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cheese addiction

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I personally would rather have on extra weight than live a life without cheese. If I go even one day without cheese, I get in bed feeling unsatisfied—like something important was missing. Cheese just feeds my soul. There is something so natural and wholesome to me about having cheese every day. Haven’t the families who built America been eating cheese for centuries? And our dairy industry—it’s such a major one in this country. Dairy must run through my veins, because I hate to be without it. I put it on my morning omelet. I have it in my afternoon sandwich. I add feta cheese to my salads. I have dried fruit and cheese for dessert. So, when I need to lose a few pounds, cutting out dairy just…isn’t an option. It won’t work. It’s not going to be sustainable for me.

 

If you can relate to any of this, then you may have felt that your love of cheese has gotten in the way of your weight loss goals. It just seems like every diet tells you to quit cheese. But if having cheese is a part of you feeling satisfied, then that diet just won’t work because we all know that any diet that leaves us feeling unsatisfied is just too hard to stick to. And that’s okay, because you actually don’t have to quit cheese in order to lose weight. No two cheeses are created equal, and there is a vast range when we’re talking about things like calories, fat content, protein levels, and other nutritional components.

 

Dairy, when consumed the right way, can actually be very good for us, and even help with losing weight. It’s not the evil food some fad diets might make it out to be. Here is how cheese lovers can still lose weight.

cheese addiction

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Greek salads

Just one cup of feta cheese has 21 grams of protein and just under 400 calories, making it a highly satisfying food. Make a Greek salad, with feta as your protein source (or add chicken if you like). The rest of the salad, between the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and onions has almost negligible calories.

cheese addiction

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Add real blue cheese to salads

Skip the creamy dressing, since that’s the stuff that will get you in trouble, and instead put olive oil and lemon juice, or balsamic vinaigrette, on your salad, and add blue cheese crumbles. This pungent cheese is high in protein and low in fat, and a couple tablespoons of the stuff will just cost you a couple hundred calories.

cheese addiction

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Cheese stick snacks

If you need a protein-heavy snack to get you through the hours between meals, try cheddar or mozzarella cheese sticks. Both of these cheeses are high in protein and low in fat, and should satiate your cravings for the stuff, without feeling the need to overdo it.

cheese addiction

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Get the sharpest cheddar

If you love cheddar cheese, go for the sharp stuff. Often, we load on the mild stuff, just because we’re looking for flavor. If you’re a big fan of grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas with cheddar, you’ll be surprised to find that, the sharper you go with it, the less cheese you feel you need.

cheese addiction

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Parmesan-crust your veggies

Parmesan cheese is quite low in fat, but loaded with flavor. If you’re trying to get more veggies into your diet in order to lose weight, consider parmesan-crusting your veggies. This is a great trick for cauliflower, broccoli, and string beans. You can also put a parmesan crust on your chicken breasts.

cheese addiction

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Caprese salads

Get your buffalo mozzarella fix from a Caprese salad. The water content of the tomatoes can help you feel full, while the basil will provide magnesium and fatty acids. Meanwhile, buffalo mozzarella is a great source of protein, and is low in fat. Plus, it’s low in sodium and calories.

cheese addiction

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Swiss cheese for your sandwiches

If you love your BLTs or turkey club sandwiches with a little cheese, try Swiss cheese. One slice has just around 100 calories, while boasting eight grams of protein and eight grams of fat. If you love making toasted cheese sandwiches to dip into your tomato soup, try using Swiss instead of Brie or other fattier cheeses.

cheese addiction

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Learn to make skinny fondue

If you’re all about Fondue night when you want to get your friends together, it doesn’t have to be an overly-indulgent evening. Try this recipe for skinny fondue, that relies on Gruyere and Swiss for the creaminess, and Dijon mustard for the kick of flavor.

cheese addiction

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Have more cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a dieter’s best friend because it offers 25 grams of protein in just one cup, so it can basically be a meal, while only costing you roughly 220 calories. Plus, it goes will with sweet and savory things like hot sauce and scallions, or berries and granola.

cheese addiction

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DIY pizza with part-skim ricotta

If you enjoy DIY pizza nights at home, pick up some part-skim ricotta. This soft and delectable cheese should go well with most of your favorite pie toppings, has under 300 calories per cup, and just 4.5 grams of fat. Opt for a cauliflower crust and healthy toppings like veggies and chicken, and that’s one diet-friendly pizza.

cheese addiction

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Put ricotta on toast

Ricotta cheese is a very versatile cheese because of its mild flavor. Try putting it on toast with sweet or savory toppings for a protein-heavy, satisfying snack. Try ricotta on whole wheat toast with a drizzle of honey and strawberry slices. Or try it on toast with sunflower seeds.

cheese addiction

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Goat cheese salads

Goat cheese will rack up the calories if you have too much of it, but it’s so incredibly flavorful that a little goes a long way. Try making a goat cheese salad with arugula, walnuts, strawberries, and balsamic. Or, put goat cheese on your pizza—heavy on the sauce, light on the cheese—for a dynamic pie.

cheese addiction

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Parmesan on crackers

If you love wine and cheese hour like I do, but tend to overdo it on the super fatty cheeses (especially after a few glasses of wine), switch to parmesan cheese. You can buy it in blocks, and just cut off slivers for your crackers. It’s quite low in fat and calories.

cheese addiction

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Parmesan veggie frittata

Veggie frittatas are nutritionally-rich and efficient foods for dieters. They have all the protein from the eggs and fiber and vitamins from the veggies. But, they often need a bit of extra flavor, and if you aren’t going to get it from, say, bacon, try adding low-fat parmesan cheese.

cheese addiction

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Add feta to potatoes

Mashed potatoes. Baked potatoes. Breakfast potatoes. It’s much healthier than adding ketchup, bacon bits, or sour cream. Plus, feta will give you protein points. If those starchy side dishes are your weakness, you can at least make them healthier by turning to this strong cheese for the flavor.

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