Healthy eating and bland food are not synonymous. Making the decision to eat healthier does not mean you can no longer enjoy what you’re eating. Changing your diet is the prime opportunity to explore new foods and different methods of preparing foods that will keep your taste buds excited and help you stick to your transition into healthier eating habits. In fact, people who enjoy the foods that they eat tend to stick to their new healthy eating habits more than those who do not.
Making substitutions to your favorite recipes is the easiest way to transition into healthier eating. Substituting certain ingredients for healthier replacements allows you to transform your favorite foods into healthier options without sacrificing taste.
Instead of using sugar, butter, and fatty oils to bake your favorite chocolate brownies, use mashed bananas as a replacement for all three ingredients. Just be sure to cut back on ingredients like water or milk that add moisture to the recipe.
If you are trying to reduce your sodium intake, replace the salt in your diet with a healthy blend of lemon juice and spices like garlic, basil, and rosemary.
Eat Certain Foods in Moderation
When it comes to healthy eating, there is no such thing as the perfect diet. Of course some foods are better than others, but you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods as you pursue a healthier lifestyle, you just have to consume them in moderation. As long as the majority of your diet consists of healthy foods, you can still enjoy certain treats here and there; perhaps every few days or once a week.
Full blown “cheat days” where you consume whatever you like for an entire day does not fall under eating in moderation, and cheat days can actually be detrimental to your healthy eating goals. The “cheat day” day is a commonly touted diet tip where the body supposedly tricks itself into burning more fat when an individual consumes a large amount of calories. However, there is no scientific proof that cheat days work, so it is best to stick to consuming certain foods in moderation.
Enhance the Flavor of Your Food
Enhancing flavor is a great way to make healthy foods palatable. Herbs and spices are a great tool to improve the taste of healthier foods without adding additional calories.
Fresh herbs provide endless opportunities to spruce up even the simplest dishes. For example, fresh herbs like basil can add a sweet kick to homemade tomato sauce or chicken dishes. Quality spices can awaken the natural flavor in foods and introduce you to new tastes you never knew certain foods possessed. For instance, turmeric is spice that gives several Indian dishes their signature woodsy taste. You can use turmeric to season vegetables and lean meats to obtain that same fire-roasted taste.
The flavor of most foods can be enhanced without the addition of sauces that are loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. However, if you must marinate your meat or vegetables, you can mix certain spices and herbs with healthy sauce bases like vinegar or mustard to make your own sauces and marinades.
Herbs and spices like cilantro, turmeric, and ginger not only bring out the natural flavor in certain foods, but they provide health benefits on their own that supports a healthier lifestyle.