Hello best life seekers!
Are you trying to take control of your health by eating better? Is it proving harder than anticipated? If so, don’t kick yourself too hard. Our worst habits are hardest to quit and with the addictive properties of some of our favorite bad foods, getting free feels like a Herculean effort.
Here are 5 food hacks for the worst offenders to help you transition to better nutrition.
#1 – Soda hack for a sugar tooth
You know how bad sugary drinks like soda are for your health and waistline but try telling it to your sugar addiction, right?
Here’s what helped me transition. When you need a sugar hit, drink 100% juices or milk. Neither of these are perfectly healthy but unless you have a milk allergy, they’re better for you than soda. You can also try lemonade. You’ll sate your sugar tooth while sparing your waistline since it’s hard to drink as much milk, juice or lemonade as soda. Just be careful on the lemonade as many brands have way too much added sugar. Stick to under 12 grams a serving.
In time you’ll be able to wean off these with other replacements like dark chocolate or fruit. If you can jump to these and skip the initial swaps, so much the better.
#2 – Soda hack for the caffeine addicted
If you’re wanting to cut your soda consumption and drop pounds quick, switch out the soda for tea or coffee. You’ll get far less calories unless you doctor your drink with milk and sugar. Try to drink them black. This is easiest for teas, especially green tea. You’ll get the caffeine your body craves but without the excess sugar and junk. And hey, green tea is supposedly even healthy for you!
#3 – Pasta hack
We love our refined grains like pasta. This stuff can sit on a shelf for years and has nothing in the way of real nutrition. Additionally, most of us have gluten sensitivities or allergies. Have any inflammation? It probably came from the gluten. And nothing adds pounds and disrupts insulin like pasta other than sugar, another refined carb. Heck, farmers feed grain to their livestock to fatten them up.
But pasta tastes so good! Well, trade it out for a delicious curry. You really can’t beat Indian or Thai curries. Switch the pasta for rice – jasmine, not long-grain. You’ll thank me for this suggestion after the feel-good satiety of a curry.
#4 – Pizza hack
Bread. Man, I cannot get enough of it. Is this you? Switch out the pizza for tacos. Seriously. Who doesn’t love tacos or Tex-Mex? Grab a a taco kit. Fill the shells with black beans, salsa, cheese and guacamole and thank me later. Add ground beef, shredded chicken or pork if you must. It’ll still be better for you than pizza and you’ll actually get some nutrition too. For extra points, use baby spinach in place of lettuce. Skip the flour tortillas and go for corn ones. For mega points, make a bowl rather than tacos.
#5 – Meat hack
Eating too much meat? Try substituting fish like tilapia or cod, both delicious, nutritious and cheaper than salmon. You’ll get your omegas and other helpful nutrients. While fish is a meat, it’s much lighter and healthier than beef, pork, lamb and chicken. If you suck at cooking, make easy fish tacos. They take like 12 minutes and only require salt, pepper and a dash of lemon before stuffing into a corn tortilla.
Want to go veggie or vegan? You could do tofu but beans are also great. Make salads with them. If you’re scared of gassy consequences, use canned beans like chick peas or white varieties of beans. They’re easiest to digest. Rinse them with water and drain before throwing them into bean salads with veggies and a vinaigrette.
Hacking the Body
So much of our food habits are chemical and psychological. Quitting sugar and other refined carbs usually requires implementing strategies for fighting addictions if you want to win. Replace the worst offenders with their stepped down versions or healthier alternatives that give you a similar chemical or emotional rush.
These 5 hacks make excellent replacements. Switching to fish or beans means still eating hearty. Swapping our caffeine and sugar addictions to healthier versions makes our pain more bearable. Meanwhile, curries and tacos really satisfy us so that our bodies and souls enjoy the change. That, more than anything, is the key to success.
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