Comfort food that doesn’t make you fat can sometimes seem like an unattainable dream! But it's much easier to have than you think. All you have to do is to make some swaps in your classic recipes and relax!
You shouldn’t start a diet in January. A shocking enough statement, but consider this. It’s enough that you have to go back to work after a few days of vacation, you don’t need a tiring and restrictive diet on top of that. When it’s cold outside and the days are the shortest, you should consider some comfort food. It's called like that because it tickles your taste buds and warms your soul when you’re not feeling very well.
Usually, when people think of comfort foods, they think of items that are deep-fried, covered in cheese, or packed with sugar. They're traditionally foods you have nostalgia about, which helped you get over feeling sick or sad during your childhood. But back then people weren’t so concerned about eating healthy or losing weight. But there are also comfort foods out there that don't make you fat!
Comfort food that doesn’t make you fat
1. Macaroni and cheese
Mac and cheese are on the top of everybody’s comfort food list. If you cook the dish the classic way, with whole milk and five different kinds of cheese, this creamy bowl will end up full of calories. But you have alternatives! Reduce the fat from the sauce using low-fat milk, low-fat butter, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, and parmesan. To feel satisfied faster, use whole wheat macaroni, which also slows your body's absorption of sugar.
2. ‘Fried’ chicken
Comfort food that doesn’t make you fat is not fried, but roasted. You don’t have to give up on those crunchy chicken pieces; you just have to give up on your deep-frier and start using your oven more often! Use oil spray or a light brush of oil to control how much oil the meat absorbs when you roast it. To add flavor, mix some garlic powder, paprika, spices, salt, and pepper in the panko.
3. Hot chocolate
Another comfort food that doesn’t make you fat, but it even helps you burn calories is delicious hot chocolate. Cocoa is full of antioxidants, which reduce your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that makes your body to cling to belly fat. Adding some cinnamon boosts your treat's health benefits even more — it contains compounds that keep insulin out of the bloodstream and from storing fat. Still, try to reduce the sugar in your hot chocolate as much as you can!
4. Chicken or vegetable soup
One bowl of chicken or vegetable soup will warm you up on a cold day. Sip it at the beginning of your meal, and you’ll eat less after that. The result: you’ll consume fewer calories overall! A Penn State study found that people who ate soup before the next courses reduced their total calorie intake by 20 percent.
Don’t think about pumpkin as just a pie filling! If you bake it, pumpkin is a comfort food that doesn’t make you fat! One cup of it contains only 46 calories, but also 3 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. Plus, pumpkin is a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which fights the oxidative stress and inflammation in the body that's linked to increased fat storage. You can roast pumpkin many ways, and you can make sweet or salty snacks with it.
So, this January get comfortable on your couch with a plate of roasted pumpkin in front of you, and have a good time without fearing that you’ll gain weight! These worries can wait at least until February!