Make Healthy Substitutions in Your Recipes

My name is Carolyn and I blog about my weight loss journey on Weight Watchers over at Lovin’ Losing. I enjoy reading, baking, running, and playing with my furbabies.

In my experience, when trying to lose weight one of the most difficult things to do is learn how to cook healthy. Food is an integral part of our lives and cultures and often, friends and family who aren’t trying or don’t need to lose weight have a hard time adjusting when you start changing their favorite recipes. Sometimes the cook tries to make two versions of meals to appease everyone, gets overwhelmed with the work involved, and quits their weight loss journey. I’m here to say, that doesn’t have to be you!

Here are a few tips for getting friends and family on board with healthier cooking.

  • Make changes gradually. Focus on portion control and then each time you make an old recipe, make it just a little bit healthier than the last time.
  • Don’t feel the need to tell your family what “secret ingredient” is in the recipe or that it’s “healthy,” especially not before they’ve tried it.
  • Start by adding to the health value before you take things away. Add vegetables to your pasta dishes and include salads with every meal.

Now for some healthy swaps:

  • Greek Yogurt > Sour Cream Great for chili, baked potatoes, burritos, and tacos.
  • Greek Yogurt > Regular Yogurt Perfect with fruit or in smoothies.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta > White Pasta My suggestion is to cook it longer than you would white for a softer texture.
  • Whole Wheat Bread > White Bread Start with a tasty honey wheat for an easier transition.
  • Veggies > Meat I’m not suggesting you go vegetarian, but there’s nothing wrong with forgoing the meat every now and then. Try veggie chili, veggie lasagna, veggie soup, etc. as a main course.
  • Hummus > mayo Choose hummus over mayo-based dips and plain mayo on sandwiches.
  • Fish & poultry > red meat

It’s a bit trickier to make substitutions when baking because it’s all about chemistry, so check out this Cooking Light article on the Art of Low Fat Baking.

How about you? Do you have any go-to healthy substitutes? If so, comment below.

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