When you're looking to lose weight, modifying your diet is not always the easiest thing. It's hard to rid your appetite of the high-carb side dish that usually accompanies your dinner choices. While that mac and cheese and side of pancakes may seem delicious at the time, they are heavy in carbs and will just leave you feeling tired and upset with yourself by the end of the day. But there are ways to have that carb-delicious dinner your body craves without seeing it go straight to your waist. Try these low-carb substitutes the next time you're prepping dinner to trick your body into thinking it's still getting what it craves while giving you what you crave – a slimmer, healthier figure.
Why not try substituting your taco shell or sandwich wrap with a lettuce wrap? You can still fill it full of your favourite vegetables and protein choices, such as turkey, but you skip the carbs and add a healthy nutrient-based alternative.
Instead of reaching for the hamburger bun for your next turkey burger, try roasting portobello mushrooms for your bun. Add your turkey on top of the portobello bun for your protein while getting lots of potassium from your mushroom.
Next time you're looking to whip up a batch of bruschetta try skipping the bread and opting for eggplant. Let the eggplant roast in the oven while you mix up onions, tomatoes and capers and then scoop them on top for a delicious appetizer that everyone will love.
Fries pack a lot of calories so why not try something a little different – like cutting up squash and roasting it for a nutrient-rich snack that is full of potassium and carotenoids – which help protect your heart. You can also roast turnips to eat alongside your favourite burger.
Mac and Cheese or mashed potatoes may seem like comfort food but they are high-carb choices. Try boiling cauliflower, sprinkling it with a cheese sauce and baking it in the oven. You can also mash the cauliflower with a taste of garlic and chives for a flavourful side dish. It will be so delicious no one will notice they are missing that comfort food.
This is a great substitute for the high-carb pancake breakfast. Using almond instead of wheat-based flour will keep this choice low in carbs but still high in taste. You can add berries for an extra flavour. You can also whip together oats and cottage cheese with bananas or chocolate chips for a delicious alternative.
Instead of the high-carb spaghetti noodles try Spaghetti squash. When you cook a spaghetti squash it becomes noodle like and all you have to do is cut it. Place each half on a plate with a quarter cup of water and nuke it until it is soft. Let it cook and then scrape out the strands and top with pasta sauce. You can also try Japanese shirataki noodles, which are made out of yams and come already cooked. They have zero carbs and are considered very healthy. Add garlic and veggies and some protein for a pasta dish that won't have you feeling sluggish and tired afterwards.
Instead of using regular lasagna noodles try zucchini slices instead. Slice about five medium-size zucchini into strips, sprinkle them with Italian seasoning and bake them until they are firm. Then use them to make your lasagna the way you normally would.
Portobello mushrooms are the perfect substitute for pizza crust. All you have to do is cut the gills out of the inside of the mushroom, place it on a cookie sheet and bake it until it dries out a bit. Then add tomato sauce, cheese and your toppings, broil it until the cheese melts and voila – a delicious, healthy alternative.
Try mixing vegetables or black beans for some of the pasta noodles used in your salad. Instead of the noodles add things like diced tomatoes, ham, tuna, chicken or eggs along with a tasty dressing for a low-carb healthy choice to your meal plan.