I’ve been pretty clear here that counting calories is how I manage my weight. I understand that many, many people have success with low-carb, paleo, and other non-counting methods. There are lots of blogs for those interests. This blog is about managing a large weight loss long-term and how I do it. So I’m not going to talk about things I don’t know and practice. I also know that many people are gluten free, or avoid flour, rice, potatoes, etc. I don’t. I also am aware that many people believe that artificial sweeteners are evil. I’ve weighed the evidence for and against them, and determined that obesity is a far greater immediate risk to my health than any of the potential nebulous risks of the various artificial sweeteners.
I put this caveat here because I want to get those out of the way before I talk about ways to make foods you may love a little easier on your waistline. Because eating fruits, veggies, and lean proteins is awesome, but sometimes at the end of the day you want a little treat, and dammit, you should be able to have one. When I’m craving something sweet, and it’s in the caloric budget for the day, I make the following substitutions:
- 1 to 1 replacement of oil with apple sauce. This is great for baked goods. If you’re making something like waffles that requires up to a cup of vegetable oil, you can substitute applesauce and completely ameliorate the caloric hit you would have otherwise taken if you used oil.
- 2 Egg whites for 1 whole egg. Yes, yes, egg yolks are full of excellent nutrients. But…also a lot of calories (about 70-90). Whereas egg whites are a huge hit of protein with virtually no calories (about 11). You can substitute 2 egg whites for a single egg in a recipe. Frequently if I am making a 3-egg omelette I’ll do one whole egg and 4 egg whites, dropping the calories by a third, but not missing out on those nutrients in the yolk.
- Splenda for sugar. For baking or for coffee, I’d rather use the no-cal option. Splenda bakes just fine.
I use these techniques for all sorts of baked goods. You can see how a recipe that uses all of these things (cookies, maybe? or a cake) would have the caloric hit drastically reduced if you used all three options. True, you’re probably not going to win the county fair with these baked goods, but if you are simply looking for a little treat for yourself without breaking the bank, these are techniques that are worth a try.