Why does losing weight have to be so hard? On the surface, it would seem that to lose weight, you have to give up all the foods and beverages you enjoy the most. For most, losing weight seems more like a punishment than an advantage. Try as you may to steer clear of overly processed foods or foods containing lots of sugar, salt, and fat, it’s not long before you end up indulging all over again. Wanting to get off of this never-ending cycle, many people end up giving up on the idea of obtaining the ideal body.
It can seem harsh and even impossible to lose weight when there are so many different temptations in the form of food and drinks waiting around every corner. The truth is, however, you don’t have to give up the very things you crave. From baked goods to fried foods, you can still indulge in things you love while keeping the weight off. It’s all about the ingredients and cooking methods you use. Below are some popular food cravings and healthier ways to enjoy them:
Pancakes, Waffles, Muffins, Bagels, and Donuts
When it comes to eating breakfast, staples like pancakes, waffles, muffins, and donuts are commonly at the top of everyone’s list. As you know, however, many of these items are made from white flours and refined carbs which is essentially nothing more than sugar. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to stop eating these things. Simply change the type or the ingredients to make them better for you.
If you love a short stack on Sunday mornings with a side of sausage and eggs, make your pancakes using healthier options like buckwheat, whole-wheat, or 7-grain pancake mix instead. If you’re really good in the kitchen, you can even bake your own muffins and donuts using healthier flour options. If you’re ordering out, however, opt for one made from whole-grains instead.
French Fries or Potatoes
Who can resist the delicious taste of french fries? To be quite honest, not very many people. The crisp salty cuts of potatoes are just too good to deny. If you can’t give up fries altogether, there are better choices you can make to help you shed some extra calories and improve their nutritional value. Switching to vegetables. It may not sound ideal but using sweet potatoes, zucchini, kale, and other veggies can be just as satisfying. You can cut them up and fry them in oil then sprinkle a little sea salt on them. Or cut them thin, place them on a baking sheet, drizzle oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake them until they’re crispy like potato chips.
Another popular food craving that isn’t the best for you is pizza. There’s nothing like a warm slice of plain, pepperoni, or meat-topping pizza to fill you up and satisfy your tastebuds. The white flour, fattening cheese, and greasy (and salty) toppings, however, can pack on the weight pretty quickly. You don’t have to stop eating pizza for the rest of your life though. Indulging in pizza recipes with healthier ingredients is a better option. Get whole-wheat pizza dough, use less cheese, low-fat cheese, or experiment with goat and nut cheeses which are a lot better for you, and try adding more fruits and veggies for the toppings. If you don’t want to make your own pizza, there are a lot of specialty shops now that offer healthier options for the crust, cheese, and toppings.
Does your sweet tooth get you in a lot of trouble when it comes to losing weight? Do you often crave things like candy, chocolate, baked goods, and sweet desserts? Sugar is one of the most addictive ingredients to give up but also one of the most damaging when it comes to weight gain and life-threatening conditions. So, it’s a good idea to find another option.
When you feel that sweet craving coming on, opt for fruits that contain natural sugar. Eating an apple, orange, strawberries, bananas, melons, and other fruits is a lot easier for you and can satisfy your sweet tooth. You can add them to smoothies, have a fruit salad, or eat them raw. As for baked goods, using all-natural sugar options is highly recommended. There is stevia, agave, and raw organic honey which all taste great and work well in baked good recipes.
Losing weight is a difficult journey all on its own. Why complicate it further by eliminating things from your diet that you truly enjoy? You might succeed for a while, but it won’t be long before you’re craving things like those listed above once again. To reduce the stress of losing weight while continuing to enjoy things you love most, try swapping out bad ingredients for healthier ones. This will boost your nutritional intake, lower calories, and help you to keep an ideal body weight.