal is not possible or realistic. The goal is to have as little trans fat in your diet as possible. You’re not eliminating trans fats entirely, but you’re certainly cutting back. Pay special attention to your body, to weight loss and metabolism, and to weight loss plan that may assist you in losing weight, like The Atkins Diet Plan.
11. Exercise Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York has a dieting plan of his own. Darrin leads a fast-paced life in the heart of Manhattan, one that is tempted by fast food and sugary drinks. Darrin commits to an exercise regimen that ensures a metabolic rate equal to that of a 25-year old. Darrin remarks, “Our bodies typically slow down as we approach and enter our late 30’s and early 40’s. Unfortunately, our lifestyles at this age are not proportionate to our slowing metabolic rates. If we maintain our eating patterns, we must increase the rate at which we exercise, as well. The best and healthier option is to commit to working out 3-4 times per week. You don’t have to be a weightlifter or a long distance runnner to stay thin. Simply exercise and keep the heart beating faster than normal for 20-40 minutes (break a sweat) and eat a relatively healthy diet of foods. In my life, my kids are enough to keep me running 7 days a week but the exercise is a good routine to get into because I will need it when I’m 60 years of age.”
Lisa NIchols of Covington, Kentucky comments that the best way for her to keep her weight off is to power walk over the bridge to downtown Cincinnati from her home. “Cincinnati is only a 5 minute walk over the Ohio River Suspension Bridge. Walking is fun for me. I am not a fan of the treadmill. Cincinnati offers so much, including great bars, restaurants, and the Cincinnati Reds, that I get to keep my mind occupied while I keep fit.”
Doug Melvin of Boise Idaho, another one of us in his 40’s keeps fit by playing hockey. Doug used to be professional goaltender (Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins). “The aerobic behaviors of a goalie is almost similar to a Tae Bow workout, constant up and down exercising”, he says. “If you’ve ever seen a hockey game on TV, you know what I mean. Have you see Dominic Hasek for the Detroit Red Wings? He looks like a gymnast rather than a goalie sometimes. This guys performing splits, one leg is up in the air, arms outstretched in all directions. Goalies can drop 10 pounds in a 2 hour game. With all the padding, it’s lilke wearing a sweatsuit.”
Anthony Pierpont is a weightlifter but he says there is so much stress during his workouts that he tempers them with a more relaxed sport: fishing. My fishing is not like you see on ESPN. I’m not sitting in the boat drinking beer and casting. I’m fly fishing in the most beautiful waters in the world, treading the opposite way through mild rapids. It’s a great workout for your midsection, glutes and hamstrings. Then, if you catch a fish, man, look out, it’s like doing curls on a barbell.
*weight loss information on Trans fat foods gathered from WebMD and the FDA