I hate the word “dieting.” I think most people do. It has this nasty connotation of depriving yourself of everything that you like, and most folks believe that a “diet” will inevitably fail and you will just gain back the weight you’ve lost.
Sound like you? Yeah, me too.
All that said, if I’ve learned anything over these past 9 weeks and 25 lbs of weight loss, it’s that what I put in my pie hole will directly affect my fitness and physique results. So as much as I hate the idea of “dieting,” I’ve really had to adjust my diet to ensure I get all the nutrients I need without all the crap I don’t.
In order to not go crazy with deprivation and start shoving in doughnuts like they’re going out of style, I’ve made a few food swaps that allow me to still eat the stuff I really love, but to enjoy it in a way that won’t hinder my progress.
Instead of Pasta try Spaghetti Squash
I’m a super pasta whore. I make an amazing meat sauce from scratch about once a month and have enough to freeze for 5 more meals. Meat sauce isn’t really worth eating without pasta, right? WRONG! Try topping a generous helping of roasted spaghetti squash with your famous pasta sauce and you’ll find a delicious and healthy way to still enjoy it.
Instead of Chips or Crackers try Carrot Slices
Guacamole and salsa are my jam. I could put them on most anything and think that it would make it more delicious. One of my favorite ways to eat it is as a dip, combining a fun crunch with the awesome flavors. Tortilla chips aren’t part of my get fit plan, what with the deep fried GMO corn and all, but carrot chips work just as well. They have a satisfying crunch, and are just as convenient. You can buy a bag pre sliced at the grocery store for less than a bag of chips, and get an extra serving of veggies in while you’re dipping!
Instead of Mayo try Avocado
Chicken salad and tuna salad are pretty much weekly staples for me. I make a big batch early in the week and have easy lunches and snacks ready to go. Store bought mayo can be a problem for those of us watching our nutrients, and the fat free or reduced fat versions are even worse with added sugar and chemicals. Enter the mighty avocado. Try mixing half of an avocado with a can of tuna and enjoy! The creamy texture adds moisture, and as a great source of healthy fat it packs a nutritional punch.
So readers, what are your favorite swaps? How do you beat your sweets cravings? How do you make your meals more nutritional?