Focus on eating smarter during Healthy Weight Week

healthy eating

The Healthy Weight Network has named Jan. 20 to 26 as “Healthy Weight Week.” Whether the goal is to lose or gain weight, eating smart is the way to begin.

As I was sweating away on the bike at the gym, I was reading an advertisement that compared a doughnut to a serving of yogurt. The doughnut was covered in pink icing and sprinkles (yum!).

I realized that I had, in fact, eaten a doughnut just like that the same day. I pedaled faster, hoping to burn off more of it. Then I looked at the sugar-free cherry yogurt. It actually looked pretty good too, and I wished that I had made the better choice that morning.

You see, one cake doughnut with pink icing and sprinkles is 360 calories, while one serving of sugar-free yogurt is 90 calories. As Homer Simpson would say, “D’oh!”

I began comparing everything I was eating. I found a calorie-counting website at If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a lot of snacking. Why eat one tiny portion of unhealthy food when you can eat a ton of healthy food?

One bag of Skittles (250 calories) versus one cup of grapes (104 calories). If you get grapes right at their sweetest, they can be almost as sweet as the candy. Even two cups of grapes doesn’t equal the calories in one bag of Skittles.

20 baby carrots (70 calories) with two tablespoons low fat ranch (70 calories) versus 1 ounce ranch-flavored tortilla chips (150 calories). The crunch factor is big here. I’d much rather have 20 carrots than about seven chips.

Orange juice (110 calories) versus two Clementine oranges (70 calories). I’ll stick to the tiny oranges. They take longer to eat and they smell delicious.

Iced tea (0 calories) versus a regular cola (140 calories). I can’t think of anything better to quench my thirst than a large pitcher of natural iced tea, filled with ice and lemon slices. There’s no comparison between a non-sugared beverage and a can of soda full of cavity-producing sugar.

Healthier foods may not be quite as decadent, but they can be pretty tasty. And guilt-free tastes pretty good to me! If you’ve got ideas for tasty swaps, post a comment here and let us know.

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