If you’re embarking on a weight loss diet or your doctor has suggested a weight loss diet to help with other health concerns such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, you may be coming up against lots of plain steamed vegetables, plain grilled chicken or even plain oatmeal. You may even be considering an endless diet of pseudo-chocolate shakes or cereal flakes.
We like these foods (OK, perhaps not the “shakes” or endless cereal), but if you’re just getting started on a weight loss diet after years of eating foods that are very un-plain, un-steamed and un-oatmealish, then you may be looking for something else entirely. It is possible to enjoy your food and still lose weight and improve your health with these 6 ways to ditch the dull diet food:
- Set down the can of pseudo–chocolate shake and walk away. That’s not how you want to diet. Now…
- Change up the flavor – If you’re used to added salt, fried flavor and high calorie toppings, gradually cut back and get adventurous with herbs and spices. A wide variety of spice blends are available to take out the guesswork and make the flavors of any cuisine available in the flick of a wrist. Studies have also shown that taste buds actually adjust and quickly learn to love the flavor of lower sodium and lower fat options.
- Play with your food – Yes, for example, how about finding a restaurant that specializes in African food, which is designed to eat with your hands – either if you like to literally play with your food or if you’d like to simply branch out in the world of cuisines. Have you ever paired pomegranate seeds with an herb-grilled chicken breast? How about a drizzle of tangy balsamic vinegar over sweet fruit? Make it a game and explore. Your diet will thank you.
- Add a little heat – Chili peppers, cayenne pepper, poblano peppers, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, chipotle peppers…..choose your spice and get cooking. Each kind of pepper lends a unique flavor and level of heat to your food, and that can inspire your taste buds to either sing or cry from the burn… either way your meal will be anything but dull.
- Learn from the pros –There’s a reason we go out to eat an average of 5 times per week. Chefs and restaurants know their stuff. Do your research to find healthier menu choices that really appeal to you at restaurants and then savor your meal. Ask questions about preparation and ingredients and then take what you’ve learned and try it at home.
- Rethink “diet food” – Food that can help you lose weight doesn’t have to be the plain old low fat, low flavor “diet” food of the past. Ask any dietitian, and you’re sure to hear about how your favorite foods can be prepared with new healthy twists, simple swaps and smaller portions that will make you seriously rethink “diet” food and how good it can really be.
How do you ditch the dull diet food and embrace healthy foods that are full of flavor to lose weight?
Healthy Dining’s team of dietitians, food-lovers to the core, recommend menu choices at restaurants nationwide that can help you love your diet while you lose weight.