When you prepare to start with your fitness journey, first thing you need to change is your diet. This usually means eating less of your favorite meals, sometimes not eating these meals at all, but if you want to lose weight and live a healthier life, you just accept this and go with it. But, do you really have to? Is it possible that there is no way to incorporate your favorite foods in your new diet?
Since giving up on favorite foods was a problem for many people, fitness experts have started developing new diets and educating people about them – the idea is to continue eating your favorite foods, however, there is a catch – you eat your favorite foods, but you have to prepare those meals in different, healthier versions of their original recipes.
When you think about it, it is a very smart idea – it’s a win-win situation – you get to lose weight and eat your favorite foods at the same time. The question is: what makes a meal healthy? Unfortunately, there is no one definition of a healthy meal, however, a meal that has rich nutritional values, enough calories to fit in your diet and it can be served as a regular portion is something that should be considered as a healthy meal.
Depending on the meal, it might be enough to serve a regular portion and you are set. On the other hand, if you are suspecting that your favorite meal might have more calories than your diet is allowing, you can brake it down to ingredients, put them each on a scale and calculate how much calories does each ingredient have.
If you have started counting calories, you can easily determine how much calories does one serving of your favorite meal has and you can add or subtract different ingredients until your favorite meal is just right. For example, if you love tacos – first you get the calorie count for the taco shell and then you measure one ingredient by one and add until you have hit the maximum amount of allowed calories for that meal. This might take some time to learn, but after some time you will develop a sense for ingredients and you will know how much you can add, without even measuring it.
Last, but not the least – you can always substitute some ingredients in your favorite meal for some other that are healthier and have less fat or sugar. However, this does not mean that you have to make some compromises when it comes to taste – quite the contrary. By adding herbs and spices, while at the same time reducing sugar, butter and oil you can add even more flavor to your favorite meal. There are many different ingredients that you can easily substitute for others:
- White, processed and refined grains can be replaced with whole grains
- Sour cream can be replaced with plain Greek yogurt
- Dairy milk can be replaced with unsweetened coconut or almond milk
- Fatty meats can be replaced with leaner meats