Hi, Coach Jeri here~
Many of us are repeat offenders in our weight loss journeys. Part of the problem is re-educating ourselves to find foods that not only satisfy our cravings but don’t make us feel like we are so deprived we end up in a pool of self pity.
The mindset of going on a “diet”, then, once I lose the weight I can eat whatever I want, sets up the cycle of on and off again. It took me years to figure this out. Many years ago I was on a very restrictive food plan. The basis was to remove all white foods (sugar, flour, alcohol grains) with the goal of learning not to crave those foods. I followed the plan and lost weight, but all I could think of was the day I could eat those foods again, and thus the weight came back. Basically I was on a temporary plan and not making the necessary lifestyle changes.
If we think “diet” as deprivation, instead of learning new food choices, we limit our lifestyle and begin to feel sorry for ourselves. A diet is not a plan of eating ‘different’ for a few days or weeks, or even months. It needs to become a way of life. Learning how to substitute and enjoy healthy food will get you on the road to success.
Most of us love a good snack. Snacks don’t have to be filled with sugar and fat, like cookies and chips or boring like carrots and celery. If you like the idea of a vegetable snack to keep the calories and BITES down, add a dip. Salsa and hummus are great options, or make a mix of plain yogurt with onion soup mix. If you want something sweeter, try sugar free pudding mix, or jello in plain yogurt with some fruit.
For those that want crunch, Rice cakes are a great substitute for chips and pretzels. One large rice cake is 40 calories and no more than 1-2 BITES. Add 1 teaspoon of peanut butter or cream cheese for some protein. Much more satisfying and healthier than a bag of chips.
Almost every day in the late afternoon I have a hot drink, a cup of coffee or tea, accompanied by a healthy snack. Two of my favorites are, banana and peanut butter, or apple and cheese. It is these changes that have allowed me to keep the weight off.
I could live without cake, but I cant live with out ice cream. That’s my one guilty indulgence, we all have them. Now we can also be smart about our guilty indulgences. For me, Yasso, Enlightened and many other brands make 100 calorie fudge pops. I honestly think that having those at night have made the difference in my life 🙂
Healthier doesn’t mean not enjoying your food. For example, it is worth investing in certain appliances. Having an air fryer is key if you like fried foods. I use my air fryer to make potatoes with brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes and butternut squash, and my family loves it. 100 calorie food packs are a smart and convenient way to manage portion control of usually an unhealthy item.
Jams and Jellies are typically full of sugar but there are several brands (like Polaner and Tap’n Apple) that make all fruit jam with low sugar and high fiber. Mix them into cottage cheese or yogurt or even use as a spread to cut down on the calories / BITES.
When you choose to have pasta, bulk it up with vegetables. Instead of 2 slices of Pizza have one vegetable pizza slice with a salad. Lastly oatmeal is great substitute for flour. I make muffins with one packet of low sugar oatmeal, 2 egg whites (or 1 egg), and 1 tab of no-sugar added applesauce. With this combination you can make an oatmeal loaf, mini muffins or an oatmeal pancake. I also use Schmidt Old Tyme 647 bread to make french toast. Yes, you can have french toast!
The one thing I could not give up was bread. Since I am pre-diabetic I must watch the carbs. With breads like 647, light english muffins and Josephs Pitas, it allowed me to still have my bread products and not feel deprived while also keeping my A1C in check.
Incorporating food swaps for healthier versions can help us move forward on our weight loss journey and not feel deprived. Deprivation and unsatisfied food cravings is what leads us down the wrong path. It’s exciting to try new foods and experiment. Losing and keeping the weight off requires a change of life long habits. There is no plan that allows you to eat all you want and never gain despite all the ads you see on TV . There are many ways to lighten up our favorites and the Community on Healthi offers a plethora of ideas. As you become more comfortable with making better choices you wont feel so deprived. Entering a new way of thinking about how we eat is the way to a happy healthy lifestyle.