Since starting my health & fitness journey, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) has been curious about my diet. What foods can I have? What foods do I avoid? Do I count my calories? Do I enjoy cheat meals? What do I eat for breakfast? How strict is my diet? Do I eat bread and pasta? And the questions go on and on… I’m flattered that people want to know my secret but to be honest, there is no secret. I’m not on any special diet. I just eat healthy. But I know that’s not exactly what people want to hear. They want an answer. They want rules and guidelines. So I’ve come up with a few easy substitutes that anyone can incorporate into their diet. I think this is a better way to eat healthy. You don’t want to do all those fad diets. Just make a few healthy adjustments!
1. Whole grains
You don’t have to stay away from pasta and bread. Just make the switch to whole grains!
2. Fast food
If you have a craving for it, go out and get yourself a burger. BUT make smarter decisions when it comes to the sides. Maybe skip the fries and soda 🙂
I would NEVER give up chocolate! I just choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate.
Yogurt is one of those snacks you think is super healthy but not all of them are so be careful. I recommend plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.
Salads are a super healthy choice but the dressing you choose could change all of that. Look for lighter dressing options!
Do you really need mayo on your sandwich? Try some mustard instead.
Putting cheese on burgers, sandwiches, and tacos comes naturally but I’ve found that it doesn’t do anything for me. It was just a habit I was used to doing. So now I skip the cheese.
8. Fat free
Believe it or not, you want to stay away from anything fat free. Go for light instead.
If you do track your calories, chances are you’re not even thinking about butter. From now on, be conscious of how much butter you put on everything. You’ll probably be shocked. I stopped putting it on my veggies and toast and I honestly don’t miss it.
10. Pancake syrup
Here’s a trick I’ve learned that I think tastes way better than syrup. I mix peanut butter and honey, heat up in the microwave, and drizzle over pancakes with some banana slices. So yummy!
Whenever I go to Subway or Publix I get a veggie sub or wrap. I have them load it up with so many veggies that I don’t even miss the meat and cheese.
When you do decide to enjoy some fries, a healthier option would to either bake them in the oven yourself or go the sweet potato route which I think is even better.
13. Ice cream
Ice cream is my number one weakness but there are 2 healthier options. You can either make your own healthier version right at home using frozen bananas (recipe here) or you can go with Greek frozen yogurt. Dannon makes one that’s absolutely delicious!
If you’re planning on enjoying a cheat meal, eat healthy for the rest of the day. If I’m going out to dinner and know I’ll be eating unhealthy, I’m even more careful about what I eat for lunch that day. I may only have a small salad so I don’t feel as guilty when I pig out.
15. Ground beef
Sometimes I use ground chicken in place of ground beef or I’ll just go with the absolute leanest ground beef possible.
For the most part, I’ve totally taken soda out of my diet. I drink water throughout the day and have green tea with my dinner. If I go out to dinner, I will usually get a soda as a little treat but I limit this to about twice a month.
When I have a craving for a candy bar, I try to go for healthier options like a York peppermint patty or Twizzlers. When I just have to have a Reese’s or Kit Kat I buy the regular size (no king size) and try to share it with my husband.
I love popcorn with movies. The best kind to get is plain but I have to have some flavor on mine. Go with lightly buttered or the little snack packs so you aren’t eating an entire large bag.
If you’re at a party surrounded but unhealthy choices, pick and choose wisely. You don’t have to try every single snack. Pick your one favorite thing and enjoy it.
Here’s a trick for you to try. Next time you get a craving for sweets, see if your favorite fruit satisfies it.
Try to incorporate high protein foods into your diet. These will fill you up so you don’t feel the need to overeat and snack.
Keep coffee as part of your daily routine but watch what you put in it. Limit the sugar and choose your creamer wisely.
I could probably go on and on with these little tips but that’s all I have for now. Just doing a few of these substitutions could save you a ton of calories. Sometimes I feel that people think I restrict myself from eating certain foods which isn’t true at all. As you can see, I pick and choose what I eat. Before making any decision on food I consider how important it is to me. Do I really need a piece of cake right now? Or would I rather have a nice steak dinner tomorrow night? Another thing that helps is finding out which healthy foods you love. It may sound ridiculous but I get cravings for eggs, cottage cheese, salads, and sweet potatoes. I don’t eat these things because I have to. I eat them simply because I enjoy them! 🙂
Hope this helps you make some healthier choices in your diet. Comment below with anything you have to add to the list!