Saturday, December 24, 2011

Eating Healthier Comfort Foods

It is a given fact that to lose weight you must eat healthy. To most people, that means giving up some of their favorite foods or their comfort foods. That is a big sacrifice to make, especially over the long haul.

Is it possible to get the best of both the worlds? Yes, it is! It is possible to eat healthier comfort foods and lose weight at the same time. How? All you need to do is to replace some of the more fattening ingredients with healthier alternatives and you have yourself a healthy dish! Your favorite foods will still taste good but with a healthier twist.

Here are some examples of ways you can make your favorite dishes healthier by substituting certain ingredients:

Bacon - Many of our favorite recipes have bacon in them. You can still use bacon, but try a healthier version of it like turkey bacon. Another option is to use fake bacon since it has less fat grams and fewer calories.

Chicken – Remove the skin before adding chicken in your favorite dishes. This is the unhealthiest part of the chicken. Chicken can be a great protein for you but only if eaten without the skin.

Cocoa - Substitute cocoa instead of real chocolate for some dishes as a healthier alternative. It also gives you more control over the amount of sugar added.

Eggs - Eggs are present in almost every recipe. An alternative would be to try using egg substitute products or even egg whites instead of the whole egg.

Flour - Using whole-wheat flour instead of the usual bleached white flour is very healthy and it can add a little extra something to your favorite dishes. Whole-wheat noodles are better for you too if you must have your pasta fix.

Honey - Sometimes honey can be used in place of sugar in your favorite recipes. It still gives you that sweet taste, but it’s better for your body. Of course, you can also use artificial sweeteners if you like, but some people just don’t care for the aftertaste.

Olive Oil - Olive oil is a healthier option. Use it as a substitute in your dishes in place of corn oil. A few less calories add up to increased weight loss!

Two more tips for eating your favorite food while losing weight:

  • 1. Eat them less frequently: Instead of eating them everyday, try cutting them down to once a week or better still, once a month.
  • 2. Cut down the portion size: If your favorite food has a lot of calories, then eat only a half portion to cut your calories by 50%. However, this tip does require you to have self-control because it is too tempting to reach for the other half of the serving.

 Eat healthier, but don’t give up all of your favorite dishes before you find out if there are healthier alternative ingredients you can use instead of some of the unhealthier ones that you normally put in your recipes.

With careful substitutions, eating comfort foods less often and cutting down on the serving size, it is possible to eat healthier comfort foods and lose weight.

The Paradox of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

The controversial Professor Earl Lawrence Mindell associated with FreeLife International believs that we are getting fatter because of our diet’s lack of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a lacking that is ironically caused by our obsession with dieting. Some scientists believe that in our quest to lose weight, we are not eating enough fat, or at least not the right kind of fat. (Source:

The good fat that is missing from our diets is conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. It is a natural substance found in red meat, lamb, and dairy products. CLA according to many studies can reduce fat and improve muscle mass in the body.

You wouldn’t lose any weight if all you did was take CLA as a supplement with no change in eating or exercise habits but it could help you lose fat. It is often taken by men looking to lose weight and build their bodies at the same time. However, it can also be useful for anyone who is overweight and not exercising enough to increase muscle mass, which will increase the metabolism and thus burn more calories.

Men Have Their Own Diet Challenges

Men and dieting don’t usually go hand in hand but men do have to be a on a healthy diet if they want to lose weight or maintain an optimal weight. All diets are not created equal and men and have a different set of challenges. There are specific diets issues for men to consider and overcome.

Cold brewskis and friends: When men get together with their friends, having a few cold beers is the norm. Even in other social gatherings, alcohol is a constant presence. This is a challenge if you are trying to diet because alcohol tends to make you feel hungry, you reach for the snacks and as a result overeat.

The best thing for your diet would be to abstain from alcohol altogether. However, this may be unrealistic or difficult for you give up. In that case, you can try to slow down your rate of consumption. Sipping your beer instead of chugging, may not be very manly but will help your cut back on the number of beers you drink.