Stay Skinny Without Giving Up Your Favs

Creative alternatives can satisfy cravings without cramping waistline

By Lindsay Wilcox
|  Monday, Oct 25, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 AM CDT
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Finding the right junk food alternatives can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Lindsay Wilcox, NBCDFW

Finding the right junk food alternatives can help you lose weight and keep it off.

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This time last year, Susan Nace was wearing a size 14 pant.

"I had never been this heavy, and I was within my husband's weight distance, and that was scary to me," says Nace.

She packed on 45 pounds through 18 years of what she calls careless eating.  To lose it all much faster, she turned to the Cooper Clinic's Female Focus program. 

"I'm a sugar person. I love chocolate, ice cream, bready things," says Nace.

Those are all common cravings, according to dietician Meridan Zerner. But, she says there are healthier alternatives and substitutes for those sugary treats.

"I might say something that's portion controlled, like four Hershey Kisses, is 100 calories. We can make room for that. I might say a sugar-free fudgecicle," says Zerner.

For people who aren't tempted by sweets, but rather crunchy, fried or salty foods, she offers these suggestions; "I would say, we've got baked french fries, baked sweet potato fries that are pretty darn good. I'm going to look at like a baked chip; something else that might be salty or crunchy."

Zerner says adding healthy fats, protein and fiber to your diet will help suppress cravings as will drinking more water. 
If the craving won't subside, she says follow the 80/20 rule. Skip it 80 percent of the time. Indulge 20 percent of the time, so you don't feel deprived. 

"If you really need the french fry, have the fry and move on," says Zerner.

Susan Nace hopes that sort of moderation will keep her in her new skinny jeans for the next 18 years.

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