Do you want to fit into those skinny jeans in time for summer?
Then it’s time to stop mindlessly inhaling the breadbasket and snacking on candy, but you don’t have to go completely carb-free.
Certain carbs can be your friends, according to “Bread Is the Devil,” a new book by Heather Bauer and Kathy Matthews. Bauer told “Good Morning America” that brown bread is healthy, alcohol is good “in moderation” and freshly squeezed juice is always good.
She breaks carbs down into two camps: “Angel” carbs that people should eat, and their “devil” counterparts. Stay away from those. “Of course, the devil carbs would be the bread basket … the bagel, muffin, scone, pasta, pizza,” plus candy and other sweets, she said.
Scroll down for tasting summertime snack ideas and an Angel carbs shopping list.
Some devil carbs are surprisingly sneaky. Hundred-calorie snack packs may seem like a great idea – if you have the will power to eat just one pack. Juice is another devil carb, she said.
Those who have to have their orange juice should make sure it’s no more than four ounces and 100 percent fruit juice — because it has more fiber, so keeps you fuller, longer.
Cereals may seem like a healthy food, right? But there are a lot of not-so-good cereals on the market.
If you like cereal for breakfast, look for ones that have 5 or more grams of fiber, so you’ll feel fuller longer.
But not all breads are bad carbs.
“There are so many good breads,” Bauer said. “You want to look for the bread with the most amount of fiber, you want to make sure it’s 100 percent whole grain … There are a lot of brands you can find two slices for 80 calories. And that would be considered an angel carb.”
Avoid white breads and those with zero fiber, she said.
Some angel carbs are sneaky. One such example? Alcohol. But one glass only – of wine or light beer.
Frozen dinners are also angel carbs “because it’s an opportunity to eat carbs that you wouldn’t normally give yourself … but it’s a finite portion so you’re looking at volume that’s under 350 calories which you would never get if you were cooking,” Bauer said.
If frozen dinners aren’t enough for you, fortify them with steamed vegetables.
Finally, if you’re trying to diet, don’t eliminate carbs altogether. Just eat the healthy ones.
Suggestions for Summertime Snack Treats
Here are Bauer’s suggestions for eating great while sticking to your weight loss goals:
Lemon flavored Greek Yogurt: Chobani makes a great one, but there are some other companies that carry this flavor as well. Perfect for a summer parfait. Take a parfait glass, start with one layer on lemon yogurt, a layer of fresh raspberries and blueberries. Repeat 3 or 4 times depending on the desired thickness of the layers. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours. This refreshing treat will only run you about 225 to250 calories. It has more than 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber and can be made ahead of time!
Whole Foods Yellowfin Tuna Burgers: Wild, never farm-raised. One patty comes in at 130 calories, which is about 200 calories less than your average hamburger. Also, tuna burgers leave room for delicious low-cal toppings such as fresh ginger, wasabi and low sodium soy sauce.
A great sauce to try: 1 Tablespoon Hellman’s low-fat mayo , 1 teaspoon water and 1 tablespoon wasabi powder, fresh lemon juice and ½ clove minced garlic. Mix in bowl for a low cal wasabi-garlic mayo.
Annie’s Naturals makes a tasty light dressing (called Gingerly Vinaigrette) that can be used in lieu of a creamy rémoulade.
Food For Life Baking Company Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain English Muffins: If you’re firing up the grill at a barbecue, swap a traditional white roll or potato roll for an Ezekiel English muffin to add 6 grams of fiber. White rolls will leave you craving additional simple starches (potato chips, French fries, pasta salad) and lack fiber completely.
Good Food Made Simple Egg White Patties: A dieter’s savior. These egg white patties are the perfect pairing with an Ezekiel English muffin for a hearty, high protein, high fiber diet.
Amy’s Light & Lean Roasted Polenta: From the newest line of Amy’s products, the polenta meal barely hits the radar with 140 calories. If needed, I tell my clients to add some extra spinach or Swiss chard. The Amy’s Spinach lasagna is also a huge hit with clients. It enables dieters to still have pasta, without tons of calories.
Matt’s Munchies: A “working food,” these fruit snacks take awhile to eat which keeps idle hands busy. One of my favorite flavors is Island Mango, but the new flavors (Tangy Apricot and Mango Acai) are ideal for warm weather. They range from 40 to 80 calories, much lower than a dried fruit option.
GNU Fiber Bars: The newest flavors include Carrot Cake, Blondie and Blueberry Cobbler, which can be purchased in a sampler pack on their website. They’ll give your taste buds a flavoring of dessert without all of the calories. Ideal for a mid-afternoon snack or directly after dinner to avoid late-night snacking.
Angel Carbs Shopping List
(GF = gluten-free)
Whole wheat, sprouted grains, flax
Ingredients to look for: whole wheat flour, unbleached
Ingredients to avoid: HFCS, molasses, sugars, dyes, preservatives, enriched white flour
Brands: Damascus Bakeries Flax Roll-ups, Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffins, Arnold’s Select Sandwich Thins (100 calories), La Tortilla Factory high- fiber wheat wrap, Nature’s Own 100% whole wheat bread (sugar- free)
Whole grains are easy to store and have a long shelf life, so there is no reason not to buy them in bulk to cut down on costs.
Remember when cooked the serving size on all is 1⁄2 cup
Cooked grains: amaranth, bulgur wheat, kamu, millet, quinoa, farro
Brands: Bob’s Red Mill, DeBoles, Kretschmer wheat germ
• Brands: Van’s Natural Foods Waffles Lite (gluten-free version available), Kashi Go Lean Original Seven-Grain Waffles
• Brands: VitaMuffin MultiBran 100-calorie muffin
Pasta Substitutes (Count as Veggie, Not Carb)
Brands: Kombu seaweed noodles, tofu shirataki noodles (in all varieties)
Pastas (Only Recommended for Maintenance)
Ingredients to look for: whole wheat
Ingredients to avoid: bleached, enriched, white flour
Brands: Deboles whole wheat, Deboles gluten- free multigrain spaghetti, Eden 100 percent buckwheat noodles, Al Dente All-Natural Carba-Nada egg fettuccine noodles
Brands: FiberRich Bran Crackers, GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread (available in convenient 2-cracker packs), Health Valley Original Rice Bran Crackers (GF, W). NOTE: For those on maintenance or for those who do not like the FiberRich, GG or Health Valley options, the next best choice is Wasa Fiber Rye and Marys Gone Crackers (GF).
Cereals (Breakfast Only; Count as Fiber)
- Steel-cut (instant or regular)
- Ingredients to look for: whole grain oats
- Ingredients to avoid: caramel color, sugars, preservatives, artificial flavors
- Brands: McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal, regular flavor (100-calorie packs); Arrowhead Mills instant oatmeal, plain; Trader Joe’s steel-cut oatmeal, instant; Kashi Go Lean creamy oatmeal
- Ingredients to look for: wheat brand, oat fiber, whole grain wheat, evaporated cane juice
- Ingredients to avoid: high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, food coloring, preservatives
- Brands: Kashi Go Lean (*not Crunch!), Uncle Sam’s, Nature’s Path Organic SmartBran, Mesa Sunrise (GF)
Brands: Country Hen Organic Omega-3′s, Organic Valley large brown eggs, Eggology 100 percent egg whites, Ready Gourmet Easy Omelets (egg white options)
–Ingredients to look for: low- fat, vitamin A, vitamin D, organic
– Ingredients to avoid: flavoring, sugar, SPI, artificial flavors, additives, hexane
Brands: Organic Valley, Hemp Dream hemp milk, Silk, Skim Plus, Lactaid, almond milk
Ingredients to look for: live active cultures, grade A pasteurized skimmed milk
Ingredients to avoid: sugars, sweeteners, syrups, high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, flavor
Brands: Fage Total 0 percent or 2% Greek yogurt, plain or fruit flavored; Stonyfield fat-free yogurt; Silk plain yogurt; Siggi’s yogurt, plain or fruit flavored; Siggi’s probiotic drink; Chobani 0 percent or 2 percent Greek yogurt, plain or fruit-flavored
Ingredients to look for: cultured pasteurized grade A skim milk
Ingredients to avoid: excess salt, coloring, potato starch, cellulose powder, calcium sulfate, whey, preservatives, annatto and apocarotenal (color), whey protein
- Cottage cheese: Friendship low- fat or fat- free, whipped; Breakstone’s 2 percent individual packs; Breakstone’s 100-calorie cottage cheese with fruit on the side
- Cheddar: Cabot mini 50 percent reduced fat (lactose free) 3 ⁄4 oz
- Laughing Cow 35-calorie wedge
- Mini Babybel Light cheese rounds
- Horizon organic sliced (low-cal) cheese
- Wholesome Valley Organic mozzarella sliced cheese
- 365 string cheese
- Organic Valley Stringles, low moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese
- Organic Valley reduced-fat shredded cheese
Nuts, Nut Butters, Seeds
Nuts can be extremely expensive, another item you can buy in bulk and freeze because they can stay for months in the freezer. Only buy nuts and nut butter if you know you can eat 10 to 12 nuts at one time or 11⁄2 T nut butter, otherwise buy the individual portioned packs. Always buy unsalted, raw
Nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
- Ingredients to look for: organic dry roasted nuts, palm fruit oil
- Ingredients to avoid: molasses, hydrogenated vegetable oil, glycerides, sugar
- Brands: Justin’s nut butters (80-calorie individual packets and 200-calorie packs), MaraNatha (GF), Barney Butter (100-calorie packs), 365 (Whole Foods) products, Blue Diamond 100-nut bags, Emerald 100-calorie nut bags.
Fresh (buy organic when you can)
Meat: Beef: sirloin, tenderloin, flank steak, ground beef (95 percent lean)
Ham: extra-lean ham, pork center loin chops, pork cutlets, ground pork, tenderloin » lamb: lamb loin, lamb chops
Poultry: Chicken: skinless chicken breast, Cornish hen
Turkey: extra-lean ground turkey, turkey breasts
Seafood: Whole fish or fillets: cod, flounder, halibut, mackerel, mahi mahi, red snapper, salmon (wild), sardines, sea bass, sole, tilapia, tuna
Shellfish: clams, king crab, lobster, mussels, scallops, shrimp
Poultry: Chicken or turkey meatballs, grilled chicken breasts (organic). Brands: Applegate Farms, Bell & Evans, Free Bird
Seafood: halibut, shrimp, salmon fillets
Brands: Whole Catch, EcoFish, St. Dalfour. Packaged (buy low sodium or organic when available)
- Meat: Applegate Farms ham (slow cooked) deli slices, roast beef deli slices
- Poultry (recommended to buy 1 ⁄4 lb bags and keep in fridge for easy use): turkey breast (oven-roasted) deli slices, turkey bacon, chicken or turkey hot dogs, turkey jerky. Brands: Applegate Farms, Han’s All Natural, SnackMasters, FreeBird Seasoned Grilled Chicken breast strips
- Seafood: tuna (albacore, canned chunk light in water), sardines, tuna jerky, salmon jerky. Brands: King Oscar, SnackMasters, Sunkist, VitalChoice
Frozen “Burger” Options
- Meat: Applegate hamburger, Great Range bison patties
- Poultry: Applegate turkey burger, Trader Joe’s lime turkey burger
- Seafood: Whole Foods wild-caught yellowfin tuna burger, Whole Foods wild-caught mahi mahi burger
Frozen Breakfast Options
Breakfast sausage (2 per serving)
- Brands: Morningstar Farms patty or Veggie Link, Applegate Savory Turkey Breakfast Sausage Link
Soy products: tofu, tempeh, soybeans, tofu shirataki noodles
Brands: NaSoya (lite), Seapoint
• Brands: Dr. Praeger’s California flavor, Gardenburger, Morningstar, Sunshine, Amy’s
Always buy fresh (and seasonal/local when you can)!
Fresh fruit: apples, avocado, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, lemon, lime, nectarine, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, pomegranate (whole or just seeds), prunes, raisins, raspberry, strawberries, tangerines and watermelon
Frozen brands: Sambazon (unsweetened acai), Cascadian Farms (blueberries, raspberries), Wild Harvest (peaches, strawberries)
Fresh vegetables: acorn squash, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celery root, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, ginger, green beans, Jerusalem artichoke, kabocha squash, kale, kelp, leek, lemon grass, mushrooms, onion, peas, pea shoots, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, salsify, scallion, shallots, spinach, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchini
Frozen brands (all unseasoned): Birds Eye, Cascadian Farm, Seapoint Farms (unsalted, organic), Columbia River Organics (microwave friendly)
Canned/jarred vegetables: artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, pumpkin, roasted red peppers
Canned/jarred brands: Monterey Farms, Native Forests
Oils and Vinegars
Oils: canola, extra-virgin olive, unfiltered omega-3 olive, grapeseed, peanut, safflower, walnut and toasted sesame
Brands: Spectrum (also has sprays), Colavita
Vinegars: balsamic, black fig, blood orange, pomegranate, white
Brands: Monari Federzoni, Cuisine Perel, Spectrum
Balsamic vinegar and a bit of extra-virgin olive oil (or balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard with a dash of olive oil) is the best route when trying to lose weight, but here are some great salad dressings if you want something with a little flavor.
Ingredients to look for: extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients to avoid: soybean oil, starches or gums, MSG, potassium sorbate, polysorbate 60, natural and artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, EDTA, caramel color
Brands: Annie’s Naturals Organic, Newman’s light, Bragg Organic, Gourmet Mist Fusions
Additional Condiments and Spreads
Brands: Hellmann’s light mayonnaise, Brummel & Brown (yogurt-based butter spread), Sabra and Tribe 100-calorie individually packaged hummus spreads, Desert Pepper Trading company spicy black bean dip, Wholly Guacamole 100-calorie guacamole packs, Grey Poupon made with white wine Dijon mustard, 365 organic Dijon mustard, 365 fruit spread, Cucina Antica Tomato Sauces, Hampton Chutney Cilantro Chutney, Le Grand Pesto
Seasonings and Spices
Brands: Whole Foods tequila lime, traditional Cajun, Thai curry, sesame ginger
Breading Options for Meats
Brands: Hodgson unprocessed bran, Quaker unprocessed bran, panko bread crumbs, GG Scandinavian Brancrisp Sprinkles, Whole Foods flavored panko bread crumbs
Ingredients to look for: organic vegetables
Ingredients to avoid: MSG, preservatives, trans fats, soy/corn/ wheat proteins, potassium sorbate, potassium chloride, caramel color, sodium phosphate, calcium chloride, xantham gum
Brands: Health Valley (fat- free and no salt added), Imagine (low sodium), Amy’s (light in sodium), Tabatchnick, Fantastic Simmer Soups, Pacific (low sodium)
Protein Shakes and Drinks To-Go
Note: I always prefer food versus drinks, but if you’re really in a bind, shakes can be substituted on occasion for breakfast
Brands: Orgain Organic Protein Shake To Go (vanilla and chocolate), Spiru-Tein (one scoop), Designer Whey Protein (one scoop)
- Kashi Black Bean Mango, Lime Cilantro Shrimp, Sweet & Sour chicken
- Amy’s (many are GF)
Vegetable Lasagne, Mexican Tamale Pie, Spinach Feta in a Pocket Sandwich, Stuffed Pasta Shells, Single-Serve Margherita Pizza
Light & Lean Pasta & Veggies, Soft Taco Fiesta (any option works) » Light in Sodium Brown Rice & Vegetables Bowl, Black Bean Enchilada, Single Serve Spinach Pizza
Organic Bistro (many are GF) : Wild Alaskan Salmon, Ginger Chicken, Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon Bowl
Trader Joe’s: Reduced Guilt Tilapia with Fava Beans, Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese, Grilled Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Tikka Masala
French Meadow: Orange Mango Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Fragrant Curry Chicken
Ethnic Gourmet: Chicken Tikka Masala
Sukhi’s Indian: Vegan Chili
Evol: Teriyaki Chicken Bowl
Garden Lites: Spinach, butternut squash, zucchini, portobello, roasted vegetable
Best Afternoon Snack Options Under 200 Calories
Savory and crunchy:
- Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop! 100-calorie packs microwave mini bags
- Original all-natural Kettle corn, 1 oz bag
- Glenny’s Organic Soy Crips (1.3 oz bag or smaller)
- Sea’s Gift Roasted Seaweed Snacks (GF and vegan)
- Annie Chun’s: Wasabi Seaweed Snacks
- Sabra or Tribe 100-calorie hummus packet (with cut-up veggies or 2 FiberRich crackers)
- Seapoint Farms 100-calorie edamame packets
- Blue Diamond 100-calorie almond packet
- Peeled apples
- Kaia Foods Fruit Leather
- Matt’s Munchies ✓ Trail mix packets:
- • Kopali Organic Mix ✓ Bars:
- Gnu Fiber and Flavor
- Oskyi Fiber Bar
- Go Lean Crunchy!
- Organic Fiber Bar
- Kind (180 or less)
- Luna (mini is also available)
- Luna Protein
- The Simply Bar (GF)
- Cascadian Farm granola bar (2 bars is 1 serving): almond butter flavor
- Males only: Kashi Go Lean Roll, Mojo bar
Sweet After- Dinner Options (Maintenance Only, Everything in Individual Portions):
- Edy’s slow-churned mini cups
- Skinny Cow mini cups
- Ciao Bella blood orange sorbet pops
- Ciao Bella blood orange sorbet mini cups
- Edy’s fruit pops
- Jala ice cream bars
- Arctic Zero ice cream (not individual serving but low cal)
- Chocolite (chocolate crispy caramel)
- Bissinger’s 100-calorie chocolate bar
- Adora dark chocolate calcium
- Kookie Karma Choco Lot
- Sweetriot 100 percent cacao ribs
- Q.bel wafer rolls