Why are Mondays are the most popular day of the week to start a new diet? Maybe it’s because we feel guilty because we pigged out over the weekend. We might just think of Monday as the natural place to start for the week. Are we doomed to failure if we blow our Monday diet? Of course not!
Long-term healthy eating habits don’t happen suddenly. They are almost always the result of small changes made over a long period of time. The good news is that you can start to make these changes any day of the week!
The next time you’re cooking, try implementing one of these healthy recipe substitutions.
Applesauce is a healthy substitute for cooking oil. Next time you’re baking, replace oil with applesauce at a 1:1 ratio. Be sure to add the applesauce to your dry ingredients at the end of the preparation; otherwise the moisture reacts with the gluten in the flour and forms long, stiff strands.
The advantage to using applesauce is reduced fat and higher fiber content.
2. Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour contains more fiber than white flour. More fiber means you will feel fuller – and your digestive tract will thank you.
When substituting whole wheat flour for all-purpose white flour, you must reduce the fat content. If the recipe calls for butter,oil, or shortening, use about 20% less than what is stated in the recipe. Also, reduce the flour by about 25%. If the recipe calls for one cup of flour, use 3/4 cup instead.
Stevia is an herb that has a very sweet flavor. Because stevia is a zero calorie sweetener, your recipes will have drastically fewer calories if you use it instead of sugar. Use this handy stevia conversion chart for your next cooking project.
4. Almond Flour
With more and more Americans becoming sensitive to gluten, options for gluten-free cooking abound. Almond flour is a great substitution, especially if you just have to bake something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Almonds contain healthy fats that your body needs. However, they are also very calorie-dense. That’s okay, since losing weight isn’t about counting calories. If you feed your body the right nutrients, you will likely find that the pounds melt away on their own.
That being said, while you’re reconstructing your diet brick-by-brick, it is wise to avoid large quantities of almond flour. If you have to have some brownies, use almond flour and limit yourself to a couple of small pieces.
You can use roughly the same amount of almond flour as all-purpose flour.
5. Coconut Oil
Oil might seem like a big no-no if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthier. However, coconut oil is an exception. In fact, it may actually help you lose weight. Farmers discovered coconut oil as a weight loss aid early last century when they started feeding it to their cows, hoping it would fatten them up. To their surprise, the cows started putting on more lean muscle, and lost more fat!
Coconut oil is beneficial for the thyroid and for a healthy metabolism. Use it instead of butter on your toast, or oil in a frying pan. Really, it can be used anytime fats are called for. When used in baking, coconut oil can be warmed to a liquid state to make it easier to mix in. Generally, a 1:1 ratio is acceptable.
Finding healthy recipe substitutions doesn’t have to be complicated. When you go to the grocery store this week, get one of the substitutions we mentioned here and use it in your next recipe. Then, try another one the week after that. Effective change takes place when you make small changes to your diet over a period of time. Stop by again for ideas on healthy meals you can make ahead. We’ll help get you on the track!
Could you use some more personalized help with your diet? Contact us today for your free nutritional consultation!
- 5 Simple Food Swaps for Healthy Eating (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)
- Why Eating Low-Fat Meals Doesn’t Help Your Weight Loss (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)
- Dos & Don’ts of Dieting to Lose Weight (atlasdrugandnutrition.com)