Losing Weight The Healthy Way: Tips From Sharon Futrell

While some turn to surgery to take off excessive amounts of weight, Sharon Futrell highly recommends losing weight the old-fashioned way – after she was able to lose 160 pounds in 18 months through diet and exercise. Sharon, who was a guest on our recent show “Is Obesity A Disease?” contributed the following tips and recipes as a starting point for a healthy diet:

Sharon’s Six Weight-Loss Tips

1. Remember to start your day off by summoning the strength and the willpower to make healthy choices and exercise.

2. Set a goal for yourself.

3. Remember the 3 – W’s. You have to use all three:

    Watch what you eat

4. No fried foods

5. Fresh or frozen vegetables contain little or no sodium.

6. End your day thankful for the accomplishment of getting through another day.

Sample Diet for a Day: Sharon’s Meal Plan


  • 2 cups of high-fiber cereal with 1 banana
  • 8 oz. fat free skim milk
  • 1 medium-sized navel orange


  • Baked, broiled, or grilled 6 oz. fish fillet
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato with fat free butter spray and cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup green beans cooked in reduced sodium chicken broth with chopped onion and garlic


  • Sliced turkey breast on toasted light whole wheat bread with fat-free swiss cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, bread and butter stacker pickles (sweetened with Splenda), onion, and green pepper ring. Use fat free sour cream instead of mayo and drizzle with honey mustard.
  • 1 serving of pita or soy crisp chips
  • Fresh steamed broccoli with lemon juice and garlic lemon pepper

Cooking with Sharon: Recipes to Get You Started

Hashbrown Casserole

1    64 oz.      Frozen shredded potatoes (thawed)
1    10 oz.      Healthy Request cream of chicken soup
1    16 oz.      Fat-free sour cream
1     cup         Fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all the above ingredients together. Pour into 9” x 14” casserole dish that has been sprayed with fat free cooking spray. Top with _ cup of fat free shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Lemon Dijon Fish Fillets

4      4 oz.      Orange roughy or talopia fillets
2      T.           Fresh lemon juice
2      T.           Chopped fresh or freeze dried chives
2      T.           Fat-free mayonnaise
1      T.           Dijon mustard

Place fillets in baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Brush fish with lemon juice. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. While fish is baking, combine chives, mayo and mustard. Stir well. Spread mayo mixture evenly over fish. Bake three additional minutes.

Dessert – Cool Orange Salad

1      8 oz.               Crushed pineapple (drained)
1      4 serving      Sugar-Free Orange Flavored Gelatin
1       12 oz.           Small Curd Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
1      8 oz.               Fat-Free Whipped Topping (Thawed)

Mix pineapple, gelatin (dry) and cottage cheese. Mix well. Fold in whipped topping and chill.

Dessert – Low-Fat Key Lime Pie
1           cup         Cold Water
1            pkg.        Original Knox Gelatin
1/3         cup        Splenda
2            6 oz.       Key Lime Sugar-Free Yogurt
1            8 oz.       Fat-Free cool whip
1/3         cup        Lime Juice
1            crust      Reduced-Fat Graham Cracker Crust

Sprinkle Knox gelatin over cold water. Let stand one minute. Microwave on high 20 seconds. Add Splenda and lime juice. Stir. Add yogurt and stir. Gently fold in fat-free cool whip. Pour into graham cracker crust and refrigerate overnight.