Perhaps you have stuck to your healthy diet for a while, but you find yourself getting bored with eating the same thing all the time. It’s a common pattern; we tell ourselves we want to lose weight, so we restrict our meals to only the blandest vegetables, lean meats and brown rice. We eat boring vegetables and deprive ourselves of all the delicious flavors we know and love.
However, this can actually have a negative effect as confining yourself to only bland food will make you crave indulgences even more. After a while, you will drive yourself mad with your boring diet and you will be tempted to treat yourself to something that may be fattening and sugary. One of the most important parts of eating a healthy diet is sticking to it in the long term; it won’t be very easy or enjoyable if it leaves you starved for flavor.
How can you make your diet more interesting while still losing weight? It is possible to make tasty dishes that are still nutritious and low in fat. Here are some tips that will help you eat a healthy diet without sacrificing flavor.
Look for Inspiration From Other Cultures
For some ideas of how to spice up your healthy diet, why not try some different ethnic recipes? Rather than eating the same type of food all the time, you can try dishes from all around the world and add some variety to your cooking. Foodie’s such as Chantal Royer love traveling to find inspiration for new foods to try. She believes combining new flavors into dishes is a great way to get variety when trying to stick to a healthy diet
Indian curries can be made with vegetables and lean meats like chicken and often contain spices such as cardamom and turmeric, which are great for your health. Southeast Asian dishes are often made with fish and fresh vegetables and are also healthy. You can also try cooking Mexican dishes with black beans, fresh tomatoes and homemade guacamole.
Make sure you use the healthy versions of different international cuisines; there is a big difference between Americanized Italian pasta loaded with heavy cheeses and oil and the traditional Mediterranean diet, which consists of fresh vegetables, olives and fish.
Go for a Dip
Instead of chewing on raw carrots like some sort of rabbit in a cage, why not make some dip to give them some flavor? Dips and sauces can make meals much more interesting, and they don’t have to be fattening. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar taste great on a salad, and low-fat hummus is wonderful for dipping vegetables in. You can have the same salad base several times a week without getting bored if you try it with different dips and seasonings. Looking for some inspiration? There are plenty of healthy dip recipes online that you can try out with veggies.
Try New Fruits and Vegetables
Eating healthier means increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, but if you only have a small handful of different types of fruits and veggies you eat then you will quickly become weary of them. Many people only stick to the conventional fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, bananas, broccoli and cauliflower until they run out of ideas for recipes.
In order to spice up your diet, try going to different markets and stores, and experiment with cooking a new vegetable or fruit every week. Go to the ethnic markets or your local Chinatown to find some different types of produce you might not have seen before such as dragonfruit, lychee or bok choy. Search for the fruit or vegetable online and you will be able to find plenty of ideas for recipes to use it in.
Why Not Have a Healthy-Food Pot Luck?
Why not invite all of your friends over and ask them to bring their favorite healthy meal to share? You will all be able to taste each other’s dishes and exchange recipes for new inspiration.
As you can see, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring if you can come up with new ways to spice up your diet and keep things interesting.
About the Author: Jasmine Barnes is a nutritionist who helps her clients develop healthy diets that aid them in reaching their weight-loss goals. For more diet help, visit diettogo.com.
Image provided by Katherine Martinelli from Flickr’s Creative Commons