Do you find it difficult to make food choices whenever you are trying to dish an exotic preparation at home or are eating out just because you are bothered about your calorie intake? Not to worry… Try these low cal versions of high calorie foods.
Having some substitution strategies up your sleeve can save a lot of guilt and time on the treadmill. Being health conscious you don’t need to make big changes to your diet to see noticeable results. Just by adding, deleting and substituting few foods you can convert an unhealthy diet to a healthy one.
Substitute following ingredients in your daily diet this way:
- Using non-stick cookware will keep food from sticking to the bottom of vessel and would lead to lesser usage of oil.
- Applesauce can replace up to half of the butter or oil in baked foods such as cakes, brownies, muffins and cookies.
- Vinegar or lemon juice can be used for salad dressings instead of oils.
- Use alternate methods of cooking like roasting, microwave cooking, stir frying rather than deep / shallow frying.
Cream: use unflavored non-fat yogurt
Sugar: Splenda, stevia are sugar replacement products that perform well in sweets and baked goods, and are calorie-free because they do not decompose on heating at such high temperatures.
Replace non-vegetarian foods with vegetables: Vegetables are low in calories because of their high water and fiber content. You can increase your vegetable intake by having:
- stir-fried vegetables / salads with meat
- kebabs / cutlets / patties / sandwiches / pizzas with less meat and more veggies
High-calorie beverages with a low-calorie beverage: This can be done by replacing beverages such as coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with water, salt lemonade, tea with low or no sugar etc.
High-fat meat with lean meat: There are huge differences in the number of calories in lean and fatty meats. Replacing mutton with chicken or fish apart from decreasing fat intake also improves the quality of fat intake. Chicken and fish contain more of unsaturated fat calories rather than saturated fat calories.
High-calorie sauces or toppings with low-calorie alternatives: Nowadays low calorie versions are available of most kinds of mayonnaise, salad dressings and sandwich spreads. Light mayonnaise has 25 calories lesser per serving compared to regular mayonnaise.
Replace refined grains with whole grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat and foods made with them contain more fiber and are thus lesser in calories than refined grains such as white rice, refined flour and foods made with them. A cup of regular pasta contains 221 calories, compared to just 174 in a cup of whole-wheat pasta.
High-calorie dessert with low-calorie dessert: If you have a sweet tooth and your meals are incomplete without a sweet entree, then substitute high-calorie desserts with low-calorie option. A small bowl of ice cream has 143 calories. This can be replaced by a bowl of your favourite fruit with 1 teaspoon honey or low fat vanilla or fruit yogurt as dessert.
Now who said low cal diet was all about eating boring foods??