Why is a travel blogger writing about food modifications? That delicious wine and those incredible restaurants can definitely hit your waistline. I speak from recent experience because my latest journey definitely made my jeans tighter (eek)! I had to jump into action when I got home and dieting really doesn’t work for me. Certain food modifications, however, always help me get back on track with healthy living after a great trip.
What the heck is the difference between dieting and food modification? It’s how you look at things. Dieting is all about deprivation, which personally turns me into a nut job. Food modifying is about adding healthy things.
5 Foolproof Food Modification Tips
Watch a Documentary Today
There is nothing like a food documentary to get you on the right track just like a fast food commercial can get you on the wrong track. Use the power of persuasion to keep you healthy and trim. I did this review on food documentaries so that you can pick the best one for you to watch asap.
Fill Up on Veggies!
If you fill yourself up with a bunch of veggies, you get tons of great nutrition and there’s less room for the bad stuff. For me, the easiest way to stay trim is to have salad readily available. I keep bags of lettuce, pre-cut vegetables, and some protein readily available. That way I can throw together a salad easily. It’s hard to eat junk when you’re full of salad 😉
- Go big! Eat at least a few cups of lettuce and tons of veggies.
- Use low calorie dressing with little to no sugar. Even better, use lemon or lime with a few teaspoons of olive oil. 25-100 calories.
- Use protein to make your salad satisfy your hunger for longer. I like to keep some chicken or salmon in the fridge to add. 150-200 calories.
- Add 1/2 cup of a healthy carb to make your salad more substantial like quinoa, farro, bulgar or brown rice. 85-125 calories.
- Add 1 oz of a strong cheese like feta to add flavor or a few tablespoons of slivered almonds to add crunch. 75 calories.
- Choose between a carb, cheese or nuts – not all 3 at once.
I typically eat 2 big salads a day – one with just veggies and protein and the other with a carb added. For breakfast, I often make a veggie scramble with any leftover cooked veggies. Green smoothies are great too as long as you don’t use too much fruit. In winter, I make big pots of soup.
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Prepping Ahead is the Key to Success
When healthy food is available right in front of me, I make better choices. Most of my bad moves involve me being super hungry and having nothing available. Here are some things that have been really helpful.
I’m not always the best about going to the grocery store so I love shopping at places like Costco and getting stocked up. Recently I added Amazon Fresh which is another easy shopping choice. I buy organic fresh fruits and veggies, bagged salad, organic meat and chicken, and Whole Foods 365 frozen fruit. Try AmazonFresh Free Trial for a month.
I love these BPA free, microwavable, freezer friendly Bento Box containers for prepping food ahead of time. Fill the big side with cooked veggies or salad. Use one of the smaller sections for your protein and the other one for a healthy carb or piece of fruit. On the weekend you can portion out healthy meals and make it so easy. These containers are also great for work.
Are you on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet? This is the perfect appliance for easy healthy cooking. Steam vegetables, make healthy carbs and cook fall off the bone meats. I love the one pot cooking so it’s not a big mess. The best part is that it cooks everything faster – brown rice in 15 minutes, broccoli in 2 minutes and artichokes in 15 minutes. It comes in 3 sizes depending on family size and counter space.
Go Cold Turkey on Processed Foods
This is the hardest part for me because I get serious cravings. For the first few days, it’s like I’m a crack addict. The good news is that the cravings will start to subside in less than a week and get progressively better. There are major health consequences for eating processed food. Once you stop eating them, it’s easy to stay off and maintain your weight.
Shop the outside edges of the market and avoid the middle. Make substitutions for anything with flour, corn or sugar. The food modification for bread is oatmeal or one of the healthy carbs above. Whole fruit (no juice) is the modification for sweets.
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Get Some Fresh Air
A change of scenery or getting out of the house is sometimes all I need to avoid eating unhealthy food. I take a bottle of water with me so I can kill 2 birds with one stone – exercise and water. I like going for a walk but you can head to the gym or do whatever relaxes you and makes you happy.
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Make Food Modifications for the Right Reasons
If I try to go on a diet for a trip or an event, I end up gaining weight. It just messes with me and I get into this deprivation head space that is so stupid.
When you focus on your health instead of your weight or looking good, you will have a much easier time. You need to truly buy into the idea that it’s important for you to be healthy. I stopped yo-yo dieting 3 years ago and this is the first time I’ve had to correct myself because I let processed food sneak into my diet and got into the craving cycle again.
I hope these tips help you as much as they help me. A few little food modifications go a long way and they’re really simple once you get past unhealthy food cravings. These steps do the trick every time without fail. If you’ve tried and feel like you just can’t lose weight, read this.