When trying to lose weight or even just adopt a healthier lifestyle, it can be extremely challenging to cook, buy food, or eat with others who do not share your same nutrition values. Try following these five tips to help keep your family or friends happy while maintaining your weight loss or lifestyle changes.
- Informers are annoying! One of my professors made this statement and truer words have never been spoken. Do not give nutritional advice when it is not asked for. Like anything, if people want to change they will and if they want your advice they will ask for it. In the meantime, just lead by example and hope that the positive changes they see in your life will inspire them to want to know more.
- Prove that nutritious food can be fun and full of flavor. Most people enjoy soups and they are an easy way to pack in tons of veggies and fiber rich lentils while maintaining a lot of flavor and nutritive value. Spinach is tasteless in a berry smoothie. Herbs, spices, and a little cheese can go a long way to kick up grilled chicken breast. Sautéed veggies like green pepper, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach are fabulous in eggs as well as in tortilla wraps with your favorite lunch meat and cheese.
- Grill Out! Fish, pork, chicken, turkey burgers and hamburgers are all leaner and more flavorful when grilled. Brush a little olive oil on some cut vegetables and place them on a skewer or on a sheet of aluminum foil and grill them for optimal flavor. My favorites are mushrooms, onions, peppers and asparagus! Corn on the cob is also great on the grill as well as pineapple. The broiler in your oven is a great substitute for a grill when outdoor weather is less than optimal.
- Sauce, dips & toppings! Add some sizzle to what many consider to be boring nutrition rich foods. For example, salsa is great for topping on egg whites or mixing with brown rice. Hass avocados can be served with grilled chicken breast or smoothed on sandwich thins with deli meat. Greek yogurt mixed with spice and herb packets makes a great dip for raw vegetables or as a spread for wraps and sandwiches. Also, try topping salad greens with cottage cheese.
- When all else fails, buy their favorites too, not just yours. Just because you have decided to consume less nutritious foods sparingly does not mean your family or friends will want to do the same. When it comes to less nutritious food that would sabotage your weight loss efforts or interfere with your healthier lifestyle, it’s okay to offer options that your significant other, children or friends enjoy eating that you do not but you shouldn’t be a short order cook.
Research Assistance Provided by Sarah Volling 
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