A healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring. If you find yourself eating the same few foods over and over again, try using these tips to add variety to your diet.
Try a Different Vegetable Every Day
Next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a few types of vegetables that you don’t have much experience of cooking and eating. Every day, add one of these vegetables to your meal to find out which ones you like best.
Experiment With Different Cooking Styles
Freshly steamed broccoli is delicious, but have you tried it roasted with olive oil and garlic? How about sprouts that have been stir-fried rather than boiled? Cooking your favorite healthy foods in different ways can help you to avoid becoming bored of them. Try roasting, steaming, boiling, stir-frying and even eating some vegetables raw to see which options tickle your tastebuds.
Try Vegetarian Meals
Most weight loss diets contain a lot of chicken breast, tuna and white fish. While these lean meats are good sources of protein, they can become boring if you eat them all the time. Try experimenting with vegetarian meals, which use chickpeas, beans and tofu as protein sources. Tofu and vegetable stir-fry is a delicious healthy meal; try adding garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce and ginger to give the meal extra flavor.
Eat Healthy Fats
Many people think that losing weight requires cutting as much fat as possible from the diet. However, a fat-free diet can leave you feeling lethargic and unsatisfied, which could intensify your cravings for cookies and chips. Add healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds to your diet, but keep your portions of these calorie-dense foods small: roughly one quarter to one half a cup per meal.
Freeze Foods So You Can Enjoy Them At Any Time
Some foods, such as berries, are much less expensive if you buy them when they are in season. However, there are only so many berries you can eat in a week before you get bored of them. Freeze the rest of them so you can enjoy them at all times of year. You can also use this method to stock up on meat or fish when it is on sale, so you can then defrost and cook it whenever you feel like enjoying your favorite fish or meat dish.
Use Herbs and Spices
Changing the herbs and spices you normally use can dramatically change the flavor of your staple meals. If you usually add basil to your pasta sauce, try adding sage or rosemary instead to create a completely different taste profile. When cooking rice, add spices such as turmeric, cumin or cardamom to give it extra flavor.
Bake Healthy Versions of Your Favorite Treats
If you’re trying to cut down on wheat and sugar, baking might seem like a pleasure that is completely off-limits. Use paleo recipes from blog.PaleoHacks.com to replace these refined carbohydrates with nutrient-rich alternatives, such as coconut or almond flour.
Replace Sweet Treats With Fruits
Buy as many different types of fruit as you can at the store, so you always have a sweet treat available when your sugar cravings hit. As well as the traditional apples and bananas, try branching out to more exotic fruits, such as mangoes, papaya, lychees and kumquats.
Try Alternatives to Pasta
Pasta is the basis for many healthy meals, but it can become boring. Try using alternatives such as rice noodles, couscous, barley, polenta or quinoa to give your meals more variety. If you are trying to cut down on the amount of carbohydrates you eat, replace pasta with zucchini noodles for a low-calorie alternative.
Try Recipes From Other Cultures
Why not try cooking some traditional Chinese, Indian, Thai or Middle Eastern meals? Trying recipes from different cultures exposes you to ingredients and styles of cooking that you may have never tried before. Invest in a cookbook from a culture you know little about to discover a whole new way of eating.
Adding variety to your diet can help you stay away from junk food and stay on track to meet your weight loss goals. The more variety there is in your diet, the more likely you are to avoid nutrient deficiencies, as all foods contain different amounts of vitamins and minerals. Use the tips given here to create a varied and balanced diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Poppy Armstrong has tried various diets since she was a teenager. Until now her weigh always yo-yoed but she has now had a massive breakthrough and wants to share her dieting tips with others.