How to Ditch Diet Food
When it comes to dieting, the general consensus is that diet food sucks. And that it’s all about salads and foods that are blah and boring.
So my question for you is: do you think eating a healthy diet means you are stuck with boring meals, or foods that “aren’t fun”? Or that you have to deprive yourself if you want to reach your goals?!
A potential client told me that the other day … and then another person said something similar. So I thought I would take the opportunity to respectfully inform you that way of thinking is incorrect. When done right, healthy eating is damn delicious.
So if you’re on a diet that has you envying everyone else’s meals then it’s time to shift your thinking from ‘diet’ eating to healthy eating. They aren’t the same thing. When you are simply eating healthier, you aren’t “stuck” eating bland/boring meals – and you certainly don’t have to deprive yourself! You can even cook and experiment with new recipes – or enjoy old family favorites! And if you aren’t sure how to do that, I got you covered with a Recipe Makeovers Cheatsheet that will help you – just grab it at the bottom of this article!
I’m going to share a secret … one of the things I do when I make a recipe (old or new) is figure out/estimate its calorie and macronutrient breakdown, so I have an idea of serving sizes. You can do this too, with all your faves (as well as new recipes you want to try)!
I try to eat according to my goals, and knowing how much fuel I’m taking onboard is a big part of that. When you have an idea of the nutritional breakdown of what you’re eating, you can eat pretty much anything you want – all you have to do is adjust your PORTION SIZE!
Seriously, once you make this mindshift away from ‘food rules’ around dieting and ‘bad’ foods, a whole new way of healthy eating emerges. And this makes it possible for you to totally enjoy foods and meals you love even when you’re working towards specific body weight or fitness goals.
It’s easier (and faster!) than ever to calculate nutrition info because there are dozens of tools online to help you do that. Some to check out:
All you have to do is log on to one of those sites and input your ingredients and the amounts and you’ll get an idea how much of any recipe is a serving size for you.
- Save time inputting your recipes by leaving out calorie-free foods (like spices) since they won’t have much impact on the nutrition breakdown.
- When you want to be able to increase your serving size, see if there’s a way to scale back or substitute calorie-heavy ingredients without affecting the taste.
This can be a pretty eye-opening exercise, especially if you’ve got a stockpile of old family recipes. You might find that you decide to save your grandmother’s famous lasagna recipe just for special occasions!
It also presents an opportunity to update those recipes (or your normal portion sizes) to reflect your goals. If you enjoy cooking, it can be fun to tweak recipes to make them tastier AND healthier. So no food is ‘off limits’ and dieting doesn’t have to mean months of rabbit food or tasteless meals. The only limit is your own creativity. And this one step transforms your diet from a short term solution to a lifestyle that you can follow for the rest of your life.
In fact, if you want a great resource, you can check out my Recipe Makovers Cheatsheet – as it provides tons of healthy meal swaps for comfort foods and other family favorite recipes! You can download the cheatsheet today from my Free Nutrition Hub and start transforming your recipes today.
Are you inspired to go dig out your fave recipes and incorporate them into your lifestyle? I hope so! If you start doing this, please be sure to tag me on Facebook and Instagram so I can see what you’re making!