You get back home after a long day at work and the thought of having yet another salad bowl for dinner makes you sigh. Dieting seems like a lot of boring work. And let’s be honest, it is work. But boring? This couldn’t be further from the truth! While dieting is difficult it doesn’t need to — for the lack of a better word — suck. Here are some ways to make eating right and healthy a lot more interesting and fun.
1. Add Spices To Your Food
Step up your game by seasoning your food with spices and herbs. And skip heavy sauces. Most spices like turmeric, thyme, and basil also carry immense nutritional value. However, avoid putting together random spices in the hope that it will give a dash of flavor. Find out what spice pairs best with your favorite foods, and add the correct spices.
Basil, bay leaf, cayenne, and chives go best with fish, whereas beef tastes best with oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.1
2. Make Your Dish More Colorful
A dish that uses only one food as its primary ingredient is likely to be of just one color, be it green or yellow. One way to make your diet more interesting is to fill your plate with colors. This tricks your mind into believing that you’re eating “exciting” food, and you’ll be less likely to give in to that pizza temptation.
Add foods like radish, red leaf lettuce, yellow tomatoes, and sliced strawberries to your salad. They’ll heighten the flavor and make your dish less boring!
3. Add More Texture To Your Dish
You enjoy your french fries because of the crunchy texture. A crisp, unique texture can add zing to even the most mundane dish. To add more texture, toss seeds and nuts to your dish. Add a few pumpkin seeds to your oatmeal or a handful of brazil nuts to your salad.
4. Make Your Own Dip
Mayonnaise or salsa might be off the table, but that doesn’t mean you skip the dip altogether. Opt for healthier dips like mango guacamole, avocado herb dip, or even the humble hummus! These dips are not only easy to prepare but also let you stay on track with your diet.
5. Grill Your Veggies
More often than not, you’re bored of your healthy food not because you’re eating the same food all the time but because you’re eating it the same way all the time. Instead of just chopping up your vegetables and boiling them, how about tossing them on the grill? Grilled vegetable packs in more punch than the plain, boiled ones.
Some of the vegetables that taste best when grilled are corn, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, and asparagus.
6. Add Citrus To Your Dish
Citrus fruits like lemon and oranges can make any dish taste better and also increase its nutritional value. These fruits are rich in vitamin C, which boosts immunity and keeps diseases at bay. Also, consider using the zest of the fruit instead of only the juice. It not only carries more flavor but also more vitamins than the juice.
You could add lemon zest to your morning eggs or to wholewheat cakes.2
7. Learn New Recipes
If you feel that you’re sick of eating home-made food, maybe it’s because you’re not learning anything new. Don’t just restrict yourself to salad or oatmeal. There are thousands of recipes you can find online that are healthy, yet delicious. Does a plate of cilantro lime shrimp with zucchini pasta sound appetizing? Then maybe it’s time to look up the recipe and whip up a plate for yourself.
8. Have A Cheat Meal
Every week, plan a cheat meal as an incentive to help you stay on track. Have a cupcake or a cup of instant noodles, if that’s what you love. However, plan your cheat meal in advance so that you don’t impulsively opt for the unhealthiest dish there is! Also, remember to restrict your cheat meal to only a “cheat meal” and not a “cheat day.”
Dieting is boring only if you want it to be. Follow these tips and make gourmet-style dishes without going off your diet!
|↑1||Opara, Elizabeth I., and Magali Chohan. “Culinary herbs and spices: their bioactive properties, the contribution of polyphenols and the challenges in deducing their true health benefits.” International journal of molecular sciences 15, no. 10 (2014): 19183-19202.|
|↑2||Rafiq, Shafiya, Rajkumari Kaul, S. A. Sofi, Nadia Bashir, Fiza Nazir, and Gulzar Ahmad Nayik. “Citrus peel as a source of functional ingredient: a review.” Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences (2016).|