5@5 - Nutritionist, author and TV host Ellie Krieger
August 25th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, New York Times bestselling author and host of Food Network's “Healthy Appetite." Her second book, "The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life," won both a James Beard Foundation Award and the International Association of Culinary Professionals cookbook award.

Touting that a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be all celery stalks and carrot sticks, she's here to divulge how she takes the guilt out of her favorite guilty pleasures - one fry at a time. 

Five Favorite Indulgences and How I Make Them Healthier: Ellie Krieger

1. French fries
"French fries are the one thing I absolutely cannot stop eating until they are gone. They are my biggest weakness. Now I satisfy my craving by making fries in my Actifry, an appliance that makes a whole batch of crispy brown fries with just a tablespoon of oil. I loved the product so much I teamed up with the manufacturer to help launch it here in the United States. While not as perfect as the Actifry fries, you can also get a good fry fix by making oven-fries: slice potatoes, toss with a little oil and bake until crisp."

2. Big juicy burgers
"For my burgers I use a modest amount - four ounces - of 90 percent lean ground beef, but I make them big, fat and flavorful by stuffing them with goodies like roasted peppers, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and feta. This way you get lots of burger in your bun in a healthier way. I also go for whole grain buns."

3. Cheese
"There is nothing more crave-able than good cheese. And I say have the real thing, just have a small amount and do it strategically. I use the most flavorful cheeses - like extra-sharp cheddar, blue cheese, freshly grated Parmesan - so I get maximum flavor in a dish by using a small amount. I put the cheese on top of a dish like a quiche or casserole, where you can really see it, so you get the most bang. And if I am having cheese as a snack or starter, I always make a little plate and include grapes, pear or apple slices so I can fill up with just a small cheese wedge."

4. Chocolate
"I couldn’t imagine a world without chocolate. To indulge healthfully I think quality over quantity, getting the absolute best dark chocolate and letting it melt in my mouth slowly, savoring every melting second of it. The better quality the chocolate and the darker it is, the more antioxidants it has - so I always keep a secret stash of the good stuff."

5. Margaritas
"A good margarita is like a good girl friend, they both have a way of multiplying joys and dividing sorrows. And margaritas go so well with the spicy foods I love. Trouble is they are usually so loaded with sugar. I make my margaritas with puréed mango to add sweetness so I use much less sugar. They look and feel even more festive and they are better for you."

Do you slim down your favorite meals? Go full throttle and cut back later? Eat whatever the heck you want without second thought? Let us know in the comments.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Joey

    I switched to eating as much organic food as possible and find it amazing that while I still eat the same things, I need sometimes less than half the amount of food to feel filled. As a result, you eat less, loose weight, and be healthier all around.

    August 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  2. DCS

    OMG! The author and I are soul mates. Four of the five mentioned are my all time favs. One suggestion, I make my margaritas with Crystal Lite. They're delicious and the only real calories are in the alcohol.

    August 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  3. BinyeEast

    I like my women like i enjoy my shakes: nice and thick.


    August 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  4. Maggie

    Amazing how the posts for this article descends into people just insulting one another! Stick to the real topic!

    August 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • RichardHead

      Sorry Maggie-a brand new whistle and -you'll enjoy this"A Black and White striped shirt with your Name-Referee on the Back". Thanks for playing and please call back soon.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  5. Jen

    The real key is listening to your body – eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. It sounds simple, but I used to have a hard time with that. And it's definitely hard when eating out. But since I've taken that advice to heart, I've lost 10 pounds in 2 months (currently 5'7, 155 pounds). I also do cardio for an hour 5 times a week, which helps, but I think diet has more to do with it than anything. Now if only I could give up beer, I'd probably be another 10 pounds down...

    August 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Common Sense

    For those that are interested in making health a priority, look into Robb Wolf's material and free blog site. Dr. Loren Cordain is a great source of knowledge and you can find some of his information on youtube and his website. Also Nora Gedgaudas is quite knowledgeable on her website and her book Primal Body, Primal Mind. If we want to regain that perfect health we just need to look to what our ancestors ate before the the Agricultural Revolution. Good luck!

    August 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  7. Ryan

    "I loved the product so much I teamed up with the manufacturer to help launch it here in the United States."

    Read: I am mentioning this product by name because I have a financial stake in it.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  8. semi-fat guy

    When you eat grass-fed beef, the terrorists win

    August 26, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • RichardHead

      I don't think they are talking about the "Smokin" kind of grass here Semi!

      August 26, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  9. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    You lost me at "Story time! Stay with me here:".

    August 26, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  10. Christine

    After reading all the comments I'm shocked at the hatred between self-proclaimed "skinny" or "healthy" people and those who are not. I was 5'11" by 7th grade and was made fun of for being a bean pole or a 'french fry' for years before I filled out in college. Being a tall lanky female at that age was not easy, but I got through it. All kids get made fun of, the important thing to remember is that exercise is not just physically healthy, but also mentally and emotionally beneficial. We need to unplug the microwaves and turn off the PlayStation's and get kids outside interacting again. We have so much entertainment at our fingertips we are in danger of creating a very lazy, socially inept and overall unhealthy generation in the next ten years.

    What motivation do kids have to learn how to cook healthy if the adults in charge promote microwave food and take out? How do you expect a kid to know how to cook anything but Ramen and canned veggies if we don't teach them how to use fresh ingredients? When will they leave their computers and video games if they have endless entertainment on the couch or in their rooms? I don't have kids and I'm sure it's a relief when they occupy themselves and you know they're safe in the house, but we are entering a danger zone as a country.

    We shouldn't bash people who have trouble with food. I am 25 and in the best shape of my life, after losing 25 lbs. since college. I don't need any outside motivation to exercise or eat healthy because I am disciplined. My boyfriend is older and has been overweight most of his adult life. I watch him struggle to lose weight every day and his diet causes fights because I get upset when he orders fried food or puts too much mayonnaise on his sandwich. I have learned that the worst thing I can do is make him feel badly about himself. He has a huge hill to climb, and losing that much weight is not easy, especially since he's grown up with lots of fried foods and sugary desserts. His father is diabetic and in poor health, and unfortunately he will be there too if he doesn't wake-up and realize he's trading his future quality of life for quick fixes today. I want him to get healthy because I love him. I don't think he needs to be a certain number on the scale, but he does need to get some moderate exercise and lay off of fried foods and white bread and pasta. Health is not about who's fat and who's skinny, it's about feeling good physically and mentally. Most people want to be healthy but many don't know where to start. My boyfriend knew NOTHING about food before he met me, and had no idea what he was doing wrong. He was tired at 3pm and felt bad all day before, and now with my cooking he has more energy and feels great. I think everyone want to feel good, including kids. Better food and exercise = better grades and social skills.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      And you shouldn't judge us that like to play Playstation games. I'm 5'9" 155 lbs healthy male. You seem like you LIKE to make others feel ashamed of different things. Get off your soap box and go eat a sandwich, Ms. Im-better-than-everyone.

      August 26, 2010 at 11:21 am |
      • BinyeEast

        She must be a hottie.

        August 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  11. Janice

    Story time! Stay with me here:

    I recently went to a funeral for a man (my best friend's uncle) who was addicted to crystal meth. Over time, the drugs fried his lungs... he was on an oxygen tank, waiting for a lung transplant, when he suffocated in his sleep and died at the ripe old age of 56.

    Another man I know (a former professor) died at the age of 57 from heart disease, blood clots due to inactivity, and diabetes. He was morbidly obese and went downhill fast.

    My experiences at the wakes and funerals for these two men were very different. People openly judged the drug addict for his choice to do drugs, ruin his body, and leave behind his wife and young children. They were so angry that he did this to himself.

    At the wake for the morbidly obese professor, people were much more sympathetic, saying, "It was just his time to go" or "This is God's plan". I seemed to be the only person who was really annoyed. This man CHOSE to eat like a pig, never exercise despite doctor's orders, and become so morbidly obese that his body couldn't handle the strain. He left behind his wife, two children, and an unborn grandchild, all for the sake of some tasty pizza or icecream. In my eyes, these two men are the same. They made stupid choices and became addicts... drugs or food, it doesn't matter. They both chose to ruin their bodies and left this earth in pain, many years before they should have.

    I used to have a weight problem, but I got it under control, because when I die, I want to know that I did everything I could to live a long, healthy life. I don't want someone crying over my casket because I was too stupid or stubborn or ignorant to take care of myself. IT IS TIME TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS. Watch what you eat, exercise, and you will stay with your friends and family a little longer.

    Thanks for reading.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • semi-fat guy

      Dang, that is sad. If only the fat guy did the meth, he probably would've been at a healthier weight and would still be living.

      August 26, 2010 at 11:14 am |
      • Live & let live

        That's great Semi-fat, you are the funniest and most real person on here! I have been fat and I have been skinny. Right now, I am just about right, but that's not the point. The point is that everyone should mind their own F'ing business. If a person is fat or skinny, so what? Quit being so judgemental. I am sure that there are plenty of things to dislike about each and everyone of us. How shallow to judge a person simply based on their looks, weight or any physical quality. Me, myself I admire people that have a sense of humor, respect that other's have the right to make their own decisions, and aren't so full of themselves.

        August 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • Janice

      FYI, both of these two men were wonderful people and I am not casting judgement on either of them. I loved them both and miss them. I just thought it was interesting how quickly people judged the drug addict, and how easily they forgave the obese man. I am making better health choices (diet and exercise) as a result of this experience, and I feel grateful to have learned an important lesson here.

      September 16, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  12. semi-fat guy

    I am a semi fat guy, 6' 3" 235 and eating healthy is so boring and tasteless no matter what these people say. Food is life's most basic simple pleasure. Mushrooms and feta loaded with veggies in a burger to flavor it up? Get real! Drive two hours to get grass fed beef? C'mon, that's just outrageous. You could be on a water and carrots diet your whole life and still get hit by a bus. As long as you are comfortable with your own weight who cares? We live in the best country in the world where even poor people can still be a fat gluttons. I say, celebrate your patriotism and eat a REAL burger with EXTRA cheese and bacon! Just get off your a$$ once in a while and stay active.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  13. Truth

    Ellie Krieger is a liberal. It is no wonder that she makes her living telling otehr what to eat. Typical of the party of hate.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • RichardHead

      Why in the hell do you have to bring Politics into a Food Forum Blog? I also resent YOU calling me an "otehr" because I resemble that remark. Now go listen to Rush Limpdick!

      August 26, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Hi, Truth! <3

      Actually, that's what the conservatives have been getting called. That, and the party of "No." You should know that, silly! The liberals have been getting called "Communist" and "Socialist". Apparently our current way of operating in this country is working just fine. Low unemployment, strong housing and economical markets, etc. No to change! Everything's working like a charm!

      August 26, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • really?

      Thanks Truth! Now put your hand back down your pants, crack a Budweiser and a bag of pork rinds, and flip on Fox News. All will be right with your world again in no time!

      August 26, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  14. Patrick Bateman

    You can always be thinner, look better.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  15. Colby

    I exercise 5 times a week, eat well during the weekdays, and then eat whatever the hell I want on the weekends, within reason. I have lost 35lbs in the last year doing this and I haven't been in this good of shape in 10 years. While exercise and a good diet are absolute key, you still have to let yourself go every once in a while or you will drive yourself crazy.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  16. Gilbert Grape's Mom

    Nobody wants greasy bacon.

    August 26, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  17. Hey Fatty McGhee

    When did it become acceptable to be grossly obese? Whether it's wrong or right, the truth is our world sees fat people as LAZY. We need to start shaming our fat kids again so they learn moderation and not grow up to be disgustingly fat.

    August 26, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Brian

      I've got news for you a very large portion (pun not intended) of the obese and very overweight adults weren't fat kids at any point growing up. I think the shame part is there but the tools to enable oneself are anywhere and everywhere now. Not to say that we should be banning them or overregulating them either.

      August 26, 2010 at 9:59 am |
      • Hey Fatty McGhee

        I think the best solution would be to ban stretch pants. However, that could make things worse.

        August 26, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • RichardHead

      Shaming? ShamWow!

      August 26, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • You're disgusting

      Guess what, obese kids aren't fat because they want to be. It's because their PARENTS take shortcuts, buy fast food, and don't teach their kids moderation. The WORST thing you could do is to "shame" them thinking that will help anything. All it'll do is cause them to spiral into depression and either make the problem worse, give them an eating disorder, or cause them to commit suicide.

      Grow a heart. And a brain.

      If you want to get to the source of the problem you have to start with parents. You can educate the kids, but shaming them is cruel and sick and solves nothing.

      August 26, 2010 at 10:23 am |
      • RichardHead

        Dang-all my Drug Stocks took a dive after reading this one.

        August 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
      • Hey Fatty McGhee

        Typical fatty response.

        August 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
      • Wow

        @Hey Fatty McGee, Attitudes like yours are extremely damaging to other people. But I suppose that doesn't matter, because if everyone doesn't fit into your ideal, they're wrong, not you. And if they disagree, they must be fat, so their opinion doesn't count.

        August 26, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  18. Pat M.

    Not only is eating fast food daily not healthy but it gets very expensive. Those days of feeding a family for $5 are gone. My son spends $8-$10 when he goes to Burger King.
    My wife and I eat out very rarely during the week.We treat ourselves to a nice dinner once a week but make sure it is a nice restaurant that has healthy alternatives. she works 60 hours a week so I do the cooking in the house. Normally, grilled chicken, pasta or very lean red meats such as marinated flank steaks along with a salad or steamed veggies. Works for us and we save a ton of money.

    August 26, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  19. Pat M.

    I am a 5'7" 170 lbs man. My secret is running 3-4 miles 3 days a week and do light weights to tone twice a week. I am not perfect as beer is my only vice. No other alcohol at all...Stay away from fast foods for the most part but will indulge in a slice or two of pizza about once a month. The secret is moderation and regular activity, no matter what it is. taking pride in your health and appearence should be a priority. I have had a herniated disc in my lower back for 10 years but regular excercise basically eliminates the pain.
    Those who eat fast food daily and complain about being overweight need to change there habits. Pack your meals from home and if hungry between meals try nuts or cheese an crackers as a snack, in moderation.

    August 26, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • RichardHead

      Pat sounds like you got it together especially the Beer part. The exercise routine is a little extreme for me though. The State Fair of Texas is just around the corner so here is how I handle the food. First stop-Fletcher's Corny Dog with extra mustard. Then walk it off to find the only vendor that sells regular Coors Beer. Drink Beer. Next I have to find the newest product at the fair-Fried Frito Chili Pie.Dang I'm drooling just thinking about that one. So that is more walking and then I have to walk back to the Beer vendor again. Fair Park in Dallas is a Big Place. Next comes Fried peanut butter and banana sandwich which will rev me up for the long walk back to the Beer vendor. On the way out of the Fair I always grab one more Fletcher's Corny Dog for the road as it will be a full year before I have another.Not only does my back hurt.so do my legs etc. It is worth the wait and exercise.

      August 26, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  20. Common Sense

    amy, google grass-fed cheese and you can probably find some places that will ship it to you. I know Swissland Cheese Company has some great products. Bison is really good as well. You'll have to look for bison a little bit. Maybe do some research on it. I'm lucky enough to have a Whole Foods down the road where I can get Bison steaks, ground meat, etc. It's more expensive but an investment in your health. Good Luck

    August 26, 2010 at 9:14 am |
    • Tod

      Where can I get grass fed veal?

      August 26, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  21. amy

    Where in the world can I get grass-fed cheese? I would love to find that. I currently drive 2 hours to Atlanta to get grass-fed beef, but I only it it about once every week or 2 weeks because it is so expensive. I'd rather eat mostly vegetarian than eat the non-organic meats. Also, where in the world do you buy bison meat???

    August 26, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  22. Not Difficult

    I'm 5'8" and 117 lbs. It's common sense, as others have said. I'd love to live on high fat, high carb junk food and do indulge- rarely. 99% of the time I live on a lot of water, green tea, high fiber oatmeal or egg whites for breakfast and tonight's dinner will be green beans from the farmer's market and baked fish (whatever looks good at the fish market ths afternoon.) I snack on air popped popcorn or, as Ellie suggested, a square or two of 85% dark chocolate I keep in the freezer.

    August 26, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  23. teacups19666

    u find it hideous what the respoinse was to that poor womans obesity and her being honest about it shame on you

    August 26, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  24. Les

    grilled turkey burgers and over fries... grilling's on the menu for the wknd

    August 26, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  25. Common Sense

    Here's how it should read for good health...
    1. Sub out the regular potatoes with sweet potatoes and use olive oil to cook them
    2. Lose the whole wheat bun and go for a lettuce wrap and increase the meat amount to 8 oz of grass-fed beef or bison then load it with veggies
    3. Look for grass-fed full fat cheese and eat that with some fruit and veggies for a snack
    4. Look for the darkest most pure chocolate you can find with the highest cocao content
    5. Skip the margarita and go for a coconut milk smoothie with all kinds of different fruits

    If she wanted to make the choices healthy and delicious, she should start there...

    August 26, 2010 at 8:03 am |
    • Not common sense

      As good as substitutions are, sometimes you want the real thing. And contrary to popular belief, bread/carbs are part of a healthy diet. It's good that you like those substitutions, but not everyone does and not everyone has to. She's telling people how they can still eat stuff they like without much of a difference in taste, but with less fat. That's just as good as your advice. Stop criticizing.

      August 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
      • Common Sense

        @not common sense... She was offering what she thought was a healthy alternative, only problem is she left out quite a bit helpful knowledge on the subject. Interesting that you said contrary to popular belief because I believe most people believe bread CAN be healthy for your diet when it really is not in any fashion. Bread is calorically dense but not nutrionally dense. Carbs is little bit too all enclusive. Fruits and Vegetables are great but grains not so much. Refined breads spike insulin levels to unhealthy levels and lead to metabollic syndrome. Whole grains don't spike insulin levels as high because of their fiber howevere they contain anti-nutrients which bind to vitamins and minerals causing us to not absorb all the nutrients we are eating... SO contrary to your thinking bread IS NOT healthy for you. Will it hurt you if eaten in small amounts, probably not, but I would avoid gluten as it can lead to many auto-immune diseases. So before you spew out your Conventional Wisdom, please do your research first.

        August 26, 2010 at 10:48 am |
      • Not common sense

        Have you ever talked to a nutritionist? They are the ones that outline where carbs, breads, are needed on a regular basis to balance out things like insulin levels. As with everything, they have to be eaten in moderation, but they aren't bad for you.

        August 26, 2010 at 11:37 am |
      • Common Sense

        Most nutritionists or RD's follow the same food pyramid that was doled out by our government back in the 90s. It's no wonder diabetes, hypertension, and all the other Syndrome X diseases have gone through the roof. To say that bread is not bad for you is being ignorant to what is being shown in research and clinical trials. Like I said before if you eat small amounts of bread, it won't be too harmful if you're not a Celiac or have an allergy to grains which many, many people around the world have. Just because you talked to an RD does not make you knowledgeable on the subject. Try reading Primal Body, Primal Mind... Good Calories, Bad Calories... look into Robb Wolf's information or the Weston A. Price Foundation and you will find health and longevity are really not too hard to attain when you look at what the human body is meant to consume

        August 26, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  26. Tom Rankles

    "Ellie Krieger is a registered dietatian..."

    C'mon... can't the author even use spellcheck?

    From WikiPedia:
    "A dietitian or dietician (dietitian is the preferred spelling within the dietetics profession) is an expert in food and nutrition."

    August 26, 2010 at 7:26 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Uh, oh. Grammar police! Evirreebodey look owt!

      August 26, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  27. JMPelland

    You know, the short headlines of these eatocracy articles featured on the main page of CNN are always so misleading. I was expecting an article about some scientific study that found some positive benefits to eating bad-for-you foods. Not an article about how to make them healthier. I can't stand eatocracy blogs.

    August 26, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  28. chadwood

    I'm gonna look into getting an actifry now....

    August 26, 2010 at 6:00 am |
  29. Jonathan

    The best way to stay slim and healthy is to not eat processed foods, watch your animal fat intake, don't eat a lot of sugar, drink diet soda or water, and get 20 minutes of exercise a day. It's not that hard. Oh yeah, and don't eat like a Moose.

    August 26, 2010 at 4:19 am |
    • Common Sense

      Animal Fat is not bad for you when it comes from free-range or wild animals. Why do you think there was no syndrome X 2 million years ago when we were hunter-gatherers? Do you think our ancestors got sick from eating animals?

      August 26, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  30. kazz

    after reading #4 i totally want to have sex with this woman

    August 26, 2010 at 2:23 am |
  31. Smarten UP

    How is your burger tip not "Make burgers with ground buffalo"????

    Tastes just like beef. Healthier than chicken. You have to be kidding me that you didn't list this!

    August 26, 2010 at 1:16 am |
    • Jonathan

      Yes, and you can also use half lean ground turkey, to half beef.

      August 26, 2010 at 4:20 am |
    • Common Sense

      It's because she's a RD and sticks to the usual conventional wisdom that the government has been feeding us. She would probably point you towards the food pyramid as well if you asked for some advice. Good call with the buffalo. Very tasty and healthy at the same time.

      August 26, 2010 at 8:30 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      That's what I'm talkin' about. Was going to mention something about Bison burgers the other day on some article. MMMMMmmmmm, NOM NOM NOM NOM.

      August 26, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  32. Chris

    #5 Margaritas...

    Try the Baja Bobs sugar free mixes.. Yummy,wouldn't know that there is no sugar.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
    • Dale

      FAIL. Those drinks wreak havoc on your pancreas.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  33. YOUR DAD

    If your getting adequate sleep each night and excercising at least 3-5 times a week you should allow your self some leniency when it comes to diet. That being said there is a difference between leniency and gluttony. The biggest thing to keep in mind is balance. If you can find a balance with anything your on the right track.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Some people don't know what "a treat" is. They eat the whole box.

      August 26, 2010 at 4:21 am |
  34. Duh

    These 'tips' are lame.

    Wanna lose weight with little exercise? Stop drinking just about anything but water and skim milk. Stop eating late at night. Stop eating sweets. Stop eating fried foods. Stop eating when you feel full...not when the plate is empty. I lost 30 lbs over 4 months without exercising a lick and still ate plenty of good foods to keep my body nourished.

    If I wasn't so damned busy (lazy) and actually exercised moderately then I'd probably be on some swimsuit calendar by now.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Ryan

      That's what my fiancee did. I do all the cooking, we eat chicken and seafood, rice, beans and veg. Probably the worst thing we eat is chicken thighs with the skin on. I thought I'd get bored not eating the meat and potatoes and fried stuff, but once I discovered stir fry and curry I don't miss any off it. Learning to cook simple food is the best thing. Something that used to take me forever and make a mess now takes me almost no time at all, so there is no "convenience" problem.

      August 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • RichardHead

      After reading all of these weight loss tips,I am now going Extreme. That's right-I have moved my BEER to the bottom shelf of the fridge . See,exercise can be fun!

      August 26, 2010 at 9:30 am |
    • Brian

      You're experiencing the same thing every expert has come to realize that the diet itself is more important than the exercise to weight loss. Most people tend to reward or overcompensate for their exercise and lose weight more slowly if at all. The best thing to do is get the diet in check over a couple of months and then start exercising.

      August 26, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  35. sarah

    For the main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) I scale back. I eat a lot of little snacks through out the day. If I'm on the road and hungry, I'll get a Happy Meal (or the like) with apple slices and a diet soda or something. Happy Meals have a little bit of everything without going overboard.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • sarah

      Also, I would like to add I am 21, 5'8 and have weighed 130-135lbs since middle school. I go for a 1.5 mile walk at least 3 times a week.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • HAHA

      You are actually defending HAPPY MEALS? Are you dense? Not only is it frozen mutant patties with iceberg ( the lowest quality lettuce) nasty fake cheese and a few snotballs from Billy the 'chef'. WOW. Not the sharpest knife are ya?

      August 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  36. Dali

    For my family the healthier choices just seem better tasting. After all, what can you expect from a plain meat burger? Now add some mushroom and onions and you actually have some flavor! And how about some omelet? Our recipe: egg whites and any combination of mushroom, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, a bit of flavorful cheese, onions, any herbs and spices that suit your taste.Chop them in small pieces and throw them in the bowl. Be creative! No oil, butter or anything else greasy. If it feels like it is not fluid enough, add a bit of milk. For a rushed breakfast, just cook it in the microwave. If you have a bit more time, add a few more drops of milk and stick it in the oven. Yummm...

    August 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  37. Cheesy

    Simple things. If I go through the drive-through at Taco Bell. I order what I want, but with NO meat (and no beans to substitute to meat). Honestly, not bad foods and a lot of the sodium goes when the meat does.

    August 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • Lisa

      Well, if you're not eating meat or beans at the Bell, are you eating lettuce? I mean, what else is there really?

      August 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • Chicharito

      sounds like a pretty bogus burrito

      August 26, 2010 at 11:00 am |

      But at Taco Bell you need to tell them to hold the pubes.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  38. Ryan

    If you don't drink sugared drinks or eat processed foods, you probably won't even need to exercise to lose weight. Taking for granted you're not stupid and eating a vile amount of butter etc. I do all the cooking in my family, we eat lots of chicken, seafood, rice, beans and vegetables. My fiancee has lost about 50 pounds in 4 months since I stopped cooking the stuff we used to eat (red meats, fried cutlets/fish, mashed potatoes and gravy) and we don't go to fast food places.

    August 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Brian

      Ryan, you can eat red meat you just have to choose the right cuts and of course the right portion sizes. Loin or round cuts of beef are fine when trimmed properly and portioned properly in fact nothing can give you as much protein per portion as that can. For ground beef use the 90% fat free or better. Although if I was to make chili I like ground turkey just the same as ground beef.

      August 26, 2010 at 9:51 am |
      • Ryan

        I don't eat it because I think it's gross; it's just my opinion, but chicken and fish are the lesser evils. I also like not eating it because it keeps me off the slippery slope of burgers, meatloaf and mashed, fast food etc.

        August 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  39. Dave

    6' and 170lbs. Don't watch what I eat, smoke, don't go out of my way to excersize. Over 40 years old. The key is not to sit on your butt all day, but go out and DO something, anything. Like I said, I don't go out of my way to excersize, but I am still pretty active.

    August 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      People who want to ruin their own bodies with bad food, alcohol, chewing tobacco, whatever...they don't bother me one bit, so long as they manage not to destroy someone else's life in the process. People who insist on ruining other people's bodies (like my mother's) with secondhand smoke...they piss me off.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Maybe she should move away from the smoke, jerkoff. No one's knocking on her door and blowing smoke in her face when she answers.

        August 26, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  40. HJ, Nevada

    I count calories and exercise–1600cal–but I haven't given up much of anything. I've replaced a lot of the junk in my diet with healthier versions of the same thing, usually with about 1/2 the fat / sugar content or less, but somethings I still eat. I still eat ramen noodles, and pizza, and fast food hamburgers, and tiramisu. The difference is I eat them every couple of weeks, not 3 times a week, and I budget for them in my calories so I don't really pay for it later. Just picking a number, calorie wise, that's a little lower than where you currently are and adding a little exercise can help you loose weight in a slow, healthy way. Fat and sugar and salt are addictive, just like cigarettes and alcohol. But the good news is that also means that you CAN drop the habit, and replace it with a healthier one. 30lbs lighter and still going strong.

    August 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
    • ding ding

      we have a winner

      August 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • CH

      i'm doing the same thing. I dropped from 225 lbs to 182, and I'm also still going. its all about changing your lifestyle, and doing whats right for your body. Congrats on losing the 30 lbs! :)

      August 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  41. Joshua Grenell

    outdated info...

    Primal blueprint, paleo, zone. Eat all you want and stay thin, just stay away the high glycemic carbs...

    August 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  42. Kimberly

    I know eating quickly is a big diet "no-no"...so I eat most of my meals with chopsticks, it makes it hard to eat fast. And it's fun!

    August 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • TW

      haha good idea...but sounds a little messy :)
      I'm a complete FAIL when it comes to chopsticks

      August 26, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Janice

      That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

      August 26, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • Josh

      That's a really good idea!

      August 26, 2010 at 10:46 am |

      Yeah, but eating a burger with a chopstick wont make you any less fat.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  43. Suz

    I have tried several of Ellie's recipes and I LOVE them. I like the way she thinks too in that she doesn't limit anything, but just recommends eating healthy foods but urges portion control and thoughtful eating. I COULD actually live that way but not if there are things that are totally off limits. Thanks for being a sane voice in the "healthy" eating world!! I know it has been said but real food for real people. Now, if I could only do it more often!

    August 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
  44. jillmarie

    I eat small portions of healthy yet yummy foods. I love red wine and champagne, so I have a 5oz glass or two on occasion. I agree with the small portion of cheese- I use one or two types of low-fat cheese- let it get to room temperature then have it with fresh mushrooms, radishes, berries, grapes, whatever fruit I have in the fridge.
    I have one slice of thin crust pizza, then have a saklad with balsamic vinegar on it.
    If I want pasta, I order a side dish (whole wheat if they have it, with marinara) at a restaurant (not a half-order) and usually I get more than enough for 2 meals. Plus it costs $3.99- a bargain!
    I love sugar-free fudge pops and pudding cups.
    I'm 5'4 and weigh 112lbs. I'm an atypical thin American chick.

    August 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  45. Gluttoniste

    I eat whatever I like.
    That's why I weigh 275 pounds.
    At age 32, at 5'8", I have an appetite for sugar and fat that I can't beat.
    So, I'm just your everyday, American fat chick.

    That is all.

    August 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Noone

      It's okay, we still love you!

      August 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
    • hmm

      yuck..i'd like to eat whatever i want every day as well..no self respect or what?

      August 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
      • huh?

        Why does it even matter to you?

        August 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
      • Ryan

        Maybe they don't like seeing the morbidly obese in the supermarket with their cart full of garbage, with their obese kids trailing behind demanding every horrid thing they see, then coming here and bragging about how fat they are.

        August 25, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
      • Rich

        Some people are just more comfortable with a holier-than-thou attitude. Like Ryan, there. Whatever his faults (yeah, right!) are, they're nothing compared to being a big ol blimp toting around a fat brood, right, Ryan?

        August 26, 2010 at 12:01 am |
      • David

        Was that response to her honesty really necessary? I'd rather have a fat friend than a mean opininated skinny one

        August 26, 2010 at 1:47 am |
      • Ryan (a different one)

        Despite the lack of tack by the other Ryan, there is something seriously wrong when people start listening to the "fat acceptance" crowd. They are as full of it as their counterparts for tobacco and heroin. We know that obesity kills you. It also is the number one preventable illness that drives up health care utilization and costs. In our spread-loaded insurance/entitlement health care system we all pay more money because of obesity.

        August 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
      • Ryan

        The fat people shape what your supermarkets order. The more junk and processed foods they buy, the more that the supermarkets order those types of items at the expense of healthier options. There is a reason the frozen fish section is dwarfed by prepared processed foods, french fries etc in the frozen section. There is a reason that 95% of the entire store is garbage. The choices these people make effect you. You should look down your nose at the cavalcade of the obese and the heaping piles of potato chips, frozen dinners and value packs of 80/20 ground beef they have in their cart and are gonna feed their kids. You should stare at that person in the mall food court who goes through 8 packs on mayonnaise on their french fries.

        August 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm |

        White women are the fattest group in America. They are also that sloppy fat. EW! Try going to the midwest. I was sent their for a corporate event and I was blown away with how nasty those white chicks were. I am latina and have real curves. No wonder THEIR men want me. Round in the all the places that matter. White women just dont have that. Too much slimy fat.

        August 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
      • Anna

        HAHHA RYAN! That was rich!

        It is disgusting. Fat blobs need to stop acting like they are their own race for crying out loud! 'My rights! My rights to shove 3 quarter pound heartattack burgers down my esophagus! I AM AN AMERICAN!'

        Yeah.. but not for looooonggg... hahahahhaha

        August 26, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • Ryan

      That's pretty friggin gross.

      August 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
      • francis harris

        i hope ryan falls upon something sharp

        August 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • d

      Once you get on the eating-better bandwagon and see your body and lifestyle improve greatly, it gets easier and addictive. You might consider starting small and trying.

      August 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • DollyMadison

      You big American pig. What makes you think we love your fat frickin' ass?

      August 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
      • Jessica

        Wow. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing crap like that. But, I bet you're not!

        August 25, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
      • David

        That's ripe coming from someone named after pastery.

        August 26, 2010 at 1:49 am |
      • Anna

        OMG! That was hilarious! Come on fatties, lose a ton then maybe the Earth will stop trying to kill itself.

        August 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • Greeneye8181

      I eat whatever I want too, but I just eat it moderately and exercise regularly so I dont become unhealthy. You should try it.

      August 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • Nicole

      I'm 32, 5'6" and wight about 105lbs. I also eat as much as I want, but never have cravings for processed/junk foods because the food I eat is balanced, highly nutritious, and my body loves it. If you study nutrition correctly, the same will happen which makes me very disappointed with professional nutritionists whose advice is lacking complete knowledge and causes clients to fail or rebound.

      August 25, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
      • Rich

        Nicole, you're actually at what's generally considered less than a healthy weight.

        August 26, 2010 at 12:04 am |
      • Jonathan

        Sweetie, you're anorexic. Please eat a muffin, or ten.

        August 26, 2010 at 4:14 am |
      • Mary

        I'm also 5'6" (but weigh 108-110lbs). Nicole and I are both considered in the "underweight" range on the BMI charts, but this does not mean we are unhealthy. Just because someone is skinny does not mean they are "anorexic". Yes, I'm thin, but I think I have just the right amount of meat on my bones (and my butt is nice too). I love food, I eat junk food on occasion, and consume more carbs than the average person.

        August 26, 2010 at 4:41 am |
      • DevsFan72

        @ Mary-

        BMI is complete and total garbage. It does not take into account lean muscle tissue, bones, or anything else for that matter. The best way is to find out what your body fat percentage is. This is easily done with skin fold calipers. If you use BMI then Terrel Owens would be considerd obeese.

        August 26, 2010 at 7:22 am |
      • Diane

        Good for you, that you are eating healthy – or at least nutritious food. I don't know if you can say you eat healthy unless you take in the right number of calories. I am 5'3" and you weigh less than I did in high school. Even by using the body fat percentage instead of BMI, you are most likely still underweight. I am not suggesting you are anorexic, but you might consider gaining some weight. Obesity can cause a multitude of health problems, but being underweight can cause health issues too. You just don't hear about those because our culture is obsessed with being skinny, but for some reason can't put down the potato chips and get off the couch.

        August 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  46. Anna

    I am a carb addict with a diabetic boyfriend and I use whole grain bread and pasta for all of my home cooking expeditions. It is better for both of us than white bread and pasta and tastes pretty good. I don't even miss white bread!

    August 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • Brian

      Anna, once you get started eating the whole grain products you realize how much better they taste than the bleached, enriched crap we all grow up eating. Most lower sodium products are this way as well.

      August 26, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  47. Grondahl

    I'm in the third category: Eat as I please in whatever quantity I desire, and I'll scale back once my mid-life crisis hits.

    Also, Ellie, I LOVE YOU. As your schedule permits, please run away with me. Your eating habits will complement mine: You eat the small portion, I'll eat the lion's share. We'll be so happy together!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Erick

      What health care plan are you on? If you're on mine I'll be sure to start shopping for a new provider.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:56 am |
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