Meatball Pasta Soup; Diets – the only one that works, guaranteed!


It's a favorite topic this time of year.

With the coming of the new year come all the resolutions.

To save you all a lot of unnecessary frustration regarding which diet to try, let me tell you about the only one that actually works.

Eating less.

If you take a close look at all of the diet books, diet gurus, and no-fail diet regimes on the market they all have one thing in common: They make you eat less.

It may not be obvious…

They may trick you into thinking that you can eat more because you are eliminating (choose one: fat, carbs, protein).

But the truth is, you are eating less.

It's simple math: 3,500 calories equals 1 pound.

If you eat 3,500 more calories than you burn you gain 1 pound.

If you eat 3,500 less calories than you burn you lose 1 pound.

The problem I (and, apparently most people who follow them) have with all of the diets, regardless of type is that they set the dieter up for failure (which, perhaps, allows them to sell more books)

One 'goes on a diet', eating certain foods, not eating others, carefully monitoring every morsel.

One loses the intended weight.

The diet was a success! 

One 'goes off the diet'.

One startes eating all the banned food, reverting back to previous habits, and promptly regains all the lost weight… and, usually, just a bit more.

And the cycle repeats.

With my simple diet plan you have a much better chance of losing the weight for good.

It has two components.

Food and exercise.

Here's how you can put them together for your own diet – to lose weight now and to keep it off forever.

Take an honest look at what you eat.  All of it, including the piece of candy you got at the bank and the bite of cake you had from your friend's dessert at lunch.

Remember, this isn't rocket science; it's simple math.

Now that you know what you eat, decide on how much weight you would like to lose…. and be reasonable.  Don't set yourself up for failure.

Let's say you want to lose 12 pounds by April 15.  That's a bit aggressive, but still reasonable.

You have to reduce your daily intake by about 500 calories – or work it off.

  • Do you normally have 2 glasses of wine with dinner?  Eliminate 1 for 100 calories.
  • Do you normally put 2oz of cheese in your omelet? Use 1 and save 100 calories.
  • Do you usually have 3 slices of pizza? Have 2 and save 300 calories.  Or have 2 1/2
  • Eliminate 1 tbs of butter or oil each day – 100 calories.
  • Having spaghetti?  Have 1.75oz instead of 2oz and save 60 calories
  • Eat some yogurt.  Buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit.  Studies have shown that eating yogurt helps digestion and can increase weight loss.
  • If you usually eat 6oz of whatever meat, eat 5oz… or even 5.5oz.

Measure your food…. 1/4 cup of Basmati rice doesn't look like much for 1 person before it's cooked.  But it is…. And the difference between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup is about 60 calories.

Pay attention to what you eat.

Hungry for a snack?  Make yourself a cup of hot green tea while you think about it.

And buy a bag of almonds and walnuts in the shell. While your tea brews, crack a couple.  It's a nice healthy snack and having to crack and pick out the nut meats keeps you from eating too many.

And don't forget to have your treats…. Like that square of dark chocolate for dessert.

And now, the secret weapon: exercise.

Once again: don't set yourself up for failure.

Don't decide you're going to the gym for an hour every day when you haven't been in 3 years.  You won't do it.

Instead, decide not to park so close to the office or mall or whatever.  A 10 minute walk will take care of 50 calories.  Do that twice and you're down 100.

Decide to do some weight-training…. Muscle burns more calories than fat. 

Put two people on the couch for a movie.  The one with more muscle will burn more calories just sitting there doing nothing.

You don't have to go to the gym for that either.  In less than 10 minutes you could do 30 walking lunges for the lower body, 12 push-ups for the upper body and maybe some sit-ups for the old gut.  Do that 3 times a week….

You may not lose anything the first week…. Maybe not even the second.

But, you start having more energy, the weight does start coming off, the clothes fit better….

Heck, maybe you even feel like going to the gym….

In doing all this you're making small, but hopefully permanent lifestyle changes.

Just… don't set yourself up to fail buy trying to push yourself to do what you know you won't.

And eat soup.

Meatball Pasta Soup

Meatball Pasta Soup

8oz ground beef (250gr mince)  5% fat
1 tbs bread crumbs
1 tbs Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 cups (32oz, 900ml) beef stock
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp chili powder
6oz (175gr) fresh spinach, large leaves chopped
1 cup farfalle or other pasta
Parmesan for garnish

Meatballs: Combine all ingredients and form into 1 inch (2.5cm) meatballs.

Soup: In soup pot heat the beef stock, tomatoes and their juices to a simmer.  Add onion, garlic, basil and chili powder. When soup is simmering slowly add meatballs, keeping them separate until they start to cook.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes. 
Add pasta and simmer until pasta is done.  Add spinach and cook just until it starts to wilt. Ladle into bowls and serve – garnished with a bit of shaved Parmesan if you like.

And to all of you who swear by whatever diet…. If it worked for you: Wonderful!

Did you keep it off or do you have to go back 'on' periodically?

11 thoughts on “Meatball Pasta Soup; Diets – the only one that works, guaranteed!”

  1. You are right on spot, diets don’t work in the long run! It’s all about portion size, moderation and moving. My best friend was very successful doing that and that is what I am striving to do.

  2. Pam, it’s not perfect, but it does work over the long term… Just tiny changes can do wonders.
    Betty, I’ve been exercising and watching my weight my whole life…. usually, successfully. Just can’t seem to forget my hummingbird metabolism of my youth LOL
    Zoomie, I have a chocolate in front of me as I type 😉
    TikiPundit – okay, now I have to Google TED…Wow! Thanks!
    Val, thanks…
    Kate, small plates work great – And that’s what they use in the Senior Apartments my mother is in. The food fills the plate, the seniors can eat it all yet they don’t get too much!

  3. This is such a great post, Katie! I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life, and the only thing that works is making changes that fit in with the way I like to live my life. I love to cook–that won’t ever change, so even if I try to eat “diet food” for awhile, eventually I’ll stop. It’s eye-opening to see all of the little things you can do for your health!

  4. Ruth, the thought is simple; the execution can be more challenging LOL
    Thanks, Food Hunter!
    emiglia, I’ve had to watch me weight ever since I left university and didn’t notice my metabolism changing (desk job). Diet food does not work for me. skipping a pat of butter does.

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