One of the biggest complaints of dieters is that healthy foods simply don’t taste good. The truth is that our taste buds have simply forgotten the taste of real food. Food manufacturers have spent decades optimizing their products for a “bliss point” – the right mix of fat sugar and oil that makes us crave more of the same food.
Tip #1 Eat less processed foods
This is a no-brainer. 70% of the sodium in a Western diet comes from processed food (restaurants, fast food, snacks and prepared supermarket food). The rest is added while cooking, at the table, or is found naturally in foods. If you really want to cut down on your sodium, start reducing processed foods from your diet. The same idea holds true for sugar.
Tip #2 Choose frozen, not canned
Salt and freezers are both “preservers”, keeping food from spoiling. Choose frozen over canned veggies because they don’t need the salt to protect the food. They usually have a higher level of the original vitamins preserved compared to canned. When you do use canned vegetables, try rinsing them to remove some of the salt.
Tip #3 Delay salting
When cooking, add salt just before serving, and in a smaller amount than called for in the recipe. Each diner can then add salt to taste from a shaker at the table.
Tip #4 Gradual salt detox
Train your taste buds to enjoy less salty foods. Gradually reduce the amount of salt you add to food. After several weeks, your salt comfort zone will be lower. If you keep at it, within a few months, you’ll actually start to dislike fast foods because they will taste too salty!
Tip #5 Gradual sugar detox (using coffee)
Just as with salt, you can train your taste buds to crave less sweet. You can go down to zero sugar in your coffee as follows: At the start of a new week, add just one quarter teaspoon less sugar to your cup of joe than you normally do. The flavor difference will be barely noticeable. After a week, it will even feel normal. The next week, try to reduce another quarter teaspoon, and so forth. It may take slightly more time for some people, but within a few months you’ll discover you are drinking your coffee without any added sugar! If you are used to drinking 3 cups a day with 2 teaspoons of sugar, your daily saving of 6 teaspoons of sugar is worth 100 calories. That’s the equivalent of one pound of weight loss every 5 weeks!!!
Tip #6 Chewing gum may help
Low calorie chewing gum may help you resist the urge for sweet calories. Choose gums that don’t include artificial sweeteners. We like Glee and Pür brands because they don’t use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame-k.
Tip #7 Eat more regularly
If you wait too long between meals (or snacks), your body will signal for the fat / sugar / salt combos, and your willpower won’t be strong enough to say no. But if you don’t get to that stage, you’ll have an easier time making the healthier choices.