Looking to lose a few winter pounds? Your goals are in reach by making a few healthy substitutions and watching portion sizes.

The way we prepare our food can have a huge impact on our health. Many common techniques can add extra fat, calories and salt which pack on the pounds or make it more difficult to reach our weight goals. Follow these food preparation and substitution tips to help you slim down:      

  1. Bake, broil or grill your food instead of frying
  2. Cook veggies lightly to avoid nutrient loss from overcooking or boiling them
  3. Choose healthy oils instead of butter
  4. Look for low-fat options 
  5. Make fruit your dessert
  6. Aim for foods with little to no added sugars
  7. Use herbs and spices instead of salt-based flavor additives

Making simple changes to your portion sizes will help you get (and stay) healthy. When eating at home, make yourself a healthy plate and put leftovers in the fridge to avoid second serving temptation. When dining out, ask for half your entrée to be brought in a to-go container to keep yourself from over-indulging. 

For more information on portion sizes, visit the National Institutes of Health

Sources: nhlbi.nih.gov, choosemyplate.gov