Being on a diet doesn't mean that you have to suffer at mealtime. Sure, you have to stay away from some delicious fatty temptations, but there are tons of low-cal alternatives that taste amazing as well.
1. Calorie-Controlled Snacks
Lots of your guilty pleasures, such as chips, cookies, and cupcakes, come in 100-calorie (or less) snack packs. These are a great way to indulge in your favorite sweets without mindless overeating. Plus, the food has already done the math for you, so you can simply enjoy the treat without adding up the calories in your head.
2. Healthy Fast Food
Not every fast food option is off-limits for dieters. As long as you avoid the fried or sweetened allure on the menu, you'll won't have to give up the drive-through. Quizno's and Subway have great, healthy options, and even McDonald's Southwest salad is low on fat (although you'll have to forgo the dressing).
3. Low-Fat Dairy
Dairy is a killer for dieters since it's so high in fat. Luckily, most dairy products come in low-fat or even fat-free varieties that offer healthy nutrients as well as a great taste. Laughing Cow light cheese and Yoplait Fiber One nonfat yogurt are delicious and healthy choices. And start using fat-free half-and-half in your morning coffee for the same great taste without the fat.
4. Diet-Friendly Desserts
Low-calorie desserts are the perfect treat for dieters with a sweet tooth. Skinny Cow ice cream products offer great taste and minimal calories. Teddy grahams, graham crackers, and Fig Newtons are other great dessert options that won't tip the scale. For a quick hunger fix, always have some sugarless gum or hard candy on hand as well.
5. Light Salad Dressings
When selecting a dressing, always look for ones with reduced calories and/or fat. You can also make your own low-cal dressings with more vinegar than you do oil and then some water. When you order a salad at a restaurant, always ask for your dressing on the side so you can control how much of it you eat.
6. Cooking Liquids
There's a lot of great ways to cook without unhealthy cooking liquids. Beef, chicken, vegetable, and fish stocks all come in fat-free varieties. Also, wine is an awesome, low-calorie way to add some flavor to the meal you're preparing. Fruit juices from concentrate are an effective way to inject some sweetness into your dish.
7. Frozen Entrees
The market for frozen meals has grown drastically due to the demand for quick and easy meals. Some of the diet-friendly options include Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, and Kashi. Be sure to read the label to confirm the meal you're getting is low in calories, sodium, and fat.
8. Flavored Water And Tea
Water is always the healthiest drink you can have, but not very flavorful. To add some zest, try flavored waters or powdered packets such as Propel or Crystal Light. Tea is another great drink for dieters that is basically free of calories.
Protein or snack bars are convenient ways to fill your hunger in a healthy manner while also getting a ton of fiber and protein. Luna, Kashi, or Fiber One bars are all great choices for a snack, pre-workout or meal replacement.
While many dips are filled with calories and fat, there's still a handful of healthy options. Hummus, salsa, fat-free black bean dip, and mustards are tasty and healthy treats. Of course, you also have to watch what you are going to be dipping into them. Veggies are a good bet, but if you'd rather munch on some chips you should be sure to get the baked variety.
It's been shown time and time again that those who eat breakfast can control their weight better than the skippers. Always start your day with some whole-grain cereal with some fruit and low-fat milk. Oatmeal is another great low-cal breakfast that will also give you some fiber and protein.