Jul 15 , 2020
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just eat better, changing up your diet is a must, particularly if your daily menu consists of McDonald’s milkshakes and mac and cheese.
Even those who aim to eat healthfully could step things up a notch in the better-for-you department. There are plenty of foods we love to eat, but alternative, more nutritious options can be just as tasty when done right.
Not to say you can’t enjoy the real thing every now and then, but when you’re focused on fitness and want to fine-tune your food intake, swapping out the “belly busters” for something sleeker is sure to help you reach your goals more effectively.
These food swaps below are not only healthier, but they are surprisingly satisfying. Skeptics may be shaking their heads, but once you give these a try, you’ll be hooked on health.
Those cute little snack-size pudding cups seem innocent enough, but they are packed with sugar and provide little protein. Those with a sweet tooth are willing to cave to their craving, but one cup never really satisfies, and before long, you’ve devoured two or three.
Make your own “pudding” with protein powder. Any flavor or brand will do, and the creaminess will convince you that you’re eating real pudding. The protein count will blow your skimpy snack cup away, and the fuller feeling you’ll get thanks to the protein will keep those tummy growls at bay.
Simply scoop a serving of protein powder into a small bowl and add dribbles of water or milk and keep stirring. Add more liquid slowly until you get that pudding consistency. It’s so simple and so satisfying. Pudding has never been easier to prep. Top with berries for a finer presentation and added nutrition.
Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing
Eating healthy salads is a smart move as part of a balanced diet, but once you drown your lettuce leaves in a sea of salad dressing, your do-good meal becomes a downright diet disaster. If you still want your dressing without the added weight, go for Greek yogurt as the base. The unbeatable creaminess and high protein count makes this a far better alternative to your average creamy dressing.
You don’t want to glop the yogurt onto your salad plain and bland, so it’s up to you to liven it up with herbs, seasonings, and sauces. The options are endless, and every salad can be a unique culinary adventure.
Some recommended add-in ideas include dill and minced onion, balsamic vinegar and finely chopped basil, lemon juice and parsley, and Dijon mustard and honey. You can even stir in some hot sauce to kick it up a notch.
Since Greek yogurt is so thick, a little goes a long way. You won’t miss the fattening, high-calorie dressings once you’re hooked on the tangy salad topper.
Pasta lovers know there’s nothing better than a big plate of spaghetti with grandma’s secret sauce. The carbs are comforting, but the belly bloat afterwards is a bummer.
You can fulfill your need for noodles without the heaviness by swapping out the starch with zucchini. While the texture isn’t an exact match to the real thing, the experience is just as genuine.
You can make your own zucchini noodles with a spiralizer, or pick up a pre-made package at your grocery store. You’ll boil the noodles until tender, then toss them in your favorite sauces, and pile on the toppings.
Since zucchini is so low in calories, you’ll have more wiggle room to “dress them up.” That said, don’t go nuts with the Alfredo sauce and grated cheese. Keep it light with tomato-based sauces, lots of herbs and seasonings, and more veggies like roasted peppers and portobello mushrooms.
For protein, add diced chicken breast, shrimp, turkey meatballs, or tofu chunks. Mix, match, and create dishes that delight you. If you deeply miss the pasta, do a half-and-half combo (half pasta/half zucchini), and ease your way into it.
Who needs the sugary store-bought frozen treats when you can whip up something cool and creamy in a snap? Make homemade banana popsicles and you’ll be amazed at how delicious they are.
Simply slice a peeled, ripe (or slightly overripe) banana in two, and shove a popsicle stick into the cut edge about halfway in. Set onto wax paper, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and slip into the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
When you’re in the mood for your cold creation, grab one from the freezer and enjoy. Once frozen, a plain banana tastes so much like ice cream. If you want to get crafty, dip the top in melted dark chocolate before freezing. Roll in chopped nuts if you’re really feeing special.
Enjoy your healthier food swaps. Your body will thank you for being better to it.