One secret to a successful diet is adding flavor to foods that are usually bland. Eating plain chicken with brown rice and broccoli is very difficult to look forward to. This makes it difficult to stick to your diet and keep eating ‘clean’ for a sustained period of time.
Flavors come in the form of: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and unami. Condiments provide the means to add taste with your food. But if you’re trying to stick to a diet then you need to manage your calories. Some condiments can make that difficult.
Believe it or not, there are a variety of condiments that satisfy your cravings. Here is a guide for macro-friendly condiments that will hit all five of the basic tastes!
Macro Friend Condiments
Nothing beats the taste of a milkshake or sugary cereal. Calorie-free sweeteners like Splenda or Stevia are ideal when you need something to sweeten up a drink or a plain bowl of oatmeal. Sugar-free syrup, low-sugar ketchup and sugar-free jam can provide a hit of sweetness for less than 50 calories a serving. Some sugar-free jam can provide some fiber in lieu of sugar carbohydrates. A win-win for health-conscious sweet lovers!
Try Flavdrops – no calories, no sugar, no carbohydrates and no fat!
Sour flavors go well with savory dishes and can go a long way in adding a flavor variety. Low-fat or fat-free sour cream, plain yogurt (Greek or otherwise) and even pickled juice are great sour options to add to your meals. Citrus-based dressings like lemon juice and lemon pepper can make for a nice sour patch.
The word “salt” is in the taste’s name, so that should be a hint as to what you can add. Other salty condiments like mustard, spiced tomato paste, salsa, broth, stock (there is a slight difference), vinegar, soy sauce, and hot sauce are low-cal salty options. Most of these have a high level of sodium, so if you are concerned about your intake, you may want to avoid this flavor choice. The upside to this is that most salty condiments are the lowest in calories, ranging from 0-25 calories per serving.
Bitter usually has a negative connotation when it comes to flavor, but some of your favorite condiments have a bitter element to them. Coffee grounds and unsweetened cocoa are great thing to add to dishes that are usually sweet. Horseradish (fresh, not sauce), mustard, and salad greens can be good garnishes for the savory dishes. Options are limited here, but it’s not impossible to find a bitter accompaniment to a meal.
Umami is described as a “savory” taste, so it may remind you of a meatier dish that will make your mouth water. Salty seasonings like the ones stated in the salty section could also apply here. Asian condiments are very rich in umami flavor. Some include fish sauce, sweet and sour sauce and low-fat and fat-free cheese sauces.
Low Calorie Supplements
There are some supplements which can really help you stick to a low calorie diet, but still taste good. Here are some you should try.
This Diet Blend is currently available in two delicious flavors, Toasted Marshmallow and Strawberries & Cream. There are only 96 calories per serving as well as 20 g of protein to keep you feeling full and less likely to snack.
This is the perfect snack for when you’re on-the-go. This delicious bar is available in five flavors including: Almond Vanilla, Apple Cinnamon, Caramel Peanut, Chocolate and Cookies & Cream. This bar also contains 90% less carbohydrates than a standard protein bar and still contains 20 g of protein.
Take Home Message
The most important thing when trying to stick to a low calorie diet is to make sure that you make your food taste nice. It will be almost impossible for you to stick to your diet if you don’t enjoy the food your eating and don’t look forward to eating it. You need to add flavor and this doesn’t have to come with a large increase in calories. You also need to think about the snacks you eat to suppress your hunger.