DALLAS Busy working mom Sonya Johnson went to Tom Thumb with Medical City Dallas dietitian Gulrukhsar Jiwani to pick out some reasonable and healthy substitutes for what she usually eats during her hectic workday.

Johnson said she doesn't normally eat breakfast, but Jiwani told her that anyone who wants to lose weight should start their day with a proper meal.

Jiwani said people who can't stomach high fiber, unsweetened cereals can become accustomed to the taste by combining a healthy cereal with a slightly sweetened one at first.

You can put them together at home in a jar, Jiwani explained. That way you're having a little bit of both, but you're not having as much sugar.

The same technique works for snacks.

Most nutritional experts agree that depriving yourself of certain food groups or occasional treats is a recipe for diet failure.

Sonya Johnson found a yogurt-covered pretzel in portion-controlled packages to satisfy her sweet tooth.

Instead of eating lunch out, as Johnson says she enjoys doing during the workday, Jiwani recommends packing a healthy lunch. When that isn't possible, a low-sodium TV dinner (under 600 calories) can make a handy choice.

To wash it down, Jiwani recommends against diet sodas.

Water is your best choice, the dietitian said. But if you need something a little bit different, you need some flavor water.

Here are five quick food substitutions Sonya Johnson (and you) can make, starting today:


  • Combine cereals for a healthier mix. (Sonya Johnson picked regular Cheerios and slightly sweetened Multigrain Cheerios)


  • Combine healthy snacks with your snack of choice (Sonya Johnson picked a low-salt, air-popped popcorn to mix with a cheesy popcorn she loves)


  • Portion-controlled packages (Sonya Johnson selected a yogurt covered pretzel in 100-calorie bags)


  • A low-sodium TV dinner (under 600 calories)


  • Water or flavored water (Sonya Johnson selected Propel)


Read or Share this story: