This week has been a pretty emotional one body image wise. I got my hair cut into a fringe a while ago, regretted it and am in the current terrible phase of growing out, I’m due on and I’ve still not lost my Christmas pounds so I’m having like an identity crisis where I’m just “so fat, ugly, have shit hair” blah blah. The boyfriend has been scared to console me I’ve been that bad! So I’ve not weighed myself this week as I think sometimes it’s best to humour yourself and move along. Instead, I thought I’d share some food swaps I do when I’m dieting.
I’m always hungry. Not in that cute girl always eating a piece of fruit kinda way, but in a fat child trapped in a normal body way. I just love eating! And I watch way too many cooking shows as well. I made risotto yesterday because I’d watched it on The Good Cook the day before! So for me, cutting calories does not mean cutting portion sizes. It just makes me sad when that happens!
I thought I’d write a list of foods I overuse when cutting calories, which allow me to eat nice portions and feel full up, but still losing weight. I eat these normally, but when I’m dieting I cut down on carbs like potatoes and pasta and load up on these bad boys instead.
I’d just like to say these are all my own opinions and based on my own googling over the past few years.
Spinach: I love spinach. Raw, it makes a great salad and adds heaps of volume to your otherwise empty plate, at 7 calories for a cup. I always cut it up and add to sauces. It shrinks from a handful to a few tiny specks, and is a great way to get more iron.
Cauliflower: not the most flavoured of veg, but it can be used to make fake rice (here) which if you add a bit of salt, pepper and some spices does an okay alternative, and mash (here). I tend to go half cauliflower substitute, half real food so I’m not losing loads of flavour, but cutting like half the calories.
Egg whites: not very nice on their own, but if I’m making scrambled eggs or omelettes, I’ll use two or three egg whites to one egg yolk. Loads of protein and amino acids, only 120 calories.
Turkey or quorn mince: if you’re making spag bol or chilli, these both absorb the flavour really well so it might not taste as meaty as beef mince, but you still get good overall flavour and you’re cutting loads of fat and calories. If you MUST have beef, go lean.
Green tea: I’m not 100% whether I believe that this helps your metabolism, but for me a hot drink alongside a meal really helps me fill up quicker, or makes me feel full if I’m uhm-ing and ah-ing, plus it’s healthier than having coffee a hundred times a day.
Sweet potato: a hundred times nicer than real potatoes. Amazing baked, as wedges or mash, and is lower calories and way more nutritious. I’ve seen people sneak them in brownies and make caramel sauce out of them! I’m not that dedicated but they do make an appearance a few times a week for me.
Mushrooms: I stick mushrooms in everything. You can use big, portabella mushrooms which have quite a meaty texture, or you can use little ones to bulk out sauces.
Frylight: if you use a tablespoon of oil to cook normally, frylight saves you about 117 calories, depending on how many sprays you use 😉
Coleslaw: if you like coleslaw, just food process onions, cabbage and carrot with a bit of light mayo, salt, pepper and lemon juice. It’s basically a salad! Utterly delightful.
Takeaway: if I do get a takeaway or go out for food, I tend to opt for things like chicken kebab, fish dishes, tandoori dishes, anything that’s been grilled or chargrilled. Most menus have a lighter option, and you can normally look up the calories beforehand so if I really want to be unhealthy, I’ll cut an extra couple hundred calories for a few days.
Obviously, there are more replacements you can do, but these are all pretty tasty options. I ain’t living on no salad when I want to lose weight! Just up the veg, down the carbs (obviously I still have some as I am not insane) and up the protein.
What are your favourite things to eat when losing weight?