Jyl Steinback has been called a health addict, but if you take one look at her, you know she’s doing something right.
At 40 plus, Steinback, a fitness expert and cookbook author, has a fit, toned body and the energy of 10 people. She spends quality time with her son, Scott, 2, and after school’s out, with her daughter, Jamie, 10, swimming, in-line skating or playing sports. She also speaks on television and radio, and in person to groups about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. Here, Steinback answers questions about staying trim, healthy and fat-free.
What does fat-free living mean to you?
Fat-free living means every recipe I make has no more than one grain of fat per serving, and everything I buy at the supermarket has under 18 percent of calories from fat per serving.
Doesn’t your body need some fat for good health?
Yes, but most foods have some fat in them. A banana has about a gram of fat. Other fruits have some fat, and so do pasta and fish. Our worst health problem
How do you dine out fat free?
There are lots of foods you can eat. You can have sourdough bread it’s fat free. You can always have a baked potato. Some good fish choices are cod, crab, flounder, sole, haddock and shrimp. They’re all under one gram of fat for a 3 1/2 ounce serving. /font>
What are your tricks for fat-free cooking?
I make my own fat-free bread in a bread machine, replacing the fat with applesauce, apple butter or fat-free yogurt. When I bake, I use apple butter or a mixed fruit puree with prunes instead of butter or oil to get chewy, rich brownies.
What about overeating fat-free products?
I don’t overeat, because it doesn’t make me feel good. I can be happy with one or two fat-free cookies. A good way to stop yourself from eating more than a serving is to take the food out of the box when you buy it and divide it into single servings in sandwich bags.
What do you advise for someone who can’t resist fatty foods?
For a week, I have them write down all the foods they eat to find out what they crave. When I identify the kinds of food they crave, we make a list of five choices they can have instead of the favorite food. Then we try it for a week. If they can’t live without potato chips, I tell them to substitute fat-free potato chips. If they don’t find any they like, I tell them to substitute pretzels or baked tortilla chips. It can take time to change, but eventually you develop a taste for the replacement foods and realize, “I don’t want that anymore. I like this instead, and it’s better for me.”
What do you tell your clients about fast food?
The reason most people end up eating fast food is because they don’t plan. When I’m on the run, I keep a small cooler in my car with water, yogurt, bananas and a bialy, so I can grab something to eat on the go. If you do eat fast food, make sure the dressing on your salad is fat free. And choose grilled chicken sandwiches or chicken fajitas over beef burgers.
How much do you eat a day?
I eat about 2,000 calories, and I’m 5 feet 5 inches. I eat when I’m hungry, about six times a day. I never have a whole meal that’s my secret. I’ll have a salad, then later on a baked potato. I advise my clients to break up their meals into smaller meals and snacks.
Don’t you or your family ever feet deprived?
No, there are so many good things to eat. We always have dessert
How much fat really is good for you?
The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults consume less than 30 percent of their daily calories in fat, divided equally among saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. As a guideline, about 65 grams of fat are healthy in a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet such as Steinback’s. -Sarah S. Tusa