“Dieting” has become such a dirty word, hasn’t it? Oh sure, there certainly are some healthy ones out there, but lets think for a minute. What words spring to mind when you hear the word dieting? Restrictions…. Abstention…..Avoidance…..Regimen…….blood, sweat, anguish… All very positive aren’t they?
(Of course you also have the “miraculous eat all you want” types. These will get your attention (and your bucks!) but they almost always fail in the long run.)
Dieting is not about sacrifice. Eating is one of the most enjoyable activities nature has provided us. If you try to short circuit that with some great starvation plan you are destined for frustration and failure.
Why not try building your diet from the ground up instead? Take some time to search for individual foods that you can use to “crowd out” the unhealthy garbage ones. There really is a good tasting healthy substitute for any type of food – I think it’s a little bit like matter and anti-matter 🙂 If you take this strategy you will see gradual long term successful weight loss and stop the yo-yo cycle.
What if you don’t want to go cold turkey on those indulgences? Another trick is to add or “mix-in” compatible, similar tasting but healthy foods to bolster your regular dishes. This is a great idea and one I’ve used for years. Check out this girl for a truckload of suggestions. Hungry-Girl.com
Mixing is so effective, here are some ways I’ve applied it:
- Find a good tasting low calorie non-alcohol beer. There are endless choices. You can find one you’ll enjoy. What I did was mix em up: Pour half of your regular one with half of the healthy one. You can gradually acclimate to it if need be, but I think you will hardly even sense any difference.
- Buy premade fresh salad in the bag, or take a few minutes on Sunday and cut up a big pile of lettuce, cukes, onions, broccoli, peppers, etc and seal um up in a big tupper-ware bow. (Maybe add the tomatoes on “game day” as they can go limp.) Then start a habit of beginning meals with a large salad. It will reduce you overall calorie consumption.
- Whenever we buy a premade chicken pie, or a casserole type of dish we simply double up the healthy ingredients. I dice up a pile of carrots, broccoli and throw em in. We increase the size of the plate without out noticeably altering the flavor. Works every time. You’d be surprised at how much more nutritious the meal becomes also.
- Food shop intelligently. Substitution is a given if it is the only alternative available at home, so pick up some fresh fruit, berries or other healthy snacks. Walk right past the chips, cookies and ice cream. They are deadly.
Finally, remember the most important consideration of all in dietary substitution. Any food has its place and time. You just have to convert the bad ones from daily staples to occasional treats. Its the things you consume regularly that will show up on your body. If you can use some of the tactics above you’ll be well on your way to growing in the right direction!