Try these 5 tips to lose weight without it feeling like a sacrifice.
“The speed of your success is limited only by your dedication and what you’re willing to sacrifice” ― Nathan W. Morris
EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: Any advice or recommendation given in my writing is what works for ME and may not be the best regimen for you based on your psychological or physiological makeup and stability. Please consult a doctor when making decisions about your health.
Willpower is useless as it relates to losing weight.
It goes against our natural DNA as a human species, which has actually been one of the things that has kept us alive for all of these years.
Today, willpower is the concept of going against what you naturally want to do and what your mind and emotions are telling you to do.
But before we developed into the cerebral homo sapiens that we are today, it was, in fact, our emotions and mind that kept us alive as a species.
Our body gives us pleasurable feelings in the form of dopamine when we do something that we like and this is what helps us know that this is good for us.
The better the thing makes you feel, the more you like it and want it.
This is the emotion that taught us the things that we should eat and shouldn’t eat before we had packaging and various Netflix documentaries to tell us these things.
Now, 1000 years later, as we try to fight against this natural instinct to eat stuff that we dislike tremendously, it is not a surprise that we fail miserably at trying to do this with willpower alone.
Therefore, don’t try to use willpower along to stick with a diet and, instead, try these five substitutes that will help you stay committed to your diet regimen and not feel like you’re giving up your life in the process.
Substitute flavored water for sodas/juice
Diet sodas will kill you.
It has been the consensus that you shouldn’t drink diet sodas to lose weight, as it has been shown to actually lead to people gaining more weight in the long term.
Lucky for us, an assortment of various flavored waters have hit the market and many of them are pretty tasty.
There are very few things that are more a waste of calories than soda and juice, so easily substituting them for low or no calories drinks is a no-brainer to effortlessly decrease your daily calorie consumption without feeling like you are making any major sacrifice.
Substitute whole wheat bread for white bread
Regular white bread is known as one of the three white devils, with sugar and dairy being the other two.
When I was young, it was nothing for me to eat almost an entire loaf of bread in one sitting, as I sat in front of the television watching Saturday morning cartoons.
My mom was not very happy about this and nor was my waistline when it realized how much it was going to have to expand because of this terrible habit.
Bread is that thing that seems to make almost every meal better, but the problem with this is that it adds a ton of extra calories to our diet unnecessarily and doesn’t give us very many nutrients that are helpful to our long-term health.
Wheat bread is a much better option, as it is traditionally made from wheat that has all the components of the grain still in it.
This leads to a much greater quantity of quality of nutrients, and it contains, on average, 20% fewer calories than its untanned counterpart.
Wheat is also a much better option for your body to process as well, as white bread typically breaks down and turns into glucose, which can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels.
Overall, it’s an easy switch that won’t change the taste of your sandwiches very much.
Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes or rice
If bread is the third white devil, potatoes and rice could be the fourth and fifth easily.
They are very similar to white bread in that the amount of calories you get versus the number of helpful nutrients that come from them doesn’t seem like a good trade.
The other aspect of white potatoes and rice is that they are both very tasty and are ate consistently by many people at every meal, as they don’t truly realize how much it adds to the bottom calorie line without giving a lot back.
On the other hand, sweet potatoes are a great substitute, as they are easy to cook, light on calories, and have an abundance of nutrients that your body needs to function and grow.
Couple this with the fact that sweet potatoes are generally as their name suggests, sweet, and you have a trifecta mashup of reasons to make this a new staple of every meal if possible.
Substitute chicken/fish for red meat
If you watch the documentary Cowspiracy, you know that the raising of cattle is a much bigger reason for the destruction of our ozone than any type of fossil fuel or aerosol can.
With that being said, eating less meat is also a great decision to protect your heart from a number of diseases, and while I can’t say that eating chicken or fish is that much better for the ozone (especially if you watch Seaspiracy), it is much better for your heart and health.
The overconsumption of red meat is the cause of a number of terrible diseases that kill thousands of people each year.
One daily serving of red meat (the size of a deck of cards) was associated with a 13% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer. Add in the processed version of red meats (something like a hot dog or bacon) and that number goes to 20%.
Chicken and fish are much healthier substitutes as they are able to provide a number of nutritional benefits that will aid one’s health overall.
Chicken has a number of great nutrients for your body and has been linked to higher levels of serotonin, which generally put you in a good mood and help you feel better.
Fish also gives you a plethora of essential nutrients for the body but is best known for providing a strong healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids that help the heart and the body in a number of different ways.
It’s pretty much a no-brainer.
Substitute vinegar-based dressings for cream-based dressings
There are some cream-based dressings that are so loaded with fat that once they are put on a salad, you might as well have eaten a quarter-pounder with fries.
What’s the point of trying to eat “healthy” when you are consuming the same volume of calories as you would’ve had you not been trying.
If you are going to consume 2,000 calories in one meal, your taste buds would’ve much more appreciated you having that juicy burger with fries instead of lettuce drenched in ranch dressing.
Therefore, to make sure that you don’t negate all the hard work you are putting in by eating healthier, it is much smarter to choose a vinegar-based dressing that is much less calorie-dense than your average cream-based dressing.
For example, your average serving of ranch or thousand island at a restaurant can be as much as 190 calories per serving with 171 of those coming from fat. Compare that to your average balsamic vinaigrette that can clock in anywhere between the 50–70 calories per serving area, which is much easier to manage to prevent accidently destroying your calorie count for the day.
And these days, there are a plethora of tasty different vinaigrettes to choose from, so there’s no need to feel that you’re sacrificing taste to meet your calorie requirements.
And while I can’t promise that you still won’t desire that quarter pounder every now and then, at least with these substitutes you can more easily hold it off until you eat whatever you want on your cheat meal on Saturday —and no substitutes are allowed on that day.