If you’re a 5:2 Method faster where you have to keep your meal to 500 calories here are 4 suggestions for lightening up your favorite meals without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.
Fats are calorie dense, and the fats that are required to make food flavorful can add up when you’re trying to lose weight.
Unfortunately, even slightly lowering the fat content of a meal can detract from its flavor. Never settle for boring 5:2 meal again!
1. Ditch The Cream
Swap cream for low fat Greek yogurt or if you’re dairy free like me coconut yogurt is a much healthier and far more nutritious option. It is still creamy and tangy, but has a much lower fat content, more protein as well as high in magnesium and calcium essential for bones and muscle function.
A serving of coconut yogurt will give you between 25 and 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-12, which is important for red blood cell production, and vitamin D, vital for calcium absorption.
Try it on Mexican dishes and baked or mashed potatoes. It’s not even just a savory substitute. Coconut yogurt can also work well in place of whipped cream on desserts for special occasions.
2. Harness the Power of Citrus
Instead of lots of oils, butter, and dressings, a squeeze of fresh citrus or acid can liven up a bland 5:2 fasting meal.
Lemon is particularly great for seafood. Orange is nice on a salad of fresh greens with a hint of oil. Balsamic vinegar and raw apple cider vinegar are also flavor miracle workers if you don’t have any citrus on hand.
3. Grow Fresh Herbs
Growing herbs in your kitchen is unbelievably easy and useful.
Fresh herbs are more pungent than dried ones and will amplify the flavors you experience via their aromatic scents. Start with the basics, like rosemary, thyme, sage, cilantro, oregano, basil, chives, and/or mint. Add them into salad dressing or soups, or toss meat and veggies with them.
Clip a little off whenever you need them and prepare for a flavor explosion that won’t alter your waistline.
4. Spice Up Your Life!
Adding a little heat to your meals is a great way to boost flavor without boosting calories.
Add some jalapenos or poblanos to veggies, curries, beans, eggs, or anything else you can dream up. Spicy food also helps you crave less food and feel content more quickly.
Salsas are also a great way to add heat along with moisture.
Choose a brand with all natural, veggies-heavy ingredients, or make your own!
5. Make Some Broth
Make a big batch of homemade broth (or buy a low-sodium natural brand) one afternoon and freeze it in ice cube trays. When you are sauteing veggies or cooking meat, a couple of these cubes thrown in will provide flavor without requiring a lot of fat.
Try pureeing veggies into your broth (because veggies are delicious and you can never get enough of them), making broth from leftover chicken, veggies, beef, or whatever you have on hand, and change up your flavors each week. It will keep your meals exciting while making them a bit more nutritious.
Add splashes of olive/coconut oil or grass-fed butter as needed, as the goal is not to avoid fat, but to lessen an over-dependence on it.
By adding more or new flavors to your meals, you’ll expand your flavor vocabulary beyond fats and experience a diversity of new, exciting tastes. Enjoy!