Cooking for Daily Living
Hints Department
Weight Losing Horse Sense

Sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, but the answer to the overweight problem (unless medical) still lies in cutting out excess calories, combined with enough self discipline to make the program work, and enough leeway to make it acceptable. Possibly, the most effective weapon in the fight against the sneaky little demons is the slogan, strong but simple “If I don’t swallow them they can’t hurt me!Anchor the words firmly in your mind.

If you have a weight problem, you already know that it’s human to want that which we can not or should not have. But there is no need to suddenly sweep out all the foods that you hunger for, meanwhile, stuffing yourself with spinach. Maybe you haven’t heard, but even horses get sick from too much grass!

First, get yourself a calorie counter booklet. Then sit down with paper and pen and make lists of the foods that Interest you plus the number of calories per serving. Of course these chosen foods will include vegetables and fruits, meats, nuts and dairy products, cereals, sweets and starches; and don’t forget snacks.

I say choose foods that interest you because to suddenly deprive yourself of all your pleasures and try to live on what you strongly dislike requires more will-power than most of us have, and therein lies the problem. Also, list foods that you habitually consume, and figure out how to prepare them and still whittle off calories by using different ingredients such as egg whites instead of yolks, powdered or low fat milk, less sugar and part artificial sweetener, if you still use it, little cornstarch to thicken fruit juice syrup, or to thicken diluted regular syrup for your Sunday pancakes, etc.

With the calorie counter and a paper and pen, you can juggle menus and whittle away starches, sugar and fats, and balance your day’s intake to stay within the day’s calorie allowance. . .and don’t fool yourself with that famous excuse—it’s only twenty calories. . .it’s only ten calories . . . even only five calories. Rather, multiply the supposedly insignificant amount by how many times you would expect to eat the item during a week, a month and a year. You may be astonished. F’r instance. . . if you have been drinking an average of four cups of coffee or tea a day, using one teaspoonful of sugar in each, you have, conservatively speaking, in a year’s time, swallowed enough calories for 21 days generous diet meals!

Don’t leave the table hungry. It’s a sure way to fall off the diet wagon, after which you are almost certain to eat to spite yourself. Rather, eat larger amounts from the low calorie items on your menu and enjoy a smaller serving of the opposite. Another f’r instance. . .if you are really pining for a sweet, then plan a day’s menu to include one. If you figure the calories correctly you need not feel guilty about an occasional piece of cake, pudding or even pie. And, incidentally, there are ways of shaving calories off many of these in the making too.

Snacking is an old American custom and I grant you, a bite and a breather by mid afternoon on a hot or cold busy day can be restful. But snacks are tricky. Add them up carefully. Many of today’s snacks would be better included and counted in the menu, the “chip” types served with soups or salads, limiting the morning and afternoon breaks to a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of vegetable juice, raw vegetables, or half an apple or orange, sliced. If you’ve been having sugar in your tea, try a dash of ground cloves, cinnamon or ginger and a squirt of lemon juice, with or without a half teaspoonful of honey or a small hard candy—meanwhile training your palate to appreciate ever smaller amounts of sweetening.

If you are fond of carbonated beverages (Granny called them sody pop), you can learn to stretch one bottle to do the work of three by using quantities of ice and sipping slowly through a straw. The “carbs” are one of the great weight producers, being very high in sugar content.

If you get hungry for gravies, skim off all fat. If you find cooked vegetables, baked or mashed potatoes tasteless without butter, then use it once over—lightly—and sprinkle on seasoned salt and chopped green onions or chives, parsley and paprika.

This book and many others contain low calorie recipes including vegetable dips and salad dressings, etc. With Horse Sense, diligent figuring, and meal planning you can get results. You won’t need to depend upon luck, but good luck anyhow!