One of the most challenging hurdles to overcome when you’re trying to lose weight is avoiding the high-calorie, high-fat foods you love. Luckily, with a bit of research and creativity, you can recreate significantly healthier but still delicious versions of the comfort foods you enjoy.
Sweet Starbucks drinks, depending on how you like them, can easily exceed 400 calories. Black coffee, on the other hand, has virtually no calories. Two ounces of half and half is about 74 calories, so even if you’re adding just an ounce or two of creamer or some sweetener, you’d still save a lot of calories by sticking with black coffee. Your finances will likely thank you as well.
Breakfast Is Important
It’s no secret that breakfast is an important meal, as it provides fuel for the rest of your day. Eating a healthy and satisfying breakfast can also curtail cravings for unhealthy foods later in the day while jumpstarting your metabolism. Breakfast foods can have more calories than you realize, though. A half cup of sweetened oatmeal commonly contains 200 plus calories, approximately 5 grams of fat and potentially a dozen grams of sugar. The same amount of plain steel cut oats, on the other hand, have about 75 percent of the calories and only one gram of sugar. Try steel cut oats with natural low-calorie, low-fat sweeteners for a healthier alternative.
A Healthier Way to Enjoy Eggs
A whole egg is usually about 75 calories. The white only accounts for about 16 of those calories. If you can forego the yolk, you can save a lot of your daily calories for something else, and cut out about five grams of fat.
Soups Can Be Deceiving
There’s a tendency to think about soups as a healthier lunch alternative, but if that soup is deriving its rich, creamy flavor from heavy cream, you may be doing your diet a disservice. A heavy cream-laden tomato soup can easily top out at 500 calories. Broth-based tomato soups, on the other hand, can be loaded with vegetables, with the same volume only being about 130 calories.
Flavorful Salads That Don’t Work Against You
If you’re eating a salad comprised of iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing, you could potentially be consuming the caloric equivalent of a snack bag of chips in the dressing alone. Just two tablespoons of ranch equates to about 140 calories and 16 grams of fat. Balsamic vinaigrettes, on the other hand, often contain only a dozen or so calories for a similar volume. For an even healthier alternative, use a homemade mixture of oil and vinegar on top of your salad.
Substitute Beef or Pork for Fish
Not everyone is a fan of fish, but if you are, it can be a huge plus on your weight loss journey. Three ounces of broiled steak will, on average, come out to about 230 calories and 14 grams of fat. That’s partially dependent on how lean the meat is, though. The same amount of broiled cod will only be about 80 calories and contain a single gram of fat. There are many innovative and interesting ways to prepare fish, and you can afford to eat more of it to fill you up when it has roughly a third of the calories of fattier protein options.
Ditch the Chips and Soda
A snack bag of chips is normally around 150 calories and contains roughly 10 grams of fat, depending on the brand you’re munching. A cup of plain popcorn, on the other hand, is about 30 calories with no grams of fat. Adding a tablespoon of butter to that will run you about 102 calories, but there are several butter-flavored, calorie-free alternatives.
Similarly, a regular can of Coke contains 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar. A crisp can of lightly flavored La Croix provides the refreshing bubbles and flavor with no calories or sugar. La Croix and club soda can also be used as low or zero calorie mixers for alcoholic beverages as well.
Dinners with Pasta and Potatoes
You may love mashed potatoes, but one cup of it will run you about 214 calories. The same amount of mashed cauliflower, on the other hand, will only be about 142 calories. A cup of cooked spaghetti also contains approximately 220 calories, five percent of which are fat and 80 percent of which are carbs. A cup of spaghetti squash, which has a similar texture and appearance, is only 31 calories. If you can make the switch, you’ll be saving yourself a ton of calories at dinner.
Find Your Own Favorites
Your weight loss goal should incorporate lifestyle changes that are sustainable, including changes to your diet and your levels of physical activity. You won’t be able to stick to your new diet if you hate everything you’re eating now and constantly pine for what you’ve lost. Do research and experiment with meal and ingredient alternatives to find options that work for you.
You can get help on your weight loss journey by talking to the helpful non-surgical medical weight loss experts at Express Weight Loss Clinic. Schedule an appointment in Tyler by calling 903-592-5670 or Plano by calling 469-786-1751.