To monitor your weight, not a few of you do some dinner-related tricks such as skipping appetizer and avoiding fat entirely. Unfortunately to your great dismay, the tricks turn out don’t work very well. Instead of losing weight, you gain even more weight. Here are some smarter tips for you for healthier dinner.

1. Don’t skip appetizers

To lose some weight, people tend to skip appetizers and go straight with the main course. In fact, when you haven’t eaten anything in four hours or more, you tend to overeat. As the main entrée usually contains more calories and fat, you’ll end up gaining some extra pounds. It is better to start your dinner with salad. Instead of picking iceberg lettuce, opt for dark-green leaves which contain more fiber. Besides healthier, fibers can also fill your stomach so that you’ll consume less during the main course. If you choose soup for the appetizer, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of canned soups which only contain 100 calories or less per serving.

2. Don’t skip fat altogether

Avoiding fat entirely in your meal can backfire. When you eat fat-free meals, you will find that you will get even hungrier within a couple of hours. Instead of avoiding fat, choose healthy fat. Healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are helpful in increasing your good cholesterol levels and reducing the levels of bad cholesterol. Find these good fats in canola, olive, peanut, corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.

3. Use low-fat salad dressing

It is no use stuffing yourself on dark-green leafy salad if you serve it with butter, mayonnaise, margarine, or cream sauce. Actually, these toppings will only boost your fat and calorie storage. Healthier choice is to consume steamed vegetables without any dressing. If you are not accustomed to the plain flavor, you can add healthier toppings such as olive oil, vinegar, imitation bacon bits, salsa, pico de gallo, fat-free sour cream, low-cal spray salad dressings, spray-on butter, or Mrs. Dash.

4. Alternate your main ingredient

A lot of people think that chicken is the best ingredient for a high protein but low fat source. This is not entirely true if you choose the parts from the legs or the thighs. The healthiest part of chicken is the white meat chicken found in its breast. However, you will get bored of eating chicken after some time. As chicken is not the only option, you can switch to other healthy meats such as turkey breast, tuna, salmon, or lean roast beef.