Is there a particular meal that comes to mind when you think of cheating on your diet? Do you have a guilty pleasure that you think is irredeemable in terms of nutritional content? If so, what is it and what about this meal do you find that makes it an absolute cheat meal? Chances are, there’s a healthier alternative out there that’ll allow you to enjoy this meal more often than not. If you’re able to get a little creative with these meals, you’ll find that they won’t be considered a cheat meal anymore.
As such, I’ve listed a few options in which you can make a part of your regular diet if you’re willing to put in a little bit more work to make for a healthier alternative.
Cheeseburgers bought at your local fast food restaurant are packed with calories and very little nutritional content. That’s what make these a guilty pleasure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t replace the ingredients for a cheeseburger to make a fitness-friendly version. You can start by replacing the buns with a whole grain alternative. Load up as many veggies as you like (the more the better!), and find an alternative for the beef option. It’s generally better to go with white meat (if you must have meat), so turkey serves as a great alternative. If you have must have cheese, opt for a lower fat cheese and voila, you have a fit friendly burger to enjoy.
Pizza is a little bit trickier to deal with because so much of that deliciousness goodness comes from a few staple ingredients. Not to worry, we can still work something out! Let’s start with the crust. You can opt for a whole grain alternative, or you can use a baked cauliflower crust that you can either make on your own buy pre-packaged at the grocery store. Going with an organic tomato sauce works great with your healthy pizza, and topping it with a lower fat mozzarella will give you that familiar pizza-taste you love while sparing you so many of those calories and fat. Top with veggies of your choice, and you have a diet-friendly pizza worth enjoying.
You knew this one would make to the list...because who doesn’t love tacos? I’ve made these a staple of my regular diet and just had to share them with you. I start with whole grain tortillas (or if I just finished a grueling workout, corn works just fine). I start with chicken as my base protein, and sprinkle lettuce or spinach to top off the protein. I then dice tomatoes and white onion to follow, and opt for a lower fat mexican-style cheese to sprinkle over these lovely ingredients. Depending on my mood, I’ll apply hot sauce to some of my tacos...but I’ll always finish with a squeeze of lime. Tastes amazing and serves as a great post workout meal.
These are just a few alternatives to meals you would normally consider cheat meals, so let this serve as a grounds for you to get creative with what’s on the menu. If you really think about it, any cheat meal can be converted to a healthier alternative if you’re willing to put the time and effort in making it taste great. What are some of your favorite meals you consider guilty pleasures, and how can you modify them to fit your current healthier lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below.