So you want to lose weight, but you just can’t seem to tame your food cravings. I have recently lost a great deal of weight, and one of the ways I accomplished this is through food substitutions. My dietitian taught me this technique of weight loss; perhaps it will help you, too.
Think about what you like to eat that you feel is sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Is the food sweet or salty? Crunchy or smooth? Do you like the cake-like texture, or do you want something hearty? Once you’ve identified what is about this particular food that appeals to you, you will be able to think of possible substitutions that are lower in calories and higher in nutritional value.
For instance, perhaps you eat a lot of M & M’s, but would prefer not to. I’ve found that a great way to tame the craving is to substitute semi-sweet chocolate baking chips. Get a small dish of them, and eat them one by one, enjoying them the same way you do the M & M’s, but for a fraction of the calories. Chocolate chips work for several cravings – added with nuts, they resemble Snickers bars; for people who only eat chocolate chip cookies for the chocolate, skip right by the cookie, and eat only the chips. You can have 1 Tablespoon of chips – that’s approximately 35 – for 70 calories. You get 20 M & M’s for the same calories. And a cookie can really run up the calories, depending on the size of the cookie, of course. But for an example, the chocolate chip cookie you get from Subway is 220 calories!
Ice cream can be exchanged for sugar free pudding; I can’t tell the difference between Jello brand regular, sugar free, or fat free pudding. The consistency is the same, and there are several flavors. Or, vanilla yogurt is creamy and reminiscent of ice cream. I particularly like Yoplait Light fat free vanilla. A dash of cinnamon in vanilla yogurt or pudding is especially delicious. If you add fruit, which is naturally sweet, to the yogurt, the dish is healthy, but tastes like dessert.
Perhaps you crave donuts, or cake. There are some breakfast bars, like Nutri-Grain, or Kashi, that have a sweet, cake-like taste and texture, but also have nutritional value; at least more than donuts have! The calories are less too. You’ll eat 120 calories in a Nutri-Grain apple cinnamon cereal bar compared to 370 calories for a Dunkin’ Donuts’ chocolate frosted cake donut. And that donut contains 23 grams of fat; the breakfast bar has only 3.
A hunger for chips can be tamed by eating nuts, which are high in calories but have more health benefits; or you might prefer crackers. There are an endless array of cracker choices, most of which, while perhaps not always lower in calories than chips, are often more satisfying so you don’t eat as much.
There are a lot of substitutions that can be made on your journey to eating more healthfully. Find the ones that work for you, and you’ll begin to experience weight loss while still feeling satisfied.
Nutri Grain apple cinnamon cereal bar wrapper
Dunkin’ Donuts, Chocolate Frosted Cake Donut, Nutritional Information
Subway Nutrition Information, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Subway Website
Calorie Count, Calories in Plain Chocolate Candies, M & Ms
Livestrong, Calories in Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips