By Aditya M.
We all know how much of a struggle it is to maintain or lose weight. It can be even more difficult when we think salads are our only option. Thankfully, there are so many better options than salad that will not only satisfy your taste palette, but also keep you healthy and help you in shedding a couple of pounds.
1. Cottage Cheese and Tomato Sandwich: Firstly, this is a beautiful combination. Tomatoes and cheese are just a great pair and very Italian. Using whole wheat or multi-grain bread will make it a healthier option. Adding cottage cheese, slices of tomato, slices of avocado, lettuce and a tad bit of mustard (I like honey mustard a bit more) will keep your sandwich healthy. This also has quite a bit of protein thanks to the cottage cheese.
2. Fish wrap: Fish is probably the healthiest meat out there. It’s loaded with omega fatty acids and has lots of protein packed into it. If you’re a vegetarian, opt for tofu or paneer as a substitute. A fish/paneer/tofu wrap with hummus, goat cheese, peppers and some spinach would be the best combination.
3. Chickpea Falafel: Chickpeas are also another great source of protein, which is why they’re often incorporated into Greek diets. For this, you’ll need pita bread, chicken breast or paneer/tofu, chickpeas, a bit of oregano and some parsley for garnish.
4. Spicy Black Bean Burritos: I always have a soft spot for Mexican food and will drop everything for a run to Chipotle. Black beans are often used in Mexican food and they’re a great source of fiber. You can use a whole-wheat wrap to pull all of your ingredients together. Avocados, tomatoes, corn, along with a dash of hot sauce would make for a wonderful dish.
5. Pizza Bagel: Pizza bagels are a great way to enjoy the taste of a pizza but also keeping it healthy by using bagel thins instead of whole bagels. Bagel thins have a lot less fat and are not as processed. Add fresh spinach and a bit of goat cheese as a healthier option to any other type of cheese.
6. Egg, tomato and avocado sandwich: It sounds really simple, and it is. I like to use a fried egg for this, some people may prefer poached eggs. If this isn’t an option, adding a veggie patty would be nice too. Egg with avocado is such a simple yet wonderful combination and the tomato will keep you full for longer preventing you from eating excessive junk.
7. Stir-fried rice: Who said rice can’t be healthy? Brown rice is a great substitute for normal white rice. Quinoa is an even better option. I like brown rice in general over white rice, so this is an easy change for me to adapt to. Using olive oil opposed to canola oil is also a much healthier choice.
8. Hawaiian Burger: This is super healthy although it says burger. Using a whole-wheat bun, fill it with avocado slices, pineapple chunks, some lettuce, and a veggie or chicken patty of your choice.
9. Asparagus fries or Zucchini fries instead of French fries made from potatoes: These two vegetables have lower carbohydrates and will keep you full a lot longer. Also, baking is another great way to reduce fat instead of deep frying them.
10. Zucchini + noodles = zoodles: If pasta has you stressing out over eating too many carbs, zucchini will be your new best friend. Making noodles out of zucchini is easy and there’s tons of recipes for zoodles!
11. White Bean and Spinach pasta: Another alternative to eating healthy but also satisfying your craving is eating whole-wheat pasta with white beans and freshly chopped spinach. Olive oil enhances this to be a bit healthier than most conventional oils.
12. Broccoli and Feta Hummus: Hummus is loaded with lots of protein and adding broccoli and feta to the mix just enhances the taste of hummus. Slap it on some toast and you’re good to go! Adding a fried egg is optional.
13. Cauliflower Crust Pizza: A crust made out of cauliflower is a better option than having it made from wheat. Cauliflower crust pizza topped with spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese sounds delicious!
14. Zucchini Nachos: Instead of tortilla chips to feed our cravings, we can swap them for zucchini chips (homemade are the best!) and top them with nacho toppings like lettuce, tomato, and corn.
15. Mushroom and tofu stir fry: I absolutely despise mushrooms except on pizza, but when I tried this stir-fry out, it came out wonderful. Use quinoa or brown rice to keep you healthy.
16. Baked Tilapia is a great option for anyone who eats fish. I’m very picky about the fish I eat but Tilapia is one of my favorites. Baked tilapia with some simple spices like salt, pepper, and lemon juice is the best (I usually add some ginger and garlic paste as well to hold all the ingredients together). It’s easy to make and it tastes amazing.
17. Zucchini Lasagna: Who doesn’t love lasagna? It can easily be made using zucchini and topped off with the healthier range of cheese like goat and feta.
18. Sweet potato tacos: Using a whole wheat tortilla topped with honey-lime glazed sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and some avocado.
19. Guacamole Grilled Cheese: This twist on a classic sandwich makes it so much healthier. Using multigrain or whole-wheat bread will make it even healthier.
20. Saving the best for last, black bean soup! It may not look so appetizing but this is one of my favorite soups. It contains so much protein and is filled with herbs and vegetables.
If all else fails and you don’t want to cook, just go to Subway. It’ll never disappoint you and it’s probably the healthiest fast food available.
Eating healthy isn’t always about completely avoiding your favorite foods; it’s about substituting healthy ingredients in place of the unhealthy ones to your liking. This will prevent you from piling on extra pounds and will help you shed some weight too 🙂
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