11 Recipe Substitutions for Healthy Eating

Keep your resolutions with these skinny shortcuts.

11 Recipe Substitutions for Healthy Eating

Looking to shed pounds and feel your best? With a few simple recipe substitutions, you can hack your favorite meals and make them healthier without sacrificing flavor. From baking with bananas or wrapping your favorite foods in lettuce, you can shave lots of carbs, calories, and fat with minimal effort. Take a look at these 11 creative approaches to cooking and baking so you can get inspired and find new ways to enjoy your favorite comfort foods.

More: Simple Foood Swaps That Save 100 Calories or More


Bake Your Burger

If you are looking to save calories and fat, baking a burger is the best option. When you cook meat on the pan, you have to use oil or butter in the process, but when you pop a burger in the oven, you’re skipping that step. All you have to do is make the patty like you normally would, and then bake it at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. A pan-fried burger typically has 440 calories and 41 grams of fat, while this skinny version has half the calories and a 1/3 of the fat!

More: Quinoa Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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