Dieting sucks. There is nothing nice or pleasant to say about it. Nobody can do anything to make it better. It is just accepted that when you diet, you must deprive yourself of all the yummy foods in the world.
But what good is that going to do? As soon as you hit your svelte size there are going to be indulgences; they may be small and spaced out at first but pretty soon, you are going to have to start the vicious cycle over again.
There is a solution to this horrible life, simply have what you crave, just learn to make it healthier.
Make it Yourself
The easiest way to cut out unnecessary additives to your meal is to make it at home. I realize that not everyone is a budding Suzy Homemaker, but there are certain recipes that anyone can follow. There are tons of empty calories and extra fat and sodium in foods that are made in restaurants, both fast-food and sit down places. (Although fast-food is usually worse.) It may take more time to make your meals at home but not only will you be eating healthier, you will also be saving money.
Think cooking for one or two people is a waste of time and ingredients? Make enough for a few meals and freeze the rest. If properly frozen, they will be perfect next time you get home and just don’t feel like cooking. Simply defrost and re-heat them and voila!
There are many different sugar substitutes on the market. Some do not heat well and some may leave an after taste. I love nutra-sweet in my iced tea but only use granulated sucralose when cooking because of its stability at high temperatures. Sucralose is the substitute that measures the same as sugar when cooking.
Sucralose does not have calories or fat and is an ideal substitute for most recipes. You might find when making a cake that it doesn’t rise as much as it would with sugar, but there are other tricks to counteract this. For instance, you can use a blend of sugar and sucralose. This half sugar and half sucralose homemade mixture will allow for browning, rising, and more texture for those recipes in which sugar is a main ingredient.
Egg substitutes are an ideal way to cut cholesterol from your diet. The substitute is made mostly of egg whites, usually 99% with the rest made up of coloring and nutrients that were lost with the yolk. Although eggs do not have a lot of fat in them, the fat adds up in recipes that call for many eggs.
The only draw back to egg substitutes is that you can’t use them to make poached or fried eggs, well you can try but I have yet to figure out a way to get it to work!
Cut the Sodium
Let me start by saying that sodium is essential for normal body function. It simply wouldn’t be a good idea to attempt to cut sodium completely out of your daily diet. Besides the aspect of your necessary body function, your culinary experience would be absolutely boring and bland. The idea is to try to limit the amount of sodium you intake.
The easiest way to cut sodium from your diet is to cook at home. By doing this, you have the power to control the amount of sodium you put into the meal. Think about the amount of salt added during the cooking process; although it may seem essential, most of it can be replaced with herbs and other spices.
There are many products available on the spice isle that are salt-free alternatives, from table spices to those with different flavors for cooking. I am a HUGE fan of Cajun spice blends and have even found a version that is salt free, yet still has the same kick.
Low-fat or Nonfat
Many products are now being offered at the store that are either low-fat or nonfat alternatives to regular products. While it may be true that some of the nonfat variety of foods just taste nasty, this is not the case for all foods. Of course, we all have different tastes and some may think that all nonfat versions taste exquisite. I am not one of these people.
You have to think of the meal that you will be using it in. Take shredded cheese for example, the fat free version tends to not melt very well but the low-fat does fine. I want cheese that will melt for my pizza so I’ll buy the low-fat variety but if I am going to use it as a topping on my salad, the nonfat will work just fine.
Just because you need to watch what you eat doesn’t mean that you can’t have what you crave. The trick is to figure out a way to prepare the meal in a more healthy manner!