A low fat shopping list doesn't mean sacrificing taste...just unnecessary fat!

A low fat shopping list is a great way to permanently lose weight. And you can start it slowly. You don't have to find time to wade through pages of information, you do it based on what you have right now, and what you like right now.

Why do we eat what we eat? Primarily because we like the taste! One of the reasons maintaining weight loss is difficult is that we make very big changes to what we put in our mouth.

We go from fatty fried foods directly to salads with lite dressings. Nutrition and health wise this is great, but what about our taste buds? They aren't quite so sure. And they don't necessarily adapt very well.

You have to remember too that our taste buds get used to the food we eat, we have to reeducate them slowly, too fast, and eventually we'll return to the foods our taste buds enjoy, post haste!

The richer the food we eat on a regular basis, the more we want this type of food. In fact, we have to give our taste buds time to adjust to subtler, softer and different flavours. Fat has a distinctive taste, if we move to low fat too fast we won't be able to maintain it, we'll crave high fat...all the time.

So, we need to ease our taste buds and bodies into low fat, give them time to adjust, we'll lose weight while we do it, and we're able to maintain it. That's why you start a low fat shopping list that has foods with the same taste as high fat ones.

Let's get started, grab a pen and paper and move to your fridge or pantry, it doesn't matter which, you're about to start the first step to a low fat shopping list.

A Low Fat Shopping List...starts with high fat foods.

Have a look at the contents, the tins, jars, bottles, cartons. Start your list, write down the brand name, a short description and the fat (g) per 100 (g) of all these foods.

You may already have many of them listed on your regular shopping list, then just use that and next to each item jot down the fat (g) per 100 (g).

I buy certain brands because I like the taste. Heinz is the only brand of tinned spaghetti that the kids and I will eat. I've tried others, but eventually I wind up back at the Heinz brand.

You won't keep buying something you don't like. The reason many of the brands are in your fridge or pantry are because you like them, you know they'll be eaten and not wasted...and really who can eat food they don't like, just because it's lower in fat or better for you, for the rest of their life? Not me, that's for sure! (On top of that I can't bear the thought of the kids throwing half of it away because they don't like it...what a waste...food's not cheap you know!!!)

The aim of listing the brands and description of the food you have in your cupboard, is that your low fat shopping list is based on things you already like and already buy.

When you go shopping next, take this list. These days many brands offer the same product in a 'lower fat' version.

A note of warning here...'lite' does not necessarily mean low fat...it can also be used to mean a lighter flavour...don't be fooled check the labels!

Using Your Low Fat Shopping List

Now, while you're shopping, look and see what is on offer in the brand you like, and the product you like. Compare the fat (g) per 100(g) on the labels with the ones on your list. Does the company offer a lower fat version?

If they do, buy it! Give it a go, you may even find that you can't tell the difference in taste between the versions, because they're the same brand, they are the same recipes, just one has less fat.

Then replace the high fat item on your shopping list, with the name of the low fat one...your low fat shopping list is born!

I found this very early in the piece with 2-minute noodles (we won't discuss the obvious fact that these aren't necessarily the most nutritious food on the block, that we'll get to later). As a snack they're great, and the kids and I are partial to the Maggi brand. Now, it never occurred to me to check the fat content, but when I decided that this time the weight was coming off, and staying off, I looked a little closer.

For some reason I had it set in my head that the lower fat version would taste horrendous! I'd tried other brands of 2-minute noodles in low fat...and they were awful.

One day I did bother to look closer at the Maggi chicken 2-minute noodles...guess what, they actually do two types...a 99% fat free and a full fat. Thinking that since they were the same brand, and flavour, I'd test them...so I bought one packet.

My children are sometimes the most difficult to keep on track, I thought that if I could sneak these low fat ones past them, without them noticing, then I'd try them too. Yes, I know using them as the taste testers might not be totally ethical...but hey, I'm on a mission here!

The kids didn't even notice, the noodles looked the same, smelt the same, and obviously tasted the same...so I plunged in, and tried some myself!

While I expected them to be noticeably different, they weren't, my head said they were different, my taste buds were fine with it. Great! We still eat 2-minute noodles, still Maggi, always the low fat.

Doesn't sound like much...one packet of two minute noodles can have up to 15g of fat...that's 3 teaspoons. Low fat has less than 2! So, just by changing to low fat, even if I have the noodles twice a week...I've just stopped putting 28g or nearly 6 teaspoons of unnecessary fat past my lips and onto my hips! And the best thing...my taste buds don't give me any grief at all about it!!

Your Low Fat Shopping List can cut hundreds of grams of fat out of your diet in no time.

If you have 20 items on your weekly shopping list, and five of these you find low fat alternatives for, with tastes that you like, and you eat them only, say, once a week, you could stop up to 8-10 teaspoons of fat storing itself on your body, each week!

And even better, you don't have to think about it! It's already done. You're having a bad day, in your head your worrying about the person that just rang and annoyed you...you reach for something to eat...and that's it! Your low fat shopping list has already started you on your weight loss. Now, you're pantry is becoming low fat before you're very eyes...and lips!

Each week, or whenever you can, look for more alternatives to replace other things, keep at it. Your taste buds won't bother you, you're hips will love you and you'll just keep doing it!

What to look for for your Low Fat Shopping List

Where might the hidden fat be? What products lend themselves to low fat alternatives?

  • Check out your canned goods
  • What about your quick foods...like preflavoured noodles and packaged prepared pastas
  • Your snack bars and muesli bars
  • Milk...I have yet to find a no-fat milk that I like...but I have found a low fat milk that suits my taste buds wonderfully
  • Other dairy products...I'm still hunting for a good low fat cheese, but cream and sour cream...the same brand that makes the high fat that I like does a low fat that is just as good...there's another teaspoon or two, two or three times a week...not bad hey?

Keep looking at your pantry and your fridge, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to cut hidden fats out of your diet, and it all starts with what you like, by the brands you like.

Then, when you feel up to it, try different brands, see if there's other low fat varieties of your pantry and fridge foods that don't offend your taste buds, or your hips.

Happy shopping!

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