Lighten the recipe, but eat the foods you like.
Do you like pizza or Mexican food? Don’t completely ban them from your diet. Find a way to make them healthier. One of the easiest ways to reduce calories without feeling denied is to switch to the lower-calorie recipe for the foods you crave. A pizza tastes good with reduced-fat or less cheese. Nachos taste good when you make them with a Beanitos instead of Tostitos. You can enjoy lower fat ice cream or yogurt instead of the full-fat version. There are many ways to lighten it up so get creative.
Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour or ground flax seeds to your pizza dough or toss a handful of red bell peppers, banana peppers, or jalapenos on your pizza.
Ways to lighten up a recipe:
- Review the ingredients. Read through the ingredients and look for places where you can make changes. You can reduce the cheese, oil, or butter content. Replace whole milk with skim milk. Replace the whipping cream with greek yogurt. Add Splenda instead of sugar. The options ate endless so experiment until you get it perfect.
- If first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Making a new recipe is not easy. You will need to experiment to get it right but don’t give up on your quest for health. You will get it right.
- Portion control. If you love the high-fat version and cannot get the recipe right, just reduce the portion size. It works in the commercial baking industry with candy bars and cookies. Just remember, if you half the portion size, don’t eat two. It is a novel concept that works.
- Use the internet. Search for similar recipes that someone else has made before starting. There are plenty of them out there to use as examples.
- Skip the fat-free. Fat-free is not more healthy because of most of us eat twice as much. Find a version that has less fat and sugar and you will do better at controlling the calorie intake. Even better, reduce the portion size.
The bottom line is that you can lighten the recipe and still have the flavors you love. If you would like to know more options to lighten the foods you already eat, I have written another article on this: Fifteen Way to Lighten Your Recipes.