If reluctance to give up your favorite foods is one thing holding you back from pursuing a weight loss plan, we have good news: Eating fewer calories, and trying to make those calories more nutritious, does not mean you can’t ever enjoy cheese!
In fact, cheese offers protein and a healthy dose of calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A and B12. These nutrients help you feel full, keep your metabolism burning, and build strong bones.
Cheese can also prevent cravings. Since it contains both protein and fat, you will feel more full when you incorporate a little cheese into your meals or snacks. Then you’re less likely to experience cravings in between meals, or feel tempted to indulge in less healthy snack foods.
And cheese can even contribute to a good mood! Those protein and fat grams that help you to feel full can also prevent blood sugar crashes. So your mood will stay more even and you’re less likely to experience crankiness or tiredness in the middle of the day.
So, you can absolutely incorporate it into your weight loss plan if you just follow a few guidelines:
Watch your portion sizes. One ounce of cheese is considered a “serving”, so keep that in mind when reading food labels. It might help to invest in a food scale, and use it until you feel more comfortable with gauging servings (that goes for any food, really).
Choose the right cheese. While no cheese is completely off limits, some have a higher water content and are therefore somewhat lower in calories than other varieties. Mozzarella, goat cheese, and feta are the best lower-calories choices.
Experiment with pairings. Pair your cheese with fruit like grapes or apples, and experiment with different combinations to identify your favorites. When your snack is more enjoyable, you feel more satisfied with it.
Watch out if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The higher saturated fat content in cheese makes it a less healthy option for you. That doesn’t mean you can never enjoy cheese, but you do need to restrict it more than most people.
Use moderation if you’re lactose intolerant. Some lactose intolerant people experience stomach troubles after eating cheese, while others find that their problems only flare up when drinking milk. Experiment with small amounts of cheese until you determine which ones work best for you (the harder cheeses, like parmesan and cheddar, are often easier to tolerate).
Remember, a healthy weight loss plan doesn’t have to mean complete deprivation! Give us a call to discuss a balanced eating plan that helps you achieve your goals, while still allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.