There’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy your favourite meals. You simply need to identify the most fattening ingredients and substitute accordingly. Here are eight simple tips for cutting down on calories without cutting down on taste.
Invest in a Non Stick Pan
Oil is notorious for turning an otherwise healthy meal into junk food. Even if you use it sparingly, the mere act of frying something in oil adds around 150 calories. And contrary to popular belief, this applies to virgin olive oil too. By investing in a high quality non stick frying pan, you can fry food without oil. High quality versions typically cost at least fifty dollars but if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, they are an excellent investment to make.
Replace Bread with Lettuce Leaves
As you’re likely aware, bread is never a good choice for those on a diet. It’s nutritionally bare and yet contains a ridiculous amount of empty calories. If you find yourself craving a sandwich, try using crunchy lettuce leaves instead. Provided you choose the right filling and you can find lettuce leaves that genuinely meet the crunchy requirement, lettuce sandwiches can make for a surprisingly tasty alternative to the bread variety.
Stick to Lean Meats
If you’re a big meat eater, the idea of a plate of vegetables is never going to sound appealing. The good news is that there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy meat and still lose weight. You just need to make low calorie choices. Ground beef is incredibly fattening but grilled loin cuts are virtually fat free. Lean meats such as chicken, veal and lamb are also perfectly suitable for somebody on a low calorie diet.
Learn to Use Spices Effectively
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that low calorie choices often lack flavour. Rather than trying to solve the problem with salt, oil or fattening sauces, invest in a decent set of spices. Despite being cheap in terms of both price and calories, the right spices can transform just about any meal. The best spices to start with are thyme, saffron, chilli powder and pepper.
Replace Flour with Soy Protein Powder
I’m a big fan of breaded chicken but I’m also well aware that when prepared incorrectly, it can be incredibly fattening. An excellent alternative to breadcrumbs or flour is soy protein powder. Despite looking and tasting just like flour, it contains a fraction of the calories. It can also be used to make both protein bread and batter dip.
Skip the Yolk
Contrary to popular belief, eggs aren’t always a good choice for those on a diet. Despite their small size, a single egg can contain up to 55 calories and a whopping five grams of fat. The good news is that all of the fat and most of the calories are found in the yolk. This means that if you’re happy to stick to the whites, you can enjoy eggs that are both fat free and contain less than twenty calories each. Just add mushrooms and tomato for the perfect low calorie breakfast.
Add Bulk With Vegetables
Vegetables are not only low in calories, they are both bulky and incredibly filling. In other words, they’re the perfect diet food. Other than breakfast, I try to include at least fifty percent vegetables in every meal that I prepare. The result is a satisfied stomach achieved with far fewer calories consumed. For optimal results, stick to fibre rich vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
Be Careful with Cheese
Finally, there’s the small matter of cheese, it happens to be a lot more fattening than most people think. In fact, covering something in cheese happens to be one of the easiest ways of turning a healthy meal into junk food. The easiest way to use less cheese in your cooking is to simply purchase the strong flavoured variety. The stronger the flavour, the less you’ll want to use. Personally, I’m a big fan of both extra sharp cheddar and gorgonzola.
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A practising physician, Jeff Jaret has sound knowledge about various health issues. He believes in taking part in social causes and so has lent his help to the awareness campaign on hip replacement. An avid blogger, he gives useful health tips.